Friday, July 30, 2010


I told you about my "Ryan" moments here. My brother calls me "the dumbest smart person" he knows, and the other day my friend Amanda said something similar, though in a much nicer way. I'm not sure why I'm so dingy sometimes, but there's no stopping it, really. I just accept it and try to share the funny things with you so that you can at least have a laugh at my expense. :)

But this post isn't about me.

It's about my husband, who always thinks things through before he says them ,but occasionally has his own ditzy moments (maybe I'm rubbing off on him?).

The other day, we were driving home from dinner, talking about our backyard. For some reason, we've got ENORMOUS mushrooms growing back there. Like a lot of them. So, anyway, as we're driving, Micah suddenly says, "we've got to do something about those shroons."

I let it go, because occasionally Micah just does that. He'll say something in a weird way, or with a weird accent. The other day he randomly blurted out "sheet pile" in a Hispanic accent, and I was REALLY confused for a minute (say it out loud in such an accent, and you'll understand why) until I saw the metal on the side of the road - apparently they're some engineering thing I'd never heard of. Though I still can't really explain the accent.

So, like I said, I let it go. But then he said it again later on in the day. I think he was making some joke about how we needed to smoke the "shroons" and get crazy (but I'm pretty sure you eat them, don't you?).

"Are you saying shroons? Like with an 'n'?" I finally asked.

"Yeah. Shroons. That's what they're called," he replied, a little indignantly.

I giggled. A lot.

"No, baby," I said. "Shrooms. As in mush-SHROOMS."

Apparently he never put two and two together. Don't worry. He's got it figured out now.


Apparently my husband would like to offer a rebuttal. He doesn't remember saying anything about smoking the mushrooms. Apparently, only an idiot would say something like that.

In the interest of a peaceful household, I'm going to refrain from making a surrebuttal. But, when you're making this tough decision in deciding who to believe, I simply implore you to remember which one of us thought they were called "shroons." This wife rests her case.


I shouldn't even be awake this early today, but I think my body is still coming out of the study/panic mode and can't quite accept that there's nothing left to study/panic about.

It feels so incredible to be done. There are really no words to describe how wonderful I felt as I was walking out of that testing room yesterday. It was just a crazy mix of pure exhaustion, elation, disappointment, joy, and terror. But the sheer panic I'd been feeling was gone... thank goodness.

And it's strange, because I'm generally not the type to have exam anxiety. I am, for the most part, a fairly chill and relaxed person, and I take most things in stride, including every other exam I've ever taken. And I even managed to keep the panic about the bar at bay until the night before the last day of the exam. Wait, have I even explained how the Texas bar exam works? Alright... let me back up for a minute.

The bar exam is taken over a three-day period. The first day lasts three hours and consists of two parts: the multistate performance test (MPT) and the procedure and evidence exam. The MPT is the practical part of the exam, and we had to write a memo (something that took me a month to do during my first year) in 90 minutes. The procedure and evidence exam is a set of 40 questions about the mechanics of prosecuting crimes and filing civil suits in Texas. The second day, we took 200 multiple choice questions spanning six different first-year law school topics. And yesterday I answered 12, 30-minute essay questions over approximately 12 different topics (depending on how you look at it). Ugh, it's exhausting just writing it all.

A lot of people rent a hotel near the exam site, just so they don't have to worry about driving back and forth or being late or any other nightmare-ish thing that could possibly happen. I wasn't going to, but I ended up biting the bullet and just paying for a room for the second two nights at the Holiday Inn Express near the exam site. I'm glad I did, because it sure was nice to be able to go back to a quiet, clean room each day and just study.

Okay, so back to my panic.

The night before the exam I was just ready. Ready to get started so that I could wash my hands of all of it and be done. I woke up early on the first day, drove downtown listening to "Defying Gravity" from the Wicked soundtrack on repeat. I got to the exam about an hour before the exam was supposed start (and about two hours before it actually started).

I won't get into the nitty gritty because, let's face it, no one should be subjected to boring lawyer stuff, and I already bore you enough. But I'll just say that I didn't feel wonderful after the first day. When it was over, I went back to the hotel room, got some yummy lunch, took a long nap, and had a fairly relaxing night studying the next day's topics.

