Category Archives: Daily Happenings

Some New Rules


Radio silence. Ain’t it grand?

It’s VERY rare that I write a post that I don’t make public. About a month ago, I did. I’m not going to share it because it was from somewhere in the recesses that no one needs to know about, but I lose some of the guilt by telling you about it.

I’ve been in a funk – probably for a variety of reasons. Winter, postpartum hormones, stir-craziness, lack of sleep, lack of control, etc.

Today, it occurred to me that, minus the season and the raging of the hormones, I can fix it all by making some changes. So – a new set of rules to remind me how to live.

  1. Live moment for moment and appreciate the good you’ve been given. “The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day.” – St. Gianna Molla
  2. Don’t let anxiety get the best of you. “Anxiety is the greatest evil that can befall a soul except sin. God commands you to pray, but He forbids you to worry.” St. Francis de Sales.
  3. Do not let advice from the internet or others govern how you raise your children.
  4. Be free like Jenny. Go out in the world. Do not be afraid to do things. You cannot live in fear.
  5. Listen to more music. Watch less TV.
  6. Read when you can. Read to reignite the fire to write.
  7. Have a kind heart like Cory. Be everyone’s friend. Forgive and forget all past offenses. Don’t hold onto them for the sake of mysteriousness or any other reason of vanity.
  8. Do what Grandpa Gene would do. Find something you love to do and do it. Enjoy the little things. Never say a mean word about anyone.
  9. Get at least 45 minutes of walking in a day (once the damn clocks spring forward) alone.
  10. Don’t be afraid to be alone and don’t feel guilty taking that time to be away from your kids. It’s good for them and it’s good for you.
  11. Eat better. Don’t snack off of the kids’ trays. Take care of yourself so you can love yourself again.
  12. Don’t make your body such a focus. It bore you two perfect, healthy babies and someday, maybe, it’ll be an instrument and vessel you can be proud of again.
  13. Let your kids make mistakes so that they can learn.
  14. Let your kids cry a little so that they become tough.
  15. Let your kids make messes and don’t let your desire to stop them get in the way.
  16. Quit worrying about the state of your house and quit apologizing for it. You have a toddler and a baby.
  17.  Don’t put yourself through undue stress (like driving any distance in the evening with Sutton, who screams like a banshee for 30 to 45 minutes).
  18. If you want to grow your hair out, deal with the ugly stage. Stay strong.
  19. Take care of yourself – mind, body, and soul. Just because you’re “mom” doesn’t mean you don’t need things, too.
  20. If you want a tattoo, get it. When you have the extra money and your brother’s wedding is past so that your mother doesn’t have a heart attack.
  21. Appreciate being needed and hearing “Mommy” in the middle of the night over the monitor.
  22. Pray they always come to you when they need something.
  23. Don’t concern yourself with what your friends’ kids are doing or not doing that yours are or aren’t.
  24. Don’t concern yourself with how people choose to live their lives. Just deal with your own, Mike’s, Rhett’s, and Sutton’s.
  25. Drink all the damn coffee you want.
  26. Drink only SOME of the wine that you want.
  27. Get rid of stuff you don’t need and find a way to give it to charity and not the garbage man.
  28. Show thankfulness to those who are kind to you.
  29. Understand that everyone has their burdens and responsibilities, even though it may not necessarily fit into your plans or what you want.
  30. Accept the unplanned. Not everything can be determined ahead of time.
  31. Show your kids the world. Don’t just talk about it.
  32. Take the guilt out of guilty pleasures. Listen to One Direction and anxiously await Harry Styles’ solo album while you admire every picture the young folks post on your Instagram feed.
  33. Trust in God’s provision.
  34. Pray harder. Pray more.

How’s that for a start?  Any other suggestions?

Cheers, y’all!

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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in Daily Happenings


Sutton Whitfield and a Dream Come True

It’s been a year and 2 days since my last post. Where has time gone? 

This will be quick since I’m posting from my phone and swipe typing pisses me off. 

Rhett Calhoun is 21 months old and doing awesome. 

And on July 13, 2016, we welcomed or second son, Sutton Whitfield.

Two baby boys is a dream come true. 

But there was another dream. The whole reason I started this blog. I wanted to stay at home and raise babies. Well, here I am. At home, raising babies! 

I am so lucky.  Get ready for adventures! 

