Monday, February 28, 2005

the quest for God-control

Upon writing yesterday I had several people read the blog and respond to me on several different levels. Some of you wrote me and felt very much the same and didn't really know how to control yourself either. Others of you gave me your own opinions and tried to guide me as well as you could. Others of you were actually invited to help me as a mentor or trusted friend and gave me wisdom immeasurable. Overall, I have come to the conclusion that I don't need to know how to control myself on a mother-board typescale. I need to be able to trust God to help me gain self-control. One of my trusted mentors pointed out something that I really wanted to share with those of you who struggle in this same area.

She mentioned that self-control is a fruit of the spirit. Fruits don't grow unless they are nourished. This is such an imperative thought to consider. I mean, if I am not nourishing myself in the Lord, how do I expect the fruits of HIS spirit to bloom?? This is such a valid point and somewhat directs me on the next step in obtaining this fruit. I looked into the verse about the fruits of the spirit last night and realized, I am not really nourishing any of these. I am not necessarily living in any of them and maybe I should be concerned about that!

I am telling you, it's hard being the kind of person who constantly thinks of things to work on or constantly thinks in general. I am a thinker and by nature, a person who is always looking to get better or healthier. I think this is good but can get a bit difficult as I try to make every one of my goals overnight. One of my hugest problems is patience with myself. I really need to try to work on being more patient with me! I am the kind of person who can accept that healing and change takes time in other people, but with me..I want it done yesterday. This self-control thing is going to take much time and much patience in myself. I am going to have to embrace having a hard time.

I don't think that there is anything new to report. No news on jobs yet. Nothing really huge happening in my life other than work and trying to lose weight. I have major focus right now on the losing weight factor so let's hope I can get it in gear. Your prayers would be appreciated.

Well, I should get going as I have a million and one things to get done today. Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 27, 2005:

1. Self control is not something that you can learn or inact without the help of God.

2. The fruits of the spirit need to be nourished just like a normal fruit would need to be. They do not come overnight to those who are worthy!

3. When I really try, I can accomplish goals that I saw as getting ahead of me.

4. I really miss Heather and Josh and they are literally two of the best friends I have ever had.

5. People do care about my opinion in their lives and miss me when I am not around.

Thankfulness February 27, 2005:

I am thankful for a trusted mentor in my life, Claudia Degelman. She was my professor at Vanguard but since I graduated a mentor and friend. She is very special to me and always takes the time to listen and really guide me in wisdom yet always helping me to understand things from my own point of view. I value her so greatly and thank God for her direct place in my life. Thank you God and thank you Claudia!


Sunday, February 27, 2005

Over and over again

Good Sunday Afternoon everyone. Today I sit in a place of frustration. I like to really tell the blog exactly what is going on and exactly the person I am. Authenticity has been a huge word in 2005 and I am trying to get there. Today brings me to a place of being tired of myself. I am frustrated with living in my own skin. I am angry with some of my mistakes and how I constantly make them. I have a serious issue with self-control. This is an aspect of myself that I have to work on in little bitty baby steps. I have virtually no self-control and because of that, I try to control the rest of the world. I even have no self-control in being controlling.

If I had to get down to the fundamental problem with me, it would be the word control. Control has been an issue for me since I was a little girl. In my home, there were several levels of abuse happening and when you are an abused child or someone who sees a lot of abuse, you try to gain control in any area that will sit still. I have tried to gain control in school, friendships, relationships, jobs, etc... I can't gain enough control to ever satisfy myself at this point though. I know that is because I feel like if I have control over a situation, it can't hurt me. There is a level of risk in life that I don't know how to take.

The other side of this coin is that I have no ability (or at least haven't up until this point) to control myself. This applies to areas of boys, food, exercise, discipline, procrastination, anger, verbal outbursts and the list goes on. I can't (or haven't) control my way of being. It's like, I can pretend to control all of the factors in my life but when you get down to it...I have no self-control. This is one of my hugest goals upon figuring this out. I need to gain control of my own actions. This is a fruit of the spirit that I don't possess.

I think the first plan in this problem is to really examine what self-control consists of. I am not sure the biblical view of it or even the psychological view of it. I am going to seek some godly counsel on it by going to a few trusted mentors and also a friend or two and discussing the concept of self-control. I need to just tell people how I am. I am afraid that this will affect our relationships but overall, if it does...this is me letting go of some control again.

Since my first plan is to seek out advice, I really need to pray for God to help me weed out the things that he needs me to hear about self-control. It might be hard for me to hear and it will most likely be hard for me to inact but I am willing and able to hear. I would like for everyone I pursue to be honest and open in telling me how to work with some of the things I am struggling with. I am going to be very careful in choosing the people to speak into my life about this specific subject.

My second plan of action is to gather all of the information that I have obtained and really look it over and look into my own heart. If someone tells me that I have a problem with something, I want to look that over and consider its truth. I want to really get to the bottom of why this problem is here and how I can attack it from all angles. I am ashamed that I have no control over myself. I am ashamed that I listen to every urge and craving and obey them promptly. I am ashamed that I deny myself happiness and joy in my spiritual life by allowing those urgings and cravings to control my every action.

Some of these self-control issues are very embarassing and somewhat intimidating. They are hard for me to confront or even admit. I have a hard time even admitting them to myself. I know that my life should not reflect most of the things that it does. I am not happy about the woman I am and for that reason, my life is constantly under the microscope. This blog is a extension of the work that is constantly going on inside of me. I am a person who believes in self-improvement. I am always working to achieve that next goal of being a better Erica.

Right now, I sit at a place of wanting a change and uncertainty of how to do it. I am going to immediately seek help in this aspect by asking people for advice and opening my heart up to accountability. I am seriously overwhelmed with this problem and just need to find a little light at the end of this self-control tunnel. Until then, please pray that I find the right people to talk to and that they understand this problem and hear God's voice to help guide me. Please also pray for strength because I will need it.

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 26, 2005:

1. I have no self-control and hate myself for it.

2. I still have a problem with anger when it comes and need to get back out the anger journal.

3. I have learned some serious lessons about boundaries and am starting to show some improvement in that respect.

4. The sound of one man's voice still makes my heart leap!

5. I am still very sad about Adolfo and I wish I could just be over it.

Thankfulness February 26, 2005:

I am thankful for my new hobbies and the things I use to get to know myself. I am currently doing a lot of new things in my life like reading different kinds of literature, studying psychology more, scrapbooking, organizing, meeting new people, etc...and they are growing me up as a person. I like spending time with myself and I am trying to learn that I am my best friend without isolating myself. I am thankful that I have come so far since starting this journey. I am thankful for a year of growth! Thank you God and thank you to all of my friends who have helped and thank you Erica :)


Saturday, February 26, 2005

My private journal

Hello everyone and happy Saturday. Today is my weigh in day and I am surprised that I maintained this week at 241 lbs. I ate horrible this week as well as started weight training so I figured I might gain. I am happy that I didn't though! Oh well, onto a losing week.

Today's title is "My private journal" because I decided to talk to you about my private journal. My blog is deep inside thoughts that I choose to share with others in the hopes that my thoughts and feelings will help some of you grapple with your own. I have a private journal as well. It's currently a red book with empty lined pages in it that I spill to every once in a while. I would be lying to say that I write in it daily although there have been stints of time where I had to. I write in it at no certain schedule and whenever I need to tell someone something very hard or very secret. I don't want to disclose my personal items to any human so I tell my journal and I feel accomplished in "getting it out."

Lately my private journal has been a friend to me. I have had many situations where I didn't feel confident telling another human about my problem, my feelings, or my actions. I would encourage anyone who has a problem with sharing things too much (like myself) to grab a journal (only about $5.00 at Borders) and start writing. I started my journal writing on April 3, 2004 and it continues today. It's the same book so obviously I don't write everyday but it's just about full. I feel accomplished knowing I have almost kept a journal for a full year. I can read back and see what I was doing at any given time and where my heart was in the healing of things.

I look back at those days and laugh sometimes and other times I cry. At times I am proud of myself for things achieved and seeing that I got through one of the hardest days I have ever had. The other night I was reading back through my journal and found a page where I wrote about my desire to kill myself. I would normally not share this with my blogging public but today, I felt it might help someone. I am usually a joyful person no matter what is happening in my life. That day I was at the end of my rope. I was at the peak of saddness and lonliness. I was struggling to maintin my breath not to mention any sense of dignity or self respect.

I was struggling with a decision I had made that I felt God has asked me to make. I was struggling with running back to this sin and doing it because it made me comfortable. The uncomfortable silence of God that day made me want to cut my life short. I told my journal how if I had some kind of certainty that my family and friends would be alright, I would do it without a second thought. I should mention here that I had never been in that place before and haven't been there since but man, that day was the hardest one I have seen.

I remember and read of what pulled me out of that funk. I had a friend who was willing to sit up with me until the wee hours of the morning (even though this friend had an early class the next day) and just remind me of my worth in God and that it was one day on a map of a million days and I would be stronger in the morning. That friend was right. About a year later, I can tell you....I am healing at a rapid rate about this hurt. I have my God, my friends, and myself to thank. I wanted to share that with you all knowing that most of you have probably been here at some point in your life and I urge you to talk to someone or write it out. Later, you will be amazed at God's love for you!