The next morning, I walked over to the convention center feeling pretty okay. I was obviously a little nervous, and I kept having crazy visions of looking for my name on the pass list (they post it on the internet for everyone to see) and not seeing it. But other than that, no craziness. And after I finished on the second day, I actually felt fairly decent. I hadn't nailed it by any means, but I wasn't horrified by my performance.

It was when I got back to the hotel that night that things went south. I ended up meeting Micah downtown for dinner, which was a nice break, but when I got back to the room and started to look over the subjects for the next day, I just started feeling overwhelmed.

The sheer volume of the material was horrifying (TWELVE subjects!). And I kept looking at things, things I'd read over several times, and I couldn't recall anything! It was like I was reading everything for the first time and that I hadn't spent the past two months trying to cram it all into my brain. I started feeling queasy. I took a bath to relax. Then, I decided to go to sleep because the studying wasn't helping anyway.

Of course, I absolutely couldn't sleep. I got into bed around 10:00, and I just couldn't make my brain be quiet. Every fear and every worry just keep swimming around my head. Every time I started to pray for peace, I just kept worrying that I didn't know enough. The panic was debilitating.

The next morning, after getting about 4 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling the same way. I was queasy and jittery and panicky and horrified. And the worst part was that I hated the feeling that I couldn't control the way I was feeling.

But, amazingly, when I walked into the testing room, it all disappeared. Clearly, the Lord was providing the peace I had asked for (or tried to ask for). I just sat down, listened to the seemingly never-ending instructions, and began typing (I took most of the exam on my laptop, which provided another layer of stress - wondering whether or not it would die or crash or explode into oblivion... because that's my luck). And while I certainly didn't know all of the answers, my brain recalled many of the things I had shoved in there. :)

So, the bottom line is that I survived the Texas Bar Exam. Who knows if I passed, but I feel proud to be standing on the other side with my sanity, my marriage, and my good nature intact. :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I am officially finished with the Texas Bar Exam... for now.

I'm so exhausted and mentally drained that that typing that last sentence was almost more than I can bear, and I'm going to just sit and be still and not use my brain for ANYTHING for the rest of the night. I promise I'll write more tomorrow... I just need a few hours to become a normal, functioning human being again. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Free Photography Session!

The dreaded day is almost here.

Tomorrow I take the Texas Bar Exam.

I've studied about as much as I possibly can, and I'm taking the rest of today off. I figure my brain would benefit more from a day of rest than trying to cram any more last-minute information in, so I called it quits a little while ago.

So I'll be MIA until Thursday afternoon, after which you should expect a delirious post of happiness from me. :)

Until then... here's a treat for any interested Dallas-area readers!

My best friend Lauren, who is interested in starting a photography business, is giving away free photography sessions to the first five people who respond to this post!

With it, you'll get: 1-2 hours of Lauren's time at a Dallas-area location of your choice, approximately 150 pictures taken, and images on a CD with 10-20 of the best shots digitally edited.

To set up your FREE session, email Lauren at

And, until at least Thursday, over and out!

Friday, July 23, 2010

My favorite grilling recipe...

Today I'm posting my very favorite grilling recipe in honor of Show Us Your Life Friday.

Now, technically, this recipe is more about the blue cheese sauce than anything else, but it does go on top of a grilled ribeye steak, so I felt okay linking up. :)

Now, if you're not a fan of blue cheese just trust me on this one. My husband, my sister-in-law, and my stepdad all "hate" blue cheese but LOVE this recipe. Plus, it's a Pioneer Woman recipe - so how could it be anything other than absolutely delicious?

(Picture from Pioneer Woman's website... um... you might want to wipe up that drool.)

Grilled Ribeye Steak with Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce


2 whole Ribeye Steaks
2 Tablespoons Butter
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Very Large Yellow Onion, Sliced
1 cup Heavy Cream
½ cups Crumbled Blue Cheese


Salt and pepper both sides of the steaks. Grill in 2 tablespoons butter until medium rare.

Saute onions in 4 tablespoons butter over high heat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until dark and caramelized. Reduce heat to simmer and pour in cream. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until reduced by half. Stir in blue cheese until melted. Serve steaks on generous portion of sauce.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pardon my dust...

