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.

_______________________________________________________________________________

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

February Observations

Can you believe February is over? I honestly cannot. I feel as if it was just New Year’s Day, but two whole months have passed. Last month I promised you that I would be recapping my months for all of 2012, so since I like to keep my promises, here is February…

February Highlights:

  • I got LASIK eye surgery, and everything went so smoothly. I can see! This experience has been incredible, and I feel so fortunate for my great vision.
  • Getting my first thesis packet back from Kim Dana Kupperman. She is an incredible mentor to work with, and I am so pumped for this semester.
  • I signed up for Statejoy’s Fierce Love Course. I know I barely have time to sleep, and this is another thing I will need to make a priority, but you know what? I think it is a great decision. It is about time I make myself a priority in life. Plus, the lovely San and I decided to be Fierce Love buddies and keep each other in check.
  • Mr. O and I ate lobsters again for Valentine’s Day, but this year we shared the meal with Wolverine and my parents.
  • I started my 365 pictures goal for my 101 in 1001 challenge.
  • My resolution for the month was to Purge! I kicked ass at that goal this month. I can’t wait to share all the pictures with you next month.

Stinky February Moments:

  • Mr. O’s car has been giving him a bit of a hard time.
  • This is my thesis semester. Boo. It is a lot of work. (I’m thinking this might be here every month).
  • I feel like I did quite a bit of laundry this month. It isn’t so much that laundry is a bad thing, the problem is that Mr. O has pointed out to me (quite fairly) that my ironing skills are so-so at best. Que sera, sera. I tried.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • My grandmother turned 101 years old this month.
  • My wonderful friends Sarah, Monica, Jim, Jenn, my cousin Briget, Mr. O’s sister, and my best friend’s mom all celebrated their birthdays.
  • It is a Leap Year! I’m obviously unsure of what today will have in store for me, but I’m planning on making the best of it. I think Mr. O and I are going to write a note to us to be read the next leap year. That should be fun.

I’m looking forward to____ in March:

  • Mr. O, Wolverine and I will be taking a weekend away in New Hampshire.
  • Going to the Blog Better Boston Conference and meeting my lovely friend Kate (and new friends too!)
  • Kicking ass with the new writing I need to do this semester.
  • Putting effort into the Fierce Love Course.

Overall Thoughts:

February was an okay month. Everything seemed so busy. I have a lot of work and a lot of schoolwork to get done. Not sure how I am going to accomplish it all. Mr. O and I have been settling in quite well, and I love our routines and everyday life stuff. I’m worried about my friend whose husband, sister and niece are all extremely ill. I can’t wait until all my friends start having their babies! I’ve got one coming in March, one in April, another in May, one in July and one in September! I love infants. I can’t wait to hold one. Not much more to really say about February. It was a busy month. I felt a bit overwhelmed all month. It was a nice month though, not bad at all…just looking forward to March. I can’t wait until Spring is officially here.

_______________________________________________________________________________

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

Chicken Mozambique

So, I showed you how to make Shrimp Mozambique, so now let’s move on to Chicken Mozambique. I’ll be honest. There really is very little difference between the recipes, besides the obvious: one has shrimp and the other has chicken. So the first thing I did was to cut my chicken into small little sections. Its going to fall apart a bit, so don’t cut your chicken too small. I’m going to approximate that mine were about an inch or two long, and maybe a little less than an inch thick… Who knows. You don’t have to worry about this too much, because I just cut them however I could to keep them small and get the fat off. If you want tiny itty bitty little pieces of chicken then go nuts and chop it up!

20120110-194332.jpg

Now, I made this dish for the holidays, so I made a LOT of food. You don’t need to make as much, unless you have a small army to feed. I basically tripled my recipe from last time, but I also increased a few things. I’ve made a whole bunch of Chicken Mozambique since this first recipe, and Mr. O seems to think I’ve perfected the recipe, so I’m going to do a post in the very near future with my own fancy recipe for y’all.

20120110-194605.jpg

Wolverine loves to help out cleaning and cooking, so he helped me mix the ingredients. While your butter and onions are cooking, you’re going to want to mix the garlic, wet crushed red pepper, Goya, tabasco sauce, parsley. He did a fantastic job of trying to keep them all a little separate so that I could take a picture.
20120110-194315.jpg

Basically, after you get the ingredients together and the onions are a bit softer, you can throw them all into the pot and mix them around. Oh, and don’t forget to pour all the beer in at this point as well. (This is an easy step!)
20120110-194440.jpg

Alright, so now that you’ve mixed up everything, you can toss your chicken into the sauce. At this point, you’ve got nothing to do but cover the pot and let the chicken cook!
20120110-194412.jpg

