Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I get by with A LOT of help from my friends

Where's all those wonderful pictures from California, Britt? I'd love to see more of Aiden's trip to Disneyland!

Hey....Oh hi everyone! I think I remember you guys. It's actually pretty hard to forget about y'all when I keep hearing about how you need to see Aiden's summer updates...

Here's the thing.

I am having such a hard time keeping up with this kid. One minute he needs to be registered for flag football, the next minute he has kindergarten PTA meetings. If we aren't trying to get in a quick swim in the afternoon it's because he has the social calendar of a New York hotel heiress. I mean, jeeze. This kid is everywhere.

And on top of it all he is actually headed off to kindergarten. Really soon. Don't even get me started on that whole process...because if it is some sort of testing and assessment of my parenting skills, clearly, I fail.

In all honesty though... I will get the California trip up as soon as I am able, and in the mean time, while everyone is soaking up the last couple rays of summer sunshine (Colorado Thunderdays I affectionately call it) it just sort of seemed like the time to stop and take a breath.

I've done a great deal of reflection the last couple months. With Aiden really growing into this new stage of being a kid, it's hard not to sit back and remember him as a screaming baby who would never sleep. It was so miserable, and I always felt so alone. But I wasn't.

I had Kelly, to help me give him his first bath and to go with me to his baby doctor appointments. And I had Randalicious to help me hold him when I had to study or write a paper. Because of a couple really strong people, I was able to get so much done. Kelly has always been there when I've struggled, I can call at any time and say, "Please come over, I might kill my kid" - I'm kidding. But without my friends, new ones and old ones, I don't think we would have made it to kindergarten.

Single parenting is hard, really hard. Especially if you have any kind of silly notions about a life for yourself. I'm just saying...I get by with A LOT of help from my friends.

Pictures coming soon! Promise!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy Birthday OutNumbered

I spend a great deal of my time preaching to others, yes, preaching is the word, about how hard work and relentless effort are the keys to success. When I am asked how I got this or that, and sometimes it is simply stated to me how incredibly lucky I have been... it feels important to me to remind those people - just work, just try, just push a little more than you think you can, just don't give up.

Today, instead of preaching, I am looking back on what has been - by far - one of the most incredible years for me. Twenty-five was something I feared, I wanted nothing to do with the idea of getting older while still being stuck in the same place. Looking back over the last 365 days, it strikes me how much I have grown and done. Unfortunately I haven't been able to share much of it, as I have significantly reduced my social media presence and have had to keep a lot of things to myself - sometimes by necessity, sometimes by preference.

At 25, I was signed to nxt|Model's commercial division. I've had a great many opportunities because of this small, non-exclusive agency. I've also had a chance to work hard for myself and in a lot of instances, I have been my own agent. I have to market myself and get a lot of my own work, but they have been a great stepping stone to a lot of the last year's accomplishments.

This year, Aiden and I snuggled a lot. We held on tight to each other when things got really hard.

We fought a lot too. We fought about sugar and the proper way to clean up toys. We fought about appropriate timing for taking down Christmas trees and we fought about Sponge Bob yogurt. Mostly we fought about using nice words and making sure we tell each other how much we love one another.

And then we snuggled some more.

I promo-ed the crap out of the Denver-Metro area with Missy. 

I conquered the Sturgis Bike Rally.

And I walked a few runways - sometimes looking like a peacock, sometimes wearing only paper.

I made some silly faces with Aiden.

And saw my best friend get married. 

I got my hair and makeup done, a lot. And then after that, I got it done some more.

We watched Ghostbusters, over and over and over and over again. And we sang Ghostbusters in the car, over and over and over and over again.

We played in the park.

Then I did some more promo's with Missy.

I did a lot of photo shoots - and I got paid to do them. Sometimes, I was naked. Sometimes it was scary - but mostly it was beautiful, freeing, exciting and absolutely fulfilling.

Sometimes I had to lay face down in the mud in a freezing parking garage and play dead for the photographer. And it was really hard, it was the hardest day of work I ever had, and it was the most beautiful image I ever made. 

And in a few moments over the past year, the lighting, the hair, the make up, the pose, the work, the attitude - it was all there, right where it needed to be, and I proved to myself and everyone else how bad I want this and how good I am.

This year, we hatched baby dinosaurs and they were disgusting. They smelled and they were ugly. But Aiden kept them alive for over a month and I was so proud.

This year, there was painting.

And swimming.

This year, Dexter's name changed approximately 38 times - currently, it is Anna (from "Frozen"). Also, she is now a girl according to Aiden. Yes, she wants to build a snowman as well. Oh, and I decided this year that I think I love my cat.

This year, my son grew up, a lot.

This year, I saw breath taking art.

This year, I landed a book cover and print advertising and a movie role.

This year, I found out who my friends really are. The ones who didn't know that any of this was going on and stuck with me anyway. There were also some friends who knew I was having a really hard time and they didn't stick by me. Not even a little bit. 

My greatest accomplishments this year are things that I can't even say here, and my greatest losses are beyond words. But I am still standing, and it's all happening.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Series of Unfortunate Events or Thank You, Citizens of WalMart

I know that OutNumbered is often funny, because it is usually funny at my expense. And I fully expect this post to be every bit as hilarious as all others, if not actually laugh-out-loud funny, but I want to preface it with a little bit of seriousness.

A parent's greatest fear - child abduction. As a parent, I find nothing scarier. Our culture runs rampant with the subject these days - think about how you felt reading "The Lovely Bones" for the first time, whether you have kids or not, it was literally the worst case scenario. With the Super Bowl not that far behind us, there was a lot of negative press surrounding sex-trafficking in America...an even worse case scenario.

