Archive of ‘Sentiments’ category

Pet Peeve: Don’t Use Me, Bro!


At this stage of the game, all of us are old and wise enough to know when we’re being used.

Smart enough to see through the shenanigans.

The event triggering this post happened last Wednesday.

I’m at my desk sorting through Motions and medical records when the following email popped up on my Outlook. Easily distracted, I clicked the little bubble on the bottom right corner of my screen.

Below are the contents of the email with my commentary in parenthesis.

Hi Jennifer,


    Life: The Five Screw-Ups that Made a Huge Difference


    Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”

    Who here is tired of seeing ole Ralph’s quotes? Half the time I wonder if he really said some of these things, or if someone just writes something uplifting and then slaps his name on it. (No, I don’t want to research it unless it has a billable code.)

    But someone has a point here.

    I’ve screwed up a couple times in my life.

    Ok, a good number of times.

    But the best times I’ve learned were through my own screw-ups or by witnessing someone else go down in a Blaze of Glory.

    Practice makes perfect?!


      Paybacks: It’s Not Worth It


      They say paybacks are hell. But who are they hell for?

      Last week I was in a car accident while I was driving with my 4-year-old daughter.

      Her school has chapel services that begin at 8:15. I don’t ordinarily get to take my daughter to school because of work commitments, and so being able to attend chapel with her is extra special.

      Many of the parents attend with their children, and I’m hypersensitive about being an “absentee mom” who is always at the office.

      I don’t want to fast-forward twenty years and hear my kids are sitting on a shrink’s couch humming Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle.”


      As I was at a stop light waiting to turn left once it changed from red to green, I felt another car slam into my bumper and heard a corresponding crash. I looked at my daughter, who was safely in her car seat, and made sure she was ok.


        Miss Understood: How Assumptions can Ruin Relationships

        How making assumptions can ruin great relationships | The Champagne Supernova

        As an attorney, my career is devoted to collecting information, assessing the information, and reporting the information to my clients.

        I try to predict how a jury will react to the information and whether they will find a plaintiff, his or her medical providers, and witnesses to be credible. (After all, just because I perceive the “star witness” to be a lying schmuck doesn’t mean a jury will see him that way.)

        The devil’s in the details, and I try to turn over every rock so I don’t miss something important. The minutiae that accompany “lawyering” can be daunting, and I wrote an entire blog post about it here.

        You would think I’d adopt this “information collecting” to my personal life.





        I’ve done it all.


          Election Season: I Don’t Care About Your Politics


          Ahhh… politics and election season.

          It’s a time you’re reminded that your “friends” think you’re an idiot because you can’t see how wrong your political ideologies are and how much of a lying, phony, nincompoop the person you’re voting for is.

          A time that people use the internet as a means of polarizing one another and promoting their own political agendas.

          It’s a time people share “news” stories in an effort to demonstrate their “side” is correct, and this is why you should agree with them and “see the light,” dagnabit.


          Raise your hand if your opinion about something important has ever been swayed by a social media status update or an adversarial conversation with someone who vehemently disagrees with you.

          (My hand is down.)

          What people ignore is that divisive comments carry an implication that someone isn’t “smart enough” to know what the issues are, understand the issues, and make an informed decision.

          I’ve been down the rabbit hole in the past. I’ve participated in dead-end conversations like these.

          It doesn’t feel good.

          When I was in law school (what seems like many moons ago), I was standing in a group having a conversation with a classmate who was a bleeding-heart (political party, which I won’t name, because that could make people miss the point). She clearly had different political philosophies than the rest of the people in the group and, in an ill-fated attempt to suggest that her views were right, and everyone else’s were wrong, she declared:

          My parents are highly educated, and they are huge financial supporters of (politician) and (politician’s) charity organization.


          So you’re assuming nobody else’s parents are “highly educated?” What if some of our parents couldn’t afford a formal education, but remain informed? Do their views not count?

          She’s a nice girl, and I haven’t seen her in nearly a decade but, when I think of her, I’ll always remember that ridiculous comment.

