Friday, April 30, 2010

Derby Days

The hats, the dresses, the parties... For those of you who don't know, in some parts of the country the first Saturday in May is way more imporant than the 5th of May. It's the long awaited Kentucky Derby --"the fastest two minutes in sports."

My dad grew up in Louisville so of course the Derby is extra special to him. I have actually never been to the Derby, but it is on my bucket list (wow, i really need to do a post on my bucket list). As a kid, I went to lots of races when I visited my grandparents in Louisville. The last race I went to was in 04, Brian and I were dating at the time and he got to come with me. Since I have been in school every May for the last 20 years, I have never made it to the Derby. Maybe next May I should go since it will be my first not in school.

I really like horse races. My husband would say its because its the only sport that can keep my attention as each race lasts two minutes. But I think my favorite part is the HATS. Sure the spring dresses are precious, but oh something about those big hats with even bigger flowers, bows and feathers just make me happy! (sigh...)

Maybe I will have to take a quick break from cramming for my elder law exam tomorrow and watch the race...


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Not quite "Wordless" Wednesday

When I got home from school today, this was on my steps... (wow, i really need to sweep the pollen off the porch)

Now normally I LOVE getting mail... But, when I saw the words "BarBri" I knew what it was--25LBS of law to learn this summer....It's going to be a LONG summer....

But on a more positive note... I did pick these up from the invitation place today. It's the announcement for my graduation party. I really like them! I didn't want them to scream graduation or law school. (the yellow labels are to cover up all the "identifying info.") I think they came out nice. (yes, they say bring a fishing pole-- my mom and dad insisted that some of the guys might wanna fish, I kinda think not..but, since they were paying for them...)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Thinking of Africa

I often feel like I have a hard time articulating the impact my trips to Africa have had on my life. Sometimes I feel like the English language simply doesn't contain the words to describe it. I find myself almost daily reflecting upon the images of suffering, starvation and orphans, but more than that I find myself thinking about those I met with indescribable hope, courage and indomitable spirits. I ran across a video tonight and wanted to share it with you. The songwriter sings about her recent trip to Rwanda... She has found words to tell the story that I often struggle with. I can't get it to download, but here is the link:

Here are the lyrics:

I saw what I saw and I can't forget it
I heard what I heard and I can't go back
I know what I know and I can't deny it

Something on the road
Cut me to the soul

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I'm afraid of
And what I know of love

We've done what we've done and we can't erase it
We are what we are and it's more than enough
We have what we have but it's no substitution

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I'm made of
And what I know of love

Something on the road
Cut me to the soul

I say what I say with no hesitation
I have what I have and I'm giving it up
I do what I do with deep conviction

Something on the road, cut me to the soul

Your pain has changed me
Your dreams inspire
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I am afraid of
Your courage asks me what I am made of
Your courage asks me what I am afraid of
And what I know of God

Until Next Time,

Green Goodness

So I have been on a health kick for a couple of weeks now. The first two weeks, I did amazing. I actually lost 5lbs following a strict weight watchers diet, not drinking sodas and not eating fast food.

The past couple of days I havent been doing quite as well. But, I have started drinking these very nutritious smoothies for breakfast because I realized that I am not getting enough essentials vitamins and minerals. They are super yummy.

Its 1/2 c. of fat free vanilla yogurt, 1/2 c. skim or 1% milk, 1/2 c strawberries, 1/2-1 whole banana, and 1 c. of fresh spinach. Just put all the ingredients in the blender and there ya have it!

Here is a picture of my green goodness before I mix in the spinach... it really looks pretty...

Post spinach... yes, I know it looks disgusting. But it tastes the exact same with or without the spinach.

Here is my smoothie in my new Tervis Tumbler--- which I love, by the way. Cute, huh? It was my graduation gift from the law review party on Saturday. Keeps drinks hot or cold and is perfect for my smoothie.

Lauren at encouraged me to add the spinach... She has named her smoothie the green monster.. check out her recipes on her blog. She uses 3-4 c. of Spinach and lots of other really healthy things. :) One of which is flax seed, which I am going to have to try very soon.

This baby has 300 calories, which yes is a lot.. that is why as soon as I run out of this gallon of milk I am going to by skim milk and eventually the even a lower calorie version of yogurt. Tiffany (my best friend + dietitian), correct me if I am wrong, but these are considered "good calories" right?

