2013 World Series Champions: The Boston Red Sox

WE WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP!

I am so very excited that the Red Sox won the World Series last night, especially since yesterday was my MFA Big Brother’s birthday.

I was planning to write about our engagement today, but I’m just so excited, so I thought I’d dedicate this post to Red Sox Nation. Go team.

Boston Strong.

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new around this neck of the woods?

Bonjour!

Have you recently found your way over here from Erin or Ashley’s blogs? If so, welcome! Make yourself at home. I bet you’re wondering, “Who is this Erin character?” Now, that is a good question. The easiest way to get a brief overview of who I am is to check out the “About the Girl” tab at the top of this page (which really does need to be updated, sigh). However, I’ve provided a short list below because I like to make things nice and simple for you.

  • I’m afraid of bees. However, alligators are my favorite animals.
  • I am a graduate student studying creative nonfiction and I do a lot of whining about how I procrastinate too much. (I also don’t have good grammar on this blog, beware!)
  • Besides my day job, I have a part-time gig as a relief worker for adults with mental illnesses, and I also coordinate and plan events such as weddings and concerts. (I’m available for hire! Wink Wink)
  • If I told you that I was a great cook then I’d be lying to you, and I really am an honest person. I can however tell you that I want to be a good cook one day. My boyfriend makes fantastic meals; he’s teaching me what he knows, and the rest we plan on learning together. I’ve been updating this blog with all the cooking I’ve been doing. I cook every single week. Occasionally I’ve been recooking some previously attempted meals, but I like to try new things best.
  • I think everyone really should have a lucky number and a favorite color.
  • I also really want to know people’s middle names. I try to imagine what the middle names might be if people don’t tell me.
  • If it wasn’t for 20 Something Bloggers, I don’t know if I would have continued to blog since I first started in 2008. I also owe a lot of my blogging gratitude to my 101 in 1001 goals list and NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo and Grace in Small Things as well.
  • I love everything about home improvement. However, I still do not own my own home. Still, I fantasize about home design projects and knocking down walls and painting and everything that could have to do with houses. Mr. O and I are trying to buy a house right now,  but the process isn’t as glamorous as it may seem.
  • I love to travel. Anywhere.

And here are some of the key players on this blog:

  • Mr. O: The most wonderful man in the world (at least in my eyes). As corny as it may sound, Mr. O is my boyfriend and my best friend. I tend to profess my love for him on here.  I’m apologizing for that ahead of time.
  • Wolverine: The most wonderful boy in the world. Wolverine is Mr. O’s son, and he truly makes every single one of my days better by just being in it. I try not to write too much about him on the blog, but I occasionally profess my love for him as well.
  • Fairfield University MFA Program: I write a LOT about my grad school experiences, and on top of that, you have the chance to get to know some of my classmates, like Phil and AJ and Reuben (who was a guest blogger twice!) and Brooke and Ioanna.
  • Fenway: My Chihuahua/Terrier mix. She’s a rescue dog I adopted while living in Virginia. She definitely keeps me on my toes.

Oh…and these things happen often around these parts.

  • The Defining Moments Guest Series: So far Amanda, AJ, Phil, Brooke, Reuben, Heidi ,Kat, Micaela, Justin, Michaela (with an ‘H’), Holly and Ioanna have all posted about moments of reinvention or inspiration. This series has been a big hit for my readers, and I am always looking for more people to write a guest blog on this topic. You don’t have to be a regular blogger to do this. Kat wasn’t a blogger when she first wrote her post for me… now she has a Tumblr. Micaela still isn’t a blogger, but enjoyed the experience.
  • My Lessons- The Thoughts on Love Series: Now, I’m not an expert, but I’ve been thinking a lot about love this year…what it takes to be in a relationship, choices people make, how other people can affect your relationships, etc. I started this series to share my observations, thoughts and feelings.

So… That’s all folks! I’d love it if you introduced yourself, because I love to check out new blogs. Have an amazing day!

the life of a (dog)mom

Last night my dog threw up on me. Yes, like literally puked on my sleeping body.

