Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Playing a little catchup

This past two weeks at home has been amazing, but incredibly busy. The busy life is why I haven't been on much lately, but I will try to make up for it. I couldn't even begin to descibe how happy it makes me to be home - not just for the holidays either. I don't dread going to work. I get to come home to Chris every night. I get to spend time with my parents. I wake up to puppy kisses. Life is just pretty amazing here.

Last week work was busy. I love staying busy though. It is nice to feel needed and appreicated too. It makes me so much happier when I leave work here every day.
Last Saturday I went to town with my mother to run a few errands. She had some shopping to finish us. I was mostly along for the ride. We had lunch with a family friend at the new Chinese resturant in town. It was really good. Definitely one I will be going to again. During the afternoon, we went to see my sister and her kids. We headed back to the house later afternoon and the boys (my dad and Chris) had just got done in the woods. They have been working a lot clearing brush. We had lunch and just visited at the house. I worked on my grocery list (I had tons to get to get ready for the week). I turned in early.

Then on Sunday, it was a pretty busy day too. We headed to town mid morning and did a few errands. We had to pick up the bibs for my dad's employees for Christmas and my mom had to pick up a pair of shoes. Then we headed to the dreaded Wal-Mart. It was a mess. I usually go to the store at like 7:00 a.m. so being there at 11 was horrible. We were there for at least 2 hours, but I had a cart full of stuff and spent over $200.00. I got back to the house and made a soup. It was soooo yummy. Once the soup was made up and cooking in the crock pot, I got started doing holiday baking. We were having a dessert exchange Monday at work. I made 2 desserts: Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and chocolate mint wafers.

Here are a few recipes for your enjoyment:

Potato Cheddar Soup

2 pounds red-skin potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 cup coarsely cut carrots
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Place poatoes, carrots, ionion, broth and salt in crock pot. Cover; cook on Low 6-7 hours or on high for 3-3 1/2 hours or until vegetables are tender.

Stir in half and half and peper. Cover; cok on high for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and remove cover. let stand 5 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted.

Soft Baked Pumpkin Cookies 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease baking sheets.

COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.

BAKE for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

The recipe doesn't call for it but I always add chocolate chips before baking. It makes a great combination and so far has been a big hit for me.

Mint Chocolate Wafers

1 c. butter, softened

3/4 c. sugar
2 c. unsifted flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
10 oz. chocolate semi sweet pieces, melted
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

Mix butter and sugar until well blended. Add flour, cocoa and 1/2 teaspoon mint extract; mix well. Shape into a 9 x 3 inch log; wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut dough crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon extract to 10 melted chocolate pieces. Dip cooled cookies halfway. Place on wax paper. Chill until set. Makes 3 1/2 dozen.

The rest of the girls all brought some amazing goodies to work on Monday too. I swear during the holidays I gain 10 pounds becuase of all the sweets tempting me. That is why I didn't make a plan to start shaping up for the wedding until after the holidays were over.
The rest of the week at work was about as normal. Busy. Sometimes I think things are worse around the holidays because we are trying to get custody arrangements set up for the holidays for our clients. We went out to lunch as an office on Tuesday. I love going to Hillbilly Junction. Wednesday, I sat in for depositions and then went to City Court.
Our office closed at noon on Thursday the 23rd. Just in time for me to head out to the quarry for the Christmas lunch and gift exchange. Those boys are onery for sure. You never know what they are going to say.
Friday started family Christmas functions for us. Since I was off on Friday, it was a great relief. I got to spend the day cleaning and cooking. I'll post separately on each Christmas function later.
But for now, you are caught up on my life.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

11 down - 1 to go

Tuesday at 12:05, I was officially done with the semester. I cannot believe that I can say there is only one semester and the bar exam before I am an attorney. When I left WP in 2005, it seemed like such a far away dream. Graduation was so long off that I couldn't even picture it. Now, here I am just 5 short months away.

I left Columbia yesterday morning around 5:00 a.m. Yes, I realize that this makes me insane. But I couldn't sleep. I hadn't been sleeping well during finals time and would regularly wake up at 3:30 reciting cases and statutes. But yesterday, I figured I would sleep in a bit since I had been no sleep deprived. But no, my body said to get up and get on the road, so I did. I actually showed up at Chris's work before he got there. I visited with my dad for a bit while my brother changed a light in my car. Then I headed to my moms. I helped her with a little cleaning and then in the afternoon, I got started putting up Christmas decorations in the house. I got about half of it done. It was kinda a mess. I had all my mom's dogs at the house - so that meant 5 dogs running around the house and the boys were taking turns marking the Christmas tree. Good thing there aren't presents under there yet. Geez. I don't even know what to do about that.

