Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Easter Sunday

Happy Easter All!
It is Easter Morning, and I am sitting around enjoying my newly decorated apartment. In a rare occurence, I woke up before noon on a Sunday. So now I just sit and wait for church at 1. Today is the first time I will attend my "family ward." The singles congregation I have been attending for 10 years has decided to enforce the age limits for the ward (21-30 yrs old). I technically have a few months left I could have attended the ward. But I still clearly remember when I was the youngest girl in the ward. And somehow the thought of becoming the oldest girl in the ward depresses me. So since most of the "older people" are leaving the ward this week, I thought it would be a good time to exit too. So today I start attending the geographically assigned ward I fall into. Ironically, it is the Arlington Ward- the ward I was born in. If getting too old for a singles ward wasn't depressing enough, going back to the ward I was born in, is depressing enough. On the bright side though, Arlington will be receiving about 20 singles in the big exodus. That will help make a family ward more bearable.
Back to Easter- I always enjoy Easter Sunday services. I look forward to them in the new ward. After that I will go to my parent's house and have a big dinner. And probably do laundry. Because if laundry doesn't just scream holiday dinner, what does? Granted, Easter dinner isn't all that enticing for me this year. I am still on a sugar free diet (which is killing me, btw), so no chocolate bunnies or Cadbury eggs for me. But let me tell ya, the minute I am off this diet, I'm eating all the Cadbury eggs I can find.
I have finished painting the apartment red. And one wall white. It started out as a touch-up procedure, but when the touch up paint didn't match the base paint, I ended up repainting the entire wall. Considering the fact that my father still likes to tell the story about the time as a toddler I "helped" him paint a wall blue, by carrying a dripping blue paintbrush across a brand new white carpet, the apartment looks pretty good. I may have truly lost my mind after painting 6 coats of red paint on two walls, but now I want to paint the remaining living room walls gold. But first I need to get feeling back in my shoulders. I will post some before and after pictures when I get the pictures back next week.
Hope you have a happy Easter!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Pictures from the Beehive State Tour

I got the pictures back today from the big Utah trip. It was a fun trip, and its great to see the pictures and memories.
In other fun news this week, Juli and I both wrote solo articles! Juli's story ran on Here is the direct link to her story. I wrote an extra article for Meridian, which should run as the cover story on Friday. But its Meridian, you never know when details may change. And we are both continuing to work on other solo projects, the second book, the weekly column, and oh yeah, launching the first book! We ordered tee shirts and pens this week to help promo our new book. We're very excited for our book launch party on April 16. Just a few more days and we'll be bonafide authors!
In other Insane Ideas by Erin, I decided to paint my living room and dining room red. Yes, red. Bright red, you can't miss it, RED. Everyone who heard me talk about this should have known better. Why did anyone, including the paint man at Home Depot, let me do this by myself?? I was smart enough to put down a dripcloth, but I'm wondering if maybe my dripcloth needs a dripcloth. Its already apparent that I will be buying white paint to fix the, um, creative red polka dots on the ceiling. And side walls, and maybe a few on the hardwood floors. But I don't think white paint covers red spots on hardwood floors. Which may be a problem when my roommate gets back in town. Because, oh yes, I am attempting this crazy project while Cec is out of town. I am truly losing my mind.
Next week I will be in Chicago at the Beretta Demo Day. My [professional] life has revolved around this event for the last 4 weeks. Today at 6:30 pm, I was nearly home, and suddenly my cell rings. Its one of field reps... a strange time for him to be calling me. When he told me to pull over and take a deep breath, I knew something was wrong. Sure enough, this project that has consumed 6-7 hours of each of the last 30 days of my life, has hit a major hiccup. The brand new state of the art police department range that we advertised we are using next week, is so new that its not exactly finished yet. So we obviously won't be using it. Thankfully, there is another range that we are 90% certain we can use. There's just a small problem with the fact that I sent out a mailing to 150 people inviting them to the OTHER range. And then there's the website, email blasts, etc., all with the wrong info on them now. So Friday should be fun for me. Right?
Now that I have said this all out loud, I think I can't wait to get to Chicago. The Radisson won't have red paint on the floors [hopefully], and a little magic person sneaks into your room everyday and makes your bed for you. I like that life.
Oh, if you need a good laugh, I highly recommend this website Sometimes the link doesn't work because the server is overwhelmed with all the people watching the "Fat Dutch Kid" sing a Romanian song. Its hilarious if you can get it to work.

