Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What Christmas Means to Me

Sounds like the title of a fourth grade essay assignment, right?
I happen to love three Christmas movies in particular. I admit that I have never seen some of the classics such as “It’s a Wonderful Life.” This is where I also admit that I am rather juvenile in my preferences for movies in general. I demand some laughs and entertainment, just like a nine year old. My top three Christmas movies are as follows: How The Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Elf.
I know, I know. A lot of people don’t think of Elf as a “real” Christmas movie. Jim Carrey? The Muppets? REALLY?
Yes, really.
You see, although I am quite child-like in my love of Christmas movies, I sometimes like to pretend to be philosophical and attempt to extrapolate meanings where there might not be some. This happened two years ago when I had to answer the question, “What does Christmas mean to you?”
Like a nine year old, I had no idea what to say. Presents? Finding the tape so I could wrap presents? Cookies? Trees? The birth of Christ? Santa? The hustle and bustle and rush and stress of now being a grown-up responsible for the season?
The question put me in a mood. Not only did it force me to realize all the “stuff” I was responsible for doing and that I was likely failing at, but I didn’t even like my answers. Since we had lived in the trailer for so long, we had a tradition of not doing a tree (no room, and that little one I bought was tossed out the door in a fit of rage where it broke, and I knew for certain I had just ruined the holiday for my little ones for the rest of their lives). I tried to place the emphasis on the religious events that are the reason for Christmas. We would read Luke, chapter 2. We talked about the new star in the East. All of that.
But apparently, the lessons weren't sinking in! Or, at least they didn't have meaning for me yet. I heard the words, but didn't understand the significance. I was still caught up in the trappings of the holiday, even while keeping things minimal. Those who know me know that a little stress makes me super productive. Too much stress turns me into a Grinch. Or, a Scrooge. Or even, a Walter! Which one was worse? It doesn’t matter, because I was all of them. “Christmas is a stretched budget. It’s spending money on memories! It’s untangling lights!” I might as well have added an audible “Bah, Humbug!”
The question, “What does Christmas mean to you?” needed to be answered. Not for the person asking it, but for myself. I reflected on my favorite Christmas movies, and it hit me. What do they all have in common? The Grinch? He started with a too small heart and loathing for the holiday, but his heart grew and he changed. Scrooge? He was a bitter old soul who was shown his past, the present, and a potential future, and he changed. Walter, who is Buddy the Elf’s dad, was a hard working cheat who couldn’t relate to his family, and he changed.
Christmas is about hope and change.
Santa Claus is a brilliant figure and I love how he symbolizes thoughtfulness and generosity. Santa encourages good behavior because he checks his list, and acting good is a positive thing. But acting good and being good are two different things. We all have our faults, and we all have things in our lives we wish were different. These things are as vast and varied as the stars in the sky.
Those familiar with the New Testament in the Bible and Luke 2 know from whence this change comes. Luke 2 gives the account of the birth of Jesus Christ. Followers of Christ know this to be the earthly beginning of his ministry, and the New Testament is full of His works while on the Earth. He is the best example of what we should act like, of HOW we should be. We fall short because we are human, but true followers will strive to be like Him every day. Christians know that He died on the cross and atoned for all mankind’s sins, and his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane covers not only our sins, but our grievances, our hurts and our sorrows. “BUT THAT’S EASTER!” my brain says. “WHAT ABOUT THE BIRTH?”
A birth is a new beginning. A baby is innocent. A new life brings hope for the future. I’m sure we’ve all looked at a precious newborn and thought, “I wonder what this baby will grow up to be like?” It’s those feelings of hope for the future that I try to remember when Christmas comes. I can have hope that I can change. If I mess up, I can repent and change my actions and thoughts. If there is something about myself that I do not like, that is not moving me in the direction I want to go, there is HOPE that I can CHANGE and become a better person. This hope for change came with the birth of Christ. This is the best reason to celebrate the holiday!
Like Walter, The Grinch, and Scrooge, it is a hope in the future and the potential for change of the present that makes Christmas so special. I couldn’t put my finger on it for so long: that “feeling” of Christmas. Even those who are not familiar with Christ know that the season brings feelings of something else, something more than Santa and presents. Those feelings are hope and change.
Hope and change came with the birth of a baby in Bethlehem thousands of years ago. Hope and change can still be felt today.
Merry Christmas to you all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas is Coming, and I'm Not Ready!

So what else is new, right?

I'm just not quite ready. I've been largely without a husband this month, since he transferred to a new area and is stuck with the afternoon shift. With the commute, that means he is gone from 10:30 am to 12:30 am. I see him just long enough to say "hi." And if he goes out of town to say, I don't know, work on one of our cars or something, or goes to his High Council stuff on Sundays (all of this "out of town" business means he drives to Bakersfield, which is an hour and twenty minutes away), we don't see him.

We have no tree. Not even a fake one.

I'm partially okay with that. We have a Christmas Table instead. I bought a festive (and cute!) tablecloth and we set up a train on it. The presents I do have wrapped are on the table. I suppose living in the trailer broke me of expecting much for Christmas. We do have lights up on our staircase...that makes it feel a bit Christmassy.

I'm attempting to craft for Christmas. I would like to say that I truly enjoy that and it's going so well! But I'm not sure I can say that. Nothing catastrophic has happened: I still have all my fingers, I haven't bled on anything, and I only messed something up twice. I'm more concerned with the reaction of the people receiving the gifts. They are mostly my own kids, so I think I'm good. But, still.

P.S. The diet I was on is blown up to a million little bits. I've eaten cookies for breakfast. Cookies for lunch. I'm dying in a sugar coma. I vacillate between being enormously happy and tremendously depressed. That's the sugar talking, I know it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Planners, Failure, and Crying in the Morning

Let's start with the last of the subjects in my title. Crying in the morning.

So I did, this morning. A good, ugly cry. It came out of nowhere, sort of. Okay, not really. But to admit its source is to admit to something of a pity party for myself. I suppose it comes down to being worn out and just TIRED of feeling invisible to my children. I am invisible until they need something, and then it's my fault they don't have a) clean underwear, b)a good enough snack, or c) the right style of shorts for basketball practice.

It's kind of like a slap in the face to hear one of your kids mimic your voice as he expresses his frustration to his brother that he can't find the pair of shorts he wants. I suppose I just came mentally unhinged because I promise to you this was like the last straw.

On Sunday morning, three of my children showered, and not ONE of them used soap the first time. I remind my children two times a day to brush their teeth, and IF they do it, there is a 75% chance that they don't use toothpaste. (I should clarify. I remind them morning and night. And then I have to ask if they did it. And then I have to tell them to do it again. Twice a day.) I tell them to put their dirty clothes in the DIRTY CLOTHES BASKET and yet...they are on the floor. This is all so gross, I can't even handle it.

So, this morning I cried in frustration that one of my own kids could be so rude, and then I mourned the loss of my freedom because I'm pretty sure I'm gonna have to start brushing their teeth myself. I'm gonna have to put a chair in the bathroom while they shower and sit there and make sure the dirty underwear goes where it needs to, and that towels are hung up. I really thought we were all too old for this, but I guess not.

Perhaps I am just a lazy mom? Like, my expectations are too high, and I need to stop what I'm doing (being lazy) and physically help them do stuff.

Sometimes being the person who gets to cook everything and clean everything (because chores aren't always done) is just draining. Hello? We all live here.

Going on a vacation by myself sounds like a nice idea, except that honestly, that just makes it harder to come home to the mess. Lol.

Enough of that. That is whining, and it feels good to get it off my chest and out of my head. I can move on now. (Except that my kids are going to flip out when I am brushing their teeth tonight. I can't wait. Mommy boot camp, here we come.)


So, I failed at something. I knew deep down that I would, and the worst part is everyone else's expectations. I can fail myself because I'm used to that, but failing others is the pits! I did not pass the Bar the first time. It's a set back for us financially, but other than that, it's no biggie. I'm kind of excited to take it again, now that I've made a plan. And, maybe I'm excited because while I failed, I didn't do THAT bad all things considered. I was so overwhelmed this summer with the short amount of time I gave myself. That was fatal mistake numbers 1,2, and 4. I seriously thought that 7 weeks would be plenty. Trouble was, I wasn't remembering anything from three and four years prior. I was overwhelmed and trying to cram in the law. I did no writing practice. None. Zero. Mistake number 3 was this: bar writing is different than legal writing is different than all other writing. So, I have a plan, feel good about it, and am not at all worried about it this go around. (I found a website, in case you came across this post as a California Bar Exam failure (non-passer?): Make This Your Last Time  This guy nailed how I studied the first time and why I failed. Sound advice and a little swearing, FYI.) I am worried enough that I need to be done with the test and not take the dang thing AGAIN. But not at all scared or nervous. Last time I was on defense. This time, I am on offense, and I'm going to kick the Bar's behind so I can finally feel "finished" and like I'm not in this really weird state where I graduated but am nothing more than I was before I started. I am happy to realize that while last June I was drowning in a sea of "I can't do this! I don't remember all this!" I am now happily remembering all of it, and being able to use the information to my advantage.

It probably helps the kids are in school and it's quiet at my house, too! I don't have guilt about ignoring them.

It also helps that my heart is into this time. Last time, I wasn't sure I could do it, and wasn't sure I wanted to be a lawyer. I know now that I do, for sure. It took me about a day after failing to decide if I really wanted to do it; if it was the right path for me. Answer: it is. I feel like I can help so many people by easing their stress during their divorce. It boggles my mind how inept most attorneys seem to be in this area. Dragging feet to file paperwork? FORGET to file paperwork? Not return phone calls or give updates? I can't even.


I have planner woes. The perfect planner just does not exist for me. I found one that was REALLY close for 2015 and it has served me well, It's the MORMON MOM PLANNER. I totally recommend it! She has non-Mormon planners that are exactly the same, minus the Family Home Evening and Sunday Lessons Schedule, etc. I finally tweaked it to my liking just this last month, but it still isn't perfect. I find that I don't use all the boxes and spaces, and that bugs me. (I have issues, lol.)

I think I found the solution though. I received a Midori Travelers Notebook for my birthday. I love the leather! I've fiddled with inserts and didn't love what I had going on until now. I'll post pictures soon...but I've found that "bullet journaling" is a better use of my brain and paper space for planning. I also watched the bullet journal video, and the part where the notebook is eating up the post it notes is so ME. I have post-its and note cards EVERYWHERE. I love how plain and simple it is. You can look at bullet journaling on Instagram and Pinterest and see lots and lots of creative people being artistic with their planners, but I'm not that way. All I do is get jealous! But then I quickly remind myself that I have "other talents" and that is where I must focus my energies and not my envies.

By the way, I'm a big fan of finding your talents. Just do it. Try, fail, succeed, find out your can but don't enjoy something, fail again, become a master at something. We all have different skills and potential.


Just don't expect my planner to be artistic and beautiful, because it won't be. It'll be all linear with messy handwriting.


The rest of my day is going to be a good day. It will be, because I will make it so. I'm off: off to go write some bar essays, off to go fold towels, and off to go get myself organized so I can go and do all those things I need to do and want to do.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Free book! (Also, a little rambling update, and an Ed story.)

***If you make it through my rambling, my Ed fans will not be disappointed.***

"Trailer Life", by moi, will be available as a free Kindle download the next three days. This October 17, 2015 through Monday at midnight, Trailer Life is yours for the taking.

I do this because I think it's fun...and because I realized long ago that writing doesn't really make any money, so I might as well just have fun with it. I think I've made enough take the fam to Taco Bell. Twice.

I am contemplating locking myself in a room and cranking out a book that would be completely different that Trailer Life. Like, totally fictional, but based on a true story. A thriller. With death. And then offering it for like $.99.

But then I think, I still need to do some research at the state Board of Equalization and tax information, so that *crossing my fingers, toes, and still praying* if I pass the bar (only one more month of wondering if I have to study again) I can be all expert like in my estate planning and asset protection.

Did you know if you don't have a will that names guardians for your kids that court will appoint one, and that the person/family has to go through the foster care licensing requirements before they can have your kids? My sister just went through this process to be a foster parent for newborns in the county, and it was a bit ridiculous. No paint or chemicals in the garage. Safety stuff everywhere. That would eliminate me as being appointed because we've got stuff everywhere. My kids drive a John Deere. Pretty sure that's against the county code of fostering. Speaking of, I've heard a rumor that your kids could be placed in foster care while this is taken care of. I need to substantiate that rumor, because HOLY MOLY if that is true, that freaks me out. So, we both kick the bucket at the same time, and the kids have to deal with that AND with foster care? NO THANK-YOU. Talk about trauma. I will find out ASAP. (You can fill out a simple will form for free in CA, just make sure it is signed by two witnesses. It's at the California Bar Association Website. This is what I did 5 years ago before Ryan and I went out of town by ourselves. We are rarely together without the kids...but it felt like the right thing to do. I'm beefing up our plan because I can't help others yet, but I can help myself!)

In happier news, roads are all closed down and we are having mudslides and weather! Welcome, El Nino, (that second "n" needs a squiggly line over it)! Grateful not to have been caught in it. And that happy part is that my own road is clear.

Last random bits: we are starting music at the school again (starts today), Will is knocking out Boy Scout requirements, Ed is knocking out his Cub stuff, and Kacy is practicing her pie crust technique for her Personal Progress stuff. Jessie took a bath the other day "to wash the badness" out of her, because she has decided she wants to be good. (O-kaaayyy...)

Ed saw roadkill while we were walking to the cattle gaurd for morning pick-up that freaked him out because as he came close to it it lifted it's head to look at him. I've never seen Ed scared of ANYTHING before. A fluffy bunny that you assume is dead and that then makes eye contact with you will do that. Have I told you that Ed thinks roadkill is good luck? He gets excited about it. He also said a live rattlesnake in the road is twice the good luck of roadkill, and a DEAD rattlesnake in the road is TRIPLE good luck.

We should be set with luck around here.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Lately, I have been thinking a lot about focusing. Namely, I have a child who gets distracted so easily. Very much like the absent minded professor...I hand him church clothes and tell him to go get dressed, and 15 minutes later I find him standing in his underwear playing with a Lego thing or reading a book in the middle of this bedroom. I say something like, "Ed! Why aren't you dressed?" He looks down and is surprised to find himself in his skivvies, and then embarrassed that I'm staring at him and he doesn't have many clothes on.

I ordered a supplement called "Focus Factor." Before he took the first pill, he was worried. Like, depressed and anxious worried.

"I don't want to take this." he lamented.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because I'm afraid it will get rid of my imagination."


Hi, my name is Karrie, and I am an imagination killer.

He's taken it twice because we can't remember to give it to him, and since it might kill his imagination, I'm not all hyper-vigilant about it.


FOCUS means something else, and I need to apply it to myself. I'm in this really weird stage of my existence this year. I am neither here, nor there. Adrift in a sea of uncertainties, if you will. I keep thinking I need to do this or that, or I would like to try this...and most of it has to do with making some extra cash to pay for the debt I had to go in to take the Bar exam. (And I'm still praying that I can pass. Miracles can happen, you know.)

But, I need to focus on the bigger picture. I heard this on a podcast and it stuck with me.

I have to make one small change to it, and attribute it to the person whom I heard it from.

F: follow
C: course
U: until
S: success(ful)  

-John Lee Dumas

I added the "ful" onto success because I think it sounds "right." Also, I stopped listening to the podcast because it bugged me. It was too...too...what is the word I am looking for? More like a sales pitch than informative, maybe? It's called EOFire (Entrepreneurs on Fire) and it is actually very good. I can see that a lot of people would get a lot of good use out of it. It is well put together, consistent, and current. It's just not for me.

Anyways, I need to FOCUS. I have SO MUCH to do in order to prepare for my career. I have so much to learn, because I want to be the best at what I do. But I'm still trying to figure out what it is I will be doing.

You see, I need to know about Estate Planning, because I need to do my own, and because I have a small list of people who would like me to help them. Plus, I kind of like it.

But I also need to know about business law a bit, because I know a lot of people who own businesses, and I need to know how to wrap up or pass on those businesses. Especially family businesses. Like ranches. Plus, I kind of like it.

