Sunday, May 29, 2011

Its that time of the week again where I update you on all things me

Its that time of the week again where I tell you that NO, I have not heard anything from the Peace Corps. So much for that May 1 deadline. Back when I was planning my big trip to Utah I considered putting it off until I heard from them so I'd be able to answer the questions. "So what's going on with the Peace Corps? Did you know where you are going?" etc, etc. How glad am I that I didn't delay the trip?! It never would have happened!

Remember how a few weeks ago I told you I was sick and went to the doctor? Reading that post now cracks me up. I was happily dosed on cough syrup and antibiotics when I wrote it. The diagnosis was "sinusitis with probably pneumonia." (Being uninsured I declined the chest x-ray to confirm the pneumonia diagnosis, saving myself a few hundred dollars, knowing treatment would be the same.) Let me tell you something! That bug will knock you out! For a full 10 days I was flat out sick, with about a 2-3 hour window of energy each afternoon. Otherwise, I slept, or spent some quality time on the couch. There was one afternoon where I returned something at the mall. I parked on the wrong end of the mall, and had to walk the whole distance. It wiped me out so bad I had to sit and rest for half an hour till I had the energy to keep moving. I cannot believe how exhausted I have been for 3 straight weeks now. I'm really hoping my energy comes back soon. This is NOT fun!

In other news-
Watch out, Utah! I'm coming back in a few weeks. But this time just for 4 days, and I won't be making a tour of every friend and place I know. This time I'll just be visiting my family! Yeah! I'm very excited to get to see my whole family in the same place together soon!

Movies and Books-
As someone who has completely exhausted her entire DVD and DVR collection recently (see: pneumonia above), I'm looking for some good recommendations. What's your summer book and movie forecast?
I did go see Water for Elephants yesterday. Since when did movie theaters start charging full price for a movie out over one month for a Saturday matinee? I go to matinee movies in order to save a few dollars!! Also, it has been a while since I've been to a regular theater. This one didn't have surround sound, theater seating, etc. Just plain old fashioned theater. And they still charged me $9! What's up with that?

Last but not least, or not, as soon as I get over this stupid bug that refuses to die, I'm seeing a weight loss professional. I'm excited to lose a few more pounds. And by a few, I mean 20-30 of them. And this time, no fad diets, no crash dieting, etc. A real doctor. Maybe this time, I'll keep the weight off!

Ok, really, the last time-
Remember those other blogs I have?
Cutting Back and Going Green
Jobs By Erin
They need your love. Particular the Jobs one. I've got several new jobs up (most in Utah), and they need your attention. And I'm bringing back my $500 offer. You refer a friend that I actually get hired, and I'll pay your $500!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Relationships and Baggage

relationship baggage

If you don't want to read about relationships, communication, and baggage, you will want to skip this post.

When I think about relationships back in my much simpler 20s, I think of how easy they were, and how easy they came to be. It was simple- you met a guy, sparks flew, you went on a few dates, and ta da! you were a couple. You didn't have to worry too much about if they had baggage or issues to deal with. For the most part, the younger you were, the fewer issues people had. But as we got older we all experienced different things. We all started picking up habits, bad experiences, and expectations. We all gained just a few more things to throw into our baggage that we haul around.
Then we reached our 30s and beyond. Where dating is no longer about meeting and sparks flying. If you are so lucky as to have a few sparks fly (I miss that! When did that stop happening?), you don't move straight into dating and coupledom. Now you move into learning about each other's baggage. You may go on a date, you may not. But somehow you still have a "person of interest" in your life, and all you are doing is learning to work with their baggage and issues. You are waiting to see if you can handle this problem, or if they can move past that problem. You start to weigh the pro's and cons from a different angle. You ask yourself if their behaviors are dealbreakers. You wonder if they can handle your baggage and issues. You wonder if you have complementary or clashing baggage.
Then one day you realize you have baggage too, and what is wrong with this person that they are with you when you have such issues? And you wonder why they haven't mentioned your baggage at all- are they too self-absorbed? Clueless? WHY? And then there is the opposite of that- the person who comments constantly on your issues. Are they trying to help? Fix? Or make you feel bad about yourself?
But the worst is when you meet someone who has serious issues, and yet appears to be oblivious to them. You learn to stay far, far away from that type.
Your married since their early 20s and even their teens friends just don't get it. They don't understand what is so complicated about dating. You just meet and there is chemistry, right? Oh how you wish it was still that easy.
And then you have days where you wonder if it can still be that easy? Are those relationships still possible after your 20s? Somewhere there is some naive person saying yes. I'll bet anything that person hasn't been in the dating world in at least a decade. There's also a very hopeful romantic who really wants the answer to be yes, not realizing that his or her baggage includes "impossible expectations."
I'd love to go back to when the hardest part about dating was that a really nice guy had brown eyes but I preferred blue. I'd love it if I didn't have to wonder just how much time I should invest in an emotionally difficult guy, before it is a waste of my time. (Although, I'm starting to think the answer is "all of the time.") More importantly, I wish I could go back in time to where I didn't know emotionally difficult men, and they were all just fun and entertaining. I'd love it if I didn't find myself thinking, "Could I live with this problem for the rest of my life?" every time I meet a guy.
Be patient with your single friends. Dating and relationships are not the fun and games that they used to be. Now you practically need a psychology degree to survive a first date!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

