What is Immersion?

I’m reading this volleyball book that’s written for my 7th grader, and it talks about all of the stages of fear to anger, and it’s so interesting.

It makes me so interested to think about what we do in life, work and with our kids when we decide it’s all or nothing. Before I went freelance, I struggled with not doing all or nothing. Looking back, I wonder who that person was and how she lost her way. Yet, I work with some exciting clients, and I feel that same pull. Is it completion? Success? Either way, I’m happy to be at a different crossroads than what I was before.

I look at my daughters and see the same struggle. I don’t want my kids to fall to the same people pleaser mentality that our generation did. One is an empath and one is a teenager so…what’s that? Unhappy? Kidding.

My husband has decided he needs to do daily cold plunges in our tub. And we’re buying bags of ice to make this happen. I mean, it’s good…no I’m sure it is. To hear some solid research, listen to the Huberman lab.

I guess I just falter in that everything in moderation.

Night and Day

Once we got through the ice storm, finally got electricity after a week, and our kitchen was finished…I never looked back.

Here are the final pics!

Going from very dark and closed in, to LIGHT, shapes a lifts my soul ❤️.

Tales from the Garage Kitchen

We kicked off a kitchen remodel in January and have spent the last three months making food out of our cold, dark garage. Here are some key lessons I learned:

Don’t do it in the winter, it’s really cold in the garage. Even peanut butter gets frozen…

You can microwave nearly everything, and you can even try the things you shouldn’t. Not having used the microwave much, this was like a science experiment to the detriment of my children…

Washing dishes in the utility sink, in the cold, was not my favorite.

I figured this would force us to use the crockpot, Instant Pot, and more, but we’ve only used them a handful of times because the prep in a garage is not very exciting.

When we lost power for a week, and literally were in a dark garage with headlamps, we were fine not eating (much).

Put the peanut butter in the house.

It’s very enticing to order take out. How will we go back to cooking when the kitchen is back?

There are so many microwave meals out there. Like tons! It’s a whole marketplace…never fear (or do if you decide to partake).

We took a few trips to stay in a cabin at the Mt. Hood during the renovations, and found out what a special thing is was to get away in the winter to a winter wonderland. It’s something we hope to do next year, too!

You can also BBQ everything, even deep dish pizza. Pizza is a required part of the diet, so this was a necessary discovery.

You can cook an Easter meal using the Instant Pot, BBQ and microwave, on paper plates. It was one for the books.

Three months actually goes pretty quick at the end of it. But yeah, it was a cold, interesting few months of food…

What Feels like Forever (with antagonist COVID)

Reflecting on the past ten months, it’s like the never ending story, Groundhog Day, but instead of trying to change our lives, we’re yearning to remember what the old normal was. Simple pleasures of eating at a restaurant, being able to connect with newer friends or new business colleagues in person, and traveling

…oh to travel again!

When people begin to come out of their shells, the landscape may look much differently and the old haunts we love so much may not be around. There are ways to support them, especially with Takeout Tuesday.

Do you have a bucket list? Is the vaccine on one of them? Sadly it seems that this pandemic has become political, but at the end of the day, I think we all want the same things. This past year will inadvertently give us the space to try new things, for life to take on a new meaning or possibly offer up a different path.

My bucket list:

Kids get back to sports (everything is shut down here), EAT IN EVERY RESTAURANT, hug friends, host dinners, work out in a gym, in-person school…our last day in person at school was last spring, get to Thailand since it was cancelled last March, not fearing illness and burn the mask, and travel travel travel!

What’s your bucket list?

What are you Reading?

It feels like December gets sooo busy, it’s nice to shake things up with a good book.

What’s caught your eye?

Take a look at these amazing free neighborhood libraries. I think we might need one….

Here’s your ticket to holiday survival…#read

No Tragedy in Finding Hope

I love the conversations happening around Selma Blair’s “Good Morning America” interview and her Vanity Fair piece on having MS. She is so courageous to show the raw, unpredictable and scary (generally not even medically understood) parts of the disease. And what comes after…the fear of its impact on your body, your career, and personal life.
As someone that struggled with these same questions when I was diagnosed, I was moved watching her, her struggles, and then to find hope.
Above all, it’s hard to feel lucky when you have a disease, but watching her had me in tears. I do feel lucky for what it’s worth, and I’ll take every one of these years in remission.
Throughout our lives it’ll be our job to decide which way to go at a cross road, sometimes this choice may come several times in our lives. There is opportunity in every new story, and just because it may not match the older version, doesn’t mean it isn’t brimming with hope, love and fulfillment.
It can be whatever you want it to be.

green wooden chair on white surface

Photo by Paula Schmidt on Pexels.com

I’m in it

The Writing Slump (verb): to fall or sink suddenly, to drop or slide down suddenly : COLLAPSE, to assume a drooping posture or carriage : SLOUCH

The writing process is so curious, when creativity decides to run rampant or it’s like nobody is home upstairs. Anyone seen the movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper?

