Archive | August, 2013

the news

30 Aug

We left Raleigh yesterday with high hopes for good news to come in the mail today, to reach us via a phone call from someone who would check our mail.  

Today, when the phone call came, it was not the news we had hoped for.  My heart sank.  

Joel didn’t pass the BAR.  

Those words don’t even seem to make sense in my head.  But that’s the cold hard truth.  He didn’t pass.

To say that I wasn’t prepared for this would be an understatement.  I was totally sure he  had passed.  But I can tell you this, he could not have worked any harder.  60 days is a short time to re-learn all the details of all those classes.  And he worked so hard every single day to learn it.  

Even though I’m having a hard time dealing with this, and even though I can’t see it, I know that the Lord is doing this for a specific reason.  I’ve seen it too many times before to deny that… things that we couldn’t possibly understand why they were happening, looking back it’s all so clearly the hand of God in our lives.  I know that this is the same thing happening again, and I won’t understand it for a while, but I’m sure one day we’ll be able to look back and see it clearly.  I’m clinging to that as hard as I can.

So we move on.  

Joel will request his scores and his essays back and then he’ll take them in to the lady who does bar stuff at Campbell.  She’ll help him figure out what to focus on, what to study, how to study, and maybe recommend a tutor to help him.  He’ll study again.  And in February, he’ll take the BAR again.  This time it won’t be so intense – he’ll have 6 months this time, which should mean he will be around more and able to help me more than he was in June and July.  Which is a good thing, because I don’t think we would survive two more months of that.  

So, here we go – bar exam round 2.  Lord help us.

We made it!

17 Aug

I won’t lie and tell you that it was easy, but we made it through the bar exam. We actually did!

It’s been not quite 2 weeks since Joel finished, and life seems to be slowly but surely returning to normal. Except I’m not even sure what normal looks like anymore.

Law school has been a 5 year ordeal for us. Here’s how Joel put it (I stole this from his Facebook page):

Tomorrow (and Wednesday) I sit for the BAR. It is a day I have been working towards for almost 5 years. I have faced some challenges along the way. Starting with bombing the LSAT and repeating it 3 times, to finally after a ton of hard work getting admitted to Campbell Law’s PBAP program. I worked my tail off and drove to Buies Creek everyday for an entire summer, only to miss out on a law school seat by 1 point due to a computer issue that was Campbell’s fault! I had to wait a year, retake the LSAT, reapply and finally made it into law school in 2010. In my first year, Rebecca and I had Clara, bought a new house, became landlords, moved out to Holly Springs and had the first law school finals experience all within a 3 month span. I worked hard for three years of school, we welcomed Lucy into the world during the last semester, and I graduated law school. I am very proud of the fact that not only did I finish in the top 1/3 of my class, but I did it while starting and running 2 businesses during school, planning to open a law firm, starting a family and raising two kids, spending time with all three of my girls, family and friends, training BJJ and Thai boxing at least 3 times a week, getting three stripes on my blue belt (my goal was a purple belt but I guess I can’t do it all!), doing Billyfit once a week and getting into the best shape I have been in years.

Whatever happens tomorrow and the day after, I could care less about the outcome, because there process has been far more valuable to me then the results. Having to fight through two weeks of being sick, having an ear infection, my ear canal swollen shut and a burst eardrum, on top of all the girls being sick, and no one getting any sleep has made studying difficult! However, my faith taught me a long time ago about the value of difficulty and suffering. BJJ has brought that lesson home to me in a very practical way. I spend hours every week getting my butt kicked by people stronger then me, weaker then me, faster them me, younger then me, older then me, more technical then me, smarter then me, dumber then me. Yet there is value in, and I have learned from, every one of those experiences. I am better for it. If I pass today, I will be happy, if not, I’ll dust myself off, get back up and do it again, and again and again until I prevail, and I am fine with that. Thank you to everyone who has helped me out the last few years to get here. I sincerely believe I could not have gotten to this point with out all of you. See ya Thursday!

The last two months have been the hardest that I can remember in my life. More demands on my time, more stress, more trying not to show stress and stress my husband out even more (lots of failing at that), more kids, more frustration, not getting to the gym as much as I needed to to work out that frustration.

More studying and writing notecards for an exam I wasn’t even taking. But I could probably pass the wills and trusts section and the corporations section if I had to.

In the end, we’ve all come out alive. Perhaps slightly scarred, but alive. I keep feeling like we’re doing something we’re not supposed to by relaxing, going to the gym, going on vacation, playing at the pool, and generally doing everything but think about law school. It has been so long of that being our main focus that we aren’t sure what to do with ourselves.

If this gives you any indication of the state of our lives during the two months he was studying for the bar, I did laundry only when absolutely necessary. Just being honest, here. After the bar, when I finally caught up and got all the laundry clean, the pile to be folded and put away was literally a mountain as tall as Clara that covered our whole king sized bed.


There are a lot of things that are that way. We were, quite literally, in survival mode. And it is taking a while to dig out from under all the piles, literal and figurative. Among the many things I missed: getting to spend time together as a family, getting to go out of the house by myself, doing things because I want to, cooking healthy food for my family, going to church all together, and having a husband who has more than 5 minutes during the day to talk to and play with his children.

It has been a hard road, y’all. There is no doubt about that.

It will be several more weeks until we know if Joel passed the bar or if we will have to go through all this again. (Oh please, Lord, no.)

I’m operating on the assumption that he passed, but in the event that he does have to take it again, you may need to send a search party, because I might run away.

Just kidding.

But seriously.  I really might.

I really couldn’t be more proud of Joel.  He has worked so hard for this – harder than I’ve ever seen him work for anything.  He has made us so proud.  Clara still talks about his graduation to this day.  What she really remembers is his funny hat, but that’s cool.  She knew it was a special day and that daddy had accomplished something important.  And she’s right about that.  It hasn’t been easy for anyone, but don’t they say something about things that are worth doing aren’t easy?  Well, “they” would be right.

We’ve taken the last week or so to spend some time together as a family, and it’s been good. I think we are all ready to find our new routine.

For now, though, we are trying to piece life back together a bit.  I have a massive list of things that we need to do just to get the house back in order.  If you’ve been in my house in the last 2 months, I apologize.  I looked around the other day and realized everything has just been left wherever it was put down, meaning in the entry way and dining room of our house.  The end result?  We look like hoarders to anyone who comes to our front door.

So, yeah.  If you came to our house, I’m sorry.  And thank you for not saying anything about the disaster.

But most importantly, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who helped us with anything at all over the last few months.  There have been so many of you that helped us – from our neighbors watching our kids to my parents letting me and the girls go there every weekend in July so Joel could have a quiet house to study in.  Whether it was watching our kids, going for a walk around the neighborhood, offering a word of encouragement or a reminder that this was only a temporary situation when it seemed never-ending – even the tiniest things made the biggest difference, so THANK YOU.

I really am hoping to catch up or at least post a bit more often here, now that things have calmed down a little.  No promises, though…