Sunday, March 29, 2009

What a Twittelating Weekend

This has been a crazy - FUN- weekend! Rather than try and explain the whole fun process, I thought I'd share my "twitters" with you, and then fill in a few blanks-

10:30 am
There's a bridal shower in my house. And a lotta girly squealing!

My surprise was revealed- I flew my sister out for the shower!
Its cousin Colette's shower, thrown by Merry Brooke. Natalie and Savannah are here too!

4 pm
Natalie and I go shopping, shopping, shopping, and eating out. 

8 pm

hitting the tavernacle tonight w/ my sister!  (The Tavernacle is a dueling piano singalong bar in SLC. My sister and I both LOVE singalong bars!)

9 pm

Singalong bar is singing "puff the magic dragon"

Why don't we get drunk and screw? #singalong bar

Day the Music Died (how I feel about this #singalong bar) (Natalie feels I should explain this was her request for the bar to sing!)
Natalie sings (to another of her requests) "OH-OH LIVING ON A PRAYER!"

10 pm

this is officially the longest i have ever been in a bar without getting hit on.

Singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody (another of Natalie's requests!)

piano player is killing, in a bad way,i will survive

10:30 pm

hot guy walked in. sis feeling bad i'm so single, tried to bait and hook him for me. sadly, he's married. poo!
(I had no idea she was getting up to go talk to the guy. I thought she was just getting a drink. Next thing I know she's talking to the hot guy, asking if he's with a date. If he hadn't been with a date/married, she was going to invite him to join us.)

YMCA- straight guy style

The Devil just went down to Georgia #now I like this bar

12 am

So I just totally got what I deserved. I dedicated "Baby Got Back" to my sister!

And got put on stage to demonstrate how to shake that thing.

A whole bar looking at my butt. Aw yeah!

Lesson learned. Dedicate "Baby Got Back" to a friend in a bar, expect to be publicly humiliated. Natalie and I both got pulled on stage to dance and "shake that healthy butt!" I'll add here, it was the biggest crowd pleaser of the night! There are no pictures in our possession of this because we were on stage.

12:15 am
And now I get hit on. Finally. My butt has magical powers.

But you all knew that already anyway!

Natalie makes an awesome wing"man." It was a lovely weekend. Now I have approximately 2 hours to get to the airport. So sad for Erin.



Friday, March 27, 2009

A "Little" Moment

Another real life moment with me and the Little.

Today we took the cats out for a walk. (Easier said than done.) We headed in what appeared to be a logical direction (the park). After we get a few houses down the street Little stopped and looked around. The following ensued.

Little: Wait, where does Cute Neighbor Boy live?

Me (pointing): That way.

Little (turning and starting in that direction): Then we need to walk that way.

Me: Why??

Little: So we can do the "laugh and pass."

Me (fearing that I do know full well what this will be): And what exactly is the laugh and pass?

Little (giving me the "do i have to teach you EVERYTHING" look): You know, when you walk past a boy and ignore him, and laugh with your girlfriends."

And suddenly, I feel really sorry for boys. I'm not saying girls don't do that. I'm not saying I haven't done that. I'm just saying I had no idea that 11 year olds knew how to do it, and even have a name for it. But then, I fear for the day that she learns about the "Bend and Snap." (and wow, if you only knew how much I identify with Paulette in this clip)

Things I Should Be Doing Right Now

1. Fixing a toilet
2. Putting an open paint can away before my cats get into it.
3. Putting the piles of clothes away that have been on my bedroom floor for over 6 weeks now.
4. Making a fruit salad for a bridal shower tomorrow.
5. Getting the guest bathroom clean before the bridal shower.
6. Working out.
7. Putting in a few more hours at work.
8. Not sitting at home on a Friday night.
9. Taking a shower.
10. Taking a quick nap before picking up my surprise at the airport at midnight.

What I Am Doing Right Now-

Allowing my cats to use me as their personal snuggle toy. And somethings just cannot be interrupted.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fairy Godmother of the Princess Parade

Last weekend I got to be the Fairy Godmother at Princess Clara's 4th Birthday Party. (Birthday Party is always capitalized when referring to the party of a princess. Obviously.)

Apparently all 4 year old girls have princess dresses. And when princesses attend a party they wear their finest princess attire, as you can see below.

Princess Clara had requested a fairy butterfly princess theme for her birthday. And she got it.

As the Fairy Godmother of this party it was my job to read the princesses a story about them. (You too can read this story on my StoryAnnie blog.) I also gave the princesses instructions on how to wave properly in a Princess Parade. The Princesses were then all given very special Birthday Wands. And then I lead them all in a Princess Parade.

For those of you unfamiliar with a Princess Parade, it is where the Princesses all wave their wands, and wave at their admirers, while walking in a line together.

And after all the little lovely Princesses (and one little brother who got caught up in the celebrations) had paraded properly, I bequeathed the very special Fairy Godmother Princess Crown to Princess Clara.
Happy Birthday Princess Clara!

