Monday, March 31, 2014


Our Erickson family vacation started off in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. We arrived Friday night, but our ship, Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas, departed at 5pm the next day. Since we were boarding around noon, we had a few hours in the morning to explore Ft. Lauderdale and pick up bottles of wine for the trip. Adam and I walked from our hotel to a nearby Target and were so happy to not wear jackets and get our first dose of sunshine! We breezed through check-in and boarded our ship around 11am on Saturday. It was massive! We were all pretty shocked when walking up to it for the first time. You will see in pictures below, but there is basically a town center in the middle of the ship that looks like a strip mall. So many little bars, restaurants, a cupcake shop, convenience store, clothing stores...etc. It was overwhelming to take that all in at first! We decided to head up to the open air deck and check out the ocean view/Ft. Lauderdale. It was so pretty! There were several adult pool areas, a big kiddie area, poolside bars and lounge chairs galore. The views were so beautiful! We grabbed our first drink of the trip (pina colada for me) and made a couple laps around the ship, just taking in all of the beauty surrounding us. Between boarding and departure, there was one restaurant open that was available for lunch, the Windjammer. The Windjammer is buffet style and has food our for breakfast, lunch and dinners. It ended up being our main breakfast place over the next 5 days and we also had a few lunches there as well. There were three other places to eat lunch: Sorrento's Pizza, CafĂ© Promenade and Jade Sushi. The main dinner option was served in a formal dining hall every night. The main dining hall had three different levels, all named after a famous artist. We dined on the fist level, Rembrandt. Along with Windjammer being a buffet/casual option for dinner (we never had dinner there), there were two additional dinner options. Chops Grill and Portofino were available by reservation and were an additional charge. We went to Chops Grill (steakhouse) on our last night and had amazing filets, sides and desserts. In my opinion, our main dining hall had pretty comparable food. I was very impressed with Chops, but I thought every night had amazing food! Tough problem to have, right ;) My favorite meal of the trip was French onion soup and a whole broiled lobster. Amazing is such an understatement. I could talk about food all day, so I'll move on to our activities onboard.

Onboard, there were so many fun things to do. That's what I really enjoy about cruises; you get to make it as relaxing or eventful as you wish! Every day they would put an itinerary of activities on your bed. Starting at about 8:00am, someone could keep themselves busy all day long doing things. Of course, we weren't quite that active, but we did take part in lots of fun stuff! The ship had a rock climbing wall, a mini golf course, a golf simulator, a sport court (basketball, volleyball), a simulation wave rider, a full track on the top deck, arcade, casino, ice rink, full gym with a boxing ring, art gallery and again, lots of shopping. Our group participated in a volleyball tournament and had a lot off fun! This was on a day that we were cruising, not in a port city, so it was VERY windy. It was frustrating funny seeing the ball move 10-15 ft. in the opposite direction of where you hit it, because of 50 mph wind gusts. We lost in the first round, but still had fun. Adam and I participated in a ship-wide scavenger hunt and worked up quite a sweat. Adam took second place in a longest driving golf competition and got a pretty fancy medal if I do say so myself. We played a few rounds of mini golf and most importantly, we lounged around! We all brought books with us and had some much needed R & R in the sun. There were several shows that we went to at night and all were pretty entertaining! A few of us saw a comedian one of the first nights and had a blast. There was an ice skating show called Encore on Ice and it ended up being amazing! We all went into it thinking it would be just 'okay', but it was very impressive! A few people went to a marriage game show that included couples from the audience and we all went to a show on the last night called Quest. It was hilarious. It was a game show that sectioned off the audience and each section had to appoint a male and female representative. Those two people had to go around there section and gather whatever item was announced by the host or perform a challenge. One challenge was that the male rep had to wear female shoes and run up to the host, another was that someone with a tattoo in each section had to show it to the host, another was to bring up false teeth...etc. I left out some of the more raunchy challenges, but you get the idea :) On to the port cities!

