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Post 6 of my 10 in 10: A Day of Transition

It’s easy to see why this entry has a special place in my memories.

Day of Transition

May 5, 2007

At 8:46 am yesterday I handed in my last final.
DONE with law school.
I went into work, and spent the day writing responses and motions for our upcoming trial
Then I went to the bar with the other associates for the first time
And then went to a dinner hosted by the trial lawyers association

Yesterday, I moved from the little kids table to the grown-up table.

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Good Morning

Hello. It is Saturday Morning. Well, afternoon technically. It’s 12:05. So far I have survived Baby Beez’ ballet class, got a little coffee, and got a little work done. None of this has been easy. Baby Beez is in the “Fighting about Every Darn Thing” phase which involves a lot of screaming and flailing. Plus she’s aggressively cuddly, meaning that she throws elbows and knees in a crazed race to climb into and monopolize my lap. That makes it very hard for me to any work. I got so unbelievably frustrated and irritated that I was yelling too, and had to hide up in the bedroom to get my work done.

I hate being so angry in response to her WANTING to be close to me. I know that the time for her cuddles is limited. And I never want her to feel like I am pushing her aside to get work done. But sometimes I just need a darn hour to revise a Complaint, and she just needs to WAIT one darn hour (watch Tangled again for goodness sake!) and she’ll get all the cuddles she wants. I am thankful for Mr. Beez running interference today. I try to be patient. But try is not always the same as succeed. And when I don’t do as well as I would wish, I’m glad he is there to help out.

So the remainder of today involves holiday parties and writing briefs. I have two very big filings at the end of the year, which is unusual because December is usually a slow month for litigation. Truth be told, I would rather work hard and bank the hours now, and have a little more room to breathe in the warmer months. Winter is not my thing and I don’t mind spending the hours in the warm indoors takin’ care of business.

I’ve been looking forward to the release of the BlogHer Food agenda, ever since BlogHer announced that the conference will take place in Miami this year.  It was released earlier this week, and after much thinking and talking with Mr. Beez and thinking some more, I have decided I am not going to go this year.  This year’s conference has a much more commercial focus than last year. Most of the sessions are tailored towards brand/blogger relations, and people who want to turn their food blogging into a career, whether through a book or company or what have you.  It focuses a lot more on the cooking side of food blogging, and has nothing on the restaurant/food enthusiast side of blogging.  This is not a criticism in the least. The conference provides a totally valuable forum for a huge number of people. It’s just not the right emphasis or approach for my interests, so I decided that my time would be better spent just picking my own weekend to visit Miami at another time. I was considering buying my ticket earlier, but now I’m glad that I held off, because I think the event would not be the right fit for me. Big Summer Potluck is still TOTALLY in the cards, and now that I see that Big Traveling Potluck is only a bit of a drive from my Mom’s house, that too is a possibility….gotta choose FAST though, because tickets go on sale Monday!

During the last few weeks I have gone a little crazy with Amazon purchases (lots of sales!), so I’ve got the following books locked and loaded: The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt). And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini), Burial Rites (Hannah Kent), Orange is the New Black (Piper Kerman), Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card), Books 2-5 of the Song of Ice And Fire (aka Game of Thrones) (George R.R. Martin). I am also 2% into Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace), but I can only hope to get that read by the end of my life, forget the end of this year.
What do yinz guys have on your nightstands?

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The PA Conference for Women– 10th Anniversary @PennWomen #PennWomen

This is my second year attending the PA Conference for Women, and I’m counting down the days until next year’s conference. How to describe this phenomenal event? Simply: It inspires me to take over the world.

Q&A Chat with Madeleine Albright

Q&A Chat with Madeleine Albright

The gist of it is this: The conference pulls in exceptionally successful women for the day, who teach the thousands of eager attendees their life lessons of their climb to the top of the ladder. There is a huge representation in science, tech and politics, who share their failures and successes. This is a conference for women who aren’t afraid to work hard, who are proud of their accomplishments, and who are eager to keep learning, growing and achieving. There were so many standing ovations. The crowd was so proud for how these brilliant accomplished women have taken their place at the table, shown gratitude for the support they’ve received, and helped those around them succeed as well.

Judge Glenda Hatchett

Judge Glenda Hatchett

There are sessions focused on risk taking, leadership, entrepreneurship, professionalism, inter-generational communications, work/life integration and stress management. The first year I attended, I attended entirely sessions about leadership. This year I spread things around a little more and attended a session on risk taking, a session on stress management/health for productivity, and a session on happiness. I learned so much that I can’t adequately summarize it all at once, but I did a fairly good job of capturing the best takeaways on twitter:

Linda Cliatt-Wayman being honored for her amazing work at Strawberry Mansion High School

Linda Cliatt-Wayman being honored for her amazing work at Strawberry Mansion High School


  • Having more women in senior leadership positions matters. @SallieKrawcheck
  • If it comes down to your ethics versus your job, you can always find another job. @SallieKrawcheck (she was such an amazing speaker. Getting my application in to join @85Pittsburgh is on my short to-do list)
  • If my gut fails me, I ask the woman I want to be what she would do, and she always leads me to the right answer. @SallieKrawcheck
  • Women are overmentored and undersponsored. There is a difference. @SallieKrawcheck.
  • There is no such thing as failure, it’s warming up for success. @JudgeGHatchett
  • When you get to the pages in life’s book that are torn, you can’t give up.  You have to write your own story of hope.  @JudgeGHatchett
  • Know what you are talking about, and interrupt.  @Madeleine
  • There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other. @Madeleine
  • Women need to be politically and economically empowered, because it makes their socieites more stable. @Madeleine

HillaryRodhamClinton

  • If you are overwhelmed by options, don’t try to sort through all the possibilities. Throw together a prototype and get some feedback and go from there.
  • List your negotiables and nonnegotiables. When a potential risk/opportunity presents itself, check your lists, and the answer will crystallize.
  • Keep your authentic voice, when you have that, people will want to work with you. Stay with your integrity.
  • When you get bad news, you get 24 hours of self pity. Use it well. Then move forward.
  • If you suspect you made a bad decision, trust your instincts, don’t burn any bridges, and move on.
  • Happiness is a habit, and it needs practice.

KathyKinneyWhere have you found inspiration recently?

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Autumn Activities and Stubborn Like a Mule

Autumn Activities and Stubborn Like a Mule

Baby Beez and I had quite the weekend.  Sadly, Mr. Beez also had a lot of separate activities going on, so I feel like I haven’t seen my husband for ages.  And we’ve got a busy week, so it’s going to be a few more days until I see him again. It’s a good thing we’ve managed to fit in a couple of date nights in the previous couple weeks. Because Husbaaaand, where are you?

So this weekend Baby Beez and I lived up the weekend activities. We started things off by visiting Zoo Boo at the Pittsburgh Zoo with our pals Sandy and Elena.  We have gone the last couple years as well, but this is the first year that Baby Beez was big enough to really enjoy it.  Her favorite animal at the zoo is the shark, and we did get to see a few sharks, so she was very pleased.  Also this outing to the zoo involved candy, and she was able to show off her newly learned “Trick or treat! Smell my feet!. . .” Of which she was very proud. (I plead guilty to that one).

Princesses

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Today we continued with the Halloween festivities with a visit to Trax Farms with more friends.  This too was an ideal outing, because Baby Beez is now big enough to really have fun.  Things were temporarily derailed for a few minutes when Baby Beez got the HANGRY but then I filled her with granola bars and it was all good. Baby Beez is infamous for begging to ride a pony and then we stand in a big stupid long line for the pony, and then when we finally get up to the stupid pony Baby Beez decides she is stupid scared and won’t get on the stupid pony.  This year however was SUCCESS and she climbed upon the gentle beast, Tonto, and was very proud to take a little ride.

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Carnie food! The best!

Carnie food! The best!


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And since it is late October, and since for the last six years November has insisted on being the most absolutely insane month for work in the entire year, this weekend of course brought with it a ridonkulous amount of work that needed to be done.  The well-rested, conservatively scheduled, and possibly more prudent me would have called off the plans, spent my weekend mornings in the office, and squared away those things.  Over the last several years, and in particular as Baby Beez has gotten bigger and has exclaimed in her cute little voice “Mama, you’re my best friend!” I simply cannot bring myself to call off social events for this purpose. Oh yes, the work gets done. That point is non-negotiable. And thank goodness for good remote access and the ability to work on things on the couch while Baby Beez watches Monsters, Inc. for the 9,000th time. What I’ve found over the last several years is that in order to keep my family and personal life healthy, the work gets done at odd hours, whether that means getting up stupid early on a Saturday or spending that Sunday evening wind-down time not winding down at all, but rather getting work done.  Lawyers work on weekends. It’s in the job description. It’s nothing special or new. But I’m stubborn and have gotten stubborner about making sure I make that quality family time on the weekend (with work squeezed in before the kid wakes up, or while she naps, or while she watches TV, etc), because lord knows that QT during the week is minimal.

If you have work obligations on the weekends, how do you balance out family time and work time?

PS– Upon reviewing this post, I have no right to wonder where Baby Beez learned the word “stupid.”

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Mistakes, Blunders and Disasters: My Article at Lawyerist.com

Maybe you have the day off today, maybe you do not, or maybe like me you are stuck in the limbo where your office is definitely open but your kid’s daycare is definitely closed, so you’re sitting on the couch trying to be productive as she keeps trying to climb on top of your laptop and then whines mournfully when you snap that she has to sit NEXT to you, not on TOP of you .

Whatever your work situation today, you should check out the article I published on Lawyerist.com today.  I’m pretty proud of it.  I’ve made fair share (maybe even more) of blunders, and I’ve survived and learned from them.  Hopefully you all will find some useful thoughts about how to grapple with mistakes and move on from them.

Check it out here: Recognizing, Owning, and Fixing Your Mistakes

And if you are a lawyer and haven’t started reading Lawyerist regularly yet, you should. It is full of incredibly insightful and practical articles. It is my favorite law blog because it really focuses on the nuts and bolts of practice.