And then there is Family Law. I am drawn to it. There is a market for it. I keep going back to it in my head. I really, really hate how poor the customer service is in the family market arena. People who require a divorce or child custody attorney are under a lot of stress and are riding an emotional roller coaster. I've had too many friends who have had to endure a missed deadline, or haven't had their phone calls returned. That really, really bothers me. I love families. Even if a family is splitting apart, I would love to be able to ease them through the process and help them learn to live as two separate units for the good of their children. Make the most of the situation. I think that is what would make my heart the most happy, in the end.

But, so is helping someone through the legal process of death. Death is such a natural thing, but the legal process of it is NOT. The idea of saving wealth, be that $20,000 or $20 million to pass on to the family, makes me happy. Asset protection, people. Most folks don't think they have anything worth passing on and think a plan is for "the rich." I'm from Kern County. There are loads of people who own homes. They need a plan. Because what a gift it is to give your family your worldly assets, no matter how small, to give them a leg up in life? I like it.

Anyhow, I am educating myself in all things wills, trusts, the new AB 139 that was just signed...and that reminds me: I think I need to write a letter to the dude who sponsored that bill and ask him to clarify a small portion of it. I need answers. I have NO IDEA if that is how to get an answer, but I'd like the legislative intent of one of their qualifications. It's a little ambiguous. Oh, I'm also learning about TAXES. Ah, taxes. What a lovely, BORING topic, but so necessary. So important.

I'm off. Look for another random post at another random time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Desert's Secrets

I went biking today. I hope this doesn't sound pathological in any way, but as I was tootling along, a story began to form in my head. I can't say much about it yet, because I don't know much about it myself. It is still forming in my head, ideas turning themselves over, growing and dying as I go about my day. But here is a glimpse of what is in my head. Maybe it'll be my first attempt at fiction. And, I need an editor. And maybe a psychologist. Just kidding. 

I envy those whose mind works in visual ways. Mine does not. 


The desert hides things. You look at it, and from your car as you drive by you think it is a flat expanse of dry and arid shrubbery tucked in the hot sand. Unwelcoming. Hostile.

But it is more.

Just beyond the road, amidst the Joshua trees and sage, the land dips down and forms a ravine before it rises back up to your so called flat lands. This ravine has a creek that runs through it, a creek that has seeped up from the earth a dozen miles away on the side of the mountain, and has hidden itself from you. From the road, you cannot see the trees it brings to life, the shade of those trees, and what lies beneath. You cannot see the small tadpoles who swim and will morph into the frogs that thrive in the desert heat. You cannot smell the poplar leaves or hear the rustling of the willows as a breeze startles them into movement.

You do not know that not twenty feet away from your car at this very moment is a vertebrae from a cow, bleached white from years in the sun. You don’t wonder how the old bone got there, or where the other pieces of the spine might be. Perhaps the cow died naturally, of dehydration, its body being so weak that it could not go on, collapsing in a heap in the dust, taking its last breath as the sun baked its hide before it was completely dead. Perhaps a mountain lion stalked its prey, and as it leapt onto the shoulder of the unsuspecting cow, its sharp and hungry teeth tearing into the flesh of its soft neck, warm blood beginning to seep, and then soon to squirt with every pump of the heart, out of the wounds of its neck. The cow would have slowly bled to death while the hungry cat tore into the fleshy part of her neck, savoring the fresh meat that was hers for the taking. Perhaps it was that.

This you cannot know because you are one of them. You are one of the ones who thinks the desert is a wasteland, a place only a poor soul would settle. You think the desert is a vast sea of ugliness where only the desperate would come to live, those with no other options. The desert is a place you drive through, down your fast highways, to get “somewhere else.”  You ignore the mountainous terrain, the beauty of the sun. You focus on the absence of your comforts. You are disappointed that these desert mountains do not harbor enough pine trees and what you think belongs in the mountains. This I know, because I see you. I see you get out of your car at the gas station to stretch your legs, use the restroom, and I hear you complain about the bright sun or the intense heat of the summer. But you are wrong. This is not a place of absence.

Because the desert? It has secrets.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Post Bar Musing

It's been over a whole month since I last posted. Pretty typical of me, really. I'm just not a blogger.

The bar exam was everything I expected and worse. I knew it would be soul sucking. I just didn't know how much of my soul it would take. The Bar exam is like a dementor who hangs over your head all summer, making you feel depressed and anxious. Then, it swoops down and tries to administer the kiss of death for three days.

It was awful.

I plan on starting to study again about the end of October, beginning of November. I won't find out if I pass or fail until November 20. That's a LONG time to wait.

But, there is a bright side to this waiting.

It is forcing me to relax. And although it took about two weeks to do kick in, I think the reality of me relaxing just a bit has started.

Except that my tendonitis/carpel tunnel (whatever it is I have) severely flared up the by the last day of hours of typing. I suppose I can never be a transcriptionist like my aunt Diane. It hurts to type this, actually. So, I'm in no hurry to write another book. But I am kind of in a hurry to start putting documents together and have everything ready to go should I pass the bar the first time.

Which will be a miracle. But I believe in miracles, so it is possible.

Because I have ideas. Lots of ideas.

I made cookies. They are flat and burnt.

I'm out of practice. (And, I used butter. Not shortening like I usually do.)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

It's Almost Time For...

...camping and the Bar!

I look forward to the camping part. Not so much for the test.

I miss the fun in my life. Life isn't fun right now. I sat through a Corporations review yesterday, which at first I thought "Oh, I like corps. This will be at least not that painful."

Well, it was. Turns out I forgot a lot of it. I woke up this morning with at least a half of a clue about 10b-5 violations and 16b short swing sales. But honestly, I'm not sure "half a clue" is sufficient.

I also woke up this morning at 6am due to a nightmare: I was late for an afternoon session of testing, the kids would not load up in the car, Ryan kept telling me to calm down, and I was sobbing because then I knew I HAD to take it again since I missed an entire section.

Ha ha...at least now my subconscious feels like I have a fighting chance, unless I just don't show up. Then even it knows the truth.

I would love to write about something funny or entertaining that has happened, but the truth is, NOTHING funny is going on. I'm a total bore. Life is a bore. I sit in my little cubby of an office with my earphones in, listening to the finer points of the law, trying not check on social media, ignoring my children and house completely. I pretty much hate it.

And yet, I'm not sure what I would do if I didn't have to do it. I would probably be complaining about how bored I was. My house would be cleaner for sure, but my mind would be hurting for other reasons all together. It's a real thing, and I think I need to fix myself.

Oh well. Sometimes your own worst enemy is yourself. That is true in my case. I love myself the least of all the people I know. I am wholly aware of my flaws and my neurosis. I don't even know if that is the right word, or if I even spelled that right. Brain is fried.

PS- I ate the trail mix out of my hike lunch already. I'm supposed to eat it Wednesday while I'm hiking, but I got the munchies yesterday and trial mix is my favorite food besides pizza. I lost control and ate it all.

August 01 seems like a great day to start working out. This flabby body is going to need it!

Saturday, July 11, 2015


I constantly have a song in my head...or bits and pieces of one, and this is the song for today. I'm changing the words a little, but I LOVE IT. It's so dramatic, it's funny. I think I may have enjoyed lip syncing this bad boy in the back of my mom's brown diesel Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme in the early 1980's. 

I read an interesting blog post about how Facebook and social media in general has created this expectation that everyone's post is an indication of their general well being. This expectation is not giving us the leeway to be authentic because we are judging people based on one slice of time. So, if I post something funny, I must be enjoying life. If I post something thoughtful, I must be feeling pensive and maybe things are not okay. And if I post something outright negative, the assumption is that I must be spiraling towards depression, or I'm a Negative Nelly, and no one wants to hear about that stuff anyways.

Being a secret philosopher (I like to call myself a "philosophizer" because I hate the idea of philosophy, but I do love to think about "what ifs" and "whys"), I have been pondering this post, this idea that we as people tend to capture moments in a snapshot of time, a small slice of time, and then base our ideas and impressions off those slices of time. 

People feel a whole range of emotions, all the time. I just don't think we are very good at accepting that fact. We want people to be happy. I like to be happy. But sometimes, we feel other things. It can make us look weak, or befuddled, or even a bit crazy. 

I could write a whole lot more on this subject, but I have to refrain. I have other things to do at the moment. I needed to get this song and these thoughts out of my head so I can concentrate on the finer points of the Federal Rules of Evidence and the contrast between the CA Rules of Evidence, which I hate, by the way. I am FEELING a whole host of emotions, have for the last six months, and probably will for another year.