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Posted by on August 21, 2016 in Daily Happenings


Things That Make Me Nervous/Angry


  1. Selfies. Why? WHY?! And not only why, but why so many? I blame the Kardashians.
  2. The Fact That We’ve Made EVERYTHING Offensive. No one can take a joke anymore. No one can make a comment anymore without worrying about how someone else will take it. Not even in the realm of actual comedians. I’d hate to be a comedian right now. How the hell are you supposed to come up with an inoffensive joke? There aren’t any. People have lost their sense of humor. It scares the hell out of me.
  3. There Are No “Losers.” Yes there are. You do not get a trophy for trying. You get told, “Nice try,” or “Good job for trying.” Kids don’t know how to lose anymore and it’s disgusting. And young people don’t understand why they don’t get jobs or get turned away from opportunities because they’re so used to getting everything. NO.
  4. Screen Obsession. I know that it’s impossible to avoid technology and screens. And if you know me personally, you’ll know how much I am a slave to Google and how much I love the tubes and pipes (Internet) and shopping online. BUT, it breaks my heart to see young kids spending so much time on screens. I was running around eating dirt at your age. GET OUTSIDE. ***NOTE: I am attempting to get myself even further from screen usage. I admittedly use it far too much. I’m trying to stop. ***NOTE 2: Rhett will NOT have a cell phone until he’s doing after school activities that require him to call me or until he starts driving. And he does not need his own iPad/Tablet and he does not need his own computer. That’s just asking for trouble. 🙂
  5. Tattoo/Piercing Stigma. It is 2015. Tattoos and piercing should be widely accepted at this point. Fuddy duddies.
  6. Fear of Work. No one wants to just pick up the hammer and do the damn thing. I work in an office now, but I worked in a factory, too. And let’s be honest, even in my job now, I haul around boxes and bags of salt and all sorts of stuff. You’ll be okay. Your skin will heal. Your broken nail won’t matter in a week.
  7. People Who Go the Speed Limit (Or Under). Did you know that going 5 over is socially acceptable? But that going UNDER the speed limit incites such rage in me that my kid’s first full sentences will be, “Are you fucking kidding me, you stupid fucking idiot? GO!”
  8. Lack of FREE Nationwide Wi-Fi. Okay, we all use the tubes and pipes. Where’s my free Wi-Fi?

That’s all. Bye!


Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Daily Happenings


The Longest Ride – the Longest Movie Of My Life (And I Left Early)


This is probably going to piss some people off.

The Longest Ride was the longest movie of my life. It was terrible. I mean ungodly boring to the point where I considered napping. Which is something I desperately need to do once in awhile because, let’s face it, my 5 month old is never going to sleep through the night.

This was the first date that Mike and I went on since Rhett was born. I was amped for this movie. SUPER amped. I mean I wanted so badly to see Scott Eastwood make love to that stupid skank in the barn. Thank you, stupid movie trailer, for focusing on that to get my ass (and thousands of other girls’ asses) into the theatre seats.

Let’s start at the beginning. I was super excited about some of the previews – especially Aloha. I hope that stands up to the excitement the trailer brought on. I’ll hold out hope for this one. And there was one about a girl with cancer that I want to see, but I know I’m not going to be able to sit through because, you know, tears. And of course Paper Towns because John Green does no wrong.

And then the movie started. Stupid virginal skank (she IS a skank – you’ll see why). I don’t remember her name. She is now Virgin Skank. Virgin Skank is super focused on her studies (art – gag me) and doesn’t even want to go to the rodeo with her Glee-Marly friend. (I love Glee-Marly.) And when they convince her to, all the sudden she’s hooting and hollering and flirty as HELL with Scott Eastwood’s character at the bar.

She tells him she’s moving to New York in two months during their first date. Then they pull an old dude from a car accident and they both go see him at the hospital. Good American kids. But Virgin Skank starts reading letters to the old guy about his love life. Letters that make no sense because they’re detailing exactly what happened with his lady friend. Now, I wrote Mike letters when we were dating, but I never just recounted our story to him. I talked to him about how I felt. So the letters were unrealistic. And so was the story. Oh, and old guy’s lover was into art (gag me), too.

Then Virgin Skank goes on a second date with Scott Eastwood. She falls into a mud puddle because she’s dumb, and then she has to shower at his place. Okay, fine. This was one of the only redeeming scenes because Scott Eastwood is adorable as he’s trying not to look at her getting naked with the door open. But this is problematic. Virgin Skank is getting naked WITH THE DOOR OPEN on her second date with this guy AFTER she tells him that nothing can come of them because she’s moving to New York for an art internship (GAG ME). Don’t worry. She also gives this up after knowing him for a full month.

