The bubble bath felt like I was cheating on all my responsibilities. It was warm, inviting, and with just a push of a button I could have my very own Jacuzzi  experience.  That was too loud and not at all relaxing, so I turn it off and sink a little further into my bath.

Insistent meowing at the door followed by a light scratch of a paw trying to get in brought me out of my day dream.

“Go away. No. Stop it.” I said at least three times before getting my bubble covered body out of the water and drip all over the floor to open the door.

I am not sure why I bother to close it. I sink back in the tub. My furry family members gather and find their seats. I sigh.

There is no such thing as alone time for me. Does it sound like a pity party? It is. I am forever being torn in four different directions while being told I do have alone time.
Fall means school and activities. I love it. I enjoy being social. I don’t like to sit in my head and be alone all the time. We were made to be social and supportive. Not to sit on the end of a sofa and stare into our phones; checking all the social media and left feeling more isolated.

I push the button and the whirling starts once again. My cat looks down in fascination with the bubbles.

“Hey mom.”  she calls from the end of the hall, ” I want to…. ” And she begins to tell me about her big birthday plans. That is two months away.

“How’s your bath?” he stand at the door way before coming in and pushing the button. “we need to get you one of those bath pillows.” He’s being helpful.

I love my little puzzle pieced together family. I really do. But they need to leave me the hell alone for fifteen minutes. I am pretty sure it can all wait. The big ideas and plans. I push the button  and sink. Letting the rush of water fill my ears and not hear anything. Not feel the guilt pull me back to the surface.

The door closes and I feel bad. I feel bad for wanting silence of a bath. I feel bad for not wanting to listen or engage in  their ponderings right at this very minute.

It can all wait. They can all wait. All of it. The cleaning I know I should be doing, the folding of laundry I know I need to do, the text messages I feel I need to respond too and the things I know that still need finished. Boxes need unpacked. Bills that need to be paid.

I sigh and hit the drain on the bath watching the water immediately beginning it’s descent. I watch it wistfully. I don’t know when I’ll be back. I am trying to schedule it in for longer than fifteen minutes every other week. I take a deep breath, dry myself and open the door.

My muscles are a little more relaxed and my mind a little less cluttered. The animals greet me. All wanting attention. And most likely food.

“Mom can I have ice cream?”

“Hey Tess? when you come down can you bring some gelato?”

I open the freezer and smile.

“yep. Be right there.”

Alone time.



Craig was glaring at me over the island counter that separated us.

I covered my mouth and giggle snorted.

“You’re an asshole.” He said

I tipped my head back and laughed.

“You’re not wrong.” It was all I could get out. I continued to laugh. I couldn’t help it.

We had just come back from a date night. Live music and a good time should have lead us to a nice evening.

But not us. Nope. We hadn’t seen each other in two weeks, which when we lived in separate states was nothing. This separation had caused a lot of stress. Outside factors we tried to control wreaked havoc on our system and now here we found ourselves.

12:30 in the morning knee deep in conversation. About us.

He has a need to be closer and I have a need to bolt. It’s a very interesting dynamic that often has us at what seems to be at odds, but really we are after the same goal.


We had just eaten tacos and his OCD began to kick into overdrive as we spoke.

I had been watching him. He always cleans up after me. His compulsion to be neat and mine to be a mess are forever at odds.

This night is no exception.


He had been asking me why I always seem to be closed off and I had been saying he’s too intense.

I watched him gather my wrappers and toss them in the bag. His stress response kicking into over drive and I just wanted to go to bed.

He asked questions while he began sweeping imaginary crumbs with a napkin across the counter and into his hand.

He repeated the sweeping motion as we worked through the issue. Me responding as I watched him grab a napkin and wipe the counter.

He looked around for more to do. Mumbling to himself a bit before spying a Pepto bottle and unscrewing the cap and took a pull.

Which leads me to my break down in laughter.

I mean I couldn’t help it and that’s what makes me the asshole.

I wasn’t making fun of him. As he thought, but rather at the situation as a whole.

We are two people who have been single a rather long period of our adult lives. I now understood why second marriages get the bad rap they do. The complete and utter mind bend you have to do to be brave enough to work out all your shit is a trip. You either learn and grow or you decide to sit alone on your throne of bullshit you keep telling yourself as to why it didn’t work.

