My happy place

Everyone hatenniss a happy place. It could be the beach, maybe a vacation spot, a restaurant, the library…any place where you are content and able to put aside life and just….be.

For me…it is on the tennis court. I am so happy when I am out on the court playing tennis. It’s that one thing a week that I consistently do.

The past couple days I was in a tennis tournament. While, yes, I was extremely nervous and scared, I was so happy to be competing out there on the court.

I feel extremely blessed that I had such great friends who took time out of their Thursday and Friday nights to come support me.

Thursday I played in mixed doubles. We were supposed to start at 7pm, I think we walked on the court sometime after 9 and got off after 11. My friends could have easily said “its too late” or ” I need to go to bed” and that would have been TOTALLY understandable…but they didn’t. They stayed up past their bedtimes to cheer me on. Thanks guys.

Friday night I played women’s doubles. One of my friends brought work there to still be able to support me since my match was before the work day concluded.

The last tournament I was in, I was pretty adamant that friends do not come watch me. I was too nervous and scared. Well, I am over that now and grateful to everyone that came!

It’s fun having something you can do when you at 5, 25, 105. Tennis is a lifelong sport and I am so excited to be “back in the game” if you will.

Tennis has been a good way to meet other people on this island where we already have a common ground. I have met so many people that I probably would never had met off the court and that’s part of the beauty of tennis.




By the way, I lost…but I had SO much fun. And really…isn’t that the point?


image1 (2)I have not lived at home in about 10 years (wow, yep my 10 year high school reunion is this year!) It’s really during these 10 years that I truly discovered how important family is and how much they truly mean to me.

My parents are two of the most supportive people I know. I have made some pretty crazy decisions that may not have been the ones they would have made for me (ex: moving to St. Croix), but they have always been 100% behind me. I don’t know that I could be so comfortable traveling throughout the past few years, moving every few months, had I not had such strong familial support. I know that  I can always go home and will be welcomed with open arms…and that’s one comforting feeling. Thank you for listening for hours on end about my day, my dilemmas, my success, my failures. Thank you for teaching me the value of a dollar, the importance of hard work, and the courage to do anything. 

I am the middle child, the only girl, the rose between two thorns if you will. Those two thorns happen to be my brothers. When I was little, I would never have said having two brothers was a positive thing. Now, however, I am so grateful my parents blessed me with two extremely different, but amazing, brothers. My brothers have become my good friends. Siblings are the only people who truly know why you turned out the way you did. They are the only people that share the same life-shaping experiences. They are the only people who know what’s it like to have your parents. Siblings are also the people that still get to call you out for doing stupid stuff and not get in trouble for it. Do we still fight? Absolutely. The cool thing is, the three of us have been instilled with such strong family value, at the end of the day, we are still friends. Thank you mom and dad for my siblings.

Grandparents. Unfortunately, I never met one of my grandmothers. I hear she was an amazing lady, I am sure she has been watching over me my entire life. One of my grandfathers was also taken much too soon. He was a kind, generous man, I wish we had had more time in my adult years together. I am, however, extremely fortunate enough to have grown up with my other set of grandparents. They made it to almost every dance recital (15 years), too many sporting events to count, every graduation (I had quite a few). They have never missed a birthday, a holiday, or any day that may have been even just a little bit special to me.  Being married nearly 60 years, they have shown me what lasting marriage looks like, the work it takes to make it last, and the family that can grow from just two people. Calling them my grandparents isn’t a big enough word to describe what these two people are to me. They provide me with constant, unwavering support each and every day.  I may not tell you enough, but believe me, I know how blessed I am.

My best friend. Boy am I lucky that we were two little brats that decided to be brats together one day in 4th grade. Calling us friends is almost insulting. You are my sister, my confidant, my partner in crime, my secret keeper, my clown, my cheerleader. You are my person and that is all that needs to be said.

