Friday, December 31, 2004

2004..ending at last

This is the last post I will be writing in 2004. This doesn't sadden me in the least since 2004 was a complete nightmare. I love that 2005 is right around the corner so that I can start doing something different in the new year. I know I don't require a new year to do new things but it feels good to have a fresh start. Here are my last learning experiences of 2004:

1. Tattoos start to itch so badly that you want to tear your flesh off rather than have it on there.

2. People are much deeper than you would think when you ask them important questions.

3. Love has to wait as long as you can withstand it because it makes you realize how much its worth.

4. I will be 25 in 2005 and it's amazing to think of myself as a grown up!

5. Graduate school scares me to death.

6. I really like tattoos and wouldn't mind getting a few more that are only visible to me.

7. I hate packing and would rather just buy new clothes wherever I end up.

8. You only live it up!!!!

9. Steven is one of the hottest people I know, and I enjoy him!

10. I am so over Indiana!!!

11. California is where I belong.

12. The people who look the least likely to be great, are the best people I have ever known.

13. Joel is my best friend and can be counted on in EVERY situation.

14. Britt and I again....have so much fun together. I can't wait for her to come out for Spring Break.

15. Losing weight is the hardest thing anyone has ever tried to do..I am sure of it.

16. Finding a new job scares me a little but excites me a lot.

17. I love living with Richard and Chris and I am so happy to be in their lives.

18. Pictures are my absolute favorite thing in life.

19. I am pretty sure that everyone grows distant no matter what you try to do about it.

20. Although 2004 was a crappy year, it was one of the best in growing and learning. I appreciate all that it brought me..including the scars!

Thank you all for a beautiful year. I appreciate all of your friendship and love. Stay tuned because tomorrow...resolutions!


Thursday, December 30, 2004

2004, a learning year

Hello everyone and it's almost 2005~ I am excited about it being 2005 because that is a starting over point. This year has been very hard for me although I have learned a lot. I am looking to find more learning in 2005 and perhaps a little more happiness. Here is what I am learning:

1. Everyone lies about Tattoos. They don't really hurt that badly.

2. You should never do something just because someone else wants you to but do what you want to do because you are only young once.

3. Don't worry about what others like about you...worry about what you like about you.

4. My friends from back in the day in Mitchell, might be the best friends I will ever have.

5. There is nothing better than seeing someone you haven't seen for years and knowing they are happy to see you.

6. There is much joy in having someone say "Gosh, Erica, you look great!" when you have lost a lot of weight.

7. Pictures in cowboy hats are always better than any others you do.

8. I would never get my nose pierced...britt got hers done and she has had a lot of issues with it. Looks cute though britt!

9. Meat lovers pizza at Pizza hut is great no matter what size it is in and feels better when you sneak it.

10. A handshake it way funnier than a high five.

11. My new saying is "Like it was my name!"

12. My friends don't tell me anything!

13. I am going to start backing off from boys...they are poison to me sometimes.

14. A tattoo starts to itch the 2nd day and here is a small suggestion..don't scratch in your will wake up crying! :(

15. Brittany really is the best friend I will EVER have. We have so much fun together.

16. I am really sad that Britt is growing up but pretty happy about it too because it means we are adults together.

17. There are times when the most unlikely things happen and you think..."What are the odds?"

18. Lawyers are awful people!

19. I like water so much better than soda.

20. Lubriderm sensitive skin lotion is the key to a great tattoo!

well, that's todays learning experiences. Pretty soon I will be posting my resolutions. I encourage all of you to make goals for 2005 and meet them. You won't be sorry!


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Learning is great fun...2004

Hello everyone. Another day of great learning experiences. I had an interesting day today already and some of the learning experiences come from there. Here are some of them:

1. If you blow a tire on the side of Highway 37, you better hope you have a great friend named Jarrid to come and help you out :)

2. Pictures are so fun to do and they can really get you out of a funky mood after a blown tire.

3. A cowboy hat looks good on most boys.

4. There are crazy people in my life and it's not just me, they are CRAZY!

5. There is absolutely nothing to do in Indiana when you don't have a car and there is 2 feet of snow on the ground.

6. Fudge tastes great by the pan!!

7. My teenage mutant ninja turtle slippers are HOT!

8. Confidence and intelligence are the 2 hottest characteristics of any I know.

9. My new friends in my life are great!

10. I really love a great set of lips!

11. Solitude is great and I need to find a way to appreciate it.

12. When you hide things from others, even when you have been asked to, they will most likely be mad at you... when it all comes out.

13. I love persimmon pudding and crave it every time I am home.

14. My little sister has interesting gag reflexes.

15. Hilliary's "goth" make-up shade is exactly the color of my sad :(

16. There are these new socks that feel like you are walking in Jell-o. They feel so good on your feet.

17. It takes several days for me to get over my broken cowboy hat.

18. There is a place in my hair that sticks up when I am getting my picture taken

19. I need to exercise or I might go crazy

20. I hate being indoors after only 1 day!!!!!

Ok, I am going to go and work on my New Year's resolutions now since I am stuck in Indiana ...home bound and bored out of my stinkin mind. Thanks for stopping in and keep learning! ~Shalom~

Monday, December 27, 2004

Learning like it's my job...2004

Hello everyone. I am still learning tons in the last couple of days of 2004. I am still in the frozen tundra of Indiana and it's freezing here. The snow is about 2 feet on the ground and it's incredibly hard to get anywhere unless you have a 4 wheel drive. Luckily my dad has an explorer so that has been the basis of most of my traveling. Ok, well here is what I am learning in 2004:

1. Pepper will only take so much and then he will hiss at me and want me to die a horrible death.

2. Mexican Wedding Cake is my favorite cookie (poofernussy)

3. Arby's is still my favorite fast food.

4. Questions directed in the right sense will tell you everything you need to know about someone!

5. A C magnet will properly adjust to create a U magnet.

6. Extreme Makeover Home Edition makes me cry.

7. Turkey makes me pass doubt about it.

8. I laugh a lot in my sleep.

9. My dad's cats should be made into scarves and soup. They are the most annoying creatures that ever graced the planet

10. My pants get tighter the longer I am in Indiana.

11. I love my Adidas running pants.

12. I miss my California people when I don't get to see them.

13. I really don't like when someone calls me "California Chick" and assumes that I have all the time in the world to go to the beach and actually swim.

14. I hate when people say "Man, you can tell you drive in California!"

15. Christmas is a sad time when your family is struggling and you are too!

16. There is a ornament from the Hallmark Collection that is Yertle the Turtle and I love it!

17. No matter how much time passes, what you do, or how much you pretend they arent...Crazy people..stay crazy! (not a sentence for a psychology major to ever say!)

18. In Indiana, there is an "R" in the word wash. (I need to get some more windshield WARSHER fluid)

19. Indiana people still think it's ok to decorate their tree in John Deere ornaments.

20. There is a new redneck dictionary word or phrase "A pair" like....I had to go a pair and see my folks for Christmas"

Ok, there are my learning experiences for today. Hope you enjoyed! ~Shalom~

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Learning still....2004

First of all Merry Christmas everyone. I hope this Christmas finds you all doing marvelous. I am having a beautiful day with my family. My mommas cooking is amazing and I got a new cd that I wanted. I have learned so much this year and although I have struggled much, I have also had a lot of joy. I love you all dearly and wish I could have gotten you all your greatest wish. Here is what I have learned in 2004 again:

1. White Christmas is still my favorite Christmas movie and it still makes me tear up a little thinking of my grandma!

2. Turkey is only wonderful when my mommy makes it!

3. Getting up at 5:00 in the morning and talking with my big sister is inevitable when we both catch a germ from the pentecostals that cursed us.

4. There are people in high school that will do things to you and they WILL remember later when they run into the supermarket. (Hill, this was so funny)

5. The Amish make the best peanut brittle

6. Never pack a cowboy hat in your luggage, they broke my favorite hat! :(

7. Peanut butter is better out of the jar and only when it's Jif Creamy!

8. An Eckrich hot dog is better than any hot dog on the planet. I wish California would carry them.

9. There is nothing Brittany Hates more than stuffing.

10. Snow is pretty when you are inside and doesn't feel good when it freezes your nose hair.

11. It takes approximately 6 tries to get a Mercury Cougar into the driveway full of snow.

12. Don't give people brooms in Ace Hardware to ride just because they are being a will get mad.

13. There is a tree in Indiana that has two bushes on each side that are lit up and look like a part of the male anatomy. Use your imagination.

14. Men will stare at you even if you think they are repulsive and know about their STD's

15. Embalming should not be a qualification you list if you want to date someone. Do not take your family to Chastains. ;)

16. There is a noise that comes out of Britt that sounds almost exactly like a duck.

17. A book and some perfume can make your mom happy for Christmas!

18. Your best friends will call you on Christmas Eve and tell you Merry Christmas. I love you "Joshie"

19. That drama queen movie with Lindsey Lohan is even worse the second time.

20. Denny's is the best breakfast in the world after a 4.5 hour plane ride! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Still learning in 2004

Hi everyone, I am still learning as it's 2004. I am leaving tonight to go to Indiana for the holidays. The holidays are going to be interesting because we are please pray for my family. Here are some more learning experiences:

1. Never underestimate the power of a good photo! Always take pictures at every available moment because those are what you hold on to in times of trouble!

