Thankful for Friends

Monday, November 25, 2013

I am tearing myself away from my 45 page contracts outline to write this post, because these things are just too wonderful not to share! 

In my last post, I revealed that my sweet Mo got in engaged, and now I am so so excited and honored to announce that she has asked me to be one of her bridesmaids! On Sunday, I traveled to Atlanta to visit her. Originally, we had planned to wedding dress shopping, but since she had already found her dream dress we just had planned a day looking at bridal shops getting ideas for her bridesmaid dresses, veil, shoes etc. When I arrived she presented me with this: 

A poem and a cupcake!

It was wedding cake flavored and so so yummy! 
I am honored to be a part of Mo & E's big day in such a special way, as Mo said, we are 1L partners in crime. Amazingly, we found dresses on Sunday! They look fantastic on all of us, and it was a very unexpected find! It was a great day in Atlanta, I even had time to stop by the Lilly Pulitzer store! 

Somehow, I was able to resist these beauties at the LP store before heading back home to get ready for Friendsgiving! (Sunday was a seriously fun day!) One of the girls in my class, HB, planned a Friendsgiving potluck for everyone who was still in town. We had such a great time, with some delicious food. 

Yum! Who knew law students could cook!? 
The girls! (With the boys photo bombing us of course.)
The whole crew! Happy Friendsgiving! 
I am thankful to be surrounded by so many amazing people in law school, and of course I am very grateful to be in law school (even though it might just be the death of me.) With finals approaching, rather quickly, its safe to say its been 1L (heehee) of a semester and I certainly can not wait to see what the next five semesters bring. 

Thank you everyone for your continuing support, I would not make it if it were not for my amazingly supportive friends and of course family. I will be buried in books between now and Thanksgiving (except for a quick trip back to Michigan) so I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving with those that they love. And if you are traveling, be safe. 

Back to studying for me. 

p.s. Lulu had a follow up vet appointment today---she is FINALLY 100% healthy! Yet another thing I am thankful for! She says "Meowwy Meowmeows" which is kitten for Happy Thanksgiving! 

Even though she was slightly tramatized, I loved that she just wanted to cuddle with me. :) 

Big News!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I am so so excited that I finally share this...I want to give a HUGE Congratulations to Mo & E on their engagement! E, please don't ever make me keep a secret like that for that long again! 

Last weekend I had the honor of being a part of their special moment when E asked me to distract Mo while he set up and then deliver her to him as he was waiting with the ring...and of course photograph the moment. Let me tell you, convincing Mo to get all dressed up and do her got to Chik-Fil-A for dinner with me was so not easy and I have no idea how I convinced her without her being suspicious, but I am so glad that she was 100% not expecting it and 100% surprised. 

Adorable aren't they? 

That's not even all of my big news! On Tuesday, when Mo and I left torts, I decided to get a hair cut. But not just any hair cut...

A big hair cut. I had NINE inches cut off my hair. Totally on a whim. I know most people have not seen my hair in person recently, but it was really really long. (I am embarrassed to admit I had not had a haircut since graduation in May.)

So short!

As funny as it sounds, it is a huge relief. I love it. It is so much easier to manage, and quite frankly it makes studying easier because it is not in my face AND my hair was so long that pony tails were actually starting to hurt because they were so heavy. 

That's all I have in the way of big news for now, except that my sweet Lulu is getting bigger by the day. Here are her most recent photos for your viewing pleasure. Also, if you have an Instagram, Lulu now has her can follow her @Lulubelle613. (Does this mean I'm turning into a crazy cat lady?) 

Kitten is trouble! The other day while doing homework, she got awfully quiet, I turn around to find her all curled up on the kitchen table on top of my vest. She is NOT allowed on the table...she said "But Mom, I'm not on the table, I'm on your vest."
Don't forget to sign up if you would like to get some Holiday Snail mail from Lulu and I!

Christmas Cards from Lulu & Leslie

Lulu and I are sending out Holiday Cards and we would love to send one to you! Sign up here if you would like to receive one! If we run out of paper cards, we will send e-cards! We hope to hear from you.

Being a 20-something

Friday, November 22, 2013

I recently came across this article on Elite Daily called "The 20 Mistakes You Don't Want to make in your 20s." I found it incredibly interesting and so so on point to my life right now, that I just had to share my top 10 of those 20 things that really spoke to me. I really do think that these are important for 2o-somethings, but even if you're not a a GEN-Yer, it is still good advice. 

