Thursday, April 30, 2009


A big shout-out to Cam,
who made my blog 3 columns.
I tried on many frustrating attempts,
and failed repeatedly.
Tears were not in short supply.
So I turned to Cam.
Cam is the master.
Check out her hilarious blog:

Monday, April 27, 2009


"Home" is such a fluid concept. They say "Home is where the heart is." But what if your heart is in three different places? I guess you have three places to consider "home". That's how I felt this week.

First, I went home to Idaho.

I grew up in Idaho. My experiences there shaped who I have become. So many meaningful events happened there. And, more than anything else, my parents are there. They're the keepers of my heart in Idaho. It was so nice to go back. I had a few days to hang out at home, occupy the purple couches, shop with my mommy, eat riblets with my dad, and watch my suddenly grown-up, college-bound, mission-planning, 18-year-old baby brother play baseball. It was a splendid few days.

Me and Ma watching baseball
Go Rams.

While there my aunt and cousin threw me a baby shower. A little early, I know, but it was the last time I'd be in Idaho until Christmas, so we went for it. Surprisingly, quite a few people showed up and it was nice to see everyone. Thanks to everyone who came and were so generous to Lil'.
Me, Lil', and Mom

The partay begins.

A sampling of foods.

Me and high school friend, Renee, who is having #2, a little girl, about 4 weeks after me.

Cousin Maren, cousin Brit, and Brit's super-nice more-than-a-friend, Addie.

Partay hosts, Maren and Jan.

The generosity of all the guests.

It was good times had by all--or at least me. As usual, the days in Idaho flew by and me and my parents grabbed a Honda and headed South to meet up with the rest of the family and for me to be reunited with Chris.

So, I went home to Provo.

Provo holds my heart because its where I first went out on my own. I met Chris. We dated and spent our first 2 years there. We were college students working little jobs and "living on love". We have so many good memories in Provo.

We met up with the rest of the family in Salt Lake City, where we hit up Pier 49 and their gluten-free pizza and visited Temple Square.

Dad, Jason, and Kasee enjoying Pier 49.

At Temple Square.

We moved on to Provo and filled the days with games, picnics, shopping, ice cream, badminton, food, and family.


Enjoying the sunshine at the picnic. I'm not this fat, my cheeks are full of riblets. And Chris's are full of a $5 footlong.
Mom and Dad enjoying a $5 footlong of their own.

Oh, and did I mention that

I graduated from college?

Because I did.

Fortunately, graduation robes are maternity-friendly.

Getting artsy with the camera. Yes, this is artsy.

My ginormous, never-ending graduation.Faithful supporters waiting 2 hours for me to walk across the stage for 10 seconds.

The ones who made it all possible--in more ways than one.
My brother Michael, now officially a JD.
The whole family minus Brady, who was stranded in baseball land.
The one who put up with regular emotional break-downs.

Lil' came too. She found it hilarious to bounce off my bladder during the graduation ceremony.

After graduation the family dispersed.

We moved on to friend time.

It was wonderful to see everyone and catch up.

Matt, Caroline, and Brad.

Our friends Andy and Stephanie came with their month-old baby girl, Reagan.

She was delicious.

She made me so excited for Lil' to arrive.

And really, really nervous.

Chris seemed to do quite well. He'll be a good daddy.

Getting some tips from Andy.

And finally, we headed home to Knoxville.

Saturday I found myself exhausted. I thought, I can't wait to get home. And I realized that by "home" I meant Tennessee. And when our flight landed in Knoxville, I actually felt a significant amount of joy. While in Provo, it was so wonderful to see everyone and everything that has been such a big part of our lives, but I had the strongest impression that wasn't the place for us. When we decided to move to Knoxville, we got an undeniable confirmation of the spirit, and our return to Provo only made the rightness of our decision more pronounced. So, for whatever reason, Knoxville is now home (for the time being). Its where Lil will come into the world and experience her first year, so maybe that more than anything else makes this "where my heart is". So after 2 visits to home, we made it safely back home.

