Showing posts from June, 2011


I did something completely crazy yesterday. I bought a watch.
For years and years I always wore a watch. I couldn't survive without a watch. But eventually I no longer needed a watch as my cell phone and it's lovely digital time display became a permanent fixture in my hand or pocket.
And then for years I was that girl who couldn't be removed from her Blackberry. And why should I be separated from my Blackberry? You can do everything on it- tell time, send emails and texts, check the news, Facebook, and movie times. Heck, I can even read books and listen to music on my phone. Exactly why would I ever want to not be with my phone?
I gave up a Blackberry for a different model smartphone almost a year ago. My new phone does everything my Blackberry did. We're cool.
But I was and have still been that girl who couldn't put her phone down.
And then something amazing happened last week. I went on Trek and left my phone at home. The youth weren't allowed phones, so I …

Fun New CityDeals Offers!

Remember to add "FIREWORKS" to your purchases to get the extra 20% off. When you click the links the full price will show. Add the code at checkout and save more money!

I'm excited to get this deal. I had just sent an appointment to get this exact product from a dentist here in town, and was about to pay closer to $300 for it! (The dentist was going to do the first application of it on me.) I'm more than happy to save the money and buy it here instead!

I Can Do Hard Things

Little known fact about me- I rarely ever vomit. I may get nauseated and horribly ill, but actual rejection of stomach contents? Maybe once every five years.
Which is what makes 3 am last night significant, as I held my head over the porcelain throne in my every five year tribute. Mostly what I wanted to do was die. Instead, I pulled a blanket and pillow on to the floor and slept on the bathroom floor and wondered how I was going to survive the next day.
Today I had to move out of my apartment. Thankfully (and this is a long and complicated story I won't go into) the missionaries came over to help. And instead of just the two I was expecting, I got six hearty young men, ready to make this the fastest move in history. And move quickly they did. The entire apartment was loaded into the truck in under 30 minutes. (Actually having everything packed before they arrived helped.)
Moving + recovering from my 5 year tribute= not an easy feat for me.
But thankfully we all survived.
Oh and d…

Pioneer Trek

The pioneer youth trek of 2011 is now officially behind us! It was a great experience, and I am so glad I got the chance to go chaperon. We trekked about 20 miles, suffered only a few small injuries, saw a lot of blisters, and had no handcarts break down on us. Overall, I'd call that a great success.
Being a leader is always an interesting experience. We know the little things that went wrong behind the scenes. But it is always great and reassuring to poll the kids later to find out that none of them had a clue.
We thing that "went wrong" was that we walked faster than anticipated, and got into camp a few hours early one night. (This can barely be called a real problem.) So I got called into action to come up with a few ways to occupy and entertain the youth with no supplies, preparation, etc. (I secretly love operating on the fly.) I discovered I can still pull off completely off the cuff event planning. I really had fun pulling a joke on all the kids at one point. I s…

Preparing for the Pioneer Trek

Dressed like this (a plump, short, pioneer grandmother in pink) I will be taking off for the next few days as an "aunt" on the Pioneer Trek. (From what I can gather, there are no flattering pioneer clothes good for hiking.)

A Pioneer Trek? Oh yes, a trek.

For my non-LDS friends, I shall explain.

It has become a tradition in our church to take the youth on a pioneer trek reenactment every few years. (This tradition began after I left high school, so this is my first one.) Wearing the traditional clothing of the 1800's, complete with bonnets, skirts, aprons, and for the men no pocket pants, suspenders, etc, we pull handcarts in the summer heat, across "the plains." In our case, "the plains" will be a mountain fire road.

All efforts are made to make it as realistic and rugged as possible. The youth will truly pull handmade handcarts for about 20-30 miles. We've been asked to not bring anything with batteries in it, including cell phones, ipods, and …

Making my dreams come true! AKA- My summer plans!

About 11 years ago I witnessed a bad car accident and the amazing skills of volunteer fire fighters and EMTs. From the moment I saw the vols in action, I knew I wanted to be one of them. A few short months later, and I was a certified fire fighter complete with a yellow helmet. But most importantly, the volunteer bug had bitten me, and I knew I wanted to give back to the community whenever possible.

Not long after I became a FF/EMT I went to Romania and discovered my love for international travel and international volunteer work. And again, my love for volunteering increased. And I discovered a desire to want to work in less developed countries.

Years passed, jobs happened, and life moved on. But one thing never changed- my overwhelming desire to get involved at a very deep level in volunteering in a less developed country. But people tend to not hire women who specialize in marketing firearms to go work overseas. So I sought out different opportunities to go abroad to volunteer, but …

Jumping out windows

Dear Universe:

It really is amazing what a little prayer, faith, patience, and a good nap can do for your attitude. Oh and not being completely broke helps too.

