Sunday, April 27, 2008

End of an Era

This week marked the end of lots of parts of our lives. A big one for Chris was his last day of work at the MTC. Its hard for him to leave, but its also time to move on. Here are the stats:

Years worked: 3

Total number of missionaries: 125

Number of districts: 14

Missions missionaries went to: 5 (Zurich, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt)

Team teachers: 9

Tallest missionary: 6'8" (Elder Andrizzi)

Shortest missionary: 4'11" (Sister Wilson)

Number of classrooms taught in: 5

Average teacher rating: amazing! (he wouldn't tell me, but I know its high)

Number of ties worn: 26

Weight gain: 15 lbs

Number of days/week he wore a shirt and tie: 6

Shoes worn every day: the same old Docs he wore in Germany

Missionaries he taught in the MTC that now teach at the MTC: 2

Memories made, friendships formed, lessons learned, and testimonies strengthened: countless

We will miss you, MTC! You gave Chris happiness and stress, blessed our home with the Spirit, and put food on our table! Life won't be quite the same without you.

Friday, April 25, 2008


We celebrated Chris's graduation this weekend. Its been especially great because both of our families were able to share in the celebrations.
Congrats, Chris! I love you. Way to go!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lead, Kindly Light

The past week has been a week of stress and worry. Of course, its finals week. That's always stressful. This semester I think I have been in finals denial. I've studied for all my finals, but not as intensely as I usually do. But I've still done well on them, which is a blessing. I'm excited for it to be over and for family to come for graduation. We are blessed with wonderful families.
The major source of worry in our life these days, however, is the big move to Tennessee that we are planning. Moving is so expensive when you have to do it on your own (lots of our friends are being moved by the businesses they got jobs with!) REALLY expensive. So is health insurance at UT (which now stands for the University of Tennessee, and not Utah;-). So is out of state tuition for graduate school. Most of the time I have no idea how we are going to pull it off, even with student loans. Its a really worry at this point, and with finals, we haven't had time to really look into anything to calm our nerves; so we are just waiting and worrying and wondering! However, we know its right to go. We got a real confirmation that UT is right for us. When we think of changing our minds, it doesn't feel right. So, basically, its kind of like walking into darkness, trusting the Lord to lead the way, even though we can't see very far ahead. This is how I've felt about our situation, and on Sunday in sacrament meeting the hymn we sang brought tears to my eyes:

Lead, kindly Light, amid th'encircling gloom;

Lead thou me on!

The night is dark, and I am far from home;

Lead thou me on!

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see

The distant scene--

One step enough for me.

This song hasn't left my head since we sang it on Sunday. It has been a real comfort. I know the Lord will lead us, even if its in a way we don't expect and even if its only showing us one step at a time. Up until this point, I've always been able to see the distant scene, but I guess one step at a time is going to have to be enough for me!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Best Friend's Wedding

On Friday we got the opportunity to attend the sealing of one of my best friends from high school, Barbara, to her new husband, Drew. It was a wonderful experience. Barbs has always been a close friend, even when we don't see each other for a while. Its fun when we all see each other again, we are able to pick up right where we left off. She was a beautiful bride, and Drew is so perfect for her--I know they'll be happy together. It was also really neat because President Uchtdorf performed the sealing. He came in a little late and said "I'm so sorry, I was in a meeting with the First Presidency. When time was getting short, I told Pres. Monson that two young people were waiting to get married and he said 'Well, we don't want to keep them waiting!'" It was pretty cool. The room was really full, so Chris and I and another friend from high school, Renee and her husband were left without chairs. We offered to stand in the back, but instead the temple workers brought in two benches from the hall and put them IN FRONT of the chairs. So we were REALLY CLOSE to where the whole thing took place--like TOO CLOSE. We asked Barb's family to sit on the benches instead, so they could be in the front, but they all said the four of us should. I was kind of embarrassed! Later when President Uchtdorf came in, he looked at the four of us and said "You are all so close, I was wondering if there is a line [for sealings]!" It was pretty funny. Anyway, the sealing was beautiful; the Spirit was very strong. To avoid talking to much about a sealing that wasn't my own, here are just two things Pres Uchtdorf shared:
1. "Always be willing to say you're wrong, even when you're right"--I think this is all about being humble, being willing to apologize and not be stubborn with your spouse.
2. "Treat each other in private the same way you do in public"--spouses are always loving and supportive of each other in front of other people; thats the way it should always be, you shouldn't have to put on 'a front'.
He said a lot of other sweet things too. It was a really great experience, and I'm so happy for them.
Some pictures:

The wedding dinner the night before

Waiting for the bride and groom ~Friends~
Just Married!--Oh, and they are going to FIJI on their honeymoon!