Fenway had been whining a little, but I just ignored it. (Yup, I am that dog mom). The whining wasn’t getting her anywhere, so she tiptoed over to my face and nudged my neck with her wet little nose. Just as I was about to open my eyes, I heard her gag. It was too late for me.

I tried to roll over, but my tired body didn’t respond in time. All of a sudden, my ear and neck were covered in a hot, slimy substance.

Fenway puke.

My poor little pup.

Note: Chunky puke feels quite creepy in your ear.

welcome new friends!

49 go on a cruise (9)Ola, amigos. Have you recently found your way over here from Kyla’s blog? If so, welcome! Make yourself at home. I bet you’re wondering, “Who is this Erin character?” That’s a good question. The easiest way to get a brief overview of who I am is to check out the “About the Girl” tab at the top of this page. However, I’ve provided a short list below cause I like to make things nice and simple for you.

  • I’m afraid of bees. However, alligators are my favorite animals.
  • I am a graduate student studying creative nonfiction and I do a lot of whining about how I procrastinate too much. (I also don’t have good grammar on this blog, beware!)
  • Besides my day job, I have a part time gig as a relief worker for adults with mental illnesses, and I also coordinate and plan events such as weddings and concerts.
  • If I told you that I was a great cook then I’d be lying to you, and I really am an honest person. I can however tell you that I want to be a good cook one day. My boyfriend makes fantastic meals; he’s teaching me what he knows, and the rest we plan on learning together.
  • I think everyone really should have a lucky number and a favorite color.
  • I also really want to know people’s middle names.
  • If it wasn’t for 20 Something Bloggers, I don’t know if I would have continued to blog since I first started in 2008. I also owe a lot of my blogging gratitide to my 101 in 1001 goals list and NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo and Grace in Small Things as well.
  • I love everything about home improvement. However, I do not own my own home. Still, I fantasize about home design projects and knocking down walls and painting and everything that could have to do with houses.
  • I love to travel. Anywhere.

And here are some of the key players on this blog:

  • Mr. O: The most wonderful man in the world (at least in my eyes). As corny as it may sound, Mr. O is my boyfriend and my best friend. I tend to profess my love for him on here. Sorry, folks.
  • Fairfield University MFA Program: I write a LOT about my grad school experiences, and on top of that, you have the chance to get to know some of my classmates, like Phil and AJ and Reuben and Brooke.
  • Fenway: My Chihuahua/Terrier mix. She’s a rescue dog I adopted while living in Virginia. She definitely keeps me on my toes.

Oh…and these things happen often around these parts.

  • The Defining Moments Guest Series: So far Amanda, AJ, Phil, Brooke, Reuben, Heidi and Kat have all posted about moments of reinvention or inspiration. This series has been a big hit for my readers, and I am always looking for more people to write a guest blog on this topic. You don’t have to be a regular blogger to do this. Kat wasn’t a blogger when she first wrote her post for me… now she has a Tumblr. There are two more guest bloggers that will be coming up this week. One of them has never blogged before, and probably won’t again (unless I can convince her to write another guest post!).
  • My Lessons- The Thoughts on Love Series:  Now, I’m not an expert, but I’ve been thinking a lot about love this year…what it takes to be in a relationship, choices people make, how other people can affect your relationships, etc. I started this series to share my observations, thoughts and feelings.

blast from the past

So this past weekend I went to get some of my old toys and books out of storage. I figured at this point, most of it was junk, so I wanted to put in a little effort to go through it, keep the few items I knew I didn’t want to part with, throw out the trash and donate the rest. I decided to bring little Miss Fenway for the ride. She still isn’t the biggest fan of going for a drive, but she was so excited to go inherit some of my old stuffed animals that she can now tear apart.

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Here are a few of the random finds:
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Yeah, I don’t know how Trolls were all the rage back in the day… These things just scare me!

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Little People! These were my favorite. I am absolutely keeping this house. I brought it home, and my nephew saw it before I packed it away with the rest of my stuff. I might be paranoid, but I think that little guy is making plans to steal this when I’m not looking… Yeah, not going to happen.

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Sweet ride. I loved my Barbie dolls.

