You guys, those reunion shows for all the Real Housewives shows on Bravo are AMAZING.

I'm watching the RHONJ reunion right now. These women are just plain cray-cray. And Teresa is the ring-leader of the crazy train. Andy Cohen just called Teresa out because she was saying "distened" instead of "distanced." That was pretty funny.

Great, now there's a Sarah McLachlan/homeless animal commercial on. I can't stand those commercials...I bawl cry every single time.

I know I've been gone from this blog for quite sometime. I think most of the "I failed the bar exam" searches have died down. I was fortunate to pick up a tutor this time around, and so far, I feel like I can see a tiny difference. I'm so tired of it. I'm so tired of talking about it. I'm so ready for this to be over. At this point, I'm so far removed from law school, I don't really even know what I'm doing anymore. People go to school and then they get jobs. Or, if you're me, you go to school and wait a thousand years to start your career.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were great. We spent Christmas in NC with BC's fam again. Always a good time. I spent the majority of the time sick. Boo. BC's grades were awesome this semester.

I need to write more often, its so hard to sum it all up and I don't want this blog to be all about stupid bar stuff.

New Years Res: blog better :)


One Whole Year

Dear Husband,

Before I even start writing, and while my mind puts words together, I feel like I'm about to write a blurb in a yearbook. So, forgive me if this sounds yearbook-ish. This is an ode to our first fabulous year together. I can't believe how fast time has flown. This has easily been one of the worst years of my life, but the best, all at the same time. (Hear me out, here.) Because you are here with me, I've been able to weather the storm of multiple bar exams. You knew my situation when you met me. You came to live in a foreign place, far away from everyone you know, before we were married, while I was going bananas over this stupid test. You stuck around to marry me despite my bananas. You held me when I cried every time I got my results and encouraged me every time I prepared for a new administration. You prayed for me and with me, every step of the way. You listened to me complain about work, and reminded me of what's important. You listen to my rants and raves and agree with all my nonsense. You celebrate when I celebrate, you mourn when I mourn. You play the guitar for me when I need to be cheered up, songs written just for me, never to be heard by another soul. You do chores when you think I'm not looking. You are so sweet and caring towards the pup, and I can't wait to see you as a real daddy (and not just with all your babies from other ladies. jk) You try to create a space of comfort for me, our own little bubble. You helped me feel at home in our office by hanging up all my diplomas all over the office wall. You share everything you have with me, and don't even think twice about letting me have the first bite of the meal you got that I thought I didn't want but ended up eating all of. We have so much fun wherever we go, you truly are my best friend! Anytime I do anything with anyone else and you aren't with me, I always end up missing you and wishing you were there with me. I love how we have our own hand squeeze/knee push language. We can talk smack about someone with just the exchange of once glance. You literally are the funniest person I've ever met. People who don't get your humor are dumb and pointless. You make me laugh all the time! Sometimes I catch you just looking at me, and it makes me feel so loved. You tell me I'm beautiful, even when I'm working on day 3 of the same pajamas and you haven't seen my hair down in a week. I miss you when you aren't around, even when you go to class for a couple hours. If a song comes on that talks about missing someone and you aren't with me, I get weepy. I can't help it!

Most of all, you love the Lord more than me and more than yourself. This was the one attribute I wanted so badly in my future husband, and I'm so thankful I found it in you. God truly created me for you, you for me. You are completely my other half...not a day goes by that we don't end up saying it out loud for some reason. Despite all my past mistakes and bad relationships, you love me completely. I think everyday I would repeat it all over again as long as it meant I got you in the end. The heartache was 100% worth it because you love me all the more.

I can say wholeheartedly that I love you today even more than the day I married you, and everyday our relationship grows stronger. I am so completely blessed beyond measure to have you in my life.

Happy day-before-our-anniversary, honey!



They won't leave me alone

I got a call this morning from one of the ladies that worked in the financial department of my former job. Remember I was fired mid-September when I found out I failed the bar exam again. Haven't heard from them since. I was happy about that actually.

My former job was a state-funded position. That's about as far as I'll go with the description. In October 2010, the big bosses moved me to a branch about an hour away from where I lived. Most of you readers know that. I had one friend in another department in that building and that was pretty much the only thing about the move that was good. The rest sucked. But I still had a job and a paycheck, so I was happy. Anyway, when the bosses dropped that bomb on me, they offered me a car to drive, so as to sweeten the deal a bit. (I found out later pretty much everyone they asked to move to this branch turned it down. I was the only one asked that had no leverage or bargaining power.) Since I still had my job and got a car to drive, I pretty much couldn't turn it down. I knew I'd be driving about 100 miles everyday, and the ability to keep those miles off my car and not pay for gas was worth it. That's all they told me: "we're giving you a car, just keep up with the mileage and the gas receipts." When I was let go, I coordinated the drop-off of the car and asked if there was anything left for me to do. Lady said nope. I left.

So, back to the phone call. The lady from the financial department said I owed them some sort of fee for driving the car!! She said it was some sort of fee/tax set out by the state because I drove one of their vehicles. I told her that I was sorry, but no one said anything about a fee for driving the car when it was given to me. A fee on a car you offered. Her response: "well, sometimes they forget to tell people." REALLY?? Sometimes they forget?? What good does that do me?? I told the woman straight up--I don't have any money. She said "its not that big of a deal, its only $57." I told her, no you don't get it. I don't have any money. My husband is in school, I don't have a job (YOU FIRED ME REMEMBER), I just paid $600 to retake the bar exam, $3000 for a tutor, my part-time job pays me exactly the amount of money our health insurance costs, and my parents GRACIOUSLY paid our rent, electric, water, and car insurances this month. Our checking account is almost empty and we've all but depleted our savings.


I'd rather be in the position I'm in now than still working for that horrible place.


1st run meeting

Tonight was the first night of the Run for God program at church. There was quite a turnout, I was surprised. I think I heard someone say 32? We have about 350-ish that attend on Sunday mornings, so I think 32 is pretty good? I don't know, maybe not. What do I know?

Anyway, the program is like this--we start today, meet every Tuesday with 2 weeks off at Christmas/New Years, and finish up with a 5K at the end of January. Essentially its Couch to 5K. Except with encouragement and fellowship.

The meeting started off with an Ironman video of the father/son team that runs marathons together. If you haven't heard of them before, you can watch a quick video here. The story makes me super weepy. After that we talked about the importance of running the race of life and how running is actually a lot like faith. We aren't always the best. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we give up. Sometimes we are super strong. Sometimes we struggle. But we can always try again.

The instructor encouraged us to run without headphones. Use this time to talk to God, focus on how it actually feels to run, clear our minds, encourage others, strike up conversations with others, etc. Some people actually spoke up in the meeting and said it was "impossible" for them to run without music and they don't exercise well with others. I looked at BC and was like--really? Why are you even here?

Anyway, after that we went to a local walk park (and I will definitely be securing a runner's gun holster now) and were supposed to do a 5 minute warm up, intervals of 60 seconds running with 90 seconds walking, and a 5 minute cool-down. Once the warm-up was over I started running. I ran for most of the time, and was really proud of myself. I am a slow runner, but I think I surprised people. I'm not skinny, I'm definitely not "fit." But it felt so good to push myself beyond what I am used to. I spent a lot of time praying for God to give me strength. Not just while I was running but in other parts of my life. I need physical endurance PLUS spiritual and emotional endurance. It was really amazing to run without any auditory assistance. I liked it.

