What is this thing?

Lately I’ll be honest. I don’t know.

After my post yesterday I thought for a while about what this blog is and what I want it to be.

Here’s a list of things it is…
• A place for me to vomit my feelings.
• A place where I can vomit said feelings and no one will suggest I need counseling…at least to my face.
• A place where I can discuss things that matter to me.
• A place for me to write (see last post)
• A place for me to sit in a coffee shop and type on my computer and feel important. (that’s what I’m doing at the moment)

And here’s a list of what I want it to be
• A place for me to vomit my feelings
• A place where I can discuss things that matter to me
• A place where I can share neat bits of information that I pick up.
• A place where I can share things I’ve created
• A place for me to write (see last post)
• A place for me to create virtual friends I won’t have to see in public.

The last line is a joke.

Or is it?
You won’t know!!!

Haha, no I don’t say things that cruel unless they’re jokes.
Or do I?

I am really really really going to make an effort to post more and update this thing more often and be a better blogger. I have established that I have a need to write, and where better to write than my own blog. That way I won’t get ink all over my hand writing while left handed…and I won’t get a wrist cramp from writing on paper. Plus paper??? Really, its barbaric.

So I suppose I’ll be seeing you around blog!
And blogging has made its way on to my to do list and I obliterate to do lists!

Promises to Keep

I carried a spiral bound notebook everywhere.
I was eleven, everyone told me I could write so I did.
Every day I sat quietly by the desk while my grandmother typed her novel.
Every day I wrote in my notebook.

When she died for the first time words failed.
Nothing I wrote could express the pain I felt.
I wrote word after word.
Everything I wrote was to do her honor, to remember.
Even after filling volumes, the pain never stopped.

After she died for the first time I stopped.
The notebook stayed locked away.
The words came, but I shrugged them off.

We sat together my father, my sister, and I.
He was reading.

“Whose woods are these, I think I know.
His house is in the village though.”

I said I didn’t write any more.
Words didn’t do justice to the feeling I had.
He said it wasn’t something that could be stopped.
The words will come out, they will find their way out.

I said I would just forget them.
I wouldn’t put pen to paper.
It wasn’t worth it.

“These woods are lovely, dark, and deep.”

He made me promise to write.
I promised him I would never stop.

The days tick on and on, the world turns and life continues.
I put pen to paper and I write.

I paint, I build, I cut. I create.
I approach the chasm that is the pain of him being gone.
I know it will be an eternity before I can write about it.
I try to fill the chasm but it stands wide and deep.

But I still remember.

From the day I picked up the notebook to the day I die.
I promised.

“but I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep.”

“I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.”

I had been listening to Adele for a week.

This is not a bad thing to admit. I had been concentrating and I find mellow music helps me concentrate.

I sat for hours attempting to put my desire to go to law school in to words. I procrastinated. I pinned. I facebooked. I tweeted. I didn’t want to do it. I was caught between “I-want-to-do-this” and “this-is-too-hard.” I find myself in this situation more often than not. Maybe I reach too high. Maybe I just don’t know how to work hard for the things I want

I polished off the essay and read over it again and again until my eyes were so full of tears I couldn’t see the page. My chest grew tight like weights were pressing down on it. I put my hand over my heart. This is a reflex. I do it when I feel like I’m about to hurt. I do it in church when the Word gets to me. I do it when someone talks about something that’s painful. I did it seven months ago when I heard words come out of my husband’s mouth I never want to hear again. Words that were repeated from a phone conversation.

I gasped for air and brushed away tears with my free hand. Fragments started to pass through my mind.

I will not call him and read him the letter.
He will not know what I’m doing.
He will not see me graduate from law school.
He will not see me practicing.
He will not know his grandchildren.
He is gone.

I sit until I can breathe again. I put on a brave face and busy myself with other things. I can’t think about this right now.

I listen to Neil Young. A song he and I used to sing back and forth to each other. He would sit in the car and say “I’m getting old.”

I replied: “It keeps me searching for a heart of gold.”

Of all of the music we listened to over the course of my life. This song has to hurt. Not the songs we stood in concerts next to each other and sang, not the songs he played on the guitar for my sister and me. Not music he sang in church.

One stupid song.

By an artist we didn’t even really like.

I listened to this song over and over again. I drove down a back road to get to work and whispered over and over “I miss my dad.” I sat at work and thought about what I was going to do as soon as I got out. I walked to my car at quitting time and cranked up the music. I listened to that song over again.

And then I shut it off.

I don’t have time for you right now grief. I am applying to law school and that is the second hardest thing I have ever done. I don’t have time to think about the hardest thing I have ever done right now. I promise sometime in the future we will have a date where I will sit and give you my full attention. I just can’t deal with you right now. There are other things that need my attention.

I spoke to my grief like that. In my no-nonsense way that I have when I’m arguing my case. I told it like it is.

Grief didn’t listen.

Wifedom.

I have been a wife for almost 17 months now.

Before I was a wife, back when I was a girlfriend and later a fiancee I was terrified of the transition. I was terrified I would be awful at being a wife, that my husband and his family, and my family would grow to resent me because I would burn dinner and ruin laundry and while doing these things dust would settle on some things in my house.

I worry too much.

I pretty much enjoy everything about being a wife. My favorite part, I’ll be honest (other than things we shouldn’t discuss here) has to be cooking.

Really, I have always enjoyed cooking. When my sister and I grew tall enough to reach the stove we learned we either needed to cook or risk salmonella by eating raw meat. I’m not saying my mom wasn’t there enough, or that she couldn’t cook she was just a really busy lady and we wanted to help her out.

I started off small with things like eggs (isn’t that the first thing everyone learns to cook?) and could make a great Brinner by the age of 12. I moved on to spaghetti, and various casseroles until I hit my early signature dish: Lemon pepper chicken. This was a delicious mixture of chicken thighs with crispy skin coated in oil and lemon juice with a dusting of paprika and basil. It was freaking delicious. I still make it today. I haven’t made it in a while, maybe I need to get on that. There’s a whole chicken sitting in my freezer.

As time went on my recipes got better and better. I learned to cook things that family members liked: Sunshine Eggs (Yankees call them Eggs in a Basket) for my grandfather, chicken salad for my dad, Corn Sticks also for my dad (corn bread but in stick form), Skillet Vegetables (also for my dad) Chili (I spoiled my dad with food. Looking back I’m glad I did) Southwestern Chicken (for my sister) Chicken Stew (who doesn’t love that) Salmon Patties (for my mom).

None of it was gourmet but it was delicious.

When I met Brian he came from a family of people who actually followed recipes. He brought cookbooks in to our marriage and we decided that we really loved cooking and cooking for each other. With the advent of sites like All Recipes and Pinterest I’ve tried out more new recipes in the last little bit than in my entire life. And I’m loving it.

My favorite thing in the world is when a friend comes to my house and mentions they’re hungry. I tend to seek out people to feed and I make enough food to feed an army. This is probably why I’m also working on weight loss. My dad visited my house in November of 2010 and the first thing he did was crack open the refrigerator and ask what delicious things I’d been cooking. It made, and still makes me feel awesome. And then he made himself a turkey sandwich. Weirdo.

I love to cook. Lately I love to cook healthy, whole foods. And when we move at the end of this month I’ll be moving to a big kitchen with plenty of space for new creations. I’m excited to see what I come up with.

Come eat with me friends.

“Just because I’m losing, doesn’t mean I’m lost.”

I tweeted those lyrics last night from my seat way up in the cheap seats at church. I love Coldplay, I love all three versions of that song (Lost) and last night I REALLY needed to hear those words.

I am losing right now…in more ways than one.

Lets focus on the positive shall we.

I am losing weight. I completely overhauled my diet. I ate meat only three times last week and the meat I ate was fish. I ate fruits and vegetables for most of my meals. I drank water and I exercised multiple times last week. Brian bought me a mini trampoline which is a great way to get in exercise. I can’t really do much bouncing on it because I may go through the floor but its great to do jumping jacks on, to march in place, to do oblique twists and let me tell you exercising on that thing is HARD. The first time I did it I could only go ten minutes and I had sweat pouring off of me. Low impact doesn’t necessarily mean easy. For additional exercise I have taken to walking my wild beasts around the neighborhood. We have a short 20 minute walk we do that burns about 100 calories and then another longer walk that burns closer to 200. They seem to be enjoying it, I’m really enjoying the exercise and the fresh air and the non freezing temperatures have really been helping with that.

I stepped on the scale last Saturday morning to find I had lost 6 pounds in only 5 days of tracking. I understand that its probably mostly water weight…but to be completely honest with you all that’s the longest I’ve gone in a long time without giving up on a diet. I’m still going strong and cooking healthy (and according to my husband delicious) meals for us. We’re not eating out and we’re spending a lot of time at home packing up for our big move. I feel like a winner for the first time in a long time.

