Monday, August 30, 2010


A few shout-outs, reminders, and things to think about!

Remember a few weeks ago when I issued the $30 Date Challenge on Meridian? Well, I could use a few more participants!! Please go check it out and consider participating! Pretty please!

Now for some shout-outs-
Go check out "We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ" (my friend Jocelyn's blog) and her current giveaway.
Did you know Mindy Gledhill's new album, Anchor, is out? I love her new sound! So far my two favorite songs are "Anchor," and "All About Your Heart." But to be honest, I have a new favorite Mindy song every week.
Today is Due West's radio release of "Bible and the Belt!" If you are a country music fan, you really have to check this song out. As you know, I've been a Due Westie for about 5 years now. Bible and the Belt is my third favorite Due West song. (They haven't released my first 2 favorite songs- yet.) Go check out and song and request it on your local radio station!!
Remember my other blog? Cutting Back and Going Green? It needs some love- and some readers!
Got a blog that needs some love and attention? I'm happy to give shout-outs!

Who says life is boring?

Let me tell you about my day-
First, I woke up to find my arms and legs covered in spider bites. The house has a serious spider problem and apparently it has now moved into my room. This does not please me. (A few hours later I discovered my dog also has several spider bites all over her.) Benadryl to the rescue!
I dragged myself out of bed to discover the worst smell ever had permeated the house. As you may know, I have the worst sense of smell EVER. So for me to wake up and notice a wretched smell is pretty significant. I set off to find the source of the gag inducing smell.
My first clue was the black cloud of fruit flies in the kitchen. I've been gone for 4 days so I worried it was something I had left out. But the flies seemed to be congregating over both the sink and in a corner. In the corner I found a big bucket of rotting onions. DISGUSTING. Before taking it outside I stopped to poor a ton of bleach down the kitchen sink. And I put on my shoes, as I had plans to walk the dog after taking out the trash. (I have since also created the ultimate fruit fly trap. Upon last inspection there were literally hundreds of flies in there.)
So I grabbed the trash and the onions, and opened the door. I took extra caution to keep the door from shutting completely, but somehow the wind caught it and shut it anyway! Locking me out of the house! So I was stuck outside with the dog in blazing hot heat. Thankfully I had my phone on me, so I called my sister to come rescue me. She came over to help me break in, but we failed. So she drove around town to my relatives in search of a spare key.
In the meantime, I mowed the yard in my brand new tennis shoes. Ay yi yi. And then I found a snake in the backyard. Do you know how much I hate snakes?!?!?!
But hey, for the first time in about 15 years I mowed a yard. And I think I deserve a medal for that. (Again, Benadryl to the rescue!)
My sister came back with a key and rescued me.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country at nearly the same exact time, my other sister, Natalie found herself locked out of her house! But her story is much more interesting. In her case, she came home to find her house full of smoke! She called 911, but managed to get in her house before they got there. Apparently her kids (not at home at the time) had turned on a burner under last night's dinner a few hours previous. Nats got her dog safely out, and got the offending food out as well, before the fire truck arrived. She still got the full firefighter treatment, including a chief inspector, checking out the house and calling it good. The inspector felt the need to really chastise her kids, but since only her 5 year old was home, Sweet P got the lecture solo.
A crazy day for the McBride Sisters to say the least.
In other news, there's little things like client consultations, hurricanes and beach trips, guest writing, new novels, and so much more going on. Life is never boring around here!

Who says life is boring?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Restoring Honor- My unexpected day at the Glenn Beck Rally.

In recent years I have become more firmly set in my political ways, and in doing so have moved myself even further away from any defined political party. I do not choose to affiliate myself with any person or party that makes a practice of anger and finger pointing. My politics are those of charity and kindness. I do not believe in heavy regulations, big government, or rules for every thing. I call my politics those of Joseph Smith’s, “I teach men correct principles and let them govern themselves.” I believe in punishments for those that hurt others or the public at large. I believe in the Constitution and the words of the Founding Fathers, and in very little else.

A very small portion of the "tens of thousands" that some media are reporting attended.

I was invited by a relative to join her at the “Glenn Beck Rally” in Washington, DC. Not necessarily being a supporter of Mr. Beck or his style of “shock conservative politics,” I was hesitant to accept. But after a few days of considering the invitation, I came to the conclusion that no matter what was said or how many gathered for this event, it would be historic. It would be the first time in history that there would be little to know possibility of accurate, unbiased, and honest media coverage. I felt that Fox News would naturally be overly positive, as it was their event. And the remaining media has nothing to gain from admitting the possible success of a rival.