Well that's what I had on my heart to share today. Enjoy my learning and thankfulness for the last few days:

Learning February 24, 2005:

1. I do well in interviews, I just wish my availablity was better.

2. Autism is so interesting to me and I am going to start researching it.

3. I learned some new information about Eastern Orthodox today and I am going to look into that as a denomination.

4. Piano tuning is fun to watch because you go from hearing sour notes to hearing a beautiful song played at the end.

5. I love piano music and can't wait to learn anything on my own.

Learning February 25, 2005:

1. I am an interesting girl who can keep people on their toes. (Someone told me this)

2. My honesty is refreshing as well as hurtful at times (Again, said by someone else)

3. I have undergone a lot of changes in the past year.

4. I really like people who are humorous and care about me.

5. I learned something new and it made me really happy!

Thankfulness February 24, 2005:

I am thankful for the experience of a great theological talk with the piano tuner (Bruce). He is Eastern Orthodox and we talked about God and religion for the entire hour he was tuning. It was such an interesting discussion and he affirmed my strength in hearing a lot of my story and testimony. The truth is, I am a strong girl and I learned that from Bruce and I am thankful for God placing that discussion in my life.

Thankfulness February 25, 2005:

I am thankful for a talk I had with a new friend, Terrence. Terrence is really attractive and basically very much my type. We have been dating just recently. He is a really great guy and we had a long conversation where I learned new things about him and things that really motivate him. I am hoping that if nothing else, I can encourage him in his dreams and affirm his personality and talents. God has blessed me with a lot of new friends!


Thursday, February 24, 2005

Job interview update

Hello everyone and Happy Thursday. I have mentioned this before in the blog but Thursday is one of my favorite days. I have no idea why it always feels good but it does. This morning I had a giant surprise on my way to my job interview. I got a call from London. I was able to talk to Heather and Josh this morning which was magical. I love them both so much and it was awesome to be able to hear their voices. As you all know, they are currently studying abroad in London. I was stoked!

My job interview went well. I learned so much about the position and it looks like my availablity might hold me back from gaining a position there immediately. It's something I am terribly interested in and I am wondering if there is a reason I was there. I really hope I will at least gain some hours there or something because it's an amazing job. I also learned that there is a program where they teach young autistic children the fundamentals of soccer and they were interested in me working with that program. I used to know NOTHING about soccer but since meeting Josh and watching his games, I might be able to pull that job off.

Today through Sunday I am off work and happy about that. I need some leisure time and I am sure to get some this weekend. I am going to read, scrapbook, watch tv (desperate housewives), go on dates, and enjoy myself in the things I love like working out and going to the beach. I am looking forward to a few days of just being me! I realize that months ago, I could not have said that statement at all.

I sit now waiting on the piano tuner. He is going to be here at 2:00 and that should be good. The piano will be all ready for mine and Chris' lessons with Hannah. Hannah doesn't really know she is going to be teaching me too but I am going to sit in on all of his lessons so I will learn alongside him and be really excited about it. I love the idea of learning the piano and I hope I pick it up fast or at least at all. :)

Well that is where I am at for the day. Please keep me in prayer to find a psych position that fits my schedule and works with my interests and skill. I need a job soon! I love you all so much and have a great day! Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 23, 2005:

1. You can win back enemies in business by inviting them to Vegas and paying for them to stay in the 4 seasons! :)

2. A new porsche is a lot of money!

3. Piano tuning is expensive.

4. There are people with lives like mine and they live with the same pain.

5. Life is interesting when you observe it and analyze it. Don't let your life pass you by without taking a look into it.

Thankfulness February 23, 2005:

I am thankful that I finally was able to talk some things out with my mom about the "wedding." Many of you know that in 2001, Adolfo cancelled our wedding the day before it was supposed to happen. This is a deep wound in me not from Adolfo but from other people who were around when it happened and how they reacted. I figured out last night that I really need to work through some of that. Thank God for the talk with my mom!


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

no drama and loving it!

Today my life is drama free. I have finally came to the point where I eliminate drama therefore I never have to experience it. I go into things honestly and never accept someone elses drama for my own life. I love that I am healthy enough to know what's good for me and know that I am my most important person! I just won't accept anyone's hand me down drama anymore. I love myself entirely too much.

Things in So. Cal are going pretty well. Today is my last day with Chris for a while and to tell you the truth, after 3 full days of him, I am ready for a break. I don't know about this mommy gig at all. It's amazing how much there is to it. The good thing is, there are breaks. Usually you are not in a house for hours with the kid. I am ready for a weekend of fun and that is exactly what is going to happen this weekend!

I have a job interview tomorrow morning and I am looking forward to hearing more about the position and letting you all know the verdict. I am hoping for a second job as I really need the income and I also need the outlet of psychology. I am also in deep desire for a place to go that will keep me busy and out of the fridge.

In other news, Christopher tests for his orange belt in Karate this weekend. He is really finding himself in Karate and doing really well at it. His birthday was kinda disappointing as it rained and he wasn't able to go paint balling as he had hoped. I think his dad is rescheduling it for a couple of weeks from now.

I am starting to lift weights again which is a big thing for me. It always helps me burn more calories and fat and makes my body take on a better shape. I am enjoying it so much and tonight is lower body and abs so I always feel great after that. Last night I did upper body and abs and it was great. I also do cardio every single day. Cardio is essential for a chubby!

I haven't touched the scrapbook in a few days but I am going to get back on it tonight. I am hoping to do a few pages of text as I am trying to write about each page I make. It's a great scrapbook so far and really honors the people in my heart.

My family seem to be doing ok. Britt graduates high school in about 80 days. She is really excited but scared and sad at the same time. My mom is doing a little of everything at the grocery store and I am hoping she will find her niche somewhere. She is good at practically everything so I am sure she will. Hill is the same as always and has been winning poetry contests and photography contests. Britt won one also so they are both terribly talented and creative.

My friends from out here seem to be doing well. Heather and Josh are in London for a semester and I hear from them frequently and they are doing well and experiencing a lot of new things. Joel got back from Hawaii the other day and will be heading to Costa Rica in March. He is a big traveller which is great. He is pretty much healed from the tumble he took a month ago. Hannah will start teaching me and Christopher piano on Monday. I am excited about this as not only will I learn piano but I will get to see Hannah once a week.

My friends from back home seem to be ok too. Jarrid is working in Bloomington now and seems to be healing more and more each day. Carrie is working hard and raising her two little ones well as always. I heard from Mike today (Neves) and he has recently got a job in Florida and is doing well out there and settling in. He likes it and it looks promising for him to be there and get himself together. I love the guy and it's great to have him back in my life.

Well that's the news from the Erica-front. I hope all is well with you. Let me know if anything new is going down. Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 22, 2005:

1. Christopher with Medication is a world different than christopher without.

2. I hate video games.

3. I don't like unexpected visitors.

4. I love phone calls from unexpected sources

5. I miss my little sis and wish we could just take a trip together.

Thankfulness February 22, 2005:

I am thankful that Richard gave away one of his cars. It was in my way on the street where I park and was getting annoying. I hated it and it was old and ugly anyway. I am just happy it's gone! I know this doesn't sound like a thankful event but it is!


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I'm back for today! :)

Ok, I am back. I had to run to the bank and do a few things before writing my post for today. As I said in my last post, I am having difficulty with being entirely too dependent upon food. I am frustrated with it and hopefully I will get better. I have been going to the gym and working out so hard but you know, it's a pain when you can't get your mouth to stop eating. I will probably get better when I have a job during the day and can get away from the fridge.

Anyway, things have been ok. I am gearing up for a job interview I have on Thursday for an actual psychology position. I am stoked about that. I am hoping that pans out and I am offered a position. The main problem is my availability with having chris most of the day. I am basically just dating, working out, working, and reading a lot right now. It's a great time in my life to get things done and heal some more about things that have been going on.

I haven't talked to Adolfo for about 2 months and it is an amazing feeling. I feel like I am finally over him. I don't need to talk to him or hear about his life now. I feel like I can breathe without him again. I have a few people I am interested in but nothing serious as of today. I am hoping to have some better luck and find someone at least that is cool to hang with.

Well here are my learning and thankfulness for the last few days. Enjoy:

Learning February 20, 2005:

1. Sometimes you need a day off from working out. It can help you get some perspective.

2. Naps are great, especially when it's raining.

3. I love my family more every day.

4. I miss my Jarrid and I can't wait to talk to him soon.

5. It's funny how I lose track of people sometimes.

Learning February 21, 2005:

1. I like a great leg workout. It's good to make your thighs burn.

2. The gym is so much better at night when it's just me and a few other people.

3. I love the show staring over...yet again and feel like I never want to miss it. It empowers me.

4. I sometimes need the words of my mentors to drive me to succeed.

5. I am a perfectionist and sometimes it's ok to loaf a bit.

Thankfulness February 20, 2005:

I am thankful for a restful nap in the middle of a dreary rainy day. There is nothing like turning on the fan, closing the shades, and cuddling up in your blankets for a few hours. It makes me feel all better and escape for a minute.

Thankfulness February 21, 2005:

I am really thankful that I have a gym membership. I love going to the gym to get away and spending an hour or two there and working on my body. I leave feeling so energized and better than ever. I am so happy to be able to have the luxury of being in the gym at 10 at night and feeling powerful when I leave. I love 24 hour fitness!!!! Get a membership's amazing


Addicted..completely and utterly

Hello everyone. I hope this Tuesday finds you doing well. I didn't write yesterday as my day was very busy. Christopher is off of school this week and I have him all day. It's stressful but it's money! Anyway, the title today is addicted..completely and utterly because I am having a hard time with my addicted to food.