The most important feeling for me is the feeling of peace. I love the feeling of fun and laughter, that is my favorite. But the underlying feeling of peace is much more reliable and long lasting. I have that feeling of peace. I broke through some inner turmoil, and I have peace. I have accepted my fate, if you will, and I actually feel pretty good about it. 

Now if I could just convince everyone who is so sure of my success that they need to chill the heck out because they don't know that instead of studying I write random blog posts and read Facebook, or even better, update my Hay Day Farm!

Now, back to it. For while I have accepted what is to come in a very much zen-like fashion, I'm not a quitter. I'm not going to sabotage my efforts. Because quitting now won't help me much this next February. 

I am seriously a one track mind right now. I hate it. Oh, well! Life is good nonetheless. Keep on truckin'!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What Was I Thinking?

I am taking a break from studying again. I am no longer anywhere near having a nervous breakdown anymore. Yipee!!! 

Those emotions are under control.

Probably because I've hit the point where it has been confirmed to me that there is NO WAY I can possibly pass the bar the first time. I didn't give myself enough time. 7 weeks is just not enough time to review four years of material. As much as I dread the thought of studying again, I'm kind of thinking taking it again in February will be a good thing, as I can study while the kids are in school, and take my time to master it all.

I am stuck in "Can't see the forest for the trees" mode right now, focusing on all these danged trees that I am supposed to remember in order to master the forest for three days. Rationally, I know that this test is not indicative of what kind of attorney I will be. None. Really bad attorneys have passed it, great ones have had to repeat it once or twice...I get that. Rationally. 

But emotionally, I might as well set my legal forest on fire because this whole process is killing me. Not really, but holy cow...I really hate studying under these conditions. First, there is the studying. I don't do homework well. Ha ha. Second, there is the fact that I am basically ignoring my kids for hours at a time, and I hate that. Third, the "What if I truly can't get my brain to remember all this stuff?" What then? What do I do then? I am putting the cart before the horse here, but I am the person who has one, five, and ten year plans all the time. I'll need to adjust my plans and try not to think about the waste of time and money the last four years has been. That will be depressing, a bit. I'll have to work extra hard on finding the good in that.

But I shouldn't lose hope. Or faith. I am really relying on blessings here. I hope my own doubts don't dilute my faith.

I still don't know what I was thinking. At least I'm not an anxiety ridden fool anymore. Now I'm just a fool. ;)

EDIT: It has been a whole three hours since I wrote the above. I have a new plan, a Plan B and Plan C, if you will. And that, my friends, is a wonderful thing. I can officially relax. I'm going to keep going, but I am going to relax. Nothing like a drive through the countryside to clear the ol' noggin a bit. Panic averted!

1) I have everything I need, and most of what I want.
2) It is okay to put "BIG DREAMS" on hold for sixth months. When I'm 70, it won't make a wit of difference.
3) I will likely write another book. Not sure if it'll be the same market...I have two ideas and each is very different.
4) I will clean my house. Hoo-rah!
5) I will study again...no biggie. Lots of time. It'll be more fun and less stressful.
6) I will send a copy of Trailer Life to Ellen and maybe she will read it and love it. Hahaha! (This one cracks me up. That would be so surreal...and so unlikely. But hey...dreaming over here. Never know until you try. I'm all about that.)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Tick Incident

Today something happened that will forever be known as "The Tick Incident." Right now, as the kids are getting ready for bed, they are talking about praying about not having nightmares about ticks.

It all started innocently enough. We had two Cub Scouts who needed to hike at least a mile and observe nature. We all went on this hike with our scouts. It was only a mile, and we were headed to the "big city" afterwards so we could do things exciting things like get the oil changed in the car and buy groceries.

We hiked. It was more like a leisurely stroll. It was overcast and muggy, having rained last night. We stayed on the trail,but there was a lot of green vegetation and grasses in the area. We've been having a fair amount of rain for our area all summer, and things are greening up again. Both boys and I were wearing shorts on the hike. My girls were smarter: they wore pants. We talked about ticks a bit on the hike, and how Jessie had one crawling on the back of her neck once a few years ago from walking around this same area.

After the hike, we loaded up into the car and headed down the mountain. About 20 minutes later, Kacy said, "We didn't do our tick check." I think a tick check sounds like a good idea, and I kid you not, right after Kacy said we should have a tick check, Will, who is in the front seat, points to something on his sock and says, "Mom, what is that?"

It was a tick.

We pulled over at the first turnout we came to and we checked ourselves. We all had ticks in our shoes, between our shoes and socks. I myself had two in my right shoe. We flick them off, and I check everyone's armpits, necks, and back of the knees. I tell the kids to check between their toes. 

We look good, so we load back up in the car.  See this picture? The one of NOT MY MAZDA but my new to me 9 year old car that I LOVE? Oh, and the girls, with Kacy brushing a tick off her sock and Jessie running away with a smile on her face?

Study it, and then reference back, because this was the first stop. This was the stop where we were slightly creeped out by the ticks in our shoes, but we felt like we handled it. Take THAT, ticks!

It fell apart about 200 yards later.

Not two minutes after continuing our journey, I hear a blood curdling scream emanate from Jessie's mouth. She looks like she is going to break the bonds of her seat belt from trying to get away from herself. "PULL OVER! MOM!!!! MOM!!! PULL OVER NOW! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" 

There was a tick crawling up the outside of her shirt.

Kacy freaks out. Kacy's kryptonite is small insects crawling on her. She flips. Total panic mode.

I yell to the back that I can't pull over, I have to wait until the next turn out. I tell Ed to smash it for her, but Jessie is totally losing it. She is hitting herself, crying, and trying to rip her shirt off of her body. Ed very calmly says, "I don't want to touch it." I hand him a full water bottle and tell him to use that. Anything to get her calmed. Will looks at me like I'm crazy and says as much. 

We only had to wait about two minutes for the next safe turn out. As soon as the car is in park, the girls flee the car. Reference above, except maybe picture a crying tangle of flailing arms and girls jumping up and down. 

I grab Jessie and using my bossy voice I tell her to hold still and calm down so I can look for it on her shirt. I can't see it on the front, and Kacy lifts Jessie's shirt up a bit in the back. The tick is crawling on Jessie's back, and Kacy FREAKS OUT.

I can't even describe how Kacy lost control of her usually calm and cool demeanor. In her best "The house is on fire" voice, she shouted, "Oh my gosh Jessie it's on your back!" (so fast!) and then dropped Jessie's shirt and stepped away. Even I was alarmed.

Jessie promptly screamed for a full two seconds at the top of her lungs (think "murderer with a knife just killed my mom and is coming after me next" kind of scream). Then she threw herself on the ground. 

What is a mom to do? I'm no fan of creepy crawlies, but... really? Really, girls??? What is this?

(It was all my fault, really. I didn't spray them with repellent. Before we did the tick check I told them that ticks are like spiders because of their 8 legs. I told them about Lyme disease. I told them how they suck blood. Too much fresh information about blood sucking spider cousins that can give you a disease, perhaps?)

I made the girls take their shirts off and I examined their bodies and their shirts. I got the tick out of Jessie's shirt. I got a tick out of Kacy's shirt. The boys were clear. The boys were also calm, and hanging out in the car the entire time the girls were running small circles and screaming in the dirt turn out. 

After this, the girls did NOT want to get back in the car. After I told them they had to, they then refused to put their shoes and socks back on.  All 4 kids rode down the mountain with their feet up on the seat. We all kept randomly scratching our bodies. Ed did what any other enterprising brother would do and kept trying to tickle Jessie lightly on the arm to get her to think a tick was crawling on her.

We did the only thing I could think of. We headed to the big city, ditched our itinerary, and we went to Walmart. We bought the following: three packs of underwear, four new shorts, one skirt, five shirts, five pairs of flip flops, tick repellent for carpets and tents, and flea and tick shampoo. Then we headed to my parent's house, and my mom let us use her bathrooms. We shampooed ourselves with the flea and tick shampoo. We quarantined our hike clothes in a garbage bag. Those clothes are now sitting in my bathtub, soaking in some flea and tick shampoo.