The best thing about us is we tend to realize we might in fact be full of shit and we get out of our own way to figure it out, but that might come with a trip into the ditch every once in awhile.

So after a night of music, late night talk over fast food wrappers, and being way too stubborn for our own good; we come back to why we click in the first place.


We are brave in our lives separately and together we are stronger.

We just are learning to navigate when not to be the asshole.



It is a beautiful sunshine filled day in the Big Sky state. At least at my end of the state it is. It’s one of those days where the bright August sun decided to not be so…well the sun. Not that I am complaining, I am soaking up every single minute of the heat and sun.

It’s perfect.

It’s also one of those rare August evening where the bugs aren’t threatening to carry me off and I am not dosed in bug spray; so I decide I can sit outside on our patio set. All those things that are waiting to be done inside the house can wait.

I sit myself down and begin to organize the four books, one journal, my phone and kindle on the small table. Oh yeah and my drink. So after all of the trouble of getting it perfect, I spend time listening to everything around me. I realize the hum of the engines going down the interstate is a lot louder and birds chatter a lot noisier while getting ready to go to bed for the night.

It’s perfect.

My dog sighing loudly beside me bring me out of my daydream and I realize I am brought all these things out here with me so I could get more done.  So that after a long day of working and peopling, I could work on something for me. I shouldn’t call it work. I should call it my passion.

I flip open my journal. It’s not your typical Dear Me journal. It’s a goal setting I AM journal. I set my gratitude and my goals as if they have already happen. I set my intention. I am reminding myself that it isn’t about perfection it’s about progress.

It’s funny how life sets us up to think that everyone and everything has to be perfect right out of the gate. We tend to forget we need the failure factor to push us forward. Otherwise, why practice? We practice so that when we fail, we know how to get up and take another run at it.

Getting my dog to fetch was easy. She was a natural fetcher. It was in her to go after the object being hurled through the air. Her ears would perk up and she would fly after it…before she knew where it was going. She was jumping the gun, as they say. It took a lot of her turning around to look at me to understand she had to wait. She had to see with her eyes and use her nose to see where it went. She still isn’t perfect, but she knows to sit and wait beside me most of the time.

If I expected her to be perfect from the beginning, it would have ruined the whole fetching thing for her. She would have hated that game because I wouldn’t have allowed us both to fail and to learn.

The breeze is barely moving the leaves on the trees now. Days like this are getting shorter. I didn’t do everything I wanted to do this summer, but I did enough. I have to let go of my idea of perfection and enjoy the little moments.

Like sitting in our backyard, watching the birds fly over head and my dogs barking at nothing.

It’s perfect.



I lost my first set of keys to my pick up. I had walked into the house with my hands full of groceries and  set everything down. I didn’t hang my keys up or throw them into my purse. So when I went to look for them the next day, they were gone. I searched my purse. I dumped the contents onto the table, I looked in pockets, I searched my pick up, and finally a bag of garbage. They were gone.

A simple set of pick up keys lost.

My grandma passed away from cancer a decade or more ago. It doesn’t seem that long ago when I stop to think about her. It seems like she was just here one day and gone the next. For my mom and her siblings, I am sure that’s not the case.  My grandma was a bright, straight forward, sarcastic source of light that loved fiercely and you knew it. Every once in a great while, I search her out because I need sage advice. Then I remember I can’t crawl into the top of camper and go with her any more.


My ex had a Chocolate Labrador named Grizzly when we met. Grizzly was the smartest dog .  He was well behaved and could learn a new trick in minutes. Army crawl, sit, stay, wait, the list would go on….and he would help carry in groceries. His list and his personality were both impressive. I had also gotten a black and white kitten who we called Oreo. Grizzly and Oreo became inseparable. They slept, ate and played together.  I only panicked once when Grizz came into the living room packing Oreo in his mouth. We told him to drop it and out came a spit soaked fur ball who only seemed annoyed at being on the ground. From then on we just let them do what they wanted together.

The problem with having a dog with that much smarts is they need to be stimulated most of the time or they get themselves into trouble. Grizz figured out how to open the side gate one day and disappeared. We searched for him but he was lost. I still think about him and hope he was well loved and I hope he chewed the corners out of  their books.


