Sunday, December 16, 2007

A thousand bucks!

You heard it here, folks. I, Erin, was the lucky winner of one grand at XanGo's annual christmas party! After being an unfortunate loser at the last three christmas parties and summer parties, I finally heard my own lovely name being called on Wednesday. "If your name begins with an E stand up" was the first I heard. Startled and excited by that phrase I sat up in my chair as they called the words I had been longing to hear for so long... "Erin Curran". Was it really me? Was it really MY name they called??!! I stood up, turned to the crowd and screamed like I'd never screamed before. All I could see were high 5's in my face waiting for their chance to be tapped by my lucky hand. I ran up to the stage to claim my prize and scream into the microphone like a mad woman. It still seems like a dream; a really wonderful dream.
Yes folks, it's true... I won! I won!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas time is here, happiness and cheer...

I can't say enough how much I love this time of year! I am giddy at the lights that cover the homes in this valley, and it seems like every year more glorious lights abound. I love the sights, the smells, and the sounds. I love the feeling of Christmas. Everyone seems to have a kind of 'twinkle' in their eye.
I love my new found health food product of peppermint-chocolate soy milk. It is deliciousness itself! Yes, I'm a soy milk drinker - and proud of it!
Every night when I come home from work I'm welcomed by my little tree in the sitting room, then by the life-sized tree in my living room. Each night I leave the bright lights on while I sleep (don't worry, it's a fake tree) and I wake up to the same radiant sight. I think it's beautiful.

It wouldn't be christmas without songs and movies. Each time I enter my car, I'm greeted by the continuous x-mas music of FM 100. A little Johnny Mathis, Harry Connick Jr., and even Neil Diamond rockin' out to christmas tunes. Another day begins with with the feeling of christmas.
As is also customary this time of year, I've been watching some of the old christmas movies such as "White Christmas", "Miracle on 34th Street" and "Scrooge" (Although I had to end the movie before the ghost of x-mas future appeared. I'm a scaredy cat!) I decided to take the day off today to do some x-mas shopping, relaxing, etc. While at home, I watched an old favorite of Shannon's, "All I Want for Christmas". I think later on I'll watch "It's a Wonderful Life", which is probably my favorite christmas movie of all time. Jimmy Stewart has always had me at "Merry Christmas Bedford Falls!"

Yes, I love this time of year. It brings joy to my heart.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I give thanks...



(Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer)

Let us give thanks to God above, Thanks for expressions of His love, Seen in the book of nature, grandTaught by His love on every hand. Let us be thankful in our hearts, Thankful for all the truth imparts, For the religion of our Lord, All that is taught us in His word. Let us be thankful for a land, That will for such religion stand; One that protects it by the law, One that before it stands in awe. Thankful for all things let us be, Though there be woes and misery; Lessons they bring us for our good-Later 'twill all be understood. Thankful for peace o'er land and sea, Thankful for signs of liberty, Thankful for homes, for life and health, Pleasure and plenty, fame and wealth. Thankful for friends and loved ones, too, Thankful for all things, good and true, Thankful for harvest in the fall, Thankful to Him who gave it all.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hawaiian paradise, Hawaiian heaven, land of make-believe come true...

So, I just got back yesterday from a lovely 5 day turned 7 day trip to Oahu. My travel partner was my lovely sister-in-law Sharon. Shane suggested months ago she take a trip to Hawaii with me after she made many mentionings of wanting to take a trip back. He offered to take time off from work and watch the boys full-time (bless his heart). The most ideal way to get to Hawaii is of course by air via Continental, since we have buddy pass hook-ups with Quinn and sometimes Megan. Getting on the flight from Houston was relatively easy, but getting back was another story. However, I think I'll just focus on the wonderful parts of our journey. Here is how it went down:

Nov.1st, Thursday:

Arrival to Honolulu, hook-up at the car rental place with a Sebring convertible (woohoo!), ate at Macky's shrimp truck in Haleiwa (yummy coconut shrimp, and our best meal on the island), went to sleep.

