in , , , , , by Erin Lynne, December 12, 2013
I have always loved birthdays, especially mine.  Even if I didn't do anything big, I always loved to celebrate with a dinner with friends at the very least.

This year, however, I just wasn't feeling it.

I haven't really had a problem with getting older up until now.  29 didn't bother me. 30 only bothered me because I had the stomach flu.  Nothing post-30 had bothered me either.  That is, until this year.


I am not sure why it sounds so much older than 34, but it really does.

Maybe it's because 35 is the age you start hearing on commercials. You know, "Women over 35 should consult their doctor..." "these risks increase in women over 35..."

Maybe it's because at 35, high school was literally half a lifetime ago.

Or maybe it's because at 35, I can't really ignore the fact that my life has not turned out the way I thought it would.

I love my life, I do.  Most days, I am perfectly happy with who I am and what I have accomplished (I mean, c'mon, Cutest House on the Block and I am a real estate mogul? That's pretty doggone good!) But there are plenty of days I struggle.  I struggle with feeling alone.  I struggle with being the odd man out.  I struggle with not being able to add to the conversation when the talk is anniversaries and proposal stories and late night feedings.  I struggle with the feeling that being single is somehow the consolation prize for a contest I wasn't even qualified to enter, which is a real problem for me, because I certainly don't like to lose.  And sometimes, to be brutally honest, I feel like I am losing.

Had you asked me at 20 where I would be at 35, I would've said "Married.  Good job.  Two kids.  SUV.  Dog."  Even jaded and cynical at 30, I probably would've said I would at least be dating someone seriously, if not the happy family I envisioned at 20. Isn't that what we would all say? Isn't that what we are supposed to say? Isn't that where all of us are supposed to end up? At 20, it was easy to see that.  At 30, it was harder to envision, but still imaginable.  At 35, it's becoming more difficult to imagine it happening, and easier to imagine it not happening. I am not trying to be Debbie Downer, nor am I trying to get everyone to say, "Oh, it'll happen when you _________ (least expect it/learn to truly love yourself/stop looking/etc)!" I am also not saying it won't happen, but I am saying the odds are not in my favor.

So I guess the question I have now, is what do I do now?

And I think the answer is simple.  LIVE.  Staying single is a perfectly acceptable, albeit not particularly desirable, plot twist in my story.

I can love my life even if I am sometimes discouraged.

I can be happy where I am, even if I don't want to stay there.

I know I am blessed with what I have, and that I have more than enough to satisfy me.

I will make it.

Maybe 35 won't be so bad after all...


in , , , , , , by Erin Lynne, November 10, 2013
I am not one to post the daily thankful status updates on Facebook.  (For the record, this is not because I am NOT thankful, but because I want to save everyone the time of having to hide me from their news feed on Day 7 when I run out of big things to say and start posting the same things I've posted for three years.) However, I have been thinking about my blessings lately, and trying to focus on what I do have, not what I don't.  It's difficult.  I am blessed in several areas of my life, but in all honesty, sometimes not the ones I want to be blessed in.  I have been striving to not compare myself to others and focus on what's good, but it is a challenge.  Then today I ran across this little jewel on Pinterest:

In all of the things I've read and sermons I've heard and conversations I have had, this one just drives it home for me.  Because it's true.

The grass is NOT always greener, and it would do us good to remember that.

Dear Coach Stoops

in , , by Erin Lynne, September 14, 2013
Dear Coach Stoops,
Thanks for coming to Kentucky. Thanks for seeking us out and for convincing Mitch Barnhart that even with no head coaching experience, you were the man for this job. You were right... You are the man for this job. While the record books may have you right now with a losing head coaching record (1-2), you're winning.

You've won the hearts of the long suffering UK football fans, and given us hope for the future. I told another UK football fan with a new wildcat of her own (approximate recruiting class 2030) that if you do what you promise, her little one will never grow up thinking UK football sucks. And Coach, that's saying a LOT!

You've won the hearts of those in attendance at Commonwealth Stadium. (Please note that these aren't necessarily the same group as the long suffering UK football fans.) Last season, attendance was poor awful atrocious. Even when they (who is "they" anyway?) inflated the numbers, they were still less than half of capacity. In truth, I saw less than 20,000 most of the season.

You wanna see what I saw today? At 2:30 left in the 4th quarter, the Cats down 14, this is what I saw:

That's a lot of blue left, Coach.

You know what else I saw? Fight. These boys fought. They didn't give up. You went for it on 4th... Even a 4th & 13 late in the fourth quarter within field goal range because 3 wouldn't have helped us. I appreciate that. Most of the east endzone appreciated that, in fact. We just want to be competitive. We just want to watch the boys in blue play a good game. Were there mistakes today? Yes. But was there promise? YES.

