Thursday, December 23, 2010


I have never been very good at waiting.  I don't deal well with delayed gratification.  I am just not a patient person.  I have been thinking about this theme lately - waiting.  I've written here before that I don't want to wait until I'm in my 50s to start living - like so many women of my mother's generation.  But I've come to realize lately that's it is important that I wait.  Not to start living, but to understand that there is a time and a season for everything and that acquiring life wisdom is important and will help me become who I dream to be.  That 35 is young..  That's hard for me to say.  Everyone keeps telling me what I have accomplished, but I'll be honest, I don't see it.  I feel like there's more.  Like I should be and have and do more.  I know intellectually it's a litle ridiculous, but I don't know how to KNOW it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I haven't blogged in a while, but I read this today and in case anyone is reading, I had to share - it's from  You can read the entire post here, but this is the "Commitment of Words."  I need this to take this challenge:

A Commitment of Words

We commit to using our words to defend and heal, not to harm.

We will not gossip.

We will not belittle.

We will guard our sisters by always speaking the best about them, encouraging them into all God would have them to be, and offering grace instead of condemnation.

We will be loyal and loving, remembering that even if we disagree we still fight on the same side–never against each other.

We will use our words to build up not tear down, to bring hope and not hurt.

We offer our words as a powerful weapon to fight for each other on the side of all that is good, right, and true.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


So, I signed up to be a consultant for a company called Thirty-One. It is a home party business that sells adorable bags and organizing products - most of which can be personalized. I never thought I would do a business like this, but I am really excited about this opportunity.  First, I love the products and I kept finding myself buying them, so I decided I should at least get a discount.  But second, what really drew me to the business is the company's mission and the origin of the name.  Thirty-One comes from Proverbs 31, the passage about the virtuous woman.  If you've been following this blog, you may remember that this passage is a theme in my life.  The company is dedicated to celebrating women and they go so far as to make sure their products are manufactured by women owned businesses.  I love it.  We'll see how it goes.  If you're interested in the products or would like to host a party - either in person or online - and earn free products, visit my site.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


The first time I met Trevor was our freshman year of college.  He was a tall, thin and animated redhead.  He was definitely an attractive guy, and aside from the fact that redheads really are not attracted to other redheads, at that age where I was boy crazy and generally attracted to anyone who paid attention to me, I never felt that for him - in a romantic way.  But I was instantly attracted to him as a person and our brother/sister love for each grew very quickly.  He soon began dating my best friend.  And while they were a lot of fun, it never really seemed right and fizzled out soon and quite dramatically.  The next few years, my frienship with Trevor sometimes strained my friendship with my best girl friend.  But it continued to grow and there came a day when I didn't remember life without him. 

When we first met, I really didn't know anyone who was gay.  I know I had met them and I know I had heard them talked about at my church and I knew that I was supposed to think they were doing something wrong.  Over the next few years, I believe God began to prepare me for what would happen after college graduation.  Slowly, I began to encounter gay people who challenged my world view and my church upbringing.  I was very close to two people who showed me examples of Christ in remarkable ways and I had to struggle to reconcile that with the fact that they were gay.  All the while, people began speculating about Trevor.  And at every speculation, I dismissed it, because he did.  Eventually, it even became a joke among our mutual friends, and I joined in the joking and teasing.  After graduation, we worked together (well, that's a loose description, actually he paid me to hang out at his place of business) and in that year between college and my exit to law school, we became even closer and we began to learn that friends of ours from college were coming out of the closet.  And the jokes continued.  But in the back of my mind, I knew. 

I remember the phone call.  I was in my living room in my apartment in South Bend.  I listened as he told me and I cried.  I cried and I apologized, over and over.  How could I have been so insensitive?  How could I have contributed to his apparent need to continue to hide who he was?  And how could I have let my friend, my brother, suffer in silence when if I was honest with myself, I knew the truth?  I am going to send this to him and he is going to tell me this is way too dramatic.  And I'll admit my bent toward that at times, but to this day, I remember conversations where we made fun of him and joked about the possiblity that he was gay and they haunt me. 

Since then, I have watched Trevor grow and change and come into his own.  He has a wonderful, loving partner who complements him and brings out all of his best qualities.  He has built an amazing, successful business and he is proud of who he is.  And now, he is the father of a wonderful 7 year old boy who has been waiting his whole live for two people to love and care for him. 

