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About Eric’s Wife

Some may say I am a "Stay at home Mom," but that is not even close. I am Eric's Wife. I have exhilarating strokes of genius, followed almost immediately by paralyzing pangs of self doubt and, for whatever reason, here is where I blog about it - warts and all. I serve a merciful God with a clumsy hand and at the end of each day I go to sleep thankful to be His servant and Eric's wife.

I Left Social Media For Two Months and Your Jaw Will Drop When You See The Results

August 5, 2016

Not really. I mean, I did leave social media, but your jaw won’t drop. You may read this article and be inclined to say, “Huh. Modestly interesting,” but modestly interesting doesn’t bring the boys to the yard, so I went with “jaw dropping.” Trade secret.

I am sure that you, dear reader, have never woken up at two in the morning and checked social media. I did that often. Not that I set my alarm for 2am and then woke up to check, but rather, I would find myself waking up for no reason (well, I am going through the change, so there’s that) and then picking up my phone to check because why not.  Now, when I wake up at 2am or 3am or 4am or all three because, mercy, Fried Green Tomatoes was a documentary, well, now when I wake up I just go back to sleep.  Is that so wild?  I know.

My church is currently doing a series about being a good neighbor.   Leaving social media pared my social circles down to only people that I actually see in the flesh.  Like, my neighbors, for example.  I deleted my account because I wanted to work on my book and step away from the noise.  Finding myself with a suddenly tiny social circle was a very unexpectedly pleasant surprise.  It’s not like I was a jerk.  I have had lunch with my dear neighbor Ms.Rose before, but the last few times that I have spent with her seemed different, like I was fully with her and not even a little bit wondering if I had any notifications or if my phone was charged or, frankly, where my phone even was.

I am reminding myself of my Dad, who waited about ten years longer than everyone else to get an answering machine.  It seemed like a silly thing to not own, but he reasoned that it was a small bit like a leash that would make him not fully unavailable when he wanted to be fully unavailable.  Being fully unavailable is almost impossible anymore, but you can wrestle out tastes of it here and there.

My goal is an Oct. 16 deadline to get 30,000 words all typed out, printed out, and then stuffed in a drawer to mature for six weeks before self editing.  I am on track and not so convinced that ditching social media is helping me write any more than I would if I was still engaged, but I am appreciating the new flavors.  Try it.


My 100: 2016

July 8, 2016

100 things about me; also could be called 100 points in a stream of consciousness.    I know that tens of you are eagerly awaiting my return to Facebook, so I wanted to give you this and thank you for feeding my ego with your occasional messages.  I love you and I mean it.

