First comes….Dating

A couple of weeks ago we had a vacation, we were suppose to go up north for the races (Jeff, my father in law drag races….and it’s AWESOME) but due to Ava being so little Paul crushed my dreams and said “Not this year, babe!” WAHH!!!! Soo, we decided to stay in town!

BUT with us staying home we were able to accomplish the long list of our honey do’s and more! Which was a HUGE weight lifted off of my shoulders because we all know how that list can add up and there never seems to be enough time to get it all done- especially with little ones.

Another benefit to our staycation was daycare. Daycare on a staycation= DATES. ANYTIME of the DAY. You’d think we would have had a list written down of anything and everything to do with out our kids, but guess what? We can think of everything we’d like to do on dates when we have the kids but with out them we are almost….lost. When you have kids it’s easy for everything to be about and revolve around them.

While most of the time this is true, (especially when they are so little and depend on you for most things.) it’s not always best. I’m a firm believer in order and that your spouse needs to be first and kids second. This is not always easy, especially from a mother’s perspective. At least mine. I love my husband with my whole being, but I tend to the littles ALL day long. I hate to admit it, but sometimes, by the time Paul is home I just want to sit by myself in silence and not have little hands pulling at me or my adrenaline going from a 0-100 in 2 seconds flat from a scream in the other room while I’m trying to prepare something for dinner. This can take away from the attention I’d like to give my hunny because of my exhaustion from the days obstacles.

Thus, staycation for me turned into date your mate! Through out the week I reflected a lot on my 4 years with Paul. We have done and seen A LOT in a short amount of time but when I think about just how much we have accomplished and how much we have grown, dating my husband is some of my best memories- past AND present!

Which brings us to the dating stages:

  1. Getting to know you: This dating stage everyone knows (insert Vince vaughn from wedding crashers.) Do I like this person? Does this person like me?  Do I have food on my face? Am I talking too much? Are they talking to much? Am I interested? I’m not really interested…should I pretend that I’m interested? Is he interested?
  2. Relationship status: I am interested and investing my time because I see hope in you for the future. Please survive meeting my family and friends. That’s all I’m asking.
  3. Married dating: We’ve made it!  You’re my person and I don’t care if we spend time with others or by ourselves as home bodies as long as I’m with you.
  4. Married with kids dating: Dinner and movie nights  Does this exist??
  5. Dating like your kids again: Bringing it back to you, like when you first fell in love.

I will never forget my first date with Paul, it was different from anything I’d experienced and I still remember standing in my apartment when he dropped me off that night and thinking ” This is it. He is the guy I am going to marry.” It was November 12, 2011- He took me to the Dakota Jazz Club for the first showing featuring latin cuban music. We talked SO much we sat through both shows and it took us roughly 2 hours in before we had our meal. I should also mention we did have an appetizer right away and the man ate calamari which I later found out he was disgusted by but had to impress me. In my defense,  I also ended up eating a piece of what I thought was chicken- turned out to be chicken fat and I MADE myself swallow it so I didn’t have to spit it out in front of him. Talk about sacrifice! (that’s NOT the experience I am talking about!!) He was intriguing, smart, genuine, good looking, a gentleman and could carry AMAZING conversation- I was for sure interested.

We moved to relationship status fairly quickly. Even though it was so easy to fall into being comfortable with one another, one thing paul is really good at is impressing me. He continued to plan dates- from going to dinners, rollerblading (to be exact, once around the block.), ball games, different b-fast places (one of my favs), walks or making me dinner (THIS IS HUGE. Pizza is his lifeline.) and talking for hours- to name a few. He opened the car door for me, walked me to my door at night and treated me as his priority! I was totally investing my time on this guy!!

We were engaged at 6 months and married July 14th, 2012. Being married and dating is similar to relationship dating except for us we were going home together at night vs him dropping me off (#Winning) I told you he was a gentleman- LEGIT. We still saw friends but when you’re married something changes….the comfort level or maybe the relationship growing from 2 becoming 1. I became content in just being home with him or whatever we were doing as long as I was sharing my experiences with him. It didn’t matter if other people weren’t around all the time. (Which is BIG for me because I am a social butterfly.)