And then they bang in the shower for like a full 3 hours (I’m guessing – you know – movie time). And that was hot. I was behind that. Mostly because of Scott:

LongestRide LongestRide2

Then Eastwood goes to an art gallery opening with Virgin Skank and he tells her potential boss that there’s more bullshit there than where he works (har har) and that was the end of the goodness. After that, I couldn’t pay attention. There was something about the old couple not being able to have kids. Scott Eastwood has a head injury and shouldn’t be rodeoing anymore, but he doesn’t stop because RODEO. And then I walked out. I truly just couldn’t handle it anymore. I spent the rest of the night apologizing to my husband for making him sit through as much of it as I did.

I’ll admit that I gave the movie 5 more minutes every time Scott Eastwood smiled. And I gave it a few more minutes here and there praying that it would pick up. But it sucked. Royally.

It honestly seemed like a different version of The Notebook (which I f*cking love – my son’s middle name is Calhoun, y’all). Unlikely lovers, old couple story interwoven. Hot sex. I mean, at least Nick Sparks finds movie makers who can film hot sex. But I am thoroughly disappointed.

Negative stars on this movie. NEGATIVE.

10 stars for Scott Eastwood if he’d like to come stand in my cubicle at work.

And in the end, at least we only paid matinee prices.


Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Daily Happenings


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A Whole New Me


It’s been a damn long time since I could say this, but I don’t feel like the person I used to be. I truthfully feel like I know myself better than I have in years.

And you’re probably thinking, “Duh, you moron. You’re a mom now and a lot of shit has changed.” But I feel changes beyond being a mom now. Here are a few of the Ericas I’ve been in the past:

Poser Skater Erica:  I accredit this “Erica” to my high school boyfriend – Phill – and PacSun & Hot Topic. I wore Popple shirts, QuickSilver, Billabong. I knew nothing about how to skateboard or surf. I just wore the stuff.

Rocker Erica:  Poser Skater Erica quickly turned into Rocker Erica. Jean jacket with patches, tramp stamp that says “Rock Star,” and enough 80s hair metal to kill a small country. I had convictions – and they were all in the name of rock & roll.

jean3 jean2 jean1


Hippie Erica:  In college, I found…nothing really. I just quit caring about anything and wore long skirts and climbed trees. It was good.


Ohio Erica:  While attending grad school in North Carolina, I became very aware of my inner Ohioan. I felt connected to the state in a way I hadn’t before. It was MINE. That said, I was a bit lost regarding who I was then. Until I met Mike. Then I found some direction and knew I’d become someone’s forever.

Mom Erica:  Rhett Calhoun was born in 2014 and I became a whole new me. That little guy became my main focus and he still is. But in that, I feel like I’ve learned more about myself than I used to. I’ve become hyper aware of things I enjoy. So here’s where I’m at:

Stuff 2015 Erica enjoys:

  • Rhett Calhoun – he’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
  • IPAs – the more bitter, the better.
  • Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Praying – I’ve always known God is with me, but I talk to him a lot more now.
  • Birds – Cardinals, finches, blue jays, and all their songs.
  • Sushi – how I missed it when I was pregnant.
  • Music – you’ll probably recall my struggle to find music that stuck with me. And this and this. I’m in a good spot with music. Truly. Bring on the 2000’s pop punk / punk & current bluegrass, folk, and Americana. I’m in a good place.
  • Fancy Denim – this is nothing new, but it’s more profound than ever.
  • Hanging Out with Mike – every moment together is appreciated.
  • Organization – I’d lose my mind without my Google Keep.
  • Essential Oils – welcome back, Hippie Erica.
  • Nautical Things & Symbolism
  • One Direction. Shut up.
  • A Renewed Love of Grapefruit
  • Tracking Packages
  • Jimmy John’s Beach Club

We’ll see where I end up, but I’m liking where I’m going.

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Posted by on April 20, 2015 in Daily Happenings


Baby Brain (The Other Blog)


Also, just wanted you all to know that there is another blog so that I don’t bombard you with baby things on this one. It’s called “Baby Brain!”


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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in Daily Happenings


Overalls a Thing of the Past? I THINK NOT.


I’ve always loved overalls. ALWAYS. I remember wearing them through my awkward Jr. High days. And when I was in college, I found an incredible pair of Union Bay overalls that I’ve worn…and worn…and worn. I wear them to paint. I wear them to lounge. Hell, I wore them to the bar a few times. Here are a few examples.

overall6 overall5 overall4 overall3 overall2 Overall1 overall


So you can imagine how sad I was when I realized that I couldn’t find overalls anymore. I mean, good overalls. All I could find were these sorry excuses.