It was so nice being home.

And its good to be home.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Snap Happy

I was looking through the pictures on my camera last night and found extensive evidence of a strange habit of mine: I take pictures of random inconsequential things that I think I'll want to remember someday. A lot of them I'm glad I captured. Some--not so much. So here's a peek inside the snap happy habits of me:
This was taken in December. Following Chris's finals, we went to Maggie Moo's to celebrate. I was about 6 weeks pregnant and nothing else sounded good. But this chocolate with chocolate and chocolate was so delicious. So I took a picture.

I took very few pictures at our Christmas at my parents house, but I made sure to get a picture of a cereal box. It was very exciting: Rice Chex is now Gluten-free!
Christmas Eve was spent, believe it or not, watching a marathon of 17 Kids and Counting. There is no explanation as to why, we just couldn't stop. Here's a lovely shot of Duggar mom, Michelle, while my brothers hangs ornaments on the tree (no, I didn't get any pictures of us decorating the tree).

I have a very sweet husband. One Sunday we got home and I took my heels off. My feet were frozen and purple. I sat down at the table and Chris crawled under the table and wrapped his arms around my feet to warm them up. Isn't that so sweet? Then he proceeded to drift off. I warned him to go to the couch before it was too late, but he was already gone. Instead I brought him a blanket and pillow. And captured this classic moment. This is one I'm glad I caught.

Following my finals, I chose my prize to be a fast food hamburger. I chose a triple stack from Wendy's. We got it in a salad plate, minus the bun and add onions, and took it home to the awaiting slices of Gluten-free bread. I had been craving a fast food hamburger for sometime, and it was delicious. I ate it in a matter of minutes, along with a Frosty. An hour later it came back up the way it went down. Lets just say I haven't had that craving since.
Opening day for the Cubbies at Our House. That's all I have to say about that.
I was walking down a hall in the UT communications building and saw this in the student paper. It was one of those, "wow, I'm really not at BYU anymore" moments. I have no idea why I had my camera, but I did, and this moment was captured forever.
Date Night at Our House: A Series

Classic take-it-yourself-picture.
I thought Lil' looked so cute, I indulged in the new trend of the take-a-picture-of-yourself-in-the-mirror picture.
Chris talking on his phone--delaying date night--but looking really gorgeous.
Lil's room-to-be. When we moved to the new apartment, we left bedroom #2 empty on purpose. Now its my favorite place. Its empty, obviously, save two selves that are filling quickly, a table that will be removed (we'll get rid of that rug too), and the recently delivered bedding package. But several times a day I'll peak in, excited for what it will look like and house in the months to come.
Chris plays on a church league softball team. At his last game, he had a very impressive diving catch in the outfield. It earned him the game ball. I was so proud, so I made him pose for this picture. He enjoyed it, I assure you.

And this is my favorite. If I go all crazy over little dresses and shoes, Chris can't pass up a stuffed animal puppy. At our last shopping stop, there was one stuffed puppy left on the shelf(the blue one) and Chris wanted to get it for Lil'. I asked "Do we really need it?" He replied, "We may not need him, but he needs us." So we got him. Lil' now has 4 stuffed puppies. Who knows how many she'll have by the time she gets here. Last night Chris was doing some serious business on the phone with the missionaries, and all four made the trek from Lil's room to ours to pay him a visit. Classic.


Someday I'll get better at taking pictures of moments that matter.

But for now, I'm glad I have these.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Clothe the Whales

The last few weeks of expansion explosion have made it painfully obvious that my plan to wear my regular clothes for the entirety of my pregnancy and just "make them work" is definitely not going to happen. I'm running low on things that fit, and those that still do require a Bella Band that is increasingly ineffective. There are probably a few people in my office wondering what kind of granny underwear I've got going on. Needless to say, it was time for me to give in and start a small and strategic maternity collection. I figure I won't need jeans, as a soggy Southern summer won't call for that much denim at any point. But a pair or two of shorts, work-appropriate pants, and some tops are becoming things I, as well as a squished Lil', have begun to covet. On Saturday we were perusing the racks at the Ross on the fancy side of town, and lo and behold, they actually had a maternity section. It was made of one entire rack. Wow. Maternity clothes have come a long way since the days of the don't-show-your-bump muumuu. But they've come a lot further for those with a bigger budget than me.