CityDeals Features - Cherry Hill, Dance Classes, Kid Portraits, and Fertilizer!

Ultimate Fun Pass includes the following: - One all day water park ticket - One all day locker rental - One game of mini golf - One batting cage tokens - One rock wall pass - One hot dog and One regular drink Each activity will be checked off the voucher when redeemed. Customers are responsible for providing voucher each time. Lost, stolen or damaged vouchers will not be replaced. - Redeem voucher at Cherry Hill Ticket Booth for admission, activities and food passes - Not valid with other offers - Customers do not have to do all the activities in one visit - Purchase any quantity

Expressions Dance - $40 One Month Tuition to a Class or Camp for $20
One Month Tuition to Any Dance Class or Summer Camp

- Jazz, hip-hop, ballet, and tumbling. Classes for all skill levels
- Exciting themed summer camps
- Visit our website for descriptions
- Valid for new students only
- Redeem one per person
- Each customer may purchase one voucher for themself
- An additional four may be purchased to give as gifts

Fotogenix$379 Children's Photo-chic Session for $80
Children's Photo-chic Session
- 15 to 20 high resolution images with basic retouching on CD.
- 1/2 hour indoor session.
- CD will be ready same day.
- Ages 16 and under.
- Not valid with any other offers or promotions.
- Can purchase images of CD for $5.00 per sheet.
- Each household can purchase any quantity of vouchers.
- Expires 10/31/2011

Cascade Pest & Lawn Voucher-Lawn Fertilizer, Dandelion and Spider Spray (Salt lake and Utah County) -$169 Service for $59
Spring Lawn Fertilizer Application, Dandelion Treatment & Spider Barrier Spray
- Limit one voucher per household
- Tax and gratuity are not included
- May not be combined with any other offers
- Call with voucher # for appointment
- Up to 5,000 sq. ft.
- Each household may purchase unlimited amount of voucher

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ghosts of Relationships Past

First and foremost, don't read too much into this. Don't assume there's something going on in my life that is sparking the following post. Sometimes its just all stemming from a conversation or something in someone else's life. Again, don't assume that we're talking about me or anyone in particular. It would be hazardous to your health.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about good relationships, bad relationships, and the defining factors in each. Sometimes the defining factors are more than just the two people in the currently relationship. Sometimes the defining factors are (still) events, experiences, and people from our past relationships. The Ghosts of Relationships Past if you will.
I often think that the hardest part about being in a relationship is our own individual insecurities. It isn't actually how difficult the other person can be - it is how our insecurities react to the other person. With every new person that we meet we must let go of prejudices and bad experiences from past relationships, and bravely open ourselves to new experiences. If you have never been hurt in a past relationship, you can't begin to imagine why someone would think you must be "brave" when entering a new relationship. If you have been hurt, you probably understand where I am coming from. You know who your ghosts are and you know where they live. What you don't know is when your ghosts will come back to haunt you.
Sometimes it is letting go of the past, letting go of the hurt, and letting go of negative expectations that can be so difficult. And then conversely you have to know when to learn from the past! When do you let those past pains be a cautious reminder and learning experience versus knowing when to let go and walk away? These tend to be the sort of feelings and behaviors that we hide from other people. Very rarely can we truly learn from other's mistakes in this area because it is so private and personal. (Ghosts are only visible to their owners. They can't be seen by everyone!)
And then there is the challenge of not repeating past behaviors. And also the challenge of figuring out when the problem is you and your ghost, or that you are drawn to or more open with people with certain behaviors or ghosts of their own, or when the problem is plain and simple the other person. When it comes to personal matters and personal relationships there is very rarely any one person in our lives who knows us so well as to truly see our scenarios for what they are, that they are qualified to offer unbiased advice. And so we are left to figure such things out on our own at a time when maybe our own judgment is the last thing we should trust.
And so we are left to our own devices, faith, and confidence. We cannot expect the answers to come from any outside source. (Note: I do not consider the Lord to be an outside source. He is very much within us.)

