How to Start Building the Perfect Life


Bippity, Boppity, Boo


I am a master illusionist inside the courtroom. I have an exceptional skill for making things appear better than they really are. I can take the worst cases and give them a fighting chance for success given a willing and cooperative client.


Being a sorceress inside the courtroom isn’t my biggest feat, though. I have conquered the wizardry of making people think I live a life I really don’t. To the outsider looking in, my world looks perfect.


Today, I’m going to teach you how to start REALLY building the perfect life for yourself.


Many people are convinced I have the model marriage. And a gorgeous angel baby who showers me with little kisses everywhere I go. And yes… a spacious, white picket fence life in the center of town on an acre of green grass with trees. And last, but not least, a thriving business which practically runs itself.


Yes, I have these things. Yes, I have a good life. Contrary to what most believe though, my life is far, far, FAR from the perfection it appears to be.


Just like in the courtroom, in my personal life, I can make almost anyone a believer with a few magic words and a whole lot of charm.


This is the truth about it all:


What you see is NOT what you get. Behind my red lipstick smile, I mask my own drama. I struggle every day, and I move forward without always being “real” about who I am or how I am feeling. I don’t know if it is right or wrong, but this is what I was raised to do.


Today, I’m going to get real with you about my “perfect” life.



Drama In My Marriage


My husband and I have our power struggles almost daily.


At the very least, we have them on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and most Saturdays. On those days, I’m on the rampage because I think he’s watching too much football. On those days, I can see him feeling torn between giving me the attention I am demanding and doing what he wants to do.


I secretly love making him feel conflicted and guilty. It’s true. And yes, I’m evil.


In contrast to MY feeling upset, I fuel James’ frustration during each work week because on most of those days, I tell him I’ll be home shortly after five. Most of the time, I’m home closer to six. Or six thirty. And once I finally get home from work, I never fully shut down, constantly checking e-mails and website stats, leaving him feeling neglected and overwhelmed. I realize I shouldn’t do this, but I do it anyway.


Every day is a tug of war over who is giving more, who should be less critical, who should be more patient, and who needs to be more present. Marriage is hard. I know that before one of us kicks the bucket, it will get even harder than it already is. I hope we make it.


Looking back, life seemed easier when I was single. It seems strange now to think back to the days when I spent all my time whining about being “alone.” Why didn’t I appreciate that period more?



The Angel Baby


When James and I were dating, we went to a friend’s birthday party at Dave and Buster’s. Just for kicks, we got into a machine that scanned our face structure, then “created” the image of one of our future children, printing it out onto one of those photo booth strips. After looking at what we might spawn together, James and I almost broke up.


She was hideous.


During my pregnancy, I lived in fear that I would eventually give birth to “Rosemary’s Baby.” Praise the Lord that our Paloma looks nothing like that photo strip baby. She is the perfect combination of me and her dad with her red curls, her chameleon eyes, her devilish sense of humor and her strong will.


In the last few days, I want to give her away.


For the first time in my life, I am shell shocked and don’t know how to respond to someone’s behavior. This past weekend, James and I took Paloma to the mall so we all could get outfits for our family Christmas photos on Sunday. Two words: EPIC and FAIL.


We were those people we never thought we’d be, walking through the mall dragging a shrieking, flailing toddler behind us. We were those parents negotiating with a two year old terrorist, thinking we might be able to reason with her through a major meltdown. We were those people who resorted to yanking the kid by the arm and threatening to beat her to a bloody pulp if she didn’t stop.


Nothing worked.


After refusing to sit on the mini-potty at Dillard’s only to end up peeing her “big girl” underwear in the middle of her screaming fit while two of us were attempting to restrain her in her car seat, Paloma finally fell asleep in her own urine on the way home. Two days later, I still feel beat down and exhausted from that experience. Probably because almost exactly the same thing happened on Sunday when a photographer tried to capture our happy, perfect family so we could create a happy, perfect picture for our happy, perfect Christmas card.


We are looking into toddler parenting courses as we speak.



The White Picket Fence House


Our house doesn’t have a white picket fence. It is actually a red brick ranch house on an acre lot in the center of town. When we bought it, the entire back portion of the property was surrounded by 15 foot oleanders that exploded into flowers every spring and guarded our privacy year round.


Now, those oleanders are dead, plagued by a deadly virus that attacked them. To make matters worse than losing our oleanders, we got cited by the City of Phoenix for having those dead plants in our yard. AND, because we got cited, to avoid prosecution, we had to spend over $5,000 to have DEAD plants removed.


Aside from the rare dead oleander-type issues, our house is a ton of work. It takes a lot to keep up both inside and out. After having the Brophy priests on our street sneer at us because of our overgrown and weedy front lawn, we finally bought a riding lawnmower so we (James) could keep up with the grass.


The up side is that we only pay about $150 per year to keep our lawn watered because we are lucky to have irrigation in our subdivision. Except for the fact that the bi-weekly irrigation brings around monster-sized mosquitoes. Those critters prevent us from enjoying that big grassy lawn most of the year.



The Bustling Business


I’m not going to go on about this too much because this rant has already lasted waaaay too long. I will say that I have made a ton of mistakes in my work, with my clients and with the people with whom I work. My brain is always “on”, trying to figure out how to please everyone, how to do the best job I can for my clients, how to attract more business and how to keep the lights on. I am passionate about what I do, but being a family law attorney and a business owner is emotionally and mentally taxing. It has it’s challenges every single day, and the fact that I keep doing it is a testament to the fact that I love my work, clients and the law.



What’s the Point of This?


So…the point of this was not for me to vent, although it did make me feel somewhat better.


The point was to show that nobody’s life is perfect. And that each person’s life is perfect.


All of us have our struggles. We each have our pain. Drama is a part of the human experience.


Whatever demons you are fighting, there is good in them. Without challenges, life would be boring. Vanilla. Without excitement. And without change.


Life’s hardships are what allow us to grow bigger, better and wiser. (<–Tweet this!) Embrace the difficulties. Learn everything you can in the midst of your struggles and failures.


These things are your best teachers.



Want to start building the perfect life?


Understand that whether you realize it or not, you are perfect.


And so is your life.


Sending you my wishes for a week in which you embrace the beauty in your life’s imperfections.


All my best,


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