Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Toes, Friends, Camp

It's been crazy around here.  Evie's back at camp again. Chuck and I are trying to keep our heads above water with work, kids, volunteer commitments, social obligations, and all the rest of the stuff we take on.  I'm currently on a conference call board meeting.  Totally bored, by the way.  Still, it gives me a chance to get you all up to date. 

George has a toe infection - gross.

Evie has no problem being away from us for days and days at a time.  Sad for me, happy for her.

Luke's best friend is awesome, and playdates abound.  In fact, that's where he is right now.

I'm so over Minecraft - and that's a post unto itself.  Seriously.

I'm busy trying to build up my law practice while serving as president of our local junior woman's club and having fun with my side business - selling Rodan+Fields products.  I'm a horrible salesperson, by the way.  I just love the products (both legal and skin-related), but I am terrible at selling myself and my products.  What's up with that?  *sigh*  I just keep on keeping on.

This weekend we spent a day at Lake Texoma with Chuck's immediate family for a little reunion.  It was pretty nice - especially since the weather was so gorgeous.  I kind of wish we could have spent another couple days of soaking up the sounds of the lake water, birds, and wind.  I'm seriously craving some simpler times, but that's not what I've signed up for at the moment.

I also have a lot of people on my mind right now.  It seems like many of my friends and relatives are going through tough times with illness, death, job losses, family troubles, and more.  I feel like everytime I turn around someone is asking for prayers in a desperate situation.  I've been there, so I understand.  And prayers work, so I can't fault anyone for asking for them.  I just wish I could send up prayers regularly for everyone.

On the bright side, our troubles seem to be morphing into a new life.  Nothing was resolved that made our life go back to normal, but it's time for us to move on and face our new normal.  I love my family so much, and I'm ready to be the happy, go-lucky Professional Mother that you know me to be. 

As for marathoning, well it's still on the radar.  I ran 10 miles the Saturday before last, and this last Saturday (during the reunion) was a step-back week so I only ran 7 miles.  This weekend I'm going to tackle 12 miles.  TWELVE!  Yeah, I'm worried, but I just have to keep plodding forward like the tortoise.

Speaking of our shell-covered friends, here's some footage of the kids and me saving a turtle who was stuck in the mud.
video


We also went to feed the ducks at the Duck Pond.  So much fun!



Monday, July 7, 2014

Calvin & Hobbes

Yes, we did it.  I got kittens!

In the past few years, since we lost our cat Abby, we have experienced 2 separate (but significant) rodent infestations in our garage.  And I mean, significant!  These rats moved in, brought their furniture, a TV, and all their extended relatives and friends.  It was ridiculous.  And disgusting.  I mean, really, really disgusting - especially after we killed them all and they started to decompose.  I feel like barfing just thinking about it.  And this is what led us to actually getting a cat.  Chuck casually mentioned that getting a cat would alleviate our rodent issues and suddenly, I was sold!

Of course, I had specifics.  I really wanted an orange kitten and have been telling people this casually for the last year whenever we talk about pets.  I grew up with orange cats, so I have a soft heart for them.  My longest-living, best, most awesome cat ever was named Sport.  He was orange and was with me for many years when we first moved to Texas.  In spite of the fact that I treated him like my own living baby doll, including making him "pretty" with lotions which sent him to the vet.  After recently telling a girlfriend about my desire to have an orange kitty, she posted this picture on FB and asked me if this cat from a local rescue group could be my new orange kitty. 

 
Um...I was sold.  Immediately! Of course, the cat was only 4 weeks old, so we had to wait until he got to be 8 weeks old before he could come home with us.  I told the kids, printed a picture and put it on the fridge, and announced it to the world through FB.  We even picked out a name - "Hobbes The Karate Kitty".  We were committed.  A few weeks later, I contacted the rescue group and asked when I could expect our baby to come to its forever home.  And that's when they broke the news: Karate Kitty had become thoroughly attached to the other kitten in its foster home and they wanted to place the cats together.  And here they are.