Unbridled McBride, Let Erin Be Erin, Neurotic Me Day

I am here to make some confessions. Some of you may not believe what I am about to say. But the truth is, I hold back my inside crazies a lot.
Some people like to pretend they don't have crazies. I don't believe them. I say you should embrace your inner crazy and have fun with it. However, I have so many crazies, that I do keep a lot of it in. You should be a little scared that the crazies you do see in me are only the crazies I let you see. There's plenty o' crazies on the inside still.
I'm on a diet right now. A no fun, no thrills, this had better work for me if I'm going to put up with all this crap, diet. And basically, I'm having to put all my mental energy into not breaking my diet. Which meant today I had to allow my crazies to come out. My mental energy cannot keep my crazies in and also not eat chocolate. It just doesn't work that way.
So today was let Erin be Erin day, or Neurotic Me day, or if I feel like sounding poetic "Unbridled McBride Day." I let my neurotic side hang out.

(What I sometimes look like when letting it all hang out.)
I over analyzed boys. Okay, well, just the one boy. It was fun. I read way too much into a 2 sentence email (something I normally forbid myself to do). I talked to him on the phone, then called my girlfriends to nitpick everything he said. And then decided in the end that he likes me. It was the best explanation for his funny actions. Normally my slightly reined in neurosis tells me he doesn't like me. I may like the neurotic side better.

And then, when not working, I looked at purses online. And shoes. And dresses. And then more purses. This was an important part of the letting the neurotic side run free. My obsession with purses knows no end.

Tomorrow I will return to Reined In Me. I will go see "He's Just Not That Into You" to remind myself of reality. And then I'll look at my budget and realize that no matter how much I justify it, I cannot afford a $550 purse.

And then on Friday I will allow myself to cheat on this diet. The lack of cheeseburgers alone is killing me!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Whirlwinds in St George

Inquiring minds want to know-

Yes, I lead the Princess parade. I will have pictures for you soon. (Won't I, Heidi?)

And then I went to St George with the Caldwell Chicks. It was lovely.

Did you know it is possible to sneeze 20 sets of sneezes (I never sneeze a solo sneeze. They come in 3-5 reps.) in 30 minutes? Do you have any idea how much that hurts?

It was very windy and sunny in St George.

There was a pool. And In-N-Out Burger. Which means there will be pictures soon.

There wasn't a lot of catching up on sleep. And while I didn't reach "obsession" levels with my thoughts about a particular boy, I also didn't not think about him. I'm pretty sure I need to just stop thinking about him. Its not healthy being this confused.

Did I mention I didn't really cheat on my diet this weekend? I'm rather proud of myself.

And now I am home and my kittens are showing me how much they missed me.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Goodbye Dodge

My plans for the weekend include-

1. Leading the Princess Parade
2. Reading a story to the Princesses
3. Losing 2 lbs
4. Going to a much warmer and sunnier place.
5. Getting something akin to a suntan.
6. Reading a book in a sunny place.
7. Hanging with some of my favorite girls.
8. Going to an LDS Temple Dedication.
9. Catching up on sleep, while Juli drives.
10. Not obsessing over a certain boy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Paranoia Creeps In

If I seem a little jittery, jumpy, or just a little more neurotic than usual lately, well, I've earned it. There's the usual life stuff going on, plus all the big stuff I'm anticipating in the near future, and that scary nagging voice in the back of my head. The little voice that keeps watching the calendar and the bank account and reminding me incessantly what I have gone through over the last 2 years.
You remember the last 2 years don't you? Where I had a job for 6 months and lost it. And then had another job for six months and lost it, and lost all my money, and then had another job for 6 weeks and lost it? And then was unemployed for a few months? And then finally got this job just about 6 months ago?
See a pattern forming here?
We're quickly closing in on that 6 month mark. Things feel stable enough, but then again, so did the first 3 jobs too. There's a new stress with this job that I have never met my co-workers. I'm just an invisible girl, or better yet an annoying email account that pops in to remind them I exist. And my job is more of a "window dressing" position, and not a necessity to the company. Am I adding enough value? Do they need me? Or if the budget gets tight will it be really easy to axe the girl no one knows and no one really understands what she does anyway?
Do you see my total paranoia and concern?
Add to it the new house, bigger commitments, and how I have chosen to handle my finances. Normally I wouldn't completely broadcast my finances. But I am still smarting from a fairly rude comment someone made to me back in October. The person asked how much I made. I told them and they responded, "And you didn't save more than that?"
Um, well, not that it is any of your business, but when your employer bounces paychecks, and is consistently inconsistent with your paycheck, it is next to impossible to save money. Especially when gas prices were up to $4/gallon. But I digress.
My point is that now I am paranoid. I have been busy these last few months paying back the giant hole left by Tricia McGarry when she bounced my paycheck and closed the business and ran off (yep, using her name publicly again). I guess you could say that on one hand I'm grateful to be back at zero. No more holes, no more debts.
But I'm just as equally paranoid as I am grateful that everything could fall apart all over again. And I wonder if I have it in me to handle it a second time. Or is it a fourth time?
So for now I'll focus on the positive. I have a job. I have a steady paycheck. I love my home. I crave more stability and a stronger support network. But I don't know that I'll ever really have that in the current state of the world, especially when I choose to live 2,000 miles away from "home."
Am I alone in this? Or do other people feel this sort of paranoia regularly?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How I Know I Live in Very Mormon Utah County