  1. The internet taught me how to make the best pie crusts in the world.  Thank you, internet. The secret to my pie crust is lard.  I now buy lard by the bucket.  #Texasforever
  2. I also use lard when I make tortillas.  Nice, paper thin, slap your mama and die happy tortillas.  I make them, and I shamelessly show off for company.
  3. I initially used the Pioneer Woman’s tortilla recipe, but then I found it too tedious and made it  my own.
  4. Doing anything better than Pioneer Woman (even if it is all in my head) makes me feel like some sort of homemaking extreme sport champion.  She thinks she’s sooo great, but I’m over here eating tortillas, so there.  (I’m only kidding, Ree.  I am a closeted and jealous follower.)   pioneer
  5. We joined Amazon Prime six months ago and I quickly discovered that a privilege of membership meant that I could get a free e-book sent to my Kindle reader every month.  “Free” means that virtue flies out the window and I am now a closeted lover of chick lit.
  6. I don’t think I could ever really be a successful closeted anything, on account of my over sharing habits and my access to social media.
  7. Social media.  Oh, social media.  You are about to get a few lines in this stream, because, I love you.
  8. And, I dislike you.  You see, social media, you have allowed me to share my deepest thoughts with my third cousin three states away and that is seriously way cool.  You have also shared with me 10 ways to be a better me, how to go Paleo, why my political opinion is evil. why my political opinion is awesome, why my religion is all about love, why my religion is all about hate, and why that one kid I knew in the 7th grade hates heavy pulp in orange juice.  Social media, you are the living embodiment of TMI.
  9. As a writer and performer by nature, Facebook was like my heroin.  I could type out a few lines and get immediate feedback.  My need to write and entertain was met effortlessly.  Satisfied, I found any other use of writing skills to be work.  And who needs work in their life?  I know I don’t.
  10. Writing a book is work.  I had no idea.  All you have to do is sit down and type.  The end.  Just sit down and type.  That’s it.  It is awful and I do not enjoy it.
  11. But, like making a great pie, my favorite part is having made it.  My favorite part of writing is having written. FB_IMG_1419374925388
  12. Stephen King wrote a book called “On Writing”.  Read it, but you can’t borrow my copy.
  13. He spends time in that book talking about your writing space.  He says that you should not have a TV in the room because, even if it is off, you will wonder what is on.  At first I was smug because I do not have a TV in my writing space.  And then, I got a Facebook notification and I remembered that I should spend a few hours scrolling Facebook to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
  14. Stephen King also wrote a book called “Carrie” about a homeschooled kid and her trauma at entering a public school.  Maybe it is more nuanced than that, but, a friend reminded me recently of this book book when I told her that
  15. My daughter wants to go to public school next year after being homeschooled since day one.
  16. Thanks for the book review, friend.  carrie
  17. I am learning that Lamaze breathing methods apply well to all stages of parenting.
  18. My daughter is brave in a way that inspires me.  She seeks out hard things, high trees, challenging people, and difficult places and she is victorious more often than not.
  19. I am not brave like she is.  If I take a leap, it is because I am a naive optimist who believes the landing will be soft and easy.  More often than leaping, I stay on the ground and play it safe.  She is a brave, thoughtful, careful, and earnest leaper.  I want to be like her when I grow up.
  20. One time I took a huge leap and went to Moscow, Russia for an experimental hematopoietic stem cell transplant to shut down and reverse some of the MS I had for 18 years, so, I know I am capable of brave leaps, but only when I wear my Captain Oblivious cap.
  21. Eric and I were in Russia for 7 weeks.  On week one, we went to a mob front restaurant.  They seemed surprised to see us come in and managed to rustle up a Pepsi and some wings for us after about an hour.  No other customers came in, though we saw men in three piece suits come in with duffel bags, walk through a curtain, and then leave empty handed.  My doctor advised us against returning.  Da. jugular
  22. Part of the treatment included a course of chemotherapy.  The timing of it meant that, on the date of my 35th birthday, I entered the isolation ward of Pirogov hospital in Moscow, Russia, where they wordlessly shaved my head, took my clothes, and left me to sit on my hospital bed and suddenly realize that I was in the isolation ward of Pirogov hospital in Moscow, Russia, where they wordlessly shaved my head and took my clothes.
  23. Oh, and the Russians put a line in my jugular WHILE I WAS WIDE AWAKE.  That sentence is part of my life story and even I can’t believe it.
  24. For my 35th birthday my darling husband bought me a fur hat, because of course he did.  How on earth could you let your drama queen bride go bald during a Russian winter and not get her a fur hat? furs
  25. He also got me the stole to match.
  26. We brought the lovely furs home and left my wheelchair.
  27. I am three months away from my 39th birthday and remain at a very low level of disability.  No more wheelchairs, scooters, canes, disabled parking permits or endless bad days.  Sometimes I think I imagined ever being so ill.
  28. All this Russia talk makes me realize that I AM brave.  Wow.
  29. Sometimes.  Sometimes I am brave.  Memoir writing takes bravery.  I thought I had the gut for it, but now my knees are knocking.  Go for my jugular? Fine.  Go for my inner self?  Whoa.  Slow down.
  30. Did you see what I did there?  I took a second to pat myself on the back for being brave and then immediately reminded myself that I have some work to do.  This list of 100 is like self discovery in therapy.  Good talk.
  31. For the first year of book writing I had no idea what to say when people asked what I was writing.  Now I know that it is a memoir.  About what?  Uhhh…
  32. My goal is to have 30,000 words all typed out by Oct. 16.  At that point, I intend to print the whole thing out and put it in a drawer for no less than six weeks.  Then, I will take it out and see what it is about.  That is all I know.