In case you are wondering, I wouldn't put in in my eyeballs or on super sensitive skin, but the doggy shampoo worked just fine and made us all feel better. Even made my head tingle a bit, which made me feel good. You know, knowing that I was killing any possible little critters that had decided to make a nest in my big ol' bushy hair and suck my blood out later. 

Kacy's big question of the day was this: "Why ticks?"

Because she knows that most insects serve a purpose. Even the pesky ants that she hates, she understands the role they play in nature. But she cannot wrap her head around ticks.

Neither can I. Even with my tingly head.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Play Nurse, and Live to Tell the Tale

Wow! I did this post the other day from my phone via email, which usually works really well. Good thing I decided to write today and check it out...what a lame post without all the words and commentary! Minus 10 points from Blogger!

I did not edit the photos from my phone. As you can see I was in a place that had both WiFi AND cell reception, which is NOT the norm for me. Neither is a charged battery at that time of night. 

We were at the church setting up for the talent show. We moved the piano to the gym and Will decided to sit down. He slid his skinny bum onto the bench, and this lovely piece of bench impaled itself into his thigh. In the first picture, you can see where it is poking out, and if you look carefully, you can also see where I could FEEL IT UNDER HIS SKIN which was totally nasty.

I got the lame plastic tweezers from the first aid kit and they did NOTHING except cause me more fear that I was going to need a scalpel. I knew Jenny was coming, so I texted her to bring real tweezers and a scalpel. (She works in dental and I thought she might have one laying around.) That sucker was HARD to pull out. It did not want to come. I had texted Ryan at work to show him, and he said to grab some pliers. Jenny's husband told her to bring pliers as well. Men! They were all practical and their first reaction is "Get the right tool for the job!" and we girls were like, "But what about the germs?" See? We balance each other out. Clean pliers would have worked perfectly!

Will was a trooper. He asked me for tweezers at first, saying he got a splinter in his leg. He said it stung a little when I asked him if it hurt. The funny part (now...it wasn't then) was when I pointed out how far down it went into his skin and said something like, "Dude! That thing is WAY in there!" He felt it and then freaked out, in Will fashion. His eyes welled with tears, and he looked away. He started to cry, then laugh, then cry...he was panicked.

 So was I. I got a little sick to my stomach. 

Because I thought I was going to have to cut it out of him, at least a little, and I don't do that kind of thing. 

After I pulled it out (oh, I hope I got all of it!) he wanted to save it as a souvenir, but Jessie accidentally lost it. 

Reminds me of that time Kacy got some arrow fletching stuck on her knuckle and six months later I was pulling the quill of a feather out of her hand. *shivers*

"Trailer Life" is FREE on Kindle for Three Days

It's true. I have come out of the shadows of Bar Review Studying (aka "slow death by exploding brain cells and high anxiety") to honor my very own birthday. I have been looking forward to this birthday for FOUR years!


Because that is when I would be finished with school! YIPEE!

I am giving away my first book for free on Kindle. The freeness (not a real word) ends at midnight on June 26.  If this is yet again another repeat because we are Facebook friends or you follow me on Instagram...sorry. This was my last place to notify my small little world about the freeness.

PS: If you bought a hard copy (Amazon) before I caught a typo, consider yourself the lucky owner of a rare first edition?!? The typo was SO LAME, too. On the back cover, I transposes two letters in the word "journey." How embarrassing! I edited my own back cover and seriously, my brain fixed that for me every time I read it so that I didn't notice it! I loathe typos and misspellings. I know they happen and all that, but in a published work especially...*shudders*. Oh well. I'm taking the positive route and thinking of it as a "first edition." It has been fixed.

Now, off to my regularly scheduled program of bar review. Gag! (That's another post for another time. I think it is safe to say that I had my mental breakdown and I was told I will likely have another, and I have just come to terms with the fact that I am nuts. I'm fine with that. Really. After I take the Bar, in order to clear my brain, I will write another book.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

R.I.P Little Mazda 5

If you are going to die, you might as well go out with a bang.
It is with a sense of closure that I announce the passing of our Mazda.

Over the weekend, we had a bit of flash flooding near our home. This was thanks to some of the coolest weather I have ever seen, which produced buckets and buckets of downpour in the mountains around our house in just a short time. 

Later that night, Ryan needed to go to work. He took the Mazda, and there were several spots within several miles that were kind of bad by most people's definition. The firemen were on scene, working to clear up the road to make is passable. The extreme danger of flash flooding had already subsided. He got through the first part after talking to the firemen, and the road was as slick as could be. Farther down the road, on his way through the mountains, was a spot (pictured above) that was unexpected, as it is a dip right after a hill that you can't see over the top of. This kind of "dip" is normal out here. What is NOT normal is to have the dip filled with a MUD SLIDE. Not a flash flood with water and debris, but an actual mud or land slide. That dirt is at least two and a half feet thick, and as solid as can be.

Never a good sign when your husband, who is supposed to be on his way to work, comes home 30 minutes later. Luckily, a fireman gave him a ride home. 

Let's just say that the Mazda, as much as I took it off roading, is NOT a true rally car. 

When we went to get it on Monday, there were some pieces of "stuff" in the road. In the dark of the night it happened, Ryan thought maybe the CV joint was busted, and a $40 part would fix that.


In the day, we popped the hood, and this is why I LOVE MY HUSBAND because he instantly saw the damage but made it funny. I lift the hood and prop it up, and did my head tilt with scrunchy eyebrows because the ENGINE looked like it was listing. And, sure enough, Ryan said, "Does it look like the engine is leaning to the left over there to you?" 

Basically, for a car worth very little, it has been totaled. 

It looks "okay" from the outside. The tow hook is still connected on the front from the last time I had to help Ryan tow the Bronco home (on the same road...that took 4.5 hours in the middle of the night...up hill...). My little grill on the front was smashed out a few years ago when I hit a coyote and drug his carcass about a quarter mile. The front bumper is bent a little and flares on the sides because of that time explosives were "found" on the side of the road and I had to take an alternate route to get the the kids' school to pick them up...and the alternate route was all dirt and I had a little too much fun with it. (Basically, I got a little off roady and when my front end came down, it sort of hit the earth.) The back bumper has rope burns and cracks from all the times we used this car as a towing vehicle in the mountains. It has been very reliable. So reliable.

The Mazda has over 210,000 miles on it, all of which are our miles in the last 7 years. I recently evicted 9 mice out of it. It also recently had a blower fan go out, due to a small fire of a mouse nest in the fan. 

This car has served us well. We were outgrowing it and have recently purchased a new to me replacement car.  

I always wondered what it was like to drive a car until it literally gives out on you. Now I know. 

Here's the zinger though: I literally paid the registration with the DMV one hour before its death.  

So long, farewell, auf Weidersehen, adieu.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Welcome to My Nervous Breakdown

It's true. I may, in fact, be on the precipice of having a nervous breakdown. I just now had to double check the spelling of "precipice" because my spell checker didn't underline it in those nice red squiggly lines, and I just knew I didn't spell it right the first time.

Turns out, I did. See? I don't even trust myself.

The source of my nervous breakdown is self inflicted. And it all just really hit me this week: WHO THE HECK THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO STUDY FOR THE CALIFORNIA BAR WHILE SHE HAD FOUR KIDS AT HOME ALL DAY???

I simply cannot ignore my children for the time required. Yes, I skated through law school, doing the minimal amount of study time required, always putting my family first, with a very close second to all things gospel and church related (because the two are really intertwined, after all) and then my community commitments came third. And I made it just fine. But still.

I am feeling completely overwhelmed by the fact that I absolutely will not do well on this test in July. I made out my calendar, and I have to cut out a week for Girl's Camp, which is RIGHT BEFORE the test. The week before the test I will be in the mountains. I'm trying to tell myself it will be fine. That somehow, time will work out, and that my brain will remember every detail of the 15 subjects I need to know.

And then I look at my calendar again, and my children's faces. I refuse to ship them out and away. I want them here with me.

I can't get the voices out of my head of three really smart guys who said they studied 8 hours a day. Or, they went away from their families for a month. Those aren't options for me. (The 8 hour a day thing SOUNDS reasonable, until you realize kids need to eat lunch and need supervision lest they set the house aflame. This is also a reminder that I absolutely do not WANT to work 8 hours a day even when I am finished. I'm aiming for the part time schedule! haha)

If Ryan were here, he could talk me down off my mental ledge. He would reassure me that he knows I can do it, that "So what if you don't pass? Take it again in February, no big deal." And he would mean it. And honestly, at this point, I'm thinking waiting until February might have been a wiser idea. The kids would be in school doing their thing.

