Thursday, December 30, 2010

Out Like A Lamb... In Like A Lion

I figure on the last day of the year it may be important to write my blog for the month. I will write something superb in January. I am typing all of this on my i-touch in the guest room at Nate's parents house. Needless to say, the typing is a bit difficult!

Today I bought my wedding dress! It is a huge relief to say the least. I got it for 200 less than what I thought it was going to be and I know there was some serious divine intervention. Anyone who knows me knows I tend to stress a bit. Bless Nate and his learned patience towards me. He has been extra wonderful during the wedding stuff, and makes it go by so much smoother. I love that man!

In traditional style, I will be shouting out this years new resoloution. This upcoming year I have pledged to myself to be less negative. When I am awake tomorrow and have a laptop I will tell you all about it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Two posts in one month... what has happened to me!?

So I have been wasting an inordinate amount of time tonight on worthless youtube videos and looking at dresses that wouldn't cover an ant... Does no one believe in making a wedding dress that covers anymore!? I believe I have a severe sleep deficiency lately, and I am hoping if I write all my thoughts down I will be able to fall asleep.
If you have ever been engaged, or will ever be engaged soon, this post is for you. I believe once you have a ring on your finger it chemically alters your brain. Maybe Nate bought me a band with lead in it and it is affecting my brain. I'm not sure, but I have not been right ever since haha. This is my public confession and apology for Nate, who puts up with my craziness. Tonight, I literally burst into tears telling him how I am sad to leave my family and move out in a few months. I also had a tantrum a couple days ago, during which I basically asked him to bring me cake, and when he told me he was bringing me a brownie, I demanded cake or nothing at all. And because He is probably so afraid of me at this point, he brought me the cake. Poor man. (I blew those stories a little out of proportion, but if you talk to Nate he will most likely say they aren't far off). Anyone who knows me knows I don't do well with huge sudden changes, and in trying to have this perfect wedding day I think I am stressing a little too much. Seriously. A wedding is one day, and I realize during this process that in the grand scheme of things the only thing that will really matter is that we will be married. Sealed for all time and eternity together. That realization was the first thing that brought me calm all day. I am so excited for that day. Now that I have worked through this dilemma, I believe I will go to bed. I am getting married. I will be living with a boy. We are going to be so happy. Who would have thought?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Insist On Yourself; Never Imitate

It is November. There are a myriad of things going on, making me believe I should probably write more than once a month. So for the update... I AM ENGAGED! I know... I didn't think it would ever happen either haha. But finally, I tricked him into it and Nate and I are getting married April 23rd. Best. Day. EVER. It is crazy how life works out sometimes.

Lately I have been reading books from a list of 100 classic literary works, a list I have been reading since I was 14. I set no deadline to finish them, I just saw the list one day and decided to do it. So I was reading some of Emerson's essays to finish another reading on the list and I fell in love with his essay Self-Reliance. The man is brilliant. So I wanted to share two of my favorite paragraphs in the essay that really hit me. (And then in classic Erica blogging form, I will explain how I feel it personally applies to my life.)

Emerson says:

"Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dare not say 'I think,' 'I am,' but quotes some saint or sage. He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose. These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God today. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts: in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less. Its nature is satisfied and it satisfies nature in all moments alike. There is not time to it. But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time...

Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person has exhibited it. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? Every great man is an unique. If anybody will tell me whom the great man imitates in the original crisis when he performs a great act, I will tell him who else than himself can teach him. Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned thee and thou canst not hope too much or dare too much."

I think the nice thing about falling in love with Nate is that I never tried to make it happen, it just did. In dating Nate, every moment along the way has felt perfect in its existence. Our four years of friendship. When we both said I love you. Now our engagement. I feel like these things were all perfectly placed in my life. In general I think we all worry so much about what we are meant to become or where our lives will take us. We worry what others will think, or we try so hard to be a certain way, that we forget to just be ourselves. To be the fabulous beings God intended us to be, and to be satisfied in being such. When we just let life happen, without trying to force it along or make it something it was never meant to be, we see this beautiful masterpiece coming together we never could have created on our own. Emerson asked the question, "Where is the master that could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton?" and I feel blessed that I know the answer. The Master. When we stick close to God we are instructed by Him to become the person he would have us be. He teaches us to hone in on the talents He gave us and then teaches us how to use them to further His work and to better those around us. When we let go of trying to be something or someone else, and "do that which is assigned thee", we are not held back by fear or perceived limitations. We dare to dream. To branch out and fulfill our destiny.

