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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.

New Year’s Eve at 7:00PM?! YES PLEASE. 

31 Dec

Yo mamas (and papas)! Guess who just hit the lotto on how to do New Years Eve at 7, instead of waiting up till 9? THIS GUY.

Netflix FTW

I have not once let my now 3yo stay up for New Year’s Eve because, well because I can barely keep my eyes open myself and really need a little downtime sometimes. And also, because it’s late! And 3 year olds melt if they’re up too late! Couple that with getting to pop some non-alc bubbly and you’re talking sugar rush before bed. Not. Into. It.

But, he’s 3 (almost 4) and I’m starting to feel guilty about not letting him party like it’s 1999 2016. I mean, at what age is he going to be like, “you’re lame for never letting me understand New Year’s Eve”?

So, in my tired haze of returning from our holiday travels at midnight, with a baby who decided to rage until 3:30am (cuz, thanks for that), as soon as the baby went down for a nap, I popped my sleepy self onto the couch with Mr. 3yo and turned on Netflix… AND THEN I SAW IT!!!

2017!

Wait, WHAT?! We can do NYE any time we want?? NETFLIX SAVES THE DAY!!! (again, and again with these guys).

So, there you have it. Ring in the new year without having to disrupt your whole rhythm and still get to sit on the couch with your partner watching (dare I say) a whole movie before smooching it out at midnight… or 10:00pm. 😂

Happy New Years (EARLY)!!!

 An Open Letter to My 40th Birthday

24 Jun

Dear My 40th Birthday,

When I was young and oh, so naive, I was afraid of you. I was so afraid of you in fact, that I used to say “I will ‘go out’ right before I turn 40. I mean, what’s left to live for? I don’t want to get old and 40… 40 is just young enough to not be old, but any longer than that, and it’s all down hill.”

Yes, I said those words. Over, and over, and over again.

Now, you and I are joining hands together in just a few days time. I will meet you, My 40th Birthday, and instead of being afraid of you, I will welcome you with very open arms.

You see, every year has brought me more and more of what I wanted in my early life, while I was still dumb and afraid of you. I spent my 20’s looking for love and career and being broken by failed promises. I figured out my career and met my husband shortly before I turned 30, got married at 35, started our family at 36 1/2 and completed our family at 39. Sure, I have more wrinkles and more financial obligations. Sure, it will never be practical for me to make leather journals and aspire to sell them like a true Gypsy in farmer’s markets just to earn enough money to sleep in someone’s spare room. Sure, I don’t crash diet every other week, and I’ve got lots of extra padding now. But, those wrinkles are from 40 years worth of memories; laughing with my husband and kids and squinting in the sun. My more practical job has earned me the ability to have a nice house of my own and care for my family financially. My padding? It’s proof that I’ve held 4 babies in my body and 2 babies in my arms, and that I’ve been able to sustain those babies in good health for their first years of life.

I no longer want to “end it all by 40”, I want to start it all more intensely. I want to be able to handle more and accomplish more and be present more and provide more and enjoy more.

My 40th Birthday, you are just the beginning of my life. I welcome you.

Love always (or for the next 10 years anyway),

Stephanie ❤

3 Times it’s OK to Gossip First.

9 May

We all know it’s not ok to gossip about someone else, especially when meant with the purpose of hurting them. But, what about the instances when it’s actually better to gossip first, which might actually save someone from being hurt?

Here are 3 times is MORE than ok, in fact, it’s ADVISED to gossip first.

  1.  If you are thinking about starting a sentence with “I don’t want to offend you, but…” and planning to follow it up with “are you expecting again?” maybe just do your due diligence and GOSSIP FIRST. Ask someone else! Go ahead! Ask other people, if your co-worker who is a mother of a 10 month old and still breastfeeding, is pregnant again, BEFORE you ask her yourself. I promise you, it will save her from feeling that the world sees her as large as she sees herself.
  2. If someone is looking a little pudgy and you’re really hopeful they’re pregnant. GOSSIP FIRST. Chances are, someone will know and even if they do know and don’t tell you the truth, it’s better to ask around, before you ask the person directly. Because #donuts are a thing too, and not all pudgy tummies are carrying an extra set of arms and legs.
  3. Just don’t ask anyone if they’re pregnant ever. Because, if you do, you’re basically just saying “hey fatty, what’s good!”

Ok, I failed. There aren’t 3 times it’s ok to gossip first. There’s one and only one.

Do not ask someone if they’re pregnant. Ever. If someone IS pregnant, you shouldn’t have to ask. If they’re really pregnant, you would know the answer without asking. If they are pregnant and you don’t know about it, it means it’s not time for you to know! Please, for the love… DO NOT ASK anyone if they’re pregnant. Unless, of course, you like hurting people’s feelings.

PS. If you absolutely have to start a sentence with “I don’t want to offend you, but…” just be forewarned. You will offend them.

Disclaimer: The person who asked this question was not intending to hurt anyone’s feelings, but even a well intended question of this type, can still be hurtful. You never know how someone feels or sees them self and pointing out flaws can only intensify and already sensitive situation. Lesson here? Be kind and be thoughtful. Questions without forethought can be dangerous. Xoxo

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