It started freezing rain around 3 and it turned into a huge mess. Chris had been out delivering loads and was told not to go back to work so drove the dump truck home. That is really funny to see sitting in the driveway. There were tons of wrecks all over the highway last night too. My dad took over 2 hours to get home from work when it usually takes only 20 minutes. This morning, the highway was clear. Temps were supposed to be close to 40, so it was melting pretty fast. Behind work, the parking lot is a little slick.

I am back to work today and as expected, I had a list of things to get started on. So I am working on that now and eating homemade jerky! I love the clients who bring in food. Plus the jerky is sooooo good. I had been craving jerky since deer season.

Well, I better get back to work. Just wanted to briefly check in. I need to take some photos of the crown molding that Chris put up last week. I'll try to get those pictures taken and posted soon.

Hope the weather is treating you well and you are staying warm.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This is Me!


When I stand up for myself and my beliefs, they call me a bitch.

When I stand up for those I love, they call me a bitch.

When I speak my mind, think my own thoughts or do things my own way, they call me a bitch.

Being a bitch means I won't compromise what's in my heart.

It means I live my life MY way. It means I won't allow anyone to step on me.

When I refuse to tolerate injustice and speak against it, I am defined as a bitch.

The same thing happens when I take time for myself instead of being everyone's maid, or when I act a little selfish.

It means I have the courage and strength to allow myself to be who I truly am and won't become anyone else's idea of what they think I "should" be.

I am outspoken, opinionated and determined. I want what I want and there is nothing wrong with that!

So try to stomp on me, try to douse my inner flame, try to squash every ounce of beauty I hold within me. You won't succeed.

And if that makes me a bitch , so be it. I embrace the title and am proud to bear it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

1 Final Down - 3 to Go

Before starting on reviewing for my next exam, I thought I would take a small break for my blog.

Today, I just saw through a 4 hour take home exam for my conflict management class. This test was valuntary all week, but I wanted to get it out of the way to focus more on my substantive classes (i.e., the ones that I don't really understand). I got up bright and early, headed to the library to get a final glance over my outline and then picked up my exam. I turned in it with about 20 minutes to spare, but I was tired of looking at it so I had to get rid of it.

I'm just really ready for the semester to be over. I have a test this Friday in Estates and Trusts (our writing portion was last week). Then I have my Family Law exam on Monday and then Criminal Procedure (this is the bad one) on Tuesday. I'll work Tuesday afternoon, go out for my final dinner for the year with my department, then head to the house to pack. My goal is to be on the road by 6:00 a.m. Wednesday. Hope that I can make that goal. Finals time is so exhausting, but I know I will also be sooooo anxious to get home that I will easily get up Wednesday morning.

Right now I am sitting in the library. I have a review session at 1:30 for criminal procedure, then I'll be off to work. So excited for dinner tonight. We are going to Hu Hot. I love that place. It was my night to pick and I had been craving it. I thought it would be the perfect opprotunity to eat it before I left next week.

On a positive note, almost all the Christmas shopping is done. The only people we have left are Chris's step-dad. But I'll leave that one up to him. I don't know what to get him and I'm terrible about buying gifts for men who have interests that I know nothing about. I decided this year not to wrap presents until I get home. It is so much easier to pack the car without having to worry about messing up wrapping paper. My car is usually packed to the max anyway. It just reminds me that I need a bigger car.

Well, I better get going. Have some things to look over before my review. I have a few wedding things to update on. I'll try to do that tonight.

Friday, December 3, 2010

5 Question Friday

It has been a while since I have done one of these, so I thought I would again this week. It is time for 5 Question Friday. It is no surprise that this week is about holidays. The holiday spirit is all around us. It is that time of year. So, if interested head over to My Little Life to play along.