This year has been a journey of trying to figure out how I find myself, or my life's calling. The real purpose for my life. And although I have yet to figure out what it is, I finally found out how to discover it. I think there are all sorts of people, places or things that lead you to where you belong, but for me, I feel like I understand them best when I stay close to what I believe. God provides me with those specific things I need to help me find my life's passions and purposes. And in those moments, I feel at peace. I don't feel the need to be a rose, I feel content just being a seed for now.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Suite Life of Erica

So as I answered the phone for what seemed like eternity yesterday, I had a man call in and tell me about his life living in a hotel. Now, I have seen the Suite Life Of Zack And Cody, but besides that and the movie Two Weeks Notice, I know of no real people who live in a hotel long term. (Okay and maybe Nadia when her family was moving to the US... but besides that, no one.) Even though it was a touch unprofessional, every once in a while I feel the need to humor these people who share way more information then ever necessary or desired. And here is what I learned: If you live in a hotel, they have long term rates that can be cheaper than living in an apartment. They clean your room once a week, supply your shampoo and toilet paper. Can we say continental breakfast? I'm just saying... sweet life indeed. I am pretty sure you have to be a crack dealer or a pimp to redeem this offer, but I didn't get to ask the buy about that stipulation of the contract. On the surface, it seems like a pretty good deal though. And then I realized... I already live this life. Except I don't pay anything... and I didn't have to be a crack dealer or pimp. My parents are simply amazing. I know that soon enough I am going to have to leave my suite life for new adventures, but today I. LOVE. IT.

More to come soon... I love the fall. Going hiking next week, eating some DELICIOUS apples, and seeing the yellow and orange leaves fall from the trees. After four years in Idaho, I learned to love cold weather fashion. And flannel pajamas. I believe I will snuggle back into my bed now and take a nice little mid morning nap. Good night.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Nose In Need Deserves Puffs Indeed

It's 8:22 AM. I have been up for a couple of hours now, wondering what I am going to do all day today because I called out sick from work. I have this terrible cold, but I see it as a blessing in disguise to have a moment's respite from life's hectic pace. I have already had a plethora of things run through my mind as to what I want to write in this blog. I think about writing all the time, but usually feel too guilty I am not doing something more productive and abandon my one hobby I have tried so hard to keep up with. So to update you on my life, I may be sick today, but I feel an overwhelming sense of happiness and contentment. Not because I have everything figured out in my life, but because I am surrounded by love and friendship and beauty and have had the common sense lately to open my eyes and enjoy it. I have been having these moments where it really hits me how lucky I am to have wonderful friends, a loving family, wise people who inspire me and never even know it, a job, a dog, a brain, a bed, and so much more.

I came to this conclusion at the beginning of this week, after a bit of a slump last week. As a women, I feel it comes so easy to not feel good enough. To feel like we disappoint others and ourselves constantly. I struggle with feeling I can do so much better and falling short of doing it. Friday, Nate, Tiff, G Sauce and I went to Southpark Regal Cinemas to see Eat, Pray, Love. I have wanted to see that movie since I first saw the preview. And although the movie fell a bit short of my expectations, there was one scene that hit me profoundly. As Julia Roberts is talking with her Texan mentor on the roof of the ashram in India he tells her she needs to forgive herself. I find forgiving others generally comes easy for me. I don't know what to do with emotions like anger so I generally try to push them out of my life quickly. But forgiving myself is like asking me to climb Everest. If any of you have ever heard me go off on my Everest tangent, I apologize... to make a succinct point we will just say Everest to me seems like a waste of time and you must be insane if you want to risk your life to freeze your buns off and look off of a mountain for five minutes. But after thinking about it, I have realized that Everest may be one of the most grueling challenges on Earth, but the sense of accomplishment and the beauty you must see from up there must be such a release.

