Monday, May 28, 2012

Here, There, and Everywhere

Wow! The rest of last week and this weekend have flown by. This was in part do to my day and a half trip back to Texas. I left Thursday afternoon and flew into Austin for my Supreme Court orientation on Friday. A girl from Baylor who is also interning at the Supreme Court picked me up and hosted me at her place for the night. She was super hospitable, and we had a really great time!

I have decided that Southwest is my new favorite airline. About an hour or so before I left Loveland, I got an email from them saying that my flight to Austin was delayed by 30 minutes. I still left pretty early, though, because I was afraid the pilots would make up time and I would miss my flight. Plus, I love the fact that you get to pick your own seat! I got an aisle seat both ways. :)

The orientation on Friday went really well, and I went to lunch with my Justice's staff attorney, two clerks, and the other three interns (the Justice had a conflict on Friday so he wasn't able to come). We had a really nice time, and I am looking forward to being there in July! Minus the Texas heat, of course.

On Saturday, my cousins took me four-wheeling up in the mountains. It was so much fun!!! Here are a few pictures of our time up there.

Yesterday, we skipped church because Laura wasn't feeling well, so I took the boys to the park for about two hours. It was a lot of fun - they are so adorable!!! I have missed babysitting, and so I am thoroughly enjoying having these guys around.

Today I decided to check out the bike library. Unfortunately, it was closed for Memorial Day. :( But I did spend time walking around Old Town Fort Collins, which is really cute. I also got a free bath bomb, because there is a bath shop that had their grand opening this weekend. Here comes a sweet-smelling bath! :)

This is the Old Town Square in Fort Collins, which is lined with shops and restaurants:

On the way up to Fort Collins, I stopped at Goodwill. I haven't been very impressed with the clothing selection at this Goodwill or the one in Loveland, but I did fine five CDs!! Three Bethany Dillon, a Billy Joel, and a Natasha Bedingfield - not bad for a Goodwill!! I also found a skirt and a top - and all of this only cost me $17! :)

My best purchase of the day, however, came when I went to Jax, a local outdoor store. It's kind of like Mast General Store in Greenville. I needed to get a fleece jacket, because I have been cold countless times since I've gotten here. I was able to find a blue North Face jacket for only $40 (half off). I made sure to snatch it up quickly and not set it back down so nobody else could get it. :) Of course, I'm sure that since I've bought a fleece, it won't be cold for the rest of my time here. But I used it this afternoon while we were sitting in the shade, so I'm sure it will come in handy.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Skills Learned and Race Recap

I have become a bow-tying fiend. One of my responsibilities over the past couple days has been to tie bows on the boxes we are taking to doctor's offices. Over the past three days, I think I've tied close to 50 bows. I'm sure this will be a valuable life lesson come Christmas time - maybe I can make some extra money wrapping gifts? :)

On Sunday, I got to see a solar eclipse, which was so cool. My cousin just happened to have a welder's helmet (doesn't everyone have one of these laying around??), so we were actually able to look directly at the sun. I tried to take some pictures, but of course it didn't come out as cool on film. Here's the best one - you can sort of see the crescent shape of the sun.

Yesterday, I decided to get fancy with lunch and make my sandwich on a bagel rather than bread. Best. Choice. Ever. It was so yummy!!! I made a pesto grilled cheese sandwich with my homemade pesto and mozzarella cheese. I toasted it in the oven before I left home, and then just heated it in the microwave at lunch time. YUM!

Last night I drove to Boulder for the last race in the Dash 'n Dine 5K series. I thought it would be a fun way to do some sight-seeing on a weeknight, as well as to gauge my fitness, since I've been very inconsistent for a long time.

This photo is not edited - it's just that gorgeous here!!

I finished in 32 minutes, which wasn't too bad, considering that I had side stitches and my stomach hurt for a majority of the race. I honestly was expecting it to be much worse. My worst fear at a race is that I'm going to be the last person to finish. Isn't that so vain? Thankfully, that hasn't happened yet.

I thought that I had acclimated to the higher altitude, but I found out last night that hasn't quite happened yet. The longest I've run without stopping since I've been here has been about a mile, because I'm still breaking in my Newtons. I've been doing fine, but last night I felt like I couldn't get enough air. Apparently I've still got a little ways to go before I'm fully acclimated!

After the race, a local chiropractor was offering free massages. Best post-race perk EVER - even better than free food! :)

This was the first race I've run completely on my own. It was a little sad - although it was fun to see a new place, I was missing having someone else there to hang out with and cheer me on! Note to self - always having a runny buddy, no matter where you move. :)

Missing my running buddy.

