Friday, May 22, 2009

Graduation Weekend!

It's finally here. The Big Day. Graduation.

I sense that my graduation weekend will look much different than that of many of the daytime students, but maybe similar to many of my FORMER evening classmates. No drunken bashes for me - but good, happy times with my family. Tomorrow is graduation. Yippee!! It is followed by a short children's graduation that acknowledges the sacrifices of our families and what an accomplishment this is for us all. Nice, right?

Sunday my mom has put together a celebration with all of my family and a few friends, and some of Wife's family is even coming, which is surprising, and really nice. After the late afternoon event, we'll probably end up in our backyard, hanging out with the family from out of town, maybe barbecuing or ordering a pizza. The weather is supposed to be nice and I think it will be a wonderful weekend!

Congrats to all of my FORMER (yes, I am getting a kick out of that) classmates and their families!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Really, Truly Graduating

Yesterday I received my final grades and it is official - I am really, truly graduating. Wow. Four years. I'm actually about to graduate from law school. Technically, I guess I already have. The degree has been earned....all that's left is "walking." (Isn't that a funny term for graduation - walking? Used as in, "Are you walking?" meaning will you be participating in the graduation ceremony?) I now can put the initials, J.D. after my name.

Someone where I worked asked when they could start calling me "doctor." I work at a school of nursing, and getting your doctoral degree is a big deal, and then you get to be called "doctor." I told her whenever she would like! :) After four years, why is "counselor" the title we get? It is somehow unsatisfying. Yes, yes, technically I suppose "counselor" is accurate....but couldn't the same be said of any doctor degree - MD, PhD - don't we all counsel others based on our knowledge and opinions?

So not the point of this post. The point is - I am actually graduating! Bar review starts next Tuesday, but for now, I am celebrating one victory at a time!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Stolen Days at the Beach

Last week we started to head home from the beach on Tuesday, one day early. Baby Girl had woken up in the middle of the night, throwing up. Ugh. We had no idea what she had and if we all might get it. She threw up again in the morning, the kids started fighting over ridiculous things, and we figured the moodiness was a bad sign. Better head home. We told the kids they could play at the beach one more time on the way out. We had to head up the coast for about an hour before turning inland, so this was a good way to break up the trip home anyway.

It was a beautiful day. The kids were having a great time in the sand, Baby Girl felt fine, Wife and I were enjoying the view and we thought, "Wouldn't it be nice to stay here, with this beautiful view?" Two phone calls later, I'd found a great mid-week rate at a top resort with a gorgeous view of the beach and the ocean. The hotel was fabulous, and we were enjoying the luxury so much, we stole an extra night! For the second night, we had to change rooms, but got bumped up to the top floor with an even more spectacular view for the same fabulous rate we'd been given for the first night.

This room had a view of a local landmark called Haystack Rock. It is mololith that sticks up out of the water, very close to shore and is a National Wildlife Refuge - home to many bird species. We were maybe 200 yards from the rock (she says, imagining about 2 football fields...but maybe it was farther than that). I wish I'd seen a good pair of binoculars on sale, or had ours with us. It would have been fun to see the birds up closer, and maybe even their nests. Haystack Rock is a major nesting site for puffins, which I love and have ever since first seeing them up in Alaska when I was in college.

This pair of Nikon binoculars that I've linked to above looks like it would do a great job of bringing the details of birds and their nests into view. Nikon does a great job with cameras, so I would think their binoculars would be outstanding. It's all about the lenses, right? They certainly have that down. After that, you want a pair of binoculars that feel good in your hand - again, why wouldn't the top camera manufacturer make a great feeling pair of binoculars? Add in their ergonomic design, arsenic free Eco-Glass, one-year warranty, and free shipping, if I'd been staying a bit longer, I could have ordered this pair of binoculars online and had them shipped to me at my hotel. Now that would have been fun!

As it was, there were no binoculars, but we did have two cameras with zoom with us, and took a ton of photos. They should be up on Wife's blog soon!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Souvenirs from the Beach

Candy is very accessible at the beach.