In the past few days things have gone from completely depressing, with lots of tears and anger, to rainbows and sunshine. Suddenly everything just feels right, like I didn't get hit by a train and my life got derailed last week. I was mocking that obnoxious "When God closes a door, he opens a window" platitude last week. (I'm still mocking it this week. I don't believe true doctrine can be found needle stitched onto a pillow.) But this week it feels like I have found a dozen windows and I want to jump out of them all.

I had a wonderful and unexpected weekend. I got to help take the youth from our church up to the Temple in DC. I was lucky enough to have 3 of the cutest 12, 13, and 14 yr olds you have ever met with me. (I now know more words to Justin Bieber songs than I thought possible. And I'm okay…

Girl's Search for Happiness - REVISED

Yesterday I posted a rather lengthy and unhappy post about my situation in life.

It's gone now.


Because it just wasn't me. I'm not one to let depression get me down. I'm not one to let circumstances get me down. I wrote in a moment of weakness, before I remembered my own strength. The problems are still there, but there are no longer tears for my problems.

If I suddenly have months and months to kill, and indefinite future, food in the cupboards, and a place to lay my head at night, then all is well. Worse things have happened in my life, and I am okay with that.

And so instead of wallowing in tears and self-pity, I will rise again. I'll rebuild and go forward.

Today I am focusing on my spirituality and creativity, and less on productivity and making things happen. I can't begin to tell you how good that feels!

Have you heard this song? (I'm sure you have. It is everywhere these days.) I love the words. "Happiness hit her like a train on a track.…


Also, I'm just reminding you all for the berzillionth time to share my recruiting and jobs website with your friends and family! Jobs By Erin -
There's several jobs in Utah available right now! And I'm always happy to help with resumes, and just collect resumes for future positions.

Girl's Search for Happiness

Exactly one year ago my life was in complete shambles. I had followed the advice and pressure from those who loved me and had followed a path I wasn't comfortable with, and it had turned out very badly. Suffering from a lot of personal and emotional wounds, I picked up what I called my life and moved to Roanoke.
Why Roanoke? I had a free place to live, and a place to regroup while looking for the next plan. Over the past 3 years I had been through so many changes and heartbreaks I just needed a place to stop and start over again. I had endured a very painful disappointment and breakup (that I never discussed on this blog) with a wonderful man. Not to mention I went through a very personally revealing forgiveness experience with him, so that we can be friends now. I had also endured "the economy" in a very personal way. In three years I went through 4 jobs, and lost each and everyone of them due to the economy, or poor management. In short those three years brought me ex…

Why must kids grow up??

Can we all just agree it is completely unbelievable and unfair how much this kid grew up in just one month? I swear to you last month when I saw "Little" she was still shorter than me! This month? She's maybe, at most, half an inch shorter than me!! I told her to stop growing up, but I told her that last month, and look how well it worked. I'm going to have to move back to Utah just so I can make sure I don't miss out on anything else. If she keeps this up I'm going to have to stop calling her my kiddo, or little girl! And I am really not ready for that yet.

Unhappy Peace Corps Update

My personal Peace Corps timeline-
July 2010- began application process online
August 2010- actually submitted it (after finishing it I sat on it for a long time before submitting it, just to be sure this is what I wanted to do)
September 2010- Did fingerprinting, etc.
October 2010- Met recruiter, had in-person interview
November 2010- Nomination, received medical paperwork day before Thanksgiving.
January-February 2011- did the medical stuff. Took forever.
February 12, 2011- Submitted medical
April 2011- Checked in, was told I would hear back on my medical within 2-3 weeks.
June 10, 2011- Checked in again about my medical after 7 weeks with no contact. Was told previous person incorrectly told me I was about to get reviewed. Was told I would be reviewed by end of June.
June 12, 2011- Received the following email -

The Placement Office is the office responsible for the final evaluation of applicants for suitability and competitiveness and the final selection of applicants for specific p…

A sneak peak at the family vacation


Out on Vacation

I'm back in Utah for a few days. For the first time in several years I'm with all my siblings and nephews and my parents! We're hanging out in Park City and having a blast.
I'm sure there will be more to share later!

What makes a good leader?

After attending the conference over the weekend my brain has been working overtime, really thinking about different ideas and beliefs that I hold. In short, some of what I heard has really hit home with me and has me reconsidering what I thought I believed.
I have not heard one candidate or party at this point that represents my beliefs well. And so I am asking myself, which issues are the most important to me? Also, what defines a good leader?