 

this thing called happy…

The Elusive Happy. I think I’ve found it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been very happy the past couple years. I’ve surrounded myself with good people, and in turn have been rewarded with so many incredible experiences. I’m fortunate to have deep bonds with the people I include in my life. Environment is key, and mine is healthy.

I’ve pushed myself to take chances in my career as well as my education. Leaving my former job was an extremely difficult decision. I had started working there when I was only 17 years old. The people there became my family. They surprised me out one night to watch me sing in a karaoke contest. They suggested I audition for American Idol- one of the ladies even went so far to offer me her father’s house (which was near the venue) for the evening! They were there for my high school graduation, college graduation and my acceptance into graduate school. Needless to say it isn’t easy to leave an environment where you have such history to start fresh in a completely different atmosphere. Yet, things turned out wonderfully. I’m still learning at my new job, but I work with a group of people who I truly care about. People I get, and who get me.

School? I can’t say enough about it. Obviously y’all know that since school is all I seem to talk about on here lately. I love my teachers, the administration, my peers, the reading, the writing, Ender’s Island. I love being able to call myself a student again. I love everything about it.

My family has grown so much in the past couple of years as well. I can’t claim any credit for that though. Since 2007, I now have three beautiful nieces and one handsome nephew. They (and Fenway) are the loves of my life. Watching them grow (even though I request almost daily that the oldest two stop growing… the youngest two don’t speak quite yet) has been probably the greatest joy I’ve ever experienced.

And now? Now I’ve got this guy in my life. A guy who loves his friends and family with all his heart. A guy who is kind. A guy who is relaxed, who doesn’t let little things bother him. A guy who will show up at my house with flowers for my grandmother’s birthday, even though we had only been dating for about a week. A guy who jumps out of his comfort level to try things like sushi just because I love it. A guy who makes lists with me (you all know how strongly I feel about lists) about all the things we want to do together. A guy who has made room for me in his life. A guy who I know will be in my life for quite some time.

So, The Elusive Happy?

I wonder if it just creeped up on me throughout the maze of these past two years. I feel like I’ve had this thing called happy all along. It’s just….It’s just that I’m taking a second to recognize it.

I am very, very blessed, folks. I’m at a place in my life where I know who I am, what I want, why I want these things, and where I belong. And all I can really say about it all? Life…is…good.

I wish you recognition of your own elusive happy.

intention

So, I’ve got this thing… It’s called: A GREAT LIFE.

I feel the most myself here on little Ender’s Island during my graduate school residency. I’m surrounded by brilliance in so many shapes and colors and sizes.

There are the teachers who have published remarkable books and memoirs and poetry. The teachers who are passionate about sharing what they know of the craft. The teachers who not only want to help you grow as a student writer, but as an individual- someone who will influence the world in small and large ways. The teachers who are cheerleaders, motivating us whether or not we’ve ever stepped foot in their classroom or their seminars. The teachers, who might write in a different genre than us, but are devoted to our survival and success and honestly invested in our writing and goals for this program and beyond. The teachers you get to know on a personal level. They ask how my dog Fenway is, congratulate me on the birth of my nieces, inquire about my new job.

And the beauty. The beauty of the river as the sun sets in the morning, the snow, the sand, the rocks, the waves, the buildings, the chapels. Pictures will follow for sure.

My peers are remarkable individuals from all walks of life- accountants, teachers, psychiatrists, waiters, census employees, nurses, recent college graduates, people who got their first degree 50 years before, CEOs of large corporations, travel writers, stay at home dads, drummers…. I was blessed with the best FU MFA family. My “big bro” and “little sis” feel real to me, like we share the same cells. I love them. I admire them. I want to emulate their goodness and intelligence.

The biggest lesson this school has taught me and I have absorbed in every cell of my body is to trust in the process. Kind of like a whatever is meant to be will be kind of thing. I don’t questions things here on the island. I don’t worry about who I will get as a mentor or what I will do over the semester for example, because I know that I will get exactly what I need…and I am sure of that. I feel it and know it deep down.

I need to start bringing this feeling and acceptance and intention into other areas of my life.