I have lost a lot of things along this road of life. I once lost all of my worldly possessions in a move. Nothing will make you miss what you can’t remember you had and nothing will set you more free.  Except people. There is something about the loss of a person that makes you stop short some days and hold your breath. You say their name and it’s like they never left.

I found my keys in a box while packing for a move; and my grandma leaves me pennies to find when I need her most.




I recently moved in with my man, my guy, my main squeeze, my dude, my boo thing…okay so I cringed at that one.


I live with a man. I don’t know if you are with someone and they have been living with you for awhile but I haven’t lived with a man or anyone for about 8 years. 8 years everyone. Yes I have a daughter who lives with me, but she allowed me to be lazy mom and hang out in my chonies and make popcorn for dinner.

But a man.

Y’all. (Yes I have an accent right now, just go with it. )

He moved 1800 miles west to be with me. That’s brave. He moved knowing full well what he was getting himself into.

He keeps saying things like, “it’s an adjustment.”

An adjustment.



He doesn’t nap. Who the eff doesn’t nap? A lazy Sunday afternoon and I want to read, watch Veronica Mars on Hulu and sleep. Nah. He is mowing the yard, thinking about dinner plans, and wondering outloud what else we can do.

I don’t know fool!

We have a garage now; go there.

He also has a remote job; which loosely translates to he works from home. He’s a senior project manager. Don’t ask me what he does, I don’t know. I just know he’s home.

Girl. He’s home.

Which means I am spoiled. My coffee is made for me by the time I drag my running late ass to the kitchen, my snack is packed so I don’t get hangry around 11:30 ish. And get this? He usually has lunch ready for me during the week. Say what?

But…he’s home. Asking me why I have Real Housewives on the DVR. Mind your business.

It’s been an adjustment.

Did I mention he does the cooking for most of our meals? He keeps it healthy but every once in awhile let’s me slide a little. Pasta carbonara anyone?!

An adjustment.

Lucky for him he gets to live with 45 year old me not 25 year old me. We are the same girl with a little more, what’s the word? Oh yeah don’t give a fuck attitude.

Which is an adjustment for me.

Could I be just a little more thoughtful? Most likely. Could I pause and think before I tell him to get bent? Probably should. I don’t always.

We are still learning and navigating our issues. Past and present. We are trying daily to let go of things that no longer serve us. Is it easy? No. It takes work. It takes talking to each other. Even on days the other is being a giant pain in the ass.

Younger me was such a people pleaser. She would have been tripping over herself to make sure he was happy or making sure he could do things that he enjoyed.

Or oh my god the tears if we had an argument.

Someone really needed to kick her in the ass.

Fast forward in my life and I learned some shit. Life lessons that I had to go through in order to grow through.

Bless and release.

I was single for a long time. I learned to love me. I learned to do things, find things, and not give a fuck about things.

Every once in awhile doubt clouds my judgement or perfectionist shows up, but I am still learning to say fuck it.

Because I worked on me I was able to figure out what I wanted, needed, desired in another human. In my partner and my best friend, and when I did; The universe said here. I am thankful for Craig and his strong heart and his caring person. He matches me pretty well. He is also able to put me in a time out when needed. Because I am pretty much full on all the time. I’m either hangry or tired. Or I am moody because my routine got thrown off. He handles as best he can.

That’s all I can ask.

It’s been an adjustment.

If he says that one more time, I’m gonna stab him.



I’m in the air again. I’m headed off to a Summit. A meeting of great minds bursting with creativity about how to run a business, be your own boss and get healthy doing it.

Did I just hear you roll your eyes at me? You probably said “oh she’s one of those.”

Quietly working on my health and my fitness.

Ha. No I take selfies like I’m famous. I pose and flex. I am no where near where I want to be. I work at it daily. Mostly because the eating less part doesn’t always click. (And I have a man in my life that cooks amazing food.)

I struggled with finding a work out that I enjoyed. Walking? I got bored. Running? Um no thank you. Elliptical? Okay I can do that. Am I going to push myself? Ha! No. I get tired and it hurts.

So there I was. Refusing to do anything that made me grow or be better version of me. How pathetic! I was spending all my time making sure everyone else was okay but not one moment did I take care of me.

I needed structure. I needed a coach. I needed a trainer.

I had been in sports growing up so I know me. I won’t push myself without completion or someone coaching me. I’m a little high maintenance.

I was introduced to Beach Body by my friend Cara.