  33. Oct. 16 is my birthday, according to my Mom, other eye witnesses, and all my birthdays for my whole life.  Oct.17 is my birthday, according to the state of Texas, my driver’s license, and my passport.  It was a typo that was left undiscovered until I went to get my marriage license.   I left it alone to avoid the hassle.
  34. They call the day you get your stem cell transplant your birthday.  I got mine on Oct.17.  The state of Texas finally won.  She always does.
  35. Sometimes I actually spend time wondering what date will appear on my tombstone as my birth date.  I hope they get it right.
  36. Thinking about my tombstone leads me to wondering if I will ever see death.  I suppose this is not too weird a thing for a Jesus follower to wonder.  What if He returns before I die?  What would that be like?
  37. I have a great aunt who told me a story about the night she was baptized at 17.  She walked home from church and prayed that she would never die, but would see Jesus’ return.  I’m not saying that Jesus is returning any time soon, but she is 93 and older than any member of her family has ever aged.  So, I think about that when I think about tombstones.
  38. My brother’s tombstone has his senior picture on it.  He didn’t age much beyond that, having died at 22.  sandy
  39. I hope the last picture I take is professionally done and shows my good side like a senior picture.  I would just about die if I thought my last picture was a surprise shot of me in my housecoat, with red eye and an open mouth.  I guess it wouldn’t matter, but the thought gives me pause.
  40. Our family cemetery plot is now full.  This leads me back to point #36.  I really need Jesus to return before I die or else I am going to end up resurrecting with a bunch of people I don’t know.
  41. Tombstone is also a brand of frozen pizza.  I have no reason to bring that up except to get over talking about dying already.
  42. Eric loves to have a frozen pizza in the freezer at all times.  Like a loaded gun in the nightstand, you just can’t plan the day you will need it, so you best be prepared.
  43. Eric is a Boy Scout drop out, but I really think he dropped out because he learned all he needed to know at Cub Scout level.  I will follow his prepared rear end anywhere.
  44. One day we rearranged the furniture in our room and I did not put a table by my side of the bed.  Eric says, “Where do I put your coffee?”  I moved the table.  Swoon.
  45. That same furniture rearrangement meant that the bed was moved.  On the first night I went to the bathroom and then returned to our very dark room and threw myself on the floor.  Eric woke with a start and says, “It sounded like you just threw yourself on the floor!”  Well.
  46.  The only thing more weird than me throwing myself on the floor is Eric speaking in complete sentences in the seconds after being wakened.  That’s the part I remember the most.
  47. Eric clings to sleep like it is a door floating in the frigid North Atlantic during the sinking of the Titanic.  “I’ll never let go.  I… I… I’ll never let go…”
  48. I think that one of the fun perks about marriage is sharing a bed.  You learn a whole lot about a person in 16 years of falling asleep and waking up next to them.
  49. I remember when I thought we had been married forever and it was 5 years.
  50. I wish I could put “Eric’s Wife” on a resume.   It is what I am the best at.
  51. This is the part where I start to wonder if I can really do 100 thoughts.  I mean, I started with pie crust and meandered through lard, social media, Stephen King, Russia, tombstones, and now we are talking about my job as Eric’s wife.  I just can’t come up with anything else.  Give me a minute.
  52. You wouldn’t know it, but it has been a few hours since we met up at #51.  I had to help my daughter pack for a mission trip to an Indian Reservation in Arizona.
  53. I did something similar in New Mexico when I was her age.  I had a lot of fun. . . And trouble.
  54. Lamaze breathing… In through the nose….  Out through the mouth…
  55. She will be fine.  I will be fine.  knuckles
  56. Raising teenagers is equal parts white knuckles and “Let Go, Let God.”
  57. I still feel weird when I say I have teenagers.  When I started this blog I had toddlers in diapers.  Now, teenagers.  Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset…
  58. My brothers both had their kids after I did.  I like to think that I am offering them a kind service by raising teens ahead of them so they can observe and take notes.  You’re welcome.
  59. One of the hardest parts for an over sharer about having teenagers is that I cannot tell you anything about them without permission.  It is not like when they were toddlers and I could tell you their poop stories.
  60. Poop stories.  My three nephews were in my house this week helping me in the kitchen and the three year old kept making poop jokes and I kept laughing.  Finally the nine year old told him to go outside until he could control himself.
  61. Aunt Amy enjoys poop jokes.
  62. I love being an Aunt.  It is all the fun of parenting and none of the grief.  Their soul and future is not resting on my shoulders.  All I have to worry about is cookies and carrying them when they forget where their shoes are.
  63. Something I think about every time I carry one of my little nieces or nephews, “OH MY GOODNESS.  I could not walk unassisted four years ago and now I am walking around carrying little kids in my arms.”  Every time.
  64. I cannot carry my own children anymore, though my 13 year old son likes to remind me that he can easily carry me around.
  65. Um, thanks?
  66. Eric was just reading over my shoulder and he told me that “Um, thanks?” is not a separate thought and should not have its own line in this stream of conscientiousness.
  67. Tonight’s dinner was fettucine alfredo with chicken and sauted mushrooms, tossed salad, and garlic toast.  All homemade.  I thought it would be appropriate to tell you what I generously made for dinner just after exhibiting for you the daily harassment that I endure.
  68. Sometimes Eric says that I like to play the martyr.  I do.
  69. I think my favorite part of pushing forty is that I know myself better than ever before.  I know my scratches and dings and I know that I am unaware of most scratches and dings that I have caused.  I know I sometimes play the martyr and sulk and pout.  I’m working on it, but I forgive myself for tripping.
