Thursday, March 31, 2011


I'll be honest: I really wanted to win this month. Win the big competition. You know, the one with myself, where I'm competing to have the most blog posts in one month? Yup. This was my month. I needed 12 in order to beat my previous best of 11 in April of '09. Which is why it's March 31st and here I am, posting two days in a row. 

I'm committed to winning. Have I mentioned I'm a first-born? I blame my competitive nature on that.

But now that I think about it, I don't know if more is necessarily better when it comes to blogging. Some people blog too much, you know? Like...I ignore their posts when they show up in my reader because you talk too much and I can't handle it!!! But then, some people don't blog enough. I feel sad every time I open my reader and they still haven't blogged. I miss them. So there's too much, there's too little, and then there's just right. Just like Goldilocks. What's the "just-right" zone? Twice a week? I don't know. Suggestions welcomed.

But anyway, that's not even what I was going to ramble about today.

Today I was thinking about community. I love me some community. When I think about community, I think about living around people who know you and accept you and like...make you laugh and stuff. And you can borrow stuff from them. (I know, I'm a very deep person.) And then I think about how blogging and social networking and all that plays into community. In my opinion, it makes it better. I feel like my personal sense of community is greatly enhanced by this little online bloggy-friend-world thing I participate in.

Ugh. I just typed and retyped a paragraph like 20 times and then just deleted it because I still don't know what I'm trying to say. Which leads me to ponder: should I even keep writing if I can't figure out what I'm trying to say???

No, because I must win, and today writing=winning. (WINNING!!)

I guess I just wanted to say thanks. Thanks for giving me an outlet to whine. Thanks for giving me support and prayers and comments and advice and reality checks when I need them.  Whereas in my real life I am often hesitant to dive into my emotions and really let it all hang out, here I do that and you guys don't run away or make me feel awkward. The internet has allowed me to "surround" myself with a group much more diverse than anything I could have found in my real life: here I find friends who are going through what I'm going through...who have been through what I'm going through...who are going through things much WORSE than what I'm going through (helps keep things in perspective)...who inspire me to be better...stronger...craftier...wittier...bolder. But who don't make me feel guilty if I don't accomplish any of those things at all. 

Is this like the cheesiest thing ever? Well, it's probably better than listening to me whine, right? That was your other option for today. :) You're welcome.

But seriously. I just feel really thankful sometimes. And even though Matt makes fun of me for spending all my spare time in "the blogosphere," I think I'm better off for it. And it's not all my spare time, anyway. I spend plenty of time doing other important things, like gardening. And Facebook. And watching awesome reality TV shows (new fave: Storage Wars. AMAZING!).

So, that's all here, and now I have officially WON the most-blogs-in-a-month competition versus myself, so BOO-YAH, self! Also, thanks for all your "support" for seeing my really embarrassing middle school pictures. After my bold promise to show whatever you want...I'm wishing I had been crossing my fingers or something. Seriously?? Middle school? I'm going to have to sandwich it between several very cute baby and wedding pictures so that you don't judge me too harshly. At least I have 6 more days to gear myself up for the humiliation. 

Time to stop ignoring the fam (aka Matt and Lola). Goodnight, blogosphere!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

first child privileges

I'm a big believer in all the birth-order personality trait stuff. I'm the oldest child in my family, and I am pretty much a textbook firstborn. (Have no idea what I'm talking about? I'm sure you could Google it, or here's a book I really liked that explores the idea) But I'm not here today to talk about how intelligent and bossy I am.

I'm here today because it's WAY BACK WHEN-sday. Holla!! Since everyone seemed to enjoy seeing adorable pictures of me as a baby so much last week, I figured...why not go for Round 2?

You see, as a firstborn child-- and a super cute one, at that-- there are lots of pictures of me. LOTS. And this was from 1982/83...not even the age of digital pictures when EVERYONE can take millions of pictures of their kids doing boring things. My parents were like, forerunners in the "over-photograph-your-child" movement. Because that's what you do for your firstborns. You document their every breath, because in all likelihood, no one has ever done that before. Or at least that's what it seems like when I browse through the piles of photographs of myself as a baby. My poor brother and sister...I think they got like, a handful of pictures BETWEEN the two of them. And then there's the Shrine to Erika. Well, what can I say. I'm special!!

Anyway...the reason I'm going on and on (and other firstborns, jump in here and tell me I'm not the only one who has noticed a disproportionate volume of photos of themselves as babies...) is because I wanted to find a pic or two of Mattie as a baby to share with yall as well. The only problem is, Mattie has the unfortunate luck of NOT being a firstborn. So by the time he was born, his mama was also trying to chase around a 2 year old, and...well, poor Mattie just didn't have his every move documented.

And actually, this is all theoretical. He very well MAY have piles of pictures. I just don't have access to them. In OUR house, there are like...4 pictures of Matt as a child. And in most of them I really can't even tell if it's Matt or one of his two brothers, because they all look(ed) the same. So I am just taking a lot of liberty with my birth-order-mumbo-jumbo here and assuming that's the reason we don't have many pictures of him. Or maybe he's just not a picture hoarder like me. No one really knows.