We as football fans are excited. We are hopeful. And we are grateful.

So thanks, Coach Stoops. We are looking forward to many more Saturdays with you.

Ridiculous Travel Nonsense

in , , by Erin Lynne, August 23, 2013
Imagine my surprise when I opened my blog today and had to dust off my screen it had been so long since I gave it some love! You see, I have been pretty preoccupied with this thing called a “240 day contract” (for those of you outside of the education world, this means I am a full year employee like the rest of the non K-12 people) and this other little thing called “The Cutest House on the Block” (more on that later).

I came here today to write about Ridiculous Travel Nonsense ~ Part C and I see that the last time I posted was Ridiculous Travel Nonsense ~ Part A, so let me catch you up on my travel (mis) adventures since then.

After I FINALLY got to San Antonio, (First Class, thankyouverymuch!) the ISTE conference was amazing. Coming home was worse than getting there. Yes, that’s right, you heard me, WORSE than getting there.

Here is a brief synopsis of my June 27, 2013 aka the day I almost moved to Atlanta.

4:30am-Awaken and stumble downstairs to check out of my hotel and head to the airport

5:15am-Arrive at airport, check in, flight status on time. Awesome!

11:00am-Arrive in Atlanta, flight to Lexington delayed 45 minutes. No big deal really, but all of this drama started with a 45 minute delayed flight, so I don’t have a good feeling.

11:40am-Flight delayed 4 hours. I decide to eat some lunch.

12:50pm-Flight delayed 8 hours, 55 minutes. I could DRIVE to Lexington by then.

1:30pm-Placed on standby flight to Lexington to depart at 3:15. Thirty of us are on standby, I am #27 on the list. The flight is full. All flights to Cincinnati and Louisville are also booked for the rest of the day.

2:30-Find a flight to Charleston, WV. The Greatest Parents Ever have offered to come pick me up. I say “YES! PLEASE!” and “THANK YOU!” to both.

2:45-Flight to Charleston delayed. Well, of course it is.

3:05-Board to Charleston. I kid you not... Flight attendant "Welcome aboard Delta flight 5482 with service to... Wait, where are we going again?"

The rest of the time is fuzzy, I feel asleep a lot after that… but the gist of the matter is, I landed in Charleston, my parents were waiting on me, my luggage was waiting in Lexington. Mom and dad drove me to Lexington (stopping for Big Loafer of course), I got my luggage, they drove home. All’s well that ends well…

Now, fast forward about two months.

Learning.com has invited me to Portland for a one-day focus group, and of course, I say “YES! PLEASE!” and “THANK YOU!” (contrary to semi-popular belief, I can be polite.) I was flying out of Lexington on Delta through Atlanta. I braced myself for the worst, but you know what? It was all smooth as silk! I didn’t get in until 10pm Portland time, which my body thought, was 1am, so I was S-L-E-E-P-Y, but the flights were good.

After all day Wednesday in Portland (where I had this amazing doughnut):

I had a to get up at 5:00am (which my body thought was 8am) for a 7:30am flight on American (YAY!) through Dallas (YAY!).

The plane in Portland was full, so they offered to check our carry on bags for free, so I let them. Flight to Dallas was smooth, and landed early at 1:05pm. I checked my next flight on my phone, gate B-18, On Time. On my way to the tram to get to Concourse B, I pass two display boards. I check them both: Gate B-18, On Time. When I get in the tram, I check my phone again, Gate B-18, On Time. (This seems way OCD I realize, but I forgot to mention that when I checked my gate after landing in Atlanta (from Part B), they had changed it before I could even get there, so now I check several times.) At this point, it’s 1:25, I have 15 minutes until boarding begins, and I start to wonder what kind of food I can find for lunch.

Then my phone buzzes.

An email.

From American Airlines.

American Airlines flight 3399 to Lexington Blue Grass (LEX) has been canceled.

BUT TWO MINUTES AGO, IT WAS ON TIME! I check my phone again.

Yep, cancelled. This cannot be happening to me.

I continue my travel to Gate B-18, where I wait in line to see how to get home. Upon arriving at the counter, the American Airlines employee tells me cheerfully, “We have you booked on the first flight out to Lexington in the morning. We will cover your hotel tonight.” Well, that might work if I had LUGGAGE…but I am not spending another day in these clothes.

Me: “I need to get home today, actually.”

Her: “I can get you on standby on the flight to Lexington that leaves at 7:50pm, and arrives at 11pm.”

