Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The work begins.

As I pondered the new year, I have thought of several dozen things I would really like to work on in me. I know that as my years come and go I will find things about myself that are really great, things that need work, and things I didn't even know about. I know I will find patterns that don't work, communication styles that need revamped, and relationships that need roto-rootered. That is the lovely part about only being 26. I was talking today to someone I really respect who is coming up on their 60th birthday on Friday. She is literally one of my mentors, heros, and almost like a mother to me. She has helped God in molding me into the woman I am to become in the long run. She has encouraged me, prayed with and for me, and mostly driven me onto being more than I was raised to be. In saying that, I only hope I am 1/2 as wise as her when I am 60.

I have decided that the new project is to start working on these things one at a time and not overwhelm myself. This means I will take one weakness of mine and blog it to death. I will modify my behavior, work on my emotions that surround it, find out why I do it, and try to overcome it or accept it as a personality characteristic. Sometimes I will have to just accept it might be something I struggle with forever.

The first thing that pops into my mind when I think of my authentic weaknesses is Inconsistency!!

This covers just about every single facet of my life including but not limited to; my diet, my weight, my health practices, my motivation and drive, my academics, my work ethic, my moral obligations, my ethical guidelines, my Bible reading, my prayer life, my church attendance, my kindness in relationships, my friendship levels, my blogging, and even down to my water intake. I know that this is a serious problem in my character and life and shapes me in so many ways as well as adds stress to my life.

My first step to recovery in this area is to really assess where I do this and how I do it. I think I will start in the most important place: My spirituality!

Quiet Time: This is an area where I really struggle. I need to build a habit of first having about 15-20 minutes of quiet time every day.

Prayer Life: This is an area where I do better but only when I really NEED God and not just to grow in my relationship; I am going to commit to prayer each day, there will be no time limit and no restrictions. This is to create a more welcome prayer life as opposed to strict guidelines I won't hold to.

Bible Reading: I am going to commit to the one year bible this year and try to just digest the Bible a little at a time so that I can truly get God's word.

Church Attendance: I have been really horrible about this so I know I need to start at the beginning. I am going to commit to going to church once a month through 2007.

These things are #1 on my list to really try to be consistent in. I want them so badly that I will do anything to build the habits of being in HIS presence. I am going to see if I can just do this and let myself slide on some other items until I get my footing in this most important one. I am not sure this will solve my inconsistency problem but I want my relationship with God to be a priority. I am going to start this immediately so that I can begin to feel strong in my faith first.

I will be reporting on how this is going first until I really learn how to be completely consistent in one area of my life. I will start this tonight when I have some time to myself. I won't be attending church until the new year since I am going to Indiana but the other things are going to be happening.

I really love my blog because it gives me a place to kind of throw everything out and think it through.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Being introspective

Tonight I was sitting in my room reflecting after a good day that turned a bit bad. Today was Anthony's 26th birthday and it went wonderfully. We celebrated with gifts, a movie, a cake, and lunch at Buca De Beppos! We enjoyed some really intimate time together and enjoyed each other's company so very much. We shared some Fettucini Alfredo with chicken, red peppers, and broccoli as well as a sampler of all different kinds of baked pastas and some great fresh bread with olive oil and vinegar. It was an amazing meal with an amazing man. We finished our meal and headed to target to create our awesome greeting cards on the digital picture thing. They are way cute and if you are reading this, you are probably getting a copy. I am very proud of them. We are so happy together and for once in my life, I love back. I am so excited about our future and every step we take together is such a monumental time and an enjoyment.

Later on in the evening, I had someone really violate my personal business. I can't really go into details on here and describe what happened nor who did it, but I can say that I am terribly angered, hurt, and annoyed by this violation. They not only attacked my personal character, my work ethic, and my spirituality but also my relationship with Anthony which is a place where noone is welcome to tread. This relationship is the first thing I have done right in years and I am proud of it, protective of it, and all about being focused on keeping it sacred.

Needless to say, I am a little bit introspective today because when you have a wonderful day, you already just think a lot about your life. I have been thinking about how special it is to be with Anthony. I have been thinking about how amazing it is to look at rings with him, think about the future, and dream together. Also, since this other "event" happened tonight, I have had time to ponder the things about me that this person has attacked. I have been thinking about how I can clean up my character, my work ethic, my spirituality, and my relationship with Anthony. I should say, this person was completely incorrect in their assessment of me but either way, I am hoping I don't reflect any of this. I am really hurting, angry, and tired of this person and their opinions.

Tonight I sat down with my journal and started to think. I wrote down my strengths and weaknesses first. I am really unhappy with many areas of my life just like many people are I am sure. I am also entirely proud of some of the growth that has happened in my life in the last 6 years now. Since a fateful day in my life, I have powered through making changes and really fought against some of the things I was raised in. I have set up boundaries, made good choices, pursued my dreams, accomplished some serious goals, and established a healthy romantic relationship. I want to give myself the credit I am due but some of me is really disappointed in myself and can't stop thinking about the failures that have surrounded all of these successes.

Tonight, I am going to journal a little more and pray over these things so much to see where God wants to take me in this journey. I know I have come far but I really hope there are more places to go. This new year, I am not making resolutions but true and solid goals with steps and plans to accomplish them! I love myself enough to see it and work through it.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Happy Birthday to the man that completes me

Today is my Prince's birthday. Anthony is turning 26 today and I am so blessed to have him in my life to share it with him. I am in love people and God has truly given me the world. I hope he knows just how much I adore him. He makes my life better and more than that, makes me better! I love you babe and Happy Birthday!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A new year on the horizon.

So it's almost 2007! I can't believe how quickly this year went and how many crazy things happened and how many great things happened and how many things I learned. I thought it would be good to start reflecting on 2006 and start looking forward to 2007 and the changes it will bring. I have had a very hard day today that included a job problem, a school problem, and friendship issues. I have no idea why this day happened but I am ending it by being in a contemplative mood about my life and what I want out of it. Here are some things I thought I would jot down.

Things I have learned in 2006:

-- Bigots will be bigots even if you try to educate them.

-- Fighting with someone who is in ignorance is only a way to stoop to their level.

-- Sometimes when you go home, it isn't home anymore.

--Letting go is the hardest part of truly loving someone.

--Losing someone over money is not worth it.

--There are some people who will NEVER change and I must accept that.

--Love comes when you least expect it and when you can't take any more fakes.

--I can wear a dress and I don't look horrible in it.

--I have good features that draw others to me and I won't let people tell me I don't.

--Hearing negative feedback is not easy for me but I would rather hear it then miss the point.

--I was good enough for Grad School.

--There is a diagnosis that made my childhood hard.

--There were a lot of lies given to me about my father and I am happy to get them debunked.

--Someone loves me for me and I don't blame him, I have become someone I am proud of.

That's all I have to say I have learned up until now but I am sure there are hundreds more where that came from. The next list is the things I really want to accomplish in 2007 (ideally)

1. Develop a relationship with God that is completely mine and sort out what I believe and think about Him.

2. Read the Bible through again.

3. Find a church home and attend faithfully.

4. Go to all doctor appointments and accept diabetes.

5. Learn how to maintain diabetes in the best way possible.

6. Lose weight (not a specific amount)

7. Start and continue a work out plan for my life.

8. Eat better (PERIOD)

9. Create a budget that works to get debts paid off.

10. Pay off all debt besides student loans by December 31, 2007.

11. Create a savings account and accumulate at least $1,000 savings

12. Attend therapy for myself and find a couples therapist.

13. Deal with key issues in therapy and start to really be more open and authentic in relationships.

14. Be slow and deliberate in how I love Anthony.

15. Develop close and intimate girl friendships and do not focus on male friendships.

16. Enjoy reading again and really develop a strong literary base.

17. Take up a sport that i enjoy and play it for fun and fitness.

18. Do one nice thing for myself per month that is not about food.

19. Have one date with Erica per month.

20. Do all reading for Grad School and prepare for classes adequately.

21. Create a time schedule for my life that prohibits procrastination.

22. Attend all classes and ask questions when I am confused.

23. Join study groups and be involved with classmates in Grad School to get full experience.

24. Be in close contact with academic advisor, physician, professors, and therapists to create the best learning environment.

25. Find a practicum site that utlizes my talents and also challenges my weaknesses.

26. Pray each day for my relationship, my education, career, job, and otherwise

27. Learn to listen better!!!!!

28. Be more gentle in my speech.

29. Work on taking negative feedback better and accepting it in love.

30. Explore my female side better this year and learn more about it.

31. Learn black history to the best of my ability.

32. Learn at least beginning spanish.

33. Keep up with home life when doing school.

34. Do the best I can with my job for Chris.

35. Be honest in all of my endeavors with others.

36. Be ethical in all that I do, and moral.

37. Start to really allow myself the dreams of a wedding and a future.

38. Make concrete plans for my health in preparing to have children.

39. Be a better friend in every way.

40. Strive to be the best Erica I can possibly be each day!!!!

That's it so far!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


My family life continues to amaze me and yet, not really. Today I got another call from the family saying that my mom has severely lost her mind. I don't think she's ever been ok. I don't think she will ever take responsibility or gain self. I don't think she will ever take care of her truly! I have lost my faith in her recovery but I have gained my faith in my savior to be with me through it.

Today, I went to school and gave a presentation that I didn't think I had the strength for. I presented and I presented well! I am proud of myself no matter what she is! No matter who she is. No matter who she thinks I am! I am coping with the loss of a mother I never had!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Old loves part II

So I was speaking before about old loves and first loves. I was talking about reading and softball so I decided to talk about the book I just picked up a few days ago. I just started a book called "Alentejo Blue" by Monica Ali which was on Oprah's summer reading list. I am about to start the book club list but this book will be first. I have tried to make time this weekend to watch tv, read fun literature, do homework, hang out with the boyfriend, talk with friends, etc... While that is true, I found that I was getting rather lazy about my body. I am eating what I want to eat, not exercising, and not really taking care of my medications properly so tomorrow I am back in diabetic action. I am going to find out about insurance, take medications, work on my eating plan, and work out. I don't want to lose my first love, which is me!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Recapturing my first loves.

Today I was thinking about my first loves. Not the boys that captured my heart when I was young and made it go pitter patter. Not the celebrities like Michael Jackson that had me doing the moonwalk and wearing only one glove. I am talking about the things that I truly enjoy. We all come into the world as someone. We come in with an attitude, a personality, interests, passions, dreams, goals, and desires. We obviously develop these over time and learning things but the thing that mostly I think is that we are hardwired from God as well. I truly believe that I was truly ERICA the minute I was conceived. I am me and I am totally not able to be replicated. I think that this is GREAT and I am happy to be me. I was thinking today that I truly need to get back to my true loves.

Anthony is the love of my life in so many ways. He is a man who makes me blush when he says I am beautiful. He is the man who makes my stomach have butterflies when I haven't seen him for a bit and I miss him and I am about to see him. He is the man who makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts and tears form at my eyes. He is the man whose voice makes me smile just with hello. He is the man who I hate hurting and I am uneasy the minute I do.

There are other loves in my life like my sisters and a love I can't even explain. I want to protect them from everything. I love my friends and I can't even begin to say the things I wish they had in their lives. I love Christmas and traditions of love and gift-giving and carol singing. I love Vanguard and how the minute I stepped on campus, it became home. I love a great breakfast in the quiet of the morning. I love biscuits and gravy and the way they make me full and help me nap. I love a really great sleep that makes you feel new when you wake.

I love a lot of things and the love is different but what I was thinking about getting back to is doing the THINGS I love doing. One of the ones that formed at my mind immediately was reading and good literature. I decided to join Oprah's book club and start reading things that I make myself feel guilty for reading because it isn't school related. I used to escape with books and at the library when I was younger and being abused in my home. Books were my escape. I am choosing today to get back to that and start reading for fun again. I really loved that!

I loved softball so much when I was younger. I would go across the street and throw the ball against a wall by myself just to play catch. I would wear my uniform on days when I didn't even have a game. I loved being at bat and seeing my cleet marks in the dirt. I loved the crack of the bat and the smell of hot dogs from the concession stand. I loved shaking hands with the opposing team and saying good game and heading to the concessions for a snow cone. I truly loved softball. I want to start working on getting my game back by working on my skills again so next year I can join a league.

I loved so many things when I was young and it's a good start to getting back to those things. I am going to start thinking about what I truly and relive those loves yet again while building on them and starting to have new loves like scrapbooking, psychology, organizing, dvd tv series, movies, museums, walks in the cemetary, working out, being healthy, and being Erica!

Thanks for stopping in and reading my rantings.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sickness sucks

I am finally beginning to get over this stupid cold I got right before I left for Indiana. I was getting a scratchy throat right before take off and then I was stuck in a plane for 4 hours with a whole bunch of other germy people. My trip to Indiana was brief but overall ok. I got to see my sisters and my friend Carrie which was great. I missed a few people while I was home that I intend to see in December.

Tonight I was up in the kitchen talking with Richard about a million things and it was heartwarming to realize the family and life I have here. I have this great boyfriend who I intend to marry if he'll have me. I have a great home to live in that is safe and beautiful and lets me enjoy Christopher and Richard as family. I have beautiful sisters who I love dearly. I have great friends who legitimately care about me so much. Overall, I have a great network of people and I am terribly lucky.

I was also thinking about Toys for Tots this year and Anthony and I are starting to think about what Christmas Traditions we want to instill in our relationship. We have decided that each year we are going to go out and buy one girl toy and one boy toy to give to toys for tots for the children who do NOT have things that we did or do have. I have also decided to take Christopher to do this and teach him that value this year.

Anthony and I are really enjoying our relationship and learning so much about each other. We have been together for 5 months and it has been so special. I love him and all the things he brings to my life. We are going to have such a beautiful life together. I can't wait to see where God takes us.

I am going to sign off for the night and try to write more often.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Christmas lights and cards

Well it is official, Erica's holiday season has just kicked into motion. I usually start around Thanksgiving getting excited about Christmas, travel plans, buying gifts, lights, cards, and sharing with family but this year ...I am early. I think that being truly happy in my life has caused this sudden move toward the holiday season. Don't get me wrong, I am also looking forward to Thanksgiving but we don't really "prepare" for that the way we do Christmas. Last night Anthony and I went to Target and picked out "our" Christmas cards, christmas lights, little Christmas tree, and I bought a gift and my new luggage for my trip home. I am getting truly excited.

We came back to my house and put up lights, put up the tree, and watched "The Santa Claus" which is one of our favorite holiday movies between the two of us. Granted, I love every Christmas movie but this is a favorite. Anthony put lights over my windows as well as on our very small tree. I have included pictures for all to enjoy. Sorry that they are hard to make out, it's not easy taking digital photos of lit up Christmas lights.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Aren't they wonderful? :) Anyway, I thought I would just wish everyone a great Holiday season as I begin to celebrate Jesus' birth, family, friends, a great new life with Anthony, my awesome education, my great job, and my health! I am truly going to rejoice in this Christmas and in the New Year to come! Happy Holidays...starts now!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New stuff....

I have this trend of making just enough money for the things I need and always having a giant guilty conscious when I purchase something I truly want. Lately I have purchased things that kind of sit right in the middle of that at things I want and need. A great example is new tires for my car and my laptop. I am enjoying my laptop so much as it helps me get school work done while doing my actual paying job. Chris can sit next to me and do homework and ask questions while I work on papers, research, study guides, case notes, whatever.

This has led me to be very grateful for the strides I have made in becoming an independent person. My life isn't perfect yet and I am not without debt but I bought my lap top and tires, free and clear. It's nice to know that once you pay for something, it is truly paid for. It's nice to know that you can go home and visit family and not be skipping a bill to do so. Financial things are getting better and I am becoming the woman I really want to be with money.

By the way, I should note in here as well that I have a plane ticket purchased to go home for christmas!!!! I am way excited. I miss my Indiana peeps!

Well, I should get off here and do more 8th grade algebra.

-- E --

Monday, October 23, 2006

Good Morning Jesus

This morning on my way back from taking Chris to school, I had a long talk with Jesus. I am overwhelmed with major school stuff, a fairly new relationship, hundreds of tasks around the house, appointments and meetings, presentations and calls, and the list goes on. This morning I just gave it all to Jesus and asked that he would help me to do my best not for all those waiting in the audience but for HIM.

I realized this morning after spinning my wheels incessantly, it really is all about HIM. I care to please HIM in the long run. I care about being a great therapist because it is what HE called me to. I care about being a good girlfriend and eventually wife to the man HE provided for me and wants me to love. I care about doing well at my job because I want to bring glory to HIM in Chris and Richard's life. Where did my perspective go wrong when I started trying to please everyone else but HIM?

I decided I would stop and get breakfast to take care of my body, drink a bunch of water, and take a shot and just get my list together for the day, realizing that it's all about HIM anyway. Time with him is the essential "chore" and should feel like anything but. Have a great day and try to keep your perspective that it's all about HIM!

-- E --

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Have you ever studied something so long that your mind feels like jello? Well, I have. I could care less at this point what the difference is between Avoidant Personality Disorder and PTSD. I would rather just listen to my launch radio and chill for a week or so. I am tired. I am exhausted, anxious, worried, stressed, and overwhelmed. This tuesday I have the privelage of presenting in two classes, turning in an assignment in one class, and a test in another. YUCK!!!