When we found out we were pregnant with our second son, we went through a whole litany of names and we just couldn't find one that we loved.  We thought we had used the names of the only men in our lives who were worth naming children after with our first child (yes, the list is unfortunately short).  But one day, Carl came to me and said, "I like Trevor."  He liked the name, and as he pointed out, it was the name of a man we both love and respect.  I resisted at first.  I could just hear various people in my life and their reactions and frankly, I didn't want to deal with.  But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.  So we decided on it and I told people, including Trevor, "we really like the name and it happens to be the name of my good friend, but we aren't naming him after Trevor."  I type that and I laugh, and am embarassed . . . and ashamed.  Was I really afraid of telling people I named my son after a gay man - who I claimed to consider to be my own brother?  Well, eventually I came around and I tell everyone that Trevor is named after . . . Trevor. 

I've been thinking about all of this lately and felt compelled to write about it because of all the talk of the Trevor Project - a suicide hotline for gay and questioning youth.  Obviously, anyone who loves someone who is gay is moved by the rash of suicides among gay kids lately and obviously, anyone who has children is moved.  The fact that one of the many gay people I love and my son share the name of an organization dedicated to this cause won't leave my head.  And I want to do something.  Right now, all I can do is write about it and commit to loving my children and teaching them to love.  But at some point, I know I am called to do more.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


A few weeks ago, my husband and I were at a party when one of our friends started a conversation about his theory that everyone has a phobia and everyone has a vice.  He asked what ours were.  The answer to the first part is easy - I'm claustrophobic.  The second half was a little harder.  Initally, I wanted to say alcohol, but I was afraid that would sound like I had a problem. So, I asked my husband what he thought.  He hesitated and I said, "well, I almost said alcohol," and quickly, he said "I was going to say wine."  Clearly, he didn't want to offend me or sound like he was implying something bad.  He went on to explain that it wasn't so much wine as the "experience."  He described how my whole demeanor changes from the minute I take out the corkscrew and start opening the bottle.  How he sees my wholel body relax.  And I chimed in that it had to be in a large, red wine glass.  He said, "sometimes I think it could be water in the glass and she would be just as happy." 

It might sound crazy, but this was a pretty monumental conversation.  I feel like one of those light bulbs in cartoons appeared over my head.  I put down the cheap wine I was drinking out of the small plastic glass and made a conscious decision not to drink/eat/put things in my home/wear things that I don't love.  I don't like bad wine.  I don't like drinking any wine out of plastic glasses.  But I do love wine.  And big red wine glasses.  I don't know a lot about it beyond what tastes good to me.  I would like to know more, though, so last week, I ordered two wine tasting books off of Amazon and I went down the road to the neighborhood liquor store and asked for a bottle of reasonably priced wine that I had a restaurant recently - that I loved. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Things I Love

I am trying to remember the things I love.  I keep talking to other women about the fact that we are geared to put others' needs, opinions, desires, wants, etc. before our own and so many of them identify with it. 

I asked my husband this question the other day:  "What is my favorite restaurant?"  He paused for a long time and then answered with one of our favorite places in Los Angeles, where we lived over 6 years ago.  Then, I said, "no, what is my favorite restaurant here?"  He couldn't answer.  But more telling is this - neither could I.

 I have a lot of opinions - about politics, people, religion . . . and I am never afraid to offer them, but I have been surprised to realize that I have put all my opinions about things in every day life to the side because it is easier to concede to the desires of those I take care of and interact with on a daily basis.  Because my husband loves music and while I love it also, I don't have the same passion he has, I have let him control the music choices - in the house, in the car, on our computer - I don't even have a single song loaded on my iphone.  Because we have children, if we go out for a meal as a family, we choose a place where we know they will be happy and there will be choices for them.  Because my husband has very definite opinions about restaurants and I tend to be a little easier to please in that arena, if we go out without the kids, I generally let him pick.  I let him bring a couch into our house that I hate to replace ones that I really liked because it just didn't seem worth the fight. 

I'm certainly not looking for sympathy here.  And I don't intend to paint a poor picture of my husband.  My point is just that I forgotten who I am and I forgotten what I love - in everyday life.  I'm on a quest to find those things again.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finding Me NOW

I don't want to wait until my kids are grown to live my life.  Have you ever noticed that this is what the majority of women of my mother's generation did?  They stayed in unhappy marriages, worked jobs they didn't like, failed to take care of their bodies - until their late 40s or early 50s - then, all of the sudden they came into their own.  They found themselves and now they are more beautiful, more vibrant and more powerful than ever.  At the same time, many of them seem full of regret.  And often, they are lonely.

