Austin, here I come…

by mssinglemama on March 6, 2012


The SXSW Interactive Festival was a mad house. Too busy. Too big. Yes. But, still, the spirit of SXSWi lives on in that every one there is a part of something greater, coming together to celebrate another year of doing what we all love – creating interactive experiences, whether they be online, offline, in a game or on Facebook. The creative energy is just astounding and it was a remarkable experience to just be there. But, I ended up skipping most of the panels and just hanging out with my man.

And can you blame me?

Eh-hem. Anywhooo…

Seth used to live in San Antonio, not too far down the road from Austin. And, as some of my long time readers know, I used to live in Fort Worth, not too far up the road from Austin. But we are both from Columbus. So, what happens when you get two single parents child-free and in their favorite state next to their home state?

Well, there definitely wasn’t a shortage of beer.

And iPhones. Which we used to constantly check up on all of the SXSW parties we couldn’t get into. In case you were wondering how to drink a beer and plan an entire evening… watch the master.




Take another drink.


Take a picture of your girlfriend (who has, by the way, given up all hope of actually getting into any parties and as a result is feeling completely old and uncool).

Repeat. All while maintaining conversation with said girlfriend.

I am constantly amazed by Seth’s ability to maintain optimism, peace and calm against all odds. His texting/tweeting spree there landed us invites to a handful of awesome parties, just enough to make me feel cool again.

I was feeling especially uncool because the night before I had a run-in with a guy named David Armano. He only has about 42,000 Twitter followers. I, thanks to my friend Don Julio, approached him in a bar to let him know that his mobile Website stunk. I thought I was doing him a favor. After all, how could the Vice President of “Fill in Self-Inflating Title Here” not be aware of the fact that his mobile site needed some work? I thought it would be a good conversation starter.

Instead he reacted very defensively and then demanded rudely to know,”who are you and what have you done?”


How do you answer even that question?

What have you done?

I didn’t answer, knowing he would measure my life accomplishments by my job title, the company I work for (own) or the number of Twitter followers I have. Needless to say, the conversation didn’t end well. I told him my mobile site for Cement Marketing is equally as awful as Edelman’s. But, I pointed out, the difference between you and I – Mr. Armano – is that I can admit mine sucks. You can find David on his blog here.

When I walked away, shamed and humiliated by this mean little man with a flower in his hair, Seth was there. He thought it was hilarious, of course, and managed to make me feel completely better. How does he do that? I have no idea. Maybe it’s his smile. He smiles from the inside. No, he beams.

Seth and I decided on day three in Austin that it was high time to rent a motorcycle. Or, I should say – Seth decided.

I have to admit, I love riding with him. It’s totally frightening, but I am equally as frightened every time I get in a car, on a bus or on a plane. Putting yourself onto a moving vehicle of any kind is dangerous. But on a bike, it’s dangerous and more fun. I have a feeling it won’t be long before I’ll be very bored of the passenger seat and itching for one of my own.

We parked the bike in front of the Continental Club

and then parked our butts on a bench to be second in line for James McMurtry.

The wait was worth sitting this close to one of the greatest songwriters in Texas. Listen to this one.

Everywhere we went, we stumbled into amazing little Austin bars and even better bands. Like Wildflowers. Two absolutely lovely, beautiful friends of Seth’s who we are hoping we can coerce to make the trip up this way some day. And then Reckless Kelly…

Here’s a song by them for single moms everywhere. “You were raised with your head held high, but anyone can see it’s just a clever disguise… you’ve always been a little scared to open your heart because you’re always scared of getting taken for a ride.”

Yep. I’d say. Until, of course, you learn to love yourself again.

How can you learn to love yourself again? Start by finding a passion. Find something else to love – not a man – a something. A blog. A hobby. An activity. A city. Travel! Join a yoga class. Volunteer. Anything. Learn to love again… it’s worth making it to the other side. I promise you that.


Will announce Job Jenny winners soon…  thanks to everyone who left a comment. You’re all remarkable.
I am sorry for the lack of new posts as of late. I have been busy, busy, busy.

Seth and I realized the other week that we essentially have twins. Duh, I know. Two five year old boys, two months apart = twins (for all intents and purposes). But for some reason I hadn’t used that term until I saw the two of them sitting side by side at the table with identical little mops of hair, one dark, one a shady blonde above two big, bright brown saucer eyes and perfect little cheeks. And they have the same, sweet little souls. Both trying to find their way through this age of discovery.

Anyway, yeah, busy. Busy and in love and happy and busy. All on repeat. With two five year old boys in the mix.

Tomorrow morning Seth and I are leaving for Texas. It will be our first time sans children for more than one night here or there. We’ll be in San Antonio until Friday and then Austin for the SXSW Interactive Festival. Will any of you be going? Should we arrange a meet up?

That’s the first thing. Secondly, I have a contest for you – just click to read more.


One of you, my lovely readers, called up Job Jenny after her featured post here and offered to pay for a package of Jenny’s consulting services for another reader!