On the way home, I stopped to take this shot of the horizon. It's so beautiful. I love staring at the mountains - I'm trying to soak up enough of the sights to get me through the next year in Waco.

I was hoping to see a marvelous sunrise on the way home. Unfortunately, the clouds were not cooperating.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


 Today in church, the sermon was on the story that God is writing in each of our lives. As I sat there, I was once again reminded about how good God has been to me. I am truly in awe of how he has orchestrated this summer. So for those of you who don’t know the “long story,” here goes…

It all starts in August, when Baylor hosted On-Campus Interviews (OCI). It’s a really convenient way to get a job, because a bunch of firms come to the law school and host interviews over a one-week period. I had six initial interviews, which all lasted about 20 minutes. After the initial interview, law firms will host a “callback” interview where they bring candidates to the law firm for several hours worth of interviewing, along with a meal. I didn’t even get a callback from any of the firms with which I had interviewed. To be honest, I wasn’t very disappointed. The firms were very large, mostly litigation firms, and I didn’t think I would enjoy working there anyway. But it still wasn’t easy to get rejection letter after rejection letter in the mail.

Starting in November, I began calling smaller firms, trying to find a job at a small trusts and estates firm. Occasionally someone would tell me to send in my resume, but mostly there was nothing.

In January, the law school advertised that the Supreme Court of Texas had openings for summer interns. I applied, thinking I had nothing to lose, and landed an internship with Justice Wainwright for the second half of the summer.

I still continued calling law firms, trying to find something for the first half of the summer (preferably paid), but I was still having no luck. One day, I decided to call Nightlight Christian Adoptions, because I was interested in their Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program. When I called, the director said that she had never had an intern before, but she would talk to her director and see what he said. Less than two days later, she got back to me, offering me an internship! The only downside was that it was unpaid – but I just trusted that the Lord would provide, and gladly accepted.

I was beyond excited – I spent several days jumping up and down and squealing every time I thought about it. J One of the most exciting things is that it’s located in Colorado. About a year or so ago, I decided I would like to live in Colorado. My reasons? Because it’s a big running state, there are mountains, and there is snow and cold weather. J So I was super excited when I found out I could give the state a “test run.” J

But, it gets even better…

When I called my mom to tell her about my internship, she said that my grandma had just recently re-connected with her nephew and his family – and they live in the Loveland, the exact town where I would be working. And, as it turns out, only about 6 minutes from the office! They quickly offered that I could stay with them, and have been extremely gracious hosts.

And then, this past week, I found out that my supervisor actually has a little bit of money in her budget, so she’s going to pay me after all. I am in awe. It has been amazing to watch every single piece of the puzzle fall into place this summer.

And now, my current view – out on the patio, enjoying the beautiful Colorado weather…

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sightseeing in Denver

The rest of my work-week went by without a hitch. I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday making phone calls to doctor's offices and leaving lots of voicemails. Unfortunately, I've gotten very few responses. I just don't understand - can't they tell I'm a sweet person from the tone of my voice??? :)

On Friday, I put together some folders that are going to be mailed to clinics. I also got to design a postcard that is going in the folders, which was fun, though a little scary. I don't have any marketing experience, and so even though I had a template, I felt a little out of my league.

I am proud to report that I've finished about 1/2 an inch of Practice Court reading! :) Since there are 7 3-inch binders to read over the course of 9 weeks (not including textbook reading), I'm getting a jumpstart. I try to do 30 minutes a day...and add ice cream to make it a little sweeter. :)

Today, I drove down to Denver to meet some law school friends and do some sight-seeing. Once again, the weather was frigid. I have decided that investing in a fleece is a must, even though it's the middle of May. After two weekends of freezing, I need some warmer clothes!

After finding sweatshirts for everyone but me (I was holding out for a nice fleece), we headed up 16th Street in downtown Denver. It's a really cute area with a ton of shops and restaurants that's completely closed to vehicles (except the free trolley).

The day started out rainy and very cold. Thankfully after lunch it warmed up a little bit (so it was comfortable), and the sun even came out for a little bit!

In the afternoon, we went into a cool candy shop called "Rocket Fizz." They had probably 100 kinds of soda, including these interesting ones...

I love my bacon - but this sounds disgusting

Just before we left downtown, we stopped at Crepes 'n Crepes for their happy hour. We got two types of crepe - a chicken one with a white wine cream sauce, and a dessert one with chocolate and vanilla ice creams, strawberries, bananas and whipped cream. They were both AMAZING! Three of us shared the two, so we tore through those things in about 2 minutes each.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Working Life For Me

I’m now halfway through my first week of work. Things have gone very smoothly. I absolutely love working at a non-profit! Everyone is super friendly, and the office atmosphere is very relaxed. No worries about pulling 60 hour work weeks here! :)

I am fortunate enough to have my own office with a desk that they prepared for me. Isn't it cute? :)

On Monday, I didn’t really do a whole lot – my supervisor wanted me to use the day to get oriented and learn more about what Nightlight does. So, I spent the day reading their two grant applications, watching two National Geographic movies about pregnancy (SO COOL!), and perusing Nightlight’s website, listening to webinars, etc. It was a nice chill day, and I learned a TON! Unfortunately, I’ve lost the sheet of paper on which I made my notes, so I can’t remember all the cool things I was going to tell you. L It’s amazing how quickly things flow out of my brain sometimes!

But, here is the most amazing piece of information I learned: did you know that by three weeks and one day after fertilization, the heartbeat of the baby can be detected? Stop for a minute and think about what this really means – before a woman even knows she is pregnant, the child’s heart is already beating! If this fact doesn’t make you pro-life, I don’t think anything will.

After watching the videos on pregnancy, I found myself feeling "super" pro-life. I have always been pro-life, but after learning how quickly the organs of a baby develop, I just can't imagine ever being okay with abortion. I want to go out and tell everyone this information!! :) A friend mentioned that her dad wears a baby's feet pin that is the exact same size as a baby's feet 10 weeks into the pregnancy. I decided to see if I could find them, and promptly ordered five. One for me, one for a friend, and three extras to pass out to whomever else is interested. If you want one, let me know. Or, you can visit Holy Angels Gift Shop and order one. They're super cheap!
After work on Monday, I drove down the street to Loveland’s Sculpture Garden to run. Apparently Loveland is known for its sculptors, and there’s a huge sculpture festival during the summer. I only ran for about 15 minutes – I can’t run for more than about ¾ of a mile before my lungs start burning. Hurray for being 5,000 feet above sea level! J Here are some pictures from my run:

Last night, I just headed home and spent an evening at home - I was pretty tired yesterday! I also spent 30 minutes working on reading for Practice Court. I only made it through four cases! Clearly, I'm going to have to up my efficiency! Good thing I'm starting early. :)

This evening I plan to see about getting a gym membership for my stay here. I also need to look at recipes, since I volunteered to cook tomorrow night. I added a whole bunch to my Yummy Soup app right before I left Texas, so I'm looking forward to trying something new!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Roadtrip - Day 2

 Sorry for the delay in posting – I haven’t been able to get the internet set up yet at my new place, so I haven’t been able to post for the past two days. Thank goodness for Starbucks and free wi-fi!! 

On Thursday we didn’t have as far to drive, so Jocelyn and I took time to do some sight-seeing. Our first stop was Garden of the Gods, thanks to a recommendation from Dad. It’s a bunch of rock formations, and it was gorgeous! There were also quite a few rock climbers out, which made Jocelyn very jealous.

Can you see the kissing camels?

This was the view all the way up the freeway!

Next, we were off to Focus on the Family to visit Whit’s End. For those of you who grew up listening to Adventures in Odyssey, you know what I’m talking about – for those of who haven’t, it’s a kid’s radio program that comes on every Saturday. It’s wonderful!! They have a soda shop downstairs, and a three-story slide. Since we’re both under 5’9”, we were able to go down it. So naturally, we did. J

Hanging out with Eugene

Going down the slide!!

Whit's Office

Someday, I will work here

We got the Wod-Fam-Choc-Sod (World Famous Chocolate Soda), which was delicious. It’s chocolate fudge ice cream, club soda, and chocolate syrup. I’m definitely going to try and recreate it.

Yesterday morning I went to the office to introduce myself and learn my way around. I already like the people I’m going to work with! They cleared out a storage room so I have my own office (with a window!) and a desk that they set up with pencils and pens, paperclips, chocolates, and notebooks. They also gave me a work email!!! I know that’s nerdy, but it’s the little things in life that bring some of the greatest joy. J I am going to try and take pictures on Monday so that you can see my work space.

Once I finished at the office, Jocelyn and I packed sandwiches and headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park to try and do some hiking. Unfortunately, it was super cold yesterday (I’m sorry to say that Texas has made me a wimp in regard to cold weather!), so we didn’t get out of the car for more than five minutes at a time. However, it started snowing pretty hard while we were driving up there, which was awesome! Even though it didn’t stick, it was more than we saw all year in Texas.

Unfortunately, since it was cloudy, we weren’t able to see much once we got up into the mountains – as you can see below, it was just a wall of white. However, there were some great views on the way up and back down. We even saw elk!!


This is what our view should have been...

This is what our view was

So, its official: I am moving to Colorado as soon as I’m done with law school. Now I just need to find a law firm that will hire me!