goodbye, 2013….

Hello!  I can’t believe that it will be 2014 tomorrow.  This year flew by but when I look back at one year ago, it feels like 3 years ago.  Every year at this time people spend time reflecting on their past year and contemplating the future and so, of course, that’s what I am doing. In short, this year was wonderful and everything I hoped for. I had a really hard time for a long time, and 2012 was downright horrible.  I lost pets, had a car wreck, had to cram a full time law school schedule into a part time one, among so many other things. The highlight of 2012 was getting my dog Ella, but other than that, it was a tough year. This day a year ago I thought, “good riddance, 2012…you sucked…” and also felt an enormous amount of uncertainty and fear before the bar exam.

The earliest post I had in 2013 was here. One day in January after lunch with my boyfriend I sat in his car right outside my office…crying and telling him how enormously fearful I was.  I told him if I don’t pass the bar exam, I could miss opportunities for jobs…I could have to retake it and spend many months more studying, sinking deeper into the exhaustion and edginess I felt, and not moving on with my life….I told him that I just felt this enormous burden because it was all up to me to make this year either an awesome one or another really bad one. I basically had about five very exhausting years and I just wanted it to be over.

I still stop and pinch myself every day now that normalcy has returned. I passed the bar exam…got a job, which has been going great…lost 17 of the 25 pounds I gained in law school…took a vacation, did tons of fun things with friends, got to enjoy my holidays for the first time in years, and got engaged to my boyfriend.  This year was very, very good to me!

I AM very sad the holidays are coming to an end.  Basically from October until now I was fully immersed in them and had a great time.  I started taking my Christmas decor down last night.  To get over that post-holiday sadness, I am thinking about what I’d like to do this winter.  I am really hoping for a VERY snowy winter. I’d like to go snowboarding again…I haven’t gone since January, 2008.  I am also looking forward to the Winter Olympics.  I have this inexplicable obsession with both the summer and winter olympics.  For two glorious weeks I let all my free time outside of work be consumed by televised sporting events.  Whether it’s skiing, iceskating, curling, whatever, I am glued to the TV.  In 2012 after my dog died, I had two weeks of nightly class, but then when it finally ended, I picked up my new puppy Ella…and the next day the Summer Olympics began.  In 2012, after all I had been going through, getting my new dog and playing with her every night while watching the olympics was the first time in many months I felt happy and at ease.

Other than hoping for lots of snow and watching the olympics I really don’t have much planned for this winter.  It might be good to slow down for awhile.

Anyway, I hope you have a great 2014.  Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

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goodbye, Spring….hello, Summer!!!!!!

pool

Hello, everyone! Yes, I am still around. It’s been a GREAT Spring….After a long, painful winter of bar study, bar exam, and waiting, I found out a passed…got a job, and spent the Spring unwinding and trying to enjoy life once again.  That transition, however welcome it may be, certainly doesn’t happen overnight!  Every weekend’s been jam-packed with things to do, even when I try to slow down.

So I’ve got a vacation coming up – New Orleans….I haven’t been on vacation in a long time…I haven’t been in a vacation that lasted more than two days…in Oh, six years.  SO YEAH I AM EXCITED!!! To celebrate I got a few things, including this L Space Bikini from (top here and bottoms here) and these Elan linen pants from Everything But Water. I LOVE THAT PLACE!!! ….although I WOULD like them to add a reviews/comments section on their website like they have on say, Piperlime or Gap.  It would really help me with sizing and fit-related comments.

Soooooo I opted for the “full coverage” bottoms and let me tell you I would NOT want to wear the “brazilian” cut because these babies are skimpy enough as it is!  The pants looked large and flowy so I got a small and basically it was so tight I had to get a large and really even an Extra Large probably would’ve sufficed.  I wear a 2 or 4 pant so these sorts of sizing quirks should be on their website!

swimsuit

 

 

 

 

I’ve also been running and doing hot yoga, although neither as much as I should.  After this past winter I’ve really been enjoying the down time.  I DID invest in some new workout clothes to help motivate me…it helps!
rungear

The first night we found ourselves with nice weather for balcony dinner you bet your ass that’s what we did…I got these long plates from CB2, awesome for tacos, among other things….
balcony

I graduated!!!  Well, actually I’ve been finished since December, but let me tell you, the ceremony was WAY more fun having known I had a job and a law license.

