Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Aspen

Dear Aspen,

Thank you for joining our family.  You continue to bless my life each day. 

love Mom,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The 3.0 Version of Me

So another decade has flown by which brings on a slew of emotions as I contemplate where I have been and more importantly where I am going. Luckily my twenties surpassed many expectation about falling in love, getting married, graduating from college, working as a teacher, and finally becoming a mother, so it is difficult for me to feel anything but truly blessed.

 I was lucky enough to find a good man. Although the journey to him was often uncomfortable filled with heart ache, sad songs, and wondering if he was really out there. Somehow when I stopped looking I found him. At first glance I had no idea that our roads would one day so intimately intertwine, but within a year we both realized that our friendship was nothing less than extraordinary. Together we made a commitment to each other, our family, and God to continue to love one another.  Hopefully this bond reaches into eternity.

It is difficult to explain a relationship that is still growing and changing, but my husband continues to surprise me with his patience, love, forgiveness, and ambition that somehow brings out superhuman qualities in myself that I always dreamed of possessing.

 I graduated college with a teaching degree and spent six years crafting my art, which was not an easy process as I discovered all my inadequacies. Even in the end I was still terrified that I wasn't good enough. Sadly I think this feeling may take a lifetime to overcome. Somehow among my insecurities I found a simple happiness in watching my students learn and I enjoyed being part of their journey for a while.

Finally I was blessed with a baby that has taught me to love deeper than I thought possible. This feeling is so great that it extends not only to her but everyone that I come into contact with. I go into her room each night  to watch her sleep and to feel for just a moment the true joy of my new responsibility called motherhood.

So as I look forward to the next ten years, I only hope that I can continue to love harder, forgive easier (both myself and others), and live life fuller. That the 3.0 version of myself will only bring me closer to God and the person that I have always wanted to be.  So here's to my thirties.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This Old Guitar

I found it stashed in some dark crevice in our closet next to equally forgotten hobbies that were once my latest obsession.(scrapbooking with paper really?) I drug it out and as I clicked the dusty, brown case open, I finally awoke it from its long hibernation. It was in a sad condition from years of neglect. The strings were worn down and the pitch was off. I couldn't believe this had happened. It used to be another appendage of myself that I would strap on as I stumbled through life.

It took me all morning, but I lovingly put on new shiny strings as the baby's fingers curiously banged, smudged, and plucked every part of this new toy. Finally with a lot of tightening and adjustments I got the sound just right and listened as the new strings vibrated wondering how I was ever satisfied with the awful sound of the old ones?

When it was finally nap time, I dug out my notebook full of songs I wrote in college. Some made me smile, others made me sad, and some were full of memories that I forgot were even there of falling in love, then back out, and in love again.

My soft fingertips burned as I pressed down on the strings. My hand ached as I contorted it into many uncomfortable positions and my head hurt as I tried to remember the different chord configurations that I use to know by heart, but even as I struggled through each song, I was so glad to have resurrected it from the dead. After all it was there for some of my most intimate moments of love, loss, and sadness and probably the best friend and therapist I ever had.

I took this guitar to college in hopes of learning to play and somehow in between classes and homework I found enough discipline to teach myself chords and basic music theory to write songs of my own.

This is when the therapy sessions began. It listened carefully without passing judgment and took notes on my uncomfortable situation called life with all its insecurities, heart break, and failed expectations. After we were through discussing everything, It wrote me out a script in a sweet melody and words that reassured me somehow everything would work itself out, but if it didn't at least I had a great song to share.

Somehow it crossed the line between therapist and friend with ease and it continued on many of my favorite college adventures. Together we stood in front of a row of judges and somehow found the courage to audition for the campus guitar concert. To my surprise we made it and with the rush of excitement played in front of hundreds on several occasions.

It also had impeccable "wing man" skills that helped me get the guys. While at parties it just sat in the corner waiting for me and when the moment was right I placed it on my lap, strummed its strings, and this is where the magic began because men couldn't resist a beautiful girl singing her heart out. Then my good friend waited on the side lines again while I pulled out my charm to secure a date for Saturday night.

And all though I have changed my therapist who's notes sometimes leak onto my blog (oops) and I no longer need a "wing man" (thank goodness! I secured a hot Stanford man ) hopefully I will get my callous fingertips back by recording my memories with my new music software and pounding out songs like "Old McDonald's Farm" and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" Oh, old friend how I missed you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I am thankful for today

I wish I went to bed kicking and screaming each night like my toddler. Okay not literally kicking and screaming, but I wish I clung to each day with the same voracity. Instead I find myself sinking into bed with an udder exhaustion from the day's work. Sadly when a day is over I feel relieved instead of grateful, and more often than not I find myself stuck in between time and never in the moment.