1. What's on the top of your holiday wish list and why?!
Nothing in particular on my list. We have asked mainly for things for the house. My mom always buys clothes and other things just for me, but with the wedding coming up and getting ready to finish other rooms in the house, we need things for the house. I feel so old. We are asking for practical gifts

2. What is your favorite Christmas gift from the past?
Well, when I was a child, my favorite gift would have been my Barbie corvette. It was the highlight for years to come. We loved that car and were driving it around the living room before opening all the presents :)
But more recently, my favorite gift would have been the fake rose from Chris on our second Christmas. He had been buying huge and expensive vases of flowers for every occasion. For that Chrismas in 2004, I had asked not to get flowers because they are so expensive and always die. So in my box from him was a fake white rose (my favorite) with a tag attached saying "Like this rose, my love for you will never die"

3. If you had life to do over, what would you be when you grow up?
I love where my career path is going. But I often joke that I could have easily been an event/wedding planner. My organization skills are way up there. I planned my mother's 25th vow renewal from 200 miles away and it was beautiful. I love wedding planning so far and wouldn't mind at all to be doing it all day, every day

4. When do you put up your tree?
When I move in with Chris, I would love to put our tree up shortly after thanksgiving. But for now, that just doesn't happen. Right after Thanksgiving (after the 3 dinners we usually have), I have to get ready to head back to school for finals. So the tree doens't get put up until I get home for Christmas break which is around December 15th. That is the first thing on my list when I get back this time too

5. What is your favorite Holiday?
I love Christmas. People are generally happier people. There is good spirit all around. There are more opportunities to help others out. Just yesterday, I turned in a gift for a 2 year old little girl whose father is in prison. It is such a great feeling to give to someone else. I love family togetherness too.

Back to the grind. Hope that you have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Confession: I'm a terrible blogger

Last week was crazy busy and I didn't get a chance to update on very much. But I will also warn you that you won't be getting much our of me for the next 15 days either. Finals are about to start and in law school that means you have no life but the books. It's actually a terrible way of life, but hey, this is my second to last set of them, so I think I will survive.

Well, Thanksgiving came and went. It was a busy day. I was up at 5 starting to prep food. On Thanksgiving day, Chris and I were at my mom's house which means I do a lot of the work. We got several things ready to go on Wednesday night but there are just some things that have to wait until Thursday morning. My brother showed up around 10:00 to start helping out. The bulk of our company didn't arrive until noon. We ate around 1. It was a good dinner. Our crowd this year was smaller than normal. Only about 17 people this year. Chris and I left around 5:00 to head out to his aunt's house to visit with his family some too.

Friday was a pretty slow day. My mom and I didn't get around too early. We aren't really black friday shoppers. I prefer to shop with less people around. We did do a little shopping. Most of the good deals on the things that I bought were still around when we were in town. Our secret santa shopping is done for my family christmas. Most of Chris's familt is done too. We got back around early afternoon. I spent time with the pups and relaxed before our night of babysitting.

Chris's brother and sister in law had asked us earlier in the week to babysit on Friday night. I agreed. I love those kiddos. They had a lot of fun at our house. We made homemade pizza and peanut butter cookies. We also played Chutes and Ladders, colored and rode the rocking horse. The girls passed our early. We learned even more that our pups are going to be great with kids. Boots took up with Sadie in the floor and Dozer stayed on the couch with Megyn watching over her. It was so precious that I had to take a few photos.

We were very proud of our pups. Although we were up later than we usually are, we still had a good time with the kids.

Chris and I spent the day together on Saturday. We had originally planned to go to Mountain Home to do some shopping for the house, but we got around later due to the late night Friday and opted to just stay in town. We are on the look for a new back door. We are also still finishing a few projects around the house. We also did a little antiquing. We ended up buying a new (well, not really new, but new to us) kitchen table. It is huge and came with an additional leave. We got the table, leaf and 6 chairs for $250. And it solid wood and looks fantastic in our kitchen. I love it. It was really nice just to spend the day with Christopher before leaving on Sunday.

Did I mention that we have the cutest dogs? Here are a couple other pictures that I took of the boys while I was home during break.

I think Dozer didn't want me to leave. But it's okay little buddy. I'll be home in 15 days. :)

I got back into Columbia around 5:30 Sunday night. Got right back into the books. Its buckle down time now. One class is officially over now. We had our last class last night and there is no final. So one down, and four to go. Can't wait to be home again.

Hope you all have a good couple of weeks. I apologize in advance for my lack of blogging in the next 15 days.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Busy Weekend/Week = Not a lot of blogging

The weekend was super busy and this week has started off the same way. It's hard to believe that I am already 4 days into my school break.

I got into town Friday around 3:30 p.m. I unpacked the car before Chris got off work and napped a little with the puppies. I got very little sleep Thursday night. My mom was off helping my brother get moved into his new house. I made dinner for my dad. Mom picked up dinner for Chris and I on her way home. After dinner, Chris and I headed up to our house. We just watched a little TV and talked. I turned in early.

