Hello, Hello Ruby!

Y’all. I am so excited. Tomorrow is the official GRAND OPENING of Hello Ruby! For those unfamiliar with Hello Ruby (and its lovely owner Jill), here’s a little about Omaha’s new mobile boutique (from Hello Ruby directly):

hello ruby offers a unique and innovative approach to shopping, with the most stylish yet affordable women’s clothing & accessories…brought to you on wheels. Come onto the truck – we stop and you shop. hello ruby promises you a shopping experience you won’t forget!

The grand opening is tomorrow (Saturday, April 1) at Ted and Wally’s on 11th and Jackson in Omaha from 11am-4pm. You can get more details here.

(Can’t make it to the grand opening? Don’t worry! Find the truck right here.)

So, what can you expect from Jill and Hello Ruby? Having gotten an early look at the ribbon cutting, I can say you’re going to LOVE it. Jill has stocked Hello Ruby with so many unique and fun tops, dresses, rompers, pants, jewelry… You name it! She’s even partnered with other local entrepreneurs (like Ripley and Rue) to provide even more awesome products for you, your dog, your life, etc. etc.

And just to highlight a small sample of what she’ll have to offer, here’s one of my most FAVORITE bomber jackets this spring:

unnamed

I made sure to stand in front of a baseball diamond in need of some love to show how sporty and trendy I am. Did it work? Anyway, this bomber is only one of many amazing items on the truck and I need you to go buy lots of stuff so I don’t spend my entire paycheck at Hello Ruby myself (but who am I kidding…. I still will).

Anyway, I wanted to introduce you to Jill and her awesome new adventure. So if you’re in Omaha tomorrow (or any day), get out and support Hello Ruby (and all local businesses)! You won’t regret it, I promise.

Erin

P.S. Congratulations, Jill!

Back When We Were Kids

I am powered by music.

I live for ‘New Music Fridays.’ I’m constantly looking for new artists and revisiting the ones I love. Music has always been a part of my life to the point that very specific songs mark certain chapters in my life. The second I hear them, I go back.

I know that’s not unique. Plenty of people tie memories to music. It’s a powerful thing, that music. But throughout my life, I’ve bookmarked moments in my life with songs and albums. There are even songs I can’t listen to anymore because they take my back to moments I don’t care to relive. Some of those are really great songs too.

Andrew McMahon returned to Omaha last night, this time with his band ‘Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.’ He played one Something Corporate song – ‘I Woke Up in a Car’ – and it took my back. I remember being a freshman in high school listening to that song on my discman (and eventually my very first iPod).

Anyway, as I was listening, I remembered that I have this playlist on Spotify where I store all of these songs that have some meaning to me. It’s simply titled, ‘Songs I Love.’ It’s private, but I revisit it from time-to-time when I need a good ol’ trip down memory lane. I don’t plan on making that playlist public any time soon, but I thought I’d share a few of the songs here and the memories that correlate with them.

Shall we?

  • The Adventure – Angels & Airwaves: I listened to this song a lot my freshman and sophomore years of college. If you saw me walking to my class, I guarantee I had headphones in and I can promise you this song was playing.
  • Me and the Moon – Something Corporate: I used this song as my AIM away message (yeah… YEAH) as a freshman in college every time I went to bed. “It’s me and the moon she said.” Every. Single. Night.
  • Mexico – Jump Little Children: I became familiar with this band after a friend of mine tipped me off to them. She was a year older, on the dance team at KU and basically my idol. This song ultimately became the song of every college visit I made, because it’s all I played on my way.
  • Brat Pack – The Rocket Summer: This. Freaking. Song. I remember specifically listening to it in my friend’s Jeep on I-80 on the way to something for show choir. We belted it out at the top of our lungs. She now lives in California and I may not have seen her in quite some time but when I hear this song, I think of her and how fun that moment in time was.
  • The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) – Jason Mraz: I can’t hear this song and not think of the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I was in driver’s ed at Westside and this song was always on the radio when we were in the car.
  • Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve: Another driver’s ed song. I got hooked on this one somehow (maybe Cruel Intentions?) and then listened to it non-stop for months (and now years).
  • Everywhere – Michelle Branch: The cool thing to do in 8th grade was go to the high school football games and hang out. Despite the fact that the high schoolers did not want us there, we showed up in our army pants and flip flops. When I got ready? This song had heavy rotation on the boombox on the floor of my bathroom.
  • Forever – Chris Brown: I am not a fan of Chris Brown now, but he was a big deal when ‘Forever’ came out. This song will forever remind me of my junior year of college and driving to the Fremont Walmart for macaroni and cheese. Don’t ask.
  • Brighter Than Sunshine – Aqualung: My MySpace song. Let that sink in.

