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January 31, 2012

SAG Awards 2012

There were a TON of dresses at the SAG awards.


tiny floral and cutouts... No thank you.

I just really don't like this one.

... No.

It's summer already? No? January? My bad.

This reminds me of a dress from the 80's... In a bad way.

Robes are red carpet worthy now?


Not Great, But Not Bad

 This is OK. Not her best, not her worst.
 Age appropriate. I'd wear it.

Not too sure about the spiked collar. 

This looks like a bridesmaid dress... A Jim Hjelm to be exact. 

 Seen it.

 Love the color. Hate the bow/crazy thing.

 I don't really like all of the gathering.


Now That is What I call 'A Dress'

So adorable. I love it!

Pretty Pretty! I love the color and the simpleness.

I really like this dress.

LOVE IT! so classy and still sexy with the lace sleeves!

Very nice! 

Love the color. Love the daring neckline. It's different and I like it!

We all know how much I love vintage. 

She looks Amazing!

 My Favorite of the night. The modest neckline and sexy silhouette.
Plus, Jayma is so freaking adorable!

January 30, 2012

I Was Tagged

My lovely blogfriend Darby tagged me in this little questionairre. 
I'm posting it. 
I'm tagging people. 
(I love you!)

The rules:
1. post the rules 
2. post 11 fun facts about yourself 
3. answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 11 new questions for the people you tag 
4. tag 11 people and link them in your post 
5. let them know you’ve “tagged” them

11 fun or random facts about Erin
1. One time, before we were dating, I pretended to be asleep on the band bus so that I could rest my head on Jake's shoulder... Thinking I was asleep, he kissed the top of my head. I think that's the moment that I fell in love with him.
2. I am a beauty product junkie. Skin care, hair care, makeup... I love it all. 
3.  I still watch Glee every week... Even though the show just isn't as good as it was. 
4. I crack my knuckles all the time... I can't help it.
5. I am a respectful age of 25 and I take gummy vitamins. 
6. When my husband, then boyfriend, was at AIT in Huston and D.C. we played World of Warcraft together. (I can't believe I just admitted that!!!)
7. I can't stand plain chocolate. I can devour any other sweet... Except plain chocolate.
8. I hate sweating... Working out isn't worth the sweat. Eww.  (I need to get over that. Sheesh)
9. Football equals nap time... But my Degree is in Sports and Leisure Studies... Ah the irony.
10.  I didn't get my license until I was 18 because I had to pay for the classes myself and I didn't think they  were worth it.
11. My sister is 6 years older than me. When I was born I was 'her baby'. She, literally, did everything for me except breast feed (obviously). Mom thought it was cute.

Questions from Darby for me to Answer:
1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging for wedding planning reasons. To keep track of ideas and fit in with the girls who were on The Knot boards.
2. Do you have a bucket list? If so what are two things on it?
I want to see wild elephants... So to go on a safari in Africa. I also want to kiss the blarney stone... So I'll just say a general tour of Europe.  :)
3. What is one thing you can’t live without?
4. What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
I just finished The Hangman's Daughter for my book club. It was a German novel translated to English... It wasn't my favorite, but it wasn't bad.
5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
As long as I have my family, I can live anywhere.
6. What dish or recipe have you always wanted to make, but have been too scared to?
I don't cook... So let's just say anything involving using the oven and the stove at the same time.
7. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I'm kind of both, it depends. I can get up early if there is a reason, otherwise let me sleep... But I can stay up late if I get caught up in something.
8. What is your pet peeve?
Talking during a movie or TV show that I'm really interested in. I've gone so far as to harshly kick people out of rooms. 
9. What is your idea of a perfect vacation?
Family and sunshine.
10. If you were given a million dollars, how would you spend it?
You have no idea... This is a for real conversation that is had on a regular basis. 
10% to church
pay of all of my family member's debt. 
Buy my parents a ranch house and flip their old one.
Buy a modest size house with a barn and 2 horses (the barn will have a small apartment upstairs where a student will work while attending college. We'll partner up with the 4H program or something.)
Buy 2 reliable cars.
Take the entire family on vacation to Europe. (main stops being Scotland, Ireland, France, Greece, Italy and Germany)
Split what is left between charities and savings/CID/invest or whatever Jake wants.
11. What is your guilty pleasure?
I love reading. Give me a good book and warm blankets and I'm good to go.

