January 2009 Archives

Living in sin

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I was brought up Roman Catholic.  I also have rather conservative parents.  I was taught that it is wrong to live with someone before you are married. 

I don't really agree with this.  I would not look down upon any couple that is not married but lives together.  First of all, I am a big believer in, "it is your life, your business.  whatever works for you."  I understand that people are different, circumstances are different.  I try not to judge.    Second, I don't really think there is anything wrong with it to begin with.  I am not a religious person so don't have any issues with it for religious reasons.  Really, I don't understand the religious aspect of it at all.  Is it supposed to prevent people from having pre-marital sex?  If it is, um.... yeah.  Doesn't work.

Anyway, my fiscally responsible side thinks moving in together is a good idea.  Say Sally and Joe have been dating for over a year and love each other very much.  Each was fortunate enough to be able to afford their own home while still single.  Sally spends most of her time at Joe's and very little at her own house.  Sally and Joe could save tons of money my eliminating the bills that Sally is paying and share the cost of the mortgage and other house expenses.  Smart, right?

Things are actually a bit more complicated than that though, aren't they?  How might living together change the relationship?  What happens if it doesn't work out?   

My sensible side also thinks that it's a good idea to try things out and see how living together works out before committing to it for life.  If you were allowed to try out some expensive item for a while before committing to buying it, wouldn't you do it?

Most of the time I wish that The Boy lived here with me.  I enjoy his company (obviously) and it would be nice to split some of the expenses and responsiblity.  But there is a little part of me that still cherishes my alone time and is afraid that things could possibly change for the worse if he were to move in.  I think that is really just my general fear of change and the unknown rather than actually believing things would deteriorate, though. 

So what's your opinion?  Is it living in sin to live with someone before marriage?  What are the pros and cons?  How do you know when you're ready to take that step?

Saturday Nights

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This past Saturday The Boy and I had dinner with another couple.  We went over to their house and had a lovely dinner of roast beef, potatoes, broccoli and bread.  We had cannolis and ice cream for dessert.  Modest amounts of wine and beer were consumed.  We played some wii and just chatted.  We came home at a reasonable hour.

This contrasts greatly with how I spent many Saturday nights as a twenty-something.  Out with larger groups of people.  Usually out at a bar drinking lots of alcohol and arriving back home way too late.

For some reason this realization struck me upside the head on the way home that night.  I suddenly and overwhelmingly felt like a mature adult.  Almost like I was playing a character, an older version of myself.  I was on the outside looking in and I could hear my older, more mature self speaking to me. 

Of course, this wasn't a sudden change but happened gradually.  I gradually started "going out" less, and drinking less and coming home earlier when I did go out.  Which is why I'm a little confused as to why it suddenly hit me this way. 

Have you experienced something similar?  What was your experience in discovering your transformation from young adult to just plain adult?


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You may have noticed the 2 125x125 ads over on the top right of the page.  Back in November I joined this group called CMF Ads and have been very glad I did.  This past Friday they went live with their new advertising service.  Let me explain a little bit about the who, what, and why...


When my blog was less than 2 months old I was online searching on how to write a better blog, how to promote it, the do's and don'ts, etc.  I came across a couple of articles written by Ben Barden on his site called Top 10 Blog Tips. He had a couple of great articles on how often to write, and the importance of sticking to your niche. I left a comment and he replied back. We went back and forth a bit and he recommended I join the group and start participating in the forum. He was not pushy about it in the least, simply offering a helpful suggestion. Needless to say, I did stop by said forum and learned more about Ben as well as a great group of people that had already joined the forum, or have joined since. Ben is joined by Turnip from turnipofpower.com and Stan at razzball.com as the three masterminds behind the project.


CMF Ads stands for Changing Marketing Forever. Basically, you join the forum, purchase credits, and use these credits to place ads on other members sites. Each credit costs $0.25. The current cost for an ad is anywhere between 1 and 10 credits. The purchased ad remains on the site for 30 days. You can use the credits you earn by people advertising on your site to advertise on others.

