Sunday, October 30, 2011

On the 13th Night of Halloween

Cole and Eli came home from school on Friday singing the 13 Nights of Halloween to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas. 13 Nights of Halloween...that's sure how it feels these days. People are always complaining about how Christmas comes earlier every year, but boy does it feel like Halloween lasts a lot longer now than it did when I was a kid. School parties, trunk or treats, and trick or treating on Halloween night...Don't we have enough candy?!

But for someone who's as much of a Halloween Grinch as I am, I sure take a lot of pictures on Halloween. Get ready for a lot of scrolling...

halloween 2011

halloween 2011

halloween 2011

halloween 2011

halloween 2011

halloween 2011

Haloween 2011

Haloween 2011

halloween 2011

The beauty of these costumes is that they each started with a black long john set from Target. Cole's set became a burglar, Eli's became a ninja, and Rylan's became a pumpkin. And when Halloween is over, the long johns will go in their 72 hour kits, so I can feel at least a little bit like I'm getting more than one night's use out of their costumes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Music Lessons: Stars

Michael and I went on a real actual date a few weeks ago to see this band play in Chapel Hill at Cat's Cradle. We got there early and watched the room fill up with young college students. I was feeling very old, and Michael must have been feeling the same way because when the band came out, he said, "At least they're older than us."

All in all, it was a good night with the hubby, a fun time people-watching, and an awesome band.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Making of the Peters Family Band:
Missed Opportunities

In honor of our upcoming 10 year anniversary, a trip down memory lane...

Even though we went to college in cities two hours apart, Michael and I met four times before we started dating, which either means we were fated to be together or Michael doesn't recognize a good thing when he sees it.

Michael and Erin 2001
Christmas 2001

Meeting #1: 1997/98?

This one may or may not have really happened. I didn't remember it until a few months ago when my dad was talking about running into Brother Sandstrom, who was the CES leader over my stake's seminary program and also Michael's institute instructor. (I am well aware that sentence makes no sense if you don't speak Mormon, but it would take too long to explain.)

I started thinking about Brother Sandstrom, and a vague memory pushed its way to the surface. I said to Michael, "Do you remember a singles conference in Murfreesboro your freshman year before you left on your mission?"

He thought about it for a minute and then replied, "Yes, I think I do."

I said, "I think I might remember meeting you there. Did you play tennis with Brother Sandstrom that night instead of going to the dance?"

Michael said, "That sounds like something I would do."

So there you have it. Michael and I may or may not have met our freshman year in college.

Meeting #2: 2000

This one definitely happened, but Michael doesn't remember it, even if he claims he does.

In September of my senior year, I went down to Nashville for an area-wide LDS singles conference, which started with a dance on Friday night. I'm not much of a dancer and had been ranting for years that there was no point for me to attend all these stupid Mormon dances because there was no way I'd meet my future husband at a dance. But I went anyway, and lo and behold, from across the room a boy caught my eye.

He didn't look like all the other Mormon boys - he was wearing Rivers Cuomo glasses and a cardigan, and he had mutton chops. I hoped that he'd notice me and ask me to dance, but he was busy goofing around with a group of friends in a corner of the room and wasn't dancing at all, with anyone, slow or fast.

Eventually, I got tired of waiting for him to notice me, so I marched across the room and asked him to dance. Unfortunately, I must not have made as good of an impression on him because as soon as the song was over, he went back to his friends and didn't acknowledge me the rest of the conference.

Or something like that. See, that's how I like to tell that story, but the truth is that I don't really remember much of that night. In fact, I had forgotten all about it until we met the fourth time, rehashed our histories, and then I was like, "I think I've met you before..."

But I know for sure that I was the one that asked him to dance.

Michael and Erin 2001
Stuffing envelopes, 2001

Meetings #3 and #4 to come...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Around Here

bye bye princess boots

A couple weeks ago, Rylan announced that he didn't want his princess boots anymore because they are pink and pink is for girls. I suggested that we take them to the thrift store, but he insisted that we had to give them to one of his friends from Joy School because she is a girl and her favorite color is pink.

Sigh...the end of innocence.


Cole and Eli have designated Sundays to be Stratego Sunday. Every once in awhile they can convince Michael to play with them.

in the garden

My fall garden is looking beautiful...

praying mantis

...thanks to the help of some carnivorous visitors.


If you're going to help Momma make applesauce, you need to dress like a magician. Obviously.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

You can't out-write a writer

Photo by Chris Keane for The New York Times

A few weeks ago, a blogger friend forwarded me an email from a writer for the New York Times who was doing an article about green living in a down economy and was looking for people to interview. Although I really don't enjoy being interviewed, I decided I should take one for the green team, so I sent him an email explaining a little bit about my background - how I first started going green right as the economy crashed and how I discovered that much of green living is actually very affordable or can even save money.

He replied that he was only looking for people who have had to sacrifice their green values out of economic necessity, giving the example of a man who swore he'd never use asphalt shingles on his roof but ended up doing just that when he couldn't afford the more eco-friendly option.