So with all THAT said (man, can I preface a picture or can I PREFACE A PICTURE?!?!) I would like to present you with today's Way Back Whens-day: The Episode Where Erika Looks Super Adorable and...Well, Here's the First/Funniest Picture I Could Find of Matt.

Here's me, all bedazzled in Mexican cuteness at my Meme's house in Texas. Ruffled dress? Check. Sombrero? Check. Ruffled socks? Check. Patent leather Mary Janes? Check. Awesome bowl cut I rocked for the first 10 5 years of life? Check.

(Note: I just thought of an advantage to NOT being the first-born daughter. Better haircuts. My sister, born 4.5 years after me, was NEVER subjected to a bowl cut. Evidently my parents did learn something from looking back at all those pictures of me...)'s Matt. I tried to find a "theme" for our pictures, and I guess that hats and bowl cuts are what we have in common here. I asked Matt to tell me a little something about this picture and he said " was an art project." and that's all I got from him, so there you have it, folks! Matt wearing his art project, circa age 12.

Now, to be fair...when I was digging through pictures (of myself, of course) today...I must admit, not every picture I came across was quite as flattering as the ones I've been posting. Although I was a pretty darn cute baby and toddler, I didn't age gracefully through elementary and middle school. So here's the question: What kind of pictures do you want to see? Next week, I'll go with whatever you want. Cute or embarrassing? I have a super awesome one that involves a fanny pack. And a lot involving band uniforms. And a lot with shoulder pads. And everything before 1997 involves humongous plastic eyeglasses. Ugh. It's THOSE years that I wish my parents hadn't been so generous as to over-document with pictures!

So, let me know what you want for your eye-candy next week. And also, I think everyone should do a Way Back When-sday themselves, because it's fun. And if you're a first child, then it will make it seem like all your parents' frantic picture-taking wasn't for naught. That is all.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

the one where i ramble on about tanktops

Hi and welcome to another riveting Saturday afternoon in Small Town, Georgia, where the most exciting thing happening for me to blog about is seriously my LAUNDRY.

No, seriously. You've been warned. I'm about to talk about laundry.

Well, not laundry exactly. More like something I just realized as a result of doing laundry.

I have three (pretty big) dresser drawers. My middle drawer is for Shirts that Aren't the Main Shirt. You know what I mean? Undershirts, tanktops, basic long-sleeved tees I wear under other shirts...basically, these are the shirts no one really sees except for maybe sticking out from underneath another shirt. Well, for quite some time, this drawer has been out of control. Although I'm a rather meticulous housekeeper and clothes-organizer in general, this drawer is nothing but once-folded, now-wadded up clothes stuffed in haphazardly any way I can get 'em in there and still manage to cram the drawer closed. Sorry for the run on sentence-- it's as much a mess as that drawer was. Of COURSE anything in there was wrinkled, but I don't really care because it all is just going underneath something else. No one can see the wrinkles. Anyway, I decided to pull everything out and see if I could pare down a little and clean things up a bit.

  I did. I got rid of a lot of tanktops and long-sleeved tees. A whole Trader Joe's bag worth. And then, as I was stacking and reorganizing my piles of tanks, I realized wow. That's still a lot of tanktops.

(They're organized here by color and/or style and/or use: back row, L-R: Colorful & Could Be Main Shirt; Colorful (Undershirt Only); Colorful Spaghetti Strap; Colorful & Lacy Top. front row, L-R: Plain White, Grays, Blacks (all undershirts only)) (I bet you REALLY did not need/want to know all that.) (And they will never stay organized like this. This was just so I could assess what I had)

Forty. There are forty tanktops left.

Is that excessive? I can't decide. I do wear them almost every day, year round. But forty still seems like a lot. (Although it's far less than what I did have. I'm not going to count how many I'm getting rid of, but it's plenty.) Anyway, no wonder that drawer was so crammed. Apparently I am a compulsive tanktop buyer. Please don't nominate me for Hoarders: Tanktop Edition. Because that would be a really lame show.

Um...well, moving on...

Since my camera (the OLD camera, that works about 40% of the time) decided to work for me when I pulled it out to snap those award-winning tanktop photographs, I thought I'd try to capture the current state of blossoming in my flower beds. Unfortunately, this camera is crap (for some reason, sitting unused in a drawer for 3 years has somehow caused it to become CRAP...not sure how/why) now and so it takes really bad pictures compared to what it used to. So these pictures look bad, but oh well.

These are these random, normally-scrappy-looking bushes that are in our front beds. They were here when we bought the house and I don't know what they are, but they're not usually much to write home about. In the spring, however, they have a brief period of adorable yellow blooms, and that is the main reason I don't dig them up and throw them out. The blooms are so pretty!

 I know you can't really tell, but they really are pretty.

