Happy Birthday, Cinderella!

Today is my best friend’s birthday. She and I have known each other since we were in kindergarten. We were in the same class from firs grade to eighth grade, and then we went to high school and college together. We’ve been friends for a long time and I couldn’t be more grateful for her in my life. I think she’s read this blog like two times, so who knows if she will ever read this post. I was going to post a goofy picture of the two of us, but if she ever found it, she would probably de-friend me. So instead, I’ve posted a cartoon version of her. Happy Birthday, Cinderella.


Today I Will Cast My Vote

I’m about to leave my house and there is a good chance I will vote before work this morning. I’m lucky to live around the corner from my voting station, so I’ll drive by and if it looks quiet enough, I will stop in to vote. Worst case scenario, I will just go on my way home from work tonight.

I think Americans forget how lucky they have it to be able to vote for their elected officials… and to also vote for other items on the ballot. I feel very blessed to have the chance to vote for my president. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that the person I voted for wins!

While this sounds silly, I also can’t wait to get an “I voted!” sticker. I mean, the older you get, the less opportunity you have to wear stickers all day. Am I right?

I hope that you all take a moment from your day and head to your local polling stations. It is an important day, folks. Make the best of it.

Update: I just got back in my car after voting with the cutest little old ladies. I, unfortunately, did not get an “I voted!” sticker. I can’t begin to tell you how much that bums me out.

Update #2: I made myself my own voting post-it. It’s the little things, folks.



I’ve been whining (to myself, to Mr. O) about work lately. Things are just busy. There are just so many changes, so many new ways to do things, so many unknowns. So many people are trying to juggle new things. It is just a bit overwhelming. I really don’t like to talk about work much on this blog, because I don’t think this is the place to discuss it, so this will be a short post.

Did you think this was going to be a negative post? Because it isn’t. Today I want to write about how grateful I am for my job. Yes, it has been a struggle recently, but above everything, I am so appreciative of my job. I’m so grateful to work for a good, forward-thinking company. I’m so grateful to work for an incredible, kind, supportive, trusting boss. I’m glad I know how to do my job, and when I don’t know how to do things, I do know who to reach out to if I need to learn something. I’m glad my job isn’t stagnant; I am able to try new things and get involved in different areas. I’m forever thankful for the ordinary wonderfulness that a full-time position provides. I’m grateful for a regular paycheck.  While I could certainly use more money, I’m so grateful that my paycheck affords me to pay my student loans, other bills, and still live life. I’m beyond grateful for my insurance benefits, like medical and dental which I’ve already used a bunch this year, or like my FSA plan which afforded me the opportunity to get my Lasik surgery in February. I’m grateful for the other benefits, like vacation time, which I desperately needed in order to attend my low-residency Masters program, and now that I’ve graduated, I look forward to actually using it for a real vacation rather than long weekends here and there.

I’m grateful that I can go to sleep and wake up in the morning feeling good about my job. In previous positions (at different companies) I’ve been in situations where I dreaded going into work. I’ve been the person who was counting down the moments until the day ended, super excited to go home, and then I go home and dread going back in to work in the morning all evening. My life is far from that right now. Don’t get me wrong, on particularly exciting weekends, I pout a little bit about having to go to work the next morning, but not in the way I just described. I don’t want to go to work because I’m high on the weekend-buzz; it has nothing to do about my feelings for my job. I’m so happy with my job.

It’s really refreshing to work for a good company, for a boss who trusts you. So today, job-that-has-been-temporarily-frusterating, I am so gosh darn grateful for you.

Pee-Wee Football

Today I am grateful for Pee-Wee football. Wolverine played his last football game of the season yesterday. He started off the season with no clue how to play football. He was “okay” with it. We couldn’t quite tell if he liked it or he didn’t like it, but he went to all the practices and learned how to play. Then came tackling, and let’s just say that he wasn’t a fan. He’s the youngest on the team, and most of the kids spent last year tackling, so this was a new thing for him.

And then out of nowhere… Wolverine became the world’s biggest football fan! When we carved our pumpkins, he was concerned that the newspaper we were sitting on was the sports section. He didn’t like that we were going to get pumpkin-guts all over the players. We went trick-or-treating he told the neighbors about how he wasn’t “just” Spiderman, he was also a football player…”in real life!!!” He also complimented someone on their Patriots sweatshirt.