Sometimes I get stuck in the past. I remember the contentment I felt as a child in the home that my parents created. I wish that I could go back for just a moment to curl up into my dad's lap for a story or enjoy a fierce chess competition. I miss the way my mom hugged me when I was sad and her calming reassurance that everything would be okay. I want to relive the moment I fell in love with all its excitement and for just a moment hold my newborn baby one more time. I sit and remember these times with a sense of longing, but forget the sweetness that this current moment offers. I forget about the great appreciation and admiration I feel for my mom and dad that I only discovered after I had a child of my own. I forget the peaceful, calm, immovable feeling of actually being in love that my husband and I built with memories, sweet reassuring kisses, words of kindness, and the birth of a child. I forget the joy I feel when Aspen utters "Mama"

Sometimes I get stuck on tomorrow and I can't wait. I can't wait for Aspen to grow a little older. I can't wait until my husband finally finishes school. I can't wait to get back to work. When I long for the future I forget to be grateful for right now and all my blessings: my wonderful family, a cozy home, food on the table, and the world's most adorable baby. So maybe tonight as I crawl into bed, I will just be thankful for today.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Our Year in Review

How well do you know the Ericksons?

1. David is continuing to work on his PhD in computer science at Stanford. What is his expected date of graduation?

a) 2020

b) 2013

c) Looking forward to a postdoc

d) this spring

2. Besides taking care of the baby, Debbie has acquired many new talents. Which project is NOT currently on her to do list?

a) creating a preschool website

b) scuba diving

c) video editing

d) writing a book

3. We were able to get away for a family adventure at the following location

a) Disneyland

b) Hawaii

c) New York City

d) Europe

4. What is the name of our adorable baby girl?





5. Besides learning to walk and dance, Aspen has acquired several new words. What is her favorite new word?




all of the above

This year has been filled with many adventures. We are truly blessed. Merry Christmas!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mormon comments

It is hard to wrap your head around all of our church doctrine and sometimes people get stuck on one scripture or saying by a prophet and can't let it go. 

This could happen with any church and I bet  I could make a scandalous post about what the pastor down the street said during his sermon on Sunday.  Especially if presented out of context.

I can appreciate that you may not agree with all our "distorted theology", but how we live the gospel in our day to day life as a Mormon is rather simple mainly because we still need many reminders on the two basic commandments love God and love your neighbor.   All our church meetings focus on how to become more Christ like in our daily life.  Here are some aspects in our church that has made me a better person and seem to be true.

At eight years old we make our first covenant to follow God's commandments.  This is when we believe we are accountable for our action.  There of course are many suggestions about how to live a good life given by the church, but these are the ones that are most important. 

a. being honest with our fellow men
b. loving our neighbor and God (following Christ's teachings)
c. Paying tithing
d. Seeking things that are virtuous, good, and praise worthy, 
e. Taking care of our bodies by abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and by eating healthy food. Getting enough sleep and exercise.
f. Being chaste (saving sexual relationships until Marriage) of course I didn't know what this was at eight but even then I knew marriage was something sacred. This commandment protects the family.
g. Attending church meetings to learn about Christ's teachings. 
h. Daily prayer (to give thanks, find answers to difficult life questions, )
i.  taking care of the poor

As a sign of this covenant we are baptized at eight.  Of course anyone else that wants to live these principles is more then welcome to be baptized too.  And even if you just like being around people with these principles,  visitors are always welcome to attend our church on Sunday. 

Each week we renew our baptismal covenant to obey God's commandments by taking the sacraments.  This is a time to reflect on our weekly actions and think about how to become more Christ like.  We can also repent for minor transgressions (unkind words said to someone or not helping someone in need). 

As an adult we make more covenants with God during a temple ceremony.  Usually women take their endowments (gift's from God) out a few weeks before they are married and men before  they serve a church mission.  No unclean thing can enter into the temple, so the person who enters into the temple is faithful to the baptismal covenants or has gone through a process of repentance.  The ceremony has roots in the tradition of Joseph Smith's day.  The presentation is important, but more importantly the covenants made between you and God in your heart are what really counts in the end. 

Although I can't be specific about the covenants that I made because they are sacred.  They are mainly about helping others within our church and outside our church, seeking out good things, keeping your marriage covenant, ect.  We are also given a blessing for following these commandments from God that he will protect us.  As a reminder of our covenant, we wear white garments under our clothes.  Each day when I get ready I take a moment to remember my promise to love others. 

To give everyone practical experience at being Christ like we are asked to serve within our church. All of the positions at a local level are volunteer. I think our pastor works at Google. It would be difficult for him to run the church on his own, so everyone pitches in. Everyone is assigned other church members to look over. Each month I visit three other women from our congregation and make sure that there is not any way that I can serve them. I also help plan monthly activities for our Women's organization. I have found that as I serve others within my church I have also learned how to serve and help others outside of my congregation.

It is of course impossible to explain my religion in one blog post. Luckily there are lots of other websites. or Although it is important to read outside perspectives on our church it is important to also read from the direct source.

I hope this is helpful.