We had excellent seats, thanks to some cousins who slept there overnight, right up at the front!
I expected to be attending a highly divisive political rally, what I hadn't expected was a religious revival. I expected to hear words of anger and hate pointed at the opposing political parties. Instead, what I heard was a call to turn out hearts to God, to bring faith, hope, and charity back to America. I witnessed tributes to the military unparalleled in my lifetime.
“We must restore honor by restoring heroes for our children to look up to.” – Glenn Beck. 
I have been shocked as I have returned home to read comments on Facebook, Twitter, and news reports. One news article described the event as having “political overtones,” further proving that it is now considered to be a political statement to choose to be religious.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.  
One friend proudly boasted that instead of watching the event with his children, he showed them the original Martin Luther King, Jr. “I have a dream” speech, delivered 47 years ago in the same location as today’s “Restoring Honor” assembly. By choosing to turn his back on the event, rather than approach it with an open mind, he and his children missed the opportunity to see Dr. King’s niece, Alveda King, pay tribute to her uncle, quoting him frequently, and call for national unity. Also, they missed the beautiful performance of the “King Singers.”
Obligatory self-portrait. And yet again, I'm wearing a hat and still sunburned.
In a time and place where the country is emotionally divided over the location of a place of worship in New York City, I find great comfort that a gathering of nearly half a million people was lead in prayer, addressed by leaders of many faiths, and closed in prayer. A call for a “return to God” was issued to those listening.
Medals were given in the names of Faith, Hope, and Charity. The Faith Medal was presented by Chief Nigel Big Pond (my apologies for possibly getting his name wrong) to Pastor CL Jackson of Houston, Texas (  Pastor Jackson invited Americans to become “covenant warriors in Christ.”
Albert Pujos
The value of Hope was described as the parent of both faith and charity. The medal for Hope was presented by St Louis Cardinals Manager Tony Larusso to player Albert Pujos. Pujos is actively involved with providing aid and assistance to those in his community, family, and in his native country of Dominican Republic.
Chief Justice Raoul Gonzales
The Charity Medal was presented by retired Texas Supreme Court Justice Raoul Gonzales to John Huntsman, Sr, for his considerable donations. Huntsman was unable to attend the ceremony, choosing instead to attend the wedding of his granddaughter being held at that exact same moment (this announcement received great applause from the audience).  The medal was accepted on his behalf by Emma Houston, a breast cancer survivor who was treated at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. She is of African-American descent.  In her acceptance speech she quoted, “This is the day the Lord hath made and we shall rejoice.”
I bring up Ms. Houston’s race, for one reason only. Of the three presenters and three recipients, there were only two Caucasians. Additionally, representatives of the Native American community assisted in the opening prayer, there was an African American choir, as well as peoples of other backgrounds participating. This event was largely diverse in race and religion. And yet, I saw a quip on Twitter that the rally was a “white supremacist” gathering.
The 240 religious leaders take the stage.
As I have read through the mainstream media coverage of the event, I have not found one mention of the medals or of the recipients. I have also not found one mention of the 240 religious and community leaders that took the stage.
“Mankind are all of a family.” – Benjamin Franklin
Look closely to see the snipers on top of the Lincoln. Glenn Beck was also obviously wearing a kevlar vest under his shirt.
I did not hear one call for “political” action. Unless you consider pleas for God to be the leader, and to bring the values of Faith, Hope, and Charity back to America, “political activity.” I was not told who to vote for. I was not even told who might be running for office. I was encouraged to turn my heart to God. I saw the military given an overdue tribute.

I have saved my favorite part of the event for last. In his closing speech, Mr. Beck asked who would be the next George Washington? Who would be the next Abraham Lincoln? Where is the John Adams and Thomas Jefferson of today? This got me to thinking. Are the political pundits like David Broder or George Will our new thought leaders? Has God left us without leaders we can look to as Americans once looked to President Washington or President Lincoln? Were politics as divisive and insulting then as they can be now? Would political parties be as offensive to each other then as we allow them to behave now? I do not have an educated answer, but my gut tells me no, that the parties likely acted with far more decorum and respect in the past than they have ever considered to do so now.
But the question remains, would God leave us without a leader? I believe we have a prophet on the earth today. So why would God leave us without other leaders? We have not had such inspirational leadership in over 100 years. Maybe that is because we have spent the better part of the past 100 years making sure our values and religious beliefs were removed from politics?
I left the event uplifted and educated. I am more firm in my personal political beliefs than ever before. None of my opinions on politics changed today. However, I have opened my mind to new hope that it is possible to bring the values of Faith, Hope, and Charity back to the core of governance of this country.  And if that is politically divisive, I’ll firmly stand on the “right” side.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Utah Friends- Amazing deals at Seven Peaks

Utah friends, this is for you- Jump on over to my Cutting Back and Going Green blog to get an amazing (70% off!!!) deal on passes to Seven Peaks. You know you want to. Because you would be crazy not to! (Hey! I rhymed!!)