Who knows what the future will hold. I don’t know if he will play again next year. This might just be a passing phase, but I’m happy that he found an interest in the sport and that he enjoyed the rest of the season. Now, I’m sure we will spend a lot of time in the yard throwing a football around. I’m sure he will watch the Patriots, his new favorite team, with great intensity this year. And who knows, maybe he will find the Superbowl a little less boring in 2013.


Defining Moments Series: An Invitation

Today I am grateful for all the great people who get involved when I ask for help. A while back, I started a blog series called Defining Moments. Since the blog is called Reinventing Erin, and I regularly write about moments in time that change me, I wanted to invite other people to join me. To do the same. I thought one, maybe two, people would be excited to guest post on my blog. I thought I’d have to pull teeth to get the rest of the writers to share something with my readers. But that didn’t happen. What did happen was a great group of interesting people from various walks of life asking me if they could participate. I was delighted. Bloggers and nonbloggers, ladies and men… You get my point. It was an awesome series.

I’ve been toying with resurrecting it for a while now, and when I noticed that Katherine was interested in writing every day, I asked her if she would consider writing something for the Defining Moments series…. and she agreed. I’m really excited to read her post (which will be going live sometime this month, keep your eyes peeled).

But getting back on the gratitude thing, I’m so appreciative of all the kind people who have already participated. You can go and read all their posts which are listed on my Defining Moments page. You’ll learn about rescuing dogs, being in jail, having two names, being independent, etc.

I also want to invite you all to participate in this series. Do you have something you want to share? Don’t think you need a dramatic life moment to take part in this. There are people who wrote about how a conversation they had with someone changed their perspective, another person wrote about falling down. You all have something interesting to say. You all have moments that changed you, even if they were small, tiny moments. They matter; share them!

If you are interested in this, feel free to leave a comment here or send me an email at reinventerin (at) gmail (dot) com

Gratitude For My Vision (365 Photos: Days 258-266)

Today is day 273 of my 365 Photo Project, which means I have less than 100 days until it is over. I started this project on February 4, 2012, which was the day after my Lasik eye surgery and also the first day I could see clearly without glasses. I am beyond grateful that I made the investment and got laser eye surgery this year. I’m thankful about everything associated with it: I’m glad I was a candidate for the surgery. I’m glad my health insurance afforded me a small discount on the surgery. I’m glad I took part in my company’s medical FSA plan so I could get tax savings on the money I spent on the surgery. I’m glad the doctor and the techs did such a good job. I’m glad Mr. O took good care of me after the surgery. I’m glad I followed all the rules and used the eye pads at night and the drops all day long. I’m glad I never got an infection. I’m glad I can freaking see now. I’m just so grateful for all of it.

Sometimes though, I think I take my vision for granted. Sometimes I think I forget just how much a miracle it is that I can see the first thing in the morning. Sometimes I don’t realize just how incredible it is to wear my sunglasses everyday when I drive (I think the real question, is how the heck did I drive without them before?). Sometimes I don’t notice that I’m laying in bed curled up with a pillow or molded to Mr. O’s chest while watching a movie, and I couldn’t have done that before if I were wearing glasses. Sometimes when I’m in the shower and about to grab the bottle of conditioner, I don’t remember just how confusing that whole process was when I couldn’t see.

Being able to see is so incredible. What I love most about my 365 Photo challenge is that every single one of these photos is a reminder that I can see…without any assistance. I love looking backward at this new journey, and I love taking these photos every day as a reminder of my perfect vision.

And before I forget, let me share my most recent photos: days 258-266.
Day 258…10/18/12: Soup with spinach in it…that I ate! (Can you tell I’m not the hugest spinach fan?)
Day 259…10/19/12: Going to see a friend perform at a comedy show
Day 260…10/20/12: Today Wolverine and I found 20 four-leaf clovers
Day 261…10/21/12: Wolverine tied my nephew’s shoe three times in one walk.
Day 262…10/22/12: Goodbye old bike
Day 263…10/23/12: Bringing my sister-in-law to the ER to get stitches
Day 264…10/24/12: Visiting at RIC for a girls’ night
Day 265…10/25/12: Spry is on AWP’s writers calendar!
Day 266…10/26/12: I got my thesis in the mail! This was one of the best moments ever. My name is literally on a book. Can you believe it?


Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today is my fifth anniversary. Five years ago today I quit smoking, which is something I never thought possible. Five year ago today, I didn’t think I would be sitting here with a true nonsmoker status. I wasn’t sure I’d make a few days, a week, a month, a year, nevermind five whole years. But I have, and I think that is extremely special. I’m not sure what to say about it this year. Five years seems so significant, and I don’t know what to say. But I document it every year; see, last year I documented my fourth anniversary


I don’t know what is wrong with me, but I’ve decided to take a go at NaBloPoMo again. November is the official month and many of my blogging friends are participating as well. I’m going to try focusing in on gratitude this month. A few years ago on my old blog, I took part in Grace In Small Things, which is a 365 day project where you list what you are grateful for every day of that year. Now, I loved this project and think that the month of November is a perfect time to try to resurrect a more grateful nature. If all goes well, you’ll get thirty days of gratitude on the blog.

 I think my monthly goal and NaBloPoMo will nicely compliment each other this month. Are you wondering how my goal to organize for the month of October worked? Ehh, I did try. There were many organizational projects I tackled. I just don’t see the type of results I wanted. My plate is pretty full right now with work and Spry and family and life in general, so I do need to cut myself a little slack. October was a decent month for my organizational goal; it wasn’t a failure, but it also wasn’t a huge win. I guess you guys will see first hand how well I do in November!

So to start my first November NaBloPoMo post off: I’m so thankful that I quit smoking five years ago on that drizzly, chilly November morning. I’m so glad that while the Chantix I took literally made me crazy, it also helped me quit smoking. I am beyond grateful that I got off the Chantix as quickly as I did and I didn’t end up too far in the deep end. I’m so happy to have the people in my life who supported me through that tough time in my life.

I’m also so thankful and proud of myself. Good for you, Erin. You loved smoking so much. Cigarettes were your friend, your confidant, your support. Good for you for ending that toxic relationship. You have a strong will, and I usually don’t give you enough credit for your strength, but you deserve a huge hug and a pat on the back. Yes, the Chantix helped. Yes,  you had a pretty good support system. But no matter what, you did this all yourself. Every day in the past one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven days, you have made the conscious decision not to pick up a cigarette. How cool is that? Good job, Erin. Good job.


new around this neck of the woods?


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!

a final goodbye

Days Until 2012: via

Tomorrow is a whole new year. 2011 has been very good to me. I wonder what 2012 will have in store. Many, many great moments, I am sure. I will be graduating, three of my very close friends will be having babies. I will have written a book… or two even, depending on how things go. I’m just looking forward to 2012. Thanks for traveling 2011 with me guys. I appreciate it.

two more days

Days Until 2012: via I guess I’m bad at this updating correctly while at school. Basically the wonderful news is that I was elected as student speaker for my upcoming graduation in July 2012. I think it is an incredible awesome opportunity for me, and I can’t tell you how honored I am. More soon.

three more days

Days Until 2012: via something amazing happened at school tonight but since I’m typing on my phone AND having connection issues I will let you know about it tomorrow.

five more days

Days Until 2012: via 

Well folks, It is here. Time for school. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I have enough time to write goooooood posts. Today- yeah, not so much time!

6 more days!

Days Until 2012: via

So tomorrow is residency time. It will be my last residency before graduation– how did time go by so quickly? Well, I know this is a sissy post, but I’ve got some final packing to do, and I want to enjoy my time by the tree with Mr. O. I will catch you up though, because I certainly won’t mess up NaBloPoMo this late in the game!


Merry Christmas, Friends!

Days Until 2012: via

Just wanted to say a quick hello and tell everyone out there (who celebrates it) Merry Christmas! I think this was my best Christmas of my whole life. More updates soon.

this is always one of my favorite days

Only 8 More Days Until 2012. Unbelievable!

