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!!


Second day and so forth

I didn't catch up on the second day of the Bar like I should have, but here it is quickly...

The second day SUUUUUCKED. The MBE was so awful. The morning I barely finished. The afternoon I finished about 40 minutes early and just totally left. I don't go back and go over answers, unless it was just one I completely left blank. I have a bad habit of changing answers and missing them.

I got stuck on the bus back to the hotel with a huge douchebag. One of those that knows everything, can't be told anything, etc. When we got back to the hotel (my Dad had already loaded up the car and was ready to go), I was telling my Dad how annoying the guy was and how I was about to hurl myself from the bus if we didn't get back. Annnnnd, the guy was totally right behind us the whole time. I had to laugh :)

Anyways, I was SOOOO glad to get back home. No offense Tampa, but you suck because of what you mean to me. The end.

I was actually super excited to get back to work. I got to move into a new office WITH A WINDOW which is totally awesome! I don't work in a cave anymore!!!! yayyyyyyyy

Plus, the secretaries got me a welcome back gift!! PW's cookbook!!! SOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!

In other news, we FINALLY got our first gun!! It is the Sig Sauer P238 that BC wanted, because nobody in the state of Florida or the internet can seem to keep the one I want in stock. So, here is our new addition:

We went to the range today to break in the gun, and we went through 2 boxes of ammo in no time!! The gun shoots so smooth, hardly any recoil, and is really easy to load and clean. I love it! And I can't wait to get mine!!


Day one.

Well, day one is down. I'm hoping that this is my very LAST day one ever. Because that would be awesome.

Y'all I so wish I had my cell phone or a camera with me today. I cannot even describe the nonsense.

In July there were close to 4K people that took the FL bar. Today? Close to 1400. WEAK. I actually met a ton of people today who were retaking the test. That was reassuring. Made me not feel like a total loser.

I did discover there are two types of people that take the February bar.

1. The Fail-ers. These aren't bad people. I am one. It simply means July sucked and we're giving it another try. No big. Overall I liked these people. The ones I talked to today were pretty chill, and we're all just calm and ready to get it over with. It was nice.

2. The gunner/overachievers. Good grief. I could not even deal with these people today. They were overachievers in law school, and they are straight-up overachievers for the bar. There were a shocking amount of old people taking the bar. I was surprised. Of course, those were overwhelmingly the gunners in law school, and you better believe they are still gunners. They were all the time asking questions, trying to get more pencils, running to the ExamSoft people, carrying bags full of medicine, etc. It was exhausting just to look at them.

Also: I got to meet a blog/twitter friend today, Jamie! It was so nice to meet someone that I've commiserated with regarding bar junk, and to say hello in person! I've decided when BC and I become thousandaires (because that's prob all we'll ever be) I want to visit and meet all my bloggy/twittery friends.


Self-Defense weapon review

Before I get started, I have to mention that, in my haste to de-friend the girl in the previous post, she messaged me again offering only prayers because she was retaking her state's bar exam. Annnnd, I felt like a total douche. So I apologized, as was completely required and necessary, asked forgiveness for being so hasty, explained my reasons, and we are friends again. Lesson: get an outsider's perspective. For the record, BC was right about the whole thing.

SO!! BC and I are currently saving up for our gun purchases. In the meantime, we are collecting our other weapon essentials. We have learned that in addition to conceal carrying a gun, you need other back-up, in case an attacker tries to take your gun from you. This may seem like overkill, but we watched a YouTube video by a female NRA trainer who discussed going to a defense class and having the "attacker" go for her gun, get it away from her, pin her to the ground, and point it at her head. It was then she realized she needed some back-up. And I have to agree.

Thanks to Amazon and their awesome 2-day prime shipping, we now are the owners of our very own:

Ka-Bar TDI knives

Kimber Pepperblaster pepper sprays

In Florida, you have to have your concealed carry permit for the knives, as they can potentially be lethal. No permit necessary for the pepper spray, because its non-lethal (DUH).

I have to say, I like the feel of the knife. It only has a 2" blade, and the blade runs the whole length of the knife, so its very sturdy. When you pull the knife out of the holster, it is completely ready to use, so no pulling or tugging like a normal pocket knife. Plus, my hand fits perfectly around the grip, and leaves no room that either (1) my hand isn't covering and (2) isn't crazy sharp. I also like how I could grab it with either hand, and depending on how you grab it, you could have it ready to stick someone coming up behind you.

