Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 77 - Work

Today I went to work.  Haven't said that in a while!  The Clover Park School District is kind enough to allow me to earn a few bucks here and there when I can over school breaks.  After work, Joy and I went out for what we now loving call BOOM- SHAKALAKA TACO TUESDAY.  To burn off the delicious Mexican feast, I went for a 4 mile run on the treadmill, played Wii Fit with my little sis, did some hard core ab exercises and about 15 min of relaxing yoga.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 76 - Joy

Shopping, movie, board games, lunch out at BJ's... This was a great day! My little Sis, Joy, successfully drove us to the mall (she just turned 16 so this was a big deal). We did a little shopping before seeing the Fighter, Mark Wahlberg's new movie. I. Love. Him.

There was a whole lot of shirtless Marky Mark goodness in addition to the movie being overall awesome. I fully recommend it. Other than walking the mall and helping the Sis clean her room, there was no exercise today. Not acceptable. I've changed into my jammies (pajamas), but I am about to lie down and do 50 sit ups, 20 (girl) push ups and 25 squats. On your mark... Get set... Go!

Day 75 - Will Power

My New Year's resolution this year will be to regain my will power.  Although I swore today I'd eat healthier than the last two days. I failed.  The Hilen's had a delicious Christmas treats scattered all over the kitchen and I suffered from some sort of neurosis which compelled me to try them all.  I didn't really even want to eat half of the things that I put in my mouth, but I was possessed!  Against my will, my hand kept picking up chocolate covered delectables and shoving them past my lips!

A few years back, I had the will power of... Yeah, I can't think of an appropriate analogy.  Let's just say I could refuse anything without a second thought.  Now, not so much.  I did at least make it to the gym.  Charlie and I went with Annie to the YMCA.  I did about a half an hour of upper body weights and then 35 minutes on the rotating stair machine.

I also exercised my shopping muscles with Charlie and Le Target.  We got a $50 gift card and spent it and our poker winnings from Christmas Eve on new towels.  SOOOO pumped to use them when I get home!

Charlie has to return to work tomorrow morning, so I dropped him at the airport and headed over to my Dad's.  I'm staying on the west side to work for a few days and to see friends before I head back to Spokanistan.  It will be a lonely night without the hubs, but I've got Tucker with me so I'll get by.  Good night!

Day 74 - Merry Christmas

Christmas morning started early with stockings and pictures with the Muchows.   Charlie and I had to hit the road first thing to get to the Hilen's for brunch.  We made great time flying up I5 and had a fantastic breakfast.  Hilen family tradition includes Christmas lotto scratch tickets.  Charlie and I each won $8, but Jeffery was the big winner with a $20 ticket.

We then opened presents and were even further spoiled.  We got a REALLY nice camera, so expect the quality of the blog pics to improve.  Charlie's cousin's family came over for dinner.  There were 5 children under the age of 7 roaming around.  They were EXHAUSTING!  As they tore through their presents, Charlie leaned over to me and whispered "we're not ready."  I couldn't agree more.

Although I ate a ridiculous amount of food (Becky's homemade snickers, chips and dip, chocolate and caramel turtle cookies, a huge chicken dinner, etc) and didn't exercise at all, I enjoyed a fantastic day with family and hope you did to!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 73 - santa claus is coming to town

The day started rain soaked and wind torn, but I got a 5 mile run in.  I ran the same course as Day 4.  Although  I wasn't as sore or tired this time around, I definitely was more miserable.  The temperature in Portland is a good 10-15 degrees warmer than Spokane, but the wind and rain was horrendous.  I ran at near sprint pace for the last few minutes just to hurry up to get out of the cold.

After showering and getting ready for the day, Charlie and I were off to the first party of our three part Christmas.  The Wilson family gets together at my Uncle Dave's house for lunch and poker.  I am proud to say that Charlie and I walked away $35 ahead this year winning back to back rounds of poker.  As Charlie proclaimed as he banged on the table after a winning hand, "2010 was his year!"

After the Wilson family festivities, we headed over the my Aunt and Uncle's house for the Muchow Christmas Eve dinner.  We enjoyed a HUGE Italian feast, sang some Christmas carols (complete with maracas, tambourines and bells) and opened a few presents.  Charlie and I were completely spoiled and are excited to make use of our new gifts.  We head up to Gig Harbor in the morning to celebrate with the Hilens.  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 72 - TBS

After several hours in the car driving from Spokane to Portland, I am suffering from MAJOR TBS (tired butt syndrome). I doubt TBS is a real thing, but it has existed in my family for as long as I can remember. Must be genetic.

I planned to run at the gym today, but ran into a slight problem. My pants kept falling down low on my hips and I had to keep yanking them back up. I'm going to choose to believe it is due to having lost some weight. It's more likely, however, that I just stretched out the elastic past the breaking point. Bummer.

I got tired of having to run with one hand holding up the waist of my pants, so I did 45 min on the step machine. Before hitting the road, I finished decorating a second set of cake balls. We made it over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house. I am more than ready for bed. Merry Christmas eve eve!

Day 71 - Carin!

Today was a great day!  I got to visit with one of my good friends from high school, college and southern California.  She and her fiance are currently living in Japan so at most we only get to talk via skype every couple of weeks.  Anyway, they are home for the holidays visiting family so I drove down to the Tri-Cities to hang out for a little while.

The greatness of the day didn't start there, however.  It started with Pilates (with weights).  I hadn't been to the class for a good 3+ weeks and was afraid that returning would be nothing but pain and torture as I struggled through the class.  BUT, I actually kept up just fine!  I've been doing more yoga lately and that has apparently continued to build core strength.  I was fully prepared to need to be carried out on a stretcher after class, but I was able to bounce away on my own sans assistance from emergency responders.

After pilates, I took the hubs shopping with me.  I had a $50 gift card to the Nordstrom Rack that was begging to be spent.  I found a cute purple sweater dress, some gray tights and a pair of running pants that Charlie is going to give to me for Christmas (I hate surprises).  After the shopping adventure, I used another gift card and treated myself to a mani/pedi.  Add having lunch/dinner with some great friends and this was one heck of a day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 70 - Sweet

Change of plans. Instead of going to the Tri-cities today, I'm heading down there tomorrow. The last minute switch allowed me time today to do my holiday baking. On the menu were cream cheese spritz cookies, puppy chow (some call it muddy buddies) and cake balls in the shape of Rudolph.

I spent 90% of the day in the kitchen. Also, 90% of the goodies are safely packed away. The other 10%... yeah, we ate them.  I knew I was in trouble when my stomach started to ache from the sugar overload. I REALLY tried to control myself and not devour everything in sight. I ate less than I would have in Christmases past, but more than I should have in light of my goals.

After cleaning up the kitchen, it was already 9:45pm and I had yet to exercise. I went to the little gym at the apartment hoping to run, but two teenage boys were challenging each other to see who could run faster. I was about to tell them they were idiots and they were going to get hurt when the taller of the pair informed that "It was cool. They pretty much do this every night." I suppose fitness battles are better than some of the late night shenanigans these adolescent screwballs could engage in...

Still, I really wanted the gym to my self. I asked the boys if they'd mind if I watched tv. As a gift from god, 16 and Pregnant was on MTV. Apparently the thought of being a baby day was enough to make them run for the door. Peace out boys! I got really invested in the episode an wound up watching the whole thing while doing 30 min on the elliptical and another 30 on the bike.

Off to bed. Pilates (with weights) in the morning!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 69 - Pain

I woke this morning in PAIN.  Whatever I did in yoga last night is killing me this morning.  After consulting with my personal physician (aka, mom) I decided to take today off from physical activity.  Instead, I folded the laundry I got done yesterday, cleaned the bathroom, finished my puzzle and had dinner with a friend.