I have come across many websites that have totally adorable maternity clothes. But I'm talking $200 pants and $80 tops and $125 dresses. Maybe its just me, but I figure this child will come out at some point, and when she does, she is going to need a few items, you know, like food, diapers, insurance, a home, clothes, medicine, an education. So there are more important places to put those hundreds of dollars than into a wardrobe I can wear for 3 months.

However, I still like to look decent. And that's the tricky part.

So last night I geared up emotionally and physically and headed back to Ross (without Chris) to find a piece or two to add to my shrinking wardrobe. I've been told on occasion that I am "tiny", but I must have been pocket-sized before because I definitely don't feel tiny. And trying on maternity clothes didn't do anything to change that. But: they were so comfortable. Insanely comfortable. Maternity slacks are about a 1/2 step up from sweats, and as a pregnant coworker told me: "After you're done being pregnant, you don't have another excuse to wear an elastic waistband for 40 years." So I tried on a multitude of clothes, but only walked out with 2 tops, each costing $8.

I ran into several problems during this initial adventure, all of which can be addressed with a few messages to the producers of [inexpensive] maternity clothes:

1. I'm carrying my baby in my tummy, not my crotch. So the stretchy waistband in the maternity pants you made is awesome, but the big baggy space in the crotch area is totally unnecessary. Thanks anyway.
2. Yes my chest and belly are bigger, but my neck is still the same size. So that ginormous neck hole in every shirt is not necessary. In fact it makes it hard to keep the shirt from falling off my shoulders.
3. Ruffles are not, in fact, a legal requirement for maternity tops. So you can cut back on those.
4. I don't want a stork on my t-shirt. And I really don't want a sparkly stork on my t-shirt.
5. Knee-length maternity shorts need not have rhinestones on the pockets. Or leather trim. Or words embroidered on the bum.
Memos to me on this new adventure:
1. Do not shop for maternity clothes in any store that has mirrors.
2. Nor should you ever shop when hungry. Or tired.
3. If finding cute modest regular clothes for the summer was tricky, just wait for the challenge of finding cute modest maternity clothes for the summer. There's a reason they say modest is hottest, and pregnant ladies don't like being hot. Its a good thing my biggest months will be in the peak of summer.
4. Under no circumstances will maternity clothes look good on me. I'm out of luck. Maybe I will consider a muumuu.
And last but definitely not least . . .
5. The little creature kicking inside of me makes this blue ruffly tent I'm trying on totally worth it.

Monday, April 13, 2009


The House of Comedy is expanding.
My brother, Jason, got engaged this weekend.
Our sister-to-be is the beautiful Kasee.
Yay for Jason and Kasee!
That makes 3 for 3 for in-laws with the hard 'C' sound
(Camie, Chris, and Kasee).
And 2 for 2 on my brothers marrying girls from Texas.
Texas must be a nice place.
Their wedding is August 15th in the new and dazzling Draper temple.
It will be beautiful.
And yes, I'm due August 12th.
I don't envy my parents that week.
Welcome to the House of Comedy, Kasee.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Man in Brown

The UPS man came into our office today. A common occurrence, for sure, but not so common was the big box he was carrying (we're a paper-receiving office).

I have a package for Erin *lastname*, he said.
That's me! I smiled. I'd been waiting for it.
A package all the way from Idaho?
Yeah, that's where I'm from. Its from my mom.
You're a long way from home . . . its a pretty big package.
She's gonna be a first-time grandma.
Congratulations! You having a boy or girl?
A girl.
That explains the size of the package.
He's so right.

