Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Lucy!!!

My little baby Lucy turns 1 today!!!  I can't believe she's already a year old.  Besides her major potty training issues and her major jumping issues, she's been a doll since Day One:

Let's pretend I don't like HIDEOUS.  Meeting Lucy for the first time!  She was 3 months old and 10 lbs.  So adorable!

The day we brought her home: 

Meeting Aunt Katie and Cousin Harley for the first time: 

Going to her first tailgate at IU:

Her second tailgate at IU ... her first Purdue game!  

Her first trip to Jeffersonville:

Her first Christmas!

Her first trip to Lake Michigan AND her first snow!

Cheering on the Colts -- her first Super Bowl!

Eating a bone:

Hanging out on top of the couch:

Taking her first (and hopefully last) cross-country road trip:

And last but not least, the last picture I took of her before she turned 1:

Happy Birthday Lucy!!!!!!!!!!!

Day One ...

is over!  And I survived.  And none of the life-ending scenarios that I pictured in my head occurred.  Like ... my Vaio not working.  I was TERRIFIED that I was going to have problems with it.  (And I guess I still could since I still have a day and a half to go ... I better go knock on wood).  I quit using my Vaio and got a Mac about a year ago because I was having really annoying problems with the Vaio.  The sound didn't work, but when I would take it into the Sony store for trouble shooting it would miraculously work again.  And then as soon as I would get home, it wouldn't work anymore.  I also had tons of problems with it booting up and shutting down.  It would take FOREVER.  And I would miss the first 10-15 minutes of notes in class.  So, I've been happy as a clam with my little Mac for the past year.  Until, I signed up for the bar and realized that I had to have Windows on my Mac in order to download the exam software.  Ugh.  That was NOT in my budget and I was SO angry, because this stupid exam costs a fortune between the registration fees, the software fees and the review class.  And the legal field is not exactly brimming with jobs.  So, I decided to break out my Vaio and I've been really nervous about it since.  I am SO thankful that it worked so well today!

I also had visions of there not being any outlet plugs in the testing room.  I mean, I figured they would HAVE to have outlets, but we are taking the exam in a convention center and they encouraged us to bring extra batteries.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I walked into Computer Room A this morning and saw that I had not one, but three plugs to choose from.  Whew.  Handwriting twenty four essays did not sound like fun to me.  

I also had visions of having a complete panic attack or crying fit during the exam.  I am happy to report that I did neither.  Even when I opened up the first question packet and realized that Essay #1 was over the ONE subject that I really did not know.  And while I am 100% certain that I did not get anywhere near full credit on that essay, I typed out a somewhat legible answer and moved on.  And from there, it was all downhill.

All in all, today was not as bad as I was expecting.  I think tomorrow will be a little bit more difficult but at this point, I am really just ready to be done with it all.  I'm off to go check out the "Fitness Center" in the hotel and go over a few outlines before I try to get a good night's sleep!

Hope everyone's week is going well!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

D-Day ...

Ahhh, it's here.  I HOPE that I am minimally competent but I don't think that I am.  When I read my outlines, each subject seems to make sense and I always think "Oh, this is easy enough.  I know this."  But, then I read another subject and the first subject seems to leak right out of my brain.  Now would be a GREAT time to have a photographic memory.

Anyways, I am almost ready to go down to Bellevue.  I am staying in a hotel for the next 3 nights because we have to be at the exam at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow and Thursday.  Umm, how do they expect me to think straight when I am going to have to get up before 6:00 a.m.?!  It looks like I'm going on a nice little vacation ... I've got my suitcase all packed with cute clothes and my bathing suit and workout clothes.  But, unfortunately this is not going to be a nice little vacation.  Although I am hoping for some pool time!!!

In keeping with his "Finals Flowers" tradition ... J. got me some flowers yesterday ... I'm taking them with me!  The maid in my hotel room is going to think I'm a weirdo.  Here's a list of the random things I'm bringing:  my yoga mat, hand weights, a toaster, my flowers, my own towels ... haha.  I want to feel like I'm at home!  And of course, I'm bringing all the yummy goodies that my mom made me AND my new laptop case :)

Here's a pic of my BEAUTIFUL flowers:

And I tried to get Addy and Lucy to pose with them ...

(I love how pissed off Addy looks ... "You made me get up from nap to do THIS?!")