My Brand of Politics

Warning: Very Long Post Ahead
As mentioned in my previous post, I spent Friday at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington, DC. I went at the invitation of my father, who was going mostly to support Mitt Romney. I was going because it promised an interesting lineup of GOP hopefuls, and I wanted to hear what they have to say for myself. While my father is a well-known Romney supporter, as is the majority of my extended family, I am not completely convinced he is the candidate that best represents me. If you want to understand my politics, read on. If you don't care at all about me and my politics, you'll want to skip this post. Because this post is nothing but me and my beliefs. I was at one point in time very conservative. I worked on Capitol Hill for an extremely conservative congressman. I worked full-time on a Presidential campaign for one of the most morally conservative candidates ever seen. I did at one time work for the NRA and for Beretta. So it is sa…

Faith and Freedom Coalition Part 1

On Friday I attended the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington, DC. I did not realize when I agreed to attend that I would be going to a major Tea Party event. I had agreed to attend when I saw the line up and saw that nearly every major Republican potential Presidential candidate would be speaking. Additionally, some other major heavy hitters would be speaking throughout the day, and I knew there would be a lot to learn.
I do not affiliate myself with the Tea Party. And as a Mormon, I also do not affiliate myself as an evangelical. In fact, I often wonder what it is that Mormons did that makes evangelicals hate us so very much.
Below are my pictures from the event, along with my feelings, and what is hopefully an unbiased report of the proceedings.
I did not arrive until close to noon, and therefore missed some of the big speakers like Michele Bachmann in the morning. I arrived just in time to catch Rep John Boehner speak. He gave the typical party line, and political, "We m…

Faith and Freedom Coalition Part 2 - Donald Trump Speaks

And now we'll fast forward several hours into the evening session. The website had originally slated Glenn Beck to speak. I was very curious to see Ralph Reid kick off a meeting that would have three Mormons speaking in it. (If you have never heard Reid speak, he is not shy about his Evangelical ways, and gets creative with language to specifically exclude Mormons from being considered Christians. Also, if you don't know this already, Reid is the head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, and an informal top gun for the Tea Party.) However, the lineup changed, and Beck was not there.
(Sidenote:  Look on this page and you'll understand why I am flipflopping on how to spell Reed v Reid.)

The big kickoff name for the evening was none other than Donald Trump. It is still a bit surreal to think I sat just ten feet away from Trump last night.
What is more surreal to me was the discovery that I'm not opposed to his politics. Much to my total surp…

Faith and Freedom Coalition Part 3- Pawlenty, Romney, and Paul

I knew very little about Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota going into this event. I knew he was well-liked and respected. This was another chance for me to listen and be educated. I really was open minded with each of the candidates, looking to see which one would have the "IT" factor, the leadership qualities, and the rhetoric I could support.

While I did find Pawlenty to be a good man, he was lacking the it factor. He was good like my favorite college professor was good, but he was not a commanding presence, or charismatic like Trump or Romney were. The it factor was the only thing that got Obama elected. I'm pretty sure everyone was blinded by his charisma, and didn't hear a word he was saying. (Otherwise, what were they thinking?)  From the notes- "Obama's fluffy rhetoric doesn't fill the tank or feed the children."  He got a huge applause when he said he was running for POTUS.  He wants to phase out ethanol subsidies (he said with a quick apology t…

Taking Time to Hear it for Myself

Tomorrow I will be packing up the car and kissing my dog goodbye and driving back up to DC for the weekend. I'll be joining my globe trotting parents and going to the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference. This will be a major platform for most of the GOP presidential hopefuls. Among the speakers will be Gov Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachman, Haley Barbour, Virginia's very own Gov Allen, Glenn Beck, Donald Trump, Ralph Reed, and many other notable GOP and Tea Party names.
The truth about me is I am less and less a Republican every day. I continue to become more independent, and more libertarian. This does not make me more moderate. In fact, I'm more extreme to both the left and the right. There are a few things I know I am not. One is a conspiracy theorist, and/or a supporter of Ron Paul. I am not an extreme tea partier either. I listen to NPR more than Fox News. But I am attending this conservative GOP event.
I'm the Peace Corps volunteer who once worked for t…

I'm not 16 anymore

I am not 16 anymore. You know how I know? Because when I was 16 I could do the splits, dance for hours, and run 5 miles every day, and not have to go to bed with an ice pack.
Now? Not so much. Tonight I did some very simple yoga for an hour with the young women at church. While on an endorphin high, I took my dog out for a short sprint. Came home, and while watching So You Think You Can Dance, found myself moved by the music and dancing, and I suddenly my feet took flight, and I did a flying stag dance leap across the room. And was very painfully reminded that I am not 16 anymore.
Please pass the ibuprofen!