Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It Isn't Over

I thought that this dream of mine was over. Well, at least for now...and I was okay with that. I had finally accepted the fact that law school would not be happening. A friend of mine, one who has played a valuable role in my journey to law school, perfectly summed up my experience -- It's like sprinting full speed ahead, and then hitting a brick wall. 

Yep, that's it in a nutshell.

In my last "law school saga" post, I wrote about retaking the LSAT in September, applying to a new batch of law schools, and beginning my legal studies next fall. Then, one night while Keith and I were on a date, a switch was flipped. We were discussing our future, and how retaking the LSAT/applying to new schools guarantees that our family will be moving again (for the sixth time in 4 years) and potentially to a place without any family, friends, or support. Keith works anywhere from 50-80 hours a week, and if we've no family or friends, then our children will be raised by strangers. 

And it was at that moment I realized that I can't do that to them. Gavin and Arabella come first. As much as I know with all of my heart that becoming a lawyer is what I'm meant to do, I also know that now isn't the time. I tried, and it didn't work out. 

My next step is going to be to finish my Master's. I've changed my major to Human Services Counseling with a Criminal Justice cognate, and I'll go from there. If I end up going to law school later in life, that would be incredible. If not, then I have to believe that that's what is best for myself and for my family. 

So, that's it, right? Everything is figured out.


So, so wrong. 

You see, I decided all of the above in July. I had accepted my current scenario, but never stopped thinking about law school. One night, I decided to look for law programs offered in an online format. I found a few of those, but none that were accredited by the American Bar Association. No accreditation = no bar exam = no way to become a practicing attorney. Then, I found a law school in California that is 100% online, but you're only allowed to take the California bar. That option didn't work either.

Then, I hit the jackpot.

I found a brand new program that begins in January 2015 at William Mitchell College of Law. It's called the Hybrid Program and would allow me to complete each semester's work online. (!!!!!) I would have to visit their campus in St. Paul, Minnesota 9 times over four years for a Capstone week at the end of each semester, as well as at the beginning of 1L. This program is accredited, which means I can take the bar and become a practicing attorney, and is a perfect fit for me! 


Am I dreaming? 

It feels like a dream. 

It feels like the game was over, and then straight out of left field, I've been given one. more. chance. I've already applied, and am just praying my little heart out that I am accepted. I know that God has this under control, and if I'm not accepted now, then He has something better in store. However, I have a good feeling about this. God closed the door for me at Charleston Law, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if the heartbreak and confusion led me to William Mitchell. 

If you're reading this and feeling hopeless, loss, or defeated, I want you to know that it's not over until He says that it's over. Never give up. Never give in. Turn that frown upside down. Keep fighting. You never know what your future holds. 

For me, I hope that the future is a lovely school in Minnesota. :)

No. 16 - Have Breakfast at Tiffany's

My family and I recently visited New York City, and we started our last day of sightseeing by having breakfast at Tiffany's! We stopped by Starbucks and picked up a few Everything bagels, cream cheese, a frappuccino for Keith and a strawberry lemonade blend for me, and made our way to 5th Avenue! The kiddos ate breakfast in their stroller, and we took pictures and enjoyed the view. It was a dreary morning, but I loved reliving a Holly Golightly moment. :)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

11 Months and 2 Years 4 Months

It's been quite a while since I've written one of these updates, but it's never to late to jump back on the blog to document my sweet babies' lives.

Arabella Therese 

Sleeping and Eating: In the beginning, it appeared that A was going to be just as easy as Gavin was. Well, I was wrong. She will be one year old on the 28th, and she is still waking up a few times a night. (Translation: Momma hasn't had a consistent night of sleep in a long time.) Keith and I are co-sleepers, and we've loved every minute of it. However, because I'm still nursing, I think Arabella wakes up a lot due to habit. She goes to sleep every night around 8:30pm and typically wakes up at 7:00am. She also takes a morning nap around 10:00am, and sometimes takes an afternoon nap. She's a light sleeper. 

As I said, Bella is still nursing. There were a few times early on where I wanted to quit, but it just became easier to nurse, and I'm proud that we've made it this long. :) She eats on demand, but can typically go 3 hours in between feedings. My girl has been timid when it comes to eating food, and still doesn't really care for it. Around 6 months she tried baby food, and I was constantly having to force feed her. I think it was a texture issue, as she does much better with table food. She likes bananas, apples, cucumbers, mac and cheese, and strawberries. I'd say her favorite is mac and cheese. She's never taken a bottle well, so we'll be going from breast to sippy cup. Even though she's not eating a lot of food, she's a healthy 20 lbs. and is definitely getting enough calories from my breast milk. :)

Likes and Dislikes: My sweet Belle Belle is the silliest, smiliest, happiest little girl. She is very affectionate and loves to interact with people. She has been crawling since 8 months and currently loves climbing up the stairs at our house, walking with her orange Vtech walker, and spinning in circles. She loves to play outside and go on wagon rides with Gavin. She also loves the water, and likes taking baths and going in the baby pool in our backyard. We are planning a beach trip next week, and I'm sure she is going to love it. :) She doesn't have a favorite song yet, but she loves Mickey Mouse and Sofia the First. Her favorite toys are her banana toothbrush teether, the Mickey Mouse Toy Laptop, playing cars with Gavin, the activity table, and the jumperoo. As for dislikes, she hates to have her diaper changed and hates it when I change her clothes. It's the craziest thing. I mostly have to pin her down and quickly change her. She is getting better on road trips, but still doesn't like to be in her car seat for long periods of time. She's a pretty easygoing, social gal, and I'm able to run errands for hours without much difficulty. 