Happy couple
Chris and Steve during all the pictures;-) Loved the back of her dress!

Barbs and her cute nieces Reminiscing on our wedding almost TWO YEARS ago!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Its Official!!

Well, we've finally decided: Chris is going to the University of Tennessee! Its kind of crazy to think we'll be moving to Knoxville in August, and really scary! But we know it is the right decision. We have been trying to decided for 3 months and going completely crazy. So on Wednesday we went to the temple with our question in mind, and came out knowing Tennessee was right for us. What a blessing the temple is! It will be hard to leave family, friends, and our life at BYU, but we are excited for the adventures we have ahead of us! A few pictures of the campus Chris will call home (and so will I, for that matter; I have two classes to finish independent study, so the library and I will become acquainted):

Pretty campus; BIG campus

They love their Volunteer football and so will we!

This building look familiar to you BYU students? UT's version of the SWKT!!

Rumor has it tulips are a tradition

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Found this, thought it was fun . . . Once again, Chris is in blue

twenty years ago I...
1) was just a baby lived in California
2) probably slept a lot more than I do now wore tight little orange shorts
3) was the youngest child in my family "really liked Flight of the Navigator"

ten years ago I...
1) was looking forward to being a Beehive wore flannels and a shark-tooth necklace because I was cool
2) entered my awkward stage, I'm still trying to get out played the baritone saxaphone
3) did basketball, soccer, and track all at the same time thought Joey Shim was my soulmate

five years ago I...
1) had my first boyfriend was knocking doors in Vienna
2) got my drivers license gained 20 lbs on the wonders of wienerschnitzel
3) learned how much my parents love me came to truly know the Savior

three years ago I...
1) was preparing to go to college learned chemistry had no part in my future
2) sent off a missionary swore off love
3) found true love met the prettiest redhead I ever did see

one year ago I...
1) moved to Indiana convinced Erin to move to Indiana
2) fell in love with Sammie the dog taught Erin to love dogs
3) became a devout Cubs fan watched the Cubs every day on TV

so far this year I have...
1) gotten straight A's gotten accepted into grad schools
2) started a blog;-) learned I never want to be a ward clerk again;-)
3) become part of a Relief Society Presidency (weird) found out the spiders are out to get me

yesterday I...
1) missed the Biggest Loser finale hosted a bratwurst party
2) learned more about making cheese than I ever wanted to know had my last undergrad class
3) had my last day of classes rejoiced in the Cubs' 9 to 5 victory over the Reds

today I...
1) studied didn't study
2) went to the Temple went to the Temple
3) went shopping bought Erin clothes

tomorrow I will...
1) go to Midway for Barbara's wedding dinner study. . . a lot
2) study for finals see my sister Becky
3) get MMR immunizations (Booo!) kiss my wife

in the next year I may...
1) move to Knoxville, Tennessee become a runner again
2) have a new family member on the way? (puppy or child, who knows) enjoy my puppy or child
3) graduate from BYU (I better, anyway) correction . . . I WILL SEE MY CUBS WIN THE WORLD SERIES

So Long, Winter Semester 2008

Today was the last day of class this semester, and as always I am surprisingly sad about it. I am so good about complaining about school: hate reading, hate papers, hate homework, hate tests. However, I LOVE lectures. I've been blessed to have had the majority of my professors at BYU be amazing people; very kind, knowledgeable, and entertaining. I'm not exactly sure how I pulled that off. This semester, like the semesters that have come before, I have been very sad the last day of class knowing this is the last time I'll ever go to this exact class. And I love these classes! (The same could only be said for 1 class last semester, however). Its ironic how much you wish a semester to pass quickly, then regret not enjoying it more. I wish school was just lectures and learning and NO homework or tests or grades. Now that would be celestial learning!

