Monday, December 27, 2010


If you look at the word "Resolve" it breaks into two parts. The prefix of "Re" which means to do over or to repeat and the word "Solve" which means to fix something or to make something work. Interesting when you put those two together that they mean to repeatedly fix something. It makes sense though, so many things we resolve to do in the New Year are the same every year:  lose those ____lbs, fall in love, redecorate my____room... The list can go on and on, and for some, present company included the thing being resolved is destined for failure after a few months, and bound to be something resolved again the next year.

That being said, I've been putting thought into some Resolutions that I can actually FOLLOW through completely this year, and are hopefully not as superficial as some years may have been. I want to focus on areas that will impact some different aspects of my life--and hopefully impact others.

So, drum roll please--here are my resolutions for 2011:

Mind: Become fluent or at least close to fluent in a foreign language.
Body: Run 4-6 half-marathons during 2011.
Soul: Journal on a regular basis. I am an internalizer.  When I actually remember to journal, I feel like I get a different perspective on whatever I am internalizing through writing, and then an even different one through reading what I wrote. This is one of the most cleansing, productive and positive activities for me to do, yet it is something that I don't always think to do, or put off.
Heart: Give Love. This resolution is one I already try to do--the golden rule--treat others how you want to be treated. I really try to show love through my actions to those I encounter, yet there are certain people I really have a hard time doing that for. So I'm going to really work on making sure that I 'give love' through my actions, facial expressions and words to those I encounter.
Health: Give up soda and/or caffeinated beverages. (I'm sure this is met with laughter and shock) However, it is something that I definitely need to do. Not only for my heart health, but also for my sanity, and wallet... So if you see me with a Diet Coke or a Starbucks in hand--feel free to say something about the soda, or ask if my coffee is decaf! 
Happiness: Learning to say 'no'. I am so bad at overbooking myself and then just wishing I would have said 'no' to the extra shift, going out to dinner, going for a walk instead of a run... I'm not going to be the antithesis of Jim Carrey's character from 'Yes Man' but I am going to work on saying 'no' so I can enjoy the things I say 'yes' to even more.

What are your resolutions this year? How do you stick to them?! Any resolution suggestions for me?

I'm hoping and praying that you have the best year as of yet...You Deserve it!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Traditions

When I was younger we would drive to the Northwest corner of Iowa, to the town where my mom grew up to celebrate Christmas with one side, my mom's side, of the family. My grandparents, their 6 kids, their spouses, and I believe a total of 14 grandchildren (and now 2 great grandchildren). We would always go to Christmas Eve service together, and the most special part for myself and most of my cousins, (they've told me this, I promise) was the last hymn Silent Night which we would sing--as we sat crammed in the front rows of that small church--holding our candles. It made a beautiful picture and of course, memory. We had other traditions of course--soup after church (chili, chicken noodle and oyster stew), the bedrooms where everyone slept, even watching Christmas Vacation (according to my brother the best Christmas movie ever) and It's a Wonderful Life. But nothing quite as poignant as Silent Night.
Our Omaha Christmas traditions have evolved over the years but certain things have stayed the same. Mom or Dad will always read a Christmas book of David's and my choosing prior to presents--David usually chooses Jolly Old Santa and I'm partial to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, but since it is a chapter book, I usually stick with something a little more user friendly.  Another traditions, which is extremely competitive, is finding the Baby Jesus from our nativity scene. One of my parents hides the figurine, and then the person who finds him gets to open the first present. I'm not doing a good job at describing it--probably because I usually don't win, Kathryn is really good at it--but it is really fun--and it does make us focus on the reason for Christmas prior to the gifts.
Reflecting on these memories prior to Christmas Eve (tomorrow), warms my heart and puts a smile on my face. These special memories are things I'll share with my own children one day, as well as making traditions of my own (which could very well be me winning the find Baby Jesus contest every year)--but for now I thought I'd tell you about them.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions!?!

Lots of Love and remember the Reason for this Season
Merry Christmas

Friday, December 10, 2010

You are Special To Me

When I was little my mom would read the "I'll Love You Forever" book to my older brother, and then to me--but it was always her and David's book. A few (5 or 6) years ago, I found it at the bookworm, and bought it with the intention of giving it to my Dad as a Father's day gift... He then re gifted it to me during a time in my life where I really needed the general principle from the book  ("I'll Love You For Ever, I'll Love You For Always, As Long As I'm Living, My _______ You'll Be.") reiterated in my life. Since then, we've 'gifted' it back and forth when one of us seems to need it--in person, by USPS, or even hiding it with the knowledge that the other person will find it.