          I think most people are “smart enough.”

          Smart enough to know someone’s support for Donald Trump doesn’t make them a bigot, their support for Hillary Clinton doesn’t make them a freeloader, their support for Bernie Sanders doesn’t make them a communist, and their support for Ted Cruz doesn’t make them an ignorant Bible-thumper.

          It’s more complicated than that.


            Baby Bellies: Don’t Ask if She’s Pregnant

            How do you know when it's okay to ask a woman if she's pregnant |The Champagne Supernova

            Rule of thumb. Or bump.

            Two years ago, I did something evil.

            It wasn’t planned and, for all my lawyer colleagues, there was no malice aforethought.

            It happened one week after I delivered my second daughter.

            Overcome with a cornucopia of dreadful emotions, my husband convinced me to get out of the house and treat myself to a good old fashioned mani-pedi.


            So I got into my mom-mobile and skedaddled to the nearest “spa,” one of those stereotypical Asian nail salons wedged between a dry cleaning place and Mediterranean cafe in a strip mall.

            I’d been there a couple times before, but stopped going because, despite there being multiple female technicians, I always got stuck with the older man who never stopped talking.

            Don’t get me wrong.

            I love chatting.


              Parenting in the Trenches: They’ll be Older Tomorrow

              My girls at ages 1 and 3. This was taken a year ago, but seems like it was two weeks ago. Photo by Synthia Therese Photography.

              My girls at ages 1 and 3. This was taken a year ago, but seems like it was two weeks ago. Photo by Synthia Therese Photography.

              I remember strangers approaching me when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, placing their hands on my stomach, asking whether I was having a boy or a girl, when I was due, and whether I had chosen a name.

              I remember having all the people closest to me helping me out – finding baby clothes, shopping for strollers, looking into newborn photography Austin, help me paint the nursery, the list goes on and on.

              I received all sorts of parenting advice, most of it unsolicited.

              Which strollers and car seats were the best.

              Breast or bottle.

              Pacifiers or loveys.

              “There’s nothing wrong with letting your child ‘cry it out.'”

              There was one piece of advice I remember most.


                Bag Lady or Beach Babe

                // Comments Off on Bag Lady or Beach Babe


                My family and I recently went on a week-long beach vacation in Boca Grande, Florida, and I quickly realized my beach-going of yesteryear was long gone. This week’s guest post from my friend, Julie Bedford, hits the proverbial nail on the head regarding the ordeal of taking young kids to the beach. Julie and I were college sorority sisters at the University of Florida and she hails herself as a “Potty Mouth in a Sweater Set” at her hilarious blog, The Bedford Wife. (Really, it’s one of my favorites). Cheers, and thanks, Julie!


                There are many blog posts on what to bring on a family beach trip.

                Posts like “How to Pack the Perfect Beach Bag in under 30 minutes” and “The Ultimate 10-Item Beach Packing List” and “7 Essentials for A Family Day at the Beach.”

                We took our son to the beach the week after Christmas (because it’s 90 degrees in the dead of winter) and I can tell you, all of these articles are…ahem…crap.

                If you are over the age of 18 and/or married with children, then the truth is, you’ll take 27 tote bags of sh&t with you on your next beach trip.

                Gymboree Sale On Now!

                It will not take you 30 minutes to pack.

                It will take you 7 hours, and you will still forget something.

                You will venture to the shore with saddle bags of:

                bathing suits, sandals, hats, protective eyewear, diapers, underwear, change of clothes (or two, or three, or ten) snacks, water, sippy cups, pacifiers, shade screen, stuffed-animal lovey, baby blanket, umbrella, sunscreen, face-sunscreen, snorkel, flippers,
                surfboard, volleyball net, frisbee, asthma puffer and medication refills, baby-sensitive-skin sunscreen, sand toys, seashell-collection-bag, kite, 57 beach towels, sheet, hair tie, baby powder, bug spray, band-aids, tampons, change for the parking meter,
                cash for the snack bar, lawn chairs, cooler, fishing pole, your phone with the fancy new all-weather case, the Nikon…

                My husband parks the car and leads the way to the perfect spot.