The Pepperblaster is a new design from Kimber, the other one was just more rectangle-shaped. This one is very light to carry, a little bigger than my iPhone, and probably twice as thick. Easy to stick in a pocket or whatever though.The little white piece you see in the picture is the safety. It swings from side to side, but stays pretty sturdy in the middle. The trigger has a 6-pound pull, so it won't just go off in your purse. The best part, I think, is that it is a gel, and each shot (only 2 per blaster) comes flying out at 90 mph, so no spray-back in your face if its windy. I watched a YouTube video using the old model, and it really does kinda knock someone back. It shoots red dye, so you can see immediately if someone is hit. Its made of, essentially, oil and crazy intense cayenne pepper. And it has sights like a real gun! If nothing else, using this Pepperblaster you enough time to run away, or go for another weapon and line up your sights.

I really hope everyone out there carries something for their safety, even if its just one of those $5 pepper sprays that looks like a fountain pen. Something! Crazy people gonna be crazy, so make sure you are prepared!

I think we are looking at making some gun purchases post-bar exam, so I'll keep y'all posted with what we end up getting!


There is probably a thin line between normal and crazy

I thought I was doing well considering I'm about to go through the suckiest thing known to mankind (besides a visit to the gyno) for a second time. Until about 5 minutes ago.

This afternoon I received an AMAZING care package from my law school bff. She sent me 4 big backs of cookies and and Peeps. Pink ones for me, and blue ones for BC. It was amazing and made me so happy! She is seriously super smart and such a good friend.

Well, on fb, I updated my status to give her a shout-out saying just that she sent me an amazing care package. That's it. Nobody really knows that I didn't pass the bar from school except my law school bff and another new law school friend who discovered my site during all my wedding rants. Trust me, there were PUH-LENTY of people who texted me wanting to know if I passed. Frankly, I mean, HELLO, if I didn't update my status the day results came out saying "WOOOHOOOOOOO I'M A LAWYER" then, newsflash geniouses, I didn't pass. Plus, since people didn't know for sure, they started hunting down my friend, pressuring her for info! I mean, give it UP! Good grief!

Anyway, so after I put up that status, a girl from law school sent me a message. Yeah, we're still friends on facebook. No, I haven't spoken to her in probably a year, including actual time we were in law school. We weren't close. We weren't buds. Mere acquaintances.

Anyway, this girl send me this message, and I quote:

"Hey girl! I hope all is well. Your wedding pictures are amazing! Congrats. Just out of curiosity, are you studying for the FL bar again?"

Are you f-ing kidding me? I mean, really? What is wrong with you dummy? Why would you ever ask someone that? I was soooooo pissed. I'm ready to defriend her, for real. I would never EVER ask someone that. EVER. A care package could be any number of reasons. I could be sick with the flu. I could be taking another state's bar exam. I could be moving into a new home. I could be preg. See? Any number. (Which, I'm not preg, for the record.)

Ughhhhhhhh I'm so annoyed. Keep your stupid "curiosity" to yourself. We weren't friends before, we CERTAINLY aren't now.



Red Velvet Cheesecake

I spend a TON of time griping and being whistful/emotional/mopey on this blog. Time for some FOOD.

BC and I have this things about red velvet foods being spun throughout our relationship. There is a BALLIN bakery in his hometown that makes amazing red velvet cupcakes. Every time he would come visit me at law school, he would bring them. When I would go visit, we would make a stop. Our wedding cake was half red velvet. And, BC being the fantastic hubs that he is, had some of those delish red velvet cupcakes shipped directly to the house as part of my Valentine's present. The box still smelled like the bakery. It was ahhhhhmazing.

So, thanks to it being Valentine's Day and all, I decided we needed red velvet something. I certainly was not going to try to one-up the bakery cupcakes or our wedding cake because, I mean, hello, I'm not dumb. I did, however, stumble across this little beauty of a recipe on the McCormick website of all places:

Red Velvet Cheesecake


2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened (definitely used the full fat cream cheese on this one. I'm not sure cheesecakes turn out the same if you don't.....wasn't going to risk it!)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs (large)
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips I had on hand, just melted in the microwave. I'm pretty sure you can use whatever, but I would think that semi-sweet or dark chocolate would work the best here.)
1 tablespoon red food coloring (I used food color gel I had leftover from Christmas cookie decorating. I used pretty much the whole bottle to make the deep red color. Plus, I heard that gel food coloring makes deeper/more vibrant color in food.)
1 prepared chocolate crumb crust, 6 ounces (I wasn't really aware they had these in the store, but Oreo makes an Oreo crust! Its really dark, almost black in color, and so cool looking!)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended.
2. Measure 1 cup batter into medium bowl. Stir in melted chocolate and food color. Pour into crust. Top with remaining (plain) cheesecake batter.
3. Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack.
4. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

The picture from the website is very fancy:

Our slice looked more like this:

I must say, I am very impressed with myself. I think I did a fantastic job on this one (very surprised). And BC heartily approved. It tastes really awesome and that bottom red layer really makes it look cool. 

Happy Valentine's Day to all! Go eat something red today.


lessons in envy

I don't usually just straight up covet what other people have. Or at least I don't think I do. Yeah, I mean, if I see someone driving past me in my dream car, or pulling into what looks similar to my dream home, I tend to go, "dang that's nice, I want one!"...and then its over. I don't sit and stew and get mad that that person has what I want. Its just whatever.

Last night, one of our ministers gave the mid-week devotional on Envy. Of course, I sit down and I'm like, pshhhhhh please. Check this one off the list, I'm good. Until he started listing things. Somewhere on down the list was being envious of people for what they've done or what they've went for. Looking at people who put everything on the line and "did it." And it hit me---that's me.

Lately (and I'm ABSOLUTELY SURE it has to do with the bar exam. AGAIN.) I've really struggled with being jealous of where other people are in their lives. Of course, jealous of people who passed the bar exam ON THEIR FIRST try and are sailing right into their fancy new careers. Jealous of people who busted their A's in law school and managed to score an associate position making $20K more than me (which I may or may not have for much longer, depending on how these results turn out). But it doesn't stop at law-related things. I'm jealous of BC for going back to school, pushing himself in subjects he doesn't feel comfortable in to achieve the degree he wants--math, science, physics. I should be doing that. That should have been what I did. I was on that track in high school. I was taking all those classes...all the top maths and sciences, AP everything my senior year. What happened to me? Well big shocker, I was too dang lazy after I graduated to keep trying. And I was scared. Scared that I would fail, so I decided to not try. I picked a major guaranteed to let me graduate college a year early because all it required was some core classes and a ton of electives. What did I fill those elective spots with? All the AP math and science classes I had worked so hard in. Simply went to fill elective credit.

Sometimes I feel like the last seven years of my education have been a waste. Sometimes I sit and do BC's math problems for him because I miss it. PEOPLE: I DO MY HUSBAND'S MATH HOMEWORK.

Then I get jealous of those women who get to stay home with their husbands and babies, keep the house, do fun DIY projects they showcase on their blogs, have a lil garden, I don't know, whatever they do. Good grief, I used to not be able to stand those women. I thought they were lazy and boring. But now....I get it. I understand why they made that decision--raising a family is the most important job you could ever have. And I want that. But I feel like because of the choices I've made and the educational/occupational position I've put myself in, who knows when that will happen. I mean, if I would have stuck with it after high school, I would be sitting here, scared to death, a week and a half before the bar exam. Again.

The hardest thing in that lesson was the idea that whats making me so upset is me. BC and I talked about it afterwards...he said there are, first, a ton of good things that came out of my choices. Mainly, him :) If I wouldn't have gone to law school, I wouldn't have met the people I needed to, so that I could ultimately meet him. Clearly, for that reason alone, I would do it all over again. I guess my problem is, I can't help but pine away after what I think my life would have been like. BC then asked me why don't I just do what I want to do now? Well, I feel like its too alte for that. If we ever want to have a family, if we ever want to be financially stable, I can't just go backwards. Its already done.

Don't get me wrong, I get a TON of validation and self-worth from my job, I really like it. I guess I feel like something is missing. Regardless, I can't be like the people in the Bible (James 4:1-2) who quarrel and fight because of their jealousy of others. I want what other people have, and I don't have it because I don't ask God for the one thing I need more than anything: CONTENTMENT. I'm here in this place for a reason. I don't know what's going to happen in five minutes, let alone two weeks, two months, or two years. So I keep plugging along....and praying for contentment.



Ya'll I am SO excited to get our guns!! BC has been watching YouTube videos allll theeee timeeeee to see reviews on guns and holsters. We also watched a bunch on gun store etiquette. Oh yes, there is such a thing. Last week we went to the local range/gun shop and checked out a bunch of stuff and got info about getting a membership. I pretty much did everything wrong while we were there in terms of gun handeling, including pointing the gun and various people (UNINTENTIONALLY) and swinging it around, setting the guns down way too hard on the glass counters, and causing a magazine to come flying out of one gun and come clamoring down against the glass show cabinets. I decided I did not want to be a moron when it comes to gun knowledge, so I went to lernin'. FL gun laws are awesome, and I plan on carrying mine everywhere, concealed of course, and everywhere that's statutorily allowed, BLAH BLAH BLAH.

