Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Day in the Life . . .

Hey y'all, so after discussion with my sister about just how incredibly interesting "day in the life" blog posts always are, and given that I need to catch you up on my life anyway because I haven't blogged in months, I decided to do a post on a "day in the life of a lawyer." This sample day in my life reflects some things that went on both on Wednesday and Thursday last week, so it's not really one specific day, but all of these events happened on one or the other of those two days and this will give you a good idea of what my typical day is like:

5:11 am: Wake up because Max (my cat) is meowing like the world's about to end (as he so often does at the crack of dawn). I manage to tune him out and fall back to sleep until about 6.

6 am: Wake up and pay all my bills on my iPhone, and check emails and my calendar, while lying in bed.

6:30: Shower.

6:45-7:15: Go "back to bed" for 30 minutes. I do this every day after I take a shower. It helps me start the day on a relaxed note. I use the time to read articles I want to read, get on Facebook, update my to-do list, even journal if I feel like it.

7:15: Get ready for work. Drink an Arden's Garden smoothie for "breakfast." If you've never had one of these, you should because they are delicious and really healthy.

8:15: Arrive at the office. Check work emails. Get coffee (which I will probably not actually drink more than 3 sips of, as those who know me well can attest).

8:30: Phone call with client. Work on drafting requests for production of evidence for several subpoenas for a case.

10:00: Case list meeting. My whole practice group gets together every few weeks to get a game plan on cases, figure out who's working on what, and discuss strategy.

11:00: Draft motion for contempt for another case.

11:45: Meeting with my boss about a client's settlement agreement.

12:20: Go get a salad at the cafe next door.

1:00: Conference call with one of the expert witnesses for a case.

1:30: Meeting with client.

3:00: Phone call with client about a settlement agreement.

3:45: Legal research.

4:30: Draft a motion in limine, which is a request for the court to exclude certain evidence from trial, typically because it is legally irrelevant or prejudicial.

5:30: Wrap up my work on the subpoenas from this morning.

6:00: Leave the office for the day. Go run my errands (pick up dry cleaning, buy food for Max, and get gas).

6:45: Get home, make dinner, watch TV, phone call with my parents, and phone call with my sister.

8:15: Go to my gym and go swimming.

9:30: Return home and read my book (Jodi Picoult's The Storyteller) and get ready for bed.

11:00: Go to bed!

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my typical day! Maybe I can even start including "write a blog post" in more of my typical days . . .

Monday, July 20, 2015

Travel Updates!

Readers, I have recently finished my whirlwind few weeks of travel! Since late June, I have been to Chicago, New York City, and Sarasota, Florida for a family reunion. I've seen Matilda on Broadway, been to Times Square, toured Chelsea Market in NYC, seen snow leopards and penguins at the Central Park Zoo, had drinks in the bar on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Tower in Chicago (and gotten stuck in the elevator on the 95th floor of said tower, but that's another story entirely), spent four days at an INTENSE but incredibly helpful family law conference, met family law associates from all over the country, seen the sun set over Siesta Key Beach, seen the Statue of Liberty, and so much more. Here are some of my pictures!

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New York skyline from the top of the Empire State Building. 

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Times Square. 

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If you're thinking, "That looks like the apartment building from Friends," you're right!

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Beautiful sunsets in Sarasota: on the beach and in the air. 

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Doughnuts from the Doughnut Plant in NYC!

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The Chicago skyline

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The Bean in Chicago

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Chicago at night. 

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And this weekend I bought a plane ticket to Paris and one to Reykjavik, which is in Iceland. I am so excited! Meagan and I are going together in November, because life's too short not to stroll the cobblestone streets in Rome, sip coffee and eat croissants in a Parisian bakery, see the Eiffel Tower, see the Northern Lights, see the Colosseum at night, and so much more!

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I can't believe that we are actually going to make the Europe trip happen . . . my sister and I have been looking forward to this for a long time, and we're so thrilled that we are going to get to satisfy a little bit of our wanderlust!

In the meantime, well, it's back to that associate attorney life! I'm in the process of drafting up a list of "core competencies" that I would like to have gained by the time I reach the end of this year . . . does anyone else do this? Probably just me, because I am a nerd. But my list includes things like knowing all the basics of divorce taxation issues; having the ability to speak articulately and knowledgeably about complex family law matters; and competency with all major types of drafting, including settlement agreements, modifications, contempts, discovery, requests for admission, motions for reconsideration, motions to compel, emergency motions, etc. By the end of this year, I want to feel confident and comfortable with most of these very basic lawyering skills so that I don't feel like I'm having to start from scratch with each new project and assignment. It is satisfying to already be at the point where, for many tasks, I have already seen it or something like it before and therefore have some idea of what to do. My absolute favorite cases are ones that involve either complex civil procedure questions, complex custody issues, or both. Well, I need to finish writing a memo so that's all for tonight!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Knowing the Heart of God

How many times as Christians do we find ourselves complaining about how we just don't understand what God could possibly be doing in our lives? We don't understand why he has brought us to a certain place or a certain circumstance. We don't know what his plan could possibly be and we start to question whether he really has a grip on what the future holds, even though we know he says that he does. We look at our lives and just wonder, "What could God possibly be thinking?" I find myself wondering this sometimes, and I'm sure you have wondered it too. Didn't he know I expected _____ to be so different than it is? Why would he think that the circumstance I'm in would ever work out ok? Why would he give me one thing when it seems so clear that I need another? And the doubts can go on and on if we let them.

But this past week, God impressed something on my heart very clearly, and it was this: I cannot know the mind of God, but I can and do know the heart of God, and that is enough. So often our angst and confusion and frustration with God comes from trying to understand what is in his mind and to see everything he sees and to know everything he knows, even though this is impossible for us as humans. We simply can't understand why God does everything he does. He knows things that we cannot possibly know--and that we should not know. He knows the future even though we don't, and isn't that a blessing? There are so many things in my life that, if I had been able to see into the future and known how hard they were going to be, I would never have pursued them in the first place, but I've been blessed in the long term because I did. There have been times in my life when years after the fact, God gave me some insight into why he allowed a certain circumstance to happen in my life or to glimpse a little bit of the purpose it may have served in his plan for my life. But other times, we never know and never see what God is doing, thinking, knowing, and seeing behind the scenes. He knows exactly what your life and the world around you will look like tomorrow, next week, and in 2050, even though we don't and can't even fathom having this understanding.

The reason we do not need to be burdened with our inability to know the mind of God is because we do know the heart of God, and it is for us. His heart delights in us and delights in working in our lives for His glory and our good. Because we know God's heart for us, we know that he works in our lives out of his great love and compassion for us and his desire to build our faith and make us more like Christ. We know that he has good plans for our lives and that he has promised to meet our needs, to fill our cups, and to satisfy our desires with good things. He has promised that he is FOR us and fighting for us, and that he goes before us and will be with us in everything, no matter what we face. Because I know that this is the heart of God, I can trust him and trust his purposes and plans even though I cannot know the mind of God, and I cannot see everything he sees or know why certain things happen and other things don't. I can take great comfort in knowing that I know the heart of God, and it delights in me. And in you.