In memory of a semester come and gone too soon (though, I am grateful all the work is behind me), here is a review of Winter 2008's Professor Line-Up:

Dr. Cooper, PlSc 170, Intro to International Relations: This class involved 15 papers (not kidding) and 3 essay exams. Not easy. However, his lecture style was interesting. He wrote on the chalkboard, which I love (I hate powerpoint presentations). It was very down-to-earth type teaching. And everything was so interesting, I really enjoyed it. Plus, he was really witty, so I laughed a lot in his class (even when no one else did).

Mikeala, Soc 426, Sociology of Work and Occupations: This class was was h*ll because we had to write a 15 pg research paper. That doesn't sound that bad, but it was. I also chose to do it in a group, which always makes things more complicated and drawn out. Mikeala, however, is the nicest person on earth. She invited students over to her house, fed us deserts, and talked about our projects in depth. We would have died without that. She is smart and really knows her stuff. I didn't really care that much about the topic of the class going in, but I had a friend say the class was worth taking just because she taught it; he was right. Plus, she let us watch The Office 5 or 6 times in class, and it ALWAYS applied to our class lecture perfectly.

Well, I was going to write about all 5, but that would be boring and these two are actually the ones I will miss most (strange, these were my two hardest classes). The point is that I really love school--the learning part of school. And I'll miss its when its over. Honestly, there is a super big chance this will be my last full semester at BYU, which is an exhilarating and heartbreaking thought. This summer is truly going to be a summer of change: tonight we had an MTC party (Chris works there) with the German zone. I was thinking about the first one I ever went to over 2 years ago when Chris and I were dating. The zone has changed completely, I hardly know anyone now. Chris has been there so long, he is really ready to move on. But the MTC, BYU, all of it is part of the only life I have ever known with Chris. The people we have grown to love here be hard to leave. Even if I didn't see them that often, they were always around, and I liked that. Tennessee will be so good for us; it will make us stronger not only as individuals but also as a couple, as a family. (I guess the cats out of the bag; we're 99.9% going to Tennessee--Go Vols!) It will be a whole new setting with new challenges and new adventures. And we won't have anyone but each other. Anyway, back to the semester. Its over. I've got 2 hard and 3 easy finals, a friend's wedding, a husband's graduation, the beginning of a jam-packed spring term, deep cleaning and organizing, and a camping trip all ahead of me in the next few weeks. So I guess I won't have too much time to miss those classes after all!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Random Thoughts

#1. This is a cool connection: one of the sister missionaries that Chris taught at the MTC is now home and engaged. No, thats not the cool part. The cool part is that she is engaged to the new apostle's (Elder Christofferson) son! Remember in his talk when he talked about how his youngest son was soon-to-be-married? That is to one of Chris's missionaries! Cool, huh? I think we should get an invite!

Speaking of weddings and general authorities, one of my best friends from high school is getting married this coming Saturday in Salt Lake. Now, her sealing to a great guy is by far the most exciting thing happening that day, and I'm so excited for her and grateful that I can go witness this important event in her life. But guess who is sealing her? President Uchtdorf! I'm excited to be in his presence; so close to a member of the first presidency--it will be a first for me. Chris, however, met President Uchtdorf once before when he "dropped by" the German zone at the MTC!

#2. I'm getting old. Ok, not really (my last birthday was the one where I reached legal drinking age), but I'm feeling more 'adult' lately. I probably should have felt that way when I got married two years ago (give me a break, I was 19!) but I feel like I've changed a lot even since then. I think it has a lot to do with school--I'm ready to be done with school. Its weird in high school when you are a senior and you start to feel too old to be in high school. Buts its REALLY weird when you start to get that feeling in college.