When I was about 16 years old I made my first trip to Utah. Natalie and I flew out here alone for a week at a summer camp at BYU together. A shuttle bus picked us up at the airport and drove us down to Provo. I can still remember watching in wide-eyed amazement at the number of LDS Chapels I could see from the highway. I started counting them- 17 in all from Salt Lake to Provo visible from the freeway.
Now I live in Utah and the number of chapels I see daily doesn't even begin to faze me. (There is still one intersection in Orem with 4 chapels on it that makes me laugh a little bit.) My stake (that's a geographic designation for a collection of approximately 8 congregations) is going to be divided on Sunday (because our stake is now too big and has 10 congregations in it, each busting at the seams). This means on Sunday I have to go to a different chapel for church for the big stake meeting. Being new to my neighborhood, I have no idea where our stake building is. So I asked someone. Her answer was simple, "Oh go to the frontage road and it is the next building you can see south of our neighborhood. Its about 1 mile from here."
In my simple, Virginian-not-Utahn mind this seemed easy enough. Until I drove down the frontage road today and realized there are 2 buildings that, IMHO, fit this description.
But that didn't bother me much. In fact, I'm sure that one is the right building, and one is the new building we'll start using when the stake gets divided. I'll just go where the 5,000 minivans are parked on Sunday morning. It's the easiest way to figure it out really.
But that isn't how I know I live in Very Mormon Utah County.
This is.
A few minutes ago I heard some kids playing outside of my house. There was a crash followed by some loud groaning from a boy. He looks to be about 12 and is playing with a brother and sister who look to be about 9 or 10. The older boy was laying in the road holding his man parts next to a skateboard that had clearly done him wrong. The boy was groaning and writhing in some moderate pain (he appeared to be doing it more for attention than actual pain). Just to be sure everything was okay, I got up to watch from the window. (He was okay.)
And then this conversation took place-
Writhing Boy: Is it okay if I swear?
Younger Boy in a very peppy voice: Well, my mom doesn't swear, and my dad doesn't swear, and my sister and I don't swear...
Writhing Boy: I don't swear either, but this really hurts.
Younger Boy in a sympathetic voice: Well, if it would help you.
Writhing Boy: This is the worst pain ever. I hate that skateboard!
Younger Boy in total solemnity: What are you going to swear?
Writhing Boy takes in deep breath and prepares to yell loudly: FETCH!!
(Erin inside the house busts up laughing.)
Little Sister innocently continues circling the two boys on her bicycle.
Younger Boy: Are you okay now?
Writhing Boy: Yes.
 (Erin inside the house continues laughing hysterically.)

And that is how I know I live in Very Mormon Utah County.

It's a Small World After All

Back in Virginia or DC it was a fairly common occurrence for a new acquaintance to come up to me and say, "Are you [insert one of 100 different cousin's names here]'s cousin?" Coming from a large LDS family in Virginia with a strong family resemblance and unique surname, this happened just often enough that it never surprised me.
Until yesterday, it had never happened in Utah that I can recall. Yesterday, Little and I were outside painting some projects in the front yard (more about what not to do with spray paint later) when two of my neighbors walked up to me. They introduced themselves and asked where I was from. They told me they had both gone to school at Southern Virginia University. Next thing I know we've played the "do you know" game, and they both knew/know several of my cousins, and my uncle was their bishop.
These two girls are my next door neighbors. (I live on the corner and as a result have 4 different houses that I can call my next door neighbor.) One used to be the next door neighbor to one cousin and one cousin-in-law, 2000 miles away back in Virginia. The other had a crush on one of my cousins.
It may just be a small world after all.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday is a special day, it's the day we go out to buy spray paint and come home with a kitten

Today was supposed to be all about house projects. And it did sort of start that way. And I guess it may still end that way. Just a lot furrier.

First, I woke up like this. (It takes a brave woman to post a picture just this awful of herself online. But try not to look at the size of my nose and focus on the cuteness of the kitten who loves to snuggle with me like that.)

How can you not love that snuggle?

It was a lovely day, so I opened all of the windows and ate pancakes. Then I went out the front door, making sure to shut and lock it behind me, and went to get my Diet Coke from Maverick. I came home, didn't go back in the house, opened the garage, and set to work cleaning my car out. Next thing I know, Stinky (my cat) is in the car with me! Thinking I must have left him in the garage when I ran to the store, and let him out when I opened it, I just picked him up, and tossed him back in the house. I returned to cleaning the car. Two seconds later, Stinky is back in the car with me! WTF? I take and put him back in the house, double checking to make sure the doors are shut. One minute later? Cat is running towards me across the front yard. HOW THE HECK?