Saturday was a busy but productive day. Chris had to work all day. I surprised him by sneaking his dad up to help me lay floor in one of our spare bedrooms. It looks so nice. My grandma came up to have lunch with us and stayed to visit well into the afternoon. My mom came by when she got done at my brother's. Chris got home around 4. He liked the floor and was glad that he didn't have to do it. We rushed around to get cleaned up and headed to his aunt's house. Chris's mom was in town and we were having Thanksgiving dinner with her since she couldn't be with us on Thursday. It was nice to see everyone. Plus, the food is always great. We visitied with everyone for a while, then headed back to the house to check on the puppies.

Sunday morning I was by myself again. Chris was out in the woods looking for us a deer. He had no luck :( I was really craving some deer jerky, so needless to say I was pretty disappointed. Then he went out to see his mom again before she left town. I was at the house painting trim and getting things picked up in the living room. I got a couple coats on before I took a lunch break, then relaxed for a bit with the puppies til Chris came home. We then together worked some more on our living room. Working at the house by myself with the pups was a handful. Boots stole my paint stick no less than 5 times. There was paint all over the family room floor. Both pups have at least a little paint on their bodies and Boots even has paint all over his nails. It was a mess. After the busy day, we just got takeout for dinner. We ate with my parents. I showed Chris where I was to honeymoon. I am pretty sure that we have made a decision on that. I look to be booking it this week.

Monday I was back in the office down here. I appreciate my job here more and more every time I am away from it. I just keep reminding myself - less than a year til I am back here for good. I love the girls here and the work environment is so much better. Work here this week makes me happier and much more relaxed before heading back to Columbia for the last few weeks of class and finals. (Gross, I know - but only two more finals times)

I was in Court yesterday morning. We had a successful case. Very happy. The Judge made a ruling from the bench in our favor. I was surprised that he made a ruling so fast. He was very angry about the other party not obeying his orders and actaully had her arrested until she could comply. It was really awesome. I went to the dentist after Court. Then home to hang out with the puppies.

So far today I have been pretty busy. There is Willow Springs City Court this afternoon which is usually pretty entertaining. I'm not sure that I am going as there are plently of things to do at the office. Better get back to it. If I happen not to be back on until after Thursday, hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

T minus two classes and counting

This week has been super stressful and been a rollar coaster of emotions. I have done really good not to post the drama filled post I created on Monday. Short part of the story - I got really pissed off at work on Monday (and saying really pissed off is an understandment to how I feel). I am to the point that even though I have worked there for 4 years, I am about to quit. I will make my final decision next week on what to do but if I decide to find something new, I will be doing that after Christmas break. I doubt anyone would want to hire me now and then me leave for a month.

So needless to say, having next week at home in Howell County could not come at a better time. I've been counting down the hours. I have one more class today at noon (it is just watching a group presentation, so pretty laid back) and a class in the morning. So, nothing too hectic. Then tomorrow around noon I will be on the road.

I have started packing. I always take way too many clothes home. My dad jokes about how I look like I am moving in for a month when I come down for the weekend. But hey, its Missouri, the weather is likely to change and often I do not know what is going on or where I will have to go. For larger breaks, I have to pack work clothes, casual clothes and this week, work on the house clothes. So, for now, I have piles of clothes in my room, piles of other stuff to take in my spare room and lists of things not to forget.

But it will likely be a late night and early morning for me. Tonight, right after work, there will be a bbq at my house for Claudia's birthday. Claudia is one of the gals that I work with. She was gone to an extra credit class on her birthday, so we are going to make it up to her tonight. We are having steaks, baked potatoes, salad and bread. It has me hitching for 6:00 pm to get home and start cooking. Then Greys will be on tonight too, which always successfully distracts me from packing. Lukcy for me, I am an early riser and I always tend to wake up even earlier when I know I get to go home.

Thanksgiving break should be a busy one for us. We have 3 dinners to attend, one of which I will be doing most of the cooking. I have a dentist appointment on Monday. I will be working down there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. (Geez, how I have missed my job). Chris and I also plan to be working some more on the house. We were talking about trying to finish us another spare room just in case we have company at our house during the Christmas season. I haven't decided yet if I am black Friday shopping. Probably depends on what we could get done on the house that day.

