Friday, March 3, 2023


Hi everyone! (And Landon's girlfriend who has apparently found this blog, according Landon, who seemed tickled by the whole thing.) Since we last spoke I have turned 40 and the wisdom of the universe has been bestowed upon me.

It's nice.
Honestly, turning 40 was pretty great and I've decided I'm going to stick with it for a few years. Forget 39, 40 is where it's at. I have MANY highlights from the last two weeks, so this will be more of a bullet point list by picture.
Last week I flew to New York for work. I deeply love that city.
Even when it rains.

Or maybe especially when it rains- makes me feel like I've earned its greatness for the day. I packed my waterproof Blondo booties, the gorgeous Burberry trench coat James surprised me with for Valentine's last year, my Lo & Sons travel backpack, and my V&E branded umbrella I took from a recruiting event and I WALKED.
To and from lunch, to and from dinner, and around and around and around the city before work.
On Tuesday night I got to have dinner with our amazing female NY partners and had an absolute blast.
It was actually my one-year anniversary of returning to private practice and the firm and celebrating with this group of smart, badass, powerful women was absolutely perfect.
I didn't get to post on my anniversary, but it feels like both less than a year and more than one, in all the best ways. I've spent it traveling and speaking and building a practice after a decade in the government. It has been so hard and so scary and so incredibly exciting. It ended up involving two moves and huge changes for James and the kids. It’s required new routines, new support, new ways of doing nearly everything, from getting the kids to school in the morning, to learning how to save documents, open new client matters, and send bills. And it has been perhaps the best year of my life.

I LOVE my job. I love being a lawyer. I love counseling my clients through difficult situations and being an expert resource and guide. I love connecting with other attorneys and experts and professionals. I love being a partner and contributing to the firm and mentoring our associates. I love the badass women who are not just surviving but thriving in this field and I will never stop wanting to hear their stories of success. It's been a great year, and I'm certain turning 40 is going to make it that much better.

I woke up early to use the hotel gym on Wednesday before flying home, because that's a thing I do now. It feels so dang good.
Then, sweaty and pink-faced, I was walking on the elevator to head back to my room, and I hear, "is that Rebecca?!!" I pull my airpods and look around and it's an attorney I started at V&E with in Austin in the fall of 2008!! He now lives in Denver, I'm in Dallas, and somehow we were both in NYC and walking into/out of the same elevator in the basement of the Hyatt Andaz on 5th Avenue at 9:10 a.m. And he was with another attorney I worked with and summered with at V&E in Austin and haven't seen in years. I've always said NYC makes me feel like the world is so big and so small and then I got to live it.
I went out to dinner with friends the night I got back and I wore a sequined shirt that felt very "I'm turning 40."
The meal was fabulous and the company better. Because we just moved (again), I ended up being able to celebrate in tranches- a dinner with old friends, a night out with a new best friend, shopping with my mom, time with family... it was a perfect representation of my slices of life.

In keeping with that theme, I had a spa night with my new bestie at work who I feel so very lucky to have in my life. It was my first fancy spa trip EVER, my first massage in way too many years, and it was WONDERFUL. Highly highly recommend The Joule if you're in Dallas. It was everything I wanted it to be and more.
On Friday my mom drove over from Houston for our traditional birthday shopping which began in 2002 when I was in college and she'd visit, take me out to lunch, and then we'd go to TJ Maxx or Marshall's to spend my birthday money. She always found treasures I couldn’t see and she always pushed my sartorial boundaries.
In Fort Worth we discovered the Dillards clearance center and our shopping hit new heights. Then we moved to Dallas and I wondered how our shopping would carry on. But never fear. There is a Dillards Clearance Center in Irving, a mere 30 minutes away! We’d never been to another Dillards, how would it compare? Could we recapture the magic Gigi drove from Houston to see? We need not have feared.

Mom, as we walk into a Dirty Dillards somehow even bigger and more ruthlessly organized than the one in Fort Worth: “Oh. Oh wow. I mean, it’s a little overwhelming. We might be here all day.
Mom, taking charge and immediately getting lost, “We start with the shoes! I’ve always needed a pair gold shoes. Do I need black shoes? I always think I do but I’m not sure that’s right. Oh there’s no silver shoes for me, I’m so disappointed.” [walks out holding 3 other pairs in gold and black]

Mom, moving on to dresses, “I don’t think I can be held responsible for what happens here.”

Mom, in the skirts section, “Oh my gosh Rebecca, THIS SKIRT! with a crop top??!!

Mom, walking ahead as I drag our basket behind me, “I guess I should have gotten my own cart.”
Me, “Yeah I was surprised that you wanted to share.
Mom, “Well I didn’t. I was hoping you’d just volunteer to push both.”

Mom, in separates, “OH MY GOSH REBECCA!!
[holds up gold and silver metallic crushed velvet leggings, speechless]
Mom, back in dresses, “okay, I have to be VERY picky. I have very specific needs now that I’m retired.”
[moments later, five dresses in hand]
Rebecca look! I found a dress that doesn’t check ANY of my boxes!”
In the end we walked 8,000+ steps and 4+ miles all inside a Dillards. We finished the day with wine and pizza at the kitchen table, our carefully selected bounty before us, basking in the glow of all the money we saved and the new birthday memories we made.
On Saturday, my birthday!, I woke up to the sweetest surprise decorations. Apparently I fell asleep quickly and James and the kids reconvened and went downstairs to decorate the table. It's the cutest tradition.
My mom headed home, I worked out, worked a bit, hung out with the fam, and got dressed for our fancy dinner in one of my new Dillard's finds.
We don't usually take the kids to what I'd call a "date night" restaurant and it was great dressing up and having them there. I wore one of my new dresses and opened my sweet cards and ate all the food.
It was an utterly lovely day. I love this crew of mine so much and this man most of all.
On Sunday Bonnie came over for our Spring styling! My love and respect for her only grows- she is just so talented and makes my clothes sing. This time we also talked about a few things I could look for to add to my wardrobe, like looser white pants and a crisp button-down.
After a walk, I got ready to meet a friend from Fort Worth at a bowling lounge place. She was driving over for my birthday and we were all going to join. When we arrived, I turned the corner and WHAT?!!
I absolutely never thought there would be any sort of party- we just moved, my FW friends are an hour away and busy, so many of my friends are scattered throughout the country, I just hoped I could maybe have a party in a couple years, sort of a "I'm in my 40's!" shindig.
And yet, my sweet sweet work friend had found James's website online and reached out to him and they put something together with some of our FW friends and new work friends and it warmed my whole heart.
A coworker made these hilarious signs of me and Maggie and everyone was wearing them over their faces when I walked in.
Maggie really liked hers.
We ended the weekend with family dinner and playing Life.
This week I was in Miami for work, wearing Bonnie's outfits, of course, and I'm in Austin next week (Bonnie's outfits already selected), but we'll talk about that later (though hi to Caroline! a blog reader who happened to sitting at my table at one point during the WWCDA annual meeting!).

James is at a swim meet in another city and the kids and I ordered pizza and are watching a movie and I am reflecting on the last week and am just so excited about the decade ahead. In the next 10 years all 3 of my kids will go to college (sob, omg, but also a little bit of squee!), we will hopefully not move, we will travel a lot, everyone will learn to drive, I will still be lawyering, and James will probably still be swimming.

~ Continue to find ways to keep movement and exercise in my life. It's annoying but it makes me feel a million times better to be strong and fit and flexiblen and it's worth the committment and earlier alarm to do so.
~ Continue to prioritize family time. Set boundaries around it, enforce them (to myself and my increasingly busy kids), and soak up this last decade with kids in our house (SOB).
~ Appreciate James to the fullest. He deserves it.
~ Keep up with the little things. The thank you's, the appreciation, and putting pen/text to thoughts of friends far and wide when I have them.
~ Enjoy what's in front of me.

Here's to 40!


  1. happy birthday girl!!! 40s are great. I am slightly shocked you never get massages! Massages are the BEST. I love them and one every 1-2 months. Early hotel workouts are also awesome and every time I read your posts I'm like WOW my wardrobe is minimal (maybe b/c i spend all my $ on massages). Ha!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    1. Ha! I know, I love massages but the time/expense combo, and the fact I have to actually schedule one, particularly in a new city, just means it never happens. But they're so wonderful. I need to indulge more.

  2. Happy birthday! I'm exactly one year ahead of you and it's fair to say celebrating my 41st bday not quite as exciting as last year! Love reading your blog, thank you for sharing. ☺️

    1. Haha, that seals it then - 40 for the next 3 years at least. And thank you!!

  3. happy birthday! it has been great to get a glimpse of your transition back to private practice (and to see how different that transition can look based on how it's handled and practice area--you really hit it out of the park). congratulations on all your success in and outside of the office!

    1. Thank you P2P!! It's been a wonderful year and I'm even more excited about what's ahead!

  4. Happy belated birthday! Just popping in to say I'm obsessed with your wardrobe. The rainbow sequin shirt, I die!