Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Musts, shoulds, and can'ts

Hi everyone. How I have missed my sweet little blog the last few days. I have been so busy as of late that my blog has been neglected. My life has been on the up and up and I have been learning beyond my wildest expectations. I have been working at my new job now for a month and it's seriously the best place for me. I have two great co-workers and the love and respect of both. On Tuesday of this week, I came in the office and was pretty distraught and overwhelmed with life in general. As everyone pretty much knows, I am fighting an eating disorder with all that I have. Along with that comes the normal responsibilites of life plus the fact that I think too much about everything. My mind is destroying my life.

I have always thought beyond what I really should. I have never really learned to relax in any manner at all. My mind goes about a mile a minute and leaves me in tears, anxiety, overwhelmed, and lost! I struggle so much with my thought life and the lies that my mind weaves that I can spin myself into a tizzy fast! This is when I usually delve into the fridge..when my mind can't stop. It stops the least for a minute.

Anyway, I came into work really crazy with my own thoughts and Betsy (my co-worker) put some things in perspective for me. She said I need to start categorizing my life into three groups. The musts, shoulds, and can'ts! I think this is a really good idea for me. She said when I start to think about something and get sad, scared, anxious etc... I should decide which group it belongs in. I will operationally define the groups so you know where I am going...

Musts : Those things that are essential to my survival in any way.
-- Examples: Keeping Christopher Safe, not binging, taking diabetic meds, going to doctor appointments, doing my job, paying my bills, etc...

Shoulds: Things that I SHOULD do but are not musts.
--Examples: keeping up with my friend's lives, writing emails, blogging, working on grad school stuff, family stuff, exercising more, and the list goes on.

Can'ts: Those things that take too much of me right now and they are off limits.
--Examples: Saving Christopher from bad parenting, helping my family heal from years and years of hurt, Finding LOVE, Getting married, Losing all of this weight, and again..the list goes on

I have to focus on the things that are pressing and that's living and not dying. I am in a mess and I have to really start to care about me more than food, friends, family, etc... I am ready to live and I have to live by these three groups to do so. I love when God speaks through others, it's amazing.

Thanks for stopping in today and I missed you all so much. Please keep praying. I need it!

Much love to you all!!!!


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Old friends stir old memories

Good morning everyone and welcome to the wacky world of Erica. I am sure as you read the blog, you feel as if you are on a rollercoaster to nowhere. I do too, don't worry. Today is an interesting morning for me. First of all, I am entirely exhausted from the battle which is my life. This morning a battle started in my mind and it continues to wage warfare in every possible way. Chris and I were having breakfast this morning and just talking over our bad hair and sleep filled eyes. He said, "Erica I have to tell you something that Chance said about you." Chance is a friend (12 years old) of Christopher's. I immediately knew what it was that Chance had said about me and dreaded hearing Chris say it out loud. I asked Chris why he felt I needed to know and he said, "Because he said you were fat!" I didn't want to hear that and hearing it made me wince in pain. I again calmly asked Chris why he wanted me to know that. Chris then told me how he told Chance that I was great and cool and he didn't want him to make fun of me. You can imagine how great it felt to know that Chris was that brave and loves me that much. Something within me though still hated the fact I was the object of his friend's taunting and that Chris paid the price for it. I was in pain and I couldn't show Chris for lack of him learning a lesson here. I responded by letting him know how proud I was of his standing up for me. I tried to explain how ignorant people can be and that Chance doesn't know me so therefore he judges me by my outward appearance. Inside I was dying!

This pain is something I can't explain unless you have experienced this. It's hard to stomach that the world has you under a bigger microscope than you do. Lately I have been going through this OA situation and today I am 12 days "clean." I am proud of myself and I have to remember that this is about me! I have to stop making it about the world and how they see me. I am not beating this eating disorder to get skinny. I am not losing weight to please men, women, and children. I am not working out to lose calories, I am doing this for my health and for my satisfaction when I look in the mirror. As much as I am someone who gives to my friends and family constantly, I need to stop and just think about me. I am aware that some people would think that is a bad thing but I am not here to please them, I am here to get better.

Today if you are reading this, take the time to think about the person that you are putting judgmental attitudes on. It hurts everyone involved. It is ignorance to the largest degree. I sit today in extreme pain in my heart for a 12 year old's opinion of me. How sad but how true. Have a great day everyone and prayers would be appreciated!

Learning April 21, 2005:

1. Even a child can hurt your feelings if you are living in a hard place.

2. It feels really good to have people stand up for your honor, especially when they are a child you are raising.

3. Old friends are great. I spoke to my old friend Luke last night and it was pleasant to hear his voice.

4. There are really sick people in the world who hurt others. (heard a sad story today)

5. It's amazing the way I think about how people should be punished who hurt children.

Thankfulness April 21, 2005:

I am thankful for a great talk with Luke last night. I am also thankful that I heard from my favorite boy. I am thankful that Terrence and I were able to talk briefly yesterday. I am thankful for talking to Josh and Brooke also. It was so nice to have friends and support when I SO need it. Also, please pray for my friend Brooke who is taking her Dental boards this weekend!

Much love to you all~


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Don't let me get me!

Today I was driving to my blood tests and I heard the song "Don't let me get me" by Pink. I was thinking about this being the exact way that I am. I am my worst enemy at times. I am very sad that I keep hindering my own success in life by my very unhealthy thought life. I am amazed at how powerful my thoughts are and how they give birth to more crazy thoughts. I am feeling like I need to give up and just allow my mind to take over at times. I am tired of working so hard right now and I just need to breathe. I am exhausted by my own battle with eating and emotions.

I have really been dealing with acknowledgement and how my friends and family treat me lately. I have noticed that the things that I do at times go unnoticed and it's disheartening. I don't really want a parade every time I help someone but I do appreciate a thank you. I appreciate someone recognizing how much I need affirmation. I am feeling drained at times in certain relationships because it's a take and take relationship. I am sad about this and I came to the point of feeling like I will never be loved the way that I love!

I am sorry to put all this out here today but it's what I am feeling.

Learning April 19, 2005:

1. I am getting so much better diabetically!

2. Recovery is hard.

3. Growing pains are the worst.

4. I need to be acknowledged and loved.

5. I am thankful when people say thank you!

Thankfulness April 19, 2005:

I am thankful that today I was able to have blood work done for a very small price. I am thankful that I have a great job where I am supported. I am thankful for my heart healing although it hurts. I am thankful that God will always be with me!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Does it matter?

Happy Monday everyone and I hope you have a great new week! I am starting mine right in thinking long and hard about life. This morning in my prayer time I started to ponder what really matters. This is a hard question and one I view to be very personal. I think everyone has things that they care about and they should really look into themselves to find out what those things are. This morning I was trying to get there in prayer where I could figure out what I care about. I thought and prayed long and hard and came up with relationships, family, and health. These encompass a lot of different aspects of course but that's what it comes down to.

My relationships in life haven't ever been really good. This includes relationships with friends and romantic endeavors. I know that this is due to my extreme dislike of myself in the past and my issues with control. I am very confident in the fact that lately my relationships have changed. I have started to really hear other people talk and be available to them in a new way. I have also started to replace my old controlling behaviors with boundaries that make me more comfortable. I think overall I am now living like relationships mean something to me when before I only said they did.

Family is a different aspect all together because a lot of the things that I grieve in my family, I can't really control. I have had to really allow myself to just let go of some of my family situations. A great example is my relationship with my father. I know that I have mentioned this before but my dad and I really didn't start getting to know each other until I turned 21. At which point, I have pushed for the relationship but he just isn't pushing for it. I have had to really let go and just pray about it and grieve the fact that I will never have the relationship I would have wanted with him. It's too late!