2. Christmas is never about presents. Even if there is none under the tree, it still feels great to know you'll be eating your mamas cooking and playing board games with your crazy sisters!

3. A gift as simple as a homemade cd can make someone smile if they really love you!

4. Wind chimes are one of the prettiest sounds at a cemetary because they are the only thing that reminds are alive.

5. Your real friends are the ones who will take you to the airport and pick you back up!

6. When the world walks out on you, the best friends will have a drink with you!

7. You can learn to do anything, it's just it is not always that fun.

8. Just when you think someone forgot about you, they didn't!

9. The biggest moments of your life can be captured by just closing your eyes and forcing yourself to make a memory. You can go there again anytime if you use this method.

10. The holidays are harder when you have lost your grandparents. They are the best people to keep Christmas happy!

11. There is nothing good about Christmas Eve being your death date.

12. Morphine patches are a new drug craze and they kill people!

13. I have learned all of the belts in Karate and quite a few other tidbits of knowledge about the art of Karate and Christopher and Joel are both doing it :)

14. The word Joel literally makes me smile from ear to ear...I don't usually notice..others do!

15. You should never let someone else determine your morality but do things because you believe them and find out why you believe them. (Thanks for that one Joel)

16. Journaling is one of the most therapeutic things anyone can do. It releases all of your pent up feelings and completely helps you to not have to disclose everything to actual people.

17. I like things that I thought I never would like. I have turned over a new leaf in being experimental.

18. There are few people who I want to be around a lot ...when I find those people, I should back off and give them space in order to understand their merit in my life.

19. The cell phone has a time and a place to be turned off. Some of those places are obvious like a funeral but others are not so obvious but essential like when spending time with a person you love a lot and don't get to hang with very often.

20. The best calls are never expected but come when you think the person has forgotten you are alive. HE didn't forget! :)

Well, that's today's learning experiences. I am getting ready to get on a plane and head to Southern Indiana for 11 days. Please pray for Safety in my travels and for a good holiday with my fam. Indiana now has 2 feet of snow so I am looking forward to some snow angels, snow men, snowballs, and cabin fever. I will take pictures and load them onto the web-site. I have new pictures today of Joel and Gavin. I will be loading those on in Indiana. Have a great Christmas Eve Eve and I will hopefully write tomorrow as well. Much love and ~Shalom~

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Learning experiences in 2004 Continued

Hi everyone. I hope that yesterday's learning experiences taught you something new as they did me. Here are the next 20 learning experiences I had in 2004:

1. Never chase after a friendship that isn't two sided. It will exhaust you and cause you to be resentful when you just need to take a hint.

2. Go running at least once a day. There is much release in hearing your heels pound the pavement or sand. There is a giant endorphin release that makes you feel higher than any drug could ever do.

3. Be happy when your friends find love. They deserve it and their love could make you stand back and remember what it was like.

4. Love is beautiful. Remember those times where just hearing the word "Love" would make chills go up and down your spine. It can happen again and it will!

5. Never be afraid to wear a cowboy hat in public, it could just be the laugh that you need in the pit of despair.

6. Keep your friends close because you just never know when you will need to fall directly into their arms and always be close enough to catch them.

7. If your tire blows on the freeway, there is always a hero out there sporting a full black outfit and the sweetest smile that ever graced the planet to change the tire like he works for Nascar. (Thank you again Sweety)

8. The most surprising people will help you when you lose your job. They will give you more work to do to make money, call you and find out if you are ok, and have you wrap presents to keep from getting depressed!

9. The word Christian is not about a title, but about a way of life. The people who you think of as great Christians are the ones who will leave you in the trenches. The ones who you are not sure about, are the ones who wear the sweetest fruit!

10. There is absolutely nothing better than taking time in the morning to make yourself a great breakfast and take a walk before your day begins.

11. Allergies go away after years and years...I can drink Orange Juice now and I do almost every day!

12. A V-Tech engine is impressive and I think I want one! (thanks for the explanation friend)

13. I am not the biggest fan of the new mustang. It looks weird to me but I am sure it will grow on me after a while.

14. There is something to be said for almost owning your car and not wanting to enter into another loan. God always has his reasons for keeping you grounded.

15. One of the most attractive statements ever made to me could be "Would you like to come and see my new shifter knob?" I am a car nut and I love when people speak car lingo!

16. The faster ...the better....nuff said FORBES!

17. Dishes are so much easier if you do them immediately. (kinda common knowledge but I am learning more and more every day)

18. Taking a cat to the vet is one of the most horrendous tasks of being a pet owner. I have decided not to have a cat when I "grow up."

19. The more stress that you allow on yourself, your brain will push other things out like things you are supposed to remember like birthdays, payments to be made, etc...

20. My hair is all colors, all lengths, and all textures and can be found in any room in the house and therefore I am suspected to be a vixen! :)

Ok, there are some silly learning experiences but learning experiences nonetheless. I love you all and I'll keep them coming! ~Shalom~

Monday, December 20, 2004

learning experiences in 2004

Good afternoon everyone. I wrote earlier today and wrote about resolutions and how they would be coming soon. First of all I want to take the time to talk about what I have learned this year. I think 2004 was the biggest learning experience of my life thus far..therefore ...I need to dwell on it for a bit and think through some of the learning experiences I have had. I wanted to share this with you over the next few days and make this an ongoing thing...until 2005. I will be making my resolutions as the days progess and posting them before the new year.

Things I have learned in 2004:

1. Never drink 24 shots of anything ...ever! Drinking alcohol can be a very pleasant experience and the taste is great but doing anything to excess can make you do stupid things and say even more stupid things.

2. Take at least 2 weeks to make a very vital decision. Take the time to be alone and think things through. Never make a rash decision especially when you are dealing with someone elses heart.

3. Always be careful when leaving someone behind in your life. You never know what they may do in response to your leaving. Always make sure you know what they meant to you and develop a new type of relationship with them as you leave.

4. Never be afraid to spend money on someone you love. If it's their birthday go all out. Take them to a comedy show, buy them lots of presents, and eat chocolate covered strawberries with them as much as you can. Show them you love them by always surprising them. Never worry about $$$ when it comes to love!

5. Don't trust anyone that has gossiped to you before. Always confide in people who can be trusted and disclosing less is much wiser than disclosing more!

6. Enjoy the big moments in life like walking in to Pomp and Circumstance on your graduation day. Remember all of the sights, sounds, and smells of a great moment. Remember what it felt like to hold hands with a man you love and take a theatrical bow at your shared success.

7. On the biggest times in life, spend them with people who care about you. Spend them with the man who got you through college, the woman who gave you life, and the man who makes your heart skip a beat! Spend them with friends who bring you flowers even though they aren't your boyfriend and friends who hold your heart when it's breaking!

8. Being alone has it's own merit. Do things alone that you want to do but noone else agrees to. Read a great book, go alphabetically through your dvds, take a run, clean and organize, write in your journal, go to the park and eat lunch, cry about how much you love someone, grieve, do all of the things that come naturally alone. Don't ever regret or resent alone time but BASK in it!

9. Grieve things thoroughly. Don't ignore the fact that there are several stages to grief. There is more to be done and time to do it in. Take the time to cry about your losses but take the time to laugh at your memories!

10. Never assume just because you are toting a cart and walking 10 feet away from a vehicle that they can't plow you down! People are NOT must!

11. When you get plowed down by an SUV, use that as an excuse to slow down. Let the road rash heal, let the knee slowly regain it's posture, and let your dignity come back naturally!

12. When leaving a friend's house late at night, pay attention to the road. There is someone out there either drinking or more tired than you are who is perfectly willing to take your headlight out.

13. A car is a car. It can be fixed and it's worth way less than your life. Cavie forgives you!

14. Dating is a wonderful thing if you date the people that you don't feel you are settling for. If you feel you are settling in the slightest sense...YOU ARE! They won't disappoint. They will take all they can from you and leave you empty.

15. Never try to date someone else seriously when you love someone so much. Love someone with all you have and believe in it. Nothing else is as beautiful as love itself!

16. Virginity(in every sense) is crucial and spiritual. It is a beautiful thing and cannot be competed with.

17. There is no better feeling than looking at the face of your little sister when you surprise her by making her school play!

18. There is not much better than watching your little sister be a star at everything she does! (so proud of you my love)

19. The feeling of having a holiday with both of my parents can not EVER be described in words.

20. Confronting someone about something horrible they have done is not rewarding to you,...but rather the best thing you can do ..for them!

