Friday, May 30, 2008

Baby Girl Utley

My cousin Shane and his wife Stacy delivered their first child this evening, a girl named Laedin Grace Utley. She is the first baby to be born out of all the cousins, so we're all very excited. Stacy is recovering well, and Miss Laeden is healthy and beautiful. When I was younger, I used to think that delivering babies was no big deal, but now I'm thankful when babies and mothers have healthy, normal births without complications.

I can't wait to see her! Brendan and I will be heading to Weatherford in a few weeks to visit, and there's nothing like snuggling with a tiny baby.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Few Weeks in the Life of Erin

Lately, nothing in my life has been so exciting that I felt the need to blog about it. Summer officially started, so I guess that's something. Listed below are some (semi-)exciting happenings in the life of Erin.

1. I started my summer job. It's an office job, so there's lots of typing and fielding phone calls and filing involved, nothing too stressful, which is nice a change after a crazy semester. I work with some fun people, too, and they make the day go by quicker. And Kayla works across campus, so it's been fun running into her periodically.

2. David Cook is the new American Idol! Yesss.

3. Brendan is moving up to cell phones at work. He's been selling internet for almost a year, and last week he found out that he'll be transitioning to selling cell phones. He's been wanting to move into cell phones for a while now, and I'm really proud of him. He'll be in the Metroplex for training during the first three weeks of June, so I'll be visiting him on the weekends - anything to get out of Abilene. It'll get pretty boring around the duplex during the weekdays, but I'll pass the time by going to bed early (a guilty pleasure of mine), watching lots of CSI, and catching up on some Into Thin Air (which is fantastic!).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So Keep on Comin', these Lines on the Road

As I survey the ground for ants,
Looking for a place to sit and read,
I'm reminded of the streets of my hometown
And how they're much like this concrete that's warm beneath my feet.

And how I'm all wrapped up in my mother's face,
With a touch of my father just up around the eyes,
And the sound of my brother's laugh,
But more wrapped up in what binds our ever-distant lives.

But if I must go,
Things I trust will be better off without me.
But I don't want to know,
'Cause life is better off a mystery.

I love these lyrics. They just seem to fit.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Idolatry, Part III

It's finally come down to this: a David vs. David showdown. Wahoo! I've been waiting for this for months now.

I'm officially endorsing David Cook, just in case you were wondering.

Friday, May 9, 2008


I'm officially one-half of a master (of English)! School is finished for the semester, and I start my summer job bright and early on Monday. I don't know what to do with myself now that school is out. I honestly can't remember the last time I had absolutely nothing to do. Sure, there were times this semester that I had free time because I chose to procrastinate, but this time my days are a blank slate. It's a weird feeling.

This school year has gone even better than I imagined. When I started grad school last semester, I wasn't sure what to expect. During undergrad, I had been residing over in English Education Land for so long that I hadn't taken a real English class in three semesters, and I wondered if I could make it. I also worried about making new friends. Fat Tuesday had disbanded, and three members of the group moved to different corners of Texas. Even though two other girls stayed in Abilene, I knew things wouldn't be the same. My first week of grad school was terrifying, and the initial transition was pretty rough. But I finally hit my stride mid-semester, and it's been a wonderful (albeit sometimes stressful) ride. I am so blessed to have made so many wonderful new friends. I successfully made it through two semesters of grad school, and I'm so proud of myself and my scholarship. Only two semesters to go!

Wanna know one of the best parts of my new-found freedom? Now I get to read what I want to read! First on the list: Into Thin Air by John Krakauer.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Brendan proposed one year ago today, and it was a day that began a wonderful journey in our lives together. I remember how giddy I was on the night he proposed; it all felt so surreal. I had an honest-to-goodness engagement ring on my hand! At work the next day I squealed, "I'm engaged!" to every person I ran into. I could finally buy wedding magazines without feeling like a loser, and it was both exciting and scary to realize that I had eight months to plan a wedding.

I can't believe it's already been a year. This year has been more wonderful than I could have ever imagined.

So, in honor of our engagement-iversary, here's the story of how Brendan proposed.

By the end of April 2007, I had a good feeling the ring was coming; I just didn't know when. Brendan and I met my parents in Dallas the weekend before we got engaged, and on the drive back to Abilene, Brendan asked if we could stop by his sister's house in Fort Worth to "pick up some pants" that his mom had sent him. "Um, whatever," I thought. "He's got to be up to something." We stopped to pick up the pants, and I had an inkling he had the ring. But I still had no idea when the proposal would come.

At ACU as an undergrad, I was part of a six-person group called Fat Tuesday. The six of us were best friends, and we always shared meals together on Tuesday nights. On Tuesday, May 1, the girls suggested we go to Monk's coffee shop after dinner. I wasn’t too crazy about going, but I knew Brendan was working late that night, so I decided to go so I could kill some time before he got off. We were there for quite a while, just talking and having girl time. Suddenly, someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around, and Brendan was standing right beside me. For a split-second I thought, “What’s he doing here? He knew I was having girl time tonight!” Then I saw the flowers in his hand, and he asked me to take a walk with him. By then, I knew what was coming. It was so surreal walking out of the coffee shop knowing I was about to be proposed to.

Brendan led me by the hand to a beautiful waterfall in downtown Abilene. He got down on one knee, told me he loved me, and asked me to marry him. When we got back to the coffee shop, my sweet friends had all signed an engagement card for us. It turns out that Brendan was in cahoots with them the whole time. Together they planned going to Monk's after dinner so Brendan could surprise me after he got off work. The fact that he involved my friends made the proposal so much more special.

Then, Brendan drove me back to his house, which was decked out with rose petals and candlelight. He had even bought a cake, which he knows is my very favorite dessert. The night was so wonderful, and it was even more special because Brendan took me completely by surprise.

Out on the town for our four-month wedding anniversary