Away I go again..

It is with great pleasure that I return to this blog, like an old friend it is here waiting for me, it knows my secrets, my dark moments, my joys and memories, and too much about my love life. I am finished with my first year of law school! I feel I should apologize to my wonderful readers who have probably taken me off of their list after such a poor showing since last August. While I tried to stay on top of my blog, like most other areas of my non-law school life, it fell by the wayside. Law school has been consuming to say the least. And often I felt I had little to talk about or interest others in where my days consisted of too much dry reading and Annie's mac and cheese. It was like studying for the LSAT again...but worse...for 10 months. Clearly, the end of the year has been more than a breath of fresh air and I am thrilled to return to the things and people I love and to set out on new adventures.

Today I leave for London and I won't return to the stateside of the Pond until August! I am elated! I am studying abroad for the month of June in London, Brussels, Paris and Geneva. I will be taking classes on international economic law, international institutions, and sustainable development. During the trip my colleagues and I will travel to various international organizations and institutions to be briefed on the work they do there while traveling across some of Europe's most beautiful, historical, culturally rich metropolises. This year may have been hellish but it all seems worthwhile with an opportunity like this. In July I will be visiting a dear friend in Paris, taking French lessons, possibly working on a WWOOF farm in Aix en Provence, meeting my DC roommate and longtime friend in the UK, and just letting fate take me along for a little ride. After traveling with my trusty travel partner for the last few years I'm on my own this time and looking forward to the independence, confusion, and adventure that comes with traveling abroad. After three months in South America I'm hoping that I am prepared to take on the EU all by myself!

I struggled to decide whether to forgo the backpack in exchange for a real suitcase since amongst my gear I am toting some suits, gowns, several pairs of pumps, my trench and other goodies. Alas, it turns out you can't take the backpacker out of the girl quite that easily. As I reluctantly placed my pack in my closet, opting to be a "grown up", something caught my eye; a baggage tag from Air Peru dangled proudly from the left strap "IQU" stamped on it like a badge. Ahh Iquitos and the Amazon. I fondly recalled trekking in the jungle with my big blue pack, rain boots tethered to the outside thumping along as I hopped across giant puddles and hot rain beat down on my back. My pack has become a travel companion, we've been through a lot together, and I don't think I can see myself going back to the days of wheelies flipping over on cobblestoned streets or hitting the backs of my legs in a mad dash for the train. I guess you could call this my "Ode to the backpack", and even though I will be carrying a separate bag filled entirely with shoes (Shhh no judgments), I still think the spirit of backpacking is something I won't ever fully let go of.

Tomorrow I arrive into Gatwick and I couldn't be more excited if I tried! I have never been to the UK although I have read about it all of my life and fantasized about it even more. I'm staying at a friend of a friend's flat before we move over to our hotel on Sunday just in time for class to begin on Monday. Somehow I don't think law classes in London will plague me quite as much as they did this past year. Much more to come, check back soon mes amies. On my own and ready to take on the world, let the odyssey begin!


Le printemps est arrivé!

Oh spring, how I have missed you. Overnight the seasons have changed and spring is upon us here in DC! The daffodils are blooming, the birds are singing and the air is damp with the expectation of warmer temperatures and cherry blossoms in the near future. Last weekend I cooked an outrageously delicious brunch with my roommate, ate spicy crawfish in the afternoon and basked in the sun on a perfect early spring day. This morning (a weekday...gasp!), I cooked scrambled eggs with brie, bacon and baby green onions. There is something about spring that makes me wake up earlier, and want to dine on delicious fresh ingredients. While my time is still scarce, there is a light at the end of the long 1L tunnel and I am happy to fill what little time I have dining on lavish gourmet breakfasts! Below is the recipe for the eggs cups, my roommate and I plan on making them again this weekend for a dinner party with basil, proscuitto, tomatoes and mozzarella. Bon appétit!

Egg Cups
6 eggs
6 slices bacon
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 6 muffin cups with cooking spray.
Line each of the muffin cups with a slice of bacon going around the sides, not covering the bottom.
Sprinkle with shredded cheddar.
Fill each cup with one egg (make sure not to break the yolk)
Bake for 18 minutes


Success and Friendship

Well, I am a very lucky little lady indeed these days. Despite car accidents, near death experiences, breakups, and numerous other near melt downs, I survived! I feel empowered and exhausted and not nearly ready to do it all again, but somehow it's already the third week back and I'm doing what I need to do to. I've had some wonderful revelations lately and discovered a real appreciation for my close friends that helped me through last semester. At this point in life, the friends I've made are keepers - soul mates from across the map that know my heart strings and breathe joy into my world. Without them, this whole law school experience would be truly unbearable.


Back in the District

After a much needed break from the insanity that consumed my life for the last few months, I am back in DC with a renewed sense of self and some perspective. Last semester consumed me in more ways than one and I was beyond grateful to find some respite in my childhood home and back in Boulder where the people are ingrained in my heart, the mountains embedded in my soul and the memories abundant. The one place I did not return to was the city I love more than all others (even Paris), my dear home Chicago. Between returning to the tristate and the Rockies, that grand old town got lost in the mix and I find myself missing it more than ever despite the icy winds and grey skies that undoubtedly fill the air this time of year. With all of these places that genuinely feel like home, it is hard to understand why DC hasn't begun to join the ranks. Perhaps it is because Pence Library is hardly representative of DC as a whole, or perhaps it is that I rarely leave the house without a backpack full of casebooks, but more likely, it is because deep down I haven't really given it a chance. One of the aspects of traveling that I adore most, is that if you find yourself in a destination that doesn't suit you or your mood or your budget, you can just hop on a bus or train and wake up in a whole new reality. With that mindset, it has been hard to accept that I am somewhat glued to this locale, no bus or train can take me away permanently and although I have met some fantastic people, the overall vibe just doesn't do it for me on a daily basis. Openness is the key to yoga, to Buddhism, to travel, to art and yet I have not been open in my approach to this new life. Ties that bind me to various other places and faces have made it hard and somewhat maddening to accept this new reality. It is with openness that I am going to try to accept this new place, filled with a multitude of transplants like myself, imbibed with the energy of activism, the popped collars of parties I never plan to be a guest of, poverty that is hidden in corners of the city and a wealth of museums I am yet to explore. As I await my grades, I am filled with a sense of hope - that I will learn to love it here or that I will be in the top 5% of my class and get out of here with my sanity intact. In the mean time, despite the serious nature of law school classes and the pressure to excel at the expense of my peers, I hope to grow beyond what law school shaped in me last semester. Rather than define myself as a law student, I hope to retain my identity as a philosopher of life, lover of French culture, outdoor loving environmentalist yogi with an overly intelligent dog ever faithfully by my side. Now, I'm off to read criminal law, who doesn't love a little light reading with their morning waffles?