That all being said, I'll throw this out into the universe.
My Dear Outside Sources: This week I will be asking myself (and my ghosts) how can you tell if someone really means to be a jerk, or if they are just insecure? Insecure we can work with and be patient with. Jerks we kick to the curb. Does anyone have a litmus test for deciphering such behavior?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Utah Pass of all Passes

utah pass of all passes

Come enjoy 16 waterslides, a 400,000 gallon Wave Pool, kids swimming areas and slides, group pavilions & cabanas, a giant Half Pipe tube ride, 100-foot Free Fall drops slides, and a quarter-mile Lazy River! 

That's right! Seven Peaks Provo is now a part of the Pass of All Passes
Normally $327 you can get this killer deal for a mere $49.95. 

What does $49.95 get you in a summer full of fun??

Rules of the Deal
This package includes a “Pass of All Passes” for 1 person.
Voucher must be redeemed at the Seven Peaks Water Park at 1330 E 300 N, in Provo during normal hours of operation.
- Pass holder must be present at voucher redemption to receive their photo pass ID for all events and attractions. 
- Tax due at time of redemption
- Promotional discounts cannot be applied to this product
If you have more questions about the "Pass of all Passes" call 800-970-8824

The Utah County Pass of All Passes includes unlimited access to Seven Peaks Water Park, Trafalga Fun Center (Lehi and Orem), admission tickets to every Owlz and Flash home games for one full year. See specific details below.
  • Valid for 12 months of Family Fun!
  • Unlimited Admission to Seven Peaks Water Park
  • Unlimited Game activities at Trafalga Fun Center (Lehi & Orem Locations)
  • Unlimited General Admission to Owlz and Flash home games
  • Applies to normal operational hours or game times
  • When you redeem your Utah County Pass, you will receive a FREE Pass of All Passes Discount Card with over $24,000 in savings

Seven Peaks Waterpark
* Unlimited admission on days of normal operation
* A 3% discount on food in the park

Trafalga Fun Center, Orem
* Unlimited Mini Golf
* Unlimited Slick Track
* Unlimited XD Theater
* Unlimited Batting Cages
* Does not include arcade tokens

Trafalga Fun Center, Lehi (Formerly Liberty Land)
* Unlimited Mini Golf
* Unlimited Laser Tag
* Unlimited Slick Track
* Unlimited Bumper Boats
* Unlimited Rush Coaster
* Unlimited Rock Climbing
* Unlimited Carousel
* Unlimited Frog Hopper
* Unlimited Kiddie Area
* Unlimited Pirate Ship
* Unlimited Train & Airplane
* Unlimited Mini Track
* Unlimited Drop Tower
* Does not include arcade tokens

Orem Owlz Games (at Brent Brown Ballpark)
* Unlimited General Admission Tickets
* One ticket per home game per pass

Utah Flash Games (at McKay Events Center)
* Unlimited General Admission Tickets
* One ticket per home game per pass

The pass of All Passes includes unlimited admission to Seven Peaks Waterpark and the Trafalga Fun Center and a ticket to Orem Owlz and Utah Flash home games. This deal includes a 12-month pass at Seven Peaks, Utah’s largest waterpark with 16 waterslides, a 500,000 gallon Wave Pool, kids swimming areas and slides, group pavilions & cabanas, a giant Half Pipe tube ride, 100-foot Free Fall drops slides, and a quarter-mile Lazy River. The pass is also good for unlimited activities at both Trafalga Fun Center locations, which includes everything except arcade tokens. Enjoy unlimited mini golf, batting cages, slick track, and XD theater at Orem’s Trafalga Fun Center. At Trafalga Fun Center, Lehi (formerly Liberty Land), you’ll partake of a plethora of play options, including unlimited mini golf, laser tag, bumper boats, rock climbing, carousel riding, and much more. 