“The next morning, I sent a little probe down into my brain. No surge of brilliance came up to greet me.”


That may have been an excuse to bring up Bradley Cooper…just sayin’.
The movie is great though…

Just like stretching, you have to work yourself to transition your mind into different places.

After getting a lot of interest in this second book from agents with very different and sometimes no feedback, I decided to try a different tactic “for learning sakes.”

I began working with an editor and am still going through the feedback and making edits, more edits. THIS is where I’m stuck. This is my fall, slide or slouch moment. Frankly, it’s harder than brain surgery to take a look at your work so differently. And of course, as a writer or just because it’s me, I strangely enjoy the torture. Don’t get me wrong though, it is torture.

So this is where I’m at…sometimes really stuck and it all these in between places of finding my brilliance. If you find yourself in this space sometimes, I think you can do it. We can do it.


Suck it Up

That’s what I had to tell myself recently, “Just suck it up and do it, Erin.”

I have this great idea for my third book and have been outlining it, building out characters and motivations. But I keep stalling. Part of the reason is because it deals with a heavy topic that we as women, all struggle with, but also because I’m trying to weave this theme through four characters’ lives.

Has anyone ever taken a class at The Attic in Portland, OR? I took a class with the fabulous Author Whitney Otto and it really jump started the seriousness of my writing. I happened to peruse an Attic newsletter and there’s a new class on character building with David Ciminello.

I found myself going back to the website to read the description, over and over again. It’s amazing how many excuses we’ll tell ourselves: Is this something I can commit to weekly for five weeks? What about the kids? But I won’t get home till 10:30 PM…

But at the end of the day, I need this. I just had to suck it up and sign up. So starting Tuesday, May 8th, you’ll find me at The Attic.

The Diagnosis

It’s amazing how much we try to control in life so we can achieve our dreams, like a career, music, art, or building up our family’s strengths. We are surrounded by distractions, but there is pure satisfaction from something going as planned, isn’t there? Seeing results for your hard work.

By nature, I’m type A and a really hard worker but also a deep thinker/dreamer. It’s important to me that people can count on me. Knowing that I can accomplish or help someone else, a shared goal or a personal dream is what makes my heart flutter.

So all of these things are also sometimes a negative, because life is rarely on track. I’m okay with the unexpected change of plan. Working in public relations, crises and communications requires you to be able to handle the chaos. But I wasn’t ready for what life had in store for me.

I had to learn the hard way that this wasn’t really my plan all along.

Six years ago I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). This rocked my world. I grieved for my children and possibly not having the mother they so deserved. The tears continued to fall when I realized I might not be the woman I dreamed. My throat would close at the utter, complete, loss of control in my life. I basically mourned my life as I knew it. But, I’d be dammed if I let anyone feel sorry for me (a curse of the independent people out there).

My husband said I only had two days to cry. Those words were harsh, but I think he was equally confused and worried this would overtake me. Maybe in some way he feared that the person he loved so much would be lost forever. I was deeply scared too; the kind that makes your body shake. This was unchartered territory.

But I had to find a way forward, and to be honest, it took me a few years. I didn’t like the idea of being someone scared of the future. I had made some diet and supplement changes and after some time, reluctantly got on medication. I was extremely lucky, I only had some numbness and otherwise have not had any physical issues. It was the emotional ones that were really pushing on my heart, the future, and who I would be tomorrow. I had find a way to uncover my own peace and strength with this chronic, unpredictable diagnosis. I tried ignoring it, but that’s the funny thing about that strategy…it creeps around in all the places that matter.

Eventually I spoke with a therapist and started letting more friends and family know. I went to a few MS meetings and they scared the hell out of me and I vowed to never go back. [I have gone to a “People with MS for 40ish and Under Happy Hour” meeting a few times that were good…these things do actually exist.]

There’s still work to do. I still have to tell my kids about MS. I thought I might last summer but those that know my older daughter and her obsession with death thought she might think I was going to die. But as of today, I have been in remission for four years (!!) and am living for today, tomorrow and every day after. Remission is when you have no symptoms of the disease (via annual MRI scans) and I’ll take it…day by day, year by year as it comes.

Lately, I’ve been wondering how I can help others, maybe find peace with this total change in life. I’ve done such a disservice by trying to solve this myself instead of looking to others. Maybe I can save someone else the heartache. Let them know there is another side and that it is pretty amazing, just a slightly different story.

Here’s to finding peace with life’s limitations, strength in and gratitude for what you do have, and living every moment as though it matters.

Ps, I am completely open to talking about MS if you want to ask me casually or have a friend who needs help. Anytime.