Who wants skinny legged overalls? It was either this or the super rugged ones that were actually meant for work.

Then I saw Gwen Stefani. In overalls. And Gwen Stefani is cool, so I thought, “I’ll just find her overalls!”


Problem #1 – they still look KIND of skinny leg. I’m a lil curvy and I want them to fit like my other ones. These COULD have been the answer, but before I thought about seriously buying them, I couldn’t find my size on any site.

Which is why when I came across these babies yesterday, I pounced.


They look wide leggy enough. They’re distressed. They’re fashionable (they’re Ralph Lauren, people). And some of the sites were already running low/out of my size. So…I did it. I couldn’t help myself! I’m waiting anxiously for them to get here. I hope that they’re everything I dreamed they would be, because the old Union Bays are falling apart. And they’re better overalls for it! 😉

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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in 1990's Nostalgia, Daily Happenings


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For Cousin Sophie


Cousin Sophie wanted to see some pictures of her cousin Rhett!  Here you go, Soph! We miss you!

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Posted by on January 14, 2015 in Daily Happenings


Hello BABY! (What They Don’t Tell You)


Hi everyone! It’s been a (LONG LONG LONG) while. Sorry about that. What they tell you, but you still fail to realize, is how little time you have to yourself after your little one is born.

So, I’d like to introduce you to Rhett Calhoun Baker (pictures below). He was born on 11/11 (and the little bugger barely made that date – only by 10 seconds or so!) and truly is a joy. I went into labor on 11/10 at 9pm. I got up the next morning, worked until 12:15, came home, cleaned my house, went to the hospital around 4:30, and he was born at 11:59:50pm. That is the short version – details will warrant a phone call or email from you.

You do forget the pain as soon as the baby is out. They put Rhett on my chest and I was in love. But that love doesn’t stop you from feeling the stitches if they don’t numb you afterwards. Bye bye immediate joy! It’s true – stitching does kind of take away from your initial euphoria.

We’ve had a wonderful time with him so far, and it’s been full of joy and love and smiles. But there are some things they don’t tell you, and that’s what this post is for.

What I wish I had known:

1)  Children will make your ability to worry multiply by 109837849278398759823X. I thought I was bad before. It’s a whole new level now.  For instance, my boy just was diagnosed with Influenza Type A at two months old. You want to talk worry? See how this makes you feel. You will never worry more in your life – when it’s this bad, and when it’s something as mild as, “Should my kid have this many damn boogers?”  This is a pic of Rhett at the emergency room before they told us he had the flu. Watch them stick your baby with needles and give him an IV and tell me that you’ve ever worried more than that.


2)  Kids get blocked tear ducts and gunky eyes are nasty.

3)  They will pee/poop/spit up on you more than you ever realized.

4)  About a week after the stump from the umbilical cord comes off, there’s a chance your baby’s belly button will ooze, and you will think all his intestines are going to come out. Don’t worry. This is normal.

5)  You will be obsessed with his poop.  I applaud every time he goes and worry (See #1) when he doesn’t.

6)  You will become morbid and assume everything is the worst case scenario. See #1. Also, this may begin during pregnancy.

7)  DO NOT feel bad if you do not/cannot breastfeed. My son was tongue tied and has an overbite. Not ideal and will leave you with bloody nipples. Sorry, all.

8)  Being tongue tied can be fixed. Baby Rhett got his tongue snipped and was fine.

9)  Postpartum feelings are real. I was skeptical, until I began bawling to Mike one day that it wasn’t fair that Rhett was going to have to watch us die…in like 70 years.

10)  You will fear the state of the world and wonder why you brought a being into it.

11)  You will get super protective…even if it’s your own family. You’ll make up code words to get your baby back in your arms. 🙂

12)  You’ll mess up. They’ll live.

13)  You’ll cry. This will never end.

14)  Infant farts are lethal. They will take your breath away.

15)  I didn’t sleep for the first three days we had Rhett home because I was convinced that if I fell asleep, he would quit breathing. Don’t worry. They will continue breathing.

There is more. There will always be more. You will not sleep. You will quit caring about hair and makeup. You will pray that your husband still finds you attractive even though you don’t have the time or energy to try. It will be okay.







Posted by on January 13, 2015 in Daily Happenings


My response to, “You’re still here?”



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Posted by on November 4, 2014 in Daily Happenings