Why is it that at the beach is the only time a person ever buys fudge? (One MAKES it at Christmas, of course.)
There are always several candy shops featuring fudge, salt-water taffy, and various kinds of the candy you remember as a child. Well, let's just say we had no trouble spending and eating our share of candy in support of the local economy. We'll now need to do some research on the best diet pills, I'm afraid!

We do tend to only eat two meals a day while on vacation. That does mean CANDY can be the third meal, right?

We also managed to stock up on souvenirs from about every other shop we walked in to. The kids now have new stuffed buddies, plastic toys, glass trinkets and squishy balls to remind them of their adventures. I have a T-shirt from the Tillamook Cheese Factory, a lighthouse Christmas ornament, a travel journal, and a beautiful soft robe from the resort we stayed in that was a gift from my sweet wife. (I was so in love with the robes in the room!) Wife has two new coffee mugs, some "ocean" room spray, charms for her charm bracelet, and a funny T-shirt that she will probably blog about so I will not.

We also took a TON of photos!

We'll not soon forget this trip. When I get done resolving my work crisis that cropped up in my absence, I will blog more about the vacation. Probably next week. Happy Weekend everyone!

We're Back!

Our vacation was awesome! Naturally, we still wish we were at the beach. We played tourist and saw fun things every day. We almost came home early because our little girl threw up in the middle of the night on Monday. We packed up, ready to head home, fearing a proverbial colon cleanse, or worse, was in store for all of us, but then we all felt great playing at the beach near the turn off to go home. It was such a beautiful day, we called around and got a great deal at what is probably the nicest resort in the area. Our room was practically on the beach we were so close - and the view was amazing! All still feeling relatively healthy, we ended up staying there for two nights, meaning we stole an extra one that hadn't been planned on. So fun! More details to follow. Be sure to check Wife's blog, too, as I suspect there will eventually be photos!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Packed and Almost Ready to Go

Last night I packed a bunch of family-friendly DVDs, my clothes, and added a few things to our "do not forget" list - like Boy Wonder's DS game and games for our Little Princess. Wife will get the kids and herself packed while I am at work today. The kids will probably help a bit, but at this point, they can't really be trusted to do it themselves. We'd end up with swimming suits, pajamas, equestrian apparel (the Princess is adorable in her brother's old cowboy boots), ballet outfits, and perhaps a Halloween costume or two.

Packing us up for a trip is always an adventure, and I have to admit, one I rarely contribute much to. Wife is usually left with most of the packing and all the hard work. (Wife - YOU ROCK!) I usually deal with my own clothes, snacks for the car, and sometimes miscellaneous stuff. She is also way better at spacial stuff than I am, so she packs us into the car in order to maximize space usage. This is especially important when we take the Scion, as it has a very small back area in which to pack. This weekend, we'll take the SUV - we'll need the extra room, and added security of driving a heavier vehicle on winding mountain and coastal roads.

Can you tell I am ready to go? Too bad it is only 8:20am and we can't leave until about 5:00pm. It may be a long day......but you know what?

I AM DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dilemmas of Eating at the Beach

Yes, going to the beach to celebrate should be big fun. Our whole family loves the beach. Boy Wonder and I agreed last night that he should continue his quest, started last summer, to find the best clam chowder. I am very proud of him for trying new things. Last time we checked, he thought that clam chowder had pieces of chicken in it. I'm not going to dispell that myth quite yet, unless he actually asks outright. Not really sure that chicken is any better....but it is more familiar.

We are entering the stage that Boy Wonder kind of gets where meat comes from. Our sweet Princess doesn't quite get it, and we are trying to convince her brother not to tell her. She has recently made the connection that there are "eating fish" and fish that people have as pets. The crabs in the seafood section, the whole cooked crabs are particularly disturbing to her because she gets that they used to be alive.

The whole topic is rather disturbing and seems wrong once you have to explain it to your kids. *sigh* We find our ways of justifying our eating habits, but still, it's hard to sit and watch a Disney movie with singing fish and lobsters, then put those types of things on your plate at dinner. We aren't even big meat or fish eaters, but aren't entirely vegetarians either. Let's just say that after one of these conversations, our appetites are such that I doubt there will be any immediate need for weight loss pills.

Just Starting to Sink In

Wow. I am really done with law school.



