Another Year Goes By …

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So yesterday, February 7th, was my 22nd birthday. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since my 21st birthday. It’s a little sad not to be home, with my family to celebrate it. If you know our family, you know we all value traditions, especially my Dad. Out of the children, Bethany and I are probably the two that are the die-hard “traditionalists” in our family. 

As we’ve gotten older, we’ve celebrated birthdays differently throughout the years. When I was younger, we would go all-out, invite tons of friends, mountains of presents, and usually celebrate it at Chuck-E-Cheese’s (that was me). Over time, as our family has grown, our birthday celebrations have gotten progressively smaller. Usually, it’s just our family, sometimes another family comes over, but usually it’s just family and the birthday person gets to make two, key decisions: dinner and dessert and the activities of the day. 

Since I was about 6 or 7, I’ve had a “turtle cake” every year – lots of green frosting and even more candy, you know, butterfingers, Reese’s PB cups, sour worms, etc. all of my favorites. We rarely ever got candy while growing up, and because this was one of the few occasions that I could … I definitely wanted to make sure that I got the most out of it. 

This was the first year that I didn’t have a turtle cake. Last year, friends from Texas made me one, and usually, even though I missed my birthday (like the one year I was in Cambodia), I still was back home close enough to my birthday that I was still able to have the cake. Well, unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to be back in the Washington-state area for awhile. I might even have to wait until this winter, I don’t know. So, that was one tradition that died this year. 

Still, it was a great birthday! My family had sent me a box filled with all sorts of presents that arrived the day before my birthday. I knew they’d be out most of the day picking up my Dad and Stefanie from the airport as they were flying in from Seoul on their return from Cambodia so we decided to open it the night before my birthday so I could open it over a FaceTime call. Lots of fun. It was great to see them all and do some catching up as well. Lots of snacks to eat, some new clothes, scented markers, cards and envelopes, a new plate, a wallet, lots of cards … so much other stuff! I was amazed at how many gifts they could stuff in one box!

I stayed up a little later than normal that night so I slept in till 5 AM on my birthday and got some good work done that morning. The weather was absolutely amazing yesterday and in fact, today is even nicer. We’re probably sitting in the mid-60’s right now. It’s quite a difference from the 9-degree weather we were experiencing Thursday! 

For dinner, Trotter and I went over to Buffalo Wild Wings about a mile away from the school. He treated me, which was much appreciated! We had fried pickles, french fries, and boneless wings – they have quite a broad variety of sauces, ranging from sweet to spicy … to super-spicy! I like spicy foods, but not anything so spicy where it’d make your mouth burn, so I picked honey mustard and sweet BBQ. It was quite filling. It’s awfully loud in there with all of these sports games going on at once – I guess there was a big basketball game that involved a Virginia college team so everyone around us would whoop and cheer every time they scored a point. 

I certainly missed not having my family around and friends, but I’m definitely settling in here in Virginia and am thankful for the chance to make new friends … 

This past year has been incredibly busy and there’s been so many things that I’ve done and that have happened in my 21st year of life. Even though this year has had its share of low moments, I’m thankful for all of God’s many mercies and blessings. There’s so many things that I take for granted that are things that many people don’t have – a great family, friends, a good church, an opportunity to study law, a working vehicle, the list goes on. I can’t complain! 

I’m very blessed to have lived for 21 years and I hope to be a wise steward of the remaining time that I have here. 

I guess it’s been awhile since my last post – I’ve been away from Lynchburg over the past two weekends. This upcoming Wednesday, we’ll be receiving our “file” for the negotiations tournament. Negotiations is essentially where there are two teams (comprised of two students) and each team represents a fictional company. Over a period of 45 minutes, each team negotiates with the other in attempt to get a good deal for their company without going below the minimum dollar amount. 

The nice thing is that outside research is prohibited, so we’re dealing with a closed universe. All you have to work off of is the facts that they’ll be providing us on Wednesday. We had a coaching session last week and got to see a small version of what we’ll be doing once the tournament rolls around in about two weeks. It’s a required activity during your 2L year – this tournament was voluntary, but I figured that I might as well get my feet wet in an ungraded exercise that is only against fellow 1L students and upperclassmen. 

We’re also progressing with our summary judgment brief for our moot court tournament coming up next month. That’s where we’ll be defending either the plaintiff (wife whose husband was killed by a drunk driver) or the defendant (tavern who provided alcoholic beverages to the drunk driver) in front of a panel of judges. Not only will the opposing team be trying to poke holes in your argument but the judges are free to interrupt at any time and ask questions or attempt to find holes in your reasoning. It’s also a team competition, but because you’re each arguing separate issues (that the tavern had actual knowledge that the drunk driver was intoxicated when they served him alcoholic beverages and whether there is a causal connection between the serving of alcohol and the death of the plaintiff’s husband), you don’t exactly do a whole lot of cooperation in-round. In fact, one they move onto quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final round, I think only one person from each round (so out of four individuals) advances. I’m not sure how it all works quite yet. 

Well, the sunshine is absolutely amazing right now. I might try and go for a run. My Mom got me some new insoles for my shoes – you actually can put them in the oven, heat them up, and then mold them to fit the contours of your foot. 

Have a great week, everyone!

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One thought on “Another Year Goes By …

  1. Kristi Tanaka

    That’s nice you have friends over there. Sounds yummy! Fried pickles? Did it taste good? Oh did you know that the Buffalo Wild Wings in the Silverdale mall opened! We should go there when you go back home. 😉

    That court tournament for your law school sounds really interesting. I wish I could see you do them. 😉 You’re going to be a good lawyer!

    Just as you said, I hope that this year is that is marked by wisdom. I liked how you said that you don’t have a reason to complain because God has really blessed you. It was a good word to me. 😉

    Love you,
    Kristi

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