I took this picture to show you what everything looked like when my chicken was done cooking. You’ll know your chicken is ready when it turns “white.” You don’t want to see any pink inside the meat. However, it’s actually going to take the color of the sauce, so it will be a tad orange-colored. The meat doesn’t take too long to cook, so technically you would be free to serve this right away, but I prefer letting it sit a while to really absorb the flavors. That is up to you. If you let it sit, you’re obviously going to need to reheat it before eating.
20120110-194351.jpg

You can serve this anyway you please. For this meal I made a whole lot of white rice, and we just scooped the chicken and sauce over the rice. You can also serve it over pasta. You can serve it as is too, especially if you’re got some nice bread to dunk in the sauce. Enjoy!

january observations

So last week I mentioned how I always want to do an end of the year recap, but I never seem to make time for it in January. I’m going to try to work around that for 2012 and better prepare myself. I’ve decided to end each month by writing a post which recaps the highlights (and pitfalls) that happened during the month. That way, at the end of 2012, my year will already be summed up for me.

January Highlights:

  • Mr. O and I did the Polar Bear Plunge. It was my second time and his first.
  • I was chosen by my fellow classmates to be the graduation speaker in July!
  • Officially living with Mr. O
  • Finding out that Kim Dana Kupperman would be my thesis semester mentor!
  • Mr. O and I celebrated our anniversary
  • Finding out another super duper close friend is having a baby!

Stinky January Moments:

  • I got sick right after I came back from school. Which means that I needed to take more time off of work after just being away for ten days.
  • One of my very close friends who is pregnant fell at work and needed to be admitted to the hospital for a few days. Now she is on home rest for the rest of her pregnancy. But, things seem to be okay. She is still having a lot of issues, but the longer the baby stays inside, the better things will be. Stay in, baby. It is cold out here!
  • When we moved, it was the day after a huge snowstorm, and Mr. O’s old landlord didn’t shovel the walks or the driveways. Not fun.
  • Starting my thesis semester. Boo. Now, I could have mentioned this in the highlight section, as it is exciting to even be in my final semester of graduate school, but I chose to put it in the stinky section for a few reasons. 1)It means I’m going to have to work my ass off this semester. I’m lazy. 2) It means that I am going to graduate, and as cool as it will be to have MFA, I’m going to desperately miss my writing program.
  • A person I care about found out that both her husband and sibling are very sick. I need my blogging friends to rally their positive, healing thoughts together to send good energy their way.

Other Mentionable Moments:

  • My handsome nephew turned four years old.
  • His mother- my sister-in-law- also had a birthday.
  • My mentor from last semester celebrated another year of awesomeness as well. Happy bday PK!
  • I finished my final residency in graduate school. Yes, I still have a residency in July to attend, but it will be a bit different since it will be my graduation residency. In July I’ll have to teach a seminar, give a reading of my work and graduate! It was an interesting residency since the septic broke on the island where we stay. But they were kind enough to put us up in hotels off island, so I can’t complain.

I’m looking forward to____ in February:

  • LASIK eye surgery! I won’t lie; I’m quite nervous about this one.
  • Valentine’s Day. Last year Mr. O and I had a perfect VDay. This year Wolverine will be joining us, so I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely epic.
  • Kicking ass with the new writing I need to do this semester.
  • A baby shower for one of my close friends
  • A handful of birthdays for people I love a whole lot.

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!

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.

This is going by super duper fast

9 more days until 2012!

We are officially in the single digits folks. In just nine more days, the year will no longer be 2011.  Shoot, in just two more days it will be Christmas! Where does the time go?

I think I’ve narrowed it down to the problem with my blog being something between the WordPress for iPhone app (which I’ve never had a problem with) and my regular ol’ wordpress. I don’t get it, but every post published or edited with the iPhone app says “-Standard” near the posts name (when you look at it on the computer). Those posts are the ones that are messing things up. You can’t comment on them… you can’t click the title or any other links. I don’t know how to fix this! Help!

Well I got a bunch of stuff done yesterday. I wrapped the rest of my presents. Wolverine and I finished making Mr. O’s Christmas present (from Wolverine). I read another two workshop submissions for my upcoming residency, and I started packing for it (honestly, all I did was move my suitcase into a different room and throw a few pairs of socks in it. Don’t let me fool you).

I’d like to move the entire holiday season (after Thanksgiving) to the end of January. It would give us all so much more time to enjoy it and relax. I just never have time to enjoy it and no matter how hard I try, I feel like it always comes and goes, and then shortly after New Year’s I’m ready for it all. I’m also sooooo sad to have to ever get rid of my Christmas Tree. I wish I could keep it forEVER!

what a nice elf!

Days Until 2012: via

Apparently it’s Christmas Tree week on the blog!
Logan the Elf was kind enough to bring Wolverine an early present yesterday morning:

A Super Hero Squad Ornament!!!!

20111214-092937.jpg

%d bloggers like this: