Monday, July 31

Life Lately {vol. 62}

I had a helluva workout! I don't usually sweat this much, so it was cracking me up that my back was soaked! // Happy days on the floor of our apartment
My sleepy, perfect boys. Mornings with them are so peaceful // I just can't with this kid.
😂 J took me out for dinner to this new, cheap Chinese restaurant a few weeks ago and I can't wait to go back. It was so affordable and the food couldn't be beat!
Hey gang! This has been quite the few weeks over on my end of the world. I'm finally back in Denver as of yesterday afternoon. As you'll see, I spent the last two weeks in Des Moines, working for my mom's firm while J stayed behind to work and hold down the fort. This is the longest we've been away for each other since being married, and probably even a few months before that - but look, we survived! 😉

Wednesday, July 12

Currently



Time and Place: 8:30AM, having just sat down with a coffee, a water, and my computer. I'm in our apartment. I love mornings here because it's always really quiet and peaceful around the complex and it's still cool outside (it's been sweltering lately). I tend to be way more productive in the morning!

I'm finishing up this post around noon - not because I worked on it for 3 1/2 hours, but because Blogger was acting strange and not uploading pictures properly, and my computer was going so slow! Thankfully, everything fixed itself and this post WILL survive. 😉


Eating:
 I'm leaving in a few days to fly to Iowa for two weeks, but J's staying behind to work, so he'll be surviving off chips and salsa and there's really no point in buying groceries before I leave. But 
we're completely out of vegetables, haha. This is a personal nightmare for me. I'm going to head to Trader Joe's this afternoon to pick up lunch for myself and J, and probably get some pre-made salads for tomorrow too. I'm not huge into salads in general, but there's really nothing like a great salad to make you feel clean, refreshed, and healthy! I had an Ahi Tuna Salad yesterday at a restaurant that was honestly one of the best salads I've ever had, and it's totally inspired me.

I've also been eating ramen a lot lately in order to save money, but it's definitely made me feel super bloated (all that sodium...). J has to keep reminding me that I eat really healthy, and a ramen here or there isn't going to ruin me. Also, for posterity, I crave pizza pretty much every day of my life, so let's not pretend I'm this paragon of healthy eating. 😂


Enjoying: The small moments and a growing community. One of the best parts of my contracting experience has been that I've been forced to leave our apartment and actually meet people. I hung out with a guy I know from work recently, and he said something like, "So, I assume that you want to talk about job stuff?" And naturally, I responded, "Yeah, but also, like, I want friends..." 😂

I do feel like I'm meeting people who I genuinely like, and I could not be more tired of discussing my job prospects. Everyone I talk to says, "You're doing everything right, just keep it up!" so it's exhausting to explain my situation over and over again just to hear the same response. Regardless, I've loved getting to meet so many awesome people! I've gotten involved with some alumni from my college here in Denver, and it's been so nice to feel like I have a tiny family here (beyond my actual tiny family, haha).

Monday, July 10

Obsessions {vol. 2}

I am hoarding Harry Potter tattoo ideas on Pinterest. Don't you dare judge me. 😂

I found this recipe for chocolate mug cake on Pinterest a while back and I've been making it obsessively since! Except that, most of the time, I just eat the batter... 😂

Tuesday, July 4

Cute Work Clothes


I've been really open about my struggle to find clothes that are appropriate for work while still feeling like me. I found a bit of a rhythm over the past few months, but there's always room for improvement!

Some people can go to work every day and not give a hoot about their outfit, but that's just not me - what I wear affects how I feel, so it's important! I want to feel beautiful, well-fitted, comfortable, classy, and always a little fun. So often, workwear is totally boring: bieges, blacks, whites, classic cuts, and nothing that gives you a glimpse into who that person actually is. 

As a lawyer, you can't always wear what you want to wear for the sake of "professionalism," but I do think there's a benefit to dressing like yourself. If you're comfortable, it will show! People - clients, bosses, co-workers, etc. - all have bullshit meters, and if you're not being authentic, it's going to eventually show. When you're wearing something you actually like (and that fits you well), you act more relaxed and authentic, and therefore are more fun to be around. You'll probably do your job better too, because you won't be busy yanking down your skirt or thinking about how you look - you'll be giving off ~* that glow *~ of self-confidence that comes from wearing something that makes you feel like the best version of you!