Did someone say HAPPY DANCE?

In grand tradition, I bring you a HAPPY DANCE!! (This may or may not be exactly how I really do dance!)
And in keeping with tradition, I'll explain to you what made me so happy some other day. 

For more happy dance postings-

#6 Happy Dance Jai Ho (featuring blog friends Mick and Rachel Hagen)
#5 Happy Dance- Fat Bottomed Girls
#4.5 Happy Dance Elaine from Seinfeld
#4 Happy Dance from Ally McBeal (Barry White song)
#3 Happy WeddingDance
#2 Happy Dance New Kids on the Block
The first happy dance (air force guy) declaration

Monday, August 23, 2010

In the blink of an eye

Last week was just plain awful, right? No hope, lots of depressing things, too much stress.
This week? Off to a grand start. Job interview, friends, lunch dates,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Service to God

I spoke in church today on the subject of "Service to God." I've taken the talk and abbreviated it down and published it on Examiner. I took out the personal passages and have left it primarily to the doctrinal points of the subject.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Product Review- AVIA iTone Toning Shoe

I've been dealing with a LOT of back pain recently. So bad so that I've spent nearly $200 at the chiropractor's in the last 2 weeks. We're talking, staying flat on my back, on the floor, popping Lortab, and icing like crazy, kind of back pain. And all for no apparent reason. There was no accident or incident that caused it.
After talking with my chiro this week he suggested I try better shoes, possibly the kind that are designed to take the pressure off of the lower back. I'm unemployed, out of unemployment coverage, and totally broke. So the idea of spending $100 on tennis shoes (especially when I rarely wear them) didn't appeal to me.
But then yesterday I just happened to be passing a shoe store with a sale going on. So I pulled in and checked out the 5 different lines of "toning" shoes they carry. Reebok, Skechers, Easy Spirit, and some other brands all have the new toning shoes. The Avias were brand new, and therefore a little bit cheaper. So I tried them on, and all of the other brands, and found no difference between the brands. But more importantly, the shoes were incredibly comfortable.
They are a little bit heavy - 2 lbs! And they are shaped quite differently from your average running shoe. But as for relieving the pressure on my lower back? Worked PERFECTLY. In fact, I bought socks there in the store just so I could wear the shoes out of the store!
If you are not yet familiar with "toning" shoes, the concept is that these differently shaped soles force the user to walk/run/stand in a slightly different manner than before. This uses different muscles, and therefore tones your muscles in new ways. Some brands promise that their shoe will tone your buttocks and give you shapelier legs. Does it? Possibly.
Just 2 days into wearing them and I can tell you that my legs were tired. The shoes do most definitely work different muscles than I am used to. They were a tiny bit awkward at first, but I got over that quickly. And just 2 days into wearing them, I have NO lower back pain. (Thanks also in large part to some serious efforts by the chiro as well.)
As a result, I'm rather in love with my shoes, and will go out of my way to wear tennis shoes now.
Oh and bonus- I had been prepared to pay the $79 on the box. I was thrilled at the check out when I discovered there was a back to school sale going on, and I got $20 off. You however, can buy them even cheaper using my lovely little widget right here-

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Remember when you were a little girl (because I'm assuming the bulk of my readers are female) and you would go to a slumber party? You were surrounded by friends and food and the promise of fun things to come, but you got homesick and scared, and cried to go home instead? And so with you dad in his pajamas and a trench coat, he'd come down the street to carry you home? And even though you know the party would have been fun if you had just stuck it out, all you want is to go home?
That is how I have felt lately. I'm in a good place. I'm surrounded by people that I love and they love me. There are good things here for me. And the promise of more good things to come. But I'm homesick. I'm so very very homesick.
I miss my old life more than words can say. I want to go back to my old life, where I had a big wonderful home, and my own things around me. I want to go back to my friends. I miss "Little" more than words can say. I want to know my neighbors and my surroundings. I want to sing in my choir. I want to have a job with a good income again. I just want to be me again.
I haven't had anything stable or familiar in nearly 9 months. I miss my life. I want to be in one place that I can get my car registered and not feel like it is a waste of time and money. I don't want to have to explain my area code ten times a day. I want my bed. I want my dresser that I picked out and refinished. I'm tired of living out of boxes and suitcases. I don't want my dog to go and panic by the door every time I move a box.
I am homesick. I want my life back. But I can't have it back, can I? Time marches on and things change. Time to be happy with the next phase.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Sale!!