There’s more in that playlist, but that’s probably enough memories for today. Well, one more actually:

206422_1003302845721_8679_n

That’s me and Andrew McMahon just over 10 years ago, February 2007. Hard to believe I’ve now been a fan of his for over 15 years, but much of his music has defined very important moments in my life.

The power of music.

Erin

(And a la Allison Pane, I titled this blog after a song: Kids – OneRepublic. Something tells me this is going to be one of those songs that ends up in my playlist. I just have a hunch.)

Go What You Oughta Go

Anyone that knows me knows that I rarely wear heels. It’s just not my thing. Yet, I wore heels during recruitment week as an incoming freshman at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In hindsight, that was a really bad idea. I could barely walk home at the end of each day.

I remember wanting the houses I visited to like me. I don’t know why I thought being an extra few inches taller would help that, but I was willing to try anything (even at the expense of having to walk home barefoot as a result). You see, I care quite a bit what other people think of me. I try not to, because I know that’s no way to live, but I often can’t help it.

Going through recruitment really tested that for me. I was constantly looking for reassurance that this place I was in liked me. Did I belong? Could I find friends and a home here? I didn’t know. I wasn’t even sure that a sorority was the right place for me.

And then Delta Gamma happened. From the moment I walked out the front door on the last day of recruitment, I knew that’s where I wanted to invest my time. It was home.

It’s been 11 years since that day and I’m just as grateful today as I was then for the friendship, love and opportunities. And, at the sake of sounding too corny, it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.

To Delta Gamma, for the cramped living quarters that I piled high with anchors and the color pink.

IMG_2327

IMG_2329

To Delta Gamma, for the friendships you brought me.

IMG_2328

1930668_1025163352220_890_n

To Delta Gamma, for hope, for strength, for life.

10670228_10101543492286053_7936444123430540576_n

12417729_10206822104694058_8871610387740192908_n

Happy Founders Day, Delta Gamma. ITB.

Nevertheless, She Persisted: International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes about (and by!) strong women:

“Success is better than failure, but it doesn’t teach you as much.” – Jane Campion

“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.” – Malala Yousafzai

“Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.” – Hillary Clinton

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” – Maya Angelou

“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind learning.” – Amy Poehler

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” – Coco Chanel

“It’s not your job to like me, it’s mine.” – Byron Katie

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices, always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who’s going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

And for even more great quotes, here’s a list from HuffPo (the illustrations are particularly lovely)

One Year Later

Today marks one year since the accident that changed my life. It happened on February 26, 2016, a Friday then. I remember sitting on the side of the road, burned and broken. I had no idea at that time of what lied ahead.

I could spend this blog post rehashing what happened. Telling you about the days spent in the hospital and the weeks spent at home. That’s not what I want to remember, though. Instead, I want to take a little time saying ‘thank you:’

To my neighbors, thank you. You quite literally saved our lives. You deserve all of the awards in the world and this moment will forever be one of my most cherished memories.

15181382_10208743440726258_594711295322029990_n

To the first responders, thank you. You comforted me, convinced me that the two IVs you had to put in my hands weren’t that big of a deal and joked that my burned head “wasn’t the worst you’d ever seen.” I’m still not over you having to cut off my favorite jeans, because I’m telling you… I could have gotten the blood stains out! I swear! (But you are probably right. They were probably ruined.)

To my doctors and nurses at UNMC, thank you. You quite literally healed me physically and mentally. I will never forget the nurses that showed me how to live life with burns, cracked jokes about ‘Frozen’ at 4 a.m. to make me smile and snuck their personal shampoos and conditioners into the shower so I didn’t have to use the stuff that didn’t smell all that good.

To Dr. Reilly and the entire burn unit staff, thank you. You are practically family now and I’m happy to have you all as my healers. I don’t like the circumstances in which I got to know you all, but knowing you has been life changing. You love me (even if it’s tough love) and for that I am thankful.