And here is one of my azaleas about to bloom. I can't wait!!

In case you're anxious to know what they're going to look like once they bloom, and because there's a very good chance I will not have a working camera to capture their beauty with when that happens, you can see the pictures of them last year here. Also, random factoid you probably need to know: that particular blog I just put a link to is the single blog entry (well, last time I investigated it was, a few months ago) with the most hits (excluding all Kelly's Korner "Show Us Your Life" blogs) I've ever had. Apparently I'm not the only person in the world searching for the sheet music to that song...I get multiple hits a week of people Googling the title of that song (also the title of that blog) and coming here looking for the sheet music. And this was just another fun story brought to you by Google Analytics. 

On that note, I bid you farewell. I have more important and exciting things to do like put sheets on the bed, convince Lola she should stop whining at the dogs across the street, and watch the rain fall. More specifically, watch the rain fall on Matt, because he's out there pulling weeds (out of the lawn) in the pouring rain. Because that's completely normal, right? Right.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


A friend of mine (I can call her that even though we've never met in real life, right? Blog/FB friends=real friends in my book.) sometimes does a Wednesday feature called "Way Back When-sday" where she posts an old picture and a story/explanation to go with it. I like this idea because I have lots of old pictures and no real reason to share any of them. Also, I have no NEW pictures (due to 2 broken cameras) and no new cameras on the horizon, so this will be a convenient way to not have an entirely picture-less blog. So today, on my very first edition of Way Back When-sday, I bring you this:

 Who says I can't have my very own baby blog full of pictures of adorable boxing babies?? In case you were wondering who the baby is (or suspecting I have actually gone of the deep end and made good on my threat to just kidnap the next cute baby I see)...well, it's me. I know. Cute ol' me, 27 or so years ago. Look at that form! The intensity!! It's no wonder I've grown up to be the boxing phenom I am. 

And because it's my blog and my "Way Back Whens-day" rules, I am going to post ANOTHER picture. I know, crazy. But I'm my own boss, thankyouverymuch. And this next picture is ALSO going to be of me, because I happen to think I was a very cute baby, and since I don't have any pictures of my OWN babies to post, I think you guys should just get a sneak picture of what one of my future biological kids COULD look like, if they are lucky.

There are so many things to love about this picture. A) It's a POLAROID like for realz. B) My mother conveniently labeled it so that we have no doubts about when the pic was snapped and how old I was. C) I have approximately the same swimsuit physique now as I did then, only then it was way cuter. Fail!

So thus concludes my shrine to myself  exhibition of reasons I really should seriously biologically procreate. I basically owe it to the world to share these genes with another generation, right? (Haters, keep your comments to yourself. Or, don't. Mean comments are better than NO comments!)

So, Spring Break has come and gone. Sorry you didn't get a riveting Day 5 recap. It basically went like this: Straightened up the house for my parents arrival. Started reading a book. Read on the back porch in the sun. Got hot, moved to the front porch glider (in the shade). Moved back to the back porch. Moved back to the front porch. Repeat all day long until parents arrive. Obtain the most obnoxious tank-top-tan lines in the history of the world. 

We had a great time with my parents and managed to hit up some amazing yard sales on Saturday. The rest of the weekend was warm and relaxing and a Monday back at work was a cruel reality to face. Tuesday brought with it a horrible and shocking hijacking/murder of police officer/high speed chase/manhunt across Athens that resulted in two days (so far) of being on lockdown at school. Since they still haven't caught the dude, the whole city (and surrounding towns) are in a high state of tension and fear, and school has been an absolute mess. Try explaining to terrified four-year-olds that they're safe, the "bad guy with the gun" can't get them...but yet, we can't go outside to recess, can't leave the building, have to block the windows, can't go in the hallways...but you're safe baby, you're safe! Ugh. I hate that the kids even know about what's going on.

So...that was a downer, right? I don't want to minimize the horror of what's happened, but I also think we need to end this blog on a more positive note...don't you agree?

Obviously the perfect way to end will be another adorable picture of me. In this one, I demonstrate that ponytails are not only my current everyday solution for hair situations, but that I have always found the ponytail to be the Best Thing Ever. And also, the next time my mom nags me about "why do you always have to wear your hair in a ponytail?" I will use this picture as evidence that it wasn't really my idea, I was just raised that way. BOOM!

PS. Also, I hope you are as inspired by the amazing plaids above as I am. Truly I should strive to find more ways to incorporate plaid into my decorating these days! God bless 1983...

Friday, March 18, 2011

sunny (SB day 4)

The fourth day of Spring Break was a sunny and warm one, so you know I was happy about that. I started the day off with a nice long chat (G-chat, literally!) with a wonderful old friend (old because we've been friends for a long time...not because she's actually old. Even though she is...she really isn't. Got it?). It was a wonderful start to a wonderful day.