Uncle Scott and Nephews

Another picture of Uncle Scott playing with his nephews. And showing off.

Dallin holding his brand new baby! (and sporting a brand new buzz cut) Dallin loves to hold his baby.

Tell Gresko just kicking back in the back seat.

Top Left- Cousin Zach Speed, his nephew Dallin Speed (what were the odds of 2 Dallins in the same extended family?), Uncle Glenn Speed. Bottom Left- Jamie Speed, her husband (and my cousin) Ben Speed, Ben is holding Baby Porter, and me! (Natalie was holding the camera.)

Each nephew got to pick out a present from Auntie Erin Annie at Toys R Us. Baby Porter picked out the bunny ears all by himself. He may hate this picture when he's older, but until then- how cute is he??

Dallin "I'm Not a Baby" Gresko in a box. I love this picture because it reminds me of all the times his mother would cheat at hide and seek by hiding in boxes or luggage [when we were Dallin sized]. Natalie wouldn't just hide in a closet. She would hide in a shoebox in a closet. Looks like Dallin takes after his mother in more ways than one.

A few weeks before Aunt Erin went out to visit Uncle Scott went to visit. Here's a great shot of Uncle Scott showing off his muscles for the nephews (who think Scott walks on water, or can at least benchpress a trillion pounds).

Brother Dallin kissing little Porter.

Big Brother Tell giving Baby Porter a kiss. Mommy looks a little grossed out. I'm sure there is a good reason why!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Everyone Loves an Irish Girl

Apparently everyone loves an Irish girl. I have a tee shirt to prove it. It says it in green letters with a sparkly green shamrock in the middle. And if its on a tee shirt, it must be true!
This has been another one of those weeks where the reader mail Juli and I get truly boggles my mind. Most of our reader mail is simple responses agreeing, or outright disagreeing, with something we said. But this week we managed to get some off the wall letters again. (thankfully no proposals in them) It was a potpourri week, with multiple subjects covered in the column, so the responses were varied. One of the funniest things to me about our mail are the letters signed "anonymous." Their names are at the top of the page right next to their email addresses. I guess some people forget that your name goes out with your emails. It was always cracks me up. Well, this week we got a very emotional letter from a man explaining why he hasn't married yet. He abbreviated his problem "SSA," for Same Sex Attraction. (I guess that is what homosexuals call it when they are ashamed of their "SSA.") What on earth would compel this man to write a letter to two women he's never met and out himself? Of course, he signed it with his real name. And then sent a second email asking us to only call him "anonymous." Oddly enough, he signed that email with his name as well. We received a few other very personal emails this week as well. I haven't quite figured it all out yet. Why would someone want to share their most intimate and personal and emotional details with us?
In other exciting news, I conquered the Woodley Park metro escalator all by myself. If you know me well, you know I have a near crippling fear of really big escalators. Woodley Park and Rosslyn metro stations are my nemesis. My friends had gone down the escalator and I turned off to find the elevator (a much more reasonable mode of transportation, IMHO). But sadly, very very sadly, the elevator was out of service. I considered walking to the next down metro stop (dupont circle), but determined that my fear of Dupont Circle alone late at night, was possibly greater than my fear of escalators. So I did it! I went down the Woodley Park escalator all by myself. Of course, I held my breath and closed my eyes nearly the entire way, but I did it!
(For those who are unsympathetic to my problem here- Woodley Park and Rosslyn are two of the biggest and steepest escalators in the world. And when you have vertigo like I do, a moving downward on an escalator is absolutely terrifying. It literally feels like I am spinning and falling steeply down at the same time. Its not fun.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

A realistic picture of Dallin and Tell. I love my boys!

Dallin and Tell in a rare moment of brotherly love and all dressed up for church.

The Beehive State

On Thursday I flew out to Utah to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and nephews. It had been over a year since I last saw the Gresko family. In addition to baby holding, baby hugging, baby kissing, and nephew tickling, I visited Covenant Communications (publisher of the upcoming great new novel "Beyond Perfection"), and a few friends and cousins.
Thursday night when I arrived I pulled out presents to bribe nephews Tell (age 5) and Dallin (age 3) into humoring me. Tell was the recipient of a blue Spiderman and the Justice League t-shirt, while Dallin got a Spiderman and the Justice League pajamas. Dallin is rather attached to a yellow Spidey shirt, always worn with shorts, and Spidey snowboots. So when he willingly stripped down to try on his new jammies, I was quite pleased. Of course, two seconds later Dallin took off the jammies and put the tried and true yellow shirt back on. I must admit the jammies did go quite well with his snowboots. Baby Porter (age 7 weeks) was the adorable little recipient of several outfits.
At some point on Thursday night I made Tell a simple offer to take him to Toys R us to let him pick out a real present. Needless to say, first thing Friday morning a little face was in mine at the crack of dawn "Can we go to get toys now?" We managed to get to Toys R us 5 minutes before it even opened. Within minutes Tell had picked out a helopad set thing, and Dallin was talked into picking out a Spidey scooter. Porter may not have had much say in his presents but I gave him a few things too. My favorite is a cute little bunny ears hat. It was fun to watch the boys run around and play with their new toys. Next time, I buy presents that I can play with them too.
Other fun events over the weekend included a lunch with the folks from Covenant. We discussed the upcoming novel Juli and I wrote. Its crazy to think that the book will be out in just 3 more weeks! It will be one year tomorrow that we submitted the first manuscript to Covenant. And now, after a million re-writes, and a lot of chocolate, they are putting a cover on it and calling it a book. I'm sure I'll blog about it when it finally hits the shelves.
Friday afternoon we took the world's cutest nephews to the zoo. Tell walked around the zoo holding a map attempting to give us directions and "be the man." Dallin happily held my hand, or sat in the underbasket on Porter's stroller (a habit I've never quite understood) the entire time. The boys were very well behaved the whole day! At the end of the day we found a fake cave, with a "rock" outside. (the cave was also the prairie dog exhibit) Tell and Dallin spent a good portion of the afternoon attempting to climb the wall. They have the scratches to prove it!
Natalie and I spent the weekend doing what sisters do- shopping, talking, and eating chocolate. And believe me, there was a lot of all three! Saturday we went to downtown SLC to check out the LDS Conference Center. I really wasn't interested in it at first, but during the tour I realized it really is a cool building. I'm glad we went! After the sight seeing we went up to Park City to do some shopping. Tell went with his daddy to Provo for the day, so it was just me, Nattles, Dallin, and Porter. Again, the boys were great. We had lunch, hit the shops, hit some more shops, and went back home. (I also rediscovered that I can't breathe so well at high altitudes!) Saturday night I hung out with Justin and had a great time.
Sunday was church with the Greskos. After Natalie and I took a spur of the moment trip (with Porter) down to Provo. We went and visited my old haunts at BYU. I will now stop saying bad things about the Y. The campus is greatly improved, and they have finally left the 19th century. The campus is beautiful, and the scary 1960's buildings are gone. After campus we made a quick phone call to our cousin Ben and his wife. I hadn't seen Ben in about 15 years, maybe more. So we drove over to their house for an unplanned visit. We thought we would be there 20 minutes, and ended up staying 2.5 hours. Ben's dad, Uncle Glenn, lives with them. So I got to see him. And then completely unexpected Ben's brother, Zach, showed up. We all had fun catching up and learning about each other. Fun sidenote: Ben and his wife Jamie have an adorable 1 yr old. They also named him Dallin! What were the odds of that?
Monday was fly back home day. I'll miss the boys and my sister a ton!! I hope to make it back out to Utah in the fall for some book signing stuff, but more importantly to see the Greskos. I already miss the boys. Dallin and I were very attached to each other. I think the little guy was more than happy to have someone around to hold him and "play baby" with him now that his mommy has a baby. We spent a lot of time snuggling and "holding him like a baby."
So now I am home and back to reality. The break was nice. I think I brought some little kiddy germs home with me though. I'm fighting off a bad head cold. I even had to leave work today! Never fear though, I brought a ton of work home with me in case I can't get in to work tomorrow. I don't want to contaminate every one else.
I'll have pictures from the trip posted to the blog soon. Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

