Friday, December 31, 2010

2010... What a wonderful year. :)

I can happily say that 2010 has been the absolute best year of my life. It certainly got a head start in 2009 (Ironman, then meeting Joe, then buying a house, then filming Shark Tank...) but 2010 is where it all paid off. I've been a bit remiss in blogging this year, but I think it would be a shame not to reflect upon one hell of an amazing year.

January: SHARK TANK AIRED!!! GMW TOOK OFF!!!! Tim & I started one heck of an insane ride, and it's been such an amazing experience ever since. By the way, I was so touched at our official watch party at the Cedar Door - over 120 friends showed up to share the moment with us. There just aren't words to express that support. Oh, and perks like being the number one search on Google weren't so bad, either.
March: I got to attend ExpoWest, which was essentially the "Academy Awards" trade show of the natural products industry. Long story short, I ended up at the show thanks to my mentor & now dear friend Nat (who I met through a post Shark Tank email), and I had the learning experience of a lifetime. As an added treat, Rachel drove to Anaheim to meet me & I got to share some of the experience with her. (BTW, Rachel & I have been friends since we were kids at camp and I am so proud to see how her business has grown in 2010, too!)
April: I finished remodeling my house & moved in. Honestly, it's crazy to think back about the experience and realize "I built a house." Who would have thought. Below is my favorite housewarming gift - a homemade robot named Bert. (Yeah, my bf is pretty damn awesome.) Bert matches my house, by the way.
May: Joe & I went on our first trip together to the breathtaking city of Seattle. I fell in love with the city, had an absolutely amazing time and confirmed that Joe & I travel together quite nicely. By the way, I still do want to live in Seattle one day... that dream is not dead. ;)
June: I turned 30, had my housewarming/birthday party, and shared the experience with my dad who was also celebrating his birthday. It was a fantastic party that represented many months of blood, sweat & tears. Okay, not really - but it was so much fun to show off what I'd been working on for the past seven months to all of my friends & family.
August: Shark Tank wanted to film a follow-up for Season II at Interbike, so I headed out to Las Vegas for my third Interbike... How times have changed! Not only where we being filmed for national television, but we had an actual location at the expo thanks to our distribution contract!
October: It has been called, "the trip of a lifetime." Which I certainly agree, however that doesn't mean I don't intend to have hundreds more of them! Joe & I went to Europe for 2 weeks, visiting Brussels, Brugges, Amsterdam, Dublin and much of West & South Ireland. I keep meaning to blog about that trip, but again I'm not sure I have the words to describe it. What I will say is that the trip served to water a seed that had been planted many months earlier... find a way to live in Europe. :)
November: Almost as soon as we returned home, the search for Sammer's sister was on. Luckily Joe drank the German Shepard kool-aid... and welcomed Juneau to the crew. Oh my gosh she is such an amazing wonderful dog!
Also in November, I got to host my very first Thanksgiving! My aunt, grandpa and parents came to Austin to celebrate... I was honored to host them and spend the holiday with my family. Dad & I even completed our 7th Turkey Trot together!
December: Upon learning that my best friend since I was 9 years old was pregnant, I decided it was time to finally visit Jenna in Atlanta before baby Noodlebean is born. Luckily, I merged the trip with a visit to Birmingham to meet Annie... which meant a college reunion with two of my closest long-time friends.
There's been so much more, but I think this covers some main points. I'm so blessed to have such an amazing family, wonderful friends and an awesome boyfriend. ;)

Even with its various ups and downs, 2010 has truly been the best.

Cheers & happy 2011 to all!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

On Thursday, I hosted my first Thanksgiving. Parents + Aunt + Grandpa, who is nearly 96 years old! All I made was the pecan pie... the rest was courtesy of Central Market. Seriously, you didn't think I'd actually cook, did you?! ;)
Did I mention nearly 96? And sharp as can be. I was honored to celebrate the day with him.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Things I love about the United States...

I love Europe. Love love love it. However, I had a few thoughts about things I missed while I was away.

1) Faucets that merge hot & cold water. I wasn't very good at shifting between hot and cold to wash my face and hands.

2) Sweet & Low. I hate to say it - but I missed that stuff big time. Coffee over there just wasn't the same with real sugar. Silly Europeans and their healthy ways :)

Come to think of it, I think that's it.

Things I already miss about Europe.

1) The ability to walk just about anywhere in a major city. Or ride your bike. Or take public transportation.

2) Hearing tons of different accents and languages everywhere you go.

3) Waffles. Mmmmm, waffles.

4) History everywhere.

5) Pubs everywhere.

6) Big Box Stores nowhere.

7) Cinnamon spread. I forget what it's called, but gosh it's amazing.

