Friday, January 30, 2009

Enjoying my Friday

For some reason I am so excited for a relaxing weekend. Tonight we had a lovely dinner and I intend to spend the rest of the night on the couch (other then getting up a few time to do a few loads of laudry) while we have a lazy night. Perhaps I am getting old, but it is evenings or afternoons like this that I have truly begun to treasure. Its just so nice to spend some relaxing quiet time snuggling with the love of my life.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My two cents

Today's events made history - at least for this week. I must admit there was a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment as I watched today's impeachment proceedings. I was able to hear the now former governor's testimony on the radio while at work. Then as the senator's gathered to speak and vote we all met in my bosses office to watch in TV. It was an entertaining event as we all watched, laughed, and poked fun. I am not even joking when I tell you that Howard popped popcorn for the viewing.
I had no opinions of the narcissistic Blago before I started working. But as a result of working in my office I have learned a lot about his employment practices within the various government agencies. Many peoples' jobs were lost so that he could make room to hire his supporters, loyal democrats and relatives and friends of people who were willing to pay the price. And his administration has been smart enough not to leave tracks to their illegal hiring and firing practices. So although the repeated phrase of the day was how "it was a sad day for the state of Illinois," I would wholeheartedly disagree. Today is not a sad day for Illinois. The sad days for Illinois were when our former governor was extorting innocent people or doing any of the other many illegal activities he is charged with engaging in. To me it is not sad that we are removing a man with no moral compass from an office which he has no business being in. It is not sad that we are finally stopping him; what is sad is the the little man we called our Governor.

And while I am proud of our senators for making the right decision by removing this man from his office, I questioned the genuineness of their comments this afternoon. While they condemned the governor's pay-for-play politics, I cannot help but think many of them are guilty of very similar offenses. Perhaps my short time in Springfield has made me cynical, but I have learned that in order for anything to get done, it is all quid pro quo. This for that. If you want a bill passed you have to trade votes with others, and while this is all part of politics, I know it extended further than trading votes. While every single senator shamed the governor for his actions today, there is no way that none of them participated in his his shenanigans. I guarantee there were senators who voted for various bills, or made campaign contributions in exchange for jobs for their family members.

Although the new governor who has plans for all sorts of reform and new safeguards to prevent something like this from happening again, I question how much success they will have. In reality politics will always be this-for-that. And technically there is nothing illegal about a group or individual making a campaign contribution to support a senator/representative after their bill has been passed. So although this type of activity is accepted it is still not totally different from some of what the Governor did... it is just on the other side of the line. Another thing to note is that although the governor is gone, his administration has still been left behind. For that reason I hope that Pat Quinn does a thorough housecleaning. I will now step down from my soap box, and although this disclaimer is a little late, the aforementioned comments are merely my inexperienced and uneducated opinions.

And as a side note, I actually had dinner a few weeks ago with the lead counsel for the office of the new governor.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I've officially started the countdown!

Only 419 days until match day and 484 days until Drew graduates! In the meantime, we have lots of other great things to enjoy! For example lots of the people in our lives are being blessed with babies! My cousin Megan just gave birth to baby Charlie. In early march the Keiblers are expecting Cammie. Then Drew's cousin Steph is due in May but due to her diabetes she will most likely have her little girl April. Then his other cousin is due in May. My friend from work, Shannon is due in early May as well. The Craigens are expecting a baby girl in June. And finally my cousin Erin is expecting in July. Babies everywhere! Drew and I are so excited for everyone and it is particularly nice for us because we won't be having any for quite a few years - so we figure we are lucky that there will be plenty of to borrow/babysit and love!

On the neighbor front - I had a meltdown earlier this week because even though Drew went and asked them to quiet down, their "quieting down" was still too loud for anyone with a pulse to sleep through. So Drew spent one day moving the office into the bedroom and vice versa. Then go figure... the last few days the loud girlfriend appears to be gone? Maybe he kicked her out for good this time? Well either way we have already moved our furniture and its just gonna stay that way now.