The other part that totally, completely, 100% freaks me out right now is that I have a little voice in the back of my head saying "You went to law school online. It's not Stanford, UCLA, or Pepperdine. It's not "real" law school. They probably just gave you grades to make you feel good." I used a back door way to sit for the Bar, and while I study all over here by myself (because I never had time to use the online portions anyway), much like Abraham Lincoln did, I don't trust myself. I don't have an honest comparison of my abilities in relation to others.

Oh, well. If you see me sucking my thumb in the corner of a room, forgetting my own mother's name, or generally looking like I might burst into tears at any moment, you know the reason why. I'm totally having a nervous breakdown over how I am supposed to remember every detail of what I've learned over the last 4 years, with one subject being my very worst subject (like, so bad that I'll need to relearn it and hope that I can), and fighting the little voice in my head that says I'm going to fail, and what an expensive thing to fail at. Even if I decide to call July my "practice" test, and do it again in February, that is still a VERY expensive test and hotel and food cost that would have to come out of our already tight budget. I just can't stand the thought of that.

I need to remind myself of the following:

I passed the FYLSX the first time I took it, while studying 2L subjects and one month after Ryan got shot. Yes, I nearly threw-up and I did cry a little at the beginning with stress because I knew I wasn't prepared. But I did pass. (First Year Law Student Exam, essentially 1/3 of the Bar, required by the state of CA for non ABA accredited schools.) This should comfort me. (It doesn't.)

I passed the NCBE ethics test the first time this last fall. I was totally wigged out being in a "real" law school, seeing people much younger than me, and much more confident than me, all talking about this professor or that assignment, or how well they were doing...how their law clerking was going...and I was just sitting there making the Deathly Hollows sign out of my four allotted pencils and eraser, while wondering what Mindi and I would teach the next Friday in music class. I was calculating that I needed to be better than 70% of the people in that lecture hall. But how could I be, having never interacted with other law students? This should comfort me. (It doesn't.)

This was easier when no one knew what I was doing, and the only people I would let down if I failed was myself and Ryan. The pressure to succeed may kill me. Well, not literally. I'll likely just gain 5 pounds from stress eating.

Off to studying I go. Not that I think I know better than my bar review course or anything, but I'm going to change it up a bit so I can get through all the classes a touch faster. That may help my state of mind. Maybe.

Pass the donuts and some anti-cortisol meds, would you?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Trashing the Boys' Room

from: spreadshirt.com
I love this T-shirt. Because it makes me laugh.

I suppose I am an okay mom. You might have to ask my boys though. Last Saturday, when they didn't clean their room, I kicked them out of the house with no shoes on, told them not to leave the property, and then I bagged up their room.

The best part? I ceremoniously would unlock the back door, announce which bag I was on, and then toss the bag out into the dirt driveway.

"Bag number THREE!" And up it sailed, arcing until it landed with a "thud" making a little dust cloud from the impact.

I got to 5 bags.

Now, on the plus side, my girls saw what was going on and decided to Spring Clean their bedroom, asking if it was okay to toss some of the things they didn't use anymore.

Yes, yes it is. Thank-you very much.

I even moved furniture out of the boys' room. They had nothing.

I finished in under 30 minutes, and when I invited them back in, they cried. They cried when they saw they had nothing. No clothes, no toys, no furniture. Everything they owned was in the driveway.

I told them that later in the day, when I wasn't angry and they had a chance to sit in their empty room and contemplate their situation, they could bring in one bag at a time and put things away.

We went grocery shopping, and when we came home, they spent an hour and a half putting their stuff away.

Best thing? They filled a giant trash bag full of stuff to throw away.

I'm not sure what a great mom would have done. Maybe calmly worked side by side (AGAIN for the millionth time), helping her sons realize the value of a tidy room and the purpose of a trash can and dirty clothes hamper? (I mean seriously...they have two places to put dirty clothes and neither one is used regularly without a constant reminder.) Would she have pulled a Mary Poppins and sang happy cleaning songs with her children?

I'm not sure what a great mom would have done. I'm not sure I even care. All I know is that my boys' room has been clean this week. And, I am OKAY with that.

I wonder how long it'll last?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Taking a Nap Before 9AM is Okay. Because I said so!

The last two mornings I had to take a nap before 9am. I went to bed too late, got up way too early, and just couldn't function.

Problem is, it put a damper on my entire day both times.

Not today though. No nap. Even though I got up at 4:30 am to let my dog out (weird!) and was waking up, I forced myself to shut down the ol' noggin and just hoped I would sleep some more. I turned off my 5:30 alarm and kept the 6:25 one on. It worked. I was able to sleep a bit more, and I am able to function!

Probably helped my sleep last night that I didn't OD on Diet Pepsi in the evening hours.

Just so you know, I am done with the month of May. It can be over now. Please. Last week I was at a baseball thing every night of the week, or so it seemed. This week I am literally at a baseball thing (or two), or a board meeting, or a Pinewood Derby every night this week. I just want to stay home. Not eat out of an ice chest for dinner.

That's okay. It is almost over. The week seems lighter next week. Last week was supposed to be a light week as well...

Next year, if we decide to do it again, both boys will be old enough to be on the same team. That will help a ton.

Can't wait for summer.

Oh, and I got a new to me car this weekend. It's kind of old...but I love it! It is so much more comfortable than my Mazda. Nothing is falling off of it, there are no mice living in it...it has music...all in all, a winning combination! It is a 2006 Lincoln Navigator. It feels so fancy, fancier than me. It also feels a little bit like a grandma car. But that is okay, because to get better gas mileage out of it, I'm driving even more like a grandma than I usually do. So it fits! Haha. Seating for 8, and a cargo area that will fit all my groceries? Yes, PLEASE! Ryan's legs don't touch the dash, either. Score!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Do I Have Anything to Say, and Happy Mother's Day!

Yesterday was the best Mother's Day ever, so far, in my almost 12 year history of being a mom. No one puked, bled, or threw a tantrum! That probably comes with the blessing of growth, and you know what? I'll take it.

It is likely just the mood I am in, but I am feeling especially pensive today. I am also feeling lazy, tired, not hungry, and my feet are cold. But I want to focus on the pensive feeling. The peering into my brain, the doubts, the questions, and the trying to be patient with myself feelings. These feelings all stem from this change in circumstances that I am going through with my schooling being finished, the Bar exam looming in front of me, and the aftermath of it all. Will I pass the first time? I hope so. But, it is no guarantee.

What about my writing projects? Do I lay those aside or keep plowing through? I don't like to read what I write. To see my words on a page and thrown back at me is difficult. But here I am, revisiting the idea that I had three years ago when I knew, KNEW that I needed to write a book and submit it to a publisher. I didn't listen, exactly to that prompting. I hemmed and hawed and wrote "Trailer Life" instead. But now I think it is time to start working again. To pull it out, brush it off, and put forth something I can be happy with. I guess this is the time when I need to take that leap of faith and plug my nose while I jump in with both feet. Quash the nagging little voice in my head that tells me I am incompetent, that I can't do it, and that I have no business even trying.

Eh. Today is a great day. A great day to mull around with my ideas, not do laundry, and not workout. Tomorrow will be an even better day, because tomorrow I will work. It begins.

Did I mention I took a 2.5 hour nap this MORNING? The cows ate my trees and I was tired, so off I went! It was great. Did not help me at all get anything done. But oh, how I must have needed the sleep!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Little League Season, Bully Problems, Finishing Law School, and Trailer Life...in that order.

If the title of this post is any indication, life this month is in full swing. Two little league teams going on...and guess who the team mom is for both? That's right, people. This girl, who was just mentioning how awesome it was that I was able to sit back and relax and the teams didn't look like they needed help! Haha. Then they both asked me (on different days) to be the team mom. I'm totally cool with that though, because sitting for too long makes my butt hurt. This way, I get to know the boys a bit, help them keep the dugout clean, make the snack list, AND know the schedule first!  It's a good job. I like it.

