Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where are you from?

Yesterday, on one of the blogs I read, Britt from The Magnolia Pair wrote about being a Southern girl. It was funny because I was just talking to someone the other day about being from Maine and how proud we both are of being from this state. Now that I've started blogging and reading other blogs, it reminds me that not everyone knows and loves Maine the way I do.

See, there was a time in my life where I hated having to tell people I was from Maine. That time being college...and a few years while I lived in New York. I hated having to explain that yes, we have electricity and yes, I've seen television before, and no, I don't live in the middle of a forest.

And let's face it. Saying you're from Maine doesn't exactly give you much street cred.

It wasn't until I was a little bit older that I realized I'm pretty lucky to say I grew up in a state as beautiful as Maine.

Nothing better than beaches for miles...

It took me moving far away and spending 10 years away from home to realize that no matter where I lived, when I said home, I always meant Maine. I don't regret the years I spent in New York City. I found myself in New York City. I figured out who I was and who I really wasn't. I met my LoLo there. And then I brought him home.

Whenever my friends from New York come to Maine, they are surprised by how much history I know about my state and about the places I take them (shout outs to my second grade production of Maine-ly Mother Moose for the history lesson).   Imagine about 40 second graders singing this little gem.   I love bringing my friends around and showing Maine off to them. Wherever I go, if I meet someone from Maine, they are always so proud of where they are from.

You know what they say about men with big feet....they have HUGE boots!
I am proud to say I'm from a state with more coast line than California (hard to believe, right?), the home state of L.L. Bean, a state with hardworking lobstermen who catch delicious lobster, a state that has an ice cream boat out on a beautiful lake.

Thanks for the pic, Yuyin!

You know, like an ice cream truck. Complete with music!

Now that I've come home, I am happy to say that I know I made the right decision. It may have taken me a long time, but I've finally figured out where I want to be. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yard work

Like I said last night, LoLo and I had a busy little Saturday (yes, I did just quote Old School). Even though it was pretty chilly out, we decided it was time to attack the front lawn. I confess, we were those neighbors...the ones who don't tend to their front lawn or know how to take care of flowers. But we have excuses!

1.) I have lived most of my adult life either in a college dorm or in New York City. I'm sorry but there was no gardening going on in my Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights (but there was a stray rooster that lived in the empty lot behind my building....LoLo and I used to throw bags of burnt popcorn to him. You're welcome, PETA).

2.) LoLo grew up in the Dominican Republic and moved to Queens when he was a tween. And trust, he wasn't doing any gardening.

Too gangsta to garden

3.) We are relatively new homeowners! We had a few projects to take care of before we could get to the making sure LoLo's man cave (or as he calls it, the "cave man") was fully loaded with a huge screen tv, a drawing table, a computer den, his playstation, and a Hooters calendar he got when my dad took him there for his birthday (I'm fully aware that that's weird...).

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my brother-in-law, Luisito, for secretly planting flowers in our front yard. He came and stayed with us for about 3 weeks last month and before he left, he must have gone outside and planted some seeds that he and I bought during one of our trips to the Christmas Tree Shops. So sneaky...and I actually believed he just wanted to bring some seeds back to the concrete jungle (NYC) to plant some lovely flowers in flowerpots in his room. I told you I don't know a thing about gardening.

Thanks for the flowers, Luisito!!

To our neighbors, we greatly apologize for our slacking. But you must understand, there's a gardening/lawn care learning curve. We've cleaned up our act yard and we hope you like it.

Sidenote: LoLo just asked me if Vitamin D is from the sun. I said yes so he asked, "So how did they get it into my cornflakes? Did they let them lay in the sun before they were put in the box??"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

If you need a smile...

Mr. LoLo and I had a really busy day today having lunch with my aunt, cleaning up the yard, having a puppy playdate with friends, and then giving Bronx a serious puppy make-over. I don't have much to say today, but just wanted to share this cute little video I saw.

Check out Happy Feet....Yorkie edition. Bronx makes those cute little squeaky noises too.

You're welcome.