So I picked Stinky up and walked around the outside of the house. And that's when I discovered the windows on the back of the house don't have screens on them. Stinky sees the open window, jumps from my arms, and back into the house. Crazy. I shut the screenless windows and go back to the car. I clean the car out, clean and organize the garage, talk to some neighbors, and decide I need a can of spray paint to finish a project.

I drive to Wa!mart for spray paint. That's where I saw the pretty lady with the box of kittens.

And that's also where I discovered I have no self control and had to have the cute little black baby kitten with the white nose and white tip on his tail and his cute blue eyes.

I picked him up. I snuggled him. It was love at first sight.

I (bought the spray paint and kitten food) took my new little tiny love home. He started out inside my jacket, all snuggled up next to me while I drove home. But he got out and started exploring the car. No big deal. It's a 3 minute drive home. I heard her (him?) meowing a little bit, but didn't worry.

I got home, looked in the back seat, and nothing. Looked under the seats. Nothing. Looked EVERYWHERE. Nothing. WTF?? Where did she/he go? How can a kitten that was there just one minute before just disappear??

I must have made quite the spectacle opening all of the doors to the car, looking under the seats, climbing around, and starting to panic. I then saw my nice neighbor, Becky, walking with her baby. I flagged her over. She first took her baby home and came over to help me. She gave me exactly the look I deserved when I said, "I lost my cat in the car!"

We looked in the car, around the car, under the car, EVERYWHERE. Finally we found the tiny little furball of love. My car is half station wagon, half hatch back. The back seats fold down and there is a "way back." There isn't really a space underneath the backseat. There is about a 2 inch gap though under the seats. And sure enough the tiny furball had managed to climb inside the tiny little gap under the seats. (I also found a necklace I have been missing for 2 years.)

Now, how to get a completely terrified and trembling tiny little furball to come out from under the seat??

I grabbed the very dirty feather duster (that I had used while cleaning out the garage earlier) and started poking and herding the kitten over. This required Becky holding the backs of the seats over at a small angle (so we can see under the seats), and me, butt hanging out of the car, sprawled over the seat, one arm wrapped through the opening at the back of the seat and using my other arm to poke at the kitten.

Let's just say, you missed a very funny sight.

It took nearly 15 minutes of prodding and pushing, a lot of hissing and mewing, and finally being able to grab one little paw and just pulling in spite of the clawing and hissing, to finally get the little tiny furball out.

It was a memorable start to our relationship!

And then it was time to introduce the furball to Stinky. Stinky could be slightly more accepting of his new friend. There has been some hissing, but nothing big. I've pulled out the kennel and the kitten is hiding in it. She/he doesn't want to come out. She's still pretty terrified.

I think it is a she. I'm not 100% since she seems to be a little on the shy side. I have no idea what I am going to name her yet. I'm not very good at naming pets. If you recall, Stinky has now gone by the name Squiggy, Kitten, Cat, Baby, Squiggly, Bo and Bosephus. His ID tag says Bo. I usually just call him Little Stinky Baby. Or just Kitten. It's going to be a little confusing having 2 kittens here. I'm still hoping to get a puppy in a few months from my sister's bitch. When that happens that puppy will be named Ruby Tuesday (Ruby Too). And I like pop culturish names. Any suggestions?

Also, tomorrow after I get dressed for church and look cute, I am taking some pictures of myself. I need to post some not so scary pictures of myself after posting so many awful ones lately!

Random thoughts I feel like sharing

Last week sometime I mentioned that I was tired of wearing pants and jeans that never fit right. Since then, with only a few small exceptions, I have worn primarily dresses or skirts. Why? Just because. I have long legs and a very short round waist and a larger than average chest. As a result, it's really hard to find shirts that fit right, pants that don't sag in the thights while being too tight in the butt, etc. The right dress covers all these ills. I don't plan on going back to pants any time soon.

The amazing Mindy Gledhill is currently touring in Bulgaria! She's singing in orphanages. And if all goes well, she's going to keep blogging (and even twittering) about it. She's a great blogger. If beautiful singers touching the hearts of orphans sounds interesting to you, you should really check out her blog.

There are Girl Scout cookies in my house. That's all.

In the few short weeks I have lived in my house, responsible for a lot more than I ever was before, a lot of things have changed. Whereas Saturdays used to be about sleeping and relaxing, now they are suddenly all about home projects. Painting, fixing the toilet, organizing the garage, etc.

Did I mention my house has arguably the nastiest yard in the neighborhood? Apparently the geniuses that lived here before me really trashed the yard and the house before they left. Now that the snow is gone we're getting a pretty good look at just how badly the yard got trashed. It's less a yard and more a large patch of dirt with weeds growing in spots. This week the HOA president stopped by to let me know that this is "unacceptable" and that the homeowner will be fined if the yard doesn't get fixed up. My yard is THAT bad. Thankfully, it's not my problem. But still, just a little embarassing that I have to live with it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Anyone need a good laugh? Here's my morning for you.