Part of what makes this system so affordable is ad space sharing. You will notice I have 2 advertising spots on the right. I am currently running 4 ads. Each time the page is refreshed the ads are also refreshed.

There are also tons of other extras such as viewing advertising history, and comprehensive statistics about all your ads.

One other great aspect is that you can choose to accept or deny a request to advertise on your site. So you will only be promoting sites that you review first and think are relevant to your readers.

You are also welcome to join and participate in the forum and not advertise at all.


Why should you check it out?

The group of people on the forum are terrific. Just like Ben, they are very nice and eager to help. If there are any problems the administrators will fix it almost immediately. I have posted a couple of technical questions and they were answered within minutes. I also had many members jump in when I requested a critique of my blog and all gave very thoughtful and helpful answers.

It is extremely cheap advertising and it's very simple to participate. It's an easy and affordable way to get your site seen.


Instead of a question today I will leave you with a task. Go check out CMF Ads for yourself and come back here and let me know what you think!  I guess that really only applies to anyone with a blog looking to advertise or join a forum.  For anyone else that actually made it this far, your task is to leave me the link to a site you consider a must-see.


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Image from http://www.medicalcarellc.com

So I had the bone density (DEXA) scan done today.  I am thirty and I've already had 2.  When I got there the woman doing the scan said, "You're thirty, what are you doing here?"  "Goood question," I replied.

I told her I had osteopenia and osteoporosis in part of my spine.  She looked shocked.  And also like she felt a little sorry for me. 

The scan itself is a piece of cake.  You don't feel anything.  Just simply lie on a table and this little thing runs back and forth above your body.  It is over and done with very quickly, at least if things go smoothly.  The woman had to do each scan about 3 times repositioning me each time to get it just right.  It still didn't take very long.  About 20 minutes. 

I don't know when I will get the results.  I expect by the end of the week or maybe next week.  My doctor told me to call her a day or two after the test so she would know to go look for the results in my records. 

There was a little bit of good news. I haven't shrunk again since I was last measured.  Yay!  At 5'2" at my tallest, I really can't afford it.

Happy Birthday, Dad

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Yesterday was my dad's birthday.

I feel extremely lucky to have him as my dad.  He is probably the person in this world that I admire the most. 

He has taught me so much through his actions:

1.  Good work ethic

He started working delivering newspapers in his early teens.  He does whatever it takes to get the job done, no matter how long it takes or how tired he is.  He goes above and beyond expectations, never settling for anything less than his best. 

2.  Personal finance

He taught me how to save money starting when I was very little.  He taught me how to create a budget.  He helped me learn how to spend my money wisely.  He taught me how to do my taxes and figure out how much I could really afford when buying a house.

3.  Good character

He is one of the most selfless people I know.  He would do just about anything for anyone no matter how much it puts him out.  He takes actions that are better for the greater good, even if it might not be in his own best interest.  He does things just because they are the right thing to do. 

4.  Perseverance and Patience

He taught me to never give up.  Keep trying until there is nothing left to try.  Just keep going through tough times, you will come out a stronger person in the end. 

5.  Don't dwell on the negative 

My dad is legally blind.  He can't drive and reading is difficult.  Instead of focusing on that he focuses on what he can do and has become extremely successful.  He has accomplished many things that I am sure many people thought he never could.  I can relate to this with my genetic disorder, Turner Syndrome, and he has helped me tremendously in dealing with it.    

This is one of those times where I desperately wish I were better at writing.  I can not adequately describe how wonderful a person he really is or how much I truly admire and respect him.

Who do you admire, and why?

eat, pray, love

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Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

My sister bought me the book eat, pray, love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, for my birthday back in September. I just started reading it last week. I'm only about 50 pages in but so far I love it.

First, I love the writing style. It's the exact type of humor that I love the most. It's sort of blunt, and sarcastic. It is how I wish I could write.  I don't know how best to describe it so I'll copy a paragraph as an example.  I hope it isn't ruined by being taken out of context.