I met up for a belated birthday lunch with my almost-sister Catherine.  We ate at one of my OMG FAVORITE RESTAURANTS OMG ever, Cali 'n Titos.(Why do they not have a webpage of their own? Because they're TOO BUSY MAKING THE BEST FOOD EVER, that's why!) Can I just be the first to say that one reason I am reluctant to consider ever moving away from Athens is because I would die without the divine restaurant choices we have here. I am not convinced that other towns have comparably delicious (and mostly affordable) locally-owned restaurants. So anyways, yes. We enjoyed our fish tacos and maduros and mango tea at a sunny table in the 65 degree weather and it was divine. 

Afterwards we took an afternoon road-trip adventure to Greensboro (where Catherine lives, about 40 minutes away from Athens) where we made some valiant attempts at home repairs. We had a goal to replace the bathroom sink fixture (you know, handles, drain, faucet...) that was about 1000 years old (not much of an exaggeration-- her house IS over 100 years old AND listed on the National Registry of Historic Homes (I might have the name of that Registry not quite right, but you get the idea)) and disgustingly rusted and corroded. Well...we managed to get most of the old fixture removed. Enough that you certainly couldn't use it anymore. But then we lacked a proper tool to complete the removal, so we were stuck until someone could go to the hardware store. So with that project completely not-finished, we moved on to our next project: replacing the equally ancient light fixture. Props to Catherine for thinking to cut the breaker; luckily no electrocution was involved. This time we managed to completely get the old fixture off, but again, due to a lack of proper tools and the fact that apparently 100 years ago they didn't use standard 'junction boxes' (because I now know what that is)...we weren't able to actually install the new fixture. In case you're keeping track, that means, yes: she now has no light and no sink faucet in her bathroom. So if you see Catherine and her make-up is all wacky and she looks kind of dirty, at least you know why. She's living in the 19th century now.

Having done as much damage as we possibly could to her bathroom, we decided it was best to embark upon something we're much better at doing: laying out. We went out to Catherine's grandfather's lake house and enjoyed about 4 minutes of sun on the dock before the shade overtook us. Oh well. We stayed another hour anyway, because it was peaceful and fun and because we needed to fully contemplate taking a joy-ride in the neighbor's fishing boat (and/or stealing all of their beer). In the end, we ended up doing neither, but we had fun planning it anyway.

And now, because I lack any actual pictures from yesterday, I would like to present you with a photo montage of Catherine & I's highly-photographed and storied past. Please remember that her birthday was this past Monday (PI DAY, best birthday ever!) (and really, that's irrelevant, I just wanted to tell you) and remember that we have been friends and/or roommates for almost TEN YEARS now and are clearly, as you will soon be able to tell, some of the most ridiculous people you've ever met.

 Here we are in our college apartment. Sometimes we got the urge to pretend we were ballerinas.

One summer at a church retreat we worked. I love this picture.

On one of our many trips to Disney World. We enjoy DW (together) probably more than most adults should.

Watching a bowl game with friends. I believe we lost that year, but not for any lack of enthusiasm on our part!

At a "high society formal" that we enjoyed hosting/attending every year a few years back.

In our college apartment before my 21st birthday. I post this pic because Catherine has awesome hair, but I am questioning the jean jacket WITH jeans??? I think her fashion sense has evolved since then.

And...I just spent about an hour and a half (no lie) attempting to find the pictures from one of our beach trips (Amelia Island, Spears) and they are NOWHERE TO BE FOUND ON MY HARD DRIVE and I am majorly stressing. However, trust me: we've been to many beaches together and it's always a good time because we are two highly dedicated people when it comes to laying out...and "running" to the pier and back.

So, Spring Break day 4 was full of sunshine and friends, and I couldn't really ask for anything more. last day *sob* of official Spring Break...I am preparing for my parents' arrival and (once again) attempting to get some sun.

PS. If it sounds like I am obsessed with the sun, well...I might be. But please note that I am not ridiculous, I always usually wear sunscreen, I rarely burn (thanks to my Italian mama), and I am only this obsessed when it's early in the spring and I am stuck wearing shorts with really pale legs. My goal is to be about as dark as I am in that church retreat pic above, I don't like getting darker than that. Just so you know I'm not some crazed tanning-bed-Jersey-Shore-esque kinda girl...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

relaxing (SB day 3)

Yesterday was very relaxing. I think I could easily say it was how I picture all of my days could be if I didn't have to work. I say "could" because...well, in addition to not working, I would need a much bigger allowance to make it happen...but a girl can dream, right??

After kicking the day off by writing a very snarky-but-therapeutic blog, I rushed to my 10:30 massage. It was an hour and a half of bliss, courtesy of my wonderful husband. He gave me the massage as my birthday gift (way back in December), and it took me this long to redeem it...but it was worth the wait! (Don't worry, I actually still have one MORE massage/facial I received as a gift in December as well that I have yet to redeem. Apparently I hoard massages?) I think that when Matt and I become wealthy (which is surely only a matter of time, right? ONE of these get-rich-quick schemes Matt thinks of has GOT to pay off eventually, right?) I will definitely start budgeting for massages. Like, every day. It was ninety minutes well spent, for sure.