Lately I have been really having a hard time with anxiety. I am anxious about so many things from my next 3 year plans to what to have for dinner and how many fat cells it might put on my thighs! I really need to make a distinct priorities list and start working toward some serious goals instead of letting them get too much of me.

I am getting ready to have a very big week. I have a therapy appointment, a vet appointment to take mimi to, a doctor appointment to take Chris to, a tb test reading to take Chris to, a session with my client, 9 hours of class, 40+ hours of work among some other tasks which are different in nature. These are getting new tires, an eye doctor appointment, getting a new laptop, buying some Christmas gifts, and of course spending time with my wonderful companion in life, Anthony.

Speaking of, those of you who have been praying for Anthony to find some temporary employment in the midst of his search for his goals or dreams...he has a job now for Pavillions (grocery store out here for you Indiana folks) doing the night stocking job. I am fine with this because it's time I would be sleeping anyway and we can spend time together in the day or on his days off. I just want him to be making some money and moving toward his goals.

Well, I should get going as Anthony has constructed a genius level exam for me to take to prepare for my real exam on tuesday. What a great boyfriend I have! Have a great rest of your weekend!

-- E --

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Lifestyles of the struggling and unknown

I discovered over the last few days and even more so today that I can't afford the lifestyle I sincerely want to live. I know a lot of Christians are really picky about how other believers spend their money and to that I say, mind your business. I really like things. I am not materialistic in that if my family or loved ones are struggling, I help first thing. I am not overly concerned with what others have because I like people who are real. The problem is, I like nice clothes, expensive jewelry, acrylic nails, name brands, great shoes, and cosmo magazine. I like to have style and I will spend the money to have it.

I am reasonable in that I don't purchase things I can't afford. I don't buy chapstick until my last stick is gone, that is how meticulous I am about my money. However, I do go out to eat and have great food, order the best wine, and have the largest cell phone plan and sweet cell phone! I plan to one day make the money to back up my more than just these small pieces but I wince to think of what my life will look like until then. I struggle even to pay the bills and then when I do, I feel immense relief. I am going to have so much fun when I do what I love for the money I need and desire. Life will be good. Until then, beans are good for dinner.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Missing people

Lately I have been going through a lot of feelings of loss. I know that this time of year I turn into a bit of a sap because Christmas makes me think of people who aren't in my life anymore but this year, it started early. Here I come, approaching Halloween and I can't take my mind off my grandpa, my grandma, old friends, and lost relationships. I am broken in thinking about the people I have lost due to death, angry confrontations, broken promises, and just plain old loss of contact.

Today, I heard that my old friend (would have been the maid of honor in my previous wedding) is pregnant with a little girl and will give birth any day now. I think in my mind I always imagined being at her baby shower, picking out baby stuff with her, touching her pregnant belly, and loving that child like my own. I don't even know her anymore. I haven't talked to her for approximately 5 years and it breaks my heart.

Then there is Adolfo. We aren't even friends now and it hurts to think about sharing your life with someone for SOOOO long and then not even having a friendship with them. I know it's unrealistic but ideally...I would have loved it. I am terrified about spending so much time with people and investing so much just to be years down the road, weepy in front of my computer and wishing they were around.

Then there are some who are unmentionable where things have just fallen apart due to new relationships and inappropriate contact and my heart aches. It sincerely does.

Anyway, I think that missing people is hard for me right now. Loss is huge and I have to give it time.

-- E --

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The newness and what it presents

So here I am. I am a graduate student in Clinical Psychology. My head is spinning and my heart is racing and my eyes are tired. I have had more reading in one week than I think I had in my whole undergraduate career which is just overwhelming. My profs are really great and the people in my cohort are exceptional as well. I am blessed beyond measure but tired beyond repair.

Dr. Phil was stinkin amazing and I had such a great time going with Anthony. Things in my life are great but busy. I pray I will make time for ERICA through all of this. Updates soon!


Sunday, August 27, 2006

The next phase

Hello everyone and Happy Sunday to you. I hope this sunday finds you healthy, well, and having a restful sabbath. For the last few days I have been in relaxation mode and loving it. I am coming up on my first week of Grad School and I am getting nervous, excited, challenged, motivated, driven, and mostly prepared. Wednesday will be my first class and I only have one until next week. I have Clinical Foundations I on Wednesday and luckily it's with a professor I had as an undergrad student so I am fairly familar with her at least. I have decided that Blogging will need to become a more regular part of my life again as I chronicle what is happening with one of the hugest phases of my life.

My birthday was absolutely magnificent and I spent it with people I love dearly. My friends and I gathered at Dave & Busters and just had a great, fun night together. I was truly blessed to spend it with people who love and care about me and people who are so much fun. Anthony and I just celebrated 2 months together on Friday. We have had a great first 2 months and are really enjoying the relationship and all of the peaks and valleys it creates. I think we are learning a lot about each other and ourselves through this newness. He is spending the weekend with his family and enjoying their company since some relatives of his are in the country from Germany.

On Thursday of next week I get the privelage of going to a taping of the Dr. Phil Show and it couldn't come at a better time the day after I begin graduate school in Psychology. I am so excited about this and it was one of my birthday gifts from my wonderful, gorgeous boyfriend. Work is going very well as Christopher and I start up our 8th grade year together. I am learning all of the things I missed while being a 12 year old idiot and not listening in classes. I found out I know way less about history than I wish to.

My friends are all moving in different directions and doing marvelously. I find they are more and more amazing every day of my life. My friend Nick from Indiana is actually leaving Sept 5 or 6 for Iraq to serve another couple of months in the marines. He was in iraq last year as well and is being sent back. His son Calvin just celebrated his first birthday so I would really appreciate your prayers for Nick to be safe and strong while he is in Iraq.

My family are doing ok but my mom is still recovering from a recent stroke so she needs your prayers to be able to return to work or be allowed disability so that she can survive. My little sister needs prayers for a job while my older sister has just begun being a caregiver for some mutual friend's children. She is making a little money at least to be able to meet her needs. I am so proud of the changes and steps she is taking to be independent.

Today I am heading down to San Diego with Heather to visit her brother, his wife, and their kids. I love her neice and nephew so I am very excited to see them. I was going to spend the day just chillin at the house but it seems I have an opportunity to get out and enjoy my friend so I am jumping at the chance. Tonight I am heading to church and out to starbucks so that should be great and then I get to see my wonderful boyfriend again! :) I miss him already!

Things here are changing and wonderful. Some of that is anxiety ridden and other parts I am just trying to enjoy. There are many changes and many new goals but God has always been here to push me and take me through the hardest journeys of my life. Here goes nothing. Have a great week and I will try to write on here more often.

All of my love,


Saturday, August 05, 2006

The countdown is on.

Hey everyone. Today is only 4 days until I turn 26 years old and last night I was close to a meltdown. I think there are some issues with what I "think" I should be doing or have accomplished at 26 years old. I think that sometimes I forget all that I do have and focus on the things that I do not have. Examples of these items are a husband and a child or children. Today I decided that I am going to make some resolutions for my 26th year. These are things I wish to accomplish and establish for myself before I turn 27. Some of them will be small and relatively easy to accomplish while others are completely difficult and are a personal struggle. For your viewing pleasure...

1. Lose 30 lbs

2. Follow my diabetic plan complete with medications, doctors, specialists, etc...

3. Clean up my eating habits

4. Finish 1 year of Grad School and do it well.

5. Establish a healthy dating relationship with Anthony and treat him with respect.

6. Really commit to a church as "church home" and attend as often as possible.

7. Read through the Bible yet again.

8. Make prayer a daily commitment.

9. Pay of all debts in collections.

10. Get a secured credit card and start repairing credit.

11. Pay back people who have been there for me through financial crisis.

12. Realize how much I have at 26 and not what I don't have.

13. Exercise my body at least 3 times a week.

14. Actually study for tests, assignments, projects, etc...instead of pushing until the last minute.

15. Make my mental health a top priority.

16. Take advantage of health/dental/vision insurance and take care of me!!!!

17. Keep organized, don't let paperwork stack up.

18. Work on my domestic skills (cooking, organizing, etc...)

19. Make a few repairs on my car.

20. Have a date with me once a month equaling 12 at least by next birthday!


Monday, July 31, 2006

New challenges, dreams, and hopes

So in just 9 days I will be 26 years old. I think I always believed that by 26 I would be married and be a mama. There is a saddness that hangs over this birthday because I am nowhere near being a wife or a mother yet. I am a girlfriend and it's hard for me to even say that I am good at that. I adore Anthony and I care deeply for him but I am always scared of the next step and always unsure of my abilities to be a good woman. The things I did in my last relationship made me ashamed to be me. This year is certainly different. My relationship with Anthony is so much healthier than any I have ever had. He looks at me and I melt. He deserves my respect, therefore he gets it.