I don't have these qualities. First off, I don't blend. Tall and blonde and pink-complexioned, I am less a chameleon than a flamingo. Everywhere I go but Dusseldorf, I stand out garishly. When I was in China, women used to come up to me on the street and point me out to their children as though I were some escaped zoo animal. And their children -- who had never seen anything quite like this pink-faced yellow-headed phantom person -- would often burst into tears at the sight of me. I really hated that about China.

Second, I was drawn to the character. It's written in the first person and it feels like I am listening to a friend tell me a story in person. I was sucked in right away. The main character is a woman in her mid-thirties and just trying to figure things out. Get her life in order. She does it through a year of traveling; 4 months in Italy, 4 in India, and 4 in Indonesia. It made me start planning my trip to Ireland which will hopefully happen later this year.

I haven't gotten very far into it yet, but I am totally recommending this book.

What's the last book you read? Would you recommend it?

Motivation to exercise

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I often have trouble getting motivated to exercise. It's so much easier to just... do nothing, isn't it? Occasionally though, something will spark a fire under my butt and I'll treat my body properly by giving it a little exercise. My initial motivation usually comes from feeling the clothes fitting a little tighter than they should, or my mind and body just not feeling well overall.

Saturday afternoon The Boy brought over his father's truck and I dragged him over to Dick's Sporting Goods. The goal was to buy an elliptical machine. Mission accomplished. I ended up buying a Horizon E401. It took approximately an hour and a half to assemble. It really wasn't tricky at all. The instructions were very simple to follow.  I feel very comfortable on it and it has all the options I need.  It also feels quite sturdy, which it should at 175 pounds!  It shows time, calories burned, resistance, distance, heart rate, and speed.  It also has several built in programs: manual, intervals, mountain, weight loss, cardio challenge, and endurance challenge.

Around 2:00 Sunday afternoon I headed downstairs to use it for the first time. Let me tell you, this thing kicked my ass. I lasted 22 minutes on the lowest resistance level. My heart rate was quickly off the charts. Pathetic. I knew I was out of shape since I stopped going to the gym last March, but I didn't expect it to be quite that bad.

The plan is to actually get up in the morning and do 20-30 minutes before work at least 3 days a week. And then find 20-30 minutes to do it on Saturday and Sunday (at least one day, if not both).

So far I am quite motivated. For some people, having such an abysmal first day may make them lose some motivation. For me, I think it increased my motivation. I know what I am capable of, what I was doing at the gym. I am motivated to get myself back to that place. I know how much I need these for my health. My main motivators will be to see the heart rate drop and be able to first, increase the time and second, increase the resistance level. Those things will make me happier than seeing the number on the scale drop.

Now let's just hope this motivation lasts more than a week!

What is your current exercise routine?  How long have you been sticking with it?  What motivates you to start/continue and exercise program?

Today was a good day

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I love those days where I wake up in the morning and actually feel refreshed.  I feel ready for the day.  I have the necessary energy to do the things I want and need to do that day.  For me, these days are far too few and far between.  However, today was one of those days. 

Today was a good day.
I had a doctor's appointment today.  It was with a reproductive endocrinologist.  I don't know about you, but I really hate going to the doctor.  I always feel all awkward and uncomfortable.  And, I am not the best advocate for myself.  I am not good at speaking up for myself.  Unfortunately, it seems that lately I have made the trek to various specialists a multitude of times.

A few of the phrases I heard out of the doctor this afternoon:

"Actually, the bone loss is quite significant."
"You do have osteoporosis, not just osteopenia, in parts of your spine."
"I am concerned."
"Are there any prospects?" (this was after I questioned pregnancy for me being high risk)

Those first three comments scared me a bit. The last one I just thought was a little bizarre and caught me off guard a little. I would have expected something more like, "are you interested in trying to get pregnant?"