During the move this past month we came across a pile of books! And not just any book! But the book I co-wrote along with BFF Jules. My father's forgetfulness (that he had a stash of books hiding in the basement) is your gain! I am having a fire sale! You can buy your very own copy of Beyond Perfection for $5, plus shipping, directly from me! If interested, send me an email at mcbridemarketing at gmail.

"Really, really good, girlie!" - Dad
"So funny!" - My cousin.
"This book is an updated, Mormon version of Pride and Prejudice. If you're a die-hard Austen fan, you might not want to read this because it doesn't draw faithfully from the plot (like the movie Pride and Prejudice: a Latter-Day Comedy which I love too!) Instead takes certain social issues from the original and parodies the Mormon culture, like the insane mom who doesn't care who her daughters date as long as they get married, loser user guys who womanize, guys thinking all Mormon girls just want a husband, and the richer the better, etc. My favorite is the Mr. Collins character. He's unreal! Way too funny. It's got a fun twist, not too predictable, and a fun Saturday afternoon read." - Some chick on Amazon we did not pay off to say that.

"this was a refreshing fast read. I'm so glad that my dating days to find my eternal companion are over. Though I still fill for all those that are still searching or have an overbearing mother whose conversation always turns to questions of when they are to be married or have they met anyone? Lizzie has gotten a full ride scholarship to the U of U and although she comes from a tradition of BYU attendees she can't pass up this opportunity. She is very studious and rarely dates until she happens to be at the institute the same time as the legendary institute pre. William pemberley who has recently broken off an engagement and is great to look at, not to mention a great catch all around. She talks to him briefly and he asks her if she is attending the friday night dance. She makes a sarcastic response about the food not being worth going and he makes a deal to have better food there in exchange for a dance. That is how the journey begins." A girl on that gave us 5 stars!

Read more reviews of Beyond Perfection on Good Reads

OR! Just be our fan! 

Now I've had the time of my life, no I never felt like this before

Today was full of highs and lows, just like so many other days of unemploymentville. Let's dwell on the highs today, and keep the lows in denial. First, thank you for your happy thoughts let to my last post. I really appreciate them.
I got an unexpected email from an old friend today. (She knows who she is, and knows that I know she's reading this.) It came from the heart and really cheered me up. The strange part is that it wasn't intended to be a cheer up letter. She sent a truly "I get it" email. It really felt good to feel loved by an old friend, and to know I'm not alone in my frustrations and experiences lately. To that friend- thank you.
As things tend to do when a friend from the past comes up, one thing lead to another and we began discussing boys we had crushes on back in the day. I think she and I crushed on many of the same boys, and frequently at the same time too. I revealed to her one of my better high school secrets. (I kissed a boy we all knew and never told my girlfriends!)
It got me thinking about so many old friends and crushes that I have lost touch with. So I did what any self-respecting social media marketing expert would do- I looked them all up on Facebook.  And then, without thinking about it at all, I requested to be friends with them. And then five minutes later I found out that there is still a very self-conscious, nervous, scared to talk to her crush, 14 yr old inside of me, that is panicking that her crush might say no.
How silly of me! Is it possible to laugh at your own insecurities? Because I'm getting a good laugh out of my own stupidity right now. And yet, it isn't making my inner 14 yr old calm down at all. Go figure.
Next thing you know I'm going to be teasing my bangs and wearing acid wash jeans again. And digging up my old They Might Be Giants albums.
Actually, I think I will go dig up those albums anyway. They're still awesome.
For my old Centreville friends, I give you this video. Its preposterous to think back to my youth without including this song.

