Bridal Shower Reflections

First, Happy Cinco De Mayo! Enjoy a margarita with good tequila today.

 

Next, let’s talk about my bridal shower! Seeing as it has been one month today since I was showered with kindness from friends and family, it is as good a time as any to talk about how much I enjoyed my shower.

My shower was thrown by my mom and Mr. O’s mom, with the help of my incredible bridesmaids.
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This is is my lovely wedding party. My two maids-of-honor are the most far-right ladies, and the other five (four in real life and one in picture form) are my bridesmaids.

I’ll be honest, I was pretty nervous about this bridal shower. While I love giving gifts, and truly enjoy receiving gifts, something about being the gift-getter just makes me real nervous. I always feel so awkward opening gifts in front of people, and I just just really worried about it all. It isn’t that I’m not appreciative in any way, I just get nervous.

Plus, after being a bridesmaid a billion times, I’ve been to my fair share of bridal showers (and many more baby showers too). No matter what, they’re pretty boring for the guests, and since I worry about everyone else so much, I was so worried about my guests being bored.

But everything turned out so perfect. The centerpieces were beautiful! The cupcakes (in a form of a dress) were so yummy. The brunch was excellent.The games were fun (and funny) and actually went by so quickly. There were so many gifts, and I opened them quickly, and actually had fun doing so. (Does this mean I no longer have a fear of opening gifts in front of people? Because if that is true, everybody buy me presents!) Honestly, it was perfect.

I’m so grateful for my bridesmaids and my moms for throwing me this lovely party. It went by so fast, and I’d do it all over again if I could.

 

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July Observations

July Highlights:

  • I graduated from the best MFA program in the universe.
  • My last residency was incredible. I loved meeting the incredible incoming class. I loved spending time with some of my mentors. I loved teaching my seminar and giving my reading. I loved it all.
  • I am very happy with my graduation speech. It went so smoothly and I think I did a good job of involving the whole class in my speech. I’ve been toying with posting it here, but I’m not sure if I should.
  • Wolverine’s birthday party was a blast. The weather held out all day, which meant no rain until the party was over! Our water slide also worked the entire time. Mr. O put a lot of hard work into patching the holes on the slide, and the kids loved playing on the slide.
  • Announcing Spry Literary Journal. (Ha, I didn’t quite announce it yet, but the big announcement should come tomorrow!)
  • I’m doing a great job keeping up with my 365 photo project. As of today, I am on day 179.

Stinky July Moments:

  • My dad had a heart attack while I was away at school which was very scary. Because of this he and my mother couldn’t come to my graduation. I’m very lucky to have a great boyfriend who videotaped the whole thing so that they could watch me graduate from the comfort of their living room!
  • Everything happened at once. Between school, work, the literary journal, another editing project I’m involved in and my personal life… everything happened this month. Oh, well. All good stuff.
  • Running into people I’d rather not see.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • My fantastic friend gave birth to a healthy little baby girl. Welcome to the world Isabella.
  • Wolverine, my dad, Lauren, Kerri, Linsey and both of my grandparents all celebrated birthdays. Those same grandparents also celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

I’m looking forward to____ in August:
August should be busy! Mr. O, Wolverine and I will be road-tripping down to DC and then heading to Virginia to visit some great friends and their new baby girl. We are also hoping to go camping this month. We’re going to a carnival and my brother’s annual cookout (which I’ve missed the past two years). August 15th will be the first day my literary journal will be accepting submissions.

Overall Thoughts:
July was incredible. I’m so happy and proud of the fact that I graduated from my MFA program. At the same time though, I will miss it terribly. I’m so grateful that my dad is okay and I hope his healing process is smooth. I’m glad that Wolverine loved his actual birthday and his birthday party. I’m tired, but happy.