It has 7.7 g of Fiber, Potassium 1,341.9 mg and 12.8 g of Protein. These are its daily values of the following vitamins/minerals: Vitamin A 65.8 %, Vitamin B-12 19.5 %, Vitamin B-6 40.2 %, Vitamin C 182.7 %, Vitamin D 15.8 %, Vitamin E 7.7 %, Calcium 42.3 %, Copper 14.0 %, Foliate 33.3 %, Iron 16.2 %, Magnesium 27.5 %, Manganese 53.6 %, Niacin 10.1 %, Phosphorus 34.2 %, Riboflavin 41.6 %, Selenium 15.2 %, Thiamin 12.7% and Zinc 14.2 %.

I dont remember a whole lot from my nutrition class in college, but this sounds pretty nutrient rich to me. I have a hard time getting a lot of Iron in my diet -- I am anemic, so I am suppose to eat alot of Iron rich foods. I also have a hard time with calcium because I dont drink enough milk or eat enough dairy products.

Spinach is considered a super food in a lot of ways because it has so many benefits: (1) its high in lots of vitamins/minerals (2) its loaded with antioxidants which are thought to have cancer preventing effects, (3) its heart healthy, (4) good for your gastrointestinal health, (5) it has anti-inflammatory properties, (6) its thought to be good for your brain and memory (7)protects against eye disease and (8)its also an excellent source of iron.

Supper yummy... thought i'd share.. now enough procrastinating, back to my paper....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Catch up

I haven't blogged a lot lately about the things going on in my life. To be honest with you, I have actually taken time to really enjoy the past few weeks. Knowing an intense summer of bar prep is around the corner has really motivated me to take some time to (1) relax and (2) do the things I enjoy.

I started off the week by reading another Nicholas Sparks novel, The Lucky One. Once again, Nicholas did not let me down! Such a great book.... I am looking forward to catching up on all the ones I've missed while in law school.

Wednesday night was the awards night. It was in one of my favorite parts of town. Very nice. I won the Dean's Excellence Award- for reflecting positively upon the school. I was very honored to receive this award.
Here is a picture of me with my award at Alex's place.
Here is a picture of Alex making fun of me and my nerdy award....

After the awards ceremony I headed over to my friend Alex's condo to get ready to head out for our friend Lindsay's 24th Birthday. We went to Howl at the Moon- a dueling piano bar. This was my very first time at Howl at the Moon. It was soooo much fun. The pianist could play ANY song you could think of, from the Thong song (yes we requested it for laughs)... to sweet Carolina girl.. to the theme song of one tree hill.. We had a great time, but stayed out WAY to late. To be perfectly honest, I had never been out on a school night and now I know why. I didn't bring my camera so I have no pictures of our shenanigans. ;)

Thursday night I helped pack gift bags for the homeless as part of a missions weekend at my church. Such a great idea. They had crackers, vienna sausage, oatmeal cookies, toothbrushes, candy, deodorant, combs, bubble gums and other items.
Last night Brian and I went to a lovely dinner at the Sweezy House- its an adorable restaurant in an old farm home. The restaurant has delicious southern cuisine. I had Chicken Parmesan and Brian had some kind of amazing pork chops, with hashbrown casserole and steamed veggies.

Today, Brian headed to Asheville to go to his college roommate's wedding. I hate that I had to miss it, but I was in charge of our Law Review's End of the Year Party. The Party was at one of our Professor's homes. She lives on one of the local lakes. Her house was so beautiful. We were supposed to spend the afternoon playing on the jet ski's and boat. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. But, dont feel too sorry for us.. she had an arcade game, a pool table and a movie theater with 8 recliners and a tv that literally was probably 9 or 10 feet. Her home was gorgeous to say the least! .

I got to meet one of my friends from law review's wife who also blogs, Lauren. Her blog is very interesting and she always has great recipes... Lauren, if your reading this I bought spinach on the way home and I am going to try a smoothie in the morning. It wont be a "Green Monster," but we will see. I think everyone had a great time today. It was nice to get to hang out and not to have to work on our journal.Here are a few pictures from the day. Once again I forgot to take a picture of myself

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How I met Mr. Right

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

This week's show us your life's topic is "how I met my spouse." I have to say that I love our love story.