Friday, June 23

Life Lately {vol. 61}


Hey gang! It's a big of a long post today because I've been so behind on posting. I'm doing contracting work right now, which means I'm essentially a freelance attorney while I look for a position. Parts of contracting work, I love; I love the flexibility, that I can work from where and when I want. It's kind of fun to work from home, and I've been learning a lot about myself and my work habits now that I'm essentially managing myself! 

The big downsides to contracting work are that I don't get a lot of human interaction beyond when J comes home, I miss the teamwork of working in an office, and (my biggest complaint so far) I constantly feel guilty for not working. I don't really have weekends anymore, and I honestly need the work - so it's hard to know when to let myself relax and when to push through and keep working. I'm taking a small break to work on the blog today and give you guys an update on my life!


I used the last of my LUSH bath bombs the other night when I was having a bad day. I combined my "sex bomb" bath bomb with rose and "The Great British Bake-Off," and lemme tell ya, it was a perfect combination!

Monday, June 5

10 Study Tips for the Bar Exam


While life feels a little crazy right now (post about that potentially coming soon), I'm really relieved that I don't have to take the bar exam again this summer. I was constantly stressed and anxious last summer, though I already miss the structural aspect of it; I love schedules and habits, so I'm kind of wishing this summer could have that kind of structure too.

I have a lot of friends taking the bar exam this summer, and I feel like I've been giving advice to everyone. Not that I mind it - I adore helping people, and having gone through this experience so recently, I'm more than happy to share what I've learned. Assuming you're investing in bar study materials (do people do it on their own?!), here are my 10 study tips for the bar exam!

Wednesday, May 24

5 Ways to Wear Summer Bralettes


When bralettes first started becoming "cool," I was in college and it didn't make sense to me. As a heavier-chested woman, my goal was always to show less: less boob, less bra, less attention to that whole area, honestly. So I started out slow. I was also hampered by the fact that, at that time, most bralettes were bandeaux (I owned this one, or at least something similar to it), which was really my only option that gave me any support.

As the seasons start to heat up, I've definitely found bralettes to be a lifesaver - particularly ones with straps. When it gets hot out, the less I can wear, the better - and if my bra's going to show, it might as well be pretty, right? So here are five different ways to wear bralettes in the summer!

1. With A Tank-Top
This one seems obvious, right? Well, this is something that I felt I couldn't do for a really long time. But then I found this tank top (above) that was really low cut in the front and sides... but I loved it. There was virtually no way to wear it without showing everything, so I had to get over my fears about being a little more on display. While I often just wore a sports bra or similar type of bra with it, there are tons of high-necked or strappy bralettes that would look super cute with a similar tank top: (1) (2) or (3), for example.

Thursday, May 18

Obsessions {vol. 1}

My forever inspiration 💖
Hey friends! I stopped doing "Obsessions" posts last year, but I felt like it was time to bring them back. I got good feedback from people saying that they liked these posts, and hey, I like them too or I wouldn't be doing them! I've got a busy day ahead of me, but let's start out the day with some coffee, productivity, and positivity! Here's what I've been obsessed with lately:


I've been wanting to get back into cross-stitch & needlepoint, so I'm so glad these are becoming "popular" again! I used to sew all the time when I was a kid, but it definitely wasn't "cool" back then. I mostly just need to get supplies - and you can get so many fun patterns on Etsy now!

Monday, May 15

Self Worth


When the topic of self-worth and toxic relationships come up, I think most of us naturally think of romantic relationships. It's hard to forget that overwhelming feeling of "less than" with that partner you once had - of feeling like nothing you ever did was right; like all your confidence just drained out of you; of a relationship that you knew was wrong, but you just couldn't leave.

These kinds of relationships aren't relegated just to the romantic sphere, though: this could be your relationship with your parents, your siblings, your grandma, your boss, your friend, etc. Sometimes, when you're in the midst of this kind of relationship, you just can't see clearly. It takes someone else to step in and say, "Hey, I don't think the way she's treating you is right." 

