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I first started a private online diary in 2002 when I was miserably unhappy and couldn’t afford Prozac. At the time I had no health insurance, no job and we’d been trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully for over two years. To top it all off, I weighed over 300 pounds. So I blogged my way down from that cliff – through my gastric bypass surgery and subsequent 135 pound weight loss, through getting accidentally pregnant only four months after my surgery while we were still living with family to save money for a house, through that amazing pregnancy and horrendous birth and through the purchase, renovation and sale of our first home.

Then I gave birth to a deliciously beautiful daughter we named Genoa. We coveted that name for five years and used it before we realized no one had a clue how to pronounce it. It's GEN-o-a, NOT gen-O-a.

Anyway, when Genoa was a year old, we got smart and left California for the pristine pastures of the greater Portland metro area. This was probably the best decision we ever made as a married couple.

Genoa was not a good sleeper. But she will always be my GIRL and having a daughter became a turning point for me. Literally the tipping point that led me to change my life and end my marriage. I would toss and turn at night while she nursed, while she refused to sleep, while she became her own kickass, determined little girl and my brain would replay the same simple question: if my daughter was me - living my life - what would I want for HER?


That's what.

So yeah.

I broke up my family because I wanted - no, DESERVED - better. For me. For them. It was either the best decision I've ever made or the worst. Only time and forgiveness will tell.

So while this blog used to be about the pandemonium of a stay-at-home lawyer's wife with a big house in the suburbs, a generous party budget and a massive kitchen, it is now a blog about a single mom in a two-bedroom apartment who has never been happier to be EXACTLY where she is in her life RIGHTTHISMINUTE.

It's mandemonium now.

I am surprisingly comfortable in my own skin, annoyingly cheerful and relentlessly chatty. I love sauteing onions in butter, using 10% of coupons at Target, smelling my children's feet, taking 27 photographs of exactly the same thing, crossing over the WA/OR border to buy pork products, inviting people over, seeing stacks of sweaters in rainbow colors and catching my car's reflection in the back of an oil truck. I have a nearly scandalous obsession with cheeseburgers and I never, EVER wear sweat pants in public.

My name is Amanda Marie Penelope Westmont.

Yes. Penelope Westmont is my porn name.

No. I'm not kidding.

This is my blog.