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Want to know more about my experiences in 2012? Check out the previous months: January and February and March and April and May and June

March Observations

March Highlights:

  • Vacation! Mr. O, Wolverine and I went to New Hampshire for a long weekend. I love vacations.
  • The Emerson’s came up from GA for a week, and Mr. O finally got to meet the Mr. and Mrs. I wish I could have spent some time with Toddler Emerson seeing as how it has been over a year since I’ve seen him, but I can’t complain. It was amazing to see my friends. I love them so much.
  • Actually writing new material for my thesis. Not only that, but I’m pretty excited to find new uses for old material which I wasn’t planning on including. Even if the essay doesn’t appear in its original form, paragraphs have been brought to life in new essays.
  • My eye doctor is extremely pleased with my healing after the Lasik surgery last month. I’m pretty pleased with it too.
  • My friend Doodles (not her real name) had her baby! A healthy little baby girl was born on 3/22/12.
  • I’m actually keeping up with my 365 photo project. As of today, I am on day 57.
  • I went to the Blog Better Boston Conference at the Google offices and FINALLY met my blogger friend Kate. I also met new friends like Sara and Lindsay and Germana.

Stinky March Moments:

  • My boss’s husband passed away…and her dog too. Her husband was young and healthy and loved and he died too quickly. I was incredibly moved by his death, and wish there was something I could do to change the past few months in her life. I can’t. Then her dog died. This sucks.
  • A few other acquaintances–family friends–passed away.
  • I got a vicious migraine at the beginning of the month. I haven’t had a bad one like that in quite some time, so it was very scary.
  • This is my thesis semester. Boo. It is a lot of work. (I’m thinking this might be here every month until I graduate).
  • I had to get an old filling fixed. I like my dentist, but I don’t love dental procedures. Actually, I had a whole bunch of doctor appointments. Same goes for them. I like my doctors, but I’d rather spend my time elsewhere.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • March 12 made one year since I was hit by a drunk driver. I’ll be honest. I was happy to make it home unscathed that day. I’m proud to admit no one under the influence has driven into me this year (so far- fingers crossed.
  • My god-daughter/niece turned two years old this month.
  • My wonderful friends Ashley, Michaela, Jessica, Jim, Gail, Mr. O’s mom and three of our friend’s children also had birthdays. This month was full of birthday parties and baby showers.
  • Mr. O did my taxes for me. I mailed them in, and then they mailed me a refund! Woot Woot.
  • Wolverine built a pretty fancy Leprechaun trap. We actually thought it worked and we caught a leprechaun, but when we opened up the trap door, we realized the leprechaun was too smart for us. He somehow stole all the gold and escaped! We will get you next year, Lucky!
  • I finally got a massage that Mr. O’s family bought me as part of my birthday present (in September). That was nice.

I’m looking forward to____ in April:

  • Mr. O, Wolverine and I are going to the Museum of Science in Boston. I’ve wanted to go for a very long time now. It even found its way onto my current 101 in 1001 goals list.
  • Another one of my pregnant friends is due to deliver in April… on my brother’s birthday actually. There are a lot of birthdays coming in April.
  • I will be reviewing my first book for TLC book tours. Look for it at the end of the month.
  • Finishing my thesis. Or at least being SOOOOO CLOSE to being finished. It needs to get approved during the month of May, so I pretty much need to be 100% done editing my creative writing and my critical introduction before I turn it in for approval. I can do this (fingers crossed).

Overall Thoughts:

Like February, March was just an okay month. I felt pretty overwhelmed all month, but I survived. I am so thankful that winter is over. I love Spring and I look forward to the days getting longer and the temperature getting warmer. I’m actually so done with this month. It’s not like I hated February and March, I just didn’t enjoy them. I loved cuddling on the couch with Mr. O, building the leprechaun trap with Wolverine, going to the hospital to meet and hold (I love holding newborns!) Doodle’s new baby and the Blog Better Boston Conference. It’s not like there weren’t good moments. I’m just glad the month is finished. I’m ready for April.

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Want to know more about my year? Check out the previous months: January and February

sight

So… today is the day.

I’ve been thinking all week about what I would write in this post. My thoughts have been very preoccupied.

I got my first pair of glasses–ones I desperately wanted–  in seventh grade. They were gold frames. The eye pieces were lined in a teal green, and the end pieces were pink (I’ll take a photo and post on here, because I think I still have them). I thought I was special because I needed glasses. This was about 15 years ago.

I’ve spend the last 15 years of my life alternating between contacts and glasses. I’ve had frames of all different shapes and sizes. I like glasses sometimes, especially fun ones like the Drew Carey frames, etc.

I like them as an accessory. I don’t like them as a necessity.