That is all.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The World According to LoLo....episode 1

Now that I've started writing this blog, LoLo frequently asks if I'm going to blog our conversations. "Erin, are you gonna blaahhhhg this?" (That's how he says it, with his awesome Dominican/New York accent.) And often my answer is yes because I feel like I need to share the hilarity that is my life with LoLo.

So here is my first installment of "The World According to LoLo". And it's a double dose because that's how I roll. I have a feeling this is going to be a weekly thing...

The other day, LoLo and I were talking about a tough situation we have going on in our lives. I was pretty upset and felt really helpless. Cue LoLo and this little zinger, "Wow, we're really on a tight pickle!"

Let me give you a minute to process that.

This pickle's got no problems.

That same day, LoLo was talking about how he was so tired and feeling like he couldn't keep working all the hours he's been working (we're talking 60-70 hours a week for the past year). But suddenly he stopped himself and said, "Anything is possible with a box of donuts."

So just remember that, friends. When you're down and out, just hit up your local Dunkin Donuts and consume at least 5000 calories. Then, anything's possible.

LoLo says so.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

60 years of marriage?!

Yesterday, my family celebrated my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. 60 years!! Can you imagine?? I know I can't. I've been alive almost 30 years...and they've been married twice that long. When LoLo and I got married, my sister made an incredible toast. In that toast, she talked all about how in our family, there are a lot of examples of good, solid, loving marriages. She attributed these successful marriages to many things, but most of all, to laughter. See, in our family, there is a pattern. Strong woman married to often times quiet, yet hilarious man.

When my grandparents met, my grandfather was a medical doctor from Mexico doing his residency at a hospital in Boston and my grandmother was a registered nurse at that very same hospital. They moved back and forth from Mexico to the US several times before they finally settled down in Maine. They had three children, including my mother.

Much like LoLo, when you first meet my grandfather, he is a quiet man. But once he's comfortable, you better be ready to laugh. My mom always told us that his humor was kind of a Hispanic humor and now that I am married to a Dominican, I totally know what she meant. I don't know how to describe it, but he's so quick to come up with something funny to say about any situation and I don't know, there's something about an accent that helps to make almost anything funny to me.

                                                                                         Thanks for the pic, Aunt Marta!

Just yesterday, I had lunch at my grandparents' house and they gave me a perfect example of the humor I'm talking about. My grandmother was telling me that 60 years ago when they met she had nicer hair and teeth and beautiful hands. Then my grandfather said, "yes, my little girl had nice hair, nice skin, and nice hands...and she was nice!" To which my grandmother said, "Yeah well at least I have hair now!" and walked away.

                                                                                           Thanks again, Aunt Marta, for the pic!

When I look at my grandparents, I see my future. Me and LoLo, fighting about tiny things (like who our son's first doctor was in Mexico...please never bring this up in front of my grandparents), but then laughing together 5 minutes later. Me and LoLo, sitting in our recliners, watching tv together (well really, he'll be sleeping and I'll be stuck watching whatever's on since he has the remote). Me and LoLo, taking care of each other.

Today, LoLo and I were cleaning up the kitchen. I was washing dishes and he was taking on the more dirty work like cleaning the stove. LoLo is a very handy and artsy person, but he hates getting his hands dirty. We almost always have at least one box of surgical gloves in the house, but we recently ran out. Luckily though, LoLo had an emergency stash which he told me was in a place I would never believe. He ran down to the basement and came back up holding his car keys. On his car keys, he has a mini converse sneaker keychain with a Dominican flag on it. He untied the sneaker and reached in and pulled out two rubber gloves. Who does that?! Well according to LoLo, "You never know when you might be in a crime where you don't want to leave fingerprints."

For anyone who knows my husband, you know that the chances of him being involved in a crime where you wouldn't want your fingerprints (or any crime really) are very slim to none. But I laughed for at least 5 minutes at that.

And that's how I know me and LoLo could make it to our 60th anniversary. Because we have some very good role models and lots of laughs just like them. If we can stay on the same path as my grandparents, I think we will be just fine.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What a difference a day makes

Today on one of the blogs I read, the blogger did a video blog, or a "vlog" if you will, about what she's thankful for this week.  This morning when I read the post, I had a hard time thinking about what I was thankful for. I didn't sleep well again last night, my puppy was acting all kinds of crazy yesterday (turns out his gums hurt because he lost a tooth), and my husband spent endless hours playing video games yesterday which meant I maybe said 3 words to him all night (which he responded to with short grunts.... caveman style).

                                                                             Ok that looks eerily like my Mister...
What a difference a day makes. A puppy who feels better. Coconut greek yogurt (omg you must try it). A husband who, instead of playing video games, cooked a huge Dominican dinner (rice and beans, pollo guisado, salad, and homemade salad dressing). Being able to watch as many college basketball games as I wanted today. Figuring out how to tweek some things on this blog to make it look better. Hearing cheerleaders during one of the college basketball games actually do the cheer "U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi, you ugly, hey, hey, you ugly!" during a foul shot (Congrats, Iowa State cheer squad, you have succeeded at making me giggle like a 5 year old).

So no, I didn't get a job today and I didn't win the lottery, but just enough things went right to make me realize I actually have it pretty good. Even when the puppy is crazy... at least I have a puppy. I waited a long time to get him. And even if I didn't sleep well, at least I didn't have to perform brain surgery today or do something that requires a lot of rest. And you know, sometimes words are overrated. The cavemen seemed to get by just fine with grunts... at least their wives probably never accused them of not listening.

U-G-L-Y....sorry, it was just so funny... maybe you had to be there?

                                                                                 courtesy of

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Catching up

Today I went to lunch with a good friend who is about to have a baby (literally...I told her at lunch that if her water broke, I would drive her to the hospital as long as she promised not to make a mess in my car). She and I met at my last job and became instant friends. It's funny, we lived parallel lives for a long time here in Maine (grew up a couple miles away from each other, played sports against each other) and even went to the same college for a few years and had mutual friends, but never met. When we finally met, we couldn't believe we never connected before.

I love catching up with her because she totally gets me. She's also unemployed since she got laid off from the same job as me, but she's really embraced the housewife role. She's definitely in a different place in life than me (she has a 3 year old son and like I said, is due any day now for son #2), but it's just so funny how for me, unemployment has been a true test of my strength and confidence, while for her, it has meant something completely different. Unemployment for her has meant extra time with her son and the chance to really prepare her home for a new baby.

I'm not religious, but for me it's clear that God or whoever is up there definitely has a plan for each of us. See, she wasn't pregnant when she lost her job. She'd been trying for a while to have baby #2 and it finally happened right after she lost her job. Her unemployment had a purpose.

And I'm sure mine does too. I'm sure my silver lining is just around the corner. I just hope it's not a baby! (haha, it's not, I swear)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Perhaps I led you on...

...with the title of this blog. I know it's all deep and stuff, but really, I'm just an unemployed "housewife" who hates to cook, hates to clean, and really just wants to work. I never thought I'd find myself here. Growing up, I had lots of dreams, lots of goals. I was going to be the first girl in the NBA or MLB, I was going to be a lawyer and represent Latino athletes, I was going to be a diplomat, I was going to be a business woman...but I was never going to be unemployed. I went to 6.5 years of college because that's how you stay employed, that's how you make more money, that's how you become successful.

Yet here I am, blogging because I've tried so many things to shake off the boredom and nothing has worked. If you had asked me even a year ago if I thought I'd be unemployed, I would have told you there is no way. I have a Masters degree, I speak English and Spanish, and I have 6 years of experience in the field of education. There's no way I should be unemployed, right? That's what I thought 6 months ago, but here I am.

Instead of lingering on the impossibility of my current situation, I've been trying to take advantage of this "free" time (turns out free time is really expensive when you don't have a job). I've trained Bronx (and spent many hours cuddling and playing), I've cooked a few meals that I'm really proud of for my husband, I've traveled to New York to help my sister-in-law with her beautiful 2 month old twin girls, I've sat in on my sister's ESL class in Chicago, I've helped take care of my parents' puppy, Harriet, I've worked along side my dad in his office (aka ham radio hoarder's paradise, sorry Paul), I've spent time with my grandparents, I've walked next to the ocean for miles. And now, I've started this blog at the suggestion of my sister.

So welcome to Empirically Erin. Through the craziness and the funemployment, I can't wait to share my experiences with you!