To my mom, thank you. You rushed into that emergency room with a sense of purpose and never stopped doing anything you could to make it better. I’m not sure how I’d feel as a parent walking in on what you did, but you handled it (and have continued to handle it) better than anyone could have expected.

To Kyle, thank you. You never let me believe I was anything but beautiful, even when my head was wrapped up like a mummy. I will never forgive you for trying to change the channel from Gilmore Girls, but you were amazing otherwise.

To my family, thank you. For showing up. For bringing BB-8 (shout out to you, Dad). For supporting me.

To Kyle’s family, thank you. For breaking into the house because we never thought to give anyone a spare key. I (and Jacks) cannot thank you enough.

To my friends, thank you. Some of you drove hours to be there. Some of you drove five minutes. All of you were incredible, no matter the distance. I will never forget the night we watched the Oscars in my hospital room, as if nothing had ever happened. I will also never forget you all showing up, day after day, once I was home with food, hugs and smiles. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have you all.

To my Internet family, thank you. Yes, I have an Internet family. That includes my Twitter followers (and a special shout out to the former @kchuskerz especially) and my Tumblr family. You went above and beyond by reaching out, donating to my GoFundMe, sending me sunscreen (and hats!) and more. I received so much support that I’m still not sure how to properly thank you all. I truly wish I could meet you all personally and give you a hug (or 10).12790881_10206643567150731_3603887105373843490_n

To my Nebraska family, thank you. The hat and signed football that arrived from the football staff on the first day of spring practice was so kind. The box of gear (with hoods!) and a toy for Jacks from the basketball staff was too. You reminded me once and for all that there is no place like Nebraska.

To Boys Town and Hail Varsity (and especially Aaron, Jen and John), thank you. You understood when I desperately wanted to get back to work but also reminded me to take the time to heal. You showed me again why I’m so lucky to be a part of what you both do.

To Lisa, thank you. I will never know what you thought when you got my message that I had “lost some of my hair,” but you never faltered. You put me back together.

To Omaha Ballroom (Elizabeth and Angel), thank you. You got me back on my feet when I needed it most. Dancing with the Omaha Stars will forever hold a special place in my heart.

13394176_10207424028141768_6890628213124594767_n

To Delta Gamma, thank you. When I pledged DG ten years ago, I never knew what you meant by ‘for life.’ I get it now. ITB.12417729_10206822104694058_8871610387740192908_n

To Jacks, thank you. You’re a very good dog.

To you all, thank you. You sent notes. You had your classrooms create cards. You brought us groceries and casseroles and pizza. You reached out to a person that some of you didn’t even know. You lifted me up when I was at my lowest and never let me get too far down. I am where I am today because of you.

And to anyone I forgot, thank you. I hate leaving anyone out, but please know anyone forgotten was not intentional.

I’m incredibly lucky. I know there are many who haven’t received the same support that I have and I try to remind myself daily of my privilege in all of this. I didn’t (and still don’t!) deserve all you did for me, but I hope in time I can pay that forward in your honor.

One year later. How far we’ve come. All because of you.

Erin

Hey. What’s up? Hello.

First, a big ol’ shout out to Fetty Wap for the name of my first blog post. I credit my lack of creativity and Alli Pane’s song title idea for posts over on her blog for it (I swear I’m not stealing your idea, Alli. Just this once though.)

And second… Welcome. I have no idea what I’m doing.

Here’s the thing though: I used to have a blog (and loved it) but life got away from me. I abandoned it, the community left and there I was left wanting something but having no idea where to start. When I discovered no one had bought erinsorensen.com to troll me yet, I figured there was no time like the present to start a new blog.

I wish I could tell you what to expect from here. It’ll probably be a combination of a lot of things. From what I’m writing for Hail Varsity (speaking of which, if you’re a fan of recruiting or Kurt Warner, I’m pretty proud of this interview with Kade Warner) to the clothes I’m wearing to what I think about the political landscape, the options will probably be endless. You might like some of what I write and you might not like others. That’s totally OK.

I think my ultimate goal is just to be authentic. I’ll figure this whole thing out (maybe) and hopefully you’ll stick around. I just can’t promise I’ll #StickToSports though, because seriously – You don’t tell a doctor to #StickToMedicine. Although you could, and I’d like you to report back on how that goes.

So, here goes nothing.

Erin

what-am-i-doing