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I'm Not Here Any More!
Not here. I'm there.

Come see me at the new LawyerMama.com, baby!

I've Moved!
I finally got off my tushy and set up my new blog with that URL I bought after BlogHer last year.

And be sure to update your links, feeds & all that jazz. I'm going to start forwarding this URL as soon as I get all my links updated, so update your feed readers now!

Lawyer Mama
(of lawyermama.com) Wooo HOOOO!

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Dreams of a Mother

One of our fabulous MOMocrat sisters pointed us to a wonderful site this week. On it was the Mother's Day Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe. Julia was the founder of Mother's Day and the writer of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, but she was so much more. She was a mother, an early feminist, abolitionist, poet, and writer.

After the Civil War, Julia had a dream, a dream of peace. She believed that peace was the most important social cause of her time and she wrote about it tirelessly:

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:

We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

First Stanza of The Mother's Day Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe.

Julia's proclamation stands as a reminder to all of us that this Sunday is not about flowers, candy, and brunch. It's about fighting for your beliefs, whatever they may be. It's about political activism. It's about standing up for justice.

The MOMocrats will each be writing about our own dreams as mothers and we encourage all of you to join us over the next week. In true MOMocrats style, each MOMocrat will be sharing a political or social issue close to her heart. We'd love it if you did too, but your own special non-political dreams are important as well. We want the world to hear them.

Take the button above, write about your own Dream of a Mother and link back to MOMocrats. Come back and comment and give us your link so we can read about your special dream.

Here's the code for your site:

<center><a href="http://momocrats.typepad.com"><img border="0" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v470/steph-trey/DreamsofaMotherButtoncopy.jpg" alt="MOMocrats: Dreams of a Mother" /></a></center>

Don't forget to link back to http://momocrats.typepad.com. We want to hear your dream.

Used Wish
After the Wish by Lawyer Mama


Speaking of social justice, the Just Post Roundtable links are up over at Jen's place, Mad's place, and Su's place. These women work every month to bring us some of the best of the blogosphere. I love reading the Just Posts because it reminds me that, no matter how small I feel at times, speaking out will change the world.

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Imelda Marcos, Eat Your Heart Out (or Monticello Shoes, Will You Marry Me?)
Can I marry a shoe store?

By now you all know about my deep and abiding love of all things shoe and shoe related. If you're new here, or you've managed to block it from your mind, here's a little reminder.

And here:

Brown Suede Pumps
Brown suede pumps, Ann Taylor

And here:

Dandelion Sandals
Gold, stacked heel flip flops, Old Navy

And here:

Green Shoes
Green patent leather wedge with gold trim and buckle, Anne Klein

And, of course, here:

Pink socks
Black satin peep toe pumps with toe ruching, Nina
Pink and black toeless knee high tights by Tarjaaaaah (aka Target)

And, um, here:

Red Heels
Red, Chloe double cross strap Mary Janes by Fitzwell.

But now? Now, I would forsake all my lovely, lovely shoes for these:

I found a beautiful new shoe store, Monticello Shoes, in downtown Norfolk. I was walking back from lunch through the Monticello Arcade in downtown Norfolk, and there it was, like a bright, shining shoe beacon of leathery, sparkly loveliness. I loved every. single. pair. of. shoes. in the whole damn store.

They are designed by a woman and super, super comfortable with extra support in the heel and ball of the foot. They are designed to be worn for a full work day in comfort. Every shoe is unique, designed just for Monticello shoes and handmade in Brazil. You haven't seen these shoes anywhere else and they are exquisite. They are really more than designer shoes; some of them are works of art.

My absolute favorite in the store was a gorgeous pair of gray suede mules with purple leather trim and an adorable Swarovski crystal flower adorning the side. Unfortunately, they had sold my size already. You see, they only make 1 shoe in each size. That's it. In the entire world.

Monticello Shoes also has matching belts and handbags, although the entire collection of bags was not yet in. The samples they did have were lovely. Each features the MS crest, has a light inside for locating lost items, and a battery charger. That's right. A friggin' battery charger. Brilliant!