  70. Making dinner tonight was not about my martyrdom lapses.  I just really wanted alfredo.  My dramatic #68 just reminded me about how fun it is when Eric says I am trying to be a martyr.
  71. (Just kidding.  It is not fun.  But, marital growth IS fun.  Real talk.)  drama
  72. I know that I have used this one in past 100s, but I have to say it again, I am a drama queen.  The good kind.
  73. Shut up.  There are good drama queens.  You don’t even know.
  74. I was once in a small prayer circle and we were talking about our physical posture in public worship.  As they all described their hands raising, dancing in the aisles, clapping along styles, I told them that I mostly just sing along without a lot of outward expression.  As I said it, I wondered out loud, “That is odd, isn’t it?  I am an exceedingly dramatic lady.  Why do you suppose that is?”  My friend’s guess, “Worship renders you physically speechless.”
  75. I have been told that I hold my coffee dramatically.  Also, my phone, my keys, random cutlery, babies, really, whatever I am holding is at my mercy.
  76. One time my family went camping and our reserved spot (super cheap, with no water and PORT-A-POTTIES) also had a decaying deer nearby.  I called the park ranger.  I may have gotten a little dramatic (no swears.)  I don’t know what I said, it was a fog.  All I remember is that the park ranger was suddenly saying, “Okay, Mrs.Peterson, how about I put you up in a screened cabin right by the lake, with running water and hot showers? Free of charge?”
  77. Being a drama queen is like having super powers.  You have to know when to unleash and when to sheath.  I suspect I will come into my full power by age 60 and then go supernova from then on out.  Head’s up.
  78. I don’t actually know what I mean by “supernova”.  “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis was a hit in 1995 and I watched the video on MTV from my hospital room while I was a junior in high school and learning how to walk again.  I still have no idea what that song is talking about, but I imagined that being a champagne supernova meant a super diva blazing across the world’s stage for all to see.
  79. I was not allowed to watch MTV at home, but I decided that being in the hospital meant that my parents had bigger concerns so I watched MTV and VH1.  I really did think about it and rationalize.
  80. I am still an expert rationalizer.  If you need any sin or poor choice rationalized until it is squeaky clean, hit me up.
  81. My book writing goal is 750 words a day, 5 days a week.  Yesterday and today don’t count because I was working on this list and I am already at 2,920 words.
  82. Did you even know that you read 2,920 words so far?  My goodness.  That is a lot of words all over this screen.  You are so sweet to still be with me.  My biggest problem is being way too wordy and saying in 5,000 words what could be said in 10.  Stephen King, you know him, says that the second draft = first draft – 10 percent.  Boy, does he have a great point.
  83. When I was a kid and I heard that a book had 30,000 words in it, I was amazed at the thought that somebody counted all those words.  I tried to count all the words in Little House on the Prairie.  I can’t remember how far I got.
  84. Laura Ingalls Wilder was my childhood best friend and I still think of her often.  “What would she think of this laptop?  Boy, she sure would be amazed at my closet space.”  Oh, Laura.  Forever in my heart.  xx
  85. I tried too hard to force Laura on my kids.  Overkill.
  86. My secret parenting skill is murdering fun things with over enthusiasm.
  87. I was a cheerleader in the fifth grade, but only because tryouts consisted of 1)being a girl in the fifth grade.  I don’t think I ever got enthusiasm timing right.  Our team was bad.  So bad.  And there I’d be, yelling and cheering.  Even as it was only serving to antagonize my own team, I continued, “Got ’em right where we want ’em!!  Whoop!!!”  cheer
  88. My high school team wasn’t much better.  I was a writer for the paper and I wrote an op/ed about how our cheerleaders did a poor job cheering for their team until the bitter end, sometimes even leaving before the end.  I crowed about that piece so loudly that our principal ordered it not printed to avoid fallout.  Being censored radicalized me in some part.
  89. Also, it took me years before I realized how much grief that principal had spared ME.  What high school senior needs a pack of cheerleaders after her?
  90. Aaaand, I am back to Carrie.
  91. I just got a chill.  I have referenced Stephen King throughout this list.  I am nobody, but what if?  What if!?  Mr.King, if you are reading this, I apologize.  I would have tidied things up if I had known you were popping by.
  92. Do you guys not just think I am so ridiculous for thinking Stephen King would read this AND make it all the way to 92?  I am so delusional it is obscene.  Put me away.
  93. Wait.  Don’t put me away.  I just remembered I have precedent.  One time I made a FB update about Lecrae and then he responded.  We are totes besties now. Lecrae-wins
  94.  Eric’s friend, Eddie, introduced me to Lecrae’s music.  Every time I see Eddie I say, “Hey, Eddie!  Did you know that one time I made a Facebook update about Lecrae and he responded?  Huh?  Did you know that, Eddie?”  And Eddie always says, “Yes.  You tell me that every time.”  So, that happens.
  95. An internet outage at work recently meant that Eric and Eddie and another workmate came to our house to work from home.  I was like an Indy pit crew on GO.  Tidy up real quick, start a pot of coffee, oh, and make a quick cherry pie.   You’re in MY office now, boys.
  96. Josh.  The other workmate’s name is Josh.  He is a perfectly nice guy and I know that he would be a little “huh” about seeing his name left off.  It’s just that I had not mentioned him before, so it seemed silly to mention his name, but as soon as I hit enter I worried.
  97. I often overthink what people think about me.  I think about it until it becomes absurd and then I right myself and remember that NOBODY thinks about ANYBODY as much as I think they do and then I am fine.  I do this exercise a few times a day.
  98. If wrestling with and body slamming negative thoughts is exercise, then I am top level WWF by now.
  99. My Dad and brothers watched WWF back in the day and I had a crush on Hulk Hogan.  I am a little shocked that I am ending this 100 thought stream with WWF, but it is what it is.   shrug