The year-round pass also includes unlimited general admission to Orem Owlz Games home games at Brent Brown Ballpark, and Utah Flash Games at the McKay Events Center.

The pass expires one year from purchase date and is non transferable. 
Introducing the brand new 8 lane Aqua Racer to Seven Peaks Provo!  See the link for updates and progress on the construction as we get closer to the season opening on May 28th!

Singles Ads

When I see ads like this it makes me happy to not work in marketing and advertising anymore. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Millionaire Matchmaker

Are you a fan of the Millionaire Matchmaker? If not, why not??
I've become obsessed with this show over the past few months. Thanks to the magic of DVRs I have watched a few episodes of this show every day for weeks. I hate reality television, so this is a major change in viewing habits for me. I love this show!
I love Patti's advice, and watching the different behaviors of the different singles is one of the best educations in relationships and dating I could ever ask for. I will be the first to admit (over and over again) how very little I understand the male mind. This show actually has helped me understand why I don't understand men. I'd even go so far as to say it has helped me to make major strides in talking to men. I've started using actual phrases and tips she gives on some of the men (and women) in my life. It blows me away how effective it has been. Without revealing too many details here, using her advice with one particular man in my life has completely and totally changed the way he and I interact.
And I couldn't be happier.
There are days (oh so many days) where I wish dating, men, and being single didn't require self-help books, and that everything could just be natural. If you are thinking to yourself that it is, and that I'm over-analyzing it, all I can say is you clearly have never tried dating over the age of 31. Nobody gets here because communications, personality, and relationships are logical or are organically natural to them.
The millionairesses (the women millionaires) blow my mind. The freak me out! I've probably seen a dozen of them on the show now, and I'd say all but 1 was my worst nightmare. I'm certainly not in danger of becoming a millionaire anytime soon, but I saw quite a bit of myself personality-wise in these women. And it terrifies me!! You could make a list a mile long with the reasons these women are not in relationships or are divorced. Talk about eye-opening! You better believe I listen to all of the advice Patti gives to the women!
It kills me how often Patti is dead on accurate. Granted, it is her show and they aren't going to do a lot of episodes on her being wrong. But she is amazing at predicting what a man will go for! I love it! (And you better believe I listen to all of it and take notes!) (Okay, that makes me sound a little obsessive. I may be. But not freakishly obsessive!)
Obviously, I need to make a million dollars and be on this show. I think Patti may be the only person who can ever find me the right kind of guy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Love Languages

Let's talk about the 5 Love Languages. Are you familiar with them already? In case you are not, here is a very quick recap of the book-
Each person has a "love language"- the way they show love, and the way they receive love.
The love languages are-
Words of Affection
Physical Affection
Gift Giving/Receiving Gifts
Quality Time
Acts of Service