I recently saw a "kidnapping experiment" on Twitter (@bbabybritt if you're wondering...) that maybe some of you also saw, if not it's attached here:

It's absolutely terrifying to think it could happen to you and even more terrifying to think it couldn't. On top of all of this, I have been reading "Doctor Sleep" - GoodReads review here:


...and it's a doozy, but basically, it's about special children disappearing and never coming home.

All that being said...Aiden got the cops called on Randalicious yesterday for kidnapping.

They went to WalMart to pick out some Valentine's for Aiden's party at school today. Randalicious told Aiden that he could have a Peppermint Patty (his FAVORITE) if he was good in the store. Of course he threw a fit, which I can only imagine became a tantrum/melt down in a matter of seconds. Bystanders would tell you that he was screaming throughout the store, "I want my daddy! I want my daddy! I want my daddy! I want my daddy!" The trained ear of Aiden's caregiver knows he was screaming, "I want my patty! I want my patty!I want my patty!I want my patty!"

Randalicious tried fervently to settle on-lookers and a woman at the check stand who insisted that he let the little boy call his daddy so that he might calm down. My calm and patient (and handsome and wonderful) father who was sent by the grace of God no doubt, explained, "He doesn't want to call his daddy, he wants a Peppermint Patty..."

No use. The woman - or another suspicious individual - followed them to the parking lot and scribbled down Randalicious' license plate number and then proceeded to call the cops.

In the meantime, I had left work and called them to check in on Aiden. He was still upset and screaming "I want my patty!I want my patty!I want my patty!" Though I took it for, "I want my daddy!  I want my daddy!  I want my daddy!" Once he calmed down and talked with me for a bit about some things he might be able to do in order to get back into Grandpa's good graces, they were off to McDonald's.

Thinking maybe a little play time on the giant jungle gym might help soothe Aiden, Randalicious loaded him into the car. At this point in time, he noticed a squad car parked just a little ways down the road and it noticed him - him, and Aiden. The officer pulled up to the house, asked Randalicious about who he is, what the situation is with Aiden, where his parents are, why someone from WalMart might have called the cops...on and on.

Oh Aiden....Oh dear, sweet Aiden.

Poor Randalicious.

While it is all so funny now, I sincerely mean it when I say, "Thank you citizens of WalMart, good lookin out!!"

Now I owe my father the Valentine's Day gift to top all others, but really, thank God that my community is aware and would call the cops just because they had a bad feeling even though it was wrong.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Elephant In the Room

As many of my followers (who are essentially following no one because I hardly write any more) know, there's some pretty heavy stuff going on over at Winterfell - that's what Aiden and I call home. Yes, I am a nerd. Yes, I want him to be a nerd too.

I've been working hard on an actual piece surrounding all the baby-mama-drama and have not finished it yet. Partly because it takes so much out of me. And mostly, because I sincerely believe you can't really understand the journey, or storm or whatever other analogy you find fitting, until you come out the other side and you can look at the mess as a whole.

That partly piece though, about things being so weighty right now, has me thinking quite a bit. I need to really focus on the good stuff. I know this seems trivial and almost a little too kitschy considering it's the New Year and all. Side note - I don't believe in resolutions. But the point is, the more you smile and laugh, the less you stress. So lets have a little giggle shall we??

Holiday Season - we spent a lot of time gearing up for the holidays. Baking cookies, wrapping presents, visiting friends. Christmas is the one full solid paid vacation I get every year so I wanted everything done and out of the way before I was off of work for the year.

Our gift exchange with the Otley's this year had an all new participant. Baby Vander, who unfortunately found Aiden's gift to be much more exciting than his own.

The cookie baking was quite an obsession all of December - so when we finally did it, Aiden was in charge of all decorating operations.

Christmas 2013 - I spent a great deal of the holiday season contemplating Santa. Is my child really dumb enough to buy all this hoopla?!?! I guess so, now that the holidays are over, all he talks about is Santa this and Santa that. "Santa is gonna put you on the naughty list!" "Don't tell Santa I stuck my tongue out!" Luckily, Santa had Aiden on the "Nice List."

He opened *the big one* first, and if it had been ready-to-play he wouldn't have opened another thing! He's been interested in cooking for quite some time and kept asking why he couldn't have a kitchen. I'm not sure why he would think that but it seemed silly so I got him one.

He pretty much gave up opening presents about half way through - I think I went a little overboard again this year, even though I swore I wouldn't.

After Christmas it was all about cleaning up quick and making room for more.

Aiden's Birthday - we went the Mammoth game (they lost) and then had a donut breakfast party the next morning. Of course Aiden told the grumpy donut man it was his birthday and he gifted us the most obscene donut you'll ever see (below) Thank God Aiden didn't want to eat it - he would have had the jitters for days!

His birthday felt like Christmas all over again, so much stuff. And he gave up opening presents about half way though.

Can't really blame him, what with that cool dino book and all!

We spent the majority of what was left of winter break putting together Legos - I must say, I am quite proficient!

We even squeezed in another Mammoth game (they won!)

And we hatched some prehistoric dinosaur crab things - they're really pretty icky but Aiden thinks it's the coolest thing ever! We'll see how he feels when they start eating each other...

I'm doing my best to keep them alive and tolerate their existence in my kitchen, but really, if no one comes over for dinner until they are part of the big ocean in the sky, I won't blame you.

Mostly we've been having quite nights because there are some attitude and personality changes happening with the little dude...

 but like I said before, all that heavy stuff for a different day.

For right now, Happy New Year from Britt and Aiden.

*Some years ask questions, some years answer them*