Nov. 2nd, Friday:

Ate spam, eggs and rice for breakfast at McD's in Haleiwa, bought nerdy tourist hats at Matsumotos (to keep the sun at bay), toured the Dole plantation and spent way too much money on pearls! Went on a tour of Laie town where I saw our old home at 55-455 Moana St. which will within the next year be torn down with all the rest of the old faculty houses. Drove to the beautiful Laie point, took a walk around the temple grounds and made a few purchases at the BYU bookstore. Took a walk down the shores of Hukilau beach, ate at the shrimp truck in Kahuku (not as good as Macky's), stopped off at Sunset beach to see my friend Emma Leigh, then went home and went to sleep (jet-lag will do that).

Nov. 3rd, Saturday:

The hunt is on for malasadas, rice cakes and shave-ice, oh, and chocolate haupia pie. We know where to get the shave-ice and haupia pie, but the other two we are desperate to find! We know where not to go to hang out with other haule's (Haleiwa cafe). Drove to the swap meet with the top down. Note: heard our "theme" song for the trip for the second time ('sweet escape' by Gwen Stefani). Drove the long way to Honolulu and were in absolute awe of the Ko'olau mountains! Got sunburned from having the top down and from being at the swap meet. Took the long way home via the north shore again so we could sample choc. haupia pie. Delicious! The food at Ted's bakery wasn't so delicious, though. Later on we had dinner with Sharon's cousin and hostess while in Hawaii, Jackie.

More of the trip to come...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Scary Erin

I must admit, I take great delight in watching someone get scared; particularly at this Halloween season. This enjoyment started at a very young age. As a little girl, I had a babysitter that loved the ghoulish and scary. Skipper Gleason babysat us every now and again, and I’m sure babysitting 6 + kids at the time, he had to come up with very creative ways of entertaining us. One of which was by scaring us to the point of not being able to sleep! As much as it scared me as a child, it brought to life my own creative, creepy juices. However, I believe it was my younger sister’s reaction to my scariness that only egged on this delight. I took every opportunity I could of trapping her at the end of a hallway in our house, or scaring her when she came out of the bathroom. I spooked her to no end! When Caitilin came along and was able to understand what was going on, I did things to scare her too. Before we went to bed at night (it was usually the three of us sharing a room) I would purposely turn off the light myself and disappear in the room somewhere. I had a knack for being able to keep totally quiet, and they never knew where I would pop up and scare them. I absolutely loved it! The reactions were always priceless. However, Shannon is now perpetually scared of EVERYTHING. I should probably take some responsibility in that. It's something I can't help laugh about all the time. I take great delight in scaring her and anyone else I can get a reaction out of. Am I mean or what?!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

El Templo

(written last week)

So, I'm here in LA for probably the 7th time since June. I generally stay in the same area within easy distance to my work place. When I first started coming here I was out all the time exploring - dinner in Malibu, leisurely drives down the pacific coast highway, shopping, etc.
However, since the last 3 or 4 times I've been here, I've become stagnant. I'll order dinner in the hotel, go for take-out, or I might even see a movie by myself (which i really enjoy, btw). However, last night I opted for a change. I was to have met a friend of mine at Jamba Juice down on Santa Monica Blvd., but at the last minute his car wouldn't start - and of course we were at totally opposite ends of L.A., so I wouldn't be able to venture to his place (traffic would have been horrific). However, I decided to drive to our meeting place and just check out the area. So as I'm looking for my destination, I look up and see something very familiar - but my mind doesn't register what I am actually looking at. It's Moroni! The angel Moroni - standing so proud and strong in the middle of Los Angeles. Of course I completely forget my original destination and head to this all too familiar haven. There is traffic and madness all around me, but the moment I pull into the temple parking lot there is peace. I found a parking place, stepped out of my rental car and enjoyed a leisurely stroll around that majestic edifice. I was in awe. "I love to see the temple, I'm going there someday..."
I love the tranquility I find when I'm within its walls, but was grateful for the unexpected peace I found that evening on its grounds. The spirit resides there, and it is very evident. I'm grateful to have "stumbled" upon it that day. It brought new resolve to visit that place often while on my work trips. Next time I will be inside.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Ipod's make my world go 'round... yo