We are basically going to put about 10,000 miles on my car in in the next two months. Luckily, next year it looks like both boys can play on the same team, so this will be the difficult year. I could give or take kid sports, but I have one child who needs it. He totally, completely, NEEDS something outside of his family that will help give him a bit of confidence. This child is super sensitive, and very passive. This makes him an easy target for put-downs, and the last two weeks the put-downs at school have also come with kicks, hits, shoves, and pushes to the ground. Oh, it's hard to watch. I already made the big mom mistake by telling the kid who has called him names and won't leave him alone for the last year that I was going to call his mom. And...I did. Total mom interference.

It is so interesting how my three kids respond to this the same types of behavior. One is totally above the fray...she is so looked up to and mellow that she isn't even a part of the "kids can be mean" scene. Like, other kids ask for her help and guidance when they are having issues. She is 11 going on 40. Another child is so goofy (and tall for his age) that things roll right off his back. He's like, "Wha?!? Whatever." And then he goes and he does. He was a little upset that a few of his friends wouldn't let him play their zombie game at recess because he beat boxes too much and it annoys them. His solution: I'll go play over there, no biggie. My solution? Maybe you shouldn't beatbox all the time...it annoys your family sometimes, too! The other child would just literally kick the snot out of anyone who said anything mean to her or her family. I won't be surprised if I get called from the principal's office for that one one day.

But my timid kid, oh, it hurts. I hope he believes me when I say that he will be the boss someday, and not in jail. Lol. I hope he believes me that he can be a bit assertive, using a loud voice to tell the person to stop. I hope today he takes my advice and searches out the bully to locate him, and then stays as far away as possible at all times, so this kid and his friends don't have the opportunity to push him to the ground. In a really small school, that is sometimes hard to do. We are practicing at home, using an assertive voice and saying things like, "Stop!" and "Leave me alone, _________!" Loud enough to get other people's attention and make the kid think twice. Problem is, my kid gets all tongue tied and would rather look at the ground. This is something to work on, for sure...because he has dreams for his future, and part of those dreams requires he be not afraid of people. Still hard to watch. Going to school everyday to be called an "F-ing _______" (fill in the blank) and other words that he won't even repeat or spell for me because they are so bad. I just hope he comes out on top. I think baseball will be good for that. The other kids who play are nice kids. They just are. It is a safe place to make mistakes (like strike out or have a grounder go through your legs...oops!). The coaches and other male volunteers are helping the boys and talking to them respectfully, and setting a good example for them. Also, there are boys from the other schools on the team, and these kids will all be in high school together. It will be nice if my boys know the other nice kids because it gives them options. When you go to a school with one class per grade, and you are with the same 23 kids year after year, things can get a little weird that way. I love my small school, but the one teacher per grade is a drawback. Those kids don't ever get a break from each other.

I have a lot to learn. Still. I thought by this age I would be kind of more perfect, you know? I'm totally not and it is super frustrating. I have this vision of my perfect self (behavior wise, not body wise) and I'm just not there.

I am doing a super good job of halfheartedly studying for law school finals. Wish me luck and anti-procrastination thoughts. I received my bar review materials on Monday, and the box weighed 47 pounds. Yes...like a Kindergartner. Heaven help me.

Lastly, my book "Trailer Life" is a weird creature. I am a weird creature. I don't know what I expected, really. Fame and fortune? No. But hey...a 1000 copies sold in the first month would have been nice. Instead it is more like...well, let's just say I think my dad is my biggest fan. He bought four copies because he said, "You never know." He's right. You never know if you might need paper to start a fire with. But hey, I got the BEST review from a complete stranger! It was awesome. Cousin Aimee from Texas passed it along to me. And hey...my average star rating on Goodreads in a 4.5 out of 5. Ha ha...based on 2 ratings, but one of those ratings was from a stranger and she gave it 5 stars! I should share that my first review was 2 stars on Amazon and the person hated my book. When you do something out of your comfort zone and then someone tells you it stinks, it is not very heartwarming. In fact, it gave me a feeling like, "I should pull all copies now. Before anyone else happens to read it and I embarrass myself further." It's that same feeling I'll wake up with on those occasions I have dreamed I was naked and people could see me. It is mortifying and terribly uncomfortable. Extremely difficult. Like, possible the most uncomfortable thing I've ever done.

Except that one time I was in this play and I had to semi-act and SING a song in front of the people at my church. They all love me enough that it should have been like singing in front of family, but hot dang, that was super hard. I have video of it and refuse to watch it. Anyways, this whole book thing is hard. I don't think I will do it again. Except that I had this thought that maybe I will after I am done with the bar. Call it "Cookie Life?" Because I love cookies, and for 7 years I couldn't make them. N oven. But that's all I do now in the house.  Do I stay in a niche style (personal narrative/humorous memoir) or do I branch out a little? What to do...what to do?

Oh, I know. Study for the bar so I can be a lawyer already. Sheesh! Off I go. I'm going to go walk some laps while I listen to some school stuff. It's a passive way to study, but it gets my off my duff.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I Don't Do Drugs, but I Think I Was High Once: That Belladonna Goes WHERE?

Dear Mom,

Do not be alarmed by this story. You know I do not partake of that which would alter my mind.


But hey, this one time, I think I was high on drugs. Let me tell you about it.

You may realize that I am female. Therefore, I have female parts. These parts have given me considerable cause for concern and have required some procedures to set my organs straight. It was during one of these procedures that I think I was high.

I got to stay awake for the procedure, but had to take various medicines to help me relax and not feel as much pain. I was prescribed several things to take, and several things to bring with me to the procedure. One of the medicines was a little pill that I should have taken prior to everything else to prevent me from puking, but I didn't know that at the time. One of the other medicines was a special suppository.

Yes, a suppository. Like, the thing that grosses me out beyond belief in it's regular everyday application. To all nurses and caretakers world wide, I salute you!

My suppository was not for that typical problem, though. Mine was indeed "special." It had a combination of drugs in it, and the most prevalent one that I can recall was "belladonna." When I got into my little procedure room and was dressed in all manner of paper shirts and paper "skirting," the nurse had me turn on my side and she inserted the suppository. I was mortified the whole time, including when she told me I had a cute little butt. (Mortified, but hey...a cute little butt? No one ever in my life has said that, so I'll take it.) I didn't feel a thing so the damage was much more psychological than physical. And no, the suppository didn't do what normal suppositories do, because it was "special."

I realized how special the suppository was about 30 minutes later, when in the middle of the procedure, with my feet in stirrups, I got the giggles. Prior to this I was watching the little TV screen which showed what the doctor was doing inside my body. It was all very fascinating. And then it happened. I just started giggling uncontrollably. My doctor, who looks a lot like Dean Cain, asked me to hold still. I said "okay" and started giggling even harder. He said, "Karrie, I really need you to hold still."

I lost it. I just started laughing so hard. This doctor had known me since I was in my early 20's, had seen me through two miscarriages and four babies, and was now trying to help me with my internal organs, and all I could do was laugh. He turned to one of the nurses and said, "Why is she laughing? What's so funny?"

The nurse, who inserted the drug filled suppository, whispered, "I think it's the medication. The suppository had belladonna in it, remember?" If she was trying to say that on the sly, she failed because I totally heard her. At first I was laughing for no reason at all. None. It just started happening. There was no thought in my head as to why I was laughing. And then, as soon as I realized that, I laughed harder. I found that staring at the ceiling was hilarious. The fingernail on my index finger was straight up gut-busting. My laughing during a sensitive procedure was funny. And then, the exchange between my doctor and nurse was even more hilarious. Everyone was so entertaining and cute, and I just laughed and laughed. Belladonna. Bella. Donna. Bellllll-laaaa-donnnnn-uh. DonnaBella.  The drugs gave me the giggles, which at the time translated in my brain as "I'm on drugs! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Taking drugs for real isn't funny. Even as I write that I think it's funny I was high once, I have my mom/teacher face scowl between my eye brows that says, "No. No, drugs are not funny. Don't do drugs, kids."

My doctor asked me to settle down so he could finish. He was totally nice about it. I inhaled, exhaled, inhaled and exhaled. I tried to think of dead kittens as a nice morbid thought to stop the laughter. I had to concentrate so hard on not finding things funny.