These are pretty straightforward (I think). If you want to know more about your personal love language, go check out I'm a big believer that relationships that were once successful that eventually fail or burn out, really fail because the couple didn't understand each other's love languages. That may be overstating things or underestimating many things, but that is how strongly I feel about understanding your own and your partner's love languages.
Lately I have really come to understand and appreciate the love languages more than ever before. They don't just apply in romantic relationships. They apply within families, with friends, and in romance. I've really started to appreciate how love languages within a family can color our expectations in others as well.
For instance-
We have a family story about one of my aunts who in her newlywed years got sick. While she was praying to the porcelain gods, her new husband came in to "help" her - by shutting the bathroom door. She was used to her father (my grandfather) who was a prime example of "words of affection" and "quality time." He was the kind of father who would sit and hold his daughter's hair as she hung over a toilet. Her new husband? Not so much. My aunt was convinced her new husband didn't love her because he didn't do what her father would have done for her.
Another example-
My grandfather and my father are both "words of affection" types. No woman ever entered a room without my grandfather stopping the conversation to point her out and how well she looked. I'm sure each of my cousins and aunts reading this are smiling to themselves because they know I am right. He would always stop a conversation, hold out his hand to display her, and say, "Doesn't she just light up a room? Isn't she just lovely?" You could be having the worst hair day of your life, and my grandfather could still make you feel like the prettiest girl in the state. My dad has also inherited this trait. While he may not stop conversations to pay compliments, he still loves to send notes or letters of affection. I can't think of one important, or even semi-important event in my life where my dad didn't send me a little note, card, text, or email of support and love first.
A girl can get spoiled with all those words of affection!
But then a girl grows up, enters the harsh cruel world of dating, and discovers not every guy in this world speaks "words of affection." And she'll spend the rest of her life trying to figure out what love language he does he speak, and trying to accept it.
But like I said, the love languages are much more than just about romantic relationships. I've learned that with "Little" it is all about giving her quality time, and gift giving. She doesn't care if I give her 5 minutes or 5 hours worth of time, as long as all the time I give her is just about her. Also, it doesn't hurt to attempt to buy her love with little presents. I've also noticed she LOVES to give me little presents that she makes.
I know that I have inherited the "acts of service" love language from my mother. I can't even count how many times she has gone out of her way to come over and do something for me. Or how every summer when I'd go off to camp I'd come home to find she had redecorated my bedroom (new paint, linens, everything). Or how she'll stay up all night to paint, or sew, or fix something for you. Service is her love language. And as you can see from my test scores above, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
(I actually have to laugh at "quality time" versus "acts of service." To be honest, I barely know the difference between the two things. If you have someone's time, you should be doing something good with it!)

So my question to you, gentle readers, is this-
When you encounter someone in your life who speaks a very different love language from yours, have you been able to adapt and accept their language and feel fulfilled? Have you ever been able to change your ways and show love in their language to their satisfaction? Or have you ever been able to receive someone else's love language and feel happy? (By that I mean, be able to believe/trust/accept their way of showing love and actually feeling loved.)

I truly love studying and understanding the love languages in different relationships. I'd love to hear your feedback on what you think and how you have seen them applied.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Miracle Drugs

Antibiotics are a miracle I tell you. After 3 weeks of a little cough, slight sore throat, and "Utah allergies," I got home on Friday night about as sick as I thought I could be. I was wrong. When I woke up on Saturday I was worse. And by Sunday I knew I needed to get to a doctor for real help, but quite frankly, I just didn't have the energy in me to do it. For those 3 days I was taking Sudafed, Mucinex, Benadryl, Claritin, and cough drops, and was still so congested that I couldn't sleep for more than a few minutes at a time.
So today (Monday morning) I got up, used all my energy to get dressed and take a shower, went back to sleep for a while, built up my energy again and went to urgent care. In this little town urgent care with its oddly high number of hospitals, urgent care is just a department at the hospital (not a "doc in the box," as my dad likes to call them). I checked in, went through triage, and got sent over to the ER waiting room instead. Three hours later I finally got seen by a doctor. Ten minutes later I had a diagnosis and was out the door.
One hour later I took my antibiotics and cough meds. Three hours later I took round 2. And now, a grand total of 12 hours after checking in to the hospital this morning, I feel like a human being again. I even cleaned the kitchen and unpacked some boxes. 12 hours ago I had to email someone to say I was too tired to handle making a phone call, and right now I have so much energy I'm considering walking the dog. (But I won't because it is raining and dark, and I don't really have quite that much energy yet. I just think I do.)
I'm telling you, antibiotics are amazing. Also, I haven't coughed in about 3 hours! (Which tells me I need to go take another dose before I start coughing again.) Going from the sickest I have ever been to feeling nearly human in such a short period of time is a miracle. I really can't believe how amazing modern medicine is sometimes!
(Sadly, today's visit ended my 3 years without a real doctor's appointment streak. Oh well.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Utah Trip Recap

My big trip to Utah was everything I was hoping for! 10 days is a long time to travel, but I'm glad I did it! It is always interesting to return to Utah after being gone for a while. You start to notice all the little idiosyncrasies of the state again, like the use of "way" instead of "more" or "very." ("It was way hot in there!") Or just how many women where tank tops or t-shirts over top a long sleeved shirt. (Now that I've watched every episode of "Sister Wives" I also wonder how many women wearing tank tops on the top are polygamists.) I loved the prolific number of Mavericks and Top Stops everywhere and "way cheap" large drinks. I also greatly appreciated that gas is about 15 cents a gallon cheaper in Utah than it is in Virginia.