My Fans?

Every week I write a column with my girlfriend, Juli, for Meridian Magazine. ( )Our column is about singles and dating, but not necessarily read by only singles. In fact we think that more than half of our readers are married grandpas. If the response letters we get are any indication, most of our readers have 9 grandchildren each, and have all been happily married for 35 years.

Oh, and they all seem to know a nice young man that maybe I should meet.

I never quite know what we/I should do when we get these letters from readers. There had been a break for a while, but suddenly in the past few weeks I have received several letters (always addressed to me, not Juli) letting me know that somewhere in the world there is a man that this complete stranger thinks I should meet.

I guess on the bright side readers are 'connecting' enough with what we write to feel like they know me/us, and feel they can just say whatever to us. But it is amusing to me to wonder at the process that these kind grandfathers went through in their heads to reach the point where they emailed me. First, what was Grandpa doing reading my column on singles and dating? Next, after having read the weekly diatribe mocking dating and most men, why did he think "I know just the man for this girl?" And then, what made him think that this girl would be interested in a man who (and I quote) "walks a little funny, can't make much conversation, and lives in Wyoming." And then he liked his idea so much that he thought he'd write a woman he's never met on the other side of the country and suggest that she contact him?

Or recently I received an email from a man in Texas who was honest about his shortcomings and past (nothing horrific or even alarming), but then proceeded to detail his own personal daydream or fantasy date. It involved horseback riding across the Wild West, a dog named Tippy, and drinking water from a stream out of a hat. Oh, and then dunking my head in the water too. What can I say? He had me at hello.

I have yet to figure out if and when we should respond to such emails. Some men just send in funny little cute emails that are somewhat flattering. My current favorite, "She can shoot? She's worth a second look!" But it does make me wonder! Why is it I can get married men around the world to take an interest in my dating life, and I can get men I will never meet in the remotest part of the country proposing to me, but I can't get a guy in my own neighborhood to take notice of me??

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

IACP Hotel Lottery- We got the Raleigh!

The verdict is in! Beretta will be staying at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami for the IACP show in September. This was not one of the hotels I toured in January. (It was booked, so they couldn't show us the inside.) However, I have all the wonderful details on this hotel, and you can click on the link to learn more about it.
The Raleigh is a boutique hotel in the art deco district, walking distance to the convention center, and right on the ocean. I'm very excited for this hotel, and think everyone will love it! A few pictures are below.
Amenities- wireless high speed, in room safes, outdoor dining area, a beautiful terrace, cabanas, 24 hr room service (as if I didn't feed everyone enough on these trips), and beautiful guest rooms. Oh and there is even wireless internet by the pool! Plus there's all that normal stuff like a business center, restaurants, etc. (the stuff we'll actually use)
Now everyone cross your fingers there won't be a hurricane in Miami in September, and I'll see you with my laptop in my poolside cabana!

The front of the Raleigh hotel! Its just beautiful, and walking distance to the convention center.

Raleigh Pool- round building in the background is the Tiki Bar. This pool was once the site of Hollywood Water Ballets. See the website for more!

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