Monthly Archives: May 2011

One Year – Done (for me)

I wrote this past weekend about Ducks finishing his 1L year. Well, today’s my a one-year milestone for me as well – the one-year anniversary of this humble blog. A year ago, when I was obsessively gleaning wisdom from Law School Wife’s blog and thinking about starting my own, I never would have thought that:

1) I’d actually stick to a project for this long.

2) I’d come to like and enjoy and care about people from the internet so much!

I wanted to do a contest on the one-year anniversary, but apparently I can’t get myself together enough to accomplish that. So…how about I get that kind of thing together over the long weekend? 😉

Thanks to everyone who has been so lovely and supportive this year – I hope to keep in touch with all of you (and meet more of you!) as Ducks and I continue the law school journey.

Two other things of note for this day:

– The first of my bridesmaid announced her pregnancy yesterday. It’s crazy to me, but she looks so adorable and happy. She is one of the best little homemakers I know – someone who really takes a lot of joy in creating things of beauty, elegant meals, etc. She will make a great mom. But, I will say, although I’ve posted once about a bit of a baby bug, that’s safely in check. I want to still wait for about three more years (at which time I’ll be 30 – aah!).

– Stabler is leaving SVU. Travesty. They shouldn’t break up this duo.

That’s all I have to say about that.

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Guest Post: LSW Alumna

Tangles is a wife, mom and, like us, has gone through the whole law school experience. She’s also just completely amazing – I’ve enjoyed reading her blog and learning about her life. After reading her blog, I asked her to give us some advice from the other side – advice about being in a relationship with a professional student. Since I gave you my 1L-alum spin on things, I thought someone like Tangles might be a good adviser for all of us, since she’s been through it all! Give her a read, then stop by her blog! 🙂

From Tangles:

I would like to thank Legally Married for asking me to write a guest post.  She is such a sweetie and I am incredibly flattered!

 Life on the Outside: 

Tips for Life as a Girlfriend/Fiancee/Wife of a Law Student

 This was our timeline of the roller coaster ride that was law school.

  •  1/2002   Hubs and I meet for the first time.  He’s beginning his second year at Baylor Law School.
  • 5/2002   We’re engaged!
  • 6/2002   Hubs is in Dallas for six weeks for a clerkship at a law firm. 
  • 7/2002   We’re married!
  • 8/2002   Hubs is in Guadalajara, Mexico for two weeks for a class for law school.
  • 5/2003   We’re moving to Amarillo for the summer.  I didn’t want to be apart from Hubs for four months, so I quit my job in Waco.
  • 8/2003   We’re back in Waco so Hubs can finish up law school. 
  • 2004       Hubs graduated!  We’re moving back to Amarillo.  I’ll miss my family, but I’m excited about embarking on this adventure! 

 As a girlfriend, it’s so exciting at first, to be dating a law student.  He is so mature and attending law school seems so grown up!  Then reality sets in.  He’s busy almost all the time – either attending class or studying.  It makes you cherish the time you get to spend together.

 As a fiancee, it’s frustrating.  You’re trying to plan a wedding and dealing with family issues while he’s clerking at a law firm.  You enjoy getting to go to fancy parties and wine tastings, but what you really want is just to be with him.

 As a wife, it’s little easier because you’re married now and living together.  You can finally see the end in sight.  It’s so exciting because he’s been looking for jobs.

 Benefits:

  1. Having lots of free time when he’s studying/working.  (Enjoy that time, but cherish the time you spend together.)
  2. Attending law school banquets, parties (fancy or not!), and trips with the law firms.
  3. Once he secures a job, hopefully a nice salary and peace of mind!
  4. Knowing that he is a diligent worker.  (Law school is hard!)
  5. Not running the household when he has free time.  (I hardly did any housework the first two years of our marriage because he was home/studying more than I was!

 Challenges:

  1. Missing each other and making time for each other.
  2. Allowing him to do what he needs to do – whether it’s studying, working, or free time for himself.
  3. Living on a small budget.
  4. Both of you having full-time jobs with different schedules.
  5. Running a household mainly by yourself sometimes (i.e. paying bills, cleaning, cooking, etc.)
  6. Feeling like an outsider.  (It seems that every conversation revolves around law school, but I definitely don’t advocate going to law school to follow a guy or get away from a guy.  If you go to law school, do it because you love the law!)

 Helpful Tips:

  1. Law school is a full-time job.  Always be supportive, encouraging, and understanding.
  2. Try to help him in any way you can – whether it’s mailing applications, licking envelopes, etc.
  3.  Take a vacation together before he begins his lawyer job!  (We did not do this, but kind of wish we did!)
  4. Save your $$$.  (I wouldn’t recommend buying a home right away.  Make sure the job and location are going to work out.)
  5. Don’t bog him down with all the details of something.  Keep it short and sweet.
  6. Don’t bombard him with anything (good or bad) as soon as he walks in the door.

 *Tangles and Hubs live near Dallas with their 13 month old son, Babe.  Hubs quit his lawyer job to pursue his dream of being a teacher.  He is currently a principal in the public school system.  Tangles quit her job as a banking officer to be a stay-at-home mom.  

Visit her blog at http://tangledintexas.blogspot.com/.*

1L Finals …. Part Deux

“Are you glad to have him back?”

That’s the question I keep hearing, now that we’re actually out of the last round of 1L finals. The answer, of course, is a resounding yes.

But, for the sake of posterity, and by posterity, I mean future wives and girlfriends, I’ll tell you a bit about the second round of law school finals.

First, they seemed interminably long. Really, truly ridiculously long. I guess part of that is because of my husband’s studious nature. He basically put himself on lockdown for a month before finals, only taking breaks to go to the gym. During the Fall 2010 finals, it was a little different because he would take time off to watch college basketball. This spring semester, though, had no distractions ripe enough to draw him from his books.

Second, I think it’s unfair that finals are both right around holidays. Easter and Thanksgiving are non-entities with law school finals. Basically they meant making a nice meal, spending about 20 minutes together while he ate, then parting ways again as he went into the studious abyss.

Third, these finals were a lot less stressful.  Last year, the research and writing memo completion ran right up against finals study time. This year, there was a little more time, but that wasn’t the reason for the slight relief. I think the biggest thing was just that we knew what the whole finals routine was. We were prepared, and he was even more confident than last fall.

Fourth, there was a break to look forward to. Between me and Ducks’ new boss, we convinced him that a break was required. Last Christmas, he went back to work and worked the entire break. Then, during spring break he studied the entire time. But the new boss said that wasn’t going to be allowed – that he had to take two weeks off before going to work. So, I think knowing there was a breather up ahead was probably helpful as well.

I think always during finals it’s important to have a thick skin as a spouse. Not that Ducks has been crabby or upset or anything, just that it’s a stressful time. One of my failings is trying to make a big deal about something, like a nice dinner, then getting upset because I don’t feel that it’s been appreciated enough. Don’t do this. Find things to keep yourself busy, so that you don’t feel like you’re being ignored. 😉

I took over dishwasher duty again during finals so that he would have minimal distractions. Ducks really does like to help with chores, but I didn’t want him to have too much to worry about during the stressful time of the year.

So far, things are looking to turn out well. We’ll see – all the grades won’t be out for a while. But, tell me all about y’all’s finals experiences? How was it? Congrats on making it through!

PS I have an exciting guest post coming up this week! Yaaaaay!

Great Date

So, I’m ashamed to say I’m behind on the pretence of saying this is a legal blog and of talking about my husband’s actual attendance of law school (which, please, obviously it’s all about me). I’ll get to that this week, after wedding stuff is over. 😉

But, I will say, I love him not being in school. Last night, we just went out and had two cheap beers and just talked. It’s so nice to just get away from the house, to get away from the distractions of being in your normal environment. It forces you to talk about things. As Ducks said, “Things come up in conversation that never have come up before.” And, it’s true. When you are at home and have chores and TV and technology and separate interests to distract you, conversation can become peremptory. Just getting out can change your conversation, change your outlook and just be refreshing. And, I learned something very new and interesting about my husband. In fourth grade, he begged and pleaded until he got this for Christmas.

To which I said, “WHAT?! I thought you were MFFL!?!”

There’s no telling what you might learn on a date night, obviously even to the point of discovering your husband once wore a turquoise and lavender parka. I heartily recommend it. 😉

April Reading List

Here are this past month’s (long-overdue) reads – which, by the way, I’m so happy that my reading hiatus is over. I felt like the past month’s books were kind of disappointing, though, so don’t expect many edifying suggestions.

These first four books I bought at a library book sale. It was “put as many books as possible in a bag and buy it for $5” sale, so I ended up with a pretty mixed bag, from Tom Clancy for Ducks’ grandfather to all these fluffy books that I read.

Smart vs. Pretty

A book about two sisters who strive to save their family’s coffee shop, this story seemed very formulaic. It gave me hope that I could actually finish writing a book someday. 😉

Make Him Look Good

When I bought this book, I forgot that I had already read it, because the cover looks nothing like what the actual story is about. It’s about Milan, a young woman who still lives with her parents, trudges around in sweatpants and fantasizes about Ricky (I forgot his last name), a pop singer. Bascially, just imagine a book about an assistant being in love with Ricky Martin, who happens to be having an affair with J.Lo. That’s what this story is. If you’re going to read anything by Valdez-Rodriguez, I recommend The Dirty Girls’ Social Club as a better read.

Priestess of Avalon

I find Marian Zimmer Bradley’s writings to be weirdly fascinating, I guess because they’re so foreign, all about Avalon, worship of the Goddess, etc. I liked Mists of Avalon, because that books was tied in with the Arthurian legends. This one is about St. Helena, mother of Constantine, the first Christian emperor. I thought it was interesting in the perspective it provided of Christianity against the historical backdrop of a pantheistic society. Again, this is an interesting read, but if you’re going to try one of her books, I recommend Mists of Avalon instead.