I don’t like having to wake up and put them on before I can see the time on my clock which is just a few feet away from me in the morning. I don’t like laying down and tryign to watch the television, but needing to adjust my glasses every time I move. I don’t like the fact that I absolutely 100% rely on glasses to drive. I don’t like not being able to see in the shower or while I’m swimming. I especially don’t like the fact that I can’t wear sunglasses when I have my glasses on.

I did well with contacts for a while. I just hate having to take them out and put them in every single day. Plus, even with them, there are still times I can’t see, like I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I can’t wear them to bed, and therefore I can’t see when I first wake up. I can’t wear them in the shower. I can’t wear them when I swim. I seem to lose contacts quite frequently. Sometimes I lose them when putting them in or taking them out. Sometimes I simply can’t find the case.

It’s been 15 years since I first got- and desperately wanted- glasses. 15 years and who knows how much money spent toward my vision. 15 years being completely reliant on something to help me do the most basic things in my life.

Today that will (hopefully) all change. Today I am getting LASIK eye surgery. Today I will hopefully be able to see on my own.

I’m very positive about this, but I’m also very anxious. What if something goes wrong? What if something goes horribly, horribly wrong? How will I write in my blog? How will I write for school? How will I work? How will I drive? How will I live my life? Is today the last day I’ll ever see Mr. O and Wolverine’s faces? Will I never see my friends and family again?

In 2008, I went to Dialogue in the Dark in Atlanta, GA. It was one of the most incredible experiences in my life. I was blinded and led through an obstacle-like course of similar life experiences so that I could see what it was like to be blind. It was amazing. I can’t articulate my experience, but it was truly incredible, and I know that no matter what, if anything happened to me, I would be absolutely fine.

It’s just…well….

I’m just scared.

and the winner is…

COLLEEN!

I used Math Goodie’s Custom Random Number Generator to pick a winner. We only had 13 entries (whomp, whomp, whomp: why don’t people like free things anymore?), so it gave everyone a GREAT chance to win.

Here is my fancy little sheet as to how I numbered each entry:

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Here is the website before I clicked enter (I photographed everything with my iPhone):

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Here is the number generated (#6):

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And here is Colleen’s tweet which made her a winner:

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Yahoo. I sent you an email Colleen with all the information. Thanks for entering everyone. I’m going to try to make sure I have one giveaway a month (if possible) on the blog. Make sure to add me to your readers and keep an eye on the site for January’s giveaway!

 

 

 

 

Shrimp Paesano Recipe!

Days Until 2012: via

Week #4 was my favorite week of cooking, and it was also Mr. O’s favorite meal. I made “Shrimp Paesano” by following the recipe from this wonderful site. There isn’t too much that I altered with the recipe. To start, I used dried parsley because I forgot to pick up fresh parsley from the store. In my opinion this made absolutely no difference. I also did NOT need 2 full cups of flour. I threw quite a bit of flour out at the end. I also have a tendency to add things to recipes, so I added onions and some orange sweet peppers. Which I thought added a lot to the recipe.

So the first step is to let the shrimp soak in the half & half for 30 minutes. Mr. O was so kind to get this started for me before I got there, so I only had to wait maybe ten minutes before I started cooking. I took this time to prepare the rest of the stuff that I needed.20111201-184755.jpg20111201-184834.jpg

After that I moved on to steps #3 &4 and I personally found that I “dusted” the shrimp with a medium amount of flour. To me, dusting means like minimally powder something, but I lightly covered the whole shrimp. Hey, it worked for me. The ones that were less covered than the others lost a lot of the coating, and honestly didn’t taste that good.
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So I somehow forgot to take pictures while making the sauce. There isn’t much to comment that you won’t learn on the recipe. The only note that I have is that I found myself putting more and more half & half in the sauce to thicken it up and make it more creamy. It was too buttery. When I make this recipe again, I will probably use less butter next time around, and make more sauce.

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Oh, and don’t forget to enter my very first giveaway on Reinventing Erin for a $25 gift card to Overnight Prints!. You do not want to miss it. Click here to find out all the ways you can enter. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO ENTER!!!!!

i hope you’re feeling lucky!

Days until 2012:

Today is a big day on my blog! It is my very first giveaway! How excited are you? I’m pretty darn excited.