I'll try to be good about posting pictures of the week. Right now I am just so excited to see Christopher and my puppies!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just the 2 of Us - Chris and Lynsie style

I saw this on Emily's blog this morning, so I thought I would play along. The week is a week of countdowns til I see Chris on Friday and talking about him is bound to help my day start off a little better.

1. What are your middle names?
Lynsie Rochelle and Christopher Lee

2. How long have you been together?
On October 18th, we celebrated our 7th anniversary

3. How long did you know each other before dating?
I've knew who he was for several, several years before we started dating, but actually "knowing him" I would say about a year and a half

4. Who asked who out?
Christopher did

5. How old are each of you?
Christopher is 25 and I am 23

6. Did you go to the same school?
Yes, we both attended WPHS

7. Are you from the same home town?
Yes - good ole WP

8. Who is the smartest?
I would say that depends on the subject matter. We both have our strengths in different areas

9. Who majored in what?
Chris didn't attend college but has training in commercial driving and welding. As for me, I obtained my bachelor's degree in communications and am currently working on my juris doctrate :)  six months to go  

10. Who is the most sensitive?
For sure - me

11. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Haha, we are lame - Arkansas

12. Who has the worst temper?
Again this probably depends on the situation. I get angry and blow up faster than he does, but when he lets things fester for too long, his blowing up is worse than mine

13. How many children do you want?
The talk right now is for 2

14. Who does the cooking?
Me - he will offer to help most of the time, but he never really learned how to cook

15. Who is more social?

16. Who is the neat freak?
Me again
17. Who is the most stubborn?
This is probably a tie - we are both about as stubburn as two people can get

18. Who wakes up earlier?
That would be me - Chris wouldn't wake up ever if I didn't get him up

 19. Where was your first date?
Dirt roading - but if you think that doens't count, the first time he actually took me out we had dinner at Prima's mexican resturant

20. Who has the bigger family?
Ah man, we both have huge families. It kind of depends on what you are looking at. I have more siblings and nieces and nephews. He has more aunts and uncles. Holidays are always houses packed with people

21. How do you spend the holidays?
We split up time between everyone. Each family wants to see us and our families are all very understanding about it. Sometimes we cannot stay at functions very long becuase we have to get to another, but we always try to make an appearance for each

22. Who is more jealous?
We don't really have a problem with this, but I would say Chris is slightly more jealous than me

23. How long did it take you to get serious?
Not long at all - maybe just a couple of months

24. Who eats more?
Most of the time Christopher does, but there have been meals when I have out-ate him (maybe I shouldn't disclose that, whoops)

 25. Who does the laundry?
If I am in town, I will do his laundry, but he handles it while I am away. Once we get married, I will likely handle all the laundry - I would prefer him not touch my work clothes

26. What do you do for a living?
Chris is the foreman and manager of a dump trucking company and also does contract labor for my parent's rock quarry. As for me, currently I am a legal assistant and in less than a year (hopefully) I will call myself an attorney

27. Who is better with the computer?
I wouldn't call me an expert or anything, but I am definately better at this than Chris

28. Who drives when your together?
He does - he "thinks" he gets car sick when he is riding passenger. Oh well, I don't complain

29. What is "your song?"
Me and You by Kenny Chesney

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend Recap

This weekend was a busy but really relaxing weekend.

My Friday class was cancelled so I was at work all day. We were having clients visit the office so we actually had to be dressed up. Normally the office is very casual. Part timers are typically found in sweats or jeans and t-shirts. I am proud to say that I have never worn sweats to work. I haven't gotten to a point in my life where I have given up yet. But it was nice to have a day where everyone in the office was dressed up. I live by the premise that if you look good, you feel good. My entire department was there all at the same time so we took the opportunity to get another group shot since we didn't want to frame our dwarf picture. Here we are. Aren't we precious?

I have now printed an 8x10 for my manager to display in the office and a 5x7 for one of the attorneys at the office. I'm sure some of the other attorneys will want one too. We shall see who becomes jealous about the picture in Jimmy's office. Maggie and I are considering making it into a holiday card to send to a few of the covering attorneys that we work with on a daily basis. I'm sure they would like to see who we are. Just this week, we got to see a picture of one of our covering attorneys and it was nice to put a face to a voice that I hear at least once a week.