Got up, did the usual, went to Mavericks, got my Diet Coke, where the chick in line behind me kindly taps on my shoulder and says, "I live next door to you. I see you here every morning but haven't ever said hi before." I think she may have said her name, but I had not yet imbibed so I didn't really hear it if she said it. It pleases me greatly that she was also getting a huge Diet Coke.
Came home, turned on all lights, rough housed with the cat, decided I needed more chocolate cake, ate it standing up, with my hands in the middle of the living room (you know, holding the cake over my head, mouth open, trying not to get crumbs in my cleavage by holding one hand over my cleavage), the cat decides he wants cake to, and jumps from the ground, straight up, on to my face/chest, causing cake to go flying, and me to do some strange whirling dervish move to break free of attack cat. I grab the cat off of my head, and deposit him in his favorite windowsill.
Look out the window, and see Cute Neighbor Boy and his dog standing about 15 feet away from me and the window. He waves. He laughs. Clearly finding it hilarious that we can see each other at 7:15 in the morning. I smile. I pray all he saw was me standing in my gray sweatpants and pink t-shirt putting a cat in the window, and not the whirling dervish dance from seconds previous.

FIRST meme

I hate meme's for the most part, but I really liked the one I saw on Alone and Unobserved's blog today.  So I'm taking it and using it. (Thanks Sean!)

1. Who was your FIRST prom date?
Kyle Bradford. We went to different high schools and he was a year older. But we were in the same congregation. I asked him. If I remember correctly, he went to 3 or 4 different proms that year.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?
I'm guessing not since I can't recall who that would really be.

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?
Peach daiquiri accidentally consumed at Ruby Tuesdays.

4. What was your FIRST job?
Washing hair at a beauty salon.

5. What was your FIRST car?
Dodge Neon

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning?
My cute neighbor boy (see post above for explanation).

8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher?
Mrs. Croft.

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?
Probably Samoa.

10. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk?
Larke Rader, and yes, we are still friends. We've been friends since we were infants! I vaguely recall declaring her my best friend at about age 4.

11. Where was your FIRST sleep over?
I'm guessing it was probably with cousins. Otherwise, it was probably at Jennifer's house next door. I remember it was not at Jane's house down the street. That was my first almost sleepover, but I got scared and had to go home. She went on vacation the next week, and while she was gone I spent the night somewhere else. When she got back and found out I has slept at someone else's house she got really mad at me. Too bad I can't remember where I did manage to spend the night though!

12. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?
The only person I have spoken to today is the neighbor lady (again, see the post above). I live an extremely solitary existence at times.

13. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time?
I guess my aunt's wedding when I was about 10 years old. I was a flower girl.

14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?
Went to Maverick and bought a Diet Coke. Again, see the post above.

15. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to?
I'm torn between the Beach Boys, who gave lots of free performances on the 4th of July in DC, and the Monkees. I'm going with the Monkees as the first intentional concert I went to, and that was in the 6th grade.

16. FIRST tattoo?
A semi-perm henna tattoo (that was never supposed to stick for nearly a year) in the form of a question mark around my navel.

17. FIRST piercing?
Ears, 7th grad

18. FIRST foreign country you visited?

19. FIRST movie you remember seeing?
E.T. with my Wynn cousins and Dad. I remember getting scared, crawling over the seat to sit in my dad's lap, crying, and then vomiting in the popcorn when we saw the sick E.T. on the floor in the bathroom.

20. When was your FIRST detention?
7th grade for passing notes with Cindy

21. What was the FIRST state you lived in?

22. Who was your FIRST roommate?

23. If you had one wish, what would it be?
To understand the male mind and male theories (or lack thereof) of communication.

24. What is something you would learn if you had the chance?
To speak every language in the world fluently.

25. Who do you think will be the next person to post this?
I doubt any of my friends will. Maybe Rebecker, but I doubt it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Me and the Man in the Moon

I finally got my office set up this weekend. And for the first time, I am working in it. It's just a small bedroom that I will be using as an office space, but for someone who works from home and has an "Erin-Sized Butt Print" permanently pushed into the couch, this is a sanctuary.

Tonight I have all of the lights off so that I can stare out my window at the full moon over the mountains. It's a beautiful sight. Sometimes it is nice to turn off the tv, the radio, and all the other noisemakers in the house, and just stare up at the man in the moon. The only thing i will miss about my last 2 places of residence was the semi-privacy of my bedrooms where I could leave the blinds up at night without fear of anyone seeing me, so that I could lay in bed at look out into the night.

Tonight the one constant man in the moon in my life is telling me to go to bed early and laughing at me, because only I could manage to lose 32 sharpie pens in the move. Seriously, where did they go??? All 32 of them?!