Me: “Nope, that means I will end up staying here. Can you get me to Cincinnati?”

Her: “There’s a flight to Cincinnati that leaves at 5:00pm"

Me: "How about Louisville?"

Her: "There's a flight to Louisville at 3:40pm"

Me: "Book it"

So they rerouted my luggage and booked the flight, and I was at least on my way to the right STATE this time (next time maybe I will make it all the way home). Flight on time, friendly flightmates, landed in Louisville at 6:45.

Then I went to rent a car. I got nearly completely through my Budget transaction, they were giving me a deal, plus my UK Alum discount! The girl behind the counter got stuck for a second and needed her coworker's help (who was already helping someone else), so I asked if I could step away and get my luggage. She said yes, and I went to the baggage claim.

Except my luggage wasn't there. And no one was at the American Airlines Baggage Claim office.

I went back to get my car, only to realize they wanted me to return the car to 1059 South Broadway (which for you non-Lexingtonians, is suffice it to say, NOT at the airport. Apparently Budget doesn't have airport service in Lexington.


I head to Enterprise and start all over. When I get my keys, I head back to the American Airlines Baggage Claim Counter, where lo and behold, a human sits.

Me: (handing claim ticket) Can you tell me where this bag is?

Her: (after typing) Dallas

Me: Oh, okay, do you know where it's going to end up?

Her: Probably Lexington.

Me: Probably Lexington?

Her: Yeah, probably.


I left at this point. I just wanted to be home.

So after a semi stressful "How do I get out of here?" moment in my car, I got on I-64 and I was good to go.

Then it started raining.

How to Work the Wipers in a Hyundai Elentra wasn't something I had studied before. Luckily I can learn on the go.

Then I realized that the only way that made sense to get to the airport in Lexington from Louisville was through Versailles.

Which means construction.

Which means traffic.

Which nearly meant nervous breakdown, but I made it... Even though at one point, I thought I was going to have to get to the airport via Nicholasville, because I thought they had actually shut down Versailles road. But anyway...

I got to the airport, parked the rental car, and went inside and waited to return the keys. The Enterprise guy asked how many miles were on the car. I answered, "However many were on it when I picked it up, plus however many miles it is from the Louisville airport to this one." He did the math.

Afterwards, I went to the American Airlines ticket counter to check on my luggage. When I told the employee my story, she asked me if I had filled out a claim. I said, "No, because they told me my luggage would probably end up in Lexington." She sighed and said, "Well heaven forbid someone in Louisville actually do their job..." and looked up my bag for me. Luckily, she said it was on the flight headed for Lexington right then, and it should land around 11pm. I told her I'd be back tomorrow.

When I went back this morning... Imagine my surprise. It was actually there.

So, to make a long story short... Don't fly with me.