I'm hoping this is a new start for me. I got to sport my awesome hot pink Vibram FiveFingers and I didn't go to McDonalds afterwards. I think this was a win.


My place + running

Husband set me up a place in our tiny office for me. In the past its mostly been his space, plus and extra table for me to dump my junk at. (Y'ALL WE LIVE IN THE SMALLEST TOWNHOUSE ON THE PLANET AND HAVE NO PLACE TO STORE ALL OUR VERY SUPER IMPORTANT JUNK.) Its nice though. All my pretty diplomas and awards and junk up no the wall. We got some more storage containers (which he spray painted black and look great, I must say) and everything looks nice. We tried to stick with black accented stuff in the office instead of brown. I always felt like brown was a very particular color. Can be touch to match. Black is easy. So black it is.

I'm getting prepared to get back to studying. I'm going out on a (very expensive) limb and picking up a tutor this time around. I clearly need help. Which sucks because I've never "clearly needed help" in my academic life, ever. If I don't get some help though, I'm completely headed for defeat. As much as I don't like admitting it, I need someone to fix this mess.

I contacted a few different people, some in Florida, some not. I've decided to go with a tutor out of New York. I know I need a lot of help with MBE stuff and writing. I think I'm writing ok (flows, sounds good), I just know I'm not pointing out enough stuff.

I'm oddly looking forward to it--I'm just deathly terrified because its so expensive!! I'm so scared that I'm going to spend a ton of money on this dang tutor and still fail again. Any longer and I'm going to spend what I spent on tuition on freaking studying for and taking this dumb test so many times.

Not going to be negative. Nope. Started running again and the endorphins have really helped my mood. I'm not even a runner. I just turned on the treadmill, put on an Office episode, and before I knew it I had ran for a mile and didn't even realize it. It was great. I'm like the slowest runner ever and my face gets really red, but pushing myself like that has really made me feel like I can do stuff. I keep seeing all these dumb motivational running posters all over Pinterest:
"the only one stopping you is you"
"I wanted to quit because I was suffering, that wasn't a good enough reason"
"everything you're running away from is in your head"
"someone who is busier than you is running right now"

Anyway. Our church has started this group thing where we meet at the church one day a week for a short devotional and then we talk about one fitness topic and then go to a local walking park to start training for a 5K. BC and I are doing it because it is something fun to do together, free, and we get to associate with other church members and worship a bit in the process. HOWEVER: I am very self-conscious running in front of other people I know. We have some very fit people that go to church with us. Very fit, trim, thin. I told one of the teachers today that if I show up on Tuesday and its a bunch of skinny people I'm NOT coming back. She laughed. I wasn't kidding.


Dumb things at work.

I work part-time at a small monogram shop in my hometown. I worked for them forever ago, right out of undergrad, and before I went to law school. (Side story there--couldn't find a job to SAVE MY LIFE once I graduated from college. Ended up at a monogram shop, workin' retail. Yep. I liked it WAY better though because the owners are amazing.) Anyway, the shop has since changed names and moved to a different location in town, one with much less vagrant homeless and more delicious nearby eateries. I wandered in one day a couple months ago to check out the new location, chatted with one of the owners, and she asked if I wanted to pick up some Saturdays. Always one needing money (and possibly seeing the bar exam writing on the wall, as it were), I said yes.

After years of working in that store, I have a few stories to tell, naturally.

A fun one happened via phone this past Saturday:

*ring ring* *ring ring*

Me: Thanks for calling The XYZ Monogram Shop.

Caller: Hi, ummmm, yeahhhhh, I have a question.

Me: (already annoyed) Okay.

Caller: Yeah, so ummmmmm I have something I need to get monogrammed.


Me: Okay.

Caller: I need to know if I brought it in, when can I pick it up.

**Note: it is 3:40 pm at this point. We close at 4.

Me: Well, if you brought it in today, the pick-up would be for the 27th. Any earlier would be a $5 rush fee.

Caller: Oh reeeeally? I can't drop it off and get it back today?

Me: Um, no, sorry.

Caller: Really? I can't do that?

Me: Yeah, no. The owner who runs the machines was in today, but we're about to close and she isn't coming back in.

Caller: Oh. Okay. Well, do you know somewhere I can take it to get it done today?

Me: No.

Caller: What about tomorrow? Could you do it tomorrow?

Me: (about to throw the phone out onto the highway) No. We aren't open on Sundays.

Caller: Really? Oh.


Caller: Do you know somewhere I can get it done on Sunday?

Me: No. Look, this town isn't that big. Most places that do stuff like this are small shops/boutiques and they are definitely NOT going to be open on Sundays.

Caller: Oh really? Ohhhhh wowwwww. Ok. Well, thanks.

I just hung up the phone at that point. I wish there was some way to properly convey the spacey sounding voice I heard on the phone. But alas, I cannot. I'm sure you can use your imagination. I swear if that caller is the future of our generation, we're in trouble.

Also, just because you work retail, you aren't stupid. Although most people would like to treat you that way. Boo.



I realize that I don't update like I should. I feel like most of the time I would end up telling y'all the same thing. Bar exam, no money, life, husband, puppy, food, no money, bar exam, bar exam.

Thats how things go around here, folks.

We lose insurance coverage in 15 days.

So...that's cool I guess.

Legally Fab sent me some of her bar review books in the mail so I could check out a different study method for the next bar exam. I got them yesterday, spent some time perusing and reading out loud to hubs (which he LOVED, let me tell you), and I purchased the online section today. I'm so hoping for a different outcome this time.

I've also tried to contact with some private tutors for individualized help. I mean, being on bar attempt #4 clearly means I need some help somewhere.

I'm writing because this morning totally threw me for a loop.

I was fine yesterday. I got the books. I was pumped to get started early. I was ready. I had confidence I could succeed.

I woke up this morning shaking. Anxious from the second I opened my eyeballs. No clue whatsoever. Just a complete mess. Cried in the shower. Bawled, actually. Two issues: (1) I can't do this again. I cannot take failing. (2) The Bible says if a man doesn't work he shouldn't eat.

Remember, when we bawl our eyes out in the shower, we are not always the most rational of thinkers.

I woke BC up this morning crying, which I have learned is a terrifying way for him to wake up because he has no idea what is going on. We talked for a while and he gave me plenty of big hugs.

My biggest thing was not being able to do this again. I mean, yesterday I was fine. I was so fine with all of this. I woke up today completely anxiety-ridden. Shaking. I WOKE UP THIS WAY. I barely got a chance to think and I was already going bananas.

I realized this morning that I am completely crippled by fear. Like, full-on terror. I am under this huge weight and I feel like I can barely breathe. Sometimes I'm fine. I'm totally gung-ho and super excited and motivated. But other days....and I feel like most days.....I'm a total mess.

I've been praying for strength and peace a lot lately. BC and I are really being attacked by satan a lot these days. We're easy targets I guess. But, even as bananas as I go, and despite how much I bawl in the shower, my faith remains. I have little to no confidence in myself, which I definitely need to work on, but I have all confidence in the Lord. And at the moment, that is what's getting me through.

I don't know if anyone else feels like their emotions are on roller coasters. All this back and forth is driving me insane. I'm just trying to hold on to the good times.



I love Halloween. It is seriously so much fun. Growing up I never understood why some kids parents wouldn't let them go trick-or-treating. I was like "UMMM HELLO. You put on a costume, any costume, or just dress normal, or whatever, and PEOPLE GIVE YOU FREE CANDY!!!!! IT'S LIKE THE BEST DEAL EVER."