There are the first 20 things I have learned in 2004. I have a grip of things to add and I thought I would stop and let you all know that you had a great part in a lot of these learning experiences. It is wonderful to have you all in my life and you know which numbers you played a part in! There are more to come and I'll email with info so you can see these yourself! Have a beautiful day and take this opportunity to think of the things you have learned this year! ~Shalom~

Almost Christmas

Hey everyone. Life hasn't gotten any easier for me the last couple of days. On Friday I was laid off from my job due to a cutting of overhead expenses. This basically translates to "my boss had no heart!" It was only 8 days before Christmas. I have no idea what the Christian world is coming to. Also, on Saturday I was heading to Corona to see a friend and my back passenger side tire blew on the freeway. My hero, Joel Forbes, had to come and fix it for me and I owe him so much! I am just so lucky to have people who love me!

Overall I am pretty hopeless right now and could use all of the prayers that anyone has to offer. I have a weird life! I am so frustrated with all that is happening right now and today I am going to spend my jobless day making some New Years Resolutions. I will be posting them on here before the New Year because I encourage goals!

Well, I should get on with my meaningless life. Have a beautiful day and God bless you all ~Shalom~

Sunday, December 12, 2004

It's been a while

Hey everyone. It has been a really long time since I have blogged on here because I have just recently come to realize that there is a magical world called myspace. I have gotten into that quite a bit lately and because of that I have ignored my poor little blog. I really enjoy getting to know new people and new internet programs. This is my blog though and I have been negligent to it.

Lately I have been going through some of the hardest things that life has to offer. I have no idea how people honestly do it. I think that life is so much about attitude. Lately all of the things that have happened to me might kill a normal person but God has been so good to me and handed me a serious sense of resilience. I have learned a great deal and I am pretty proud of the way I am handling all of these many serious situations.

In saying that, I wanted to tell everyone that I hope you all have a marvelous holiday season. My plans for the holidays are to get away to Indiana and enjoy my family to the fullest. I have no care in the world about presents or anything like that but I want to spend time with my sisters and my mama and my dad. I want to hang out with my best friends from back home Jarrid and Carrie. I want to drive the old country roads of Mitchell, Indiana and sing John Cougar Mellancamp songs. I want to breathe the fresh air that makes me be able to see my breath because it's so cold. I want to throw a snowball and scrape the windows because they are all frosted up.

I miss home and have not felt very secure in California for the last month or so. I have been having a really hard time and quite honestly it is something that only home can fix. I have no idea what God wants for me in the future right now and I am searching for any and all signs of security until I get there. Overall, I know that God loves me and has all kinds of plans for my life but I am just waiting to see what those are and get some of these scars healed before getting there.

Well, I should get to work on some things I have going but I will try to stay more up on this blog. Overall, please pray because I am going out of town for Tuesday and Wednesday and would appreciate prayers for safety. I am going up to Northern California for a few days. After that I leave on Dec. 23rd for Indiana. If I don't speak with you before then, Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah. I love you dearly and wish I could buy you all your greatest wish for Christmas. I can however offer you my friendship and say Happy Holidays. Have a great week everyone as we are starting out a new one. Make good New Years Resolutions! ~Shalom~

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Back home again

Hey everyone. I write tonight from my beautiful home in California. I am still feeling like I should be at home with my family. I am only here for about 26 more days before I am back in Indiana again but either way, I am still longing to be with my family. I was only in Indiana for about 6 days after a drastically terrible plane ride there. I flew out on Friday the 19th and was landing in Chicago for a short (yeah right) lay over. It was supposed to be an hour or so and I ended up being there for about 3 before we got onto the plane. When we were up in the air for only 20 minutes, the pilot came on and said our wings had iced up. We had to make an emergency landing back at Chicago Mid-way where we spent another hour before being loaded onto a cold, smelly bus for the next 4.5 hours into Indianapolis. Unreal!!!!!!

That was the nightmare part but overall I had a great time in Indiana. When I first got there I went with my little sister and her boyfriend *Dan Dan the Cowboy Man* to my favorite Indiana restaurant Golden Gables. Golden Gables is the redneck hangout. Gotta love it! I had a big helping of Biscuits and Gravy and had to keep my eyes open to go and get my rental car. My rental car was supposed to be a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix but when I got there it ended up being a 2005 Buick La Sabre! That's too funny to even comprehend. I should have had to have a handicap placard to drive it. I didn't have enough energy to even care at this point because I needed to get down to Mitchell and surprise my family.

I got to my house at around 9:45 in the morning on Saturday. My older sister, Hilliary, who knew I was coming answered the door to tell me that my mom and little sis, Britt, were still asleep. We decided I would be their wakeup call. I went and woke up mom first and she was very shocked to see me. I then woke up Britt to tell her I would be going to see her in her school play that night. She was so excited and I spent the rest of the day being around them and enjoying their company. I also went to Jarrid's work and saw him. It was great to see his face again and spend about an hour with him.

Saturday night I went to see Britt's play and she was absolutely amazing. I am going to be posting some newspaper articles about it onto her page on my web-site. She played a drunk lady named Gay Wellington in the play "You can't take it with you." She was great! I had a great time watching her and beaming with pride afterwards while she got compliments over and over on her performance. Saturday night was ended with a walk with Jarrid. I went to get him at his house and he was all dressed up in a tie and everything. I was pretty lucky. He is a cutie! We then went for a walk and ended the night with a great talk.

Sunday was Jarrid's birthday day with me. We went up to bloomington to the mall and shopped around. We had a great time and you can see pictures of it on Jarrid's 3rd page on my web-site. We went out to dinner at Outback and went to Barnes and Noble after that. We ended the night by watching Antoine Fisher and doing personality tests. My idea of a great night.

Monday I spent the afternoon working out with my dad at the new gym in Bedford. I walked/jogged one mile on the treadmile, did 6 miles on the bike and worked arms and legs a bit also. We had a good time and then in the evening I spent it with my family *mom, hill, britt, and tasha* over dinner. We had fried chicken and mashed potatoes which is good Indiana eating. Overall a great night and I ended up getting a new rental car on Monday (a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am) Good change if I do say so myself.

Tuesday was a good day as well. I went to the gym to work out with Dad and ended up spending the evening at his house having a great dinner that Jane prepared for us. It was really good and we watched "Cheaper by the dozen" until I was about to pass out. I met Jarrid down at my house later that night and we went for a walk and a drive and talked a lot of stuff out. We had a great time as always!

Wednesday was a wonderful day in that I worked out in the afternoon and then went out with my friend Travis in the evening. In the morning/afternoon I went over and surprised my friend Carrie by coming to her house and hanging out for a few hours. I got to see the girls and play with them and of course see my favorite girl-Carrie and talk with her. She is thinking of coming out to Cali so I am stoked about that! Travis and I went to an amazing dinner at Scholars in Bloomington and talked through a great drive together. I got home that evening and hung out with my older sis for a while before heading to bed.

Thursday was Thanksgiving so it was obvious that I would spend it with family. I spent the afteroon with mom, hill, and britt and the food as always was completely awesome. We had a great day and there was no drama. Later in the evening I went to my dad's house to hang out a bit. I stayed for about 3 hours and we just had finger foods and talked and watched some old footage of my dad in his band.

Friday was my last day in Indiana so I wanted to make it count. We *me, mom, britt, and Jarrid* went down to Spring Mill State Park and walked and took pictures. We also went out to Lunch at Arby's and had a great time just laughing and being a family. Jarrid is like family to us. We then went back to my house and chilled for a while before I had to meet my dad at the car rental place to go to the airport. I left Indiana on Friday night at about 8:30 p.m. I had an amazing time with my family and Friends!

I am back to California now and completely ready for the things which lie ahead. I have a busy week ahead with plenty of work to do. I have to put as many hours as possible into work as I need the funds when I go home in December. I am also putting some work into Graduate School applications this week as I would like to get my app to Vanguard in before Jan. 1st. I would also like to work out a lot this week as my weight has plateued at 236 lbs. I am very frustrated with this as I worked out the whole time I was home. I also ate very badly since it was all Indiana food though and I really need to get back on the weight loss train. It's a hard thing to stay on.

I am trying to get very focused on my spiritual life and self-improvement so I am reading a lot and studying scripture and focusing on staying on track. Overall I just know that God has so much healing for me since there was even a huge difference as I came home. Things are just not the same. I love my family and my friends but I am trying to be a different person than the Erica who left Indiana. I am proud of me and totally ready to be all that God wants from me. It's a hard trek but noone promised it would be easy. I am currently reading a book that Claudia Degelman loaned me called "The gift of being yourself" by David Benner and it's an incredible read. I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to change by knowing yourself and knowing God.

I have a few notes to people in thanks before I step out for the day so here goes....

Tasha, Dan, and Kristen: Thanks for bearing with me in the plane ride to Indiana. I appreciate you all coming to get me and I will never forget it. Tasha I love and appreciate you keeping my secret, Dan you are hilarious and I appreciate your help and your being good to Tasha, and Kristen, so sorry sweety for the way the night went and hope you are feeling much better.

Mom: Thanks for always making home available. Thanks for being happy and proud of me when I come home! I love you so much and can't wait to spend Christmas with you!