Alright, that's all of my Europe daydreaming for the afternoon. I'll leave with a picture that shows another something that I love in Europe - the funny signs!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

When I was 12...

The first time I felt like a failure - or like I wasn't good enough - was when I was 12. I remember watching the winter Olympics and seeing Kristi Yamaguchi win the gold medal in figure skating. I didn't think she was that much older than me, yet she had accomplished so much. I remember being really upset and wondering how come I hadn't won a gold medal. Why hadn't I taken on something to the point where I could earn a gold medal? Was I that lazy and untalented? Had I just been wasting my life?

Then when I was 16, I felt it again. I went to some random concert in Plano that featured insanely talented musical prodigies who were all younger than me. I had played piano and violin, but only like your typical kid who had to practice for hours just to eek out some semblance of a song. I really felt bad then, because I had never given the effort or had the talent that these kids had.

It happened again through high school and college. As I was about to graduate, I wondered how come everyone was getting "power jobs" at big prestigious companies and I was staying in Austin to work at a small, local company?

Luckily, since college I've felt less like a "failure" and more like a normal person. My type-A personality certainly puts up a fight, but usually I overcome it. In fact, when I turned 30, I took inventory and was actually pretty proud of what I'd accomplished in my life.

That being said, I saw a speaker tonight that brought me right back to the way I felt when I was 12. How come I'm not the CEO of a 60 billion dollar company? How come I don't have my MBA and am making more money than I know what to do with and managing global business strategies and speaking on college campuses and kicking ass and....

Seriously, I need a reality check!!!

I was inspired and impressed. I was jealous, too. But, I guess if that's who I'm meant to be, I will be that. (And really, is that what I really want? Because if it is, wouldn't I be trying to work up to that?)

I need to calm down!

By the way, is it weird that I get way more excited about seeing a renowned business executive than I would be if I were to see Brad Pitt? I love business.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Better Late Than Never

I lived in Dallas for 18 years and never once rode my bike around White Rock Lake.

My dad & I fixed that today. We took our hybrid bikes down the trail extension and around the lake. I can't believe we never did that when I was growing up.

But we did it today. We dodged runners and other cyclists, learned how to use our gears, checked out the scenery, rode more than we meant to, almost got lost, and had more fun than I could have imagined. It was awesome.

Rather than be sad I missed out doing this when I lived in Dallas, I am thankful that I get the opportunity to try new things and make up for missed opportunities and create new memories and appreciate my life. I am so very thankful for today.

Thanks for the ride, Dad.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Death of Triathlon

For me, the sport of triathlon is dead.

It's been on life support since a bit after Ironman last year. I gave it one last chance to make a comeback - at a sprint triathlon in early July. While the comeback effort was fun, it didn't take. In fact, it might just have been the thing that killed the sport for good.

I've been doing triathlons since 2005. First was Danskin, then came Seaworld... 2006 brought Spenco, Prarieman, Skeese Greets & even some duathlons. 2008 brought races with some age-group placings and a main focus on the Longhorn Half Ironman. 2008 was a banner year. I was the most fit I'd ever been, I was having a blast and I was doing awesome. Then came 2009. I had an obligation to Ironman. I enjoyed it, but not with the same love I had in 2008. Once I crossed the finish line on June 21st, I checked out. Enter life support!

So, I've been doing my fair share of experimenting with different athletic endeavors... belly dancing, being a gym rat, boxing... and they've all been interesting in their own way. I've still been slightly maintaining my tri-abilities, and I put them to the test at Couples. But now that 2 weeks have passed and I still have no interest in picking them up again... I think it's time to admit it. Out loud, to the blogworld and to myself.

The sport of triathlon is dead. For now.

Phew!! With relief, I say that is absolutely fine by me!! It's been an awesome ride... if not an addictive one... and it brought me to where I am now, which is a really happy place where I am free to explore whatever else is out there.

With that, my eulogy shall say, "Thank you, Sport of Triathlon, for getting me to the place I am in now. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I may see you around again one day, but for now I bid you adieu."

*Mind you, I am a gemini. The mere posting of this blog entry may make me change my mind. Wait for it... wait for it... Okay, probably not. :)"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bucket-ish List

Funny thing... this time last year I just wanted Ironman to be over so I could focus on living a full, well-rounded life again.

I think I took care of that over the past year! However, things are slowing down & I'm getting antsy. (It's what I do!) So, I thought I'd brainstorm a few things that I'd like to do over the next few years. Just put it out there and see what comes of it.... (These are all unrelated to my job & GMW & seeing the world, for the record. Just adding more stuff to my plate!)

1) Become a GOOD public speaker. Rejoin toastmasters. Practice.
2) Learn to cook. Or, more realistically, learn not to fear the kitchen.
3) Keep boxing. And still love it.
4) Write the business plan for my next business. (Goal = next April)
5) Start my own consulting company.
6) Learn Adobe Illustrator.
7) Go back to school.
8) Get scuba certified. Next trip = Belize?
9) Form better relationships with my mentors.
10) Do an internship at a totally different type of company than I'm used to.
11) Become a mentor to others.
12) Learn some carpentry. Be able to fix things myself.
13) Learn how to mosaic.
14) Learn how to landscape.
15) Start playing piano again.
16) Write a book.
17) Write a children's book. (Or series.)
18) Really learn the sport of football... not just a surface level state of knowledge.
19) Win some type of award, like "40 under 40" or "Entrepreneur of the Year" or something like that.
20) Be a recognized "expert" on something. Not sure what, yet... ;)

So, that's a start. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Strengths Finder

I went to a luncheon a few weeks ago with a topic of "Strengths Based Organizations." I was so moved by the concept of playing to your strengths versus working on your weaknesses that I bought the book Strengths Finder 2.0 & took the test.

Here are the results:

My Top 5 Themes are:
-->Maximizer (focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence; seek to transform something strong into something superb)
-->Activator (turn thoughts into action)
-->Positivity (contagious enthusiasm; get others excited about what they are going to do)
-->Futuristic (inspired by the future and what could be)
-->Woo (love the challenge of winning people over & making connections)

I read the themes over, thinking "sure... these could apply to anyone." Until I realized there were 34 different themes, and most of them were not like me at all. Upon further reading, I realized that my themes were all, in fact, very true to me.

But then again, I'm a sucker for tests like this. So, I had my trusty mentor look my results over & he agreed fully. In fact, he's said many of my results to me for years, nearly word for word. I'd feel rather silly posting the full results on my blog; the purpose of me writing about them is because they make me feel justified in the direction I am heading.

At this stage of my life, there are no blinking arrows telling me where I need to go next. There is only my intuition and some persistent yearning, and now some better (written) understanding of what I'm good at. (i.e. my strengths.)

I embrace these strengths and will make every effort to put them in the forefront of my future. Long story short - having these 5 results reaffirms my direction.

(For the record, there are no dramatic changes to speak of... but if you know me by now, you know the wheels are always turning...)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Oh yeah...

I forgot what training is like... being tired, sore, wandering aimlesly in a constant search for coffee....

I love it. :)

Speaking of things I love... I've started boxing! Boxing is largely what got me into this fitness mess.... I've always loved it... but I couldn't figure out how to work it back into my schedule once I picked up triathlons. Thanks to a UT informal class + Esther's reassurance, I am now hitting the boxing gym 3x per week. Sure, it's only my second week, but I can easily see how I will become addicted to it. (At least as long as Erin addictions last, which is +/- a year or so.) Pow! Pow! POW!

In other news, I went to Barton Springs this morning for the first time since Ironman. (Um, to be accurate I did go another time, but I just stood in the water for 20 minutes before getting out.) I'm pleased to report that I can still swim 800m nonstop. That's a relief! And I remembered that I like swimming, too! Also, I didn't run into ducks, people or iron posts! Wahoo!

Okay, gotta go find some coffee now...

Monday, June 07, 2010


I just got through opening all the birthday/housewarming cards from Saturday night, and it got me feeling all reflective and stuff. Darn sentimental, sweet & thoughtful cards! :)

So... I've talked recently about my extreme desire to move to Seattle. It's dwindling a bit. Don't get my wrong - I still do want to move there someday - but I'm not quite in the same rush as I was a month ago. See, when I got back, my brand new house felt sterile and lonely. Sure it was pretty, but it didn't feel like home. In fact, nowhere really felt like home. (So why not beautiful Seattle, right?)