Either way, BC and I have decided the only way to not gain a million pounds this time of year by eating all the candy we buy, we have to buy stuff we hate.

HOWEVER. This is definitely on the candy list this year. It just has to be.

Oh yes. Mellowcreme pumpkins. So delicious. Not candy corn. BARF. Just the pumpkins.

I might actually eat the whole entire bag on my own. 


I failed the bar exam three times.

Wow. I was really hoping I wouldn't ever have the occasion to type that.

(WARNING: this is going to be really long. Introspective and what not.)

Its been a few days since the news broke. Florida results came out Monday morning around 9:10. Same as they have for the past two administrations. I was alone in my office when I saw them. Scrolled down to my little number and there it was: FAIL. Same as it was for the past two administrations. At first I honestly thought I read the wrong number. But...I knew I had it right.

I walked out of my office, told the secretaries I had failed again, and walked into my boss' office to call the big bosses to let them know. At 9:20, I started packing up my office. At 9:30, I left my job. Officially unemployed.

Let me back up a bit.

Sunday morning the sermon at church was on "news." At first I thought, it will be about the Good News and it won't have anything to do with bar exam/stress/adversity/etc. Nope. The first point from the preacher was "there is bad news." My husband let his chin hit his chest and said "oh great" out loud. I told him I was sure the next point would be that there would be good news, and it was. But it was still a little unsettling that that was the first point. The preacher read about Job, specifically Job 1:13-21. After all the bad stuff happened to Job, he got upset, but still praised the Lord. At the end of the sermon, the preacher said something to the extent of--tomorrow, in times of bad news and adversity, how are you going to praise the name of the Lord?

And all I would think of was--really?? REALLY??? PLEASE NO!!!!!

Yep. It happened.

The morning before I woke up for work on Monday, I had a dream that I passed the bar exam. Very strange. It was very specific and super realistic feeling. Oddly enough, in the dream, my Dad had helped me secure a second job at a local Winn-Dixie (grocery store for those not in the know) and was very upset when I told him I wouldn't be able to work there because I was apparently already scheduled for the next two weeks. As I was praying that morning, I just told God that I was ready. Ready for what....I don't know. Just that I'm ready. For whatever He wants me to do.

So as I stood there in my empty office at 9:30 Monday morning, going between being totally rational and sobbing, I knew that God had a different plan for me.

Do I wish that plan was to be a happy little first time passer, with a presh little salary and a nice office with a big window?

Um, duh.

But that's not my deal right now.

So, update: I'm officially unemployed. My husband is still in school full time. We don't have an income. We don't have insurance. We have lots of bills. And I don't know what we're going to do.

I have pretty much been on the verge of a panic attack since Monday morning. Feeling like your heart could, at any given time, start racing to the extent you think you might have a heart attack at the age of 26, is not the best feeling to experience every minute of every day.

People started telling me I had to take the test again. Honestly I wasn't sure I wanted too. Maybe I'm supposed to do something else? Maybe this is God telling me to go in a different direction? Maybe I'm just not smart enough to do this job? Maybe I can find a job doing something else completely that will make me super happy?

In the meantime, how do we pay our bills? Where am I going to find a job that's going to give me time off? Where am I going to find a job PERIOD? Nothing in the paper pays over $9 an hour. I've talked to pretty much every person I know about jobs. Nothing.

So we've been praying. I've been crying and praying on my own. I feel incompetent, useless, and unreliable. Not being able to pass this test makes me feel...well......like a failure.

This morning I made a proclamation. I am going to take the test again. There are people that have taken this test 3, 4, 6, 8, 13 times. While I do NOT want to be the woman from California taking the test 13 times, I know that I do need to pass this test.

For a long time, especially while I was waiting for results, I started to become really envious of other peoples' educational choices. Like, I want to be a pharmacist, or a radiologist, or an interior designer, or an environmental engineer, etc. Things that I think I have an interest in. At least at the moment.

But alas, those paths are not my own. They have been selected for others and not for me. Actually, Sunday morning I was researching how long it would take me to go back and get a Master's degree in speech pathology. HUH?? What was I doing??

So, I'm praying now for contentment. Contentment in this chosen field. Contentment in my current situation. Patience for the future. Discernment in how to approach the next few days, few months, few years. Diligence in my eventual studies. Resolve to work harder each day. I will also be praying that God continue to renew this desire in my heart day after day....that I would continue to want to strive to pass this test. I don't ever want to be beaten by something so....trivial. Because that is ultimately what this is. A trivial thing. Something that quite literally means nothing to me in the grand scheme of life. It is a mere hurdle, not unlike others I've experienced in my past. It feels like something so much more now because there are other peoples lives and situations tied up in it. But I know I can't allow my life to be consumed by a test. A test. That's it.

All of this is something that I had to come to on my own. I had to get to the point where I wanted to take this test again. I think I want to try for this coming February, but I'm not 100% sure. So, I'm going to ask you to join me in this effort. Pray that I, and the others that are struggling with the same bar-passage issues that I am, can get some sort of clear direction for our lives. That God would show us exactly what we need to do, where to go, what to pursue to fulfill our little stories here on Earth.

Thank you to those who inquired, called, texted, and were otherwise concerned about me on Monday and the following days. Thank you for your condolences and well-wishes and prayers. I am so thankful that God has given me a peace about all this. I am still unsure and unclear about exactly what to do, but I do know He is faithful to bless us. And I have faith that one day He will bring me through this trial.



SO BC and I are sitting here watching Conan (or Coco, as he is apparently nicknamed by TBS) and he just had a professional base jumper on tonight, Jeb Corliss. No, I have no idea who he is either.

(The jump at the 2:17 mark was the one they played on the Conan show)

Do I agree with his extremism, causing all sorts of nonsense at the top of the Empire State Building? No...I mean maybe he could have done it in a tiny bit more civilized way.

Buuuut he had a very interesting perspective on base jumping when he was interview on Conan. After the video clip played, Conan said he threw up a little bit (yak) and I have to admit that it made my heart leap just watching it on tv. When Jeb was asked if he was afraid, he said yes, but that he "manipulates his fear."

What a fascinating concept.

He manipulates his fear.

He could either succumb to his fears when he jumps, or he can change his thinking.

Maybe one of these days I can change my thinking.


So silent!

Wow, this blog has been needin' some love! Not a lot has been going on, just working and trying not to panic.

I had my first panic attack last week, and I realized I've been absolutely stressed about finding out results. I didn't realize it, but I was. I've been told, in no uncertain terms, that I will be fired if I don't pass. Which is....whatever. I get it. I didn't think they'd give me a fourth try. But the fact that I will lose not only a good paycheck every month, but really good insurance for my whole family, is kinda terrifying. And where the heck will I find a job?

Its a scary thought.

In the meantime, I started working at the monogram shop again on Saturdays. Its been good to get a little extra money. BC got approved for his financial aid, and we got that money in last week too.

I've been reminded over and over again that God will take care of us. I've been trying to refocus my mind and my thinking to remember that He will not forsake us, and He will take care of us. Remember the lilies of the field, I try to remind myself. See how they spin. They are provided with food, water, sunlight. Even when I get freaked out, and Satan tries to make me think I'll never account to anything worthwhile in my life, I remember that God has a great plan for me, lawyer or not. I'll stay faithful despite the results. I've lived through it twice, I can live through it a third time if necessary.