We’re On a Break

June 15, 2016


It’s been coming on for almost a year; starting right about the time I announced that I was going to write a book (for the eleventy millionth time, but seriously guys, this time I mean it, I’m going to write a book.)   I knew it was coming.  Every time I flipped my laptop open and clicked on that friendly blue icon, I knew it.

Facebook.  Oh, Facebook.  Facebook, you are 90 percent of the internet to me. Without you, I am a quick look at e-mail, glance at the headlines, and done for the day kind of internet user.  I see reports that the average woman spends 27 minutes a day on social media.  Such restraint.  I will never tell you how much time I spend on Facebook, but only that I am exceedingly above average.

While the kernel of thought about the cons of Facebook simmered in the back of my mind, someone took the snow globe that is America, gave it a good shake, and set it back upright.  There is not a corner of this country untouched by some sort of divisive chaos.  For many months Facebook looked to me like a crowded city street with people standing motionless on the sidewalks, each shouting their thoughts to no one and everyone.

And, while the sharing of ideas and opinions should always be encouraged, it seems to be more like it is now used to establish battle lines than it is to come to agreements or understanding.  “I’m not being divisive, you are!!”

When Planned Parenthood was exposed for selling baby body parts I was thrilled.  The undercover videos were a thousand times more damning than Blackfish (the documentary that is slowly taking down SeaWorld.)  Now that the truth was out, it would just be a matter of time before lights came on and everyone agreed that slaughtering infants was a code red kind of situation.  But, no.  When I posted the videos I found that I was one voice shouting amongst all the others, none listening, unless they agreed.  Minds are already made up.   Because of Facebook, I know that I can show a video of a PP admin discussing the method for extracting an infant heart intact to a church leader and get the unblinking response that PP is good for some things.  I’m shouting, he’s shouting, nobody is moving.

And then, the horrors of Orlando happened.  Dear God.  What horrors.  My sole thought was about the earth shattering senselessness of it, but the shouting demanded I say something.  I wrote and deleted several updates.  I knew that I could write something poetically touching, carefully worded, and packaged for consumption, but to what end?

I am sad about the massive loss of God-breathed life, knowing that each one shattered a thousand timelines.  In the hours after the deaths, we were allowed this ears ringing, shell shocked sadness.  I should have posted in that sweet spot.  But in the days after, the shouting began.

“The problem is guns, and if you disagree with me, I don’t have time for that.”

“The problem is not enough guns.  You are  moron pansy.”

“Won’t somebody think about the good Muslims who out number the radicals?”

“All Muslims are radical.  Your opinion is garbage.”

“Christians also hate Gays.  Let’s not forget how awful that is that Christians hate just like radical Muslims hate.”


People I love demanded I say something, while other people I love demanded I take a side.   Thinking back to the Planned Parenthood exposure, I remembered how much I wanted the people I love to take a side, and I remember my disappointment in the silence or, worse, the defense of the practice.   When I applied those feelings of hopeless advocacy to voicing my thoughts on yet another national tragedy, I stepped back.

I am supposed to write.  I know this, and as my fingers hastily backspaced over the last post I attempted on Facebook I knew that it was time I quit writing there for a good long while and write my stinkin’ book already.

I love you all.  Totally mean it.