I am not advocating selfishness or irresponsible choices in the name of "happiness,"  but I want to find my true self, be authentic, NOW so I can be the best for my kids and my husband in these years, not later.  I know that my mom's generation stuck it out in whatever situation - marriage, kids, etc. - because they did not want to be selfish.  They were groomed to put everyone else's needs before their own.  And I admire the sentiment.  I also know there is a whole generation (mine) that often rejects that way of thinking and makes rash decisions in the name of "happiness," and I don't want that.  But it seems it's time for a balance.  We just are not wired, as women, to take care of ourselves, are we?

I want everyone in my family to experience a peaceful, joyful, authentic life.  I want that to be the example I set for my children.  I especially want my boys to see that women are supposed to be whole people - not martyrs who deny who they truly are.  If anyone knows the secret to this balance, I'm all ears.

Wisdom from a high schooler

I was reading Skirt! magazine today and saw this quote from Keaton Butler, a senior at Henry Clay High School here in Lexington:

"Everyone's trying so hard to be the same or to be different, I just want to be myself."  Keaton, there are women paying theapists thousands of dollars to learn that lesson.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Relationship First

I had lunch today with a business associate who is starting to become a close friend.  I'm not exactly sure why I invited him to lunch or felt compelled to share with him everything I shared, but I told him about my quest for clarity and simplicity. Anyway, he had some interesting insights.  He shared his philosophy on simplicity and told me that he is very protective of his relationship with his partner and that it is his number one priority.  He has a very successful business that could be even more successful if he wanted it to be (those are my words, not his, but he recognizes that he is good at what he does) and he has intentionally chosen not to grow the business beyond what he can handle well without sacrificing what is most important to him.  I love that.  I have a great deal of admiration for this individual.  He is so measured and disciplined. I envy that.  I don't know if it's in my nature to ever be that controlled, but I like being around other people who are.  It gives me a sense of calm. 

What really struck me about our conversation today is that everything my friend said was reminiscent of my church-upbringing and instruction on how we are to treat our marriages - as sacred and as a priority.  God, spouse and then children is supposed to be the order of things.  Isn't that ironic?  This man who is not allowed by the church, or the state for that matter, to formalize his commitment to his partner is following the church's teachings on the priority of your spouse in a marriage.

I struggle with this whole relationship first idea.  How exactly am I supposed to make my husband a priority over my children?  They are dependent on me and frankly, they came from me.  I carried them around for over nine months and then gave birth to them.  How am I supposed to prioritze my husband over them?  And how do you put your relationship first at this age when you are building your career?  When the largest portion of my waking day is spent at work? 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A poem

A friend sent this to me from The Writer's Almanac.  It reminds me of my mom and her sisters.  And it makes me smile.

Clara: In the Post Office
by Linda Hasselstrom

I keep telling you, I'm not a feminist.
I grew up an only child on a ranch,
so I drove tractors, learned to ride.
When the truck wouldn't start, I went to town
for parts. The man behind the counter
told me I couldn't rebuild a carburetor.
I could: every carburetor on the place. That's
necessity, not feminism.
I learned to do the books
after my husband left me and the debts
and the children. I shoveled snow and pitched hay
when the hired man didn't come to work.
I learned how to pull a calf
when the vet was too busy. As I thought,
the cow did most of it herself; they've been
birthing alone for ten thousand years. Does
that make them feminists?
It's not
that I don't like men; I love them - when I can.
But I've stopped counting on them
to change my flats or open my doors.
That's not feminism; that's just good sense.

"Clara: In the Post Office" by Linda Hasselstrom from, Roadkill.

Monday, September 20, 2010

So far, my quest for simplicity and loving my home has resulted in a clean and very organized laundry room and pantry (I realize I've done this before and even posted on here about it, but this time it's better) and an organizing for a yard sale I plan to have next weekend.  My kitchen countertops are also starting to get clearer.  I LOVE clear countertops.  Baby steps.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Cathartic Rant About Big Law

When you leave a big law firm, it's amazing how people begin to come out of the woodwork and tell you about their desire to leave, how much they admire you and how miserable people really are.  I don't want to over-generalize and I've known this reality for some time, but the farther I get from it, the more perspective I gain and the more I recognize the alternate universe people live in. 

