What I did in 2013 and my plans for 2014

I have not posted in a while. I wish I could say I was traveling or something exciting! But I am just in law school and studying and working. And studying.

Here is what my life looks like pretty much every day: IMG_6461

I’m at a 4 year part-time program that allows me to work and manage Aidan. I chose it mainly because of the cost: I already have experience (13 years and counting) in my chosen field, and didn’t care about a top name (and top cost) school. If I were 20 years younger (sniff) and/or didn’t have experience in my field, I might worry about that.  But the truth is, I have Aidan’s needs for the rest of my life and don’t want the added debt or to work for a corporate firm once I get the JD and pass the bar.

That said, because I am in a nontraditional program, I do have to take charge of my studies a little more. And I worked that into my schedule in terms of prep courses and study aides. Johnny and I added a good amount of money to the budget when I was considering this school, just to make sure I had all the resources I needed. I have to pass the baby bar exam at the end of my first year to continue in the JD program. It’s a mini bar exam, about a day in length and very stressful. I take it in June. !!!!!

Here are updates on my 2013 projects:

  • I’m still working with GPS Advocacy, but am very selective with clients. I can’t afford (money or timewise) to take on clients who might be on a different page in terms of outlook or needs. I also don’t want to do a disservice to anyone. So I’m only doing case reviews and consults (reviews and strategizing) and going from there to determine if I can assist with a longterm solution for a student. All clients who need immediate help are being sent to advocates I’ve personally trained or know.
  • Latina Mami did a number of free platicas–legal and disability service related–for Latina mothersof children with disabilities in 2013 in L.A. We also recruited a few great mami volunteers and paired a few low income women with attorneys for pro bono services. We are in the process of becoming a nonprofit in California. I should have more news on that front later next year.
  • I also founded a group: NELA Autism Parents, with my friend Jackie Kuang. The group is growing and we have monthly meetings for parents on autism related things which are specific to L.A.
  • Does Aidan Walker qualify as a project? Because he is. He’s doing well, we had a few aggressive outbursts later this year but I do think they are due to the lack of structure at his dad’s vs. the high-structure at my house. So we are rectifying this with training for his dad and stepmom. Overall, Aidan had a very good year and that’s good considering his raging hormones at the moment.
  • I’m still technically a newlywed, though that title will be gone early next year–we had the big wedding last year but had gotten married privately the year before. Johnny and I are happy. We are growing together quite a bit, something that takes us out of our comfort zones but that is pretty deep and committed and something I can honestly say I’ve never experienced. I’m very happy to have his support, especially since I’m so busy now with school. We are both so alike in temperament that we understand each other, stand up to one another, disagree (then make up) passionately. 🙂
  • Getting along with my ex-husband to coparent the boy. Oh, boy! I am not a poster child for this but I do try. My ex moved here from Texas (Elgin to be exact) with his new wife and her child. It’s been good to get a break but it is still challenging when they don’t follow Aidan’s routines for his needs and disturb progress I’ve worked HARD at. And I am not exactly diplomatic about it. So, yeah. I will say that there are days that I tell myself I am glad my ex is the way he is, because if he hadn’t been, I would have remained in my old stagnant life in Texas, never would have moved to California, never would have met my husband, and so on and so forth. How’s that for being positive? 😉
  • I’ve had a recurring ankle injury (early 2012) that began when I fell badly while trying to teach Aidan to run intervals on a trail (he had the last laugh there). It still keeps getting aggravated and now I can’t run much anymore. 😦   I am very spoiled by eating what I want, then running 5 miles, laughing about it, then going out for margaritas. I guess all good things must come to an end… my waistline has suffered. I’m now lifting weights and calorie counting and not drinking as much. Depressing but true. I’m on a weight loss goal of 20 pounds. TWENTY!

For 2013, my goals are to keep the above projects progressing (with school being the main focus), to get some funding for both community groups, and probably do more interviews/podcasts since my clients love those. Oh yeah, and keep my about-to-be-15-year-old !!!! on track.

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