My Really Bad Idea

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May is quickly coming, and I am still only halfway through the review manual. I did manage to make it all the way through chapter five. However, I had the ingenious idea to wait to do the self exam at the end. Meanwhile, I threw the boys a birthday party, dealt with the dentist (for my Big Boy), worked on some things, and generally avoided it.  Hence, my really bad idea.

At Big Boy’s dentist appointment number two, I made myself study. I finally took the test for chapter five. As one can guess, I did miserably. Like really bad… horrible. I can make excuses but I know that I should have put forth more effort and taken the test with the information fresh in my mind. Lesson learned.

But my bad idea did not end there. I went on to chapter six: Legal Terminology. Enter really bad idea #2. The dentist was taking for ever. Other patients were coming in and out and I was still waiting (in the dentist’s defense, Big Boy needed some work done). So while reviewing Latin terms, I started to nod off. I decided to skip chapter six. For those of you who are in this process with me, I truly believe that making flash cards is a better option.

Chapter seven was much more interesting. But then I have always enjoyed history. It is true that knowing our country’s history and the reasoning used to create our legal system, helps to understand why we do things the way we do. They finally finished up at the dentist’s office so I have yet to finish the chapter – but will definitely do so within the next few days. I know what you’re thinking: “didn’t you just say waiting was a bad idea?” Yes. However, I simply had to attend a craft show this weekend with one of my besties. I am, after all, the Crafty Paralegal.

Jurors Cannot Decide on Fate at Jodi Arias Trial

I have paid attention to the Jodi Arias trial for a while now and am always amazed at the decisions of the jurors. Here is a recent article from MSN.com. It seems as though I am much harsher in my opinion of the matter than the jurors – but of course, I did not sit through the trial. I believe that it would be rather easy to recommend a sentence; but, I also know that everyone needs to agree. I was summoned to jury duty a few times. However, I have not had the opportunity to actually sit on a trial. As a paralegal, I think it would be wonderful to sit on a jury. However, I know many people who dread getting the notice and possibly being picked to serve.

Regardless, being a juror is a difficult task and they should be commended for fulfilling their civil duty.

For those of you who are not as familiar with this case (why yes, I did watch it on TV), Ms. Arias is on trial for stabbing (30+ times) and shooting (at least twice that I recall) her ex-boyfriend while he was showering. I know, I know, love hurts. During the Jodi Arias trial in 2013, she was convicted of murder and is awaiting sentencing. This case is out of Arizona and I must admit that I expected a quick resolution to the sentencing issue. I actually expected something more along the lines of a sentencing that Texas jurors would recommend. Nevertheless, Arizona taxpayers have spent thousands of dollars on the trials and there is still no resolution. Since neither jury could decide on her fate, the judge is now left to figure that out.

Have any of you ever sat on a jury? Do you think that the case would have been easy or difficult to decide?

Framing a Finished Project the Easy(er) Way

I have been cross-stitching for years. One year, during summer school, when I was in sixth or seventh grade, our teacher taught us how to cross stitch using gingham fabric and I have been hooked since.

I recently finished (finally) a gift I have worked on for my older sister. Below are the systematic directions for framing it. Of course, similar instructions are also included on the instructions page. However, those always seem so complicated to me. What do you mean I need glue and cardboard? Anyway, this method has held up well for me over the years and today, I am sharing it with you. Read more

“I don’t want to survive, I want to live.”

Some find the Disney movie Wall-E to be a bit depressing but I LOVE IT. I believe that there are many, many life lessons that we can learn from watching this wonderful movie. Not to mention, the music is fantastic.

In the movie, the captain says, “I don’t want to survive, I want to live.” This quote rings true to me in that many of us become so consumed with work and making it through the day, that we do not take time to live. We are simply surviving. I want to live. I want to live a life where I take time to enjoy my boys, to pursue the gifts I was blessed with, to appreciate nature, to be happy.

It can be very difficult for paralegals and other members of the legal industry to remove themselves from survival mode. We live our lives in the pursuit of helping others and often forget that we, too, have families and a right to enjoy our own lives. Many attorneys that I know absolutely dislike family law. It is too stressful, too emotional, too engulfing. I, too, found myself becoming engulfed by the client’s issues. When they called to complain that they did not have enough money to pay their utilities, I took on that stress and concern – even though I could barely pay my own utilities. The burden of their issues was overwhelming me. Then I had the great fortune of reading someone’s signature line on her email. It read, “I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed.” That became my mantra. I wrote it across my bathroom mirror in lipstick so I could be reminded every day. At that moment, I chose to live.

So now, I remind you, or perhaps implore you, to choose to LIVE. Our client’s have issues, that is why they are seeking legal assistance. However, when the time comes to head home for the day, leave your clients at the office. Trust me that choosing to live will actually make you a better paralegal. Live for yourself and your family.