The two options for treatment presented to me were:

  1. Bisphosphonates.  A drug that has been approved by the FDA for women in their 60's and later.  There is also the risk of a side-effect called osteonecrosis, which simply put means your jaw bone disintegrates. Some more lovely notes about this class of medication are:

  2. The long-term effects of taking bisphosphonates for many years are not known.

    For the best results and to reduce the risk of irritation to your esophagus if you take bisphosphonates by mouth:

    • Take bisphosphonates in the morning with a full glass of water at least 30 minutes before eating a meal, drinking a beverage, or taking any other medicine.
    • Sit or stand (don't lie down) for at least 30 minutes after taking a bisphosphonate. This helps prevent heartburn.
    • Do not take a bisphosphonate late in the day if you forgot to take it in the morning
  3. Daily Injections.  Injections that would have to be done by a "medical endocrinologist".   

Wow.  Those are some great options, huh?!  And as an added bonus I get to go back again in 10 more days to have a bone density scan done.  I can't think of a better way to spend my lunch hour.  Oh, wait, yes I can.

I am trying not to freak out just yet.  I keep telling myself to wait and see what the second bone density test reveals first.  Then I can freak.

Cold Snap

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We are in the midst of a really bad cold snap.  20 below wind chill type cold snap. For 3 or 4 days in a row.  Tomorrow's high is 5 degrees.  I don't think I can complain too much though.  I just looked up Fargo, ND on weather.com.

Fargo ND.jpg

I came across the following youtube video, which made me feel quite a bit better.  I'm still dreaming about 75 and sunny, though.  Some people say they would get tired of the nice weather and would miss the seasons if it were the same day after day.  I am not one of those people.

Guilty Pleasures: TV Edition

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I am sitting waiting for American Idol to come on.  I have no idea why I still watch or what I even like about this show.  I won't tape it if I am not going to be around, but I always watch if I am and I remember. 

My other current tv guilty pleasure?  Biggest Loser.  The transformations astound me.  I love the end of the episode where they show what the person who was kicked off looks like today.

The Boy can't stand either of these shows.

My biggest guilty tv please is from way back in the day.  I used to LOVE Dawson's Creek.  *covers face in shame*  I didn't start watching until the 2nd season but, man, did I get sucked in.  The first 3 seasons were far better than the rest but I still continued to watch.  Joey and Pacey!!  Haha. 

What are your tv guilty pleasures of the present or past?

Keeping in touch with old friends

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It has been 12 and half years since I graduated high school and 8 and a half years since I graduated college.  I have found that I keep in touch with very few people that I was friends with during these times.  There are a small group of friends from high school that I hear from and occasionally see when there is a wedding or a shower of some sort.  I occasionally receive links to digital photo albums of family vacations or the kids.  I exchange occasional emails and text messages with a friend from college who moved down to Virginia after we graduated.  I used to hang out with two close friends from college for a while after we graduated.  One moved to Maryland and as life went on the other friend and I have simply and gradually drifted apart.  I recently received facebook requests from 2 friends from high school and I am still debating if I should sign up or not.

The Boy, in contrast, is 27 years old and still keeps in close contact with friends that he has had for 20+ years.  He lives maybe 400 miles or more away from most of them yet an effort is made on everyone's part to keep in touch and see each other when they can.  He also hangs out on a regular basis with his friends from college.  Even the ones that have moved away to different cities or even states. 

It seems a little backwards to me that the guys seem to be better at keeping in touch than the gals.  Maybe I'm just wrong about the stereotypes or this is an isolated case.

How well do you keep in touch with friends from the past?  How do you feel about sites such as myspace and facebook for keeping in touch?

Temptations Galore

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Tonight after finishing dinner The Boy and I plopped down on the couch to watch some t.v. and relax (no new Office - boo).  After a few minutes an infomercial came on.  As I often am, I was totally impressed and ready to dial up and order.

This particular infomercial was for a product called Fix It!  Although you can't tell from the ultra generic name, it is meant to repair scratches on cars.  I have a nasty little scratch on my car that I would like to disappear.  "Repairs scratches like magic," the website boasts.  And, of course, on the infomercial magic is exactly what it looks like.  I always believe these things are as awesome as they appear on tv. 

I was terribly disappointed to find this site with reviews on this product: http://www.infomercialratings.com/product/fix_it_reviews.