I had to change my blog background because The Cutest Blog On the Block is apparently removing my template on Friday.

I'm not in love with this look, but it'll have to do until I'm done with the bar exam... I spent way too much time fiddling with it this afternoon. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Only because I promised...

... otherwise, I would never subject anyone to this. Not even the Texas Board of Law Examiners, whose existence I curse about twenty times a day these days.

Alright, wait for it. Wait for it. Keep waiting for it. Sit down or something...

Okay. I think you're ready.

This was my brother on the beach in South Padre.. in all his... glory.

It's really important that you know that he has absolutely no martial arts/yoga training. It's also important that you know that he is never, ever serious. This was purely because he likes to shock. The stunned look on the faces of the people passing by, wondering if he thought he looked good... wondering if he actually knew what he was doing. Those looks were what he was after.

And our laughs, of course.

Here's another, um, pose.

And a close-up. I really am sorry for this. As a brand new lawyer, I have to disclaim any liability for the nightmares that will haunt you because you looked at these pictures.

And lastly, for completeness and thoroughness...

How's that to start off your work week? :)

Two cute things... and a lot of other things...

It's 3:34 a.m., and I can't sleep.  There are just so many things running around in my head.  So I'm blogging.  Isn't that what this thing is for, anyway?

As of today, I have eight days until I take the bar exam.  I've been studying for hours and hours each day for the past few weeks, and it's wearing me down.  Everyone kept saying that studying for the bar exam was a marathon and not a sprint, and I probably should have taken that advice a little more seriously.  I'm not frantically running yet, but I am wondering how fast I should be going through this material if I'm going to make it past that finish line in anything other than last place... :)

But, because the Lord is so good, I'm not stressing too, too much.  I'm giving myself many well-deserved breaks, and I'm not actually worrying about it too much.  There are too many subjects to study to waste time wondering whether I'll be doing this all again next February.

So, I'll tell you two things before I crawl back into bed and hope for dreamless sleep to take me (because my last dream, in which I discussed the merits of a no-contest clause with my grandma and literally stood in line with other creditors for a purchase-money security interest on a surfboard, didn't exactly give me the rest I was hoping for).

First... oh, crap. I've forgotten what I was going to say.  Apparently my brain is too full, and it's starting to leak. Oh wait! I remember now... I was going to brag on my incredible husband for a minute. :)  (Sorry, but I'm too tired to remove the random, stream of consciousness comments I generally edit out.  This is just how my brain works.)

On Saturday night, I came home from studying up at the school all day, and when I walked in the door, I realized that the house was spotless.  And then Lilly ran up to me, and I realized that she was spotless and all wet from a fresh bath.  And then I realized that the newspaper (the one I'd left on the kitchen counter since last Tuesday because I was too busy to clip the coupons in it) was gone, and I saw the stack of perfectly clipped coupons sitting on my desk as I dropped my fifty-pound bag of bar review books, and the huge load of stress I'd been carrying because of my messy house, off in the office.  (Longest. Sentence. Ever.) 

I'm sure the mess was bothering him as much as it was me, but it was so sweet of him to lighten the load for me, especially since he's been so busy at work all week and really deserved a break.

So - bottom line - my husband is perfect.  But I already knew that, and you probably did, too. :)

The second thing was a cute story that I thought I would share from our beach vacation with my family.  I still haven't uploaded all of my pictures yet, and even though there weren't very many, I promise you that the wait will be worth it when you see the picture of my brother on the beach... with his swim trunks rolled up... wearing a cowboy hat... doing yoga/karate/things no man should ever, ever do.  

Yeah.  It happened.

So, the story.  My sweet cousin Kim and her husband Jay have been together since I was a little girl.  (I feel like it's okay to tell you that I had the BIGGEST crush on Jay when I was little.  I was just a wee bit boy-crazy when I was younger.  I'm sure you're not surprised by that at all.)  They have a really wonderful, inspiring marriage, and when Kim tells me that Micah and I remind her of Jay and her, I take it as a huge compliment.  Apparently Kim and Jay disagree (or used to disagree) about whether they were actually made for each other. Kim believes they were always meant to be together, but Jay wondered whether, if Kim had never gone to work at Brookshires all those years ago and they had never met, they would have found other spouses and lived incredibly happy lives.

