Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Bit of Q&A to Spice Things Up

I fear that this blog has become dull. I've just been reporting what we've been up to, and while we're generally busy, it can't be all that interesting to read. There are a few topics I'd like to address, each of which have a half-written post swimming around in my head (examples: why California's Proposition 8 makes me sad and angry; the irritating fact that I have never once been asked what I do at JP's MBA events but the male spouse standing next to me is always asked that question during the introductory cocktail chatter), but I haven't had time to write them out. So I'm opening it up to you all- I need questions to answer. You can ask anything, though I won't guarantee I'll answer everything (although I might, you never know). I'd like to just have a list that I can address on the days I end up not writing anything because I don't want to bore myself and anyone else with a blow-by-blow of the events of the night before.

So, law school, pregnancy, lawyering, background, Austin, Chicago, marriage, shoe shopping, my favorite color - what do you want to know?


  1. i always enjoy your political commentary, and as someone quite invested in no to prop 8 (we plan on getting married in ca next summer if it's still legal), i'd love to hear your take as a happily married, heterosexual woman. (i hope our ability to get married doesn't threaten the state of your marriage. hehe.)

    also, re: politics, i'd love updates on the discussions you and jp are having so close to the election...

    and always, i love landon updates and musings on raising a toddler.

    i'll read anything you write, honestly :)

  2. I'm curious how you feel about your job security. I work at a medium-sized firm (gave up big firm life for a small town) and I'm feeling pretty ok, but it's hard not to worry.

  3. I may have missed this, but how did the bar go? Did you get your results? A couple of lawyers in my family and I remember how nerve racking that time was.

  4. I've really enjoyed the things that you've written about law firm life and about balancing your work with motherhood - but since right now I feel completely saturated with legal things - maybe something non-legal - celebrity? who do you think landon takes after? what's the vacation that you dream of taking? if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? those are just some thoughts :)

  5. When I was being "courted" to attend a particular law school, my husband and I attended at least 10 social gatherings and at each and every one, at least 5 people asked him what he did for a living. It annoyed me at the time and I wondered how/why it was relevant. I was the one considering attending law school, yet not one person asked me what I did "for a living." What?!?!

    It wasn't like the conversation was awkward and the quiet spaced needed to be filled, it wasn't at all-people simply had to know what HE did for a living. I hate that this is the defining characteristic for many people, and it annoys me even more to realize that most people define MEN this way, yet the same people do not define women this way. It's either both or neither, people!


    Tracy (frequent reader, VERY rare commenter)

  6. I always enjoy your blog. Your writing style is such that even day-to-day updates are entertaining. My adult daughter and I just began writing our own blog, and we'd like your ideas on how to best grow a readership. Right now it seems we're the only ones reading each other's posts. Fun, but it would be nice to have some outside comments!

  7. Do you and JP feel pressured to live a certain lifestyle given your careers? I'm really asking this for selfish motives - Ends is about to buy a house and I have input (just not financial!) and we are getting a lot of criticism from some other lawyers and their wives about the part of town he'll probably buy in because "That's not where lawyers live" and "People will think you're unsuccessful if you live there." It's really weird to us and I know you just bought a house, so I was wondering if you'd dealt with that problem at all.

  8. work-life balance. fitness. SHOES, of course. staying happy.

  9. Not so much a question as a comment on your experience at MBA events. First of all, that's terrible. Second, I'm not surprised.

    Here's a little story of my own that adds some fuel to that fire: at orientation, at an event to which spouses were not invited, another student asked me whose wife I was. In a "who do you belong to?" kind of way. When I explained that I was in the MBA program the other student (a male, international student--maybe something was lost in translation) reacted with surprise.

    What is so surprising about the fact that some women are MBA students and other women have significant and interesting career responsibilities worth asking about?

  10. first, thank you for your blog. i really do appreciate it. i am an avid reader since you found out the sex of landon!

    I concur about the economy/workflow issue, especially in corporate.