I am grateful for the family I have acquired over the years through my many travels. I have fully learned that family does not always mean by blood. It is this family that gets me through my day to day life. Thank you.

I have so much other family that this blog post would become a book if I wrote about everyone. Know that each family member has shaped me in some way and each member means something different to me. I am so excited my brother is getting married, giving us so many excuses to bring the whole family together for something positive.

I don’t get home nearly as much as I want to or wish I could. My heart breaks a little every time a miss a birthday, a holiday, and a family dinner. I may not get to be there for everything, but I have learned to make the absolute most of the time we do get.

On that note, I get to go home in SIX DAYS to see so much family; both given and chosen. I cannot wait.



Do you live to work or work to live?

Why do you do the job you do?

Is it because…
You’re passionate about it?
You make good money?
You feel you have to?
There is nothing else to do?
It pays the bills?
You have no idea?

I fall under a few of these categories…and sometimes my answer changes, depending on how my  I feel on any given day.

I have been in a bit of a rut lately with work. I assume this happens with most people and hopefully..something happens that reminds you of why you entered your chosen career path.

I hit a milestone with one of patients last week. This patient is a unique situation, definitely not one you learn about in school. I have had to come up with all sorts of “out of the box” ideas on how to help. I find myself looking forward to my sessions, and Friday we achieved something that made me, the patient’s family member and the patient jump for joy, high five, and hoot and holler.

THAT is why I do what I do.


A few days have occurred between when I started this post and now. Since then, I’ve had another session with the patient and hit another HUGE milestone.

I am grateful that I still find patients that excite me even when I am not feeling great about my job as a whole.

Back when I was living in Greenville, South Carolina, I had a patient’s family member (not from the United States) say something that resonates with me quite often.

“You Americans…you live to work…in my country…we work to live”

A large part of my move to the island was to “cease life” and “follow a feeling” rather than follow the “rules” of life I thought I had to follow. I knew I was living to work and hoped moving to the island would help me switch to “working to live”.

I was faced with the hard truth, that with hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans…I may need to spend some time living to work before I got the luxury of working to live. I’ve discovered that you pay a price to live in paradise…my price was taking a paycut. I am more stressed on this island working several jobs, making less money than I have ever made in the states…but I think my hard work will pay  off…and I will make the switch to “working to live” long before many people ever get to.

(SIDENOTE: I feel I need to add…that while my work life may be more challenging on the island, many facets of my life have greatly improved.)


SO, I ask you. Do you live to work or work to live? Is your path leading you to where you eventually want to be? Are you at a roadblock? If so, evaluate what you are doing and how you can change it.




Why am I not losing weight?

imageSeriously though.

Since college I’ve “worked out” pretty regularly and ate “okay”.

I was by no means obese, but I was never a small girl. I knew this and always wanted to change it, but for the life of me, could not figure out why the scale was staying the same…or worse…going up!

Maybe first, real quick, I should talk about MY why.

As we have previously discussed, I am a physical therapist. I can’t stand when people are hypocritical. If I am going to sit there and tell my patients to work out and lose weight, I feel I need to be healthy and in shape too!
My bigger why, however, is that I didn’t love myself. If you don’t love yourself, then you need to make a change. I finally commited to making changes that would make me happy, healthy, and confident.

I made two super common mistakes.

  1. I lied to myself about my eating habits.
  2. I did exactly the same thing over and over and over again at the gym.

From college, until about two years ago, all I ever did at the gym was the elliptical. Almost daily, elliptical for 30-60 minutes, and that was it. Your body cannot continue to change if you don’t change too!! Changing your workouts is key to seeing continued results so that your body can break through the inevitable plateaus.


I am sure you have all heard this before. I would keep a tally in my head of what I ate that day and literally lie to myself. What? No, I didn’t eat 6 cookies. If I say it didn’t happen, then it doesn’t count. I’m not even kidding about this. When I racked my brain to why I wasn’t losing weight, I could convince myself, every time, that I wasn’t eating “bad”.  Let’s not even talk about the frequent bowls of pasta I ate for dinner and the fries I ate for lunch.

So how did I lose my weight? I have such a crazy formula for losing weight, it’s going to blow your mind!

Wait for it…

Exercise and eat better!!

I know, I know, your mind IS blown.

I don’t really want to say “diet” because that implies you do something for a bit, lose the weight, and return to your “normal”. Rather, I adapted to better eating habits and changed my way of life. At first, it seemed like a daunting and frankly miserable task. Of course, all my favorite things were huge “no-no”…soda, cheese, bread, pasta.

In the beginning, I was super strict because, well, you almost have to be. I had to take everything away from myself so I could figure out what moderation really is and how I could achieve a happy balance without being miserable. I didn’t have a set time limit “for x amount of weeks I will do y”. One day, about two years ago, I started eating right and the rest is history.

Do I still have soda sometimes? Yes!
But do I have one everyday? No and you know what…I don’t even want one every day anymore.

Do I ever eat pizza, pasta, and bread? TOTALLY! Again, not every day.

I am not perfect, I am human. I have weekends of total and utter binging. The important thing is that I am able to do that and then continue back to my new “normal” life. If your new “normal” is overall healthy, indulging every so often is not going to derail all the work you have done.

Anyhow, I know a lot of people, myself included, want some new fad diet to magically lose weight. But at the end of the day… good ‘ol diet and exercise is what really, and truly, works.

How well did it work? I lost 30 plus pounds and have kept off for almost two years.

For me, the key was to find food that I still got excited about, but didn’t need to feel guilty about.

More on that later.


I will post another blog with more specifics about what I actually ate and what workouts I did at the gym.




I believe in a thing called love

WARNING: may contain clichés and sappiness overload!

With it being Valentine’s Day and all, it seems appropriate to talk about love. I know many people consider Valentine’s Day a “Hallmark” holiday, made up to sell cards and candy, but I have always loved the holiday; whether I was in a relationship or not.  In this crazy, busy world we live in, we sometimes forget to stop and remind the people we love how important they are to us. Valentine’s day is a good reminder to slow down and just imagelove…

Until about a year ago, I wasn’t sure if I believed in TRUE love or love at first sight…until I met him.

I met Blake approximately 2 hours after first stepping foot on the beautiful island of St. Croix. I didn’t come to the island looking for love, but rather, for a long weekend getaway to see one of my good friends. Little did I know that meeting him was going to be a pivotal moment in my life.

Here I am, a year later, sitting one room away from him in our beautiful ocean view home. He is my best friend, my cheerleader, my confidant, THE love of my life. I don’t know how I go so lucky, but I am grateful for every step I took in life that eventually brought me on vacation to St. Croix.

I could go on forever about how wonderful this guy and our life together is, but I won’t do that to yall.

Happy Valentine’s Day!! Take a moment and do something special for the people you love today.







God bless the broken road…that led me straight to you.



Seriously Erin? A blog?

wingsOkay, so. Why a blog? Blake and I were discussing the negative aspects of Facebook. You know what I’m talking about…those “over-sharers” and “look at me” posts that flood our newsfeed, and more often then not, just annoy us. Yeah those. We are all guilty of those posts…I certainly am.

Problem: What if there is something I want to share with the people that I think would find it interesting? Apparently forcing all my 300 plus friends to read it is not the answer.

Solution: A blog.  People can choose whether or not they want to read what I have to say, and I get to say whatever I want without annoying people on Facebook. Win-Win!

Still, why a blog? What is so interesting about me that I think people would want to read about it? Maybe nothing…but maybe everything.

This blog is about everything that has to do with me, Erin. Since completing my doctorate, I have done some interesting things with my life, and I have done it all in a very unique way.

Most of my posts will be about how I navigate through the every day issues that is my life in the hopes that maybe somebody else can learn from my experiences, or at the very least be somewhat entertained  by what I have to say.