Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Well, we DO have the biggest brains.

If humans are truly superior mammals, how come you never see a puppy, baby seal, or even a baby monkey wedged under the couch, screaming bloody murder with his feelings crushed because he's gotten himself into another fine mess? I've also (personally) never seen a kitten try with all its might, for days and days, to eat the vacuum cleaner or the bathroom garbage can.
I'm just thinking out loud here.

Friday, December 10, 2010


This made me imagine the streets of heaven.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Conspiracy

Have you ever noticed that the cream cheese to bagel ratio is never equal?
There is always more than enough cream cheese in the package to cover the six bagels, but not enough to cover twelve bagels.
I'm just saying.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Week of Thanks: The Finish Line

On Thursday of this week, I was incredibly thankful for a lot of things. For my family, for my friends, for my sweet, beautiful children. But more specifically, I was most thankful for finishing a race. In September, I did a lot of research about local fitness centers. Who had the most to offer? Who had the best price? Who would best meet my needs? I got all my questions answered and discussed with Richard. I am so thankful that he agreed that I could sign up to join the gym. Since then, I have worked hard, training for the Turkey Day 5K in Minneapolis. Again, I am thankful for Richard's generosity, because any time I was at the gym meant I wasn't at home.
So, on Thursday morning, I got up very (VERY) early and rode down to Minneapolis with my sweet friend, Sarah. Oh, how thankful I am for her! We have been friends for 24 years. She has been a part of my life for my whole life. And together, we "ran" 3.1 miles together in the freezing cold. What a joy!
On Friday, I was thankful for friendships once again. Mom, Naomi and I went out with the crazed shoppers on Black Friday. None of us spent a whole lot, but going on an adventure of that kind with two of my best friends is more than I could hope for. What's more? I bought new jeans. New. Jeans. Catch my drift? Wahoo! All that time at the gym is paying off!
Today, the finish line for the Week of Thanks, I am so thankful for my loving family. My sister worked so hard to prepare a gorgeous meal for all of us. (And most of it was gluten-free!) We got to spend precious time together laughing and talking, and watching Shirley show off.
So, the Week of Thanks comes to a close. I will try not to stop being thankful. You do the same. Deal? Deal.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
-Psalm 100:4

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Week of Thanks: Wednesday

Today I am thankful that I was able to make it to the grocery store before the snow started flying and everybody got off of work. I would not want to be out in that madness right now!
I am also thankful for a husband who provides and enables me to host a dinner for our family. I'm looking forward to having them over to celebrate the first leg of our Thanksgiving weekend.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16:34

A Week of Thanks: Tuesday

Yesterday I was thankful for forgiveness, Coca-Cola, and vitamin D capsules.
Take from that what you will.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Week of Thanks: Monday

Yesterday, I was thankful for rest. And Netflix.
So there.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Week of Thanks: Sunday

Tonight, I am thankful for all the hard work I did last week to get ready for our company to come this weekend. Because of that hard work, my house is still clean enough for me to relax and veg out after our fun, albeit exhausting weekend.
I know that doesn't seem like much, but an evening of reprieve from the daily uphill battle is greatly appreciated.
Looking forward to the week ahead.
I am also very thankful for new friendships made, old friendships nurtured, and grandparents who will sit in our living room until three o'clock in the morning because we are stuck in an ice storm on the 35W bridge.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Dirty it up!

Last week, a large amount of tomato juice got spilled in the fridge. Before that, it was half a bottle of RED wine. Before that a quart of milk.
I finally decided that just wiping out the spills was no longer sufficient, so I took the whole bottom shelf apart and ran the drawers through the dishwasher, then scrubbed down the glass shelf and plastic parts. It was disgusting, but high time.
My fridge is SO CLEAN, that I can't slide anything in or out of the bottom shelf! I go to slide in a pan of lasagna and it sticks on the super clean glass! I'm thinking I need some surf board wax to be able to slide the huge juice jug in and out.
Or maybe I should just dump some milk and a handful of dirt in there and let it do its thing.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Shelter from the storm.

As a kid, just could not figure out what those cute playhouses were for at the end of people's driveways out in the country. So I finally asked. Turns out, they're not playhouses. They're for kids to wait for the school bus in a place to get safely out of the frigid weather. What a disappointment.
I was probably nine or ten when I figured it out, and at the time I thought, "We live in such a cold part of the world that kids need shelter to get on the school bus? It's dangerous waiting for the bus? WHY do we live here?"
Just a little pre-winter memory I thought I'd share.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


While I worked out tonight, I watched two girls goofing around, daring each other to lift weights, racing each other on the treadmills, that kind of thing. I guessed them to be either seniors in high school or freshman in college. Somewhere in the 17-19 range, possibly older, but definitely not younger. (This information will be important later.)
Over all I had a really good night at the gym tonight. I reached a personal goal that I really thought would take at least another month. I lost two more pounds. I can feel myself getting stronger and more confident by the day. Lots of milestones all around.
After my fantastic work out, I was literally smiling on my way into the locker room, thrilled with my progress, just ACHING for someone to tell.
I was washing up in the when one of the girls I had noticed earlier said to me, "Hey, are you Bella's mom?"
I said, "No, why? Is someone crying in the nursery?"
She said, "No, uh...Bella's my friend."
Now, I ask you, interweb.
Am I so frumpy that I could so easily be mistaken for a 40+ mother? REALLY? I don't try too hard to be stylish when I go to the gym, but maybe it's time to start. I don't mean to offend my 40+ readers, but COME ON. I am TWENTY-EIGHT years old.
Oh well. I guess she saved me from getting a big head or something.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


(Alternate title: Bally Belly)
(Alternate title: Erin the Comfort Eater: MINDFREAK)

To me, a comfort and reward eater, it is the absolute epitome of Cruel (with a capital C) that my gym shares a parking lot with two fast food "restaurants" and my favorite grocery store.
The mind games have gotten completely out of control. It doesn't help when my legs feel like jelly and I can hardly my weakened state my will power doesn't stand a chance, so it typically hides its head in the sand.
Walking to the car, it's like there's a good angel and a bad angel on my shoulder.
Bad Angel: You worked hard. You deserve a treat.
Good Angel: You did work hard, but a treat won't help.
BA: You burned 700 calories today. Plus the 500 for breastfeeding. You can have a little something.
GA: Go home and make a little something. It will still be half the calories and they won't be empty calories.
BA: You know how good it will taste. You deserve it.
GA: Food isn't the Ultimate Comforter. Run to Jesus instead of food.
BA: Jesus doesn't taste as good as a Frappuccino.

It's hard to argue with that.

Monday, October 18, 2010

For your reference: "Outside" is now called "Commando."

Erin: Shirley, let's put on your underpants.
Shirley: NO!
Erin: Ok, how about a diaper?
Shirley: NO!
Erin: Well it has to be one or the other.
Shirley: NO!
Richard: Do you want to go commando?
Shirley: YEAH! Let's go commando, Daddy! Take her! Take her commando! Let's go!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's good to know where you're at.

The other night, Richard and I went to visit some friends who had a baby. We rode separately so he could take the daddy out for wings (a long-standing tradition in our circle).
I texted him while he was out, "That was fun. Let's have another."
He replied, "Beer?"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The window on our deck door is very difficult to open, so I've just been keeping the door propped open to allow fresh air into the house. I figure this way, any mice who've waited til the last minute to confirm their living arrangements for the winter can just come on in.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

New Recipe

Erin: I think that was probably the worst dinner I have ever made us.
Richard: No comment.
E: Ha! I know it. [longpause] Wait. Are you saying 'no comment' because you can think of something worse? Or are you saying 'no comment' because you don't want to hurt my feelings my not agreeing with me?
R: No comment.
E: No! You have to tell me. I can't think of anything worse than what we ate tonight, but if I'm wrong, I need to know!
R: [longpause] I just don't ever want to have that again.
E: Ok.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Day My Brain Stopped Working

I needed to return some things to a popular children's store. I should have done it much sooner, but the truth is, I forgot. So, today, Mom and I headed to the mall to make my returns. I was anticipating a fairly large amount of cash for the clothing in my bag, but I wasn't too excited about it--I just had a plan. A plan to return the clothes, get the cash, deposit the cash. Bing, bang, boom. No worries. Easy peasy.
So...I'm chatting with the sales girl, she's scanning things, you know. And she says, "You know this is going to be in merchandise credit, right?"
I said, "Uh, no. That's not right. Cash was paid for these items. I'd like the cash back, please."
She said, "Well, since they were purchased more than 60 days ago, you can only get a merchandise credit."
I said, "Shoot. That's not what I thought would happen."

And then time stood still.

I literally did not know what to do. Return the clothes? Keep the clothes? Take the gift card? Throw a temper tantrum?
So, I said, "Isn't there anything you can do about this? Who is the manager?"
She said, "I'm the manager."
I said, "So, isn't there anything you can do about this?"
She said, "You can have the phone number for customer service...?"
I said, "Will customer service tell you to give me my money back?"
She said, "No."
I said, "Then, no thank you."

And then time stood still.

I still did not know what to do. My brain just could. not. figure. this. one. out.
While she stared at me, I literally closed my eyes and tried to SEE the right answer. It did not appear.
Finally my mom came over, "Is everything ok?"
I explained the situation to her and told her to just tell me what to do.
We ended up keeping the outfit that will still fit Shirley and took a merchandise credit for the rest of the clothing.
Later I said to my mom, "I'm really sorry, Mom. I thought it was safe to go in public again. Clearly I was wrong."
Let the record show: I made the wrong choice. I am returning the rest of the clothes tomorrow. Hopefully the cashier will be fluent in Post-Partum-PMS-Exhausted-Mommy-Speak. (Yes, that's a real condition.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Urban Experiment: Fail.

This is the only tomato I harvested from my TopsyTurvy planter this year (and it ripened on my counter).

Maybe next year I should water the damn thing.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Make a Wish

Yesterday at the football game, Richard said, "If I was dying or got cancer or something, and I got one wish, I would want to run out about ten yards, then cut right, and have Brett Favre throw me the ball as hard as he could, so I could see what it felt like, just one time. I hope he would break all my fingers."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Praise the Lord for non-stick cooking spray.

Dear Past Erin,
A word of advice:
Don't leave the dough for the rolls in the oven to rise and then take a two-hour nap.
All my love,
Future Erin

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sweet Home...

Turns out, you can go home again...but it's weird.
I had the sweet privilege of going to my ten-year high school reunion in Decatur, Alabama two weeks ago. It was fantastic.
Have you ever gone back to a place with which you used to be intimate? It's hard. And strange. Things are very different, but at the same time nothing has changed. More than anything, YOU are changed, which makes everything look bigger, smaller, more beat up, less vivid, more colorful, newer, older...
Overall, I'm very glad I went. It was very emotional--the time we spent in Alabama was pivotal for our family, for my faith. It was very difficult to move down there (especially half way through high school), but absolutely God's plan for us, and I am so thankful for what he had planned for us--for me--in the Deep South. A lot of those emotions came rushing back when I had lunch with my friends, and toured my old stomping grounds. I'm just so thankful that I was able to remember the place with joy and a new understanding, and especially with fondness and familiarity.

Leslie, Kerry, Randall, ME, Leonard, Heather

Turning this corner felt really weird. Our house.

Our high school sign. :)Old friends.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What's mine is mine...and I DON'T share fries!

Erin: Hey, do you want the other half of this waffle?
Richard: Only if you aren't gonna eat it.
E: No. I don't want it.
R: Are you sure?
E: Yes! I wouldn't have offered it otherwise.
R: I'm really fine. If you're still hungry, go ahead.
E: I really don't want it. I don't often offer food off my plate out of the goodness of my heart if I'm still hungry.

Many of you can attest to the probable truth of this conversation based on personal experience.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hot Dog: An Ethical and Gravitational Crisis

At about 4:00 this morning, I became aware that someone was whining and wimpering. Also, that I had been hearing it for quite a while. Hours, possibly. I listened for a minute to discern which child it was, and determined that it was canine in nature and coming from the dining room.
I shook Richard's shoulder and asked hhim to go check it out.
Pedro was trapped on the dining room table.
When he saw Richard approaching, his fear of punishment outweighed his fear of heights and he launched himself off the table, and bolted under our bed. (Small dog, short legs, tall table. You can imagine how it went...)
How often does Pedro trap himself on the dining room table?
Why did he get stuck last night, and (apparently) never before?
If it has happened before, on average, how long is he trapped? When he hears someone get up in the middle of the night or the garage door opening, does he panic and finally find the "courage" to get down?
Why couldn't he get down the same way he got up?
Seems to me that Pedro was suffering a gravitational crisis, in addition to making some poor moral choices that his walnut-sized brain just couldn't reason out. I am inclined to set up a hidden camera tonight and leave a great, big, steaming bratwurst in the middle of the table. Just to see what happens.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Just try it.

Go to
Search for “Eleva, WI.”
Zoom in 3 times.
Pan left 2 times.
Pan up 6 times.
Click on “satellite” within the map.

You know you want to.

Monday, August 09, 2010


My home is the place watermelons come to die.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Book Review

T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton
Synopsis: Kinsey Millhone is hired to do a background check on her neighbor, Gus's, full-time-care nurse, which she completes and approves. It's not until things start to look pretty bad for old Gus that Kinsey realizes she may have overlooked something.
Readability: In short? I have baby brain, and I didn't have any trouble at all.
Predictability: You know how I love a surprise. We know from the beginning what's going to have to happen in the end...make sense? BUT, it's the bumps and bounces along the way that kept me guessing HOW it would all work out. I'm telling you, Grafton hasn't raised my blood pressure like that in a long time. Probably in the last four "alphabet" books. Really. At about 2am, Richard came out to the living room to find me reading. "Are you coming to bed?" he asked. "NOT! RIGHT! NOW!!!!" I shrieked. Once you get to the last five or six chapters, there's no stopping. For real.
Couldn't Put it Down Factor: Couldn't put it down? I still can't stop thinking about it. I finished it last week.
Recommend it?: I do, but only if you are already a friend of Kinsey Millhone. There were some things in this one that were pretty shocking and a little bit gory. I have a very hard time with violence of any kind, and there was one scene in this mystery that wasn't very palatable. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this one. You know when you get so involved in a book that you are IN it? That's how I felt. I want to go back and visit...but that seems like it would be silly, since the book isn't actually alive and nothing will have changed since the last time I put it down.
Three and a half out of five stars. For violence and repetitive dialogue. (Come on Sue. Mix it up a little bit.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Well, that's that.

Erin: I don't GET you.
Richard: Yeah? I don't get you either.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


When you're commenting on Facebook, laughing at your own cleverness and wit as if you're the funniest person you know, one of two things is probably true:
1. You ARE the funniest person you know.
2. It's time to go to bed.

I'm the funniest
person I have ever met.
Sweet dreams, interweb.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Baby Dedication

Baby Richard is going to be publically dedicated to God at our church on Sunday morning, July 18, 2010 during the 10:30 service. We would be honored if you would join us for this very special service.

Steamed veggies, anyone?

Directions: Cut down vegetables (preferably a kind that no one likes) to bite sizes. Fill pan with approximately one inch of water. Place steam tray in pan and pile with veggies. Boil over high heat. Forget on stove.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Erin: How does this one end? I've seen the beginning like ten times, but never the end.
Richard: Oh, you know. There's a misunderstanding. George gets in trouble. George saves the day.

Friday, July 02, 2010


This morning I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth (a rarity in itself) when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Shirley hoist something up and try to lug it out of the bathroom without my seeing. Yes, it was her potty chair. Yes, my whole life flashed before my eyes when I imagined all the germs she was hoisting along with her potty.
I turned around to remedy the situation with my toothbrush still in my mouth. I got the potty chair put back where it goes and scurried SJ out into the living room and turned back to see my phone--still on--under the running faucet.
I sure hope it turns back on. Richard says he has an old Motorola Razr I can use if it won't turn back on. Talk about the dark ages. Ugh.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Gormand

Richard: What are you eating?
Erin: Your ice cream.
R: The vanilla?
E: No--the other one.
R: You put chocolate on it?!
E: Yeah...
R: I flavored it so you wouldn't HAVE to put chocolate on it.
E [ignoring]: You know, if you learned how to temper eggs and make a custard, it would really take your ice cream to another level.
R: Oh, don't threaten me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Total Eclipse of the Heart

During my freshman year of college, N'Sync went on their "No Strings Attached" tour (Bye! Bye! Bye!). At that time, I worked at a TicketMaster location.
As you can imagine, the day tickets went on sale, it was a MADHOUSE. Every time a manager handed tickets across the counter, girls screamed and cried and went crazy--and this was months in advance of the tour!
Now, it's true I had tickets to the N'Sync concert in Birmingham (we didn't get to go--it's a long story), but I had to laugh at the girls. I'm just not the kind of girl who jumps up and down screaming over a celebrity.
I have to admit, though, that when I left the movie theater today with my tickets for the 12:01am premier of Twilight tucked safely in my wallet, I felt a little giddy.

I can feel you silently judging me through the screen. Go ahead and judge. You go right ahead.

I Scream!

I bought Richard an ice cream maker last week on clearance. (The kind with the freezer canister--not the rock salt kind--hel-LO, paininthebutt.)
I was a little nervous that I might have wasted $20, but what I should have been afraid of is that I might have created a monster.
On Friday night Richard and Shirley made vanilla ice cream. (They wanted to start with something "easy.") That night, Richard insisted that I try his creation while he told me all about it.
"I saw you bought some walnuts," he said. "Was that for the ice cream?"
"Yeah," I said. "I was thinking we could make maple nut."
"OR! I was thinking I could make brown sugar ice cream with salted walnuts. What do you think?"

I think I'll have some ice cream.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mom's Day Off

In regard to Carla's post for today:
I went to Walmart, Target, The Dollar Tree, and Aldi all by myself today.
Now I am completely exhausted.

At least no one threw up.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Technology Test: FAIL

OK, remember how I JUST posted about how hard this mommy job is?
Literally, hours later our computer completely died. Oh, and then my phone died. DIED! I was using my iPhone (that, truly, I didn't think I loved as much as I do (OH, HOW I DO!), until it died) to check my email and facebook and the blogs so at least I didn't have to be completely disconnected over here...on this side of the river, but when it died and I had to go back to the dark ages on my blackberry (gasp!), I truly thought I might die. To say the very least, I felt pretty lonely, frustrated and isolated. And it was only a week. A very dark, rainy week.
I'm not sure what God was up to there, but I did not handle the "test" very well.
I haven't been very pleasant to live with over the last week.
BUT. Things are looking up. The computer is back in working order. Its *new* battery holds a charge longer than ten minutes at a time and it doesn't overheat to the point of buring the tops of my legs anymore!
Hallelujah--I'm back online.

There is no moral to this story.

One more thought: Do you think maybe our phones are getting too smart?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Be Back Soon

Computer is dead.
Blogging from the "smart" phone sucks.
Miss you, interweb.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Secret Confession: A Season?

I confess, being a mother of two children has proven nearly as difficult as I feared during my pregnancy. I am pleased to say that it is not AS difficult as I thought it would be, but close.
Lately I've really struggled with the drudgery and thanklessness of caring for two children's seemingly endless needs. In my heart I complain and long for time to myself. I SO look forward to my moments of "freedom," when I can leave the house sans children and fully expect to come home feeling refreshed and more able to cope with the demands of my new life. Usually my refreshed feeling lasts about fifteen minutes until I'm getting pulled in ten different directions and quickly become overwhelmed. I often feel like I am just barely keeping my head above water in the giant Lake of Too Much (just north of the the bustling city of Overwhelmington--in Canada).
I think that's just how it's going to be for a little while. Emphasis on little. I know this is just a season and that I am serving God by seeking to raise my children in his ways even when I don't think I can deal with potty training or colic or 5am feedings or discipline for ONE. MORE. MINUTE.
Oswald Chambers says this on the matter:
No one is born either naturally or supernaturally with character; it must be developed. Nor are we born with habits— we have to form godly habits on the basis of the new life God has placed within us. We are not meant to be seen as God’s perfect, bright-shining examples, but to be seen as the everyday essence of ordinary life exhibiting the miracle of His grace. Drudgery is the test of genuine character. The greatest hindrance in our spiritual life is that we will only look for big things to do. Yet, “Jesus . . . took a towel and . . . began to wash the disciples’ feet . . .” ( John 13:3-5).
We all have those times when there are no flashes of light and no apparent thrill to life, where we experience nothing but the daily routine with its common everyday tasks. The routine of life is actually God’s way of saving us between our times of great inspiration which come from Him. Don’t always expect God to give you His thrilling moments, but learn to live in those common times of the drudgery of life by the power of God.

If I hope to raise Fishers of Men, I guess I shouldn't complain (whether outwardly or inwardly) about washing my children's feet. I'm not going to get it all right. I know that. But I AM committed to doing my best at loving my children and husband in a godly way...I guess sometimes I just need to remind myself of the ultimate goal.

Remember Haiku?

Trying to get back
into the swing of blogging.
Start small with haiku.

Once upon a time
I was the HaikuLady.
She's still in there. Right?

Wish it weren't so, but
got nothing to say these days.
I'm working on it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's all in the attitude.

Erin: Look! There's one of those new Corvettes. Those are so cool. I would look so good in one of those.
Richard: That's a Camaro.
E: Whatever. Same diff.
R: Not "whatever!" There's a big difference!
E: I don't see it.
R [getting upset]: There's a HUGE difference!
E: What's the difference?
R: It's in the attitude.
E [exasperated]: Tell me.
R: The Corvette attitude is like, "Hey! I'm middle aged! I have a lot of money! Look at me!" And the Camaro attitude is like, "I'm young. I can't afford this car, but I bought it anyway because it is so. effing. cool."
E [laughing]: I'm totally blogging this.
R: I know.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


This is unbelievable. The kind of thing that makes you wonder what you've done with your life.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spoiled Rotten

Richard typically gives really cool gifts. Stuff I didn't even know I wanted, until I got it.
Over the last five years of our marriage I have recieved an iPod, an iPhone, a Kindle, lots of nice jewelry, a GPS and lots of other fun big ticket items. Oh, and several purses. ;)
After church last night we had to run into Wal-Mart for a couple items, and since it was late we split up to get what we needed. When I met Rich and SJ at the car, waiting for me was a very sweet card, a pink rose that Shirley chose for mama, a chocolate bar and a chick flick.
Richard was sheepish, "It isn't much, but I thought this way we could spend time together doing something you would like."
I tell you, interweb, of all the gifts I've received over the past five or six years, I haven't received anything that made me feel quite so cherished, loved and understood as this.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Second Shift

We are a Second Shift Family.
We do everything a couple hours later than "normal."
We stay up late. We sleep late (well...SJ and I sleep late. Richard gets a lot of work done before we get up in the mornings!). We eat late. We nap late.
I've been ashamed of our schedule for the last two years, but recently a good friend told me that until their oldest child started school, they did everything later than "normal," too. So I've been thinking about it, and I don't think I should be embarrassed anymore.
So we're on second shift. So sue me. We're happy.

Friday, April 30, 2010


I'm implementing a replacement for "LOL," which I overuse way too much (and so do you, admit it).
TISF is what you'll find me using from now on.
Kristi started us all on OMS, so I'm starting us all on TISF.
Thanks, Caitlin, for the idea.
Who's with me?

Deadant. Deadant. Deadant. Deadant. Deadant. Deadant. Deadaaaaaant!

Richard: I found some ants this morning in the bathroom.
Erin: I know, I've seen them, too, but I can't figure out where they're coming from.
Rich: I found their base camp.
Erin: Gross!!! What did you do?
Rich: I did what any boy would do. I sprayed them with bathroom cleaner til they DIED!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Top 40

My sister works in the catering industry as a banquet server. The other night she was working at a prom in Minneapolis.
Funnest game ever? Texting my guesses for songs played at the prom.
Believe it or not:
-I got about 50% right.
-Sweet Home Alabama was not on the play list.
-I've been listening to a lot of Top 40 radio lately.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Can there be too many?

Erin: I'm reading this book right now that seems SO familiar I feel like I've read it already. But when it comes down to it, I can't figure out who "did it."
Richard: I think that probably means you've read too many books.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010

It's a Boy!

Richard Joseph
born March 29, 2010
8 pounds, 6 ounces;
22 inches long.

Check out HaikuBabies for more info!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Still Watiting...and all too pleased.

My doctor appointment could not have gone better this morning!
We did a non-stress test on BittyWee where we determined that s/he is very comfortable in his/her current environment. We measured his/her heartrate and my (non-existent) contractions for almost an hour. For the first twenty minutes or so, BittyWee was sound asleep and his/her heartrate hovered around 130bpm until Fern made me move around and drink some cold water. Then we got to watch it soar to 160bpm and down to 120bpm as s/he moved around and "woke up." Fern says full-term babies really do have sleeping and waking schedules. I have to say I was pleased to learn BittyWee was sound asleep at 7:45. :)
The surprise of the morning was that my blood pressure actually went down! I couldn't believe it. It never occurred to me to ask God to lower my blood pressure! I just asked Him to take care of our baby.
I am so pleased that BittyWee is happy and stress-free in his or her still-hospitable environment and that no induction methods were needed this morning. I am perfectly happy to stay uncomfortable in lieu of inducing. Call me crazy. My next appointment is on Monday morning...if I need it. Fern says she may be seeing us this weekend because I'm a "stretchy" 3cm.
We shall see!
Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayers.

*Excerpted from HaikuBabies.*

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Dear baby, here beneath my heart,
I thought that you might come today;
The timing just seemed right.
But the stars are out
And the moon is high
And sheepishly I wonder why
I try to arrange the plans of God.
For now I know
You will not come until the One
Who holds eternity rustles your soft cocoon
and whispers in tones that I will not hear,
"It's time, precious gift.
Now, it's time."

-Robin Jones Gunn

A very sweet friend sent this poem to me today, on MY DUE DATE! :) It brings tears to my eyes.
Fern is still worried about my blood pressure, so we are going in tomorrow morning, early, to do a non-stress test and re-check my BP and cervix and to discuss whether or not we need to take some sort of action. I covet your prayers about this, my friends. I am conflicted as to what the best thing is. Obviously, we will do what is best and safest for BittyWee, but making these decisions is hard on this hormonal mommy.

Excerpted from HaikuBabies.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Have you guys seen these Victoria's Secret ads where the models tell us how much they love their bodies?
As if this is a revelation in female empowerment.
If I had Gisele's body, I'd love it, too. I'd love it right up.
I mean, it's just offensive.
Marketing Department at Victoria's Secret: FAIL. Epic fail.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Per Laurie's Request...

My good friend, Laurie, suggested sharing some snapshots of Gram with Shirley Jean. I love this idea! Here are a couple of my favorites:

April 2008 - We took SJ to the farm to meet Gram for the first time.
Back at the farm in July 2008.
Here we are chatting with Gram.Five Generations - July 2008
The whole fam--even Pedro.April 2009 - Playing with Gram's walker.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Many of you know, my Gram died last week. I thought a fun way to honor her might be to share her obituary. Truth be told, I learned things about her that I didn't know at her funeral on Thursday.
Helga Amalia McClain, 104 years of age from the Balsam Lake area, passed away on March 8, 2010 at the St. Croix Regional Medical Center in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.
Helga was born on February 28, 1906 in the township of Johnstown, Polk County, Wisconsin to William and Concordia (Hoppe) Mohwinkel. She grew up in the Pipe Lake area and attended the Pipe Lake Public School from which she graduated in 1920. From then on she attended and graduated from Cumberland High School and in the spring of 1923 she moved to St. Paul with her parents where she finished her education at the Rasmussen Business College. On March 21, 1925, she married Charles “Cliff” McClain and when he graduated from the Medical School of Technology as a Biologist and Laboratory Technician. In January of 1926 they moved to Chicago where Mr. McClain had employment in a hospital. Helga worked as a bookkeeper at Marshall Fields and also did some modeling for Marshall Fields as well. While in Chicago, both of their children were born, Charles William in December of 1926 and Shirley Anne in July of 1928.
When the Great Depression set in, and salaries got too low to continue living in Chicago, families started to double up. They moved to a big farm in Indiana where several others of the family joined them. By 1933, they returned to the Balsam Lake area and bought the farm where she now lived. They moved to St. Paul for a few years to earn enough money to get established in the home that became hers until her death, living there permanently since 1953.
Helga’s Christian teaching started in her parent’s home and in Christ Lutheran Church at Pipe Lake. Later when they moved to Chicago, on January 2, 1927, she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. She kept her faith all these years, working in many churches wherever they went, sang in the choirs, trios and duets. Music was her greatest pleasure, along with her family. She enjoyed cooking and feeding friends and neighbors, embroidering, crocheting, and driving children to Sunday school. She was a member of the East Balsam Baptist Church and was the oldest member.
Helga had a special dedication and commitment to exposing children to the gospel.
Helga leaves to celebrate her memory: daughter, Shirley McClain-Duffert of Balsam Lake, grandson, Charles Duffert and his wife Kathleen, one granddaughter, Elizabeth Roberts and her husband Dennis, ten great grandchildren: Erin Desvousges and her husband Richard, Lauren Krebsbach and her husband Ryan, McClain Duffert, Daniel Roberts and his wife Kami, Aaron Roberts, Sarah Roberts, Elise Roberts, Matthew Roberts, Amy Roberts and Jesse Roberts, two great-great grandchildren: Shirley Jean Desvousges and Kohlee Anne Roberts, many nieces, nephews and other loving family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Charles "Cliff" McClain, her son, Charles William McClain and her daughter-in-law Raenell McClain and five brothers and two sisters and their spouses.
Helga will be laid to rest next to her husband Cliff at the Balsam Lake Cemetery.
. . .
Gram truly had a heart for children and the spiritual gift of hospitality. I'm not sure that I would be a Christian today if not for her. I know God calls us each, but I believe he used Gram as a tool to call me.
I will miss her.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Dear Non-English Speaker who Started Calling at 5 this Morning,

It's like you're waiting for me to speak before you start speaking. What gives??
You would think by the third try you would FIGURE IT OUT.

I just dialed the number back: it's a prison. Of COURSE it's a prison.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Vitamins and Minerals: Need MORE!

I have great luck with skinny little guys who cut my hair.
To wit:
Hair Cutter Guy (while combing out my wet hair): So, how often do you swim?
Erin (looking down at GI.GAN.TIC. belly): I don't do much swimming these days.
HCG: Oh, really? You totally have the body for it.
E (looking down at E.NOR.MOUS. belly once again): Yeah, I look a lot like Michael Phelps.
HCG: Well, you have a lot of mineral build-up in your hair.
E: Oh. My secret is out.

What the WHAT?!?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dog for Sale. Cheap.

What, dear interweb, could possibly be going through my dog's walnut-sized brain at 4:30 in the morning that would make him not want to come back inside out of the below-zero temperatures after I oh-so-graciously let him out against my better judgement?
I hate him.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This is how rumors get started:

Erin: Richard! Biggest Loser isn't recording! We're missing Biggest Loser!
Richard: Isn't it on the same channel as the Olympics? It won't be on til next week.
Erin: Are you sure?!?
Rich: Yeah--remember? They had the athletes on the show last week to promote the Olympics?
McClain: Wait. The biggest losers are Olympic athletes? They must have lost a TON of weight!
Richard: That would make them the Biggest Lugers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dance for Jesus

For those of you who still visit my blog (I just typed bog by accident. Ironic? I think not.), I've been missing for a while because my Great-Grandmother, Helga, is dying. I've spent the week riding up there with my dad to sit by her bed and offer help where I can.
Last night it struck me: waiting for a loved one to die is not unlike waiting for your best friend to have a baby.
It's longer than you expect it to be, arduous, tedious and stressful.
If you are very, very blessed, though, both end in a homecoming and hopefully, a celebration.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Feed My Starving Children

Alicia and I were the only ones willing to wear our hairnets for the photo. I think we look good!
Today I had the privilege of going to Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids, Minnesota to pack meals with the gals from my Bible study to send to Haiti. Together with the approximately 100 people there, we packed 18,900+ meals to send to Haiti, and all in under two hours!
The meals consist of chicken flavoring (that is actually vegetarian), freeze dried vegetables, soy protein and rice. The meals have important vitamins and minerals that starving children have no other way to get. The meals don't look all that appealing, but we got to sample some and it actually didn't taste too bad.
This is exactly the same thing we did at Faith Community Church this summer to send meals to Serve India.* (Different organization, same concept. I can't find a link for them...can anyone help?)
It was such a joy and a humbling experience to make meals for families and children who may not know from where their next meal is coming.
If you want to help pack meals to go to Haiti, please feel free to visit FMSC's website. They told us that they have lots of help right now because Haiti is in the headlines every day, but things will probably slow down later this summer, even though the need won't disappear. FMSC is a Christian group that is already well-established in Haiti. They told us that before the earthquake they had sent something like 3 million meals to Haiti and since the earthquake they've sent 3 million more. Before March 1, they intend to send 5 million more meals into Haiti. Isn't that awesome?!? Other countries who have been promised meals from FMSC are willing to postpone their shipments so that Haiti can have what they need right now, because the need is so great.

*Incidentally, the meals we made to go to India in August are currently "held up" by the government and have not yet made it to the families who desperately need them. If it crosses your mind, please pray both for the meals that are on their way to India and Haiti and the children and families who will eat them.

Nerd Party

Just a random memory from going to a (gasp!) state school:
In college, my roommate and I hosted a Halloween WOP party. (If you don't know what WOP is, find a 21-year-old. They'll tell ya.) It was just a bunch of English Lit and Psychology nerds getting together to drink cheap vodka spiked kool-aid out of a Rubbermaid bin. (We were all class, all the way.)
Anyway, the party was a huge success. One of our guests came dressed as a member of the marching band. Actually, I think he WAS a member of the marching band (nerrrrd party), either way, his costume was FANTASTIC. He wore everything from the little white cap down to the spats on his shoes. The only problem was that he brought along his own trombone, which he did not hesitate to play--badly. Do you have any idea how LOUD a trombone is when blasted in a two-bedroom apartment? Take my word for it: it's unbearably loud--even at the rowdiest of Nerd Parties.
Well, someone must have elected to take it from him because two days later, I found it under my bed.
I have no recollection of ever giving it back to him. I wonder what happened to it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


So, if you guys have something for me to write about, I'm all ears. (Eyes?)
I've got nothing to say. Well, nothing worth saying.
Check out Lauren's blog for a few wedding snapshots.
That's all I've got. I'll take your writing prompts via email, comment or text message.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

I'll be back. I promise.

The Wedding is tomorrow.
...Actually, it's today.
I'll get back to you on Tuesday.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Florida 2010 - Family Photos

Richard was in his Dad's wedding last week in Florida. We had a wonderful time!

Here we are at the beach in Sunny Florida. Sunny, yes. Warm? NO!
Thankfully the weather warmed up beautifully in time for us to visit the Magic Kingdom.
What a wonderful day!
SJ passed out in the stroller so we took the opportunity to take a Mommy&Daddy photo.
It seems like a lifetime ago Richard and I celebrated our honeymoon at DisneyWorld.
SJ woke up in time to ride the carousel two more times!
One last family photo on Winnie the Pooh!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Previous experience not required.

Several times in the last six or so years I've really gotten slammed by other Christian women with regard to my new (to me) roles as wife and mother.
I remember very distinctly an excited conversation I was having with a "more experienced" sister-woman-friend about shopping for engagement rings with Richard. Another "more experienced" woman piped up, "Shopping for rings? Yeah, that's when life really begins."
Now, she's not wrong, shopping for rings isn't exactly life and death, but it was a big deal to me--it marked a major change in the path of my life. Could she not identify with this? I believe she supports the institution of marriage and was once a young bride herself. So, would it have killed her to congratulate me? Wish me luck in my future marriage? Offer to support me in some non-offensive way?
I've endured a LOT more criticism now that I'm a mommy. I'm sure you know what it's like (if you're a mother)...snide, passive-aggressive comments about my and Richard's choices with Shirley Jean, you've all been there. "If you think you're blank now..." (I'm breaking out in hives just typing it.)
One memory that comes to mind was when SJ was just about six months old. I was joking with a "more experienced" sister-woman-friend about how wonderful it would be to sleep all the way through the night in a bed all to myself (a pipe dream that makes me salivate even now). A mother of four or five or seventeen whom I had never before met chimed in, "How many children do you have?" "Just one," I said. "Oh, poor you!" she rolled her eyes.
This is a relatively mild example...I've heard and read some downright nasty things about myself since Shirley was born, but the point is, REALLY???
Aren't we supposed to be building each other up? No, wait. Scratch that. Aren't YOU, "more experienced" sister-woman-friends supposed to be building ME up? Helping me to become a better wife and mother? Dare I say it: A Titus 2 Woman? Offering wisdom in a kind, non-humiliating way? The scrutiny and criticism I've endured, mostly from Christians, truly, is the reason I hardly blog any more. I know I'm not alone on this, and I'm probably (Edit: Probably?? I'm sure of it.) guilty of hurting someone's feelings inadvertently by trying to make a joke, etc., but I really do make a conscious effort to NOT put somebody to shame.
Speaking of shame, the truth is, I've enjoyed more praise and encouragement from my non-Christian friends than most of my "more experienced" sister-woman-friends. This isn't right.
I guess what I'm learning is that in ten or so years when I'm done bearing my four or five or seventeen children, I really don't want to be the kind of "more experienced" woman who is too proud to NOT say to a young wife and mother, "I hear you. I've been there. I'm praying for you. You're doing a GREAT job! How can I help?"

Friday, January 15, 2010


Mommies don't get vacations.
They get to work the sun.

Saturday, January 02, 2010