Wednesday, May 10

Life Lately {vol. 60}

Walking around Wash Park has been one of my favorite pastimes since moving to Denver - it's such a stunning area! // One of my favorite repeated work outfits

I finally got Snapchat again // Waffles from Crema on Larimer street // Absolutely obsessed with Whole Foods' carrot cake!

Another walk around Wash Park // Got a stunning haircut from Layla at Three Cutters - she always makes me feel amazing // When you want to wear your leggings but you also have to look business casual...

Wednesday, February 22

This (Work) Week in Clothes {pt.2}

Inauguration Day /// Shirt: Modcloth // Cardigan: Totally unknown - my mom insists it's mine and I wanted it so I didn't really argue // Beanie: Jake's, so I have no idea where from // Jeans: Kut From The Kloth via StitchFix (and my SOL, Jillian) // Shoes: Fossil


Blazer: Cabi // Pants: StitchFix // Shoes: Fossill // T-Shirt: J Crew 

Monday, February 20

Puppy Fever


GUYS - my parents just adopted a puppy.

😱💕

Those emojis have literally been me all weekend. Really, since I found out they were adopting a puppy. My parents got to take little Dash home this weekend, and my little brother and I got to meet him over Skype. I literally cried when I saw him. He's that cute - not that you need me to tell you.

Because J and I have two cats, people always assume I'm a "cat person." Honestly, I'm not. I'm an animal person. Cats are just easier to take care of than most animals while still having very strong personalities, which I like. As a kid, I was all about that dog life. I wanted a dog sooo bad. I researched everything I could about breeds, about training, about how to care for them - I wanted to show my parents that I was responsible. They got me a cat instead, which turned out incredible; but when Tabby died when I was fourteen, we adopted a Bichon puppy who we named Kichon, and who lived with us until she passed away this January. My parents let me train her, but it became clear pretty early on that she was attached to my mom, so she became my parent's dog more than mine.

Now that I'm an "adult," I don't want a dog any less. You know that scene in "Baby Mama" where Tina Fey keeps seeing babies everywhere? Like, every time she sees one on the street, she gets all heart-eyed, and suddenly she's hyper aware of every baby? That's literally me with dogs right now. Denver is a very dog-friendly city, at least in the area we're in right now, so it feels like I see dogs everywhere I go. I want to pet every single one. I went for a walk a few days ago and I was actually bummed that no one offered to let me pet their dog. Like, strangers. I'm a freak, I know.

J and I are trying not to get a dog until we have a house, which, at this point, who knows how long that will be. The market sucks for buyers right now and we're getting really discouraged. We could technically get a dog if we move into a new apartment (3 pet max), but it's probably not the responsible thing to do. *Sigh*

When we are ready to adopt a dog, we're pretty set on adopting from a shelter. Both our cats are from shelters in Iowa, and it's generally the route I think is best. We talked about adopting a husky for a while, and if we did, we'd pretty much have to buy a puppy from a breeder, because there's no conceivable way husky puppies are just sitting around in shelters. Huskies and Malamutes have a very high prey instinct because they're the least domesticated dogs (the most like wolves), which means they'll chase it and try to kill it as long as "it" is small, runs, and is furry. Cats very much fit that description, so if we decided to go with a husky, we'd pretty much have to get a puppy to ensure that the cats could "train" it before it got big enough to kill them, haha. We still would love a husky, but I think at this point, it's more important to us to adopt from a shelter than to get the breed of dog we want.

As far as other breeds, I know J would love to adopt a French Bulldog or a Pug. I wouldn't be against it, but I would love to have a bigger dog that could go on runs with us. I want a dog that can play fetch and run on the beach when we go to Hilton Head - not that a pug can't do that (and for the record, I love Pugs), but they're not exactly athletic dogs, haha. I'm also all in favor of a medium-sized herding dog, like an Australian Shephard or a Heeler, which I know J would be on board with. We both really love pit bulls and bully-mixes, but there are so many breed bans that it makes it almost impossible to rent and adopt a pit bull... I assume we'll end up adopting some kind of mixed breed dog - it's just a matter of size and type.

I won't even let myself look on Denver shelter websites right now, because the temptation is too much... I'll have to satisfy my puppy fever through kind strangers that let me pet their dog at the park. For now.


