Johnson Law Group - February 2020

FAMILY FORUM

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FEB 2020

HowWe Keep Growing After 8 Years Together

According to a recent Stanford study, the

Now, I’m not claiming it has always been smooth sailing. Every relationship faces hardships, and ours is no different. But, in our experience, having hardships in relationships is different than relationships being hard. Everyone is different, but I don’t believe healthy relationships should consistently be hard. When that happens, it may be a sign that boundaries need to be established and difficult conversations are necessary about how the relationship needs to change from each person’s perspective. When couples are willing to inquire about each other’s experiences of the relationship, rather than just advocating from a simple positional standpoint, it can be possible to reach new levels of understanding and appreciation for each other. One thing I recommend to all couples, whether they’re married or dating, is the book, “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Gary Chapman. This book was assigned to Myles and me by our premarital counselor, and it ended up being a useful tool in evaluating how we wanted our marriage to function. The book posits that it is crucial to understand how and why our partners show affection so that we can dedicate time and energy into meeting those needs. At the same time, the book also stresses the importance of knowing how we ourselves show affection, especially because how we show affection doesn’t always align with how our partner wants to receive affection.

internet has surpassed personal connections as the most popular way U.S. couples meet. Despite the internet being around for almost thirty years now, I find that statistic remarkable … and reminiscent of July 13, 2011, when I received an email that changed my life forever. After enrolling in the University of Colorado Law School, I joined the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). Shortly thereafter, I got an email from a CU student and BLSA officer named Myles Johnson. Myles was one year ahead of me, and his email said that if I had any questions about law school, Boulder, or BLSA, I should feel free to reach out to him. When I received his email at the time, I had been stressing about my move to Colorado and literally jumped with joy at his kindness. For weeks, I had been hoping to hear from a current student, and with school being a month away, I was beginning to fear I wouldn’t get the opportunity before school started. Myles and I exchanged a few more emails and planned to meet at the BLSA Barbecue the first week of school. When we met, we immediately hit it off. Having someone so easy to talk to and intelligent to help me navigate law school was a true blessing. Later, after Myles and I had been dating, we began reflecting on how we met, and he told me he had reached out to all the incoming BLSA members that day, but I was the only one who responded. Now, eight years later, it remains amazing to me that the first CU student I talked to would be my husband and the father of my children! So much has changed since then. Myles and I have gone from being a couple of stressed out law students to being married with two precious children and running our own law firm. It’s been an intensely amazing journey. Because we share mutual love and respect, we are able to work and communicate well with each other, and we are motivated to continue learning about ourselves and each other to grow stronger as a married couple and as business partners. With time, we have gained the wisdom to be more understanding of each other’s needs, faults, and strengths.

“We are motivated to continue learning about

The five love languages, according to Chapman, are:

• • •

Receiving gifts

• •

● Acts of service ● Physical touch

● Quality time

● Words of affirmation

ourselves and each other to grow stronger as a married couple and as business partners.”

It can be helpful to know your partner’s love language. After Myles and I had kids, my love language changed from words of affirmation to acts of service. With the fast pace of my days, it means a lot when someone can give me a hand. Meanwhile, Myles’ love language has consistently been physical touch. From my perspective, when Myles tells me I look nice, that makes me feel great every time. However, because my love language is acts of service, Myles cleaning the kitchen puts me over the moon. And from Myles’ perspective, when I pick up his dry cleaning, that is always a big help to him, but

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FEB. 14 IS NATIONAL DONOR DAY Give the Gift of Life

Join a Donor Dash.

With all the cards, chocolates, and expensive dinners, it’s easy to get cynical about Valentine’s Day. However, National Donor Day also falls on Feb. 14, and it can refocus our attention back on the real meaning of the day: love. In the U.S., 20 people die each day while waiting for an organ transplant. Losing loved ones is one of the most painful aspects of the human experience, and while it is unavoidable, organ donation offers a pathway to help prevent that loss and keep more love in the world.