1. Working for money, not for building your dreams. 
Being in law school, it is not so much of the working for money as it is accumulating massive amounts of debt, but I think that makes this statement even more stark. There are always going to be people who go to law school for the wrong reasons, they think they're going to make millions being a high-power criminal defense attorney, or some big-shot corporate lawyer, but the reality is there are many many more jobs in the legal field that are NOT one of those two options. I am always humbled by my classmates and close friends when we talk about our aspirations and goals and how many of them are in law school for incredibly selfless reasons and while they know it may be pretty darn hard to pay off this debt they are accumulating in their chosen field, they have such a passion for what they want to do that it doesn't matter to them. For me, I don't have necessarily have a specific field of practice that I know for certain I want to be in, but my passion for helping others drives me each day to work hard so that someday I can make a difference in someone's life or impact the direction of our legal world in a positive way. 

2. Thinking that this is the right time to fall in love.
Lord have mercy, I should probably have this tattooed on my forehead. I think our society has somewhat of a stigma that by 30, 'normal' females should be settled down and starting to have babies. While I am 100% not opposed to that, and I am so so excited for all my friends that are going down this path in life right now, it is not the end of the world if we all are not! Trust me, I know it is by no means easy to be a single girl, and when your friends begin to settle down, it becomes infinitely harder but for 20-s thus far have been dedicated to graduating with two Bachelor's degrees, getting into law school, moving 13 hours away from my home state, starting law school. Now, that is nothing to sneeze at! Yes, I will have graduated law school before 30, I will *hopefully* be starting my career right around then and will be working perhaps harder then than I am now! Don't get me wrong, I am all about getting married and having kiddos but as I mature (?) I have realize that everything happens in good time and focusing valuable time and energy into working hard and developing my professional skills will start a foundation that will make my future life that much better. 

3. Making friends instead of earning trust. 
This. This is probably the most important thing people need to realize. Yes, life is all about networking but all your networking efforts don't mean squat if people don't think you are a trustworthy person. Trust EARNS respect and respect gets you where you need to be. This one might be hard to swallow, but the way I look at is that it is great to have lots of friends, but what is greater is when those friends will stick their neck out there for you, without hesitation, in a hard time because you have earned their trust. 

4. Not Caring because you only live once. 
This is just nonsense. Yes, you only live once but wouldn't you want to make the most of that life and not live on a self destructive path? I am all about taking chances and making the most of you life, but with those decisions there must be some forethought. If you spend your 20s and heck, maybe even your 30s chain smoking Parliament lights and chugging jager-bombs because "YOLO" ...come 50 you're going to be hurting, seriously. 

5. Making your wants, needs.
I am so so guilty of this. Really, our society as a whole is. Do we need cable TV? No, but we want it. The best way I check myself with this is thinking about the homeless man I see every day on my way to school. Based upon his looks and the condition of his clothing he has been homeless for a long time. When I think about everything that I have and what bare necessities would make his life better...there is a huge difference.  

6. Forgetting that family comes first. 
Duh. Thankfully, in my life, I have not come across too many people who have forgotten this, but I do know they exist. Personally, I would not be where I am today if it were not for my family and their support, end of story. I realize not everyone is surrounded by wonderful people like I am, but that does not mean they don't matter. Regardless of your upbringing, you are where you are because of those people who raised you and life is about how you choose to handle your situation, sometimes forgiveness is the best medicine. 

7. Blaming anyone else but yourself for anything in life. 
This is one of my biggest pet-peeves about people my age, actually our society in general. I am a huge believer in personal responsibility and sometimes everyone needs to check themselves and take responsibility for their actions. At the end of the day, your life is a product of what you make it, so let's all take a little more responsibility. 

8. Thinking that you need to stop learning and growing. 
Do we ever need to stop learning and growing? No. How boring would life be if we stopped learning. Yawn. Learning is how we move ahead in life, and if we all stayed in our 20 year old maturity, we would have one heck of an immature society. Don't forget that, people! 

9. Holding on to friends that waste your time and add no value to your life. 
This is hard, and it requires a backbone, and goes hand in hand with personal responsibility. You have to have enough self awareness to know what personal qualities and values mean something to you--and then seek people who fulfill those. 

10. Forgetting about the piggy bank and spending every dollar you have. 
Personally, I don't have that many dollars to spend or save, thank you student loans, but I do know A LOT, too many in fact, of people who start their first salaried job and go.crazy. Sure, its nice to have nice things and I totally understand that having real money for the first time, ever is probably exciting and tempting, but this goes back to wants vs. needs. What are you going to tell your kids in 18-20 years? Oh Mommy and Daddy just really had to have a brand new BMW-7 series when we graduated so, sorry kid we can't pay for college, or buy you new shoes, for that matter. I know not everyone will have kids, or whatever but what about when you want to retire and all you have to show for your years of hard work is 300 pairs of designer shoes and an island in Tahiti that you can no longer afford the taxes on. Okay... that was maybe a little harsh but all I'm saying is that in this world of instant gratification is really easy to spend spend spend and forget to save save save. 