SO--in the meantime, I've been cooking and baking some delicious things. Its been a good outlet for me, and BC is a willing participant! I've created a separate blog to share some yummy recipes for people to check out. Its called See.Try.Eat. So go check it out!


The after-math

Ahhhh, its done.


Y'all I have taken this test THREE TIMES.

That is bananas.

BC went down to Tampa with me on Sunday.

I really hate that place with every fiber of my being don't mind the trip.

**Let me interrupt right now and say I am watching Sweet Home Alabama on CMT. This show is SO DUMB**

Anyway, we stopped at our traditional Cracker Barrel for dinner, where the same woman with the ridiculous extreme comb-over rang up our bill. (I HATE THAT I HAVE BAR EXAM TRADITIONS)

We crashed at the hotel and hung out all day on Monday. I went through Florida Civil Procedure that day, one of my weakest subjects, and figured it'd probably help to have all that fresh on my brain.

Tuesday sucked. Florida testing all day. Essays in the morning, MC in the afternoon. The essays were contracts-ish, family law, and property-ish. Of course, on this side of it all I can think is OMG I TOTALLY FORGOT TO SAY ANYTHING I CAN'T BELIEVE I FORGOT XYZ I'M SUCH A TOTAL RETARD I'M GOING TO FAIL AGAIN. That afternoon was multiple choice, which was FL evidence, Fl civ&crim pro, and wills. WE GOT WILLS. I almost peed myself. The last two administrations it had been the first two plus partnerships and corporations. So I was way excited to see wills WITHOUT trusts.

That night, I got back and completely crashed. We went to the Whole Foods (LOOOOOVE) and got pizza and gelato. Another tradition. (DON'T WANT ANY MORE BAR EXAM TRADITIONS. SEND HALP.)

Once we got back to the hotel from dinner-ish, I started feeling like I had a sore throat.....and it only got worse from there.

I woke up Wednesday morning, and felt HORRIBLE. I woke BC up and told him I need cough drops STAT. He went and bought me some $400 Halls from the hotel mini-store (tiny over-estimate) and I got ready to leave.

Needless to say, I wasn't really jazzed about taking the MBE portion with a horrible sore throat. I was popping Halls like they were going out of style. I'm just hoping I didn't get too distracted during all that from being sick. We'll see.

I said this on Twitter, but y'all the worst part about taking the bar exam in Florida is that you have to take the bar exam with people who want to be attorneys in Florida. I can't handle the doucheyness. It makes me want to go on a face punching rampage. These people don't have fear. They have exhausting amount of snobbery and smugness. Its infuriating.

I knew some people who were taking this administration. One guy I interned with a couple summers ago and two girls from undergrad. One of the girls, let me make up a name here....hmmm....I'll call her...Schmether.

Schmether went to undergrad with me and was in one of the sororities when I rushed (I didn't rush immediately upon entering school, but we were in the same year in school). She was in one of the sororities that pref'd me all the way up until the end, like hardcore "we want you, you will be here, etc., etc." (which I HATE) and so I got all attached but didn't get a bid. Which is whatever, I loved the sorority I joined and made some great friends. So it all worked out, like they say it always does. But it always bothered me a bit that they did that. I found out later that certain group did that to a lot of girls, which just sucks. Don't do that, you know?

So, anyway, I randomly saw Schmether, which I didn't expect to do in a crowd of 4,000 people, but she was talking to people so I just stood nearby. I happened to be wearing a bid day shirt, not on purpose, it just happened to be on top when I was grabbing t-shirts when packing. It was hot pink. I was kinda hard to miss.

I could hear them talking, Schmether was essentially yelling about something related to how hard she studied and how awesome she is, and then all of a sudden she stops so I kind-of turn my head and see all of them out of the corner of my eye staring at me. So I keep turning around and say "oh HEY HOW ARE YOU!" In my super-excited-and-totally-fake-but-you-can't-tell-its-fake way, as is required of me as a Southerner. She looks at me and gives me this horrifically fake smile and says "oh hey. I'm fine." There was a further sentence exchanged about something about us almost being done and then she stopped talking and just stared at me. I took that as my cue to turn around and mind my own business.

People, don't be like that. Don't be a hateful B. I don't care who you are, where you went to school, whether you went Greek or not, what sport you played, who your family is, what law school you went to, what color your hair is (unless it is really gross and needs to be washed or something), just DON'T BE LIKE THAT. It always comes back tenfold. You can't treat people that way. You'll get smacked down in some fashion, I promise.

I ended up randomly finding the other girl I went to undergrad with and we chatted some Wednesday morning. I had hoped to keep conversation confined to the weather and how many disgusting TOMS shoes I saw everywhere, but alas, she kept keeping the conversation going back to how many activities she was involved in during law school and how many job opportunities she has had and how awesome her federal judicial clerkship was.

Why can't we just talk about the weather and disgusting TOMS shoes? ...sigh...



To all the sweet lil barzam takers who are finding my blog while scouring the web with searches like:

- status updates bar exam
- you won't fail the bar
- I want to fail the bar
- blog, fail the bar
- and someone who apparently got to me through facebook, which is kinda scary

I want to give you all a big hug. You're going to be fine. There's nothing that anyone can say to make you feel better. No one understands. (Except those of us who've had the trouble of doing this at least once.) My husband joked that people who take the bar exam get to sit in the treehouse while everyone else who has to take a professional level test stands on the ground. Our test is harder, scarier, and more ridiculous than all of them. He said those of us who have to take more than one bar exam get to sit on the top of the treehouse and throw rocks at everyone below us. That made me smile :)

Seriously, keep studying if you want, or don't if you need a break. Look over stuff tomorrow, or don't if your test starts Monday. Just get good sleep and a decent breakfast (those are more important than just about anything on test days) and shut out the crazies who want to talk about the exam.

Hang on until Wednesday/Thursday, and then go do whatever you've been waiting to do all summer. You deserve it.

Good luck to all those taking it!! Just keep breathing :) I'm saying a little prayer for us all!!

xo SJ



Everyone who knows me know that I l.o.v.e. Pioneer Woman and Tasty Kitchen. I'm still getting my cooking legs, so I haven't really put any recipes up on the website yet, but I an really enjoying experiementing.

I had a recent bad blueberry muffin experience, and I was feeling down. BC was sweet enough to say they tasted ok. But I know the truth.

Anyway, I wanted to share some really delicious recipes: one that is tried and true and one that is new and so good!

Italian Sausage Sauce (modified from italianfoodforever)

- 1 lb ground Italian Sausage, mild or spicy
- 2 cans of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled & minced
- 3 TB olive oil
- salt and pepper
- dash red pepper flakes
- 4 tsp dried basil

In a small saucepan, saute the italian sausage. When cooked, drain. In another large saucepan, saute the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add the garlic. Saute for a minute of two. Add in the sausage. Add in the tomato sauce, then red pepper flakes and basil. Bring up to a boil and then let simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Seriously, y'all this is the best pasta sauce I've ever had. I will never ever eat a jarred pasta sauce again.

Next up:

Squishy and Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from The County Cook)

- 1 stick butter, cold and cubed
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/8 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chocolate chips/chunks

Cream butter and sugars together. Add the egg and vanilla and beat together well. Add flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder into the mix. When all combined, throw in the chocolate and mix until chocolate is evenly mixed in. Scoop dough onto a cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls. Its best if you can bake the cookies on parchment paper. Cook for about 10-12 minutes at 375*. Cook for less or longer, depending on how gooey you like your cookies!