Dad: Thanks for taking me to the airport and working out with my lazy butt in Indiana. I love you and I am praying for you. Can't wait for Christmas workouts!

Hill: Thanks for keeping my secret and thanks for making me cookies. I knew you loved me boss!

Britt: You are truly amazing. Great job in the play! I love you and thanks for loving me back. Thanks for taking absurd pictures with me and always being a fun and wonderful best friend!

Jarrid: Love of my life, you are truly a wondeful blessing to me. Thanks for being the best guy friend that ever graced the planet. You are exquisite and don't you forget it. By the way, I still think you are HOT! *I said hot..tee hee*

Carrie: I love you my dear. Thanks for making the cutest little girls in the world. I am sorry I busted in on you on a bad day but I am so glad I got to see you. I love you all dearly and pray for you daily. You are such a blessing. I can't wait to hang out @ christmas!

Travis: You are my favorite friend! Thanks for the amazing dinner and even more amazing company. I missed you and love you so much. Good luck on your move and know I will always love and pray for you. I am hoping to get there sometime during Christmas and see your new digs! I love you fazz!

Josh: Thanks for picking me up at the was so sweet of you! I won't forget it.

Heather: Thanks for coming to hold down the fort in the car when Josh goes the wrong way! You are the best!

Overall, I just love you Indiana folks and let's be honest my California folks too. Special word to Joel: I love you for keeping track of me while I was gone and caring about my progress. You really are the most amazing man I will ever know or love. Thanks for everything gorgeous! By the way, you really are amazing!

I love you all and hope that your Thanksgiving was as precious as mine. I have never been more thankful!

Friday, November 19, 2004

Theres no place like home

I AM SO EXCITED RIGHT NOW! I am so ready for this day. Big surprise today, I am leaving for Indiana and it's a surprise to my whole family. I won't be posting most likely just due to being home and chilling with my family. Have a great Thanksgiving people and be great to those you love this Turkey Day! ~Shalom~

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Life is short

Hello everyone. Today I come to you not knowing exactly how to write a post about death but I need to. A girl that I grew up playing softball with, playing with, etc...passed away on Sunday night. She was involved in a one car accident and didn't make it through it. Her name is Cristen Rayhill *Chapman now*. She was very close to me as a kid and it makes me so sad to think about her parents losing her at the young age of 22. She has brothers and sisters also so please be in prayer for her family. I am defintely sad for them and praying.

Through this I really learned that time is so short and you should take advantage of every moment you have with those you love. That makes a decision I made recently make all the sense in the world. God really does lead and guide our steps if we will just allow him to. Today I was able to spend my day with the man I love. I know that is pretty heavy to say THE man I love but let's be honest, if you are reading this, you know who I am talking about. Looking death in the face I realized that there is no fear in me loving him. There is only fear of never loving him. I have decided that is what I am going to do. Granted, I can't make anyone love me but I can do the best job I can loving others.

Today, I wanted to tell all of you, although I already did my thanksgiving speech, how much I truly love you and my life would not be the same without all of you. You are all precious and your lives are precious to me. I know that a few other people in my life have just experienced a death so you know about the feelings I am feeling right now.

In saying that, MAN I LOVE, just know my heart is yours. I don't care if you want it or don't long as I love you correctly now and as long as my heart stays that way. Thank you for a lovely day together and your wonderful friendship. I can't even begin to tell you how great each moment is in your presence. You inspire me! *nuff said*

Ok, well with all of that said today, I love you guys and please pray for the Rayhill family! ~Shalom Always~

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Well my friends, it is almost Turkey day and as the week starts, I am not sure if I am going to have time to do this so I have decided to do my thanksgiving post today. I am going to write an entire post of what I am grateful for in each of you! I hope you all read this and know that I care greatly for all of you. Have a great day and enjoy the read:

Mom -- Thanks for raising me to be a strong, self sufficent woman. Thank you for providing for my basic needs and telling me I could do ANYTHING I wanted to.

Hill--*Boss*--Thanks for being a true big sister and beating me up when I needed it. Mostly thanks for being my partner in crime *wink wink*

Tasha -- Thanks for the last year and being a shoulder for me at times. I appreciate that a lot. Also, quite the partner in crime!

Britt-butt -- is there even enough space?? Thanks for being my best friend in the entire world. You are quite a buddy! Thanks for being the reason I make smart decisions and giving me a reason to be an example. Thanks for bringing music into my life and laughter mostly. Thanks for being my twin! I couldn't do this world without you!

Dad -- Thanks for the last couple of years and learning how to become my father. I appreciate the strength it took to bite the bullet on that. Thanks for starting to take care of yourself so I have more of you to see!

Joel *my dear dear Joel* -- Thank you for being the best --non family-- friend I have. You are magnificent. Timeless, genius, and the list goes on. Thanks for so many great times and the many more I plan to have with you. Thank you for making me a better Erica and at times making me cry to get there.

Adolfo-- Thanks for 6 great years and for your continuing friendship to me. You are an amazing man and she is so lucky to have hooked you. Thanks for everything you have made me realize and the thousands of things you have forgiven

Jarrid -- Thanks for being Mr. Tightpants. Thanks for the movies, mac and cheese, hot dogs, and mostly tuesdays! Thank you for always understanding me and being my rock!

Carrie -- thanks for lots of high school memories and even more now a days. Thanks for bringing those two beautiful little ones into my life and thanks for being an inspiration as to what a mother really is

Heather B. -- Thanks for knowing everything about me and still liking me. Thank you for always checking up on me and always knowing I want to know about you. Thanks for research help until I die! ha ha Thanks for reminding me also it's not what you come from but what you become

Pammy -- thanks for tons of back room talks. Thanks for amazing food, great advice, and being my mom when I had none around. Thanks for being my friend mostly and always knowing where everything is. Yellow Pages are great!

Shirley --- thanks for the advising, laughs, mentoring, and mostly friendship. Thank you for showing me not only where dendrites are but how a human heart loves its best. Thank you for amazing classes, hilarious stories, and resilience that the world knows nothing of. You are amazing!

Claudia -- Thank you for caring about me! Thank you for staying up on my life. Thank you for an amazing semester in Methods and mostly your continued friendship

Hannah -- thanks for challening me friend! Thanks for keeping me accountable and making me laugh. Thanks for being a shoulder and someone to whom I can gush about a special boy!

Heather -- Thanks for being a super roommate. Thanks for standing up for me when it was a hard time. Thanks for always being there.

Josh -- Thanks for being my male counterpart. Thanks for being everything I am and more. Thanks for saying what needs to be said!

Gary -- Thanks for the great job and being a great boss. Thanks for our little talks and our laughs. Thanks for your flexibility and understanding and for bringing a new dimension into my life

Leslie -- Thanks to you new mentor. You are amazing and I am so sure of your influence in my life. Thanks for being an example of a woman after God's heart. Thank you for standing up for you and being strong!

Richard -- Thanks for the great place to live and sharing your little one with me. I love living here and having a place to call home

Christopher -- where do I begin. Thank you for being the kid I never wanted. ha ha. Thank you for teaching me the most important lessons in life. Thank you for being funny when I need it and challening the very bounds of my patience. Thank you for being the most adorable kid in the world and being sweet when I am learning!

Judy -- thanks for being the housing super hero but mostly for being my friend.


Jesus Christ--- I stand in awe of you Father. You are truly amazing. I am so grateful to know you and have invited into my heart. Thank you for making me into the woman I want to be. Thank you for all of the above people and the traits that you have engrained in me through them. Thank you for your love, salvation, blood, and strength that drives me. Thank you for dying so brutally on a cross for my salvation. Thank you for being my father when I had none. Thank you for being my comforter, my boyfriend, my friend, my home, my life. Thank you for wrapping your arms around me when the world walks out. All of the above people can let me down but you alone God ....are perfect. Thank you for the man I love, the friends I have, and the family I have been placed in. You alone are my desire father. Lord, thank you for one more day to share with my loved ones. To you lord...I sing:

I stand I awe of you
I stand I awe of you
Holy God to whom ...all praise is due
I stand in awe of you!

Stand in awe of him everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of you who don't have a spot are affecting my life but I have no more memory left. I am hoping I tell you everyday how much you mean to me. Keep on keeping on everyone and don't forget to show people you're thankful this year! ~Shalom~

Friday, November 12, 2004

Let me just tell ya......

The title of today's blog is one of what my friends *Heather and Joel* would call "Ericaisms." I often start a sentence or lengthy story with "Let me just tell ya..." Today I am starting one of those stories. Let me just tell ya that I am SICK of trying to lose weight. I am taking a giant step today in telling you all how I am feeling about being overweight. This is something that has torn me up for years. I hate the way I look and I hate the way I feel. I started losing weight in 2001 when Adolfo cancelled our wedding and I thought it was because I resembled a giant marshmallow in my wedding gown. I came to find out that it wasn't the weight that made Adolfo not marry was me. That is sad and depressing to say but that kid didn't even care that I weighed *not kidding* 336 lbs. I started out by just working out a little because a little is more than nothing. I did 30 minutes of Richard Simmons a day and I started eating a little differently. I cut out soda altogether and somewhat cut down portion size.