Last night, I had a discussion with my Dad about my deepest fear lately. Not failure, not finals, but a what-if that keeps repeating in my mind.  To preface, so many people have expressed their faith in my abilities whether they be scholastic, personal, athletic, social, etc. As loved as I feel because of that, I have this underlying fear: "What if they find out that I'm not as Special as they think?" Silly, huh? Yet, that is a thought that I can't get out of my mind--"What happens when they realize I'm just me...."

Instead of reiterating those sentiments. He acknowledged my fear, but went further by telling me that I am special--and a law school exam, or rank, a boy, a scale, a friend, etc. is not a way to define my special-ness. He reminded me that I am loved (forever) by him, and my mom--and loved by so many others.  And maybe that's what makes me special--the fact that I am loved--the fact that love overlooks the flaws--the fact that love overlooks the imperfections--the fact that love makes the giver and the receiver more beautiful.

So to my friends and family out there--thank you for making me special by loving me. I hope I can do the same, and do the same for you.


Thursday, December 2, 2010


I always love the question that my friend Morgan and I used to agonize over during our HHC summers "If you were on a deserted island--what three things would you take?" Morgan usually would take Emmitt (her stuffed dog), her bible, and some sort of food usually reeses or cookies and cream bites (soooo good). Unlike Morgie, I was not very altruistic with my answers. I would try to weasel out of this question by taking a genie--who would be able to grant me countless wishes, a fully equipped yacht so I could easily get off the island, and Prince William.

Now, that finals are almost upon us--I have no time, energy and effort to put into myself, but there are a few things that I can't live without--not only to preserve my sanity, my social life (or major lack thereof), and also my immune system.

Emergen-C. 1000 mg of Vitamin C per packet (I put 2 packets into a water bottle), along with 24 Nutrients, Antioxidants, Electrolytes and 7 B Vitamins. Currently, I'm enjoying the Lemon Lime Flavor--which you can purchase at Whole foods, Trader Joes, Walgreens or Here. I also like the Tangerine (pictured), and the Tropical flavor. I wasn't too fond of the Pink Lemonade or the Acai Berry. As silly as it sounds, this delicious, fizzy security blanket is one of the main reasons, I haven't gotten ill yet. Also the BURST of energy I get after drinking my bottle full is better, and much less jittery than a cup of coffee.

Lip Balm. I feel like Napoleon Dynamite with my excessive use of lip balm or clear gloss lately. Right now I am using Strawberry Carmex which you can get at walgreens for $1.50 or Here. C.O. Bigelow 'Ultra Mentha Lip Shine' (in clear), which not only tastes good, but it makes my lips shiny and refreshes my breath, and it is awesome because I don't have to reapply all the time. I get mine at Bath and Body Works, but you can get it Here. Finally I'm using Burt's Bees 'Super Shiny Lip Gloss' in Nectar Nude, which I picked up at whole foods the other night but you can get it Here. This is great because it provides a touch of color, but it also stays on and really moisturizes.

Snacks. My friend Laurel and I always giggle and ask each other for snacks because we both love snacks, and because law school has cause us to think we're really funny, when we're not, but we are. Lately, I've been enjoying edamame, with no shell, unsalted, and delicious. It lasts me for a few days, and is very good brain food. I have also been loving pistachios, salted and shelled. This is a snack that I have to pack a (generous) serving of because they are so addictive. :) Finally to satisfy my sweet tooth, I am obsessed with, seriously, obsessed with Candy Cane Hershey Kisses.  I don't know how to describe them other than awesome, indulgent, and ah-maz-ing. Plus they're seasonal, so I feel the necessity to eat them while they are in stock...or at least that is what I tell myself.

Friends. Spending time with, emailing, studying with, texting with, talking to all of my friends has be key.  I could go on and on about how lucky I am because of my wonderful friends. I feel like I am an anomaly because of my core group of friends--not only is it large, diverse, but it is full of incredible, beautiful (inside and outside) group of role models for me. Each person who I know and love has at least one thing that I wish to, and try to emulate. I really am loved by them, and I really love them.  

Music. If you see me on campus, running, or studying, there is a common theme--I have my iTouch on, or at least I have my earbuds in (usually it is the second part). Lately, I've been exposed to lots of different music, because of one of my favorite things--Pandora. If you don't know what pandora is, a brief version is that it is a (free) music genome project which allows you to type in an artist, favorite song, or even soundtrack from a movie or tv show, and pandora will stream music that is similar to your entry. I have stations ranging from 'Taio Cruise' to 'Rolling Stones' to 'Grey's Anatomy' to 'Iron and Wine.' I also have Ally to thank, because she downloaded a lot of music to run to, study to, and rock out to!!!

These are just a few of the things and people that have helped me keep a smile on my face lately, and I know will continue to over these next few weeks... Good Luck on finals to my friends in school! And to those in and out of school, I can't wait to celebrate being done, and not being a 'fun-hater' (to use my older brother's word) as of December 18th.