It takes time to “win” at single mom-ing

Welp, its been over a year since I wrote anything and my reasoning is probably pretty lame; however in the world of single parenting picking battles wisely is the name of the game. The last blog posted was a bit tough however for integrity sake, I had to post it. A quick recap: the blog was Bug (Via) telling why she had no interest in doing business. As a mom who wants nothing more than to work with my daughter, it was hard to take, but because I have an understanding that we can’t make anyone, especially our children, be and do what WE want, I had to sit and wait for her to get it on her own. So over this last year I worked my ass off, ate a bunch of crow ( I really thought she was into it 🙂 and lived 2016 like no one was watching. Fast forward… Now it is 2017, and poof! Somehow she got it!! Best part, she came to it completely on her own.

The last year has been crazy!! After realizing “Blanketing the World with Love” means so much more than knitting we began the crazy adventure of manufacturing an all natural alternative to dryer sheets and fabric softener and selling them at Portland farmers markets. Once I realized the power of the “WoolyBall” we made a few hundred and opened shop. Things got busy fast and before I knew it we had 11 employees and attended over 150 farmers markets. In 9 months we sold over 15,000 dryer balls! I had no idea it would take off like it has.

All of this said it was always my intention for Bug to catch something empowering, for her to find her fire and share it with the world. I juggled mom-ing her and building a business, no easy task. We made new friends and detoxified 3500 laundry rooms in the Pacific Northwest. We traveled to Seattle, Eugene, Redmond and many surrounding cities in Portland. In short, we became ballers.

The response to our mission is catching on and we are motivated to make a difference. I have to be honest I am so moved by Via’s hard won determination that all I can think about is how to get the word out. It is my intention to support Via in her blogs and the Democrats/Liberals/Environmentalist on changing the course of the environment. The truth is if a majority of those who care and believe in Global Warming made a small step and replaced toxic laundry products with all natural and earth driven products we could prevent future drought. This is a reality and the truth. #ONit

Moving forward Via will be the face of Organic Necessity because she is smart, young, forward thinking and beautiful, inside and out. She is funny and poignant in her wisdom. I am so happy she is finally on board! To all single parents out there, don’t fret if your kids don’t want to do what you want them to. They will come around if you don’t push. I didn’t push, and now she is doing what I desired for her. Eventually everyone’s time comes and we are called to step up and out. For us that time is now. It is ON!!

 

Words about life from a 14 year old

Friends. Fun. Weekends. All things that matter to me, and possibly you. I care that people are hungry all over the world. I care that there are millions of people that do not have what I have, and I would love to help, but how am I going to do that? Drop everything I do? Yes sure, to parent that’s so easy. “You don’t have to hang out with your friends all of the time” Yea, your right. I don’t. I don’t have to hang out every weekend. I don’t have to be on my phone all the time. I don’t have to. But I want too. I want to text my friends back. And snap-chat and go on Instagram, and go to the mall to get new clothes and watch pointless TV shows and talk about boys with my friends. Because that’s what you do as a teenager. You make mistakes, and you learn from them. What I don’t want to do is homework. I don’t want to spend 3 hours on homework every night just to get sub-par grades. I don’t want to hang out with my parents. I don’t want to take my dog on a walk no matter how much I love her. I don’t want pimples. I don’t want to clean the kitchen. I don’t want to learn to knit. I don’t want to do these things because I’m a teenager. I don’t want these things because I’m 14. It seems so crazy to parents because they didn’t grow up the way we did. They didn’t grow up with snap-chat, or Instagram. They didn’t grow up with I phones. They didn’t grow up with the things we have. It’s all different for us then it was for them. I don’t care that it is different. I know the world doesn’t resolve around me, and the things I care about wont matter in 10 years, but they matter now.