I had hoped not to gain any weight over the Holidays, but I'm really not helping myself succeed in achieving that goal.  Charlie made a delicious steak dinner, I had a FULL glass of white wine and then enjoy and english muffin for dessert.  Why?  I don't know.  I didn't really need or want the english muffin, but yet here it sits in my stomach.  I've really got to commit to better eating or my fitness efforts will be rendered futile.

If the back is feeling better, the plan is to run 5 miles before heading down to the Tri-cities tomorrow.  I will pack some healthy snacks to take on the road with me and will hopefully be more successful tomorrow than I was today.  Good night!

Day 68 - Sunday Funday!

Today was significantly more productive.  I finished several loads of laundry, did some shopping, finished getting everything on the Christmas list, wrapped the last few presents and went to yoga with the hubs.

During yoga, I experienced some pain in my lower back.  The class was going great until the last few minutes where we went into this pose where your supporting your weight on your shoulders and your legs are straight up in the air.  Then you slowly lower your legs down to the ground behind your head and then bend your knees so that your shins are on the floor.  Although I was able to get into the pose, I was not so lucky trying to get out.  I whispered to Charlie that I was stuck and then began to giggle out of discomfort.  As I tried to lower my legs back down, I felt something strain in my lower back and have been feeling a bit of pain since then.

We chatted with the yoga instructor after class and she again complemented Charlie on his efforts.   I think her positive reinforcement is going a long way in encouraging him to come back.  She then told me that she'd like to work on modifying a few poses since I am so flexible.  For example, she said she'd like for me to work towards pulling my head through my knees in forward fold.  Great.  That is the nice thing about yoga, though.  There is always room for everyone to progress.

After yoga, I went over to my friend's apartment to help her clean.  She is moving on back home on Tuesday and we had a wine/cleaning party.  She was one of my closest law school friends and I will miss her terribly, but I am happy for the exciting things happening in her life.  That said, cleaning blinds above your head with fatigued yoga arms is NOT easy.  At this point, I think the wine is doing the typing so I'm going to call it a night.  Have a great week!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 67 - Couch

Nearly all of my day was spent on the couch.  This is not a fact I am proud of, but I am committed to reporting the truth.  Charlie and I watched a few movies and several episodes of Lost before we bothered to get up and do something with the day. 

We took Tucker for a great walk and then hit the gym.  I swam for 40 minutes and called it a night.  My arms were sore, but I oddly felt like I had energy for the first time that day after my workout.  Just goes to show that laziness only breeds more laziness. 

We picked up a puzzle after dinning at Round Table pizza (I swear I'll get my diet under control soon) and worked on that for the rest of the night as we watched some more Lost and SNL.  I am hoping that the overarching theme of tomorrow will be productivity to counterbalance today's severe lack of ambition to accomplish anything. 

Day 66 - Best Day of the Year

Today was my favorite day of the year.  For nine years in a row now, Charlie and I have watched the Nutcracker together during the holiday season.  Tonight we were thrilled to have our good friends Maggie and Brian join us.

The plan was to go to the Melting Pot for dinner, so I decided to go for a good run outdoors to try to offset the ridiculous amount of chocolate and cheese I planned to consume.  I set off on my 5 mile course and quickly realized this was not going to be an easy run.  The cold air painfully stung with each breath and my muscles were exhausted.  I wound up walking a few stretches, which left me utterly disappointed. 

In order to feel confident in my marathon training, I would like to be a able to comfortably run between 3 to 5 miles daily before I start a true marathon training program.  Still needing to walk some means that I may need to refocus my workout efforts on marathon prep.  Unfortunately, snow is back in the forecast for the next few days, so this may have been my last outdoor run for awhile.  I have a feeling that the treadmill and I are about to become very close.

After the run, the hubs and I got all dolled up for our big date.  Dinner was delicious, but I definitely overindulged.  I used to have unwavering will power, but the lure of the fondue pot was far too tempting. 

Having seen the Nutcracker so many times, I have become a bit of a Nutcracker snob.  The Spokane Symphony/Memphis Ballet rendition was beautiful, but it couldn't hold a candle to the Pacific Northwest Ballet.  Still, I'm glad to continue in the tradition of going every year.  Charlie is a good sport for taking me each year and it is a night I look forward to all year long.

After the ballet, we went out to a club called Raw for one of Charlie's co-worker's going away party.  Abbey has become a good friend and we wish her all the best in Portland! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 65 - Lazy

First and foremost, I'd like to send a big CONGRATULATIONS to my little brother, Chad, for completing his final final making him a graduate of San Diego State University. You've worked hard and I am so proud of you!

My day was pretty low key. I worked on writting our Christmas letter, did a little shopping (so close to done!) and took the heart and soul combination cardio/pilates class at the dance studio. The class wasn't terribly hard, but my upper body sure felt stiff and sore at the end.

I decided to relax in the tub when I got home. I gave Charlie a good scare and then a laugh as I came tearing through the house proclaiming that tonight I was going to read a book for fun! He later let me know that he was happy that "I was back." We've decided that I have an evil twin who only comes around during finals and that we were both happy to see her go. The weekend is almost here! Have a great night!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 64 - Tree

I slept in until 9ish this morning, but didn't get out of bed until closer to 11.  It was UH-MAZ-ING!!!  After my complete calorie overload last night, I decided not to waste anytime and headed straight to the gym.  I put in 45 minutes on the rotating step machine and felt each and every last step.

After the gym, I showered and watched an hour or two of television in my towel.  No need to rush the whole dressing and getting ready process today!  Later Charlie and I went across the street to Spokane Boys and selected our Christmas tree.  Due to our finals schedules, this was the first opportunity we had to start decorating for the holidays.

Charlie put up the exterior lights while I worked on the tree.  He then helped me with the ornaments.  Although this will only be our third married Christmas together, it is fun to look back the ornaments we've collected or been given over the years together.

After another successful dinner in the Nu-Wave oven, Charlie and I headed to the gym for PiYo.  My friend and former WSU dance teammate Tracy joined and we all got our butts worked.  I'd like to say after my junk food binge yesterday, that today's consumption was healthier.  For 95% of the day it was.  Then, I felt the urge to have a bowl of ice cream.  I suppressed the urge for a good 45 minutes, but eventually lost the battle and sat down with two scoops of mint chocolate chip.  At least there weren't any cookies... right?

I'll try again tomorrow.  Good night!

Day 63 - DONE DONE DONE!!!

Today's final was horrendous.  I really felt like I knew all of the tests and policies necessary to be successful, but could not seem to demonstrate what I knew in relation to the questions that were asked.  None of my law school exams have ever been easy, but that was by far the hardest.

I had intended to go out and celebrate over a few drinks with friends, but was more in the mood to drink champagne alone in my bedroom while I watched 16 and Pregnant.  So, that's what I did.

Later, my amazing husband brought me home an ice cream sundae and chocolate chip cookies.  AND... for dinner I had pizza.  Yep, that makes pizza, booze, ice cream and cookies.  Plus, I didn't go to the gym at all.  Let's just say I fell off the wagon.

I'll be back on it tomorrow.  I've got nothing to do but put my life, diet and house back in order for the next few weeks.  As long as my body doesn't object, I'm going to try to work out twice a day every other day over break.  Charlie's committed to doing PiYo with me tomorrow afternoon, so I'll do that and try to fit some form of cardio in during the morning.  Other than that, I fully intend to be a bum tomorrow in honor of my first day of vacation.  I apologize to those of you who have to go to work in the morning.  I'm sleeping in.  Good night!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 62 - So Close!

