Friday, August 31, 2012

Traveling Girl

Yesterday was my sister's birthday. I think she had a pretty good day. She finally reached 100 followers (thank you, Sharon!!!). She loved the post with the pictures I put too.

Today is a whole new day. And I am a traveling girl.

I found a perfect traveling outfit...layers in case I get cold, light and flowy shirt, light jacket that's easy to take off to go through security. 

Here are my co-pilots:

Harriet and P-Dids!
Here's my gate:

And here's my destination:

For those of you who don't know airport codes, this ticket says: Manchester, NH to Chicago Midway.

So what that means is....

Emily: Please come pick me up at Midway at 12:50 pm. Yes, today. And yes, Adrian knows. Please shower right now, get dressed, and don't leave me hangin' man!!!

For the rest of you: You just witnessed a birthday surprise for my sister. I'm flying to Chicago to stay with her for the weekend and yes, she just found out via this blog.

Shout out to P-Diddy cuz he asked for one....oh yeah and because he drove me all the way to the airport. What a dad!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Sister

Many of you remember how about a month and a half ago, my sister planned a "blogger birthday party" for me. (If you don't remember, check here) She also wrote a post about how we've evolved from being sisters who couldn't stand each other to sisters who actually happen to like each other. Since today is her birthday, I thought I'd expand on that theme.

As she mentioned and I've mentioned in past posts, my sister and I are extremely different. We never had the same interests or the same friends growing up, despite being only 2 years apart. We spent most of high school completely annoying each other and trying to avoid each other at school. As we've gotten older though, we have found that even though our interests differ, we somehow have many things in common.

I think she still wears that necklace
Last night when I was at my parents' house looking for embarrassing cute pictures to put in my post, I started to realize that even though we never thought we were close back then, we did a lot of things together and surprisingly seemed to have a lot of fun doing them. Here are a collection of the things we've done together over the years:

Don't you love the decor of our grandparents' house here in Maine that they decorated to look like a house in Mexico?
We've laughed together. A lot.

We drove our first Mercedes together. I've always been the horn honker.

No pictures, please! I'm trying to concentrate!
We cooked together. Once. Seriously. This may be the only time either one of us ever cooked. Thank God there is proof.

Yep that's right. 2 Easter baskets a piece. Bet your Easter bunny didn't do that!
We've sat at many bars together. We tend not to wear tights as much though.

We welcomed our brother to the family together when he was adopted from Colombia.

Yes that is a lobster trap in our yard. We grew up in Maine, ok?
And apparently, contrary to popular belief, we shared toys. That's MY smurf big wheel she's cruisin' around on.

We also happen to share a mother. Oh and a father too. I know that's shocking since she looks less like our parents than our adopted brother.

I remember the day she was born. When she was finally here, I sat on the edge of my mom's bed and ate blueberries. Little did I know that 28 years later I would actually like spending time with her and have something to talk about with her (usually it's blogs, our husbands and their cute accents, work, shopping, you know, the important things). I had no idea we'd have so many fun times together and talk on the phone several times a day (she called me at least 4 times last night). So happy birthday, Emiliana.

You haven't changed a bit! Squinty eyes and sausage fingers 4-eva!
I hope you get a bigger cake than this and I hope you make a smaller mess.

If you haven't read my sister's blog or checked out her amazing blog designs, go visit her today and wish her a happy birthday. Rumor has it she's at 99 followers and just needs one more of you to get to 100!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My New York Story...part 1.

As many of you know, I lived in New York City for about 6 years. As soon as I graduated from college, I moved to the city for a job. Throughout college, I had visited the city as a part of my internship with the admissions office, recruiting students from high schools there. I loved my visits to the city and couldn't wait to move there.

My first apartment in New York. 2nd floor, left building, those were our windows! via
The first weekend in July 2004, I flew to the city with just one suitcase that had some sheets, a towel, and a few outfits. My dad drove to the city a few days later to drop off the rest (literally, he dropped my stuff and left the city in 2 hours after a 6 hour drive to get there).

I remember that first summer in New York like it was yesterday. My first night, I went out with my roommate and her friends. She worked in an art gallery and was friends with people who had more money than I could ever imagine. We went to a bar where they bought bottles (and bottles) of wine and packs of cigarettes came to the table on little trays (this was before the smoking ban!). I remember thinking that wasn't the New York I knew and moved for.