Now about health. Health is so multi-faceted in that I mean physical health, spiritual health, emotional health, and mental health. My physical health has been of prime importance lately as I battle an eating disorder. I have started to eat 3 meals a day with a snack or two and be very healthy in my relationship with food. I have also seen the phyisican to get rid of my kidney infection and I am going through my antibiotics now. I also am getting blood work done tomorrow regarding my diabetes and what damage it has currently done. I am very anxious about these if you could pray for me. I lost 6 lbs this week just due to the infection leaving and getting these binges out of my life. I am so happy about that. I am working on getting to a healthy weight for certain.

Spiritual health is very important to me as it's the basis of my life. It incorporates all the many things that I do and makes them into a whole of depending on God. I will not say I am doing perfectly at prayer, Bible Study, Church attendance, etc...but I am sincerely relying fully on God right now for my strength. I love being in this place of complete dependence upon Him.

Emotional health and mental health go hand in hand and this is where my heart lies. You all know that I am going to be a family/marriage therapist and for me to do that...I have to get my head on straight. I have to sort through my own stuff and be happy in my own skin. I am working on that day by day!

Overall, these are the things that matter to me. Most of all, you ALL matter to me! Have a great week everyone!

Learning April 18, 2005:

1. Your greatest support in life is so unlikely.

2. Friends are priceless and I love my friends!

3. Mondays are good because they go fast at work.

4. I have really learned some stuff at work

5. I love a salad with walnuts in it!

Thankfulness April 18, 2005:

I am thankful for learning new things about me. I am thankful for being acknowledged when I need to be acknowledged. I am thankful for friends who ask me about my eating disorder because they care. I am thankful for people who are rooting for me through this battle. I am thankful for control that God has and I don't have to!


Sunday, April 17, 2005

God of Wonders

Hello and happy Sunday everyone. Please pray for me to find some time next weekend for meetings and church because my weekend was hectic. Yesterday I took Joel out for his birthday which was super fun and I will be loading pictures onto my web-site soon. I had so much fun with him and as always he was stunning. He came over to my house and got his presents first which were 2 cds that I personally made him, an engraved flask that said "Joel Forbes.. Just the way you are" and as few of you know, I wrote him a novel about him. It was really heartfelt and from what I saw, he was touched.

We went out to 21 Oceanfront and had dinner which was amazing and just filled with class. We had a great bottle of wine, delicious dinner, shared a great dessert, and topped it off with a shot of Johnny Walker Blue Label scotch. Overall, the perfect dinner. We also spent most of the night either walking on the beach or talking at my house. It was great and I felt like we grew a little. I learned new things about him and I am so grateful for being able to spend time with him.

Today is a huge day for me as this is my first week of clean living. I haven't binged since last Saturday. I have been doing so well. My OA birthday is April 10th so I am doing really well. I have been eating so well and obeying my abstinence foods. I am also taking diabetic medication and testing my blood sugar again. God is so good to heal me every single day and make me a really healthy woman. I am beginning to see the woman he does in me.

Well, I should get going because Desperate Housewives is on and yes, I watch it. Have a great day everyone and I love you all. Thanks for stopping in!

Learning April 17, 2005:

1. I learned that Joel took piano, drums, and guitar lessons before!

2. I learned that Joel is so fun to hang out with when I am not focused on being scared of him.

3. Johnny Walker Blue Label is good!

4. I love my life.

5. Pictures are one of my favorite things in life. (check into the web-page soon for pics)

Thankfulness April 17, 2005:

I think it's obvious what I am thankful for. I love Joel and I loved spending time with him. I am so blessed to have spent my last evening with him and learned him further. God is amazing to me.


Saturday, April 16, 2005

Pray without ceasing.

Happy Saturday everyone. Today is weigh in day and after a gain up to 242 lbs last week, I am back down to 236 lbs this morning. It is good to be alive today because I have been making so many changes and doing so many things for me that I am feeling very healthy. Most of you know, if you have kept up on the blog, that I joined Overeaters Anonymous last week. Actually tomorrow will be a week of clean living so to speak. Anyway, today I thought I would go over the fact that I am doing the first 2 steps. I have had several people on the internet stop into my blog and write me an email telling me how helpful it was to them and if I can help someone with the same pain that I endure, I will do that.

First I will talk about the first step that led me into the doors of OA. The first step in the OA program is "We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable." There is no doubt that I knew that a week ago when I walked into the first meeting. I had realized that when it came to food, I could not say no to any craving. I gave into any feeling that I had and ate it away instead of feeling it. When I had voiced my pain to others, they had said, "You just need some will power." and "Just practice some self control." I thought there had to be something wrong with me because I could not use that advice.

My normal day was ok. I would eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I would get off of work at about 8:00 and head to the gym for a workout. I would exercise more than any human really should and then follow it up with a huge Jack in the box binge. I would fall into bed with way more sugar pulsing through my body than any diabetic should have and numb myself from feeling lonliness, rejection, abandonment, pain, and boredom. I knew this wasn't normal behavior but I sure couldn't stop it. Hence I am powerless over food and my life had become unmanageable.

The 2nd step in OA is "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." Now they don't tell you this but in order to do this step, you have to really accept that what you are doing is insane. I have finally accepted that and started to really believe that God is the ONLY one who can take this disease and make me a productive, healthy individual. The insanity in my situation is the fact that I have diabetes and could die from this behavior but I wanted the food more. It's sad and insane if you ask me.

This step has been interesting and I have really been in prayer every day since this step I have taken. I have acknowledged that without God's help, this is truly impossible. I rest in that though because his success record is so much greater than mine. Overall, I fully believe I am engaged into these two steps and I am more than excited about what this healing will mean to me.

Tonight is a big night as Joel and I are finally getting a chance to celebrate his birthday together. For those of you who know what I did for his birthday, you know how important this is. I am giving him the gift that I have shared with very few and taking him out to dinner at 21 Oceanfront out of Newport Beach. It's going to be just excellent and we get a chance to dress up and go out. I also love that we just get time together. I love him so much and I get excited at any chance to bless his life. Please pray for our time tonight that he really understands the gift I got him and that it melts his heart. I only wish for him to feel loved from it.

Well, I should close the post as I have to do about a million things before tonight so I hope you are all having a great weekend and thank you for stopping in and reading about my heart and struggles. I would appreciate prayers as God is healing me day by day. Please also pray because I am going back to the gym next week. I sat out this whole week to get accustomed to my lifestyle of living clean. I am nervous of how this will affect my plan. I am just going to rely on God with this one.

Learning April 16, 2005:

1. It's not as hard today as I thought it would be. (Adolfo is 26 today)

2. I hate when I seem overwhelmed with things to do.

3. Going to the gym scares me right now.

4. It feels good to lose weight when I know I am doing it the right way.

5. My friends are much more supportive than I ever thought about this OA thing.

Thankfulness April 16, 2005:

I am thankful that I get to take my boy out for dinner tonight. I am thankful that I finally get to give him this amazing present I have been working on. I am thankful that I am starting on Britt's graduation present this weekend. I am thankful that I am getting to go home and see her graduate. I am thankful that God is always with me and I don't have to do this alone.


Friday, April 15, 2005

Encouraging words

Today I write in full realization of my love language. I have had a hard time feeling loved lately by a few of my friends because they refuse to speak my language. It's not that they can't, they just don't. Many people believe that Words of Affirmation is a compliment fest and I am here to tell you that it isn't. I have come to the conclusion that more than anything, it's acknowledgement. Lately I have made changes by leaps and bounds. I have rearranged my whole entire life. To have my friends not acknowledge that for me, is not acceptable. I have no problem with them not doing it but I know this, if they can't see the changes and really acknowledge my position in life, I am not sure they are actually my friend. This makes me sad to think but it's truth.