Sunday, February 19

Life Lately {vol. 59}

I've been getting really good at roasting chicken! // Sometimes our runs rock and sometimes they don't - but at least I'm running! // I loved my birthday outfit at work! // Birthday drinks for the birthday girl - I got to spend my birthday with J and friends

I love meeting my friend, Rachel, for morning coffee to catch up! // I've been trying to document my outfits when I feel cute (and partially for my "homework" for The Curated Closet). // Inauguration Day // My friends and I marched in the Women's March on Denver! Best day ever. 💗

Wednesday, February 8

Home Inspiration


If you follow me on Facebook (@Girl Named Fiddy), you've probably heard that J and I are currently looking to buy a home in Denver! Our lease is up at the end of April, so we're *hoping* to find and buy a place before then. That's like, 90 days away. Totally terrifying!

It's no joke that the housing market sucks right now. There aren't a lot of homes on the market, and the ones that are super expensive for what you're getting. Just doing a quick search on Trulia, I found a house in Des Moines, IA that had eight bedrooms and over 3000 square feet for $200,000. Here in Denver, I'm struggling to find a two-bedroom house above 1000 square feet for under $400,000. As I said, it's no joke. In fact, it's kind of a nightmare. But we're looking, and we're hopeful that we're going to find something small that works for us. 

The best part about our home search is that it doesn't matter if the home is outdated or not an ideal aesthetic, because my dad actually renovates homes for a living! He'll be able to change just about anything we want, so we're looking more for the area of town we want to live in and the "bones" of a home. All those hours of watching "Fixer Upper" are finally paying off, haha!

Monday, February 6

2017 Goals: January Recap


One way I'm trying to remain accountable to my goals for 2017 is to recap each month and discuss how I'm doing! So, let's see where I'm at:

1. Read 12 new books this year
So far, I've finished one book and started on my second! I read The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory, a book J got me a year or so ago that I've (obviously) been wanting to read since then but couldn't find the time. 

Part of the reason I've been doing this reading project for over three years (!!!) is because I love to read and people, rightfully so, get me a zillion books for every holiday and occasion. It takes me so much longer now than it did in high school because I have so many more responsibilities! My ultimate goal is to finish every book I own. 😱

Right now, I'm reading The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees - kind of like with The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up, I'm hoping this book will help me organize and create my particular fashion style, and by doing so, I'll be able to downsize my closet quite a bit! As I've said before, I really struggle with professional clothes, so my main goal is to figure out what kind of work clothes are "appropriate" while still actually liking them.

Friday, February 3

Law School Nostogia

UNH Visit: Part One: This was the very first trip J and I took to visit Concord and my law school for a kind of new admittee day to see if I liked the school and wanted to move there. When I was picking out posts for this post, J really loved looking back through these pictures with me, so I knew I had to include it. I loved exploring Boston with my guy - as much as I love my solitude, I'm such a city girl. It's also really fun for me to look back on what my initial thoughts were on my law school since I've now graduted, taken the bar exam, and am an attorney in two states!

Sunday, January 29

Currently


I got this format from Iowa Girl Eats (one of my fav food blogs) with a few edits of my own, and I thought it would be fun to mix up my daily life posts with this type of update! Let me know in the comments or on Facebook if you'd like to see more posts like this. 😊

Time and Place: 9:14AM, sitting on my couch in my apartment and covered by our softest, biggest blanket. I'm still in my pjs, drinking some coffee. I need to get another cup...

Eating:
 I've been trying really hard to track my food again since the new year began and I've been doing really well. I've been eating really healthy... except that I've had nachos for like, two days in a row. 😂 Guys, they're just sooo good! I'm not even talking about "fancy" nachos, like the ones we made a few weeks ago - I'm talking about microwaved nachos with Tapatio Doritos, Mexican cheese, and adobo seasoning. I can't stop eating them!



Enjoying: Our Roomba! J's mom bought us the Roomba for Christmas and it's been SUCH a huge help around the apartment. I don't mind certain chores, but there are a few things I hate doing. One of those chores is sweeping. With two cats and hardwood floors, we were sweeping once a week and we just weren't keeping up with all the cat hair and dirt. We use the Roomba about every other day and it's made a huge difference in how clean our apartment is and feels. It's pricey, but it saves us so much time because we don't have to sweep and vacuum - we let the Roomba do it for us, and we're free to get other things done (or just relax).