I have to get to the bottom of this because I have changed my drinking habits (no more soda) and my exercise habits (work out every day) yet I am still not losing weight. I know this is because of my deep and intimate relationship with food. I medicate myself with food. I feel happy when I am eating. I am overwhelmingly happy and comfortable with a fork in my mouth.

Right now I am bummed out and don't want to finish this blog. I am going to write my learning and thankfulness in a later post today. Have a great day until then and please pray!


Sunday, February 20, 2005

A first, hmmmm

Yesterday was a good day. I spent much of my morning driving to Corona in the pouring down rain to pick up Christopher. He was supposed to have a birthday party yesterday and I am not sure how that went down. I try to stay out of family affairs. I hated my morning drive but other than that, things went well. I talked to a new person in my life yesterday and enjoyed a very good conversation. We had much in common and I found him sincerely interesting. We talked about 4.5 hours before I noticed how long it had been.

I then decided that I needed to spend some time at the gym. I went and spent a very long just trying out all of the machines and working on different muscle groups. It was fun to see how strong I am in some areas. I am trying to tone my body at the same time as losing fat. I am frustrated with my weight loss journey but I am hoping that with weight lifting I will prompt my metabolism a bit. After the gym, I felt on top of the world.

I then spent another 1.5 hours or so on the phone with the new person again. It was a great talk and we ended it deciding to get together and spend some time together. Last night I hung out with new guy and it was a fun time. I am not sure where it is going to go but nevertheless I had a good night.

Sometimes I realize that I am searching the world over for something that barely exists. I am looking for someone who is intelligent yet silly, sensitive yet masculine, have a lot to live up to for me. Either way, new boy is doing pretty well. I will update the blog if anything good develops. I have to report, it's been a year since the break-up so I am officially open for relationships again. I have not found anyone that I would like one with necessarily but I am "ready" if you can call it that. Adolfo and I haven't talked in about 2 months and it's so healthy for me to have him out of my life. I don't call him and most days I don't even think about him.

Well, I really need to do about a thousand things today in preparation for my new week but have a great day ya'll and we'll talk soon!

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 19, 2005:

1. I really like weight training. I love the burn and I love the pain the next day of knowing I am developing muscles.

2. I really like muscles on men! WOO HOO

3. It's been a long time since I have met someone who I could talk with. I like meeting new people to have discussions with.

4. I like my face. It's nice to be able to look in the mirror and feel like I have a cute face when my whole body is a challenge.

5. I like when boys smell good! :)

Thankfulness February 19, 2005:

I am thankful for my family! I love them so much. It's hard for me because they are the only people that REALLY know me. I have grown up with my mom, Hill, Britt, and my grandparents my whole life consistently. I miss my grandparents and wish they were here but I am not about to live in the past. I have my 2 sisters and my mom still backing me. I wish I could feel this way about my other sister and my dad but in time I will build a good relationship, I am sure. Today, I add a picture of my FAMILY! They are adorable. In case you don't know, I am the cute one in glasses :)


Saturday, February 19, 2005

down but not out!

Good Morning everyone. It is a very dreary Saturday here in So. Cal. The rain was coming down all night and I heard a storm "a-brewing" while I was sleeping. Sorry, I had to use that phrase, it made me feel at home for a second. I sleep so well when it rains and storms. That is probably due to my upbringing in the land of tornadoes back home. My sleep is always deep and uninterrupted. I can't complain since I have been sleeping rather well lately. My exercise habits and working a lot are making me crash pretty early and crash excessively hard.

Today, I come into the blog with bad news for me. Today is weigh in for me always. Saturdays are my start over day. This morning I got on the scale and had gained back 3 of the pounds I had lost. I am very upset by this as I went to the gym literally every day this week. I have been lifting weights and I have to believe that some of this is muscle gain but it bums me out. If I was to be honest with my blogging public, I am having a hard time. I have good exercise habits and really enjoy working out. I go to the gym every day because I am paying for it and always do cardio and something else. (namely weights or stationary bike) I know what my real problem is though. It's my eating habits.

This week I have not been a good eater. I have struggled so hard with foods that are what I light foods. I have eaten birthday cake, pizza, greek food, koo koo roos and although most of those things are good for me, they are not good in the amounts I take them in. Last night it took everything I had not to go upstairs and have a snack after dinner. I wasn't hungry or I would have had to go and eat something. I just wanted to have the taste of food in my mouth. I am struggling hard with eating and to be honest, I always have.

This is the reason I used to be 200 lbs overweight. I used to drink sodas every single day, eat more than one sandwich at McDonalds at a time, eat only things that were greasy, fried, sugared, or covered in gravy, etc... and it really tore my body up. Today, I eat considerably better by only drinking water, eating no fried foods, limiting my intake of red meat, and eating much more vegetables and fruits. I am telling you, I need to learn what to do about this weight. I am frustrated and find myself back at 241 lbs. I was 238 last week. I know that I can chalk some of it to muscle gain but not 3 lbs.

I really want to meet my goal this year. I want to be able to get on the scale and be under 200 lbs. It's so hard when you work so hard to see no results. I know that my eating habits could be considerably better and I am going to try to work on that this week. My exercise probably needs to be pumped up a bit too and I could supplement the gym with some other workout at my house. I have to be honest, I don't want to overdo it and end up in plateau valley again. I have been dangling between 230-240 for a long time now and I really need to get back down and show this weight who is boss!

My title is "Down but not out" because this news of gaining weight really made me sad this morning but instead of crying about it, getting angry, or giving up...I am going to adjust my habits again and find a way to change my life and weight. I have no ability to stay fat any longer. I have places to go and people to see. I don't want to live my life in this fat suit! Please pray for me everyone as this is the hardest thing I have ever set myself to get done. I can do it though, I know I can!

Thanks for listening and here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 18, 2005:

1. I heard yesterday that I had a nice speaking voice. I have never heard that before so I am happy to report it.

2. I am finally to the point where settling on any man except the ONE out of the question. YEAH :)

3. Yesterday I stumbled upon the news that there is 17 registered sex offenders in my area and that made me feel really unsafe.

4. I am not happy with ever being told to do something at the last minute or being disrespected. I need to look into this a little further.

5. In the last year, I have learned a lot about boundaries and I am now realizing how well I am taking care of my needs and my heart.

Thankfulness February 18, 2005:

I am thankful for scrapbooking. It makes me feel good inside and reflect on good memories. It also helps me get my creative energy out even though I am not terribly artistic. It makes me be able to find one more thing that I like about myself and gives me a chance to be alone and really enjoy it. Scapbooking is tons of fun for me and I am excited about giving this hobbie all of me and pouring myself into the pages of this book. I am excited to show all of you my new creation! :)


Friday, February 18, 2005

Scrapbooking is therapeutic and healthy

Happy Friday to you! It's so exciting when Friday gets here and I am able to think about all of the things I want to do on the weekend to relax. I love that! Today, I made a trip to Jo-ann fabrics and Office Depot to grab some new scrapbooking items. That is my new hobbie that I came up with for this year. I am working on my scrapbook. I decided to start a scrapbook that would begin at my college graduation and would continue on through my adulthood. I think a lot of times in my life, I have been known to stare into the past and weep about things lost. I have decided that is completely unhealthy and I started this scrapbook at the happiest day of my life, my college graduation.

This scrapbook already has several pages in it. It has college graduation, trip up north with Joel, my birthday, trip to san fran with Joel, moving to the beach, and will contain one page for each of my really close friends. So far I have only done Josh's page. Not because he is more important than the rest of you but I found soccer stuff for the scrapbook and couldn't pass it up. I am also planning to do every trip I go on or memorable thing. I still need to do my colorado page and a few others but it's so much fun. Today I picked up lots of quotes, card stock, props, etc...and I am so excited about using my limited creativity to make my scrapbook better.

I have decided that this scrapbook is going to be a part of my healing process over the next year. It shows me how grateful I should be for the people in my life and helps me to dwell on happy times. It helps me to get out my creative energy even though I have no artistic talent. I am telling you people, you don't need artistic talent for scrapbooking, just need memories. It makes me want to take pictures at every turn in life and soak up moments that matter. I am hoping I will carry this hobbie on and use it to relax and enjoy myself. I think it is fun to imagine my new pages when I find the man I want to be with, get married, go on my honeymoon, get my first apartment out here, have a child, etc...I am excited more about all of those things because they fit into my hobbie!

If any of you actually do scrapbook, you know exactly what I am talking about. I am basically doing mine in the format of being adultlike and classic. I am not putting receipts, ticket stubs, cards, letters, etc...but only photos and little props to help me remember. I use vellum words that you rub on that are quotes, pewter tiles that say special phrases, etc. If anyone knows any great places to get scrapbooking stuff, please let me know. I am having so much fun with this!

One of my hugest goals this year was to find myself. Really find out who I am, what I enjoy, and what I am made of. I had always been terribly afraid of being alone before this year. I have been using my alone time for things that I enjoy such as reading, listening to books on cd, watching my favorite shows (Starting over, Dr. Phil, and Desperate Housewives), scrapbooking, organizing, and setting and making goals. I am having a lot of fun learning about Erica. I am becoming my own best friend. That is a great feeling!