In less than 24 hours, I will be half done with law school!  While that sounds encouraging, there's also the 'glass half-empty' perspective that so far the experience has been grueling and I'm only halfway.  Trying to stay in the positive, I am going to celebrate that by this time tomorrow, I will be enjoying a few weeks of vacation.

I tried to start the day with pilates, but you'll NEVER guess who showed up to teach the class...  THE AWFUL ZUMBA INSTRUCTOR from days 31 and 46!  I decided to give her 10 minutes, but I was out of there when she started doing these ridiculous airplane arm swings.  I don't know how her self-esteem allows her to keep teaching.  While I left the class early, others walked into the room, saw her and turned around and walked out.  Clearly I am not the only one with an aversion to this woman.

It actually worked to my advantage to leave early.  I headed to the post office and was third in a line of about 20 people when it opened.  Of course, they only had one person working the counter.  I can't imagine how long it took to get through the line for the poor souls behind me, but I was glad to not need to find out.

After a several hours of studying employment law, I talked Charlie into going to Yoga with me to make up for bailing on pilates.  For those who don't know, Charlie has a bad back and isn't the most limber these days.  BUT, he went, did the whole class and was even complimented by the instructor at the end for doing so well on his first day.  Charlie says he is going to keep coming to yoga and we're planning to do pi-yo together on Wednesday.

After making the most delicious burgers for dinner in the Nu-Wave oven, I am back to studying.  24 hours... 24 hours... good night!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 61 - To Do

The day's "to do" list was a mile long, but most everything got done. I went straight from bed to the gym. The rotating stair master machines were occupied by two large a ridiculously sweaty men. If I had taken the remaining machine between them, I would have gotten soaked in their perspiration and then probably thrown up. That's not exactly how I prefer to start my Sunday mornings. I did the plain non-rotating stair master instead. After my 30min were up, I lifted a few weights and headed home.

We had a dance studio instructor lunch at the Davenport. The food was fantastic and I hope to be able to go back with the hubs sometime soon. I owe an apology to Brian, my good friend and studio owner Maggie's husband. The poor guy asked me how I was doing and I started to tear up. The stress of the second week of finals is upon me in full force and today I struggled to keep my composure.

I spent a few hours at the library after lunch, took a Hilen family x-mas photo, enjoyed dinner at one of Charlie's co-worker's houses and am now ready to call it a night. I haven't been in two weeks, but I am fully looking forward to Pilates in the morning.

Day 60 - Balance

Today included a healthy balance of work and play.  I got some good studying done for my last final, picked up the house and ran 5 miles at the gym.  I also slept in, watched the Hangover with the Hubs and enjoyed a nice bath.

I will have to ramp back up the studying tomorrow.  Until then, have a great night!

Day 59 - One to go!

Another final is in the books!  As promised, the exam was crazy hard.  I wrote for the full three hours and probably could have used another 30 min to be truly happy with my answers, but at least it is over.

I got caught up on Gossip Girl, The Office and The Apprentice when I got home and took a quick nap before heading to yoga.  The regular adorably sweet yoga instructor who calmly encourages everyone to "just do the best they can" was replaced by a Russian Yoga Terrorist. 

In an extremely thick accent, the class was told to "holdz zee pozez longerz" and to "getz deepver in to zee stretchez."  She worked us HARD, but it was exactly what I needed after a LONG week.  I felt so strong and confident as I left the class, which is amazing because for the last couple of days I've only felt weak and defeated.  Such is life during finals.  Thankfully, the end is in sight.

Charlie finished his school work for the semester late last night, so we decided to go out to celebrate.  We met up with a few of his coworkers for a few drinks and to watch the drag show at Dempsey's.  The bar lived up to its reputation of having the strongest drinks in town.  After two, I was done.  I had a great night and hope you did too!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 58 - Panic

I would like to give the middle finger to any caroler who would possibly suggest that right now was "the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."  This is, without a doubt, the time of year when my life hits rock bottom.

I don't have any time to dwell on the negative, both because it is counterproductive and that I literally just don't have time.  I've got a final in 10 hours that I am in no way ready for.  The possibility of having to retake this class is feeling just a little to real at this point.

I am a victim of my own study habits, so I have little right to complain about my impending doom.  Enough with the dramatics.  Back to the books.  For those of you sleeping tonight, have a great slumber! 

Day 57 - White Christmas

There are some things that I just can NOT live with during periods of high stress.  The first being dishes piled up in the kitchen.  It makes my skin crawl to see a mountain of dishes sitting in or near the sink for no good reason other than my husband and I being too lazy to put them in the dishwasher.  My stress level is getting up there, so I knew I had to take care of our disaster of a kitchen before I could make any progress in study department.

Once the kitchen was clean, however, two large mounds of laundry began to taunt me.  One pile was clean, but had yet to be folded and put away.  The second was dirty and was beginning to take up the majority of carpet space in our room.  I just couldn't handle the mess, so I took care of the laundry too.

At that point, I noticed that the sun was shinning.  It had been weeks since my last comfortable outdoor run, so I decided to put in a quick three miles.  I've heard that exercising reduces stress and that exercising outdoors is even better.  That was SOOOOO not the case today.

Feeling the sun on my face was amazing.  Running in the road with traffic while dodging distracted drivers was awful.  My stress levels did not dip at all during this run.  If anything, I developed two new serious grievances.  The first is against Spokanistan.  Although the streets are mostly clear of snow at the moment, the sidewalks cease to exist.  The snowplows have successfully buried the sidewalks under a good foot of snow/ice, meaning that pedestrians must walk on the shoulder of the road with traffic.  Pardon me for being persnickety, but did you not pass an ordinance, City-O-Spokanistan, requiring that "Owners and occupants of premises shall keep the sidewalk areas adjacent to any portion of the real property (including corners) free and clear of snow and/or accumulations of snow or ice?" (Spokane Municipal Code 12.02.010).  I do believe this would require you, dear city of mine, to ensure that the sidewalks in front of the city owned soccer fields are clear.

I can imagine that shoveling sidewalks is a pain, but it is required by law and it is just the right thing to do.  During my run, I passed a number of individuals trying to get to a bus stop who decided that they'd rather walk in traffic than risk a broken neck from walking on the ice path formerly known as the sidewalk.  I can't say I blame them.  After a few near wipe-outs, I gave up on the side walks and ran on the road as well.

This leads me to my second grievance: distracted mother drivers.  I had to jump up on the ice covered curb not once, but TWICE due to female drivers turning to pay attention to something happening in the backseat of their cars instead of paying attention to where they were going.  If they are going to outlaw cellphone use while driving even though the driver is perfectly capable of keeping both eyes on the road while making a call, then I firmly believe that small children should also be banned from vehicles unless there is a second adult present who can attend to their needs.  If your child isn't choking, I think they will survive with out your attention until you get to your Mommy-and-Me Play Date. 

I studied for a few hours when I got back.  There are a TON of rules to memorize for my next exam and I'm not certain I'll be prepared to know them all by Friday morning.  It doesn't help when the professor lets you know in advance that her tests are so hard that the highest scoring person will likely only answer 50% of the questions correctly.  Great.

The organization I've been volunteering with this semester held its annual fundraiser tonight.  They hosted a benefit performance of White Christmas and a beautiful reception.  I arrived a few hours before the performance to help set up and I watched the first act, but I decided to head home at intermission.  The show was spectacular, but I could hardly enjoy it while the exceptions to the hearsay rule kept popping into my head.  Darn you law school!!!