Friday, January 27

10 Things I've Learned About Running


I have never been a “runner.” Like, I was that girl during middle and high school who made any excuse not to run during P.E. I once went to the chiropractor and tried to use my back alignment to get out of doing the Mile Run (it didn’t work). It wasn’t like I was “unhealthy” – I was maybe a little chubby in early high school (certainly no more than I am now), and even in high school when I lost around 40 pounds, I still couldn't run because it turns out you need to eat food for that.
 Running in front of other people was only a little bit embarrassing, but I was never the last person in, so I really didn’t mind.

In college, I didn’t really exercise until I started dating J - a cross-country runner - and even then, I didn't go running right away. I lost weight at the beginning of the relationship (nervous weight? Anyone else have that issue?), but I still wasn’t “fit” by any means. I was healthier than I had been - I was eating better, snacking less, and moving more, though mostly due to a really hectic schedule - but I only went running once or twice that year, in the dark. I saw a raccoon crawl out of a gutter once and it was terrifying but also really cool.

When I graduated college and moved in with J in Iowa City, my habits changed dramatically. I was gaining weight at a record pace due to feeding both of us and feeling “encouraged” by his hefty boy portions which he was running it off without even thinking. I was just learning to cook – trying out unhealthy but delicious family recipes, still figuring out what worked for both of us and our bodies and our budget. 


We lived in this tiny apartment, but it was right next to this lovely trail that went all around Coralville. J encouraged me to try running with him. It was a disaster. I have no idea why, but I turn into a total baby when I run with him. Every time I run with him, my pace sucks, I whine, and I feel terribly guilty for feeling like I ruined the run for him. So I started running on my own, and I started loving it. I was still averaging a 12:30 mile, but I was going more than one mile at a time for the first time in my life. J gave me tips, and my pace and distance improved. I began running 2.5 miles pretty regularly, and finally made it to 3.1 miles one day. I was so proud of myself! A few months later, J and I did a community race together and I ran just around 5.4 miles – by far the most I had ever run (or have ever ran) at one time.

Tuesday, January 24

Homemade Popcorn


Growing up, my mom always made us popcorn from scratch. We had microwave popcorn on hand too, but I have so many great memories of watching movies with my family with a giant bowl of homemade popcorn in front of us. I think I just asked one day how she did it and my mom walked me through the steps. The first couple of times I made it on my own, it was just awful - I remember burning it and having to dump the remains off the side of our deck, haha. However, with practice, I did manage to make homemade popcorn while I was still in high school. Now, I feel like a pro at it!

Saturday, January 21

Trader Joe's Shopping List


I go to Trader Joe's pretty regularly to get groceries and lunches - I think J would prefer going to a "normal" grocery store, but TJ's items are a little smaller, usually a lot cheaper, and as someone who eats mostly vegetarian/pescatarian, they are sooo many options that appeal to me compared to a regular grocery store.

Someone on Facebook the other day suggested I post what I buy at Trader Joe's, and I'm happy to oblige. 😊 I do want to point out that this is not a "normal" list for me - we usually have at least 1/3 of the items at home already, so my list is usually a lot shorter depending on how many "basics" (like olive oil) I need to restock.


Friday, January 20

This (Work) Week in Clothes

Shirt: StitchFix (via Jillian, my sister in law) // Jeans: Kut From the Kloth via StitchFix (and Jillian) // Shoes: Nordstroms, Caslon Gia Lace-Up Booties

Tuesday, January 17

Life Lately {vol. 58}

J and I spent New Years Eve with some "new" friends and it couldn't have been more perfect.

The only phone picture I got that night, naturally. 😂

I love salads from Trader Joe's, and one of my favorite ones is their Asian chicken salad! It's mostly slaw and rice noodles, but the vinaigrette is sooo good!

Thursday, January 12

New Hair & Review


A few weeks ago, I dyed my hair. It was kind of a big deal to me - I haven't colored it since it was red (way back when I was in New Hampshire, like a year ago). At the time, I was sick of having to keep the color up. Red is a particularly hard color to keep vibrant, and I was spending sooo much money on professional color and box color just to keep it looking nice. 