Thanks J.!!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

You've Got Mail ...

I LOVE getting mail.  Checking the mailbox is seriously one of the highlights of my day.  Usually it's just a few bills or a new catalog, but today I got a nice little surprise ... 

A belated birthday present from Katie and Joe!!  Here's what was in it: 

A Marc Jacobs Laptop Sleeve!  Love Love Love M.J.  

Funny Gum:  

They say (in order) "World's Best Beyotch ... References Available Upon Request."  "Don't Have Ugly Children ... As used by the world's most perfect families!"  and "Miracle Birth Control Gum."  Ummm, I LOVE them.  Hilarious.  Especially the one about having ugly children.  Hello Katie and Joe, have you seen me?!  I will not be having ugly children :)  Just kiddddddding, I'm not THAT conceited.  But wouldn't it be great if there was special gum you could eat that ensured your children would be cute?!  

Last but not least, these fun shot glasses were in the package!  I can't wait to use them.  You fill the molds with water, put them in the freezer for a few hours, pop them out of the mold and you've got shot glasses made of ice!!!  How cool is that?  

If you come to my house in the near future, be prepared to take shots, lots of them.  Okay, maybe not lots, but at least one.  

Thanks Katie and Joe for the awesome birthday presents.  Your package made my day and honestly, could not have come at a better time.  Love you both bunches!   

Tonight, J. took me out to dinner at an Italian place we've been meaning to try.  Yumm.  Between him, Katie, Joe and my mom I've been ridiculously spoiled the last two days :)  Keep it up!!!!    

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mother of the Year

If I would have known that my mom would be sending me such great care packages, I would have moved across the country years ago!!  She's great.  For my birthday, she sent me these:

18 cookies from the world's best cookie store, i.e. The Cookie Cottage.  If you don't live in Fort Wayne (and I hope you don't ... sorry Mags) go online and order yourself some.  The iced sugar cookie is the BEST.  

Then ... this little package showed up on my doorstep this morning!

She sure knows the way to my heart :)  CHOCOLATE.  Anyways, my package was FULL of goodies: Chex Mix "Turtle" flavor, Ginger Snap cookies, 7 Layer Bars, Energy Bars, Trail Mix, Cinnamon Bread and Pretzel M&M's!

I LOVE M&M's ... like REALLY REALLY love them.  And they keep coming out with such great flavors.  I am currently hooked on these:  

(Photo courtesy of

Dark Chocolate Peanut M&M's ... Delicious.  But I hadn't seen these:

(Photo courtesy of

Yum.  Salty, sweet and crunchy.  I might have a new favorite.  Looks like I will be starting that whole "watch what I'm eating thing" AFTER the bar exam. 

Thanks Mom!!!! 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Frugality at its finest ...

I've been really really really good lately.  I expected not to work this summer since I would be studying for the bar, however I did not expect to have the ridiculous expense of a root canal in mid-June.  So I have been on a MAJOR budget and I am really proud of myself for sticking to it.  I have NOT been spending money.  I know you don't believe me, but really my biggest purchase last week was $2.69 at McDonald's.  And I got a large Coke AND a snack size M&M McFlurry.  Pretty good deal.

Obviously I have to spend money on groceries and other necessities every now and then, but besides that I'm doing really well.  And I'm REALLY proud of myself.  And I'm even more proud of my post-bar celebration plan that I came up with.  I don't get to celebrate with all my friends at home and everyone I know here works, so there's not going to be a lot going on at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, July 29th.  But, I happen to be taking the bar at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, which just so happens to be next to Bellevue Square, which just so happens to be a REALLY nice mall.  So I'm treating myself.  And it's all going to be funded by gift cards!

And to make things even better, I got a surprise in the mail today.  I had a contact rebate (from my contact purchase in MARCH) and they sent me a postcard about a month ago saying that I didn't qualify for the rebate.  And then guess what showed up in the mail this afternoon?  My rebate ... which came in the form of a $40.00 Visa card.  Perfect for my shopping spree.

So next Thursday, I will be treating myself to:

And something great courtesy of my contact rebate.  So, if you've given me a gift card to one of these places in the past year or so, THANK YOU! 

And then on Friday, I desperately need to find a job because I have a growing wish list of things that I do NOT have gift cards for ... but they really deserve their own post.  


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Saturday Afternoon ...