Tomorrow will be a total marathon memorization session to see how much info I can cram into my brain.  Thankfully, I've already erased most of what I learned in Con Law so there should be some spare room.  Have a great night!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 56- Not Now

Other than going to bed early with a killer headache, today was a pretty great day.  Like most Tuesdays, I taught my two dance classes.  This was the last time the classes would meet before the winter break, so the girls were encouraged to bring their families and friends to watch.  I taught each class a short routine to perform for their families.  My little girls were simply adorable and my advanced tappers were fantastic!

After dance, I printed off some study material at GU and hurried up to Zumba.  Everyone LOVES the Tuesday night instructor and the class is always packed.  I had a great time dancing, but my arms were killing me and I couldn't figure out why.  They hurt so bad that I considered bailing halfway through the class.  It wasn't until the drive home that I realized it must have been Yoga from the night before that left me so sore.  Although you don't realize it at the time, you do a lot of push ups in Yoga as you transition from different poses.  OUCH.

I plopped down on the couch to watch Glee, started to get a headache and went to bed.  Charlie stayed late to study at school and apparently called me after I was asleep.  I am fully capable of having complete conversations in my sleep, but it sounds like all I said before hanging up on him this time was "Not now, already sleeping."  Poor Charlie, it's a good thing he loves me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 55 - Backnobber

May I introduce you to the best invention known to mankind... The Backnobber.  This amazing piece of plastic has changed my life.  I sadly inherited my mother's shoulders, which are hard as rocks.  We both carry all of our stress in our upper backs which results in knots that are nearly impossible to get out.

Charlie tries as best he can to workout the tension in my shoulders, but eventually his hands get sore and I feel bad for transferring my pain to him.  With the Backnobber, I can now massage my own back and pinpoint the exact spots that need work.  I am in love.

I don't mean to suggest that the Backnobber has rendered my husband useless, there are still plenty of reasons to keep him around.  However, the Backnobber has definitely taken over in the massage department.

To use, simply place one end of the Backnobber over one shoulder, find a knot, and apply as much or as little pressure to the other end as you like. TA Da! Instant relief. Thank you Aunt Debi for introducing me to my new best friend.

I finished my Con Law exam and felt pretty "ok" about the end result.  You just never know what the professor will be thinking when they grade your exam, so I will be pleased as long as I pass and keep my scholarship.

I napped most of the rest of the day and then went to yoga.  Yoga is NOT easy, but I am starting to love it.  I absolutely needed the stretching portion of yoga tonight, because my muscles were TIGHT!  Between yoga and the Backnobber, I'm feeling relaxed and ready for bed.  8 more days!  Peace.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 54 - It starts...

Tomorrow is my first final, so it is highly likely that my blog posts will be short and less exciting for the next 9 days.  I keep reminding myself of that wonderful number.  9.  In 9 days this semester will be over.  9 days and I will be on winter break.  9 days and there will once again be joy in my life.  Sadly, within those 9 days are 3 finals.

The first is constitutional law.  I can't particularly say this is an area that electrifies my desire to practice law.  I suppose it's good I'm getting it out of the way first.

I hit the gym this morning to workout some of my pre-finals nervous energy.  I did the stair machine for 45 min, but it felt like 3 hours.  After all the leg work I did the day before, my poor gams were begging for mercy 5 minutes in to the sweat session.  And trust me, there was sweat.  My hair looked I had just taken a shower by the time I was done.  I may not have been attractive or pleasantly scented as I left the gym, but everyone whose senses I infiltrated knew I worked hard.

The rest of the day has been spent immersed in my notes.  I met with some friends at a bakery to study for a few hours, studied at home for a few hours, studied with Charlie and Jefferey at GU for a few hours and here I am back home about to study for a few more hours.  They really could turn this day into blockbuster movie.

I hope your week includes zero finals.  If you do have a few, I hope they are as painless as possible.  Have a great week!

Day 53 - Hello Sunshine

The sun made a much overdue appearance today!  I shouldn't need to post such things as if they were worthy of celebrating, but that's how long the sun has been gone.  No need for the happy lamp today!

I've got a Constitutional Law final on Monday, so may day primarily consisted of studying the separation of powers, dormant commerce clause, McCulloch v. Maryland, etc.  Jealous?

After 2 days of inactivity, I made sure to get to the gym this morning and was even able to talk the hubs into coming.  Again, not something I should have to report as newsworthy.  I ran another 5 miles with sprint intervals and then did a few squats with the bar.  Umm... ouch.  I'm really looking forward to trying to get of my chair tomorrow.  It should be an adventure.

Today was Apple Cup.  That's all I feel like saying about that.

We also dj'ed another dance at Central Valley High.  Those kids are awesome.  We've been really disappointed with some of the schools we've been to lately, but we are always excited to do CV.  The kids are respectful, energetic and don't simulate sex acts on the dance floor.  God bless them.

I've got a lot to review/learn tomorrow, so I'm going to turn off my brain and go to bed.  Goodnight!

Day 52 - Broken Promises

So I promised myself that I would keep exercise a priority throughout finals to help combat stress...  Broken promise number 1.  I only taught dance on Tuesday and didn't get to the gym at all on Thursday or Friday.  Also, I made a promise to myself at the beginning of this blog that I would post at the end of each day.  Broken promise number 2.  By the time we got home, I was way to exhausted to recap the happenings of the day.

The day started with my last class of the semester!  WAHOO!!!  I then enjoyed lunch with my friend Lauren.  She's ditching us and heading back home for the last year and a half of law school.  I'm going to miss her terribly, but am proud of her for making the escape.

Later in the afternoon, I took some nuns to the grocery store.  Yes, you read that correctly.  There were 6 who wanted to go, so I had to make a few trips back and forth.  I studied for a few more hours, proclaimed to Charlie that there was no way I was cooking and suggested we find a good burger somewhere.

The Cougs were playing, so we decided to have dinner at the Q at the Northern Quest Casino to watch the game and their JUMBO screen.  That thing is huge.  So are their portion sizes.  The bacon avocado burger I ordered was much larger than necessary, but I managed to finish it.

After watching the Cougars lose in the final seconds of the game and losing $14 to the casino, we went home feeling like... losers.  Oh well, at least we were losers together.  Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 51 - Dull

I won't waste your time tonight with the monotonous details of my boring day.  The only thing worth reporting is that, for the first time in a long while, it did not snow.  Hopefully tomorrow will hold more adventure and/or excitement.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 50 - Going Global

So apparently this blog has gone global.  I check the blog stats periodically to see if people are still reading, and today I found out that you can see what countries your readers are from.  As it turns out, a few of you are checking in from Denmark, Canada and the UK.  There have also been visitors from Malaysia, South Korea and Russia.

If you happen to be reading this from somewhere outside the U.S., leave me a comment sometime.  I'd love to hear from you!

In honor of reaching day 50, I'd like to share a few successes.  First, I can now run for 45 minutes without serious concerning of passing out.  Second, pilates and yoga no longer frighten me AND I am starting to learn how to do the zen breathing nonsense without giggling.  Third, I no longer have to suck it in to zip up my jeans!  HOORAY!!!  That's what I call progress!

Today was more of the same.  Studying for finals, class and finishing my paper.  Although, I did get to take my first law school field trip.  My Comparative Women's Rights class visited a local museum with an exhibit on Women's Suffrage in Washington.  It was very interesting and I hope to be able to go back after finals.

I didn't make it to Pilates (with weights) this morning, but I made up for it by going to PiYo tonight.  It was EXACTLY what I needed.  My muscles have been tight from the cold and not properly stretching after exercising, so the Yoga portion of PiYo helped stretch me back out.  Plus, I got a killer core workout thanks to the pilates portion.  I walked away from the class feeling calm.  Given the amount of stress associated with this time of the year, I am thinking I need to go to PiYo more often!  If you're in Spokanistan, take it slow in the morning.  That slush is going to freeze and make things a slippery nightmare.  Be safe and have a great night!

