Posted in grit and glitter, Lifestyle, Prosecutor's Corner, Uncategorized

#1 The One in Which I Had my First Jury Trial

The year was 2012. I had been a lawyer for about 6 years in the civil sector with nary a jury trial to my name. You see, what they don’t tell you in law school, that jury trials in the civil sector are expensive, which means working for a small boutique law firm in rural Northern California gives you zero opportunites to have a trial go out.

After Maizy was born I set out on my own, opened my own practice and worked next to my family and their shirt shop they had owned my entire life…but that it a story for another day. Let’s just say that it got to a point where I had to decide whether to hire a legal secretary and work full time or pursue my dream of working in criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecution won that battle and my first jury trial came about 8 months later.

As a new prosecutor I was assigned to work in the misdemeanor division. This is a fast paced part of the DA’s office. So many cases come through any misdemeanor prosecutor’s door on any given day and this is where you are expected to cut your teeth on jury trials. On this particular ocassion the Court had become disillussioned with the number of cases pending trials and set multiple defendants with multiple cases for the same jury trial dates. Something was bound to get out.

I spent the weekend (the cases were confirmed Friday morning for a Monday jury trial) prepping ALL of my cases. And there was a stack of them. 3 defendants in total. 2 each had 1 case a piece and the final defendant had 3 cases. At the very bottom of the stack was a relatively simple case of driving on a suspended license. It was the very last in terms of priority and unlikely to confirm, or so we thought.

Monday morning came around and I watched as the cases were called widdling down to the very last one. One defendant failed to show up. One pled. One case had a necessary witness that was unavailable. And so we had it. My first jury trial was going to be Driving Under a Suspended License.

It was relatively straight forward. The case boiled down to an officer observing the defendant driving. Based on prior contacts the officer knew the defendant’s license was suspended. The defendant was contacted in the parking lot where he had parked and admitted his conduct. Proof of the suspension came from certified DMV documents that showed proof of notification of the suspension was received. To add to the mix, defendant opted to testify on his own behalf in the trial and TOLD THE JURY HE HAD BEEN DRIVING. A guilty verdict was received.

When the defendant tells you he did something, you beleive it.

One of the most poignant traditions we have at the DA’s office is a tie-cutting ceremony which occurs the first time you receive a guilty verdict on a trial. My scarf (no ties were worn by me) was off of the burgandy blouse I had worn in trial. It hangs in a case with my DDA counterparts as evidence of a job well done.

Posted in Ballet, grit and glitter, HD Beauty, HD You, Lifestyle, Motivation, Self Care, Year of Self Love

Week 21: Get up and move!

Tutus on the Barre at Northern California School of Ballet, Oroville

Getting up in the morning and moving a bit has been one of the best things I have done for myself in a long time. It gets my body moving, helps to stretch me out and gets the blood flowing to my brain.

My movement is simple: 30 jumping jacks, 30 second plank and either burpees or kettle-bell swings. It takes me 5-10 minutes, but the effects on my mood are astounding. I am awake, rejuvenated and ready to take on the day.

This week, pick out your favorite exercise outfit and get moving in the morning. It doesn’t have to be long…but it totally can be if you want.

My favorite exercise outfit is my leotard and tights from ballet class! While I don’t wear that during my morning exercise routine, those 2 classes I spend at the barre are the favorite 90 minute blocks I have to myself all week. One day I will be wearing one of those tutus on the bar you see above. For now, I will settle for my black leo’ and my steady improvement in the realm of ballet.

Happy movement this week!

Posted in Course Notes, grit and glitter, HD You, Motivation, Why

Course Notes: The Jourse (Week 2)

Life occurs between the ears. You don’t become what you want, you become what you believe.

Katie L. Woods

Week 2 of The Jourse tackled the first of the four buckets we discussed last week (Physical, Mind, Soul, and Relationships), namely our MINDSET and was all about paying attention to the voices in your head.

Katie identified two primary voices battling in our minds: The Critic and The Mentor. When we let The Critic control most of our thoughts we suffer. This is an obsession about yourself when you do so.

You are not your thoughts.

You are the thinker of them but they are not you. Your relationship with them determines your happiness. As an example think of The Critic and The Mentor as two wolves. One is good and one is bad and both are battling inside your head. The one that wins is the one you feed. It is by using self-awareness that you can feed the good wolf.

