Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I had my first mediation. We represented the good-guys and we were attempting to settle to avoid going to trial. Unfortunately that didn't happen. The main issue was money. After about five hours of mediation (the mediator going between the two parties, listening to both points of view) each party had only moved a few thousand dollars (us more than them) and a few hundred thousand dollar disparity existed. At which point the partner I was working with decided that we were going no where and just told the other party to leave. And they did. Although it was somewhat unproductive and everyone wasted more than half a day, I did learn a thing or two. It was my first mediation, so I did take a few things away from it. It was also neat to watch the different style of the partner and the mediator. All attorneys have different advocacy styles especially depending on the type of proceeding (mediation, arbitration, trial etc.) and all mediators are different in the technique they use when working with the parties. Personally since I was just assisting it was easy to take the side of our client - but I know that when it is my job to be the main attorney I will have to be a little more realistic and encourage our clients to move. Although an attorney is supposed to be an advocate, you have to open your clients eyes to the reality of the other sides case and somewhat play the devils advocate in order to get things moving. A client will only see the strenghts in their case and if you don't point out the weaknesses they are going to be very surprised and shocked when it goes to trial! Another good thing is that I don't have any trial experience. While I have done various hearings and proceedings none of them have been full blown trials. I have a case or two that will get to trial eventually, but litigation moves so slowly. So although trial is riskier than settling (in the case we did the mediation) I am very much looking forward to the experience. And although I am a little biased, I do think my clients have the better case!

The husband it on call tonight - there must be a number of births going on tonight because didn't answer his phone earlier and he hasn't tried to call me yet.
As far as prayer requests - Ms. Abbie is currently in labor as I write. So I am praying for a quick, smooth labor and a healthy birth of Ms. Campbell. And while we are on the subject of prayer requests I think I can now take my Mom off the list - she seems to have had a full recovery from her torn miniscus and her stomach issues! But while I take her off I will be adding my parents - just consider it a special intention - they are under a lot of stress with my Dad's job right now.
And although its early I think I will be calling it a night. I haven't gotten much sleep lately and it's making my days drag. But I am quite excited about the news of baby Cammie's arrival - here's hoping that I get some sleep!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Brief weekend update

Okay so hopefully this will come out in English? My first time around the website kept translating my words into Hindu. The weekend was pretty uneventful, but that was a good thing, a quiet weekend was needed. Drew and I both got a good workout in on Friday and then had a relaxing dinner followed by an evening on the couch. We called it an early night because we both had early mornings on Saturday. He had to head into the hospital and was on-call through Sunday morning. I got up early (for me on a Saturday morning) and headed to a 7:30 yoga class. Then I went into work for a few hours and had a lovely afternoon nap. I spent the evening cleaning up the apartment, running errands and crafting for Shannon's baby shower (I will post my crafty decor sometime next week or weekend). Today Drew and had a lazy day of church, more cleaning and dinner at Chili's. Oddly enough I ran into a friend of a friend from college at dinner (Flister) and he has been living in Springfield for the past few years getting his Phd.
Drew had a good weekend on call and got to see three c-sections and although there was a natural birth he pretty much missed it because it only took the woman one push! One push! Now that is how I want my labor to go too!
I got to catch up a little bit with my sister tonight and she told me about how my nephew Gaston is doing. He is 11 months old today but the little stinker isn't exactly sleeping through the night and he has NO teeth! But I guess in the last month he has just started scootching around. I say scootching around because he is too stubborn to crawl. Its not an army crawl because he is on his hands (not his elbows) but it is similar because he drags his legs in the back. Anyways my sister was telling me that they have had to baby proof the house and she sweeps and vacuums several times a day because he likes to eat every crumb or fuzzy on the floor. They had been worried about his fine motor skills but not any more - he manages to find and pick up the tiniest-most miniscule crumb or piece of dust and try and eat it. My favorite thing she told me is that he like to take off his socks and eat the the lint between his toes! They have to watch him closely because the little stinker will eat everything and anything he can find! Oh how I miss the little thing - and unfortunately I won't get to see him for another month. Luckily I will get to see my two other nephews this weekend! (Photo is Gaston at 9 and a half months).

Friday, February 20, 2009

I got reemed out today...

thank goodness it wasn't by anyone in my firm. So I got a call today and I didn't recognize the name but the conversation went something like this:
(We'll call the person Attorney Guy)
M: This is Marissa
AG: I'm calling about the objection to our motion for extension of time on the Smith brief
M: Yes
AG: I want to know why in your motion you made the statement that the government asks for multiple extension of time. I do appellate work an it is common practice to ask for extensions of time. Everyone asks for extensions of time.
M: Well that is just how we drafted our motion. Our firm does a lot of work with the government and it has been our experience that they ask for multiple extensions of time and we don't want to be dealing with five or six extensions of time.
AG: Well I am in appellate work and that is not the practice, no one in our office does that. You obviously know nothing about appellate work! What - you have only been an attorney a year?
M: Well I am sorry you feel that way, is there something I can actually help you with?
AG: Yes, yes there is! Do you have your motion in front of you?
M: No I do not.
AG: Well in your brief you state "In appellant's affidavit..." It should be appellee, YOU are the appellant. And it also refers to our reply brief. Don't you know that YOU file the reply brief?
M: I'm sorry that must have been a typo.
AG: No, a typo is when you hit the wrong key. You wrote the wrong thing. You obviously know nothing about appellate work. Ms. First Year Attorney! (At which point he hung up)

Needless to say I ticked the guy off! The stupid thing was it was a motion for an extension of time - I don't even understand why the guy is so freakin' upset? I didn't even say that he shouldn't get an extension of time, I simply stated that if the extension is granted it should be the only extension. And as far as the comment about the government asking for multiple extensions that is part of our standard response. And the fact that he is sooo ticked off proves the point that he was planning on asking for at least a second extension of time. The other funny thing is that if he is really so busy that he needs multiple extensions of time - why is he waisting his time looking up information about me in order to find out that I had only been practicing law a year? I doubt he would have had the balls to yell at someone his own age. But I have to laugh that little ol' me was able to make a grown man so angry without even trying! What a silly little man!

As far as my medical student - he had a more eventful day yesterday. He got to help with a delivery. With some instruction, he got to be the one who caught the newborn baby! I guess the Mother was very calm and did very well through the whole labor and delivery. Drew said it was a very neat experience - but he made the point to say he is very glad he is a man. Then today he got to circumcise a new baby boy. Drew said he felt bad doing it, but that surprisingly the baby wasn't that bothered by it. I asked lots of questions about both experiences, but I will spare you all the details because I don't want to gross anyone out!

Happy Friday Everyone!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I was totally disoriented

this morning when the alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. this morning. My first thought was where am I? My second thought was that it was my alarm. But then I was filled with (a guilty sense of) relief when I realized it was Drew's alarm and I still had plenty of time sleep in my warm cozy bed. It has been over two months since Drew has been on an early schedule. In December he had a 9-5 schedule for "doctoring" and the last six weeks of January and February he has had something similar with psychiatry. I have enjoyed these mornings with him. It has been wonderful to have him gently wake me up each morning, and kindly remind me that I cannot lay in bed all day. I tend to have time management issues so naturally I am slow to get out of bed. Most mornings I would call him by his pet name and ask him to come and snuggle me. He always sweetly obliged and crawled into bed with me. We shared some quiet chats before he would remind me that I had to get out of bed in order to get ready for work. Our time together in the mornings really made a great start to my day. Now that he is back to early mornings I realize how much I really enjoyed these extra moments with him each day. Although I am sure he enjoyed spending time with me, I know he is not disappointed to be getting up early. In fact last night he was excited, yes excited, that he would be back to early mornings. I suppose it is a good thing that he likes to rise early. I guess that's the surgeon in him.

Today Drew started his first three weeks of obstetrics for his ob-gyn clerkship rotation. Unfortunately, I don't have much to share because today was pretty uneventful. The patient he was assigned did not give birth during the day and another student is on-call for the evening. Hopefully this week will be more eventful with tales of new life and little blessings.

Dear Producers of "Biggest Loser"

Your show airs during dinner time. Please do not show people vomiting. It is not very appetizing. Thank you.
Marissa Nicole

Sunday, February 15, 2009

For your amusement . . .

Part of my Valentine's day gift was that Drew shaved his beard (early). He was planning on keeping it through March. And although he can pull it off I much prefer his cleanly shaven face to his bearded face. The middle picture is his "supertrooper" stache.
Yesterday was a wonderful Valentines day. We exchanged gifts in the morning and then spent the afternoon and evening in Bloomington with Drew's parents and Grandma. Because we are on a budget Drew and I set a five dollar limit on Valentines day. Drew got a card, a very small box of chocolates, a few suckers and some skittles from me. He got me a singing card (he is a sucker for those - loves them) and then filled my card with various coupons - breakfast in bed, backrub, my favorite dinner, etc - all of which I think are much better than any box of chocolates! I was quite impressed with his creativity.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Not much new to report - but I suppose sometimes that is a good thing. I am finally getting back into a routine again - its about time, I can hardly believe it is mid-February!
Tomorrow is Drew's last day in psychiatry - he isn't exactly disappointed. Next week will start his seek week rotation in ob-gyn (he will have three weeks of each). Although he is excited to get back to "doing" rather than "talking" I will miss having him around. Ob-gyn is much more time intense (no days off by noon, and most mornings will be early.)
On a side note I was parked on my way to Route 55 my way home for about 20 minutes - I was irritated that they were closing all routes in and out of town when I suddenly saw the president's motorcade (I probably spelled that wrong) of about 20 or 30 police cars and ambulances. Much to my relief traffic was opened up once he passed through. I had mistakenly thought he was already in town and was afraid they were closing off all roads until he left town.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Best News Ever!

(Or at least in a little while - in terms of Medical School news)... So I was obviously disturbed after my last post and was really struggling with the concept of making mortgage size-loan payments during Drew's residency while he will be on a moderate salary and we will be trying to afford little kiddos. So I kept searching online - and low and behold.... although they have eliminated the "residency deferment" there is still this fabulous thing called "residency forbearance" - The only difference is that the forbearance allows interest to accrue but you still don't have to pay! Po-tay-to, pa-tah-to, I don't care. I'm just ecstatic that there should be no requirement that we make payments on Drew's loans during residency. Thank you Lord. I cannot express what a relief this is. A huge burden has been removed. I truly was doing a little dance inside all day yesterday! Drew thought it was great but really wasn't as excited as I was because (surprise) he wasn't really worried about it anyway!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I had a mini panic attack

today when I was talking to a coworker about loans. She was telling me how her loans are in deferment for a year due to "economic hardship." I guess this is an option I could have taken as well but I chose not to. This option allows you to take this option if your income is low (or you loan payments are high) and it puts off your payments while the interest continues to accrue. I was discussing to her how I hope there is some kind of deferment for Drew's residency. (Gosh it is making me so anxious just talking about this). Turns out that they used to have such a deferment but it no longer exists. While we will still qualify for the economic hardship for the maximum length (3 years) after that we will have to begin repayment... and this is what really freaked me out... my co-worker was telling me that her boyfriends loan payments are $600 a month - six hundred dollars a month! The horrifying part is that I am sure that his loans are not nearly as much as the amount Drew will have acquired for four years of medical school. (And don't get me wrong his going to a STATE school means he has still only acquired a fraction of the loans he would have acquired at a private medical school - and the same goes for my education as well). It just has me thinking - how much will our loan payments be? And even more I wonder how do people do it? Families in particular. I mean if you go to a private medical school you can rack up two hundred or three hundred thousand in debt very easily. And then you figure the average residency pay is $45,000... how on earth would you manage to make those payment and live on that salary if you had KIDS - especially if you were the sole provider? These things are all beginning to cross my mind because I have started to realize that with a residency of 6-8 years, Drew and I will not be able to wait to have kids until after he is out. We realistically do not want to wait until we are 34 or 35 to start having kids. Which these thoughts only get the wheels spinning and I begin to wonder how on earth we are going to afford day care with our salaries and those ridiculous loan payments that I have dreamed up in my head. . .
Surprise - I've gotten ahead of myself. And so I must constantly continue to remind myself that I shouldn't worry over potential problems that may not exist. I also have to remind myself that God will always provide. All I do is have to look around right now, and although things are tight, He has managed to give us enough that we can take care of all our bills and most importantly we are truly RICH where it counts - with love from family and friends.
After reading this post aren't you glad you don't live in my brain? In my defense - being an extreme worry wart runs in my family!