Being married with kids (very small people) and dating your spouse is life changing. As if having kids in the first place wasn’t life changing enough! It’s hard. You have routine and responsibility to the littles, yet don’t lose that responsibility to your spouse. It becomes a balancing act, one of which I’d be lying if I said I had it all figured out. I don’t, not even close. But I know I love my husband more today than I ever have before. He knows me on my worst, hardest days (not pretty, quite ugly actually) and still loves me and cheers me on. It’s harder for him to plan because well, we have two kids and I own a business that he doesn’t have constant access to the ever changing schedule. Sometimes I have to voice that I need a date, but when I do he puts forth effort in BIG ways. Coming up with different date ideas can sometimes be challenging-especially when you’re just excited to have a meal that you don’t have to talk over your babies (which you end up talking about non-stop through dinner) and a movie to watch at the theatre sprawled out in a plush leather recliner vs your worn out spot on the couch. (SMART move on their part) I can feel my muscles relax just thinking about it. But regardless of what he surprises me with, a dinner and movie or something new, it give us time. Quality time that for me is a MUST when you have littles.

When we were on vacation, we had time that we were not used to having access to- with out kids. What in the world were we going to do??!! We went to breakfast 3 times alone that week! I highly recommend trying:  This place is much smaller than I had anticipated but we were able to cozy up to a small table outside that gave us some privacy to talk! I had the bacon, green onion and cream cheese omelet with coffee, which was SOO GOOD!!! If you want something lively this is your place to go! The decor was original and the smell of the bakery when you walk in was enough to sign us up for a Granny’s sticky caramel pecan bun to share. I had the classic eggs benedict which also was really good (the english muffin could have been toasted more though.) I wasn’t crazy about the coffee but I stick to 1/2 caff these days so I also am not a great person for review on that. They do have great reviews on other coffee varieties though. This is a small hometown feel diner in the heart of Wayzata. We’ve been quite a few times- Their french toast is AMAZING. It also comes with your choice of eggs/ meat and hashbrowns so go with an empty stomach because you will walk out FULL and probably not have to eat again until dinner.

We also went to the new JASON BOURNE movie (Paul’s choice) My first choice is usually the current rom-com playing but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have to see all of the previous BOURNE movies to fully understand what was going on- If you like action, I would definitely suggest checking it out!

We did some shopping etc. BUT my FAVORITE thing we did was go to Cascade Bay. If you have not been to this place, you MUST go WITHOUT kids. There is an area for children, I mean its a water park after all but this was the FUNNEST date to go on, on a hot day with my guy and not having to worry about my littles (where is my child? Is she a safe distance from me? I hope she isn’t inhaling water! Why doesn’t she understand after the 1675X that she can’t inhale water??) We floated down the lazy river for 3.5 hours, occasionally pulling off to take the water slide route or the obstacle with bubbling rapids landing you under a faucet with torrential downpour. ( I got Paul REAL good with this one a few times!!) I felt like a kid again, falling in love for the first time all over. It was that great, so much so that when we left I asked if we could go back again that week!

In the end Paul and I have really great memories through out our dating which also leads to really funny stories. I think if we compiled them all we would land a book deal and an early retirement. I thought he may have been a cancer survivor because his picture online portrayed him with this light fluffy hair that looked like it was growing back in (NO PAUL it wasn’t a pity date!!) and later I found out he thought I sounded like a dude. Yep I said that. A DUDE. Thank God my picture was appealing! Through it all I can’t imagine what life would be like with out him and having all of these experiences with someone other than him. The man makes me over the moon happy beyond words!! So until the time comes when it’s no longer a possibility I will continue to date my husband. They have been the best dates of my life and I wouldn’t want them with anyone else. Ever.



Ellie’s sockscapade

You guys.

I had every intention of writing about something else for this post, however, I came across some pictures on my phone this evening and this is just TOO GOOD not to share. Don’t judge me for finding hilarity in this event of complete chaos and total meltdown from Ellie. But sometimes you have to laugh at the things your kids do because if you don’t you may go lock your self in a bathroom (for hours on end.) for an adult time out or pull out all of your hair (which ever comes first) because sometimes there is no logic or reasoning with a 2 year old.

When I said before that Ellie had determination this is a prime example. You know those posts that you see about kids crying for “no reason” and are so upset because their parent(s) wouldn’t let them finish eating dirt or they couldn’t find the ball they just threw when its sitting right behind him? I always look at those and giggle because I thought ” how funny, Ellie has never done something like that.” And then it happened. In all its glory.

It was last wednesday evening and we were getting ready to leave the house to go to our normal bible study at church. Ellie looks forward to seeing our pastors so much so that she asks about them almost daily. Well this Wednesday in particular we were having a surprise birthday celebration for our Pastor and Paul and I were in charge of getting everything together. Which included cake. You can imagine how excited Ellie was about cake….like a kid in a candy store with no limit.