 
I was floored. It was as if the obgyn had just announced I was having twins.  I mean, I was ready for the singleton, but I was not prepared for a second cat.  And the way they made it sound, I had to take both. So, after much whining and pouting and sighing around the house, Chuck asked me, "What is wrong with you?"  And I huffed, "I just don't know what to do about this cat thing.  I mean, I promised the kids that we'd get the orange kitten, but now we can only get it if we take the other cat too."  He rolled his eyes, unpaused his television show, and said, "Quit your whining, and just get both cats."  My jaw dropped.  I snapped it closed, and didn't say another word.

And that was that. 

I'll admit I was still unsure about the decision.  Seriously, two cats is a lot.  We freaking became Noah's Ark overnight.  And I really mean that: two dogs, two cats, two hermit crabs...

We are now the owners of two kittens: Calvin and Hobbes, the Karate Kitties (or as Evie has dubbed them, "Karate Kitty" and "Kung Fu Kitty", or as Chuck has dubbed them, "Waxon" and "Waxoff").  I swear, we have trouble with names, because now that they are here, we call them the "Orange One" and the "Black One". 


After a week of keeping the dogs and cats apart and only allowing brief encounters, we've finally opened up the house for inter-species mingling.  It's going quite well!  The dogs are sooooo curious.  The cats are less than thrilled.  The Black One (aka Calvin) is particularly offended by the dogs, but they all seem to be coming to an undestanding.  Plus, there has been no biting or bloodshed, so I'm feeling pretty good!

The kids are obsessed, and we all are loving these sweet cats.  Truly!  Calvin is less shy than Hobbes, but Hobbes likes to be held more than Calvin.  Therefore, there are more pictures of Hobbes because he will hold still for us.  He's sooooo tiny, even at 9 weeks old.  Calvin is a month older, and obviously, bigger.  Both are soft and really, really playful!  As you can see, we are in love with our new extended family!








Even Chuck!



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My kids, the kittens, and Hobby Lobby

They are back!

And my heart is full again -- as is my house.  They are beautiful and fantastic and wonderful and annoying and messy!  And we've adopted two kittens who are beyond adorable and deserve an entire post unto themselves.

 

In the mean time, I've had a killer June as far as work goes!  Fantastic!  Now, I just have to keep it up!  Since about March of this year I've been working on increasing my advertising and it really seems to be working.  It makes a difference when you actively tell people you are open for business.  In June alone, I opened up 15 new files! That's huge since I only had about 15 files opened between January and May.  And, to be honest, May was a little sad when it comes to collections.  The true test will be if the stream of clients continues to flow in the coming months.  One of my biggest efforts was to hire a graphic designer to create a flier containing a "Legal Checklist for New Parents."





Anyway, I've had a wonderful group of ladies (each of whom I happen to call "friend" as well as "Doctor") who have agreed to include these gems in the new-parent goodie bag at their obstetrical office.  Do you call it an obstetrical office or obstetrician's office, or OBGYN office, or Baby Doc office or Vag Docs Office or what?  I don't know, and clearly I have digressed.  Back to the subject at hand.  I owe them big time!  Of course, it may not turn into anything, but my fingers are crossed that new parents will take the advice and plan for their child's future, even if they contact a different attorney to address their needs.  You'd be amazed how many young parents do not have wills. Absolutely unbelievable.


And while I'm on the subject of work, I'm going to have a little rant about something closely related to work - the Hobby Lobby ruling this week.  Wow!  I mean, really, WOW!  What a response people are having to this ruling.  But really, as much as I have used (and continue to use birth control), I cannot get behind the people who are announcing this ruling as SCOTUS allowing a corporation to come between a woman and her birth control.  Um, seriously?  No. That was not the holding.  Not. At. All.  Wendy Davis (my neighbor and community leader here in Fort Worth), your statement was flat out wrong and misleading.  Puh-lease!  I don't care if you disagree with the holding (because that's what makes our legal system so amazing!), but at least make true statements.  That's all I ask.

And now people are going to boycott Hobby Lobby in the same fashion as Chik-fil-a.  Ohhhh-kaaaayyyy.  I actually have only been in the store two times. That's it.  I have no intention of changing my shopping habits in any way after this legal decision, and since I've only been there 2 times, it's not really an issue. I also didn't stop eating at Chik-fil-a when all that was hot and heavy (except to avoid the outrageously long lines when the "Christians" lined up to support them during the storm - yeah, I stopped eating there at that time just to avoid the long lines).  I simply don't feel personally offended by the actions of the owners, because everyone is entitled to have their own opinion and religious beliefs so that we can continue to have "religious freedom".  In the same way, I wouldn't stop shopping at a store if it turned out that the owners were misogynistic bastards.  I just don't care enough.  Okay, totally opening a floodgate of responses, but, again, this is just one woman's opinion.




