Thursday, April 29, 2010

Some good music...

It hasn't even been five minutes since I told myself that I MUST stay off the internet and get real acquainted with my Trusts and Wills book.  Clearly, I lack a little self-control. :)

But I wanted to just share a few songs that I have been loving on recently.  I'm no music expert, and my taste isn't super sophisticated, but it's my blog, dangit, and I can share if I want. :)

1. "She (For Liz)" by Parachute.

2. "In Your Eyes (Acoustic)" by Ben Harper. I'm OBSESSED with this version.  I heard it years ago while shopping in Kohls and googled and googled until I found it.  I love the original Peter Gabriel version anyway - it always makes me think of John Cusack holding a radio above his head in Say Anything.  But this acoustic version is just perfect.

3. "Today Was a Fairytale" by Taylor Swift.

4. "You Found Me" by Matt Giraud.  This is a different version of The Fray's song, but I just like it better.  I'm so sad that Matt Giraud hasn't done much since American Idol.  I just loved him. 

5. "Last Call" by Lee Ann Womack.

6. "Slow Dancing In a Burning Room" by John Mayer.  If you haven't heard this song GO BUY IT NOW.  I mean, like RIGHT NOW.  Seriously.  Stop reading this blog and go download it. And then come back. :)

7.  "You Make it Real" by James Morrison.

8.  "Black or White" by Adam Lambert.  Can you tell that I love remakes?

9.  "You In a Song" by Jason Reeves.

10.  "The Answer" by Shane and Shane.

Someday I'll attempt a Top Ten All Time Favorites list, but I don't think my brain could handle something so difficult right now. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Embrace the gray...

Law school professors say a lot of things.  I could fill thousands of pages with the words of law professors - words I was supposed to absorb and remember.  

But most of those words went in one ear and right out the other.  A lot of it was gibberish.  A lot of it was probably pretty important.  Oh well. :)

Anyhow, I say all that so that I can tell you about one of the things I actually DO remember hearing.  It came from a woman I adore and admire, Professor Duncan.  She teaches Criminal Law, and she made me love it despite the fact that I was determined to hate it.  She is one of those professors you just want to listen to, though you're not sure why.

I can't remember what we were talking about, but she said something profound, and it went a little something like this.  "The law is almost never going to be black and white.  It's mostly a lot of gray.  Learn to embrace the gray."

I hadn't thought of it this way because I'm definitely a black and white kind of person.  There are rules, and you follow them, and that's the end of the story.  

But the law is just not like that.  There are rules, but they're definitely not black and white.  And when you throw a bunch of facts into the mix, it all really does become gray. A lawyer's job is to attempt to create a black and white argument from this sea of gray.  

And in the very few rare instances in which the law is black, your client's situation may very well be white, and then you're praying to goodness that you can create enough gray to keep them out of trouble.

So hearing this just made law school a lot simpler for me.  I was done looking for the "right" answer.  I just learned to look for the gray areas and argue both sides.
And, because I'm me, I also thought about this phrase in a different context.  

Life, like the law, is also rarely black and white.  

I'm not talking religion or politics or anything like that.  

I just mean that the good times come with the bad. 

It seems like people spend a lot of time looking toward the future, waiting for the day when they'll have more money or a nicer car or a house full of kids.  Waiting for the day when they won't have to struggle to make ends meet.  

But I think that the good times are here.  Right now, in the midst of the hard times.  If you can't find happiness in what you have been given today, you won't find happiness in what you hope you'll be given tomorrow. Because the good things in life are often hidden amongst the bad - it's all just mixed in together in a sea of gray.  

You just take it all as it comes, and you learn to embrace the gray.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ten Things I've Learned at the DA's Office...

Next week is my very last week at the DA's office.  And I'm more than a little sad about it.

This experience has been one of the best in my life.  I've learned so much about myself, and I have learned so much about people, in general - some of it good, and some of it very, very bad.

And because I love lists, I'll tell you ten things I've discovered at the courthouse.

1. Criminal behavior is addictive.
When I pick up a new file, I know exactly what I'm going to find inside:  a big, fat list of prior offenses.  

A person who steals once will probably steal again.  A person who gets caught with drugs today will almost definitely get caught using again.  

It's sometimes disheartening, but I just refuse to become jaded.  I'll keep believing the best in people because my God can change any heart. :)

2. Police officers are really, really good at their jobs.
Obviously not every cop is perfect, but for the most part I have been incredibly impressed by how dedicated and intuitive police officers are.  I've also discovered that traffic stops are often a ruse because the police suspect that some other criminal activity is going on... and most of the time they're right. 

3.  Prostitutes... er... um... sell themselves short?
You'd be SHOCKED at how little a prostitute costs these days.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.

