I’m back

This blog has gotten awfully dusty. First it was because I was in an unemployment-related funk and didn’t have anything to say. Then it was because I was having an inner struggle about how much is too much of yourself to reveal on the internet. Then it was because I was just too damn busy.

Well, better late than never. Things are going pretty well. I’m getting into the groove at work and feeling less like a rookie by the day. Tex got a promotion and even though his hours have gotten almost as long as mine, he’s really loving his job. Two months after the passing of our friend, I’m finally starting to feel back to normal. I’m sleeping better and feeling less “bleh” in general. I’ve still got a lot on my plate at work but it doesn’t feel quite so impossible.

I’ve been thinking more and more about having kids. NO, I’m not nearly ready to have them but we are going to become godparents in December. I suppose I need the practice. It seems like another friend or family member gets pregnant every week now (a lot of them are MY AGE!) and I just can’t wrap my head around it. I can barely handle taking care of myself and my husband right now. I just paid off my law school credit card debt, and now I’m getting ready to make a couple balloon payments on my car note before my student loan deferment ends. I mean, we wouldn’t be broke if we had a kid but it’s not just the money (because let’s face it, as long as parents want to give their kids the world no amount of money will be enough). But the time, the energy, the sheer monumental effort…geez louise. I’m not ready for that yet.

What I have come to realize is that money/work are not important to me. At least, not the way they seem to be to society at large. I need to focus on stacking paper while we’re living that DINK* life and just know that I will need to budget to live below my means after that. Because I’m not interested in being a full time working mom, nor do I want to be a housewife. I want something in between. I’d like to be a part-time/contract lawyer so I can set my own hours and only take on as many clients as I want to. But the full time firm lawyer thing is just not gonna cut it forever. But hey, as long as I’m making more than I would folding shirts at Macy’s I’m good.

It’s become solidified for me that I’m far more interested in “leaning in” to my husband and our family than any job. Tex and I have weathered many a storm during our first two years of marriage- extended unemployment, relocation, living with his parents, and the death of one of our closest friends. And being able to count on him during those times has made me fall more in love with him than ever. He’s the best part of my life (no pun intended). I’m not going to go to my deathbed regretting that I didn’t spend enough time working. I care about my career- I worked hard to become a lawyer and I enjoy it. But as long as we have enough money to meet our needs and take a few  vacations, I’m good.



*Dual income, no kids.


My friend died last weekend.

I was at the airport, heading home from my girlfriend’s wedding when Tex and I got the news. We had just seen him three weeks ago. Nobody knows what happened except that it was unknown natural causes, and he died at home with his parents.

I work for a solo practitioner, so I only took one day off and went back to work this week. But everything feels hard. I force myself to stuff the grief down long enough to do my job, which increasingly requires more and more hours. But I can feel it choking me as the demands and my to do list pile up and I fantasize about quitting, running away, yelling, screaming…anything but pretend my life is the same as it was before August 2, 2015.

The feeling of being overwhelmed at work will probably pass. If it doesn’t, I’ll explore options and figure something out. But my friend is not coming back. I’ll never get to go to his wedding, or invite his kids to play with mine, or watch a terrible movie and laugh about how bad it is. We won’t build his business together the way planned to. My only consolation is that he spent his life surrounded by the love of friends and family; there’s no question that he went to the other side knowing he’d be deeply, deeply missed.

And I’m still here, and Tex is still here, even though I know he’s trying even harder than I am to deal with the fact that his friend–no, really his brother–is gone.


Dollars and Sense

It pains me that raising the minimum wage is even a debate. In a capitalist society, you’d think that more money for everyone to spread around would be a good thing, but apparently not. Seems that a lot of folks are surprised, appalled, and even downright pissed that fast food workers dare ask for $15/hr. When it comes to money, it seems a lot of people can’t (or won’t) apply logic and just do the math. I swear Americans despise poor people because we’re all convinced that one day we’re gonna make it to the 1% even though statistics say that’s nearly impossible. I mean it’s the 1%, not the 99%, for crying out loud! I’ve seen a lot of chatter surrounding this thanks to the “Fight for $15” strikes that happened this week. I’ve got more to say than will fit in a tweet or a Facebook status, so I decided to dust off my blog and cut through the BS.