Donor Dash fundraising events pop up all over the country on National Donor Day. These noncompetitive 5K running and walking events are designed to bring donors and recipients together and keep hope alive for those who are currently waiting for a donation. To learn more, or to register for an event, check out DonorAlliance.org.

Participate in #StartTheConversation.

In the spirit of that love, here are a few ways you can get involved with National Donor Day this Feb. 14.

Donor Alliance, a nonprofit that works to promote organ donation, began the #StartTheConversation campaign as a way to help spread awareness about organ and tissue donation. Starting the conversation can be as simple as sharing that you registered with your friends and family or as personal as sharing a story about how organ donation has touched your life or the lives of your loved ones. Don’t let another Valentine’s Day come and go in a tide of cellophane, candy hearts, and cheesy cards. This year, get involved in National Donor Day. After all, what better way is there to express the value of love than giving the gift of life? This led to the creation of The Journal of Negro History in 1916. Woodson and his colleagues used this journal to publish those achievements, along with the insights of other black Americans from around the country. Woodson challenged others to follow in his footsteps. And they did. In 1924, "Negro History Week" was founded by the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. This eventually became known as "Negro Achievement Week." It was part of greater outreach in many communities around the country to bring awareness of black achievement. Woodson and others wanted more, however. Through the 1920s and '30s, black culture grew in the U.S. At the same time, more black history was being taught in schools, even as many black communities faced oppression, especially in the southern states. As the Civil Rights Movement took hold in the '50s and '60s, more people were learning about black history, and black Americans were learning where they had come from and looking to their African ancestors for inspiration. During this time, more people were also celebrating Black History Month —

Register as an organ donor.

Signing yourself up is easy and can be done either online or in person at your local Department of Motor Vehicles. You’ll need official identification to register. Registration is not permanent and you will always have the option to change your mind. Once registered, you will not need to carry your donor card with you, as your status exists in the registry.

February is Black History Month. It’s a month that recognizes the countless men and women who helped change the American cultural, social, and scientific landscape. Black History Month can be traced back to 1915 in Chicago. It was the 50th anniversary of emancipation by the state of Illinois, and 52 years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

In 1915, thousands of African-Americans trekked to a cultural exhibition in Chicago. It was a three- week event chronicling the many achievements African Americans had made since slavery had been crushed only 50 years earlier. One of the attendees, Carter G. Woodson, was in awe of everyone in attendance — not to mention all

Carter G. Woodson

the achievements that were being shared at the event. Following the exhibition in Chicago, Woodson helped found the Association of the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Woodson’s goal was to bring the achievements of black Americans to a national stage.

which was quickly replacing the idea of "Negro HistoryWeek."

It wasn’t until 1976 that Black History Month was finally recognized nationally. It was 50 years after Carter G. Woodson made strides to change the American cultural landscape. Today, he and countless others can be credited with having a major positive impact on American culture.

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... continued from Cover

Many people can call themselves a child of a divorce but our senior paralegal, Casidy Ludwig, has often referred to herself as a child of many divorces. “Both of my parents divorced and remarried many times,” Casidy says. “I remember seeing how divorce impacted people, especially my mom. It was also pretty hard on me as a kid. When I went to college for my paralegal degree, I knew I wanted to go into family law. I wanted to support people who were going through the rough times my momwent through. I also knew how important it was to have someone trying to get what’s best for the kids.” After graduating with her degree in paralegal studies, Casidy started working at a debt collection law firm. It was, to use her own words, “awful.” “In my previous position, I never had any client contact,” Casidy explains. “I never spoke to anyone outside the firm. When I saw that Johnson Law Group was looking for a new paralegal, I applied immediately. I was thrilled to get the job. It meant I was finally doing family law and I actually got to meet my clients. In my job, I’m the first line of defense. I do a lot of research, keep in touch with clients, and make sure everything is able to move smoothly. “I love working at Johnson Law Group because I can see how everyone is doing all they can to get the best possible outcome for our clients. They’re not cases to us; they’re people. These are mothers, fathers, wives, and husbands who are going through what could be the worst time in their lives. I want my clients to know that we truly care about them and feel that we have their backs every step of the way.” When Casidy isn’t helping families at the firm, she’s taking care of her own family. She and her husband have two young children, a daughter and a son. When the weather’s nice, they like to spend time outside. And when the weather’s not so nice, Casidy and her family like to hang out inside together.