In saying this today, I want to encourage two things. First of all, please learn the love languages of the people that you really care about. It's important to reach out and notice what makes them feel loved. This is not so that you can serve your friends/family/loved ones necessarily but if there is a care there, you will do what you can to communicate well with them. It's a means of actually making relationships work. I also encourage you all to really know your own love language and communicate that to people so that they know. You can't be loved when you won't allow yourself to. These are things I have come to realize over the span of growth that has been happening with me and I am so grateful for the people who really love me in my life. I am so blessed!

Well, I must go and have a joyous weekend by myself and with friends. Have a great one!

Learning April 15, 2005:

1. Almost everyone puts off taxes until the last day.

2. It's amazing to see how some women can not do for themselves in life.

3. People do not pay their bills on time.

4. Health Insurance is so lucritive.

5. People always want to find a way to blame others for actions.

Thankfulness April 15, 2005:

I am thankful that God is giving me peace about things that passes all understanding. I am hurting very badly but overall I know that God's best is out there for me and I am healing so much. Thanks for your prayers yet again!


Thursday, April 14, 2005

At last, I feel you!

Good evening everyone. I hope all is well in your world. Mine is getting better by the moment. Today started out being a bad day and moved to one of the best I have had lately. This morning I woke up and I was in such pain I could barely stand it. In case I haven't stated this before, I have had a kidney infection for the last 4 months and haven't had health insurance to do anything about it. This morning, it had me in serious pain. I went ahead with my breakfast, getting Chris to school, and drove to work routine. When I got there, my co-worker Betsy asked me how I was. I said happily that I had made it through another night with no binging and after talking about that for a few minutes I told her how much pain I was in. She suggested I go down to a clinic in the Laguna Beach area that would take me for virtually nothing out of pocket. I agreed to go and said I would be back when I was done. I left there at 9:15 arriving at the doctor's office at 9:30. I didn't leave the doctor's until 12:30. Yes, it was a long 3 hours.

I waited in a very cramped office for what seemed like days around people that couldn't speak English. I believe I was one of the three who could actually speak it anyway. I finally was called and ushered back to a room and they took my vitals and everything seemed ok. I began to give my symptoms to the nurse practioner and of course I had to fill a cup with my problem! :) It immediately came back that I had an acute kidney infection. As if I didn't know that! We started to talk about the fact that I am diabetic and that I haven't had the opportunity to buy medication. She was worried about that and intervened with some ideas. We also realized that my pancreas is working. This is the greatest news I have gotten in years. Losing weight has made my pancreas start working and now I most likely won't need insulin injections but will be able to take oral medication! Do you know how good this is????!!!!!

I am so blessed right now to have medication for both my kidney infection and diabetes...for free. I was able to get some care for only $14.00 and I am just so happy that God was there. My title today is "At last, I feel you!" because it's been a long time of searching and lamenting before God to feel him in my life. I have worked really hard to try to stay true to my faith recently and it's hard because those valleys are just brutal. I am looking forward to seeing God move and I know that sometimes, he is there in the quiet storms and not in the triumphs. Today I am happy to say...HE was there in the triumph! Praise Him people...I am getting better!

Well, thanks for stopping in today and I am really sorry I have gotten out of the practice of blogging. It's so important to me and I will get back on top of it when I am in the zone of getting accustomed to my schedule. Have a beautiful day!

Learning April 14, 2005:

1. God is always hearing me even when I feel unheard.

2. There are options out there to make sure you are taken care of.

3. Again I learn to ASK for help.

4. People really love me in my life.

5. I am so incredibly blessed!

Thankfulness April 14, 2005:

I think it's pretty clear today what I am thankful for. God is so incredibly good! Thank you for your prayers!


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bigger than my body

Have you ever thought something was just bigger than you? I am thinking that is how my whole life is feeling right now! I feel like this eating disorder is bigger than me and if I am not careful it might eat me up! AHHHHH... that's it. Just frustrated is all.


Just writing for release

Hey everyone and Happy Hump day to you! I hate Wednesdays usually because they seem to last forever and they don't lead to Friday the way that Thursdays do. I just wanted to have a place to express my thoughts this morning. I woke up this morning just starving because I am learning how to eat like a normal person. To keep accountable, yesterday I had the following:


2 scrambled eggs
1 slice toast with Margarine
1 glass water


Lettuce wraps with Chicken and rice noodles (really good)


2 pork chops w/ shake and bake
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup green beans


1 package heart to heart oatmeal

Yeah! No binging! I am so proud of myself. Feelings are a huge part of why I overeat. I eat when I am worried, scared, sad, lonely, extremely happy etc. I have to learn how to stop eating and start feeling. I am so scared of my own feelings that I forget to let myself have them. Yesterday I experienced three extreme moments of feeling yesterday that could have led to a binge but didn't. The first one was at work during the day. I have a horrible time if I ever feel left out of something. I have found out recently that I have a very unhealthy thought life and seriously misconstrue a lot of what happens in my day to day life.

Yesterday I took something my co-workers did as leaving me out and immediately felt weak and unwanted. It wasn't a big deal and the more I thought about it the more it ate me up inside. The trick for me is to talk it out and realize how unimportant it really is. It comes out that I really don't think my co-workers were trying to leave me out but rather protect and love me. That was a hard thing for me as I realize I hate feeling weak!

The next thing that really affected me was anxiety. Anxiety is a hard one for me. I experience anxiety for a lot of different things. Yesterday it was a financial issue. I have only had one job for a while because I got laid off in December but I just now got a second job. This is good news because I am having a hard time meeting my bills. My car payment has been late and they called yesterday to inquire about it. It always really hurts me to try to negotiate financial things when I am stressed. They called me 8 times while I was at work and before I knew it, I was anxious.

The last feeling was fear. Fear has captivated my life for almost every day. I have a family situation that I can't control in that my family is in danger. I am very sad and scared at the possibilities that this introduces and it made me afraid. For the first time in a long time, I didn't deal with this by eating my way out of it but rather prayed, talked with friends, reached out for support and found things to do besides eat. God is healing me!!!!

Anyway, just wanted to take some time to release some unwanted feelings today and just over state the fact that healing is in the process. Keep praying please and tune in for my real blog today!


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

OA does not mean Obese Always!

Good evening everyone. I am finally getting around to writing after a few really long days. An update to everyone first on Britt and her wreck. She is officially a redneck celebrity because her deer head butting incident was placed in the paper as if it was headline news. How cute huh? She is doing really well. Her shoulder is feeling much better and she had a doctor's appointment to have her knee X-rayed today. I am hoping there is not too much knee trouble because my mom and I both have bad knees so she doesn't have much of a chance. She was experiencing some kind of allergic reaction to the deer fur as well and that has since gone away so thanks so much for your prayers. Britt is ok and moving toward recovery. Please keep praying though as she is obviously still a little scared to drive and feeling some pain.

Updates on me are much more scattered. First of all, my new job is going excellent. I love it. I have never been interested in the Health Insurance biz but it's not so bad. It's more about the wonderful people I work with though that makes me excited. I love Irene and Betsy so much and learn more from them than ever every day. I prayed for God to bring spiritual, healthy, strong women into my life and sure enough, I have two great ones every day now! I am so completely and utterly blessed to have this job and these beautiful people.

I have some big news to share with everyone and some sad news but truth to make you all aware of. This weekend was a huge thing for me. Last week on Friday when Britt was in the accident, I made a huge realization of my true self. I realized that I have an eating disorder. I binge and exercise obsessively. I made this realization and as a psych major knew I must do something about it. I logged onto and looked into Overeaters Anonymous and started to do some research into what might be wrong with me. I read story after story of people who were just like me. I decided to call a sponsor. I called Jay and he was so inviting and understanding about my disease and invited me to a meeting on Sunday.