Day 49 - Break?

I am SOOOOO ready for a break from everything!  Although I can feel that I'm getting physically stronger, I am mentally exhausted. 

Besides working on my CWR paper, today I watched a ridiculous amount of snow fall and taught my dance classes.  My little dancers couldn't have been cuter if they tried.  The snow prevented a few girls from coming to class and I really enjoyed being able to give the girls who did come some individual attention.  If I was the kidnapping type, I definitely would have brought one of the girls home as my new daughter. 

And then there's my advanced tappers.  They totally crack me up.  They're 100% pre-teens and it shows.  They get so nervous and embarassed, but at the same time have no trouble sassing off.  I fully support a playful banter in my class, because I would much rather them be goofy and playful than bored to death.  For example, one of my girls said "Ugh, I just keep doing it on the wrong foot" after not really trying to correct her mistake.  My reply was "You know what the solution is?  Just do it right next time."  She looked at me shocked, giggled and then tried again.  Teaching dance does cut in to my study time, but it has really turned out to be a great outlet for creative side. 

Back to writing.  Have a good night!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 48 - Truth

Forgive me scale, for I have gained. The 5 days of straight binge eating for Thanksgiving resulted in a 2 pound up swing. That's right, I'm back up to 160. It feels like driving the wrong way on a one way road, fear and panic with the desperate urge to turn around and go back the other way. This whole fitness journey to a marathon finish line and a mountain top has never been about losing weight, but it still stings.

No time to dwell on the negative, there's too much to be done. I've got a 20 page paper due Wednesday and then finals start shortly after. It's extremely important to me to keep exercising throughout finals to help combat the stress. So, tonight Charlie and I got our workout in the pool. We swam and ran laps in the pool for 30 min. It was a hard workout, but I walked away feeling much more relaxed. We're thinking of making Monday night swim a weekly tradition. Have a great night!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 47 - Working hard (or hardly working?)

I promptly got out of bed and hit the gym at 9 AM this morning.  I ran 2.5 miles at a 9:50 minute/mile pace and then ran the next 2.5 miles doing interval sprints.  This is the type of workout I used to do when preparing for Sea Gal auditions.  Needless to say, carrying an extra 25+lbs  does not make the workout any easier.  While I struggled to finish, I felt great when it was over.  Again, my music saved me today.  The songs that got me through the sprints were Pink - Raise Your Glass, Glee - Marry You, MJ and Akon - Hold My Hand, and the Biggest Loser theme song Proud by Richard Niles.  If these songs aren't on your workout playlist, you are missing out. 

After the gym and a shower, I met up with my adopted family (the Cahalans) to see HP7.  I don't want to give anything away for those who haven't seen the movie or read the book (all 9 of  you out there), but I will say that it was two and a half hours of adrenaline and emotion.  I was physically and emotionally exhausted by the end.

The rest of my day consisted of reading law review articles and writing a paper on the barriers women face in running for political office.  Exciting.  At least it stopped snowing... for now.  I hear we're supposed to get another 6-9 inches by the end of Tuesday.  Are we sure this is November?  Oh well, I hope you have a great start to your new week!

Day 46 - Snowmen

Today, I was duped.  I got up early to take Zumba from a new instructor, but she forget the iPod attachment she needed for her music.  Thankfully (or so I thought), another Zumba instructor was ready and willing to fill in with her own music.  I was on-board with the last minute switch until I realized that it was the AWFUL, couldn't find the beat if her life depended on it, spastic instructor from Day 31.  I gave her the benefit of the doubt for the first song, but by the end the second I was fuming with rage.  Not only did she flail about like a baby giraffe just learning to walk, but she insisted on making ridiculous bird call noises.  I couldn't handle it.  At the end of the second song, I pretended to take an urgent phone call and left.  I'm sure no one bought it, but it was my feeble attempt to be less rude.  Looking back, I should have done everyone a favor and told her to her face that I was leaving because she lacked the ability to move to the music in a cardio-DANCE class.  Perhaps then she would take a moment to reconsider her career path...  Probably not.

I wound up walking on the treadmill at an incline for about 25 minutes and then lifted weights.  Not my proudest day at the gym, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

Later in the day, I decided to get an additional workout outside.  We have at least 10 inches of snow and, until today, said snow had been going to waste.  Although I should have been studying, I decided to build the biggest snowman I could.  Previously, the only other snowman I've ever built maybe measured a foot tall.  This one was going to be at least 5 times that size.

Charlie decided to join in on the fun and we created a snow couple in our yard.  We did not have any carrots or coal, but we did have a bin of props (from our interactive dj business) and a can of black spray paint.  We were quite pleased with our snowpeople and rewarded ourselves with large mugs of hot chocolate and marshmallows.  I still detest winter, but at least I now have something funny to look at outside my door.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 45 - Door Busting

It is a Wilson family tradition to wake up before dawn the day after Thanksgiving and bust as many doors as we can.  My mom, brother and I share a passion for bargain hunting and will not think twice about rolling out of bed at 3 in order to save a few bucks.    It sounds like Boo and Moo (that's what I lovingly call my brother and mother) snagged some great deals.  Even Shaina, the bro's girlfriend, got in on the door busting action and grabbed the last X-box 360 at Target.  Way to go girl!!! 

Unfortunately, this year I missed out on the door busters.  Charlie and I hit the stores once he was done with work, but it didn't have the same excitement as being there before sunrise with the other die-hard Black Friday shoppers.   We did, however, finish almost all of our x-mas shopping.  I've got to find something for Grandpa Muchow, but besides that I'm done. 

I fully intended to gorge on T-day leftovers, so I made myself go to the gym first.  I did 45 minutes on the stair machine and lifted some weights.  I haven't done any weight work in a long time, so I have a feeling I'll be sore tomorrow.  Again, I consumed WAY more than I needed.  After tomorrow, I hope to be back on the health train.  For now, I'm going to take my full belly and digest in bed.  Goodnight!

Day 44 - Thanks

I had much to be thankful for on this day of Thanksgiving.  My family members are in good health, I am loved by a wonderful man, and I have what I need to work towards my goals.

The day started with a fun run in the park.  Spokane holds an annual Turkey Trot at Manito Park and I was determined to participate, despite the weather.  When I left the house for the run, it was 13 degrees and snowing.  I certainly wasn't the only one to brave the elements, quite a few people turned out for the run.  By the end of the run, a half inch of snow had accumulated on my car.  Brrr....

After the run, Charlie and I went over to the soccer fields to play football with some of his co-workers.  Unfortunately, only five of us were brave enough to play in the snow.  We tossed the ball around for a while, but never really started a game.  After tackling poor Charlie a few times, we decided to call it quits.

This was my first solo Thanksgiving cooking attempt, so I was eager to get home and make sure we had everything we needed.  Although I think turkey prep is one of the most disgusting chores of the holiday season, I managed to get through it without incident.

Charlie got a nu-wave oven from my mom for his birthday, so we decided to cook the bird in that instead of the regular oven.  It turned out to be a fantastic choice!  Not only did it free up the oven for all of the side dishes, but the turkey tasted great!  The skin got nice and crisp while the inside remained perfectly moist. 

Two of my law school friends joined us for dinner.  Either my cooking wasn't too bad, or my friends are very polite.  After downing a ton of food and wine, we enjoyed some time sitting around chatting and digesting.  Kate brought a delicious pecan pie, so I found just a little more room in my stomach for dessert.  I'm sure I rendered my workout worthless with how many calories I ate, but all in all it was a great holiday.  I hope you also enjoyed a nice day with family and/or friends!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 43 - ONE?!

