Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Randomness

I have never felt so unmotivated, brain dead, and tired in my whole life. So, this blog post is going to be all over the place. Here's just a sampling of what the past week has held.

1. Minitrials are DONE!

We had our last one on Thursday (was that only 4 days ago??), and it was an utter waste of time. The professor had not read our briefs (legal documents, not underwear), so he had no clue what was going on. The only commentary he gave us after was, "You need to learn how to make things very clear for the judge. You guys were way too confusing." Gee, thanks...

On the bright side, there were no personal attacks this time.

2. Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Therapy Ice Cream. This stuff is AMAZING. Seriously, it will fix anything that is wrong. :) Combine this with a new "Big Bang Theory" episode and you've got the recipe for a perfect evening.


3. Parallelogram Pizza

Isn't this a fun shape? It was a personal stuffed crust pizza. YUM!


4. The year's first fire! In the fireplace, of course.

The weather is finally cold enough (low of 39 tonight!!!), at least for the next two days (then it's back up to the 80s). It took several flaming paper towels, a few twigs that I grabbed from the yard, and a lot of coaxing before the big log finally caught on fire.


5. Utter exhaustion

I think I have reached my final saturation point. In class on Thursday, I was completely clueless. The professor could have been speaking Chinese and I wouldn't have been any more confused. I felt like the information was going in one ear and out the other. After nine weeks of reading constantly, prepping three mini-trials, learning all about concussions, and just dealing with everything, I've finally reached my limit.

Thankfully, we only have three days of class left. Unfortunately, two of those days we have six hours of class. Since even four hours has turned into what feels like 100 years, I have no idea how I'm going to survive. So asking for prayer is an understatement.

Here are some specifics you can pray for:

(1) That I will have the mental energy to focus in class, rather than just mechanically taking notes.

(2) Focus to study for finals - they're well spaced (Saturday, Tuesday, Friday), but the thought of studying for multiple hours a day makes me want to cry.

(3) That I will be able to maintain a good attitude. It's so easy these days to be angry about everything, or to just want to give up, or to talk bad about the professors. I have to constantly remind myself that others are watching me. I want to be a witness, but I'm too tired to try anymore. Maybe that's the point? ;)

Well, that's all for now. I'll probably be back mid-week in a celebratory "I've-been-released-from-hell" type post. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Concussions and Christmas Music

What do these two things have in common?

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Absolutely nothing.

I just wanted to see you think. :)

Actually, they do have one thing in common - they both made appearances over the course of my weekend.

Concussions were around all weekend. My current (and LAST!!) mini-trial involves a hockey player, so I've been researching concussions and post-concussive syndrome all weekend. It's some pretty interesting stuff. Did you know that people who are depressed exhibit a lot of the standard symptoms for post-concussive syndrome? So if you find yourself experiencing chronic headaches and fatigue, don't freak out. It's probably not post-concussive syndrome. Especially if you haven't experienced head trauma in the recent past.

If, however, you suffer a blow to the head during a hockey game, don't go out and play again six days later. It might end your career.

Ahh, the life lessons I've learned from PC...

And now for the exciting part of this post:

TWO OF MY FAVORITE ARTISTS HAVE NEW CHRISTMAS CDS!!!!!!!

I find that each year, Christmas gets more and more exciting. There's just nothing better than hearing Christmas music and knowing that that time of year is coming. Can you tell it's my favorite holiday??

Cold air, Christmas lights, Christmas music,The Christmas List, exchanging presents, sitting next to the fire, It's a Wonderful Life, cinnamon rolls, and peppermint mochas at Starbucks...there are just too many things to be happy about during Christmas.

And now, add two more things to the list:





Now I just have to wait for Veteran's Day weekend (November 10th). That's when I can use the 40% off coupon that came in the mail.

That weekend is already marked on my calendar... :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Guess Who's At My House?

This guy!!!


Don't worry, he's not bleeding - he's just got smoothie all over his face. :)

Here are some of his antics from this weekend.

Last night, he was marching around the living room, "thinking." No idea what he was saying - but the visual is priceless.

video


Playing with all our teddy bears. He called all of them "George."



Squeezing honey onto a tortilla at Rosa's Cafe.


Showing Daddy how to foam roll properly. He said that "God told [his] heart to tell Daddy."


It's been a marvelous weekend. Hanging out with this little guy is just what this stressed-out law student needed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Celebration!!

Today was Jocelyn's 22nd birthday, and she invited AnnaGrace and I out to dinner with her friends. It was a lovely time! And I was super excited about the chance to get dressed up and do something fun on a weeknight for a change. :)

In celebration of the outing, I made AnnaGrace take photos - I told her I needed a new Facebook profile picture. :) Here's what resulted...







Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Untethered

I have always identified with the elder brother (Luke 15:11-32). I've always been a rule follower, and have also always craved recognition that I'm doing the right thing. It doesn't have to be something big - even just a recognition that I cleaned my room before I was asked, worked hard in school, etc. I know I'm not perfect, but can you please tell me that I'm at least a good person?

And then came last Thursday night, when I came home sobbing from my first mini-trial. For some reason, the professor had it out for me that night. I couldn't do anything without getting a comment from him in his condescending tone of voice. I walked out feeling absolutely awful. Sure, I made some stupid mistakes. But I had put work into preparing, and I felt like he thought I was an idiot and didn't know anything. You don't have to tell me that I'd make a good trial lawyer - but can you just recognize that I'm doing my best and trying to learn?