( I can still hear the eye roll, but just hear me out.)

I was given access to hundreds work outs I could do in my home. I didn’t need to get dressed or figure in travel time or find my nearest gym. I had access to a healthy shake and recipes to help me not get bored with it. But most of all, I was plugged in, cheered on, encouraged by an amazing community I had access too.

Questions answered. Resources.

But first I had to answer a big question.

I had to know my why. Why was I doing this? To get healthy? Okay. That’s everyone’s goal. You ask someone about goals and they say “to be healthy.”

I needed to get real for this all to work.

My why use to be the same as every mom, “ I want to be healthy for my daughter. “

Nope didn’t motivate me. I still sat still and put in a half ass effort.

When I changed my why to me. To do something for me I became motivated. I went all in on me.

The most amazing thing has happened since I plugged in. I learned to like, no love, working out again. It’s my alone time. Good motivating music that I sing off key too, mess up words to songs and a work out I have stuck too because it fit my schedule and improved my attitude. Not to mention I am able to go on and encourage others to just do it. Get it in and get out.

I have gained so much knowledge on food, gut health and what exercises I love ( weights with HIIT) and what exercises I loathe ( all cardio all the time).

I have cried during a work out because it felt that hard and it made me that emotional. I have celebrated going up in weights and being humble enough to say when it’s too much.

I learned to not take the easy way out ( there’s a pill for that right?); and to turn to healthy food first. I went to school with Chalene Johnson and her 131 Method where she takes you on a journey of studying self and science while keeping you sane.

Stool school and gut health? Yes please. Big eye opener for me? I don’t need to eat breakfast nor do I need to rules by a clock to eat.

I dropped weight and kept it off because I studied my body. I know what it needs to run the best. I went from 185 lbs and fluffy and tugging on shirt because I felt uncomfortable; to now 170 lbs and strong AF. Not that a scale rules my life any more. In fact the less I can step on it, the happier I am. I look for things like : how do my jeans fit, what did I eat last night that’s going to cause me to feel bloated and nothing to fit right. How much water have I been drinking today?

And when I started to do all of that an amazing thing happened; I started to feel better and I started thinking everyone should feel this good. Everyone should get to work out at home with other people doing the same one. Everyone should get to read and learn about their gut health and how to eliminate what doesn’t work for their body. Everyone.

Does this qualify me as a “coach”? Hell yes it does! Do you need someone to push you? Inspire you? Get accountable too? Tell me your tired and you don’t feel like it. I’ll tell you I don’t care about your feelings. I will also tell you to go push play and just do it for one more rep.

You need help with food and having a plan ? Okay let’s start there. I know saying no to eating that last bite when you’re full or get out of the fast food line will have your body saying thank you. I will also tell you to go push play and just do it for one more rep.

You want someone to ask you what your goals are for the week? I can do that too.

I will meet you in the season your in.

Life Is meant to be lived. When you feel better, you glow differently and live more.

Take a step, then a couple more and I’ll help you through it because someone helped me.

*you can follow me and my journey on all the social media.

FB: https://m.facebook.com/hashtagmess/

Twitter: @orion_07

IG: @orion_07

Snap: @orion_07 #Mess

For more information on Beachbody and their products: contact me at burmantessa@gmail.com



I read this sentence today: Women are afraid of themselves.

Am I afraid to be myself?

I have to stop and think about it. I want to answer with: it depends.

I would like to answer a resounding hell no. I am always me, but that wasn’t always the case. I stumbled a few times down the path to me before I found my footing.

Judgement from the general public stops us from being ourselves most of the time right? Certain public places or people ask us to blend in a little and keep it down. There are a few of you out there that still are a bright yellow dot in a field of black; and you will not be stopped. Many have tried but it only makes you brighter. To that I say kudos.

But me.

I was a loud child. I was a talker and I still am. For those of you that know me, stop laughing. I am quiet sometimes. When I am sleeping or reading a really good book, I am introspective. It use to make me quite self-conscious. My greatest strength was being pointed out as a flaw.
I was told to be quiet. I was told I talk too much. Okay some of that was warranted because let’s face it, I like to talk.

In an age of people starring down at their screens and walking into poles, I like to talk to people.

In my primary school years I was separated from my fellow classmates because of the rule to be quiet and I couldn’t , it wasn’t really my fault. I didn’t want to be rude.