After the massage, I treated myself to a very overpriced salad at Marti's. I hadn't been there in 3 or 4 years, and evidently in the meantime I developed amnesia about how expensive it is...but by the time I found parking (on the street, which I abhor) and had already been dreaming about this salad all day...I was too committed to turn back. Oh well, goodbye money, nice knowing ya! 

I took the salad to-go and went to Mollyanne's house to hang out. (Am I on the ball with links today, or am I on the BALL?!!) (PS. That expression makes no sense if you think about it literally.) We spent Hudson's naptime chatting about calories and childbirth and Biggest Loser, and when Hudson woke up I wowed him with my amazing bubble-gum-bubble blowing-and-popping skills. "Buh-buh?" he would say, as he pointed to my mouth and distorted his lips and tongue in an attempt to be as awesome as me. He was a very demanding bubble-task-master, so we decided to distract him by going to the park. It was a beautiful day yesterday, so it was nice to do some swinging and sliding. Afterward we went to Yoforia and had some tasty treats. 

After Matt got home from work, we worked out (thus negating the massage), ate dinner, and spent the night lounging, as per usual. Today it is supposed to be sunny and warm (75!) and I'm not sure what I'll be doing, but it will definitely be outside and involve a bikini. I'm just sayin. But first it has to get out of the 40s, which is where the mercury currently stands, which is entirely unacceptable to me.

Random Thoughts:
1. I think I am the only person in the world who doesn't watch The Bachelor.
2. I take typing tests for fun because I am an awesome typer and I like when it tells me I am 180% faster than the average typer. I like being awesome at something, even if it's something lame like typing.
3. I might paint a picture today, but I can't decide what it should be of.
4. What should I get Matt for his birthday (April 5)?
5. I want to decorate our nursery because I'm tired of it just being an empty room.
6. This whole Spring Break (thus far) I haven't taken a single nap or slept past 7am. 

I think that is enough for now. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

rainy (SB day 2)

Well, Spring Break Day 2 was not nearly as exciting as Day 1...if you consider painting to be exciting, that is. As anticipated, most of the day was spent embracing my inner financial-planner and doing my couponing and shopping. Not exactly blog-worthy materials, but such is life.

Oh, but wait. I will have to say that there have been major innovations on the dog-food front. Now, I'm not particularly brand-loyal when it comes to Lola's food...we tend to stick with one brand because a) she likes it and b) she's much less gassy than with other brands we've tried. But you know, I'm always one who can be swayed by some clever marketing, a good coupon, or...truth be told...the packaging. Yup, I switched dog food brands yesterday because of the PACKAGING (and a coupon). I have surely reached new lows. 

See that? It's a ZIP TOP on the bag. Hello, Pedigree? Yeah, you're brilliant. Thanks, you just made a new customer. Why it took the dog food industry this long to come up with that, I don't know, but I'm just thankful they did. It is one of my biggest pet peeves, trying to properly close a gigantic 20 pound bag of dog food with a chip-clip or something. And I would love to just keep the food in a big tupperware container, but alas, we don't have a pantry, so I have to keep it in a bottom cabinet, and the tupperware containers (big enough to hold the whole bag of food) are way too big to fit. So I have to use the big bag every day, and this zip top is gonna be a game-changer. And now I beg of you-- if you are some Dog Food Industry Insider...please don't tell me that this food is made of horses' brains and chicken feathers. I don't want to know. I have a limit as to how many food-industry-related things I can worry about and I am already at my limit. Thanks. anyway...where was I before I started ranting about DOG FOOD BAGS? (Hello, I'm Erika, and I blog about stuff so boring you didn't know it even existed.) Right, my day was uneventful. I did, however, manage to be productive and.... (drumroll).... write a counter-demand to the insurance adjuster handling my personal injury claim in regard to the car accident!

I've been putting it off since early December, if that gives you any clue about how long they've been waiting to hear from me. The truth is, I have no plans on settling until it's been at least a year from the accident (August). About 5,000 people have advised me to do that due to the fact that it can sometimes take awhile for long-term neck and back injuries to be made known. Secondly, the lowball offer they've made me is disgusting and insulting and it's taken me 4 months to figure out the mature way to word the letter without just saying "Are you effing kidding me?? I have PHOTOGRAPHS, do you really want a jury to see those? Please do not think that because God chose to miraculously intervene and let me walk away from that accident that it was any less traumatic for me and my family. Do you seriously think I was able to replace my perfectly good and reliable car with anything comparable using only the money YOU gave me? Um, no, we had to dig into our savings and use money we COULD BE USING TOWARDS GETTING OUR CHILD, but instead, had to buy a car with? Do you think that makes me feel good inside? Do you think I can even DRIVE in the area where your lunatic client chose to run a stop sign anymore? No, I cannot, and to be honest, I can barely drive ANYWHERE anymore because I am so anxious in the car. Please do not mistake my kindness thus far in this process for weakness, because I am anything but. And I can guarantee you don't want to see me on the witness stand, WITH MY PHOTOGRAPHS, because you will cry and so will the jury and then so will your wallet. Thank you very much and have a nice day."