October 27, 2013 -- First move, Charleston, SC to Mooresville, NC 

November 25, 2013 -- First time trying food (Mangoes) 

January 28, 2014 -- First snow day 

February 27, 2014 -- First time crawling

March 4, 2014 -- First vacation, Orlando, FL and First time at Disney World 

March 7, 2014 -- First baseball game, New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers, Tampa, FL

Gavin Josiah

Sleeping and Eating: My handsome, crazy toddler has decided to take naps here and there. On those glorious nap days, he sleeps for about two hours in the afternoon. He typically goes to sleep around 9:00pm and sleeps until 7:00am. Although, some days he likes to stay awake until 10pm...11pm...12am!!!!! 

Gav finally kicked that darn bottle once he turned two, and started drinking whole milk a month later. For whatever reason, he never liked it. He has a healthy appetite, but his favorite foods are strawberries, tomatoes, cheese, cucumbers, cheese pizza, ice pops, and greek yogurt. He's still not a fan of meat, but he sometimes eats chicken nuggets and ham sandwiches. 

Likes and Dislikes: Gavin LOVES music. This little kid has a playlist on my phone and the iPad and he jams to songs from movies like Turbo, Frozen, Rio, Hotel Transylvania, and also music from MacKenzie Bourg. It's pretty funny, because his favorite song is called "Let the Bass Go" from the movie Turbo...and it's sung by Snoop Dog. That's right, my two year old Snoop D-o-g. Gav also has an obsession with car and trucks. Every morning, he wakes up and his first word is "race car". He has even gone as far and watched old NASCAR races on Youtube. I should be worried (because what mom wants her son driving that fast), but I think it's precious. His favorite TV shows are Sofia the First, Bubble Guppies, and Little Einstein. He is such an affectionate boy, and loves to hold hands and sit with his parents for snuggles. 

As for his speech, once he turned two, it was like the flood gate opened! He speaks very well, and is quite a character. He calls Arabella by name, and calls my sister Lauren, Arden. A few months ago he was walking around saying "Are you kidding me?" and lately when I start singing he says "Shhh. No...quiet mommy." Lol he is a little clown, and loves to sing also. I'd have to say that the best part of him talking has been when he says "Mommy, I wuv you." <3 nbsp="" p="">


January 28, 2014 -- First snow day 

March 4, 2014 -- First vacation, Orlando, FL and First time at Disney World 

March 7, 2014 -- First baseball game, New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers, Tampa, FL

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Big, Fat Curve Ball

I can't believe that I am about to write this post. Where do I even begin...

As my last post stated, I have been accepted to law school. I applied to 9 schools, and was accepted at 4, wait listed at 3, and rejected at 2. I accepted an enrollment offer and paid the first seat deposit at the Charleston School of Law. My family and I relocated back in October 2013 to North Carolina, and made the decision to move back to our house in Charleston, SC after being accepted at Charleston Law. 

Everything seemed perfect. I thought I had finally done it. I'd finally taken the awful LSAT, survived the law school application process, and was on my way to beginning my legal career. 

And then I read an article with the headline "Charleston School of Law founders withdrew $25 million in profits leaving school on shaky financial ground.", what?!?!

Basically, to make a long story short...

Two of the three remaining founders at Charleston School of Law have made poor decisions that resulted in financial instability for the school. These two founders decided that the best option for CSOL would be to sell the school to a Florida based company called Infilaw. This company owns three other law schools, and has a reputation of being a diploma mill. Infilaw is required to have license approval from the Commission on Higher Education to purchase the school, and at the beginning of June a decision was supposed to be made regarding this license. However, the day before the vote, Infilaw suspended their license application. Also, this saga with CSOL and Infilaw has been going on since July 2013. 

This is the summed up version, of course. Due to this information, I will not be attending law school this fall. As an accepted student, it has been a completely agonizing journey. I have worked extremely hard, and to have this happen is just heartbreaking.

The future of Charleston Law remains unknown, and I do not feel any peace about enrolling at this establishment. I don't doubt that Infilaw is capable of running a successful law school, however with such minimal community support of this transaction, and the disgusting behavior of the two founders, I just can't board a sinking ship in good conscience. I've spent more time than I care to share playing out different scenarios, questioning my future, being angry, crying tears of frustration, and just being confused about this situation. 

Why in the world would I make it this far in the law school process to stop now? 