If we could learn to forgive ourselves for not living up to the insane standards of the world and realize what makes us wonderful, what a release it would be. To let go of not being pretty enough, smart enough, good enough and start realizing we are, we may thereby accomplish one of life's most daunting tasks: Acceptance that with God we can do all things, but He may not require them all of you. I always feel like I need to be a five star chef, grammy award winning singer, Ansel Adams, and world's best person, but I don't think that is what God has in mind for me. I can cook meals that are edible, sing on key half the time, take pictures that allow me to remember something beautiful, and try and excel in all that I do and that is enough. Will I try to be better? Of course. But from now on I am deciding that until I perfect my scrambled eggs, its okay if they are a bit rubbery. Isn't it the little idiosyncrasies in people and events that make for the best memories? Find joy in the journey every day. If not, you are missing the adventure.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It is almost September and I am obligated to write something in this blog before the month ends. It's like visiting teaching. I want to slack off, but that ever constant pang of guilt coerces me to do something before the end of the month. Time has flown by lately, which is an oddity in itself since most days at work feel like weeks. Nonetheless, as I look back on things lately, I realize how intricate my life can get. We, the people living in 2010, may be some of the craziest and busiest people to ever roam the earth.
If there were a picture to describe how the neurons and synapses in my brain fire, somedays I believe it would be an empty room full of cobwebs. Other days it would be like JFK airport (only not so dirty). So many changes have happened in the past few months, and a few days ago they all just seemed to process for me. It was like I forgot I was living a life. My life. And I have just been watching it all happen. Like JFK, I seem to get a little backed up in my thoughts, and there are occasionally some major delays. Through the monotony of job, boyfriend, sleep, repeat steps one through three 22 workdays out of the 31 days in a month, we forget how good we have it. Like that I have one of the funniest, most fabulous families on the face of the planet. That even when I don't see some of them but once a year or so, we can pick up where we left off and know if either of us needed anything, we would be there in a heartbeat to help out. I may have the best boyfriend in the whole world, who indulges me by feeding into my childhood fantasy of being a princess because he treats me like one every day. And I have probably taken much more than I have given from the relationship in the past and he has not once complained or stopped giving. My friends provide me with daily laughter and enjoyment and constantly remind me of who I am and cheer me on. I would say life rarely goes as expected, but God has been so good to me.
I am ready to go to bed, so I better wrap this thing up. I'll share an insight that struck me this past week. I was driving to church on Sunday and I had barely begun driving when I noticed the most hideous turkey buzzard eating some poor creature who must have had some rather poor luck the night before. This buzzard, to describe buzzards in Virginia terms, looks like it got straight beat with the ugly stick. They are big, and bristly, and all around nasty creatures. Not to mention they wait around to eat off of dead or dying creatures. Essentially they prey on animals who have already had a rough enough time. As I passed it thinking it must be one of the ugliest creatures in the world, I had the thought pop into my head... it may be the most ugly creature on the planet, but God loves it. It is a buzzard, it takes advantage over others, it is an insignificant, ugly as sin, bird. And God is mindful of it and loves it because it is one of his creations. Some days I don't feel like I am much better than a buzzard, sometimes I feel better than it, and somedays I feel like I am it, but God loves me. And He opened my eyes this week to so much. He helped me understand that even when we meet people who are like ugly turkey buzzards to us, He still loves them and expects us to do the same. Not just tolerate them, or pass them by, but to love them right on back. After finishing the book Mockingjay this week, I have just thought how much this world needs a little more love and kindness. And I am so grateful that this week I was finally able to see all the love and kindness I am surrounded by. When the whole world seems to be going crazy I am so glad that I can be grounded by the support of those around me. Thank you!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Darcie's Getting Married!

This blog post has nothing to do with that. It was just a ploy to get her to read my blog and a thought I was having at the moment. July has been busy. If I hear someone bug me one more time to write a blog, he will have to bring me a substantial amount of rainbow cookies and flowers to get out of the dog house he will be in. I am sad I have not been keeping up with this thing like I should. I have had so many good ideas about what to write, and not enough hours in the day to write them all down. But in an attempt to not write a novel this post, I will get to business.
Last weekend, CDENNEKD^2 all got to go up to Palmyra, New York to see AB. (I have short handed the names in traditional style... if you don't get it... don't worry about it :p ) Ash Bash was in the Hill Cumorah pageant in Palmyra, and seeing as she was playing Mary, we felt it appropriate to make the 9+ hour trip to see her. The pageant was awesome, but I really loved going around to all the different LDS church history sites. I went to the Sacred Grove, Joseph Smith's home, Hill Cumorah, and the Palmyra temple. It was an awesome experience to say the least. For those of you not up to par on LDS church history, we believe God and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith in the patch of woods now called the Sacred Grove. I can't imagine what it would be like to walk through Jerusalem, because going to the Sacred Grove you could just feel the importance of the place. A short distance away was Joseph Smith's frame and log home. To REALLY condense a lot of facts, there were two houses on the site. A home that they built when they had first arrived in Palmyra so they could begin their farm, and a bigger house that they could actually all fit in. After much sacrifice and struggle, they had built a decent home, and were kicked out of it due to some shady dealings and a poor growing season. There is a quote outside of their nice home that they were only able to live in for a short time. When I read it, it hit me hard. Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph Smith's mother said this as they left behind essentially everything they had put their sweat and tears into:
"I now give this up for the sake of Christ and salvation and I pray God to help me do so without one murmur or tear... I will not cast one longing look upon anything which I leave behind me."
WOW! I hope I will become that person one day. What determination! No more "what if's" or wishing I could go back. Its comes so natural to want to go back to a place in life we knew and were comfortable in. Its easy to long for the past or obsess about the future, but I applaud those who know how to live in the moment. I think I am slowly learning to do this. To close my eyes for a moment and put a strand in the Pensieve (thank you Harry Potter... I am awaiting your two part arrival with anticipation). I guess the muggle world would call it meditating. Lately I have the need to close my eyes, take a deep breath, and feel the calm, happiness. For me it is to feel at one with God. For others, perhaps it is the universe or yourself. But there is a definite need to become grounded again in something. Whatever you believe in or whatever you do, you have to find that inner peace. A refuge from the chaos of life. That's what writing helps me to through and find the inner peace. Chocolate lava cake helps me do that too. I will go get some now and stop this blog. Good Day.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A total ECLIPSE of the heart...

Oh... what? Eclipse comes out on June the 30th? No, of course I do not have a mental countdown until I see it at the midnight showing. Or maybe I dooooooooooo. But seriously, I don't feel like there has been any hype about this one at all. Not that it matters, because I am hyped for the third installment of the Twilight series to come to the silver screen. Why you ask? Well if you must know, here are the top three reasons why I LOVE TWILIGHT!!! Number 1: Most people can relate to some part of the story 2:Because no matter the age of the woman watching, they all still giggle when Jacob takes off his shirt... hilarious! And 3: BECAUSE JACOB TAKES OFF HIS SHIRT!! Arrrrooooooogah! Haha. Anywho. Back to the point of this blog. There will be some kind of deep thought now. As I was laying outside watching the moon rise above the trees tonight and enjoying some much needed peace and quiet, I had time to think about some things. Nate dropped by the house while I was laying out there and asked me what I was doing and what was on my mind. I don't know about the rest of you, but I rarely wish to share what is on my mind (and no it is not because most of the time it is inappropriate... or maybe it is...haha). Expressing myself is much easier in writing, and generally when I do this I keep my thoughts to myself. This blog is the only big exception to that rule. But I think a lot of the time I don't share what is on my mind because I don't know if other people will get it.
For those of you who have been living under a rock and have not read the Twilight series, Edward (Bella's main man and mindreader extraordinair) cannot read Bella's thoughts. But at the end of the last book, Breaking Dawn, she finally finds a way to allow him to do so. He gets to read her mind, therefore truly understanding what she means. What people wouldn't give big bucks to be able to do that?! How much easier life would be if we were able to see things from other people's prospective.
Getting to the real point of what I was thinking about, sometimes I wish people could really get what I am trying to say. Not just get it, but that they would be able to experience something the way I do. A complete understanding. As I sat on the back deck listening to the deer traipse through the woods and looking at the stars, I felt like I had some profound thoughts. But when I tried to tell someone else about them, they did not seem quite so profound. I felt silly for thinking such simple thoughts were so deep. But truly some things in life you can never understand until you experience them for yourself. Some moments in life are so beautiful and so unique to you personally it is impossible to describe them adequately. No picture does it justice, no words are eloquent enough to describe it, and nothing truly seems to capture what you feel. I guess that is kind of how God's love is though. That's how truth and intellegence seems to affect us. I try to explain it constantly to people, or show them, but until someone experiences it for themselves they will never quite get it. I wish that I could just have people understand me or something I am trying to explain... but I guess until I become a vampire I will have to put that on the back burner. So, to summarize... sometimes I wish that people could just be in my mind for a second so that I wouldn't have to explain myself. I can write much clearer than I can orate (even though after reading this I am sure half of you have no idea what I am talking about), and maybe I will just start using a Speak & Spell for all my conversations with other people. The End.

Monday, May 10, 2010

And Not A Minute Spent To Think That We'd Regret...

A shout out must first be made to Alisa and Rachel. It was so nice to hang out with my darlings tonight. Not that I don't love the rest of you, but there is just something about your girls from high school, ya know? They've always got your back and they get you. I love not having to explain myself to someone. So to A and R, thank you!! You are just what I needed this week. And thanks to Brianna for reminding me that I have a blog haha. I am back in business.
Something has been grating on my nerves lately and it must be brought up. Why must everything in the world be fake!? Now I will admit, some fake things I really enjoy. Anyone who has talked to me in the last week knows that I LOVED my spray on tan. Other fake things I enjoy are knock off designer clothing, fake engagement rings, and white Michael Jackson (though I loved him when he was black too). But lately I feel the imitations are getting out of hand. We have created such a fake world these days it is difficult and nearly impossible to tell what is real. Give me almost anything these days and I could tell you something that is a fake replacement for it. Usually these fake things start out as something little and then escalate into something bigger. I will explain by using something that used to be one of my favorite topics... food.
In the beginning of time, people ate what was on the land. We were nomadic scavengers. We got a little smarter and domesticated some animals and plants and finally we could set up a permanent residence. We realized how much work this took, so we looked for a way to simplify and make things a little easier. Lets skip most of this history lesson and get to the point. Today, how many people know what real food is? I personally eat way more freezer meals a week then I would ever want to admit.
If you were a child growing up today I believe you may not know that meat bought at the store came from an animal. Ask them how sugar and flour are made. Would they even know they are made from plants? This seems ridiculous to some of you, but try to go a week without eating something processed and you will see how impossible it can be. We are so accustomed now to the processed, ready to eat meals that it is no wonder our country is so obese, this is all we know now. I went to the Farmer's Market here last week and someone was selling bananas with the Dole sticker still on them. Seeing how it is April and I live in Virginia, I am pretty sure he didn't grow those and would be willing to wager his name isn't Bob Dole. Could he not grow some lettuce or other plant to bring to the table? Searching for fresh produce in Richmond is a task. There are few places you can buy whole foods and fewer people attempting to grow their own food. We let the artificial things take over so much we almost lose control of what is real.
So I would let you all know, I am sick of the counterfit. I am sick of the world telling women they constantly need to be whatever they are not. I'm sick of society telling me if I have this item or that outfit I will feel good and be happy. I don't understand how anyone can figure out how to live life these days through all the false messages being portrayed. There is so much crap and it is so easy to step in it. ( Sorry if that was an non-ladylike way to say that..) I legitimately don't know what I would do without the guidence of church leaders and things I have studied out myself. I don't know how people can function without it. I get so lost every day in the craziness of the world, that I don't know what else could keep me grounded.
So as I always do, for those who haven't caught on and are tired of reading my mega long posts, I will summarize. I need to beware of those things that are fake. I am going to remember to look for the genuine things and not be afraid to sacrifice for them. I know they will be worth it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Weezer Says It Best

So I have been having a bit of a dilemna lately. Isn't that how all these blog postings start? It's called, I am really sick of working and wasting my life on my job that bores me to the point of not knowing whether to attempt slitting my wrist with the plastic spoon in my drawer or not. (I did watch a documentary about prison the other day and prisoners who can create deadly weapons out of plastic utensils... but that is another blog post for another day.) Weezer sums it up well in the song Troublemaker. "I can't work a job like every other slob. Punching in and punching out and sucking up to Bob. Keep it on the up. I'm never giving up." Okay so I am not suicidal and I dpn't even have a plastic spoon at my desk. I have used them all for my contraband oatmeals in the morning. Work is not that bad, but I never know whether to scream, or cry, or throw up out of sheer disgust for my job. I can hear my mom saying in my head right now... Don't put so much energy into what you don't want, it just attracts it to you. Well I can't work more than 40 hours a week, so hit me with your best shot universe. But seriously, how do people do the same thing every day? Shift work is the most utterly ridiculous thing ever. I get so bored with the same thing every day. I know we have to have money to do things like eat, buy clothes, and provide our necessities, but I think I would have been happier in the olden days, farming, sewing my own clothes, and reading books and visiting with people for amusement. There are so many cool things we have the opportunity to do now that we have not had in previous times. Like traveling the world and making friends that are miles away. Or eating strawberries all year round. Taking a hot shower whenever we want or flushing a toilet. Awesome stuff, but I think I could give those up. My electric toothbrush on the other hand, I may have a rough time letting go of, or air conditioning... but anyway. The point is, I just don't get it. What's the big deal with money? What do I need it for? This capatalistic system we set up forces me to make money to feed myself and have a roof over my head, but what worth is it to me if I don't get to enjoy my life? I sit in an office, can't even see the outside all day long, and am too tired to go do something I enjoy afterwards. Doesn't this seem like a waste of life to anyone else? Part of me wishes I could feel comfortable with all this monotony. That I could be satisfied with doing the same boring thing every day. But I am not. I am searching for an escape. For some fun and adventure. If I didn't have such wonderful friends and family to take my mind off of how much I dislike 5 out of the 7 days in the week, I sincerely believe I would go insane. If I'm not there already. Aren't we here to have joy? I think I need a little more in my life. I know this means I need to look around and be grateful for all the things I have... I have a tendancy to say 'thanks for all these wonderful things, but...' and I need to be better. It's not really being grateful if you are still wanting more. So I will start a gratitude journal. That is the point of this post. Darcie says my posts are way too long or intellectual. So for the sake of my sister, now that you read this whole dang thing, I can wrap it up in two words. Be Grateful.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I know what I know, you know?