I've tried for a long time to explain the cutlture to people and it's very hard for people on the outside to understand.  It seems like the culmination of success as the world defines it.  The job is "prestigious" and it pays well and people respect you, but for most people it is empty.  And the wrench in it is that there is this weird psychology that goes on that has caused a whole generation of people 50 and older to believe that they love it.  Even when they know deep down inside that they don't.  Sometimes it's not even all that deep down.  I have had partners look me in the eye and tell me that they regret it, that they wish they had spent more time at home with their children, that they wish they had gone to the prosecutor's office or hung their own shingle or practiced with a plaintiff's firm or done something completely different all together.  Then these same partners have given me or others who have chosen to leave, to pursue their own dreams and spend valuable time with their families, speeches - guilt trips really - about loyalty and passion for the profession and money, of all things.  I guarantee these people can't see the irony or the dischord in what they are saying at any given time.  And frankly, I believe that when they are saying it, whatever position it is they are advocating, they believe it. 

I would love to study the psychology behind the brainwashing. I cannot tell you how many times either I have heard this rant or I have heard it reported to me from another tired, bewildered associate: "you don't know what it is you want.  You should be grateful for all this firm has done for you, all we have given you - there are so many people who would give anything to be in your position - to be paid what you are paid, to get these experiences.  The rest of us put in our time and we didn't complain and we didn't expect more money or to have cases or clients handed to us or to be "trained" in marketing.  We did what we were asked and the rest of it fell in place."  And apparently, they walked uphill to work both ways in the snow in no shoes.  Give me a break. 

To those partners, here are some things your associates want to say to you:

First, I am worth what you pay me because you pay it.  If I wasn't -  if I really wasn't making you money - you wouldn't pay me.  Stop with the bullshit about how you lose money on me.  I don't believe it.

Second, times have changed and I want more.  I am demanding more.  I am sorry you made the choices you did, but this isn't a sorority or fraternity rush.  I don't have to be hazed because you were.  As a matter of fact, because you were, I see the consequences of giving your life to a law firm and I don't want it.  Thank you for showing me what not to do, but stop trying to displace your regret on me.

Third,  I don't owe you anything and you haven't done me any special favors. You hired me specifically for a reason.  There are people just as smart as me and there are better lawyers than me, but I am unique - I bring something unique to the table. I have value - either because I am a good laywer, I am a woman, I know a particular client, I am a minority, I am the son or daughter of someone important, etc.  Stop trying to make me feel like I am expendable.

Fourth, other people want me and will pay me.  And even if they won't pay me as much, money isn't everything.  I'm sorry that you didn't recognize that you had options, but I do and I will explore them. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I'm making a commitment to make my home a place I love.  I've been waiting for a while, thinking that we would be able to afford a bigger and nicer house soon, but hasn't happened and realistically, it's going to be a while.  Frankly, I don't even know where to start.  I just know that I need some order and I need to actually want to be in my house.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Today is my 35th birthday.  I love birthdays and I expect celebrations (yes, plural) for mine.  And I generally could care less about the number - I never really feel old.  But this year is a little different.  I am having a moment of evaluation.  Of knowing that I am headed toward 40 and being closer to the second half of my life.  Maybe I'm already in it. And I don't feel as accomplished as I thought I would.  I never imagined being buried in debt or living in a house with a whole list of things that need to be fixed and in need of more space at 35.  I never really imagined that I would still be trying to figure out what exactly I really want to do with my life.  I am generally a very positive . . . and hopeful person.  But I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and a little bit discouraged.  Even so, I am acutely aware that I am blessed.  That I have more materially than 95% of the world and that may people would give all they have to be with their husband and children and have both of their parents and their beautiful sister and her children alive and well.  So, today, I thank God for those blessings and I ask for peace, contentment and discipline to improve the things making me feel discouraged.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I came home from a dinner with some girlfriends a few nights ago and my husband was sitting on the couch watching Hotel Rwanda.  We've owned this movie for over 2 years now and have never watched it.  Every time he suggests it, I say that I just can't handle something that heavy right now.  And that night was no different.  I saw that it was on and I bolted out of the room as fast as I could.  I absolutely did not want to see, hear or experience something that would make me feel so many emotions.  I think this is a common sentitment among people with intellectually challenging jobs.  We spend our whole days thinking and analyzing and really don't want to spend our valued personal entertainment time thinking more.  But I feel guilty about this and also wonder if it's something to be further discussed in a therapist's office.  One, it makes me miss out on some valuable experiences with husband and two, I wonder how long I can go without feeling certain emotions.  Am I avoiding something more than the stress of work and thinking too much?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Love and Race