I decided I was going to let my natural dirty-blonde color grow out, and proceeded to wait through the weird color transitions. There were a few weeks there where my hair probably looked more stupid than I even remember. But in the end, I was blonde again and didn't need to color my hair anymore. It was a relief... for a while.



Tuesday, January 10

2017 Goals


Every year, it feels like half the people on my news feed are super into resolutions, and the other half hate everyone in that first group, haha. I feel like the new year is a perfect time for reflection: for looking back on the past year, giving credit to yourself for the ways in which you made yourself a better person, and marking the areas in which you still need to grow. If the new year is the time for you to reflect, more power to you. If you reflect at a different time of year, great.

This year, I tried something new: I brainstormed goals. I looked at the goals I had last year, I looked inwards at the things about myself I wanted to change, and I made bubbles on a sheet of paper. It was fun to do because there was no self-judgment for a goal not being "good enough." I just wrote things down, sometimes getting more specific and sometimes getting more generalized. I found that some goals were related, so I combined them. 

Wednesday, January 4

Easy Pickled Jalapeños


When J and I lived in New Hampshire, we got take-out nachos all the time from this local Mexican restaurant called Hermanos. We were completely obsessed with those nachos. We got the same kind every time (Betty and Shirl's - which had chicken, pickled jalepeños, this kind of garlic oil, avocados, and tons of cheese)! We always asked for baby portobellos on the nachos, while I took off chicken and J asked for blue corn chips. 

They are the most perfect nachos in the world - but one of the reasons they're so good is because of the pickled jalepeños. You can also get jalepeño salsa to go with it, which is the perfect blend of spicy and sweet. After dating/being married to a guy from Arizona for the past 6 years, I learned to love spicy food, so is it really any wonder I learned to love jalepeños?

This summer, J was having an off day and I decided to cheer him up by recreating these nachos. So first, I had to learn to pickle jalepeños. It sounded super daunting. I don't pickle things. This is not my scene. My family doesn't do any pickling as far as I know. I started by googling, naturally, and realized that it wasn't really hard after all! I don't follow recipes well (I'm always changing things), so this is a mix of a couple of the first recipes that came up.

Tuesday, January 3

Welcome to 2017


It's finally 2017 and I can't tell you how grateful I am that 2016's finally done. I've seen a lot of posts on Facebook from people expressing how, "Well, 2016 wasn't that bad," and I couldn't disagree more. 

When people complain about how bad this past year was, it doesn't mean that nothing good happened in 2016. A lot of artists died this year - people who inspired us, who meant so much to us, who changed our lives and gave us hope that we weren't alone in this world. I won't even get into the election. The point is, this year was so terrible because we lost a lot of hope - and the new year is the perfect time to believe in that hope again. So as much I hate that whole, "New year, new me," stuff, we need hope right now. We need to believe that this year will be better - and that we have to power to enact change. 

Sunday, January 1

2016 Recap: This Year...

This January... I began to appreciate the beauty of New Hampshire in a new light since I knew we'd be leaving soon // I made reading fun books a priority again // I learned that chocolate and coconut were really fucking yummy together // We sent out our Save the Dates // I re-organized our bedroom closet // We began the year in Hilton Head with my family // I sent in my application for the New Hampshire Bar // J had to change a tire on his car (it was my first time ever doing this or even helping, so it was a bit momentous for me) // I recommitted myself to working out and started a planking challenge for myself.

This February... I bought my bridesmaids dress for my bestie Liz's wedding // J & I flew to Denver to get to know the city before deciding whether or not to move // I worked out a lot // I discovered cookie butter // J & I had breakfast from Snooze for the first time // We went to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (and loved it, because we're nerds) // J made friends with our friend, Erin's, dogs // I accidentally broke our wooden cutting board (with my very, very big muscles) // I tried out new recipes and attempted to be more adventurous with food // We saw "The Revenant" with friends // New Hampshire continued to remind me how beautiful it was // My local choir began practicing for Mozart's Requiem

This March... J finally got the jacket from Drive he'd been wanting for years // I started sorting through our stuff to prepare for our move, which means I found a bunch of hilarious stuff of J's from high school // We ate a LOT of nachos from this local Mexican restaurant (and I still miss them - we have yet to find a suitable replacement, particularly since we could get them to go and watch "Bob's Burgers" at home) // I rediscovered my love of frozen grapes // I ate a LOT of cookie butter // J sent me the most romantic text I've ever gotten, which was him saying, "Come home!" with this picture of Takis and wine // I got my box of Barbri books to study for the Bar Exam!