On Sunday I went to my first OA meeting and realized that I am a compulsive overeater/bulimic person. I was horrified but left feeling like I wasn't alone anymore. I had another meeting tonight and was able to connect with a lot of women who are just like me and who struggle with the legal form of addiction. I was moved by their stories and I am even more moved by their love, passion, and acceptance. Now, I will tell you what I have been doing because to come clean is really a giant part of my healing.

If you were eating with me, you would have no idea the horrible disease I live with. I eat a normal breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I can make it look like I am the healthiest person you have ever seen and certainly work out more than most people my size. There is just one problem, I have to get alone sometime. In my alone time I go to Jack in the Box and order several items and take them into my quiet alone place and demolish them. My car console has 6-7 receipts from JITB and reese cup papers that you couldn't even count. My life consisted of finishing boxes of cookies the same hour I started them. How sad huh? All I would do is just exercise it off. I have a form of bulimia and anorexia that I had never known about. Today, I am 3 days "Sober" and I am just proud of my huge step.

Please join with me in prayer and help me get through this addiction to food and the binging and exercising process. I appreciate all of the people who have touched my life these last few days and I am just praising GOd for helping me to find the answer. Thanks for stopping in today and I am going to try to get back on track with learning and thankfulness tomorrow! Much love to all and please just be praying! I am truly healing ALL the parts of my self!


Friday, April 08, 2005

I'm holding out for a hero! I miss you Poppa!

Hi everyone. I am sorry that I didn't post yestereday. I had the whole post typed out and the web-site failed and it lost all of my typing and after a full day of work and some money stressors, I couldn't bear re-typing it.

Today is a hard day for 2 reasons. First of all today is the anniversary of my grandfathers death. He died 5 years ago today. It feels like 5 minutes ago to me. He was a lot of things to me but mostly a hero. I have decided to hold out for a hero because I would want to marry a man like my grandpa! Today I am grieving him properly and have finally learned what it is to accept his death. I decided to put a picture of him on my blog today to honor his memory and just remember how special he was to me!

Image hosted by

This picture is of both of my grandparents (Nana and Poppa to me). Jetta and "Bus" Briscoe. My grandmother passed away on Christmas Eve of 2002. Poppa obviously passed away on April 8th 2000. My life hasn't been the same since.

Today was a hard day as well because my little sister, Brittany, the other love of my life, was in a car accident. She was actually hit by a deer and it broke her window and it was scary for her. She is ok and does not have any broken bones or serious injuries. She's just sore right now and we'll find out how bad she is tomorrow. Please keep her and my family in your prayers. I love her dearly and I am worried about her.

Well because of sheer exhaustion, I am going to get off her and wrap this thing up. Here are my learning and thankfulness for the last few days:

Learning April 6, 2005:

1. A lot of Jewish people actually don't stay Kosher.

2. It's amazing to be Jewish and holds a lot of history.

3. I love my new job!

4. There is so much for me to learn about me.

5. It's ok to fail sometimes and we just have to get back on the wagon!

Learning April 7, 2005:

1. Sometimes you have to treat yourself to something yummy.

2. I really like artichokes!

3. I don't like when people make billing mistakes.

4. Handling issues is my middle name.

5. God is so stinkin good to me!

Thankfulness April 6, 2005:

I am very thankful that Josh called me from London. I am thankful that I talked to my favorite boy in the world and it was a great talk. I am thankful that I am getting to see Joel this weekend. I am thankful that God is bigger than me and can be trusted.

Thankfulness April 7, 2005:

I am thankful for nice employees at 24 hour fitness who can handle problems effectively. I am also thankful for the wonderful people at Macaroni grill who make those great strawberry desserts. I am mostly thankful for people who make me feel special when I don't. Thank you God are so good!


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Sweet realizations.

Tonight I was driving Chris back to be with his mom for the rest of the week and weekend and I was driving back and listening to Shaun Groves' cd "Invitation to Eavesdrop." If you haven't heard this cd, I highly recommend it. It came out a couple of years ago so it's old but still just as good. Anyway, lately I have been struggling with the fact that I am a fatherless daughter. It makes me feel unwanted and abandoned at times. It also makes me afraid of the kind of relationship I might have with my children and my husband if I don't start thinking about the ramifications now.

Onto the story, I was driving home and listening to this cd when I came upon the song "Abba Father." This song is precious to me and I thought I would share the lyrics since they touch me so greatly. This is mainly for you girls out there who didn't have a daddy like me or maybe had one that wasn't ideal. Also, this is for my guys that are daddy's now and those that are going to be in the future. Mainly; Rob & Nick!

This song depicts the FATHER'S love for us and how awesome it is. A wise woman once said to me that God is the only father that we all can truly depend on. AMEN SISTER! :)

Here are the lyrics, enjoy!

Abba Father
My Defender
You are Holy
And I surrender
For in my weakness
You protect me
When my heart strays
You Correct me
I cry Abba Father - I love you, Daddy
Abba Father...I love you, I love you
I cry Abba Father - I love you, Daddy
Abba Father..I love you I love you

Abba Father
My Defender
You are Holy
And I surrender
For in my weakness
You protect me
When my heart strays
You Correct me
I cry Abba Father - I love you, Daddy
Abba Father...I love you, I love you
I cry Abba Father - I love you, Daddy
Abba Father..I love you I love you...I love you Daddy

Abba Father I love youI love you
Abba Father I love you
DaddyAbba Father I love you
I love youI love you I love you......Daddy

Not too complicated but surely gets the point across. Have a beautiful night!


The Learning Curve

Again, God is teaching me about my character with every new day. Today I have learned at many turns the unique concept of the learning curve. When I refer to the learning curve, I am talking about the period of time it takes to learn something and understand it. I am in a new job and learning new things every day. For once in my life, I am giving myself the time and patience to learn things and really grasp them. I am asking questions and trying my best and it makes me feel like I have reached a new place of acceptance in my non-perfect world.

The other big news of the day is that I got to talk to my boy in London. Two of my nearest and dearest friends went to study abroad in London this semester and I have not been able to talk to them a whole lot for obvious reasons. Josh and Heather are enjoying their time there and it's a priceless opportunity. Either way, I miss them greatly. Today I got to speak with both of them on the phone. Heather and I are very close and were roommates in college and Josh is one of my best guy friends!

Joshua has been a precious precious part of my life (precious is there twice on purpose) and I miss him so much. We have so much in common and truly understand each other. There is a love there that no one could deny! I miss you sweety and can't wait to come and visit you in Colorado this summer!

I am trying to head out this summer to Colorado where Josh is originally from and visit him. I am so excited about spending time with him again and really enjoying the many facets of Josh. I don't have a whole lot of time to write today or most weekdays but wanted to stop in and keep the blog updated on my learning and emotional maturation! I am growing people and God is moving!

Learning April 5, 2005:

1. Mixing dairy products and meat is against kosher laws along with no bottom feeding animals.
(Something I basically knew but confirmed)

2. Jewish people are not supposed to get tattoos or plastic surgery...ooops!

3. God does everything for a reason! BOY DOES HE!!!!

4. My life has never been so peaceful!

5. I love God more every single day!

Thankfulness April 5, 2005:

I am thankful that God gave me a chance to speak with a new female friend at length yesterday and we were able to share our struggles and bond a little. I am looking forward to getting together with her and having some serious girl-talk time. I need that in my life and God has blessed me with her. Thanks for a great talk Charity!


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Learning more about me!

Hi everyone and welcome to Tuesday's with Erica! :) How are you all today? If we haven't talked for a while, give me a call or write me an email and let me know how life is! Today has been another beautiful day with God's amazing grace surrounding me. I am learning more about God's character and more about my own character today and I am happy about the things I am learning. Today was my second day at my new job and I was trusted with some new tasks and I am excited about learning more and more and becoming proficient at my job. I am all about advancing and getting to know all that I can. I really admire the two ladies I work with and how hard they work to create a successful business. Their work ethic astounds me. They are both Jewish though, do the math! :) GO JEWS!

Because both of these women are Jewish, it's giving me an opportunity to delve into my ethnicity a bit and learn more about my history. If you all weren't aware, I am half Jewish. It's a fact that I wasn't aware of for most of my life but has been something I am interested in getting to know about just recently. It is kind of a fluke that both of these women would be Jewish and would actually practice so I can see it the way it is. I am obviously a Christian by religion but that doesn't leave my mind closed to learning more about Judiasm as a whole.

This morning I got up and worked out again and then taught Christopher how to make breakfast and did a great job at my work today staying honest and faithful to God. I am really trying to spend my daily time in God's presence as well as spending my daily time in physical exercise. I have many goals for myself and those goals are important to achieve very soon. Last night after piano I headed to the gym for an upper body workout which completely whipped me. I was so tired last night when I got home. I spent about an hour in prayer at Balboa and came home to read a little to wind down for the night.

I am really trying to focus on priorities right now. It's hard to keep your eyes on the Father and focus on the things you are being led to work on and not look around you waiting on the things you want so much. Right now the big desires of my heart are weight loss, romantic love, and emotional freedom. I know that all three of those take much time and patience and I will soon enough be given them, in God's perfect time. I will also need to be working on those things every single day and facing the truths that come with them.

Well, I should get to doing some other tasks on my agenda today but I wanted to report that I am well and that God is doing amazing things in me. Hoping to catch up on some phone calls this weekend. Josh, if you are reading this, it was so great to hear your voice on my voicemail all the way from London! :) So happy about that!

I hope you all have a great Tuesday evening and I love you all dearly. Please keep praying for relationships in my life and success with weight loss endeavors.

Learning April 4, 2005:

1. Grief is shared by all at one time or another.

2. My weight loss sucess really is amazing to people outside of me.

3. Betsy and Irene are wonderful women.

4. It is really hard to get health insurance if you have ever had any health problems! :(

5. Blue Cross and Blue Shield basically own doctors! ;)

Thankfulness April 4, 2005:

I am thankful that I have a new job and I really like it. I am thankful for Irene and Betsy and their sweet spirits and character. I am thankful that I work with two strong, faithful, Jewish women who can teach me more about my history. I am thankful that I work in the health insurance industry and might be able to figure it out for myself. I am thankful that God intervened and made my income large enough to take care of my financial obligations. God, you are so good!


Monday, April 04, 2005

My first day...boy do I understand now!

Hello everyone and happy Monday! I hope you all are doing well. Today I had my first day at my new job. If you haven't read up in a few days, I got a job at a Health Insurance Agency in Newport Beach. It's a really great job and pays me well and works me 9-3 which is perfect. Today I started and it was really great and God showed me why I was there almost immediately. I work mainly with two women named Betsy and Irene. Betsy is probably my mom's age (40's) and Irene (probably 50's). They are both exceptional women. Irene is the widow of famous character actor Sandy Ward. He was in perfect storm, police academy etc... She just lost him 3 weeks ago so I am coming up on some serious grief. Betsy's dad is dying of cancer as we speak. This is obvious that God is showing me grief and now that I am working through's the perfect time. I am moved by God's amazing plans!

I am very proud of myself because I got up this morning and had breakfast and worked out before jumping in the shower for work. I am hoping I can keep up this routine as it would be a great time to get my cardio in. I am really trying to get my relationship with God right so today I kept a lying journal. I just wanted to see how often I am dishonest with others and myself. Today, I have been honest and it makes me feel good to please God!

I can't really write a lot today so I just wanted to let you all know how my first day went. Hoping to get some time each day to jot my thoughts down in the blog. Keep posted. I love you all very much and thank you for prayers for a job...they worked! :)

Learning April 3, 2005:

1. Cemetaries really interest me.

2. Everyone dies matter how rich you are!

3. Lisa Marie Presley was friends with Johnny Ramone.

4. I have much more stamina for exercise than I thought.

5. Toliet paper is something you just can't live without (not that I didn't know this but yesterday confirmed it even greater) *LONG STORY)

Thankfulness April 3, 2005:

I am thankful for God's amazing lesson he showed me in the cemetary that life is just too short to compare myself to people who end up in the ground just like me. God is so amazing. Thank you Lord for loving me and seeking after me! You are truly good!


Sunday, April 03, 2005

The best date all year

Good evening everyone. I hope your Sunday was as magnificent as mine. I had a beautiful day today. I opened my eyes today to the realization of how great God's love is for me. I got through a really hard temptation last night as well as learning what is good for me and what is bad for me. I am so proud of myself and can feel God's love surrounding me. I got out of bed and went upstairs to fix myself some breakfast. I made a scrambled egg and a slice a toast and drank 2 big glasses of water. I then got in the shower so I could get ready for church. Yes, you heard right, I went to church this morning.

I had a small prayer in my heart as I walked up to Rock Harbor that God would let me meet someone there that would be beneficial to me and that I could somehow get connected. It's hard when you start a new church and you really don't know anyone. After Praise and worship there was the part where you turn around and greet people around you. This is always awkward for me since I don't know ANYONE there. I was sitting by a girl named Stephanie and she greeted me and I greeted her and a few others. After service, which was wonderful, she stayed and started talking to me. It was so good to be able to talk to someone and try to get to know them. She promised me she would look out for me on Sundays so that I would feel at home. She was a sweet girl. That was the first cool part of the day.

After service, I had plans to go and grab groceries for two weeks. I like grocery shopping and the challenge it presents so I went and had an hour at Albertsons trying to find all of the right things for dinner these next two weeks. It was ok and I got out on budget (as I always do) and went home to put things away. I quickly put the items away because I had an afternoon date....with the most special person to me! :)

Yes, you guessed was date with Erica day! I try to schedule dates with myself every week where I go and do things alone that are good for me and interest me so I can grow to appreciate things about myself and view myself differently as someone worth my time. I have had to learn this year that solitude does not equal lonliness.

I had a really good time today on my date with myself. I went up to Hollywood to the Cemetary (Hollywood Forever) where the stars are buried. There are a number of big name stars up there like Rudolph Valentino, Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone, Mel Blanc, etc... It was a blast. I know that sounds morbid but there is something so tranquil and peaceful about the cemetary. I took a lunch up and just had lunch and walked around and took pictures and just enjoyed my afternoon. I also got about a 5-6 mile walk in today. It was just a beautiful day and it helped me spend time with me and enjoy the quirks in my that I am fascinated by cemetaries.

Of course, today's outing had me thinking. I think all the time and try to find ways to learn more everyday. Well, today I thought about death. Obviously that is what one thinks of when strolling around the dead. Mostly my thoughts came from being around Mel Blanc's stone. By the way, if you don't know who Mel Blanc is ...he is the voice of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, etc... nicknamed "The man of 1,000 voices." This guy was and continues to be a HUGE star. Well, you wouldn't know it from looking at his stone. His stone is modest in size and is simple limestone. It has a star of David on it and has his nickname plus "That's all Folks." Modest, humble, and a little sad.

It made me come to a conclusion.... there is nothing that can buy your way out of death. I realize this is dismal and dark but seriously...we are never too rich to die. I realized that in death, all of us have the same standing. That made me have some new realization about self love. Sometimes in our lives (really all the time) we compare ourselves to others. Sometimes we compare ourselves to those around us like family members, parents, friends, church members, pastors, etc...and other times we try to compare ourselves to music legends, actresses, actors, body builders, models, etc... This is just a silly way to be in life. I realize we all do it and I have certainly been guilty of wanting a butt like J-lo's, a body like Janet Jackson's, a face like Halle Berry's, and the wit and humor of Meg Ryan. I realize that this is proposterous. God made me Erica. I have no idea how he decided on green eyes, brown hair (oh don't be knew it wasn't blonde), 5 foot 1, and the tendency to pack on pounds but he did. I need to not only accept that about myself but love it with all I have.

When it comes down to it, J-Lo and I won't have too different of an ending. We will both die and our bodies will either turn into ash or be returned to the ground. When it comes down to it, she has to meet the same maker as I do. She has to answer the same questions and stand there for her sins and receive her crowns. Looking at this, I realize how I need to stop comparing myself to others. I need to realize ...just like with Mel Blanc, when its done...."That's all folks!"

God really showed me my value today on our little date and I have decided to plan a date by myself every weekend now doing something I want to do or going somewhere I want to go. I am very excited about this and will keep you posted. I took pictures today also so I will write in here when they are posted on the web-page. It was an awesome day and an awesome date!

Learning April 2, 2005:

1. I do have power over food if I just take the doors God puts for me to flee from temptation

2. Sometimes we have to accept that some people never grow up.

3. Your real friends will pray with you whenever you need prayer.

4. Confronting your problems is always hard but always the right way to go.

5. Da Vinci Code is a very good book so far

Thankfulness April 2, 2005:

I am thankful for my victory over my craving last night for something sweet. I am so proud of myself and I am thankful to God for giving me the strength I needed and placing obstacles in my path of getting those goodies. God you are so good and you are always looking out for me. Help me as I go on my way to health. I love you Lord!


Saturday, April 02, 2005

We did it! :)

Tonight I had to write because God and I beat something huge in my life. I am trying to be the most authentic woman possible at this time and it's hard but I am going to do it. I have been struggling with food a lot lately. I have an enormous addiction to food. This problem has been real since I was a little girl. It helped me escape many many problems and for that reason, food has been a friend to me. This friend has always terribly abused me and made me an obese, dying person. By the age of 17, I weighed probably over 350 lbs. I have finally made a change and obviously now weight 236 lbs. I am proud of this weight loss but I have never let go completely of my addiction to food.

Today I made a goal to change the way I am eating and try to be a healthy person. I got up this morning and had a bowl of oatmeal (one serving) and a slice of toast with margarine. I then spent my morning catching up on things like cleaning my room, blogging, etc.... At 1:30 I went to the gym and did a bit of cardio and a lower body workout. It was intense and I was tired and hungry when I left. I basically came home and ended up talking to my mom for a bit which meant I did not eat until about 5:00. I went to Panda Express and got orange chicken, steamed vegetables, and chow mein. Probably not the most healthy choice but it was yummy. I also had a snack of hummus and pita bread and a cheese sandwich today.

Well anyway, that brings me to tonight at 9:00 which is right now. At about 7:00, I had a craving for something sweet. As you all know, I am a diabetic and a fairly bad one at that. I got in my car and had plans to head down to the grocery store to get something to eat that was sweet. I would have probably gotten donuts, candy bars, cookies, etc...whatever looked good in the aisles. That is a bad choice. Well, I got to the grocery store and there was absolutely NO parking. It was amazing to me. I viewed that as God saying it wasn't supposed to be. I decided I should probably just go and get some frozen yogurt at Golden Spoon. I began to drive into Costa Mesa when my cell phone rang and a friend was calling. We ended up getting onto the discussion on will power and how you can't lose weight without it.

I guess I don't have to say I didn't get anything sweet to eat and I am going to go to bed tonight without eating anything more. I want to get this weight off and be healthy. I want to live as the diabetic that I am. Thank you for your prayers and please continue as I am finally starting to beat this older than me problem! I need released from this eating disorder!

I was so proud of this victory that God and I had together that I had to share it!


Major Goal of 2005: Health!

Yesterday I realized that 2005 is to be a great year for me regardless of what goals I will meet and what goals I won't meet. There is already so much progress in my life that I cannot view 2005 as a failure in any way. I have done the unthinkable and have gotten through some of the hardest things in my life. Most of you know that 2005 hasn't been any easier for me than 2004 was or for that matter all the way back to 2000. Since 2000, there have been giant disappointments and problems in my life each coming with the hardest punch they could pack.

In 2000, on April 8th, I lost my hero. My grandfather died at the age of 70 unexpectedly and it turned my world upside down. That really is the beginning of the trials to continue. In 2001, Adolfo chose to cancel our wedding the day before it was to happen. This is NEVER a pleasant experience and caused me much grief and pain. In 2002, I moved to California and experienced my first year here which ended in December with my grandmother passing away on Christmas Eve after a long battle to try to live. It was heartbreaking and took my whole semester away with worry and angst! I was never able to say a lot of things to her that really needed to be said. In 2003, I met Joel (sigh), that is NOT bad I just wanted to say it. Anyway, in 2003 there are a number of little things like watching my family go through hell emotionally and financially, losing my love for Adolfo little by little, losing friendships right and left, and basically being in constant emotional upheaval. In 2004, I left Adolfo losing a dream and a 6 year relationship. Later in the year, I was to be hit by a car, experience a cancer scare, and have to reestablish a healthy knee. At the end of 2004, I gave up my suffering and allowed God to really take hold of me.

It's 2005 now and my life has been different for the last 4 months. I would say more than that the last year and a 1/2 as I have been climbing out of my hole but now, I can see the top of the hole and I am standing there saying to myself "What's next? I can take anything now." It's amazing to gain strength through some hard times and realize that the last 5 years have been to build character not comfort. I want to take this time to update you on the last 5 years of struggle and how things are working now.

First I want to talk about 2000. Losing my grandfather was the hardest thing I have ever endured in my life. The day I heard it, I wanted to die with him. There was nothing that could keep me from having huge emotional outbursts and feeling like I didn't want to live. I started to have anxiety attacks and soon was put on an anti-anxiety meds. I was on that for a couple of weeks and then went off to try to deal with life as I was a sophomore in college at ISU. Basically I dealt with it the best way I could, denial. I spent several years after that acting like he was alive and spending my entire summer at the cemetary hanging out. That is sick and wrong and I know it but it made me feel like my grandpa was alive. It was such a hard time for me. Now, I have to report that last night I thought about how the anniversary of his death is this month (April 8th) and this year, I have truly grieved him and found that he is gone and it's ok. Although I will always miss him, I don't have to have anxiety attacks anymore. I don't have to pretend he is alive. Mostly, I don't have to be sad all of the time. He wouldn't want that and I don't want that for myself. God has truly healed this part of my heart.

Onto 2001. There is not much to explain the hardship of losing the dream of your wedding day. Basically what went down is that Adolfo and I were struggling to get along and after my grandfathers death, I had become hard to deal with if not verbally abusive to Adolfo. Adolfo realized that getting married was a bad idea and decided to cancel the wedding..the day before it. I have said this a lot but I don't disagree with Adolfo's decision. Basically, I just disagree with the way he went about it. I chose to forgive and stay in the relationship but never really did forgive and suddenly had a plaguing fear of marriage and weddings. It was horrible as all of my friends around me were getting married and I had no ability to be happy for them! Today, I want to report that I have started dreaming of my wedding day again. I can smile when I think of getting married and now that Adolfo and I are through, I feel free from this horrible feeling of not being good enough to be a bride!

2002: I believed 2002 was going to be a starting over point for me and in some ways it was. I moved to California and that was a great decision. Adolfo and I started rebuilding our relationship and trust in each other and things certainly did get better on my anger front. The only thing was, Adolfo's behavior never changed. He still had a horrible time communicating with me and as I became a better person, he stayed the same. I understand this as he was afraid of communicating with me as the person I was before. My first semester was horrible because my grandmother was back home dying and I heard more bad news every single day. I had plans to fly home after Christmas but unfortunately my grandmother did not make it and died on Christmas Eve. She was someone that I had a very hard time with as she was very abusive to me verbally as a kid. I wanted to say some things to her before she died and she had wishes to talk to me as well. We never had that talk so she died without me gaining closure. I have to report that in 2004 during some serious counseling, I gave my grudges up to God and walked away knowing that I will be ok regardless of not getting to talk to her about these things. I have forgiven her and myself and chosen to put her to rest. I do not miss her because I have no ability to but either way, I have closed that door.

2003 was one of the hardest years because it just held all kinds of repercussions regarding my grandmother's death and my stress from the first semester at Vanguard. The next two semesters were filled with lost friendships, stress, and over whelming home stuff. It was hard and Adolfo and my relationship began to get real again and we started to have no fun together again. I realized then I had no hopes of marrying this man. I could not really move on from him cancelling our wedding and he could not move on from horrible things I had done. We were done but I didn't choose to leave until getting some guts in 2004!

2004 was bittersweet. I left Adolfo in the beginning of the year so in that respect it hurt and I was struggling greatly at first with not calling him and begging him to come back. I realized soon that it was the best thing and I started to have joy at being free of the misery. He soon got a new girlfriend and although my heart broke for myself, I was happy for him. A lot of things happened then including healing in the most amazing ways regarding old pain and old hurts and a great friendship developing beyond what I could even imagine and mostly, I started to love myself. I spent more and more time alone and got to know the real me. The good, the bad, and the completely adorable! I don't say I am ugly...cuz I'm not! At the end of 2004, some bad events came about which changed my life forever but either way, the new me,..could take them. I experienced something that every woman fears and I came through it a winner and someone who respected myself. I also was hit by an SUV in the parking lot of Albertsons and endured some injuries. Either way, life was good and I took each thing by the horns and overcame them.

Fast forward to 2005. Here I am today...I am a woman that I am proud of! I have finally experienced being a female and liking it. I am finally ok with the fact that I am Erica and I have qualities that are hard for some to take but that I am completely proud of. I wear my boundaries like a hard earned gold medal and NOONE walks on me. I don't abuse anyone by bullying them into seeing I am always right and I love people better than I ever have. I don't try to control people into loving me but allow them to do their own thing and if they love me...good..if they don't..that's ok. I am healthy and free of my past failures and I truly feel the grace of God for once. I have lost a lot of weight and I am working on being a physically healthy, beautiful woman! I am domestic and can accept that I love children and don't view being a mommy and wife as a weakness anymore. Are there stilll problems? YES....I still am not always authentic. I still have an eating disorder in a sense because I am highly addicted to food's emotional qualities. I still struggle with my trust in God. Overall though, I am starting over and healthy and ready to go. I can smell the health from here! Congrats to me today and thanks for reading this uphill battle.

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning April 1, 2005:

1. It wasn't as hard as I thought to to get through the anniversary this year!

2. Solitude does not equal lonliness.

3. Happiness is so great and I am achieving it for the first time.

4. The voice of my favorite boy can make me smile for approximately 2 hours straight :)

5. Friday Night Frenzy on Spirit 95 out of Bloomington, Indiana is hosted by my good friend, Austin Malone in Indiana! TUNE IN! He's funny on it and it's got great Christian tunes!

Thankfulness April 1, 2005:

I am thankful for healing. I realized yesterday that I am happy to be away from Adolfo and happy that he is happy. I am happy that my grandfather is finally able to be laid to rest and I can breathe in his absence. I am happy that the old things that once had me are no longer. I am happy that I can experience my wedding day in its fullness and not think of being abandoned. God, you are so good and I am thankful for your sweet spirit in my life. Thank you for healing!


Friday, April 01, 2005

It's April ..Resolutions update time!

Happy Friday afternoon everyone and Happy April Fools Day. If Adolfo and I had stayed together, we would be together for 7 years today. Isn't that crazy? It's amazing how my life has changed this past year. Today is the first of the month so that means I am going to update my resolutions and talk about them a little bit. It's my practice to do this once a month at the first of the month so I don't drop my resolutions this year. Some of my resolutions have proven to be unrealistic, some are already finished, and some are being put off another year or something depending on the nature of them. Here is an udpate and thank you for caring about my progress...

1. Lose the rest of my weight: This is always my most frustrating goal to update. I have better news this month but either way, I am having a hard time still. I still see a problem with my giant overeating problem. I have actually considered joining overeaters anonymous as of late. My starting weight in the new year was 240 lbs and I am now at 236 lbs which is a loss of 4 lbs in March. This isn't bad but it's not good for being 4 months into the new year. My new idea is to more focus on getting healthy and strong and not so much focus on the number. I have started a regular workout schedule of every other day so I am not burnt out. I am doing cardio and weight training and trying to be more active on a daily basis. I see eating as the greatest challenge and need to start being more controlled.

2. Decide where to go to Grad School and apply to all schools considered: I am not doing this after much thought. I am not quite ready emotionally for grad school and really not ready financially as I am really in need of paying some bills down and rethinking some strategies. Overall, this resolution will be dropped from the list!

3. Get into a graduate school in a clinical psych program: This is another one that obviously doesn't apply anymore. I made my decision in February that it just wasn't time as well as rethinking some of my plans. I am gearing toward changing some ideas. Psychology is always going to be the goal but something is leading me toward behavioral analysis and things of that nature. I have also recently been praying about weight loss therapy once I get this weight off. I have always realized my great love for writing recently and feel led toward that a bit.

4. Get a second job that I don't hate and make at least $3,000 a month: I got a job yesterday and it makes plenty of money so I am excited. I don't think I will hate it as it is a great place for me to be. It is not in the field of psychology which kinda bums me out but I look at it as God's will if he took me there so I am trusting that he will bring me through it. Thanks for your prayers!

5. Pay off the Cavie in full and save $200 a month from May on: I haven't paid the cavie off and it won't be paid off until December of this year. I am looking forward to actually not having the loan payment anymore. This should be an easier goal now that I have a new job! I am thinking about paying more every month just to get it paid off sooner.

6. Go home for Britt's graduation in May: I just got this new job so I should be ok to buy a place ticket home for a week to see Britt graduate. The only thing I will need prayer for now is time off from both of my jobs in order to see it and celebrate with my family. I am so proud of her as it's been an uphill struggle. God has truly come through!

7. Pay $250 a month on accumulated debt in an attempt to pay off: I have been doing this the whole new year and it's been so hard. It's going to be easier with the new job. I have a lot of debt which some of you understand but I am working it down and soon to have a better credit score!

8. Handle Student Loans and make sure they are consolidated: I did this at the first of March and it's currently going through the process so I can start paying down my student loans. I am excited about getting one more thing handled.

9. Find a church that I really like and attend faithfully: I have been to church once now in the new year and I am going to Rock Harbor. I am going this Sunday as well so I am trying to build a consistent lifestyle of making fellowship with other believers important. I really need this in my life. Please keep praying!

10. Develop a consistent and healthy relationship with my father no matter what: This is an area I am struggling in. I have been putting the same effort into the relationship with my father but he seems to have let go of his end of the deal. I write emails and they go unanswered for 2-3 weeks and then his emails are shallow and newsy. I have no idea what exactly to do about this but I am working on accepting my father as he is and learning how to have a relationship with him as an adult.

11. Learn something new everyday in 2005 and record those lessons in my blog and journal: I am very proud to say that I do this every single day. If I miss a day in the blog, I make it up by still writing my learning and thankfulness. I am proud of this accomplishment!

12. Read through the Bible for the second time around: I have to be honest, I have not been doing very well on this goal. I have read about twice the whole year. I need to get into my Bible again.

13. Test blood sugar at least once a week throughout 2005: Not one bit have I done this goal. I have tested about 3 times the whole year. I am really hoping to get myself back together diabetically and really accept the disease this year. I am having problems with truly grieving it.

14. Weigh myself every Saturday of 2005 and record in a journal: I have accomplished this every single Saturday this year! Woo hoo!

15.Make sure and tell the people I love that I love them every time I talk to them in 2005: I have really kept this one as well. This is something I value so much and I try to love people the best way I know how. This is something I am doing well at.

16. Maintain good email and phone contact with my friends and family. At least one call or email per week to each person: not doing perfect at this but have done better in the new year. I hope to do better at this. Sorry to those of you feel I am failing you in this respect.

17. Send one random card a month to people I love and let them know what I feel about them: I did this is a new way in March. I actually emailed a friend I hadn't talked to in about 7-8 years and another friend I called who I hadn't spoken to in about 2 years to let them know how I felt about them and burn some bridges! It felt very good. Here comes April!

18. Buy one dress and wear it out in 2005: not yet, not confident in my own skin just yet.

19. Buy a swimsuit and wear it in front of someone in 2005 (non family member): Same applies here.

20. Have at least 2 professional pictures taken in 2005 to document any weight loss: Haven't been able to get new pics yet. The last ones done were in December. Check them out!

21. Maintain web-site well and keep it updated with new photos and news: So far I am doing great at this and maintaining it well. Go check it out and take all of the new polls, view the new pages, and enjoy the memories!

22. Take as many pictures as I can afford to take: I have only taken one roll in the new year and that was all I could afford.

23. Create a scrapbook of all of my pictures and make those memories last: I have started my scrapbook and it's amazing so far. I can't wait for all of you to see it. I have blogged about it a little and it's precious to me. I am excited about my new hobbie. It brings out my femininity and helps me create lasting memories. I am excited about it!

24. Go on a cruise to Mexico with my favorite Boy!: Still working on this...I am hoping funds will allow and we will find time. There is time though and possibly might have to do it in the summer or fall. :( Unsure of how this will pan out. The new job helps. It might end up being a weekend one instead of a week one but either way, it's time with my favorite boy! :)

25. Visit Josh in Colorado during the summer: I am doing everything I can to head out to see Josh. I miss him so much right now as he is in London. I am looking forward to chilling with him and enjoying some us time! :)

26. Finish reading Atlas Shrugged: Can you believe it...I finished it! I finished the book the day before Joel got back from Costa Rica. It was amazing and I feel different than before I read it. It's just phenomenal. I recommend to anyone willing to spend a few weeks consistently reading!

27. Have Carrie out at my place sometime in 2005: This is in the works, I am going to pray that Carrie gets time off and finances to do this. I can't wait to have her out. We have talked about it recently and she seems willing and looking forward to being able to come out.

28. Save money for Christmas to be able to get the people I love something great: Yeah I have a new job so I can start saving once I get my bills caught up and comfy again! I am very happy about this!

29. Pray everyday no matter how I am feeling or what I am doing wrong. Go humbly before the throne of God daily: Although I have failed this resolution, I have learned that it was a bit unreasonable and it doesn't make for a good relationship with God. I have started praying every other day and it's really been effective and something I can hold up. I obviously utter prayers on other days but more so...real prayer time is every other day!

30. Pay off hospital bills in Collections as soon as possible in 2005: Now that I have a new job, I am hoping to get these paid off once I am in good standing with my regular bills. I am so happy that this will start to be a NON issue!

31. Eat breakfast every day of 2005: I have done pretty well on this because I eat breakfast with Chris. On the weekends I struggle with this.

32. Take a multivitamin every day of 2005: This goes along with breakfast because I take the vitamin with Breakfast!

33. Drink 64 ounces of water every day of 2005: I come close to this everyday being that water is my only beverage. I think I come very close to this goal.

34. Work out in some way every day of 2005. This can be taking a short walk, doing weights, aerobics, shopping, etc...but I must be intentionally moving every day: I mostly meet this goal with a few slip ups here and there.

35. Lose 35 lbs at least by May when I come home for Britt's graduation: I have only lost 4 lbs so far and it's upsetting me. I won't be making this goal but one thing is for sure, I will be healthier in may than I was in January!

36. Work arms out at least 3 days a week due to them being very weak: Just recently I have added weight training to my regime and working hard on upper body, lower body, and abs! I joined 24 hour fitness for this purpose. I am not working arms 3 days a week though because they proved to not give me the rest time my muscles needed.

37. Work abs out 4 days a week in 2005. I have terrible love handles: Same goes for this one except I have started to work on these and I am very proud. This is a muscle group you can work daily so I am going to add a few more days a week to this one!

38. Have graduate school application in by February 1, 2005 to Vanguard: Does not apply as I am postponing grad school.

39. Save $10.00 of each paycheck in 2005 at least and place in a savings account in order to develop some savings: Haven't had any money to save yet but now I have a new job so this should one that I can start working on. YEAH :)

40. Record all spending in 2005 to see where all of my money goes. (my guess is food): This has been found to be bills and gas in the new year! GAS IS A HUGE ONE!!

41. Get over Adolfo in 2005 by actually dealing with all of our baggage: I haven't spoken to Adolfo in 4 months which is the idea and have been working through some of the huge things that got in our way and created problems. Today would have been 7 years and it really isn't bothering me as much as I thought it would. Thank God for healing!

42. Have a beautiful V-day in 2005 even if I don't have a date by loving myself: I had a great V-day even though there was no special guy. I was happy and established in my singlehood and 1 year free of misery!

43. Get dental work done in 2005 fixing my broken tooth and possibly more: I haven't had the extra money or insurance to do this yet.

44. Limit intake of red meat to 3 times a week in 2005: I try to stay true to this goal as it's a good one for my health.

45. Eat no pork products in 2005: I try very hard to stay away from pork in any way!

46. Read at least one psychology type book every two months in 2005...totaling 6 books in all throughout 2005: I have read one already and I am currently reading 2 so that is going to be 3 down by April hopefully.

47. Take lessons to learn something new in 2005 regardless of what it is...piano, karate, guitar, drums, etc... whatever comes to mind: Yes, I started piano lessons and although I think it is going to present a huge challenge to me, I am stoked about it. It's hard and will require a lot of my time, I am excited about learning even one song and understanding the notes. I can currently play everything I need to be playing and I am learning so much about music.

48. Write one thing each day that I am thankful for in order to fully develop a sense of gratefulness toward God: I have done this everyday and record this in the blog. It's truly a growth experience to know what is good in my life. (Stay tuned for my learning and thankfulness later)

49. Practice giving others space in 2005 by limiting phone calls and things such as that when I feel I have gone overboard: I have been doing better and better at this. There is one person who I feel I have finally learned enough to understand their point of view and respect it. I love this part of our relationship! I have been doing so well at this and feel like someone who understands that solitude does not equal lonliness now!

50. Use caution and be protected in every case. Don't take stupid risks!!! (you know what this means Erica): I have not taken any stupid risks and still feel very smart about things.

Learning March 31, 2005:

1. The story of Daphne (Greek Myth) has some interesting facets.

2. I never get tired of pita bread and hummus.

3. Taping Starting over is smarter because then I only waste 30 minutes in front of the tube instead of an hour...I fast forward through commercials.

4. God brings things when you need them the most. He is faithful!

5. Getting closure is priceless!

Thankfulness March 31, 2005:

I am thankful because I took an opportunity yesterday to gain closure on something that has been in my heart for 7-8 years. I took the opportunity presented to me by telling someone what they once meant to me and congratulating them on their life achievements that I have missed. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I know God was all over it. I am praying for another opportunity similar to this one and could really use prayer! Thank you God for this awesome chance I had!