I am Erika, the author of Domesticity & Doctrine. I have what is very likely the noisiest home established under the breathtaking skies of Montana, where I live with my husband and our three pretty neat children (ages 5, 3 and 1). We are happily Catholic after converting in 2009. 

Before I was Mom, I earned a degree in Print Journalism with a minor in Social Anthropology. I've been a bank teller, receptionist, nanny, intern for a U.S. Senator, medical office administrator...I even spent a year emptying garbage cans for cash. Roll all those jobs into one and you have a pretty good idea of how I spend my days now. It's exasperating, it's messy, but I'm totally convinced it's the best job in the world.

In addition to raising my munchkins and blogging, I like to dabble in sewing & craft projects, cook and watch documentaries.

Princess, Bud, Sweet Pea

About the Blog:

Domesticity & Doctrine is where I document the events of the day-to-day and the passions that drive me. My desire is to share my small slice of life experience in hopes that it will assist others in a meaningful way.  You'll find me writing about a myriad of topics here, including:

Catholic LivingHere is where I talk about the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Church, share ideas on instilling the love of God in little hearts and reflect on current issues through the lens of faith. To be clear, I'm a Catholic that adheres to the actual teachings of the Church, not to be confused with, "I'm a Catholic, but..." I strive to articulate those teachings as accurately and charitably as I can! (Not to say I always do. But I try!)

Homeschooling - I am following the Classical approach to educating my kindergartner and preschooler. Along with giving you a glimpse into what our daily learning looks like, I'll provide book & curriculum recommendations, free printables and practical tips that have helped me make home education easier and affordable. I'm not a veteran educator by any means, but I hope I can encourage other families who are considering traveling down the same road.

Homemaking on a Budget - Living on a single middle-class income with five mouths to feed is not easy. After careless spending that earned us $20k in credit card debt plus a car loan, we are now only $2k away from being completely debt-free aside from our home mortgage. Join me as I discuss everything from how we gave our budget a frugal makeover (no couponing required, I promise) to DIY cleaning & beauty product recipes. Plus: how I do it while also trying to keep it as natural as possible.

 Cooking - I love food, oh yes...yes, I do. I grew up watching my dad cook amazing meals in our kitchen every night and now I try to do the same for my family. Recently I lost 50 lbs simply by making healthier food choices and learning to eat proper portions. If you love food, want to become more adept in the kitchen and desire to make quick yet nutritious, low-budget meals, you'll find a lot of useful info here!

More About My Faith:

Raised in a non-religious home, I lived a self-indulgent life of agnosticism until my senior year of college.  Through a series of wonderful friendships I encountered the awesome reality of God's existence in the man Jesus Christ and underwent a dramatic conversion to the Christian faith. My husband and I spent six years in a Fundamentalist Protestant community that taught us a great deal about sacrificial Christian living and always encouraged us to seek out reason for our belief.
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.
- Blessed Pope John Paul II
It was that seeking of reason that led us, figuratively kicking and screaming (I won't lie, we may have actually screamed...), to the doors of the Catholic Church.  An avid reader of early Christian writings, I continually longed for the Church as it was understood and lived in the time of Peter, Irenaeus, Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, Origen and Augustine.  My Protestant Christianity was positive in many ways, but there was always something I sensed to be incomplete. 

As I delved deeper into the writings the Fathers of the Church left behind, I was astonished to find that in every single sense of the word they were Catholics!  Unfortunately I had imbibed in too many anti-Catholic preachers from both the Protestant and secular culture and I was dismayed to even consider Catholicism as being the valid expression of Christianity. However, over time and through countless piles of apologetic writings on my nightstand, I could not help but admit to the intelligence and sound logic of the Catholic response to the volley of criticisms I -- and thousands of people before me -- had launched at it.
So far as a man may be proud of a religion rooted in humility, I am very proud of my religion; I am especially proud of those parts of it that are most commonly called superstition. I am proud of being fettered by antiquated dogmas and enslaved by dead creeds (as my journalistic friends repeat with so much pertinacity), for I know very well that it is the heretical creeds that are dead, and that it is only the reasonable dogma that lives long enough to be called antiquated.
- G.K. Chesterton
Eventually certain that there was no other place in the Christian world to whom we could go for the fullness of the truth, my husband and I embarked on a beautiful journey into the arms of the Catholic Church in 2008. At the Easter Vigil of 2009 we were received fully into the faith and have not looked back since.  We are, as it seems all Catholic converts are so inclined to say, finally home. ♥
Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.
- St. Ignatius of Antioch, 107 AD