Blanketing the World in Love

“In order to be successful in life all one must do is look around and find the things that matter the most. Within those things, lies the answer to all our troubles.” ~ Some really wise man

I have been a single mom for 14 years and have been searching hi and low for a career that allows me to spend time with my daughter and dog without sacrificing the things that matter most. Last spring we packed up our life in Littleton, Colorado and headed to the Northwest on a new adventure and in April 2014, we landed in Lake Oswego, Oregon. When we came to Oregon we knew no one. I started our blog MeBugandBernice.com so to document our experience and to remain in touch with those who had been such an important part of our life. Little did I know, relocating would be harder than I expected.  There is a lot of pain that comes with uprooting and moving to where there is no immediate support system. And while my intentions were pure I stopped blogging for 7 months because reality set in, and I realized we were alone and all the responsibility of raising a conscious to-be woman, was now 100% on me.

Since moving to Oregon the tragedy in Syria has led to many sleepless nights, and I, like so many other Americans have grappled with the feelings of helplessness. The truth is, next to my daughter and my most precious pup there is nothing I love more than the idea of Peace on Earth. For as long as I can remember it has been my dream that all humans realize their individual and unified magnificence. Subsequently, my biggest challenge has been how I could participate in making my dream come true while remaining 100% present for Bug. Since moving to Oregon we have worked hard at cultivating relationships with our neighbors. I firmly believe the key to world peace is loving our neighbors as we love our self.  While building relationships with my new friends I have found kindred souls. Subsequently, through many hours of mediation and prayer I may have finally discoverd a way that we can spend precious and fleeting time together, all the while aiding some of the worlds most vulnerable humans. Truth be told, although I have struggled for many years trying to keep food on the table and clothes on her back, our struggles pale in comparison to our brothers and sisters in Eastern Europe.

Considering the fact that moving to Oregon has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, I have cultivated endless compassion and empathy for those who have left their homes with nothing more than the clothes on their back. Right this very moment there are mothers who are facing the potential of losing their small children due to freezing temperatures in the event of finding peace and refuge from war and violence. We have to do something.

MeBugandBernice is a company founded on the desire to be deeply connected to each other, with the understanding that sharing with those in need, is the only way humanity, as a collective, can find ourselves solving the issues of oppression and violence. The worlds most vulnerable people are just like you and me and from my perspective, we are all a part of one family. Therefore, it is our mission to blanket the world in love, helping to bringing forth the best qualities of the human condition. Every purchase made through our store will benefit someone in need. This years mission is to blanket innocent children that face imminent struggle, while their parents find their way to their new life.
Click here to share love with your  family while sharing with a child in need.

From Entrepreneur to Momtrepreneur

Being a single mom is hard, for many reasons. For me, the biggest challenge has been financial, as I, like most single moms, am the only breadwinner. Although financial hardship tends to be the main challenge for most single parents it seems to me that the real challenge comes once our kids grow into teens and their sense of self-reliance grows from that of a helpless child to that of a mini adult. I have read quite a few articles as of late that lend emotional support to single moms by telling us that it’s ok if our children hate us once they venture into the ever talked about “teenage years”. Authors of these articles remind us that our teenagers have no idea the sacrifice we make so they can eat and have clothes on their back. Many articles also point out the temporary impedance of teenager psychology and remind us that this too, shall pass. Furthermore, the authors of these articles also suggest we simply grin and bear it; our kids will be ok. According to American society it is natural to have teenagers who are so self absorbed that the only thing they understand or care about is their desire to be liked at school, to wear what everyone else is wearing and to simply, fit in. We are assured; this uncomfortable stage is merely a part of life. We are told once our children turn 13, we better watch out, as their desire to leave our cuddles and our constant kisses comes with the territory. We are told it is natural for our teens to desire to be separate from the one person that loves them the most and an open and honest relationship with their parents is not as important as their need to spread their wings and assimilate who they believe they are or better yet, whom they are imagining themselves to be. However, and with this said, the testimony of my personal experience says, our perception of teenagers is not all together accurate. Truthfully, I think we might be lying to ourselves because from where I sit, teenagers have it more together than adults give them credit for.