Each day of the trip was pretty much the same as the one before it- in a very good way! I would hang out with BFF Jules in the morning, then go meet someone for a really long lunch, then go visit another friend for a really long dinner! My whole vacation was food and conversation! And really, does it get better than that?

Here's a few pictures of just some of the friends I met up with-

This is one of my best friends from high school, Karen, and her daughter Rylee. Karen and I hadn't seen each other in... 20 years?! But we talked just like we said goodbye yesterday, and were stealing each other's school cafeteria fries. Her daughter Rylee is undergoing cancer treatments at Primary Children's Hospital. If you are in Utah you can check out Rylee's television debut this month as part of a PCH ad campaign. You can also check out Rylee's mad dance skills here-

I also got the chance to meet up with the amazing Lindsey of The R House fame. She's not only a world-famous blogger, but a good friend from high school as well. (Lindsey- please forgive me for posting the picture.)

Lindsey and I met up with several other bloggers for a bloggy lunch date. Thank you to Topsy Turvy, HollyWillNot, Jenndola, CrapIveMade, CSPokey, Ryles, and Lauren for a truly unique experience! (If I left anyone out I swear it wasn't intentional!)

Mother's Day would not have been complete without lunch with my little brother. Gotta love the trucker hat, African soccer jersey, 4 days worth of beard, all talking on my pink cell phone-

There were many other lunches and visits with friends, but somehow I didn't get pictures of all of them! I noticed with each friend I would forget I was just visiting and hadn't seen my friend in forever. I even forgot to hug and say goodbye to Heidi because everything felt so normal and natural. What do you mean I hadn't been to visit in over a year?

Each visit was wonderful and a great experience. Thank you to everyone who took the time to meet up with me for a few hours!!

One of the absolute highlights of my trip was a barbecue held by my old neighbors for me! Thank you to Becky, Liz, and Janelle for making me remember so many wonderful times. I absolutely loved getting to hang out with the ladies, their husbands, and their adorable children again. We've all experienced a lot of highs and lows in the past year. There was something very cathartic about being back together with them and seeing that we've all made it through in one piece! And getting a countless number of hugs from these cute kids was worth the whole trip out there-

There aren't many times in your life where you can "go back" to what you once had. I'm in an interesting situation right now where I could make a few changes and go back to my old life. I could live on the same street, have the same friends and neighbors, do very similar work, and just pick up where I left off. It is more tempting to do than words can say! Who wouldn't want to go back to so many happy memories? But in doing so, I would be giving up my Peace Corps dream, among other things. Waiting to see what the next few weeks or months might bring in my life is going to be the ultimate test of faith and patience!

Thank you again to all of my friends, particularly my hosts the Caldwell family, for the great trip!!

Peace Corps Update #5,560

I got asked a lot during my visit to Utah what is going on with the Peace Corps. The answer is- I'm still waiting!
I turned in my medical papers back in February. In theory it takes them 8-12 weeks to review them. Tomorrow will be the 12 week mark. I checked in with them a few weeks ago and was told I would be reviewed soon. (But I've learned that that really doesn't mean anything.)
My situation has changed a little bit and I won't be able to leave now until late September or early October. (More on what that is about on Tuesday!) Which means I won't be going to Morocco. So I went and put in my information into the Peace Corps Calculator and Timeline (two very useful but unofficial tools for figuring out where you might go), and the results are above.
I'm not actually positive that I can go to either Burkina Faso or Kenya. My corn allergy prevents me from going to a good number of countries. They won't send me to a place where corn is a staple I may not be able to avoid. Corn is available in both countries, but I'm not sure if it is avoidable or not. And actually, Guinea shouldn't be on the list at all. Oops.
My family has several strong ties to Samoa, and would love to see me sent there. I think I would be happy in any of those countries, so I don't have a preference really!
I'm just ready for the ball to start rolling! I'm tired of all the sitting and waiting! Let's all cross our fingers for my medical to get approved this week!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Almost Home

Between vacationing, working on vacation, traveling, being sick, and Blogger being down, I'm a little bit behind on blogging! (And I know a few of you have noticed! (Ahem, Liz!)) Give me another 48 hours and we'll return to our normally scheduled chaos!