Friday night after work, I stopped by the house to start a load of laundry, then I headed downtown. My boss from home was in town for the weekend to see his son and go to the game and asked me to dinner with their family. It was really nice to see them. And now I can say that if you are ever in Columbia and looking for a good seafood and steak place, you should definately check out Mackenzie's Prime. It was soooo yummy!!! I headed home after dinner and was in bed by 8:30. I was exhausted and Chris was out playing poker, so I decided it was time to hit the sack. The only bad thing was that I was wide awake at 4:00 a.m. which allowed me to get up and going early in the day.

On Saturday, Maggie came by around 930 - 10. We had a lazy morning and ate frozen pizza for lunch. We were going to watch the football game, but couldn't find it anywhere on TV. It was way to cold to want to get out of the house. Around 2, we finally decided to leave the house. We ran a few errands. Hobby Lobby was having a 50% wedding items sale. Too bad I didn't find anything that I liked. We also hit up a few stores. I got a new pair of boots for the chilly winter weather we are having. I cannot be bare on my feets in just flats all winter. We picked up McAlisters for dinner and spent the rest of the night in. Maggie and I had been talking for a few months about toning up before my wedding. While we were at Wal-Mart Saturday, we picked up a workout DVD called Dancing off the pounds: County Line Dancing. We took our first crack at that on Saturday night. It was more of a workout than either of us anticipated.

Sunday, we did another round of our workout and stayed around the house during the morning. Just after lunch, we headed to Joy's house (Joy is one of the attorneys at the F&B). Joy was hosting a Tastefully Simple party.

This is the second time that I have attended one of these. They are actually pretty neat. These are mixes, dressings or other products that only require 1-2 staple ingredients to make delicious meals. The dips are my favorite. I ordered a few items and they will be in before Christmas. Yah. We headed back to the house in the afternoon and laid around, each reading a book. It was wonderful. I headed back to campus about 6 to meet with my "co-counsel" for my pre-trial litigation class. We have mediation tonight and we wanted to make sure we were ready for it.

Hope that you all had a great weekend. This week is going to be a long one for me while I await Friday at noon to head home for an entire week!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shutterfly - 50 Free Holiday Cards

I know that I posted a couple of weeks ago informing you about the promotion that I found, but here is the rest of my thoughts on Shutterfly.

Shutterfly has a wide range of products.
This is one of the best times to start looking at Shutterfly with the Holidays coming up. For the past five years (I think) have done photo Christmas cards. We always felt that our families, especially the ones far away, would like updated pictures of us each year. What better way than Christmas cards? Despite the crazy schedule that I have going, this year will be no different. We will likely be using one of the pictures taken of us this fall.
Shutterfly is a great place to get photo holiday cards. We have had great experiences ordering from them in the past. We have even recommended them to family and friends. Please go check out the selection.

We will look forward to next year sending cards with our wedding photos on them. Then in the years to come after that, hopefully sharing the joys of our little ones. Here are a few that we are looking at for this year.

Holiday cards are found visiting this link

If you are looking for more religious cards, check out here

For those of you who own a business, Shutterfly has a special selection of business holiday cards. You can find out more about those by visiting here

All in all, Shutterfly is a great website. As we are getting close to time to need Save-the-Dates for our wedding, I have been checking out the products that Shutterfly has to offer for that. If you are interested in that, check out

Lastly, if you just want a photo book to capture and collect some of your favorite memories, Shutterfly will make you a photobook here

Also if you are a blogger, please do what I did and sign up to get 50 Free Holiday Cards by visiting

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Weekend Recap

This weekend, I had the pleasure of going home to Howell County. It was a much needed trip.

There wasn't a whole lot going on at work Friday, so I was able to get on the road by noon. I got to Willow a little before 3 to pick up my baby Dozer. He was soooo excited to see his momma. He is still young and doesn't quite understand that right now mom sometimes leaves for a few weeks at a time, but she always comes back. Just you wait, little fella, momma will be home for good in just a few months. Dozer and I got to my mom's house around 4:00. I visited with my mom for a little while. Chris came over a little while later. We headed to town to pick up something to eat and came back to the house. We just talked the rest of the evening.

Saturday was a pretty busy day. I was up bright and early with Dozer. I headed to town with my mom around 9. We met up with my sister and her three little ones for breakfast. Jansyn was in my lap most of breakfast. I hear that he is smilling, but he didn't smile at me :(
After breakfast, my mom and I ran a few errands. We had a couple of places we needed to go and I had to get Chris a few things from the store as well. We got a lot done and was still back at the house by 11:45. Once I got back, I had to wrap a wedding present and get ready to go to the wedding.