Just before 10 AM this morning, it was a balmy 1 degree outside.  Although the forecast warms up later this week, we apparently are going to get a ton of snow.  Again, I find my self wondering why I ever left southern California...

Although it meant braving the cold, I got myself to pilates (with weights) this morning.  There were a bunch of newbies in class.  They clearly had no idea what they had gotten themselves into.  I don't want to revel in their misery, but god bless them for being worse than me.  My self-esteem needed the boost after weeks of being shown up by ladies in their 40's. 

Besides pilates (with weights) and catching up on sleep, the only other productive thing I did today was color my hair.  It takes FOREVER, but I probably save $200-300 a year.  Hopefully the DIY color it isn't too obvious, because the budget isn't going to change for a few more years.

Tomorrow will be a full day of fitness, food and friends.  I'm going to run the Turkey Trot and play a little football in the morning before I start cooking.  This is my first solo (w/o mom) Thanksgiving meal.  I'm hoping I paid close enough attention the last two years to what my mom was doing so I don't blow it.  We'll see...

I hope you have a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 42 - Symplicity

Four things occurred today.

Brief done.
30min of cardio.
Taco Bell.
Red wine with a friend.

Not a bad day.

Day 41 - Hard at work

Although the day is technically over, my work is far from done.  I've still got quite a bit of work to do on my appellate brief before I turn it in approximately 11 hours from now.  That said, this post will be short.

It has continued to snow in Spokanistan.  I scrapped my windshield three times this morning in the process of traveling to and from pilates.  Speaking of pilates, I actually felt as if I had made some progress today.  I was able to do just about every exercise without getting dizzy and having fuzzy black dots float in front of my eyes.  I'm a long ways away from having "core strength," but I can at least feel that my efforts are doing something positive at this point.

After pilates, Charlie and I decided to let Tucker play in the snow for awhile.  We have been too busy lately to give him the attention he needs.  That said, Tucker has been EXTREMELY energetic the last few days, begging us to play with him and let him go outside.  I don't think he'll be begging anymore.  The poor little dog turned into a snowball.  Snow chunks stuck to every inch of his furry little body and he had to have a bath to get them off.

Charlie had a lot of homework to complete today as well, so it was nice to get out of the house and play in the snow for a quick study break.  Due to the fact that the impending blizzard is the biggest news to hit Spokane this year, Charlie has to go in to work early tomorrow.  I'll be waking him in a few hours to help him get out the door.  I'm hoping to be able to catch a few hours of sleep myself at the point.  In order to make that happen, however, I've got to finish this damn brief.  Back to work!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 40 - Brrr...

Although I could make several jokes about hell freezing over, I'll just say that winter has come to Spokanistan.  After hitting the snooze button a few times, I threw on my running tights and dug out a head band and gloves from my winter wear box.  I knew the forecast had called for temps in the 20's, so I was prepared for the cold.  What I wasn't prepared?  The snow.  About 3 minutes into my run, the snow started blowing in all directions.  I strongly considered turning around and heading to the gym, but there is no way that my thighs are ready to be seen in my running tights in close proximity by other gym patrons.
I finished a full 5 miles in just nuder 50 minutes, but it took me a good two hours after to feel comfortable again.  I was FREEZING.  I tried to slowly warm up so that it wouldn't be so painful when I hopped into the shower, but I apparently didn't wait long enough.  The water stung like crazy and then my skin itched for the next few hours.  I've got to invest in some cold weather long sleeve running tops if I'm going to continue running outside this winter.

The rest of the day was spent working on my brief and celebrating Charlie's 26th birthday.  We snuggled on the couch while watching the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe (GREAT movie), got an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen and had a reverse dinner (dessert first) with his brother.  Charlie is anti-birthdays, but I hope he had an OK day.  We're going to try to do something more exciting to celebrate later this week when our schedules settle down some. 

I know you aren't likely to read this, but Happy Birthday Hubs.  I am honored to have witnessed another year of your life and look forward to the many years to come.  Love you!

Day 39 - Nike

Today was all about channeling Nike. As in, "Just Do It." I'm really starting to feel the stress of the end of the semester and am having to make a conscious effort to not let myself get overwhelmed to the point that I can't focus on my brief. Once it's done, a huge weight will be lifted off my shoulders.

I had a fairly large setback today when I realized I had misread an important section of the WA law I'm working with. Thank goodness I caught and corrected it while there's plenty of time left. Unfortunately, it meant having to reformat the whole flow of the brief. Such is life. Make a mistake, recover, move on.

I got limited physical activity and ate pure junk. I took Tucker for a long walk and to play catch this morning and did a few sit ups during a study break tonight. Otherwise, the only calories I burned were those from shaking from anxiety. Tomorrow I hope to get up early for a 5 mile run. I'm assuming Charlie will choose to sleep in (it is his birthday after all), so I'll hopefully be able to exercise and put in a few hours of work before he wakes. After that, it's 100% non-stop birthday fun. Maybe. It sounds like Charlie has a lot of homework this weekend too, so this may be a birthday spent with the books.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 38 - A little late

I am a little late getting this blog post published.  I try to post before I go to bed each night, but last night that just wasn't going to happen.

The day started EARLY.  I was at the gym by 5:30 for a solid four mile jog.  It felt FANTASTIC.  I think I could have easily run an additional 2 miles without much more effort.  I certainly would have tried if I wasn't in a hurry to prepare for my Street Law class.

Street Law is a program where GU law students go to Rogers High School once a month to teach a lesson on a legal subject that may be interesting to teenagers.  We cover topics like search and seizure, freedom of speech, etc.  Some of the kids get REALLY into the activities.  Others could care less if we were there.  But, I guess that's high school for ya.  I don't know how Charlie plans to teach this age range day after day.  Once a month is enough to wear me out.

After street law I had evidence and then I donated blood.  As many may know, I am not particularly fond of either blood or needles.  I've been known to throw some minor temper tantrums and ball my eyes out when needing to get a shot or have blood drawn.  And that's just been the last few years, I was probably worse as a child.  Anyway, after politely asking the blood bank guy to please stop telling me what he was doing and to go ahead and just do it, I successfully donated a pint of my blood.  I didn't even cry!  It wasn't a delightful experience, but I will try to do it again when I can. 

After donating blood, the last thing I wanted to do was get to work on my appellate brief (about a blood bank of all things).  BUT, I put in a few hours of productive work (and probably an hour or so of time-wasting nonsense to protect my sanity).

Charlie met me at the law school and took me out to dinner at the OG.  When we were living in Pullman for undergrad, Charlie and I would drive an hour and a half to Spokane to go to the Olive Garden for a "nice date."  My how things have changed.  I still love the chicken alfredo pizza, but the OG is no longer a place I'd get dressed up for.

After dinner, we went over to a sports bar for a going away party of one of Charlie's co-workers.  As they say "Every party needs a pooper and that's why we invited you."  I was that girl.  After completely overloading on carbs, donating blood and waking up too early, I had started falling asleep on the walk over.  We stayed for awhile, but I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to really see the party get started.  Several of the party attendees were high energy, attractive and bubbly TV personalities.  I simply could not keep up.  Sorry Krem peeps, I'll rest up before the next one. 

Charlie said I was asleep before he even crawled into bed.  After the last few weeks of insanity, it's probably best I was out before 11.  I'm off to finish my brief.  With a little luck, I just might finish this thing today (unlikely, but a girl can hope).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 37 - Rest

Today was a rest day physically. Mentally, it was full steam ahead. Until I shut down at 4:30. I really had the best intentions for kicking butt on my brief, but it just didn't happen. I've had trouble getting to work tonight on the brief. I haven't done much writing, but my apartment is the cleanest it has been in a long time. Tomorrow holds street law, class, donating blood and extremely focused brief writing.