Being told I talk too much hasn’t slowed me down much in life. I don’t think a God given gift can be squashed. It keeps nagging at me. Even if I think maybe I shouldn’t say a word, I can’t help myself. In most situations, it’s almost a push. I say hello. I ask how their day is going. My natural curiosity in the human condition.

So is my talking too much a flaw or strength? Is it something I should shrink back from or is something I should fully step into?

I’m unabashedly talkative. It has gotten me to know people in a variety of different ways. I have watched through my experiences of working in public places where being a smiling and thoughtful conversationalist is a talent that not everyone has.

After I stripped away everyone’s thoughts about my ability to create conversations; I stepped fully into my creative side. My talent. My gift.

Just as I watched my daughter at age 2 become enthralled with colors, crayons, and the shape of eyes; I wasn’t going to squash that flame. She loved to doing anything with art. She would sit and draw and scribble at that very young age that I looked up and found anything I could help water that artist flower in her. I had books, I bought her more art drawing pens then a 2 year old should ever own, but here she is 11 years later; drawing. Studying eye shapes. How to make a hand look real.  If the universe calls her to that craft, who I am to squash it.

We are all have a God given gift that calls on us. Most of the time we need to quiet other voices finding our flaws before we fully step into who were are.







Today is my little sister’s birthday. I won’t tell you her age, but she does act like the older sister most of the time.

So if you see T. Please sing her happy birthday. She will smile and tell you thank you. She will say she doesn’t care, she’s not a “selfie” person.  T will never seek the lime light, but she finds herself there more often than not because of her feisty, fierce and outspoken voice on subjects such as ranch life, politics and stupidity.

I  am not as well versed as she is, nor is my hand shake quite as strong. Her wit is quick and dry; I am more prone to bluntness and a loud laugh.  We are both loud. That’s a family trait. A family of four that didn’t realize we were so loud until we are telling our children to shush.

We are sisters. Not twins. Not mirror images of each other and so we have  had many years to navigate our differences in the best way we can. This started from the time we shared a bedroom. We had bunk beds and then needed independence. The beds were split apart  and a toy box  was put between us and my mess.

My sister was my first friend. My mom tells me I was so excited to see her, I bit her finger. I was 2 okay. I had also had a lot of freedom and our parents up until this moment. As my niece once said about her brother, “I told you we didn’t need a baby.” T always had the softest heart, saving living creatures, and crying over injured animals.

We grew up taking adventures together, dressing kittens in doll clothes and learning to run from roosters.

You see, my dad sent two little girls off to gather eggs. The coop was around the other side of the barn. The chickens tend to free range, so gathering eggs wasn’t a problem. In and out. Until the rooster. This took planning and preparation. We would make it the garage, run to the end of the barn and scout out the situation. The most important thing was to find the beast, the second thing was to pick the “runner.” The runner took one for the team and ran her little heart out to distract the rooster. That rooster didn’t live long.

We absolutely see the best in each other and we absolutely call it as we see it. I think we both regret not stating more of an opinion in the others life, and so now being a little more, ahem, experienced, we now will ask hard questions and tell hard truths.

My parents instilled a strong sense of family from the beginning. They pushed, forced, told me to take her with me. Every where. If I was going, so was she.  Was this always a good thing? Most likely not. I was the older sister. I was also the one prone to find fun. I was told, held liable, for her safety.  I always got her home. I always knew where she was at….most of the time.

As I have gone through this life I have taken many lessons of being her older sister with me. I think that is, for good or bad, the reason I am so very protective of other relationships in my life.  I have a hard time knowing when to leave the table. I would like to think that I am a fierce and loyal friend, but I have been taught that not everyone that I bring into my life is meant to stay.  That it’s okay to be different.

When growing up with siblings, it’s hard not to compare yourself because everyone else is so busy doing the same. Features, body types, personalities all get torn apart and put to the test.   Self esteem takes a hit as you grow, but the best advice is to remember you are not your sibling and they are not you.

I am allowed to call her on her shit; you are not.

As we have gown up; I would like to say we have grown. She still likes her room arranged just so and  I still have a pile or three; she will out work me any given day in her tenacity to just get it done.

We still gather cows with our dad and he still sends off together; we tell him we will do it but not well. He still checks on us, riding up on that hill to see if we are even going the right direction. We still don’t have a clue.

I now pat the horse and tell him he is dong a great job and she says things to me like, “You telling him he did a good job and patting him on the neck cracks me up. Did he do a good job or was he just an asshole the whole time?”

T now likes to tell me what to do and I walk away.
I am the oldest after all.

Happy Birthday T.





The blue Montana sky winked down at me. I just laid there in the grass. Nothing hurt. I was fine. This wasn’t my first time being dismissed off a horse. But this one was short and she was a little green.  We had just been sitting watching the steers go by us and I had just praised her being so good. My feet dangling in the sage brush when that back cinch dropped. She spooked and shot off like a bullet coming out of a gun. I couldn’t slow her down. For a small hose she had speed. My dad hollered from some where in the distance telling me to bail off. So I did. And here I was.

The problem with being out in the middle of no where is that I had only two choices on how I was getting back to the pick up and horse trailer. One was walking while leading said horse and two was getting back on said horse. Oh yeah, dad caught her. I believe he was riding a green colt at the time, so that made an interesting catch. Caught her he did, and took off the offending cinch. I believe his words to me were some where along the line of get on her she’s fine.
I did. We walked through the sage brush back to the trailer. She did fine. I was fine. Nothing a couple of miles wouldn’t fix.

(If you are wondering, my dad had that cinch slung across the front of his saddle and his horse did not like it, my dad is more of hand then I will ever be and took that as the time to teach his horse that adapting was his best course of action. )


I looked in the rear view mirror. I could see the goose neck hitch and cranked my neck. I had to use my mirrors. I pulled forward and backed up. I was two inches to the left.  I pulled forward.  Now with enough knowledge and practice, backing up any thing is a breeze. I can parallel park, but a ball and hitch seemed to be my nemesis. I pulled forward. I backed up. Nope still off. I looked off in the distance. I blew out a breath.  I had to think. This wasn’t that hard. I had to get it done. What if my sister and dad weren’t out there doing their part, what if I had to get the trailer on my own, I would have to get it done. I just had to get it close enough to have the hitch fall on it. The problem with trying to get it perfect was interfering with my brain to just get it done. I backed up and looked. I was right over the ball. I began to lower the trailer while giving myself a high five.  To this day, I still give myself a high five for hooking up the trailer without it taking more then three tries.


Life has a way of coming at me and testing me. Every once in awhile I have that mental break down and I think I can’t do it. Not one more rep. Not one more step. I don’t live there. I remember that my ability to stick is 100% so far and I re-train my brain. I tell my monkey brain to shut the fuck up and maybe I just need water, food, or a nap. Or I need to call my best friend and tell her I am having a day.

Giving up is not the option. Seeing a different route or pulling forward and backing up works just as well.






So. Many. Boxes.

I looked around the room. I was surrounded. I had been unpacking for a week, but I felt like I wasn’t making much progress in any one room.

I just moved boxes.

I moved them from one too to the other.

Some were empty, so they went outside.

Some were partially empty, so I dug through them for that one last piece.

Some things just needed put away.

I stood up and looked around the room.

I was overwhelmed with the task at hand. I had just been doing it for so long it felt like I wasn’t getting any where.

I needed help.

I was tired of doing everything on my own.

When was the last time I asked for help?

Hmmm. I don’t remember.

You're not alone_

I am more of “I’ll do it myself” person and a more of “I’m fine” person.

When I should be ” I need my pack” person.

Every Spring in Cowboy Country begins what I have dubbed the Branding Trail. They start with gathering, counting, looking and marking new calves. Cowboys have their pack that help them. It’s a Code of the West. You helped me, I’ll help you.

That’s how they get it all done in a month. Every single weekend. They know they can’t possibly do it all alone.

They ask for help.


So here’s my question. Why don’t we ask for help more often? Is it this sense of pride? Or ego?

Women have become so independent that it’s hard for us to admit we need help. Help unpacking. Help cooking. Help parenting. Help girlfriend-ing  and wife-ing.

We can do it all.  Not alone.
I’m exhausted. I am physically tired this week from boxes. Touching them, looking inside them, and wondering why I have kept all these things.
I am also so very thankful for the small group of humans in my life that wouldn’t let me do it alone.

Not everyone is going to ask for help. Some times we need to force our help upon them.