Hello world!

Well, hello there. Or as my friend Ashley would say, Herro! While taking the time to blog when my schedule seems absolutely unmanageable at times might seem like a waste, I was inspired by my friend Vanessa (check out her awesome blog here) to start chronicling life's little and BIG transitions.  It's something we are always doing, this transitioning business. Many people don't even recognize that they are constantly transitioning into the next phase of life and are surprised when they look around and ask themselves the age old question: How did I get here??? and simply do not have an answer in reply. It is my hope to make myself more aware of my transitions as they happen and also to make sure that I am honest as those things are happening. Each week I will chronicle what I consider my top 5 areas of life and do a little check in. For me, they are: Money, Work, Family, Love, and Food. While I would like to say that those are in no particular order, they certainly are. The order reflects the level of concerns that have brought me to this place. So, without further ado, here is my first weekly life check in:

Money: the good news is that I have a paid job this summer at a great firm. The bad news is that when I graduate from law school in a year, I will have over $200,000 in school debt from my bachelor's degree, master's degree and JD. It is my goal to graduate law school with ZERO credit card debt and only one car payment so that our monthly expenses are as small as possible. LB (the boyfriend of 4 years--more on him below) has his own crazy amounts of debt from being silly, ignorant, stupid in his early 20's and now trying to make it right. He also cannot find a job that he likes, wants to do, or will chose to be successful at. He works very hard to make sure that SOMEHOW the bills are paid, but it is exhausting to watch him struggle doing work that he really hates doing simply because it is what our little family needs.

Work: I love the firm I am at. The work is challenging, the responsibilities are great, and I am learning a TON everyday. I hope to stay there after law school as my first real job. However, at this point, nothing is really known and how work shakes out for me in the future is going to be an interesting topic. The great news? I got a clerkship for this upcoming fall semester at the Colorado Supreme Court with Justice Boatright. This man is amazing and inspiring and I am going to be honored to work with him.

Family: the good: my family in Colorado (my friends, LB, my dogs) are all fantastic and I love them to pieces. My bestie from Phoenix, Ashley, is even moving here! The bad: my family in Washington remains a disaster. I will try to be as detached as possible on here when it comes to them because their drama is something that I have tried to stay away from for the last 4 years and any picture I might paint of it... well... will be incomplete and, truthfully, critical. Here is where things generically stand: J, 17 years old and one of the twins, is mentally ill and has a life-threatening eating disorder. My parents/Aunt & Uncle refuse to put her into an institution. M, the other twin, is graduating from high school and enrolling in massage therapy school. M refuses to go to therapy which is something I hope she finds later in life. R is in 8th grade and is on the verge of following family history and becoming a disaster. She sneaks out to see boys, has no boundaries and is rumored to have experimented with drugs already. On a positive note: she loves ballet and is at least committed to something that has the potential to be positive.  K the oldest girl, is extremely talented but lacks any direction. She is also frequently crippled by her need for male attention. Aunt is the saddest I have ever seen her and is also paralyzed by a fear of being alone. She has been supporting her giant family on her own for years, got so very close to finally standing on her own two feet, and crippled at the knees when she faced the reality that she was going to have to do this without me or my Uncle. My Uncle has not contributed financially to the household, well, ever, and my Aunt has stated that she just wishes he would cheat on her so that she could leave. Its amazing to see that someone who was once so strong and an example of being strong, has changed into someone that I don't recognize. Unfortunately, all of the strife and a few other events that have gotten us to this place, have equated to me not speaking to my Aunt or Uncle. As LB has said, "It is just too hard to watch you put yourself out there only to have them trample all over you again and again."

Love: LB are adjusting to this new life this summer. It is the first time in our dating life that I have just had one thing to focus on: work. Not taking any classes or doing extra work has meant that we are in each others faces a lot more. More time together has meant more silly little bickering sessions, but all in all we are great at working out kinks and continue to do so. I have always said that we are excellent in the day to day and that remains true. The only other area of struggle really isn't about LB at all, but is much more about my control freak self. I am ready to start making the BIG transition into being married and starting a family, but this is one area where I really don't have control over the timing of when that happens.  LB and I have been living together for 3 years and our life is already very much like a married life, but we have not gone through that process yet of fully committing. Call me old fashioned, but I am not prepared to pull a Brad and Angelina. :) Yesterday, after our food adventure from below, I took LB to Perry Park, CO. It is a gorgeous place just south of Castle Rock and is a place I could see us getting married. Golf course, nature, red rocks, water, greenery= perfection.

Food: those of you who know me are well aware of my food obsession. I treat finding new food wherever I go like a job. Yesterday, LB and I took a road trip down to Colorado Springs  to go to Rudy's BBQ. This place is the motherland of BBQ in CO. Beautifully smoked meats and sauces that should be downright illegal they are so good. I always get the pulled pork and LB gets the brisket. Yesterday, LB really branched out and got the jalapeno sausage... delish! This place is totally worth the hour drive.