Bug is my daughter and she is 14. She is outgoing, strong willed, beautiful and chalk full of authentic and genuine love. Since moving to Oregon last April she has found the most amazing group of kids to call friends and her attitude about life is better than most adults I know. Many might find it hard to believe but she does not lie and she tells me everything, even if it’s hard for me to hear. Just last week she laid it out straight about teens and curse words. “We all use curse words mom. It’s all the rage. I curse when you are not around.” I then proceeded to tell her that curse words are disrespectful to adults and that using those words could potentially cause repercussions and then she said “um we know that, that’s why we don’t curse around adults. We know what to say to whom, mom. But don’t worry, it’s a phase” Ha! Fair enough. Subsequently she has also told me about kissing a boy for the first time and then after that boy kissed another girl she told me she is not ready for boys and that she feels its best if she waits a few years to try her hand again. I have told her the truth about boys from my perspective and she knows the best sex there is, is with someone you love. She gets it, 100% and she knows she is not even close to ready. Because of her openness and unwavering desire to tell me her truth, I feel very confident with the fact that she has two very good guy friends and I am 100% ok with them being kids together, regardless of their gender. The truth is, the only reason I wouldn’t trust her, is because I don’t trust myself. So with that, I trust her; subsequently she is also very aware of what happens when someone breaks trust. These are the things we talk about; I have never lied to her and I never will.

I have been a single mom since Bug was a month old. I chose to divorce her father while she was a newborn because in my gut I knew our relationship was doomed and to be honest, I didn’t want her growing up thinking he and I demonstrated a loving relationship. As my life has proven we become what our environment dictates and it takes many years of very painful and tumultuous work to undo the lies we believe about ourselves when we grow up in unstable environments. At the time of our divorce her father and I both struggled to love ourselves independent of one another, much less truly love each other. I understood that if I didn’t leave him before her brain developed and she gained memory she would most likely mirror our struggle and it could take years for her to truly recognize her own self worth; so I left him, so I could save her. With a one-month-old baby and two suitcases I moved back to my parents house and I started again. I had no idea what I was doing; I just knew I needed to trust in God. So I did, and I jumped. It was really scary. The moment I struck out on my own I set the intention that even if it was the last thing I did, Bug would never question if she was good enough or if she was loveable. She never went to day care, and I have taken her to school and have been home when she gets home from school, every single day of her life. I made it my souls mission to raise her up, with her full understanding that she is loved and that she has the capacity to love, unconditionally without ever having to experience the alternate. Financially we have struggled but at the end of the day I wouldn’t trade one red cent for the uninterrupted time I had with my one and only baby.

Fast forward and here we are in a new city where we once knew no one. Green pastures and unlimited opportunity, or so I thought. Moving across the country without an immediate support system proved harder than I thought it would be. Truth be told, I went through a pretty dark time the last 6 months. People are not as open and trusting as we are and the truth of that hit me pretty hard. Thankfully Bugs friends are still kids at heart and they are way more open than adults. That said, I shared with Bug what I was going through; I didn’t keep it from her. All to often I feel that as parents we desire so much to keep our kids away from pain for as long as we can. This I feel, might be a mistake. For me I have always believed that Bug can handle whatever I put in front of her and as long as I am there with her she can handle anything. Since she was a baby I have always talked to her as if she understood what I was saying. When she acts up I tell her how I feel about her actions I explain my perception and 10 times out of 10 she changes her behavior. I never make her do anything; I always give her the choice. In the end she always chooses correctly. What raising her up with this type of independence has done, is give her the confidence to know everything she does is important and that it means something, even if only to me. Seeing who she has become and who she is still becoming lends me correct in this confidence.

So here we are; Me, Bug and our most precious pup, Bernice. Over the last year everything has changed, all but us, that is. Welcome to our new adventure… Mebugandbernice… moving forward fearlessly in the direction of our dreams.

“The more a daughter knows the details of her mother’s life […] the stronger the daughter.”~ Anita Diamant, The Red Tent

Becoming Fully Alive

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To become fully alive has been the focus of my life since I can fully remember. I remember reading this quote or something similar and thinking “why not”? Although, I don’t think I had any idea what that actually meant, until recently. I do remember being inspired and driven by experiences and people that brought out my fear, always pushing myself to have moments where I question everything, where I felt the dreaded fear of failure. I made it my mission in life to face my fears and I did, I faced them, every single one of them. Poof!

Since moving to Oregon one moon ago, I have had some time to reflect on what it is to “change”. Let’s face it, change is hard; it hurts. It is also necessary if we want to really live. I have always held close the phrase “that which does not kill us, only makes us stronger”. With this understanding I felt equipped to face everything that the Universe threw at me.

After some sweet reflection this last month I can say one thing for sure: I finally “feel” strong! I feel like I can do anything, accomplish whatever I set my heart and soul on. I finally feel free from the negative thoughts that have plagued my mind, the ones that told me no. Today, I am all yes! I can finally feel the truth!! The truth that I am absolutely 100% the Co-Creator of my own experience. In truth I have been dreaming and wishing for everything I have in front of me right now. My neighbors are the answer to my prayers, my job was made for me, my environment is full of blooming flowers, boats, kind and conscious people. There is no trash on the street, people genuinely care about each other. I meet new people everyday and they truly are the reason Portland has the reputation it has. Everyone of them is brilliant and they notice my brilliance. It feels really good to be seen. 🙂 I’m no longer the weirdest girl on the block!! Ha!

I also know this truth: I know for a fact I will change more than I already have. I know for a fact I am always going to work on being better than I was yesterday. I know for a fact I will always stay in touch with all of the hearts and souls I have known before, as you are the reason I am who I am. Facebook was once the bane of my existence, only because I wasn’t letting myself grow into what the world has become due to technology. The world is changing and so must I. I really love who I have become, I wouldn’t be who I am, without your influence. Thank you. I know I will never stop telling the people I love, that I love them. I love you.

I also know there is unlimited room in my life for love and with that fact I am excited! I am excited! I am excited!

Since arriving in LO bug and I have spent a lot of time exploring our new home. I know how to get to Trader Joes, New Seasons, and over to the the east bay. I know how to find the nicest Goodwill on the planet, our closest herb shop, rock shop and olive oil distillery. I have only had Oregon wine and beer, with that said the “conscious pet industry” has me spinning! On a mission to find the perfect bone for Bernice 🙂

Everyday I take time to reflect and the last few weeks have been about “receiving the change” that the Universe helped me create. I am focused on receiving the perfect place for us to live, the perfect people for us to live with, the perfect pink tree on my patio. As I write this I sit in Awe at the power of God in my life. Truthfully, without my love for the Light I would still be flaring aimlessly. Thanks be to my Co-Creator and all of the wonderful and amazing people who it has created and that I have had the privilege and merit to know and love.

God Bless Everyone! No exceptions.

From Air to Water: Falcons to Sailors

Oh my dearest bug, how I love thee, . Let me count the ways…

Bug update:

1. She is a ROCK STAR!!** Her help in the process of moving to Portland has been amazing, for a 13 year old. 😉 She only slept for 3 hours of the 20 hour drive. (remarkable! I know a few adults who can  not say they can do this 🙂 She made sandwiches, kept my cup full of coconut water and she shared the Twizzlers. She takes really good care of Bernice, especially helping to keep her off my lap while we were driving through cities I have never been….  So cute, the two of them are together.

2. She is LOVING her new school. Mom brags> She was put in the advance theater class with all 8th graders. She has been asked to take high school credit in Spanish. She is completely aligned with school curriculum. Her story> she has the option of whatever she would like from the cafeteria all day long. I was perplexed by this… and she said , “mom just imagine a buffet at Mothers day, but a little smaller, and open all day.” She makes me laugh. Clearly, she is happy with the food.

3. She found her new best friend within 24 hours of us arriving. Her name is Baily, and she lives right next door. Baily is 14. They are so similar, I have to say I am in awe. The two of them have been running around LO, “mom going down to the lake”, “mom, we are casing out dog parks”, “mom I am making friends with the frozen yogurt kids”.

4. We were in Oregon for 60 minutes, when she said “I really love it here mom”.  (Maybe the sweetest thing she has ever said to me 🙂

5. Her kindness towards others is unlimited. She says hi to everyone. She already knows Judy the lady down stairs. I have not even met her yet. She already has peeps who want her to babysit. She has an ice skating adventure planned for this weekend with some kids from school. She is practicing yoga every Wednesday night.

ok… I could go on and on… and I probably will throughout my blogger journey. Just know for now, Bug is rocking LO and she thinks she is going to get her first job at the yogurt place right around the corner. I threw in my two cents and suggested a she would be a really great barrista. Let it be known I have a bit of an agenda with that suggestion. 😉

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Dearest Bug,

you are my most favorite thing…

Love, Mom

Goodbye Colorado. Hello Oregon.

The first 43 years of my life were spent pretty much in the same place. Born in Gunnison Co. grew up in Littleton, Co. I then proceeded to raise bug (my daughter) in the same exact place for her first 13 ½ years. My mother, myself and bug all went to the same Jr High School. For the last year and a half, every time I went to one of her choir performances I had flash backs of quite possibly the hardest time in my life. What a joy that was! With that said, I faced it, I didn’t run. I even joined the PTA for Christmas sake. I said to myself, “Whatever Littleton, you don’t scare me!” Truthfully though, it felt like I had an invisible and very heavy ball and chain around my ankle. (Insert funny cartoon character, here.)

Don’t get me wrong; I have done a bit of traverse traveling in my day. I tried to live in San Francisco once, made it 14 months. When I was 20, I moved to Dallas, Texas. Looking back on that, it was only to avoid the aftermath of the death of my dad. That time in life, pretty much sucked too. The reality of his passing caught up with me exactly one year after, to the day, I decided to run away. My mom came and saved me from that one and I came back to Colorado with my tail between my legs. In 2011, I transplanted as much of myself as possible, into Port-a-Prince, Haiti. God, I loved it there. I had big plans for Haiti. However, that adventure proved yet another futile attempt at a new beginning.

(*For the record the only thing I can do for Haiti, is love it. Which I do, deeply.)

Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not sure there has ever been anything I have ever wanted more in my life than to relocate permanently to a place I have never been before. I remember dreaming about it, sometimes daily. I would imagine new neighbors, new experiences, new ideas, new businesses to give my business too, new friends, new love, new, new, everything new! I love the idea of knowing no one, beginning again, fresh slate. Honestly I have been praying for an opportunity for as many years as I have been praying. Which is a pretty long time.

So to make a long story short, it happened. It finally happened. I finally got my shot, my chance at relocating to somewhere I have never been before. Meeting and befriending people I have never met before. Everything is new!! My dreams have literally come true… I am so excited!!

And, it’s raining… a lot.

So here I sit, on a blow up bed in a bare apartment, waiting for our stuff to arrive; which could be another week. Bernice is sitting as close to me as she can; she is acclimating well for the most part. We are meeting with a few challenges, one mainly by the name of “Gigi”, the cat that isn’t afraid of anything. As for Bug, well she is perfectly happy tapped into internet land. As for me, well I kept my promise to myself and disconnected from Facebook… except to put this blog out there. Let it be known I do love social media, probably because I am an only child. I do love to connect and interact. After being a regular participant in the Facebook frenzy for the last 5 years I have decided I prefer face-to-face, voice-to-voice interactions. In my creative visualization over the last 23 years I never once saw myself sitting in front of a computer all day talking to people out in internet land. On the contrary I have always seen myself on continuous coffee dates, Skype sessions with my parents, and weekly if not daily walks with the most extraordinary of people.

As I sit here, listening to the rain and the birds who never stop singing I have decided to finally submerge myself into my creative writing. As I have been planning and plotting for at least two years I am going to tell the stories of our brand new experiences in what I am pretty sure is the nicest city in all of America.

Goodbye Colorado. Hello Portland.