Thursday, January 12, 2023



Why a blog? Why "Confetti and Paprika"?

This is not my first blog. In fact, this is my second. My first, The Erickson All-Stars, was created in 2007 as a way to keep family and friends updated on my family's adventures. I wasn't a huge fan of Facebook at the time and honestly, blogging was far more fun for me. 

It turns out that The Erickson All-Stars was more than just a blog. When my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, it was a way to keep our family updated and it was extremely therapeutic for me. I was hesitant to photograph her journey, but an online friend who I met through a photography course encouraged me to photograph all of it...the good, bad and ugly. So I did and documented it in my blog. I did not know what the future looked like for her and our family, but I was determined to not let the unknown stop me from documenting life and accepting every single second of it.

As life moved forward and got back to "normal" (if that is really a state), the documentation of my family through The Erickson All-Stars slowed down. I went from posting many times a year to posting once a year. I loved blogging; however, the past showed me that it was critical to be present in life rather than document all of it.  Life was thankfully busy with the kids growing up and all their activities.

Fast forward almost 16 years to life now.  My kids are grown, working, and attending college, and my husband and I are now considered "empty-nesters".  So now what? Hey, how about blogging again? Yes, life is still busy yet I do have a bit more time to spend writing a blog.

What's with the name? A few years ago (before empty-nesting), I was texting with a friend on Easter Sunday. We had just returned from church, dinner was in the oven and I was in the garage attacking what seemed to be a 3-foot-high pile of smelly, dirty clothes. As I shared with my friend that I was doing laundry, she told me how her three kids and husband took her out to a lovely brunch and that they were currently sitting by the pool. Ugh! There I was pulling stained baseball pants right side out in my garage. (That's another story...I dreamed of having a laundry room inside the house rather than in the garage.)

I put my phone down and looked at the pile of dirty laundry. I immediately had a shift in my thinking.  The dirty laundry was no longer a burden or a chore, but a gift. You see, the dirty laundry with all the different colors represented life. It represented three healthy kids, one of which just a couple years earlier was given a 30% chance of life. It represented sports, theater, school, employment, and vacation. It represented us having lived through the most difficult time in our lives and yet, here we were a family of five, still together, making colorful dirty laundry. Confetti, that's what I saw piled on my garage floor, confetti!

I was born a redhead...yep! Through the years, my hair color naturally turned a brownish red and when the grays started appearing, I went back to my birth color. Paprika, a red spice made from the cultivars of peppers, is also a nickname given to me by my dad. When I was a kid, I thought nothing of it. As I matured through my teens and early adulthood, I grew to love the nickname. It represented the spicy and sarcastic personality that I was inclined to.

So, there it is...Confetti and Paprika!

It is my hope that as you follow along, you will laugh, cry and even grab a "nugget" here and there.

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