Today was a busy day at work - I was preparing for my first pretrial hearing. But it looks like based on the judge's comments today (in our favor) there may be a chance of settling afterall. Until now the defendants have been unwilling to make any efforts to settle.

Drew and I are looking forward to this weekend. We are heading to Davenport Iowa to the Keiblers (Abbie and Conrad) to spend time with them and the Weachters (Jessie and Todd). I am soooo excited to see Abbie's rather large belly. The tiny little thing is normally teeny tiny so with that big ol' belly on her little frame she litterally looks like there is a basketball under her shirt! We are leaving early tomorrow morning - so I am off to get packing!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Married to McDreamy?

If you don't watch Grey's Anatomy, that is the nickname for the neurosurgeon played by Patrick Dempsey. So I guess this is my very unofficial, unpublic announcement that Drew has chosen his specialty. We are very excited, but Drew still has trouble saying it outloud and personally I am still wrapping my head around it. I've known it was his first choice for a while, but we have kind of been waiting to make the official decision. The reason why it is such a big deal is because it means that we will most likely be saying goodbye to Springfield as long as (God willing) Drew gets accepted into a neurosurgery residency program. This is because SIU (Springfield) does not have a neurosurgery program.

I've only been at my job for nine months now, but the thought of leaving there makes me sad. And I feel guilty admitting Drew's selection because it is far too premature to say anything to them. Afterall the residency process does not officially begin until August; we will not know where we are going until March of 2009 and we will not actually be moving until the end of May 2009. So you can see my dilemma because it serves no purpose to tell them yet, but at the same I want to share the news.

The reason why we are ready to admit this big decision is because Drew has started his applications for sub-Internships (sub-Is). These are basically 4-week "away" rotations that he will do this fall or sometime in his fourth year. So right now Drew is in the process of filling out applications to do neurosurgery sub-I's at Northwestern, University of Chicago, Rush and University of Illinois - Peoria. The hope is that if you do sub-I's with a hospital, and make a good impression it will increase your chances of getting a residency there. As of now our hope is to end up in Chicago, but we will also be looking at programs throughout the midwest and possibly in Florida. And as a backup Drew will probably apply for the general surgery program in Springfield. There is a lot more info as far as what all this means now that he has decided, but I think I've covered enough for tonight!

Can you believe it - Drew is gonna be (God willing) a brain surgeon!?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Disappointing weekend

We haven't spent a weekend in Springfield in about six weeks and I was so looking forward to a weekend at home. I still have so much to catch up on from last year. There are so many things that need to be done... and they didn't get done this weekend. I came home early from work on Friday because I didn't feel well. I figured it was just because I didn't get any sleep Thursday night (due to our neighbor - another story). But as the evening went on my throat got worse and I realized I was getting sick. I went into work briefly on Saturday because I have an appellate brief due Tuesday. But the rest of yesterday and today has been spent laying in bed/couch. Luckily today I felt well enough to wash a few loads of laundry in between my attempted naps, but other than that, it was a very disappointing and unproductive weekend. It is already past mid-January and I still do not feel like I am back in a routine yet - I feel like I am spinning my wheels and nothing actually gets done. Hopefully this cold is at the end and I can get back on my feet this week and actually get things done. Such a frustrating feeling!

On the neighbor front- Thursday night they decided to get into a fight in which he "kicked her out" - and Drew and I found out way too much about their messed up relationship. And somehow just when we managed to get back to sleep after their massive fight we woke up to them making up- which was the last straw. So Drew was wonderful and went over and spoke to them Friday night - so far we have had two peaceful nights of uninterrupted sleep. Hopefully this will continue and we won't have to move all the furniture around, because we sure didn't get to it this weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My next purchase:

Well not really - but doesn't a ski suit or a snowsuit seem like a good idea on sub-zero day like today? It also makes me wish I had a pair of fleece lined jeans or flannel lined khakis.... but corderoys and a thick sweater will just have to do the trick! For those of you in the midwest - stay warm!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I won my first case! Hopefully if the State does not appeal our client will be entitled to his backpay. I must say it felt really good to win against the state - my employment in Springfield along with dealing with many cases against the state has left me with great disgust for the Illinois State government. Now I must say some of this is particularly aimed at a particular governor - who made history today by technically being impeached "twice." But the majority of my remaining frustration and resentment comes from a few less than pleasant assistant attorney generals and counsel for the state agency's. Which leads me to the biggest challenge I face as a lawyer. I notice that the partners I am learning from all are so very friendly with opposing counsel in person. While I have no problem exchanging pleasantries and hello's I have no desire to chat with them about their children or their personal lives. And I should further explain that its not all attorney's I feel this way with, its just a few select few. It's those that have made objections just for the sake of objecting, or literally made things up in pleadings, or that file bogus motions just to procrastinate.... it's these attorneys that drive me absolutely nuts! I'd like to think that I would never do such things because I would never want a judge to question my creditability. Some of these things I also find unethical because I know they are done just to add additional work, which means extra and unnecessary expenses to the clients. Therefore I find these attorneys annoying, unintelligent and just plain despicable, which is why other than exchanging casual greetings I have no desire whatsoever to converse with them. I am not sure if my feelings are a "woman thing" - since women generally hold onto things; or it is just a personal or rookie thing. Either way, the point of my story was that this is something that I am going to have to get over.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A year already?

Drew has just informed that we moved to Springfield a year ago today! Part of me can hardly believe it has been that long, but another part of me has gotten so comfortable here that I can believe it.

So far have been pretty lucky with neighbors and apartment living - until recently... our steady snoring, but quiet neighbor with whom we share a kitchen and bedroom wall with appears to have moved out. This came to our attention when we were abruptly woken up last week at 1a.m. And although I am a rather deep sleeper - the coffee grinder does not wake me up - I was awakened to our new neighbors. Drew and I headed to the couch for two hours until it was finally safe to return to bed. Unfortunately, we had a reoccurrance Sunday night. While I would normally handle this situation with writing a little note for our neighbors informing them that their evening activities are keeping us awake, this is not an option.... we realized that our new neighbor is actually someone Drew knows from home, an old boss actually and they apparently moved apartments within the building. So although I cannot bear the embarrassment of confronting them on this issue I also cannot bear to lose any additional sleep. I should also mention that when other people deprive me of my sleep it makes me a very grumpy person. As a result I am resorting to pulling out the aerobed, and this weekend we will be having a rearangment party in which Drew and I will attempt to move our office into the bedroom and the bedroom into the current office.

In other news Drew has been inquiring into "away rotations" or "sub-I's" - which are sub-internships or rotations which are performed at a hospital outside of Springfield. What we have learned so far is that they are usually 4 weeks in length and there is an application process in which you have to get accepted to participate.

Tomorrow I have my second oral argument in court. It is an administrative review case where our client was laid off (by the department of corrections) and the IL civil service commission ruled he was entitled to transfer to avoid layff. The state is contesting their ruling and therefore appealing the decision in circuit court. I have written one of these arguments before but we were the ones appealing. It will be nice to be on the other side where we just have to convince the judge that the correct decision was made and that he should affirm. As for work it is going really well, I am actually getting quite busy as I have a few hearings coming up in the next few months. Everything I have been working on is finally moving forward (beyond the silly formal stuff and onto to the real issues). I'm excited and looking forward to getting more experience in court and in the hearings.

Drew is managing to survive his psych rotation but not without a few complaints. Today he told me that there was just "too much talking." My interpretation of this is that unlike surgery where you put on gloves and use your hands to fix the problem, in psychiatriatry there is a lot of talking just to figure out the problem, followed by more talking to treat the problem. His days are short which is nice because he is able to help with dinner and dishes, but I think he would still rather have long days in surgery. As for me I am enjoying having him around a little more.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Week of Blessings!

My Mom's surgery went smoothly - she is doing quite well. We actually had trouble trying to keep her off her feet. She is slowly adding weight to her leg when she walks and she was getting around the house without her walker by Sunday.