-- sent from the floor of Gate A3E, desperate for a power outlet.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Only in Utah

True story-
On Saturday at the RSL game, I got a very nice tan on my arms, and a nicely pink nose and cheeks from the sun. A good number of my summer freckles even reappeared. It was so hot at the stadium that Little was complaining about butt sweat. And I was trying to keep my folded arms from touching my chest. It was just too dang hot!
Today, just 2 days later, I found myself in the snow wondering why I didn't pack snow boots or a coat. But then, who does pack snow boots for a trip in May?
There was a 50 degree temperature change over the last 2 days. And I wonder why my sinuses are going crazy and my lungs hate me so much?!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Erin and Little Reunited!

Dear Everybody in the Whole Wide World:
As you may remember, I'm in Utah on vacation this week! Today (Saturday) was one of the best days EVER! And here to help me tell you about it is my favorite sidekick, "Little!"
On our way to Little's dance recital

First, Little wants to tell you about Wednesday!
I stayed home from school due to an allergic reaction. I was at home in bed all day with a swollen face. My mom left to go get us some lunch and pick up my brother, and i heard some knocking on the door. I wasn't expecting anybody so i figured it would be the ups guy or someone. The knocking continued so i went to see who it was. As i peeked through the window i saw blonde hair, and i thought it looked like Erin. i opened the door and i saw Erin holding a camera and i freaked out. I had no idea that she was coming, and i started crying!
We went out to eat, and talked a lot. We had a whole year to catch up on, then i asked her if she had seen my favorite movie, which is Tangled. She hadn't so we came back to my house to watch it. I had a dance recital that night so she curled my hair for me, and off we went. But mostly we were just excited for our big plans for Saturday (today).

Now, it is my (Erin's) turn to tell you about Wednesday!
Little's mother and I have been planning for over a month to surprise Little when I came into town. But then the night before she got really sick, so we had to change our plans at the last second. I liked our backup plan even better. Getting to surprise Little at home was really fun. It was just like she said- I knocked on the door (a couple of times!), she answered, and she yelled, "What are you doing here?!" We hugged, and then we just started to cry!!
Here's a not so flattering picture of that moment-
After we stopped crying and I got a good look at her face it broke my heart to see how bad she still looked! Her face was all swollen (she wants to make sure you understand she is NOT fat), and she had a subsiding rash on her neck. It made me so sad I hadn't been able to get there sooner to help her!
But we had a great afternoon together, and it was a lot of fun to get to go to her dance recital! But like she said- Saturday is the more important day!
Which brings us to-