I have lost quite a bit of weight up to today. I got down as low as 224 in August. I was stoked. Well, lately I have experienced a little bit of a problem. I keep weighing in on Saturday to find myself gaining weight. I am back up to 238 and I am scared. I run every night and/or walk and I eat relativelyl healthy. I still don't drink soda and I try to limit my intake of bad items. However, lately I have been having a hard time losing and an even harder time with emotional eating. Tonight I realized how sick I am of being fat. I hate it every single day of my life. I should note here that I love myself. I love how I have a cute face and a great personality and make friends very easily. I love that boys like me even if I am chubby but let's be serious *another Ericaism* ...I can't stand it anymore. I hate the way my pants cut off my circulation, I hate the way I can't really enjoy myself at the beach with a swimsuit on, I hate how the man I love is perfect...and I am not! I hate how I feel around him. That being said, I am in despair about my weight and figured that someone out there would read this..and understand

I am starting over once again as most people who struggle with weight have to. I am going out walking/running tonight and comitting to an exercise plan all next week, drinking only water, cutting out any pork products, white bread, and sweets. I am so scared that I am going to get back up to 300 lbs overnight and never lose this plague around my middle. I am so sad about this and tomorrow is weigh in and it doesn't look good. I am still wearing the smaller clothes but not comfortably. Please pray for me people ...I want this more than I want anything in life. I should go now and walk but have a great night and eat for me since I won't be doing much of that any time soon! ~shalom and FAT BE GONE~

Monday, November 08, 2004


Hello everyone. I will explain the strange choice of title today but not until I cover how amazingly good God is. God is so great to me and teaches me beyond what I could ever imagine him to teach me. I spent this weekend in a phase of life’s classroom. I wept more than I have ever wept in my life this weekend. I grieved things that I didn’t even know made me sad. I cried out to God on issues that have been spanning years of time. I spent my Saturday feeling somewhat alone but intimately close to my Savior.

I, for the first time in a long time, really opened myself up to feel things that I was scared to feel before. I know where I am with God and I know where my heart is and what it desires. I am feeling more secure in His presence than I ever have. As I stated the other day in a post, I used to be very co-dependent upon other people in my life. I have no problem with friendships, romantic relationships, or family ties but I certainly feel very strongly about having a very personal and intimate time with your savior and learning that His love is sufficient for you. Healthy relationships are not co-dependent!!!

That being said, it’s time to explain the word INTERMISSION. Back in the day when movies were really long and good…*Like Gone with the wind* they had intermissions in them so you could stretch, get something to eat, go to the bathroom, and things of that nature. I am a supporter of the “intermission” and think it has lost its place in society. We can watch Harry Potter without blinking an eye …much less going to the potty! This post isn’t about movie intermissions but LIFE intermissions. I was thinking about this today and I came upon this idea.

This weekend I experienced what I believe to be a life intermission. The idea of intermission is that there is more movie to come and you are waiting to see what the ending is. It wouldn’t be good to give an intermission during the first 5 minutes of the movie, nor would it be good to give an intermission and not come back. There is always something waiting on the other side of intermission. The unwrapping of some huge story will be after that blank screen. I believe that God and I are in intermission.

I am in a place where I have NO idea what God is doing. He is “setting the stage” for something HUGE. I have no idea where he is taking me but I know it’s exciting. I have no idea what is going to happen in my career but I am stoked about seeing it come about. I don’t know whom I am going to marry but he is perfect for me and God is really working on him too! I don’t know what is going to come of Christopher or my job at Richmond but God is truly working. He literally communicates with me in analogies because I tend to understand better. This is the analogy that we ,me and God, came up with.

Intermission is defined in several different ways and I thought I would jot those down and show you all what God was saying to me (I might be called to preaching!) ha

Here are the definitions and how they relate….

The act of suspending activity temporarily – I am always in “activity” in some way or another. This was a great lesson to me because it refers to suspending activity temporarily and that is exactly what God wants to do with me sometimes. I am so busy at times that I forget that my most important relationship is the one I have with Him. Intermission is a necessity at times in the walk with Christ. That is how God used intermission first and foremost in our little time together.
A time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something – I think the part that really matters in this definition is TIME. I wrote about time a few posts ago and it is still so important today. Time is essential in a complete walk with God. Making time for God is not the idea…making time for other things while giving your life to God is the task at hand. We need to sometimes have a temporary cessation of SOMETHING. That is what is so amazing about God, He will help us make time for other things if we rest in Him!

There are other definitions for this word but I figure you are probably getting it now. God has me in intermission and I am just resting and stretching and relieving myself with Him in my company. We are slowly learning how to walk together because I am a slow learner…but catching up. Thanks for reading my long winded post today and I love you all very much ~Shalom~

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Lost, Empty, Alone, Scared, PERFECT

Have you ever suffered greatly and knew it was the most perfect thing for you? I am doing that right now. Today is Saturday and I am sitting at home as usual resting up from a hard week. Today I woke up after a horrible dream crying my eyes out and wishing to not be alive. I should note here that I am not suicidal so please don't worry. I immediately called someone I love and talked things out with them. I feel very lost, empty, alone, and scared right now, hence the title of today's post. These feelings are scary for me but at the same time, needed. In my relationship with God in the past, I have never really depended on Him totally because there was always SOMEONE around to depend on. I used to depend on Adolfo a lot and my family and maybe a few guy friends. These people were my salvation so why do I need Jesus?

Lately I have focused greatly on my spiritual and mental health and God has led me to a place of alone time. He has greatly encouraged me toward being alone right now and that He will take care of the rest. I am learning to trust that God has the perfect person set aside for me and he is making him into the man of God he needs to be while I am being made into the woman I need to be. It is so hard in today's culture not to focus on romantic love. I have had a few instances this week where I could have completely settled and I didn't. I am really missing companionship and romantic love but I find that there are times that I am not missing it at all but dwelling in the safety of only "dating" Jesus right now.

I have been single for only 9 months and I have found out so much about myself. I have learned who I am and what I have to offer that beautiful man that God is creating. I have narrowed the search and figured out what it is that I am "looking" for. I have defined the weaknesses in me and started working on fixing them. I have declared my own dreams and taken steps to achieve them. I have found my hobbies and spend time doing them. I have learned the value of silence and wallowed in it at times. I have felt the strength of being at your weakest and still loving where you are. I am happy to say that 9 months later, God has remade me and is continuing to do so every single minute of every single day.

Today the plan is to go running, eat healthy, work on my grad school apps, read my Bible, stand up for something I believe in, and love my friends and family. I need to remember what is important to me. I am so focused on getting better that I am allowing myself to get worse. I don't want to be depressed. This isn't a time to wallow and hurt but to stand up and be joyful at all that God is doing. I am becoming a woman I can be proud of.

Next week holds a few exciting things for me. I am going out to a few lunch dates with friends and catching up with people I love. I am working as usual but making time for me. My mom will be 48 on Thursday and my older sister will be 29. Happy Birthday Mom and Boss! I love you both very much and thanks for always being around. You are the only two who always have been and always will be! I am so lucky!

Well I love you all very much and my apologies to a certain man today as I had to make a very hard decision. I apologize truly! Have a beautiful day all and I am praying for you. Please do the same for me! ~Shalom~

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

No Settling!

God is so amazing I cannot even begin to tell you. He is doing this amazing transformation in me as most of my posts are telling about. Tonight I went out running and it was magnificent. I ran a little more than I am used to and my heart was pounding so hard. I love the feeling of my feet hitting the pavement and pushing myself just a little harder each day. It's a very hard task for me as I have been over 200 lbs overweight for a long time. Since I have lost the 112 lbs I have learned that exercise is not the enemy but one of my best friends. I wish the rest of the weight was already off but I am patiently just sticking to the plan and hoping all will pan out.

The subject tonight is No Settling because I am finally to this point. In my life I have been one to settle for what is good for the moment. I have been known to settle on very stupid matters like a pair of shoes that are on sale although they aren't my favorite to something as huge as who I date. Today I realized that God has brought me to the point where I won't settle not even for convenience or comfort.

This specific post is having to do with dating. As you all know, I got out of a very long relationship in February of this year. I love Adolfo very much and will not use this forum to destroy or hurt him in any way. I left the relationship because we were both settling for having someone around to love and we cared very much for each other. Unforunately we both tore each other up daily through our actions because we did not match. We really did settle because we were physically attracted to each other, cared very much for each other, and had the longevity factor going for us.

Today I am one of those people that would honestly rather be alone than settle for less than God's best. I know that there are things I can't do without in a man. I know I can't settle for less than some of these things. I am not trying to say that if a man isn't exactly 5 foot 10 I won't date him but rather some pretty huge factors are being considered for once. I thought I would list my top ten on here to show you what I mean. Here are my 10 can't do without things that I will not date anyone without!

1. Must be a Christian and live that life
2. Must be willing to wait for sex until marriage
3. Must be passionate about something in life
4. Must have his own friends and go out with them also
5. Must be able to tell me NO
6. Must have a high self-esteem and care for himself greatly
7. Must care about his physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health
8. Must be a gentleman
9. Must have a sense of humor
10. Must be able to enjoy himself in a variety of ways

These things are crucial for me in any upcoming relationship and if they aren't there, neither am I. I think I have the right to stand up for what I really want or just be alone. I long for a certain relationship and I refuse to stand anywhere but where I need to in them. I am tired of being the "boss", tired of dealing with no passion, and mostly tired of people who say they are one thing and act like another. I want a man after God's own heart and that is bottom line. I know that right now I am experiencing love in my heart but I am praying that God will refine that love and clarify it for me. Too many people forget what they want ...really want..when a warm body comes around.

Please pray that God will keep me focused on not settling for anyhing but his best in all aspects of my life. Thank you all and have a great night ~Shalom~ *Happy Election Day*

Monday, November 01, 2004

Fear and how that affects me

Hey everyone. I am actually posting for yesterday right now because last night I went running down at Balboa and had this total great time with God and then when I came home to post, I never got around to it. I had a really great learning experience and wanted to journal about it almost immediately and I got sidetracked. I was so happy to get to get into my jogging pants and head off to the beach last night for some running time. I went down and stretched and busted out running/walking first.

After I ran/walked for a while I headed to this special place I have there where I sit on a concrete wall above some rocks looking onto the water and just poured my heart out to God. A lot of my prayers were focused around fear. Fear is a hard word to define for everyone I think and we are all afraid of so many things. My fears are a mixture of irrational and rational, stupid and quite intelligent, justifiable and completely unwarranted. Some things I am afraid of are very hard for me to talk about with anyone but the Lord and then others are so easy for me to be open about that I wonder if they have lost their sting.

Last night I mainly talked to God about my fear of being alone. I think all of the time how pleasant it was to be with Adolfo. I think about how nice it was to always have someone to eat dinner with, walk on the beach with, talk to before bed, cry to when I was hurting, and share my hugest dreams with. Now, I don't have that. I don't expect anyone reading this to feel sorry for me because I am aware that I left the relationship with Adolfo and I really shouldn't act like I was left.

What I am looking to explain is the feeling of being completely alone! I have felt very alone for the last 9 months and at times almost desperate for another person breathing to be near me. This has caused me to take on things I wouldn't normally take on. This has also caused me to sell myself short of all that God has for me. This has made me focus on things that I don't really care about and ignore the things that are more important to me. Overall fear has paralyzed me.

Recently I made a plan to stop needing people so much and realize my desperate need for God. I have fully realized how much I need the Lord and how much everyone else makes me feel alone. I have come to the conclusion that I have very unrealistic expectations for my friendships, romantic relationships, and even family relationships. I can't want so much and need so much right now. I need to realize that my ideal relationship to have someone near me and loving me is already there. I have that with the Lord.

I talked to God for about a half hour about everything I fear from the biggest of being alone forever to the smallest of not having enough money to buy a new car. There are fears in that list that don't make a lot of sense but I don't have to make a lot of sense to Jesus. He knows me! Overall, I poured my heart out and told God how scared I was and begged him to wrap his arms around me and hold me because I need to be held. I was held very dearly for 6 years and the man I loved so much, loved me better than I could ever love him.

Today, I wanted to first of all thank you Adolfo for the 6 years that you were my companion, friend, confidant, listener, and punching bag. I apologize for all I did to hurt you and wish the most happiness and joy that your life could possibly bring! I will always care very deeply and think very highly of you!

Secondly I want to remind all of you reading this that there is a perfect love relationship. That is the one between the Father and YOU! Learn everything you can about that relationship and you will understand how love is supposed to work. I am working on loving right now by learning from example. The example of how my heavenly Father loves me!

I felt like this lesson needed to be shared. I will be posting later on after my time with the Lord and my run in order to give you my learning experience for the day. I hope you all are doing great. More updates in the next post! Have a great night and ~Shalom~

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Wonder woman for Halloween

Good evening everyone and again, Happy Halloween! I hope you all had a great night filled with lots of candy, fun, and memories. Mine was spent in a way that would make most people feel very sorry for me but before you do..hear me out. I decided to take a little break this weekend from mostly everything. I took very few calls *only special ones* and limited my activities to alone ones. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to hang out with my friends, enjoy Halloween, and mostly be around the person I love the most but I am in a "boot camp" so to speak right now. I am being changed gradually from the inside out. I needed some time to be alone this weekend and it just happened to fall on Halloween.

I have mentioned a few times in the last couple of posts that I am pretty homesick. That feeling has only grown over the last few days. I tried to sort it out with a friend this afternoon and really ended up feeling worse so I figure this is something for me to ride out alone. The friend had only nice words to say and truly understood where I was coming from but I learned quickly that noone can take away what I am feeling but only the soil of Indiana can truly heal the pain right now.

Everyone knows that I don't particulary like LIVING in Indiana. I enjoy the fall and how it's beautiful colors make me feel. I enjoy holidays with my family and the smell of fireplaces burning in the winter. I enjoy the crisp crunch of snow underneath my shoes but overall, those things only amount to a tiny bit of happiness for me. I overall feel happier with the salty smell of the ocean, the feel of sand between my toes, the amazing feeling of running on the beach, the ability to eat any type of food on any given night, and mostly the feeling of being independent and strong.

Tonight brings me a little bit of healing by just being alone. I would like to take this time to thank all of you for being a friend to me and loving me through one of the hardest years of my life. Some of you have only been around for the hardest year of my life and for that, be grateful. I am better this year than I have ever been. I am a person that I can be proud of. I am going to take my self to the beach now and have a little walk/run to send some endorphins soaring through my brain in preparation for a work week.

Have a great one everyone and again, Happy Halloween. This year, I dressed up as a super hero...I required no costume for this, I am ONE on my OWN! Best wishes for your week! ~Shalom~

Happy Halloween

Hey everyone. Just wanted to say Happy Halloween and hope it was a fun, safe one for you. I have to get back to watching "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" Love you all and ~Shalom~

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Ode to Indiana

I am really missing home right now so I thought I would post some lyrics for my sweet home! Here is "Mayberry" by Rascal Flatts to remind me of home!

Sometimes it feels like this world is spinning faster
Than it did in the old days
So naturally, we have more natural disasters
From the strain of a fast pace
Sunday was a day of rest
Now, it’s one more day for progress
And we can’t slow down ‘cause more is less
It’s all an endless process
I miss Mayberry
Sitting on the porch drinking ice-cold cherry
Coke Where everything is black and white (nana nana nananananana)
Picking on a six string
Where people pass by and you call them by their first name
Watching the clouds roll by
Bye, bye

Sometimes I can hear this old earth shouting
Through the trees as the wind blows
That’s when I climb up here on this mountain
To look through God’s window
Now I can’t fly
But I got two feet that get me high up here
Above the noise and city streets
My worries disappear

(Repeat Chorus)
Sometimes I dream I’m driving down an old dirt road
Not even listed on a map
I pass a dad and son carrying a fishing pole
But I always wake up every time I try to turn back

(Repeat Chorus)

Bye, bye

This song makes me think of Good old Mitchell, Indiana! Just wanted to tell everyone how much I miss home right now! ~Shalom~ and GET ER DONE!


Hello everyone. I am sorry it’s been a while since I have written. I have been so busy lately. My blog is an extreme source of relaxation and reflection for me and I have seriously missed it this week. This week has worn me out. I have so much going on and seriously have no energy to do anything. I promised myself that this weekend would be a recuperation time. I decided to screen my phone calls very carefully, not plan anything, and exercise a lot! I have to take care of myself and to be honest; I haven’t been doing a great job of that lately.

My obedience to God in some areas is skyrocketing while in other areas it is imperative that I start to buckle down. Have you noticed that when you get a handle on something that was really hard for you, you lose your footing in another area? That has been me this week. I have been giving God my control issue this week and in turn have relapsed in my food intake and lust area. I think that there are times when you have to just stop and stay by yourself until you get it together. That is exactly my plan for the weekend.

Today was the start of my weekend and I began by weighing in this morning and not to my surprise having gained 4 lbs. I haven’t been being obedient in my eating habits and due to the rain last week I didn’t go running every night and I should have exercised indoors but instead, I snacked and got heavier. I am very disappointed in myself; however, I have learned that if you stay in that zone, you keep losing ground. After a breakfast of a Granny Smith Apple, I went to the beach and ran/walked 2 miles. It felt so good and my endorphins started moving and I had a better mood going on.

Last night I had a terrible evening where I realized how much I have lost this year. I was struggling with the fact of losing a lot of friends, my relationship, and a lot of strongholds that made me feel very comfortable. I am happy about these things as well but it’s hard to realize them all at once and experience grief/happiness at the same time. It is a bittersweet feeling.

Anyway, this morning at the beach I walked around for a while just taking pictures of how beautiful Corona Del Mar is. I took black and white photos of all of the things I found to be beautiful. After my “picture walk” I went and ran/walked 2 miles and burned some serious calories and sent some endorphins to my brain in order to get out of the funk I was sitting in. After a great run, it was great to de-funk myself further by going to the mall and shopping. I ended up purchasing a pair of jeans, a new pair of chonies, a pair of jogging pants, and a new pair of running shoes (Nike Shox). What a great day at the mall and man did it make me feel better?! I might not feel better when I realize what I have to live on ($ wise) for the next 2 weeks but oh well.

I have had a tough couple of weeks and God is really changing who I am. That is a very uncomfortable place to be but obviously makes me very happy also. I really want to be all that God wants me to be but it’s so hard doing all of the things he asks me to do. I am going to be very alone through this time as God is trying to get me by myself in order to really take care of my issues. There are friendships to be left, relationships to change, and mostly time to be alone. I am learning what it is like to be with me because that is the time when I see myself thoroughly and am able to sort through what’s going wrong.

My newest growth experience to share with all of you is TIME. Time is something we are all limited on and we all have the same amount. Time is not a respecter of people, places, or events. Time moves the same for everyone. This is an ideal time to talk about time because this week is daylight savings time. Indiana folks, you don’t observe this little intricacy of life but we Cali people do. This time around we gain an hour on the west coast. To me, that is crucial as time has been so limited lately. That isn’t what I wanted to speak about but it is a good transition.

Time is something I have had to learn a lot about this week, in different ways. First of all I have had to learn how to spend TIME alone. This has been through watching my favorite TV programs, reading books, taking walks, going to the beach, laying around, shopping, cleaning, organizing, thinking, etc… I have never honestly liked being alone. Even when I was alone as a kid, I would talk to myself like I was someone else. I would put on radio broadcasts or do shows in my room pretending that there were others out there. I have always hated to be alone until now. I am slowly learning the merit of alone time. My favorite friend Joel always tells me the great things about being alone and until now, I have never really been able to appreciate his thoughts. I am getting to where I am my favorite person to hang out with. Almost (see bolded name)

I am also learning how to set boundaries with my TIME. My time is very limited and valuable. I am learning how to not waste it but use it very wisely and not let others take it away when I am not willing to give it. This has come to places where I had to say NO although it was very hard, had to stand up for my needs, and had to let the phone ring.

I have also been learning to give others an adequate amount of TIME for things. We all know that I am very involved in my friend’s lives and try to stay in touch and spend time with them. Well, lately I have taken the approach of giving others their own time and not overcrowding. I also have started allowing others to pursue me because I am giving entirely too much of myself in many relationships. This has been very beneficial and I am seeing who cares and who just wants things from me.

Another aspect of TIME I have been learning about is how crucial time with the Lord is. I mean, I can do a lot of things with my 24 hours in a day but they are all so fruitless if I don’t get time with Jesus. I work a lot in a day, 13-16 hours, so this can be hard but it’s imperative right now that I learn HIS character and the way HE wants me to do things. I have learned that obedience is so rewarding if you will just rest in HIM.

This past week I learned a lot about loving others. I truly LOVE for the first time in my life and it’s the hardest thing I have ever set myself to do. There is so much to lose. I feel so out of control in this situation. I feel like all I can do is feel these things and do what God says and hope for the best. I know this is what God wants me to get to and it’s invigorating and quite scary. I know he wants me to blindly trust him with my heart this time and I am terrified. I am so scared of walking away broken like so many times before. I have no guarantee of my love ever being returned or even respected yet I still love with all that I am.
This time in my life is really scary and lonely. I am supposed to be alone and I am supposed to be letting go and I am doing it. I am trusting HIM for my every breath, need, desire, heartache, etc… I am deeply in need of HIS strong arms to carry me through a very rough time. I am longing for more of God and less of me. Well, I have blabbed enough for the day. Have a great weekend all and God bless you! ~Shalom~

Sunday, October 24, 2004

A restful Sunday

Hey everyone. I hope you are all doing great this fine Sunday. It's about 10:30 here in So. Cal and I have to say I have spent the day doing rather relaxing things. Yesterday morning I woke up with a sore back. I have no idea what happened but I feel like I might have a pinched nerve right under my right shoulder blade in my back. It's pretty painful and has continued on into today. I decided to not go to church but to stay in bed this morning and relax. For lunch I headed out with Heather and Josh for some seafood at wonderful Red Lobster.

After a great lunch with them, I went and did our two week grocery shopping run. Our house was getting pretty bare. I love when you do well at the store and save a lot of money. I am quite the grocery shopper. I have a knack for saving money and eating like a KING :) Pun completely intended. ;) I think that is a part of my job that I do just wonderful at.

Tonight finds me in the office upstairs blogging away with Christopher sleeping soundly in the next room. He is really excited about Halloween and dressing up really scary and making his nanny nervous. He has chosen to be a Zombie Clown for Halloween and so, um, yeah, SCARED. I don't know if everyone that reads this knows but I am terrified of clowns. Chris didn't know this when he chose his costume so I can't blame him and maybe it will help desensitize me to this fear. Who knows?!

I am looking forward to this week in a strange way. I have nothing to really look forward to but my attitude is changing so much that I don't mind thinking in terms of what is going to be new and fresh for the week. I am always looking forward to my next growing and changing opportunity. I am happy to say that my favorite friend will be back in So. Cal and I am looking forward to that although that doesn't mean I will see or talk to him. I am trying to be well...spacious right now! (I don't need to explain that for those of you who know I am talking symbolically)

Tomorrow is usually a busy day as Monday is a great day to receive about a million things to do on the agenda and get moving on loans. Also, Christopher has Karate tomorrow afternoon and while he is there, I am going to the library to pick his new book to read. He finished "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowery and really liked it. He has a horrible time with reading so I am just hoping for a successful school year overall in the reading department.

So onto growth, I am learning so much lately that it's hard to type it all out in a blog. This week's experience was learning to take time for myself and God. It was also learning self control versus controlling the universe. I am going pretty deep into this so if you aren't a psych person, buckle're in for a ride.

Ok, so I believe there is a distinct difference between being able to control yourself and being a control freak. I am classically defined as a "Control Freak" and I wear that name tag with my head hung in shame. It's been very hard for me to "fess" up to this terrible name but I am starting to be out of my denial and fighting the behavior. I try to control anything and everything I can get my hands on. I should note here that it is a classic response from a person who comes from an abusive background because you try to find control where it's available. I am not justifying this behavior nor backing it at all but simply trying to explain the root of this mess.

In saying this, I am in no way self controlled. Because I am not able to control my self, I try to control my surroundings including people. This isn't good or healthy. I am working on controlling my self and letting everything else go right now. I have decided today to type out the things I can control and then a list of the things (off the top of my head) that I can't control. This is a great exercise in reality.

Things I can control:

My exercise habits
What I eat
How I treat others
How much time I spend with God
How hard I work at my jobs
How I love others
How I myself choose to behave
Forgiving others who have hurt me

Things I cannot control:

My metabolism
How others treat me
What God does with my life
If someone falls in love with me
How much attention I receive from others
How others love me
How others choose to behave
Other's spiritual lives
Time and how fast it goes
Age and how fast it comes
Parenting Christopher
Saving Jaylie
How my family handles money
Getting others to forgive me
Getting others to feel badly for things they have done

The list continues on things I can't control so I am starting to lay things down one at a time and just walk away from them knowing they are not mine to hold on to. I hope this blog has helped someone today but please stay tuned as God is only moving further and further and deeper and deeper into me. I hope someday I am 1/4 the woman he is working on! :) I have potential...says the Lord ;) ~Shalom~

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Sweet rewards

Happy Saturday everyone. I hope you all are having a great weekend and doing something that relaxes you and brings you much happiness. I am having a good weekend so far. Today I took Jaylie out for a movie and we saw the movie with Hilary Duff called "Raise your Voice." Now Hilary Duff isn't my favorite actress or even in my generation but I went for Jaylie and to be honest, (hangs head in shame) I liked the movie! I also ended up staying home tonight and ordering in some grilled salmon and just chilling. I am going for a run after I blog although my back is injured in some way and I am not sure how far I am going to get.

Today's title is "sweet rewards" because my obedience (that has been severely difficult) is paying off. I know that often times being obedient to the Lord is really hard and you don't see the payoff immediately. I am not saying that everything that you are obedient in even has an earthly payoff but my obedience was sincerely rewarded this week. I was asked (sorta) by God this week to give Him my time. I am a person who genuinely gives to other people or needs from other people until it kills me or them. This week God asked me to give Him my all and let Him be all I need. I know that I should be doing this on a normal basis but this is very new for the selfish person that I am.