Our first port city was Belize City, Belize. We got there on Monday morning and our group split in two for different excursions. Tim, Julie, Adam and I went on a half-day snorkeling excursion and Rachel, Kyle, Michael and Alyssa went on an all day zip lining excursion.  We all met in prospective areas of the ship with others who were also joining us and were ushered out to tender (shuttle boat) to our excursion destinations. The coast of Belize is too shallow for ships to pull up to, so they anchor out miles from the coast and small shuttle boats tender people to and from the city. Our destination was a very small white sand island off the coast of Belize City, Rendezvous Caye. We were fitted with our equipment and walked out from the beach to the coral reef area. It was beautiful! Adam and I have now snorkeled in Cancun, Jamaica and Belize and this trip definitely topped our list. It was so fun seeing all the colorful fish and coral. Our tour guide swam down and came up with a giant lobster in his hand! Crazy to see. We snorkeled for about an hour and came back to the island for some more relaxing. We walked around and took lots of pretty pictures. All of us had an absolute wonderful time and it's an excursion I would highly recommend to anyone given this opportunity. Julie, Tim, Adam and I tendered back to the ship with the snorkel group and decided to catch another boat to Belize City. We walked around some of the local shops and found a few fun souvenirs. There was a fun looking bar called the Wet Lizard on the pier, so we stopped for some nachos and margaritas. It was a great day!

Our second port city was Cozumel, Mexico. When we got off the ship, Julie spotted a performer from the ice skating show onboard. She sparked up a conversation and asked him where he was headed. He told us about Paradise Beach and how it had nice sandy beaches, access to several nice pools and lots of beach lounge chairs. I'm not sure where we would have gone had we not had this advice, but we sure lucked out! It ended up being the perfect beach day we were all hoping for. It was no more than a 10 minute cab ride away from the port and was so wonderful! We lounged, read, explored the coast, ate lunch at Carlos and Charlie's and took a dip in the pool. It could not have been a more beautiful day. We drank, napped, played catch with a coconut, went sea shell hunting and just soaked in all we could on this last stop of ours. The following day was a cruising day headed straight back to Ft. Lauderdale. We are so blessed with wonderful family and love any time we get to spend with them. This was truly a vacation to remember!

We are now back to the grind as Adam finishes off his second year of dental school. He will officially begin year three in the beginning of May! That means much less book work and almost all clinic :) He can't wait to try out all of these procedures he's been mastering on his dummy over the past several months. I couldn't be more proud for him (or all of our dental friends!) for surviving this notoriously hard second year.

Adam, me, Rachel, Kyle

Rachel, Julie, Alyssa and me


Wave Runner



Erickson Family (and our wonderful servers)

Adam and Tim in Cozumel


Volleyball Tournament

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Icebreaker Speech

The summer after graduating from college, I took an internship position with BlueCross BlueShield in Eagan, MN. It was with the Integrated Health Management, Learning and Development Team. Prior to starting my position, my mentor asked me what my goals were for the summer. I listed several things I was hoping to accomplish and things I thought I could bring to the team. One goal was improving my communication skills and group speaking abilities. My mentor, ironically, was very actively involved in Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a speech club (more or less) for professional adults. The goal of the club is for people to earn accreditations within the club by performing different roles during the meetings and giving speeches. If you'd like to learn more visit It's pretty interesting and fun! Anyways, when I started my internship, she said that I was going to become an honorary member for the summer and go to club meetings with her. The meetings were help within the BlueCross building and it was a great way to meet other employees too. I simply listened and watched during the first few meetings and was then told that I would be giving my 'Icebreaker Speech' the following week. This speech was to be at least two minutes long and an introduction of myself to the group. There were no other guidelines. It could be read off a sheet, improvised, told through song, dance....anything! It could be completely fictitious, as long as it symbolized you, or it could be the truth.  It could be as simple or complicated as I desired to make it. I wanted to share this on my blog, because it was the first time that I truly realized how much I enjoyed writing. Of course, like many people, I had been forced to write numerous papers throughout my educational career. This was the first time I had written without guidelines or without the fear of a bad grade. It was a turning point for me. I'd like to add a small disclaimer before I copy and paste my speech. I feel as though my writing has improved since then and I had a hard time not changing my grammar/spelling/ways I explained things as I read over this :) I wanted it to be the real speech though, so I remember it exactly how it was.