Lost in the Forest

This is a disturbing book, all about a young girl whose stepfather dies, which then throws her into a world of despair and a creepy relationship with an older man. There are really graphic descriptions of their intimate relations, which I really disliked, because it was disturbing and just gross. The only thing I could hope was that maybe this author wrote the novel to get some closure if something of this nature had happened to her while growing up. Otherwise, I don’t know why people invent such tales. I wouldn’t take time to read this if I were you.

The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

As with any historically-based fiction, I liked this book. I love getting a sense of time and place about the authors that I love so well. However, I was very unhappy to read the author’s note at the end of the story and discover that McNees had actually invented so many of the characters without any historical basis. If you liked Little Women, you should read this book, as it gives a more realistic view of Alcott’s family than the idealized version she creates in her novel.

The Lady and the Poet

This was by far my favorite book of the month. It’s about the tumultuous love story of Ann More and John Donne, one of my favorite poets. I didn’t know a lot about Donne, other than what I learned in my college English classes, so it was interesting to hear all about the great love of his life. Here’s a link to my favorite Donne poem as well.

Gods Behaving Badly

Scandal, that’s what this book is about! Seriously, I don’t like books where there are pervasive amounts of sex. Apparently, in this book, the Olympian gods are all living together in a house in London, losing their powers, getting weak and turning women into trees (an allusion also to my favorite sculpture). This was readable, but honestly, I prefer the exploits of the gods in Percy Jackon very much to the exploits of these “grown up” gods.

Water for Elephants

 

Everyone else on the Internet has talked about Water for Elephants, so there’s no need for me to say a lot about it. Unless you live under a rock, or everyone in your book club is super-busy, you’ve probably also already seen the movie. 😉

This is a great book – I recommend everyone read it. But, of course, unless you live under a rock, you probably have.

Catching Fire/Mockingjay

Finally got to finish up the Hunger Games trilogy. I liked them because I stayed surprised to the end, even though basically they are sad books, in my opinion. I sometimes wonder why there are so many rebellions and wars and stuff in kids’ books/young adult books. Like, for instance, Harry Potter. There had to be wars and such and good people had to die.

I don’t want to write too much and give anything away, but I thought everything ended up as it had to be in the end.

There are a couple of books that are on my want-to-read list, but that are not available at my library – Room (which Melissa @ Duoly Noted recommended) and the Pemberley Chronicles.

Alright, so there are last month’s books. Time for me to go back to crying and watching “The Young Victoria.” I think it’s reasonable to predict I might have some Victoria-esque literature on next month’s list because I’m falling in love with her and Albert.

Let’s Talk about Sex

Okay, actually, let’s talk about birth control (it’s all related, right?).

I want to know your opinions on it. More specifically, I want to know if anyone out there uses Seasonique. I went to the doctor for that lovely little thing called the annual visit yesterday. During our chat, I told her about my headaches, which, as you guys probably remember, are so severe that they cause me to be sick.

She suggested that I try Seasonique because of something having to do with low-dose hormones during the off-week, as well as the fact that headaches would be less frequent (once every three months, instead of every month). So, I said I’d try it and she gave me a sample pack. However, when I got home last night and started doing some research, I was alarmed that there seem to be quite a few side effects. I know that a lot of people say birth control makes you gain weight, but there were people posting about gaining 70 pounds on Seasonique! I know that can’t all be from the pill; some of it has to be lifestyle, but still….I don’t want to gain any weight.

I’d be really interested to hear what you all do about contraceptives. I know I’ve seen Natalie blog about her own journey to finding the right method. I’d like to hear what you guys do or have done, what pills you take (if you take them), what other methods you use and what side effects you’ve seen.

So, now that I’ve asked everyone to put their personal lives out there, happy Friday! Happy last day of finals here too! 🙂

Am I Anti-Mother’s Day?

Should I go see my mom for Mother’s Day?

Apparently, she’s telling everyone in the family that Jo (sister living with me) and I should come up to visit this weekend. My parents live six and a half hours away. Even if we were just going to meet in the town where my sister Beth goes to college, it’s still three and a half hours away.

I’ve already spent money on a gift and mailed it, therefore spending money on postage. Now, apparently we’ve been told she actually wants new tennis shoes as a gift, and since I ended up paying (on a law school family budget)  90% of the total price for the designer boots she demanded for Christmas, I just don’t feel like expending any more time or effort.

I’ve alluded on this blog to the fact that my mom and I have a rocky relationship, and that she’s been very hurtful, controlling and truly just mean in the past. I just don’t think I should be expected to make a long drive on the first weekend after my husband finishes finals to another city to spend time with and cater to the ego of someone who doesn’t really treat me very nicely.

But, what’s your opinion? Should I suck it up and go? Should I spend money on the extra gift she wants?

PS We’re not going to go see Ducks’ family either. I bought and mailed similarly-priced gifts to both, and his parents will actually be visiting his grandparents in another city. So, it’s not like we’re choosing one family over the other. We’re just choosing our family (me and Ducks), to try to rest a bit and relieve the strain of finals. Is this okay, or bratty?