I found his email very off-putting, and I got a little huffy with him in my reply:
To be honest, I think it's an unfair angle to be taking with your story to be looking only for people who have had to compromise their green values during tough financial times without presenting the other side of someone who was able to "go green" during tough financial times. Of course we sometimes have to make compromises when times are tough - even when times are not hard, few of us can afford to put solar panels on our roofs - but living green is more about being conscious than about being perfect. And in many ways, it's all about perspective and how you define "green." These days, I don't always buy organic, but I do shop at the farmers market. I can't afford organic cotton or fair trade clothing, but I can afford to shop at the thrift store. I can't afford to replace my minivan with a more fuel efficient car, but I can use public transportation. I will probably never have solar panels on my roof, but I can turn down the heat. In fact, one byproduct of this economic climate is increased frugal living, and that can be very very green.
The NY Times writer replied:
I agree, and your points are well taken. One of the points I plan to bring up in the piece is that while people may be cutting back on "green commerce," the economy is forcing many to act in green ways, perhaps even despite themselves. Driving less. Gardening more. Turning down the thermostat. Whereas a few years ago, living ecologically seemed to be about buying bamboo sandals. There's perhaps been an evolution in how people view green living, precipitated by the economy.
I read his email and thought, "Amen." And then felt a little foolish for thinking I could out-write a writer from the New York Times. I replied back, "Well said," and wished him luck with his article.

Then he asked if he could interview me.

And that's how I ended up in the New York Times.

Overall, my feeling about the article is kind of "meh." It's not bad, but it's definitely not what I hoped for. And they mispelled Rylan.

(At the Green Phone Booth today, my friend Jenn posted a reply to the NYT article, including some of my own thoughts. Take a look!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Music Lessons: Weezer

Me: Do you want to write something about why you like Weezer?
Cole: Not really.

Couldn't have said it better myself...

(We only recommend Pinkerton and The Blue Album. We've tried and tried to like their other albums but have been disappointed every time.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Best Photo Ever


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rylan vs. The Magician

talk to the hand

Apparently, Rylan feels the same way about magicians that some people feel about clowns.

We came across a street magician over at Cameron Village today. He was kneeling on the sidewalk with a big group of kids around him, and my three boys shouldered their way up to the front.

For some reason, Rylan became entranced by the magician's adam's apple and reached out to touch it. The man laughed a little and said, "That's my adam's apple. Do you want one?" Then he pretended to put his adam's apple on Rylan's neck. Rylan responded by punching the man in the arm.

"Rylan!" I said. "No, no. We don't hit."

Rylan took a step back, appraised the situation, and kicked the magician in the balls.

The magician said, "That is so not cool," and then doubled over in pain.

After punishing him, I asked Rylan why he did it, and he said that he thought the magician was a bad guy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Real Grown-Up


Lately, I've been feeling like a real grown-up.

Yes, at nearly 33 years old, it's about time.

Despite this conversation, I am positive that the aspect of my personality that Michael hates the most is my tendency to put off doing anything I don't like to do, to beg him to do it for me, or to decide not to do it at all. For example, I hate talking on the phone, so if I need to call someone and don't have their email address, it could be a good long while before I work up the motivation to call them. This drives Michael crazy - especially when the someone needing to be called is a babysitter, the missionaries, our landlord, an insurance company, etc. This is also why nothing ever gets done around here: I pass those types of jobs on to Michael, and he never remembers to do them.

After almost 10 years of marriage, I've finally accepted that Michael is never going to remember to get anything done, and I've got to start acting like a grown-up. I can't promise that if I owe you a phone call, you'll hear your phone ringing anytime soon, but I have done all this in the past two weeks:
  • Got the van inspected and the registration renewed all by myself for the second year in a row even though the car repairman at Meinicke called me honey and the DMV is hell on earth.
  • Dealt with a flat tire with only a quick phone call to Michael. Once again survived being called honey by a car repairman.
  • Filed a claim with Capital Area Transit after my bike fell off the bus. (More about this later.) Was definitely patronized, though all the men involved refrained from calling me honey.
  • Survived a PHONE interview with a reporter from the New York Times. And today I will hopefully survive a photo shoot.
And in other grown-up news, I practiced taking mirror shots of myself with my iPhone so I could show you all my return to brunette status.


My dad is a natural redhead, and I inherited his milky skin and freckles but not the red hair that makes up for it. Sometime in high school, I decided to remedy the situation, and after sixteen or so years of varying shades of red, I had forgotten what my natural hair color looked like. Now I can tell you: It's a very boring brown. But as my hair stylist pointed out, at least it's not grey.

Michael's response: "This is kind of a sad day."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

10 Years 9 Months

Michael and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this December. Isn't that completely insane?

What's even more crazy is that on the day we celebrate 10 years of marriage, we will have known each other for only 10 years and 9 months. Or approximately there abouts. As I started to type that, I started questioning my math, so I went and asked Michael for confirmation.

"We dated five months and were engaged four months, right?" I asked. "But I thought the talent show was in April, so that would make it eight months."

Michael replied, "The talent show was in March, but the dance on the boat was in April."

"But I always tell people that we dated for five months before we got engaged."

Michael shrugged. "I guess you can count it from the talent show."

I grinned. "In your mind, we never started dating. In my mind, we were boyfriend and girlfriend by the second date."

"No," Michael said. "In your mind, we were married right after the talent show."

Okay, that's a little bit true. But how could you not instantly fall in love with a guy like this?

Michael 2001
Michael in the fall of 2001

The sideburns. The glasses. The guitar. Oh, swoon!
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