So, anyway, we were on the beach Sunday, and I looked down by the water and saw Kim and Jay (and their two adorable kids) searching frantically through the water.  Jay had lost his wedding ring.  The one Kim had had engraved and put on his finger fourteen years ago.  Naturally, they were devastated, and they looked for quite some time before giving up and making plans to get Jay a new ring for their wedding anniversary next month. 

The next morning, after tractors had scraped the seaweed  off the beach (thanks, Hurricane Alex), Kim and Jay were sitting by the water and saw two young girls approaching them. 

"Do either of you know a Kim?" they asked.  "We found this in the sand." 

And then they held out Jay's gold band, with Kim's words of love inscribed on the inside.  Kim was so happy, she cried!   

 (Pardon the picture quality - I only had my point-and-shoot with me, and the lens fogged up because of the humidity.)

After taking pictures with the girls and giving them all the cash they had on them as a thank you, Kim couldn't resist a little I-told-you-so.  "Do you believe that we're meant to be together now?" she asked Jay.  

That ring managed to find its way back to Jay after almost twenty-four hours, a high tide, and and a tractor stirring up the sand.  And what if Jay and Kim hadn't made it out to the beach so early that morning?  What if those girls had walked the other way?  

Isn't it wonderful how the Lord can make it past all the "what ifs" and bless us anyway?  No matter how much we mess things up, He is infinitely gracious and good.  And this is officially the longest post ever.  :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


This is all I have time to post about my trip to South Padre with my family this past weekend. I'm sure you're sick of hearing about it, but this pesky bar exam studying is wearing me OUT! Two weeks... just two more weeks, and then I'm free!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My favorite verse... a promise and a blessing

In honor of Show Us Your Life Friday, I wanted to take a minute and share my very, very favorite Bible verse. It's been my favorite promise from the Lord since I was in high school, struggling to find my identity in Christ and trying to make big life decisions.

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

This verse is especially uplifting to me now, when I am so uncertain about where the Lord is leading Micah and me. I get discouraged because I miss home and because things haven't gone according to my perfect plan. But then I remember that it's not about my plan. It's about His plan.

And His plans have brought me a life full of joy, peace, and incredible, epic love. What else in the world could I need? :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Spaghetti...

You've all seen some version of this recipe on an Italian restaurant menu, but here's how I like to make it - especially in the summertime. It's an easy, quick, relatively healthy meal, made from ingredients I always have around the house. Plus, it's delicious! This recipe makes enough to serve one person with a very healthy appetite. :)

Summer Spaghetti
8-10 oz spaghetti (about 1/3 of a small package)
1 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 roma tomato, diced
2 T. Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
fresh lemon juice
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper

Cook your spaghetti in salted water with a splash of olive oil (keeps it from sticking) until al dente (about 10 minutes).

Drain and return to pot on medium-low heat.

Add the 1 T. of olive oil to the spaghetti. (You can add more olive oil if not all of the pasta is coated, but you don't want a pool of oil in the bottom of the pan.)

Add your minced garlic and stir until incorporated throughout the pasta.

Add tomatoes and parsley.

Squeeze juice from half a lemon on top and stir.

Grate the Parmesan over the pasta, and voila! Done! Easiest recipe you'll make all week. :)

Don't forget to add plenty of salt and pepper (and whatever other spices you like - red pepper flakes or a little cayenne are yummy, as well). And, if you're in the mood for a little protein, add some shrimp!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

If I had more than 24 hours in a day...

... I'd learn a little about everything.

I'd be able to tell you how to make a bechamel sauce without thinking. I could tell you exactly where Abu Dhabi was, without having to google it the minute I got out of the theater after seeing Sex and the City 2 because I sat there wondering, for two and a half hours, where in the heck it was.

And I'd definitely be able to tell you quite a bit about cars. It drives me crazy that when there is something wrong with my car, I'm at the absolute mercy of the auto shop.