In just 30 days, I begin my first class in Graduate School. I am so nervous I can barely talk about this without feeling nauseous. I have most things handled with the exception of finances. I have my class schedule, have looked up all of my books on Amazon, have registered, etc... I just need to financially register and purchase my books and a lap top. These are things that I am going to have to rely on God for because I don't have the $1,000 it is going to cost. My dreams are finally going somewhere. My Bachelors felt like such a huge step for the moment and such a small step in the grand scheme of things. This masters degree feels huge to me.

I am just full of thoughts, emotions, concerns, anxieties, etc... today. I am worried about Anthony as he searches for his lot in life. I am worried about our relationship as I start a new phase in my life. I worry about my mom as she struggles to make it while recovering from a stroke. I worry about my older sister as she forges ahead trying to become an adult and do for herself. I worry about Britt as her heart breaks from loss yet she needs to find herself truly in this world. I worry about myself as I start grad school, maintain a new relationship, work 40+ hours a week, attend classes 9 hours a week and try to be a good diabetic.

I just worry! PERIOD. Please say a prayer if you read this. I am stressed.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

5 years......hmmmmm

Well it's been 5 years today since my wedding was cancelled and it's amazing how fresh the freakin pain is. I try to think about this day as the day I was "saved" from divorce but I don't think anyone can convince themselves of such when they have gone through such a traumatic cancelling of their dreams! Today I am feeling sad, angry, annoyed, and mostly just really concerned for my future. I try to realize that Adolfo is LONG gone and so is his cowardice. I try to think that this was all for the best. Still, I wake up on July 27th with a pit in my stomach and the need to punch him in the face!

I am sure that he woke up today and went to work with not so much as one thought as to the damage he did 5 years ago. He probably doesn't even remember the day he took my heart and did the Mexican Hat Dance on it. He is probably completely clueless as to who he hurts and how it affects them. I am sure there is some major sports game on today that will distract him from the idiocy that he did 5 years ago. The video games will take away all of the responsibility of hurting another human so deeply. He won't even comprehend today that he STOLE my dreams and a large sum of money!

Today, I am just going to try to remember why I didn't want to marry that man. It doesn't seem to matter that he is not the one for me. I still feel stolen from! Hmmmmm......I need to get over this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow I would have been married for 5 years! What?????? How did I ever think I was ready then when I am not ready now? What was I thinking? I would have been the worst wife to him and the worst mother to our 57,000 kids! These are the positives to not walking down the aisle 5 years ago. I guess today what I should be saying is "Thank you Adolfo!"

Well, I am done crying now!


Friday, July 14, 2006

Update on life, been MIA for a bit

Hey everyone, Today is catch up day with emails, tasks, friends, phone calls, and the such. I have had a busy few weeks as I have been enjoying my new relationship with my bf. He is great and I am enjoying all the steps that are happening in getting to know each other. Even the growing pains aren't so bad. I have a few new pix that I thought I would share with the blogging public. Here are the pix and the stories behind them.

This first picture is my absolute favorite of the new boyfriend. He is so adorable in it and really looks so sweet.

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This next one is of Anthony at his old job. When we started dating he worked at Grauman's Chinese Theater as a tour guide so this is a cute posed picture of him making an announcement.

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This picture is of me and Anthony standing high above Hollywood looking down on tinsel town! :)

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This last one is a really cute picture of Heather and I shopping before she took off to Russia. See below on Russia details.

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So that's my life right now in pictures. Heather left on Wednesday to go to Russia and work in an orphanage. I am so proud of her and her efforts to become all that God wants her to be. Her mama would be so proud!

My birthday is coming up faster than I expected and will be here in just 25 days! I can't believe it..I will be 26 on August 9th!! Wow!

Anyway, I should get going as I have a million and one things to attend to. I hope you are all well and I am praying for all of you!


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Life is sweet!

Hey everyone. Sorry I have been out of the loop for a while with things going on in my life. The last you had heard, I had just been in Hannah's wedding. Her honeymoon went great and they are back and safe. Just last week I had the distinct privelage of hosting my two friends Paul and Carrie in their first ever trip to California. We went to various places and did various things and I hope they enjoyed themselves.

I am now seeing someone very special and it's going very well. His name is Anthony James Lewis and he is absolutely the bees knees! HA HA I am having a great time getting to know him, spending time with him, and being his girl! I am absolutely blessed to share my life with this man. He is a loving, gentle, caring, God-fearing, amazing man and I am so happy about it!

This is a picture of he and I together, in case you are wondering. This is taken on Hollywood blvd in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater. My friend Carrie took it! :)

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Anyway, that is what is going on in my life. Work is busy, school in in progress of starting, and my birthday is in about a month! Life is good. I will stop in and post more later. Have a great day everyone!


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Frustration in health care..but pushing through.

Hey everyone. I am proud to say that today marks a week and 2 days that I have been a faithful diabetic as far as shots go. I am so happy for me learning to take care of ME! Yesterday I had a day of hell at the free clinic. So here goes the story...I went there at 12:30 for walk in time because they would not let me set an appointment with it being my first time there. I was there promptly at 12:30 with the knowledge that I would have a 1-3 hour wait. I was prepared for that. At about 4:00 I finally got put into a room to see a doctor. That is 3.5 hours already that I had sat in a hard chair in the waiting room. Oh well, it's free right?

Then, I was in the room for 45 minutes waiting to see any face at all before a nurse's aide came in and did a finger stick and asked for some urine. That led me to another 20 minutes or so of waiting before an actual doctor came in. Then, a nurse practitioner came in and assessed the tests and said that my sugar was high (400 ish) and she needed to do an emergency injection. Well, that took another 20 minutes to get together before the nurses aide did the injection. That puts us at about 5:15 or so. Ok, so after the injection the nurse practitioner came back in and said I should return to the main waiting room to wait for the pharmacy to get my insulin together. She gave me a bag of syringes and lancets and nudged me to the waiting room. I sat in the waiting room forever and finally thought I should take a walk back over to the pharmacy area to find out what the hold up was since Chris was still waiting at school and I hadn't eaten since 10 am. I walked down the ramp just in time to collapse and pass out from low blood sugar.

Finally when I was all back to normal, *after 6 glucose tablets and some juice* I was told that they didn't carry my insulin in there. I had waited for nothing. They said they would have to write me a prescription that would cost me about $50. I argued with them due to my wait and of course, the negligence that had me passing out and they agreed to write it off to their account. I angrily took my prescription and the name of the pharmacy and headed out the door. At some point, I lost the prescription and now, I am back to square one. You can be sure, I won't be visiting the free clinic again. It was scary and took me until 6:00 to actually leave which means I was there for 5.5 hours of my day! OUCH!

So, now the idea is to find a low cost clinic in my area that will see me and prescribe insulin and I really don't care if it costs me money because you get what you pay for ..I find. I am a bit nervous about finding somewhere before I run out of insulin but it can be done and I am going to try to do it. Rest assured, I am not giving up on myself again. I am also going to start looking for a place that is affordable for me to get an eye exam and new glasses. As a diabetic, I want to make sure I am not damaging my eyes.

Anyway, things are going well. I registered for my classes so I am on my way to starting my Masters Degree. All is well at home and work (same thing) and I am getting to know a few new gentlmen so that should be interesting. I hope you all have a great day and weekend! Enjoy your thursday!


Monday, June 19, 2006

Catching up!

Hello everyone! Today is a day of catching up. I feel like there are so many things to do around the house, in my life, toward grad school, toward my job, etc...that I am overwhelmed. As I have checked my emails this morning I have a piece of paper beside me to jot down things I remember that I have to do. The list is starting to get kind of long. There a number of things I haven't even paid attention to for weeks that NEED to be addressed. A great example is registering for my classes in Grad School. I start Grad School very soon (August 30th) and I am super excited to become the therapist God wants me to be! I really can't even wait to start on my first class and my first reading assignment. Ask me if I feel this way in year 2? :)

The program should take me about 3 years to complete and believe me, year 3 is looking wonderful. I am really ready to get into my career and start climbing to my dreams. I am also ready for whatever God has for my family. When I say family..I mean husband and children. I really want to meet the man God has for me and establish a family that is healthy and happy. I know that right now, I am just not ready for that. I wish I was but I really think that career is going to be first for me.

Well I should start attending to my to-do list. Have a great day and a great week!


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Kidneys, Weddings, Love, and beyond

Hey everyone. I hope this Sunday finds you all in a restful state honoring the Sabbath. It finds me exhausted, thoughtful, and inquisitive. As I had last posted, I have been having some problems with my kidneys, diabetes, etc..lately. On Monday my friend and I went to the emergency room to get everything checked out only to find that I had another acute infection in my kidneys and that they are taking a nose dive yet again. You may ask me, isn't this surprising Erica? I would answer...not at all. See, when you are a diabetic who doesn't properly care for yourself, you should never be shocked at the news of damage being done. I know that many of you are frustrated with my constant lack of self-care and I feel your pain. I am frustrated with me too.

Since Monday's appointment, I have taken all of my meds including insulin, worked out every single day, and eaten moderately well. I would lie to say that the eating is under control because it isn't just yet. Next week I am working on getting a lot of things taken care of but mostly, I am going to a clinic to get some insulin prescribed plus syringes, looking into buying a new glucometer, and starting up a diabetic program that is more geared toward my life..than my demise. I have tried a number of times before to truly take care of myself regarding diabetes. I have made plans, kept journals, saw doctors etc..and never really stayed true to the plan. I am not here today to make some empty promise that I will care for myself every day for the rest of my life. I am here to say..I am working hard on loving me right now. I am taking steps that are difficult and profitable to heal and be ok with having diabetes.

I am also finding that healing is coming from other areas as well. Yesterday my friends Hannah and Aaron made vows to each other for life. I was honored to be asked to be a part of the wedding party (a bridesmaid) and it blessed my heart to know that Hannah loved me enough to allow me to stand at her side as she said vows, sit at her table to eat with her, and be a part of the most memorable day of her life this side of having children. As well as being honored, I was terrified. See, 5 years ago in July I had a wedding of my own planned. I had the dress, the tuxes, the cake, the dj, and everything else down to an art. I had the whole thing going to the very last single day of my life when my groom backed out. I was not only desperately upset but also mortified. Weddings, needless to say, are not my favorite pasttime.

When Hannah asked me to be involved with the wedding, I said yes without even a second thought as to my own healing or lack thereof. I am glad I did because healing came last night in a small dose. I was in the wedding and I didn't die. I danced and I didn't break. I was in pictures and I didn't collapse. I am stronger than I thought! I truly feel like this is a step in the right direction. Also, I came to a new place by wearing a dress in public. That was one of my 2005 resolutions and I didn't suceed in 2005 but 2006 brought the victory. I looked ok, I think and I tried my best to feel comfortable in it!

Now I say to God, where is mine? Where is the man that I so long for? Where is the man who can honor my intelligence, quirkiness, failures, successes, and beyond? I want to get married and start a family but God has other plans it seems. Please pray that I can come to some sort of peace with that! I wish I could just be ok with today. It's hard at almost 26 and no man who I can honor enough to marry.

Have a great day and Happy Father's Day to my father, your father, and my wonderful grandfather who has been gone for 6 fathers days now. I love you all!


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Brown is a beautiful color

As you all know, I have been writing things I love about California and yesterday reminded me even more how much I love it here. I have some of the best friends that you could ever have. Yesterday, I had to go to the emergency room for some new and fun kidney issues and found out not so good news yet again. I am to the end of my rope of dealing with diabetes and kidneys. I have to start taking care of myself. I was able to be cared for by such great people yesterday that I stand in awe at God's provision for my life. I also realized who my true friends really are!

Today's thing I love about California is two fold. One is that I love my friends and "family" out here. The other is the BEACH! I have added some pix of people I love and of course, the beach! Enjoy

Here is Oscar and Christopher together cute brown boys!

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And the beach....

This one is just from me standing on the beach after I went for a bit of a jog this morning.

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and so is this one...

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This one is my new pet seagull...scuttle! Just kidding, I left him at the beach. (or her?)

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This one is looking down onto the water over a rest point in my walk.

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This one is what I like to call "White with foam"

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This one is a look over to the houses on the hill, kinda dark..sorry

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And this last one is free..a stang I saw on the way home. It was soooo hot!!!!!!

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I hope you enjoyed my California love for today. More to talk about tomorrow. Please keep me in your prayers for good health. Love you all.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Life..taking shape

I sit today in retrospect. I think about how much my life has changed and I am amazed. I think about living in Indiana just surviving and living in California now and really living! I have no idea what changed when I made a move other than getting away from unhealthy relationships but I became a different woman. Today there are still remnants of Indiana-Erica but they are slowly fading away to a girl who respects where she came from but loves where she is.

Today I emailed a resume to a company in Santa Ana called Recovery Assistants Foundation which takes calls from clients and coaches them through hardship. I am hoping to gain a position there as it is good experience, good extra money, and fits my schedule. I start grad school in just a few short months and I am so excited about starting the new phase of my life. It seems that life certainly is taking shape.

I decided today that the thing I love about California is Palm Trees. This one is especially beautiful and is located by one of my favorite breakfast spots. A hole in the wall location called "The Omelette Parlor" in Costa Mesa, California. Enjoy the pic and have a beautiful day!

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

I am a woman who wears many hats!

So today I went out with my friend Heather with a new look for things I love. We decided to go and browse which is just shopping without money. We had some good lunch at the corner bakery and I started thinking about what my "I love California" blog would be about today and indeed it is the shopping. I decided that I love how California's shopping fits every person..young and old, punk, goth, preppy, surfy, etc...and we all fit in. We have so many different styles around us at all times and everyone's welcome. I love that about our beautiful state.

Today I tried on some rad fedoras which I adore. I ultimately enjoy hats anyway but these two take the cake. I'll let you decide if black or white is my color.

The black one....

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The white one....

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We went into a bunch of different stores today and these were the images I captured. I think California is full of style and grace and let's be honest...amazing shopping. To the Irvine Spectrum..I salute you.

Signing off...


California..and how I love it

Hello and good morning to you. I am just doing a few things before my sunday begins. I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. I have been pretty lazy and had plans to attend a bachelorette situation but ended up spending the day with my sick friend Heather. Heather has not been feeling well so we have been laying low. This morning I woke up with a fresh perspective and a motivation to change the way I think. I have been so gripy lately about life and to be quite honest, just bitter. I have been hurt a lot lately and it's made me into a negative nelly so to speak and I don't like that. I hate being negative so I have decided that for a while, I will remember what's good about my life and my surroundings. I am going to start with California in general.

Last night when Heather wasn't feeling well and we just wanted to do small things, we went and got dinner and afterwards my favorite dessert.....

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Golden spoon is a great little frozen yogurt place here in California that has all these different toppings. It is really healthy because it is frozen yogurt and is low in sugar. It also always has different flavors available and my favorite thing about Golden Spoon, it's cheap. Last night mine was free because I had a punch card that was filled up! YAY! I just think that there are some things in life worth talking about and Golden Spoon is one of them. Today, as I live my day...I am going to try to capture something I love about California on camera so you can continue to enjoy it with me. Have a great day everyone and thanks for stopping in!!


Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Miracle Child

Last night I decided to stay in the house and enjoy a few items that make my night pleasant. Those items are a strawberry cosmopolitan wine cooler, kettle corn, and a movie. I had all these movies in my closet that Heather's mom had let me borrow before she passed that are G or PG-13 rated. I enjoy a good animated feature so I popped in "Joseph; King of Dreams." If you aren't aware, that movie is based on the story of Joseph in Genesis. You know, the guy with the coat of many colors. So, I sat in my bedroom eating my kettle corn, sipping on my cooler, and watching Joseph go through some pretty hard trials. I started to think about how my story parallels that of Joseph's.

Now, this is not to say I am a "Miracle Child" or have a coat of many colors or that I have saved an entire land from famine. None of those things are true. The thing that I can see in me though is that what "they" meant for evil, God meant for good. Everyone that reads my blog is fairly aware of the childhood that I endured. Most also know that I am fairly resilient and have done things with my life that one should be proud of. You would find it sad to think that I really don't see the accomplishments as much as I really should.

There is a scene in this movie where Joseph sees his brothers again for the first time. He is angry and just wants to punish them for the things that they did to him. In this moment, he doesn't think about his accomplishments, his new family, or even his new position as 2nd to Pharaoh but just wants to retaliate and spew his anger. How many times could I relate to those feelings? Over a million I am sure!

Right after he punishes one of the brothers by putting him in jail, accuses another of stealing from him, and overall just messes with thier heads...he is finally ready to embrace them and forgive them and realize what God's plan was. In my life, it's very hard for me to just forget and embrace the abuse that was inflicted on me as a child. Joseph was sold into slavery! Why can't I understand that if God made good out of that situation, he can also make good out of mine?

I think that one of the hardest things to accept in my life is that my parents really can never love me the way that I envision parents loving their children. They won't love me the same way that my mentors love their children or the same way my friends parents love them. It's so frustrating to feel that way every single day of my life and realize that for the long haul, I am mostly alone. Then I realize....we are all alone on this journey. We are all individuals searching for the big plan or the main purpose in our lives.

I believe with everything in me that I am one of God's miracle children. I believe that although he didn't stop the abuse that was inflicted on me, he loved me nonetheless and planned to use it to not only bring others healing but to bring me success, hope, and a future. I have decided to put a verse to my calling in God and how much he wants from me in the field of psychology and it is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

After watching the emotional and amazing transformation of Joseph's story, I am reminded that it isn't just an animated feature. It is reality. It is written on the pages of Genesis in scripture. It is a fact that he was abused, sold, left for dead and completely used his hard times to create beauty, passion, and prosperity for an entire land. I am moved and inspired by Joseph's story today. It's sad that I had to be reminded with the animation instead of the words in scripture but God will take the lesson anyway I get it.

I am ready to start storing up my grain and bringing my "land" some prosperity. Thanks for reading my lesson for today. Hopefully we are back to having our eyes open and learning things at every turn. Have a great weekend and God bless you all!


Friday, June 09, 2006

My last weekend and on to this one!

Hey everyone. Today is Friday, Thank God and everything that is holy! This week has been a long one of new projects, new responsibilites, and new emotional trauma. The blogger website has been acting up for a few days so today is my first opportunity to write about my very relaxing weekend *last weekend* and a few other choice topics. First of all, let me tell you how we have a porta pottie in our front lawn. I know that is random but there is a good story here.

We are in the middle of a huge landscape project of our entire front lawn, driveway, etc... and it is a mess. We have been under construction for 2 months and it looks like it's going to be even longer as our yard is a giant dirtpile. I have spared you the carnage but since the porta pottie has a purpose in this story, I have included a picture below. I have noticed that people use porta potties in people's yards. I have had two different people come into my yard and help themselves to our facilities shall we say. Isn't that strange. One of them is a very close neighbor. Why isn't this man attending his own bathroom I wonder? The other was a teenager walking through. I have no idea what these people are thinking when they meandor into my yard to use our toliet *in our yard* Oh my..anyway, here is the pic!

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Ok, so anyway, last weekend was my only weekend in June that I would truly be able to relax and enjoy so I did just that. On friday night me and Heather went to deidrichs just to kick back, have some Joe, and apparently listen to some mexican music. There was a live little band in there creating some fun tunes while we enjoyed our Mayan Mochas. Here are a few pics from that.

Here is Heather thinking hard about life...

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Here is one of the overall environment and a small peek at the band in the corner.

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This one is special. This is my Mayan Mocha and the plate which one held the delectable Raspberry white chocolate Crumble cake or something like that. YUMMMMM!

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Ok, so on Saturday I went over to Heather's house and we went swimming. Yes, I enjoyed a relaxing day in the pool with Heather and a few other loved ones and we had a blast. Most of my day was spent with the cutest 3 year old that you could ever know and enjoying our attempt to not be scared of the water. It was a lot of fun until some stupid girls *teenagers* decided to drop the "F" bomb in front of cute little Jayden. NOT OK! I told them so though and man, I hope I wasn't that disrespectful to elders and my environment when I was younger. I can guarantee you I wasn't!!! Oh gosh, I am officially old to have just ranted about that.

On Sunday, I went to church, crown class, and then enjoyed the day with Heather shopping at good old thrift stores where there was some cool finds like the cool brown pumas I bought and a great Gap bag. Yes, did good for my $20. I love finding great buys and feeling like I am getting something new when I am not really. Budgets stink!

This week has been ok. I spent one day with my favorite guy friend Oscar. Here is a picture of him (cute as it gets).

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I have severed some bad situations and spoke my mind and have been getting ready to be in Hannah's wedding. Oh man, this weekend is her bachelorette party and it's so weird to see one of my own totter off to the marrying field yet again. When is it my turn? Oh, I need to give up on that dream. Next weekend is her wedding so that is why my last weekend had to be relaxing with all I had to do the rest of June.

Also, big news, my friends *Carrie & Paul* are coming out to visit the last week of June for a few days and I couldn't be more excited. I love them both and it will be great to see them and have a little home come to me! I love you guys and I am stoked!

Anyway, to end my post. Here is a face I have been making a lot lately...I am exhausted and overwhelmed and just frustrated at the world around me. This face says "SHUT UP!"

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Goals and aspirations ...indeed

I sit today in awe of how much stress is going on around me and how I used to get all caught up in the conflama! Conflama = Confusion and Drama. I don't engage in it anymore. My house has been pretty hectic the last couple of days with Chris and his being 13 years old. We are having so many problems with him lying, cheating, not completing assignments, bailing out, etc... and it's so frustrating. I should start by saying that Chris is very much ADHD and a lot of these behaviors stem from that but a great deal also stem from good old puberty I am sure. I have a very hard time remembering my junior high years and it's very hard for me to empathize with Chris a lot of the time.

Today a friend of mine was also involved in losing a great deal of money by robbery. I am so sad for him and really feel horrible about his loss but I also can't engage in his anger or frustration. I used to think that being a great friend was allowing yourself to get 100% pulled into the mess and I have learned that living stress and drama-free is so amazingly better for everyone involved.

I have so many goals and aspirations in my life that I recently recognized that I have to get back on track with them. I have to really dig deep and decide what it is that I want and start to really pursue that. Some of them are going to be harder than others. Some of them I can't control and some of them I can. Some of them are realistic for now, others are realistic for later. Mostly they are all important to me and need to have some attention directed toward them.

Lately I have allowed my vision to be fogged. I have allowed others to get in the way of my real desires and also have allowed the things I can't control to control me. I have a tendency to get into those places and never let go but now I am recognizing that and trying my best to turn my gears toward the life I want for myself. I decided to blog my top 5 desires today and really make a committment to me to start to make steps daily toward those 5 goals and blog/journal on them daily or almost daily.

Erica's 5 big desires:

1. To become a successful therapist/professor/writer/etc... *to be successful in my psychology career*

2. To be a healthy individual in every aspect *Spiritually/Physically/Mentally*

3. To have great relationships with family members *if possible*, friends, and romantic interests

4. To become completely financially independent in the sense that I have no outstanding debt and pay my bills on time and in full.

5. To become a wonderful wife, mother, and overall woman

These are goals I should be moving toward every single day in some way and that is my new focus. I have so much to live for..I need to start doing it.

I love you all!


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My Memorial Day post!

Hi everyone. I didn't have time to write yesterday as we were in the car for 6 hours coming back from Nor-cal. I spent the weekend up north so it was eventful and also quite sad. Heather's mom passed away on February 19th so a lot of the weekend was spent in remembrance of her. It was a great weekend either way. We were able to go out on the boat with friends and really relax and enjoy our time. I thought I would write about two people who I really respected and who have passed on today in honor of Memorial Day.

The first one is my grandpa, Bus Briscoe. He was the most amazing man I have ever known and truly showed me love in a way that I never knew it before. He was honorable, hard-working, smart, and sweet and made me into the woman I am today. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have even eaten somtimes. I love you and miss you papa!

The second one is Heather's mom, Sherrie Short. Yesterday we were able to go and visit Sherrie at her gravesite and spend a bit of time there. Here a few pics of that

Sherries Grave

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Heather at Sherrie's Grave

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Sherrie was like a second (or first really) mom to me. She really cared about my life, prayed for me, appreciated the good things about me, and encouraged me in all of my endeavors. Even moreso, she was an amazing Christian woman and phenomenal mother to my friend. We miss you Sherrie!


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Just all kinds of stuff

Hey everyone, this post is going to be a hodge podge of different things that have been going on in my life. You all know that I was responsible for taking care of a certain turtle this past week and I wanted to finish up Arnold's photo shoot first. He is magnificent and although my time with him is through, I think we bonded. Here are the last photos of him so you can enjoy!

Here is Arnold as I presented him with a rose, my gift to my little guy.

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Here is Arnold digging in to his delicacy.

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Almost done....

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When he is done eating, he basically just turns and walks away! Ha ha

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So my week with Arnold went very well and he really relaxed me and I think made a point about my life and slowing things down a bit.

This week I have also started reading a book called "Women who love too much" at the suggestion of my therapist. It's really good so far and I am enjoying it. I really think I needed to read it. This weekend was filled with fun stuff and unexpected events. On Friday I did something I have needed to do for some time. I had a relaxing evening at home for the most part. I ended up studying with Heather at Denny's for a bit but mostly just stayed home and chilled.

Saturday morning was a great surprise as I got to have breakfast with a great guy and we went to Tower Records together also. We had a good time although our time was short. I completely honor the moments he has and really respect the time he puts into me. Later in the afternoon, I supervised the installation of our new marble living room floor. It is absolutely gorgeous and I hope you all get to see it. Thanks to David and Enrique for doing such a marvelous job!

Saturday night, Heather and I had a great dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory (one of my personal favorites) and then headed to a Karoke bar to watch her friend Mike compete in a contest. He did a great job and really put effort into his performance. Some of the performances were really funny. Mike did "Shameless" by Garth Brooks and wore a cute cowboy hat with I sported at one point in the night. (See below)

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Sunday was filled with Church, a personal finance class, lunch at the Olive Garden with a friend and then off to work. Richard is out on business this week so it's my personal duty to care for Chris and the home. I am excited to have some time to run things a bit but also I really appreciate when Richard is around. He is such a great boss!

Tonight I got to see Hannah and she seems to be relatively calm even though her wedding is not even a month away. I am in the midst of finishing up details of being a bridesmaid for the first time. I had a fitting for my dress this week, will order shoes on the first, will plan out all other things and be happy happy happy for my friend!

Overall, things are really going well. I am learning more every day to be myself and let people love me for me! I have much to offer to the right people in my life. God has such a distinct call on my life and it's time I lived worthy of that calling. Have a great day and I hope you enjoyed the blog and pix!


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Arnold, the calendar turtle

Gosh he is cute...enjoy

Here he is on the move and man is he speedy for a turtle.

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Here he is eating his yummy lettuce close up!

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And far away....

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And finally..smiling for the camera (yes I am obsessed)

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He makes me smile so much. Today was an interesting day in my growth. I tried on my dress today for Hannah's wedding and I am getting excited about being able to put on feminine clothing and not feel out of place. I am hoping I will feel 100% confident at some point but today was huge because I reached about 40% confident. Yipeee...I am becoming a girl.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My New Boyfriend Arnold

For those of you who didn't read my last post, first of all, Shame on you! Secondly I am tortoise sitting this week for friends of mine who own a beautiful tortoise named Arnold. He is my new boyfriend. I figure it's a great relationship because he is always glad to see me, comes with a home, and eats out of the palm of my hand, literally! I am in love with him peeps! I thought I would tell you all that I have spent a day with him and he's amazing and that I will be seeing him again today and that I have decided to add pix of him today! Enjoy his hottness!

Here he is first peeking his head out of some greenery to say hello!

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Here is one where he is eating a beautiful rose and thinking of me! lol

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Have a great day everyone!


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Erica's adventures with Arnold

Hi everyone. I hope you are all doing well this beautiful Saturday. I have had a very eventful day considering my life is pretty boring 99.9% of the time. Today in Southern California it is so beautiful that I got myself a cute little sunburn which usually isn't my cup of tea but oh well. I am very happy with how the day went and all of the healing and changes God is bringing about. This morning I went to an event that I might not have attended a few years ago because of lack of confidence. I know you are all thinking..."Erica, not confident?" but it is so. I went to hang out at a Fireman's Pancake Breakfast to meet up with a friend of mine (kind of a blind meeting) and it went very well. We, heather and i, stayed for about 3 and 1/2 hours and we enjoyed our breakfast, a live band *lol*, and the company of some attractive Fireboys! YAY!

All of this ended at about 1:30 when we got on the freeway to get to Anaheim for Hannah's bridal shower. If you all know Hannah, she is marrying the best man in the world for her, Aaron on June 17th. I am honored to call myself a bridesmaid in this beautiful wedding. The shower went very well and it was really great to see Hannah get excited about her big day. Overall it was a great time and included chocolate covered strawberries which are my personal favorite!

Things in my dating life could be better but you know, you have to date a billion frogs before getting your prince sometimes. I have dated my fair share of really great men and really big frogs and let me tell you..I will be so grateful when I finally meet my prince. Until then, I am having fun with some frogs..I prefer if they are turtles though.

Speaking of turtles, my life for the next week is going to be so exciting because some friends of mine are going out of town and have asked me to guessed it...turtle sit. They have a tortoise and I get to take care of him while they are gone. I am stoked! His name is Arnold and he is amazing. I am very excited and will probably write about our adventures over the next week.

Well, I should close this post and put some lotion on my horribly burnt cleavage..yep, bad place for a burn. I love you all and thanks for stopping in.

Much love to you!


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

An officer and a gentleman

This post isn't about the movie from the 80's with Richard Gere so no fear for those of you who got a little nostalgic. Today I am writing about the new man in my life. Most of you know that I have been single for approximately 2 years with the exception of a few weeks in February that don't even deserve my attention. I am still very single but at the point in my life where I truly appreciate it and what it did for me. I have learned so much through this singlehood that I could never have learned attached to a man. I am now ready to be in a relationship of some sort and just really enjoy it at the pace that it happens. I think before I was always in a hurry and it made things really rough. I know that I have done my fair share of bad relationship acts and so have the other men in my life but that is over. Today, I am enjoying my dating relationship and really appreciating the man in my life.

I am not going to spend a whole lot of time talking about the man I am dating just because he is a police officer and must maintain a certain degree of discretion but I will say this...He is amazing. He is kind, gentle, passionate, driven, successful, organized, loving, protective and my personal Mr. Fixit. I call him a variety of names but most affectionately...Officer Hottie and Officer Dreamy! I am proud to be dating him and it is simply that...a very happy Dating relationship.

I am enjoying my acceptance into graduate school and just having a personal celebration every single day. I want to just mention also that two of my very good friends, Heather and Josh are graduating this weekend from Vanguard University with their Bachelor's Degrees. Heather's is in Liberal Studies and Josh's is in Business so I am proud of them and know that they will go far.

I guess that is the news for now. I have started a new process with my therapist and I will open up a bit about that once we are into it. Have a great day and hug a policeman today! :)


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The light at the end....

For a while in my life, I have been walking through a dark tunnel. It's been over the past couple of years of remaking myself and really trying to be someone I can be proud of entirely. I can't say yet that I am proud of everything I do but then again, who can? My life is starting to take more shape as I try to deal with some of the bigger boulders in my life. I did a post some time last year when I started a book on boundaries where I talked about my boulders in life. My boulders are those issues that are huge and I needed help carrying them until they are more manageable. Most likely I will always struggle with these boulders but they will be much easier for me to handle.

I have come to a place where my main boulders are my family, my weight, my finances, and my personal relationships. I have worked on each of these boulders extensively and there is much improvement but really they are taking more and more shape as the more recent days have passed. My family and I have really established kind of an understanding. I have boundaries that are in place that can't be moved. I know that my family never REALLY intended me harm but because of our past, the levels of boundaries have had to change. My weight has been a struggle for years and it is slowly being less and less of one each day. My finances is something I have just started to work with and feel very proud of the steps I have taken to be a financially responsible young woman. Personal relationships are obviously not something you can master in a day or even in a lifetime because people come in and out of your life but I am doing much better with females and dare I say...males.

The big news that I want to share on here even though most or all of you will know that I was accepted into Graduate School on April 21st. I am so very excited about attending at Vanguard and starting my life as a Therapist. I spent some time last night deciding my schedule and clearing my day off with Richard and it looks like everything is a go. I am nervous about finances for it but God is good and always provides for my needs.

I am also enjoying the company of a certain male these days and that is going very well. I am appreciating him and learning about him. It's nothing serious or anything and I am going turtle slow as usual so life is good.

Well, I should get going and attend to my 4 billion tasks for the day. Have a great one and be blessed!


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Friday, April 14, 2006

Seeing the best in people.

So I am going to write about good qualities in people even when there seems to be some things askew as well. I know this guy, we'll call him "Big Bird" for the sake of keeping his identity secret. He is laughing right now because that is a great name for him! Anyway, he has done some questionable things in my life even to the point of hurting me but something keeps him right inside my heart. He is the sweetest, most genuine, adorable person I have ever known. I adore so many things about him that I thought I would write him a little LOVE letter today and make it public so he knew I was serious!

Here are things I love about "Big Bird"

1. He has the most adorable smile I have ever laid eyes on.

2. He has the sweetest touch that God could have given anyone.

3. He is generous

4. He is kind and compassionate

5. He is loving and sweet

6. He makes me laugh (go in there and give her a little Carne Asada)

7. He is very particular

8. He makes my heart melt when he calls me gorgeous or Mami (oh my, did that give him away?)

9. I like how he kisses me goodbye on the phone

10. I like how he cares about my whole life.

I could write a billion things I love about "Big Bird" but overall, I just like that for the most part, his heart is mine! Love ya sweety!


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Struggles, hardships, happiness, and growth

I haven't posted since April 7th for a number of reasons. On April 8th, it was 6 years since my grandpa died and I really used that day just to chill and kind of not talk to anyone. I miss him so much and every year that passes really only feels like minutes. The rest of the time since I last wrote was really hard because my family is going through something, I am struggling making ends meet, and people are running in and out of my life. What is going on? I need a repreive. I need to feel happy for more than a nanosecond. Please God, bring me some sanity and help my family!


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Baby Steps!

You always hear people say that the best way to accomplish a task or change in life is "Baby Steps." Well I have been giving that some thought. I was thinking about when my little sister, the love of my life, Britt started to walk. Hilliary (older sis) used to sit Britt on a chair and have her get up from the chair and take a few steps where Britt would collapse into whomever's arms were there to catch her. It was the cutest thing with her cute little diapered behind and big blue eyes. (She hates me right now LOL) So anyway, instead of sitting and being sad that my little Britt is 20 this year...I started to think about how that applies to life really!

So the first thing is that Britt had to have a firm foundation (the chair) to start with. I think this is the same with us as people. We have to establish a firm support system or a safe place to fall so to speak. I have done that in my life by surrounding myself with friends and mentors who can support me and come with me on life's journeys and offer a helping hand. This support system has to be people who are in agreement with your personal goals and life plan. It also has to be people who are healthy themselves and want that for you. It has to be people who have no jealousy in your sucesss but just want the very best for you. I have a great chair underneath me! :)

The next thing that I noticed is that Britt had to have a place to start (just getting out of the chair) This is the same in the real world too. You have to have a starting point. I will go ahead and speak about this in terms of my financial plan. You have to start by having a plan of what you want to do. For me it's paying off debts, making a budget, and starting a savings account. Britt just wanted to get off the chair to start and that is what these first steps are all about.

The next thing Britt did was take a few small steps on her tippy toes. (She walked like that for some time before she started running and being a holy terror) Well I compare this to taking a few metaphoric steps in your life and doing it safely. For example, in the financial world, meeting with a financial counselor, taking a class on budgeting, or perhaps seeking wise counsel from your support system.

The last thing Britt did was she fell and she would fall hard into the person's arms directly in front of her. Well, we all fall on the way to our goals. Some of us fall harder than others but nevertheless we all fall. My lesson here would be that we need to be able to fall into our Father's arms (Jesus) when we have fallen and have him help us get back on the chair and take a few more baby steps. I think we get too excited and want to WALK too fast and that is when we have to go back to the baby steps.

I hope you all enjoyed my little story about my Britt Butt today and decided to stop running and take some baby steps to change your life. I certainly am. Here is to a healthy new Erica!!!!

Friday, March 31, 2006

I can't believe my own growth.

Do you ever sit and think about where you have come from? I sure have this last couple of days and really feel proud of myself today. There are a number of areas where I have changed and every one of them is a huge step in the right direction for me. I have certainly had moments of taking steps back, pit stops, and downright falls but overall the last 3-4 years of my life have been times of enormous growth. I should probably note too that in 3-4 years from now, I will think the same thing about these years. I am nowhere near where I would like to be in life but I am at least taking steps to get there.

Well it's Friday and of course, that sounds like Heaven to me! I get another couple of days to sleep in, do things I need to do, relax, read, listen to music, and NOT work. I like weekends but even more than I used to just due to being alone. I used to hate being alone and it sounded like the last thing I would want to do. This weekend, I am excited about just Erica time. I am excited about cuddling up in my bed with the fan on me and reading a great novel or something I have been wanting to get to. I am looking forward to organizing my room and cleaning out my closet. I am looking forward to watching a romantic comedy alone with Kettle Corn. I am looking forward to hanging out with my friend Heather on Saturday and just doing something fun and relaxing. I am looking forward to writing in my journal about my growth. Most of all, I am looking forward to prayer walks and reading my Bible. I am just looking forward to the weekend, period!

I went out with a very close friend yesterday who has been with me over the last 3 and 1/2 years of growth. He and I had some lunch and went for a walk in the park. I can remember 3 years ago when yesterday would have been a whole lot different. I can remember when I would have been a different woman and one that was not in any way healthy! I also remember how much I required of him before and now, it is simply a friendship and it's a good, healthy one. I can go another 3 months without seeing him and hanging with him and I would still feel loved. I have never before been able to feel that.

Also, money is a huge area of growth right now. This week I, for the first time in my life, saved money. I handed some money to a friend to hold on to for me until I have enough to set up an actual savings account and I am so excited about the possibility of becoming a financially healthy woman. I have taken great strides to also pay down some serious debt in the last week. I am proud of myself in these areas. I am seeing a credit counselor for the big stuff next week so please keep praying in this area.

I am really seeing so much growth in myself and feeling great about what God and I have accomplished together! :) I love all that is happening within me and value myself more everyday.

I love you all and thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Fatherly advice and how that feels

I have always had my heavenly father and for that I am immeasurably grateful but father figures in my life have not always been a great area. I had one of the greatest grandfathers that a girl could ever have. He was a phenomenal person as well as a wise mentor. Recently God has restored my faith in fathers. Not only am I getting to know a new person who IS a father and a really great one but I also work for a great father and am developing a relationship with MY great father. I am proud of myself and my dad right now. Recently my dad and I had a talk that will literally change the course of my entire relationship with him. I am so happy that we had this talk and although some of the things I heard were disappointing or hard to hear, they were truth and that is what I have always wanted in my life.

This morning I woke up with goals for myself for the day. I was heading to the bank to make a deposit, mailing out some bills, making some decisions, and looking into my options for becoming a good financial manager. I am so proud of the changes I have made just over the last 2 weeks in my financial life. I am going to repair the damage that has been done to me and the damage I have done to myself. This is a huge part of re-parenting myself.

Today I talked with the bank about my options on SAVING money. See that is a concept I have never known about. My family always lived paycheck to paycheck or even worse, credit card statement to credit card statement. Living beyond my means was the only way I knew how to do things. Now, I am living below my means and it's comforting. I like the feeling of saving and I like the idea of actually caring about my future. I want to purchase a house (condo or townhouse) in Southern California and I need to start planning for that part of my future.

The reason the blog's title is about fatherly advice is that I am seeking financial advice from not only MY father but also Richard, my boss. He is very intelligent with his money and I knew he would know the proper steps for me to take to make my money work for me and create a nest egg for emergencies and my future. It felt good to have FATHERS to go to as well as of course, my Heavenly Father!

I am also really hoping that I can learn the discipline of being financially faithful in my walk with the Lord. I have started to get back on track with that and really have a plan of realizing that what is given to me is just that..given to me from Him!

I would ask that you pray that I can stay consistent with my financial plan and figure out how to dig myself out of this hole and become a responsible, financially sound woman! Thank you so much for stopping in and God bless you!


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Blogging..not sleeping

Hey everyone. It is literally 4:00 a.m in sunny Cali and I can't sleep. I would go into why I can't sleep but let's just say I wasn't aware that a medication I took had caffeine in it and since I NEVER partake of caffeine, I am wide awake. I have read my bible, journaled, did my budget, and a million other things since I should be sleeping. Oh well, I guess the blog will be the next task.

So I recently made a decision to change some of my financial habits and it is such a rewarding decision. I made the decision that I would spend the very LEAST money I can and start applying every single penny possible to my debt. God has already rewarded me and multiplied what I have. He is so faithful. Why do I forget that at times?

A friend actually gave me a huge monetary gift today and it was not a loan. They were giving it from their heart out of love for me and it was quite touching. I am applying every penny of that money to pay for my car. Cavie will really be mine very soon. Don't worry, the blog will be the first to know! This is such a huge accomplishment as I am the first in my immediate family to purchase a new vehicle myself!!!

I am also noticing that my gas tank is fuller, my bank account has money left at the end of two weeks, and I don't feel as much anxiety when I am being faithful with my finances. I know that God has called me to tithe, save, and pay debts. He has not called me to squander or live a life of disobedience.

I also am happy to report that I am back on the weight loss wagon in a sense. I have not made any eating changes (except no fast food) but for the last 2 nights I have worked out. On Sunday I went and took 2 walks. I took one in the day at the beach and the second one at night on the Island. They were both so great. Today I took a walk on the Island and then worked my arms out with weights. I am proud of myself. I really would like to drop at least a little weight before Hannah's wedding.

Have I mentioned that I am a bridesmaid for the first time in my life in June? Hannah has given me the distinct honor of being one of her bridesmaids. I am amazingly touched and to be honest, surprised. I have never REALLY been close enough to a woman to be in their wedding. I have never had that healthy of female relationships but with God's help, I am growing.

Something pretty disturbing has been going on back home. (I know, you are shocked!) Someone in my life has really held some serious resentment, grudges, or something against me and continues to talk about me as if we are still 16 years old. The sad thing is, I want the very best for this person and want them to really grow and realize that YES...I was a horrible person at one point in my life but I no longer am. I truly pray for them every single day and want them to come to a place where they realize the hurt and pain they are causing not only me but themselves.

Therapy is going really great. I am re-parenting myself on a daily basis and finding that the things I really missed are things that I can work on now and teach myself. I can also get these needs filled in other ways and really develop a healthy relationship with my parents as adults who probably WON'T change.

In sad news, April 8th will be 6 years since my grandfather passed. I miss him so much and as I journaled about him tonight, I realized how much he truly influenced my life. I would appreciate prayers surrounding April 8th and just how I can honor him this year and really grieve him the way that God intends me to. Also, please pray for my family who are all grieving him as well.

Well, I should get off here as I need to be under some blankets but I DO love you all so much and I pray the very most over your lives. Thanks to my special friend who gave me such an enormous gift today. You are precious!