Okay, here’s the negative part.

I got my LSAT scores back last week. It would be an understatement to say I F*&^ -ed it up. Oh boy did I ever do horribly on that test. I want to vomit every time I think about it for longer than 5 minutes…so I haven’t been. I went out the next night and bought another prep book and registered for the test in February. Law school may have to wait another semester while I bring my score up…but if I’ve learned one thing in my life its this. If you f*&% something up move on.

I had a deep soul searching conversation with myself about whether I did in fact want to be a lawyer after this great f&^% up of 2011. I decided that yes, I do want to be a lawyer and I need to work harder at this goal. When I studied for the LSAT last time I took a few practice tests and convinced myself I wasn’t going to get a good score and gave up.

and look what happened. That’s what people call a “self-fulfilling prophecy” children.

I did a few practice problems this evening and as I was checking over the answers I realized that I could have gotten a perfect on these answers if I had trusted the answer I came up with in the first place. For some reason I thought the answer I had originally come up with had to be wrong and the right answer was somewhere else.

I do this a lot in my life. What I do and what I come up with are never good enough.

I was really proud of myself for finishing my bachelor’s degree in three years. I was over the moon happy that I did something that takes people 4 years or longer in less time. After I graduated and was working at the Nowhere News I was sitting in a job interview with another place and the lady asked about my time management skills and I said “Well, I graduated college in three years.” and she said “So what, I graduated college in one and a half years while taking care of my terminally ill mother and taking care of three kids.” Instead of thinking, as I should have: “Wow, this woman is a bitch and she’s just trying to one up me” I immediately shut up about it. Since then I have never talked to anyone I didn’t know about graduating college in three years. I rarely ever mention it now.

Basically what I’m saying is I need to grow some self-confidence and believe that I have achieved great things and I will continue to achieve great things in my life. I have about 4 weeks before I take the LSAT again. Can you grow self confidence in 4 weeks? I’m sure going to try…along with taking a bunch more practice tests and studying my brains out. Hey I only work 3 days a week.

So if you’re looking for me in the next 4 weeks I’ll either be cooking healthy food, exercising, or studying.

Am I back in college again?

Well yes I am…but more on that development later.

2011 is over.

Can I get an Amen?

Geez. Worst year ever.

I mean aside from the obvious…I buried my father, lost a good dog, lost a few friends (notice the dog ranks higher than the friends. suckers!) and endured various other hardships less important than those I spent most of 2011 in a job that made me hate myself until I found my current job

and to top it all off I stepped on the scale this morning to found out I gained 10 pounds.

F you 2011!!!! I for one will not miss you.

I also woke up with a pretty intense cold yesterday (I blame my boss) I feel like its 2011 saying F you too Liz!

So I start 2012 with a few hefty goals. Here they are:

• I will lose 70 pounds. Ponder that I have come to a place in my life wherein I have 70 (and probably more) pounds to lose. I would like to ideally lose this weight by Brian’s cousins fancy New York wedding in July. That’s a hefty goal. 70 pounds in 7 months. A lesser person would say it was unattainable. It’s not. When I break it down its 2.5 pounds a week and 10 pounds a month. Surely my lard ass can accomplish that. It will take hard work. It will involve going from being basically sedentary to exercising daily, if not multiple times a day. It will involve clean eating (I’m going back to raw foods). It will take discipline…and I have not been a very disciplined person lately, its time for that to change.

• I will apply to law school. And be accepted. I added “and become a lawyer” to that…but it won’t happen in 2012. Its okay, its nice to have long term goals.

• I will research and implement more methods of frugal, sustainable living. We’ve lived beyond our means for too long. Its time to change that.

• I will dedicate more of my time to volunteer work.

• I will finish my novel. Yes, the novel I lost when we changed computers. All 200+ pages of it… I’m about 15 pages back in to it, and I need to finish it before law school eats my life. Also I tend to not eat while writing (anyone else do that?) so that helps with goal #1

• I will devote more time to working on my marriage. Its a work in progress.

• I will work hard with my dogs to make them good citizens. I would like for them to be therapy dogs in the future, its a little dream of mine. They’re a little wild right now but they’re so sweet and loving that I think they’d make good therapy dogs. That’s another long term goal. For 2012 I’d like to be able to take them to the farmer’s market without Mommy’s arms being torn out of their sockets.