I love Christmas Eve. I do. It has always been one of my favorite days of the year. I used to get real let down during the holiday season. Well, at least in my twenties. Prior to that, my family made sure my holiday season was fabulous. But see, in my twenties, I put so much effort into gifts for everyone (I doubt this will ever change). The problem was that I bought too much. So, I think it hurt some of the people who didn’t or couldn’t spend much on me. I had to learn to try to keep to a budget with my fellow gift givers. But folks…my gift? The best gift I can get is to see the person I’m giving a gift to excited about their present. I Don’t want anything. I never really have. Don’t get me wrong, I could make you a list of books I’d like or clothing I wouldn’t mind owning or the latest gadget I think is cool. Of course, I like stuff. But when it comes time for holidays and birthdays, I feel very uncomfortable getting gifts.

Then after those early twenties, it was very tough for me to see my siblings moving on with their families. That is hard to write. I love their families. Their families are my families. I consider my sisters-in law my sisters. My nieces and nephew mean the entire world to me, but when push came to shove, their creating their own little families felt a lot like getting totally left behind. I was so happy for them; I loved to be a part of it, but I missed having a family. In a sense my family didn’t exist any more. When I was a kid, I had grandparents, parents and two siblings. That was my family (duh, I know that it still is). Now, my siblings have a family that I’m not part of.

I had my own family… me and Fenway. But then my family stole Fen and included her in their family (I’m thankful behind belief to share her with my parents, who provide for her more than I can give at times). So life wasn’t like it was when I lived in Virginia. In VA, it was just me and Fen (and the best roommates in the world when they were in town, lol).  Now, Fenway belongs to my entire household.

So life around the holidays felt both extremely full and very empty. I felt like a part of the group, but like more of a witness than a key player. This isn’t to say that my family MADE me feel like this, because that is the farthest from the truth. My family ALWAYS includes me. It’s just a feeling I had. I can’t describe it well. I wish I could, but I can’t. It was little things, like feeling like I was forcing my brothers to do a Secret Santa between the five of us (them, their wives and little ol’ me). That tradition died this year when no one besides me wanted to keep it up. Whomp whomp whomp. Oh well, those bastards are all getting something from me  now 😉

Anyway, I haven’t accomplished what I wanted to say at all in this post. I really hope that it doesn’t come off hardcore whiny, because I understand I am being whiny. I had a great family who loved me and did everything possible to make me feel included. I am the one who chose to feel like a loner. I understand that.

Back to the point. This holiday season I have two amazing incredible guys in my life. Mr. O and Wolverine are now my very own family. I am truly blessed with the most incredible little family I could ever dream up. And not just Mr. O and Wolverine. I now have extended family. I now have a new set of “parents” and a new “sister” and new “grandparents” even. They have all welcomed me into their lives straight since day one, and I couldn’t be more grateful for how included and cared for they have always made me feel. I feel selfish now for feeling so alone these past few years. I feel blessed beyond belief to have two huge (Mr. O’s family and mine-including my SILs’ families) families to celebrate with and shower presents upon.

But again, I still haven’t made my point. I’ve already been given the best gift this year. No… I haven’t opened any presents yet. Well, that is a lie. My grandparents gave me and Mr. O our gift. Thanks Mom Mom and Pop Pop! But besides that. My gifts are wrapped and I don’t know what I will be getting. I still have been given the most beautiful gift of all………

Last week Wolverine told me he loved me for the first time. I’m still in awe of how much that meant to me. I knew he obviously cared about me a super lot. I never doubted that, but to hear a child that you love with your whole heart tell you that he loves you is an amazing moment. I will never ever forget it. Plus, he kissed me for the first time. He’s been letting me give him bedtime kisses for a while now, but that night he made sure to give me a bedtime kiss. I slept very happily that evening.

I’m so in love with my two guys. I read something on Nora’s blog a while ago about how someone told her that the reason she met Knight and his two girls was because she had so much love to give, it was meant for more than one person. I think about that thought a lot. I’m fucking FULL of love. I’ve always known that I’ve given too much of myself to the men I’ve dated. I just didn’t know that the love I had was meant for two people, not one: Mr. O and Wolverine.

The most beautiful thing in the whole wide world is to have a family to call your own. I’m in love with my guys, and I could never ask for anything more.

%d bloggers like this: