Listening to the Wrong Voices.

A friend of mine randomly told me she had been thinking about my “music career.” Which was funny to me, because I don’t really have one. But nonetheless, she told me that she had been thinking about me and my music and told me I should post more cover songs and try to collaborate with other people to try to get more of a “following.”

All of this is stuff I’ve always kind of known, but I just haven’t done anything about it. I told Mark about our conversation and he was like “Erica, that’s the exact same stuff I’ve been telling you for years. You just need to start putting yourself out there.”

I thought about it for a few minutes, then told him I felt like I wasn’t ready, and that people wouldn’t care. “Who wants to watch a chubby twenty-something mom sing cover songs? Maybe when I lose 40 lbs or something.”

He then proceeded to tell me that more people could relate to me that way. That I didn’t have to be this perfect version of myself to feel like I could put myself in front of an audience.

That’s when it occurred to me that these voices in my head have been seriously messing me up.

The past few years, I have repeatedly listened to these voices in my head telling me that no one would want to watch or listen to me because I’m not some young barely twenty skinny perfect person. That for me to be confident enough to put myself out there, I needed to whiten my teeth, get a decent hair cut, get some color on my skin, lose 40 lbs, get hernia surgery, lose the lazy eye… the list goes on. I haven’t been updating my website pictures because I’ve been telling myself that once I reach all those qualifications, I can get some pictures of myself taken so I can freshen up my website.

I have been wasting way WAY too much time worrying about what other people think of me. And worrying that people won’t accept or like me as I am.

But I’m done wasting time. I don’t want my daughter to feel like she can’t accomplish her goals and dreams because she isn’t some ideal version of perfection we assume everyone cares about. We are all beautiful, individual, unique people, and we ALL have something to offer the world. People relate with imperfection. People feel comfortable around other people who are imperfect because it gives them permission to love themselves as they are, too.

So I’m going to start trying my best to just be me, and to accept myself as I currently am. I’ll always be striving for better, but it’s a constant journey, and I can’t just sit around letting my life and dreams go by because I haven’t reached the destination yet.

So, hi. I’m Erica. I weigh more than I should, have stretch marks all over the place, an umbilical hernia that makes me look like I have a weird lump under my shirt, right on top of my pregnant-looking belly because my core muscles are shot from kids and just years of not having core strength in general. I have feet that are stupid wide, a lazy eye, a scar on my chin, and pasty skin. I have a short waist and shelf hips and overly dry hands from hand washing because I have OCD and generalized anxiety disorder. I’m codependent. I’m kind of weird. I’m a mess in all kinds of ways.

But I’m also awesome. I’m friendly, compassionate, and loving. I’m a decent singer/pianist and a pretty awesome songwriter if I do say so myself. I’m a good mom, and a good wife, and a good friend. And I hope as I start this journey of self-love, that the list of things I love about myself gets much larger than the paragraph of my imperfections.

Now I’m gonna go try to sleep while I can before my monster toddler wakes up 4 times in the middle of the night.


Did you know it’s hard to do things when you have kids?

I can’t seem to be consistent about anything. The MuTu System, my music, this blog, the laundry, meal planning, anything. My life is a sporadic mess of dirty diapers and coughing kids and laundry that needs put away (or moved from the washer to the dryer… or re-washing said laundry because I forgot to move it and now it smells like stale something or other).

What I have managed to be consistent in is losing my mind lately. Between Amy’s stomach bug triggering my emetophobia (and Jacob’s hacking cough making me think he’s constantly on the verge of puking himself), and Jacob’s new found independence and strong will, and Amy cutting 27 teeth at one time, and the holidays coming up bringing all sorts of stress (and fun, but you know it’s stressful!), it’s been hard to keep up.

I have spent a ton of time on my knees lately, basically begging God to just help me get by. Help me survive the day. Help me stop yelling at Jake; my throat hurts and he just laughs at me. Help him to freaking poop in the potty already.

And you know what? God listens.

He hasn’t magically made Jake poop in the potty, but he does calm my nerves and help me see him for the sweet little boy he is. He inspires friends to bring me food, or take Amy to the zoo, or just check in and talk with me. He reminds me that although there are so many things I wish I could do other than what I’m doing right now, this is what is most important right now.

And you know what? Life is pretty darn great. We are relatively healthy. We have been safe and protected despite hurricanes from hell. We have the gospel in our lives. And I’m officially down 70 lbs since I had Amy a little over a year ago. So that’s positive. Now if I could just be consistent with the MuTu System so I wouldn’t look pregnant despite my weight loss. Ha.

Now imma get these kids to bed and take the heck out of a bubble bath.

Socially Acceptable Triple-Chin?

So, my sister and I have this game we play. Every time we FaceTime each other, we have a contest of who has the most chins or ugliest face when the other answers. I usually win, lets be honest.

And as I was playing with my son tonight, I found myself making “silly faces” at him, resulting in him cracking up.

But as I was contorting my face into all kinds of horrific, it occurred to me that maybe that is not something to be super proud of….

Like. When most people are told to make a silly face for the camera, they do this:


And then there’s me…


And lets not forget this gem from my college years.. my infamous rendition of “Chet,” a simple lumberjack who is just really excited about the all-you-can-eat buffet.



I think I’m basically Lindsey Lohan in Mean Girls in that scene where she actually dresses up as a terrifying zombie ex-wife, missing the memo that Halloween was an excuse to dress skanky. I definitely missed a memo somewhere.

Why am I sharing this information? Why am I admitting to the fact that I can contort my face into such hideousness I could make children cry if I wanted to?

Mostly cause it’s late. And I should be sleeping.



So, I don’t think enough people actually read my blog for this to be necessary, but just in case I have millions of secret followers who are just obsessed with the sporadic ramblings of my life, I wanted to let ya’ll know I’m changing things up a bit!

I started this website with the intention of it being all about my music. I had all these ideas for adding a downloads page, links to my YouTube, a calendar for upcoming gigs, that kind of thing. But my music is still a work in progress. RIght now, my LIFE is what is happening. Motherhood, wife-hood, and music is there, too. But what I’m more passionate about right now, even more than my music, is HAPPINESS.

I am a happy person. It hasn’t always been that way. I have worked SO hard to get to where I am now, and I know I have a long way to go. But I have spent the last few years making changes to all aspects of my life, and it has helped me live a much happier, more fulfilling life. So I want to share my “happiness secrets” with you.

I’ll still be sharing songs I’ve written and all that, but most of my music is about trying to be happy anyway!

I truly believe that God wants us to THRIVE, not just exist. We should treat our bodies like they are the only ones we get. We should feed our spirits with positive, uplifting messages and knowledge. We should always try to be better than we are. We should overcome fear and let faith take it’s place.

I wrote this song a while ago, while I was pregnant with Amy. I was having a hard time handling my morning sickness in combination with my severe phobia of throwing up (emetophobia, it’s a thing). Listening to the song now, it seems kind of mellow dramatic. But this song turned into being about so much more than that one challenge for me. Writing the words to this song was so therapeutic and helped me see how much God loves me and wants me to trust in Him, even when I hate waiting around in the dark. It’s uncomfortable and scary to not know how long trials will last, or when they will come, but I know that whatever we face, it’s for our good. Every hardship we face is BECAUSE HE LOVES US! Isn’t that crazy? If we could just remember that when things get hard, so much fear could be replaced by faith and reassurance, knowing that it will ALWAYS be ok in the end.

So here’s “It’s Worth it.” And I hope you continue to follow along for help in becoming a happier, healthier person.



Strangers and Mommy Melt-downs.

So today was fantastic. Jake let me sleep in this morning, the sun was shining all day, I got a ton of cleaning done, and even got in a good workout. Plus me and Jake had good vibes like, all day. Lately that has been a little harder to come by, since he pushes my buttons to no end.

But today was good. I felt like a good mom.

Then as I was loading groceries into our car, a stranger pulled up next to me and started lecturing me about letting my son walk too far away from me in the parking lot. Said that it scared the bleep out of him, said that rear view mirrors don’t see little kids. Said I needed to keep him closer and be more careful.

So much for being a good mom.

And what sucked more than his critique was that honestly, he was right. Just like the guy who snapped at me at Costco because I had Jake in the main part of the shopping cart. And he happened to catch him standing up. And I was once again reminded of how little I actually know about parenting properly.