Here is Chris and I all dressed up for the wedding. I say dressed up lightly becuase Chris still wore jeans. As you can see, his hand is still bandaged up. He finally got all his stitches out Thursday, but his thumb is still healing and it generally looks really gross.

So, now to the wedding. The wedding was that of Phillip Shannon (Chris's second cousin) and Megan Shelton. It was a nice small wedding. Megan's grandpa performed the ceremony and it was really sweet. Just made me a little sad that Chris and I won't have any grandpas to get all emotional at our wedding. Here are a couple pictures of the wedding.

If you look closely at the last picture, you can see the ring bear laying on his pillow. It was precious.

We didn't stay too long at the reception. We were really hungry and wanting something more than cake. Chris and I went to dinner with his mom, grandma, brother and sister in law. We went to Captain D's because it is grandma's favorite. After eating, Chris and I headed back to the house. Everyone else went to go visit with more family.

After changing at the house and visiting with our puppies, Chris and I headed back into town. We went to Chris's aunt's house. There were tons of people out there. Most of the time when Cheryl is in, there are always people out there. I played some with the kids. Chris and I headed back to the house pretty early, we were both exhausted.

Sunday morning, Dozer and I were up early again. We played outside some. It was a beautiful crisp fall morning. I got showered, ready to go and all packed before anyone else at the house was even out of bed. I spent some time with my parents during the morning. Then Uncle Leroy came by like usual on Sunday mornings for coffee and visits.

I left town around 11. Steph and I wanted to be in Mountain Grove by noon to help set up for Sadie's benefit. It didn't take much to get set up, so we were mostly visiting with people and playing with the dog that was to be auctioned off. The benefit was a success and Sadie is getting her a bike for Christmas. I am so happy for that little girl. She had a blast at the benefit too. It was at the skating ring so she had tons of room to go in her wheel chair. She was always on the move.

Isn't she precious? I got back into Columbia around 5:30 and it was already dark. So not liking the time change. I had dinner with Maggie, headed to the house to unpack, watch a little TV and read for class.

Just two weeks this time til I head home again!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Bike for Sadie

This weekend has a special purpose. Depsite the fact that we will be attending a wedding, the most important part of my weekend is a benefit auction for my niece Sadie Upton. If you have read my blog for very long, you might recall that she was born with Spina Bifida. She will never be able to walk. She is one of the happiest children that I have ever met. She has never let her disease get her down. She still tries to do everything just like her siblings and other children. She never complains about not being able to walk. She is a blessing to the family and an inspiration to me every day.

But now she needs our help - she needs a bike.

Here is the thing that her mother wrote on donation cans:

My name is Stephanie Upton. My baby girl Sadie has Spina Bifida, so she has no control of her lower body. She is wanting a bike, and we are trying to get her one. The only thing is that she has to have a special bike where her hands can reach. The cheapest one is $1,700.00. Please help us raise money. She deserves the experience every other child has but takes forgranted.

I'm not asking you to donate to her. I am just asking for prayers and thoughts for Sadie. Take a minute out of your day to be thankful that you can walk, run, ride a bike, drive. Tasks in your daily life are impossible for Sadie and thousands of other people. Thank God for the blessings in your life and life your life to the fullest!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Anxious for the Weekend

This week is going to be my bitch fest. Sorry in advance.

I am not sure that I have ever been so ready for a weekend in quite a while.

The past few weeks have been real rough. Work has been stressful (my previous post says a lot and there has even been more). There has been a lot going on at school. My pre-trial litigation class has more and more going on every week. We are now trying to prepare our case for mediation. Ahh. Then I had to write a 15 page paper that I turned in today.

I haven't been sleeping well either. Last weekend, I had the same nightmare for three nights in a row. Then for a few days after that I was even afraid to go to sleep. I have been waking up at least twice a night. Ahh.

Chris has also been in a cranky mood. He finally got the rest of his stitches out today. He is on light duty for the next week. But the doctor said that he will likely have pain in it for months because he damaged so many nerves. I'm not sure that I am prepared to see it tomorrow. Oh well.

I will be trying real hard next week to keep a positive attitude. I'm hoping that a weekend in the country with Chris, family and friends will brighten my spirits.

Hope the weekend goes well for everyone!!!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Work Woes

I have been having some issues at work for the past few weeks. I had been avoiding posting on it becuase I didn't know who all read my blog that were not official followers. But I am at the point that I do not care.