4. Playing with rubber bands in the courtroom isn't a great idea. 

5.  Juries are worshiped.
If you've ever been called for jury duty, you should know that the attorneys for both sides were agonizing over every detail of your life (at least with respect to those things you filled out on your juror information card).  They were watching your body language.  They were watching your eyes.  They were trying to figure out every single thing they could about you, so that they could decide whether you'd be a good juror. 

And then, if you were actually picked, they spent countless hours trying to figure out how to make you trust and believe them.  They prayed that you were paying attention.  They hoped you understood everything they said.  And then they sat, in absolute torture, waiting for you to come to a decision. 

The moral of the story? 

Jury service is important.  Go and feel honored to get to serve your community in that way.

6.  Prosecutors are overworked and underpaid.
I'm sure this one is obvious, but I was pretty surprised to find out just how hard prosecutors work on a daily basis and how much is expected of them.  During my law firm experiences, the lawyers were pretty pampered, and they didn't do any sort of administrative work - they had someone to run their copies, make their phone calls, and even do legal research for them.  

It's a whole different story here.  

There simply isn't enough money to hire enough people to do the work, especially in this economy.  So be satisfied that your tax dollars are being spent efficiently and responsibly - there's not so much as a free plastic cup for water in this place!

7.  Victims are often unwilling to talk about it. 
A big, big aspect of my job is to call and speak to victims.  I ask them what happened.  I ask them about their injuries.  I ask them about restitution.  And I also ask them how they feel about punishment - whether they're comfortable with the idea of jail time for the defendant or if they prefer probation, etc.

These phone calls are the most interesting/frustrating/surprising part of the job.  Often, the victims don't even want to talk to me.  They're scared.  Or ashamed.  Or crazy.  I get a lot of crazies.

And a lot of the time, especially in family violence cases, the victims will straight up say it didn't happen and tell me to dismiss the case.  Those conversations are the hardest for me, because I know if the defendant is released, he's going right back to the victim, and it's likely that he will will hurt her again. 

8.  I now have a slight fear of elevators. 
I have never been the slightest bit claustrophobic, but after a few months at the courthouse, where there aren't enough elevators and people cram into them like sardines, I can now say that I would be happy if I never had to get on another elevator for the rest of my life.

9. Judges are people. 
I got a glimpse of this during my internships with Judge Werlein and Judge Elrod, but it has become even more clear that judges are just like the rest of us.  I happen to know one particular judge who has Converse tennis shoes and tattoo-covered arms under his robes.

They bring their own life experiences, and their own biases, to the bench, and the best judges are those who are dedicated enough to ignore those things and apply the law neutrally.

10.  You never know what you'll find in the courthouse. 
I walked into the courthouse yesterday morning and saw this randomly sitting on top of a trash can.

Classy, right? ;)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

For everyone who thinks my husband is a completely normal guy...

When Micah and I are getting in bed at night, we usually turn off the big light in the bedroom and turn on a lamp, so that we can read or chat or whatever before we go to sleep. (Don't read anything into that "whatever"... this is a PG blog, folks. :))

Last night, I had just gotten under the covers, and Micah was coming into the room.  He looks at me, with his hand on the light switch, and says, "secondary illumination, please," attempting to suppress a giggle.  Apparently that was my cue to turn on the lamp.  And apparently my husband's humor is just a little out there. :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm sorry...

... that I've been a crappy blogger lately.  This week has been NUTS, and I've been crazy busy.  Plus finals are looming.  But I'm trying not to think about that. :)

Interview - DONE!  
First thing's first.  I had an interview with a fantastic firm this week! 

I went in on Wednesday, and I think it went great.  It's a great firm with a fairly small Houston office, which I LOVE.  Their intellectual property practice is booming, and I think it would be a wonderful place to work.  Plus, my friend Jared is also interviewing there.  We think there's a chance they may hire both of us, so fingers crossed everyone! :)

Law Review - DONE! 
Also, I am OFFICIALLY done with law review duties! We had our banquet on Thursday night, and two of my five 2Ls' papers were published, and two others were alternates.  I'm like a proud little momma. :)  Also, Micah and I sat with some lawyers from the firm I interviewed with, and they were great.

Trial Advocacy - DONE! 
I also wrapped up my Trial Advocacy class on Saturday.  We had our final jury trial, with real jurors and, at least for my group, a real judge.  It was a fake murder trial, and I was representing the defendant.  Before my very conservative family judges me, I'll just say that I really think he didn't do it... :)

Let me just say... it was so much fun!  

I can't describe the rush.  My adrenaline was pumping nonstop the whole time, and I was definitely nervous, but I can see how people get addicted to it. 

