SOMETHING HE’LL NEVER REMEMBER And We’ll Never Forget
could see his energy and level of intrigue change while he was looking around. We’d barely been in the park for an hour when we sat down for a snack, and Joseph was dancing, looking around at everything, and smiling and waving at the people walking by while he munched on his apple slices. It was incredible to watch how excited he was, and I could have left right then and there and been completely satisfied with the trip. That first day we planned to go through the Safari ride, see the Lion King show, and have a meet and greet with Mickey.When we finally got on the Safari ride, Joseph was completely into what was going on. He was making elephant noises and calling out all the animal names he knew— it was a mind-blowing experience.After the Safari, we headed to the Lion King show, which Melissa and I were a little apprehensive about. Both of us had seen the show previously and wondered if it’d be too scary for him at that age, but he was on my lap clapping and dancing with the show the entire time.The way he smiled and the look on his face while he was watching was worth everything and more. When we met Mickey later that evening, Joseph was a little unsure but warmed up pretty quickly. He didn’t cry at all, and it helped me feel a little better about the character breakfast we had booked for the last day we were there. But, while he was going to town on his blueberries that morning, one of the chipmunks, Dale, surprised Joseph accidentally, and he went completely berserk.We got him calmed down enough that he enjoyed visits from Mickey and Chip who came by sometime later, but he was really nervous when Dale made a reappearance. One of the last rides we went on was It’s a Small World, which played to Joseph’s love of music and dancing. On that ride, he had a look on his face like he’d died and gone to heaven. He was completely into it, clapping and dancing the entire time we were on the boat. Once we were off the ride, he was waving at all the cast members, clapping, and smiling. It was
Like many of you native South Floridians, my wife and I grew up going to Disney World. It was where we went for family vacations, weekend getaways, and even some school trips. We always enjoyed going because we were young or with our friends, but when you’re older, the enjoyment shifts. A few years ago, we took two of our nieces to the park, and it was a completely different experience. I think everyone who lives in this area thinks about when they’ll be able to take their own kids to Disney World to share the experience with them, which is what happened to us. Melissa and I had a fantastic time watching how excited they were seeing their favorite Disney characters, getting on the rides, and being blown away by the magic of the park. Melissa and I had always wanted a chance to take our kids to the park once we had them, and this experience with our nieces had us looking forward to that day even more. When we had Joseph, we were thrilled to have such a wonderful addition to our family and looked forward to when he’d be old enough to take on his first visit to Disney World. And on New Year’s, we finally had that chance! The trip was everything and nothing like what we expected. We had been waiting a long time, and sometimes when that happens, the real thing doesn’t always live up to your expectations. But this visit shattered them in all the best ways. At first, we weren’t sure if Joseph was old enough at 13 and a half months or if he was going to be okay with all the people and characters walking around. However, it turned out to be the best Disney World trip I’ve ever taken. Our trip started in the Animal Kingdom, where we picked up our passes. Joseph is really something and has always wowed me with how he seems to sense what’s going on around him, which is exactly what happened as soon as we stepped into the park. You
kind of like an adrenaline rush you get while on a roller coaster. He was so happy about the ride he’d just gone on that he couldn’t keep it to himself. Right after we got off It’s a Small World, the park started to set off their fireworks — perfect timing! We made sure to put the earmuffs we had over Joseph’s ears so the noise wouldn’t bother him and went to watch. During the whole show, he had a look of amazement in his eyes. As we were walking away from the show, I was looking down at him while pushing his stroller. Joseph was looking straight up at the fireworks with his face lit up from excitement, and I felt all my emotions swell up in an instant. It was an extremely powerful moment. Visiting Disney World with Joseph is one of those trips I will never forget, even if I tried. It was such a unique experience that I doubt I could ever go back and enjoy it as much as I did on that first trip with my son.
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CELEBRATING ST. PATRICK’S DAY Family-Friendly Activities
WATCH IRISH MOVIES For a relaxing activity, settle down in front of the TV for a movie night filled with films related to Irish culture. Try “The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns,” “Song of the Sea,” “The Luck of the Irish,” or “The Secret of Kells.” MAKE AN IMPACT Teach your kids how to be “greener” this month by doing more for the environment. Discuss ways to save energy and water in the home, and talk about the importance of taking a break from electronics and enjoying the outdoors.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to mean heading to the local Irish bar and drinking a large green beverage. If you’re not interested in going out this year and would prefer to do something at home with the family, here are a few ways everyone can celebrate.
IRISH-THEMED FOOD What better way to get festive than by making some St. Patrick’s Day-themed dishes? You can make rainbow cupcakes, green cookies, St. Patrick’s Day popcorn, or — for a more traditional dish — Irish soda bread. You can also cook up an array of greens for dinner on March 17, which could include Brussels sprouts, spinach, cucumbers, green beans, peas, or asparagus.
light bulbs with green ones, or draw rainbows on the windows. You’re only limited by your imagination.
EXPLORING IRISH CULTURE Another way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your family is to sit down and read about Irish culture with your kids. Learn where the legend of the leprechaun came from or read other stories from Irish folklore. You can also watch videos of Irish dance performances and encourage the kids to make their own. There’s also fascinating history on St. Patrick and why he became the patron of the holiday that your family members can research together. If you have Irish roots, tell your kids about your heritage.