It never ceases to amaze me how generous you all are. To me, for being here and to each other, for sharing your comments and cheering each other on. And to take it one step further and buy a package for another reader? Just absolutely awesome. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart – whoever you are…

Normally $109.00 the package includes steps on how to realize your true potential and find the job you’ve been dreaming of. For real, ladies –  Jenny is amazing at this. Click here for more information about Jenny’s consulting packages.


Just leave a comment. One of you will be pulled randomly. Deadline 3/17/12. Love you, Mamas. And let me know if you will be at SXSW of if you live in Austin.

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In Texas… |
March 16, 2012 at 6:00 am

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Carla S March 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm

That is just awesome that someone would offer to do that for a complete stranger. Thank you again- whoever you are 🙂 I would absolutely LOVE to win this. As an accounting student at Ole Miss, I’ve been trying to find a way to land a job in the accounting field to get some experience before I graduate. I think this would be the perfect shot.


Kaylin Cowsar March 6, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I live in San Antonio and visit Austin quite frequently, although I have never been to sxsw. This year I will try to catch a few shows, in the event that I am able to find a baby sitter for my two little ones.


juli r March 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

I have always wanted to go to Austin…have fun on your kid free weekend!

I’m unemployed. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to goback to what I did pre-kids but I am clueless of what my other options are.


Skye March 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I live in Austin and will be attending SXSW. Volunteering for the music part actually! I heart Austin…


Saira March 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Wow!! That’s amazing and so beautiful 🙂 Thank you! xoxoxo


annie March 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Love that your boy has a partner in crime! I’ve often wished for the same for my son as he navigates a life of co-parenting parents and step-parents, especially the challenging parts. There are some things that I truly can’t understand about it.

Safe travels to TX!

(oh, hope I don’t come across as a jerk here…the phrase is “for all intents and purposes”…thought you might want to know)


Steph March 6, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Haha, I got hung up on “intensive purposes” as well 🙂


Lauren March 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm

I would LOVE to win… pregnant with my second little one and trying to get into a career after graduating college last May instead of just a j-o-b…


Lori March 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Wow! What an exciting thing! I’m coming up on my one year divorceiversary (go me!) and winning this would mean the world to me!!! I’m a single mom to four amazing and busy kids, took a job to “get me through” the sale of our big house (with an even bigger mortgage) in hopes of finding the true me, an amazing career, a small house, and a life with hapiness and memories. Winning this would be a great start to kick all of that off!!!


Shan March 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm

It would be so helpful to win! I recently completed my Masters and am trying to break into the Social Work field.


bella March 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm

i’ve been reading your blog on and off for the last 2 years. basically because i’ve been trying to prepare myself to be in this single mama position which at this current moment is what seems to be the only course of action. i quit my job in ny a month ago and things are up in the air as to whether or not i should stay in ny or move my daughter and i back to chicago with family. i am trying to figure it all out at the moment. been perusing jobs and applying here and there, but i feel like i need to just get any job that would present it self… i absolutely dread that idea. i need to figure out what i need to do in order to get started on a real career i would love to do for the rest of my life. i really hope i get selected for this…


Kym March 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm

What a thoughtful act!


Jenny Foss March 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I for one can’t wait to see who wins! I’m delighted to be a part of this. Delighted!

(and have a blast at SXSW!!)


holly n March 6, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Have a wonderful weekend!

(and what an cool prize!)


Anna March 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Such sweet people you have following you! I could use a consult, as I plan to leave my current job and state to move closer to parents, and in with the BF. Big life changes coming my way…


Angela Woods March 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I have gotten a resume for a particular avenue in nursing from Jenny, it’s the most killer resume!!! However, I am moving to a new town where that is not a possibility, at least for a little while. I’m lost and really don’t know what to do. I am moving 3.5 hours away to live close to my family, and later this year my mom is supposed to move in with me, so that will make my time more flexible. I am trying to sell a house, get a job, and buy another house and I have absolutely no idea what new avenue to pursue with my career. I’m lost and feel like I’m in a vacuum! I feel like Jenny could really help me! She is a genius!!!


Andrea March 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Hi! How very generous!! I have been separated for 2 years now. Not divorced officially because of financial reasons. It’s expensive to go through the divorce. Plus, I need health insurance for as long as I can swing it. Starting over after 16 years of marriage (being a stay at home mom of 2 girls and part-time realtor) is tough. I went back into real estate, but KNOW that if I”m going to start a fresh life..I want to live consciously and change careers so that I can live with purpose. I want to create, contribute…and just make some kind of difference in the world. I want security. I want independence. Complete independence. I’m 41 years old with a college degree but basically changing paths and starting all over at entry level. I’m finding it difficult to get an interview anywhere…and I think I have a lot of strengths! My money is running out every day. In short, I would be happy and so grateful to win this contest. Thank you again!


Skye March 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm

I forgot to mention an idea for a meetup. Totally out there but there’s a roller derby game saturday night at the palmer events center, downtown. Kids under 12 are FREE. VERY entertaining!! Just an idea…


Rebecca March 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I would love the consulting package to realize my full potential. We all deserve it!!