(The song title to this post also has a fun meaning for my youth. Anyone (besides Cindy) want to guess what it is?)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A little less talk and a lot more action

I've talked about this in the past, and I find myself faced with it again.
Unemployment Depression
I know there are crazy people out there who seem to think that unemployment is all parties, daytime TV, and free checks from the government. Clearly, they have never been unemployed against their will.
It is more a tangled web of money woes, broken dreams, constant disappointment, living under a microscope where you know everyone has an opinion about how you spend your money, constant criticism, and feeling overall like a failure. You know, the perfect formula for depression.
So here I am again, holding my breath so long I'm afraid I will turn blue, wondering WHAT NEXT?!
But I'm not giving in. I'm fighting back on this black hole that threatens to suck me in! And I'm asking you to help me. Share a happy thought with me. Tell me something good going on in your life. Share the good parts. My comments section is ready and waiting for you. Share away!

Monday, August 16, 2010

See the sidebar for some CityDeals

Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you CityDeals - a fun way to save!

City Deals offers a wide variety of deals every day in your city.  This isn’t a one-deal-a-day site.  There are lots of deals to the places you play, eat, and relax. When you click the link (or sometimes just look at the ad here in the sidebar) you will see the deals for your specific location.
Just find the deals you want and check out.  There are restaurants, movie theaters, car washes, and more. If you love Buca di Beppo as much as I do (which, my friends, is a LOT of love), you will soon love CityDeals as much as I do because you can save up to 40% off at Buca. Also, you can save 20% off concessions and movie tickets at Cinemark theaters if you buy through CityDeals. 

You’ll normally receive your order by mail within 2 – 3 business days.  They will send you professionally designed certificates you’ll be proud to use and give as gifts. (no ugly homemade print outs that look sketchy)

Its All About Me (and Jon)

I have been in need of some professional head shots for a while now. I am lucky enough to be related to the incredible photographer Jon McBride. He took me out last week at 8 pm on a horribly muggy night (my hair had been nice and curled when we started) and had a little photo shoot in downtown Roanoke. As you may have noticed in the past, I'm not exactly photogenic. To actually look this good in pictures is really fun for me!! I'm not sure how to react to such flattering photos!!
Jon's photography studio is Vantage Pictures, where he specializes in "wedding photojournalism." But as you can see, he isn't limited to just weddings. He is based in Pennsylvania, so that he can better serve the NY through DC markets. (But I've seen him fly off to the Caribbean for a wedding or two!)
He's amazing, and I highly recommend him! Check out his site! I love looking at all the weddings (of complete strangers) that he does. They are beautiful!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Color me amused.

I've been following the stats on my blog for years. (after all I do work in social media marketing. i analyze and read stats in my sleep! that and its just fun to do.) Today Blogspot released their own Stats program, so I had fun comparing it to the other tools I have used. It has similar data, but not exactly the same. My favorite? These keywords!
These are the words people are searching online that lead them to my site. Various versions of my name (include 10 of you who spelled it eirn, not erin)- to be expected. But percocet hallucinations? And reno nudists? I know that I have said those words before, but who knew so many people were searching on those terms?!

The things I get myself into sometimes

Have you read my Meridian Magazine column about the $30 Date Challenge yet? If not, go read it!
In the column I ever so boldly agree to take the challenge myself. And I really want to. There's just a few major problems. Starting with, I don't remember the last time I spoke to someone that wasn't related to me. Which makes it really hard to meet eligible men. Second, any eligible men I do know live about 4 hours away. Third, rule #2 of the challenge "2. Don’t ask out someone you have a major crush on. That’s too much pressure for this challenge. Ask out someone you trust will be enjoyable." There is someone I would love to ask (or greatly fear asking, depending on how you look at it), but it violates rule #2. Fourth problem, whomever I choose to ask has to be a good sport. After all, approximately 50,000 people (yes, really, that many) are going to be reading about the date.
Is it possible for me to plan a date with no pressure knowing 50,000 people will be reading about it?
More importantly, anybody want to find me the perfect date? He just has to be charming, fun, interesting, a very good sport, able to put up with me, intelligent, and fairly good looking. Must currently be within a 4-5 hour drive of me. Also, not my cousin. Suggestions? Anyone?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Many Faces of Me

Today I was two very different people. Maybe three.
At one point I was articulate, direct, flirty, and respected. I was who I love being- I was on the ball!
And then later on, I was self-conscious, unable to relax, and said some really stupid things, and could barely form a coherent though.
And then finally, I got really angry when I found out about a liar, and said something I'm not proud of.