Five Traits You Want in a Guy

Every week in my spam folder I get an email from some singles group in Utah. Because it is possibly the worst formatted email in history, and then it asks me to pay for it (and yet it still keeps coming), I almost never read it. But today I glanced through it to see if I could actually figure out any of it in between the bad formatting and erratic fonts and colors. Much to my surprise, after thousands of bad characters, I found one completely legible section at the bottom of the email. And I enjoyed it. And I thought I'd share it. I think it applies to both men and women, both ways, even if it is written about men for women. Also, I think it applies to singles as well as marrieds. Lately I've been watching different marrieds I know and realizing they are unhappy because they forget to "date" each other. I feel bad for them. Anyway, I hope y'all find this as interesting as I did. Too bad it wasn't credited, or I'd share the credit where it is deserved.

5 Traits You Want in a Guy
"We often mistake a strong physical connection as a sign that two people are meant for each other," says Paul Dobransky, MD, founder of Yes, chemistry is key to a lasting bond, but it isn't the final word. Other factors should be considered too, and they take some sussing out. New findings describe the characteristics in a guy that actually predict relationship success, some of which you may be overlooking.
Dating Trait #1: He Knows What He Wants
Any guy you're serious about should be able to articulate his long-term goals and passions (sorry, fantasy football and Xbox don't count). He can't ally himself with you until he has a sense of how he envisions his life in the future... and how you fit in. "If a man has no idea what he wants to be when he 'grows up,' then it will be impossible for him to commit to you," says Dobransky.
Don't assume he'll work things out, because when he does, you may realize his ambitions don't mesh with yours. "This mistake has contributed to the starter-marriage phenomenon, in which couples in their 20s and 30s suddenly realize they're going in different directions and divorce at an early age," says Dobransky. "It's preventable as long as you're both clear about your plans."
Dating Trait #2: He Has a Sunny Outlook
A recent study led by the University of Oregon found that women who had upbeat partners felt more satisfied in their relationships and -- this is huge -- that the man's level of optimism determined the relationship's staying power. Not only is it nice to have someone help you see the silver lining of a situation that totally sucks, but cheerful guys are good at keeping things in perspective, so they don't let little conflicts get to them and can go with the flow.
Along with having an optimistic POV, it's also crucial that the guy you're seeing can make you laugh. "It's an important stress valve for any couple," says Les Parrott, PhD, coauthor of "Trading Places."
"Having a sense of humor helps you weather the rough patches that you'll inevitably encounter together." It shows that he is able to let loose and doesn't take things too seriously. Plus, you'll have a better time together if you can see the funny side of things.
Dating Trait #3: He's Open to Changing for You
It's true you may not be able to change a man, but a guy should want to change for you. If a facet of his behavior irks you (for example, maybe he's not attentive enough in certain circumstances), he should be game to hear you out, listen to how you'd like him to do things differently, and then act on those suggestions. "When a guy is truly in love, he is more self-reflective and will work on the aspects of himself that bother you," says Diana Kirschner, PhD, author of "Love in 90 Days." "Studies have found that successful married couples change each other quite a bit over time."
More important, a man needs to have the capacity to transform and grow with you -- e.g., he takes an interest in going to art galleries with you, even if he's more of a couch-and-ESPN kind of guy. "If he's not willing to expand his interests to mesh with yours, you're going to outpace him," explains Kirschner. "It's likely you'll grow restless, and the relationship will become stale."
Dating Trait #4: He's Still a Little Mysterious
The beginning of a relationship is always exciting because you're just getting to know each other. But even after the newness wears off, it's essential that a man keeps you guessing. "If you can never quite pin down what makes him tick, that's actually a healthy thing," says Kirschner. Although at first you might feel more bonded to a guy who shares tons of personal info with you, over time, you risk losing the intrigue that pulled you to him initially. You might start to see him as more of a friend than a romantic partner.
Of course, you want him to open up about topics like his family, but he should keep some boundaries too. Relating every detail of his life (think updates on his nasty toe fungus) is relationship-killing TMI. A good gauge in the early stages of coupledom: He doesn't spill all about his pals. "It's an indicator that he understands how to keep things private," says Kirschner.
Dating Trait #5: He's Responsible with Money
Besides giving you a heads-up about money-related conflicts you might encounter in the future (one of the topics long-term couples argue about most), how a guy handles cash reveals a lot about his character. Positive signs: He keeps the receipt after paying for a meal, or you notice several credit-card offers in his stack of mail (it may indicate he has good credit).
"A man who doesn't track his money shows a lack of patience and self-control," says Dobransky. "In fact, guys who are financially reckless share many traits with men who cheat." But you also don't want to be with a tightwad. If a dude doesn't splurge now and then, it may mean he'll be stingy in other ways, such as compromising during a fight.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sneak Peak Into Little's Room

A little sneak peak into what we did yesterday!


There is one very "amethyst" room upstairs with about 20 gumballs hanging from the ceiling. I'll post a picture of the gumballs when it is all finished. But so far, it looks really cool. It's much better than I expected!

