Thursday, September 30, 2010

religious and random

Welp, General Conference is coming up and I've got some churchy stuff bopping around in this noggin.  A sampling:

    • "You're in your forties.  Are you telling me you personally have a shelf somewhere with five full sets of scriptures on it?  Are you crazy?"  My much-revered friend and mentor (of "If two of you think alike, one of you is unnecessary" fame) once told me that as an adult, he gets new scriptures every five years, and that was my reaction at the time. I admit I thought it was interesting, but kind of weird and excessive.  I would like to publicly e-retract my initial reaction because he is right on.  I just got a shiny new set for my birthday and I.  Am.  Thrilled.  I can't wait!  My new quad has a button!  Oh, how I've longed for a button.  Five years is about how long it takes before you need a fresh look with fresh eyes and a chance to take fresh notes, instead of having your old markings guide your thinking down the same old paths.  Even if they're great paths, you know?  You read differently when YOU'RE different!  My last set is well-worn and well-loved but you know what, a lot has changed since 2004/2005ish when I made most of those markings and notes (and by "a lot" I mean pretty much everything.  My life stage.  My mind.  My bum size.  My name.  I could go on...).  So I didn't realize how cool it would be until I got them today, and whoa.  I am really, really excited to take a brand new look, and will be adhering to the every-five-years plan from this moment forward. 

    • *ALERT: YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ ABOUT SCRIPTURAL BREASTFEEDING* Long before I had kids or a husband, I had a nice heart-to-heart about the Book of Mormon with a stranger, and the woman (who was probably in her twenties) said, "I knew my life had shifted when I started reading and identified more with Lehi than with Nephi.  I relate now as a parent instead of a child."  I laughed and couldn't imagine it ever happening to me.  That had never occurred to me before.  She also said that as a nursing mom, for the first time she appreciated the awesomeness of women living on raw meat in the wilderness but still being strong enough to make milk for their children.  Gross!  I thought that was super weird of her to have noticed and applied to herself.  Yeah, again, I've changed my tune and get it now. Hrmmm.  People say stuff I think is weird and then I realize they're right. Am I getting older or are they getting awesome?  Maybe both.  All of this is my way of saying I haven't read the New Testament or the Book of Mormon from my new vantage point in life and I'm looking forward to it.  Annnnd go git yourself some new scriptures too! 
    • I stumbled into this gem of an interview with Julie Beck and her two daughters.  Parts of it were definitely better than other parts, but the highlight for me was at the end where she says you can pretty much do anything that's asked of you.  Just make it happen.  I love that.  Here's an excerpt: 
    I often think of the pioneers...and what happened during that most difficult time?  The United States government came and said, "We need five hundred of your most able men," and off they went.  And what did the women say?  We're going to just sit here and cower and feel sorry for ourselves?  No! They said, "You go do your job.  We will meet you in the valley."  And they did.  That's the kind of feeling I have for the sisters of this church.  Whatever's required, they can do it.  They can round up their shoulders and do it, if it's asked of them...We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
    Amen and amen.  I love buck-up-and-just-make-it-happen messages.
    The Lord knows both what He will need you to do and what you will need to know. He is kind and He is all-knowing. So you can with confidence expect that He has prepared opportunities for you to learn in preparation for the service you will give. You will not recognize those opportunities perfectly, as I did not. But when you put the spiritual things first in your life, you will be blessed to feel directed toward certain learning, and you will be motivated to work harder. You will recognize later that your power to serve was increased, and you will be grateful.
    Also, there is a heading in the talk above that says "God will multiply the effectiveness of your time."  I think and hope that is true, because I've often felt like there is not enough of me to go around.  Anyway, the God-knows-what-we-need-to-do-and-what-we-need-to-know thing has been absolutely true in my experience, especially recently, and I am grateful for the opportunities I've been given that have prepared me for stuff. I bet in five years (when I have NEW new scriptures!) I'll be grateful for stuff now that was preparing me for then. 

      Thursday, September 23, 2010

      sappy but happy

      "I like reading.  And writing.  And talking.  I think I'll go to law school!" 