#3. SAHM. (Thats Stay-At-Home-Mom, for those of you not clued in to the lingo, like me 2 days ago). Five years ago I wanted a PhD and no husband or kids for a long time. And then I thought when I had kids I didn't want to stay home. I used to feel like pressure from others would make me stay home with kids (that is in NO way true). However, as I've reached my "old" age, I've realized that SAHMs are a real blessing for those who can afford it (its hard these days!). My mom is a perfect example. My entire childhood I came home to my mom. I think back to those kids with the keys on their coats who had to let themselves in when they got home--I'm grateful my mom was home waiting for me. I can't imagine where I'd be without that, without her to talk to. Of course, everyone has to do what is right for their situation, and I'm all for the career woman if that is what she wants (I'm a sociology major, for crying out loud), but recently I've felt the strongest desire to be a SAHM. I want to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen;-) (I have a few 'feminist' professors who would be dying if they read this) Someday I'd like to go back for a graduate degree in Sociology, Political Science, or Social Work, but for right now I'm looking forward to the next stage in my life--too bad I'm not quite finished with the current stage.

Thats all. Enjoy the Sunshine!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Well, I've been tagged by Michelle (unless she knows more than one Erin)! I've done a similar tag, so to mix it up, I'm including Chris's answers to each one too. His will be in blue. So here it goes:

A- Attached or single: VERY Attached. Ditto

B- Best Friends: Chris; my mom; Barbs, Renee, Katie are all up there as well. My wifey and Sammie the dog; Joey, Matty, Matt Mer, B-Rad, Andy, MTC bros.

C- Cake or Pie: I actually can't eat either!--We'll go for Coldstone Ice Cream. Pie--Banana Cream

D- Day of choice: Saturday--it was Sunday until about 3 weeks ago;-). Friday.

E- Essential item: My cell phone; I'm not a constant texting-talking-phone-girl, but I like to be able to text my husband or mom in the middle of the day. Cubs hat

F- Favorite color: lavender; also like red, which you'd know if you've ever seen my couches and kitchen! Blue.

G- Gummy bears or worms: Worms; bears are harder to chew. Bears

H- Hometown: Pocatello, ID. Lafayette, IN

I- Indulgences: Snickers bars, Costa Vida, BYU Creamery Cookies N' Cream Milk, Celebrity gossip magazines, long naps. Cheeseburgers, Papa Johns Pizza, Pringles

J- January or July: Can I take May? No comment.

K- Kids: Not yet; one of these days . . . Love them.

L- Life is not complete without: Chris, The Gospel, family, chocolate, and bunnies. My beautiful redhead; a good dog at your side.

M- Marriage Date: June 24, 2006. June 24, 2006

N- Number of Siblings: 3 brothers + 4 sisters-in-law (1 being a wife of a brother, the other 3 being Chris's sisters). 3+2

O-Oranges or apples: Love apples, hate apple juice; Love orange juice, hate oranges. Apples--with peanut butter.

P- Phobias or fears: Fire. When I was a little girl I'd get up in the middle of the night and go around checking the green lights on the smoke detectors to make sure they were working (did you know that, mom?). Spiders--my wife kills the spiders in our home.

Q- Quotes: “Where does the family start? It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl - no superior alternative has yet been found.” --Sir Winston Churchill
"Hey is this heaven?"
"No. Its Iowa." -Field of Dreams
"Just do your best . . . just make sure its your very best" -Pres Hinckley

R- Reason to smile: The semester is almost over--its supposed to reach 70 degrees this weekend--Chris--ER returns tonight. Baseball season started again.

S- Season: Spring and early summer--its warm, but not hot. Fall.

T- Tag four friends: Becky, Lauren (both of them!), and Rashelle. She can do that.

U- Unknown fact about me: I have the ability to insta-sleep! Chris is always amazed by how quickly I can fall into DEEP sleep. Chris won't say this but he is an amazing cook! He cooks probably 90% of our meals, and they are delicious!

V- Very favorite store: Tie bewteen Roberts Craft and Papaya. Hat World--I don't know.

W- Worst habit: I bite my nails really bad--thats why I try to keep them painted; I also pick scabs (I know, gross) and Chris gets mad when I complain about it hurting after I pick it off! Yelling at drivers when they don't use a turn signal.

X- X-ray or Ultrasound: Ultrasounds have a happier connotation;-) Ultrasound

Y- Your favorite food: Corn chowder a la Chris; Sweet Pork Enchiladas a la Costa Vida. Wienerschnitzel and German potato salad.

Z- Zodiac: Libra (I think). Taurus the Bull.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Since our ward is a student ward, we (Relief Society presidency) try to visit new girls that move in to make them feel welcome (there is a lot of moving in and out). Today was the first time we had one of these visits. It was at 5. I went to sleep at 4, figuring I had 45 minutes. Then I woke up at 5:30.


Who is Your Christian Bale?

As a happily married woman, I don't find anyone 'attractive' other than my husband. He is my dream guy. Chris and I both, however, do what we call "nice looking recognition". This is where we consider someone 'nice-looking', but not "attractive". Ha ha. Since no attraction is involved, you can have nice-looking recognition for both the same and opposite sex as yourself. Chris always asks me if this actor is good looking or that actor. He's usually surprised by my answers. He, however, rarely finds anyone 'nice-looking'.

My top 'nice-looking' choice on the male side is Christian Bale (aka, the reason I won't mind watching the newest Batman when it comes out this summer):

My female: Heidi Klum

Chris is not very good at choosing his 'nice-looking' people. His male is Vin Diesel (ha ha, he's not going to like this post very much), but mostly because he aspires to have muscles like that someday:

Then a couple weeks ago we were watching the Celebrity Apprentice. I was in the kitchen and he came in and said "So, I think I found my Christian Bale." I laughed. Who was it? U.S. softball player Jenny Finch:
I'm so glad he found her;-)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Missing President Hinckley

Shortly after President Hinckley died, I had a conversation with Chris:

Me: You know, it doesn't really even seem like he died. He's been here my whole life, as long as I can really remember anyway. It doesn't seem like he is really not going to be here anymore.

Chris: Yeah, thats true. It probably won't sink in until Conference.

Well, its Conference today, and its starting to sink in. President Hinckley is the only prophet I've ever known. He had such a profound impact on my life and the lives of so many young people (and older people too, of course). It is strange to me that he won't be there today. It will be sad to me, I'm sure. This months Ensign was a little sad to me too; bittersweet really. I think I'll always think of President Hinckley as 'my' prophet. I am, however, grateful that the church has a living prophet and I do know President Monson is called of God--and he is so great too! So it all works out in the end.

In memory of President Hinckley, I thought I'd post this story. Its a conversation between my aunt and 4-yr-old cousin that occurred shortly after President Hinckley passed away, and I just thought it was so sweet (hopefully you don't mind me sharing this, Dore):

We were lying in bed talking and she said, “I don’t want to die.”

“Most people don’t die until they are really, really, really old.” I replied

“Am I almost really old?” she asked.

“No, it will take a long, long, long, long, long, long time for you to be that old.” I answered.

She then asked, “Are you that old? Are you going to die?”

“No, I have a long, long, long, long, time until I am that old. Everyone has to die, but it is not scary or sad, it is really happy because you get to go to heaven.” I said.

Novalie’s eyes got really big and she said enthusiastically, “And then I can see President Hinckley again.”

“Yes, you will see him and Joseph Smith and all the other prophets. But, you have to make good choices in order to go to heaven.” I said.

She responded, “I have to try to be like Jesus if I want to go to heaven. What happens to the people who are bad?”

“They go to hell.” I answered.

“Oh, mommy, don’t say that word, I don’t like it.” she said.

“Me neither, so we better try to make good choices.” I said.

“I will because I want to go to heaven with President Hinckley because I miss him.” she said so sweetly.

(Erin again) No wonder the scriptures teach us to be as little children!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spontaneous Regret . . . Almost

I am probably one of the least spontaneous people on earth. I like a plan. I like to know where we are going, what we are doing. Should I wear comfortable shoes, or does it not matter? Will I need a coat? When it came down to our honeymoon, there was no way I was letting Chris surprise me; I needed to be prepared.