Questions For D&W Taggers:
1. What is your favorite Movie and why?
2. Who would play you in a movie about your life?
3. What is your favorite book?
4.  How old were you when you knew there wasn't a Santa Clause?
5.  Pen or Pencil?
6. What was your all time favorite class that you took in high school or college?
7.  If your house was burning down and you could save one thing, what would it be? (All pets and family members know the fire safety plan and are safe.)
8. What is one bad habit you want to change?
9. Do you like brussel sprouts?
10. If you were in Vegas for one day would you shop, visit the casinos or go see a live show?
11. If you could only have one job for the rest of your life (and paychecks didn't matter), what would you do and why?

The 11 People I’m Tagging:
Shaina (SIL) at White Picket Fences
J-Bird at Kay-Dubs
Crystal (Big Sis) at The Story of Us

January 28, 2012

January Book Club: The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch

In December, as we all drooled over our cookie swap spoils, we chose the January book by gathering a few of the suggested books from polls taken from our random book poll off our facebook page and reading the synopses. 

The murder mystery, The Hangman's Daughter, won the vote.
We all liked the idea of a which thriller.

Overview From Barnes and Noble

Magdalena, the clever and headstrong daughter of Bavarian hangman Jakob Kuisl, lives with her father outside the village walls and is destined to be married off to another hangman’s son—except that the town physician’s son is hopelessly in love with her. And her father’s wisdom and empathy are as unusual as his despised profession. It is 1659, the Thirty Years’ War has finally ended, and there hasn’t been a witchcraft mania in decades. But now, a drowning and gruesomely injured boy, tattooed with the mark of a witch, is pulled from a river and the villagers suspect the local midwife, Martha Stechlin.
Jakob Kuisl is charged with extracting a confession from her and torturing her until he gets one. Convinced she is innocent, he, Magdalena, and her would-be suitor to race against the clock to find the true killer. Approaching Walpurgisnacht, when witches are believed to dance in the forest and mate with the devil, another tattooed orphan is found dead and the town becomes frenzied. More than one person has spotted what looks like the devil—a man with a hand made only of bones. The hangman, his daughter, and the doctor’s son face a terrifying and very real enemy. 
Taking us back in history to a place where autopsies were blasphemous, coffee was an exotic drink, dried toads were the recommended remedy for the plague, and the devil was as real as anything, The Hangman’s Daughter brings to cinematic life the sights, sounds, and smells of seventeenth-century Bavaria, telling the engrossing story of a compassionate hangman who will live on in readers’ imaginations long after they've put down the novel.

My Take:
This book was a top pick for 2011. It was a fast paced and very intriguing book. 
There were a lot of characters and I am very thankful for the character list in the front of the book. I hate when first and last names are used over and over again. It makes it hard to create a real emotional tie to the characters.
I wish the title of the book had been different. It is very misleading... The Hangman's daughter, Magdalena wasn't as significant int he story as the title of the book suggests... Don't get me wrong, she was an important part of it. Just not the focal point.
Even though I had my guesses about the murderer, I wasn't 100% sure until they reveled him... After it was revealed I was a little disappointed due to the lack of reason involved. It's hard to explain without spoiling it. 
I wanted more focus on Martha, the midwife accused of which craft. Maybe a little less on the little romance going on. 
I enjoyed seeing the realistic situation regarding the medicine of the time. 
I skipped over a lot when it came to the town's politics and meetings.
I also skimmed over little fights. Like the ones between the physician and his father as well as between the villains... They were totally not necessary.
I'm not even going to go into how all the smaller 'bad guys' blended together... They weren't very well characterized and there was not really any binding hatred for them that I could stir up enough to care about their part in the plot.
Really, all that I wanted to hear about was the kids, the hangman and the midwife.
I loved the idea of a town hangman whose morals, beliefs and need for truth rules over the cruelty of his trade.
It was good.

I'm giving it a 7 out of 10 because I appreciate and adore historical fiction... 
And it was really interesting.
I would recommend it as a casual read.