As someone immersed in technology on a daily basis, the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference is one of the few that I feel I gain knowledge by attending. This year, I booked my flight to San Antonio excited for all I'd learn.
About a month before the conference, I got an email from Delta letting me know they had changed my flight times. The times were later in the day, which meant I wasn't getting to San Antonio until about 10 PM, which was why later than I wanted to get there, but at this point, what are you going to do? Flight was leaving Lexington at 3:00pm, four hour layover in Detroit, leaving Detroit at 8:00.
Today, I got a phone call from Delta explaining that the flight was delayed 45 minutes. They offered to rebook me, but as this really only meant my layover in Detroit was shorter, I decided to stick it out.
By the time Megan dropped me off at the airport, the delay was over an hour, which meant I had way too much time on my hands, because it takes approximately 2 1/2 minutes to get through security in Lexington at any given time.
After eating a late lunch/early dinner, I waited semi patiently for the flight to begin boarding. We boarded the plane, and much to my surprise, not only was the screaming child who I experienced in the waiting area far away from me, but former UK basketball player Wayne Turner was two rows in front of me, and the seat next to me was empty. My luck was turning around!
Approximately 5 minutes after being on board, the captain came over that loudspeaker and informed us all that all flights to and from Detroit were grounded, and we had to de board the plane. At this point it's about 4:25 and they told us at 5, we should be able to re board. All passengers (including Wayne Turner) whose connecting flights were affected were rebooked immediately. They didn't even talk to any San Antonio people.
At 5:00, guess what? It's still raining in Detroit, and we can't board. The next possible time for us to board is 6:00, meaning at this point nearly everyone on the plane is missing their connection. They begin to call the passengers up one at a time to look at other options for travel. And, as always with things alphabetically, Miss Waggoner was the last one called. Several people around me were also going to San Antonio for various reasons, and I had overheard their conversations with the Delta employees as they each went to the front. I couldn't make out everything that was being said, but I could make out the words "I cannot get you into San Antonio tonight."
When my name was finally called, my list of options was interesting to say the least. I could go ahead and fly to Detroit, and possibly get out of Detroit to somewhere in Texas tomorrow, but not San Antonio. I could leave Lexington tomorrow and Fly to Atlanta, but again I couldn't fly to San Antonio. They could get me to Dallas, Houston, or Austin, and I would have to rent a car to drive to San Antonio. At this point, I was wondering if I had left my young child at home while I went on vacation, because I felt like the mom in Home Alone.
The rental car was possibly going to be an issue for me, because as this is a work trip, Jessamine County schools had not authorized me to get a rental car. I really didn't want to get one if I couldn't be reimbursed for it, so I had to make a few phone calls up the chain of command at work to see if this would be okay. I was told they'd figure a way to work it out, so I went back to the counter to book the flights through Atlanta. When I got there, the Delta employee who I had been working with got really excited because a couple of seats opened up on a flight to San Antonio tomorrow. However before she could book them, they were gone. Now, I had moved from Home Alone to The Amazing Race. I told this to the girl helping me, and leaned in and said "I need to get to San Antonio as fast as possible! Get me on a flight that gets there before any of these people in line behind me! This is important! We are in a race!" (Which was a big hit, really, and you know how much I love to make people laugh!)
The next thing I know, the Delta girl is asking me if I can make a flight that leaves Lexington at 6 AM tomorrow. Knowing I would never ask my dear sweet friend Megan McCarty to get up that early to take me to the airport, I say yes, and figure I will just drive myself. She does a little typing, tells me she can get me into San Antonio by noon, and prints my new boarding passes. She comes around the counter to give them to me, and points to a couple of words I have never seen on one of my plane tickets before: FIRST CLASS. She then tells me that because I was so nice, she has made an exception, and she will get me into San Antonio by noon tomorrow. She said the first-class might not stick, but having a first-class ticket means that they can't bump me, because the flight was overbooked.
At this point, Megan is already on her way to get me from the airport to take me back home, and it is about 6:15. After my boarding passes are squared away, she calls to get my bag off of the plane and sends me back to the Delta ticket counter to retrieve it. I get to the ticket counter at 6:30. And I wait, and I wait, and I wait. I think the guy was scared I was getting really pissed, because he kept apologizing over and over. At this point, I was over all of it. (In fact, Megan said how calm I was being was actually freaking her out.) I figured it's not like I'm stuck in Detroit, I'm going home to sleep in my own bed. And if for some reason my bag was on its way to San Antonio, I would just pick it up at the airport tomorrow. Thirty minutes later, my bag appears, and my chauffeur takes me home.
So, I'll be up at about 4:30 in the morning to try this all over again.

Damn, this better be a good conference.


in , , , , by Erin Lynne, June 11, 2013
I've learned a lot from Disney movies over the years.  For instance, I know not to touch the spindle on the spinning wheel, ALWAYS be home by curfew, my nose will grow if I tell a lie, and that the pleasantly plump fairies are the nice ones (c'mon, y'all know Tinkerbell was kind of a brat).  I also learned from a little monkey (I think he was a monkey) named Rafiki, "the past can hurt. But the from way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it." 

I've made some mistakes in my life. There are some mistakes that honestly I would probably make again, and others I would not. I have periods, seasons, hell, even years, of my life that I wouldn't mind just erasing from my memory. Those nights I wasted crying over a boy? I wish I could have those back. The times I stayed in bed all day because I couldn't think of a reason to get out? Yep, I wish I had those back too.  I have learned from my past, and I continue to learn from it, but it's time to get away from the memories.

I have always been a fan of haunted houses. The one at Walt Disney World (I promise that Disney is not sponsoring this post) remains my favorite ride of all time, and the one at Camden Park is clearly a close second.  I chose my hotel for a conference in San Antonio this summer partially because it is said to be haunted by almost three dozen ghosts.  But what I have recently realized is while I don’t have doorless chambers with hinges creaking, or candlelights flickering where the air is deathly still (maybe because Megan McCarty says I am not allowed to burn them) I am living in a haunted house. And when it's your life and not a theme park ride, it's not nearly as fun.

There is nothing in my townhouse that really resonates as a great time in my life. I am not saying that in the seven years I've been here, nothing good has happened to me, but it seems my house reminds me of all of the bad things:  shattering my wrist, the death of my three remaining grandparents, mean words and hurt feelings, the times when I was so sad I didn’t want to get out of bed. Sometimes I am in a certain place in my house and, like a scene from a TV show that you think is exaggerating the way people remember things, I will have a flash of something (or someone) that I would really rather not remember.  It's too much.

A few weeks ago, a friend on Facebook was moving out of one house into another, and wrote a status lamenting leaving her house full of memories to move to a new one.  As soon as I read it, I realized how much I could NOT identify with it.  Please understand, this is not the reason I want to move, and I am not running from my past, I'm just moving on with my life.  

So all of those memories, all those sad times, all those people I would rather not remember, they can stay here in this cute townhouse (that I will sell to you for a steal!) but I am not staying.  I'm moving on, and making new memories. 

But only good ones this time.


in , , , , , , by Erin Lynne, June 01, 2013
Approximately 18 months ago, I placed a bright green post it on my bathroom mirror with one word on it.  A name actually. It was the name of my oldest and dearest friend and I made the decision to pray for her every day, every morning as I got ready, and every evening as I brushed my teeth (and any times in between that I saw it).  I prayed hard, and I prayed faithfully, as she was doing for herself, and as I know she has done and continues to do for me.  I prayed for God to be with her and I prayed for His comfort and His timing.  And one day last September, I set my alarm to remember to pray extra hard for her, and her husband, and the sweet baby that I knew would one day be a part of their family.

You know, I've prayed my whole life... I've thanked God for things, and I've asked God for things. But I'd never been one of those people who had "heard" God answer.  I always assumed if I did (which I honestly didn't think I would), it would be LOUD, like the voice over on a movie.  But I truly believe I heard Him barely whisper that Sunday morning, and He told me that it would all work out and Jenny would have a sweet baby boy.  I knew instantly that it was taken care of (although I felt crazy that I thought I heard God whisper to me), so I didn't say anything to her.

When she called me to tell me she was pregnant, I said "I KNEW it!" and we both cried. She went on to say that it was SO early, but she thought she was having a boy, and I said "YOU ARE!" and I told her the story and we both cried again.

I got this picture in the Fall, and I cried.

I got this one in December, and I cried.

In January, she just texted me "You were right" and I knew...he was a boy, and I cried.

I felt him kick in February, and it was the coolest thing ever, and we both cried (are you noticing a pattern yet? We like to cry sometimes when we are together.)

At her shower in April, she was the cutest pregnant girl ever, and really we just smiled and laughed (well, mostly).

Yesterday afternoon I was supposed to call her so we could voice to voice catch up, and I could tell her a story I had that was too long to text.  I jokingly said Thursday night "Unless you're delivering a baby then ;)" She replied "My contractions are SO sporadic- I don't think true labor is coming anytime soon,"

The next text I got was yesterday afternoon: "I think my water broke."

My response? "Oh shit!" (sorry Mom, I didn't know what else to say...)

We texted a bit through the evening, and I told her to let me know what was happening. When she texted me a little after 5am today I woke straight up and grabbed my phone.

The text? No words, just a picture.

My response? No words, just tears.

I stared at his picture and started to cry, which turned to sobs, which turned to Ugly Cry (I didn't pull a Dane Cook and actually look in the mirror, but I know it was Ugly Cry). I bet I cried for 15 minutes. I was just overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with this sweet baby on my phone. Overwhelmed for this prayer brought to life. Overwhelmed for someone I love more than anything to have something she wanted more than anything. Overwhelmed with just how good God is.  I started texting her back, and then I realized that was ridiculous, but I couldn't hold it in.  I felt like Harry in the Sex and the City movie (the good one) "I'm just a big pile of love!" At this point, it was almost 6, and I had to tell someone how happy I was, so I posted it on Facebook:

on an aside: I loved that this status update caused Megan McCarty to call me at 8:30 am and say
"What's going on? What had you praising the Lord at 6:00 in the
morning?" God bless her for understanding I am not a morning person!

So a happy happy birthday to Jack Douglas Wainman.  You were worth the wait, and you are already loved more than you can ever understand. I can't wait to hold you, and kiss your sweet face, spoil you, and do my best to make you a Wildcat fan. The post it with your mama's name may have faded, but my prayers for her (and now for you) have not.

Those of you who know me personally know I'm not a patient person. At all. So my house feels like it's been listed for just shy of two years, not two weeks. I've found one I want to buy, I need this place to sell! But in addition to being a lesson in patience, there's another problem: keeping my house clean.