The New York I moved for was the gritty, tough, exciting, up all night, live on almost no money, but live-like-you've-never-lived-before New York. The New York where you stood in line for an hour to get into Copacabana to see Angie Martinez announce the latest Latino act to perform. The New York where you had to knock on the window of the bodega past a certain hour and tell them what you wanted for a snack (or if they liked you, they would unlock the door and let you come find your snack on your own). That was the New York I moved for.

My bedroom only fit my bed, a desk, and a bookshelf. I had a dresser in the bathroom and clothes under my bed. I spent one full paycheck per month on rent. But I had a space where my friends could come over and hang out. A space where my friend Eric would ring the bell and have lunch with me when he worked in my neighborhood.

My friends and I stayed out all night, dancing and laughing and having crazy adventures. I even remember one night/morning when I was coming home and the paper boy was dropping newspapers off on doorsteps in my building.

Those were the nights of my New York Story.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday in Boston

Yesterday, LoLo and I took his brothers to Boston to catch a bus back to New York. I was really sad they had to leave, but we spent a really fun day walking around and having lunch before they had to go. We parked at the Alewife Station and hopped on the T to Newbury Street.

Such a rebel...leaning against the door
The view from our booth in the restaurant
It was a perfect summer day in Boston and the restaurant we chose was really nice because it was an open air restaurant. Sitting in our booth, we were next to a window with no pane so the breeze came through and it was absolutely perfect.

After lunch, we jumped back on the train to grab Sito and Yugi's luggage back at the station before sending them off. It hit me then that I wouldn't be driving home with them.

I miss them both already!!

Oh and on the way out of the station, I saw some really great graffiti. Clearly someone who's pretty gangster has a similar love for Full House as I do:

Looks just like him.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer Fashion

As you know, I've been hanging out with Sito all week, eating ice cream, eating amazing food that he's cooked, and watching Investigation Discovery Channel (don't watch that channel alone!). And after my post earlier in the week, it seems like many of you wish you could have a Sito of your own! I don't blame you. I'm pretty lucky.

So since I've been so busy soaking up my time with Sito, I thought I'd show you a few of the outfits I've been wearing this summer.

Work outfit
This is one of the work outfits I like wearing. It's cute, but also light and comfortable.

Summer casual
Lucky for me, my office dress code is "Business Casual"...but it's definitely more casual than business. I love these orangey-red capri pants because they are so bright and summery.

Girls' Night Out
This is an outfit I wore last week for a girls' night out. I love these boyfriend jeans that my sister gave me. They're really comfy and look great with some wedges!

What fashions have you been loving this summer?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Savior

This is not going to be a religious post. Unless you consider praising my brother in law religious. Because that's what I'm about to do. LoLo's brother, Sito, is someone I not only admire, but I consider him one of my closest friends.

Remember back in March, when I had just started this little blog, I wrote about my brother in law who I believed had planted some cute little flowers for us? That was Sito.

When LoLo was in New York, Sito told him that he'd drive back with him to Maine and spend some time with us at our house. When LoLo got home on Saturday morning, I opened the basement door and was so happy to see Sito looking up at me!

Sito is someone who takes care of everyone around him. He is an amazing cook. It runs in the family. Seriously, LoLo's family is all good at cooking, but Sito is the best. Check out the meal he prepared for us last night:

                             L to R: Mixed Salad, chicken with potatoes in a tomato base, white rice (with con con), split peas, and in front, homemade salad dressing
 Coming home from work today, I thought I had stepped into someone else's house. The smells of the food cooking weren't the only thing different.

As I walked through the house, I saw my house in a way I had never seen it... completely clean. The floors were immaculate, the bathroom was spotless, and on my bed were about 5 loads of laundry. Yes, I said 5 loads. I asked how many he did. The answer was 5.

When I walked into my bedroom, I said to LoLo, "Your brother washed every shirt I've ever worn." And I pretty much wasn't kidding. He washed so many towels that I don't think we have room for them all in our linen closet. I wouldn't know because I've never had them all clean at once.

Now do you see why he's my savior?

Just when I feel like things are overwhelming, he swoops in and turns my house into a place that I can be proud of. A place where I don't feel overwhelmed just looking around because of all of the things I should be doing.

And on top of it all, he's so much fun to be around. He's an amazing listener, he is really funny (that also runs in their family), he's incredibly smart, and he will even watch my shows with me.