One of these conversations involved a millionaire, another with a great guy, and another with an innocent bystander. I'll leave it up to you to wonder which was which.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book and Movie Recommendation- North and South

My aunt(s) introduced me to the North and South BBC miniseries this week-

Apparently my aunts have been watching this for years, but it only made it to me this past weekend. It has a distinct Pride and Prejudice flair to it, but if I dare say it, I may have liked it even more than Pride and Prejudice! It is book turned BBC miniseries set in a more modern time than P&P, but is still British, and still all about a woman knowing what she wants, and more importantly what she doesn't want. I LOVED it. In fact, I just added it to my Netflix instant queue to watch right now. And I'm looking at buying the book off of Amazon right now as well. Yeah for timeless English romances and strong female role models! Now someone go buy/rent/read/watch it and tell me what you think!

$30 Date Challenge

My Single Thought column is up on the new and improved Meridian Magazine today. I've issued the $30 Date Challenge to all of those who are burned out and tired of dating. And I commit to taking the challenge myself. If you know me, you know I've had nothing but really awful experiences when it comes to asking guys out. This would normally be a next to traumatic event to have to do this. But that is the whole point of the challenge- to eliminate the trauma from dating! I'm looking forward to some responses and acceptances!

A Walk Down Memory Lane

From 6th grade till 10th grade my family lived in Centreville-Clifton, Virginia. Our mailing address said Clifton, but we went to Centreville High School, and went to the Centreville church. For all intents and purposes, we lived in Centreville, and only the mailman disagreed. Centreville was where all the new homes were being built. When we moved out there to the country there was only 1 Braddock Road (there are too many to count now), and where 28 and 29 intersect was a simple stoplight of an intersection (not an entire cloverleaf overpass intersection). Centreville was a booming suburb, with yuppies flocking to it as fast as they could.
But just down the road from our little suburban world was the sleepy little town of Clifton. Inside the formal town limits of Clifton there were magical mansions, with gated driveways, palaces with 17 fireplaces, rolling fields and hills, horse country farms, and the cutest, quaintest little Main St in all of Northern Virginia.

When we were kids we had to pass right by this place every Saturday on our way home from soccer games. Many a soda and ice cream were purchased in this little country store. I couldn't help myself today and I stopped in there for lunch. It was still as good and as quaint as I remember it.

One of the little hidden gems right off of Main St.

I enjoyed a few minutes to myself on the bench, texting, and facebooking with my mother in London. Sometimes "it's a small world" is the understatement of the century.

I've always loved the white and green chapel on this street. I've never been inside. I'm afraid it would ruin my love for it, if it didn't live up to my little girl imagination!
This sign says that when this beautiful house was built in 1874, that Clifton was the biggest town in Fairfax County. (Now it is so tiny that most people in Fairfax County have likely never heard of it.) This house was renowned for its unique staircase inside, and for the unique fancy furnishings they sold. It is a private residence now, but I'd love to see the staircase!
I didn't get any pictures of the pretty mansions down in Clifton town.
But I did get a few pictures of the place I love the most-
My childhood home! My parents built this house when I was 11 years old. We moved out when I was 16. This is where my parents brought me home a baby brother, and then a baby sister. It is where I learned to drive. It is where Valerie and I had sleepovers in the motor home in the driveway, and made silly movies in the basement. It is where I first started sleepwalking, leaving the house in the middle of the night, walking to the neighbors, and back again, just to be locked out, so I snuck in the garage and slept on the trampoline (all in my sleep). It is where I backed out of the driveway, and ran over the mailbox (and didn't stop). It is where my friends came to teepee our house more than a few times. It is where I took voice and piano lessons. It is where I had my first kiss, and my first date. It is where Natalie and I would play "Seek and Hide" for hours on end. It is where I watched a tiny little seedling of a tree get planted in the front yard that is now bigger than the house. It is where I cut my eye open on the bathroom counter, and where Natalie got appendicitis- three times!

I knocked on the door and asked if I could take some pictures from the outside. The woman recognized my name and said she bought it from my parents 20 years ago! She invited me in and showed me around my childhood home. I cried. The vaulted ceilings are still beautiful, but not the miles high I remember them. The evil bathroom counter that cut my eye still has a sharp edge on it. The little nail holes, where my mom nailed the downstairs windows shut after my baby brother took a header out a window, are painted over, but I could still feel them.The floors are different, the furniture has changed, but it was still the setting of all my memories.
This is my childhood home.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

All because 2 people fell in love...