First, the entire point of creating a minimum wage was so that every person who made the effort to work full time would be able to feed themselves and their families. The analogy used by the Supreme Court in addressing that this law was constitutional was that if wages fall below a certain point, you are basically doing  slave labor.  Post- industrialization, women’s lib, and desegregation, the types of jobs that are relegated to minimum wage have changed. Factory assembly line jobs are  almost defunct. What hasn’t changed is that minimum wage jobs are typically thought to be disposable. The fact is, somebody has to take out the trash. Somebody has to flip the burgers we eat two and three times a week. Somebody has to fold the cheap clothes we buy from Target and Old Navy. Somebody has to be the mall security guard. Somebody has to drive the metro bus. For whatever reason, it’s easy to ignore the issue because fast food workers are apparently not worthy of a living wage.

There’s a lot of talk about how raising the minimum wage will destroy ambition. That has not and will never be true. Minimum wage is still minimum, and $30,000/yr is just  barely comfortable for a new college graduate. It certainly isn’t enough to support the kind of lifestyle that most people would be content with living forever. And I’d bet money that raising the minimum wage would get more people into the workforce and off welfare. Why? Because in some states, you can actually live just as (un)comfortably on food stamps and Section 8 housing as you can working a full time minimum wage job- and you’ll have a lot more free time to boot. If you already grew up in the projects, why work harder to stay in the same place? Hell, there are professional women quitting their jobs to be homemakers because their $50,000 salary won’t cover the daycare they need to be able to work, much less the additional food, clothing and shelter costs children entail.

“But fast food isn’t meant to be a career”, you say.” Well, teenagers can’t work full time because they have school. Most retirees don’t want to work, and age discrimination screens out most of the rest of them. To reiterate, as long as we demand cheap consumer goods we need low wage workers to provide them. Some of those workers will inevitably be adults with families. Well, as discussed above, there’s a demand and a need for minimum wage jobs. No economy can support a 100% white collar workforce. At that point, the cost of living would skyrocket because we’d be importing groceries and paying jacked up rates to keep the lights on. Even if everyone could afford to attend college, not everyone would want to- and that’s perfectly fine. Doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to live. But even if college was compulsory, we’d just end up with a whole bunch of degreed burger flippers.

What’s sad is that is seems like people need someone to feel superior to. Sure, maybe you make only marginally more than the Wendy’s manager- at least you have a degree, so you can call yourself elite. In reality we need a raise in wages, minimum or not, across the board. Subsidies and tax breaks for corporations have kept the prices of consumer goods low, but wages have remained stagnant. Even wages for professional jobs have not kept up with inflation because corporate profit margins are bigger than ever before. Nobody wants to advocate for bettering the lot of the poor because we all believe that someday we’ll be millionaires. Truth is, if you don’t own real estate, stocks, bonds, and a trust fund, it’s just a matter of how many missed paychecks it will take for you to end up on welfare.

The lesson of the day? Stay woke. Capitalism will chew you up and spit you out.




Dear Eloquii, Again

Eloquii is back, and I think it’s here to stay.

From the time they launched, there hasn’t been a month that I haven’t seen one of their pieces featured in a fashion magazine or on a fashion blog. The styling is gorgeous and I drool over every new lookbook that drops. But I don’t have unlimited shopping funds, and lawyers don’t get to wear jeans to work. It seemed like Eloquii was going to focus on casual and cocktail attire. But recently, the workwear section of the site has exploded. While there are only a couple of options for coordinated suiting, there are lots of good mix match options. One of the things I dislike about my profession is the conservative dress code- I like to be comfortable and cute, and suits tend to be neither. But I’ve finally found pants that fit properly, blazers without shoulder pads that accommodate a larger bust, and pretty, stylish blouses. So in addition to being my first stop for special occasion dresses and trendy casual clothes, Eloquii has rounded things out with workwear that’s both fun and appropriates. And FINALLY, someone has done plus-size blazers in a variety of cuts and styles- traditional, open, collarless, notched collar, the list goes on. And their signature pant is available in short, regular and long inseams, saving you a trip to the tailor. Eloquii isn’t perfect, but it is improving. While still plagued by  polyester (is it just because scuba fabric is the new hot thing and it’s always a polyester/spandex blend?), I’m seeing cotton, rayon and silk pop up in the new items. This is excellent because in Houston it doesn’t get below 75 degrees for 8 months of the year. (Wearing polyester on top of polyester in dark colors is not what you want here. Ever.)

In the past month, I’ve purchased some version of all the items below and have my eye on several others. I love all my new pieces and feel great wearing them! The color blocking, fit and seaming details really make all the difference in elevating these from your plain old boring work clothes. I hope that Eloquii continues to put out great quality fashion at affordable prices.

Eloquii workwear



$69 – nordstrom.com

On the come up.



Good news! I found a job as a lawyer! I really enjoy the work, my boss is supportive and treats me with respect, and I have a 10-15 minute commute. Plus, now that we have a second income I can finally replace my car, buy tickets to fly out for Jaleesa’s fall wedding, and upgrade my wardrobe. The car thing is pretty urgent- I have just one working window, the A/C is out, the engine idles high, it starts up sluggishly…it could probably be repaired, but the repairs would certainly cost more than its current value. So things are pretty good. My one regret is that I didn’t negotiate better for my salary- I was so dumbstruck when I received the offer that I couldn’t think straight! But this is my first real job, I’m making enough for us to have some significant breathing room in our budget, and if I bring in a case I receive a healthy chunk of the fees. My boss has also said several times in the three weeks I’ve been working that he’s impressed with me, so come this time next year I should have ample ammunition to broach the subject of a raise. 

I know part of my unease comes from the fact that I’ve been worried about money virtually since I knew what it was. A part of me is terrified that I’ll never have an opportunity to make more money, so even the loss of a couple hundred dollars a month extra is going to tragically limit me down the line. Never mind that I’m in a profession with unlimited earning potential, or that my husband is a computer engineer working at a universally recognized company who will almost certainly be making  six figures within a decade. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I suffer from “poverty brain“- I’ve never gone hungry or been out on the street, but I knew growing up that we didn’t have a lot of money for extras. I suppose I suffered from a bit of cognitive dissonance. My parents are educated and cultured. They took us to the zoo, the ballet, gave us music lessons and SAT prep classes. I went to college on scholarship, so I had to scrimp and save money for my spring break trips that left me broke for the rest of the month. And after experiencing long term unemployment and having to uproot my life to live my in-laws, I know that the cost of living is not as cheap as you want it to be.

On the flip side, we don’t currently live an extravagant lifestyle, and I plan to keep it that way. I don’t want to end up like all the Baby Boomers who fell for the lie that the economy could expand ad infinitum and trapped themselves into bloated mortgages, too-big houses, a new car note every decade, and the other trappings of conspicuous consumption, and therefore can’t retire. I’m working on trying to pare down my wardrobe and buy only affordable, but quality pieces (no more Payless or Forever 21!) that I love and will wear regularly. I’m drawing up a new budget this weekend to make sure we don’t fritter away our second income stream on things that won’t appreciate.  But I know I also need to work on being thankful, present and faithful. This isn’t the first or the last opportunity that God has for me and I need to act like it.



January Goals Report


24 workouts,

+ 2.5lbs

222,293 steps/97.34 miles walked

Average ~40 oz of water per day

This month was a success overall. I definitely committed to moving my body more and it while it isn’t second nature, it doesn’t feel like such an ordeal either. I realized  that I don’t necessarily need 64 oz of water a day to feel hydrated. I don’t sweat a whole lot in general, and very little right now outside of workouts since it’s still winter. On most of the days where I drank that much water, I felt like I was literally sloshing around inside and had to get up in the middle of the night to pee.

As you can see, I actually gained a little bit of weight this month. I was feeling bad but had to adjust my thinking. I’ve been tracking my calories and while I was not a paragon of healthy eating, my intake wasn’t noticeably different than it has been the past couple of months. The actual numbers don’t support that weight gain from eating, so I was forced to conclude that I had actually gained muscle weight. I’ve been doing a lot of strength training this month, especially weighted lunges, squats and leg presses. My measurements haven’t changed yet (it has only been 4 weeks after all), but my pants are fitting a little better and my tush is looking a little higher. This month I plan to incorporate a diet-based goal so I’m sure that will make a difference in my results.

Still, I’m trying to focus on the journey and not the end goal. I’m sleeping better and feeling stronger. I’m proving to myself day by day that I can be a fit, athletic person. I’m working my life around exercise instead of vice versa. Slow and steady wins the race!