I love when the man in brown has a box with my name on it. Its one of life's simple pleasures.
And I really love when the box contains this.
Thank you, Mom and Dad. We love it all. And we love you.
And because I know y'all are dying of curiosity, here's me and Lil' at 22 weeks. (Forgive my hair. I'm having major hair issues these days and can't wait to get it cut in Idaho.)

She's making herself known more and more. People ask me when I'm due now instead of internally wondering how much I ate for lunch. And she's a mover and a shaker. Chris felt her kick through my tummy for the first time this weekend. It was really cool.

She's our little miracle.

A soon-to-be-very-well-dressed little miracle.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Boys of Summer

Today is Opening Day.

(well, yesterday was, but that doesn't really count because the Cubs didn't play)

Opening Day is nearly a holiday in our house.

Chris dresses up in Cubs regalia and I wear my royal blue.

Nothing says 'summer' like baseball.

We are major baseball fans here at our house. My little brother has always played, and I have spent many a summer afternoon on a blanket on the grass in the sun watching baseball. There is really nothing quite like it. Hot sun, cool breeze, green grass, the crack of the bat. That's summer for me and I miss being able to do that as frequently as I once did. Chris played baseball as a kid, but traded it in for swimming in high school. But he has a love for baseball that is matched by a small few. Opening day is like Christmas morning, only a little better. There is just something about the game that brings joy to us both.

We are Cubs fans here at our house. My journey to being a Cubs fan is short and simple: I fell in love with a boy who loved the Cubs. It wasn't difficult to catch a full-fledged Cubs infection once the initial bug was planted. They are truly lovable, and having a husband-to-be point out all their lovableness didn't hurt. Before I knew it I had a Cubs t-shirt, then 2, then 3. Cubs blankets and PJs adorn our couches and lay on the floor (or sit in the drawer, on the rare occasion that I remember to put them away). We have a little Cubs cub that hung on Chris's window when he was a baby and throughout his whole life. That little sun-bleached Cub will be hanging on our baby girl's window. And the first outfit for Lil'? A Cubs set complete with blanket and booties. They're ingrained in our lives, and, call us masochists, we like it that way.
Why would we be masochists? Because Cubs fans have suffered a long and disastrous road over the last century. For you unfamiliars, the Curse of the Billy Goat is, of course, to blame. "In Game 4 of the 1945 World Series, the Curse of the Billy Goat was laid upon the Cubs when P.K. Wrigley ejected Billy Sianis, who had come to Game 4 with two box seat tickets, one for him and one for his goat. They paraded around for a few innings, but Wrigley demanded the goat leave the park due to its unpleasant odor. Upon his ejection, Mr. Sianis uttered, "the Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more." The Cubs lost Game 4, lost the Series, and have not been back since" (Wikipedia). They've gotten close. In 2003 they were 5 outs away when a fan went for a foul ball at the same time at a player and prevented him from catching the ball. That lead to a rally by the other team and the Cubs eventually losing the series. Last year, on the 100 year anniversary since their last World Series victory, it looked like it was their year. Instead they were swept in an embarrassing manner by the Dodgers. But this year is their year. As a Cubs fan, every year is the year.
We had the opportunity to attend a Cubs game at Wrigley field 2 summers ago (wow, time flies).
It was awesome.
Chris at Wrigley Field. I've never seen that boy grin like he did that day. It was adorable. Wrigley sits on Addison Avenue. We had wanted to name a little girl Addison because of that, and if Addison wasn't the most popular name on the face of the earth right now (wait, maybe its number 2 right after Emma) than we would have. Instead Chris would like to name a boy Ernie, after Ernie Banks. That's not gonna happen either. Maybe we'll name a puppy Wrigley someday . . . . Anyway, we loved going to Wrigley Field. It really is a magical place, even in the sweltering Chicago humidity.

I can't wait to go back.

Let the games begin.

Go Cubbies.