I went over to the nursing home today with my cousin MB, her new man Aaron, and my younger cousin Little K to visit our grandmother. Grammy is speaking a bit slower these days and requires a good deal of prompting and reminding to help her get her answers out, but her mind is mostly still all there. More importantly,  her wit and sense of humor is still as sharp as ever. MB and I asked her to tell us the story of how she met our grandfather, and here's how her answer went.

Me: Grammy, how did you meet Pompa?
Grammy (who was born and raised here in Roanoke, Virginia): I had some cousins that lived in the Gila Valley (southern Arizona). They invited me to come for a visit.
(long pause, so I prompted her)
Me: Did someone introduce you? Where did you meet him?
(long pause)
MB: Did you meet a dance?
Grammy: Yes, yes. We met at a dance, and then he asked if he could show me home. (then using her "scarlett o'hara" voice, or more a "i did him a favor" voice, implying it was an inconvenience she rather enjoyed) So I let him.
(long pause)
Me: Did he ask you on a date after that?
Grammy: Yes, yes.
MB: Did you date a lot of men there?
Grammy: Well... (her voice trails off. Whether on purpose to allude that, yes, she did, but a lady doesn't say, or because she's lost her thoughts, is hard to say.)
MB: Pompa told me that you turned down 13 other men before you married him!
Grammy: Well... (this time coyly not answering us)
MB: Is that true, or one of Pompa's little stories?
Grammy (in the cutest defensive, guilty tone an 87 yr old woman can muster): I was just doing my patriotic duty!

Her "patriotic duty" lead to 7 children, 34 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren (with 1 more on the way).

Friday, August 06, 2010

Family Reunion in Progress

Stay tuned for some real life is always better than fiction stories from the family reunion. And if you are really lucky, I'll take more awesome pictures just like this-

Thursday, August 05, 2010

She tooteth her own horn

My grandfather had this funny scripture he would quote, "29th chapter of Mattew, verse 11.  "He who hath a horn and tooteth it not, the same shall not be tooted."

It is a line oft-repeated in our family when someone would like to draw attention to themselves. (Okay, how weird is it that spellcheck is telling me that spellcheck isn't a word but tooteth is?" Bizarre.)

So here I am, tooting my own horn, and promoting those other places I write! Understanding the Book of Mormon (which got more than its fair share of hate comments. i've finally given up deleting them all.) LDS Church responds to Prop 8 ruling (as of this moment, no hate comments. But I'm bracing for them. It is inevitable!) LDS Church breaks ground on 133rd temple Chastity and adultery (which again- hate comments?? i'm truly stunned at how some people spend their time. oh and i deleted the interesting barrage of f* you comments this article generated!)

Over on my Cutting Back and Going Green blog I'm talking about the No Rubbish Diet- the idea of reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting so effectively that you have no trash. Imagine a world with no trash cans or landfills!

And if you haven't checked out the new face of Meridian Magazine lately- go! I love the new layout! In the very near future I have a column coming up that I am very excited about!

Little Orphan Erin Annie (with the really big family)

The past few weeks have been full of days where I had overwhelming urges to break out singing, "TOMORROW, TOMORROW, I LOVE YA, TOMORROW, YOU'RE ONLY A DAAAAAY- AAAAA-WAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY!"
However, since most of the time I've been in a very quiet hospital room when those urges have hit me, I have yet to serenade anyone, except the voices in my head.
Can you say stress?
Here's a tiny glimpse of what's going on-
Spending a LOT of time at the hospital and/or nursing home with my sick grandmother.
The normal life stuff going on- clean the house, buy food, walk dogs, pay bills, etc. 
The never-ending job hunt. 
My mother getting medevac’d to London for a (please try not to laugh) cat bite. She’s getting treated for (again, please try not to laugh) rabies. I came *this* close to flying to London to assist her. Sadly, she's doing just fine there without me.
Moving from the current relative’s house to another relative’s house this week.
Getting screwed over big time by a so-called friend for $3,300. 
Finding out same so-called friend left my cat to die by itself. Completely breaking my heart! Who does that?!
Three job interviews over the next 5 days!
My unemployment coverage runs out in 10 days. And still no word on if I qualify for the extension.
I know you all think my life is one big walking family reunion here in Roanoke (because, well, it is). But believe it or not, we’re actually having a real family reunion this weekend. So that isn’t stress, but that will be 3 very busy (and totally fun) days! Sadly, I don’t think this one involves donkey rides. But I’ll betcha bottom dollar there are banjoes.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Love isn't love till you give it away

"You wouldn't understand, you're not a mother."