So I'm sorry if I don't have much time to blog this week, I'm going to be soaking up my time with Sito. I'm going to be laughing, debating politics, watching murder shows, and talking till late at night.

 When I tell my friends about Sito or they meet him, most of them ask if he can go to their house. And my answer is always the same, "Sorry ladies, he's mine!"

You squeeze that muffin, man!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

I realize this totally just got awkward and weird (sorry, Dad).

But seriously. I need to talk about something. I figured out another reason why I'm not ready to have children.

I'm not ready to even imagine talking to my offspring about sex. In fact, I'm thinking that I'm going to let LoLo do it. And I come to that conclusion because the talk I received was somewhat laughable and not at all an example to follow.

Let me pause yet again to apologize to my father. Sorry P-Diddy, but I'm blowing up your spot.

When I was in 9th grade, my father decided it was time to give me "the talk". His initial strategy was a sound one. We were in the car so unless I decided to risk my life and jump out (I came close), I would be forced to listen. What he didn't plan out though was what he was going to say.

He started by asking me if I "knew the mechanics". (record scratch) I'm sorry....the WHAT?

As soon as he repeated it, I knew exactly where he was going. I took this opportunity to grab his brick of a cell phone (seriously...think Zack Morris's phone) and call my mom.

Mom? Dad's trying to give me "the talk"!!! via
When I called my mom, she said "WHAT?? PUT HIM ON THE PHONE!!" So using both of my hands, I handed my dad the brick phone and my mother proceeded to scold him and told him to stop the conversation. Saved by the Bell...Lydiebell that is! (Ahhh I'm sorry I'm so was just too easy! Lydiebell is my mom's nickname!)

So I have decided. There's no way I could have such a conversation.

Maybe by the time my children are old enough to have that conversation Siri will be able to do it for me.

Let's hope.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Taking Care of Business

Two weeks ago, our luck changed. LoLo got a call that after 4 interviews, the local hospital wanted to hire him to work in their facilities department in a position that has set hours: 7:30am to 4:30pm, 5 days a week, with the option of overtime. He starts Monday.

Do you know what this means???

Yes everyone. This is what I'm excited for. My husband will actually be out of work in time to go to happy hour with me. This has never happened before.

It's the little things, people.

And finally, for those of you who are not Facebook friends with me, I would like to share a perfect anniversary story followed by one of my favorite radio clips of all time.

Last night as I was sitting home alone, watching the Kardashians, feeling so excited to have full control of the remote, suddenly the channel on my tv changed and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was on my screen. The one thing I liked about being home without LoLo was that I could control the remote but he changed the channel all the way from NYC!

Luckily, my husband knows me well and put it on one of my favorite movies from my childhood (ok, my adulthood too). He then wrote to me on Facebook and said, "How bout some Grampa Joe?"

LoLo has an app on his phone that allows him to control our cable from anywhere so that he can DVR shows from wherever he is. So from New York City, he was able still able to control what I watched.  

We weren't even in the same state but he still found a way to make me smile on our anniversary. 

So yes, how bout some Grampa Joe? Check out this hilarious take from one of my favorite radio personalities, Jim Rome.

Hey Grampa Joe, if you can do back flips and one handed push ups, why don't you pick up a shift every once in a while?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

3 years as Mrs. LoLo

Yesterday, I wrote about the single life I'm living this week. What I didn't tell you is that today, LoLo and I have been married for 3 years.

3 years of total craziness. I'm not kidding.

3 years ago we lived in the Bronx in a little, brightly colored apartment. 2 years ago, we moved to Maine and into my parents' house where we stayed for 10 months. 1 year ago, I lost my job.

My LoLo stuck with me through it all. He sat with me on the nights I cried, even when he had to wake up for work at 4:30 AM and then work for 12-13 hours.

I've already told you many times how lucky I feel to have him. Today, I remember exactly how I felt on this day three years ago.

I didn't feel nervous because I knew what I was doing was right. I felt love.

Today, I feel the love even more than I felt on that day. These three years have been trying for us, not because of marriage, but more because of everything else in life. But through it all, we have come out laughing.

And that's my favorite part about our marriage. We laugh. A lot. We laughed our way through our ceremony. We laughed our way through our reception.

If Kasey Kasem were still around, doing his thing, I would totally call in a long distance dedication to the love of my life. I would dedicate the first song we danced to as a married couple, Bendita Tu Luz.

We chose this song because it is sung by a Dominican singer, Juan Luis Guerra, with a Mexican band, Mana. We loved the fact that the song combined some of our (many) ethnicities in addition to having a meaning that we could relate to.

In the song, it talks about how lucky the two people were to find each other and how all the circumstances had to be right for the meeting to happen. LoLo and I feel this way every day. So many things had to go right for us to meet and we are so lucky that someone found it important to make it happen.

So, LoLo, I love you very much. I miss you when I'm away from you for an hour. I love the way you giggle when you watch your shows. I love the way you kiss my cheek in the morning before you go to work. I love the way you love me.

Happy Anniversary, my love.

Bendito Dios por encontrarnos 
en el camino y de quitarme
esta soledad de mi destino.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Life as a Bachelorette

Don't worry, don't worry, LoLo and I haven't gotten a divorce. LoLo just went to visit his mother and his siblings in New York for part of this week so I'm living it up as a bachelorette while he's gone (I have an attack dog and people in my neighborhood watching my house so don't try any of that funny stuff).

I'm taking it back to the days of single Erin...minus the gentlemen callers. Let's be honest, there never really were gentlemen callers. Or any callers. Ok let's try this again.

Bronx and I are living the single life these next few days! We are LoLo-less and living it up! And by living it up I mean...

Laying down on his favorite spot on the floor...

Laying down on his bed...

Playing with his favorite sock.... While I did equally cool things.

Like eating amazing birthday cake flavored ice cream, complete with frosting.

And watching a webinar with one of my nerd "celebrity" crushes, Ramit Sethi... all while writing this blog.

Mr. LoLo knew it was going to be a wild time here while he was gone. This weekend when we went grocery shopping, he saw me pick up a bag of spinach and said "Wait! Is there going to be a party at the house while I'm gone???"

Yes, he thought the only way I'd buy a bag of spinach would be if I were feeding other people. Says a lot about how wild the parties here are, right?

But you probably got that from the pictures of Bronx and my night tonight.



Out of control.

Cuz that's just how we do.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Morning Extra

This morning I was reading through my posts from the past couple of weeks and thought I'd share with you some more of what happened this week through more pictures and conversations I had after the posts were written. A behind the scenes look if you will.

First, remember where I talked about Summer in Maine? I didn't show the hot outfit I wore while we were on the lobster boat. Check me out here with my friends/co-workers, Tyler and Katie, ready to catch some lobster!

As hot as I looked, I did absolutely no work. I ran and hid when they took out the bait bags because the seagulls would come flying over to get the scraps. I'm not really much of a manual labor kind of gal. I also don't really appreciate getting fish guts and other disgusting things on me. Even if I'm wearing an apron.

Also seen while walking around Portland:

Hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife. Apparently tube theft is a huge problem here. Make sure you lock up your tubes!

Later in the week, I was thinking of doing an outfit post, but never really got around to it. So here you go!

cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft, dress: Rainbow, shoes: Timberland
Remember my post about being the oldest in my family? After my sister read it, she called me because she had no recollection of the purple horse that I stole from her after one of her birthday parties. Well, folks, here is the amazing purple horse in question, Lady Lovely Locks' Horse, Silkymane:

I know you're jealous. via
Once I reminded her which toy it was, she said "Ohhhhh I never knew that was mine!!!" which speaks to my incredible negotiation skills. You will give me what I want and never even remember it was yours to begin with.

Well, there you have it. The Saturday Morning Extra. The behind the scenes look at Empirically Erin. Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, August 10, 2012

{Self} Control and Forgiveness

Earlier this week, I wrote about birth order and how I felt about being the oldest child. I didn't really get into the qualities of oldest children, but this week, my oldest child tendencies have been painfully obvious.

As many of you know, I have been basically running my department at work as a one woman show. For the past (almost) 4 months, I've done everything for our department. And I love it. I love it so much that I'm having a hard time giving parts of it up to my new colleague.

See, oldest children often have a problem giving up control. Because we are born first and take on responsibility before (and for) our siblings, we are used to having control. Giving it up can be painful.

 As relieved as I am to get some help with my work, I've also found that I'm having a really hard time handing over control of programs I've already started on. I feel an ownership over my work and I have a hard time trusting other people to get work done. I think that's why I always hated group projects in school.

Oh, and I don't like sharing the spotlight. Imagine that. Someone who had the spotlight ripped out from under her after two years of being everyone's sunshine hates sharing the spotlight. It's all starting to make sense, right? First borns strive for perfection and strive for the praise they receive when they succeed. I love getting recognition for the things that I do, often to a fault.

Remember last week when I forgot Bronx at daycare? Even my reaction to this can be explained by birth order traits. When I searched for first born traits, here's one thing that came up: "Your deep-seated fear of rejection means you dread failure. And because you ask so much of yourself, you’re less likely to forgive yourself when you don’t manage to do what’s expected."

Giving up some control and letting go of some of my responsibilities is something that would help me to actually take control of the responsibilities I do have. I could be more effective, more efficient, and frankly, happier if I could just let go.

So these are my current goals.

Let go of some of the pride and control.
Give someone else a chance in the spotlight.
Forgive myself when I'm not perfect.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gold for the Dominican Republic

 Last night I stayed up waaaaaay too late watching the Olympics. How could I turn it off when my husband's country, The Dominican Republic, won only its second gold medal ever, courtesy of Felix Sanchez?

Felix is 34 years old and runs the 400m hurdles. I'm 30 and I run the 0m hurdles. That man has my respect. But the real reason I love him is that he won DR's first gold medal EVER back in 2004. Then, in 2008 in Beijing, on the morning of his race, he got news that he grandmother had passed away. He was devastated. He ran, but didn't qualify for the finals.

This year, he dedicated his run to her. His spikes said "Abuela" (grandmother) on them. He pinned a picture of himself with her to his shirt, behind his bib.

And when he won, he burst into tears. He took out the picture, fell to the ground, and kissed the picture.
He ran around looking for other Dominicans in the crowd and he found a couple, but no one had a huge flag like the other countries have. So he grabbed the tiny one someone did have and ran around with it.

And on the podium, he cried like a baby as they played the Dominican national anthem. He looked up at the sky and just let loose.

It was such a beautiful moment. It was so nice to see the underdog win. As patriotic as I am, it's sometimes nice to see someone other than an American win. And if it's LoLo's country? Even better.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Big Sister

There have been lots of studies about birth order and the traits that you inherit, simply by being born before or after your siblings. Sometimes I wonder how my life could have been different if I hadn't  been the older sister.

They should have stopped after they saw this cute face! I keed, I keed!
When I was younger, I used to be angry that I had to be the oldest. I hated that I always had to go through everything first and be the "role model" for my siblings. I hated feeling like I had to make all of the mistakes that my siblings could learn from.

Me and my sister

At the same time, though, I have always loved the attention I got from being the oldest. Not only was I my parents' first child, I was my maternal grandparents' first grandchild. Being the first was fun. People got excited about everything I did. My parents told me things they didn't tell my siblings. 

Me and my "little" brother
 Through the years, I got to be the proud older sister as my brother was one of the best divers in the state, went on to dive in college, and went into the Navy (this was us at his bootcamp graduation). 

And just like my sister said on my birthday, my mom and aunt were right. She and I did become friends. 

As different as we are in so many ways (it's hard to tell in this picture, but she has blue eyes and her hair and skin are much lighter than mine), we're also pretty similar (yes we came to a bar wearing almost the same exact color/type of shirt). Our husbands always comment about how similarly we talk, how we make the same hand motions, and how we act. And yes, my parents were right. My sister copied me all the time because she wanted to be like me (and she still does!). Haha she's going to kill me for writing this. 

Through the mullets (see what I mean about mistakes that my siblings learned from?), bowl cuts, and footie pajamas, being the oldest has meant getting to be the leader. Getting to boss them around. Getting to dress my brother up like Rainbow Brite (remember, Meegs??). Being old enough to know that if I played my cards right, I could get my sister to give me some of her birthday presents. Thanks for the purple plastic horse, Em! 

Being the oldest may have made me crazy!
Researchers who study birth order often talk about the first born having the toughest job of all siblings. They even say that sometimes oldest children wait for "permission" to be a kid because of all of the responsibility that comes with being the oldest. Even though I believe both of these statements to be true, I wouldn't change my position. I've learned so much by being the oldest. I've gotten to share so much. And I've gotten to make my own way.