January 27, 2012

My Celebrity Icon

Everyone has that one person or celebrity that they look up to and secretly (or not so secretly) obsess over in their lives.

For me, It's the ever so lovely Audrey Hepburn.

I've always seen Ms. Audrey as an inspiration. 
She came from such a hard childhood, living through WWII in Europe. 
Dancing through hard times.
Becoming a celebrity over night while still trying to keep her eye on the importance of family.
Searching for true love while being surrounded by the fiction of Hollywood.
Wanting to be a mother and wife above all things.
 Staying true to her passion and love for helping those in need.
And being classically stylish on top of it all.

She caught my eye in My Fair Lady. 
(I can't help it, I'm musical obsessed.)
She was beautiful with the poise of a princess and the way that she spoke. 
So animated and arresting. 
A genuine person in the 'over actors' of her time.
I was probably 8 or 9 when I first saw it.

From there I was introduced to Breakfast At Tiffany's.
It became an instant favorite.

I've taken the time to see the rest of the movies that she has stared in... 
Roman Holiday
Funny Face
The Children's Hour
How to Steal A Million
Wait Until Dark

Just to name a few.

And I've collect quite a few books.
She is a style icon and a humanitarian.
I adore her and her life's work.

It's hard to find a celebrity like her in today's world. 
It's just a completely different place...
And in my opinion, it's just getting worse.

January 26, 2012

Rest and Recuperation

It is an interesting thing, having my husband come home after being gone for almost 4 months.
While he was gone I looked at life and the changes that I've made and decision that I've made and I doubted.
I doubted everything. 
All because I was afraid that feelings change.
Sure, some people may not really admit to that fear...But it's there none the less.
You clean the house from top to bottom, hoping that he doesn't remember how messy things can get.
You organize your calendar, hoping that he doesn't remember how scatterbrained you are.
You triple check your finances, hoping that he'll be proud of the decisions that you've made.

The thing is, the second I saw the love of my life standing there, rucksack in hand, smiling... I forget ever worry I ever had.

Over the past 15 days I've wondered why I was so worried. 
Jake is still the awesome loving man who left here a few months ago.
He still loves to play video games and tinker around with electronics.
He still loves his meat and potatoes.
He still values family and God above all things.
He still loves his dog.
He still loves me.
War hasn't changed anything about the intrinsic nature of either of us.

I'm just cleaner and he has more medical experience.
And he reads books.

Anyway. The past 15 days have been awesome. We spent the majority of our time with family and playing with babies. It was awesome.

He's left again today.
This time I'm not doubtful of the outcome of this experience.
We're both growing as individuals, which will make us stronger as a pair.
I know that he trusts and believes in me more than I do myself.
I know that he is going to trust God and His plan for this deployment and our lives.
And there is nothing more comforting than that!

Trust in the Lord, and do good;

dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.

January 25, 2012

I'm In A Book Club!

If you know me at all, or have been reading for a while, you know that I am a book drain.
I can, literally, read a 300-400 page book in about 4.5 hours.
Both of my parents are the same way. 
My dad is somewhat of a speed reader. 
My mom can read for hours at a time.
I'm their child... I like to do both.

To give you an idea of what i'm talking about...
I read the the first three Twilight books (the last one wasn't out yet) in under 3 days.
3 days in which I had to work 6+ hours and go to 3-4 college classes.

It's a gift.


Back in November, SIL approached me with the idea of starting a book club for a few of the women we knew in town. 
I about freaked out.
1. Why had I not thought of this sooner?
2. Why had I not thought of this sooner?! 

So the word went out on facebook and within 3 days we had 10 people excited and ready to go and quite a few more that were interested in joining at some point.
That was enough excitement for SIL and I to start things off by asking for book recommendations in our new schnazzy facebook group.

Our first book was Hunger Games.
As you can imagine, club went crazy with this book and many people couldn't stop and read the entire series.
It was awesome because it was an easy book to get into and involved in.
It was interesting because it was a completely random group of people who showed up to Panara Bread that Saturday morning. Many of us didn't know everyone and had never been a part of a book club... No one really knew what to expect.
SIL saved the day and came prepared with discussion questions.
It was an awesome first meeting!