his love language is physical touch, so us cuddling and looking into each other’s eyes will truly make his day. I’m talking about two separate acts of love that are both objectively worthy of appreciation, but the impact of one act is much stronger than the other. It’s sort of like the difference between saying “Thank you” to your partner versus feeling like doing the “Carlton” dance from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air sitcom! By recognizing the love languages of ourselves and our partners, we can let our partners know how we want to receive love and learn the best ways to show our partner that we care. One of the assumptions in Chapman’s book is, of course, that the relationship is a healthy one. For people with partners or other family members struggling with negative forces, such as manipulative and addictive habits, I would recommend a book called “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life,” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Sometimes, I’ve noticed that couples get so focused on showing and receiving love that they lose sight of what limits are appropriate to maintain a pattern of healthy and positive interactions. I am so grateful that Myles emailed me back in law school and that I responded. Our relationship has guided me through many challenges and has helped me become a better person. By working together to counsel people going through a difficult divorce or custody matter, or a contentious protection order or guardianship, Myles and I are humbled to guide our clients through some of their biggest challenges in life and provide an action plan to help them come out stronger in the end.

–Genet Johnson

A huge source of our clientele is word of mouth, so we want to take this opportunity to deeply thank the following people for connecting us to people in need of family law services: (a) Floyd and April Jones of Colorado Affordable Legal Services; (b) John Daskam, Esq. and Jonathan Milgrom, Esq. of the law firm, Milgrom and Daskam; (c) Javed Abbas, Esq. of The Infinity Law Firm; (d) Ted Rosen, Esq. of the law firm, Rosen Thompson Rosen; and (e) last but not least, all our former clients who have not only entrusted us with their family's most important legal needs, but have also encouraged others to do the same.

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

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13599 East 104th Avenue, Suite 300 • Commerce City, CO 80022

INSIDE

A Fateful E-mail

Give the Gift of Life

The Rich History of Black History Month

Casidy Ludwig on The Power of Family Law

We Love Our Clients!

Local Events

HAVE MORE FUN! Make Time for FamilyWith Great Local Events

Denver Family Fest Where: National Western Complex, Denver When: Saturday, Feb. 22; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: $15 for adults; kids are free Website: TheExpoPros.com/familyfest Looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday with your family? Mark your calendar for Denver Family Fest! Parents and babies, teens and grandparents, and toddlers and cousins alike are invited to enjoy a fun day of family-friendly events and activities. There will be carnival games, face painting, live music, character meet- and-greets, giveaways, arts and crafts, and more! Bring the whole family because there’s fun for all ages at Denver Family Fest.

Family Free Days: ‘Akeelah and the Bee’ Where: The PACE Center, Parker, CO When: Sunday, Feb. 23; 2–6 p.m. Admission: Free Website: Tickets.ParkerArts.org Parker Arts is celebrating National African American Heritage Month with a free showing of “Akeelah and the Bee.” This inspirational film tells the story of 11-year-old Akeelah from South Los Angeles, whose gift for words takes her all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Overcoming challenges along the way, Akeelah learns to believe in herself and the strength of her community. This family-friendly event will also include free food, crafts, and entertainment.

Harlem Globetrotters Where: Pepsi Center, Denver When: Saturday, Feb. 29; 1 p.m. Admission: See website for tickets Website: AltitudeTickets.com/events

The Globetrotters are at it again in another larger-than-life world tour! For decades, this internationally beloved team has been winning hearts and delighting fans with one-of-a-kind family entertainment. Don’t miss out on seeing the Globetrotters trick-shot through Denver. It’s more than a game and more than a show; it’s an experience the whole family will remember forever.

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