I really try to put myself out there in order to make sure NO one forgets me. I am everything to everybody and the funniest, the loudest, the most generous, the best listener, the most entertaining, and the list goes on. I am wearing myself out. I am not doing this to bless anyone else but me. I am doing it so I don't have to be alone. There is a lot that is scary about finding yourself BY YOURSELF!! I am also doing this in my jobs. I am going above and beyond the call of duty in order to be the best worker so everyone will love me and make me feel needed. None of this is healthy so God has asked me/told me to STOP!

Now I should note that I have no problem with giving your 100% to everything you put your hands to do but seriously consider your motive. My motives have been poor for a long time towards a lot of tasks and people. I am learning one person at a time how to love. I love someone very much for the first time in my life. I am learning what that means, what it demands, and what I need to change about myself to do it efficiently. I am a person that requires much of myself. I long every day to be a better person and I know deep down that I am not giving my all by giving ALL OF ME! It is not healthy for me nor is it beneficial to others. I have to have something for myself in order to benefit anyone else.

In saying that, I have been very obedient in one area for about 4 days now. I have seen God's hand move in this situation already and really am clinging to his promises. I have no idea how this will pan out and what will come of it but I know what God said and what He says is always for my best. I know what's mentally healthy and I am trying to pursue that greatly at this time.

I really need everyone's prayers right now as this is a hard time for me physically. I had a few "set backs" recently in my health that made it very hard for me to exercise and thus lose weight. While these set backs were happening I slipped into my old ways of putting food first and having a severely unhealthy relationship with it. I continued to exercise even when it was rough but unfortunately with the calorie intake I have only maintained. I am standing still at 230 lbs now and I am sick of it. I want to get more weight off. I did happen to get into a size 18 now and I am really happy about that but I need my good eating habits back. I am going grocery shopping tomorrow for the house so I just need prayers for knowledge and wisdom on what to buy in order to support my eating differences.

I find myself doing a lot of snacking late at night. I feel like I am starving because I am eating less healthy foods which leave you unsatisfied. I am hoping to incorporate more fruits and vegetables this week which leave me full at night and getting to bed earlier which will keep me out of the fridge. Also I really need to make time this week for my runs in order to burn more than I take in. Please just pray as this is one of my huge goals. I am going home in December and would like to be down to at least 220 by that time. My family and I are getting pictures taken and I would like to be more proud of them although I have to tell you..I am one cute girl these days. I am very proud of my weight loss and very proud of who I am. I just have to keep it up until I am at a healthy weight!

Thanks everyone for stopping in and for your prayers! Have a beautiful weekend and keep on checking in for more Erica-extreme Makeover! HA HA ~Shalom~

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

dreams, big and small

Hi everyone! I am sure if you are located out in So. Cal you are thinking to yourself how awful this weather is. I love it! Rain is amazing for my sleep patterns. I woke up this morning and went upstairs to make breakfast and I almost slept over my waffles because rain just relaxes me. If you had any idea how much I need to relax you would be happy to hear that. I am in a place where I need a few days off to just lay in my bed, read a book, organize and file, and take a walk. If the rain doesn't stop through the weekend I might just do the bed and book gig!

Today's title is about dreams. When I am talking about dreams I don't mean the kind that happen in the deepest of sleep. I am talking about the inner passions and desires of your heart. I have a whole lot of dreams and right now I am working on redefining those dreams and learning what is behind them. One of my hugest dreams is obviously to become a marriage/family therapist and help people like myself who have been terribly hurt in their family of origin. This dream has many steps to it and one of them (Bachelors) I have already achieved. The next step on that path is to get into a grad school and start working on my Masters program. I have always felt rushed to get that completed until now. I am really happy in my current jobs (happy in the sense of challenged and paid decently) so I am thinking maybe I am not in such a hurry to get done.

That is not saying I don't want to apply soon, it just means that I might take some time to get it completed instead of taking the fast track and killing myself to get it done plus work two jobs and attempt to have a social life. Right now I am feeling spread thin and that is alarming to me being that I am not even in my masters program yet. I know God will direct me and lead me but it's nerve racking to say the very least.

Another huge dream of mine is to be emotionally healthy. That is something I have been working on for the last year. Now some of you probably view me as pretty healthy already but those of you who REALLY know me are aware of the complex problems in my emotional health. I am working from the ground up on this problem by delving into things I have not dealt with yet from childhood as well as dealing with how they interact with my life daily. I really need to get healthy emotionally not only for my future career but also for my quality of life.

There is no point of getting up each day, working for a living, coming home, hanging out, and being miserable. I have no desire to keep blaming myself for other's issues, putting too much on myself, disclosing more than I should, and running my problems around in a circle. I am ready to be free of these unhealthy behaviors and this is something that is top priority right now in my life.

Another dream that constantly runs through my head is to be financially secure. I am working on that now by obviously paying off bills and working about 16 hours daily. I make decent money and don't have any money going out in rent or food so that helps. I am possibly going to purchase a new car in order to bring my fica score up a little so that eventually I can purchase a house out here. I have a lot of financial goals that work in correspondence with this and I am a little concerned with how that will all pan out with grad school.

An overall dream of mine that is completely in God's control is my LOVE life. I use the term love just like in yesterday's entry. I use it to mean a sacrificial, happy, mutual, totally amazing love. I have a deep seated desire to love and be loved. I have no idea what will happen with that but I am trusting God that he hears the cry of my heart.

Well, I have talked about dreams today in order to encourage you all to dream. I am dreaming now of being around someone I love very much and longing to understand their heart and moreso be available to understand their differences and be a good LOVER! I mean that in the cleanest way ;)

Well, the next few days could be hard on me as I am being obedient to God but completely having a uncomfortable time at it. Please be praying that my dreams can come true. I will be praying the same for you! ~Shalom~

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Rain, Pain, and Sacrificial Love

Good evening everyone. I do hope this Tuesday finds you doing well and staying dry. For those of you in my "neck of the woods," it has been pretty wet around here. I like the rain other than that small detail of having curly Jewish hair and having to straighten it after each outdoor activity. Today's title says a lot about where I am at. Rain just happens to be what is going on outside right now in beautiful So. Cal. Pain is the state of mind I am living in and Sacrificial love is my newest learning experience.

Have you ever really loved someone? When I use the word love in this entry, I want to operationally define it as a verb phrase. I don't want it to be an emotion like "I love that car" or "I love sports" or even "I love my dog." All of these things suppose that love is something that makes you feel good inside or serves a purpose for you. I am talking about deep down LOVE. I found out this week that I love someone for the first time in my life. In a very generic sense I love a lot of people. I love my mom, dad, sisters, friends, extended family, co-workers, etc...but when I speak of this new love today, I speak of something so much greater and so much harder.

I am not speaking of a froofy (completely made up word) romantic love either. I mean, in a sense this love can turn into any kind of love you desire it to be but it's a true love. I could easily have romantic feelings for this person (and maybe I already do) but I learned today that to truly love someone, you are willing to stand back and be uncomfortable in order to make them happy. The love that I have in my heart is new and fresh and exciting and quite honestly, difficult. This person is the hardest person for me to love in the world because we love so differently.

In the past for me to love someone meant that I tried to control them, gave them sound advice, guided them through hardship, and ideally did "nice" things for them. All of these things in the past were for me to gain something. If I was nice to someone, it was so that they thought I was really nice. If I gave advice to someone it was imperative that they find me brillant when I was done. Not this person! I love this person with no stipulations. I love them with the knowledge of who they are and never wanting one single thing to change. I have longed for a love that deep in my life and now I am praying that God will allow love to come back to me in this way now that I actually practice it.

I am not saying by any means that I have put this person first or even second on my priority list. They are well down the list, however, they sit at their spot completely safe and sturdy because I am happy with them there. I also am not saying that this person is perfect because honestly, by no means do I feel that way. They do a lot of things that I believe to be "wrong" or aggravate me greatly. The difference is I don't love what they do, I love their potential. I am just completely and utterly in love! (I mean that in the least stupid way)

I am really going through a crazy upheaval now days and seriously am considering a lot of changes in my life. I would appreciate prayers all around for big decisions to be made and new ideas to be pondered. I also need prayers for whatever God is doing in tearing me into pieces and exposing the guts to me! I am really tired from this experience as well as the first month at my new jobs. I need prayers for every day that I pursue excellence and God's best for me

Tonight I went and looked at Acura RSX's. I am considering trading the Cavie in for a new car. I had no intention upon doing this until May when the cavie is paid off and some other things are taken care of but I am considering doing this in the next 10 days. Please keep me in prayer for wisdom as I am really interested in this car and would love to drive it home next week! I have a lot of facets to consider in this decision.

Please also keep me in prayer as I plan my trip home in December and have to come up with a great deal of money in order to make the trip plausible. The plane ticket is purchased so Thank God and Dad for that! I need prayers for the rental car, Christmas gifts for family, money to operate on while there, money to pay bills while missing one week of work, and money when I get back to get into full swing possibly on a new car loan!

Well as much as these are exciting times, they are also very stressful. I need to keep focusing on my health and well-being. Sorry if I haven't been a great communicator lately. Trying to stay healthy and focused. Have a beautiful day and ~Shalom~