Poor Micah had to come and be my witness.  I was definitely worried, because he clearly didn't want to do it, but he was really the only person I had, so he knew he had to come through for me.  And he totally did.  I was so proud of him.  Plus he wore my favorite purple striped shirt from Banana and looked ridiculously handsome. :)

So that was my day yesterday.  This morning we went to church, then had Chinese food for lunch, and then came home and took a nap, which was GLORIOUS.  But now, after having squandered away a lot of good studying hours, I've got to get down to business for a little while.

Trusts and Wills, here I come...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Because I can...

Today I signed into my myspace account for the first time in FOREVER.  I found this on my profile and thought I'd share, because even though I posted these things a few years ago, they're mostly still true. :)

I'm directionally challenged. It's a fact.

I love things that smell good: lotion, candles, room spray, Micah. :) 

I'm girly in a lot of ways. Well, in almost every way.
I like to blog. 

My brother, who is the coolest person in the world, married one of my best friends, and I love that.
I have amazing parents. Seriously.
I like to buy shoes and then never wear them.
I'm obsessed with makeup and hair. If you know me at all, you know that.
I'm very bookish but not so great with practical things.
I met my husband in the seventh grade and love that our parents and grandparents went to high school together.
I love my Lord and Savior, and I am undeserving of His mercy and grace.
I feel like I'm not really fulfilling my potential in life.
I read a lot. Very quickly.
I'm ridiculously happy 95% of the time. God really blessed me in that way.
I sing a lot, even though I'm not very good at it.
I decorate a lot, even though I'm not very good at that either.
I was horrible at planning my wedding. All I wanted was to snap my fingers, wake up, and be married to Micah.
I love the ocean. I'd spend my life near the ocean if I could practice patent law anywhere outside the city.
I'm optimistic and always believe that things work out for the best.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I went home for Easter this past weekend, and I had such a wonderful time!! So I thought I'd share some pictures (which I took with my new camera, of course) and tell you about all the things I did!

I got on the road at about 10:30 on Friday morning.  The drive was actually pretty enjoyable - I jammed out the entire time and enjoyed all the wildflowers and bluebonnets lining 45.  My first stop was at my mom's house.  We spent a lovely afternoon visiting, and my brother and Faith joined us for some delicious lasagna.  Here's a picture of my mom's adorable schnauzer, Gus.  Such a little sentinel.  :)

Then, my brother, Faith, and I went to a late-night movie (which is so unlike me... I'm such an old lady).  We saw "Clash of the Titans," which was pretty alright, though some parts were definitely cheesy.  I stayed with them on Friday night, and I just have to say how much I love their house!  It feels like home to me, and they haven't even been there a year!

Then on Saturday, I helped throw a baby shower for Lauren.  Everything really came together well, and it was so fun to visit with everyone.  Here are some pictures from the shower.

(This is my friend Jennifer, holding my friend Amber's baby Tanner.  Isn't he SO kissable?)
(I just couldn't get enough... he is SO precious!)
(Look at the cute little hats!!)
(We played the game where everyone tried to guess how big Lauren's belly was.  So fun...)
(That's Amber's sister, Hope, holding Mr. Tanner.  Isn't she pretty? :))

So the shower went wonderfully.  After we cleaned up, I headed over to see my Dad and Lori, and I finally got to meet their new poodle puppy, Penny.  

Let me warn you before you scroll down.  This puppy is RIDICULOUSLY cute.  And tiny.  You might not be able to handle the cuteness, so prepare yourself.
(It's really cute to see my Dad and stepmom love all over this little baby.  I'm pretty sure my Dad is going to get some funny looks when he's driving around town, wearing his Harley Davidson motorcycle gear and carting this tiny puppy around in her little carrier.)

I had a great, great time with my Dad and Lori on Saturday.  We just vegged out and watched "Sweet Home Alabama," which neither of them had seen!  I know - I was shocked, too. 

On Sunday, we went over to my Mamaw's house for lunch.  My Mamaw seems to be doing a little better with treatment, and she was having a great day on Sunday.  

But my favorite part of the afternoon??

This guy.

This is my cousin Heather's little boy, Carson.  Isn't he just irresistible? This is his "sexy face."  I'm pretty sure my brother taught him that.  Typical.

(This is Carson with his mommy.  Look at his little smile! And the dimples!!!  It's almost more than I can stand.)

(Precious, I know.)

(I just loved this of Carson and Heather.  So sweet.)

There actually were other people there on Sunday, I promise.  I just couldn't take my eyes (or my camera) off this sweet little man.

I hope you guys enjoyed your Easter weekend as much as I did.  It was a great reminder of how lucky I am that Jesus loved me enough to hang on that cross for me.  Without that, moments like these are meaningless.
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