      That was the extent of my logic. I was young (21) and crazy (let's leave it at that).  Plus I was big into politics and politicians are all lawyers.  Deep analysis, I know.  I signed up for an LSAT class on a whim, right around the time I started dating a hilarious, pensive kid in my French class. I finished up my law school applications at a public library in the middle of nowhere New York, with my poor mission companion (now a Mary Kay lady) reading over my personal statement wondering how to get me to hurry so we could hit the laundromat and maybe have time to grab a sammich.

      Anyway, in those days, I thought I was such a big deal.  I had big, big plans that involved big, big schools (and big, big debt) and no husband and definitely no babies. Remember how I met this guy who talked me into the J. Reub?

      The first time I walked into the law school for a tour, I had been home from my mission for three days. I was incredibly awkward, naively earnest and cringe-tastically self-conscious in a way that only sister missionaries with an extra twenty pounds can be. By the first day of class that August, I was still awkward, earnest, and self-conscious, only now I was engaged to that handsome kid from French class.

      Early one Saturday morning when I was a 2L, my car wouldn't start.  I had about an hour to travel fifty miles and argue in front of a panel of judges about whether pre-arrest silence could be used as substantive evidence of guilt.  (Riveting, right?)  I'd been preparing for months. So even though my new husband was fast asleep and had a million places to be later that day, with thirty seconds notice, he drove me the fifty miles (in his PJs, no less) and I made it there with about thirty seconds to spare. And when it was over, my mom drove me the whole way home.  Ditching your plentiful Saturday plans at the drop of a hat to help your wife or daughter do her thing.  Is that true love or what? 

      Because of that Saturday, I ended up winning an award that made it sound like I had cancer.  (Spoiler alert: I don't.) 

      And one of the law school secretaries left me an awesome "Where are you????" voicemail as I was giving birth because my Wills and Estates final was starting.  Husband spent several long, will-send-him-straight-to-heaven hours trying to distract our hungry newborn in a study room as I sat on one of those inflatable donuts and made up the test 7 days later.

      Remember how on the first day of school as a 3L, at the last minute I had to bring my four-month-old baby to class?  And how I ended up staying at school with her for more than twelve hours as classes and meetings piled up, and my car broke down on the freeway on the way home and EVEN THE HAZARD LIGHTS WOULDN'T WORK?

      And how about when we decided to move to the Midwest on a whim a week after graduation and I had to take two bar exams?  And when my mom babysat her brains out so I could study for the first exam, and then sponsored my Beehive babysitting fund from 1200 miles away to allow me to study for the second?

      Anyway, it's been such a cool and varied experience and a significant number of my favorite people on earth are people I met in law school.  And, pretty much every milestone I've had as an adult has happened between point A of deciding to go to law school (meet hub, finish college, serve mission, adjust from mission, engagement, marriage, pregnancy, hub starts grad school, childbirth, first job, first move across the country, second baby) and point B of actually becoming a lawyer where we live (this week). 

      All of these tidbits were running through my head this week, because on Monday, my two-and-a-half-year-old tugged on my suitcoat as my dear husband distracted our eight-month-old with some blueberry puffs, and I was sworn in as a lawyer in our new state. The new lawyers being admitted were scattered throughout the small auditorium, sitting here and there in the crowd with their families. We all stood, repeating "I will" in unison after the Justice posed each question. 

      And I don't know quite how to describe it, but as our little girl wrapped her arms around my legs, our baby clapped excitedly and tugged on my necklace, and my happy but exhausted husband smiled at me, I wondered what the young-and-crazy "big deal" gurrbonzo would have thought of this picture. 

      And I think she'd like it.

      Sunday, September 19, 2010


      Oh, friends. Thanks for your patience as I yammer less and less predictably on me blog. I realize I haven't blogged in many moons. I also realize that this is perhaps the busiest time of my life so far, meaning, ever. Because of this lack of time, I have a serious blabbing backlog so brace yourselves for an avalanche of yappage when I get more than thirty seconds.

      In the meantime, may I share some recent bar exam news? In the words of my illustrious friend Ru: