We had an actual chocolate birthday cake on Sunday with Paul's family where everybody sang, but there were trick candles on the cake and when they wouldn't all blow out Paul looked at me and said "Dang, that wish was important!" So I had to give him the opportunity on his real birthday to make his wish. He blew all 28 candles out in one try. I'm pretty sure I know what he wished for even though he didn't tell me because of bad luck. But I'm betting it has to do with a certain exam coming up next month.
Speaking of next month, how is it already so close to July? The bar exam is only a month and a couple days away now!! I go between feeling like everything is going to be okay--that I have enough time to study and prepare and that we are both going to pass without a problem--and complete panic/exhaustion/discouragement/self-loathing/extreme pessimism where I find myself with my hands digging into my bloodshot eyes thinking there is no way I can do this and I should give up. Thank goodness I'm not a quitter. I just like to pretend sometimes. But still, you get the picture.
A typical day of study for us entails:
- Wake up
- Get ready
- Eat breakfast
- Pack a lunch
- Drive to class
- Take notes for four hours on a subject that took four months in law school
- Try to ignore the paranoia setting in among other bar-takers in the class
- Eat lunch
- Review outline materials for a couple of hours, quizzing each other on elements of tests, black letter law, and hypos
- Take a practice exam, score it, get depressed, review the answers, get angry, then tell myself its all okay, that I am smart and can do this
- Repeat the last bullet point at least once or twice more
We are usually done studying by around 6:00 pm, although often we will do some extra studying after watching a little Wheel of Fortune (what are we, like, 80?) and eating dinner. Sometimes I try to squeeze in a run. Then its time for our nightly constitutional, a little news and the weather forecast, then bedtime. That's pretty much life these days.
I am SO grateful to have my husband by my side going through this with me. A lot of people ask if we have a hard time not making everything into a competition, but that hasn't really been a problem except for just a couple times when one of us (usually me) does crappy on a practice exam and the other aces it. As in, Paul has had practice exams where he only misses 2-3 questions on the whole thing. Even with a decent, passing score I feel dumb in the face of that sometimes, which I know is ridiculous, but hey, I've got my pride. Paul is really good about letting me vent my frustration though and getting me refocused to take another set of practice questions.
We have been able to take little breaks every other weekend though when we don't have Saturday classes. This past weekend we took our study-materials with us to Idaho and went to a family reunion. My mother's mother's family (the Robertsons - coincidentally Paul's mother's father's family name as well, although to find a connection you have to go way back to Scotland in the 1700's or something) owns a piece of land up in the mountains of Idaho called Robbie's Oak Glen. I have always just referred to it as "The Property." It is really beautiful up there and we had a fun time enjoying being out of doors after so much time being stuck inside with our heads craned over books.
There is always delicious potluck food at family reunions - fruit salads, potato salads, dutch oven enchiladas, pulled pork sandwiches, and a huge picnic table loaded with nothing but desserts. Jessica made lemon cookies which were my favorite. Then we go play on the rope swing hidden in the trees, play games like soccer or volleyball, or just sit around and visit.
(My cute mother and sister, Jennie, dishing up plates of food.)
After lunch Paul made friends with my nine-year old fourth cousins (or something like that) who had a slingshot. At least, Paul called it a slingshot until the nine-year olds corrected him, saying, "Nowadays it is called a 'wrist rocket.'" Paul replied tartly back, "Well, when I was your age, we called it a slingshot," then proceeded to amaze them with his shooting abilities, knocking plastic cups off logs and launching rocks over distant trees. They were duly impressed.
It was a much needed, relaxing weekend.