It took me a few minutes to come up with the mature way to relate all that. And if you're a new reader/stalker and haven't seen the pictures from that accident, click on the link above. And tell me how these people are going to offer me some scumbag lowball pennies and think that's somehow okay? I think not. Now, I am absolutely not planning on raking them over the coals or anything, and I really have no intention of doing anything dramatic. I'm not litigious like that. But I certainly could, and let's be honest: insurance didn't get to be the gigantic, rich-ass industry it is because they deal fairly with people. They take advantage, clear and simple, and they won't be taking further advantage of me. End rant.

Um, so then I baked some beer bread and it was awesome. We watched BL and I could barely pay attention because I discovered (well, was told about) Young House Love and couldn't stop clicking around and thinking of how lame my house is and how awesome I should make it if only I were craftier/handier/richer. 

And now I have to go get ready so I can have a MASSAGE!!!! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

painty (SB Day 1)

I think I am going to try to blog about each day of my Spring Break. That way, in the future when work is getting to be a bit too much and the days are never ending, I can quickly look back and remember that I did have a break once, and here's what I did. Maybe it will also encourage me to be more intentional with my days right now, as I'm living them, so that I have more interesting things to write about than reality TV and sleeping.

So yesterday, Day 1, was Painting Day. Yippee-freakin'-doo. But Erika, you may ask. Why would you need to paint? Didn't you just move in to that house and didn't you spend like the entire summer of 2009 painting it? Are you that bad at picking colors?

And to you, skeptical blog reader, I say: Yes, yes we did just paint it. And no, I am absolutely awesome at picking paint colors so don't even suggest otherwise. The problem is, I am evidently bad at picking paint. Despite the fact that I have painted no less than 123,291 rooms in my lifetime (barely an exaggeration. I paint EVERY ROOM of EVERY HOUSE I live in, rental apartments in college included...and sometimes I redecorate and repaint halfway through a lie), I have apparently learned nothing about properly selecting paint. Well, that's not entirely true. I did learn, from our last house, that you should definitely not get cheap with your kitchen/bath paint. High humidity/steam can totally wreck conventional paint. So at least in this house I bought the proper (read: super expensive) paint for the kitchen and bathrooms, which has been worth every penny. However, for the rest of the house...I don't know what I was thinking. The colors are great. The paint BLOWS.

Which brings me to the dining room. The paint in there has been scuffed/scratched/dinged since...oh, like 3 days after we moved in. Since the door to our backyard is in that room, Lola spends a good amount of time staring out the window and bumping into/scratching the walls in there (not to mention the chairs scraping the walls, etc). Unfortunately, since I picked crappy paint, we haven't been able to fix anything, so it just looks like a herd of wild animals regularly attack the walls in there...which is more or less true, but do the walls really need to make it so obvious? Now, the dining room is certainly not the only room in the house that needs a new coat of paint, but it is the smallest (with low ceilings) and I figured it would be the most manageable to handle on my own. So that was the plan for Monday of Spring Break 2011. You can take your beach trips to PCB or wherever, trendy Spring Breakers...I am painting my dining room!! Someone pass me a's getting wild up in here!

I picked a color slightly darker than the old color because I am lazy and didn't want to have to prime, and because I LIKE SATURATED COLORS ON MY WALLS. I have never been afraid of the paint other people think will be too dark. Maybe I will give you a glimpse of some of my past bolder projects in a minute. 

Let me take a minute first and complain that I have CAMERA ISSUES. My regular (newest) camera has more or less died. I dug out our old camera and it works about 25% of the time, but not well. So these "new" pictures are  not good because something is wrong with the old camera. Oh, and also because I am not a photographer, but that is beside the point. Oh, and this is also my first attempt at using Pixlr and obviously I had no idea what I was doing. I just wanted a side by side comparison, but whatev.
In case you can't tell, the "after" is the smaller, inset picture. Obviously the two pictures were taken in different lighting, since it doesn't even look like the table/chairs are the same color (they are), but you get the idea. Basically, it's brown. Browner than it used to be. I like it. 

I can't remember if I've show y'all the "after" of our china cabinet. We just recently got both pieces finished up and moved in (and then moved out to paint, and then moved back in), and I haven't really finished decorating the hutch yet, but I snapped a pic so you can get the idea. Remember how it started last summer?

Here's what we have now (sorry for the bad angle):
Um...I would try to get a better angled picture, but the table is kinda in my way.