 I’ve been searching for cheap business cards for quite some time now. A year or two ago I purchased lovely cards for a networking event I was attending. They were beautifully designed but had minimal information, because I wanted them to still be applicable for all areas of my life. I’ve done a lot of event planning and floral design; I’m also a freelance writer, so instead of purchasing two sets, I figured I would just get one all-encompassing unspecific card. This plan worked for the most part. However, I got a lot of “Do you have a webpage with any of your designs?” or “where are you located?” (Note: I am still not “located” anywhere, but if someone wants to pay the rent for me to have a cute little boutique-like office, I am GAME). Plus, now that I am writing more often, I tend to hand my card out more often. So recently I’ve decided to purchase two sets of cards. I’m sure they will still be slightly nondescript, but they will hopefully seem more professional.

Here is my problem: I’m poor. I’m trying to buy a house, and I’ve recently found out how much my monthly repayment will be on my student loans (BARF!). Buying two sets of fantastically designed business cards really isn’t in the budget. I have champagne taste on a beer budget.

Cue the most awesome website ever! Overnight Prints! They have cheap business cards that are über professional and gorgeously designed. Cheap business cards! What could be better? (Hint: Not very much) Oh, and they are having a deal right now where you can buy 500 business cards for $15.45. I challenge you to find 500 business cards for that price that are printed on quality stock. Oh, and you can choose to gloss one or both sides for FREE! (Free is one of my favorite words.) There are so many great things about this company. It is called Overnight Prints because you can literally design something (by 8pm) and get it in the mail the VERY next day if you need to. Oh, and they have mini-business cards too, which are the type I have (and am running out of) right now. I get SO MANY COMPLIMENTS on these cards. They stand out so much more because people expect all business cards to look the same, and mine don’t. Plus, did I mention they are inexpensive?

What does this mean for you? Well, you can win a $25 gift card to use at Overnight Prints! Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Oh, and no, you do not need to purchase cheap business cards with this gift card. You can get whatever you’d like! I think it is the perfect time of the year to have a giveaway, because the winner will have the option of using the card to buy holiday gifts for other people or they can simply spoil themselves! Awesome, isn’t it? I do have ideas though if you’re thinking of using it on gifts. You can make a 2012 calendar or personalized stationary. Are you planning a wedding? You can make magnet save-the-dates to send to your guests. Have a business? There are lots of marketing materials you can customize.

Oh, most important part (duh)! Here is how you can win this great prize:

1) Mandatory: Leave a comment ON THIS POST ONLY telling me what you think you’d buy if you won. This will enter you in the giveaway.
2) For an extra entry, include a link to this post on your blog, then leave another comment ON THIS POST ONLY with the link to your post.
3) For a third entry you can share this link on your Facebook page (you’re going to have to leave another comment ON THIS POST ONLY letting me know you did)
4) And finally, for a fourth chance, tweet about the giveaway. If you tweet, make sure to include my handle (@reinventingerin).

The contest begins immediately, and you have until Thursday evening at 11:59pm EST to enter. So what’s that, like 5 whole days? Anyway, I will pick and announce a winner sometime before 5:00pm on Friday (I’m hoping to do it in the morning though). So you now officially have five days and four possible chances to win, folks. Get moving!

an offer has been made

For the record: I failed NaNoWriMo before I even started. I have not written one word towards NaNo this month. I know I kind of already posted about this, and how maybe I’d try to do it again next month, etc, but you know… just wanted to clear things up for the record. Also, on the same subject– and this I have yet to publicly acknowledge, even though I’m sure you’ve figured it out already– I failed NaBloPoMo as well. I did nine days straight (without even scheduling posts!!) but bailed on day 10. I didn’t even realize it. I was all ready to type up a post on day 11, and then I realized it. Dang. Failure all around. Oh, well. I will try again on both another day.

There is something I am dying to tell you about. I’ve gone back and forth in my mind about whether or not I would mention it on here. I don’t want to jinx anything, and at the same time, I don’t want to admit defeat if it falls through. But, in truth, I don’t keep much off my blog. When I started Reinventing Erin, I promised myself I would remain true to myself, and be honest and genuine about what is happening in my life. I mean, I want to make a career out of nonfiction writing. I’ve got to get used to sharing. So, basically. I don’t feel right keeping this a secret.