Today has been a beautiful day. Starting last night: I ate a scrumptious dinner with great friends, listened to three amazing faculty readings (one of which my my mentor from last semester whom I admire more and more and more every single time I listen to him), and then partied the night away with faculty and students on a gorgeous island. We counted down the seconds until 2011 (one of my favorite moments every year) and then I followed my MFA little sister’s Cuban heritage by having 12 red grapes and taking a moment to reflect and think of a goal, well less a goal and more of an intention. I stood up until 5am, woke up early  and then ran into the water with a bunch of other crazy writers for the Polar Bear Plunge. I felt alive. I had lively discussions at lunch, came back to my room and relaxed and landed in a conversation with the wonderful girl across the hall who’s determination and dedication to her writing I admire. I didn’t leave the island to go get a coffee or photograph the Mystic bridge or get some more floss like I had planned. I didn’t nap like I really should have.

I also didn’t complain or worry about everything I didn’t do like I normally would have. Why? Because I was present in every moment of this day. I am alive and experiencing everything- an unexpected conversation, tea instead of coffee, pretzel M&Ms, the rush and burn of the ice cold water- the ache in my shoulders and back mostly because I need some more rest. I didn’t do everything I wanted to do, but I did do everything I should be doing. Trust….in the process….

I have very mixed feelings about resolutions. I’ve mentioned here before that I really like new beginnings in all forms. The first of the month makes me happy. My birthday and new years start my life fresh for me. Weddings, babies, graduations, etc= all fresh starts. But resolutions always feel empty to me.

So…my intent? I intend to be a more dedicated student and writer. I intend to “trust in the process” in all areas of my life. I intend to love my friends and family deeply. I intend to remember to also love myself deeply and treat myself kindly. But most of all… I intend to be brave.

If I had to sum up 2010 in one word, I’d probably choose Change or Opportunity or something in that regards.

For 2011? In 2011, I want my word to be Brave.

bits and pieces

  • I’ve decided that dogs and owners really do resemble each other. Sometimes so much so that they even start to look like each other. It makes me really wonder what having Fenway says about me…
  • I officially finished my first semester of graduate school last week. I’m so excited because between life, school and work, it has been a very overwhelming month for me. I wish I could figure out how to squeeze some more time out of my day. I think one thing I need to work on is binge sleeping. I have the bad habit of sleeping only 2-3 hours a night for a handful of nights in a row. Well, by the time the end of the week rolls around, I’m extremely physically exhausted and I simply crash. I can’t keep my eyes open and I will sleep the entire day away. I’m thinking if I instate a more regular sleep schedule (i.e. sleeping less hours EVERY day 😉 Possibly 5-6 hours?) I don’t know what will work, but I need to figure that out as soon as possible.
  • Every time I see people working on roofs- whether decorating for Christmas or cleaning gutters or whatever- I get really nervous. Why are there so many people who don’t use protective measures?
  • I adore real Christmas trees.
  • I really like seeing people decorate and light up their houses for the holiday season, but let me tell you… I HATE decorating with lights. There is always a light thats dead that ruins the set. The cords are always twisted up. Bah humbug. Everyone else in my family seems to love decorating with lights, and they do an excellent job as well. Which means I’ll just pay them to decorate my house once I own them.
  • Last night I flirted with a bongo player while he was performing. Well, he played bongos, guitar and he sang. Multi-talented gentleman.  I won’t lie, it was a bit of a boost of confidence for me. It was quite obvious he was looking for me in the crowd as people moved around. Unfortunately, he was a younger gentleman, and as much as cougars are all the rage these days, I think I’m a bit young to enter the Cougarhood.

Sweet six

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Happy Birthday Miss Fenway Mohawk… I love you just as much today as I did the day I picked you up from the Eastern Shore SPCA (if not more). Sorry I woke you up at 12:00am to sing to you 😉

Lazy days

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Fenway spent much of the afternoon watching the squirrels pull the last seeds from the fallen sunflower heads. Every time I’d go near her, she’d stand up, look at me and wiggle that little tail of hers. She enjoyed every second of watching the little critters running around, and I enjoyed every second of watching her wag that mini little tail.