A MISCHIEVOUS LEPRECHAUN To treat your kids to a fun game, leave green footprints around the house and participate in impish tricks! Empty a tissue box, hide the remote, swap out regular This list is not exhaustive by any means, but it’s a good start to get your family to create new ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. You might even create family traditions that will last for years to come. DEFENDANT CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF A FIREARM
BY A CONVICTED FELON
FACTS: The defendant in question was charged after allegedly abandoning their vehicle and fleeing from a traffic stop in Sunrise, Florida. Once the defendant had allegedly left the scene, police officers identified the suspect they observed running as matching the description of a driver’s license found in the abandoned car. Once they searched the vehicle, law enforcement found a firearm (.40 caliber handgun) inside of a backpack on the front passenger seat. To make matters worse, the car was swabbed for DNA, and ultimately the prosecutor determined a match of the DNA found on the drivers’ side interior panel of the car (i.e., door handle, steering wheel, and gear shift) and the handgun could be linked to our client. Our client maintained his innocence throughout this time, and our investigation revealed that all the facts surrounding the case pointed to a misidentification by the police officer. Given his prior run-ins with the
criminal justice system, our client had a lot at stake, and the State Attorney’s Office would not budge. Left with no choice, he had to gamble with a jury of his peers to determine whether he was guilty. At trial, we convinced the jury that the law enforcement officer’s identification of our client as the driver was mistaken. As a result, they could not trust the DNA evidence because there was reasonable doubt as to when he had driven the car. As for the gun, we convinced the jury that the DNA evidence didn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt when our client had possessed that gun, how long the DNA had been on the gun, or if it was there because it was transferred by someone else.
After deliberation, the jury found our client NOT GUILTY!
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FINDING AND MEETING YOUR ATTORNEY Looking for That Perfect Fit
KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR It’s vital in your search for an attorney to look at which fields of law they specialize in before you reach out to them. Make sure they focus on the area you need answers or help with. If you’re still unsure where to look, go to your local bar association, which has helpful referral programs for you to use. PACKAGE OF WRITTEN INFORMATION Once you’ve found the firm you want to contact, you should ask them to send their package of written information to you. This packet should include:
A written assurance that they carry errors and omissions (“malpractice”) insurance of at least one million dollars. A full explanation of fees and costs, the difference between the two, and how the percentage fee is calculated. FREE CONSULTATION Many attorneys will offer a free consultation, although some lawyers will charge for it, so be sure to ask if they charge beforehand. Consultations are perfect opportunities to ask the lawyer any questions you may have about your case, including the fees involved, how long they’ve been in practice for, and what your case may or may not give you. At the end of the meeting, you can decide if you want to hire them or to keep looking, just as the attorney can choose if they can or can’t help you.
When you’re injured, there’s a lot to be concerned with. You’re worried about your medical bills, the other party involved in the accident, insurance, the damage to your car, and many other substantial stressors. Things can become even more stressful when you have to get an attorney involved. Looking for that perfect fit with a lawyer can be difficult but not impossible. In a previous edition, Izquierdo Law wrote about how to look for an attorney using referrals from the people you know, the internet, phone books, and interviews with an attorney. That first meeting is important — it’s a time to exchange essential information about the case and to start building a trusting relationship. This month, we want to talk about what you should do before and during that initial appointment.
A sample fee agreement.
A complete written explanation of the steps involved in a personal injury lawsuit
Laugh Out Loud
Everything Popcorn Everything is the best bagel flavor. This is not a matter of debate. Sprinkle the seasoning on popcorn for a delicious snack that will have people asking, “What does this remind me of?” Ingredients
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
3/4 cup popcorn kernels
2 teaspoons granulated onion
2 tablespoons flaky sea salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
Once popping, continue cooking and shaking the pan intermittently until popping ceases, about 3–5 minutes. 3. Transfer popcorn to a large mixing bowl. Pour in butter and toss to coat. Finally, add seasoning, toss again, and serve.
1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds. Shake skillet often and cook until white seeds are golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add garlic, onion, and salt. 2. In a large saucepan, combine popcorn kernels and oil. Cook over medium-high heat, covered, until popcorn kernels start to pop.
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INSIDE this issue
A Visit to Remember
Family Activities for St. Patrick’s Day Finding and Meeting Your Attorney Everything Popcorn Jury Verdict – Not Guilty!
Why Charities Hate Spring-Cleaning
The Right Way to Donate After Spring-Cleaning DONATE WITH CARE Spring is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate with another round of spring-cleaning. Banish the clutter and make room in your life for something new! Many charities see a sharp increase in donations as spring-cleaning season starts. Donating your used books, kids’ toys, and gently worn clothing allows your old items to have a second life. However, when filling that donation box, make sure you’re donating each item because it can do good and not just because you feel bad about throwing it away. Charities have a big problem with well-meaning citizens dropping off items that are better left in the trash. There are many items charities simply cannot handle. Most charities will have lists of items they can and cannot accept on their websites. Some items that you should not donate include:
These items may be unsafe to sell, costly to ship, or impossible to refurbish effectively. When a charity regularly receives items they cannot use, they have to spend hours of manpower sorting through things that end up in the trash anyway. This process can be expensive for organizations with already-strained resources. Some local charities spend over $1,000 a year on dumpster and trash removal fees for unusable donations. While charities will have no choice but to throw unusable donations in the trash, there are services you can use to make your spring-cleaning eco-friendly,
even for items you can’t donate. For example, if you have torn or stained blue jeans, reach out to Blue Jeans Go Green. This program keeps denim out of landfills by turning it into insulation. And while Goodwill can’t take your batteries or old flip phone, you can check out Call2Recycle.org to learn how to safely recycle your e-waste.
Loose remote controls
Personal care items, like soap, shampoo, or makeup
Tangled cords or phone chargers
Your donations can be a big help to local charities. Just don’t “donate” your garbage.
Any broken, damaged, or dirty items
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