I am sorry to disappoint…I did not get a personal behind the scenes look at the new Disney movie Moana. But, I want to share with all of you my most amazing friend, Erica. She traveled to L.A. to be a fly on the wall during a press junket for Moana. She also got to meet two men she completely idolizes and she shares that experience with the rest of us!

I first met Erica on Facebook in a local moms group. Our little group was supportive and we helped each other through the rough days, and the challenges of making this mom thing work. Our group also met once a month for moms night out. It was something we always looked forward to!

Anyway, my friend Gloria was about to have her second baby and I was rounding up some meals for her freezer; Erica volunteered to deliver one during one of our moms nights. I didn’t know then we’d be friends today mostly because I thought, “my gosh she is too interesting to want to be my friend.” It turns out she is one of my biggest fans and has encouraged me so much over the years. She taught me that it’s OK to take care of my own needs as a mom, and it’s OK to have bad days. That alone was the start of me letting go of perfection. I’ve learned to connect with my own emotions better and my kids emotions too. As my friend Gloria puts it, “Erica is a walking heart.” Erica told me I could and I should flex my writing muscles. Except for my mom, no one has ever believed in me the way Erica does. She taught me how to lift up other moms, and because of her I now have all of you.

Erica and I share a mutual love for Dwayne the Rock Johnson, but my love for him pales in her admiration for him. She keeps a small action figure of “The Rock” with her during chemo treatments and on her difficult days he is “there” to encourage her. I have watched Erica’s obsession for Hamilton bloom over the last year and heard her share how the lyrics and the music keep her going after painful surgery and on bad days. The first time I watched the video of her meeting with BOTH of these dudes, I literally jumped out of my chair and started dancing, clapping and sobbing great big tears of joy! I wasn’t even jealous that she hugged The Rock, or stood that close to the sexiest man alive. I was just so overjoyed for her. And then I was overjoyed for Dwayne Johnson and Lin Manuel Miranda because they got to experience Erica. Every conversation with Erica leaves you feeling like you just won some sort of prize. She can see all your good qualities and will then tell you every one of them. How does she do that? Seriously!?

I could write a whole lot more about Erica and how awesome she is. Thankfully, you can witness it yourself in her video! This is Erica, my friend filled with light and joy and beauty. #estrong #headonheartstrong



Erica is also a very talented writer! She writes for some of our local publications and keeps families informed on the latest fun things to do in our community. You can read the article she published for Fandango about her experience here. And this article, also for Fandango, discussing the upcoming movie Moana.

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

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36 Comments on Friday Favorites- Behind the Scenes Moana Junket

  1. Erica sounds like an amazing individual, and I would also probably doubt that this fab person would want to hang with me either! haha… But – love this post and story about her. Spread the love…

  2. Erica sounds like an amazing person. I am glad she was able to meet two of her idols. The Rock is also a great human being, he met with a local boy from here who was battling cancer. He has a big heart.

  3. What a amazing friend, It’s so hard to see people we care about go through such challenges. What a fun thing to get to meet her hero!

  4. I teared up a bit watching the video. I’m so happy that she got to experience that and tell them how they helped her. So sweet of you to share this.

  5. Who doesn’t love the Rock! So glad she got to meet him in person. Can’t wait to read Erica’s review on fandango. Mini Me and I are excited to see this movie

  6. That was so crazy cool! It totally made me tear up. What a wonderful experience for her, and I’m so glad you shared it with us. She’s one tough cookie!

  7. This is a beautiful tribute to your friend! She seems like such a strong woman. I love that she has passion for Hamilton as well!!

  8. Omg I’m so happy Erica got to meet her idols!!! That’s so awesome. Erica sounded like she waa one great person 🙂

  9. Aw Erica sounds like a wonderful person! I love that she got a chance to meet and interview the rock she is so lucky! I saw Moana and it was an amazing movie!

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