The summer I turned 16 was one of the best summers of my life. I had the opportunity to go to a camp called World Changers in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I had been to this camp before, but not in PR. I enjoyed doing mission working and construction projects; however, to be honest I was dreading working in the 100+ degree heat. Boy am I glad I went!

The first day of camp we met with our construction groups. I remember coming back to the barracks that night and announcing that there weren't any cute boys in my group. My mom, who was the nurse on the trip, quickly reminded me that boys were not why we came on a mission trip.

I really don't remember meeting Brian that first day. However, the second day I did notice him. I quickly realized that he and the other girl in our group from his church were the most "like me." We got to talking and realized that we lived only an hour apart and our youth leaders were actually related.

What really caught my attention about Brian was the way he interacted with the little girl who lived in the house we were working on. She was such a beautiful little girl and she loved to tease him. He was so playful with her. It was precious. The other thing that really caught my eye was how hard of a worker he was. He did not stop for breaks. I really pushed myself that week to keep up with him. Brian is still really good with kids (even though he swears he is not ready for one anytime soon) and is such a hard worker (borderline perfectionist, which of course I can relate to.

I remember telling my mom after the second or third day on site that I met the kind of guy I would want to marry. I remember her looking at me with bewilderment and asking why I would say something like that. I explained that he was so hardworking, funny and kind--- so different than the guys at my school his age. Looking back, its crazy to believe we had this conversation. I was a kid for crying out loud!

I teased him all week by calling him "COUNTRY" -- I had never heard someone talk so country in my life. This too hasn't changed about him. He is southern born and bred.

We really became good friends. In fact, we both had "relationships" back home and werent really on the prowl. hehe. When we returned from the work site, Brian and I would wait in line at the pay phone together to call our significant others. I really just saw him as a friend, although maybe I did have a little crush. Everyone teased us about "liking each other" --- I always defended myself by claiming we just had a lot in common.

I really wanted to say bye to him the morning we left camp. But, I couldn't find him. Apparently, his youth group had taken an earlier bus back to San Juan. I remember being really bummed that I didn't get to say bye. I will never forget that when we got to the airport that morning, I ran into him outside a gift shop. Apparently, they had some car trouble and were just arriving at the airport too. I remember being so glad that I got to tell him bye. I can still picture him turning around and walking down the terminal towards his flight. I remember tearing up a little and thinking I might not see him again-- I remember thinking-- Carol pull yourself together, you are being too emotional, you don't even like him and you have a boyfriend.

Brian and I began to talk on instant messenger through July and August. We were both still in relationships when September rolled around, but were "dumped" the weekend before Sept 11th, 2001. On Sept 11th 2001, Brian and I were talking on the Internet about the events that had unfolded in our country that day. I remember being especially worried because my brother was in the Navy and I had a cousin in the secret service. Brian called me that night for the first time and asked me to meet him at a football game that Friday. His high school was playing a school about 15 minutes from my house. I ended up meeting him at the game, and the rest is history....We officially started "dating" October 17th, 2001 and have been together ever since... Almost 9 years!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Paisley Giveaway

Paisley Personalized Gifts and Paperie is giving away this ADORABLE umbrella. Check it out at:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dinner Theater

Yesterday was our youth group's annual dinner theater. The kids put on a show each year to raise money for their summer mission trip. This year they are headed to Chicago, Illinois to do construction work for needy families as part of a camp called World Changers.

Since we are currently without a youth minister, my husband and I as well as another couple having been working with our youth. This year much of dinner theater's planning was on our shoulders. It was a job, but it turned out great!

This is one of the drama's that they did yesterday. This is NOT our youth, but I found a version on youtube and wanted to share it because it is such a powerful message. No matter what we are struggling with in life, Jesus is there! You will have to turn off my music at the bottom of my blog, but believe me this is worth watching...

The song is "Everything," by Lifehouse....