A friend's blog has inspired me to write again.  She has a post here on love and race.  The post is about her decision to open herself up to the prospect of dating outside her race (she happens to be African-American).  The comments to her post discuss whether men and women of different races can feel fulfilled and really meet each other's needs in all aspects.  One individual who commented relayed her story of dating outside her race and her feeling that the white man she dated just couldn't relate to the struggles she faces as a black woman.  Now, I am not a black woman and I try to be very aware of the fact that no matter how hard I try not to, I operate under the protection of white privilege , so I cannot specifically understand her point of view or the point of view of her commenters.  But I am married to a man of a different race, so I have some experience with this subject.   

I will be the first to admit that, in my marriage, there are times our race separates us.  Even though I tend to be the one who gets most outraged at racial injustice and even though I have a real passion for equality and for increasing diversity in the professional world, there are certain topics, certain current events, that we simply cannot discuss because I cannot, and probably never will be able to identify with his opinion on the issue or his experience of the particular issue as a black man (and an Indian man, but my observation is that, at least in this country, the world defines you as black when they discover you have any African-American heritage).  When we try to discuss those topics, it just ends up being hurtful to someone.  No matter how innocent my questions, they appear ignorant and insensitive and no matter how level headed he tries to be in our discussions, there is a great deal of emotion tied up in reactions/comments/opinions and I end up feeling like he thinks I have no sensitivity to or understanding of what he has experienced.  And there are certainly times when I know our difference in upbrining and life perspective has made things more difficult - from discussions about family, money, discipline of oru children, etc., but I don't think that would have been any different had I married a white man who grew up really rich or poor or from a different religion. I feel privileged to have an intimate relationship with someone who has a completely different life experience than me.  Part of the joy of a relationship is figuring out your differences together and learning how to become one - despite those. And I am happy that my children are an amalgamation of at least three different cultures.  I hope to allow them to find where they fit - to encourage them to completely understand who they are.  Maybe that's very PollyAnna of me, but I don't think so.

My first reaction to my friend's post is that you shouldn't limit yourself, but I think my real opinion is that it is an individual decision for every one. I can see why someone would choose not to date outside their race.  In some ways, it would be a lot easier.  In other situations though, it is part of what defines the beauty and success of a relationship.  And in even others, it is unfortunately, what defines the failure of a relationship.  I have never really been attracted to people who are the same (race, gender, sexual orientation, economic background, political affilication, etc.) as me - in my friendships or intimate relationships.  Don't get me wrong, everyone needs to feel understood and I have friends who are very similar to me, but for the most part, I like surrounding myself with different perspectives.  So, for me, this is what fits.  And I hope it does for my husband also :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


It has been almost a year since I have posted here.  I have toyed with the idea of a few other blogs, but I am always thinking of things that fit here.  Today, I am inspired to write again because for the past two months I have experienced freedom.  I left my big law firm job on February 12 and I have not looked back for one single minute.  I knew I felt trapped. I knew I hated billable hours and I knew that I was completely over the political crap, but I really had no idea just how stifled and just how miserable I truly was.  Let me make a disclaimer here - I really like almost all of the people I worked with at my firm.  They are great lawyers and more importantly, great people.  I even liked the work - at least 50% of the time.  And I was pretty good at it.  But the environment, for me, was just toxic.  I have told several people, since starting my new job, that I feel like I left an abusive relationship.  First, I had convinced myself that, if I was paid a certain salary, the tradoff was that I had to be miserable.  It was just a fact of life that came with the paycheck.  I now know that's not true.  I took a very small pay cut for my current job and I am not miserable.  In fact, I really, really like the job. That doesn't mean it isn't hard or stressful or that I don't work a lot, but I like it.  I feel respected and valued and even if  had taken a large pay decrease, that would be worth it.  Second, I have been in the job for two months and in the past few days, I have just stopped walking around on eggshells waiting for something bad to happen - waiting to discover what I hate, what is going to make me miserable.  And I don't think it's there.  Again, it's not perfect, because no job is, but it's just so very, very different.  I feel free.