Lauren Brigance. Who is she anyway?
Well, my friends would probably say I’ll tell you everything you want to know and I’ll keep it absolutely real. Especially if I have had coffee or wine. In short, I am a married 32-year-old, former licensed massage therapist, a Memphis-native raising her 3-year-old son, Theo, in Midtown. I ended up marrying my college love BUT he wasn’t my college boyfriend. That guy, I MARRIED first. Come again?
The backstory (in order to know the current story)…
Well, the long version is that I met my husband, Will, on St. Patrick’s Day 2006 while we were both in college at Memphis. My college boyfriend, who attended Ole Miss, and I were on one of our many breakups (we liked to coordinate breakups with Homecoming and Spring Breaks- it was our thing). I was invited out by some mutual friends of ours and our group ended up meeting up with Will and his friends. I liked Will instantly. He was charming, tall, hilarious, and sang Al Green’s “Love & Happiness” in my ear as we danced the night away at Raiford’s (Hollywood – the OG). Like I said, instant. The next day, he friended me on Facebook and that was it. About a month later, the same group of friends went out and yet again, we had another great time out. Still…nothing. A couple of weeks later, one of our mutual friends told me that Will really wanted to ask me out. My response was something along the lines of tell him to prove it. I had no problem calling his bluff and went about my dating life. And one night, he countered my bluff. He showed up on my doorstep and I wanted to die. I couldn’t believe it. We ended up talking for HOURS on my family’s porch swing until the sun came up. We both loved the Cubs, New Orleans, anything Memphis, good food and music — it was summer lovin’. And we were havin’ a blast…until my ex came back into the picture. I abruptly got engaged and ran away to Albuquerque, New Mexico for about 9 months before returning back to Memphis. I was married in August 2007, divorced by Fall 2009, and reconnected with Will at that same time — in a sequence of awkward events. Let’s just say, it didn’t really happen for us then EITHER. I needed some major post-divorce decompression.
Finally, in the summer of 2010, after much pursuit and relentless hinting that this was going to happen, Will just boldly said to me one day “stop trying to fight it, give in to me. You know we are meant to be.” Soon after that, we spent a weekend in New Orleans and it was all over. There was no turning back. We were engaged in February 2011 and married in September 2011 at the historic Preservation Hall in New Orleans with about 75 of our most favorite people in the entire world. As a newlyweds, we had a 5 year plan: no kids. Which turned into a 9 month plan! HA! Let’s just say day drinking in the summer at a Cubs game will more often than not result in coming home with a permanent souvenir!
The motherhood is ME story…
We found out we were expecting in July of 2012 and welcomed the love of our life, our sweet baby boy, Theodore Clark Brigance, on March 21, 2013. Did I mention he is named for some Chicago Cubs references and his initials are in homage to the great Elvis Presley’s motto (who happens to be my 3rd cousin). I’m sure he will detest this story when he is older. I can picture him dying of embarassment when we tell his girlfriends. I. Cannot. Wait.
I’ve been a SAHM for 3 years and I still don’t have the hang of it. I’m obsessed with momtography – i.e. taking pictures of my kid. I document all of that on my Instagram. I’m constantly trying to educate myself on food allergies & asthma (Theo is severely allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, & whey) and trying to find new ways to safely get Theo to broaden his palate. Educating him and others is so important to me. It’s a hard balance of keeping him safe but not sheltering him. I want him to feel as normal as possbile in a world that is not always going to accommodate his needs. As a family, we are hardcore souls entrenched in all things 901. We like to incorporate the Grit ‘n Grind philosophy into our daily life. We want Theo to grow up to be a proud Memphian (especially educated in Memphis music). We probably spend an abnormal amount of time listening to music in our house, but let’s be honest, nothing is cuter than a 3-year-old shaking it to some soul music. As parents, our number one goal is to ingrain into our child to be kind to everyone he meets. It’s so important to us that he values and respects all people, whether it’s strangers or family.
As my occasional audience, you’ll soon find out that I don’t have this whole mom thing down; that in many ways I’m just as typical as most moms on some things and random about other things; that I’m having an inner battle about a sibling for Theo (more on that later); in addition to trying to find my new path/role in my family (career-wise); oh, and that I’m almost always embarrassingly late to things AND that I wear lounge/workout clothes 90% of the time (see…typical). I’m grateful for my life experiences — I know 100% that they have made me the mom that I am today and for that, I would not change any of it. So come along with me as we try to navigate motherhood. It’s certain to be full of a lot of laughter and some tears, and that’s okay.