• I will decorate and make my new house a loving place. (We’re moving at the end of January) Its a 2BR so I have a spare room for everyone to come and crash. But only one bathroom so we may have to make a schedule.

• I will chill out on collecting dishes and work to become a legit antique dealer. I love antiques (history major) and the number of Fiesta dishes (both vintage and current) that I have is a little embarrassing. Never mind most of these have been picked up at thrift stores. You know what. Forget this goal. I like dishes and I will continue to get them…but I will also become a legit antique dealer, you know, as a hobby.

• I will attend church more often and grow in my faith. Perhaps even a Sunday School class. This is something my husband and I both need to work on.

I think that’s it. As I read through this list I am slightly intimidated by what I’ve put down on paper — or in blog. But you know what…I’m a strong person. I don’t give myself enough credit for how tough I actually am. Its time to change all that.

Anyone have any goals they want to share?

Consider the following…

A list of things I am extremely good at (in no particular order)

• Determining errors and fixing errors in Medical Billing
• Cleaning and other housewife duties.
• Writing (its not arrogance, its the truth.)
• Explaining legal terminology and the legal process.
• Understanding legal terminology and the legal process.
• Public speaking.
• Family
• Finding good things in thrift stores.
• Finding bargains
• Reading
• Chatting, and interacting with people.
• Repairing clothes
• Decorating
• All types of stage craft
• Problem Solving

A list of things I am not good at

• Driving.
• Dog Rearing
• Dishes
• Standardized Tests
• Arriving at work on time
• Weight loss
• Makeup
• Drinking
• Baking

The things that I am good at…are really the only things that matter.

I’m not being arrogant or saying I don’t need to work on anything…because here’s a list of things I need to work on. Or a list of works in progress shall we say.

• My Marriage
• Grief
• Finances
• My Independence
• My messy bedroom

What I am saying is…the list of things I am good at is longer than the list of things at which I am not good…because a future law student does not end sentences with a preposition. Also what I’m saying is there’s no need to focus on the things we’re not good at and beat ourselves up for what we think are our failings.

So I’m not good at driving, standardized tests, or makeup (among other things) I’ve decided to stop caring. Even though tomorrow I will put on makeup, get in the car and drive myself to a standardized test the outcome of that test will not determine my happiness.

That test will however set in motion the rest of my life. I will go from being Liz F: Stagehand, Medical Biller, Wife of Brian F. Daughter of Paul R (may he rest in peace) and Cathy R. sister to Mary R. BFF to the K, Dog Mommy to Bandit and Harley F, kickass daughter in law to the F’s, friend, confidante, citizen of Lexington Kentucky to being Liz F: Law student…and eventually Liz F, esq. Attorney at Law

I have stressed myself out about this test. I have cried because my score was low on the practice tests, I have prayed to God to give me the strength to take this test. I have thought about not going, I have done all kinds of crazy things.

But I’m not doing any of those things. Tomorrow I will drive to UK, park, and sit in a building for several hours to take the LSAT. I will apply to law schools and I know I will get accepted to at least one.

And I will be a law student.

But Liz, I though you didn’t want to be a lawyer? I thought you wanted to travel the world as a stagehand and own a sound company and do magical things for other people with your piles of money from owning a sound company?

I have known since the age of 8 that I wanted to be a lawyer. It is all I wanted to do, anything else was a lie.

I did not choose the law. The law chose me. God chose me.

God chose me when he made me stand up for the bullied kids on the playground, when he made me shout at people (to this day) for making fun of the disabled. When he introduced me to people like Kathy Felty and Gerald Reams and Boyd County Teen Court. When he allowed my path to cross that of Civil Rights lawyer and founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center Morris Dees, who told me I was an excellent public speaker. God chose me when he instilled in my heart a hatred for injustice and the inability to remain neutral in an argument. God chose me when he created in me the need to be the advocate of those who cannot advocate for themselves.

Say what you want about lawyers being the devil and unfair and unjust and screwing people for money. I will remind you that God makes lawyers and God chose me to be a lawyer. God chose me to be a moral, upstanding, compassionate, and just lawyer.

So if this test that I am sitting down and taking tomorrow doesn’t go well I’m not going to cry about it or think I’m any less of a person or that I’m no longer good at the things on that list up there. Because I will remember that God has a plan for me. I will trust Him to guide me along in fulfilling this plan. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try tomorrow…oh no, I plan on tearing that test up…but I will remain confident of the outcome.

Because I have already been chosen.