For December we went with a Christmas themed book and chose The Autobiography of Santa Clause.
It was a different type of book and while we had more people show up to the meeting (I'm gonna give credit to the Christmas cookie swap) not everyone got through the book.... And there were no real discussion questions handy.
Instead we just enjoyed each other's company and swapped cookies!

We're continuing to grow and figure things out as a new book club.
It's exciting.
I wanted to share.

Are any of you part of a book club?
Any tips or suggestions for us newbies?
Book recommendations?
Meeting ideas?

January 24, 2012

Mommy, Dearest

I may have never talked about this, but my mom is a RN who works in the postnatal department. She is one of the nurses who takes care of the mom's and babies after delivery. She is in the patient rooms, the nursery, the NICU.
She can stand there and recite the check out process until she is blue in the face.
She loves her job.

She is a mom who never kept the facts from us. I knew about the human body looooong before my friends. I just so happened to be a curious and book based child. I (my mom) had an old Grey's Anatomy medical text book that I use to carry around and call my 'study guide' when I was little. She loved it. I would look at the drawings and ask all kinds of questions and she never saw the point in making things up just because I was young. 
Facts were facts.
I will always appreciate her straight forward approach to my questions.

Her clinical experience is also how she kept me in line.
Nothing is more terrifying than having my mom talk about her day at dinner and hearing, 'Erin I had a girl your age come in today who just gave birth to her 2nd child. Her 15th birthday is next week.'

I am not quite sure if it was her intention... But it sure as heck worked.
I was graciousally given a healthy fear of authority and a tendency to do what was expected as a child in a Christian household.

When I was a teenager I would sake off any mention that I was like my mother. She was educated, sure. But I saw her viewpoint of living for her children as living through them. In a selfish way I thought she I was the main focus of that.

Did I mention that I was a brat when I was younger?
A big selfish, spoiled brat with a bratty attitude who thought she knew everything?

I can see thing so much clearer now that I've stepped back and grown out of that obnoxious phase of my life.

I love my mom. 
She may not be perfect... But who is?

Honest and loyal - almost to a fault.
Quick to help those who need her support or her knowledge.
Completely technologically challenged (or so she tries to pretend to be)
Lover of books, Celtic music, Jesus and her family (no matter how distant the connection).
Quick to make a decision or judgement, but also quick to admit she was wrong and show love.
Completely confident in her knowledge and work.
Loves quickly, fiercely and completely.
Hates conflict.
Logical but emotional.

I use to be annoyed by the idea of being the most like her, out of all my siblings.
Now, I don't mind the comparison in the least.
She is a truly amazing woman.

January 23, 2012

What Happened to Quality?

Growing up I knew that my parents spend big money on things that would last them a lifetime.

When did the market stop offering them?

My vacuum is only 2 years old. 
It was used about once every week or once every other week.
I'm a whole house vacuumer...
So in our old place it was 3 rooms and one stairway each time.
With the new place it is 4 rooms and 2 stairways.
That's 45 minutes, tops, per use.

It's only been used between 104-140 times.
That is 78-105 hours of usage.
3.25-4.375 days of being used in the past 2 years and 2 months.
(Yes, I actually did the math for that. If it's wrong, blame the public school system.)

We have fur babies.
We don't have kids
I added more to compensate for the upped vacuumage of my roommate since she moved in.

The vacuum has been completely cleaned and overhauled about 3-4 times.

It doesn't work anymore.
It doesn't pick up anything... Not a single thing.
Unless I use the hose attachments... But even then it's still minimal.

What's up with that?!
My parents still have a vacuum from the 70's that they bust out every once in a while.

I'm sad.

I'm even more sad because the 'leading brand' of vacuum is over $400... And in no way can I justify spending that much on a vacuum right now.

Don't even get me started on luxury brand names vs reality.
That's a whole different conversation.

January 21, 2012

D's day of Details

Damon is perfect.
He's so cute and has been on his best behavior.
WJ is doing really well and is happy to not be pregnant any more.

Damon entered life quite dramatically on the 19th.