Speaking of infomercials that have recently tempted me, let's talk about the ShamWow.  The Boy and I have been very closing to buying these while at Bed Bath and Beyond recently.  I actually just checked the same review website above and again, most of the reviews were really negative.  Even after reading them, I'd like to try these for myself to see.


Speaking of things I've been tempted to buy, I am also tempted to buy SIM City for WiiI played Sim City on my computer approximately a decade and a half ago (god i'm old) and absolutely loved it.  The Boy almost bought me this for Christmas but decided on another game instead due to the not-so-hot reviews he read.

Have you been dooped by an infomercial?  Tell me your stories of something (good or bad) that you bought after seeing an infomercial.

Have you played Sim City for Wii?  Is it any good?

No Sew Fleece

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I finally sat down and finished the blanket that I posted about here.  I gave it to my friend this morning.  Hopefully the little one and the little one soon to come will enjoy it.



A case of the Mondays

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The last time I was in the office, before today, was December 18th.  If I am counting correctly, that is a full 18 days without stepping foot in my work building.  I did work from home on the 19th, and checked email and did bits here and there, but I pretty much did not think about work that entire time.  It was a gloriously long time to recuperate and rejuvenate.  It was also badly needed.  I was nearing my breaking point.  Today someone commented, "Erin, you look much more... refreshed... today."  Ha.  You think?  I wonder whatever could possibly be the reason!  18 days away from 'the grind' will do that to you.  Also, actually putting on make-up in the morning helps too.  Overall, it was not nearly as horrible to be back at work after that much time off as I had imagined it was going to be.

photo from http://www.myteespot.com

So funny little story about the fancy schmancy new thermostat.  Apparently I don't know how to use it!  I woke up this morning and it was 55 degrees in my house.  I reset the temp and promptly crawled back into bed while the temperature slowly crept up a couple of degrees.  I looked at it again tonight and it appears there is another button after "Done" that you have to push to make it start the schedule you just programmed.  Who knew?! 

A sudden an unexpected home improvement project was completed today.  Let me explain...

Last night, at around 7:45 PM, I was working at the computer and noticed my hands felt like ice.  I went over to check the thermostat and, lo and behold, it was set to 68 but the temperature was reading 61. 

So I went out around and checked the various vents.  Hmm... nothing.  I went down to check on the furnace.  Hmm... making a loud noise but nothing is even remotely warm.  I don't see any pilot light. 

My best guess, knowing NOTHING about furnaces, was that the pilot light had gone out.  I tried to look online on how to start it but quickly gave up.  I was afraid of, like, blowing up the house, or something.  I decided to call a local Heating and Air Conditioning place instead.  I called around 8:30 PM. 

"Sorry, ma'm.  I am afraid we are very busy and I cannot give you a time, but someone will be there tonight."

Ok.  I put on my wool socks.  I put on multiple layers and fleeces and big puffy down jacket and warm comfy boots.  I drank some hot chocolate.  The temperature continued to plummet.  Someone finally showed up about quarter past 11.  $200 and 2 hours later he was unable to diagnose the problem and it was decided I would get a new furnace.  It was probably time since, ya know, the furnace was older than the nice gentleman that was there to diagnose it.  The furnace, it turns out, was manufactured in 1982.  Almost as old as me, and we all know I am OOOLD.

Since it was after 1AM at this point The Boy and I decided to rough it for the night and stay here.  It's really not that much longer until 8 AM when the other guy is expected to come to install, we figured.  Pile on lots of blankets!  We will be fine!  In retrospect, this was probably a bad move.  The temperature inside the house at 8AM was 47 degrees.  The temperature outside during the night was 7 degrees.  Seven, i.e., way below freezing. 