On a side note, welcome to the world Sarah May Addison!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 36 - Productivity

Pilates (with weights) was rough this morning.  My whole body started shaking when we did leg lifts in the first 15 minutes.  I survived the rest of class by focusing on my time line for the rest of the week.  I have a ton to get done and very little time to do it.

First on the priority list is finishing my appellate brief.  I put in a few good hours tonight, but I still have a long way to go.  For comparisons sake, assume a quality completed appellate brief is analogous to a drive across the country.  Tonight I filled the gas tank, checked the pressure in the tires and cleaned the windshields.  All essential tasks, but not much progress was made towards reaching the end goal.  Hopefully I'll start "driving" (writing) tomorrow.

I've got a sick husband and a misbehaving dog.  I'd better turn my attention back to home matters.  Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 35 - Slippery Slope

This was definitely an eat your feelings kind of day. I woke up feeling like I had never fallen asleep. Not a good start. Then, after evidence, I had a doctor appointment of the lady nature. I need not say more as I know my female friends empathize. I got my motion for summary judgment back in LRW, and although I got an ok score, I really thought I had aced it.

Still reeling from the stress of the weekend, I decided to treat myself to one soft taco supreme from heaven... I mean Taco Bell. While I put in 45 min on the stair machine and taught my two dance classes, I also ate several handfuls of cheezits and two dove chocolate squares as I waited for dinner. I then washed down a large piece of lasagna and two large slices of sourdough bread with a Mikes Hard Lemonade. I don't even want to try to add up how many unnecessary calories I consumed. It will only make me want another piece of chocolate.

Which, by the way, is an interesting phenomena. Why is it that when you are having a really crappy day that you feel entitled to eat junk food? Last time I checked, the cure to a bad day wasn't getting fatter. Wouldn't it make more sense to say "today sucks so I think I'd like to lose a pound?"

When I figure out the secret to preventing emotional eating, I'll be sure to let you know. Until then, goodnight.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 34 - Homeward Bound

San Fran to Redmond.  Redmond to Portland.  Portland to Spokane.  It took FAR too long to finally get home, but I am here safe and sound.  I registered for next semester and was able to enroll in all the classes I wanted.  My legs were pretty sore from all the walking I did in San Fran, so I decided to swim for about 25 minutes at the gym.  Now, I am going to sleep in my own bed.  Goodnight!

Day 33 - Stuck

The day started with watching my fellow Zags beat up on a team.  They were doing awesome, but the courtroom was even hotter today and I had sights to see.  That said, I'll walk you through my day as through the pictures I took.  It started with the recycling of my trial notes.  SO LONG & GOOD RIDDANCE!
I then went down to the Fisherman's Wharf area where I spent the greater portion of the day.  I walked for HOURS while my teammates biked the bridge (I am not so confident in my biking skills).  But, I saw lots of fun things.
Golden Gate Bridge
In-N-Out for lunch
I found Heaven (but was good and refrained from eating any chocolate)

I spotted Alcatraz
And a pack of Sea Lions
After having walked all day, we decided to walk to China Town for dinner.  Jason promised it would only be about 9 blocks away, so of course it was closer to 20 blocks on some of the steepest hills I've ever seen.  Dinner was fantastic and it was nice to celebrate our hard work all together.  After the ridiculous walk back, we got our luggage and piled into cabs heading for the airport.  We had trouble using the hotel internet to web-check our flight, but we figured that we had left early enough for it not to be an issue.  WRONG.  Three of the seven of us did not have confirmed seats on the plane.  I knew I wasn't going to be making the flight from the moment my boarding pass printed without a seat assignment, but of course I had to sit at the airport for 5 hours after that while everything got figured out for how I was going to eventually get home.

Jason and Cherlyn also stayed behind, so at least I was not alone.  That, and United gave me a decent travel voucher which will come in handy this Summer when we go to Maui.  I can feel my blood pressure start to rise just thinking about my frustration over the whole process, so I'll just leave you with a few more pictures.
Sad and waiting to learn how and when I would be getting home.

The hotel United put us up in for the night

Check out that TV!

So the room is nice, but I'd still rather be home in my own bed.  Oh well, hopefully tomorrow will go more smoothly. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 32 - Competition Day

View from 18th floor of the Courthouse
I woke up early, put on my freshly dry cleaned suit, tied up my running shoes (it's REALLY hilly in San Fran) and confidently marched my way to the courthouse.  The boys told us there would be breakfast and coffee available at the competition, so we didn't bother stopping on the way.  We'll call this Mistake #1.  There was no breakfast, nor was there a way to purchase water (or anything else for that matter) once we were in the courthouse.

Our team first represented the plaintiff, which meant I was a witness for the first round.  I was told I was "more than feisty," which I chose to consider a compliment.  The opposing attorney tried to get me to admit to having said something that was not in the prepared deposition.  In such situations, an attorney may ask a witness if viewing a copy of their previous statement would help refresh their memory.  Instead of properly asking if viewing the deposition would refresh my memory, the opposing counsel asked if I would like to have my memory refreshed.  My response? "Not particularly."  SHE WAS PISSED!!!!  The jury members (who scored the trials) started laughing out loud and had to turn away to compose themselves.  Sorry girl, but you asked for it.

Our plaintiff's attorneys did an excellent job and it was definitely a close round.  Unfortunately, the court room was at least 80 degrees.  The result of not having breakfast and sitting in a sweltering courtroom for a 3+ hour trial in a suit was that we were all moments away from passing out.

We only had about an hour to quickly eat lunch and prepare for our next round, during which I was a defense lawyer.  Mistake #2, about 3 minutes prior to the start of trial I managed to spill a cup of water all over myself and a stack of our exhibits.  Fortunately, it wasn't noticeable when I buttoned my jacket and the documents dried out before we needed to use them.  It threw me off my game for the first few moments of my opening statement, but it didn't take too long for me to find my stride.

The opposing counsel for the team we were against in this round were ridiculous.  The girl introduced herself and said her name was Vassi, as in "V" for Victory.  I threw up a little in my mouth.  To their credit, they were very competent in regards to how to work a courtroom and had clearly memorized EVERYTHING they had planned to say.  BUT, they made up evidence, grossly misconstrued evidence and raised objections that were contrary to their argument.  For example, V for Victory Vassi objected to the fact that John used leading questions on cross examination.  Genius.  Those are the only type of questions you are supposed to ask on cross.

I also managed to frustrate this team.  They had blown up an exhibit, which I objected to because they had rearranged and eliminated some information.  For the purposes of competition, the judge allowed them to continue with their questioning of their witness.  Then on cross examination, I told them that they had created a fantastic document and asked if I could use it (of course they couldn't say no).  I then made their witness on cross examination use their exhibit to prove MY case.  Suckers.

Team C Girls
At the end of the day, we did not advance to the final rounds.  We got some great feedback (apparently I talk too quickly and thanked the witness on cross every time they said what I wanted them to) and learned a lot going through the process of preparing for and going through a full trial.  I am really proud of my team and of the performances we gave.

Team C Boys
After learning that we were not moving on, we walked what felt like a million miles in heels (mistake #3) to find a mexican restaurant.  The food was great, but we had a LONG uphill walk to get back to our hotel.  Due to the extreme heat in the courtroom all day and not drinking enough water, I got pretty dehydrated and woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible migraine.  I forgot to pack any meds, so I got to walk the city streets alone at 2 in the morning trying to find something to stop the excruciating pain.  Not the greatest end to a long day, but at least it was over.  Nothing left to do but enjoy the rest of the weekend in sunny California!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 31 - One month down

This has been a long, but productive day.  It started with Zumba.  FYI, I will not be going back to Friday morning Zumba.  The instructor was unable to dance to the music which irritated my beyond belief.  I wasn't going to walk out of her class, but I was certainly tempted to after she just barely missed hitting herself in the face with one of her awkward arm flails. 