Mr. O and I put an offer in on a house.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Insert excited freakout here)

How exciting is that? This just happened a few hours ago (right before I went to sleep, seeing as how I just woke up), so there are a few more things we need to do. Technically it was a verbal offer, so today my realtor is going to bring us the forms to sign at work and then get those forms to the listing agent. Then the waiting begins. Will they accept our offer? Who knows. I hope so. I hope they just immediately accept it and we don’t have to go back and forth. There is a lot that needs to be done on the house (A LOT), so I’d rather spend my time trying to get that all sorted out then negotiate with the seller, but I’m resigned to the understanding that once those forms are signed everything is out of my control until I hear back from the listing agent. I really hope it is soon because I am a pretty obsessive person.

I’m just going to practice what I preach: think positive, live with intention and visualize what I want to create in my life. So that means, in my heart I will believe that THIS is our house. That we WILL get our offer accepted and that we WILL be able to fix everything that needs to be completed, and that things WILL go successfully. I believe this is absolutely the right decision. We’ve been waiting for this house to be ours, and now we have a chance that it will be…. Let me rephrase: it will be our house.

If things don’t work out the way I hope they will, then I understand that everything is meant to happen as it will happen. I am sure this will be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. I understand that is a type of home ownership initiation. I’m just excited. I feel really, really positive and good about this. I have great ESP or intuition or whatever you want to call it, and my intuition says this is the right decision.

Now we’ve just got to sit down, relax and wait to hear back from the sellers.
Send positive thoughts our way!

Bring on the blonde jokes

I bet you thought i was going to forget to post today. If I didnt have a WordPress app on my iphone, I probably would have.
Remember that time i told you guys I was going to dye my hair brown? Well I did and I guess for a whole week now i have officially been a brunette.
i’m honestly not sure how I feel yet. For the first few days I thought it looked like I was wearing a wig. I have been blonde my entire life, so this was quite the adjustment. Opinions?
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my anniversary

Yesterday was a very special day. A day that is all my own. Yes, I still texted two of my closest friends to say “Wake up, Wake up, Wake up… it’s the first of the month.” It is our tradition. And yes, Mr. O did wake me up by singing it too. I’m a very lucky little lady.

Anyway, November 1st is the day I quit smoking four whole years ago. Did I ever think I’d make it to year four without one drag of a cigarette? Nope. My last cigarette ended at 10:41am on Thursday, November 1, 2011. I remember that moment very clearly. I gave my boss my lighters (I wanted to keep my cigarettes, and I did. They’re still packed away in a memory box. Weird, why haven’t I gotten rid of them yet?) and I went outside to sit in my car and smoke my last cigarette. It was raining. And that, my friends, was that. No more smoking.

Have I missed it? Yes, I have. But fortunately, the past two-three years have been relatively easy. Smoking bothers me now. I don’t like it. I don’t like to be around it. I still love cigarettes in a weird and twisted way, but I’m glad it is no longer part of my life.

So, cheers to me. I’m very proud of myself.

weekly findings

Here are some things that I really liked this week:

One of my greatest, most awesome friends has made her return to blogging, and let me tell you, this is something you definititely want to check out. Michaela is hialrious, intelligent and fantastic. This will make blogging history, folks.

Pinterest. Yup. Anything that has to do with it.

The Pittsburg Steelers coach Ray Horton sold his Mercedes to a cook at the sports complex for $20 before leaving to coach for the Arizona Cardinals. via

Here are some things I didn’t really like at all this week:

This sign a man put up on his front door telling his neighbor to die. Since this story was originally published, this man has tried to apologize many times, but I still think its extremely sad to see such hatred like this. via

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.

billboards= blog posts

I am in love.

I keep telling my boyfriend (aka Mr. O) that I’m going to buy a billboard on the local highway and declare my love for him. He thinks I’m silly. I’m serious; I just don’t happen to have the money to be able to pull this off. I keep thinking about this nonexistent billboard too. I feel like I’m just bursting with love, and I want the whole wide world to know about it. Granted the whole wide world isn’t travelling through my hometown highway, but you get the point. I’m in love and I want everyone to know. So what’s a girl to do when she can’t devote her love to her guy via a humongous poster in the sky?

Write a blog post about it.