A little back story:
 JJ was 10 days late.
WJ got her epidural very early with JJ and by the time she hit transition the drugs were long gone.
She was very young and pretty much alone in life.
When I asked her about the difference between this pregnancy and her last she told me that she was very uneducated about birth and thinks that having Big Sis asking her questions she didn't really have answers to, as well as seeing Big Sis jump so enthusiastically into research made her start to do the same.
She also praised the fact that the support, love and excitement that she has received throughout the process has been overwhelming and a God send.
It makes my heart hurt for the scared girl from 6 years ago.


WJ started having real contractions on the 17th. at that point she was 6 full days over due and more than ready for little D to be here. WJ and Big Bro dropped JJ off on the 18th so he could camp out in sleeping bags with Dad on the living room floor for his first ever sleep over since moving out of the "Home Base" almost 3 years ago. Evidently, JJ was a little over excited and didn't get to sleep until past 1am.

WJ and Big Bro checked in and hoped for things to progress quickly. She said that she was dealing with her contraction like a pro up until mid way through transition the next morning. That's when thing got rough for her. Her body wanted to push before she was fully dilated and things had to be stalled for a little. Once it was time for her to push, her contractions were so long that she would get 4 good pushes in... But the time in between contractions was so long that it would set her back.
D's cord being around his neck didn't help.

Then Damon's heart rate dropped.

They called for a C Section, had WJ in the OR and D outta there in just about 8 minutes.

Gotta love people who know how to do their job.
Praise the Lord.

So the kid who gets to carry on the family name is here, happy and healthy hanging out with mom and dad. And he gets to see his new big brother as often as Grandpa can get him there.

Another one of God's miracles has come into my life, filling me with a crazy amount of love and happiness.

As if I didn't need another adorable dose of baby envy in my life.

I'll take it with arms wide open and kisses galore!

January 20, 2012

Grey and Black

Welcome Baby D!

Damon has finally made his appearance!
His original due date was supposed to be on my birthday, January 11th.

Baby D had other plans and chose to stay where the weather wasn't crazy.
WJ was officially 8 days over due.

This only kind of came as a suprise.
You see, JJ was 10 days over due.

It probably has something to do with my family and their habitual tardiness.

So here you go.

Damon Blair
7lbs 12oz
21 inches
What a sweetly handsome little guy!

January 19, 2012

Things from My Childhood

Randomly I remember things from my childhood.
I forget about them and they sneak up on me.

Like how my parents got into a car accident in the early 90's that almost bankrupt them. I remember mom being in bed for days with bruises all over her body. It was scary for a 7-8 year old to grasp.
That one accident is the reason why I never realized how 'dirty' people saw second hand clothes until I got into high school. It was our way of life for quite some time. I'm still not bothered in the least by thrift stores. In truth, everything can be washed or bleached... I have my limits, but for the most part, what's the problem? People donate perfectly good clothes because they're not the right size or they just don't wear them anymore.

I remember living in a duplex and sitting in our bay window, watching my siblings get on a school bus while my mom made me melted cheese sandwiches on paper plates in the microwave. 
Yep. That's right.
I peeled off the paper first...
What did I care? It was what I asked for. 
All the time.

I remember our house in Michigan with a big crack in the driveway that we would put the bikes in to spray water everywhere after it rained. Training wheels holding my siblings in place while we soaked anything within range. 
(I was two when we moved to Ohio)

I remember the weeping willow on our farm.
It's still my favorite tree.
And it's why I love Disney's Pocahontas so much.

I remember when my dad got his pace maker. I never was scared, even going into see him at the hospital. I can thank my mom's job for that. He was wiped out, but still strong as ever.

I remember meeting my best friend through grade school through my back fence while our parents talked.
We were 4.
That fence has been through a lot.
It also taught me how to respect my legs when jumping off high things... Like not jumping.
We loved racing from one porch to another, vaulting over that fence like it was nothing.

I remember my first dance class.
It was in my first teacher's house... On her weird brown carpet.
I thought I was so cool.

I remember Big Sis giving me cat food to eat. 
Big Bro and I totally ate a piece... 
Big Sis didn't though.
She knew better.