Fast forward to Saturday, and my house was full of people I love. Finally, I'm feeling pretty planted in Austin again. In other words, I feel like I have a home again. Yay! Speaking of my full house, I want to give a public thanks to a few people who made it happen for me. First, there was Jess (& Amy I think?!) who catered the whole thing. The food was amazing and Jess was as sweet and wonderful as ever.
Then came cookies from Elizabeth which were suuuuuper yummy. There was also a traditional Alisa-cake complete with lots of fuzzy alien thingies! I love Alisa cakes! Then came perhaps the most incredible piece of food art I have ever seen. This lovely red velvet cake, surrounded by cake balls, housed the most adorable fondant robots I've ever seen. (Come to think of it, I've never seen fondant robots before... but if I had, these still would have been better!) Thank you, Meredith! This was incredible!!!Here I am with Jess & Mer. I love this pic because it reflects how happy I felt (and feel!) these days. And... I'm sharing it with amazing & talented friends! (And a kick-ass forehead sunburn!)
Then there was Mike, who won't admit to actually doing a thing, but for the record - he ran errands all Saturday afternoon on a mission to do last minute "man tasks" for me. Then, he made a very cool slideshow of my build on his I-pad, Gert. (Yep, I-pad has a name. And yes, his name is Gert. Just go with it!) Then, the best thing he did was get my guests to recognize my dad's birthday along with mine. That may have been my favorite part of the night, cause ya know, I kinda like my dad. :) Thanks Mike - you made my dad super happy!
Oh yeah, the Sangria (& ability to keep me sane) was provided by this guy... he's kinda awesome too... ;)
Lastly, the two people who needed to be there more than anyone were able to join me. They cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned, and prepped, and cleaned, and then acted as perfect host & hostess all evening. I am so grateful I got to share the night with them AND introduce them to my Austin family. I love you Mom & Dad! Thanks for making the night so special! :) Dance of joy!

So back to the reflecty-ish stuff... I once again feel like I am the luckiest girl on the planet. Reading people's cards & thinking about Saturday makes my heart feel all warm and happy and stuff.

Yup, I am home now. Happy, happy home.

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Birthdays are best when you get to share them! Happy birthday, Dad. I love you!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Training Again

Yesterday, I was hanging out poolside with Joe's family and casually mentioned to his bro-in-law that we should do the Couples Tri together. His response? "Sure, sounds fun." My response? "Oh damn. Why did I open my mouth."

However, some part of me wanted to ask him. If I didn't want to ask him, I wouldn't have. So I responded, "I didn't expect you to say yes, but let me think about it & we'll talk this week." He was already emailing me last night, reminding me that he was in and talking about registration.

This morning I talked to Coach Charles about it. In addition to giving me a little pep talk, he also informed me that the new periodization schedule was posted on the T3 server. It started yesterday. I'm only one day behind. That's doable. And quite timely!

And so it begins again. Two years ago I placed 3rd in my division @ Couple's thanks to my awesome partner D. I was in amazing shape. Couples was easy. This year, it will be hard. It will be dreadfully hilly. It will be an interesting swim. It will be a hot, hot run. But, it will also be fun. There's no pressure this time. There's no hiding that I'm out of tri-shape. There will be no hiding that I'm happy to be out on the race course, either. It's gonna be okay!

I am so excited to train again. I knew the time would come when I'd be ready to pick it back up. It's fitting that I'm starting it all over on the week I start a new decade. It's also so cool to start training again because I want to - not because I have to or need to. I love my life right now, and it'll be fun to see how adding training back in with a positive outlook works out.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Crab Pot Feast... A Photo Montage

Thanks, Joe. I'm so glad we did this! :)

Seattle Recap

I like bullet points today. Thus, I shall recap our Seattle trip via bullets. Pow Pow Pow!

Joe & I went to Seattle last week/weekend. I may have liked the city.... a bit...

Things we saw in Seattle:
  • Pike's Market (including absolutely amazing flowers & seafood)
  • Steinbrueck Park (nearly empty on a cloudy weekday & jam packed on a sunny weekend)
  • Seattle Aquarium (jellyfish! octopus! salmon! sea otters! pure ocean awesomeness!)
  • Ferry Ride (x 2... to Bainbridge Island & Bremerton. The city is beautiful from the water. The islands, um, were islandy? What else to say, what else to say...)
  • Pioneer Square (which happened to home to First Thursday Art Walk - while we didn't fancy any art in the galleries, we loved the neighborhood.)
  • Seattle Art Museum (which was free on First Thursday - score!)
  • Coffee + Harbor Steps
  • Kasala, which was a random furniture store filled with robots. I was giddy as could be.
  • Woodinville Wine Country: Columbia Winery, Chateau St. Michele & Redhook Ale Brewery. (The damage = 24 glasses of wine and countless beer, and the happiest boyfriend I have ever seen)
  • The monorail (Yes, monorail! monorail! mono-wha?!)
  • Seattle Center: Space Needle, EMP, the artwork from our Frommer's guide
  • Olympic Park (i.e. what heaven must look like)
  • Waterfront (complete with a Maritime festival of boats, boat building, etc.)
  • Downtown
  • Fremont Farmer's Market (which was representative of how awesome/organic/funky/etc. that little neighborhood is)
  • Fremont Troll (see above)
  • Public Transportation
  • The nicest, friendliest, kindest people I could have imagined.
Places we ate...and ate... and ate... (and drank!)
  • Dragonfish (Amazing sushi restaurant we found our first night.)
  • Lowell's in Pike's Market (amazing Seattle-esk view)
  • Crabpot (Seafood Feast per Man vs. Food. We totally conquered!)
  • Blue Acre (halibut + asparagus. so. much. asparagus.)
  • Top Pot Donuts (2 giant donuts was an interesting pre-wine tasting breakfast. soooo good)
  • Redhook Brewery (best nachos ever. And I think Joe would have gone swimming in the beer if at all possible)
  • Etta's & Dahlia Lounge (crabcakes + dungeoness crab salad + desert = om my!)
  • Tikilum Cafe (eggs benedict & dutch babies. best breakfast ever.)
  • Nola's on Bainbridge Island
  • Ivar's Clam House for drinks
  • Elliot's (oysters + scallops + halibut cheeks + raspberry lemon sorbet.)
  • Top Pot Donuts, round 2 (I mean, gourmet donuts. C'mon! We couldn't just go once!)
  • Anthony's (surprisingly good airport food. salmon sandwich goodness)
  • I want to move to Seattle. I don't mean "oh, it's so pretty, what a nice place to live" kind of move there. I mean, "I am already looking at job options & real estate. I am considering the logistics of a move." Granted, it wouldn't be for a year or so... and I need to check it out when the weather isn't as gorgeous... but... I just felt a connection to the city, and I know I want to be there.
  • The people there were so friendly. I had no trouble making friends and barraging them with questions about moving to Seattle.
  • I'm so glad I eat seafood now. The food was incredible. I'm going to eat it all the time when I live there.
  • I loved Fremont - and that's where I think I'll look first when I move there.
  • Did I mention I want to move to Seattle?
  • I need to take more vacations, and that might ease my desire to move to my first vacation destination in years. (Probably not. Seattle is just that awesome.)
  • First trip with Joe = 100% complete success. Not that there was any doubt, for the record! We had a blast together. He didn't even express annoyance at the extreme amount that I talked about moving to Seattle. ;)
So yeah... Seattle... um... AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What 1:34 Costs...

My current best mile time is an 8:40. One & a half years ago it was a 7:06. I lost 1:34 for my all-out mile time. Typically, that loss of fitness would really upset & frustrate me. However, it mainly just got me thinking... what did that 1 minute + 34 seconds cost me?

It allowed me the opportunity to focus more on my job without being worried about making workouts, being tired all the time, etc... (Here I am at our holiday party, and that's actually the U.T. stadium screen with our logo glowing on it.)
It allowed me to focus on my company... which included being on a national television show, winning, meeting amazing mentors, and gaining opportunities I never thought possible...
It afforded me the opportunity to meet Joe, his family and friends, and experience a level of happiness I could never have expected...
It allowed me to purchase & completely remodel my house, putting as much energy into it as possible, and provide me with a finished product that I absolutely adore... (Here I am flipping on the electricity for the first time.)
That 1:34 is going to be really hard to get back. I'm not even sure I care about getting it back, to be honest. And it's not like the past year & a half have been a cakewalk either. They've been filled with ups and downs too... but I wouldn't trade any of it.

So, I guess the answer is that 1:34 didn't cost me a single thing... In fact it afforded me more opportunities than I would have ever thought possible.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Joe is awesome... he made me the perfect housewarming gift & surprised me with it on move-in day. I'd like to introduce Blue Version 2.0... i.e. Bert!
(I don't know why his name is Bert... it just came to me. :))

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

"run workout!"

Once upon a time, many many months ago, I would attend these "events" called "run workouts." Odd things, they were. There was a coach, who would tell you what to do, and then you would... *gasp*... run.

But then stuff happened and I stopped attending these "run workouts." I completed the race I was training for (Longhorn); I was injured; I hated running in the afternoon heat; and most of all, I was lazy and just hated to run.

However... thanks to some prodding by some bunnies (Carrie & Vegas to be exact), I found myself at Auditorium Shores this morning at an actual coached run workout!

It was so hard!
I am so not where I used to be!
I was red-faced as ever when I was done!

I now feel like I accomplished something for the day!
I think I might just be motivated enough to attend these workouts!
I had so much fun running with Vegas!
I didn't collapse from nearly 1.5 years of not running consistently!
It was awesome!
I want to do it again!

Perhaps E is gettin' her groove back? I hope so!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Yay Pink!!!

On the last day of 2008, I posted this about my newly painted green bedroom. At that time I had no idea that I'd be taking the same type of picture just a few houses down the street, in my new pink office. Kinda funny.
Yay Pink!

The move got pushed back a week, which is perfectly okay with me. It will give me a bit more time to get organized. Plus, I won't have to pack anymore... I'll just get a big cart and make trips up and down the street as I so please.

One more thing... YAY PINK! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I'm moving 2 weeks from today. Granted, I'm only moving about 8 houses away. But, I'm moving. Moving away from my adorable little rent house which I've occupied for the past 27 months.

That little white house represents a period of my life when I became, well, me. When I spent times sobbing harder than I've ever cried in my life, and also times when I experienced things I never imagined possible. It represents loss and heartbreak. It represents rebuilding and growth. It represents my independence, yet also my need for companionship and acceptance. It represents learning that I will always land on my feet, that I deserve to be happy and that I will never truly be lonely.

It's hard to even comprehend how different I am today versus the day I moved in. And yet I'm still just as much the same. (And that's just fine with me.)

By the way, my friend Barbara posted this yesterday and I love it.

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." Anatole France

Monday, March 08, 2010

When life gets in the way...

I've been getting emails lately asking if I'm okay. Apparently if I'm not smiling 24/7, a small alarm goes off and the instant reaction is "Something is wrong with Erin!"

For the record... I'm fine. But I am ridiculously tired and ridiculously FULL. Full of really great, fantastic, wonderful things.... But still, I'm full.

I think opting to forgo Ironman this year was one of the best things I could have done, because my workouts seem to get cut first. I'm making it to less and less spin classes these days, which is sad since they were always the one workout I wouldn't sacrifice regardless of how busy I was. Nowadays, sleep trumps spin the majority of the time. I haven't ridden my bike outside for over 5 miles but once since CdA. I haven't run outside since Christmas, and I've run inside maybe 2-3 times. I have swam 4 times, I think? That might be rounding up, actually! I still try to hit the gym most days, but if Chris isn't there I don't go. Needless to say, Erin's 2010 Fitness: Fail.

I feel really disconnected to my training friends because I honestly can't relate to what they are up to. I support them of course, but I also think they are crazy. In a good way, for the most part :). Then there is the jealousy, that feeling that I wish I could be doing what they are doing. Then comes the negative self-talk, "if you just would wake up earlier and be more consistent and eat better and carve out more time..." Ugh, make it stop please!!!!

Another interesting thing I'm finding about not training for anything is that I don't see my friends as much. I miss them. I can't remember the last time I saw some of my friends, and that distresses me. I try to carve time for them, but without that shared interest/goal - it's really difficult. I definitely don't see my friends as much as I'd like, and at times I feel a lot of guilt for not making more of an effort.

So, back to the part where I seem a bit "off." Lots of good things are rocking my world right now. They just so happen to be really big things, that need lots of time and energy and attention and focus. Unfortunately, being an athlete didn't make the cut this year, and training (plus my friendships) is something that kept me pretty grounded.

On a positive note, when I stop for a moment to look back at all the things I've learned recently, via my job, my business, my house, and my relationships, I am amazed. I am indecisive and decisive all wrapped up in one. I am having fun yet I am completely stressed out. I am proud and I am scared. I am determined. I am busy as can be. I am laughing at myself a lot. I am living and I am full. So even if I seem a bit "off" I'm still the same happy E on the inside.

(By the way, I really do appreciate being asked.)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Super Dad!

Why do I look so happy in this picture? Because I'm hanging with my dad, of course! As I mentioned before, I was in San Antonio on Thursday teaching continuing education classes. My dad mentioned he would be in SA for a charity wine tasting that evening. So, I quickly invited myself along to be his assistant. He's the rep for the wine glass company shown in the pictures - and he does these events all the time. However, the CEO of the company would be leading this tasting which made it extra special.

Here is what the room looked like. Lots and lots of wine glasses! The premise of a wine glass tasting is to show the benefits of these wine glass, which truly are the best in the world, against "joker" glasses -i.e. the ones most of us drink from every day. It's always a blast to hear everyone's reactions when they taste the same wine in a joker glass versus the high end glass. Lots of oohs & aahs.
Here is my dad setting up. Check out the beautiful decanters on the left and different types of glasses to the right.... let's just say it pays to be my dad's daughter. ;) Wine anyone?
The event was wonderful - and the president/CEO was highly entertaining. I was lucky enough to have dinner with him after the event and was sure to grill him about anything and everything regarding his business plan. (I think I wore him out with all my questions... but, it's what I do! I like business!)

The best part of the event was being a "nobody" except for just being my dad's daughter. Everyone thought I was still in college and had no knowledge of my background whatsoever. Thus, the focus of almost all of my conversations was on my dad. And pretty much every conversation went like this. "You are Buzz's daughter? Oh, we just LOVE your father. He is such a wonderful man and we are blessed to have him here." (I concur!!!) Even though I'm just the daughter, I felt so proud of him. He is the best. Period.