After Zumba, I hustled down the GU and then off to a lunch meeting with a local law firm.  Speaking with someone who practices in the field of law I'm interested further solidified that my career is heading in the right direction.  Then, it was off to the airport.  I made it safely to San Francisco on what was a mostly an uneventful flight.  One of my GU teammates has a fear of flying, which kept the rest of us entertained. 

The most exciting news of the day is that just after one month of working out, I am down 5 lbs!  I really haven't changed my diet much yet, so I can attribute the loss to hard work in the gym.  I will try to assess my eating habits more this next month.  I don't want to diet, but I am sure I can do better.  My mom got Charlie a NuWave oven for his birthday and I am sure that will help us make healthier choices. 

I've got to be at the courthouse at 7:30 tomorrow morning so I am turning in for the night.  Bring on the competition!

Day 30 - Glee

Glee music got me through this crazy day.  While studying, driving and during my run, the upbeat vocal stylings of the Glee cast kept me positive and Gleeful as I hurried to get everything done.  My current favs are Teenage Dream (WAY better than the Katy Perry version), River Deep Mountain High and the Start Me Up/Living on a Prayer mash-up.  If you're not a Gleek, you are missing out.

I only had one class to prepare for today (again, thank you evidence prof for some much needed time off!), but I did have a lot of last minute trial team stuff to finish.  Also, I intended to get a lot of work done on my brief after class.  Some work got done, but not nearly enough.  It is becoming VERY clear to me how I will be spending my nights next week.  Charlie's birthday is next weekend and I'd really like to be done with writing so I can celebrate properly with him and only have some minor editing left.  Even with the best of intentions, I have a feeling I will still be up all night Monday the 22nd scrambling to finish.  Fortunately, there is only one more semester of LRW.  Like my good pal Gloria Gaynor, I Will Survive.

Survival is the instinct that has taken over at this point.  If law school is a case of survival of the fittest, it's a good thing I'm getting my fat butt in shape!  I can already tell that my cardiovascular fitness has improved.  I ran with a local running club (the Flying Irish) several times this summer and joined them again tonight.  I seem to run a much faster pace when I run with a group, which usually renders me gasping for air and walking stretches of the route.  Not today!  I finished the 3.25 mile run with energy to spare!  Go Katie!  Go Katie! Go! Go! Go Katie!  When you are the cheerleader in your group of friends, sometimes you have to cheer for yourself.

Although I ran like the wind, I looked like a freak.  I sported my running tights (which perfectly accented that lovely lady lower belly pooch), a hot pink long sleeve shirt, a hot pink headband, a blue fleece and a head lamp.   Yes, I said a head lamp.  It was DARK by the time we started running and I was terribly afraid of twisting and ankle because I couldn't see where I was stepping.  I was prepared to be scoffed at, but I was one of many sporting this awesome forehead accessory.  In fact, I noticed some runners would run closer to me when we were on some of the darker stretches to share in my brilliance (speaking of course about both the light produced and my level of genius).

After my run, it was time to start packing.  I struggled to stay awake and eventually gave up and went to bed. At 9PM I couldn't keep my eyes open, but now at 3AM I am wide awake!  I am packed and ready to go (I hope), so I should really try to get back to sleep for a few more hours before the madness begins.  I'm going Zumba in the morning before heading out to an informational lunch meeting with a local law firm.  After that I've got to rush home, grab my bags, meet my teammates and head to the airport.  I'm not sure how much time there will be for exercise and blogging this weekend, but I'll do my best to keep you posted.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 29 - Fail

I did not earn my chocolate. Although I got everything I needed to done for class and survived another pilates (with weights), I did not make any progress on my appellate brief. When I got home, I sat down on the couch to eat dinner and woke up an hour and a half later swimming in my own drool. I only snore and drool when I am truly exhausted, so I don't feel too badly about catching up on sleep. Good thing I am already married and the hubs puts up with those traits that are less than attractive.

The next few days will be insane, so I'm going to sleep right... now.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 28 - Starting to Panic

It's that time of the semester again.  You can feel the building anxiety and panic from the instant you walk in the front doors of the school.  In legal research and writing, I started to experience the crippling fear of running out of time associated with the month of November.  I've got an appellate brief due in two short weeks and I will need every last moment of free time to complete it.  The only times that do not count as "free" out side of school are a daily hour for exercise and a weekly episode of Glee.  So if I'm not in class or doing one of those two things, make sure I am writing my appellate brief!  Please!

My stress level stayed around a 9 (of 10) through my Tots tap and Jazz class.  I REALLY try to not let them know that today isn't the best day of my whole entire life.  I want them to learn to love dancing as much as I did at their age.  They deserve to have a teacher who is enthusiastic and supportive of their efforts, even if my mind is concurrently working out the elements of Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress as they do leaps across the floor.

I have to say, though, by the time I was done teaching my advanced tap class, I was downright jolly.  I really have a fun group of girls in that class and they don't seem to mind a little bit of teasing.  I am really going to push them hard in terms of technique so they can be ready to compete by next year, but I also want to keep things light-hearted enough that they don't burn out before the year is over.

After gobbling down a plate of spaghetti (with whole wheat noodles), I headed to the gym.  I have got to stop going right at 7PM.  I had really wanted to just run tonight, but EVERY treadmill was taken!  There were a few elliptical machines open, but I tend to think of the elliptical as the last resort.  I could be VERY mistaken, but the people who frequently use the elliptical don't seem to make much progress towards their fitness goals.  I like to pattern myself after people who get results.

Instead of just leaving (as I may have done a month ago), I decided to give the rowing machine a try.  The dudes who use it are always RIPPED, so I figured it must do something right.  After about 10 minutes, a treadmill became available and I decided to switch.  I think I'll need someone to show me proper rowing machine technique because it felt like it was really straining my knees.

I had only 30 minutes to finish whatever remaining exercise I was going to do.  I had to make it home in time for Glee!  I decided to put in three miles on the treadmill and call it good for the day.  Note to self: allow at least 20 more minutes for digestion on spaghetti night.  A belly full of noodles and bouncing on a treadmill do not and should not mix.  I missed the first few minutes of Glee, but thankfully it didn't affect my viewing experience too terribly.  For those Gleeks out there, did any one else LOVE that Teenage Dream number?!

I'm heading to bed early tonight with the goal of waking up at 5 tomorrow, doing both my Employment and Constitutional law reading before Pilates (with weights), doing Pilates (with weights), and then spending the rest of the morning researching for my appellate brief until class starts.  If all goes as planned, I will deserve some sort of chocolate.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 27 - Guess Again

Pilates was awesome this morning. I was a little terrified going in because I had a pretty good idea what was in store, but I kept up surprisingly well. If there weren't 20lbs of fat covering them, my abs would be amazing! I think I'll need to start doing 30 min of cardio after pilates. Although it's a great core workout, it's not exactly going to help burn off the several pieces of pumpkin bread I enjoyed today.

After dinner, plopped down on the couch thinking to myself how nice it was to be completely done with the day by 8:00. Guess again! Without naming any names, someone in the Hilen household spilled the beans. No, I don't mean that someone shared a juicy secret. Someone literally spilled a pot of taco soup all over the fridge. After a few expletives and a lot of paper towels, the mess got cleaned up and the situation seemed more comical than frustrating. These are the moments...

Good Night!