I remember thinking my first dog was sleeping and just too tired to get up when I was in 2nd grade. And the look on my parent's faces when I told them she wouldn't get up to go into the garage with me.

I remember pretending I was a gymnast in my grade school best friends's basement. doing 'floor routines' to Achey Breaky Heart, Shania Twain, and Backstreet Boys. We've never taken gymnastics.

I remember Polly Pockets
Glow Worms
Littlest Pet Shop
Wanting but never getting a Easy Bake Oven
Pretty Pretty Princes
Electronic Dream Phone (oh Steve from woodland park... It was never you.)
Mall Madness
Perfect Wedding Board Game

I remember going to horse back riding camp and LOVING it... But my parents weren't able to afford it after 2 summers.

I remember being the only girl at Big Bro's boy scout meetings because Dad was the leader and mom had to work night shift sometimes. 
I read a lot... Or practiced my cartwheels and round-off's.

I remember 'getting out of cleaning' and sneaking up to my room to read my American Girl books.

I remember getting blisters in the middle of my hand from Nintendo 64... I think it was from the Mario Party game. No wonder why I love the Wii version so much.

I remember my friends trying to force me to watch scary stuff like Tremmors, or Are You Afraid of the Dark? 
I was scared for life.

I remember gymnastics days in elementary school. The group rotations and hating the rope climbing station.

I remember Secret Santa, book fairs and the school supplies sales during lunch.

I remember trying to take fruit roll ups and rolling them up and sticking them to the roof of my mouth.

I remember riding my bike to the nearest gas station, or the golf course (they had vending machines and my parents didn't buy snack food) or walking to the Anthony Thomas Factory store that was across the street and down a little ways from my neighborhood.

I remember walking to the back of my neighborhood and playing in the creek.

I remember knowing that my mom worked night shift and asking her if I could stay home from school just because. And as long as it wasn't a test or project day, I could... As long as I hid so Dad could leave for work and he wouldn't know. He always found out after work and just shook his head... But I got to spend all day with Mom. (she usually made me promise to clean a little to 'pay for my day')

I remember walking barefoot everywhere.

I remember our deck being old and splintered and one time I dropped a chess set on it and when I was picking up all the scattered pieces getting a 2 inch splinter in my foot. My dad got the tweezers and nail clippers and 'performed surgery' while I sat clenching my teeth and pounding on the floor when things got really painful.

I remember my one sleepover/birthday party with 4 of my friends. I think I was turning 7 or 8... It wasn't really fun for me, someone went home. I didn't want to be a bad hostess, so my friends picked the movie and I didn't like it. People complained about sleeping in sleeping bags on our family room floor. 
So my birthdays were only family dinners after that.

I remember the Zainey Brainey toy store... And Media Play's kid section.

I remember dressing up and doing the Dance Workout With Barbie and Sweatin' to The Oldies.

I miss it, but I can't wait to see what it's going to be like for my kid's generation.

January 18, 2012

Golden Globes 2012

Um, Not Quite
Not quite getting this one...
The top is really great... 
But the bottom is not quite there.

Poor Natalie. 
These proportions are way off.

 This dress makes me want to cry. 
I love you Zooey!

 Close, But No Cigar
I can't make up my mind with this dress... 
Maybe I do like it.

So close to being awesome.

This is Jake's celeb crush... 
This dress looks like sheets held on her with a belt.

Love her... She looks great! 
But if the dress was shortened it would be an outfit I'd wear to work.

I love everything except the velvet. 

 This looks like a dress from last season... 

Love it... 
But I feel like I've seen it before.

 Interesting... But not great.

I like the interesting neckline... 
But then again, I don't.

 I love this dress... Except the bow thing.

Yes, Yes, Y.E.S.
For some reason I LOVE this raven dress. 
It's daring and a little magical!

This is so futuristic and flattering! I love how it looks.

Yay pastilles! Such a romantic look.

I'm not a fan of the peek-a-boo see-throughness... But the glamour and drama

This look is really great and new.

This dress gives the impression of referencing antiquity art and architecture. 
The history lover in me just loves it!

Crazy color with a classic and flattering shape. 
And she looks good.

This dress is AMAZING!
Just perfect!