I didn't use painter's tape this time, since I wanted to attempt trimming/cutting in like the pros do it. I found out I'm not a pro, but whatever. However, I did at least tape off the archway between the kitchen/dining room because I didn't want to accidentally mar the green paint on the underside of the arch (you can sorta see the arch in the inset picture in that first photo). However, when I took off the tape...well, I succeeded in not marring the green paint with my new brown paint. But the TAPE was a major fail because it friggin PULLED OFF HUNKS OF GREEN PAINT!!!
And I am mad as fire and ready to sue the Blue Tape company because isn't the whole POINT of that tape to help your paint job and not wreck your old paint job and force you to go find the can of green paint so that you can do touch-ups that should not even be NECESSARY?? Right, I thought so too. So, Blue Tape company (I need to find out WHICH company so that I can properly smear them in this very public forum) suck.

So, Day 1, done and done. Today it is raining and I have big plans of updating the checkbook spreadsheets, paying bills, couponing, and grocery shopping. I know, you wish you could be on Spring Break with me so that you could be as exciting as me. It's a common sentiment.

Also, I entered a sweepstakes yesterday (I do that like it's my full-time job and ONE DAY I'm going to win, so boo-yah) and I got one free music download as a parting prize...well, let's just say that I haven't downloaded a song I certainly do not have iTunes or anything like that, or an mp3 player or phone or whatever...I am just not very musically advanced. I can operate a CD player, however. So I am overwhelmed by the burden of selecting a song to download. One song! I can't waste this! Since I don't know what music people are listening to these days, I need help...what one song should I download?

Friday, March 11, 2011

did I curl my hair for this??

This morning I woke up, got up, and decided to curl my hair.

I don't usually bother for work. A ponytail suits my job and my morning routine just fine. But it's the last day before Spring Break, so I figured...why not look cute?

Fifteen minutes into the procedure, my stomach started hurting.

Oh, please no.

It's the first thing that popped in my head. Some stomach "thing" has been going around my school. Just yesterday one of the teachers I work with had to leave because he was vomiting rather profusely. 

I kept curling. I haven't had a stomach bug in years. I think maybe in high school? Dunno. It's been awhile. 

In pain, I finished curling. I dressed. I put on the bare minimum of makeup. I am skipping out on the details of some other unpleasantries I experienced. You're welcome. 

I called in for 2 hours of sick leave. I will re-assess at 9:30 to see if I can make the drive to work and survive the day. Since I haven't run a fever or actually vomited, I feel like a big ol' slacker taking the day off. And yet my stomach hurts too much to do anything but lay here and whine. (Note: I'm 95% sure it's not another cyst episode, so not to worry. It hurts in a different way than that.)

So let me sum up the pros and cons of going to work.

Cons: I might throw up or otherwise have a negative stomach-related event occur during the 30-minute drive. Or at school. And then I'd have to drive home again. Or I might just keep feeling like crap and be useless at school anyway.

Pros: Won't look like a sketch-ball calling in sick the Friday before Spring Break. Won't waste curled hair.

I have about 27 minutes to make my decision. Vote now!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


It's Wednesday night and I'm home alone (don't tell all the robbers and murderers who are surely stalking my every move!). I exercised, ate, and showered. There's nothing on TV, but that's okay.

It's been pouring rain all day, and cold, and all I can think of is


Oh, sweet summer. How I long for you. How I anticipate your arrival.

So I've spent the night thinking about how great it's going to be when it's warm again and all the things I am going to be able to do and...mostly tan I am going to be.

I love being tan. It's probably in my Top 5 Passions list (not that I have such a list, but now that I mention it, maybe I should make one?).

In that vein (vain? Am I vain?), I bring you a photo montage of Reasons I Want it to be Summer. Subtitle: Pictures of Me Being Tan.

I want it to be summer so that Matt and I can start ridiculous home renovation projects and I can wear tank tops and use power tools.

I want it to be summer so that I can go to the beach.

I want it to be summer (really, spring will do!) so that we can plant our garden and flower beds and grow veggies and flowers and I can spend every evening and weekend on my hands and knees pulling weeds and pondering life. Yes, I really look forward to that.

(Please note that I am not in the above photo. This must prove I'm not 100% vain.)

 I even want it to be summer so that I can spend hours every week riding my super ghetto riding lawnmower around, praying it doesn't blow up or otherwise maim me. 

 Actually, scratch that. I think I'm just going to borrow my neighbor's (much newer, fancier, nicer) lawnmower again this year. Every time he saw me getting mine out last year he would drive his over and say "please, just use mine." Protesting was useless because he would fight back all day until I wore down and just used his. Which was really my plan all along anyway, I just didn't want to seem so obvious.

I want it to be summer so that I can spend a few days doing this:
  Please, oh PLEASE, God, let there be a beach trip in my future this summer. Even if it's not as nice as this beach in Mexico...I'll settle for East Coast, whatever, just let there be a beach!!!

Spring Break is next week. I have high hopes the weather will be spring-y and I will be able to engage in at least some of the above activities. I have loads of exciting plans (haha), such as re-painting our dining room and laundry room. Oh, and getting a massage. That actually is super exciting! That's on Wednesday. And I am going to spend every single minute that it is over 64 degrees and sunny (and not too windy) outside. Planting. Weeding. Digging. Reading. Walking. I don't care what it is as long as it is OUTSIDE.

