Showing posts from December, 2011

Reason 5,432,109 why I love working with the young women

This picture is just one of the many reasons I love working with the young women. This week to be the camp leader again. Of course I agreed. I LOVE girls camp! When the girls found out they cheered. When you are having a rough week, nothing beats having a group of teenage girls cheer for you.
I've had such a great experience working with the young women at my church, and with "Little" from the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, that my dream and goal of becoming a foster mother to a teenage girl keeps coming back to me. Oh how I wish I had a real, stable, and well-paying job so I could get myself back into a position where fostering would be a reality again. (New to this blog? I was approved to become a foster mother in Utah just a few days before I got laid off 2 years ago.)
I don't do New Year's Resolutions, but if I did, getting back to a position where I could be a foster mother would be my top goal.
Until then, I'm just glad I get to "foster" a…

You can laugh if you want to

Earlier today something a little insulting happened to me. I realized at the time that once the sting wears off of it, I'll find it funny. But first, I had to find my sense of humor again. And I just wasn't in the mood. While sitting here stewing about my bad mood I came across this absolute gem on YouTube. And suddenly, everything is hilarious.

(I miss my dear sweet Kara, Sionnie, and Emilie that I lived with in Cambodia, who are all from Oz. There's something about knowing some Australians that make it that much funnier to me. I love their nonchalant attitude about everything. I should move to Australia.)

So what was the big insulting thing?
I got offered a job.
But not just any job!
The store I've been working at offered me a job after a high schooler quit this week. I've never been so proud. All those years of professional marketing experience, college, and working hard to be the best at my little minimum wage retail job, and I am now qualified to REPLACE A HI…

Carrying the weight of the world in my shoulders apparently

Yesterday (and by yesterday, I mean my yesterday, which was Tuesday, even though most of you won't read till until Thursday), I made a quick trip to the mall to do what people do in the days following Christmas at the mall (spend gift cards and exchange gifts). On my way out I saw the little Chinese couple who give cheap massages at their kiosk. (I have asked and confirmed, yes, they are Chinese.) It is about $1 a minute for these massages. I've been standing, bending, twisting, and lifting while working retail, not to mention dealing with this awful sinus infection. My body HURTS. I couldn't help myself. I had $8 left on my gift card Visa, and I put it to good use. This tiny little woman, no more than 100 lbs and 5 ft tall, massaged beat me to a bloody pulp. I have never been manhandled like that before.
It was awesome.
Even after the buzzer went off saying all 7 of my minutes were done, ($1 for a tip) she kept attacking me. I pointed out time was up. She slammed me back…

A Secret Message from Me to My Awesome Nephew


Happy Festivus for the Rest of Us

I hope everyone had a very, merry Christmas! My day was filled with lots of love, laughter, crazies, and family. And I loved every single second of it!
My one and only Christmas wish was to find a job! And here we are just 2 days after Christmas and I have to admit, I'm well on my way to feeling like I have one. For the past two months I have been really focused on "becoming a writer." I hate that expression so much. "Being a writer" - what does that mean anyway? Well, for me it means actually making a realistic income getting paid to write for publication. And today I have a story running on the Motley Fool - Putting Stock in Politics, new content up on Swing State Voter (what I wrote for today was not that significant, but you should check out what I wrote on Saturday!), and my column is running on Meridian Magazine -Why There are More Singles Today Than Before. And if time allows (after I get back from working at the mall), I will have new material for a de…

Choose to be happy

Why this video? I say why not this video? I had TMBG stuck in my head today, but as it turns out there is no official video for the song I was thinking about. So I picked this one instead (official video from TMBG, who go by the ParticleMen on YouTube). And really, when is the Flood album not appropriate? 

Today I came close to tears. It was just a rough day for me, nothing out of the ordinary, just rough. You know, unemployed/underemployed rough, lack of money rough, a little too by myself rough, and feeling inadequate to accomplish some challenges in front of me.
And then to top it all off, a friend of mine had something good happen for her. Normally I could have felt happy for her. And I know I should have. But mostly I just resented that she has a job, a husband, cute kids, and things are going really well for her. In comparison, I was struggling to be grateful for my minimum wage job working holiday retail.
Why does she get to be happy? Why is something good happening for her? …

Christmas Crazies

Hello Friends! My week went from being incredibly dull and boring, to suddenly very busy and unexpected. The store that cut all my hours down to just 4 last week, and said they wouldn't need me this week, suddenly wants me for 20 hours over 3 days. (And may I just say, that thus far, those have been some of the busiest, nonstop, craziest hours I have ever worked in my life?)
I'm quickly making a few small gifts for the family I will be spending Christmas Day with.
Oh and let's not forget, learning and practicing the song I am singing on Christmas in church! (not an easy feat considering the 2 months long sinus infection I've been fighting!)
And I'm happily hosting my extended family on Christmas for a big family dessert party. This will be my first time ever to host my extended family for any sort of event. And the first time we've ever had any sort of gathering at the new house. I've got my work cut out for me.
Somewhere in there I need to make a turkey,…

That's Miss Writer to you!

After approximately 28 years of writing, I can officially call myself a professional writer today. Never did I imagine that when the day would come that I could say that I am being paid to write for someone else that I would be writing about the stock market and investments. In fact, had I ever known that this day would be coming, I probably would have taken very different courses in college.
But nonetheless, this is a big day for me. I am officially getting paid to be a blogger for a major online publication. It is part-time, freelance, pay-per-click work, but hey, it is work. And I will always be grateful for work. (This is also the future of all writing. It screws the writers over, and really benefits the publishers. But it is what it is.)
So if you have a few minutes, check me out over at the Motley Fool. I've only been blogging for them for a few hours, but I've got a post up already- Why is Facebook finally going public? 
For those of you counting, (heaven knows I am), …

Awesome Conversations with my Awesome Little Cousin

Me: Are you excited for Santa to come this week?
Awesome Little Cousin, age 6: YES!!!
Me: What is he going to bring you?
Her: A PUPPY!!!
Commence wild 6 yr old hopping up and down as she describes puppies.
Her father overhears this from a distance and steps in to intervene: What did we discuss about how Santa doesn't bring puppies?
Him: Santa doesn't bring puppies. Santa brings toys.
I change the subject: Did you write a letter to Santa?
Her: No, I don't know his address to mail it to him.
Me: Oh, well that's easy. You just write "North Pole" on it, and the mail man will take it there.
Her (bewildered): But how will he know which house is Santa's?
Me (bewildered): The mail man just knows.
Her: My mail man knows where Santa lives and can go there?
Me: Um, yes! 
Her: My mail man is really smart! (pause) But I don't know how to write a letter.
Me: I bet your big brother will help you.
(He's home from college.)
Her: He will!!

Are singles delaying marriage?

Y'all can all stop asking why your single friend isn't married (yet). And you can also stop asking me why I'm not married (yet) too. The latest data show that single adults now almost outnumber married adults. But no, this isn't a post about why singles are people too.
Within a few years, the majority of adults over 18 will be single. And that's not a number specific to a religion. That is across the United States. Alexis de Tocqueville observed in the 19th century, “There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated.” Well, that was before a few things happened, now wasn't it?
Before we had shows like "Married... with Children" and "Sex and the City" convincing us marriage would be awful. (Comparatively, TV shows in the 1980s and earlier that were all about families.) And before birth control and the feminist revolutio…

Receive a FREE Picture of Jesus Christ

Would you like a free picture of Jesus Christ to place in your home this Christmas? Some wonderful people in Texas are giving away FREE pictures (you pay for the shipping though)!
You can get all the details on Meridian Magazine on why and how.

Faith is born from a relationship with Christ. Like any relationship, it begins by spending time together. We spend time with the Lord as we pray and study His word. But in a world filled with distractions it can become easy to forget Him unless we surround ourselves with meaningful reminders. By putting a picture of Christ in our homes we are creating a reminder to ourselves, and those we love, to spend time with Him each day.

Here is how you can order a picture-

1.     Begin at Home The Lord taught us that we should be doers of the word and not just hearers only. If we are going to realize the power that art has in transforming other’s lives we must begin with our own. As our gift, you can receive a free picture of the Savior to displa…

Kaya the Wonder Dog and her prized, dismembered monkey

Because sometimes a dog just needs to take her toy monkey out for a walk.

Christmas Spirit Surprise Attack

I got into the tiniest bit of Christmas Spirit on Monday night. It all started out by looking for an extension cord for my TV. Which lead to rummaging through boxes in the garage to find one, which is where I ran across the Christmas lights (with an extension cord attached to them), which I unpacked, then decided to hang up, which lead to putting out a wreath, and the next thing you know I found a fake tree and set it up too. And you can't just put up a tree, you have to put ornaments on it. And there you have it. I accidentally decorated for Christmas. The tree is only 5 feet tall and rather puny, and looks fairly comical in a 30x30 room all alone. And the angel is ridiculously large to be sitting on it. (Maybe I'll pull it down and put a picture of David Boreanaz on top?) But I'm glad it is there. And as you can see, so is my dog.
Just when things started to get impossible and tough over the weekend, good things followed. I'm finally getting over this sinus infectio…

Happy Birthday to My Favorite Guy

I told Dallin today that I don't like it when little boys turn 10. Because then they are big boys, and sometimes big boys don't like to hang out with their aunts very much. Without missing a beat he said, "I'll always like you Aunt Erin." And that is why Dallin is my favorite 10 year old boy! Happy Birthday, Little Man!

Take a Deep Breath and Carry On

Every once in a while I get hit with a sneak attack of loneliness. Not the kind of loneliness where I live alone and have no friends. But the kind of loneliness that says I'm destined to be alone forever, never fall in love again, and die an old maid. I hate that feeling.
It wasn't my favorite weekend ever. As always, I've tried to stay positive, focus on my blessings and what I have to be grateful for. But my hours at work got cut significantly- down to less than 10 hours! And next week isn't looking any better. While I'm grateful to be making some money, this is barely enough to survive on, let alone thrive on. Forget buying Christmas presents. I'll be lucky to have enough money to buy gas just to get to work!
All that aside, I just felt alone. It really doesn't hit me too often. But it hit me full force this weekend. Just that empty, dead feeling of "what's the point in even trying?" Sometimes it hits when you look around and don't lik…

Best Christmas Songs

I thought I'd follow up my post about the worst pop holiday songs by asking what you think the best Christmas songs are?

I found this list of the 99 most essential Christmas masterpieces on Amazon today ($5 instant download!), and it got me to thinking. What are the most essential Christmas songs?

Here is my list of songs or albums I just love to hear at Christmas-

Harry Connick, Jr "When My Heart Finds Christmas" My favorite song? "I Pray on Christmas" #11 I sing that song all Christmas long. (My secret love and talent- thanks to my high school and elementary music teacher, I can sing gospel and swing with the best of them!)

Christmas isn't Christmas without a gorgeous version of "O Holy Night." And every year I find myself searching for the perfect rendition. This year that goes to Nathan Pacheco , who's older sister I grew up with. His mother was even my voice teacher for a while. So maybe I'm a little biased. But the boy can sing!! (…

Worst Pop Holiday Songs Ever

For no good reason other than I felt like it, I delved into the world of vlogging today to discuss the WORST POP HOLIDAY SONGS EVER. I apologize for subjecting you to my renditions of these total disasters.
Also, I may or may not have been wearing pants while creating this video. What you will know after watching this, is that I need to work on my nostril flaring. And not positioning the camera in such a way as to give me serious double chin action.

The stuff dreams are made of

There are days where I miss my old life so much it hurts. I just close my eyes and walk through my old house, room by room, and step by step, and look at everything all over again. I worked so hard to make that house my own and get every detail just right. I miss it so much.
My stuff has been in storage for nearly 18 months now. I never thought it would be so long before I would be reunited with my furniture. Every once in a while I think of a pair of very trendy boots that must have been left in storage. (I can't find them here, which makes no sense, because I don't know why I would have put them in storage.) I only got to wear my cute boots once before putting them in storage. They are so overly trendy that I wonder if they will be completely out of style and ridiculous by the time I get them back someday?
I know I won't be unemployed and living in Roanoke forever. Today I realized that I have very few happy memories of Roanoke. Not because good things haven't happe…

Help End Sex Trafficking

Through a long meticulous process, Riverkids was awarded a place on GlobalGiving, which is a very important milestone for us.
It would be awesome if you could help us reach 50 donors from the US to make a tax-deductible donation of $90 each by 31 December 2011.
$90 provides industry visits and teambuilding field trips for 20 young women and counselling from 2 Social Workers for one month.
The Riverkids Bootstraps program helps young women aged 16 and up who are involved in the sex trade in Cambodia to commit to vocational training into safe jobs. The women talk and bond through outings to fun places like the waterpark or behind-the-scenes at a restaurant that give them a chance to be ordinary young women and see new opportunities. 60 women have already graduated into safe jobs in hairdressing, housekeeping, cooking and sewing. We have a waiting list of women eager for a second chance.
The project will help 20 young women and girls to step out of sex work. It will reduce the amount of…

Me Versus the Homeless Lady with 15 Kids

Thursday was the 2 year anniversary of the day I got laid off. Definitely an anniversary I never expected to be marking. Significantly, Thursday was also the first day I got a paycheck in a very, very long time. It is amazing how bringing home money that I earned, even if it is just minimum wage for a holiday job, can feel so good. Being able to support yourself really is important.

Today (Friday) I shared this news clip of a homeless woman with 15 children on Facebook. She was making the news for her antics in demanding that "someone" has to do something to give her money and housing for her children. No father(s) in the picture. She swears the state agencies that intervened (by paying her rent and giving her welfare assistance) messed everything up for her. In all of her (ridiculous) demands, she never once asks for a job, she only asks for handouts. She wants welfare and help, but doesn't want to have to live by the rules the state requires of her. (So she landed in …