grad

I read that mirrored-lens aviators are SO HOT RIGHT NOW, and so I got some cheap-o ones at a mall kiosk in silver and some other fun colors.  I am loving them way too much and of course the lenses are already getting crappy…I just may have to pick out a nicer pair to get.  My boyfriend just got these from Oakley and I am super jealous…

shades

Have you been to a bar/art studio whatever you call it?  I don’t know what to call them..basically you go with a group of friends, drink wine or beer and sit on a stool with a canvas and follow the instructor’s step by step instructions to paint a picture.  It was super fun!  The one we went to just opened in Over the Rhine, it’s called Cheers to Art. I know there are other ones around my city such as Paint by the Glass…if you have one in your area you should really try it out! It’s a nice change of pace from the usual bar/club/restaurant scene.

cheerstoart

 

We hit up a Reds game and I decided to get into the Cincinnati Reds spirit with a t-shirt from Old Navy. I really think this is my first ever Cincinnati Reds shirt.  Being from Cincinnati that’s kind of shameful.  Oh well, I am not much of a baseball fan! It was super fun though.

reds

We’ve been trying to make some of the hundreds of recipes I’ve pinned on Pinterest, including this one.  Homemade pizza with ricotta, lobster, avocado, eggs, among other things….We excluded the peppers and got pre-made dough from Trader Joe’s.  It was delicious and super easy!!!

pizza

Our pool opened so I’ve been there nonstop.  I LOVE swimming pools. I hope some day to have one of my own.  I have tried to stay out of the sun the past few years – wearing lots of hats and slathering on the sunscreen…I haven’t had a tan since summer 2006.  However, I decided this summer to give myself a self-indulgent break from that healthy habit and take in all the Vitamin D I can handle.  It was a long, dark winter and I deserve it!

pool2

So, apparently men wearing tank tops is all the rage right now, at least it appears to be the case based on my limited exposure to grown men who play rugby…as for the rest of the male population, it’s anyone’s guess….

tanktop

 

the 80-hour week….

photo-1

Hello, folks! Long time no see. The photo above is a glimpse into my mind…very cluttered and chaotic.  No, actually it’s my office at work, but it’s fairly representative of life at the moment. Work’s been decently busy, not too slow, not overwhelming, and I am now entering week 8 of studying for the bar exam while working.  I’ve been keeping track of a number of different aspects of my progress in an Excel spreadsheet and I was horrified/surprised to see that I’ve been pulling 80-hour weeks for 7 weeks. I’ve got five full weeks remaining, two of which I will be off work. I can’t say I feel prepared or in control whatsoever at the moment, but according to the Kaplan schedule I am ahead of schedule. Studying for a test like this is time consuming but I guess the toughest part is the mental endurance of dealing with feelings like “how will i pass in this limited amount of time?” and then to “I have it all under control, ill be fine,” and back again.  I am eagerly awaiting that “i have it all under control and I will pass because I feel like I know what I am doing” feeling, which from what I’ve heard, doesn’t really come around until the week beforehand, if ever.

Saturday I had a horrible headache and realized I hadn’t taken so much as a 3-hour block of free time for myself since Jan 1, so I closed the books and watched some tv.  It felt pretty good! Laced with guilt, but good.  Being completely consumed with this one thing is very exhausting. It’s hard to focus at work…I have been getting through things as usual, but the nagging “I want to go home and make progress” voice is on repeat in my head all day. It’s going to get a lot, lot worse before it gets better.

To put it lightly, I don’t want to take this darn exam (does anyone?). I understand the need for it, but I’d really just like to get on with my career and devote gobs of time to things that are important (either to me or the people for whom I am working), rather than a standardized test on material that I will mostly forget forever.  I plan to have more 80-hour work weeks in my future – but I hope they are for a much better cause!

On top of hoping like hell that I will feel more prepared these next few weeks, I have one other wish…and that’s for SNOW.  We had two really great winters here in Cincinnati, but then last winter we didn’t get any snow accumulation at all.  I am really hoping this winter is a snowy one again, although so far it’s not looking too promising. Hopeful, I purchased these Sorel Joan of Arctic boots in Hawk (a.k.a. “brown”).  I LOVE THEM! They’re so warm.

photo

 

SO that’s where I am at.  Pray for me to be prepared for my exam and to get a couple good snowfalls in the next few weeks. I could really use both!