Well, the subgoals are being reevaluated and I was thinking maybe I went too fast. I work on a very behavior mod type schedule. I am the type of person that must develop even the simplest habit due to my excessive laziness. This goes for how I learned to brush my teeth when I needed to, showering, etc... I know that sounds crazy but in my house there was no healthy parenting to tell me what to do. I have learned a lot of my regular adult habits by teaching myself. This is going to be true of my spiritual disciplines, my exercise habits, my eating habits, my emotional healing, and my advancement on my dreams. I know that I will have to whip myself into shape. Next week is going to be a big week for trying a new strategy. I have to figure out what that is during the weekend.

Please say a prayer for me if you think about it because tomorrow is weigh in and I really want to lose at least a pound this week. I maintained last week and I really just want some more weight off. I worked out every day this week which is huge for me. Today I did the treadmill and worked out my upper body. I need some muscles yo!

Anyway, here is my learning and thankfulness for yesterday. Have a beautiful weekend ya'll and God bless you!

Learning February 17, 2005:

1. A birthday is a huge deal for a child and we should all remember that.

2. If Pizza hut sends you a pizza with the wrong toppings, you get a pizza for free. :)

3. Cakes are expensive.

4. Being a parent really does take more than sleeping with someone of the opposite sex!

5. I have heard a lot lately that I have a beautiful smile and I am going to start believing it.

Thankfulness February 17, 2005:

Yesterday out of nowhere I heard from an old friend. He was a boyfriend in grade school and we continued to be very good friends all the way through high school. He was one of my favorite guys and really made me laugh and smile. His name is Mike Neves. He gave me a call yesterday on my cell phone and surprised the heck out of me. It was so nice to talk with him and catch up and hear what was new for him. He is a treasure and I am so happy that we got to talk. Thank you God for old friends and new surprises. Thanks Mike for the call, it was awesome!


Thursday, February 17, 2005

Happy Birthday To Christopher!

Today is officially Christopher's 12th Birthday! Wow, my little boy is growing up! *sniffles* :) So let me tell you how there is nothing I hate more than adults who can't grow up. This morning I had an argument with a person that I have to have close contact with in my life who needs an attitude adjustment. She is such a horrible, difficult creature that it is unreal. I find that it takes more to get a drivers license in this country than to have children.

I am going to get on my soap box for just one minute and talk about parenting. Now I know that I can't say much because I am not a parent but I feel like I have some say in this because for all intensive purposes, I raise a child from Monday through Thursday. Most if not all of you know I am a live in nanny for a (TODAY) 12 year old boy. He is the apple of my eye. I adore Chris and all of the challenges and growing experiences that he brings. Along with Chris comes much responsibility and much heartache and more worry than I have ever known.

So, today I choose to write a few parenting things that I think are important in the span of raising a child. I was a child once and find my own scars in this too. I know that my knowledge will not be in a parenting book or even make any of you think "Man, she knows about parenting" but it's things I notice when dealing with Chris in a non-parenting mode. Here are my ten insights for today on parenting:

  • Always know the kids in your child's class. They care about this and expect you to remember that Jeff is the cool mexican kid who can do the moonwalk.

  • Play video games with your little boy. You hate them while he loves them. Show him you care about his desires and his interests.

  • Fix your child's favorite meal once in a while. They feel special, even if it is as simple as hot dogs and mac & cheese

  • Laugh while doing homework. Don't be all business. There is nothing sweeter than a laugh that makes you both fall in the floor while doing the book report

  • Never make your child feel guilty for giving them the necessities of life. They should be able to count on you for anything and know that mom/dad is their best advocate in the world

  • Support your child's extracirricular activities by going to watch, asking about them, helping them practice should know as much as they do!

  • Laugh at your child's jokes. It fosters a lot of self-esteem. My mom always laughed at me and look at me! :)

  • Bring cupcakes to their class when it's their birthday. (This should not happen in high school) It makes them the star for the day!

  • Read to your child and while you are reading, don't be afraid to cuddle up. Chris loves this cuddle time for just him and I and he is a 12 year old boy. Kids still need affection.

  • Compliment your child's appearance like "Your hair looks cool today" or something like that. They need to know they are attractive even early on.

  • Do not use curse words on your child. These are toxic to a child and can really damage them later on.

  • Never allow your children hear you talk bad about the other parent. This is dangerous to everything a child is. It's silly and immature. GROW UP ALREADY

Ok, those are my parenting tips. I hope they help. Anyway, my sub-goals are going ok for today but not perfect. Today has been taken up by having the handy man here to fix a few things. I hate this because are constantly answering questions, trying to check in on things, and still get things done. It's crazy!

Anyway, here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 16, 2005:

1. Dating isn't really the highest priority in my life right now but man it captivates my thoughts a lot.

2. I love alone time now. Thanks to Joel, I have learned how to be alone gracefully.

3. There is nothing better than scrapbooking to me right now. My scrapbook is the best!

4. I have been exhausted lately and I don't know why. I need to figure that out.

5. Richard and I make a great parenting team!!!

Thankfulness February 16, 2005:

I am thankful that I had a talk with my friend Ryan yesterday. Ryan is originally from Indiana like myself and lives out here now in Long Beach. It's always good to talk to a fellow Hoosier who understands what it is like to wake up in the morning and think "Why am I here?" It's the hardest thing I have ever done. Moving away is hard and teaches you so much but it presents its own set of challenges as well. TOUGH STUFF! Either way, I am happy I have Ryan as a sounding board. He is a precious thing to me and I am praying for the best over his life. Thank you Ryan and thank you God..for bringing Ryan.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Erica's Memoirs

Isn't memoirs a funny word? I think it's funny. It's strange how people write books just going over their thoughts and I do it every day. I have been considering actually writing a book about what I am going through on the whole, but who would read it? Would all of you who read my blog, read my book? I don't know! I think a lot less people read than before. I don't know when BEFORE is but I know less people read today! I noticed this week that I read a lot. I read books for fun, books to learn, books on cd, etc... I just love literature as a whole.

I am not doing so well people. I am not sad, depressed, anxious, nervous, hurt, etc...but I can't put my finger on what I am. Usually, I can come up with some fancy word to describe my innermost feelings. Today, I am having a hard time doing it. I feel content with where I am in life but overwhelmingly ready to change it. I feel tired and exhausted but extremely energetic about some things. I feel sad about being alone but extremely grateful for being alone. I have no idea what is wrong with me, but it's odd. See, if I was writing my memoirs, you might have put down the book right there.

My sub-goals idea was really great for the first couple of days but I noticed I have been slacking. Yesterday I only accomplished 2 of the 4 goals. That isn't good when you only have 4 goals a day. I need to figure out what it is going to take for me to really get things done in life. Most people see me as really driven and focused and successful because I have a great job, a college degree, and some sort of mental health on the rise. I am everything that is opposite of that. I have the nature of a sloth. I like to lay in my undies and read books and eat cookies. Chocolate chip cookies if you got em!

I like to eat fried chicken and mashed potatoes and then take a 3 hour nap only to wake up and eat it again. I am not the health buff that I am living my life to be. I am not the energetic person that gets up in the morning and goes to the gym for an hour. I am living this life because it is the only good life for me to live, but it doesn't come natural. Isn't it funny that not only in our life do we have a sin nature that makes obeying God difficult but we also have a lazy nature that makes living a healthy and productive life completely unnatural. I was thinking about this today as I wrote someone an email and told them "the story." Most of you know the story I am talking about. The story of the day when I realized my weight was out of control.

There was such a time where I woke up and realized I was dying of being obese. Today, I am not dying. I am getting better. I am still morbidly obese and over 100 lbs overweight. I still have health problems that are contributed to my over zealous eating habits from the past. I still have the desire deep within me to consume mass quanities of fried and/or sugary food. I still want to lay in my undies (and do quite often) reading a book and eating cookies. I still want to do NOTHING with my life but have mashed potatoes spooned into my mouth by a really attractive man. I don't nature is that of a giant loser! At least I know it, right?

Isn't it funny that if we really got serious and told on ourselves for our habits and actual desires, we would not like who we are. We must embrace this people! I have figured out that to truly change the parts of don't have to know about them and accept them. I accept with every fiber of my being that I am a total fatty loser. I also accept that God has taken me outside of myself and taught me new skills and everyday by my own character and virtue and God's strength, I beat that old girl up! Gosh, nothing comes naturally!

Ok, so yesterday my goals didn't go as planned so today, I write down my goals in the hopes of me actually achieving them. Here they are:

1. Pray 30 minutes, read 1 chapter of gospels, no profanity all day (yes, before you ask, this is a problem I have..accept it)

2. Write a journal entry about the things I like about my dad (a tough one as I barely know him as of right now)

3. Work out 45 minutes on treadmill and do something else at the gym : already did this one today. I did the treadmill and then spent 2 miles on the stationary bike. I love that thing!

4. Read one chapter of book "Authentic Happiness"

Ok, I must share this great experience that happened at the gym this morning because it started my thinking on these things. I was working out on the treadmill as always and always...this hottie Mexican guy who cleans the treadmills came over and cleaned my treadmill while I was on it. I was like "Woh, Paco, I think you are supposed to wait until I am off." I didn't say this, just thought it. So then he smiles (like everyday) and winks at me and I smile back thinking "Is this Indiana Hoosier's shirt really that hot?" (SHOUT OUT TO MY INDIANA HOMIES)

So anyway, he makes me feel good about myself so I continue my walk listening to Ellen's new book. I then decide the stationary bike is my next goal when I get off this blasted treadmill. I walk over the bike area and notice that they are surprisingly cleared out this morning. I am happy about this and pick the bike exactly where the fan hits. I then pump my own personal bike fan up to high and start to pedal my way to nowhere. Just then a cute (but white) 24 fitness guy comes over and he is a personal trainer. He walks by, makes eye contact with me and says nicely "I see a difference." I say "What?" and he repeats but adds a little..."I see a difference since you first came in, you're looking good" Again, this Indiana shirt is my ticket to hotties!

I start to feel good and the guy begins to ask me "fitness questions" like what are your goals and how far have you gotten. I share with him how I have shed a mere 100 lbs and he gasps and, great job! I then realize, YEAH IT IS! So this other random guy on bike in front of me starts talking about how I am to be revered and respected for how far I have come and how dedicated I am. I think to myself "Self, (shirley) you are as lazy as the rest of the world and you have done it..give yourself a pat on the back"

I finish my stint on the bike and decide it's time to go home and get to work on other goals. I say goodbye to my new friend on the bike, wink at my hottie Mexican who is emptying the trash can and talk briefly to my new personal trainer guy whom I have forgotten his name. I can't ever remember a white guy! Hmmm...

Anyway, that's it. I am done. I have typed enough. My wrists hurt...I am shutting up..NOW Learning and thankfulness ahead:

Learning February 15, 2005:

1. Karate moves are a lot like dancing and require rhythm and percision. They are cool.

2. I think I need to take Karate in order to learn some discipline and structure.

3. I am falling to sleep at about 10:00 nowadays so I am either 85 or 5..not sure which.

4. I love payday!

5. Chris is learning to be more grateful and affirm people and I am proud of me teaching him that!

Thankfulness February 15, 2005:

I am thankful for noticing my mistakes and being smart enough to move on from them. Although I am not the perfect person, I do notice when I have messed up. I am hoping although I still posess all the makings of a loser, that I outgrow it by pure determination to not be one. Thank you God for my drive to quit being lazy and thank you Erica for acknowleding your failures (talking to self here...must stop drinking)

This is a funny post today, hope you laughed a little


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A healthy and happy life

Happy Tuesday everyone. I hope and trust that all of your V-days were excellent and there was much love exchanged. My V-day went so well I can hardly believe it. I was terribly loved and appreciated and overly happy about my life and where it is. The title of today's blog is "a healthy and happy life" because I realized today that I am headed to that. I will not pretend that I am entirely healthy or even entirely happy yet but I am working toward that every single day. My V-day started like every other day with preparing breakfast for Christopher and getting him off to school. I had made a special lunch for his v-day picnic at school and gently reminded him to give out his valentines..even to the kids he wasn't sure about. (It's funny how kids think)

After the drop off, I headed to my new favorite place, 24 hour fitness. I saw my favorite gym guy and went ahead and started my workout on the stationary bike. I did 2 miles and then headed to the treadmill for my normal 45 minutes. I decided to read a book by Ann Rule on the treadmill yesterday and it is disturbing but entertaining nonetheless. After my workout I headed home to work on my other goals. I blogged, journaled, checked and returned emails, did a little work on my web-page etc...until the flower guys came. I got flowers yesterday and felt very special upon receiving them!

I then worked on my other goals like following up on jobs, looking into South Coast Children's Society, and praying. I spent time in prayer and felt very good about the way my relationship with God is moving. Yesterday I didn't complete all of my sub-goals and I figured that would start to happen and I would have to fess up on the blog. Yesterday I did pray for 30 minutes, however did not read my Bible. I did work out as charted, did journal about my mom, and looked into South Coast Children's Society. I have to go into their office today to apply for a job so that is my afternoon goal today to finish that goal. Here are my sub-goals for today and my progress thus far:

1. Pray 30 minutes and read 2 chapters of the gospels (to make up for yesterday): not done anything on this goal yet.

2. Journal about hurtful things that have happened with my mom: I always journal right after blogging.

3. Work out 45 minutes on treadmill and try something new at the gym: I did my 45 minutes and listened to a book on cd while I walked. I am listening to Ellen Degenres' book which so far is really funny. I also worked out my arms with dumbell moves today and felt silly for the first time but also very happy because my upper body needs a workout.

4. Apply to South Coast Children's Society: going to do this after I get my shower this afternoon.

Anyway, I worked in the afternoon with Chris on homework after Karate, fixed dinner (barbecued chicken for the boys for v-day), and read with Chris to end work. I then got a call from one of my favorite girl-friends, Hannah. I love Hannah so much and she is one of the easiest friendships with a female I have ever had. I adore her and thank God so much for her. I also got a call from one of my guy friends, Ryan. He is a fairly new guy friend but one I cherish and I am getting to know more each day. We decided we are going to hang out on Friday night so I am pumped about that. I also talked to my mom briefly and then got a call from another guy friend, Jason. Jason is a bit more difficult because I am highly attracted to him physically so being that I am Erica, I have to be so guarded with him. Hopefully we will be able to get past this and develop a really deep and intimate friendship. Who knows!

Basically, I was blessed with a lot of interaction with great friends yesterday, a great day of accomplishment and movement on goals and dreams. I was very happy to report that the day left me feeling motivated, grateful, and no regret. Thank God!

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday as well as another picture of someone I love very much!

Learning February 14, 2005:

1. Valentines Day is just a day and there are ways to ignore the aspect of romantic love and focus on people that you love with a pure heart!

2. A year after a huge decision feels good when you know you made the right one.

3. Friends are the greatest gift that God has given me in my life.

4. I am building really healthy female relationships and I am so proud of myself.

5. I love my Hannah a ton and I am looking forward to seeing her more often.

Thankfulness February 14, 2005:

I am mostly thankful that God has gotten me through the last year without buckling. I had the power to really mess up my decision and do things that would cost me a great deal in my heart. As true as it is that things have changed in the last year and I have done things I shouldn't have, I have also really overcame a tough break-up. I move toward more and more healing every single day and learn more about what God wants for me. I am thankful for 6 years with someone who adored me and cared for me but more importantly, I am thankful for a clean termination of that same relationship. Thank you Adolfo for the many beautiful and challenging years and Thank you God for my release!

Here is a pic of the love of my life, my little sis Britt! Enjoy her new tongue ring!


Monday, February 14, 2005

The first cut is the deepest!

Today is supposed to be a difficult day for me. Adolfo and I have been broken up for a year today. I left him in the darkness of his car after finding out he didn't do ANYTHING for me for Valentines Day last year. It was the last straw for me and I calmly took my engagement ring off, put it into his hand, and got out of the car and out of his life, forever! It was a hard moment and one I never thought I would have the strength for, but I did it! We were very unhappy for a long time and I am in a celebratory mood today in that I feel stronger than I ever have. I am supposed to be weeping and being sad but overall, I forgot until I was on my drive back from the gym and the song "The first cut is the deepest" by Sheryl Crowe came on the radio. I immediately thought of Adolfo and how that cut, is healing day by day! I am happy about this and so amazed at God's goodness.

Last night I had the coolest experience. Richard went yesterday to see his mom in Torrance and was gone until about 10 at night. When he came home, he had exciting news. He bought a brand new Porsche. It is magnificent. It goes 180 mph and it goes from 0 to 60 in only 3.5 seconds. It's absolutely amazing. It is a gorgeous vehicle also. He was very excited. Before anyone wonders...he didn't sell the escalade. He kept both! So anyway, Christopher went back to bad after the exciting news and we (Richard and I) went for a little spin in the new wheels. We got up to 100 mph and I was so excited. There is a natural high that happens when you go that fast. One of my friends would have totally enjoyed it! :) Overall, I am excited because at only 24 years old, I was able to cruise around in a brand new porsche. That is sweet! I live in the same house that it does :) ha ha ...ok you all know I am a car girl so this is the biggest news for a while.

Anyay, Happy Valentines Day to everyone out here reading this. I am not really observing the "holiday" in any special way. I love my friends and my family and that is all I am saying. I have one man in my heart romantically but many men (my boys) in my heart friendship wise. I thought today I would put some pictures in my blog to honor my best guy friends and let them know how much I love them! If there was any way that I could marry the perfect would be a combination of you three. Here are my boys, below:

By the way, if you aren't aware (in order) that is Joel and me, Jarrid and me, and Josh and me! I love you boys!

Anyway, yesterday I ended up meeting all of my sub-goals and learned things I liked about me. I also started reading the book Jarrid got me for Christmas called "Christian Counseling" and it is going to be very interesting. I also read Matthew 2 in the gospels and I am trying to see the character of Jesus more completely. Here are my sub-goals for today and the status on them:

1. Pray at least 30 minutes and read one chapter of the gospels : Haven't done either of these things yet.

2. Journal things that I like about my mom: I am doing this one right after I blog.

3. Work out 45 minutes on treadmill and try something new at the gym: I went to the gym this morning and did my 45 minutes and I also did 2 miles on the stationary bike. I am trying to get more comfortable with the gym atmosphere.

4. Look into South Coast Children's Society and find out how to apply. Apply if able: Have not done yet but planning to do after journaling.

Anyway, things are really great here and I wanted to put a short note on here also thanking my friends for being there for V-day. I appreciate your heart and your love for me. I would not know what to do without all of you. Special love to Carrie! Thank you so much sweety!

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 13, 2005:

1. A porsche is a sweet ride and it's my ultimate car goal! :)

2. Richard deserves all of the luxuries that he has and I support him in that!

3. Christopher learned a big lesson yesterday and for that matter, so did I.

4. Everyday that I accomplish something, I feel better so goals are a good thing.

5. The value of naps can never be underestimated.

Thankfulness February 13. 2005:

I am thankful for a call I got yesterday morning before Joel left for Hawaii. I am thankful that he thought of me and gave me a call. I am thankful that he loves me and supports me in my life. I am thankful that I even get the privelage of sharing life with this beautiful man. I am thankful that he is getting to get away and enjoy Hawaii for a bit and enjoy his family. I am most thankful that God allowed me that small time to talk with him and the lifting of my heart that it did. Thank you Jesus and thank you Joel :)

I am also thankful for riding in the porsche! :)


Sunday, February 13, 2005

The gift of being your self :)

Yesterday, one of my goals was to finish a book that I borrowed from Claudia. It was called "The gift of being yourself" by David Benner. I read a great deal of it while I was on the treadmill in the morning and finished it last night. I learned so much. I loved the quote in the book that said (paraphrased) "In order to love yourself, you must love God, and in order to love God, you must love yourself" That is so true. I have found that if I am not ok with me, I am not ok with God and vise versa. It's amazing how powerful it is to know yourself and your humanness and not hate yourself. There are ways, I assure you.

I know that we are supposed to crucify ourselves to our sinfulness but like the book says, we have to first know that sinfulness. I have recently became very aware of my own mortality and sinfulness. I live a life that is depraved. I do a lot of things that I am not proud of and learn very much from my mistakes. It's the classic example of a Bible figure. I love my God so much and long to obey him but it's the same story.."I do what I don't want to do." There is a very huge sin nature on this planet and it's alive and well.

I am currently learning so much about myself and my God that I can barely contain all of the information that I am currently processing. Either way, I am excited about learning more about God and more about Erica in the process. This world is a very lonely and scary place as a Christian but this I can tell can be a great experience if we will make the most out of it and allow God to use us in everything.

Yesterday I achieved all of my sub-goals and had a very productive day and also a very restful day. After another full week of sub-goals, I am going to add a category of "Self Care" to them in order to maintain a relaxing life and a pleasurable place. Here are my sub-goals for today and my progress on them:

1. Read 1 chapter of a gospel book (matthew, mark, luke, or john) :not done yet...after this
2. Write journal entry stating 20 things I like about me (really like): right after this
3. Work out for 45 minutes at the gym: Did this at 11:00 this morning
4. Read one chapter of new book "Christian Counseling" --later tonight

Anyway, haven't moved a whole lot on my goals but going to journal right after my blog today. I hope you are all doing well. I am doing really well and finding happiness in small things lately. Today I was awarded by God a great moment this morning and to be honest, I felt God's love in it. I knew that he did it to encourage me and strengthen me.

Please be in prayer for Joel as he and his family left for Hawaii today. Please pray for safety in his travels and of course because it must be miserable to be in Hawaii :) Also, please keep praying for me in my search for a second job as I am very nervous about being out of work entirely for a whole week. I am very uneasy. I appreciate your continued prayers and will be praying for all of you as well. Send me an email or give me a call if we haven't talked. Have a great new week and here is my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 12, 2005:

1. I can be self-controlled if only I really work hard on it and recognize my weaknesses.

2. I am very caught up in one of my sins and I have to work harder to get away from it than any other.

3. My perfectionistic tendencies come from my family...for sure.

4. I am a very deceitful person and although I am ashamed of that, I embrace it as I know God loves me anyway and can only work with it when I accept it as who I am.

5. I love the idea of Valentine's day even if it's a hard day for me this year! :)

Thankfulness February 12, 2005:

I am thankful for a really productive conversation that I had with my mom. We talked about unhealthy behaviors, changing habits, behavior mod, and several other things of value. We talked about her and my need to get healthy and have hobbies of our own. We talked about our perfectionistic tendencies and how to overcome them and embrace happiness and basically had a great talk. I am very thankful for the open door to discuss things that are struggles of mine. Thank you Mom and thank you Jesus!


Saturday, February 12, 2005

perspective -- the changing of one's view

In my life lately, my perspective has really changed. I have spent a lot of time lately just thinking about things and how I feel inside. I have written out thoughts, feelings, motives, goals, achievements, etc...and found myself in more ways than one! I am trying really hard to learn the authentic me. That means I have had to wade through a lot of crap to get to the things about me that are true. I started the other night with a sheet of paper that was completely blank and wrote the word "truth" on the top of it. I began to write truths. I have a lot of lies in my life as most humans do. The lies that I have told others, the ones I have told myself, the ones others have told me, etc..and it's time to get truthful. Now there is no way to reverse all of the lies in my life and go back and tell everyone the truth but there is a way to start over and start being truthful. I know that requires a little bit of sacrifice on my part but anything worth doing, requires sacrifice (so my mom says!)

I have decided to start living an authentic life in every way. I have been working on my sub-goals very hard and meeting them daily. Yesterday I met all 4 goals and ended up spending some of my night reading into positive psychology. It's an interesting area and I am going to be reading an entire book on it. I like the idea of someone actually writing about happiness for once instead of saddness in psychology. Overall yesterday was a very fruitful day and I learned much.

Here are my sub-goals for the day:

1. Pray at least 30 minutes
2. Journal over the things I don't miss about Adolfo
3. Work out for 45 minutes at the gym and weigh in
4. Read Benner book that claudia loaned me in it's entirety (short book)

Ok, so I have already prayed and weighed in this morning as it's only 9:40 am. I am going after this to the gym to work out and will be also journaling this morning. I am moving on my goals and it's not even noon. My prayer time went really well and I felt like I reached a new level in intercession this morning with a certain person. It was nice. Also, I weighed in this morning at 238 which is maintaining for me. I need to get my butt in gear and lose those pounds. I have a goal of 35 lbs lost by the end of May and I have only lost 2 of them. I am supposed to weigh 205 when I get home to see my sister graduate. BIG GOAL...I can do it if I just stick to it!!!

Ok, so that is my day and the things that are going on with me. No word on a second job yet. I am going to look into two more places next week. Please pray for me as Christopher is off school from Feb. 21-Feb 25 and that means we don't have him. This eliminates a great deal of income for me! I need a second job like I need oxygen but I am trusting that God will be my provision. Thank you Jesus for your continued support for me! :)

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 11, 2005:

1. I love the show starting over and I really would love to be a therapist that works with a show like that.

2. I am not settling for a job outside of the psych field. I want to be passionate about my second job the way I am about Chris.

3. I made a lot of money this pay period and I think Richard is making me more jobs to do to take care of me, what a nice man!

4. Hilliary should never add cough medicine to a sleeping aid. She starts to hallucinate (8:09...britt was not in bed)

5. I can go to Richard even with things that scare me and he will be level headed.

Thankfulness February 11, 2005:

I am thankful that Richard took me seriously when I presented a very scary situation to him. I am thankful that he is rational and level headed. I am thankful that he knows how to talk to people and be a problem solver. He is very together and has a great outlook on life and parentning. I am so thankful that he loves Chris with all that he has and works hard to raise him right and protect him properly. Thank you Richard and thank you God! :)


Friday, February 11, 2005

I hate abuse!

There are few things that I will use the word HATE about but abuse is the # 1 of this list. I hate abuse. Recently I have been watching a lot of abuse happen, not to me necessarily but to those I love. For example, Christopher, my little sis, my friends, etc..and it's killing me. I can only do so much as a person outside of my realm of control and it's sad to me that I can't do much. I basically just step in where needed and then pray until something breaks in the situation. I am just disheartened to see so much abuse in the world. I know this will prevail until Jesus comes back. It is most sad to see a man or woman of God doing the abusing but you know, we aren't perfect I suppose.

So, my subgoals thing is going pretty well. Yesterday I met all of my 4 goals and it felt excellent. I feel like I am getting somewhere if I set goals and really make myself move on them. Today the goals are:

1. Pray at least 30 minutes
2. Journal about things I really miss about Adolfo.
3. Work out at least 45 minutes
4. Research a new topic about psych and learn something new.

Basically today I have done 3 out of the 4 goals. I have prayed, journaled, and worked out. I am getting ready to look into the psych thing and spend some time learning. I just love pushing myself to new heights. I feel very motivated today and for that, I am glad. Today in Southern California, there is rain coming in different ways all the time. For about 30 minutes it will come down hard and then drizzle and then move to sideways stinging rain (imagine me saying that just like Forrest Gump!) Pretty miserable outside but I am using it to catch up on some reading!

Anyway, I am overwhelmed with new things in my life but honestly, loving every minute of it. I am going to learn so much out of this parenting gig. I know I am not Chris' mother but it feels like I am learning so much about parenting through it. I love him so much and have never felt this much love before for someone. I have never been so protective of someone's life or future.

So anyway, please be good to each other today as I am sick of hearing about abuse. I would like us to start holding ourselves to that golden rule for once. I am going to work on that today, treating others as I myself would like to be treated!

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

1. I can accomplish things if I push myself really hard.

2. It takes approximately an hour to put one bracket of braces back on.

3. Some people should NEVER have had kids.

4. I love my family, they are so supportive of me.

5. I can reinstate hard relationships when my head gets clear.

Thankfulness February 10, 2005:

I am thankful for a talk with a friend last night that was hard but good. I am thankful that he is a man of virtue and character who didn't forget I was alive or stop caring for me. I am thankful that a man of God is actually that, a man of God! I am thankful that he knows our weaknesses and our abilities yet loves me enough to stick it out with me. Thanks friend and thanks God!


Thursday, February 10, 2005

New way to step up the goals

Anyone who truly knows me, knows I am all about goals. Goals are a part of my everyday life and I love being able to cross something off of the list. This is my personality and to be honest, it's not for everyone. I do this because when I am being really realistic, I am one of the least driven people to get things done. If I don't push myself, I will stay complacent. Fortunately, my driven nature overrides my lazy nature and I push myself daily. Last night I sat down to work on my weekly goals because I have found that my resolutions are going to pass away if I don't work on them more directly. I decided to seperate my life into 4 categories (for now). I seperated it into spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental. These are all important facets of my life and I started by listening things in each category that I wanted to accomplish...for example: (these are just examples and there are pages and pages of this)

--Pray each day
--Read Bible daily
--Find a church and attend faithfully
--Rule out all profanity from language


--Heal from break up
--work on female relationships
--build healthy male relationships
--work on relationship with dad


--lose excess weight
--exercise daily
--eat breakfast daily
--take multivitamin daily


--Get a job in the field of psychology
--Learn more about the field of psychology
--Grow intellectually through learning new things
--Keep up with reading to keep mind sharp

These are just basic examples of what I did last night. Some of the goals were a full page or 2 pages long. I have several steps to becoming the woman I want to be and although I will never be there, I will come closer until I go home to be with Jesus. So anyway, after diving into that, I then broke each day down. I made goals for each day based on the 4 categories and they are tiny little small goals just so I am moving in the right direction. Anything above those goals that is overachieving! I feel very moved by this strategy and will be blogging about it just so we can see the difference from January and February using sub-goals. You know you are reading a blog of a psych major when it involves goal setting, improvement to self, and behavior modification. It's amazing to me how well suited I am to this major! :)

Anyway, today's goals are as such:

1. Pray for 30 minutes in the morning
2. Write a journal entry about how I feel about Adolfo
3. Join 24 hour Fitness as an actual member (in other words, pay dues)
4. Look into Olive Crest and apply for a job there!

Ok, well to update you on the goals so far, I got up this morning and spent from 6:50 until 7:35 with the Lord in prayer. It felt hard and I was very challenged to talk with him based upon my recent life. I, however, immediately started praising him for the amazing things that are going on in my life, regardless of the hardship. I spent much of my time in repetance as is expected and of course, interceded for all of you! My prayer time went really well and it's a first step to being back in communion with God.

I have not been able to sit down and write my journal entry yet just due to it only being 11:00 in the morning and I have been running and doing numerous other tasks. I will report on this one tomorrow.

This morning I met with my favorite 24 hour fitness guy, Jason, and signed my contract and paid my dues to become an actual member of 24 hour fitness. I love this gym and I love the way I feel after a great workout so now that I am paying for it, I figure I will stay more true to it. Especially with my current financial situation. I am proud of myself and I think I will go later when I get off work for a leisurely treadmill walk. It sounds like fun while I read a book.

The last goal, I actually just finished before starting this blog. I filled out an online application for Olive Crest and included my resume. We will see how this pans out and if I get a call. I will keep you all updated on this and Autism Solutions. Overall, I feel very focused and driven and feel that the sub-goals are going to help things out. Here is to a new year and a new me! Have a great day everyone and enjoy my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 9, 2005:

1. An hour in the waiting room of the orthodontist can be enjoyable if you bring an Ann Rule book.

2. My body is not happy when I ingest pork in any way. (had a small amount of sausage in a breakfast burrito and it killed me)

3. Chris (and I imagine other children) love talking about their classmates, and you should listen and get to know names and small factors. Always be a good listener to a child.

4. Men find it very important to look professional.

5. Goals make me feel motivated and center me in a more focused way.

Thankfulness February 9, 2005:

Today I am going to mix it up a bit. I am thankful for myself today. I am thankful that God has made me to be a great communicator. I am thankful that I am motivated and driven toward greatness. I am thankful that I am a good friend who stays in touch and cares about the well-being of my friends. I am thankful that I am a good listener and a good person to give advice. I am thankful that I am forgiving and confrontational when it matters. I am thankful that I have a cute face and expressive eyes. I am thankful that I care about my health and work to improve it. I am thankful that I take care of myself before taking care of others. I am thankful that I am learning from my mistakes instead of repeating them. I am thankful for being me today! :) Thank you Jesus for your help in making me the Erica I can be proud of!


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

From a young G's perspective.

Ok, the title of today's blog is just because I was listening to old school snoop dogg in the car and couldn't resist actually using the phrase "From a young G's perspective!" How are you all doing? If I haven't spoken to you in awhile, please email me or call my cell so we can get caught up. Anyway, to update on my life and thoughts, here goes.

Today I talked with a place called "Autism Solutions for Kids." This is a program in Irvine where they help Autistic children and such. It has a really great vision and is something I am terribly interested in. As most of you know, I just recently got my BA in psychology and I am currently looking for a job in the field. There isn't a whole lot of things to be had in the field of psychology with only a Bachelor's but even though that is true, it is my passion and I am not living unless I am into it.

When I met with my professor last week, she suggested I give this place a call. They are looking for part-time help and I am looking for part-time work. It's a match but we'll see how it turns out. They currently have my resume, cover letter, and references and I just have to wait by the phone so to speak. Until then, I am also going to look into some group home and psych hospital options. I have decided that in my day time hours, I really want to be doing something within the psych field. I can't honestly LIVE without doing something psych. That is when you know you have a passion for something. Christopher is actually quite a challenge to my psych knowledge in that I have to use behavior modification to moderate his homework and behavior with ADHD, but either way, I want more! So that is the news on the job front.

Life other than that is going as well as can be expected. I am feeling much better from my recent kidney issues just due to consuming gallons of water to see myself through it. I am still not doing very well spiritually and that is my own fault. I am really dragging my feet on getting back into my Bible and praying and finding a church. I realize that the spiritual life is a lot like a bar stool and if you lose one of these legs, your stool falls stool is currently a seat on the floor. I have no legs holding up my spiritual life and I know that. I really need prayer for me to get my butt in gear!

Work with Christopher is going really well. He will be 12 next week on Thursday the 17th. We are doing really well on new medication and he seems to be picking up responsibility a little at a time. Parenting is so stinkin rewarding it is unreal. I know I am not his mother but I spend a lot of time with this child and for all intensive purposes, I help raise him. He is quite honestly one of the joys of my life. I adore him and love watching him get better and learn new things.

Also, I had a very joyful experience yesterday in finding out that one of my friends has decided to take a new step in his life. I am very proud of him and I am praying him through this change. I know that he is good at everything he touches and I will see him through this for sure! I should note that for any of you that feel a certain tug to take a new step in your life, always do that! It's so powerful to take a step forward.

Exercise and eating are going well. Weight loss this week was 4 lbs gone and I was so happy. I lost a lot of the water retention I had gained from being sick and saw some payoff from working out as well. I love 24 hour fitness and love going there daily. I am looking forward to trying everything there and really getting my body in shape and healthy. I love new improvements upon my life and I am so happy that I am doing it for myself. There is no man in my life to do it for, so it has to be for me!

Men are a subject best left untouched (in more than one way) so I will not even go there today. Just know my heart is in the same place and I am seeking the Lord on his direction in that. I just need to hit the floor in prayer and start focusing on my spiritual life more! Thanks for stopping in today folks and check out my learning and thankfulness for yesterday!

Learning February 8, 2005:

1. My friend (who I love dearly) really does care what I think about his life.

2. I miss Travis Lawson and I need to call that guy!

3. Being away from everything you know can be good in that it makes you appreciate people, things, ideas, culture, etc...that you do know.

4. I love my new hobbie of scrapbooking. It feels good to me!

5. American Idol is a great show, I wish I would have gotten into it before. I am going to start watching it!

Thankfulness February 8, 2005:

I am thankful that although circumstances are not perfect, I still have Kevin as a friend. I am grateful that he is a great friend and we can talk and not feel weird. I am thankful that he is doing things that he needs to do to get his life together and has found someone to spend his life with. I am so thankful for all of the things we have experienced together and that the friendship will continue from here! Thanks Kev and thanks God :)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Things I learned on the treadmill!

This morning I went faithfull to 24 hour fitness and spent some time on my favorite think tank..the treadmill. I decided today was not a day of rap music but a day of reading. I brought my newest edition of Fitness Magazine and began my trek. I had a great time reading all of the great articles about exercise, fitness, health, beauty and nutrition but one article actually hit me harder than the others. It's title was "7 things you can learn from an ex." I was automatically very interested seeing that I have recently gotten out of a relationship. I decided to read through this and found it very beneficial. I decided to share what I learned from Adolfo, on my blog. It was interesting to read this article. The 7 things they say you learn are below plus my own insights:

1. That you have a dark side: I found out through dating Adolfo that I was a control freak. I hate when things don't go exactly my way and can be very harsh and hurtful with my words. I also learned that I always turn situations to favor me even if I did something wrong. I hate learning right now...

2. Your best physical assets: Adolfo had a lot to say about my eyes and smile. He loved my face and always said how my face was beautiful. He also liked the rest of me but I personally think that came with time. He loved my face though and since knowing him, I have also liked my face!

3. Your worst traits: Adolfo made it very clear that I am a control freak and that I make a crisis out of everything. I also pick a fight when it's least appropriate to do so. Gosh, this is hard stuff!!

4. That you really can't change someone: Amen to this. You should never try to change someone nor think that you will. Adolfo was a breath of fresh air in that he could not be changed. I have learned since just not to pick someone that I would try to change or would let me!

5. What you don't want in your next relationship: I want someone honest and not afraid to stand up to me! This is the main thing I learned in my relationship with Adolfo. I found that I want someone to be the man and be the leader of our relationship. I want him to choose where we eat dinner, what we do for the weekend, and be the most assertive man ever!

6. That you're tough: I have fully experienced the break-up situation over the past year and it was the hardest thing for me to do. Leaving was not easy and I have learned my own strength through it. I almost think, if I left Adolfo, I can do anything now!

7. That every wrong guy, takes you one step closer to the right guy: AMEN TO THIS! I can't wait to meet him, in the mean time, I'll keep learning.

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 7, 2005:

1. It is not polite to cancel a date on the day of, no matter what.

2. Men really do care about people flaking on them. It bothers them a lot.

3. Organization feels so good!

4. I love to work out and miss it when I don't get to.

5. I hate the price of Gas in California!

Thankfulness February 7, 2005:

I am thankful that although my mom isn't perfect, she is always there when I need someone to encourage me or support me with my ideas and dreams. She always pushes me towards my goals and also is there to catch me when I fall. Sometimes, just like other parents, she messes up, but most of the time...she is a great mom and is growing every day! I love you Mom and thank you God!

Monday, February 07, 2005


Ok, first of all let me apologize for that crazy display of love and affection last night on the blog. I would erase it but I have made a promise to myself that whatever I post on the blog, I won't change because that means I meant it. It's good to have outbursts of emotion sometimes. In any case, I am just going to put those feelings away and allow God to deal with them.

Today brings me to a place of complete and utter organization. I am one of those people that finds delight in washing and putting away dishes, doing the laundry and folding it perfectly, and filing away stacks of paperwork. I detest disorganization and any place that brings it, makes me very uneasy. I think that sometimes I might have a hint of OCD. I have been educated enough in the field to know that I lack some major symptoms of it. I don't do compulsive things like flick the light switch a certain number of times or clean my hands obsessively but I would regard what I do as complete and terribly scary perfectionism.

Perfectionistic people are hard to understand. For me, it's a matter of wanting everything to be perfect and if it can't be, I would rather not do it at all. I am so displeased with mediocrity that it literally makes my stomach hurt. When I start a task, I won't finish it unless I find it to be perfect. This even goes hand in hand with my blog and web-site. My blog has to be in order and I have to do it daily. If I don't, I go back and cover the day that I missed. My web-site has to be perfect in that I update it daily and fine tune it all the time. My communication with my friends is so particular that I make sure and call every week and make sure I left the last voicemail.

My perfectionistic tendencies sometimes are a complete blessing. This is when I am in school and my papers are, to the letter, perfect. When I am always early for an appointment. When I always wear my seatbelt and take all precautions and measures to never forget anything. When I have a very organized planner that tells me where I am supposed to be, etc...

These same tendencies can tear me up inside though. For example, I try to be perfect in relationships and that isn't even possible. When I was with Adolfo, I felt the need for us to be the perfect couple. I felt like if we weren't, we at least had to project that facade in the public arena. That made for a very fake and miserable relationship and Adolfo was perfectly happy with being mediocre and sometimes I wished for that quality.

Another example of this really hurting me is my drive to accomplish something. I have been trying to find a job recently and my job search is of course, organized. I want to find a perfect job that will want me at the perfect time and will teach me skills that will be perfect for my future. I might have to settle for something less than that. Also, I do this same thing with my psychology passion. I am so organized about learning every detail of the psychology field that I often forget why I am doing it.

I find that my perfection is something really great and really a curse. I know that almost all strengths that a person has, can be made into a weakness if brought to excess. I think I have allowed my desire to be great, to override my action to be great. I find myself really aggravated when things are any less than perfect. I find myself really annoyed at lack of communication or the least thought that someone might be angry, displeased, or upset with me. It's time for me to use this quality for the things it is good for.

My life with God will NEVER be perfect and for that reason, I have to grab ahold of being the best Erica I can be instead of better than anyone else. It's so aggravating to have this "disease" of always having to be just RIGHT! I am sorry to anyone who has had to deal with my perfectionism and has been completely annoyed by it. Believe me, it's not always great for me either.

Anyway, that is what is on my mind today. I must go and apply for some jobs and clean my room and organize my cds (laughing out loud) but have a great day and enjoy my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning February 6, 2005:

1. I am in love for the first time in my life and it really doesn't matter.

2. Friendships can be complicated on their own but I have a way of adding way more complication to everything.

3. I miss my girls and I find that my girl friends are what I crave right now.

4. I love getting a picture of Hailey on my phone and being able to see her when I can't reach them!

5. I clean and organize even more when I am upset or feel remorse.

Thankfulness February 6, 2005:

I am thankful that I didn't watch even one second of the Super Bowl. I have nothing against football and I wouldn't mind watching it had it not been a staple of my last relationship. I was so happy yesterday to be able to just ignore the fact that the game was even on. I didn't go near the tv, talk about it, or listen to the radio about it. I love the fact that I am no longer feeling forced to like things that others like to get their approval. I see nothing wrong in participating in something your partner likes but when your life revolves around sports, give your girl a break. I don't miss the super bowl or the half time show where someone shows a body part. THANK GOD FOR NO SUPER BOWL! :)


Sunday, February 06, 2005

Deep Erica Handy

Hello everyone who checks in on me through my blog and for a change, thank you. I appreciate all of you who are avid EricaLand readers and this is how you stay up on my life. I appreciate that so much! Sometimes I will be talking to someone and they will say, oh I read that on the blog and I think, "Man, people read that thing, I should be careful what I share with it!" :)

Tonight I am writing a second time not because I am bored and can't think of anything else to do with my life but because I was moved to do so. Tonight I went and picked Chris up in Corona because that is our "half way" point with his mom. He is always a ball of fire when he gets in my car and has some new toy to play with on the way home that will literally drive me bizerk! Either way, I enjoy that time we have in the car on the way home. He tells me the stories of his weekend which usually include some new movie he has seen and some great story that happened. I love listening to him talk, watching him play with his new toy, and hearing him sing along with the music. Even more than I love all of these things about picking Chris up, I love that I drive for 45 minutes by myself and get paid to do it.

Tonight I was driving up to Corona and thinking...a lot! I was listening to Lionel Richie's cd that is all of his greatest tracks. I think it's called "The Essential Lionel Richie." That is neither here nor there. I began to listen to this cd and it holds many great songs and more so, fantasies that only a woman would understand. I think about my wedding day when it's on and how I'll walk down the aisle to the man I love. I think of slow dancing with him and being able to know that he loves me more than I could ever imagine. It was in these moments in the lonliness of my car that I realized, I am a romantic person. Lately, I have let that girl go away. I have pretended that she isn't alive. I have just tried to push her away so I can have fun but overall, these are the facts.

I am in love with the most amazing man I will ever know! I love him so much it hurts my heart. I would do anything to make sure he knows how much I love him. I would give him my heart if only God would allow it. I dream about marrying him, being with him forever, and helping him achieve all of his dreams. I think about making beautiful children with him (because they would be beautiful) and sharing his passions and letting him be the STAR! I think about how his eyes would light up when we are together and how my hand would fit perfectly in his. I am such a sap right now but seriously, these things need to be off of my heart and onto the blog where they belong. I don't care who reads this blog at this point. Read away! I needed to say that!

I think about how he makes me laugh and when he smiles, my heart melts. I think of how everything he says stays in my mind for days and weeks and now, even months. I think of how wise he always is and just knows exactly what to say. I long for the day where I will say something to help him for once. I dream of that day. I used to think I was wise, now only a shadow of that. I have no idea if this love I have in my heart will ever come to fruition, but this I know, I know how to love now. He has taught me how to love. He has enriched my life and if nothing else, has shown me the Love of God more effectively. I have no idea what to do with this deep desire of my heart other than pray about it and trust that God is in control and stop trying to control it myself.

If he is reading this now, I know he knows who he is! He knows it is him and a part of him, is glad it is. I want to say to him today....I seriously enjoy you and there is nothing that will ever make me stop loving you except God himself. Please just know that someone loves and respects you deeply no matter what. You are a precious gift from God to me! Take a bow, you are the star in my life! It's amazing to not have to take center stage for once!

Anyway, that is what was on my mind and I felt like if I didn't write it down (type it..whatever) I would burst. Now that it is over, I apologize for the sappy love story I just shared with you. Especially if you are one of my guy friends because I know you are cringing right now! If you are one of my girl friends, however, thanks for reading and getting a little tear in the corner of your eye and feeling empathy because I know you did. It's ok though, God will come through, he always does!

Well, I should probably shut up now but anyone who would like to comment to today's blog, throw me an email at

I love you all and again, ~shalom~