Today started out with me (still Erin typing) going to pick her up from her dad's house. He was very kind to let me steal her away on his weekend. And even nicer of her little sister (no, really, her REAL little sister) to let Little leave her birthday party early.
We planned our day to be our version of a perfect day- a Real Salt Lake game, mani pedis, shopping, eating, and a sleepover! Can you think of anything better? I think not!
So we went to the RSL game first. We got there right as the game was beginning. A man sold us his SECOND ROW, CENTER FIELD seats for half price! Best seats we've ever had! (Even though it wasn't section 13, row 13, seat 13, which is our preferred place to sit in honor of our favorite former player, Ian Joy.) But we have to admit- second row in the center of the field is a pretty great place to sit.
Loaded down with the necessary foods from the concession stand, we took our seats, and watched the game. It was a pretty great game, minus the fact that one of the best players suffered a very serious injury. (Erin will talk about that on her soccer blog later. This blog is about us!)
Here's a picture of the awesomeness of our seats-
Johnson and Beckerman, and Beckerman's facial hair
As Little points out, we were sitting so close you could see their facial hair and Beckerman's dreads.
After the game we posed with a few of our favorite players for a goal shot-
Girl's got skillz!
Little also points out she jumps as high as Beckerman and Johnson too!
White girls can't jump!
After the match- which RSL won, but was very sad because Javi got hurt, we went to get mani pedis at our favorite place. Little is now sporting hot pink toes and purple fingers. Erin has bright blue toes and soft pink fingers. Every time we go there Erin gets creeped out by the finger things.
Seriously, what are they?!
After that we went to the mall where Little finally got to cash in on getting straight A's. (Erin has been promising her money or clothes for straight A's for a very long time. Conveniently, she hasn't been around to pay up!) She picked a very cute little sundress and tank tops from Aeropostale. We only bring this up because Erin is happy she no longer has to be subjected to shopping in Justice anymore. (And because Erin is sad that Little is growing up and is too mature now for the silly styles of Justice. Peace signs? Who wears peace signs anymore?!)
After doing our part to support the economy, we headed home for a movie, giggling, and naturally, blogging. Ooh, and if you- the whole wide world- can keep it a secret from Little's mom for the next 5 hours, we'll tell you this part too! We made Little's mom a surprise Mother's Day breakfast she will get before she leaves for work way too early in the morning. (Just try not to spoil the surprise for her okay?)
Tomorrow we will be split up again- Little has to go back to her dad's house. And Erin will be doing something (she just doesn't remember what right now). But don't worry, we'll have a video of our reunion ready for you soon. Its so cute it will make you cry. And we have plans to continue shopping together in a few days. After all, we haven't emptied out the mall yet!
Here's a picture of our cuteness to tide you over-
Little and Big

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Ultimate Day Spa Package for $99 in SLC

Shirodhara Day Spa - Ultimate Bliss Package (SLC, UT), $185 Gift Certificate for $99
Ultimate Bliss Package includes 4 Hours of Pampering
- Valid for one European Facial 1.5 Hours
- One Massage 1 Hour
- One European Pedicure 1.5 Hours
- A limit of 1 certificate may be redeemed per customer
- Not valid for tax or gratuity
- Each customer may purchase 1 certificate for themselves.
- An additional 2 certificates may be purchased to give as gifts.
- Mail & Customer Pickup Certificates Expire: 10/31/2011
- Print@Home Certificates Expire: 6 months from date of sale 

Monday, May 02, 2011

Happy Dance!

If you are somewhat new to the blog, this is a HAPPY DANCE post. When something great happens and I can't tell you why, I share a new and different HAPPY DANCE with you!
So get up and dance to the music!!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Did I mention there was a lot going on?

Just one corner of the chaos

Once upon a time there was a very busy girl named Erin who was so busy she couldn't possibly keep up with all of her crazy activities.
One of those activities was packing and moving. Nothing too big or major you see. I'm just calling it the McBride Family Shuffle. My sister is moving out of her apartment (in my aunt's basement) to move to a new town. I'm moving out of my grandmother's house and into my aunt's apartment. (Which, to add to the confusion, is also where my grandmother lives. I've been in her house alone all year.) And my cousin, her husband, and 3.5 children will my moving into my grandmother's house. (And if all things time out in a certain manner, that .5 child will be born in his or her great-grandmother's house.)
Add on top of the craziness of having this at one house, that at another, and the rest in storage, I'm also packing up for a 10 day trip to Utah. When I get back from the trip I'll be "coming home" to the apartment, and not to the old house.
And then there is the usual job applications, lesson planning (my experiences today teaching the 5 yr olds at church are a post all in themselves), helping family with this that and the other, the beginning stages of a very exciting new project, as well as wrapping up the ends of a huge project that consumed the full past month.
I'm tired folks, really, really tired. I'm even looking forward to my flight to Utah for the long nap I can take!
I was doing so good exercising and eating healthy before my trip. And then the stress hit. And then the freezer at Kroger broke and they sold pints of ice cream for less than a $1 a piece. And that became the staple of my diet.
I'm living out of 3 different suitcases being kept in 3 different places (house, car, apartment). So if my shoes don't match, or my bra is showing through my shirt till I can find a better color, please, have a little sympathy. After all, my neighbor found my underwear in the driveway yesterday.
And don't tell anyone, but I think I have a new crush. Maybe. We'll see.
Oh and my column is way past due, and I have no inspiration for writing right now. And I'm out of Diet Dr Pepper, my favorite muse. But I did just suddenly find a new distraction...
Maybe. We'll see.

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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