My cheap-o, re-furbished Ipod has to be one of my best buys ever! While sitting on a crowded, tiny plane bound for Burbank I pondered upon how much sweeter my travels have become since owning the darn thing. For one thing, I don't feel obligated to talk to or be talked to on a long or short flight (don't get me wrong, i'm a fan of airplane conversation, but on a 4 1/2 hour long flight it's a big commitment!)
The whole world changes when set to music. A cramped plane becomes a flood of memories, hopes and aspirations. You laugh, but it's true! My most creative thoughts come to play in these moments, and my goals come to life again (marathon!)
Here was the playlist for today's journey:
Michael Buble - Quando, Quando, Quando (reminds me of Shan & Caiti), You and I (this song makes me want to be in love)
Enya - Watermark (reminds me of my time in Russia - in my haven of a bedroom)
Ellen Degeneres stand-up comedy - hilarious! (this reminds me of being in the car with Shannon when hearing it for the first time and laughing so hard we were crying!)
Eva Cassidy - Songbird, I Know You By Heart, and My Baby Wrote Me a Letter (Heather & Matt first introduced me to Eva a few years ago, and wow, her voice is inspiring!)

Yes folks, my Ipod makes my world go 'round... how 'bout you?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Proud Auntie

I love my nephews. Really, I do.

Kalin was the first to enter this world - almost 13 years ago. I can't believe how much he has grown! Kalin has a special place in my heart because he is the first. He is really more like a little brother to me - since we all took turns raising him.

Kai will be 7 on the 22nd of October. He is such a funny kid; such personality. One day while on our way to the store - he looked over his outfit, smelled himself and said, "man, I should've put on some cologne. I might see some girls here! "

Gavin is now a big 5 year old. I only get to see him a few times a year, but it's so sweet when I do. He is a blonde haired, blue-eyed Swede. He even prays in Swedish! Smart kid, this one.

Ryan is almost 4, but might as well be 5 like his brother. I think he has weighed the same as his brother since he was 2. I love hearing Ryan sing songs on the phone. He is always willing. He and his brother are fans of Gwen Stefani songs (hmm... i wonder who introduced them...)

Owen the wonder child will be 3 in December. He is a blue eyed doll. The happiest day for me was when he said "Auntie" for the first time. He has been a dream ever since - and so smart.

Aidan, the curly haired angel is about 18 months. He is finally over the being afraid of people stage and comes running to me when I enter the home. He has a smile and laugh to die for!
He knows me as Auntie now too. My heart melts when I hear it.

My nephews are so important in my life. I love spending time with them. They are so loving and so accepting - even of crazy Auntie Erin. Ahh, I love, love them.

Monday, August 20, 2007

This year, so far...

My, what a busy year it has been! I began my 31st year on a crowded plane on its way to Australia. Yes, it's true. I boarded that United flight on February 6th and arrived in Australia on February 8th. My birthday (the 7th) was truly non-existent! Does that mean I'm still 30? Yes, I think I'll make that an official rule. So, from now on you will find me boarding a flight to the other side of the earth every February 6th!
I spent time in Melbourne at a XanGo Convention, which was really quite nice. I love the city, but they have been in a drought the last, oh, 10 years or so, so it was really quite brown. We made friends with some of the local singles who took us on a little tour of a Coney Island type of area. My favorite part was seeing tiny little fairy penguins who made their homes in the rocks off of the pier. I had never been so close to the teeny things!
After 4 days in Australia, I boarded a flight heading for Auckland, New Zealand. Kiwiland! I was able to stay with Darlene Hawea's mother, Celia (bless her heart). She was wonderful! I met so many wonderful people there that I will not soon forget. I also ate food that I will never be able to find here in the states. Rarr!
Celia lives in Temple View - a village of Mormon's right next to Hamilton. The temple is beautifully set in this picturesque place. I loved the time I spent there. It made me feel like I was in Laie for some reason. It was really quite different as far as homes, etc., but it felt so much like home to me - the only thing I could liken it to was my first home in Laie, Hawaii.
After being there almost two days, my co-worker and friend Courtney Benson joined me. We stayed at Celia's for another day and then we were on our way to Rotorua for more culture and beautiful scenery. My, I've decided that I could definitely live in such a place. There is so much more that I was able to see, but so little patience to actually write it. Tata!