It's strange and exhilarating. Tonight we leave for the beach for 5 nights. Nothing quite as exciting as going across the country to North Carolina's Outer Banks rentals, or even closer, Disneyland, but for now, 5 days at our local beaches, just a couple hours away, sounds really good.

As I was packing last night, I realized I do not have a book to read. I usually like to take a book on vacation for reading on those rare moments with the kids are otherwise occupied, or asleep. The one I was reading over Christmas was The Nine - about the Supreme Court. I spent all semester in a class dealing with the Supreme Court justices and writing a 30 page paper about a related topic. I don't so much want to continue reading The Nine right now. :) I'll have to find a fiction best-seller at the grocery store and indulge in some good, old-fashioned escapism! That sounds really good. :)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I AM DONE!!!!!!!

What more is there to say today?

Oh, I know:


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Buzzing with Anticipation

Tomorrow is my LAST FINAL EVER! (Last Final - seems like redundancy, doesn't it?)

I have some studying ahead - soon, but think I will be ready when I have to be. I'm almost jittery with the rush of being almost done! To cope, I studied a bit, worked a bit, got my hair cut, indulged in a fast Mexican food lunch, worked a bit more, and am now blogging.

Today someone left candy in the workroom. Yesterday there was cake. Really? Is a stressed out person, concerned about taking a Secured Transactions final, supposed to just pass this stuff by as it if was not there? Good thing I don't work in a bigger office. I'd probably need to research the top 10 rated diet pills if I had many more grazing options!

Well, the sun is starting to shine in my window. It is just about time to start what is likely to be my final round of studying, and tomorrow by either 12:30 or 9:30, depending on which exam time I feel most appropriate, I will be DONE!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

One to Go!

I survived the Immigration Law final! It was one of the ones I was a bit concerned about, but I think it went OK. Now, on to Secured Transactions, and then I will be done!

It would certainly be easy to handle the stress of finals by eating and drinking a lot, but I've found that right before the exam, appetite suppressants are not needed. When it gets right down to the hour or so before the final, I don't really want to eat or drink, I just want to get right to the test. That last hour or so is the worst because all I can really do is wait. I personally find if I look at my notes it just freaks me out, so I really can't do that. I don't want to read non-related material and strain my eyes that will soon be doing nothing but staring at an exam, my notes and my computer. Not many people around campus to talk to. So, I wait, call my family. Wait some more. I will only have to do that one more time!!! Wahoo!!! (No Bar Exam talk! Stop that!)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Last School Study Weekend

That's right - the last weekend of "school studying" has been completed. (Sure - there's bar studying, but that is different.) I studied. I learned. I think I am ready for my second to last law school final EVER!!

Saturday I studied while Wife cleaned house in anticipation of the babysitter, or her mom who is a friend, being at our house that evening. My Mom and her husband took us out for my birthday and pre-graduation dinner. We had a very nice dinner at a waterfront table at one of our hometown's nicest restaurants. After dinner we went to my Mom's apartment to see their new TV with the LCD mount. It is positioned right over their new treadmill - perfect for walking and viewing at the same time.

Later we caught part of my brother-in-law's band playing at a local Irish pub. No, he's not a is more of a Kingston Trio kind of band - guitars, banjos and folk music. Well, maybe folk music. Not sure what to call it. Anyway, it was fun, and it was a full night out without the kids! Even that part went well, as Boy Wonder was just finishing doing the dishes when we arrived home. He was very excited to have us notice that he'd washed their popcorn bowls. So cute!

So, now it is time to leave for my final. This is a big one. I am a bit nervous and very anxious to be SUCCESSFULLY done with it!

Friday, May 01, 2009

One Down - Two to Go

I wish I felt more relieved than I do, but my two biggest, possibly worst finals ever are looming. We've been warned they are complex and time-pressured. Wonderful. I feel so much better now.

Still, it is a beautiful Friday, my Local Government Law final exam is behind me, I think I did respectably, and family night is ahead. Tomorrow will be a big study day, followed by my Mom taking Wife and I out for a nice birthday dinner and paying the babysitter! Sunday will be shopping and some sort of family fun, and then the race to the finish begins!