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Under the rain cloud of the bar exam

March 20th is the first day of spring.  I live in Iowa and its been an abnormally cold and snowy March - it is a conversation topic everyone is talking or lamenting about lately.  For me, March 20th feels like yesterday and the day before - another day I am trapped under a raincloud in the middle of a sunny day.  It has been 3 weeks since the bar exam ended.  And 46 days until the results.  I feel like my head is going to explode.

I only blogged once during my study session for the February exam.  I had a lot to say, but I didn’t take time to write it down, albeit the one time in January I did blog.  There was too much pressure to do well on the exam to make time  to do something for pleasure.  The bar exam is a high stakes exam.  That phrase feels inferior to what it represents - lawyers sacrificing everything they have to get licensed to practice in a lethargic and anorexic legal field.  It truly represents the definition of insanity.

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I don’t want to

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After the cuteness of your child’s independence wears off, “I don’t want to” is a phrase every parent could live without.  It’s time to get dressed – “I don’t want to.” It’s time to finish dinner – “I don’t want to.”  It’s time for your popsicle – “I don’t want to.”  The last one seems odd, but strangely enough, my 3-year old son refuses to enjoy certain things for the pure sake of exercising his free will.

Free will.  Freedom.  Liberty.  In the broad strokes of life, we take it for granted.  Yet in day-to-day living we exercise it every time we can.  As a parent, I want my child to be independent, speak for himself and make his own decisions.  At his age, encouraging his independence takes me to the edge of sanity on a regular basis.  But I still try to limit my parental authority (mandate) to circumstances where his safety is of concern, when I sense he impliedly needs boundaries or it is essential for proper development. 

Establishing boundaries is unpleasant.  Last night, like most nights, bedtime was a struggle of wills. 

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Calling in the vows

Photo by Frazer Smyth Photography

2012 has, without question, had its challenges. I covered a lot of it in my post "Worst Christmas letter ever." One constant in the roller coaster ride of this year is the unwavering support of friends and family. And it needs to be said separately-the sacrifices my husband of 7.5 years made time and again to make sure I got to where I am today; he is nothing short of amazing.

This weekend was a family wedding; the second this year. Weddings are great as a married couple because the homily is a nice continuing education credit on marriage.   Also, the vows are a reminder of the promise we made to each other. One thing is for sure-I called in the vows this year. More than any other year of our marriage. And strangely they all probably need to be called in when a spouse is sick.  A spouse's illness, in my opinion, takes the biggest toll on a marriage.

For better or worse.
For richer or poor.
In sickness or in health.

Worse. Poor. Sick. But still going strong. And making us even stronger. Love you dear!

Six months after law school

Image by Thomas J. Dooley available at

Six months after my last final exam and I feel as if I am on the brink of recovering from law school. Three years of law school equalled a slow decomposition of my confidence, self-esteem, physical fitness, appearance and my ability to always get sh** done.  Parenting had something to do with this too; the lack of time available to devote to the aforementioned was a contributing factor.

The hardest thing to recover from was the blow that law school gives to your confidence.  This applies to everyone.  There isn’t enough spots for even the best students to get everything they set their mind to.  There is only one top spot in the class, only one law review editor, only one or two moot court teams.  Those were not of my concern, but it helped to know that every student is on somewhat of a level playing field.  Perhaps different leagues, but the same field.  See my post "Disappointment is a part of law school."

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Be the change you want to see

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This morning as I left Graham’s school, I caught a glimpse of this phrase “Be the Change you Want to See.”  It decorates the peace flags at Cowles Montessori - a Des Moines public school that I am fortunate has taken in Graham as their newest pupil.  And without question, the quote was spoken by Mahatma Gandhi - an influential leader of India and (according to Wikipedia) a lawyer.

This morning, Geoff and I watched Barack Obama’s last campaign rally on YouTube - it took place west of the state capitol in the East Village of Des Moines.  His speech last night, like so many I have watched, ignited emotions inside me that are triggered on two occasions.  

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