ABout 5 weeks ago, a new girl was placed in my department at work. She was a full time employee and was instantly thrown into the complexity that is coverage at Faber and Brand. Typically all employees hired go throught he mail room before being placed in departments to learn about what the office does. You are usually stuck in the mail room at least 10 days. Well, with the full time people hired that wasn't the case.

Before she came, I was told that I had to be nice and welcoming. As the leader of my department, if I was nice and welcoming, then the rest of the people would follow along. Well, I have tried and I am to the point where I cannot pretend to be nice anymore. I was left solely in charge of training her. I hate training people. I am not patient enough for that. But I try. I get frustrated easily and do not understand when people ask me the same question 10 times.

Well after she had been there approximately 3 1/2 weeks, I was consulted by the officer manager how I thought she was doing. I gave my honest opinion. Though I was somewhat blamed for her not picking up, I tried to remain calm. I was asked to give thorough life of a file training and explain all about lawsuits in general and lawsuits through our office. It was a terrible afternoon. Since then I have had to make a detailed list of everything I teach her, tell her and work with her on. I have to check all of her work and give a daily update on everything she is doing. I did that all last week and even today while I was at work.

Last Thursday, I was called into a conference with the officer manager. He thanked me for my daily reports and was beginning to see the full picture. He appreciated my working with her in extra training. I thought we were making progress and I left work that day feeling pretty great. Apparently Friday, the girl went up to talk to the manager, admitting that she knew she was having problems, but wanted desperately to fix them. The few items that she completed in the last hour were sufficient.

This morning when I get to work, there are items in incorrect places - and bad incorrect places. Like major mistakes. Then several things that she did today were wrong. The manager came up to me this morning to tell me that he was going to give her congrats for getting 9 items correct Friday. Um, hello, you should not get praise for doing a job you are supposed to be doing. That is just stupid. Giving positive reinforcement yes by telling her what she did was right, but to give extra praise for it. No. This is not needed.

I sent in my email this afternoon before I left work at 1. Apparently, he told my department manager that I must really hate her. That he could tell that I was being so diligent in my reports because I hated her. Ok, a few things about this.
1. I am diligent in everything that I do. Everyone who knows me knows this. After working at a company for over 4 years, I would expect you know this too.
2. I don't hate her. I just don't want to work around her. I don't like that she has talked about me behind my back, I don't like that she blames me for her making mistakes (today, she actually tried to tell me that I told her the wrong place to put things - yeah, that makes sense) and I don't like people who don't pay attention to what they are doing. Her mistakes fall back on me at this point anyway.

I also have a hard time grasping why I am being blamed for her poor work or why people are trying to defend her instead of looking at exactly what is going on. You have to look at the big picture. I have been at this place for 4 years. I have been one of the best employees the firm has ever had. I have been loyal and done anything I was asked to do, even going above and beyond my duties. Then for them to tell me that I am wrong and that I am being vindictive? Not okay.

For the past five weeks, I have been miserable. Doing my own work has been slow becuase I have had ot constantly watch someone else and check over everything. I have to fix mistakes and give repeated instructions. I have so much stress in my life right with with the anticipation in graduation in a few months, taking the bar exam and then planning a wedding. I do not need stress from work. I am a damn good legal secretary with Rule 13 certification to practice law on my own.

As much as I would hate to switch jobs with the last few months that I am here, I am considering the possibility of quitting. I don't want to be miserable for the next 9 months that I am in Columbia. I love my department manager and the rest of the people that I work with. I don't really want it to come to this, but I will not stand for what is happening. Just becuase someone has had a rough patch in life doesn't mean we need to baby them.

Thanks for reading my rant. Hopefully things will look up and I will become happier in the next few days.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Work Halloween Party

Friday was our work Halloween party. In the five Halloween's that I saw at the F&B, this was the only year that I actaully dressed up. My entire department dressed up together and it was fantastic.

The original plan was for my manager Jason to dress up as Snow White and the seven regular employees would be the 7 dwarfs. However, the costume that he purchased did not fit properly. So, he came as the magic mirror. But his roomie, Morgan, came in as Snow White and Craig (one of the attorneys) came as prince charming.

Thought I would share a few photos.

The whole Snow White group

Just the dwarfs

The coverage department at work

The two greatest dwarfs - Sleepy and Happy

We had a great day at work. So long as you were dressed up, you got free breakfast and lunch. It was awesome.

What were your costumes?