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Fives

Just Me and My Life
I decided to participate in Friday Five's over at Beth's Blog- Just me and my life. So today's topic is 5 thing you do not know about me.
(1) I am doing this to avoid writing a 25 page paper about preventing adoption disruption. (A paper my professor now wants me to get published in light of the recent adoption story about the little boy returned to Russia by his adoptive mother. stressful!)
(2) I got hit by a car going 40/mph once, while running across the street...
(3) In my next home, I want gas logs in my office and in my bedroom.
(4) I want to become an adjunct professor in addition to being a domestic attorney.
(5) One of my favorite things is getting snail mail! I just love peaking inside my mailbox to find something other than an ad or bill.
okay, so those were totally random.. back to my paper...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Show us your life: Teacher Gifts

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner
I don't have kids, but I do have lots of friends who are teachers. Buying the perfect, thoughtful gift for someone is one of my FAVORITE things to do. Most teachers I know get tons of things I call "setties" - you know things that sit around and gather dust or end up in a yard sale pile.

Here are some of my favorite "non-traditional" teacher ideas:

(1) A gift certificate for a mani ($12-15) or a mani/medi ($40-65)

(2) Personalized Notecards. This is a great idea because you can personalize them to each teacher's style. These are some of my favorites from Love them!

These generally run $31.00 but they almost always have a 40% off sale, which makes them around $19.00

3. Movie Tickets- everyone enjoys a nice movie and popcorn. Why not treat your child's teacher to a night on the town?

4. A gift in their honor to a non-profit organization. Some of my favorite are Samaritan's Purse and Compassion International. Or, maybe you can find an organization that your child's teacher loves. For example, maybe a gift to the WWF (world wildlife fund) for your child's science teacher or a book donation to Books for Africa in honor of your child's librarian.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

wordless wednesday

James 1:27

A picture from my Safari this summer in Tanzania

Monday, April 12, 2010


It happened again. Last night, I had another variation of the same dream I have had almost every, if not every, semester since law school started. The dream always has different characters, but the point is the same. I always find myself a few weeks from the end of the semester realizng that I forgot about an entire class and am going to fail it. Only, this time I wasn't going to be able to graduate.....

What does this dream say about me? Probably that I worry too much and care about my grades too much! Oh well. It's the truth.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Barrister's Ball (aka Law School Prom)

Some of my favorite Ladies.. Lindsey, Tara and my trial partner this semester Alex

In celebration of the winding down of the school year, my law school hosts a Barrister's Ball for students and alumni. I went my first year and decided that since it was my last year I should go again and live it up one last time...

The hubs and I (he was such a sport last night!)

Brian had the fabulous idea to spend the night downtown Charlotte at the Westin Hotel. It was so nice. We really enjoyed getting away for a night. I tried to take a picture of the view from our room, but it didn't turn out. Downtown Charlotte's skyline at night is so beautiful. I grew up about 45 minutes from Charlotte and I was always fascinated as a child when we were in the city at night. It felt like another, more elegant world, compared to my simple life.

The Barrister's ball was great! I had soooo much fun dancing! Did I mention I LOVE TO DANCE!!!! Seriously, it just makes my heart happy. I think its one of the best ways I know how to loosen up. But, bless my heart I married a man with no desire to get anywhere near a dance floor. We agreed when we were dating that I could dance and he didn't have to. It makes us both happy and just works for us.

Kerry and I

Last night it really hit me that I am about to close another chapter in my life. The last three years have been some of the toughest of my life, but part of me will miss it. There is something comfortable about being in school-- I know how to be a student, and I am kind of good at it. This whole "real world" thing scares me a little. I have made some great friends over the last three years and have learned so much not only about the law, but about myself and life.

Lindsey, Me, Laura and Adrienne
This is my mentee Rachel, isn't she precious?

Congrats J.D. Class of 2010... We are almost there!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


My mom sent this to me and I thought it was cute:
With time, women gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, It distributes out to the rest of our bodies.

So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.

Beginning today, when I look at my rear in the mirror I will think, " Good grief, Look how smart I am! "

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

bye, bye blackberry

Last Thursday my blackberry breathed its last. I went to Verizon within 5 minutes of it dying and ordered a new one (seriously, no exaggeration). I wasn't sure how I was going to get by without my phone. My replacement phone was suppose to come in yesterday and of course did not.

At first, I was so stressed out-how was I going to survive 5 days without it? But, actually I have enjoyed not being connected to the world of email 24/7. My professors and classmates know I have a blackberry and generally expect an almost immediate response. It's my fault because I normally respond within minutes because if I don't deal with stuff immediately I am more likely to forget. Responding immediately just works for me. However, I have really almost enjoyed not being accessible 24/7. Its been peaceful.... (except when I log on my email only to find 30 emails calling my name...)