There was another thing that bothered me, though. I knew that I had prepared and did my best. So why was I so upset about what the professor thought? In the grand scheme of life, his opinion doesn't matter.

And remember the first point on my contract with myself?


I will work as unto the Lord, not unto man.
Colossians 3:23 – And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.

By far, this has been the hardest provision to keep.

On Thursday night, AnnaGrace prayed and thanked the Lord for allowing that particular professor be my observer, and for allowing him to say the things that he did. All I could think was, "Why, Lord?" I know He's using this to make me more like Him, but I sure wish it didn't have to hurt so bad sometimes.

As I reflected on Thursday's experience over the weekend, I realized that I crave man's pleasure. I want human recognition that I'm doing a good job. In doing so, I cause myself a lot of undo stress. If I'm doing the best I can and working unto the Lord, what does man's opinion matter? 

The sermon on Sunday was perfect. The pastor was preaching on Mark 2:18-3:6 and the topic was restlessness. He said that Jesus' point in the three stories in this passage is to teach us that the greatest barrier to our rest is trying to be good enough. Our work doesn't make us worthy of rest; Jesus' death on the cross did that.

I've been mulling over these verses the past couple of days - I've been reading 1 Peter over and over again for several weeks now, and it never ceases to amaze me how I see something new every time.

1 Peter 4:1-2
Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the 
same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.
As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for
evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.

This is what I want my life to look like. I want to live for the pleasure of God, not of man. I want to find my worth in Christ, not in anything that I have done.

I want to be untethered from my desire for man's approval. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Rollercoaster

Sorry for disappearing from the blog for two weeks. They've been a rollercoaster, so I've been hanging on for dear life.

I had my first breakdown the day after I wrote my last post. It wasn't anything huge - I just hit a wall that weekend. I was so exhausted for no apparent reason, and I just snapped. Thankfully, MaryLou was very patient with me as I made brownies while crying and yelling about how much I hate this class (and a certain particular professor). And yes, it was just as ugly as it sounds...

A day later, I had my second advocacy exercise. This time, we were practicing direct and cross examination. It went pretty well - I escaped without a memo, and these days, that's just about all that matters to me. I had an interesting realization, though. Cross examination has always been my favorite part of debate, and I get super excited about it. I half expected that after the advocacy exercise, I would want to do more cross examinations, and that it would revive (if only slightly) my love for trial advocacy.

But it didn't. I came out of the exercise feeling like I do about the rest of the class - it's over, and I don't really care if I ever have to do that again. Bit by bit, I feel as though my desire to be in the courtroom is being removed from me. And you know what? I'm okay with that.

I know that part of the reason I feel this way is because school (and therefore a good part of my life) is miserable right now. And, I also know that the way I'm living right now is how most trial lawyers live their life. Trial is all-consuming. It knows no respect for weekends, time for family and friends, or a "normal" life. Baylor really is preparing us to be trial lawyers - and part of that is working however long it takes to get the work done. It means spending your weekends on call in case an emergency arises before trial on Monday, being in the office at 9pm on Sunday night, and constantly thinking ten steps ahead.

And the further I get into law school, the more I realize that I hate this kind of life. Yes, I spent my college years trying to do everything I wanted to do, and it was great. But in law school, I'm learning that boundaries, rest, and down-time are extremely important. Without them, I break down.

So, the point of all this is: as much as I've hated parts of law school at Baylor, I'm extremely thankful for the things that the Lord has taught me over the past three years. As I told AnnaGrace yesterday, law school has made me more of who I am. Let me explain what I mean...

I've never had a problem being "different." As a homeschooler, that just comes naturally. :) But in law school, I've realized just how much I love being different. I don't want to look like the world. I don't want to drive a Lexus - I just want a dependable Honda that I can drive for 20 years. :) I love that my current car is just about to hit 200,000 miles. I don't want to spend even 40 hours a week in an office. I love being at home and in my kitchen. And if the only thing I do with my legal degree is write free wills for my family and friends, I will be perfectly satisfied.

Well, I didn't really intend to post all of that this morning, but there you go. These are just a few of the many thoughts that have been running through my brain recently. For those of you who have been praying for me, keep it up. I need them!!

And, in exciting news, I finally have a few pictures to put up on the blog! I know it's been far too long since I have posted anything visual, and for that I am sincerely sorry. I am also sorry to report that these aren't the most thrilling pictures you've ever seen...but I will try to be better.

First, a picture of my amazing dinner last night (yes, this was very exciting). I found this Copycat Chick-Fil-A recipe a while back, but I was craving it last night (I ate real Chick-Fil-A on Friday night, which is probably why). I substituted vegetable oil for peanut oil, so the flavor wasn't exactly right, but close enough!

Also, I've been on an okra kick lately. I even find myself craving it in the middle of class...


And, most exciting of all, check out this picture of the temperature inside our condo this morning...


I feel like I'm in heaven. The high for today is 61 degrees, and I couldn't be happier. FALL IS COMING!!!!!  I've written this post from under the covers with pumpkin coffee on my nightstand. There's no better way to start a Sunday morning...

I think I'm going to wear a sweater to church this morning - AAAHHH!!!!!!! I'm practically jumping up and down with excitement. It's the little things that make life enjoyable. :)