 
If I worked for Hobby Lobby right now, the only thing that happened is that the Court said I can have any form of birth control I want to use - a right that was never in question, by the way - but Hobby Lobby doesn't have to pay for it.  Why?  Because Hobby Lobby is a closely held corporation whose small number of owners don't believe in abortive birth control.  All the court said was that the government can't make Hobby Lobby (and, in turn, the owners of Hobby Lobby) pay for their employees birth control if it violates their religious beliefs.  "Their" - meaning the small number of individuals who own the corporation.  That doesn't mean the employees can't have birth control.  They can!  Of course they can!  The difference is simply that Hobby Lobby doesn't have to pay for the birth control. 

So, just like how I've had to pay for my birth control when I was employed in the past (including while working at my own law firm right now), these employees will have to pay for their own birth control if they want it.  That's it. That's the entire effect.  Are their potentially opened doors by this ruling?  Maybe, but only because every single sentence the Supreme Court writes in an opinion opens the door for interpretation.  But the likely answer, is "no" we haven't opened the door so far as to allow companies to rely on religion so that they can deny others their basic rights.  This overreaction is ridiculous in my opinion.  And here are some other reputable articles that will support my opinion (which, by the way, is simply my opinion - not republican, democrat, Green, independent or otherwise - just my own personal opinion).

WALL STREET JOURNAL

FORBES

TIME

Okay, stepping off my soapbox now.  And please don't hate me.  I actually think it would be great if everyone had free access to birth control and  paid maternity leave and no bullying in our schools and no homeless people on the streets and lots and lots of other things.  But, I also agree with the Court that we can't infringe on someone else's constitutional rights so that we can all have what we want.  Just my two cents and it's probably not even worth two cents.

And, I'll be back with fun stuff later!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Empty House

All three of my children are at camps this week (although, to be honest, George is just at his grandparent's house and not an actual camp).  My point is, however, that I have no children in my house. 

Zero.

Not one.

It's weird.

It's really weird.

And quiet.

And erie.

And cleaner than normal.

But quiet.

Maybe too quiet.

Whatever shall we do with ourselves?!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Memories

We made a summer memory last night - waiting for the Ice Cream Man.  That's it. Simple. Classic. Easy.  Inexpensive (relatively).




Monday, June 16, 2014

What a weekend of fun!

What a weekend!  We had so much with our friends. It seems like it's been forever since we've had such a good, relaxed time with the family. 

Friday and Saturday we spent the evening with friends.  Friday night was fajitas and swimming.  I still got my run done on Saturday morning and then we had another afternoon/evening with friends at our own house - grilling burgers and dogs and catching up with friends.  I loved every minute!  Then, on Father's Day we squeezed in as much fun as possible by going to church early, hitting a 10:00 movie (How to Train a Dragon 2), sushi for lunch, a brief afternoon nap followed by pool time and bike riding.  Seriously, I had such a wonderful weekend!

Unfortunately, I also ate my way through the entire weekend and now feel disgustingly bloated!  I had fajitas, burgers, cookies, appetizers, beer, wine, mojitos, strawberry shortcake, sushi, movie theater popcorn (with buttter!), and probably a whole bunch of other wonderful stuff.  It was a delicious weekend!

Plus, we got to celebrate this guy here.  Chucky Love sure knows how to be a fun dad, even if his youngest shouted loudly, "You SUCK!" after Chuck told him to clean his room yesterday.  Let me tell you, we had quite the discussion with George after he pulled that.  The sweet baby is definitely gone.
 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Today and tomorrow.

And that, as they say, is that.

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.  We are moving into a new chapter of our life, knowing that God has many wonderful things in store for us.

So, today, we smile and celebrate the last day of school for these two today, and the beginning of summer for all of us tomorrow!


(P.S. From your standpoint, probably nothing about us will have changed at all, but it sure feels like it has from our perspective.)