We left off after lunch, when we were headed over to Deception Pass State Park to do some hiking.  We started at Rosario Beach (where I did not take any pictures, whoops).  It was crowded so we left pretty quickly.  It was funny to see all the people hanging out on the beach in pants and long sleeves though!  

We set off from our new spot and came upon:

We kept hiking and came upon a deserted cove ... it was perfect!  Mrs. R and I sat around enjoying the afternoon sun while J. and Mr. R. went off exploring.  Lucy couldn't decide what to do, so she spent her afternoon running around checking on everyone.

We had a great view of Deception Pass from our little cove:

Me and Mrs. R.:

And then the fog came back, it got really cold and we left.  The End.  

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weekend Recap!

We had a great weekend ... and, even better, there's only one more weekend to be ruined by bar prep!

Friday:  J. had the day off and was SUPER productive.  He put tons of things on eBay, put together our new TV stand (the old one was broken in the move), hung pictures, went grocery shopping, made dinner, got everything ready for hiking on Saturday, and did tons of laundry.  I spent the day with my BarBri books.  Ugh.  The end is in sight though!

Saturday:  we spent the day in Anacortes!  Anacortes is about an hour north of Everett, on Fidalgo Island. It is absolutely beautiful up there and it's where most of our friends in the Navy live.

Here's a visual - Everett to Anacortes:

View Larger Map

And a map of the island:

View Larger Map

The plan was to meet up with our friends, the R.'s and then head over to Deception Pass to do some hiking and have a picnic lunch.  But, Mr. R. had found a great spot for lunch that was on the way to Deception Pass, so we headed over there.  And we were not disappointed.  It was a gorgeous day and I think we saw a total of 5 people while we were hiking and having lunch.  It was fantastic.

The view from our picnic spot ... there was a light fog, which cleared up as we ate.

It was beautiful.  The sun was shining, the fog was gorgeous and the water was sparkling.  The best part was that there were no other people out there.  What a hidden gem.

Kayakers below our picnic spot:

Pretty cactus like flowers that were growing on the rocks:
(I think the proper name is Echeveria)

Lucy came too!  And she's looking very pretty with her bouquet:

That "little" island to the left is for sale ... for $14 million you can have a gem in the Pacific Northwest.  Comes with a house and a landing strip for your plane!

And then we packed up and headed over to Deception Pass State Park.  Come back tomorrow for pictures of the bridge and the deserted beach that we found!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Flights are booked ...

to San Francisco and Houston!  And I cannot wait.  I haven't left Washington since we moved up here and I CANNOT wait to catch up with friends and family.

J. and I are going to San Francisco for a long weekend to catch up with some friends from Purdue ... it will be a mini Italy reunion for me and also a farewell to my good friend, B., who will be spending the next year in Afghanistan with the Army/Air Force Reserves.  He's always jet-setting to some remote corner of the world, but I wish he was staying a little closer to home!  Or at least not leaving for an entire year.  J.'s friend, W., is stationed about three hours from San Fran in Lemoore, so we are hoping to meet up with him as well.     

Then, Katie and I will be spending a full week in Houston!  She got to see the family the first weekend in June when they traveled to Cresco, IA to bury our Pop-pop, but I haven't seen anyone since graduation weekend, which passed in a blur.  Graduating, hosting, packing and preparing to move left little time to just sit and chat with the family.  We are lucky to have family that live in such great cities -- Houston and Chicago -- there's always so much to do every time we visit!  I love Houston and cannot wait to break out all my shorts and sundresses that aren't being worn here! 

And of course ... I am REALLY looking forward to visiting my most favorite place on Earth: 

Where I will be eating lots and lots of this: 

The ice cream is so good, it probably deserves it's own post.  After I've tasted every flavor to make sure that the Chocolate Bar hasn't been skimping on quality since my last visit.  I'd hate to recommend terrible tasting ice cream.  

I better return to my studies ... I promise to put my weekend pictures up tomorrow.  Somehow, time slipped away from me today and I didn't get my pictures uploaded.  I hate when that happens! 


Monday, July 19, 2010

Sundays ...

I love Sundays.  There is something so great about spending the day in your pajamas and glasses and being super lazy, super productive or somewhere in between.  When we woke up this morning, the nice warm weather and sun had left us which made it a good day for lounging around inside (also good since I need to spend millions of hours studying today).

