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The Final Countdown… and a Whole30.

26 Jun

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It’s the final countdown to the end of the law school journey, culminating in the finale of the California Bar Exam, which is scheduled for July 25 and 26! What better way to change your world, than to close out an epic era by making some massive changes and adding loads of positive vibes in the middle of it? The thing we’ve been waiting for for 5  years, is in 30 days… so I’m choosing not to eat a pint of ice cream every night from now until then and instead I am “fasting” from all the crap in my life and embracing new health, wellness and success.

Here are some of the highlights that will be happening between now and then:

  1. I turn 41 (6/28)
  2. I leave the agency world as I know it (7/7)
  3. My baby turns 2 (7/8)
  4. My husband takes the Bar (7/25-26)

In light of the changes, I felt like it was a real opportunity to do another Whole30, forcing my hand to be and do better.

If you’re not familiar with the Whole 30, it’s a pretty remarkable journey of eating clean (like, super duper clean) for 30 days.

Several people have asked me why I’m doing this over my birthday, and the answer is simple. Turning 41 (!!!) does not need to be an excuse to misuse my body for indulgent purposes. I’ve been on the weight-loss journey for several months now, and there’s nothing about eating steaks and grilled artichokes on my bday that sounds like I’ll be missing out on anything, so why not? Birthdays may be associated with binge eating, lapping up cake, and for me, smearing spaghetti all over my face, for my annual spaghetti splurge, but not this year. This year is different and I’m letting go of stigmas and habits, for a new me.

As hard as it may be at times to not eat my feelings, the bottom line is that my life is GOOD. We’ve worked hard to make it this way, and my kids are healthy, happy and thriving humans. To quote the founders of Whole30, “my kids are not sick. This is not hard.” But, the reward of 30 days of effort can be great, not just for weight loss, but for mental stamina, digestive health and overall a sense of balance. I need that.

I’ve done the Whole30 before too, so I know what to expect. This is not hard. Making changes won’t always be the easiest, but I’ll be damned if I allow myself to think that this is actually hard.

So, here it is. Day 1. I will survive!

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My Husband, My Hero.

17 May

Today is the day. Our journey as a “law school family” is done, in just a couple of hours. As we speak, my hero, my husband, is sitting in a room with all sorts of other people, taking his last and final exam in law school.

He has sacrificed. He has endured. He has achieved. He has accomplished his goals.

Together, we have made it happen, and happen well, and it’s finally over.

I’m sure it’s easy to wonder why it’s such a big deal, and why I act like an excited puppy about finishing “grad school” but anyone who’s been through law school as a particular form of grad school, knows just how intense is. In law school, your grades and your efforts directly affect your earning potential and ability to create the future you want to have. There are an abundance of lawyers in Los Angeles, and not an abundance of decent jobs.

Before we started the journey, I had a co-worker who’s fiance had just finished law school. She was telling us about how he had $250,000 in school debt and was getting offers at companies who wanted to pay him less than $50K/year. She was stressed out, because they were planning a wedding and didn’t know how they were going to pay for it. In some parts of the country, $50K would be a decent living, but when you have a quarter million in school debt alone, and live in Los Angeles, it’s impossible. Now, I understand that though he finished school, and passed the Bar, his ability to get a good job, were probably limited by factors I understand now, grades being one of them.

We heavily processed this when we went into this new world, making a decision that we were going to have to give everything over to the process and let the process give us everything back. It worked. Our plan to sacrifice everything to make these 4 years of school turn into a successful 40 years ahead of us, worked.

My husband is in the top of his class. He’s worked tirelessly to make sure that the debt we’ve accrued will have a plan for attainable pay off, and that our family will be able to have a stable future.

Through all of it, he’s balanced the act of being top of his class, with being a loving father and husband. We have all sacrificed, but he’s worked double time to make sure that the kids, while they don’t see him for days at a time sometimes, know that their daddy loves them. The days we have been able to spend together have been the best days. He started this journey with one infant son, and is ending it with 2 small children; A 4 year old who only knows what it’s like to have a daddy, with books and a full backpack as his best friends, and an almost 2 year old who wakes up early in the morning, every morning, looking for the 20 minutes he gets to see his dad. Sometimes, he is there in the morning, and sometimes, he would have already left an hour before even the early riser would wake up.

This has been the hardest experience of my life, and I can’t believe it’s over.

 

My dear sweet husband, I’m so proud of you. I can’t believe it’s over.

Reasons I Love the Subway… even in LA. 

5 Aug


My husband has been “summering” at a biglaw firm in Downtown LA. It’s been an amazing experience so far, one I don’t want to see end (though his last week is this week!). 

While he’s been getting to get some real and amazing experiences through his internship, we’ve been able to get to know a lot of the people through a series of sponsored events over the last couple of months. 

Besides the people being amazing, an old love of mine has come back; riding the subway. Traffic is LA is horrible, and having two cars in one location is just worse, so it’s just easier for me to meet him in DTLA without a car and go wherever we have to go, together. 

Public transportation in LA isn’t as easy as it is in NY or SF, and you don’t have the same subway culture in LA, like you do in NY, but there are still a few gems that I love, even if there’s no music playing, no rappers rapping, singers singing, dancers breaking or food being sold. Here’s why I love the subway, even in LA. 

  1. The environment. It gives the environment (and my car’s breaks) little break. 
  2. THE PEOPLE. The people!!!! There are some definitely crazy people on the train, but there’s also a lot of people from just every different walk of life, meeting for one common purpose; to get somewhere. 
  3. The lovers.These are different than most people, but every once in a while, like right this very minute, a couple in love are sharing a pole, googling in each others eyes. Who cares why they’re riding. They’re adorable and could care less that I’m sitting here writing anything, even something about them. 
  4. The time. I need a little time to check TF out and not have people clawing at me for juice boxes or to nurse. Sometimes a girl just needs to see strangers and not need to do or be anything to anyone else. 
  5. An element (teeny tiny element) of danger! You never know what’s going to happen when you’re not in control and somewhere strange, and though it’s not common, it keeps you on your toes. 
  6. Wonder. Don’t you ever just want to stare at people and wonder what their story is? Well, you can do that on the subway, cuz there’s not a lot of other places to look, besides the people you’re sharing immediate air with. 
  7. Reading!!! I get a whole hour to read or do whatever I want with almost ZERO interruptions. Ask me when that ever happens in normal life. 
  8. SOMEONE JUST ASKED ME IF I WENT TO HIS HIGH SCHOOL… He may be 20 and I’m 40. I can’t add any more to my list, because that just took the cake. 🎂

    Follow Up on Joanna

    12 Apr

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    A while back, I wrote about a dear friend of mine who was struck with pancreatic cancer.

    Unfortunately, she lost her battle a little over a week ago.

    I don’t know what really to say about this one, other than that this girl was all fight, and all beauty in her fight. I’ve never seen someone so at peace with their situation, and so lovely through the pain. She was a beautiful person, inside and out and she’ll be missed terribly by so many.

    Her family members are not strangers to cancer. Both her mom and dad also have fought their own battles, but have succeeded in their fight.

    They’ve sacrificed everything for their girl. Even their home.

    This is a ‘better late than never’ post, being that they’ve already reached their funeral goals (funeral already has passed), but I would love to extend the opportunity to, once again, help the Sadaka’s as they begin to move forward from this tragic loss.

    Joanna, wherever you are, I know you’re resting peacefully now. The pain is gone. The hurt is behind you. I hope you have that flower crown on your beautiful mane of hair, and that you’re dancing joyfully, laughing as loudly as you possibly can, as often as you possibly can. Thank you for always caring about me, even while you were suffering through your own hell. We all love you. You will be missed forever.

    Monday Can Kiss It

    2 Nov

    Pretty sure nothing feels worse than leaving the house so early in the morning that you weren’t able to see/nurse your baby, just to sit in so much traffic, you’re actually late to work, BESIDES hearing your older son say “mama, I still need breakfast!” as you’re hustling him out the door.

    If ever I’ve been optimistic, all optimism left my body by 7:30AM today. Seriously.

    I packed everything up last night, had it all set and we were ready for this morning, as we went to sleep at 9. Pump packed, just add ice pack. Clothes set aside, just find pants in the morning. Snacks/traffic-style breakfast items packed, travel coffee cup clean and ready for brewing. Kid’s backpack packed and ready to go, just fill water bottle in the morning. Slow cooker dinner items set aside and ready, except for meats, which would be added in the morning too. R-E-A-D-Y… or not.

    Couldn’t find my pants in the morning, kid watched too much TV while I got ready, and sure, he had a banana and string cheese, but I DIDN’T MAKE HIM BREAKFAST, so he ate dry cereal on the way to school in the car. And of course, the baby; asleep, unfed and uninterested in bottles still. #momguilt See ya later little guy. Hope you don’t starve all day. I’ll be home by bedtime.

    Then to top it all off, traffic was terrible. Go figure. It was so bad, that as early as I left, I still got to the office later than I should have. This is going to be much more of an adjustment than I expected it to be. MUCH MORE.

    If you see me before noon, don’t ask how I’m doing… just expect that I’m still shaking off the chaos of the morning and am feeling like a terrible mother. Asking me how I’m doing will likely open a can of worms that you don’t want the answer to. So, just be nice and say “it’s nice to see you” or “good morning” and accept my scowl as a kind “good morning, it’s nice to see you too” for now.

    I’m sure I’ll return to my happy self soon. This can’t/won’t last forever. But, the mom guilt is strong and until I figure out how to have a giant commute on top of everything else, just hang tight cuz I’m trying to hang tight too.

    QUEUE TOTAL MELTDOWN: While pumping in the super fancy closet/storage room for one of our clients, my brand new, fancy Madela Freestyle Pump, jiggled itself off of the table, and facedown onto the floor, breaking the screen. Now, none of the fancy features work, though as it is, I was manually pumping one side, while electric pumping the other, since for some weird reason, the suction wasn’t working BEFORE the fall even. As I bent down to pick the motor up, I spilled milk ALL OVER my legs. Like, ALL over, and the floor. and the everything, every where. #isitnotmondayanymoreyet?

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