People have good intentions. I know that. But it’s hard when you’re doing the best you can and then someone who doesn’t even know you corrects you. And they’re right.

Needless to say, my mood changed. It shouldn’t have, but it did. I found myself getting really stressed out while trying to make dinner, snapping at Mark and Jake to just leave me alone and let me cook.

And out of nowhere, the waterworks started. I just started crying. I honestly don’t know why. I just broke down. Probably a build-up of negative feelings built up from that stranger in the parking lot and guilt for not being a better mom.

Mark came into the kitchen, found me crying, walked over and put his arms around me.

Then, Jake came in. He just walked over and put his little arms around as much of me as he could.

I looked at his little face, and he puckered his lips for a kiss. And then continued hugging me long after Mark had let go. And was incredibly loving and sweet to me the rest of the night.

I’m still emotional just thinking about that sweet boy and his compassion and love and it’s hard to believe that someone so young can be so intuitive and know just how to make me feel better. He is literally an angel and I love him more than I can hold in my heart.

Parenting is hard. We make mistakes. We make careless choices sometimes that risk our child’s safety or feelings or whatever.

But children are little blessings that are watched over by guardian angels to help catch our mistakes and protect them from harm. And thank goodness.

Parenting is a pretty thankless job. But tonight, in his own little way, he showed me that he loves me.

I’m not perfect. But that boy loves me.

Need a new favorite song?

I want to share some music with you. But not just my own.

I think I have pretty good taste in music. I grew up banging my head to Quiet Riot (mostly cause my dad is buds with their drummer). I grew up singing country Vince Gill songs (mostly cause my dad was buds with his guitarist). And cause my dad is buds with David Foster, I grew up listening to all the stuff he produced; I made my barbies dance along to Celine Dion’s epic long tributes, day dreamed listening to Enrique Iglesias, table danced to Whitney Houston, went through a Christian Boy band phase (Plus One), among many others. My dad was so involved in music as I was growing up, it was hard not to love it. From the cheesy jazz he had playing in the background at all times in our house to the full-production band concerts we went to every year while he played electric guitar for the army band, it was everywhere. And then my bff in high school was an aspiring opera singer, so I got a lot of that under my belt, too. And my husband basically just listens to Chris Brown. And Justin Bieber. So there’s that, too.

Basically, I’m pretty well rounded in my taste in music. And I want to share some of my favorite songs of all time with you guys.

These are songs that have inspired and impacted my life, been blasted in my car, been cried to, been played on repeat. These are songs that never get old to me. Some are popular. Some are kind of random. But I can almost guarantee you’ll be glad you heard them.

Music these days is a lot of trash. Everything is about sex, or big butts, or drugs, or just stupid pointless stuff.

But there is still music that has a message. Music that makes you think. Music that just feeds the soul.

So here’s a few songs. Enjoy! I’ll try and keep posting a new favorite every week, but these should get things started.

Matchbox 20- Unwell 

Most people know this song from a ways back. But I still play it frequently. The banjo in this song makes me so happy. As soon as this song comes on, it puts me in a better mood.


You’ve probably never heard this song before. It’s kind of random. My friend in high school used to look up songs from that show One Tree Hill, and she would pass on the songs to me. Some of the best music I’ve ever heard were the random songs she found. This is one of them.

I used to blast this in my ghetto mp3 player while at my local park, while swinging on swings, at night. It was amazing. The tempo of the swing would be just spot on with the song, and around 2:50 when the key changes, I’d get chills every time.

It’s a pretty sad song. I think it’s about someone attempting suicide and then being okay? Not totally sure. But the song isn’t creepy or depressing. It’s epic.

Savage Garden- Two Beds and a Coffee Machine 

Remember Savage Garden? They were all the rage in the 90’s. This song has always been a favorite. It’s sad, but hopeful. I love a good piano ballad. I’ve known a few people who struggled with their families, whether it be because of abuse or divorce or whatever it was, and this song always makes my heart hurt for them. But it’s a beautiful song, and worth hearing.

Enjoy! And try not to get too depressed. Some of the best songs out there are a little darker and sad, but they’re real. And that’s why I love them. I hope you do, too.

And in case those bummed you out, here. This video always brightens my mood.


Jake is wonderful. Jake is perfect. Jake is also entering a whole new territory of behavior that blows my mind and makes me want to scream sometimes.

He hits, pushes, points his finger at people and yells at them (particularly smaller children who get scared and start crying at his display of authority), and officially knows the word “No!”

He also pets my head like a cat and mumbles sweet nothings while he strokes my hair. So like, I can’t be mad at him.

But there are times. And one of those times caught me off-guard the other night.

Usually after Mark gives Jake a bath, I claim my spot in the rocking chair, and toss pajamas that I picked out to Mark to get him dressed. But the other night, Mark claimed the rocking chair seat, and told me it was “my turn” to get him dressed. I used my usual “It’s my night off” excuse (that I always try and it never works). Nonetheless, I needed to get the kid in pj’s.

I called him to come to me.


“Get your naked butt over here, silly boy!”

“No!” He then proceeds to run to the furthest corner of his room.

Finally, I get him, lay him down in front of me, and the kicking starts. And the flailing starts. And I only have seven arms, I can’t hold everything down. Every time I get a limb successfully clothed, it escapes in a burst of frenzy.

And then I snapped.

I don’t even understand what happened. I just got up, slammed his door, went to my room, slammed my door, and sat on my bed while i had an anxiety attack.

I felt like the worst mom. Who freaks out like that in front of their kid? What kind of mom can’t get their kid in pj’s?

A couple minutes later, I heard crying, and Mark left his room. He had put him in his crib to go to sleep.

We were both worn out and tired of his behavior. But I knew we couldn’t send him to bed like that.

I felt a surge of patience, and went into his room, picked him up, and held him.

I grabbed a book, and we pointed at pictures and turned pages together.

Then he slipped out of the room and started going downstairs.

Mark started laughing as he realized I had given in to Jake’s persistence.

And we all snuggled on the couch and watched Inside Out till like, 10pm.

I’m realizing parenting isn’t all about perfect boundaries and schedules and routines. It isn’t about being perfectly patient and composed. Our kids are going to see us face our weaknesses. Our kids are going to see us make mistakes. And sometimes they will deal with things that aren’t fair.

But I think if we can accept that, then parenthood is so much more fulfilling.

Sometimes, it’s okay to let your kid stay up late with you.

Sometimes, it’s okay to have snacks in bed.

Sometimes, it’s okay to lose our minds. As long as we recover and apologize and make up for it.

We really shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. Parenting is hard! Adulting is hard!

So here’s to mistakes, I guess!

Spongebob and Repentance.

Guys. I used to be one of those people that were too cool for the pineapple under the sea.

Then I married Mark. And I discovered that the super sexy stud of a man I was engaged to was actually an 11 year old boy.

And I’m hooked.

We used to watch a little here and there back in the day, but took a break.

But now we’re watching it again. With Jake. And oh my gosh. It’s hilarious.

Maybe my sense of humor has changed now that I live with boys. But goodness. I love it.

Anyway. My website is working again. Thanks to my IT nerd husband, who essentially turned it off and then on again.

I’m in the process of getting some MP3’s on here for you to download. So that will be fun!

OH, and remember that coffee table I got for $10 off craigslist forever ago? I’m sure you don’t. But I did a poor job painting it, barely doing any prep work, and definitely not priming. I thought ceiling paint would work for that. Nope.

And no matter how many layers of polyacrylic I lathered on, the paint kept peeling off whenever I put things on it.

So I finally gave in, and got the stuff to strip the paint off and start over. Months ago.

And today I decided I would just “strip the paint real quick” during Jake’s nap time.

Holy cow. It’s a job.

It’s taking a LOT of work. I didn’t know my fingers could sweat, but they did, all cooped up inside the chemical-proof gloves I had on.

But I’m planning on making it a chalk-board table for Jake. So hopefully it won’t take TOO much longer.

Also, isn’t that kind of like sin and repentance?

If I had just waited and prepped/primed/painted like I was supposed to, following directions, and taking my time, I wouldn’t have had such a messy, miserable project on my hands now.