Dear Summer (weather): Please Come Soon. Love, Erika

In other news, something is wrong with my pinky. It hurts really bad. Since I don't recall injuring it (jamming, twisting, or anything like that), I can only assume that it is rotting from the inside. Or I have developed severe arthritis over the course of one day. In one knuckle. Whatever it is, I'm pretty sure I'm dying. Just wanted to let yall know.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

classy class

I feel compelled to blog this morning and update you on my Friday night, because for once my Friday night did not involve a riveting combination of the following: cheap pizza, sweatpants, facebook, and DVRd reality TV. In other words, I've graduated from college-Friday-nights. Six years later.

Can I get an award for that?

Matt won some tickets through work. It's crucial that you know that that's how we came by the tickets, because obviously if he hadn't won them, our Friday night would have had a little more of the pizza-TV flavor. We're not really buy-tickets-for-events kind of people.

We went to an art exhibition opening in the Conservatory at the State Botanical Gardens. A "ticketed event"  that included an appearance/speech by the artist, fancy food and alcohol, a jazz band, and several performances by aerial artists, a.k.a. trapeze girls!! 

Doesn't this sound like the kind of event you always imagined your young-adulthood would involve? It seems like the kind of thing I imagine everyone else does on weekends, while I sit home holding down the couch and/or babysitting their kids.

It was a lot of fun. I'm not really an artsy kinda girl, but I can stare at a few pictures and sculptures for an appropriate amount of time (and having a glass of wine first certainly didn't hurt). We saw a few people that Matt knows, so that was nice. The trapeze girls were my favorite, of course. One of them did the (technical term here) long piece of fabric that hangs from the ceiling that somehow she can climb up and down and flip all Cirque du Soleil? Um, it was awesome. She had more muscles in her shoulders and back then I have in my entire body times ten. I definitely considered trying out some of her moves when she wasn't looking, since the fabric thing was just hanging there all night. I think that the next time I host a classy party, I am going to definitely invite some aerial artists to perform. In my opinion, that takes a party to the next level.

The food (hors d'oeuvres, really) was tasty and most importantly, we were appropriately dressed. I had been worried about that one, since we've never been to this kind of thing before, but I'm glad my years of fashion observations paid off and we fit right in (except for being a lot younger than most of the people there).

All in all, it was a classy and fun night. I wish I had pictures, but our camera cord has died and I'm not sure if we're replacing it or what, pictures. Today is looking to be much less classy. It's cold and rainy and Matt has made us some waffles and bacon while I laid here blogging, so...I guess I won the husband lottery, didn't I??! 

Better go eat. Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

how long?

I try to keep it in perspective. I try to remain optimistic. I try to have faith. I do.

And the last few months, I've really been succeeding. I feel like all these prayers have finally sunk in on some level. Yeah, we're still not that hasn't changed. But my heart has, to some degree. I've had more peace. More joy. Less of a need to stress and control and freak out. Progress, right?

But sometimes...I just don't know.


How long will we wait? How many more nights will we spend crying on the couch because we find out, once again, it's a not yet? How many more months will we have to experience the horrible cycle of hope and despair? How many more times will I have to offer a "congratulations" through my tears when friends announce their pregnancies? How much longer until I just quit having friends altogether, because I just can't handle the jealousy sometimes? How long?

How much longer will I be stuck in career purgatory, where I've been wasting the last 3 years? I've never had career "goals" or whatever, because my only goal was to be a (stay-at-home) mom. Well, that was cute and all three years ago, but at some point I guess I'm going to have to grow up and pick another goal, something I can actually obtain. But for some reason, it feels like if I pick something, if I start working toward something, then I'm cheating on my non-existent child(ren). If that's not messed up, I don't know what is.

So how long?

Just in case you've forgotten, God or anyone else who may be reading this, it's been TWENTY-SEVEN MONTHS. Twenty-seven months of this horribleness. TWENTY-SEVEN MONTHS!! I'm sorry, the number just sinks in a little bit more every time I type it.

27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 27

Let's see. I could have started and finished pretty much any master's degree program in that amount of time. I could be almost through law school. You know, which I didn't go to because I wanted to have children instead!!!!!! Funny. And don't even get me started on how, if I had gotten pregnant when we first started trying (27 months ago), I would have a 1.5 year old and could easily and reasonably be pregnant with my second. Right. I could be lapping myself. It's awesome to think about it like that.

Sometimes I just want to hide under a rock.

Oh wait, I do.

And I'm just going to sit here and cry and eat the brownies Matt made me and cry and whine and ask God how long until He gets absolutely sick of me and either smacks me upside the head or GIVES ME WHAT I WANT. And although I'm hoping for the latter, I'm really open to anything right about now.

Anything but more waiting.