Sorry I don't have any pictures. I'll try to update and add some later.

Give these recipes a shot, you won't be disappointed!!!


Hard head

I got hit in the face by the dog. Of course, its my fault, but seriously, dogs have to have the hardest skulls on the planet. And they always want to headbutt you on some sensitive area that will totally leave a mark.

Luckily, nothing blue or purple yet. But I'm sorry to say that I should have learned my lesson the first time. My roommate's dog hit me in the face and gave me a black eye during 3L year. It hurt RUHL BAD. My eye like immediately turned purple.

I had fun making up stories for that one. Unfortunately it was above my eye, so it looked like I was just trying to rock purple eyeshadow on one eye. ('Cause that's normal.) And with people being as obsessed with how they look as Alabama ladies are, you'd think I'd get more questions. Regardless, the people that did ask, I started telling them my roommate did it. Stuff like "hey SJ, what happened to your eye?" *look over at roommate and start bawling* "I said I was sorry, but he just kept hitting me!"

Of course my roommate, the turd that he was, just laughed and played along.

This time BC said, "oh great, now everyone's going to think I hit you or something."

I said "don't worry honey, no one will believe that. I'm too mean."



Instant Latte!

So I meant to do this post a really long time ago because I had, like, taken pictures and, like, wanted to look all professional and cool.

But then it got messed up and I forgot. But now I remembered, so....you're welcome.

I discovered, thanks for the Food Network magazine, and super simple way to make a latte.

All you need is:
- fresh brewed coffee
- milk/half-and-half/cream, whatever you go with
- sugar/sweetener, if you use it
- whisk

1. Pour a little milk (or whatever you drink w/ your coffee) into a coffee cup. I used about 1/4 to 1/3 of the cup filled with milk.

2. Stick the cup into the microwave for 30-50 seconds, just enough to warm it up and not scald it. More or less depending on how much milk is in the cup.

3. Take the cup out of the microwave. Stick the whisk in the cup, into the milk. Put the whisk between your two palms and move them back and forth really fast (I don't have a picture of me doing this.) You'll start to see the milk get all frothy.


4. Pour in the coffee. It'll go right in and won't mess up the pretty frothiness on top of the cup! You can add any sugar or whatever at this point. If you whisked the milk for a long time, you won't have to worry about losing the fluff on top from the weight of the sugar/sweetener.

And voila! Instant latte. It works even better if you use milk with a higher fat content. I usually use skim, which gets you minimal fluffiness, but onetime I used half-and-half, and woah buddy, it looked amazing.

So, if you're poor like me, give this a try. It makes boring homemade coffee a little more exciting!


God wouldn't let you fail the bar exam

This was a distressing comment I read on a friends fb post the other day. She is taking the Tennessee bar exam for the first time at the end of the month, and hopefully for her, it wil be the only time. She made a status update about being stressed, and a friend of her commented that she needed to rest in the fact that God would no let her fail the bar.

I take some issue with that.

I love the Lord. I try to live my life as close to what the Bible says. Sometimes I fail, sometimes my faith is weak, and sometimes I don't pray like I should. But I know that God loves me, Jesus died for my sin, and I want to spend eternity in Heaven. 

I am not saying that to pat myself on the back. I'm saying that because I know, due to all those things, God has a plan for me. I have no idea what that plan is, but I'm living in it and trying my best to be patient as I travel down my little tiny sidewalk of life.

Now. God is not a genie in a magic lamp. He isn't Santa Claus. Praying is not like having 3 wishes or making a list one night and waking up to your "prizes" the next morning. But, for some reason, people have that idea. That if you are a "good enough" Christian, you will be "rewarded" with good things. 

So: am I not a good enough Christian because I didn't pass the bar exam?

Is this person implying that good Christians pass the bar exam and heathens don't?

As Amie so eloquently responded: how do we explain all the Jewish lawyers?

Now look, I understand this person was just doing their best to be super encouraging to my friend. I mean, I'm not dumb. I get it. For some reason, people feel the need to be over-the-top super duper encouraging to you while you are preparing. Which, I don't know about anyone else, that just made me hyper-aware of the fact I might fail.

So here's the deal. Following in Legally Fab's footsteps, I'll say it too: You might fail the bar exam.

Even bigger...


Its a terrifying thought. I know. I've lived it. TWICE.

It is a harrowing thought that you might fail.

But you know the MOST astounding thing? You won't die. You're life will continue. You'll wake up the next morning and continue to breathe. (Unless, I suppose, its just your time.)

I have to admit, I struggled with that. I struggled last September and I REALLY struggled this past May. Asking why I, a good little Christian girl, would be cursed with failing the bar exam? I mean, certainly God is bigger than a test and could make my brain know every single answer to every single question. So why wouldn't He?

Answer: I wasn't supposed to. That has been the single hardest thing to learn over this past year. I wasn't supposed to pass. Why? I don't know. Looking back, I can see how it forced me, completely and utterly FORCED me, to rely on Him. And you know, funny thing, He provided. I kept my job longer than any single human fail-er I've ever known. I had a government job and they kept me past two failings. How unheard of is that?! I've been allowed to leave my job, three times now, just leave all my responsibilities on my desk, to stay home and study. WHILE I cover my family in insurance. How crazy. 

Now, would life be easier if I was already sworn in, celebrating what would now be my first year in practice? Of course. But "what good is it for a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36). If life was one long cake walk, what would be the point? 

Look, here's the truth. You might fail. There is always that chance. Especially in Florida. You might fail more than once. I'm living proof that its a possibility. And even though you may feel like it will, your life won't end. You'll cry a lot, sit in dark rooms, stew over the fact your friends are getting sworn in and not you, and cry some more. But, ultimately, you'll get back up, keep working, and try again. 

That's the truth. 

So look, God might let you fail the bar exam. But remember, His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). Someone told me one time that our lives are like staring through a straw...we can only see this tiny hole in front of us, when there is a whole system working outside of us we don't even know or understand.

In a couple of weeks we all head to the big cities to take the test, for the first, second, third, etc times. If you are a believer, I urge you to allow God to work in your life right now. Don't rest in the fact that He will cause you to pass. Rest in the fact that He is working out an amazing plan in your life, and you're just along for the ride.


Words of wisdom from the Kaplan PMBR dude

At the end of my FL Crim Pro video, the professor told a little story. It went something like this:

There one was a judge named Kenesaw Mountain Landis up in Illinois. He was a very mean judge. Apparently he was so mean, he became the first commission of the MLB becuase they wanted a mean commissioner. Anyway, one day he was sentencing a guy to 10 years in prison (which, apparently, in that day was like a jail sentence) and the guy he was sentencing said "Judge, I'm old, I can't do ten years!!" to which the judge responded "do the best you can."

And with that the Kaplan guy said he says the same to us, "do the best you can."

Not going to lie, I kinda liked that story.


THE BEST Banana Bread

So, I have had bananas decaying on my counter for about a week (in a super cute bowl-thing we got at one of the wedding showers) and once they started down that path, I figured I'd save them for a rockin' banana bread recipe.

Of which I don't have.

I also, randomly, have a bucket full of walnuts on my counter because I decided I needed more Omega-3s in my life. And then I found out walnuts don't have ALL the Omega-3s you need for healthiness so I kinda slacked off on eating them. I then found Omega-3 supplements but for kids in a gummy version!! That was awesome until I discovered I had to eat like 6-8 a day for the adult amount and went through the bottle in like a week. LAME. ADULTS LIKE GUMMY VITAMINS TOO.

So, after much research, I settled on a recipe discovered from the Neelys of the Food Network. I have to say, I was a lil disappointed with Pioneer Woman and Tasty Kitchen. Nothing really jumped out. Perused a few cooking/baking blogs, less than impressed. Went back to the ol FN site and this one was 3rd or 4th on the list for top ratings. And I gotta say, those crazies weren't lying.

Momma Callie's Banana Nut Bread (as originally created by Pat & Gina Neely from the Food Network, http://bit.ly/ahvKUj)

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature, plus more for loaf pan*
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs**
  • 1/2 cup sour cream***
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans****

  • *I used a bundt pan, which worked WAY better, and only cooked for about 45 minutes. Some of the commenters complained that the batter spilled over while cooking in a regular loaf pan.
  • **I used 3 Eggbeaters Whites. Which was 9 Tablespoons. I have no idea what that is in cups.
  • ***I had just under 1/2 cup, and I used the reduced fat. I filled the rest of the 1/2 cup up with milk.
  • ****I used the delicious fresh chopped walnuts. I personally think walnuts go better in the banana bread, but whatevs.

  • Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and put a rack on the middle shelf. Butter and flour a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan.
    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
    In a separate small bowl, mash the bananas with a wooden spoon, leaving a bit of texture.
    In another large bowl, use a hand electric mixer or stand mixer to cream the 1/2 cup of butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Stir in the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add the dry ingredients and gently stir in pecans. Pour the batter into the pan and put on a sheet tray.
    Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes (this is if you are using the traditional loaf pan; with the bundt pan it was 45). Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Slice and serve with Honey Butter.
    *Cook's Note: To ripen bananas quickly, put them into a paper bag and fold down the top. The bananas should ripen in 2 days. (I thought this was a pretty good tip, bc sometimes you just want banana bread right away and it just ain't happnin')
    Honey Butter issue: I didn't originally mention anything about it, but the recipe does call to spread some homemade honey butter (1/2 cup butter, 2 TB honey) on the finished product. I think it tasted pretty good, BC thought the bread was just fine without it. So to each his own on that one. And seriously, if you put this batter in a bundt pan, with butter on the pan covered with flour, for 45 minutes on 350, it will come out so beautiful and squishy and delicious. Oh dear.


I need it to stay June for one more month...pleez?

I feel really beat down. This bar mess has really been a lesson in delayed gratification. Probably the hardest thing in the world has been to watch everyone around me scurry off into their professional lives while I'm stuck in my little pothole. I described that to someone the other day, that I feel like I've been stuck in a pothole for a year now, just grinding my wheels, going deeper. I am terrified of failing again. The thought of having to go to Tampa for a third time and sit in that giant room with 4,000 people makes me start shallow breathing and get all sweaty and teary.

I have to go back to work for a week starting Monday. I'm trying to prepare myself of the barrage of "how's studying going?" and "you're studying hard, aren't you?" questions and practicing my sweet "yes I sure am!" smile. Which is always inevitable followed up with "Oh, you'll get it this time, I know it." Which stabs me straight to the core because that's what I've heard for a year now. A WHOLE YEAR. Part of me wants to make a sign for net week to hang around my neck that reads "DON'T ask me about the bar."

Whatever, this wasn't that important to warrant a post, I guess. I just needed to throw it out there. Nobody really wants to hear that stuff. Too negative. Stay positive!, they say. Easy to say when you aren't in it. Either way, it needs to get out of my head.

Say a little prayer, I feel like I'm losing my mind and its not even July yet.


Not a fun one today.

Things are not summery here at the moment. But I am still being judgy.

Just as a quick update, I am studying, trying to catch up from being behind when my family was here. it is really hard to go not only hardcore studying, but extra hardcore, something of which I never had to begin with EVER. I cried last night and this morning. Everyone here is stressed out. I'm sure the dog can sense it. I can't hardly stand it anymore.

The funeral was yesterday. Me, BC, and my Dad went. We were running late, of course, thanks to me. I swear I can get up a thousand hours early, stay up all night, and will still be running behind. Anyway, we straight up got pulled over by a state trooper. And a big scary one in an unmarked car. Ya'll we were in the middle of NOWHERE. Even worse, we got backwards pulled over. Like, he was in front of us, turned on his lights, and waived us ahead. I wasn't driving, my Dad was, but we were in my car. Of course, I feel terrible, bc we wouldn't be running late if it wasn't for me. I offered to pay as much of the ticket that I could, since it was my fault. Luckily, we were all dressed up and my Dad told the guy we were trying to get to his stepfathers funeral in the town literally 5-ish minutes away. He seemed unimpressed, walked to his car, and came back with a stack of papers. Thankfully, he gave us a warning! There were lots of prayers of thanksgiving after that. In good state trooper fashion, we were going, according to him, 60 in a 45. But in the real world, we were actually going 45ish, considering we were coming around a curve on the tiniest back-road ever. We all know how that goes.

On to the funeral--we got there like 1 minute late, right as they were walking out the family (whoops). Apparently I have like 4 step-cousins I know nothing about. Well, maybe more than that because my step-grandfathers kids have all been divorced and remarried, so I guess it runs in the family? I honestly have no idea if my Dad spoke to his step-siblings yesterday. It was a very odd thing to experience. Clearly, we were there for my grandmother. And she wasn't even there. It would have been too emotional (and it was way hot outside) for her to suffer through. Plus, she probably wouldn't understand with the Alzheimer's and Xanax. So maybe we were there more for my Dad's sisters. I don't know. Either way, it was nice to see everyone again. Even if under crappy circumstances.

I didn't cry. Well, I teared up during the playing of Taps, but who doesn't. I don't think my Dad was upset. The whole time at the service they kept talking about what a "family man" he was, how caring and compassionate he was, how much he loved his family, etc. I just sat there thinking we might have showed up to the wrong funeral. Or maybe the preacher brought the wrong notes. Or maybe the old guy the preacher said he talked to wasn't my step-grandfather, but someone else. Maybe he was talking to my step-grandfathers actual kids and grandkids 'cause he sure wasn't talking to us. Either way, it was odd.

We left there and went to the burial. Apparently my step-grandfather was in the Navy, which I never knew, so they played Taps and did the folding of the flag, which was really neat to see. I've always wondered how they did that so nicely.  Also, Taps was played from a little boombox inside the bugle. They hardly ever actually play it anymore because no one knows how to the play the bugle! Anybody know that? It was definitely a first for me. After that the little church had a luncheon for us, put on by the ladies' bereavement group volunteers. The food was crazy delicious (chicken fingers, tons of peas and butter beans, squash casserole, yeast rolls, ham, YUM). My grandmother was there and we spent some time with her. She is so old and feeble. My anger towards her is long gone. Now I just have warm squishies in my heart. My Dad said when we left, she asked him to stay with her. Apparently she talks a lot about my Dad. I kinda wonder if she has any regrets? I don't know...

One of my grandmothers sisters was there with her husband. We got caught up on her grandson Brian, my second-ish cousin?? I have no idea how to calculate that stuff. Anyway, he apparently somehow came down with Lupus at age 29. Brian had some joint pain, and that was it, before the disease completely attacked him out of nowhere. After spending almost a year in the hospital in various forms, he is now blind and has little to no short term memory. He has lesions on his brain that make him have constant noise in his head. HIs second child was born right before everything happened and he has no memory of this child at all. He doesn't remember what anyone looks like. For a long time he had a hard time remembering he was married and had one child, much less a second. His wife took on a job as a LPN to carry them with insurance and to better care for him. He was so incredibly sick, and still is, and I can't imagine what their lives are like now.

So as I sit here, trying to drag myself through this bar junk, I am reminded of not only how precious life it, but how it can change in an instant. I am thankful for a functioning (although flabby) body, that does have short-term memory (although it feels like sometimes I don't). I am thankful for a husband who works hard and loves me and doesn't cheat on me or do things to hurt our family. I am thankful for a Dad who showed me how to forgive, even when something deeply effects you at difficult points in your life. I am thankful for a sweet puppy who is giving me an incredible primer in patience. And, although I know I probably don't portray it very well, I am eternally thankful for a God who has blessed me beyond measure with this life and forgiven me every step of the way.


On Death and Dying

There are other things I wanted to talk about this morning. Actually I hadn't really planned on blogging at all, now that studying is back in full force, I've been finding I don't always have the time I need to sit down and spill my guts.

But this one warranted such a spillage. I need to get something off my chest.

My step-grandfather died on Sunday. Fathers Day. Ech. He isn't my "grandfather." We aren't blood related. And honestly, I wasn't even that close to him. He was married to my grandmother, my Dad's mom, my Meme. That's about as deep as the connection goes.

Family history always tends to be sordid, but here's the short of the deal. GrandDaddy and Meme got divorced when my Dad was about 13 years old. TERRIFIC age for your parents to get divorced. Luckily my Dad managed to come out unscathed and is amazing to my Mom and me. Anyway, his sisters were quite a bit younger, so they went off with Meme to grow up, while my Dad stayed with GrandDaddy.

It wasn't amicable. Not in the least. Meme had been running around on GrandDaddy, specifically with the man who ended up being my step-grandfather. It started when GrandDaddy went off to war, and then continued upon his return. She would tell him she was going to work, or to spend time with friends. NOPE. Here's how whacked it got--once he found out she was cheating on him, he would go find her, and bring her home and tell her he forgave her! Over and over! And she kept doing it. My Dad saw it all and heard it all.

Can I just tell you that when I found out the truth about all this I was crushed? I mean, CRUSHED. My GrandDaddy is seriously, one of the sweetest, kindest, easy-going people on the whole entire planet. He was so generous with all his kids and grandkids and I never once heard him say a harsh word. I was mad. I was really angry at Meme. Now, of course, by the time I found out, she was old. I mean, real old. Not Alzheimers old at that point, but old enough that my anger did nothing but hurt me. But it changed my opinion of my step-grandfather. I always treated him with respect, and I supposed I loved him when I was little. But I stopped liking him from there on out. My Dad of course, never really liked him. I mean, how could he? But I have to say, I NEVER EVER knew that. My Dad always treated him with the utmost respect, and I never knew anything was out of the ordinary until he told me the truth about the divorce probably 5-6 years ago.

And that's where we are now. He died. I was asked to be a pallbearer at his funeral (all the grandkids were). I said no. Mostly because when I was asked he wasn't dead and I didn't know when he was going to die and I'm pretty busy with bar stuff. I mean, what if he held out until July 27th?? That sounds harsh, yes, but it was the truth.

I've always been weird with death. When I hear someone died, I'm saddened, but I never get upset until I actually see them dead. Is that weird? I don't know. For some reason just saying it has never really done much for me before I see them. When my Dad told me he died, I said oh, ok. And I know that a lot of it has to do with how I feel towards the whole situation.

What got this going is a cousin's (she is the daughter of my Dad's youngest sister) recent status on fb about her "grandfather" passing. That really upset me. I wanted to call her up and say: this man is NOT our grandfather! Do you have any idea what he did to our family? Do you have any idea what our Meme did to our family with him? Do you have any clue that this man cheated on his own wife with OUR Meme? Do you not recall how his kids were always superior to us? How our parents and all of us were never good enough to warrant a "congratulations" over his own biological kids/grandkids? Have you never heard your own mother tell stories of how growing up in his home was a nightmare? He is NOT our grandfather.

And now I'm conflicted. This makes me really sad. I have so much ill will for this man, inside my own self, that he probably never had a clue about. I'm so mad about something that happened in the past, that its clouded how I feel right now. The funeral is tomorrow and I told my Dad I'd go to the funeral with him, I think BC is coming too. Honestly, I think I'm more sad about my lack of forgiveness than his actual passing. GrandDaddy was able to forgive Meme and my step-grandfather for what they did. My Dad was able to forgive. I should too.

Tomorrow is going to be weird. I know it. I have a lot of praying and soul searching to do about this. I guess all I can say is, when it comes to family, you get over it and move on. Either keep people in your life or cut them out, but don't harbor anything against them. It only affects you and makes you sad in the end. I think all this has taught me a lot, one of the most long and drawn-out lessons I've ever had to learn.  Love, don't hate.


More food savings!

I did some more scavenging last week, and grabbed all my coupons and headed to the Publix for the best deals. I ended up snagging more stuff than I intended, mostly because I found out more stuff was on sale than I had coupons for, and I couldn't pass it up! I ended up spending $54.43 and saved $38.30! I have to say, I feel like I'm getting better!

Here's a quick glimpse at my loot:

I learned some things about Extreme Couponing in the past couple of days (which, in hindsight, I suppose I just should have assumed) that makes me think the show isn't the most honest thing out there. Which, I mean, what reality show really is? I saw an expose on one of the ladies they featured, that she had incorrectly used coupons in the store for things she didn't actually buy (i.e. a lotion coupon for body wash). Plus, I heard that most stores will not allow you to actually walk out with very many items for free. Most stores only allow you to get up to 15 items for free when you are buying them with coupons (not in-store BOGO deals). So....a little misleading. PLUS, I mean you have to have milk and fruits and veggies! The people on those shows never buy that stuff. You can't live off of taco sauce and mushrooms for the rest of your life.

I know in the picture, it doesn't seem like a lot, but I am definitely proud of myself!! BC says this is the equivalent of me in camo, squatting down and holding up my dead deer by the horns.


Pup Pup

The puppy barfed in my car last night. She was just hanging out in the backseat while we drove around to get our free doughnuts for Doughnut Day. When she had enough, she barfed. A LOT. I will spare you the description of what it looked like and smelled like.

I don't not know how to make her not be carsick. Except maybe just more experience in the car, for short trips. I also do not know how to clean it up. I soaked up as much as I could with paper towels, wiped it down with a wet washcloth, and sprinkled a ton of baking soda all over it and let it sit. That's what the interwebz told me to do. If anybody has a better suggestion, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

Either way, here she is in all her cuteness:


Memorial weekend and a deeeelicious dinner

Memorial weekend was great. Saturday I got up at the a-crack of dawn to help my mom with a garage sale. Sunday was church and loooots of napping. Monday we went to a near-by beach town to meet a friend and her new bf and go OUTLET SHOPPING!! WOOHOO!! I love to outlet shop. Unfortunately it was like a jillion degrees and there were like a million people there. Pretty miserable. Plus, right when we walked out of the GAP outlet, a little Asian baby threw up right as we walked past. It was disgusting.

So, going back to work this morning sucked, because I got way too used to sleeping after the 3 day weekend. I wanted to make something delicious and italian for dinner, so I headed over to the trusty Tasty Kitchen site, and found an interesting recipe for Quick & Easy Zesty Sausage Pasta. I improvised and made half the recipe and put the can of diced tomatoes in the chopper to make a thinner sauce. 