Ways to Feed the Good Wolf (aka The Mentor)

  1. Feed your mind: help it grow through study and activities your mentor guides you to and that is how you will gain awareness. Shockingly, 50% of people never pick up another book after they are done with their education.
  2. Break Through Fear: First assess the fear. Assess whether it is a real fear or one you have created for yourself. The only way to face those self-created fears is to just do it. Once you just do that ONE thing you fear you will realize you can do it. That will push you to keep going.
  3. Identify your ego: That is your inner critic. Once you can hear him/her speaking to you, you can dismiss it. Remember the death of the ego is the beginning of your real life. (Suggested Reading here: Thinking Big, by Tara Mohr). Pay attention to your jealousy because that is a way to identify something that is lacking in your life (ex. jealous of Beyonce’s legs? Figure out how to get them). This will help you to reprogram your thoughts.

If you hear a voice in you say, “you cannot paint.” Then by all means paint.

Tara Mohr

4. Have a strategy in place: When The Critic comes out change the story in your mind. Ask if the story limits or empowers. If it limits then change it. (ex. tack on the word yet to the end of the sentence. i.e. I am not a ballerina, yet) Shift the story to try and help others, make it about someone else and NOT you.

At the end of the presentation Katie said stop trying to be enough. It might very well be that you are never enough. But that will be ok. You were meant to be something different and the point is to figure out what that is so that you can live the life you were meant to.

Posted in Course Notes, family and home, grit and glitter, Lifestyle, Motivation, Why

Course Notes: The Jourse (Week 1)

You can’t know who you are without knowing what you need.

Katie L. Wood

Katie L. Wood is one of my favorite trainers. She recently branched out of the business world and developed a series of training’s designed for specifically for women and their personal development. Her terminology of “Jourse,” which I can’t say without trying to sound like a white female rapper (and not a good one), is based on the premise that you must figure out what you need before you can discover who you are. The Jourse wants you to learn that sometimes we get caught of living our life backwards-we try to have more in order to do what we want. However, the opposite is true:

You must first be WHO you are and do what you NEED to do, in order to have WHAT YOU WANT.

Katie L. Wood

Perhaps the biggest takeaway I had from this first week in the Jourse is this concept of having 4 primary buckets we need to fill in our lives. If we don’t focus on filling the buckets it will lead to self-destruction. As women we tend to pour everything we have out of these buckets for the benefit of others and never take time to replenish them.

So what are those buckets?

  1. Physical-What are you doing to keep your body healthy and strong?
  2. Mental-Do you flex your mind, learn, and continue to grow?
  3. Soul-How do you honor the higher power your recognize in your daily existence?
  4. Relationship-Are you showing up meaningfully to those people that matter?

What are you doing to fill these buckets? I mean, really think about it. Are there one or more of these categories that are completely lacking in attention?

For me, I’ve done a pretty good job filling buckets one and two; however, buckets there and four have been getting neglected in a pretty major way. And you know what? I’ve felt it. I have physically and mentally felt a drain of energy, motivation, and focus in my life. I can’t even count how many times over the last several months I have said to my husband, “I’m drained,” “I’m spent,” or “I can’t put myself out there anymore.” My buckets are empty and need to be filled.

So this last week has been one of rejuvenation and reflection for me. How do I focus on my soul and my relationships? That, my friends, resulted in a pretty fabulous weekend with the family: quality time with the kids, date night with the husband, and Super Soul Sunday with Oprah. I mean really who else do you turn to when you Soul Bucket needs a refill?

The Jourse, Week 1, was a success in my book. Looking forward to the journey this course takes me on.

Posted in family and home, grit and glitter, Lifestyle, Motivation

Adventure Time!

Welcome and thanks in advance for joining me here as I begin a brand new adventure!  Carving out a space to put pen to paper (so to speak) has been a life-long goal; one that has scared me more than just about anything else.  I’ve been meaning to to this for a long time but have found excuse after excuse as to why I shouldn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t.

2019 is different.

I’m hoping this will be a place where I can share my adventures and that others might find value…or at least be a little entertained in the madness that can be my life.  And let me tell you having been married for 20 years with a 15 years old, a 9 year old and 2 demanding careers (one glittery and one gritty…more on that later) feels like nothing but pure madness most of the time.  We travel, we work, we play hard and through the good and the bad we are learning to see it all as just a big adventure.  I’d say I’m hopeless in my devotion towards a well lived, beautiful life.

But back to why 2019 is different.

I recently got my hands on the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.  It was one of those books that I highlighted, dog-eared, and reread.  It described me to a tee, or rather my inaction to a tee.  I resisted.

Even with that knowledge, I have resisted. Resisted my way right into April 2019. As Pressfield says so succinctly, “To yield to resistance, deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be.”

So…welcome to my space where I will fight resistance and share about those things that I am hopeless devoted to. Hopefully you will share in my journey and help me along my way.

Nashville in October 2018. I kid you not, I read The War of Art on the plane out to Nashville and I have been “resisting” ever since.