This April... I kept working out, because mama had to fit in her wedding dress (plus it made me feel really good, so) // We played a ton of board games with some friends of ours who got us hooked // I had my last day of classes // Erica flew back to New Hampshire for Barrister's Ball // Abby & I were a perfect couple for the dance (I mean, our guys were there too, but we look really, really cute together) // I had my last performance with my local choir // I had my last day of work at my internship // I interviewed simulated clients for one of my DWS classes.

This May... We hung out with friends a lot, especially after Jay and Tyler (and Ella!) got a new house! // I packed up everything in our apartment // I learned how to study and work out at the same time // J and I flew down to Hilton Head to see my family, then drove up with them to see my little brother graduate college // I went to a cat show, because of course I did // My law school class rented out a small amusement park for the afternoon // I was voted (technically I tied, but whatever) Looks Least Like a Lawyer by my classmates // A few amazing friends helped us pack up the uBox with all our furniture and most of our boxes. It's incredible how much we packed in there, and we couldn't have done it without their help // I got sworn into the New Hampshire Bar, and graduated from law school the next day // James and Leif caught a mouse in our apartment. It was Leif's first time catching one, and he was really territorial about it (though they still didn't kill it...) // J and I drove our cars, filled to the brim with the rest of our belongings, to Iowa City // I got to see one of my best friends before we left town // J and I drove to Des Moines // I had my bridal shower at my mom's law firm // J drove back to Iowa City the night before to see his mom, and then they both drove to Des Moines the next morning to help us move // With everyone's help, we found our new apartment in Denver and unloaded everything from the cars!

This June... I joined a barre studio // Studied for the bar exam almost every day // Worked out almost every day // Tried to keep reading throughout the study process // Drank way too much coffee. I think I was averaging around 3-4 cups a day, and started getting headaches in the afternoon if I didn't have a cup. Whoops // Put together a bookshelf and a TV stand from IKEA // Went to Snooze a few times // Started a part-time job doing contract work at a firm in town // Flew back to Iowa for Liz's bachelorette party // Fell in love with our neighborhood

This July... I worked out almost every day // Studied every single day for the Bar Exam, for around 6-8 hours a day // Gave up trying to figure out the Rule Against Perpetuities // Met with one of my favorite people/mentors from New Hampshire who happened to be in town // Went out for dinner once or twice with J, when he could convince me to stop studying // Ate sooo much watermelon I'm surprised I'm not made of watermelon // Bought pre-workout again (and didn't regret it for a second) // Walked with J in Washington Park almost every evening in the weeks leading up to the Bar Exam // Went on a few girl-dates to meet new friends // Took the Colorado Bar Exam, then got very drunk // My bestie, Kendra, sent me local cupcakes to celebrate // I went to my first CLE after the Bar Exam

This August... J and I got our wedding rings delivered in the mail // I continued working my butt off (literally) at my barre classes // I drove back to Iowa for Liz's wedding and loved helping her celebrate // I had another job interview in town // J and I flew to Hilton Head to see my family and to have a mini "vacation" after working so hard this summer // J left a few days before I did and didn't have any problems, but I got caught up in Delta's systems crash and didn't get home until two days after I was originally supposed to // Our friends Jay, Tyler, and Ella visited us in Denver! J had to work most of the week, but the rest of us went to Estes Park!

This September... I got some underwear for our wedding (made by a friend of mine who's kick ass at what she does - check her out!) // Got into running again // Had our pastor unexpectedly drop out of doing our ceremony, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because J and I got to create a very personal ceremony from scratch - plus, Jay agreed to officiate! // I discovered new areas I loved around town // J and I continued walking around Washington Park while the weather was still nice // One of my professors from law school was in town, so we chatted and had some coffee (then my Uber driver bailed) // I unsuccessfully tried to recreate the nachos we used to get in New Hampshire, but they were still really delicious! Plus, J thinks my homemade salsa could be award-winning, so I have that going for me // I went out for drinks to meet young lawyers in town // My little brother sent us lamps from our wedding registry - our bedroom has been "finished" for months now, but at the time, it seemed so complete and grown-up, haha! We do love those lamps, though // I continued working for law firms while I searched for a full-time job // My (now) husband is really, really cute // We went to see a Thursday show in town