Since she started daycare a couple of months ago she’s been wearing socks because I have her wearing tennis so that she can play outside, climb everything insight etc and not have to worry about stubbing her little piggies. She is also learning to put on her shoes and tennis are much easier to put on when you’re not battling soft, sweaty baby feet-Preventing another meltdown. So the conversation to follow is us getting ready to leave:

Mommy: “Ellie, lets get ready to go to church so we can surprise Pastor Ron!”

Ellie: “Ok! I excited! Socks, shoes let’s go!

Mommy: “Ok, go pick out some socks so we can put on your tennis and go.”

While I attempt to get Ava put together and packed up, Paul puts on Ellie’s socks for her and continues to grab our bags and pack the car with everything we need. All seems to be going smooth- I mean what could possibly go wrong?

Well first Ellie decided she had to have one sock rolled down and one pulled all the way up. What ever floats your boat kid. She’s going to be a trend setter I can already see it. (I’m sad I don’t have a picture of this,  but I’m sure there will be another opportunity in the future.) We put her shoes on, “Alright let’s go! ” Still, what can go wrong??

BUT THEN- she has decided she HAS to have BOTH socks pulled ALL THE WAY UP and they MUST go above her knees. Well guess what? They are not long enough and chaos ensues. Exhibit A:


She pulled those socks so hard I thought the ankle was going to rip right off the foot portion. Again and again and AGAIN. Then she manages to get them slightly on her knee. But guess what: knees bend when you walk. The horror. This process happened at least 4 times before I finally took my phone out for pictures. Because in my defense I didn’t know what else to do. Finally-At this point I am trying to console her and explain that her socks are not long enough but she can still wear them up high and that everything will be ok. The 4th picture is of her screaming at me because clearly that is not what she wants to hear and I must be wrong.

I lost it…..laughing, giggling, crying-you name it. No worries I was kind enough not to laugh AT her! I had to walk to the car because it was coming out faster than I can blink and I couldn’t believe all of this over socks!! Let me say this: I would definitely trade 31 year old problems for 2 year old problems. I wish she knew just how easy life was at her age… Needless to say after some much bribing of cake and snacks all was right again with the world. Ellie wore her socks high and enjoyed her (BIG) piece of cake.

**I hope this made you smile, for those of you who have kids what are some funny things that your children have done that you wouldn’t expect?

Hello, it’s me. Brittany.

I love my life.

These 4 words speak volumes of truth. Truth that I never thought I would be able to claim as my own- to the extent that I can.

I have a wonderful husband, Paul who I have been married to for 4 years and 2 girls, Ellie (2.5) and Ava (5 months) who complete our world beyond measure. (You will read A LOT about them later!) On top of being domesticated (haha) I’m currently a stay at home mom and a full time business owner of Brittany Kinney Beaute. (In salon and on-site hair and makeup artist) Needless to say, my world is BUSY…. ALL. OF. THE. TIME.

How do I do it all?????

Honestly your guess is as good as mine. What I do know is I have God, an amazing support system (family + clients) and a husband who cheers me on even when I think I may be on the brink of insanity. I love it all. Rainbows, butterflies, storms and CHAOS. Which brings me to (one of) my reason(s) for starting this blog.

I LOVE being a mommy.

Motherhood is not for the weary or faint. Let’s be real. There are some days I feel like I came out of a war zone and could face plant my pillow the minute Paul walks through the front door. I mean how can a 2.5 year old have the determination comparable to a solider in battle to overcome any and all obstacles put in their way??? How can a 4 month old need to eat and cry until she does, the minute you sit down to have dinner after a long day of work?? I may never know….BUT most days I can’t wait to see what new word(s) Ellie throws into sentences (usually in correct context) and how excited she is about simple tasks that to her, boost her confidence on levels that would match an olympian winning a gold medal. Ava being a baby still, giving a sweet smile followed by a coo and just now starting that belly giggle melts me right into a puddle of mush. Most recent, during the week I have the girls part time due to BK Beaute growing in demand (WOO HOO!!)  and it also helps me have balance to conquer all of my other tasks from business to personal and social aspects of life. But at the end of the day they are my world. My family is what drives me.

The stories I share with you are real and raw. Some days are great and then there are some that are not so great, but they are every day opportunities and obstacles that I face. From keeping our marriage strong to raising kids and balancing business ownership. I’m not going to lie, you will read a lot about my kiddos (hilarity AND tears!) but this is to collide all areas of my life: marriage, mommy hood, family, cooking/recipes, hair care + makeup tips/tricks/products, business ownership etc. NOTHING is off limits. This is for me (AND YOU!) For those that know me personally, you know I love a good story telling. But for those who don’t, be prepared for humor/sass/passion and laughs (we have A LOT of laughs!) because through it all you will find JOY amid chaos.