It's not that I don't trust them. It's just that if someone wanted to take absolute advantage of my ignorance, they totally could. I guess some could say that about lawyers, too. But I promise that we're not as crooked as you think we are... well at least I'm not. :)

Anyway, I had to take my car to the shop today because it almost overheated on the way to the grocery store (so we're out the money to fix it, PLUS we have nothing to eat in this house). And the guy actually seemed pretty honest, but you can just really never know for sure unless you have enough independent knowledge to verify what they're telling you.

But I digress... I'm going to go for a quick run and then get back to studying. I've got 21 subjects, each of which takes an entire semester to learn in law school, to learn in two and a half weeks. Wish me luck! :)

Monday, July 5, 2010


I'm (finally) switching the blog to my new email address, so this is a test to make sure I've done it correctly! :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Yummy Summer Side Dish!

Last week, Target had sweet Texas corn on the cob priced at 10/$1, so I grabbed five and considered it a great deal!  I used three of them in a dish earlier this week, and, apart from the corn, had absolutely nothing in my fridge for dinner tonight.  So that's how this dish was born. It's not terribly creative, but it was delicious! :)

Sauteed Corn 
2-3 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
1 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (use one medium clove for 2 ears, and use two small-ish for three ears)
salt and pepper

Slice the kernels off the corn.  (It's kind of tricky if you try to do it over a cutting board because the corn flies everywhere.  I just held it over a bowl and sliced from the middle of the cob downward four or five times, all the way around.  Then I flipped it over and did the same thing to the other end.)  

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a medium sautee pan on medium to medium-high heat.  

Add the garlic to the oil and sautee until garlic become fragrant, 1-2 minutes.  Make sure it doesn't burn.  

Add the corn, season with salt and pepper, and sautee for 5 minutes or so until corn is tender and starting to become golden-brown.  


Thursday, July 1, 2010

What a week!

Wow... this week has been very un-fun.  Just go ahead and skip this post if you aren't interested in hearing me whine like a four-year-old for a minute or two.

First, on Tuesday I woke up to a very unhappy puppy.  We're still not sure what happened, but apparently Lilly got into/bitten by something she was allergic to, because her entire face and body were swollen up.  I'd post pictures, but it really wasn't pretty.  

Clearly, I couldn't go to my bar review class that day, which meant I would be even more behind in my studying than I already was.  

Then, as I tried to search on my PC for our vet's number, I realized that our internet wasn't working.  Like, at all.  I spent about an hour on the phone with the AT&T customer service representative, only to have him tell me that I probably just needed a new power cord for my modem.  

So I ran up to Best Buy and bought the cord the salesman suggested.  Then I ran over to Walmart and grabbed some Benadryll for Lilly.

The power cord turned the modem on, but I still wasn't getting any signal.  The Benadryll helped a lot with the swelling, but after three doses she was still itching and was clearly still very uncomfortable.  I was 0 for 2. 

So I made an appointment with AT&T for Thursday (today) and braced myself to live without internet for two days.  I realized a few hours later that no internet also meant no watching Lost on our Wii.  Ugh.

Yesterday was actually pretty great because I went to see Eclipse in IMAX!  For any other Twilight fans out there, it was GREAT!  Definitely the best movie so far.  Also, Micah took Lilly into the vet because she clearly wasn't feeling much better.  The vet gave her a steroid shot and gave us some pills.  The shot made an immediate difference, and she was doing wonderfully by yesterday afternoon when I got home from the movies. 

Today I missed my bar review course on Texas procedure because my iPhone died in the middle of the night and my alarm didn't go off.  The good news was that I got to sleep in until 9:00.  The bad news was that I didn't take Texas procedure in law school, so I really, really needed to sit through that lecture, plus I'd already missed Tuesday's lecture.  I did get up and start studying, though, so I don't feel too horribly about missing class.  Then, the AT&T guy came and fixed our internet - apparently the new power cord I bought wasn't putting out enough current, so he replaced it (for free!), and now I'm back up and running. :)

The worst part about this week was that today I realized that it was July 1st.  The worst month of my life has officially begun.  I take the bar exam on July 27, and I'm not even close to ready.  But I made myself a study schedule this afternoon, and I feel like it's doable, though the next few weeks are going to be totally miserable.

So if I'm a little slow in posting this month, forgive me.  It'll all be worth it when I can officially call myself a lawyer. :)
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