The sales guy who was supposed to help me determine the appropriate type of furnace called at 8:45.  Said he would call again at 10:30.  Called at 11:30 and was at my house around noon.  Let me tell you, that is a long time to wait WHEN IT IS 47 DEGREES IN YOUR HOUSE.  He checked out the situation and quickly determined the type of furnace that would best suit my house.  After he left we went to The Boy's parents to get a space heater and shower.  No way was I removing any type of clothing in my house.  We had to rush back to meet the guy with the new furnace at 2:30.  He arrives and starts his work.  At 5:30 PM we see smoke in the kitchen and dining room, and hear the fire alarm go off.  Apparently that is the signal that it is done?  I turned to The Boy and said, "Um, should we go down and check on that?"  The guy dismantled the alarm (which is still dismanted at this moment) and the smoke eventually cleared.  All was well.

I now have a nice brand spanking new furnace that is much much smaller than the previous old beast.  I also have a fancy new programmable thermostat, which I don't really know how to use yet.  And, the temperature is now a balmy 64 degrees.

Is there some sort of house repair god that I pissed off or something?  'Cause seriously, first the roof, then the garage, then the furnace.  All in one month?  I dunno, seems like a lot to me.

Picture It

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Picture it.  Upstate, New York. 2009.

It was 1:30 in the morning and we were just arriving home after dropping off a friend.  The snow was lightly falling.  I was standing on the step in front of the door and he was still on the driveway below the step.  I turned around to say something and when I did so, I noticed that we were in perfect kissing position.  So outside, in the freezing cold and snow, I planted one on him before entering the house.

I love moments like those.

10 points for the first person who correctly identifies which show the first line of this post was based off of.

Being Thirty: A Poem

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Being Thirty

I've said goodbye to yesterday,
Where youth and childhood lie.
It's hard to comprehend the truth --
That time has passed me by.

Those days are spent, part of my past.
I blinked and now they're gone.
But that was then and this is now --
It's time for a new song.

I stand on my two solid feet
With confidence and pride.
I'm dancing to my own heartbeat --
Embracing this new tide.

I've said goodbye to yesterday,
Where youth and childhood lie.
The lessons learned now put to use --
I'll hold my head up high.

December 27, 2008


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This year I brought in the New Year a little differently than years past.  The Boy and I hung out with his parents for the evening.  We ate pulled pork.  We played Clue (I won both games played, heh).  We ate mocha pie.  We kissed at midnight.  It was a fairly quiet evening, at least compared to the bar scene which has been my usual December 31st hangout.  I guess that's part of the transition from your twenties into your thirties.  I just feel too old and tired for hanging out at bars anymore.  I feel out of place.  For the most part, I am just not interested in doing it anymore.  I don't drink that much, and if I am going to do it, I'd rather do it in a manner that costs much less and where I can actually socialize with the people I'm hanging out with without having to yell over the music and everyone else.  It was lovely and perfect to bring in the new year with The Boy and his family.

In terms of aspirations for 2009, I do not have many.  I don't foresee any major changes.  There are a few small things I'd like to do though.  I hate staying stagnant.  I like to feel I am evolving, growing, and improving as a person.  I will probably tweak this list a little bit as time goes on to make them a little more specific and measurable.

1.  Take better care of myself -- get more sleep, eat less junk and more fruits and veggies.  Drink less diet coke.  I'm planning to buy an eliptical machine to put in the extra room downstairs.  It would be nice to have the Ann Taylor pants I just bought fit a little less snug.

2.  I'd like to concentrate more on my writing on my blog.  I'd like to make it a little more popular and perhaps make a little extra spending money from it -- at least enough to cover the cost of having the site!  A new logo/banner for the site would be awesome.  It would be nice to have visitors from all 50 states.  Right now I'm at 21. 

3.  I'd like to use my passport.  Or at least take a trip to somewhere nice I have never been before.  I'd love to see parts of Europe.   

4.  Take more photographs, particularly of people.  I do take lots of photos already, but I feel like not many are of the people that are important to me.  I'd like to have more of those.

5.  Save even more money than I did this past year.

6.  Get my ass out of bed in a timely manner in the morning and be at work by 8:30 AM.

That's all for now.  I hope everyone who comes across this page has a wonderful 2009 filled with lots of love, happiness, health, and prosperity.

About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

You can read more about the author behind thirty-something blog on the About Me page.





About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2008 is the previous archive.

February 2009 is the next archive.

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