The Ultimate Superhero

Moms are amazing creatures.    Somehow they have this incredible, amazing ability to do it all.    Whenever I read a job post online and the qualifications ask for being able to juggle multiple projects simultaneously and under tight deadlines, I think that all moms should apply; because that is precisely what they do on a daily basis.   Tell a mom something is impossible to do and they will laugh at you.  They can cook, sew a button on a shirt, figure out an algebraic formula, balance a phone on their shoulder while being put on hold with customer service, arbitrate a fight between siblings, all of it at the same time without even breaking a sweat. So many runny noses to blow, so many shoelaces to tie, so many chores to tend to… and only two hands to do it!

And it’s not like women are born with these magical powers.  No-just the opposite.  When I was young, I thought of no one but myself:  sleeping until noon on weekends was the norm.  Partying until early in the wee hours was a must.  But the minute I became a mom, something definitely changed.  It’s as if the minute you bring a child to the world, you acquire superhuman traits.  You know how Superman can fly or Spiderman can swing on a web, well moms can handle a crisis in two seconds flat without blinking an eye.  Moms can memorize everyone’s schedule in the family with photographic precision: Tons of soccer practices, play rehearsals, Girl Scout cookie drives, doctor’s appointments, sleepovers and that does not even include the million of other things that moms have lined up for themselves; yet, somehow, no one is late.  Remember those noon wake up calls I mentioned?  Now my internal clock wakes me up most mornings at six am.  And my mommy senses know when one of my children is hurt or in trouble.  I also have the ability to locate any lost item in my house with just the mention of two words to describe it: “that thing.”   I am, indeed, the GPS for all things.

But most of all, moms are loving and patient and kind.  They give their kids tough love when they need to but also are very eager to provide a smile, a hug, a kiss and a word of encouragement.  I know I still need my mom in my life and I am grateful to still have her with me.

So, for all of us moms out there getting ready to celebrate our special day on Sunday, cheers and hats off to us all!  Our husbands still don’t know how we do it.  Shh, let’s keep it that way!

Erin

This One is for the Indie Writers!

To be a good writer, they say you have to be a good reader first and find inspiration in stories that move you.  I’ve been a lifelong lover of books and I admit to devouring a few of them a month (and that’s during a slow month).  And, when I started writing my own books, I found tons of inspiration in published authors that weaved stories I felt connected to because they wrote about characters who were just like me,  only thinner, smarter and living in a great one bedroom apartment in the city, one that I could never afford in my lifetime.   I came to know and love such authors as Sophie Kinsella, Emily Griffin and Jane Green, just to name a few, because I found my laugh in between the pages of their novels.

Now that I’ve been an Indie writer for almost a year (it will be  official in May), I have come to know another group of exceptionally talented writers who have taken their dreams of being published and made it happen on their own.  These are people I have come to admire as my colleagues and who understand the struggles (the highs and lows) of being a self-published author.  They are a great support system too (think AA but in this group, we do drink!), forwarding over resources and information, sharing and celebrating in your successes and talking you through (and off the ledge sometimes) the inevitable hiccups happening along the way.

And, more importantly, I have myself become a fan of their writing.  They make me see that it can be done.  You can write a good story and, eventually, someone will read it and like it.

So this blog post is dedicated to all of the Indie authors out there who are working so hard right now at making their dreams become realities.  They are sitting at their desk at home (in the basement, den or bedroom) or at the office and typing away on their computers, writing another chapter of their novel, a few more pages closer to the finish line.  They are up at all hours of the night or get up an hour earlier in the morning to get in some writing.   They breathe, eat and sleep the dream and, in the process, they are giving us some unforgettably good novels.

All I can say is: keep up the good work! I’m proud to be a member of this club.  And, as someone who is a reader first, writer second, I want to say thank you for giving me so many good stories to enjoy!

Erin

Love and Chocolate

With Valentine’s Day just a month away, I am bracing myself for the cherry red heart shape decorations invading the stores and the guilt-inducing TV commercials you couldn’t miss even if you wanted to. Yes, you will feel guilty if you don’t buy your significant other an expensive piece of diamond jewelry, a designer hand bag or something from the latest fashion catalog (Are you listening, dear husband of mine?) Yet it’s such a conflicting holiday. For most people, you either love it or hate it-there is no middle of the road, it seems. Me? I absolutely, 100%, without a single doubt in my mind love it and it’s not because I have someone special. Nope, none of that. In fact, I’ve loved it for most of my teen years, even during my awkward stages of braces and acne. I have loved it for most of my twenties when I was dating plenty and trying to find myself in the process. And I loved it during my thirties and up when I’ve settled into married life with a family. Why?

One simple word: chocolate!

Chocolate in heart shaped boxes, chocolate in the shape of a rose on a wired stem, chocolate held by an adorable teddy bear. I love chocolate and it loves me back (except when I get on the scale in the morning after a bender). It’s the most delicious thing I have ever tasted in my life. It melts on my tongue and excites my taste buds like nothing else ever has. It’s sooo rich and sweet! And it never lets me down. It never judges me either, even as I search for it during a late night or wee hours snack raid, bundled up in my flannel pajamas, fuzzy slippers on, trying to quietly feel myself about the kitchen without turning the lights on for fear of being caught in the act by a family member.

And February 14th is the only time of the year I can indulge in my passion for chocolate without feeling guilty! I can eat it openly and proudly without cowering under my bed blankets. I do not have to look over my shoulder as I unwrap the chocolate bar I have hidden way in the back of the pantry shelf, behind that box of mac’n cheese. I don’t have to worry about being caught red-handed, mid-bite, a mouthful of evidence … in hand. I need not try to quickly wipe my mouth and fingers clean of any incriminating chocolate markings.

So this year, I have decided to send myself a Valentine Day gift and it will be a box filled with something dark, sweet and good to eat. Can you guess what that is?

Erin