This October... I went for a lot of walks around our neighborhood // J and I drove to Iowa for wedding prep // I was sorted into Hufflepuff (kind of) // We did errands and found ourselves outside of Wooly's, our wedding venue // I got my hair cut // I got my dress fitted for the last time // I found out that I passed the Bar Exam! // J and I headed into small-town Iowa to celebrate his grandma's birthday // My bridesmaids, family, and I got our nails done at a small salon in the East Village // My Harry Potter-themed bachorlette party was da bomb dot com! // We had our rehearsal dinner the Friday before our wedding // J and I got married!!! // We drove back to Denver a few days later, and my mom was kind enough to write "Just Married" all over the car in soap, haha. I loved it so much! // I hung up some signs from our wedding around our apartment and started dreaming about getting more tattoos // I also hung up some decorations from my bachorlette party (they're still up) // J and I drank (a lot) during the last Presidential debate // I had another job interview... and I got the job! // I started my new job!

This November... I got accepted to the Federal bar in Colorado as well as the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals! // I replanted some of the succulents left over from our wedding // I dragged J out of bed to go vote (he was happy to vote but not happy to be awake) // I had one of the worst nights of my life, but woke up ready to fight // My friend, Erica, got us tickets to see "Jersey Boys" as a wedding present, so we went out for a date night // My friend, Erin, took me out to the opera just for fun, and it was one of the best nights I've had this year. The setting of the opera was actually in Colorado, and I thought the show was charming, weird, perfect, and basically everything I love about opera. Erin gets me, haha // J and I went for another walk in Washington Park // I made homemade chicken noodle soup for the first time // I have a new baby (second) cousin! // I started purging our apartment of things we no longer use, need, or like // We "hosted" this year for Thanksgiving, so my parents and little brother flew into town  // Unfortunately, it's probably the last time we're hosting because James (one of our cats) scratched my mom's face and she had to go to the ER. She's totally fine, but it was terrifying // J and I bought a fake tree for the first time this year // My mom got me a gift for passing the bar exam!

This December... I got my latest Stitch Fix in the mail // I bought the cats a new scratching post, which they're obsessed with // I put up some Christmas lights in our bedroom // We tried out a new restaurant (Uncle), which is now one of our favorites // I dragged J to see the lights at the Botanic Center in town. It turned out to be a great night, even though he wasn't convinced at first // I made Christmas cookies // I had my very first court appearance as an attorney // My grandparents sent us a homemade Christmas tree skirt that I'm OBSESSED with! // I finally joined a gym in town and started working out again // I used my last LUSH bath bomb and treated myself to a bath with chill music while I read // I made gingerbread houses for the first time ever // I've been really good about working out this month // I made homemade Chex Mix with my mom's recipe // I took J out for a birthday dinner on Christmas Eve, which was incredible! // We both got quite a haul for Christmas // Everyone at my office was getting sick, so I took some Emergen-C - but given the glass I used to drink it, it looked like I was having red wine at noon, haha // I finally got my Colorado driver's license!

If you follow me on Facebook, I've made no secret about the fact that I've hated this year. 2016 has been one of the most stressful, heartbreaking years of my life. That isn't to say that good things haven't happened, particularly to me - I mean, I graduated, became a lawyer in two states, moved across the country, and got married to the love of my life. But I'm not filled with a lot of hope for the coming years, and that sucks. I've been feeling very down about the future lately.

That said, today is the first day of 2017, and I am feeling more hopeful today. I spent last night with Jacob and two new(ish) friends, drinking some kick-ass moscow mules and champagne, playing Cards Against Humanity, and mostly just talking. I don't think I realized how lonely I've been here until last night. We had so much fun, and I really needed that to end this terrible year. Ending on the right note.

So, here's to 2016 being over. Here's to all of our accomplishments this year, all of our worries, all of our pain, and all of our hopes for 2017. It's going to be a better year. We're smarter, stronger, wiser, and ready. Let's do it.


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