Oh and the Cute Blushing Boy came over too.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Stupid, stupid, stupid

I'm trying again. I'm trying to put myself out there and meet people again. I really am. I am truly dedicated to meeting people and having a social life.

Which is why I "put myself out there" with a guy today.

And you know what happened?


Absolutely freaking NOTHING happened.

As in, boys are stupid and don't even know how to respond.

Seriously, why do we even bother?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Erin of Old Returns

I am considering returning to the days of Erin of Old and throwing a party.

Carry on.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Hanging Gumballs is Not a Euphemism

I thought I'd update you on what I have been up to with Little lately and some of the plans we have for this new house. (Sidenote, if you are new to this blog, and you might be today, "Little" is my little sister from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She's also frequently my partner in crime.) Little now has her "own" room. We haven't clearly defined exactly what she'll be doing with this room, but since there is a room free, it is all hers. We've been picking out furniture, paint, and decorations for her room. So far this involves a daybed from Ikea, lavender colored walls, a moon chair (like from the movie Men in Black), a desk, and hanging gumballs from the ceiling. Don't worry we'll come back to the gumballs in a minute.

Here's the bed she wants-

It comes with an optional pull out headboard that can convert into a desk and has a hiding spot inside of it. She has big plans for that hiding spot. What exactly she thinks she needs to hide from me in my house still has not yet been discussed. We've also discussed getting her this bed instead, because in all likelihood she will be sharing this room with a foster child some day. She likes this one because we can put a desk or a couch or another bed under the bunk.

As you can see, we have been quite busy planning out her room. I'm going to put a plug for myself out there. If you happen to know where I can get one of these great beds, or ones just like it, for way less than retail, please share. I am a girl on a budget!! Now, before I get to the gumball hanging (and I know you want to know, because really, why wouldn't you?), I'm going to answer the other question you are too polite to ask. Why would I go to all this trouble for a child that doesn't actually live with me?

The answer is actually quite simple. First, she doesn't know it yet, but I'm teaching her how to plan something from beginning to end. Minus the budget aspects of it all, she's learning how to figure out what she needs, how to get it, and what kind of time and effort it takes to make it all happen. This was all her idea. And now she's learning that you don't just wave a magic wand to get what you want.

Next, she's incredibly creative. Just this past week she won an art award for the State. (not that she bothered to mention it to anyone!) She writes songs and poetry. She creates things. And what I like most is that she's not lost in her imagination. She's learned how to apply her very creative imagination and make things happen from it. I'm in a unique situation where I can give her a lot more space to be creative right now. And so I'm letting her run with it and figure out how to make her crazy ideas happen!

Which brings me to the gumballs raining from the ceiling. Somewhere along the way when I was nixing her splatter paint idea and a few other ideas that don't go well in rented homes, she suggested raining gumballs from the ceiling. I'm pretty sure I nixed that idea too. And then she came up with a variation on the idea where when you open the bedroom door (or I think she said walk through the beads we'll hang in lieu of a door) something triggers and a gumball will fall from somewhere and land in your hand. Since I told her she had to plan this whole thing I was pretty sure this was never going to happen.But I didn't tell her no.

I was wrong.

You all remember the Cute Blushing Boy, right? Have I mentioned yet that he is now my neighbor as well? Still not sure how that one happened. But yes, he lives around the corner from me now. Crazy. Anyway, Little has a little bit of a crush on him. He was nice to her one day, gave her candy, and well, that is all it takes whether you are 11 or 34 to start a crush on a boy.

A few weeks ago I told him about her idea to "rain gumballs from the ceiling." He loved it. He even offered to help her with it. I didn't take him too seriously, but I did tell Little about it. Now remember, I'm giving her free reign to do whatever she wants with this project. So she decided she wanted to take him up on this offer. I then warned him that he if he wanted to back out I was giving him the chance to do so. But no, he still wanted to help her plan how to hang gumballs from the ceiling. Which is how I found myself in his office, during the work day last week, with Little, listening to the two of them plan how to hang gumballs from the ceiling in a way that it would look like it was raining gumballs.

Have I ever mentioned that sometimes my life feels like a really drawn out sitcom episode?

The two of them (heaven knows I have creative moments, but seriously, I'm not this kind of creative. my brain does not work in these ways.) came up with a plan to take the gumballs, fishing line (because its clear and you won't see it), and those glow in the dark plastic hard stars. First, you take a big sturdy needle, thread it with fishing line, and put it through the gumball. Then you have to tie it off really good. Then you make sure there is a good long tail on the fishing line (all different lengths so it looks like it is raining), and loop and tie it off. Then you take a plastic star, loop the line over that, and stick the star to the ceiling. And tada! It looks like it is raining gumballs in her room. We practiced this several times in the car today, and it worked really well.