Well, Chris and I went to Roberts Craft tonight (I could spend hundreds of dollars in that store) to get some things we needed to our History of Creativity projects. When we were done, we had about 45 minutes until I had to be at a RS presidency meeting, and I was starving. Unfortunately, there is a Chuck-a-Rama down by Roberts. For those of you unfamiliar with Chuck-a-Rama it is one of those huge buffet places, like Golden Corral, but I think its much better. I told Chris we should go. He asked if I was serious. I said I wasn't sure. Finally, we decided to try out "spontaneous" and we randomly went to Chuck-a-Rama. Now, this isn't the most exciting way to be spontaneous, but I'm a rookie. It was delicious, but when I walked out I regretted it. Chris and I aren't exactly rich these days (is any college student?) and dinner out was not in the budget. That $23 dollars could have gone toward a decent amount of groceries. Needless to say, I'm a pretty miserable spontaneous person.

There were, however, wonderful things that came from our spontaneity. I finally let go of all my stress. I think I was really in denial, but today I completed 2 of the 4 huge assignments I needed to (the next 2 are due Friday and Saturday) and I felt like I should be done. So I sat and talked to my husband. It felt like it had been a while, and we have so much to talk about. We talked about Tennessee or BYU or Utah, and about my future career (hopefully someday as a mother), and he made me laugh really, really hard. It had been a while. Sometimes when you get all tied up in yourself you forget how good you really have it. Chris makes everything happy, everything perfect, everything work out somehow. He has a funny way of healing me, regardless of how I am broken. And thinking back, 45 minutes at Chuck-a-Rama with my wonderful husband was what I needed tonight more than anything else, and I really don't regret it at all.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Surprisingly Good Day

This week is by far the craziest week of the entire semester, a meaningful distinction given some of the weeks we have already experienced. Two nights ago we managed to make it to bed as early at 2 am, then got up at 7 for class. Last night I made it to bed by 4 am and got 4 good hours of sleep; Chris . . . well, Chris took a 15 minute nap. Yep, he pulled an all-nighter then had to be at work at the MTC by 7:45. Poor guy. So needless to say I expected today to be pretty horrible (I'm speaking for myself here, I actually haven't seen Chris since 4 am this morning). However, I have been pleasantly surprised that there have been a few things that have made today a surprisingly good day (so far).

1. Time slowed down for once. I skipped class this morning (oops) to work on my big research paper and I was actually very productive and am now almost done. Time went by slowly, which was a real blessing considering time usually speeds up when you are in a crunch.

2. Warmer weather. The last few days have been a return to January here in Provo. On Wednesdays I have to ride my bike to campus (due to Chris going to work at 7:45--I can't be ready to leave by then!) and I've been dreading this Wednesday in fear of snow. So I bundled up and walked outside at 11:45 and it was warm(ish). I had to put my gloves away and take off my coat. It was actually a beautiful ride.

3. Happy Boss. My boss is a lot like me: when he is stressed he gets very quiet. So when we are both stressed, the office is dead silent. Today, however, he was in a great mood--this isn't a rare occurance, but it was nice that it happened today. He laughed and joked and chatted. It was a nice day at work, which is always a plus.

4. Paper surprise. This is a long story, but to cut to the chase I've been under the impression that I had to write 5 papers (short, but still take 2 hours each) by next week. This has been stressful to worry about on top of all the big projects going on now. However, today I looked at my grades online and found I had already written 3 more than I thought I had (we have to write 10 throughout the semester; I thought I had only written 5, turns out I have written 8). So I only have 2 more to worry about!

5. I'm having a good hair and face day. I don't do my hair very often due to early classes, but since I stayed home this morning (oops again) I let it air dry and actually straightened it (that is doing it, in my book). And it actually turned out looking nice. As for the good face day: you might think I'm crazy but I actually think I have good and bad face days. Some days my face just looks bad; not just smeared eyeliner and baggy eyes, but my face itself looks different and worse. Its hard to explain. Anyway, today's face looked good to me, shocking after my 4-hour night's rest. (PS if anyone actually saw me today and would like to disagree, please keep it to yourself, ha ha).

The Lord does bless you in the littlest ways when you need it the most.

Proof: Bad Face Day

Good Face Day