    Also, I'm going to be on a panel about having a baby in law school. what should the topics be? i know you sort of think you should have waited, i respect that, i want to know if there's any other advice to give. i guess "be careful, you can't plan everything - you might have a baby with colic or who has higher needs than you think"?

    also, and I'm not sure that this will come off right, and i really dont mean it in a bad way, but do you think that perhaps your naive in thinking that having a baby so early in your career won't hurt you? i mean, i guess i'm curious if you feel like you're making tradeoffs, or if you havent had to yet . . .

  11. I'm want to hear about your decision to move to Austin... Sometimes I wonder about moving to a town with a lower cost of living, but most are much smaller legal markets, so that would make it hard to move, especially in this market and with corporate law. I know you're from TX and have family there, JP is in school there and you went to school in Austin, so it probably doesn't really compare, but do you think you would have stayed in Chicago this year if JP wasn't going to school? Any general thoughts on relocating to smaller corporate markets or smaller towns (especially with a family)?

    Also, please write about Prop 8. That is one of the only reasons I am voting in this election (as a CA voter). You would die if you saw some of the ads they're airing about it (it's one of the most visible propositions in the media this election).

    BTW, I don't think your blog has gotten dull. I, for one, am glad that it is filled with you just living a happy life rather than frustrating drama that you have to deal with!

  12. i about that mex. cheesecake dip recipe? c'mon now. I'm waaaay over here in New England so nobody you know will ever get it from me! ;-)...unless you don't mind if i put it on my blog and link back to you for the credit!

  13. I'm a current 1L at a low ranking school, and I was wondering about your thoughts as a recent grad, as a law school mom, and as someone who has recently been on the other side of an interview about a few topics.
    First, not to sound cocky or anything, but if I do well this year, is it better to be a big fish in a small pond, or have a more prestigious name on your degree?
    Second, my husband and I are 25, and we want to have our first child some time in the next few (2-5) years, I know that at times you have questioned your decision to have a child while in law school, but given the knowledge that you have now, would you do the same thing all over again?
    Finally, your blog starts at the beginning of your second year, do you have any advice for a 1L student? In terms of studying, balancing responsibilities at school and at home, and trying to have a quasi-social life?

  14. I've always been curious about your decision to marry so young.Or was it not a decision and more of a foregone conclusion? Did you consider waiting a few years? or did you always know that you'd marry young if you met the right person while you were still in college? Or in your "circle" is marriage right out of college not considered young at all?

    I guess if I'd met my husband in college rather than 5 years later, I might have considered marrying in my early twenties, but as it is, I am SO GRATEFUL that I had those years on my own, to try on different hats and make my own way in life before sharing my life with another person (now several people).

  15. to ds- i'm not LL, but i can tell you that if you can, you should transfer to a higher-ranked school. i am at T10 school that takes more transfers than any other, and they all do realy well - especially because they end up high in our class, too, because their 1L grades count in their GPA. if you want to be a big firm, definitely.

  16. It is very odd that you posted this..... because 1) I LOVE your blog, and almost feel guilty when I have gone a week and haven't read it... and 2) was literally just thinking - you never post about upset with you and JP. My conclusions are either you are smarter then I - and have figured out fighting with him (besides the political debates) gains nothing. Or you seriouly never? disagree?? :)

    I am 100 percent certain I have met the person I will (finally!) spend the rest of my life with. He and I are so alike and so opposite - no one else could ever love me or hate me the way he does. I do wish I had met him 20 years ago, but we wouldn't be so perfect together if we had. We are a blended family with five kids at home, and two out the door! We both are work-aholics and balance with kids and jobs is not possible, and neither of us expects the other to be perfect. But even in all that... he is the number one person that can sent my Itailan blood boiling beyond belief. When I blog... it is to resolve what ever life crisis he has created. I do blame it purely on poor genetics, and often rationalize he is unable to NOT do those insanely stupid things... and yes, I still love him dearly.

    What do you really disagree on?

    And no, I don't think life can't be happy and fullfilling without drama. I think more then anything... I'm simply jealous yours is!

    Daina :)

  17. My fiance is applying to MBA programs for next year (he's actually looking at UT) that's depressing to know what I may have to face ahead of me. I really enjoy your blog and always find your posts insightful. I'm always intersted in hearing about how you balance it all and also how understanding your colleagues at work seem to be. With my current situation at the firm I'm working at it's nice to hear there are firms out there where I could potentially be happy and still have a life outside of the office. Who knows, maybe if we end up in Austin...

