Hello Friends!  It's been too long, and I apologize for being MIA for most of the summer.  As you all are well aware, my summer is just now beginning after many weeks studying for the bar exam.  I am happy to report that I did make it out alive, and now I just hope and pray until the results come back in September.

I know you all are sick of hearing about studying, but I want to document a few things about my experience this summer.  If you want to stop reading now, I won't blame you one bit...I promise to be back to normal posts after today.

Things I learned while studying for the bar exam
Disclaimer: I am a pretty level headed person who works hard but doesn't generally stress out too much over any one test.  This one was a little different...  

1.  If anyone tells you preparing for the bar exam isn't so bad they are lying
I can't tell you how many people told me that when I was going into my bar prep summer.  While I think they were trying to make me feel better, it makes me all the more confident that they are either suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or have completely blocked out the experience.  I can say without a doubt that it was the worst thing I have EVER done in my entire life.  I don't want to sound overly dramatic, but I don't know that I can describe the feeling of studying hours upon hours, not seeing friends or family, and not taking a day off for more than 12 weeks.  (I did take 3 days off from May 14-August 1 to move into our new house.)  The stress was intense and prolonged, but I am telling myself that the naps after the bar were so wonderful that it makes up for a spike in my blood pressure.

a horrible picture but it captures the essence of the summer...learning that stack beside me, no make up, workout gear
2. While studying really was terrible, it was also extremely empowering.  
While I definitely had my moments (ok days and weeks) of self doubt, I have to say that learning that much material in a short period of time made me confident that I can handle almost anything thrown my way.  If law school and studying for the bar taught me anything, it's that learning about an extremely daunting subject area is possible if you put your mind to it...even if those topics are secured transactions and commercial paper.

my "war room"

3. I imagine studying for the bar is a little like a shortened pregnancy.*
While I have never been pregnant, I do think I experienced almost every cliche "pregnancy" emotion, craving, etc. while studying.  I would literally go from energized and excited about getting a question right, to a giant puddle of tears, to angry, back to calm and collected all in the course of 10 minutes. And then there were the cravings.  I got into quite a routine of petit fours at 11 am,  coffee 4 times a day, and cheese at 5pm.  To say I am detoxing and running a little longer every day to recover is a bit of an understatement.

*Just so we're all on the same page, I understand that pregnancy is obviously significantly harder than the bar exam...it was just the closest thing I could come up with to make the experience relatable.
just about every emotion right here...
4. "Re-entering" the real world is no joke.
Aside from catching up on all the news I missed over the summer (Royal Baby is a boy!), I felt like I really needed one of the stylists from the Hunger Games to come buff and scrub me.  Some of the first things on my list post-bar were getting manicure and pedicure, haircut, and facial.  I kept laughing because I don't think I have ever been so pampered and polished only to still look so tired.  Not only did my re-entry involve some beautification, I also struggled for a few days with not being sure what to do with myself.  I had gotten so into my routine that suddenly having nothing to do was more daunting than I expected.  After plenty of naps, HGTV shows, and a few days of doing nothing, I am happy to report that I am loving my "no routine" routine.

via pinterest

5. I have the most amazing family and friends on the planet.
I don't know that I can tell you how humbled and blessed I felt throughout the bar prep period by the utter outpouring of love and support I received.  As I mentioned before, the bar exam is the hardest thing I have ever done.  I have no doubt in my mind that I would not have made it through without so much encouragement from everyone around me.  I  made a post-it note with hashmarks every time I got a card, text, email, love gift, etc. and I looked at those hashmarks every time I felt my confidence start to slip and I was instantly encouraged.  With so many people pulling for me, it was impossible to give it less than everything I had day in and day out.  If you are still reading, thank you all.  I know I wouldn't have made it through with each of you and I am more grateful you will ever know.
thank you, thank you, thank you



  1. Congratulations! I'm sure that you rocked that test!

    1. Thanks! We will see...it does seem weird not to know one way or the other for so long! xo

  2. Congrats Annie!! So glad to have you back in the blogging world- you were missed! So happy that your test is out of the way and hope you enjoy your time of recuperating, you deserve every minute of it!

  3. Congrats, Annie!! Your post brought a smile to my face - you're a survivor! I couldn't agree more with the things you said you learned. The bar is truly terrible. You'll feel fabulous in September! Love to you!

    1. Thanks Christina! You were my inspiration and your care package was EXACTLY what I needed! Thank you so, so much for all the love and encouragement. Miss you and hope to see you soon! xo

  4. I wish we could have studied together- those thought maps are impressive! I love Josh's "REMAIN CALM" command. Haha he knows us well!