Thursday, October 22, 2009

oh, hello again...

well... hmmm...

looks like it's been some time since I've kept you all riveted with my brain's ramblings...

SO! News! TheMan and I made a little BabyBird... and he's already 3 months old...

I wish I had written more about being preggo, but my experience was pretty easy - no morning sickness, no excessive weight gain, no odd cravings (just strawberries, orange juice (somebody needed some vitamin C, obvs.), Taco Bell tacos, and Popsicles), nothing...that is, until it was time for the hatching. He didn't want to come out loooong after it was beyond time for him to be making his way to the exit, so they had to induce, and after 3 days of his stubborn refusal to vacate the premises, they had to go in and get him. Everyone is just fine and dandy now though, thanks for asking.

My wonderful firm is letting me telecommute 4 days/week, so I get the best of both mommy worlds -hanging out with the kiddo while still getting a full paycheck and having something other than poop and infant babble to keep my brain from atrophying...

we're also thinking about starting to get the nest ready for sale - yes, even in this wretched market. TheMan's 2 hour commute was fine when it was just the two of us, but now that the BabyBird is here, it is beyond miserable. I'm starting to look for jobs up by where he works, which will mean less mommy time for the BabyBird, but more money and more daddy time (ohhh, tradeoffs and compromises, never easy things).

we shall see where all this takes us, and I promise to keep you all updated a bit more frequently than once a year from now on...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

One Week To Go

By this time, next week, we'll be the official owners of a brand spanking new townhouse. Hot holy crap.

Basically, we will finally own the house we decided to buy, on a whim, right after I found out I passed the Bar in October.

We've watched the lot go from bare dirt, to concrete slab, to bare studs, to finished house. We took pictures along the way, and I hope that when we decide it is time to move, the next owners will appreciate the photo album we'll hand to them.

I'm absurdly proud that we've been able to do this all by ourselves - no financial assistance from our parents. Of course, my parents have very generously given us a washer and dryer as our housewarming present, and TheMan's parents gave us some money to buy some furniture with, but the house is OURS.

We've come a long, long way from when we first moved in to this apartment together. When I arrived in Virginia, all my worldly possessions fit in the back of a pickup truck and inside a 1986 Mazda RX-7. Now, all our pretty, pretty things are going to require multiple trips with a moving van.

When we first moved in to our apartment, I was just starting law school, and I was lost. TheMan had no job for months, then unpaid internships, and he was lost. Thank goodness we had loving, supportive families who were able to give us a financial and emotional boost when we needed it most.

Eventually, we both found our footing, surer with each step forward. We adopted the cats and made ourselves a little family. I figured out that law school was designed to make you miserable, and TheMan found a job, then another, and finally, a great job. In this apartment, I graduated law school, studied my brains out for and passed the Bar, and found a satisfying job.

As I'm packing up this place we've called home for the last four years, I can't help but feel a little sad to say goodbye to a place we have most certainly outgrown. We went from being engaged to married in this place, and it's fair to say this apartment will ever have a special place in my memory.

And now, we're buying a house, all by ourselves, to fill with new memories and, with luck, more family.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Day of Love

Seven years ago, TheMan brought me potted mini-daffodils (while my favorite flower blooms in February in my California hometown, hothouse was all that was available in the significantly more frigid New Jersey).

Seven years ago, I wore a seasonally inappropriate, but cute, outfit. I got into TheMan's car, and felt my left spaghetti strap break. I was, fortunately, wearing a jacket. I waffled between trying to discreetly fix the problem and just telling TheMan what happened and hoping he'd laugh. I went with the latter, and, fortunately, he did too.

Seven years ago, we went to a great (and potentially mafia run) Italian restaurant, where I spilled pasta all over my lap, and a big, burly man came up to our table and serenaded us. We both nearly died of stifling our gigglefits.

Seven years ago, we went for a walk through the charming Ivy League University town. I should have froze all night, given my outfit, but I can't remember noticing. I turned my ankle on a curb and I nearly died of embarrassment.

Seven years ago, we stopped for coffee and hot chocolate at a cute independent coffee shop. TheMan was hilarious and literally made my hot chocolate come out of my nose.

Seven years ago, I knew he was it.

Monday, January 7, 2008


So, usually I do just one New Year's Resolution. This year, I've calculated that at the rate of one change per year, I'll never get to all the things I'd like to do better...
So, 2008, check out my big-picture resolutions:

1. Be nicer to TheMan. He, as the nicest person in the world, puts up with a lot of my crap, and during stressful times, I can get a little salty. While NOTHING will ever be as bad as my Bar Prep saltiness, I need to keep the snapping in check. Also (and, sorry dear Internet, for the TMI), part of the plan is to put the moves on TheMan at least once a day. We used to have some, a day (ah, college, when I could wake up at 10 am...). Then we grew up and got married and got jobs and got stressed out and sort of fell out of the habit. I'm not 19 anymore, so twice a day is a bit much to shoot for, but at least an attempt every day seems worthwhile. So far, I'm 7/7 on attempts, and 6/7 on completions. TheMan and I are both a lot happier, and the not snapping resolution has been a lot easier...coincidence? TheMan has no idea about this resolution, I wonder what he thinks has sparked the new increase in funtime...

2. Be nicer to myself. Like every woman, I have that horrible tug-of-war raging constantly- must be the perfect wife/daughter/employee. I need to cut myself some slack when I screw up. I need to realize that nothing I do is as bad as I think- no one is thinking about my mistakes as much as I am. I need to be nicer to my body, too. Years of completely ignoring it, with some sporadic check-ins, has taken its toll. I'm thinking about making the transition to vegetarianism, but slowly, I think. I'd still like to eat cheese and milk and seafood, but the idea of meat is sort of grossing me out right now. I need to make sure we make the elliptical machine a priority when we finally move into the new house.

3. Be nicer to my family. I have the greatest, most understanding family in the world. They deserve at least a phone call once a month, for goodness sake.

4. Be nicer to the planet. I know, I know, dear Internet, my California is showing, but hear me out. (although, it's fashionable to be "green" now, right?) I need to remember those cute reusable bags when I go to the grocery store. And, really, why should I just use them for the grocery store? Why not take them to the Target or PetSmart, too? I need to think about my errands and trips and combine them to save some emissions. I'd like to focus more on buying local, organic produce and groceries (and really, they just taste so much better). I'm way stoked that there's a family farm next to our new community that sells eggs and produce, I plan on stopping there weekly on my way home from work. Just don't ask me to take a 5 minute shower, that's pretty much never going to happen.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Birthday, Birthday Girl

Whee, I'm 25!

um, I can rent a car now? and my insurance rates are cheaper...

birthdays are pretty anticlimactic after 21, I think. Just heading out for a rrrrromantic fondue dinner (it IS romantic, TheMan proposed over fondue, for goodness sake) with my husband.

But every year, I make a birthday resolution. Sort of like my personal "new year," actually. In the past, it has been small changes, like 'floss every night before bed' and 'put on sunscreen every morning'. This year, in a fit of not having the brain power to think up more little things, I've landed on 'get butt to the gym at least 3 days per week.'

I sort of hate this resolution. Not because I think it's too much, but I'm chagrined that I've set myself so low a benchmark. I was a Division I athlete for goodness sake. I used to LIVE in the gym. Since graduation (3.5 years ago, ugh), I've set foot in the gym maybe 50 times total. I've become a lump, and I hate it. And I think year 25 is the perfect time for this change, I just hate that it is a CHANGE at all.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Want, want, want

A vacuum that kills germs and mites and other grody stuff without funky chemicals (just UV light).

I have maybe never wanted a physical object more. I have definite vacuum lust.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How to pass the Virginia Bar Exam on your very first try

  • DO take PMBR's 6-day Course
  • DON'T let that course freak you out. It is designed to kick-start your studying, and to reinforce the fact that after 3 years of law school, you know pretty much nothing, and that you do, in fact, need to study for this Bar thing.
  • DO take BarBri courses. Preferably the Richmond BarBri, trust me on this one.
  • DON'T try to work and study for the Bar, if at all possible. Three solid months of non-stop grumpy studying will, if nothing else, give you the confidence to go in and show the Bar Examiners all that you know.
  • DO follow the schedule BarBri gives you. This way, you won't skimp on too many areas to make study room for the same subject over and over. If it's giving you fits, leave it be.
  • DON'T leave all your studying until the last minute. The guy sitting next to me, who was taking the test for the second time, told me he had studied "like, really hard, for like, two weeks, man." DON'T be this guy- his name wasn't on the pass list.
  • DO as many practice essays and multiple choice practice questions as you can. It is totally OK to refer to your notes as you go along.
  • DO listen to the PMBR CDs (especially if you, like me, have a dedicated hour commute one way to BarBri classes). Just replace your regular CD/radio time with those. The last thing you want is a Bananarama song stuck in your head during the exam.
  • DON'T change your study habits drastically for this test. It is hard, and it is long, but it is still a test. You know the study techniques that have been successful for you in the past (after all, you made it through law school somehow). Now is not the time to abandon the strategies that work for you. Personally, I made all my own flashcards from the BarBri lecture notes I took each day. Other friends who passed just made outlines. Bottom line- DO what works for you.
  • DON'T bother with PMBR's 3-day course (unless there are 2 weeks between the end of your BarBri and the exam). For me, it was just too close to the exam (I only had one "dead" week between the end of BarBri and the test itself, which I used to study the heck out of my own flashcards).
  • DO get your hotel reservations WAY in advance. Stay at least the night before the first and second days (if you can afford to stay after the second day is over, your drive home will be far less white-knuckled than mine).
  • DO bring your own breakfast to prepare in your hotel room. I was so glad to have brought my own oatmeal when I saw my hotel's excuse for continental breakfast get demolished by every other Bar Examinee.
  • DO get plenty of rest throughout the entire studying process. That extra hour of cramming contracts into your head at 12 am is not going to help as much as if you got that hour of sleep to refresh you. Same deal during the exam period- study a little the night before each session, but at some point, you need to set the books down, eat dinner, watch Little Miss Sunshine on HBO, and fall asleep.
  • DON'T PANIC. This is the very most important bit of advice I can give. Don't panic during study time, and certainly don't panic during the test. If you've followed your study schedule, you will be more than prepared for anything the Bar Examiners can throw at you. If you see something you don't know on the exam, DON'T let that rattle you. Breathe, relax, and let the answer come to you. Even if it never does, chances are nobody else understood the question either. Even if you get a softball of a question wrong, MOVE ON. Far better to not choke, and only get one question wrong, than to choke and get that question, plus a few others wrong in your panic.
  • Finally, Mom's sage wisdom. DO YOUR BEST.
I'll be happy to answer any other, more specific questions ya'll have, just let me know. Disclaimer: your mileage may vary. I obviously can't make any guarantees, but as advice goes, the above is the best I've got. I passed doing this crap, but you may or may not need something different. good luck.