"Not too long ago I started the last class of my undergraduate college career. Similar to this room, I didn’t know many people that well, and was excited for that to change. The professor suggested we get to know one another by stating a few facts about ourselves. Her suggestions were our favorite vacation spot, favorite movie, and favorite color...things like that. I stood up when it was my turn, stated my interesting facts, listened to other people talk and left for the day.

As I walked out of the room, I reflected on what was said and how little I had actually shared with the group. Sure, they could tell you my favorite vacation spot is my cabin, favorite drink is Sprite and that my favorite color is green, but they couldn’t even begin to tell you why.
My cabin has and will always be my favorite place on earth. It was built in the 30’s by my great-grandparents and has been passed down in the family ever since. It’s where I laugh the most, where I feel the most comfortable with myself, closer to family members and God, but most importantly, where I always feel relaxed. It’s where I grew up playing kickball with my cousins, where my childhood pet spent his last few moments and was buried after he passed away, where us kids would religiously sneak over to jump on my neighbors floating trampoline in the middle of the night, where my sister and I would lay on our dock out in the sun for hours planning our dream weddings to prince charming and where I’ll hopefully bring my kids one day to grow up too. It’s where time didn’t matter and grape slushies were the drink of choice. It’s a very small house that has had a very large impact on my life.

My favorite drink is Sprite because I would spend countless summer afternoons sitting on the old orange shag carpet of my grandparent’s living room floor, chatting with them about everything from Price is Right to the latest movie they watched while they drank coffee and I drank my Sprite in a coffee mug. They wanted to include me and make me feel like an adult, without stunting my growth. I think it’s safe to say my basketball coaches were extremely happy with their concern. Sprite is what my mom gave me when I was sick to make me feel better and what I got every single time I was on an airplane ride to somewhere fun.

Finally, the color green. Not only is my cabin on Green Lake in Spicer Minnesota and the color of a can of Sprite green, but it’s the name of the magical city my favorite childhood movie took place, Emerald City. I think it symbolizes my passion for the outdoors, love for pistachio ice cream and the motherly instinct I’ve had since I was a little girl. It was the color of my first car, an old Ford Ranger, which I cleaned daily as it sat in the garage waiting for me to get my license. It’s the color of the baby clothes I’ve recently been buying for my mystery gender niece or nephew that’s due in a couple weeks and the color of the only prom dress I wore in high school. It was the color of my first organized basketball team in kindergarten, which turned into a 13 year passion and countless lifelong friends. It reminds me of the rural town of Elk River Minnesota that I grew up in and how people would drive their John Deere trackers in the homecoming parade. It reminds me of my love for salads, and ironic hatred for all salad dressings. It encompasses me and where I came from. It’s not just a color that I think looks good on clothes or in a painting, but it tells my story.
So, the next time you’re getting to know someone, whether that is in a classroom, work or social setting, make sure you give them enough time. You could learn a lot about someone who simply says they like their cabin, sprite and the color green."

By: Courtni Metcalfe
July 2012

In honor of my speech, Green, here is a picture of green St. Patrick's Day cupcakes my friend and I made last night for her work party! Adam and I are getting ready to leave for a cruise with his family on Friday. We fly to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and cruise to Cozumel, Mexico and Belize City, Belize! We can't wait for some sun and relaxation :)

(Luck) (Rainbow)


Friday, March 7, 2014

Cabin Weekend

A cabin weekend was well deserved, as the dental students just finished a week filled with three different exams/practicals. We headed up north to Adam's cabin with two friends who are in dental school with Adam and their spouses. Before I go into detail about our weekend and all the fun stuff we did, I'm going to reflect on Adam and I's ride up there. It may have been the most entertaining car ride of our lives.

