Defense attorney Rebecca Lively makes her home in the Denton County community of Argyle, but her namesake law firm handles criminal cases across the Metroplex. When she’s not conferring with clients or appearing before a judge over video call (a sign of the COVID times), Lively is spending time with the three guys in her life: Husband Eric—they’ve been happily wed for 15 years—and sons Lucas, 11, and Hunter, 10.
7AM Wake up, check work email, respond to any client emergencies from overnight. Coffee, hugs, food. Mid-COVID pandemic, our days definitely look different than they used to. My husband, who once traveled more than 50% of the time for his job in telecommunications, now works 100% from home. I used to be in court multiple days a week and now handle most of that via Zoom—but I still have to make some visits to the courthouse and jail. So we look at our schedules to see who has what and plan our day.
8AM More coffee, please. As a family we have decided that our boys will be spending at least the first nine weeks of school learning virtually, so we are in the process of creating learning areas in the house. That is going to be our main goal today, outside of our other jobs, so I check to make sure all the deliveries have arrived. I get in 15 minutes of yoga … need some deep breathing.
9AM Check in with my family. They are all front-line workers, from my mom (a travel nurse currently in Miami) to my sister (a pediatric surgeon in New York). I text with them daily to make sure they are OK and weathering the stress. I send funny memes or pictures of the boys and little stories of our days. I know they are exhausted; they know I am very worried about them. Last of the coffee, I promise.
10AM Dishes! Amazing when you are all home—four humans, eating three meals a day—how many times you do the dishes. Returning to work, I make a public records request, conference with the district attorney’s office, write a letter to a client and have a client conference via Zoom. Then I head outside. We have a garden that my neighbor and I both work on. It has taken years to turn it into anything worth the labor, but it has finally exploded with the most beautiful vegetables and herbs. It is where I go to escape the chaos of my house. Today I harvest about 24 tomatoes and tons of herbs.
11AM I’ve decided to make roasted tomato sauce with the tomatoes from the garden and watch Gov. Abbott’s news conference at the same time. Once the sauce is in the oven, I have a conference with a client’s brother, do some legal research, send emails to the district attorney, read and summarize police reports, have more conferences with clients. Then I make a quick lunch for the boys, make sure they have made their beds and cleaned their rooms (eventually taking away video game controllers to ensure it’s all done). Teach Hunter how to start a load of laundry; Lucas does a quick pickup of the living room.
12PM We rearrange Hunter’s bedroom for virtual learning with his new desk, bookshelves, lights, alternative seating and whiteboard calendar. Email with district attorney, negotiate felony plea offer, read and make notes on material for a case.
1PM Continue rearranging Hunter’s room and build shelves in Lucas’ room to support his virtual learning. And I have to update the chore chart. We have a chore chart where the boys earn and spend internet time like money—I forgot to add that Hunter did laundry.
2PM I research a drug rehab program for a client and do a Zoom conference with the client and their family, then set up a cookie-baking-slash-math lesson with Hunter. He is going to double the recipe so we’re working on fractions. Before we can start the cookies, I finish off the roasted tomato sauce and put it in the fridge for tomorrow.
3PM Bake cookies with Hunter and make a gigantic mess in the kitchen. He insists on tasting as we go—so he tastes the sugar, then the sugar and butter together, then the batter, then the chocolate chips, the cookie dough. I swear this kid had eaten at least six cookies’ worth of ingredients before even one was in the oven! I email with the court then text with my mom and my sister. Arrange a playdate and pitching lessons for Lucas.
4PM Bake more cookies, clean up cookie mess because there is flour everywhere, check work email, clean kitchen. (Didn’t I do that like four times today??)
5PM Finish baking cookies by myself. Because we made a double batch, there are eight dozen cookies to be baked, and by now Hunter has completely lost interest. Clean the living area, set the dinner table. My in-laws arrive early for dinner. My husband gets home with pizzas, and we open some wine and finally sit down.
6PM We eat as a family, discussing anything and everything. Papa O, Eric and Lucas run down the street to practice baseball for 30 minutes. Grandma and Hunter play basketball. I sit in silence at the table and finish my glass of wine.
7PM I clean the kitchen (please let this be the last time) and take a video call from my lovely high school friend in New York. We laugh over fantastically creative gag gifts we’ve been sending back and forth since coronavirus. Hers was delivered today; it was a blue metal chicken. I go and sit on the back patio with my family. We laugh at the boys performing jokes.
8PM Grandparents leave. We clean up the patio and direct the boys to shower. I put away 8 million cookies and double-check my schedule for tomorrow. I lay out supplies needed for my son’s math placement test in the morning. Make sure I closed the garage, holler at the boys for the third time to shower, and rotate a load of laundry.
9PM Check work email and send a quick response to the court. Wash my face, kiss my boys goodnight, lie down and pick up my most recent book; most likely will fall asleep reading it. This was a good day.
What she’s reading Everything. I love to read. I just finished American Dirt, Mexican Gothic, and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.
First celebrity crush Joey McIntyre from New Kids On The Block
Favorite date night spot Keiichi in Denton
Guaranteed to make her laugh My husband. He’s hysterical, even after we’ve been together for 20 years.
Guaranteed to make her cry I am a “fixer,” so when I am extremely frustrated and do not have the power to fix something, that is very personal to me.
Biggest pet peeve Dishonesty. Actions speak louder than words.
Motherhood in five words Remember to trust your gut.
What she does when life gets stressful Breathe. This is just a season. You will survive all your feelings.
She’s inspired by People who offer grace, people who laugh really loud, good parents, intentional actors, smart decisions, thoughtful choices and sincere apologies
Photo courtesy of Amanda Crow Photography.