And what the frick just happened

I believe with my whole heart that everything happens for a reason. It's cliche, but true. God knew that this was going to happen. He knew that I'd encounter this situation. And while I seemed to forget this for a while, I'm hanging on to this truth now. He hasn't abandoned me. 

So what is my next step?

I could have tried to enroll at a different school that I was accepted at or pursued a wait list, but since my family just moved back to Charleston, that option wasn't any good. I know that I am called to be an attorney, so I can't quit trying now just because this curve ball has come my way. 

After numerous conversations with Keith, we have decided that I will retake the LSAT in September. My score from the February test was disappointing, and this time I will have 3.5 months to study and will be applying at the beginning of the admission cycle. I'd be lying if I said that I was happy about this decision, but it's mandatory if I want to get accepted next year at a better law school, and hopefully with a scholarship.

It's a bit surreal to me that this has happened, but I'm trusting that God has this under control. I mean, doesn't He always?

Monday, June 2, 2014


Where do I even begin? My last post was written back in February and recapped my experience with the LSAT. Fast forward to May and I've received my LSAT score, applied to law schools, and have heard back from all but one law school. I am beyond excited to share that I've been accepted!!!! I applied to 9 schools, and was accepted at 4, waitlisted at 2, rejected at 2, and have yet to hear back from one. 

Y'all. I didn't even think I'd get in! My whole life I never thought that I was good enough or smart enough...or really just enough. The enemy has tried and succeed in allowing me to doubt myself and had me believing that I could never accomplish something like this. But my God is greater than that. He has used people and stories to direct me towards this calling, and I am so incredibly thankful for this opportunity.

I have to be honest though. I still have days of doubt. Days when fear creeps in and I being to question everything. Can I actually do this? How will I manage motherhood and law school? What the heck am I thinking starting law school? Those days are awful and dark, but they always come to an end. And after those days, I always have more confirmation and peace that I am doing exactly what I am called to do. God is going to work out the details, and I'm going to continue being passionate about fighting injustices. 

If you are at a crossroads right now,  whether big or small, I'd like to encourage you to dream big. Don't choose a path because it's easier, or because it's the comfortable choice. Don't avoid a goal because you believe that you could never accomplish it. My favorite movie and one of my all time favorite quotes comes from Jimmy Dougan (Tom Hanks). "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great." 

Law school is definitely going to be hard, but I accept the challenge. I'm excited for this new chapter, and am just beyond proud of myself for never, ever giving up. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

The First Step

Well, I finally did it. On Saturday, February 8th I tackled the LSAT! 

It was a beast of a test and definitely lived up to the hype. I arrived at Charlotte School of Law at 8:00AM on a cloudy and cold morning, and poured everything I had into the insane questions. I'm not allowed to say much about the test itself (LSAC rules), but it lasted until 1:00PM. From what I've read online and heard from other test takers, we all agree that this test was incredibly difficult. I'm praying for a lenient curve, and hoping that I scored well enough to solidify my acceptance into law school. 

Back in 2010 when the dream of law school first entered my mind, I wanted to pull an Elle Woods and score a 179. (180 is a perfect score... and FYI -- that's pretty freaking rare!) At this point, I just need to get in! I am 100% certain that becoming an attorney is my calling and no longer need to score that high to prove to myself that I'm good enough to follow my dreams.

I prepared for this test with Blueprint Prep's online movie. I highly recommend them, and know that if I would have had more time my score would have probably increased even more than it did. (It increased 10 points in ONE month!) While I decided to take this test back in October 2013, I had only begun studying at the beginning of January. Having two littles under the age of two made studying pretty difficult, and I would often feel guilty for spending so much time with my nose in a book. But it was only for a month, so I did it. And while I  wish I would have had more time, I feel like my preparation was sufficient. As much as the LSAT stressed me out, I think I'm going to actually miss studying. Hahaha.

After taking a 3 hour nap. The LSAT kicked my butt!
(Picture by Gav:) )

I want to say thanks to everyone who said a prayer for me. And thanks to my amazing husband for all of his love and support. (I love you, mais!) I was super nervous in the days leading up to the LSAT, but on test day I was strangely calm. I felt His presence just like I did during my natural births, and I know that no matter what happens, His Will will be done. 

I've literally played this song 100 times this week and really meditated on the lyrics. God is truly amazing. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Back in a Jiffy

Well, I've gone missing again. The holidays have come and gone and we are halfway through January 2014. My good intentions to update My Dolce Vita remained just that -- intentions. Life is busy, as usual. However, for the next month I have not a moment to spare because I. am. studying. for. the. LSAT. 

On February 8th, I am finally going to take the first step to pursuing my calling...and I'm applying to law school! There's so much I want to say, but now isn't the time. I've got to get back to studying and taking care of my babies. After the test, I'll be pouring my heart into this blog and playing catch-up. I love looking back at older posts and reading how I felt during different moments in this beautiful life. So many ups and downs happened during 2013, and I plan on documenting them all. Better late than never, right? 

Until then, if you could say a little prayer for me I would greatly appreciate it! 
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