I feel the urge, now that I have learned some stuff, to share my opinion on other peoples opinions about guns. I am not  crazy shot-gun toting redneck. My husband and I plan on carrying guns for our own protection, and so we do not become victims. I am not so naive to think that crazy people will one day magically stop being crazy. Plus, I come across TONS of people everyday who hate me because of the line of work I'm in. I have many days, like today actually, where I look defendants in the face and tell them it is not humanly possible for me to care less about what they have to say to me. (Its so funny, too--everyone I work with always laugh because they know I'm not hateful SJ, its totally a show. I just like being mean for no reason :) )

Bottom line: don't be scared of guns. I was. And I still am a tiny bit. But I don't want to be. BC found a YouTube video made from a real 911 call--a girl was being stalked and the stalker broke into her house while she was on the phone with 911. It will definitely make you rethink your security measures!



Yesterday a friend came up to me at church yesterday and told me she read my blog and that she thought I had guts for being so blunt. The very first thing I thought of was---crap, I thought I was invisible. What did I say?! After talking, I realized she was referring to the wedding stuff I typed. I thought more about it later, talked about it to BC and realized, that yeah, while I had been honest, I had been super harsh, and it certainly isn't my intention to hurt anyones feelings or make someone think less of someone else because of what I have said. Certainly, I can't put up a Bible verse and then smack talk someone who I claim to be a good friend. What kind of person does that make me? A complete hypocrite. So, since I have completely calmed down after that weekend, I went back and revamped some of my entries regarding things I had said. The information I changed isn't a lie, its just a lot nicer and more like something I would say after checking my attitude. So, friend, if you read my blog again, thank you for helping me realize I was being a mean girl, and that was uncalled for.


getting closer. AGAIN.

For those that are regular readers, or even brief checker-outers, you know I failed the FL bar exam in July. I was crushed, mortified, and my life ended. BC and I were in North Carolina at the time, visiting his side of the family, having my first wedding shower, and attending the Lady Gaga concert (tickets for my birthday because he's the best husband on the planet). The day we went home was the day he told me the news. I finally stopped crying once we got to Georgia.

Now I'm giving it try #2. Only because I was forced to really. And because I have no idea what I would do otherwise. Seriously, I'm not going to anymore school, no one wants to hire a front-desk receptionist with a law degree, and I would rather stab myself in the eyeballs than teach (which my mother thinks is my next stop if I don't pass the bar this time).

So, because BC is still in school, I've been working and studying. My bosses have graciously allowed me to take UNPAID vacation as study days from work. So....let's all hope my paycheck next month is more than $100. Ultimately I am grateful for the time off though, it gives me more time to focus and accomplish stuff.

I broke down again last night. I don't know why I'm telling the universe this, I guess I just needed to say it out loud and let it go. Then I think I had a mini panic attack. I woke up feeling super stressed out, and heart racing. I didn't sleep well.

I keep getting emails from the FL bar review folks. "Hey, this is ABC, Director of Whatever, by now you should be doing xyz, making this score, etc." I'm not at that point yet. It scares me again. I'm absolutely petrified of failing. My heart and mind can't take anymore news like I heard in September. I literally might break apart.

BC sent me an article he read, written by someone who had taken some state's bar exam, and gave tips on what to think about it. The last point was that it actually isn't your whole world and existence, but, the writer went on to say, it is for us. Why is that? Why do I allow myself to get this worked up? I guess I realize what I'll lose if the same thing happens. I could have easily been fired in September but I wasn't. But if we hear bad news in April....I will be. I guess its hard for me to think positive because all I have to go off of is bad news. That is the only experience I have with the bar exam. Stress and bad news.

Ultimately, please say a little prayer for those of us who are (unfortunately) old pros at this and are having to suffer through taking this test again. I'm not the only one out there. We all felt utterly broken last year when we heard the results, and now we're trying to overcome out worn-out brains and feelings of inadequacy to try again. (That certainly explains me, maybe I'm the only one who feels like this.)

I've tried to use this experience to remain strong in my faith. Its difficult, but ultimately I know God doesn't give us anything we can't handle. I just don't know why I'm apparently the one who has to handle it.

Proverbs 3:1-6

1My son, do not forget my teaching,
         But let your heart keep my commandments;
    2For length of days and years of life
         And peace they will add to you.
    3Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
         Bind them around your neck,
         Write them on the tablet of your heart.
    4So you will find favor and good repute
         In the sight of God and man.
    5Trust in the LORD with all your heart
         And do not lean on your own understanding.
    6In all your ways acknowledge Him,
         And He will make your paths straight.