Now I understand that having no one else living here with me (such as little people running around) means I have it easier than others listing their house. However, as it is only me, and my amount of visitors is slim to none, I had the privilege of not really worring about how things looked. See, while I have the kind of OCD that means I cannot wait more than 30 seconds to read email if there's a little red 1 on my mail app, I do not have the kind that means my shoes don't go in a pile by the door, or that the clothes go directly in the hamper when I take them off. Up until ten days ago, at any given time, there were more door knobs with bras hanging on them than not, and my ironing board was a permanent piece of furniture in my laundry room. Now my shoes are in the closet, my bras are stuffed in a drawer (maybe I kept them on the doorknob because they wouldn't all fit in the drawer easily), my ironing board only comes out when I need to iron, and I've made my bed every day for ten days. EVERY DAY. I literally (and you know if I say "literally" I mean literally) cannot tell you the last time I've made my bed for ten days in a row. I bet if you ask my mom she will say never, which is more than likely completely accurate.

At church this morning, Jon talked about prayer, and talking to God about what we want. So I'm praying my house sells, but also praying he gives me patience in the meantime. Maybe I'll also add another prayer asking for discernment on whether I should sleep on the couch until my house sells, or just sleep on top of my comforter. I'm not sure this making the bed nonsense is worth it.

I'm addicted to HGTV. Seriously addicted. It's my off season ESPN. Every Sunday for at least the past two years has been spent watching House Hunters. Often, I like to yell at the television: "IT'S JUST A PAINT COLOR!" or "NO! You don't NEED to redo the kitchen. You WANT to!" So I was very thrilled that in my house hunt this time, I had not turned into one of those people.
I started looking for houses by learning what I could afford, then I figured out where I want to be, and what I am really looking for, which is an old house with character. I'm willing to sacrifice big closets and a whirlpool tub for a porch swing and built ins. That's just who I am. I found several I liked online. But how do you rank a bunch of super cute houses in the same neighborhood? And how do you keep all the ins and outs straight when you are looking by yourself? Well when you're a nerd like me, a Google Form is clearly the way to go.
HUGE dork... I get it.
In addition to my list of things I said I wanted in my next house, I had a rating scale of Perfect, Good, I Can Live with It, or I Don't Think So for kitchen, curb appeal, and neighborhood. I also had a place to note how many bedrooms and bathrooms, and a comment box for storage, what needs to be redone immediately, and any other comments. My sister reassured me "I actually think this is a great idea." I replied with, "Well, I kind of do too, but it's things like this that make me realize why I am still single!"

So, I've been inside of five super cute houses the last couple of days. Two weren't even Google Docs Worthy ("Google Docs worthy" just became the new "spongeworthy" btw).  Of the three I recorded, one of them was ok, one of them was cute, but too small, and dare I say, one of them was just right.  As I planned to knock out walls and add in appliances, I realized maybe I am one of those HGTV people. But I am not the annoying brat on House Hunters who doesn't want to do any work, I am more Jonathan Scott with an eye for how to change the space to make it more functional.

So... I have found one I am in love with. Hopefully soon I will be writing "Selling" and "Offering" posts too!
For years, I've talked about one day getting a "real" house... You know, where I own all four walls, and have a porch and a yard and everything. Well, I finally decided now was as good of a time as any... And I decided to clean, declutter, and get this townhouse ready to list. It shouldn't take too long, right? How much stuff could I accumulate in a little over 1000 sq feet anyway? (SPOILER ALERT: lots)

I started one night a couple of weeks ago and I pulled everything out from under my bed. My mother can attest, this has been a place I historically shove crap. As I was pulling out plastic bins and folders and more shoeboxes than I think I have shoes, I began to make three piles: KEEP, TOSS, DONATE. I kind of felt like Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie, minus the friends. And the champagne. And the Run DMC audio track. This took approximately two hours, and I knew this was the least of my worries, so I decided I'd tackle the rest that weekend.

I went shopping for some plastic bins to store things in. I had allocated one smallish plastic under bed box as my nostalgia box. If I didn't need it/wouldn't use it again, it had to fit in the box before I was allowed to keep it. I figured this would help me not turn into a hoarder. Making the box: Tim Couch bobble head, my Class of 97 "Most School Spirit" trophy, VHS tapes from The Raider News, and the Nerg football Carter got me when I broke my wrist (because when Autumn asked what would make me feel better, her three year old replied "A football, Mom!"). Not making the box? My caps and gowns ("even the tassles???" questioned my mom), letters from people I don't talk to anymore, my Governor Scholar id.

As I was cleaning, I learned there were two places in my house that I threw all of my crap: the guestroom closet and the laundry room. After about five hours on both of them, this was the difference I made. (Request: Please don't judge me based on the before pictures):


Laundry room:

I cannot even guess how many trips I made to the dumpster, but I only made one trip to the Goodwill. One trip with my back seats folded down, and my car FULL.