Monticello will also custom design shoes for you, stamping your name in the leather insert. How many times have you seen a lovely pair of shoes and thought, "those would be perfect in red?" Or, "If only the heel weren't so high?" Monticello can make that happen with their shoes. Or you can bring a special dress in and have them design a pair of shoes just for you.

Every pair of shoes has a matching belt and bag. While I prefer not to match my bag to my shoes, I'd love to have some of those bags in different patterns. They will also custom design purses. If they custom design a purse, Monticello can also replace the MS design on the front of the bag with your initials. How cool is that?!

The woman who designed these things is a genius. I want to meet her and give her a big kiss. And then beg her to get back to work designing more lovely shoes made of air and light and pretty shiny crystals.

The salesman in the store also gave me a sneek peak at their Fall collection of boots that will be out in August. Dear lord, they were magnificent! My favorite pair: knee high black suede boots with a 3 inch heel. From about 3 inches from the top to just above the ankle, they feature a rich, red plaid fabric. Cutest. boots. ever.

The best thing about all of these fabulous designer shoes is that they are reasonably priced. Seriously. They range from about $150-$230 for the nicer party shoes. If you've ever purchased a pair of Dolce & Gabana heels or Jimmy Choo boots, you know that's a steal!

I know that I've been overly effusive in this post. My fingers are tripping over the keys in an attempt to get the words out. But let me say it one more time:

I. Love. Monticello. Shoes.

Monticello Shoes, will you marry me?

If you live in the Hampton Roads area, you can find these lovely shoes* here:

Monticello Shoes
209 E. City Hall Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23510
(757) 624-8450

But if you see a size 6, you'd better step off. Those are mine!

* They also have men's shoes. They all looked lovely and rich at a glance, but I didn't even bother looking very closely at them. T wears shoes until they have holes in them and then buys another pair at Payless for no more than $40. Then he's good for another 2 years. Sigh.... It's a damn good thing he's cute!

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...and then there were three.
Gary the Kitten

Meet Gary, the kitten.

Yep. Now there are three cats in our house. You see, Patches, while a very sweet kitten, is very skittish. It turns out that she's much older than the animal shelter thought, her growth was just stunted from malnutrition. While we're sure she'll warm up to the boys over time, right now she hides under the couch if she even hears one of them. She also runs if either T or I try to even approach her. She has to come to us.

While that's fine for me and T, Hollis, who was really missing Pandy, was not happy with the situation. So, sucker me went out and picked up another kitten. This one is actually a young kitten - he's about 8 weeks old now. T named him Gary, after Sponge Bob's pet snail. When I hear his name, I keep looking for a 48 year old, balding accountant instead of a cute striped kitten.

It's turned out to be good for Patches too. She and Gary play incessantly and they leave Hilly alone more. Which makes him happy. Trust me, when Sir Hillary isn't happy then nobody's happy!

Now I'm just 20 cats or so away from becoming a crazy lady.

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What Are My Words Worth?
Before I get down to the nitty gritty, I have a review up at Law(yer Mama) Review. Did you read the book, The Three Martini Playdate? I read it; my husband read it; we both loved it. So when PBN gave me the opportunity to review Christie Mellor's latest book, Were You Raised By Wolves? I had to do it. So head over to Lawyer Mama Review and see what I thought.

Because you know the world revolves around my opinion....


A few weeks ago, the bloggers on D.C. Metro Moms blog had some interesting news. We're being syndicated. The founders of Silicon Valley Moms Blog, and all its various regional offshoots, negotiated an agreement with the McClatchy Group to syndicate three to five posts a week from the SV Moms Blogs. The McClatchy Group selected the first three posts about three weeks ago. My post about Sexism in Advertising was one of them.

Here's the kicker: none of us, not even the founders of Silicon Valley Moms, are being paid.

Until now I've pretty much stayed out of the controversy over paid versus unpaid blogging. I can certainly sympathize with freelance writers who pay their rent with their words. This is what they do for a living. They are highly trained journalists and wonderful writers. If I accept an unpaid blogging "job" am I simply lowering the market price for the words of the professionals?

I know that a few bloggers, some who are freelance writers, have opted out of the syndication on the SV Moms blogs. I can completely understand that. The syndication has no value to them aside from gaining name recognition or resume building. If you already have that as a freelance writer, why give your words away for free to print publications that normally pay you?

So what do I get out of an unpaid syndication of my words? Name recognition? Maybe. Although I doubt that I'll be syndicated so regularly that people will start demanding my posts! An ego massage? Maybe. It is nice to see your words, your byline in actual cellulose and newsprint. Resume building? Definitely.

For those of us who write (as opposed to Write) for fun, therapy, or recognition, the idea of being a freelance writer or (gasp!) writing a book is heavenly. I've been saying since law school that I want to be a Writer when I grow up. Granted, my job already involves a lot of writing but it isn't writing that feeds my soul. Of course, there's no guarantee that free lance writing or even writing a book would do that either. Publishers will only pay for what sells. And who wants to pay to read my narcissistic rambles?

I don't pretend to know the answer to the paid versus unpaid blogging and writing debate. I do know that business models for mainstream media are changing because of the blogosphere. People are fleeing traditional media for the web and many of the providers of news and information on the web are doing it for free. With print publication budgets plummeting, is it any wonder that MSM wants to get in on the free stuff?

I got my first hits on my syndicated article a few weeks ago, via my automatic "Lawyer Mama" Google Alert, from the Centre Daily Times in Centre, Pennsylvania and the Modesto Bee in Modesto, California. I've gotten more since then, but I'm too lazy to link them all. So clearly there is a market for my sort of writing, just apparently not enough to pay me.

Whether this increases my blog traffic (So far, no, but it might help if I posted something here on occasion!), or enables me to add "professional writer" to my resume remains to be seen. Maybe I can even start calling myself a Writer with a capital W. All I know is that I think it's pretty cool. So if you happen to see me in print somewhere, for God's sake, cut it out and send it to me!

Speaking of unpaid blogging, don't forget to read my review of Were You Raised by Wolves? over at Law(yer Mama) Review!

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Everyone, Meet Jimbo The Sexist Moron
I recently wrote a post for D.C. Metro Moms about sexism in advertising. You might want to read it if you want the back story.

Well, I got a comment last night from my post that I just had to share with everyone. It's from someone aptly named, Jimbo. I'm picturing him in a wife beater t-shirt, with a remote in his hand, screaming at his wife, "Bring me another beer, b*tch!"

Here's his comment in full, typos and all:

You broads are really something else. I feel so sorry for your husbands, if they are still around.

Listen carefully: Feeding your kids is not a bad thing. Keeping a clean home is not a bad thing. It is part of mommy's responsibility, and she should do it happily. This is not sexist. It is woman's work. And it is a lot easier than typical men's work.

Even in a family where both parents work, it is the man who generally makes much more money. This is also not due to sexism or a glass celing. It is because he has chosen a much tougher, dangerous job and works more hours. Also, in the majority of these duel income families where the man earns more, he contributes a greater % of his income to the family's necessities and bills. The wife gets to "play around" with her income, spending it on herself and "fun stuff". The man contributes more financially.

In a family of a man and a woman, there are gender specific chores. Ever notice which gender an auto part store targets? It's men. Does that infuriate you too? When mommy drives for two weeks with the check engine light on, it's daddy's job to fix the car. He also does repairs around the house, mows the lawn, takes out the trash, and does most of the heavy lifting. If there is an unwelcome guest or intruder, it is the daddy's job to handle the situation and keep his family safe. While, hopefully, this is not an everyday duty, it is a man's responsibility that no woman would want.
Bottom line, until you are ready to do man's work, don't complain about your woman's work.

Personally, I think Black Eye Peas send a much more negative messege to kids than "mommy is racing to feed us".
Apparently Jimbo didn't do his homework before he commented on a post written by "Lawyer Mama." (And he doesn't know how to use spell check.)


Oh, and if you'd like to comment to email Jimbo directly, his email address is jimbojonesx@hotmail.com and his IP address is Just to help everyone out, I'll tell you that the IP address is located in Los Angeles.

Welcome to 2008, Jimbo. It's full of uppity women. Enjoy!

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