Gina and Damien's interview with customs was successful as well. They were informed at the meeting that Damien was approved for his Greencard.

Saturday was our third piece of good news when Drew's final surgery grade came back - he got HONORS! I am so proud of him, and it was another piece of news we had been waiting on. Being that surgery is a competitive field, it is very important to recieve honors in the area for when applying to residency.

I guess this is just another example of how good things come in threes!

Drew and I are slowly trying to get back into the post-holiday/vacation routine. I promise to update about work and Drew's current rotation soon... but for now its time for me to clean up around the apartment and head to bed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Prayers Please!

Tomorrow (January 8th) is a big day - my sister and her husband are meeting with Immigration for their first meeting to get his green card and my mother is having surgery on her torn miniscus (minisci - she found out she has two). So although there is no reason to worry - I am hoping they both go smoothly, a little prayer can never hurt! Thanks in advance for your prayers!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

From Florida

Florida was wonderful - but I am now paying the price for all the rich and unhealthy eating we did... my stomach has been bothering me since the summer, but it has been relatively under control the last 4 weeks - until the last few days. It is supposedly gastritus (excess acid in the stomach) which has been tamed by taking over the counter acid reducers every day for the last 2 months... but I think eating a combination of rich, and occassionally greasy and spicy foods, with soda, coffee and fresh fruit has brought back my nausea. I will now return to refraining from diet pepsi and coffee (two of my favorite things) and hopefully with some pepto and bland food I will be back to normal in a few days....

I really should not complain though - ironically enough my Mom is suffering from something similar - but worse, perhaps an ulcer (or the start of one). I am very proud of her though, she has given up coffee and her diet coke - two of her staples which often get her through the morning and throughout the day. So much so that she doesn't really drink anything else! Which were also probably the triggers. My mom is sheduled for surgery this week (January 8) - she has a torn minuscus, which she injured just before Christmas. While in Florida she struggled with having to sit still - she is such an active woman that it is torture for her to sit still and not be constantly doing something. Thank goodness her surgery is arthriscopic, so they expect her recovery to be relatively quick - the main thing is that she cannot play tennis for 6-8 weeks. If you have a moment this week please pray for a smooth and successful surgery and recovery.

Florida was absolutely wonderful, but it was somewhat exhausting driving. I am used to being in Florida for 7-10 days, so it was somewhat disappointing that we were only there for 5 days and (in the car traveling to and from for 4). I know I shouldn't complain (afterall I was in Florida) but I currently have a glass half full attitude, and am struggling with it. While in Florida I got to see my friend Jay who came in town for 2 days - he lives in Florida but I hadn't seen him in years, and Drew and he had never met, so it was really nice to see him and catch up. We also got to see my Uncle Randy and Don's new home - which stupidly I forgot to take pictures of, but it is beautiful! As mentioned above we went to some wonderful restaurants every night - we never had a bad meal.

To see the rest of our Florida photos CLICK ON THE PHOTO ABOVE

Friday, January 2, 2009

On the Road

It is now 10:30 eastern time and we have stopped for the evening in Dalton, Georgia. Despite 14 hours on the road today we are only slightly more than half way. Traffic and construction has greatly slowed us down.

My stomach is not happy with me - it might have something to do with the fact that I had Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, Steak N Shake for lunch followed up by a well rounded artery clogging dinner at Taco Bell. Below is a photo of the sign at the hotel we are staying tonight.

Brr! It is a brisk 45 degrees which is a chilly difference from the 70-something degree whether when we left this morning. I am not looking forward to the Illinois weather! I will post photos and comments from Christmas and our trip later this weekend or next week... for now I am off to get some rest.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Greeting from Paradise!

We are enjoying our sunny vacation - it is a bit windy today (making it quite cool) allowing me an opportunity to come inside and update. I am not looking forward to heading home tomorrow (especially the two day drive). Although short, it has been a wonderful vacation. We have been quite fortunate and the weather has been perfect! (Photo above is the intercoastal along Palm Beach, photo below is Drew relaxing by the pool).