So.... wine tasting was great. Grilling the CEO was great. Hanging out with my dad for the night - THE BEST!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I'll be in San Antonio all day for work...

My dad will be in San Antonio that evening for a wine tasting / charity event...


Yay. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010



We don't always have to be strong. Sometimes, our strength is expressed in being vulnerable. Sometimes, we need to fall apart to regroup and stay on track.

We all have days when we cannot push any harder, cannot hold back self-doubt, cannot stop focusing on fear, cannot be strong.

There are days when we cannot focus on being responsible. Occasionally we don't want to get out of our pajamas. Sometimes, we cry in front of people. We expose our tiredness, irritability, or anger.

Those days are okay. They are just okay.

Part of taking care of ourselves means we give ourselves permission to "fall apart" when we need to. We do not have to be perpetual towers of strength. We are strong. We have proven that. Our strength will continue if we allow ourselves the courage to feel scared, weak, and vulnerable when we need to experience those feelings.

Today, help me to know that it is okay to allow myself to be human. Help me not to feel guilty or punish myself when I need to "fall apart."

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Texas Wine Trail 2010

This weekend has been a fabulous break for me. As much as I act like I can handle everything with ease... at times I reach my breaking point & need to recharge. Sure, that happens to everyone, right? I just have a hard time admitting it. :)

So... what better way to take a break and recharge than to join Joe & his parents on the Texas Wine Tour? (Good thing we scheduled this awhile ago so I couldn't use all the work I have to do as an excuse!)

I am green as can be when it comes to wine. (Which is pretty ironic since my dad reps the #1 wine glass in the world and travels all over doing wine tastings. Anyway....) However, over the past 7 months I've learned some things. Part of that was during a free class at Twin Liquors, which we shared with ETG, Esther & Michelle, and this crazy guy named Fabian (good times!) Part of it is from the guide on the menu at Uncorked. And the rest comes from just trying it. So... this was a great chance to try all types of wine AND experience the Hill Country. Perfect!

Yesterday we hit about 9 vineyards, and it was very interesting to see the difference between the small town vineyards and the big ones off of 290 in Fredericksburg. I like the small ones better. My favorite wines were from Sister Creek Vineyards, Comfort Cellars, and my favorite - Pedernales Cellars. Actually, the Pedernales was our favorite all around, including the people, atmosphere and views. I highly recommend a visit! The most interesting wine we saw was a jalapeno wine at Comfort Cellars- so Texas, huh?

Driving around the Hill Country with the sun shining bright, full of wine and chocolate, with great company... Perfect recharge. And... I get to do it all over again next weekend!

(I even bought some wine... a first for me!)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Procrastination = Update!

I have no idea how it is already January 24 - How did that happen?

I'm sitting in front of my laptop, looking at the 525 unopened emails in my inbox, feeling slightly overwhelmed, and wondering how I'm going to make it all happen.

For those that are curious, the response from Shark Tank was greater than we ever imagined. Just a few stats:
1) We were the #2 most searched term on Google on Friday, January 15. We were #3 on Saturday.
2) Web traffic increased by 5500%.
3) We nearly tripled our sales in 2009 in 1 week.
4) We have received thousands of emails since the show. Tim & I are trying our best to personally respond to each one.
5) We now have people knocking on OUR door, versus us begging them to answer theirs.
6) Our little company finally has legs!
7) For anyone curious, we talk with BC & RH (our investors) at least a few times a week. The deal was real - and they are amazing mentors. With these partners, however, comes a huge level of accountability. It's a good thing, for sure, but it's also new for us!

Meanwhile, I'm still working full time. I am very lucky to have a supportive company - I had to take a few days off just to handle some of the response, but I'm back at it full time tomorrow. I really do enjoy my job - especially all of the people I work with.

Then there's the house I am building. I haven't mentioned much about it on this blog, but let's just say it's a project. I'm lucky enough to have amazing contractors that make my life easy, but there's still been so many big decisions to make. This past weekend I finalized my exterior paint colors; over the past few weeks, I've finalized plumbing, flooring, roofing, siding, textures, tiles, countertops, cabinets, windows, decking, etc... Today, I picked out some new paint colors and painted the front of the house to test them. (ETG came over and said they were perfect for me - yay!) As I stepped back and surveyed the house, I was overcome with this feeling of pride and accomplishment. I can't believe that I am building my very own house!! I can't believe that in 2 months (hopefully) I will move my stuff into a house that I created nearly from scratch - in exactly the way I wanted it - without compromising a thing. It's so exciting!!!