We're still working on a way to open the door and have a gumball run down a track and fall into your hand. After we visited the Cute Blushing Boy last week (who has offered to come over and help hang the gumballs and paint her room with us), I took her to Home Depot where she got to explain to the different floor staff what we were trying to build, and could they recommend a pipe or tube for us? Apparently the kid's cuteness works on not just me, but on the Cute Blushing Boy, and the sales staff of Home Depot as well. Next thing you know, we've got a team of helpers making suggestions on how to build it. (Sadly, being non-mechanical, most of this went right over my head.) So we got some samples and left. Sadly, we left the samples at the paint section, so I had to go back the next day to get them again. When I walked up to the paint workstation where I was pretty sure we had left them, the manager saw me and said, "Ma'am! Your daughter forgot her tubes here. But hey, I was thinking about her idea, and thought..." Yes, the staff at Home Depot is still trying to figure out how to build it for us too.

In the meantime, we have the paint, the gumballs, the stars and the fishing line. I sent her home tonight with everything to string up the stars. She's coming back over on Saturday to paint her room and hang the stars. I'm not entirely sure we're really going to invite the Cute Blushing Boy over for that activity. If I run into him, sure, I'll invite him over. But there is no way in hell I'm going back 20 minutes away to his office to invite him over, when I know he lives within a few houses of me (I just don't know which one). I guess in a way I'm also letting her learn that just cause boys flirt with you (and it is rather cute the way he flirts with her. makes me melt!) doesn't mean they are actually ever going to come through for you. If only I could have learned that lesson at 23 years ago when I was still 11...

Oh and I took her to D.I. (Utah's equivalent of the Salvation Army) today to look for "unique, wierd, or interesting" furniture. And sure enough, we found a totally quirky desk that we both loved. So we're going to sand it (with the awesome sander Julipalooza and family got me for my birthday) and paint it. I'll have to post some before and after pictures of that.


Things That Make Me Happy Today:
1. My cat may have a vicious streak a mile wide in him, but he still thinks I walk on water. As I type this he is purring and sleeping away, cuddled up against my arm and shoulder. That kind of devotion can't be found just anywhere.
2. I love my new house. It boggles my mind that all this junk used to fit in one tiny apartment. But I really do like my new house. I'm never going back to apartment life. Ever.
3. I like my job. Like any job it has its ups and downs, but for the most part, I'm really starting to enjoy it.
4. Today I was thinking about THIS necklace, and how I have wanted it for years. I always thought I wanted someone else to give it to me. But today I realized it makes me happy that I can get it for myself.(Don't look at the price tag. Only a fool would pay full price at Tiffany's.)
5. I actually had fun out with friends on Friday night. (If and when the pictures surface, I will share one.)
6. I had fun shopping this week. And THESE should be arriving tomorrow in the mail.  And you know what would make me really happy after they arrive? Having a fun place to go wear them.

Things I am Thinking About
1. Getting a dog. It's not that I love dogs so much and want one badly. It's that I feel lame going for walks by myself and would like to have a dog to take with me. Particularly a dog that can do some hiking with me and be something of a guard dog at home. I'd like to get a puppy from my sister's dog, Ruby, who is an English Boxer. (I even have a cute name picked out for it, Ruby Tuesday, and I can call it Ruby Two/Too.) But that may be too big of a dog for me. So maybe a bulldog instead? I don't know. What's a good, short-haired, medium sized dog, that can be energetic?
2. Where to go on a decent vacation alone? Before the foster children arrive (in about 3-4 more months) I'd like to take a fun vacation. Since I'm a very single person, I'm probably going to have to do this alone. Not my first choice, but there's no one to go with me. So where do I go? Where would be fun to go alone? I want a place where the dollar is strong. It doesn't have to be international, but it can be. There's a lot of places that could be fun alone, but for me, the chance to go be alone is not the thrill. I'm ALWAYS alone. So relaxing solo on a beach meditating isn't all that appealing to me. Been there.
3. How the movie and book, "He's Just Not That Into You," should be required viewing/reading. And how I am going to make sure I go see it every week possible. Seriously. And how it doesn't matter at all that the cutest boy I know was incredibly cute and funny and sweet to me this week. You know why? Because the movie is right. If he was into me, he'd be doing something to see me. It doesn't matter at all how he acts when I see him, if he isn't making any efforts to see me.
4. I'm tired of wearing jeans that never fit right. I'm considering going all dresses and skirts (and sweats in the house). I just like them better.

Things I'm Going to do Differently This Week
1. Get up earlier than usual and work out and read. Or join a gym and work out after work. I haven't decided. I think the decision will be made around 6:30 am tomorrow. In my wildest imagination, I'm going to do both. I'm going to do my killer workout DVD in the morning, and go to the gym at night.
2. Not wear pants. And instead wear dresses.
3. Reply to all emails immediately. No more 600 unread emails.
4. Go to bed before 11 pm.
5. Try not to eat a cheeseburger every single day. You have no idea how hard this goal will be for me.
6. Get a manicure, facial, and eyebrow tint and wax.
7. Get out of my comfort zone at least once this week.

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