Now I will admit my outside storage closet looks a bit like the closet in Monica's apartment that Chandler finally takes the door off to see what's in there... But hey, if Monica can have a messy closet, so can I!

I want to embed this clip, but YouTube won't play nice... so I am linking it in case you want to see (Trish, I know you will click on this link)

My house listed last week. Let's hope all of this hard work pays off and it sells...

Stay tuned for Adventures in Re Estate, Part 2: Looking

Worth It

by Erin Lynne, March 31, 2013
I decided to take advantage of my ability to be spontaneous this spring break and just get in the car and drive south by myself. I have an iPhone, and fairly new vehicle, and On-Star. I'll be fine, right? Well, I forgot to take into account EVERYONE travels I-75S, and as I did not have a reservation, it took me three towns and five hotels (and one near nervous breakdown) before I found a vacancy late Friday night... In a Super 8... In a smoking room. Not the greatest accommodations. However the sheets were clean (I ignored the cigarette burn in the blanket) and the bathroom was clean (the shampoo was in what appeared to be large ketchup packets... I guess Super 8 doesn't trust me with a tiny bottle), and I got a fairly decent night's sleep (until at 5am I started to hear everyone filling their coolers with ice from the machine right outside my door). But I made it out alive.

When I finally got Jacksonville (around two hours later than I'd planned thanks to two days worth of traffic), I was exhausted but I decided that if I needed a nap I might as well take one on the beach. So I checked into hotel, grabbed my beach stuff, and headed back out. After the 15 minute drive to the beach I started to look for parking. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon this is not an easy task. After driving around for 30 minutes I finally found a space. I parked the car, grabbed my stuff, and headed towards the water.

As soon as I saw the ocean, I had to stop and take this picture and post it online with the simple caption "Worth it."

This morning, I drove back to that same spot to have my own personal Easter Sunrise Service. As I sat there watching the sun peek over the ocean, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude for answered prayers, for unanswered prayers, for times when God has given me what I want, and more importantly, for Him giving me what he knows I need. And this time as I looked at the ocean, I was struck by my caption yesterday, and I can't help but hope, after all Jesus went through, that sometimes He looks at us and simply says "Worth it."

Happy Easter everyone.


in , , , by Erin Lynne, March 06, 2013

We had this guest speaker at church this past Sunday, Bob Goff.  He was amazing, he's all about putting actions behind your faith and not just resting on it. He's done some amazing things with his life for others, including teaching kids in Uganda how to surf. (Seriously, watch at least part of this video!)

He also wrote a book called "Love Does" which I downloaded from Amazon and spent all of Sunday afternoon reading it. In this book, Bob (and I feel like he'd want me to call him Bob, not "Goff" or "Mr. Goff") recounts a story of being denied admission to law school, but knowing God's plan for him was to get in, so he met with the Dean, and when he was told "No" again, simply told the Dean that he had the power to let him in, all he had to say was "Go buy your books."  Well he waited outside the Dean's office every day for over a week, and finally SPOILER ALERT: the Dean winked at him and told him, "Go buy your books." Bob follows the story with this quote:
“I’ve always wondered if, when we want to do something that we know is
right and good, God places that desire deep in our hearts because He
wants it for us and it honors Him. Maybe there are times when we think a
door has been closed and, instead of misinterpreting the circumstances,
God wants us to kick it down. Or perhaps sit outside of it long enough until someone tells us we can come in."

Sometimes I feel stuck at this place where I wonder... Do I kick down the door? Or at least continue knocking hoping someone will answer? What if this isn't the right door and I waste all of my time waiting outside for someone to tell me "Go buy your books", but no one ever does? Some doors look like the right ones, but what's inside, God doesn't want for us.  Some doors might open to reveal exactly what we need, but we don't even knock on them.
Last year, in the midst of a job change, I prayed that God would close the doors where He didn't want me, and open those where He did, and I firmly believe that is what happened (and I try to thank Him daily that I ended up where I am.)  I supposed this is the prayer I will continue to pray, only now that I hear Bob's voice in my head,  I think I will add "If you do want me to sit outside and wait for someone to tell me to buy my books, I am okay with that, just please, let me know."