I hope you found this advice as valuable as I did. I'm glad I came across this article, sometimes we all need a reality check and a reminder of what really matters. 

* The commentary is original content, however the advice was written by Preston Waters in this article.*

Cara Box!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

This past exchange, Kaitlyn from Wifessionals, decided to change things up a bit. She recently had a precious baby girl and in order to spend more time with her as well as help other bloggers create more meaningful connections she decided to only do Cara Box 4 times a year, meaning that we get a whole lot more time to connect with our partners. 

This month, I never received a box from one of my partners, but that is okay because the I don't think that Kaitlyn could have paired me up with anymore more perfect for who I got to send to! My second partner was Kristyn who blogs over at Carolina Fireflies, and let me tell you we hit it off immediately. Right after finding out our partners Kristyn got her letter saying that she had passed the North Carolina Bar Exam! Being a 1L I can only imagine how amazing that must feel but I was so thrilled to be connected to someone who totally understands where I am in life and who offered me such valuable encouragement and advice. 

I had a blast putting together Kristyn's box. Curious about what I sent her? Check out her reveal post here! 

Wednesday Inspiration

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful though to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
-proverbs 4:23-26

Seven on Sunday

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Just a quick update---can you believe November is already here? I certainly can't.

My mommy sent me a care package that included Parmenter's spice doughnuts and apple cider!. YUM. 

Minnie Mouse only had TWO trick-or-treators :(
Mo, NABS, K and I shared this yummy desert after I made dinner on Thursday. Caramel dipped apples! 
Miss Kristyn over at Carolina Fireflies has a special surprise coming her way! That's right...its Cara Box time! 
I may or may not have dressed Lulu up as Audrey Hepburn too. She was not thrilled. 
My Spartans beat those awful Wolverines real good :) GO GREEN!
Lulu had a really relaxing weekend. Hope you did too! 

How I (we) do it: Balancing school, exercise and eating healty

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November 1st marks exactly one month of me working out every.single.weekday. (yes, there have been a few exceptions, but for the most part its been a 5 days a week deal. Quite honestly, I don't think I would be on the track that I am if it were not for Mo. This girl drags my booty to the gym every day after we get home from torts, and I am so thankful for her. Now that I have been going consistently, she does not have to drag me, I go on my own because it is part of my routine. But at first, there were days where she literally was knocking on my door telling me to get my shoes on and go.

I went from being SUPER active in high school, I'm talking running 60+ miles per week and having 5-8 hours of dance class per week, to basically nothing in college. Truthfully, I was burned out. But, even after what would be a normal hiatus for a die-hard athlete, I could come up with every excuse in the book to not lace up my running shoes. I often found my self doing really well for a short period of time, but as soon as life got busy I would let my exercise routine fall aside. I certainly had times were I would push my self, but it was not consistent.  I know many of you are thinking, wait a minuet, this girl ran two half-marathons this year. And yes, I did, but admittedly I hardly trained for either one (sorry Mom!). I know it sounds kind of crazy, just getting up and running 13.1 miles randomly, but as I mentioned before, as an avid runner for a good portion of my life it was something I knew I was capable of if I set my mind to it. Granted, my race times as well as my pain for the week or so after the race showed my lack of preparation, and I don't recommend doing what I did, but this is all beside the point.

When I came to law school I made a promise to myself that I would get healthy. It seemed a little crazy at the time, knowing I was about to be inundated with reading assignments and stress but since it would be a big change, why not make another big change. So, every day right around 4:30 Mo and I head to the gym in our complex for our daily workout. Generally, we do 1 hour of cardio (she bikes, I use the elliptical) followed by a weight routine that we vary each day. On Wednesdays, we only do 30 minuets of cardio because that is generally the day we have the most homework so we need extra time.

Typical Elliptical day! According to my online tracker, the calorie tracker on the elliptical is really inaccurate.  
 In addition to our workout routine, we also take turns cooking healthy dinners after the gym! We hold each other accountable for healthy eating, plus it is way easier to cook for 2 than for 1, AND since we alternate, we each get breaks from cooking. We both agree that this is the most important part of our routine. Because of our busy schedules and workload it is so easy to want to run though the drive through because its fast and requires minimal effort...meaning more study time. However it is not really a healthy choice and even though its cheap it adds up! Here are some examples of some of our healthy dinners! I may do a recipe post later....but generally I just go off the cuff and don't really use recipes. 

Baked herb chicken & risotto 
Spaghetti squash chicken "pasta"

Grilled chicken salad 
Gluten-free apple crisp! 
 All of the above recipes are so easy and delicious! I will continue to update on my progress as well as any new yummy recipes!



Friday, November 1, 2013

Paul Bunyan is the only thing that matters this weekend. SPARTAN DAWGS. GO GREEN

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