  18. As a new mom myself, I love to read your reflections on motherhood and decisions you make. You're doing so great with Landon, but I wonder if you ever think about things you would do differently if you had it to do over again (or if you decide to have another baby sometime in the future). Things like your decision not to breastfeed (I don't mean to criticize, really), how you chose a day care and a pediatrician, and general parenting style things. Which of your choices do you think were great, and which have you reconsidered?

  19. I don't know that I have a specific question right now, but I do still enjoy reading your updates. Your life is very different than mine, but having just gone back to work after four years home with my kids, reading your perspective on working and being a mom has been very helpful.

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  22. To Diana,

    I've met the guy who is the one for me, knew I'd marry him about as soon as LL did her JP (i.e. within a week).

    And yet, we have had a couple of late night sessions, far more intense discussions than I've had with anyone else. And yes, he can make me seethe with frustration at his attitudes to some things (although he is 100% good and well intentioned).

    I think, because he's the right one for me, and is good, and I love him unconditionally, it's safe to argue like that (in a respectful way).

    Anyway, LL, still love your blog.
    Would be interested in knowing more about swimming scholarships, whether JP can still swim for UT as a grad student or if that's just an undergrad thing (coming from a different country). And what happens with scholarships - do you get them for the full 4 years, or renewable each year? What if you get injured - do you lose the scholarship?

    Also, opinions on Sarah Palin and feminism - Marcia Reynolds has written some good stuff, would be interested in your thoughts.

    Keep it up - you're always my favourite blog to read on my feed!

  23. Those are great topics to write about! Someone besides me has to rant angrily about politics and feminism!! :D

    I want to know if after three years of law school hell, it was all worth it!

  24. Do litigators at your firm in Austin seem happy? We're thinking about the city again.

    Also, DS: You want to transfer up if you can. Trust me. This profession is like that.

  25. Seems like you are very close to your parents. What is the best thing about them/their parenting style that you'd like to emulate to Landon? What parenting mistake would you like to avoid?

  26. I started following around the new year and have been addicted ever since...and have read posts previous to my being a stalker of your blog, so I was all caught up to date on the Landon situations.

    I love your style of writing...even if it is just every day life events. Why is it so addicting to read about other people's lives?

    We're total opposites, so I'm not sure exactly what attracts me other than being complete opposites...

    You're in a big city, my husband and I are in the country..rural country.

    You're a lawyer, my husband is a pharma rep and I work in the agriculture industry.

    You have a young child, we have no children (although that will change in March).

    So, I have no idea LL what exactly to ask you, b/c really, I always enjoy whatever it is that's on your mind for the day.

    I will compliment you though on your lifestyle change...things seem so much more calm in your life than when you were in Chicago with a younger, sicker, fussier Landon....I hope you feel the improvements all the same!

  27. I love just reading about your life; your blog is written so well. I have a son who's almost 4, and it's fun to re-live that toddler stage. I'd like to hear more about how you cope with your MIL. Mine is horrible, and she's big the source of 90% of the fights in my marriage.

  28. Hi LL,

    I love your blog. I don't think things are boring at all around here. Once you went back to work, I was really interested to see how you would balance your family life.

    I am interested in the story about the social gathering at your husband's school. You have an amazing job, and I am surprised people aren't more curious about what you do.

  29. I don't think your blog is dull. I also like hearing your realistic perspective on work life balance. I don't mean this condescedingly at all, but for someone your age (more than 10 years younger than me) you have a really good head on your shoulders and perspective on life.
    I realize this is a super personal question, but I'm interested in your perspective on having more than one kid. Also any thoughts on budget, financial planning etc. especially in light of the meltdown and you and your husband's differing political views.

  30. I had actually planned to ask you this in an email, but this is a perfect opportunity!

    My cousin and his new wife live in Austin and I want to get them a gift certificate for a nice dinner out. Where would you suggest?

  31. After all of Landon's health issues, did you ever rethink your decision not to breastfeed? I can't help but wonder how much that could have helped him.

  32. I would be interested in hearing your religious views, and, like others, would be interested in your choice not to breastfeed.