Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lingering on the Weekend

This was a wonderful weekend.

I had my first-ever meet up with bloggers, one current and one former, and both utterly lovely. They came over to the house Saturday morning to meet the Landon and then we met up that night for queso and margaritas (and entrees, but for me it was all about the queso and margaritas). It was especially wonderful to meet PT-LawMom in person as she was so unbelievably supportive during the DCFS nightmare. Without even knowing me in real life, she set up and deposited the first amount in our "defense fund" and to this day I'm amazed at her heart and generosity.

[An aside on something that is old and no longer relevant but has been bothering me for 17 months, so I'm going to write about it anyway: PT mentioned that people gave her crap for helping us financially when JP was an investment banker and therefore must be making 6 figures and we must have buckets of money lying around. While JP was an i-banker, he worked for a boutique firm way out in the suburbs, and made less than 1/3 of what I do now (including bonus). We saw him most nights and every weekend and he got to do more interesting things than your average first-year analyst, so it was a worthwhile trade-off. But two people living in Chicago with a baby on a $40,000 salary? We were very, very careful and there were no buckets of money.

That really upset me at the time- that people thought we were rolling in dough and still asking for a handout, but I was too distracted by other accusations to deal with it. As a proudly self-sufficient person, the fact we had to ask for money still bothers me so much I sometimes can't sleep. But as I said then, 90% of our help was from family and close friends; the anonymous ones played a large role because they gave such a boost of hope- that someone who didn't know you would believe you and want to help.

Wow, that was a shitty time. Let's go back to the present that is so, so far removed from that nightmare that most of the time I can barely believe it happened to us at all.]

So, the weekend- it was good. In addition to the blogger reunion on Saturday (is it a reunion if you've never meet before?), I also planted an herb garden! I now have sweet basil, cilantro, and lemon thyme growing in a pretty little planter along our back deck. I have no idea if those were good to pick for a planter, but they're the herbs I frequently buy fresh at the store. The basil smells so good I keep sticking my face in it when I go outside- last night I dreamed dreams of homemade Margherita pizza. I have no experience with these things, but I only killed one of the plants we had hanging on the back deck from last summer, so I'm very optimistic about my little herbs.

Today we worked on a stone path in the backyard (and by "we" I mean JP, Landon and I "helped") and then had friends over for a hot dog cookout. It smelled like summer and I kept having very strong flash backs to my childhood. The smell of a charcoal grill, the sight of colorful bowls of fruit and chips, the sound of children laughing, parents talking- all on a gorgeous sapphire sky kind of day. It was a really, really nice afternoon. Landon and his friend (7 months older) were hilarious- chasing each other and banging on the slide and secretly trying to eat rocks together. I can feel myself relaxing just remembering it. I swear the sound of Landon laughing adds the years back to my life that his first 12 months took away.

And now I'm sitting in the study trying to work on the Complaint I mentioned Friday. I still don't know what I'm doing, I'm still afraid of the blank word document in front of me, but I've got such a happiness hangover from the weekend I'm having a hard time being concerned. I'm sure it'll hit me full force in the form of panic tomorrow morning, but right now all I can think about is Landon and Friend going doing the slide together and giggling the whole way down.


  1. That sounds wonderful! I am so happy that the weather is starting to get warm for good!

  2. Ha! I read your comment about the investment banker thing. I've been working a $40,000 a year lawyer job that was temporary and I am facing unemployment. Just before getting laid off I had medical issues and I was urging my doctor to take care of them quickly while I still had insurance. She looked at me wide eyed and said, "But you're a lawyer!" Yeah, like that's the answer to the easy life.
    I'm sure you're going to be hearing it now occasionally as a lawyer, and you're supporting your family while your husband is finishing school and paying back your loans.

  3. Aw, thanks, I had a fantastic time meeting you, too. I'm so glad we were able to work it out. And Landon is even more precious than in his photos, if that is possible! I just wish I could have captured all his cuteness on film.

    And, p.s., I would have wanted to help whether you were "rolling in it" or not. It never even occurred to me to ask or think about it until the doubters came out. That's just what I was raised to do. You lend a hand when someone needs it and, if nothing else, you guys needed moral support and I hope that those who came out in support outweighed the few doubtful ones. (((HUGS)))

  4. I would assume that ANYONE facing such a nightmare of legal issues would need (and should get) a little help. Particularly a legal issue stemming from an accusation that was complete crap.

    So glad you had a nice weekend.

  5. Oh jealousy, jealousy! I've only ever met one blogger - it was a great time but I'm dying to meet more! I'm thinking about going to blogher this year. It's in Chicago so it wouldn't be a huge trip or anything, but it's damn expensive. Maybe I'll create my own blogher and call it "bloghre."

  6. Aren't baby friends the best thing ever?

  7. You're making me crave summer! Long sunny days, bbq, friends ... ahhh.

    And I think you, PT Law Mom and New Duck are on to something ... MILP retreat 2009! ;)

  8. I'm jealous - it sounds like fun!

    I have to say, I find the people who think that all lawyers and investment bankers and the like are going to make a ton of money hilarious. I mean - you've got the loans you have to pay off. Even if you work at a big firm and make 6 figures, you're paying loans. And only a very very few actually work at a big firm. Most people just barely make it. Anyway, I've always thought it was bizarre and people who go to law school thinking it'll make them rich are seriously misguided.