We've never really played specific car games until last Friday. We started off playing the 'Celebrity Name Game' and that was relatively non-competitive. You say the name of someone and the other person has to quickly think of a different celebrity name that starts with the letter the previous name ended with. The mood changed when we switched to 20 questions. It's a simple game that most people can remember playing when they're about nine years old with their brother or sister. I first chose the word 'gun', thinking it was a simple start, but it threw Adam into a tizzy. He got worked up because he asked if it had power (of course), if it needed to be plugged in (no) and if it was battery powered (again, no). I am grinning from ear to ear thinking I'm as clever as can be and he is denying that someone like that exists. Anyways, the game continued after he ran out of questions and we moved on. A few random words later and I chose 'International Space Station'. He ended up guessing it, but not without a raised voice, a few grunts, accusations of me making things up just to frustrate him and a few laughs. I am a faster-than-average driver, and when I was guessing on his word 'Flying Squirrel' I went from 75 to 55 because I was so frustrated and thinking so hard. Adam started laughing and told me to look at the speedometer. Long story short, it was the fastest car ride of our lives (not literally) and we realized that 1. we are both still very competitive 2. our children will be the worst people to play car games against, ever.

The weekend itself was amazing! It started off with a giant card game with our friends, Adam's parents, little sister Rachel and her boyfriend Kyle. Kyle taught us a new game called Blind Man's Poker and it was a lot of fun. Saturday morning we got up and made an Erickson specialty, omelets in a bag! It's so clever and something we will definitely continue doing. You add scrambled eggs and all the desired toppings in a plastic sandwich baggie, lay it over the edge of a boiling pot of water and let it float in the water to cook. It allows for multiple omelets to be made at the same time and no messy pan to scrape. After that, we read books, some people studied, played darts and watched TV. We went to the Detroit Lakes Zorbaz with the gang for lunch and afterwards watched Harry Potter, took naps and the the dental students had a little more study time. After the movie we all (mid-20 somethings) used an online quiz to sort ourselves into which Hogwarts house we would be placed in. Those not familiar with Harry Potter, basically we're all just a little nerdy :) We capped our weekend with a giant fish fry on Saturday night with walleye Tim and Adam caught on Lake of the Woods last summer. It was so fun spending time with everyone relaxing and getting out of the cities for a weekend!

How many dental students does it take to solve the turtle matching game? Answer: more than 4 ;)

Fish Fry 

Omelets in a bag!

Willa Grace Prosser.

Baby Prosser number two is here and I could not be more excited! Brittani and Nate went to the hospital Tuesday morning, March 4th, and things could not have gone better. They were anticipating labor to take most of the day, but Willa had other plans! I left work around 10am that morning to head to the hospital, thinking that I would be hanging out with them at the hospital and killing time until the birth that evening. I got there and us three were chatting for awhile, with no huge progress as far as contractions or dilation goes. I left to go get all of us lunch around 12pm, knowing that I wanted to get back by 12:30, which was when Brittani was going to get checked again. I ran to a Chipotle and Potbelly nearby and got back around 12:25. I made my way up the elevator with two hands full of food, drinks and a chocolate shake, barge into the room and get the surprise of a lifetime. The doctor leaned back to look at me and told me to step outside because she was pushing. What? I said "really?" and heard Britt say back "yes, I am!". I quickly reversed out of the room and was in a daze for a few minutes. Nobody else was here, I was the only person aside from Britt and Nate from both of their families. I walked over to the waiting room and, remembering that it took them about 45 minutes post-birth to come tell us the gender of Emeri, started eating my burrito bowl. No more than five minutes later, I see Nate walking towards me in the hallway. I throw my food to the side and take off towards him. His grin was unforgettable and he asked me if I wanted to know what it was? Girl! Tears started flowing and we both walked into the room to see Britt. I saw Willa less than 10 minutes after she came out and could not contain myself. She was perfect. The miracle of life is something that will always be remarkable to me. The human body is amazing, but a woman's body is extra special. We are blessed with the capabilities of growing a human being. From conception to infancy, we are wired to have everything the baby needs to grow, be fed and nurtured. I envy the nurses that get to witness that every day, as the joy surrounding a baby's first moments are electric. The presence of God that day was undeniable. Willa is such an answered prayer and will always be loved by her two amazing parents, big sister Emeri and dotting family. We now have two beautiful nieces and life just got a whole sweeter.

P.S. Britt and I decided that my new name should be Auntie Coco. 'Courtni' was too hard for Emeri to learn and she learned 'Ada' (Adam) before my name. Willa will know me as Coco and Emeri will know me as the girl who goes with Ada :)

Willa Grace

Auntie Coco

Uncle Scotty

Grandma and her granddaughters!

Grandpa and Willa

Daddy and his little girls