I don't have a picture. Lame, I know. But it was really good! And pretty healthy, actually. Had to share. Ok. The end.


Moderate Couponing

I have previously stated my newfound desire to begin couponing. And not just a little bit, but a lot. Enough so that I end up saving big bucks. I know it will be a long time before I turn my garage into an apocolyptal refuge where we can outlast a zombie attack, but I know its good to make some sort of progress.

So, I clipped and clipped and clipped on Sunday afternoon, and printed and printed and printed on Monday. Tuesday I went to Publix because the new ad comes out on Wednesday. Publix does not double coupon amounts like some stores, and really no stores do that in my town. So, I took advantage of their B1G1 deals with the few coupons I had.

This is how I did:

Its not that easy to make out because there are tons of items stacked on top of one another. But for the total, I got $113.19 worth of stuff for $70.38! That is $42.81 worth of savings, for those without a calculator. Not great, like the people that get $5000000 worth of stuff for $1.25, but still pretty good savings nonetheless for my first couponing trip!


Coupons and McGriddles

I watched Extreme Couponing for the first time, all the way through, about a week ago. While I think those women are ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS ( I mean, what housewife really needs 400 cases of Powerade or 90 bottles of hot sauce) I can see how being a diligent couponer in general would be very helpful. So, I've decided to take up the hobby. I am realizing that It will probably take a couple months of collecting coupons before we actually will see some real good deals, and I don't expect to get $200 dollars in groceries for .37 anytime soon, but it doesn't hurt to at least knock a couple bucks off the grand total!

Yesterday marked the BIG 6 for me and BC!! I can't believe how the time has flown. While this has possibly been the suckiest 6 months of my life career-wise, it has been the best six months of my life, period. BC told me this morning he realizes his purpose in life right now definitely involves me and keeping me sane. I totally have to agree. :)

So, since I worked yesterday and didn't get to do anything fun for breakfast, I decided to make him something fun this morning. Up on the menu: sausage McGriddles. His fave.

I researched some yesterday, and found that people had some success in freezing syrup and then breaking it in little pieces. McDonalds has those fun little bits of maple goodness in their sandwiches, so that's the most important thing to recreate.

So here's my picture by picture attempt, but the stupid flash was on for most of them. Boo.

Mmmm, mmmm the pancake batter. I tried to make ours a little healthier with the HeartSmart Bisquik, EggBeaters egg whites, and skim milk.

Get yo skillet ready!

Since the maple syrup didn't freeze enough to break up, I poured it right into the batter. Now, since this is the step I ended up having to take, at this point I should have used maple extract or something. Next time I'll definitely stick the syrup in the freezer for at least overnight, if not longer.

Here is the beginning of the pancakes...

 39,000 pancakes later....

 Love watching the lil bubbles come up :)

 Then,  I cooked up the turkey sausage. I went with turkey to keep with the healthy theme. As you can see, the turkey patties were super tiny, so I made the pancakes super tiny too. Of course, this makes tiny skinny pancakes, so when we made the sandwiches, I put two on top and two on bottom.

Once I could see the light at the end of the pancake tunnel, I started with the eggs. Of course, the eggs were super thin as well, so flipping them was a huge challenge.

The finished product! I gotta say, all in all, not too bad. Of course, they don't taste like the real thing, but the pancakes were sweet, the sausage and egg were savory, and the cheese was perfectly melted :)
BC gave them a thumbs up!

Also, please notice the time on the clock says 9:54. I went into the kitchen at 8:20. YEP. Mcdonald's is about 5 minutes away.



I've been missing for a good...mmm...few months? Either way, for SOME reason, I still have people visiting my blog. So I figured I shouldn't be MIA forever.

If the cat wasn't the WHOLE way out of the bag, here it is: I failed the bar exam for the second time. Surprisingly, I wasn't as devastated this time. I mean, don't get me wrong, I still balled my eyes out. But this time around, I had relied so very much more on the Lord, praying day in and day out I would pass. Which, I understand sounds selfish. But truly, that's not where my heart was. Its a very long story, and perhaps one day I'll get in to it. Suffice to say, I had grown as a child of God, and as an adult, quite a bit while I was waiting for my results. When I found out a couple days before my results came out that my blog/twitter friend Legally Fabulous didn't pass on her second time, I broke down and sobbed. I sobbed as only a person who has mutually felt that pain could cry. I have never met LF, and might never do so, but when you go through a rare experience that someone else has gone through, you still feel a connection to them through that. I cried for her, what she must be feeling, how hopeless it must feel to read the same results. I cried for me, the fear I had that the same might happen to me, the hopelessness I was struggling with, how I desired so badly to be licensed and make a difference and make my family feel more secure. Ultimately, I also didn't pass.

The short of it is that I got to keep my job. My boss told me later he was breaking the office rule by keeping me. I was eternally grateful. I am making about half of what I could as a licensed attorney at my office, and supporting myself, my husband who is in school, and now a little puppy who eats way too much. I was, and still am, very thankful to still have an income.

I got the scary call to meet with the big boss last week. I was told they were putting me out on leave without pay starting in June. That means no paycheck for two months. No money coming in. Zippo. The plus side, my job is being held for me, and August 1 I'll pick it right back up. Plus, I get time off to study for bar exam attempt #3. Down side: bills, bills, bills. While paying bills is important, passing this test is even more so.

Well that was depressing. In other news, we got a puppy! BC and I are now proud parents of sweet lil Coco. She is precious and sweet and we love her so much! But she has not gotten it though her lil tiny brain to not pee on the carpet. It is stressful. We found her at a local no-kill animal shelter, and she seriously stole our hearts immediately. She'll be 4 months old on the 23rd!

In the last picture she is wearing her Def Leppard t-shirt. She wears clothes like its nbd and I love it, of course. We've also had her buzzed for the summer since then, so she looks much different! I'll have to post some updated pictures.

Also, the 20th marks our 6 month wedding anniversary! Time flies so fast! We got out wedding video today, I cried when I watched it. I had so much fun that day, I would totally do it all over again :)

That's it for now. Bar review starts AGAIN tomorrow. This seriously better be it. I can't hardly take it anymore.


Its about that time again...

...were we break out the running shoes and dig deep for some motivation to jump back on the skinny train. Or the not-as-fat-as-I-am-now-that-will-maybe-one-day-be-skinny-before-I-die train. I did this to myself back in July when I studied for the bar exam, just let myself go and gained a ton of weight. Literally, like a ton. I now weigh over 2000 pounds.

Anyway, things are getting weird. LIke, my wedding ring isn't fitting so good. And shoes are hurting my feet again. And I had to move back up to my fat pants size. And, since ya gotta start sometime, Monday is that time. I've decided to do the couch to 5K program, because I used to like to run and now I haven't run in, geez, probably 6 months?

BC and I went and bought some awesome new shoes. After lots of research and input from Twittery friends, I settled on these babies:
These are my shiny new Vibram FiveFingers Bikilas. They are pretty much awesome, and I love wearing them. Its like walking barefoot. I can already tell I have a bad walking gait, because my heels hurt when I take them off. 
This is the pair BC selected:
His are almost the same type as mine, the Men's Bikila LS. We've had fun wearing them around, people definitely have given some weird looks. I wore mine to the range yesterday and someone pointed them out.

Anyway, its time to make that change again. I can't keep spiraling down my sad McDonalds existence. I look at my wedding pictures and get sad. 

So, tomorrow it begins!!