So, amongst all of this huge stuff going on, what did I opt to do this weekend? I headed to San Antonio with Joe, his best friend Frank & his wife Nicola. We had a blast - albeit I'm still recovering from too many nachos & alcohol - but it was so worth it. I managed to go over 24 hours away from my laptop, and actually enjoy a real mini-vacation for the first time in a long time.

I'm also doing my best to stay in close touch with my friends. Breakfasts + lunches + dinners + phone calls... I have the best support group I've ever had. I owe my sanity to them! My awesome parents are finally coming to visit me next weekend, and I'm so excited for that!

One more thing I should clear up - I am officially NOT doing Ironman this year. When I signed up for it last June, I had no clue my life would be as full as it is. For me Ironman is about setting goals, striving for something big, committing to yourself... I'm happy to say that I feel like I can check that Ironman box off my life to-do list, and if I want to do it again - it will be there. But for now, I can't happily fit it into my life.

I wrote last Friday of being scared that I was peaking... of course that was silly, even if I felt it. I guess peaking is just what you make of it. If I end up failing at all of what I have going on right now, at least I know that I get the chance to experience it all.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Some thoughts before tonight...

I'm only 29 years old, but I have learned a few things during my life. One of those things is that it's not every day that you end up on TV. National TV. National TV doing a reality TV show.

As many have pointed out, "thank goodness you're not on the Bachelor, and at least on a show where you use your brain!" Good point.

Anyway, I am sitting here looking at the clock. In 5 hours, tons of my friends will join me at a watch party and will get ready to see the show. In 5 hours, 15 minutes - my heart might jump out of my chest when the intro music starts. Just a warning. I most likely will look just as I did on the commercials!
There are so many thoughts running through my head right now... and I want to be able to look back and remember them when this is over... so I figured I would write.

First, my parents are amazing. I write that all the time, but it's not enough. They are supportive and caring and intelligent and wonderful and frankly, just amazing. I am devastated that they won't be with me tonight to watch the show. (However my longtime dear sweet friend Jenna will be watching it with my dad in Atlanta since he's on a work trip, and my mom is covered with her friends in Dallas.) The thing that has been the most fun about this experience is making them proud. They don't care what the results are, they care that I took a chance and went for it. So, to be able to make them proud... in such a way that I can hear the excitement in their voices... it's just awesome.

Second, my friends are equally amazing. People are coming out of nowhere with help, ideas, contacts, resources, words of encouragement, etc... Every time someone clicks "like" on my facebook status updates, I can't help but smile and feel so blessed. Everywhere I turn, someone is offering to help me. I feel obligated to mention a few that have gone way above and beyond the call of friend duty and surprised me to no end. It's hard to single anyone out, but there are a few very specific people who have really amazed me. Carrie B came to Interbike with me - free of charge - just to see the sites and support the business. Most recently, she has become a PR maven for me. Jeff B has done it too - coming up with ideas, spreading the PR, lending his time and expertise. Then there are people like Mike & Dionn who just listen to the craziness of running a business and offer up advice, or don't, and they are always on target. And then, there is the person who gets to (has to?) hear it all, every day, via email/text/chat/in person/and back again. (Well, he gets to deal with most of my issues, not just related to my company, but that's another story.) Multiple insane asylums can thank Chris for having one less inmate in Austin. :) Five years ago he told me, "one day I'm going to say 'I knew you back when...'" and that simple conversation has been a motivator ever since.

Third, I've been thinking about how I got to this place. Seven months ago, I didn't have much on my horizon. I admit it - I was scared not to have a plan. Seven months later, my awesome boyfriend & I are stopping by my "new" house that I'm in the process of rebuilding on the way to the viewing party for my national TV debut for a company that just by way of being on this show has more potential than ever. So how did I get here? I think I just opened my arms to the world and said "what have you got for me? I'm ready!" (Well not physically of course, but mentally. Mentally I did do that.)

Fourth, I'm scared. I'm scared that I haven't take full advantage of the opportunities I had. I'm scared that footage of me falling down on my bike will air on national TV. I'm scared that this is it for me - that I get my 15 minutes of fame - and it will all be over. I realize this is pretty silly, but I don't want to peak at age 29, dammit!

So fifth, and most important... I am here. I'm taking it all in, relishing the experience, and not predicting how the next seven months will turn out for me. I am happier now than I have ever been in my whole life, and I am thankful for every piece of it.

So... there you have it. The basketcase mind of a soon-to-be-washed-up reality tv contestant. ;)

Stay tuned for more...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


One of my very best friends wrote this:

"If you're living life by moving forward,
The wind won't always be at you back, you can't always be on the downhill side.
The path taken may be rocky and sky's full of rain.
But no matter where you turn, the earth will always be beneath your feet and the sun will always shine."
January 10, 2010

And it's friends like him that remind me the sun is always shining. :)