But thank goodness we are given ways we can fix our mistakes. There’s no coffee table so crappily painted that some paint stripper and sweat can’t fix it, and no problem is too messy for our Savior to clean.

Does that make sense? It does to me. Makes me want to do things the right way the first time, cause repentance is hard work! But thank goodness we have that to fall back on, because heaven knows we don’t usually do things right the first go around :)

Anyway. I’m gonna go put on some LuLaRoe leggings and watch spongebob. After getting Jake into his Star Wars jammies.


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

So, I wrote a new song a couple weeks ago, and finished it last night. I’m already failing at this “one video a month” new years resolution, but hey, It’s only February. I can still catch up.

This song started coming to me on a bad hair day. I was feeling insecure about my short, thin, scraggly hair, and I started picturing all those chicks on Pinterest with their long hair in waterfall braids or other fancy up-do’s, and naturally started feeling insecure about the rest of me, too. I’ve never really been happy with how I look. And I know I’m not the only one.

We all have things we’d like to change about ourselves, and it can be a challenge to not compare ourselves to others who we feel have it all. But we need to stop it!

I am awesome. You are awesome. Just as we are. But for those insecure bloated bad-hair days, here’s this song. Might not make you feel much better, but it helped me as I was writing it. I just kept thinking “Gosh, why am I so mean to myself? I wish I could go back in time and stop this negative chain of negativeness.”

So, here’s the lyrics to Mirror, Mirror, and the link.


I wish I had long hair
down to my waist
in cascading waves
or waterfall braids.

I wish I
had a slimmer waist,
a prettier face,
skinnier legs,

I wish I
didn’t feel the need

to always compete
with those around me.

I wish I didn’t have these

Self destructive tendencies
Unrealistic fantasies,
expectations I can’t reach
that feed on all my insecurities.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
stop being so critical.
Show me I’m not so bad after all.

I wish I could go back
and tell younger me
that I was pretty
enough, don’t worry.

I wish I
had learned back then
to be confident
inside my own skin.

I wish I could go back
but since I can’t,
I’ve gotta find a way
to stop living with these

Self destructive tendencies
Unrealistic fantasies,
expectations I can’t reach
that feed on all my insecurities.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
stop being so critical.
Show me I’m not so bad after all.

Mirror, show me, help me find
the beauty that lies behind

Self destructive tendencies
Unrealistic fantasies,
expectations I can’t reach
that feed on all my insecurities.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
stop being so critical.
Help me see I’m not so bad after all.


Life right now.

So, here’s whats up with me.

My son will be two soon, and he’s already living up to the terrible twos I’ve heard so much about. I love that boy so much it hurts but GOODNESS, can I just change his diaper without being kicked to death? And can he PLEASE just eat ONE vegetable or SOMETHING?!

Could be worse. At least he’s eating. Even if its only my protein shakes (I sneak spinach into them, but don’t tell him!)

My husband is still amazing. I’m just going to ignore the fact that the terrible, terrible sounds of Orcs being mutilated is blasting on the TV downstairs while he violently murders them all. I thought The Lord of the Rings was over, but nope. Thanks to XBOX, the Shadow of Mordor lives on.

Could be worse. Could be War of Worldcraft or whatever its called.

I am trying to find the time to record and make more YouTube videos. But this toddler stuff is seriously demanding! And there’s cats everywhere all the time!

I keep telling myself i’m only 24 (almost 25! eeeek!) and that I have time to accomplish my dreams and change the world and all that crap. But sometimes it feels like I’m never going to get there.

Could be worse. At least I made giant heart shaped fleece pillows for our couch for Valentines Day. And little throw pillows for our bed. And a pillow cover for a couch pillow. Literally, I spent an entire 3-hour Jake-nap-block making pillows. So I guess that’s something.

OH! I got contact lenses. That’s sort of cool! I haven’t worn them since like, high school. And they’re as annoying as I remember. But it beats having Jake almost break my glasses every day. “Ha! Try to peel these suckers off my eyes! I dare you punk!”

I don’t actually call my son punk.

and I really hope he doesn’t try to peel my contacts off my eyes. That would be traumatic for the both of us.