I barely managed. I like to think that it was my awesome powers of mind over matter, but I think maybe the drugs were chemically changing in my body and the effects were shifting from funny to NOT FUNNY. Doc finished the first part of the procedure and began the second part, which was, no joke, kind of painful. It was then that all humor left me and I had to concentrate on not passing out. My poor doctor. He went from trying to coax me down from a high to asking me to concentrate on his voice so I wouldn't faint. Eight minutes later the procedure was finished. They unhooked me from all the machines, I got dressed, called my mom to come and get me, and then more fun began.

You see, after the highs of the giggling episode, I hit rock bottom. As I was leaving the building, an overwhelming urge to vomit took over my body and the thought of me throwing up in front of everyone in the waiting room terrified me.

I had my tonsils and adenoids out when I was in second grade and while being wheeled from my room down the hall so I could go home, I pulled an exorcist like move and puked blood all over myself and the floor in front of this family who was at the nurse's station. I remember a little boy staring at me in horror. That memory still haunts me. I was determined not to pull another move like that in front of all these pregnant ladies in the OB/GYN waiting room. A nurse brought me one of those stupid little trays to puke in. I've always thought those trays, with their perfect little curve, were made for banana sundaes and not for puking in.

We made it out of the building and to my mom's house where the kids were. For the next 6 hours, I was in bed, shaking, sweating, and vomiting. At 10pm, just like magic, it all went away, and I was completely back to normal. No more shaking and no more vomiting. No spontaneous fits of laughter.

It appears as though I am highly sensitive to medications. I had always suspected this, but it was confirmed when a few years later I went to the eye doctor and got my eyes dilated. His assistant put the drops in, and when I walked into his exam room he said, "Woah! Your pupils are blown! Do you find yourself particularly sensitive to medications?"

Why yes, yes I do.


Saturday, April 4, 2015


Here, I'll spill it: I am tired of being tired. I've had "the crud" for a full two weeks, and I am so over it! I just want to wake up and ***POOF*** be skinny. I mean, healthy again. I want to be skinny, too, and that would be easier to do if I had any energy at all, didn't get an immediate headache in any position except upright (no PiYo, downward dog, or running), and when I'm sick, I crave junk food.

Also, I just want to be finished with school. Remember high school? And what it was like to be a senior? I'm that senior, except it started (much like it did in high school) two years early. I am so ready to put my education behind me. While I say that, it isn't entirely true, because I firmly believe a person who reads and tries things out is always learning. I'm just tired of learning the stuff I don't really need to know. I am tired of costing money. Here's to my last month of tuition payments! Yee-haw!!!

This week has seemed really, really long...and it's not because my children are home with me for Easter Vacation. They have been great. I told them today that they had two choices: go outside or stay inside and clean. They went out.

When Ryan works, he stays out of town, so it is just me and the kids for his days on duty. Most of the time this is "okay" but this week it seems to be worse than normal. Perhaps it is because cell phone reception in his area is super lousy, or because we have this little window of time in which to have this really short and static filled attempted conversation. I suppose I miss my husband. I won't complain, because we are blessed to have his job and it's not like he's gone off to war or something. Some have it worse than I do.

Today we watched General Conference. It was good: it made me feel hopeful. No one expects us to be perfect, except sometimes ourselves.

I have to end with something that is funny. I don't want to look back and think "doom and gloom" post. Yes, I am tired and feel a bit discouraged with the way things are right now. But this? This incident still makes me laugh!

We were in the Mazda, driving to Ed's first baseball practice. I tell everyone to grab a jacket and a water bottle, and while we are in the car, I hear the crinkling of the thin plastic bottle, times four. I am about to lose it with the water bottle noises, and we stop at the gas station so I can get some gum. I send Kacy in to get gum (she was totally nervous, as she had never bought anything like that by herself before), and Ryan calls me. We have a short, static filled conversation on the phone and I turn around to tell Ed to STOP WITH THE WATER BOTTLE ALREADY. As I  turn around I see that he is sucking water out of the bottom of the bottle, where he had bitten a hole in the side.

"What are you doing? How are you supposed to drink out of that bottle now during practice? Seriously!"

He starts uncapping the bottle, while it is still turned upside down and it spills onto his pants. Not the legs of his pants...but the crotch area. It looks like he has just peed his pants. He is mortified, because we are all laughing so hard at him. Good thing it was windy and our drive is so long to get to practice. I couldn't even tell he had wet pants by the time we got to practice. But still. What must go on in his brain!

I was worried about him. How is this boy going to function?

He functioned just fine. He came off the field after practice and said, "That was so much fun!"

I'm glad.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday Happenings: Wills, Shakespeare, and Finding Your Talents

Today I am finishing what could be called a term paper on Wills. Turns out, I find the area of wills and trusts extremely fun and entertaining. Have you ever read Elvis Presley's will? It's kind of boring, because it is a standard type of will full of legal jargon, but COME ON! It's ELVIS.

George Washington's will is awesome. It's holographic, which means that he wrote it by hand, in his own words. He loved his wife, education, and the people he owned as slaves. I must do more research on his slaves, because in his will it seems as though he wants to set them free, but can't or won't due to a freed black person being in danger outside of being owned either by bodily injury by whites, or in danger because no one would hire them for work and they would starve to death. I'm putting this subject on my "List of things to read and research starting August 01,2015."

Trusts can be fun, too. A lot of people have misconceptions about the role wills and trusts play, and probate doesn't seem so terrible. Ryan and I have a simple will. You must have a will if you want to name guardians for your children should you perish. Huge question for me is the relationship between single parents and naming guardians: parent's rights concerning guardianship when the parents aren't married. (EDIT: 30 minutes later and I found my answer. Go term paper research!)

My list of things to research is dividing into subjects, and will likely take up an entire notebook.

I did the scary thing and put my book, "Trailer Life" out there. My first review earned me two stars on Amazon and was really negative. I read it. After reading it, I thought to myself, "Well, two stars seems kind of generous if that's the way the person feels about it. Who writes in all capital letters? What does "it sunk" even mean? I must "sunk." I read one more review which was much more kind, even though I was told by my editor that I shouldn't read reviews: writers don't read reviews. It was much more kind and gave me 5 stars! I can't really handle any criticism on the creative things I do. I can handle someone deconstructing an essay I write, or counter arguing with a point I have made, but to have someone hate a picture I have taken, food I have cooked, or an "entertaining/creative" piece I have written is just heart breaking. Soul sucking. Pride pounding. In short, it makes me feel the size of an ant, and like maybe I am a dreamer who dreams too big or in the wrong direction.

I will continue to write. I don't know if I will publish another book, per se, but write I will. There is something extremely relaxing and intensely stimulating about putting words on paper. Yes, those two things at the same time. My brain feels alive, and my heart feels relaxed. My words can come back to haunt me, and that part I do not love. I have burned journals. It's true. I need to embrace my past selves, because they have helped shape my current self. I am a changing person: always evolving, and hopefully it is for the better, day by day.

I've never been a fan of photographs of myself or mirrors, and past writings are just like a mirror: they are a reflection of who I was. Sometimes, that's cool. Go me! But other times, not so much. I see the flaws, and all the character weaknesses.

Anyways, back to homework. I have got to figure out at which point I am going to use the fact that William Shakespeare left his "second best bed" to his wife Anne Hathaway, because in my Trusts term paper, I was totally able to weave the character of Iago from Shakespeare's "Othello" into my essay.

I will forever remember watching a movie or play version of Othello in high school and watching as Iago stuck his fingers up his nose and then pulled his face forward with the fingers to illustrate his point that Othello was like an ass, being lead hither and thither without knowing the truth.

I might have to pull out my Shakespeare collection from high school and read again.

I have come to a realization this year. I really, really love teaching through my writing. Trying to explain things and breaking them down to make them memorable and attention keeping is a challenge that I love. My law school professor (the one I work online with the most and who has been there forever) has offered me a job as a teacher there after I graduate. I don't know if it was a serious offer, and I'm not really considering it at this point even if it is. But, it made me realize that maybe there is something there. Maybe that is a talent I need to work on.

If you have made it this far, I would like to know what you think your talents are. What comes naturally for you? I used to think only crafty type things were talents, and therefore, I was out of the talent arena. Or, I would compare myself to my extremely talented musical family and dismiss what talent I do have (it's not in the same quantity as them, but it there nonetheless.) Tell me what your talents are, and how you plan on developing them. I want to know!