Lately, Sundays have been my day to cross things off my to-do list and get ready for the upcoming week - not that my weeks change much, but it's still nice to start the week off on a good note!  Since we moved to Washington, we've started meal planning.  Sunday is the perfect day to sit down, figure out what you want to eat in the coming week and go grocery shopping.  It sounds like a lot of work, but really, it simplifies eating for the whole week.  There's no debating in front of the fridge or spending millions of dollars a week on take-out.  And usually there are enough leftovers for a lunch or two.

Most of my favorite blogs post recipes regularly, so I keep note of new recipes that I want to try and mix them in with the classics.  J. has been doing a lot of good recipe finding of his own lately too.  In fact, he practically did this week's meal planning on his own!  His favorite cooking website is  Mine are the Pioneer Woman and Tasty Kitchen, although this week, I came across a new site that had several recipes that looked delicious - this cute blog!

Here's what will be cooking at our house this week:

Sunday night:  California Pizzas, courtesy of

Monday night:  Meatball Sliders, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

Tuesday night:  Chicken Taco Soup, courtesy of  I love slow cooker recipes ... less work for me!

Wednesday night:  Leftovers.

Thursday night:  Chicken or Salmon with veggies.

We don't really plan for the weekend -- we usually get together with friends one night or get take-out.  We're trying to test out all the restaurants in Everett before we have guests!  

Come back tomorrow for a Weekend Recap post, complete with LOTS of pictures from our hiking adventure yesterday!  Hope you all enjoyed your weekends -- Happy Sunday!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Deception Pass

Today, we're going hiking in Deception Pass State Park.  The link to the state park website is here.  Josh drives over this bridge every day that he goes to the base, it connects Whidbey Island (where the base is located) to the mainland.  It is gorgeous up there and I am really excited to do some exploring!

Picture of the bridge:

We're doing a 5-mile hike and stopping along the way to have a picnic.  Our friends, the R's, are supposed to meet us up there as well.  It's supposed to be 72 and sunny, so I am hoping to get some sun!!!!  And maybe lounge on the beach for a little bit!

Aerial view:

                                                                                (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Hopefully, I will take lots of pictures and have a good recap tomorrow or Monday.  Hope you all have a great weekend!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

For A Good Cause ...

Here's a fun blog I stumbled upon today:  Nat Kat Designs.  She has SUPER cute stuff, especially if you look through her older posts.  I think I am going to order some of these or these or this or this or this for my Christmas decorating this winter.  I just love the ornament canvas!  Don't be surprised if any of the above show up under your tree this Christmas!  

She also designs stationary and is donating all notecard proceeds this month to the Cohen Memorial Trust.  Cohen is the son of Megan, from In This Wonderful Life, a blog I've been following.  He was born in June with a heart defect and passed away two weeks later.  Lots of people in the blogging community have been doing things to raise money to help the Marshall's pay their son's medical bills.  So, if you need some new notecards, these are really cute and the proceeds are going to a good cause.  You can read all about Cohen here  and you can order notecards here.

Hope you are all having a good Friday!  I will be slaving away with my BarBri books all day :)  Today's agenda includes:  Admin/Constitutional Law, Property, Evidence, Torts and Secured Transactions.  Now, doesn't that sound fun?


Friday, July 16, 2010

Welcome to the Northwest!

I've been contemplating starting a blog for a while now ... I just kept coming up with a million excuses not to. I'm not funny enough. I can't commit to posting regularly. I'm not a good writer. I can't think of a good enough blog name. The list goes on and on. But, I finally bit the bullet. And here I am!

Blogs are a big part of my life these days. The internet is my favorite method of procrastination while studying ... and I've been studying since June 1st ... so I've been doing a lot of interneting. And that means a lot of blog reading and finding new blogs and blog archive reading. You get the picture. Anywho, the first thing I do when I get up every morning is check my favorite blogs to see if they've posted ... it's my favorite part of the morning! In some ways, it's kind of creepy, here I am reading about people I don't know and used to know nothing about. But now I know what they are doing on a day to day basis. Weird. But also nice to know that there are so many people out there that are a lot like me! I've gotten great recipes, decorating ideas, wardrobe tips, etc. and I love it! I hope to provide that for all of you ... just bear with me while I figure this all out!

And ... blogging is a great way for my friends and family in the Midwest to keep up with my new life out in the Pacific Northwest!

Happy Reading,