Football talk in February? Is this for real?

in , , by Erin Lynne, February 06, 2013
A friend of mine asked me if I would like to be a guest blogger on his Kentucky Wildcats blog called UKFanatics. I wrote my first post for it today, so I thought I would link it here. Enjoy!



by Erin Lynne, January 25, 2013
Two posts in one day! I know y'all are so excited you can't even stand it! This has been a super productive snow day for me: I made mini donut bites this morning (WOW!), I got to have lunch today with my friend (and we both swear long lost sister) Trish, and right now I've got chili in the crock pot for dinner.

Chili is a good food for a snow day, and not just because it's cold outside. Chili is a snowflake food: no two people seem to have the same recipe. So I thought I'd be one of those fancy food bloggers and show you my recipe with pictures and everything! (Don't worry, I'll get back to being cynical about life in my next post.) It's really a great recipe, and since most of it is canned, I keep the stuff on hand and throw it in the crock pot when I'm ready.

Erin's Chili

The cans:
2 tomato sauce
3 diced tomatoes (I use 2 "chili ready" and 1 plain)
2 beans (I use one black, one kidney)

The meat:
1 lb ground beef (I think the kind packaged like this crumbles better when you brown it. However, I find the picture of the man and little girl a bit unsettling. I hope that's not what they made the ground beef out of...)
4 strips bacon (make it in the oven! Do you know about this? It's GENIUS!)

The spices:
1 T chili powder
1 t garlic salt
2 t sugar (that's the silver canister)
(If I happen to not have bacon on hand, I also add a teaspoon or so of cumin)

The steps:
Brown ground beef, drain and add to crock pot
Cook bacon (I do about 20 min in a 375 oven because I want it crispy), crumble and add to crock pot
Dump everything else in (drain and rinse the beans) and stir, cook on low for about 6 hours

Voila! That's it!

My Co-dependent relationship

by Erin Lynne, January 25, 2013

I sit around and wait for you, hoping and praying for your arrival. People tell me you're coming, but you let me down, so I decide maybe its time to move on. Then you go and show up today, and I'm in love all over again. No matter how much I beg, I know you won't stay as long as I'd like, and you will leave me wanting more as soon as you're gone, but regardless I'm still glad you're here now. Thanks for showing up snow. Come back whenever you want. You know I'll be waiting.

I've most always considered myself a strong, independent woman. I have had my weak times when I was too dependent on others, but I think I'm over that (well except of course needing my dad to fix things... But that's okay, right?) However, this morning, as I sit watching my Netflix and eating a homemade breakfast, I have something I need to say. Yes. I have a codependent relationship with snow. But you know what? I'm in education so I'm okay with that.

Ok, I'm off to get another cup of coffee.


in , , by Erin Lynne, January 05, 2013
Once upon a time in a small town in Indiana just a smidge over twenty-nine years ago, a young couple had a baby girl. About eight years later, that family moved from that little town in Indiana to an even littler one in Kentucky. And at Sunday school one morning, the little Indiana girl met a little Kentucky girl (who probably gave her crap about Bobby Knight within the hour), and these little girls became friends.

Elementary school turned to middle school, and these girls were still friends. Sunday school hours were spent trying to find out if cussing was in fact a sin, and church services were spent writing notes and drawing pictures in the balcony. There were Christmas musicals, lock ins, and even a lovely duet that somehow turned into more of a solo thanks to a certain boy showing up. The Kentucky girl tried to teach about why the Wildcats would always be superior to the Hoosiers, and the Indiana girl tried to teach the members of the Mickey Mouse Club. Neither of them really had an interest in what the other was saying, but they pretended, because that's what friends do.

Middle school turned to high school and these girls were still friends. There were lots of bangs, lots of lipstick, and even spirit stars. Caving expeditions, teen choir, and the discussions of basketball and television stars turned to talk of real life boys. There was laughter, tears, and alibis were shared, because that's what friends do.

High school turned to college, and these girls were still friends. The miles apart weren't an issue, and this was even before email and Facebook. Visits occurred and memories were made, and even though these girls went through a lot those four, ahem, five years, they remained in touch, because that's what friends do.

College turned into real life, and against all odds, those girls remained friends. There was tragedy, there were celebrations, and each knew the other was only a phone call away. If the Kentucky girl is beside herself because she literally feels like her heart is broken to pieces, she knows who to call. If the Indiana girl (who is now more of an east coast girl) is in shock that the stick finally shows two lines, she knows who to call. If one of these girls ever needed the other, for ANYTHING, she'd be there. Because that's what friends do... Or maybe, at this point in their lives, that's what family does.

To the girl who I most definitely consider family, to the bestest friend I could ask for, to the one who's known me most of my life, seen me at my lowest, knows all of my faults and crazy past, and somehow still loves me, I wish the very happiest of birthdays. I love you.

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