I feel very protective about my relationship. He is a pretty private person. I, on the other hand, tend to live a pretty public life. But it isn’t necessarily his need for privacy that I am trying to protect. I’m protective because I love what I have, and I refuse to let outside influences impact my relationship. So this creates a possible conundrum. What to share and what to keep to myself?

I try to keep slightly mum about Mr. O on the blog. I mean, I’ve written about how I am in a relationship, mentioned him quite a bit, but the details have been very vague. Here is some random information:

He is the sexiest man alive. It is true. I’m so attracted to him. Sometimes I just want to stare at him (well, more like all the time, but sometimes sounds less creepy). He is a fantastic father, and I love watching him with his son. He tickles me…like tickles me a lot. He opens my car doors for me; he surprises me, my mom and both my grandmothers with flowers. He nurtures his friendships. He remembers EVERY SINGLE THING. I’m sure you could guess how important this would be to a girl who can’t remember what she said two sentences before. He cares about my writing. He goes out of his way to do stuff like cook dinner or wash the dishes so that I can have more time to do my homework or write a blog post.

He amazes me. Our commitment to our relationship amazes me. Having a partner who is truly just as committed to your union as you are is one of the greatest gifts you can ever receive in your life.

Being with Mr. O has made me want to be a better Erin. Not for him, not for our us, but for me. I feel good. I feel alive. I know that our love is a huge reason why I feel so grounded and safe and comfortable in life right now. I like who I am. I want to live in the present every moment of every day.

So while I may not be able to rent a billboard, I am totally able to write a blog post.

Thank you, Mr. O…. I love you.

“Oh I’ll stay with you through the ups and the downs
Oh I’ll stay with you when no one else is around
And when the dark clouds arrive
I will stay by your side
I know we’ll be alright
I will stay with you”
-JL

reinventing erin…

I made a good choice when I decided to make that the blog’s name. I mean, I had a bunch of other good ideas, but the reason why it made the final cut was because I wanted a blog that would be able to grow with me as my life expanded and evolved. I mean look how much I’ve changed in the seven months since I’ve had this blog….

I started a new job right around the time I started the blog. I met some great new friends, and started being more social again.  I broke my foot, and needed to learn to rely on other people. I became a girlfriend to the most amazing man on earth. I got hit by a drunk driver; there’s nothing like a head on collision to make you want to start living.

And that is what I have been doing…Living…Living and Learning. I started this year saying that I wanted the word “Brave” to symbolize 2011. Part of me isn’t sure whether to be happy or sad that I chose that particular word. I’ve had to be brave in all aspects: I ran into the ice cold water on New Year’s Day for the Polar Bear Plunge; I met someone and had to learn to be in a relationship, not just be alone. I needed to get back into the driver’s seat after not driving for over two months (broken foot) and deal with the fact that just because I see headlights coming toward me, it doesn’t mean that car is going to cross into my lane and hit me. I’ve been brave simply by being honest with myself and choosing to put in the effort to be happy.

And happy I am. My heart is exploding with love. It is so nice to be alive.

 

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.

lists

I like lists.

  • I’m pretty proud of Ray Allen for breaking the 3 point record last week.
  • I had the best Valentine’s Day of my life last night. It was heartfelt and noncommercial-just as it should be.
  • Yes, I celebrated Valentine’s Day.
  • MY GRANDMOTHER TURNED 100 YEARS OLD LAST WEEK!
  • I’m kind of overwhelmed with life in general (in a good way). I just wish I felt more organized while feeling overwhelmed. I don’t mind being calm and pulled in a thousand directions. I do mind being disorganized.
  • I turn in my first packet of the semester today. I guess I can take a day “off” tomorrow.
  • Tomorrow I’m going party dress shopping.
  • This weekend I will be going to Foxwoods to be celebrating my friends’ birthdays.
  • I have unrealistic expectations about writing. Somehow I think just because I’m so dedicated to it that it should come naturally. It does not work that way. Writing takes practice. Regular practice.
  • I started watching Glee, and all I can think about is how I should have started long, long ago.
  • I haven’t updated my 101 in 1001 in a serious amount of time. MUST do so this week!
  • The first official Masshole Writers meeting happened this past Saturday. It was spectacular.
  • I love my FUMFA older brother and little sister like WOAH.
  • I got my FUMFA Polar Bear Plunge tshirt in the mail. Cant wait to wear it!

…to be continued