Simple Joys


On Saturday, Wolverine went to his first try-out ever. He’s played a lot of sports (soccer/baseball/football/basketball) since he was four, but this year is the first year he has to try out for a team. He was nervous about it, and go figure, the poor kid cut his foot on a toy the night before, but he did so great. Honestly, I know I’m biased, but he was one of the best kids trying out for the team. This coming weekend is round two of try-outs, and I think we will find out shortly after that if he makes it or not. The great thing is that even if he doesn’t make it to the next level, he gets to play on the same level he was last year, so no matter what he will get to play baseball. Either way, I’m super proud of him.



Leprechaun traps! This is the third year Wolverine and I have made a leprechaun trap for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s also the third year in a row that the leprechaun escaped (with our gold!) from our traps. Talk about a major let down. We decided this year instead of our more detailed traps of the past, we were going to try to stay simple and focused. Overall, this was a great trap, and I’ll bet we came so close to catching the little bugger.


The funniest moment this year was when Wolverine invited my parents over to view his trap. They brought over their professional cameras and cell phones and this is what I walked in to see–a full photo shoot.20140317-134818.jpg


After I mailed my wedding invitations on Friday, I stopped by the Christmas Tree Shop and saw this.  It was awesome.



Today is my anniversary with Wolverine. Yes, you read that correctly. We met on St. Patrick’s Day in 2011, and since then, we’ve been celebrating our anniversary. This year, we made cards for each other and bought each other a few gifts from the dollar store. It was pretty awesome. I’m a very lucky lady.

Happy 6th Anniversary

Today is my very special day. It is a day for me and me alone, and every year when this day rolls around, I realize how proud I am and how far I’ve come.

Six years ago, on November 1, 2007, I had my very last cigarette. Six years ago, I would have never believed that I’d go six years without smoking.

This year ended up being a special year for me, as I was chosen and will be inducted into the Ex-Smoker Hall of Fame for a local area wellness group I’m apart of. The event is going to be held on November 21, 2013, which is the Great American Smoke Out. I’m proud of my induction, and I’m honestly honored to be one of the chosen people in our community.

Previous Anniversary Posts: Year Four and Year Five

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!

Holiday Cards

Days Until 2012: via

I figured I would round off what appears to be Holiday week on the blog with the awesomest Christmas card I got from Holly at Scattered Words! My first ever international Christmas Card! YAY 🙂



things that make me happy lately

Alright, I used to tease my mother for drinking this, but it is just so yummy. Honestly, I dare you to try it. So yummy and so good for you too.

Yum, raisin bread toast with peanut butter and bananas. Best breakfast (or lunch!)20111024-141358.jpg

and…. as always. Mr. O, who is making his blog debut via photograph!20111024-141322.jpg

Happiness is…

…unexpected phone calls from old friends
…tater tots
…good books that you can read again and again
…friends who remind you to post a blog so you don’t mess up your final shot at nablopomo
…watching my boyfriend shave
…my brand new suv
…Friday night date nights (and i’m going to one right now)


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.



Here are a few of the random finds:

Yeah, I don’t know how Trolls were all the rage back in the day… These things just scare me!


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.


Sweet ride. I loved my Barbie dolls.



I had an incredible evening. It was epic, perfectly epic.
I’m so lucky to have such amazing people in my life. My friends are incredible. My family is amazing. Every where I turn I realize how fortunate I am.
And now I just can’t stop smiling.
Tonight was perfect.

And “long johns” apparently has two G’s…


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.