I first and foremost want to express gratitude in my blog. For a God that answers my prayers, however silly and insignificant they may seem, to people who act on those kind passing thoughts that cross our minds. Lately the little things that have been weighing me down lately, even as I have really thought about them, have seemed insignificant. I wonder why I am so caught up in these little troubles I have when other people have such bigger issues then me? But all of us have those little moments where we make a mountain out of a molehill. Last week I got to go see the play Wicked for the second time (LA cast was WAY better, but it was still awesome), and I was inspired by it. Elphaba, aka the Wicked Witch for those who have never seen the play, is misunderstood. She does what she thinks is right, and is made out to be a wicked and evil person. We all have decisions to make in life, and regardless of what anyone else thinks, you have to make decisions that are right for you. Even if everyone else will turn their back on you, when you know something for yourself, you must be true to yourself and do it.
So the new lesson being learned lately is, you know what you need to do, so go and do it. I think part of the beauty of life is that our lives here on earth are entirely our own. No one can act for us. We get a chance to create whatever we want to out of our lives. Whether we waste it or live it to the fullest, we get one chance to live here on this earth and this is it. We can't let the fear or disapproval of others stop us from doing what we want to do. Or from doing what we are called to do, if you believe God has a plan for each of us... which I do. Is it scary to go against what everyone else in the world wants/ expects from you? Absolutely. But I have learned recently that even if I am going to be alone in whatever my endeavors are, it is better than settling for mediocracy or someone elses expectations. So I guess my suggestion to anyone reading is best said by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Don't let fear of failure discourage you. Don't let the voice of the critics paralyze you — whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside. YOU are a great power for good."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oh yeah thats right... I have a blog!

So I have been slackingon one resolution. But staying pretty constant for the others. I have decided to write in my blog how I want and not try and come up with something cool. Whatever is on my mind... I will write it. Today, we talk about boredom. How I am getting so bored with my job that I am struggling to stay awake on the phone. I know you aren't supposed to write about that on your blog cause they will fire you for that kind of thing these days, but I assume they already know I hate my job for two reasons: 1) I answer a phone all day long 2) I told my boss in my 90 day evaluation I would rather clean the toilets then be in that cursed phone room. So I started a new hobby at work. It is called think of the most random thing possible and then try not to laugh too hard when you think about the time you ripped your shorts open when diving for a football at a high school graduation party. My mom told me I should find something to look forward to each day so I am looking forward to trumping my last funny thought. Which I defintely trumped today again after I told some lady I was going to go streaking outside the hospital because it was so warm outside. But I seriously have been craving something more lately. I am too tired to do much after work, so I feel like I get nothing done. I am trying to get motivated to accomplish something. I am taking Wednesday off next week to have an Erica day. I am undecided what I will do with a day off, but am generally very excited about the idea. I am pretty sure this day will include my long awaited hair cut and color and perhaps a little trip to the store to buy some new makeup. I have not been doing much with myself since I left school, so I have decided that even if there is no one to look hot for, I should still keep myself looking decent haha. We'll see how that goal comes along.
On a sweeter note, I am thinking of hosting a bake sale. I think that little things like these are the small things that can help to make a difference. Any takers on helping me out?
And the last way I am trying to help my community is by participating in the CASA Superhero Run. The proceeds of the 5k go towards child abuse awareness. I am pretty sure my Mom, Dad, Darcie, Brian, and I are going as The Incredibles. I am pretty amped. Pictures to follow. For now... off to bed. I will write something with substance later. Good night.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ham or Eggs?

I wanted to write this out tonight because it popped into my head on the way home from the night's festivities (aka watching New Moon at the Byrd- yay!) and it kind of describes where I am at in life. And yes, I do realize that every time I post it says something to that effect... believe it or not, I am constantly thinking about something. Such is the life of being a woman, but I the thought has popped into my head this week, how committed are you to things Erica? After watching New Moon, no viewing would be complete without a debate about Team Edward or Jacob and of course I am torn between the two. They both loved her and were committed. But relating this to a quote from Grey's Anatomy, who was the ham and who was the eggs? You have to be one or the other.
I have had many instances in life were I had to choose to be ham or eggs. If you are eggs, you are a chicken. You provide the eggs, but you still remain a chicken. You are still bringing something to the table, but not as much as you could be. But if you are ham, you can no longer be a pig. You are forced to sacrifice the pig for the ham. So what kind of person are you going to be, ham or eggs?
I am sincerely trying to be better at making big sacrifices and being fully committed to things. Whether it is social outings, being a better friend, or the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I hope to be the ham. We can't stay a chicken for too long without losing out on big adventures in life. Nothing in life is worth it if we do not sacrifice, and I hope those of you surrounding me will help me be a better ham and not settle for laying eggs the rest of my life.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Not At All How Things Would Appear

It has been on my mind today that often times things are not at all as they would appear. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, "Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see". I think you can interpret it in many ways, but basically he is saying we do not see the object or thing which is casting the shadow. How often we miss the big picture because we are limited by our own vantage point and perceptions. What seems to one person a kind gesture may be interpreted as an insult. We judge on preconceived notions before we understand the situation.

In my life recently I have been presented many things that seem like they are trials. From difficult people, death and more, I have recently felt like things were not working out at all how I would have hoped. I have also realized I have not really been quite myself lately. My Mom has really been telling me to start noticing the positive and to picture what I want for the future. After all these crazy events that have been happening lately it has kind of shocked me into doing something different. So the message for today is to see and look for the positive things around you. Seeing the negative comes naturally, but as I have been working on seeing the positive again, the world has transformed around me. Blessings seem more abundant than before and my days have become happier.

I digress from the point of todays post though. I must keep up with my nonprofit blogging. I was reading an article about the consumerism side of nonprofits and although the article was poorly written, it makes a good point. To have a successful nonprofit you have to evolve and stay with the times. Like any business that has been around for more then a few years, if you want to stick around you had better be able to keep with the times. The article gives Chanel as an example. They have been around for 100 years and the reason they have had success is because they have learned to keep their fashions trendy and in with the times. They have been able to consistently keep the hype up about their company which has allowed them to stay thriving for years. So how do you keep a nonprofit thriving with the ever changing world? You will have to keep it trendy, or find things that capture people's hearts enough to get them involved. So that is my nonprofit thought for the week. As usual I have posted the article for your reading pleasure.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Radical And Newer- Erica Dawn Nalder

So today I was playing with an anagram maker after reading about name anagrams in a Family Fun magazine. For all of you who did not pay attention in elementary school, an anagram is a word or phrase created by rearranging letters from another word or phrase. So for example, Erica Nalder = Anagram= Rad Reliance. I wanted to think up a cool pen name if I ever wanted to write a book or something, so I decided to come up with some anagrams today. I was feeling lazy, so I let the computer do the work for me, but the results made me chuckle. A lot of them sounded like stripper names. Some of the ones that really made me laugh are as follows: Wanna Lace Rider, Candied Rear, Rear Lace.... so I guess if I ever want to earn the big dollars workin the pole, I've got it made.

On to business though... this snow has been unreal. I kind of love it though. Rexburg did some kind of strange damage to me, because as much as snow shuts things down in Virginia... I love seeing it. But even though I love it, I haven't been outside for more than 30 seconds in the past two days. But I have spent some quality time with my favorite girl friends! Maya and Layla love to wake me up in the morning! Ever since Brian moved back in the house, the girls spend the weekends here. Its a bittersweet moment for me to wake up to the sound of my babies opening up my door. We watch a little bit of a movie until they complain of being too hungry and then we will go downstairs and I will pour a bowl of cereal or make some waffles!... I have to save this... the girls are getting buckwild... be right back.

As I was saying, I love my girls! They drive me mad, but goodness knows they brighten my day and fill my life full of life and love. I am no where near the point in my life that I would be getting married or having babies, but when I think about it, it seems like a heck of a lot of work. But even though it is crazy work, I think it is going to be great. But for now, I love having my little women around and getting tos hare in the joys of caring for a child while keeping my figure for now haha. I would write more, but I have already saved this 4 times... Later.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

This is your brain...on not enough sleep.

So disregarding the fact that once I moved home to Virginia I have not been able to sleep in past 8 o'clock, I have made sure to get around 9 hours of sleep a night. The past few days, that has been thrown off and with only 7 hours a night I feel tired! I am getting old... once I turned 22 that 9 hours became more important. I think I am stockpiling for the future should I ever have a family of my own and will never sleep again (know the feeling Chelsea?). Anytime I am on a schedule though, my body will wake me up a few minutes before my alarm goes off and I refuse to get out of bed before that happens. So I am left to ponder important questions like: What will I wear today? Should I put on makeup? One slice or two bacon this morning? But occasionally I think of other things too, such as: What am I going to do with my life? Am I headed in the right direction to get where I want to be? (Laying in bed...probabaly not haha). And so on and so forth. Something that has really been on my mind lately is a dilemmna I think a few of us have struggled with. You may have a slight variation, but the thought is the same. God, I feel like I am living my life the way you want and I trust you, but how am I supposed to become who you want me to be here? I will explain.
I have been trying to knock out reading the entire Holy Bible so I can be better versed in the scriptures as well as crossing it off of a list of classic books I am reading. In Genesis 37, the story of Joseph begins. (For all of you who aren't too familiar with the Bible... this is the Joseph featured in the play Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.) Joseph saw in a vision that he would be a great ruler over many, including many people who would generally be ruling over him. Joseph felt he was meant to be a leader. And after some seriously rude and tricky business, Joseph makes all the right choices, and he still gets thrown into the big house (aka the clink, the slammer, or prison). If you've read the story or seen the play, you know Joseph gets out of prison after quite some time and goes on to be a very important leader in Egypt. But during all this, don't you think he may have felt a little discouraged? My media law professor Casey Hurley spoke about this one day at a devotional which I have posted the link to.( To the point. As I am here in Virginia answering approximately 200 phone calls a day in a cubicle... I feel I have a right to say... its kind of like prison. I feel like God has much more for me to do so how is answering crazy people's phone calls going to get me there? The short answer is, I have no idea. But that does not change the fact that God has a plan for me and I need to stop worrying about how it will work out. I believe it is human nature to be uncertain about the future, but stop worrying about it! So there is a life lesson I am trying to keep with me. And now I will put in a brief plug for an organization all of you know I love! The LDS Church! I will say they have impressed me the most in regards to any organization for service. 100% of humanitarian funds go to humanitarian needs. They are always right on top of things and one of the first organizations to respond. I want to have a business that runs like that!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Erica Blogging, Take Two.

So I have decided to retry this whole blogging thing and I am determined to actually write in it this time. I don’t know what has happened, but the New Year has brought new inspiration for me. I feel like I just woke up and it is time to do something more. I have booked up my schedule and have started to undertake some new things to feel more accomplished as well in the meantime. I am now taking belly dancing on Wednesdays with my mom and aunts, training for the Monument 10k in March, and playing basketball on a church team. Also, I am working on my books reading list and volunteering to help with Interfaith Council whenever I can.
To recap, I have gone from not going out at all and being a hermit last year to being entirely too busy haha. But I am really excited about it. I really miss writing, so this blog will get me back into it. I realized many people blog about something that they like… fashion, saving money, sports, etc. As I was reading my friend Gretel's blog the other day (hobbieswithG), she talked about how she was jealous of how other people can have these crazy obsessions that keep them busy, but she could never find anything to keep her attention for long amounts of time. I felt the same way! But as I was thinking about it, it hit me... I do have an obsession!! Ever since I can remember I have felt I needed to do something to make the world a better place. I have a love for nonprofit organizations or anything business I feel contributes to society and I don’t think a day goes by that I have not thought of how to create the best business model possible for a nonprofit-like business. The point of working to me is first to provide for yourself, then to help others. But anyway whomever, wherever, or whatever inspires me… I will write about it. And this week it is:
**Mama’s Hot Tamale Café in Los Angeles California**
Sandi “Mama” Romero and the Institute of Urban Research opened a restaurant that has helped more than 1000 people by employing them at the Café and allowing them to take business courses as they are employed there. The manager of the Café said it best, “What we try to do is bring them back inside from the informal economy—making foods at home, selling them on the streets—into the formal economy”. By doing this they are introducing people into the work force and giving people a hand up not a hand out.
I am a big believer that most people only need something to help them along their way for them to succeed. “If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” So the important lesson learned from Hot Tamale Café, it helps others while also being a profitable business. And that is all I have time for. I need to go grocery shopping. Good night.