Chris R March 7, 2012 at 11:27 pm

That’s so amazing and it shows just how we look out for each other! To the person that offered I say you are amazing… A very good person with a true heart! I live in NY so if for some reason i win I would give mine to the next person or ask to pull again. Im more thankful all you nice mamma’s keep letting this old single dad post and say hello… 🙂


Tess March 8, 2012 at 12:37 am

Wow what a generous offer! Newish single mom trying to figure out the balance if finances/ working and caring for a toddler. I am at that moment of needed to reinvent my career path and could use some guidance!


LFSBRKS March 8, 2012 at 9:51 am

Looking for advice already a single divorced mom with a four yr old that made the mistake of jumping out of the pan into the fire with a man I grew up with when my first daughter was 18 months old. We decided to have a child…now I have a 20 mth old and a four year old. My dilema is that because my children are from two different fathers that they will not be together half of the time. So, I am embarrassed to say I am worried to leave and put the girls through this but at home I am with someone who I consider “the world holds no joy” and I am a super energetic mama and happy! I am very well educated but just relocated a year and a half ago.since I had lost my career due to budget constraints when I was 7 mths pregnant.

I constantly worry what this would do to my 4 year old since she is now going to lose out. She does see her dad every other weekend since he is in another state (even when we were blocks form each other). I am not worried about how difficult it will be for me BUT my girls! The man I am with now has not seem to have vested emotionally in my daughter (4 yr old) as he had acted prior to my move. Thoughts? Questions?


Melissa March 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm

What an awesome give away!!! Have fun in Austin!!


Sarah J. March 9, 2012 at 7:28 am
AnthonyFreedom12 March 9, 2012 at 8:21 am

Thanks for sharing this nice article and information about Jenny’s consulting packages. I think It is very useful package.


Alanna March 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

I would love to win this! I contemplate a career switch sometimes, and I am in the middle of a job search so I can move closer to my family with my little one….BUT I should be ok on that part. What I would want to do is give the package to my friend who lives paycheck to paycheck. Her husband has an unlucky track record of getting laid off and she just wants to do something she loves instead of dreads. I think Job Jenny might be able to help her get a business off the ground. And I was inspired by your other reader! =)
Fingers crossed!


SD March 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Lovely kids you have. Reminds me of my twin boys.


Melissa Hain March 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I am a single mom who needs major help on the job front. It’s scary to have a little one who relies completely on you. I would love to win this!


singlemama_cc March 11, 2012 at 4:02 am

Sometimes…the kindness and generosity of people blows me away, which is quite frankly, effing refreshing when it happens so rarely. Kudos to the stranger and kudos to you mama…once again you inspire me~
Enjoy Texas!!


Ms. Single Mama March 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

Jenny has thrown in a second package! So, two of you will be winning. Thanks for commenting everyone.


Sara March 12, 2012 at 11:07 am

Hope you’re having a great time in Austin!

I would absolutely love to win this! I am in definite need of a resume revamp, and could use some job search and interview advice for sure. Would love to meet Jenny!


Jennifer March 12, 2012 at 11:26 am

What a cool giveaway! I have been a single mom since 2002. I am in a committed relationship now and as we move forward and think about a new start, I would love to work from home. I just don’t know how to get that started. I love my job as a social worker in a huge birthing hospital but I work strictly in high risk situations and it is absolutely heartbreaking 99.9% of the time! Have fun in Austin!


Ginger March 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Thanks Jenny!! Sounds like a great shot at something that could be really helpful. Thanks for looking out for us mamas 🙂


Courtney March 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm

What an opportunity! I know I barely have time to eat sitting down much less revamp my resume. Thanks! Have fun at SXSW A.!


Carol in TC March 13, 2012 at 9:33 am

Thanks for the opportunity — I definitely need help because I’m way underemployed and ready for a boost!


Sherri March 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I would love to win this for my boyfriend. We are moving to NH together soon (after 2 years of living long distance), he is esstentially quitting his job in the military so we can be together, after about 10 years, and is having trouble finding a civillian job that he has the “real world” experience for. I have been trying to help him the best I can, I think I’m pretty good at the whole resume thing… but I think he would love to hear some real advice on his hunt from a professional. I’d love to win! (Love your blog!)


Angie March 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm

This is so nice! It’s good to remember that people are truly good at heart! Have fun in Austin!


Hannah Frances March 13, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Ah yes! This would be so wonderful. Me: Single mum, 2 year old son – looking to reinvent my financial world. Feeling bold: I want to maintain my presence as DS’s primary caregiver while making $ by doing something I love (or at least excites me). Not too much to ask right? 😉 I’d love the chance to get some professional guidance here. Thanks for this opportunity!


Mauri March 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Yes! This would be an awesome thing to win at this point in time for me. I’m looking for a career change as I move across the country to Portland, OR in August with my 4 year old. 🙂

Ps- SO jealous you’ll be in Austin. Tons of my friends are going and there will be so much going on.


anton August 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I really love this one..Looking for partners? Why don’t you try this site?


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