I guess I have a love/hate relationship with my blackberry. Being "blackberry-less" the past few days has been a good lesson that I need to take time and turn off all the noise in my life and focus on the things that really matter...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Organization Tips: Show us your life

I am participating in Show us Your Life over at Kelly's Korner today.

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

I am not the most organized person, that is for sure. But, I am organized when it comes to scheduling. My blackberry and planner go with me almost EVERYWHERE. I use my blackberry to schedule important meetings. The calendar alarm is a great way to make sure you are always on time! Everything else goes into my planner. I panic if I cant find my planner. I swear my whole life is in it!

These are my tips for home organization:

(1) Mail- When Brian and I first got married I quickly became annoyed with mail landing all over the house. So, I purchased a nice organizer to go beside our refrigerator. I sort through the mail immediately, throwing all the "junk away." Then, I put the important stuff in the mail organizer. This one is not mine but you can get the idea.

(2) Seasonal Gear and closet organization- I love my walk-in closet. Its probably the reason I chose this house. Well, okay. I chose the house because of the master bathroom but the closet was a close second. I purchased several of these to store our seasonal gear.

One is stuffed with bathing suits, towels, goggles, etc.... The others have ski bibs, snowboarding pants, under armor, gloves, hats and all that good stuff...

I also have one of these for my belts, Brian's ties and now all my scarfs. I love this thing! The great thing is that you can see everything hanging and don't have to waste precious morning minutes searching for that perfect belt or scarf.

This made my night....

My sweet cousin Rose, posted this on my facebook today. (Sorry I am to tired to figure out how to post a youtube video). It made my night! And, gave me flashbacks of my 1st year of law school. Probably the worst year of my life to date. I literally got up at 7 was at school by 8:30, went to class, came home and read til dinner, had dinner, then read and outlined until 10 or 11 every night. I studied and wrote papers all day most Saturdays and most of the time only took time off on Sunday to go to church and have lunch with the family. At the time I thought I had to do it to get through law school. I was so certain I was going to fail out. Luckily, my hard work paid off grade wise. While I still work hard, I DO NOT do nearly as much now...Did I mention how much happier I am now?

It's especially hard to study when you know you only have 4 weeks of school left and you have been in school for the past 20 years. It is also hard to study with such beautiful weather....

Check out our forecast for the next 5 days! It is sunny and beautiful in sweet Carolina.....HELLO SPRING!

Easter Fun

See post below for Show us your life Organization tips...

Easter has really snuck up on me this year. Some of my favorite memories as a child are of Easter. While we generally did all of the traditional "Easter" celebrations (dying eggs, eggs hunts, Easter bunny), my mom always made sure to focus on the true meaning of the day. When I have children I want to make sure that my children not only understand but celebrate the true meaning of Easter.

Someone shared "Tomb Cookies" with me last year. This is something I hope to do with my own children each "Easter eve". I thought I would share:

Tomb Cookies


1 cup whole pecans
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
zipper baggie
3 egg whites
wooden spoon
Pinch salt

(1) Preheat oven to 300 F.

(2) Place pecans in zipper baggie and beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. After Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

(3) Smell/taste the vinegar Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl. When Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

(4) Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

(5) Sprinkle a little salt into your hand. Taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. This represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
(6) So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup of sugar. The sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

(7) Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. The color white represents the purity in God's eyes, of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18, & John 3:1-3.

(8) Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.

(9) Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. With a piece of tape seal the oven door. Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 28:65-66.

(10) GO TO BED! You may feel safe to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

(11) On Easter morning, open the oven and take a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.
Not only is this a great way to teach your kids about the true meaning of Easter, its a great way to share the Easter story.
Rice Crispie Eggs
I also thought I would share this adorable Easter craft that I made with my brother's girls last weekend. We made Rice Crispie Treat Easter Eggs. I got some great shots of the girls making the eggs, its a shame I cant share them!

They are super simple! Make Rice Crispie Treats and stuff them into clean Easter eggs. Just be sure to spray the eggs lightly with PAM before you stuff them. You can also decorate the eggs with icing and sprinkles.