                He scouts out this spot like a hound dog on a crime scene.

                No, no… not here.

                Sniff. Sniff.

                Yes, that’s it… 15 more miles in that direction.

                He is a sleuth, and I am his bag lady.

                I am out of breath from carrying so much sh&t across the Sahara desert, and also from being a little fat (it’s the week after Christmas, remember.)

                However, I am wearing a Spanx bathing suit, which is very flattering, thank you very much.

                I am also wearing a tunic, sandals, and large sun hat.

                Suddenly, like a flock of seagulls, a dozen barefoot teenage girls flutter past me.

                I am blinded by their glistening tan skin.

                Do you know what they are carrying?


                They are prancing about without so much as a cover up.

                I take that back, one of them was carrying a radio.

                Because the only thing one really needs at the beach is Nick Jonas.

                (Incidentally, I forgot “music” in my above-mentioned packing list.)

                Why do I have 1,000 things, and they are drip drying half-naked in the warm winter sun?

                Because they aren’t afraid of anything, and I am afraid of everything.

                I am afraid that someone will get hungry, or tired, or melanoma (or bored God forbid) during the 2-4 hours we will actually be at the beach.

                I get so caught up in preparation, I sometimes forget the entire point of going to the beach is to HAVE FUN.

                Oops, mommy forgot to pack a positive attitude!

                When I finally settled into my lawn chair (so comfy, with the cup holder!) and caught my breath, I watched my son fly a kite for the first time.

                I realized, I love my life as a pack mule mom.

                There is nothing like building sandcastles and digging tunnels to China.

                Or collecting sea shells.

                Or eating too much ice cream at the Twistee Treat.

                Which brings me back to that Spanx bathing suit, and the cover up, and that bucket for the shells, and some extra cash….and…

                Ugh, we forgot the shovel!!!!!!!!!!!

                  Real Life: 11 Ways Being a Lawyer Makes You Crazy

                  How and why being a lawyer makes you go crazy | The Champagne Supernova

                  Me and a close friend on law school graduation day in the year 2007 B.N. (Before Neurosis).

                  On her first day of law school at Harvard, Professor Stromwell advised Elle Woods and her classmates:

                  “A legal education means you will learn to speak a new language. You will be taught to achieve insight into the world around you, and to sharply question what you know.”

                  No truer words have been spoken. Before I was an attorney, the world was riddled with rainbows and butterflies. Bad people only lived on Melrose Place and nobody habitually lied or cheated.

                  Being a lawyer has opened me up to the world of the worst. It’s also been a giant mind game that’s difficult to shake. Every day is mental chess: staying one step ahead of your opponent so you aren’t caught off guard, upset your boss, or worse, the client.

                  Once you’re a lawyer, being normal and mentally stable is impossible.

                  Pun intended.


                    Lady and Kuma: The Rescue Dogs Who Rescued Us.

                    Labrador retriever rescue dogs | The Champagne Supernova

                    It was November of 2009 and my husband, Jason, and I were five months hot off the heels of our wedding. We were living in a tiny rental home on Davis Islands in Tampa and I was burning the midnight oil working for Lucifer while Jason was busy studying for the engineering licensing exam.

                    We were far from having children and I needed a project, so we decided to get a dog. We were looking for only one, and because we didn’t want the responsibility of training a puppy, decided to adopt an adult. After researching breeds, we decided to go with one that was family-friendly, smart, and physically active. We made this decision by looking at a dog IQ list, as it made it a lot easier for us to choose. We then came to the conclusion that it would either be a lab or a golden retriever.

                    We did some digging and discovered the Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida, a non-profit organization dedicated to placing Labrador Retrievers in permanent homes. After filling out an application and having a volunteer come to our home (to make sure we weren’t wackos), we were given the green light to navigate their website and locate available dogs to meet and potentially adopt.


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