I know the person who said that to me didn't mean for it to cut like a knife. But then, maybe she did? She's said things to me like this several times in my life. "When you're a wife, you'll understand," she says with her head condescendingly tipped down, her voice full of airs and pretension. I used to let it roll off my back, her opinion meaning nothing to me. But lately, it has really started to hurt my feelings and break my heart. Why must she always treat me like an immature, selfish teenager, just because I've never been married? Does wisdom, authority, and knowledge, suddenly come with a gold band? Do the last 17 years of living alone, providing for myself, getting an education, traveling the world, and serving others somehow not give me adult credentials?

A few nights ago I saw a cute couple flirt with each other. They have been married for over 25 years, and have several children together. He came up behind her, slipped his arms around her waist, hugged her, and kissed her. They flirted and teased for a minute. It was very cute.

And it broke my heart.

Up till that moment I wasn't very sure that I wanted to ever get married. As you may recall, I began "Relationship Week" really not knowing if love was something I wanted to pursue anymore. After seeing their  exchange in the hallway, I found myself jealous and mad for a moment. I hadn't realized how much I wanted and missed that. I do want to be married someday. I do want to love someone else.

I like who I am. I am happy single. I don't need a gold band to justify my life and existence. I don't need a man to make me happy. But I'd sure like a man to share my happiness with.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

On the Job Hunt

I have been actively job hunting for a while now. This week I will be trying even harder to put myself out there and search for the right job. Step 1- asking friends to take a look at my qualifications below and see if they know of anyone in their networks that may be able to help me!

Erin A. McBride

CAREER FOCUS: Marketing Communications
Qualifications: Ten years of experience in diverse marketing communications environments. Areas of expertise include
  • Event/trade show coordination
  • Social media and engagement marketing
  • Project management
  • Relationship management
  • Viral marketing
  • Content writing and production
Strengths: Advanced experience in social media and engagement marketing. Articulate and persuasive writing. Proven ability to think creatively and strategically, overcome obstacles, work independently, and recognize potential in others.

Social Media, Engagement, and Viral Marketing
  • Leveraged social media and viral syndication, including, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn, for international corporations and small companies.
  • Authored creative messaging for social media. Managed content for multiple brand blogs and profiles.
  • Analyzed blogs and other social site traffic, identifying trends and made improvements based on analysis findings. Experience with Google Analytics,,
  • Experience with search engine optimization, Google adwords, and Facebook ads.
  • Experience developing and managing online communities.
  • Drove organic growth using viral social media technologies that enabled word-of-mouth marketing.

Marketing and Public Relations
  • Designed, developed, and managed departmental marketing plan.
  • Created press releases and developed media messages.
  • Directed departmental public relations efforts by building awareness of and strategically positioned the department brand image in a very traditionally loyal market.
  • Managed resources and efforts to create, write, design and produce collateral and campaign marketing materials. Ensured all company branding criteria were complied with in public documents and partner publications. Designed marketing materials for the print handouts and web.
Event/Trade Show Planning
  • Oversaw fabrication, delivery and operation of trade show exhibits, ensuring quality and cost effectiveness.
  • Managed event budget for over 100 events.
  • Self-employed for 4 years planning black-tie galas, private conferences, and trade show appearances.

Leadership and Organizational Development
  • Managed staff of 8.
  • Volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
  • Conducted classroom instruction on social media marketing at local university.

Director, Social Media Strategy,, New York, NY Oct 2008- Dec 2009
Director, Marketing Communications, Cobalt Communications Group, Salt Lake City, UT Feb 2008- Aug 2009
Marketing Writer, Aribex, Orem, UT May 2007- Feb 2008
Trade Show and Marketing Coordinator, Beretta, April 2004- April 2007
Special Events Planner (self-employed), Events by Erin, 2000-2004

On the Job Hunt

I have been actively job hunting for a while now. This week I will be trying even harder to put myself out there and search for the right job. Step 1- asking friends to take a look at my qualifications

Introducing My Other Blog!

A few months ago I started a new blog. Of course, things have gone a little haywire in my life since beginning it, but I'm determined to continue through with it! The focus of this blog is on cutting back financially and going green environmentally. I'm hoping to compare costs, products, share tips, ask for advice, etc. I do not intend to do all of the writing! I'm certainly no expert in any of these areas! If you have a guest writer recommendation, please let me know!
Please join me over at Cutting Back and Going Green!

Working Girl

Recently, I've been picking up work as a background extra on various projects. In the past month or so I've worked on 3 different m...

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