Quill Tip

This month’s tip is for anyone who hasn’t already indulged in the morally questionable party game – Cards Against Humanity – you might want to try it! Our suggestion: make sure you have a glass or two of your favorite adult beverage on hand and a fun group of friends!

Holly got hitched!

Next time you see Holly (Steiner) Sommerhauser congratulate her on her December nuptials to the incredibly lucky (we think) Brian Sommerhauser! What a beautiful couple!

Barrister’s Title Staff New Year Resolutions

“My Resolution is to lose a few lbs from my ever expanding mid-section. . .”
~ Sal Balsamo

“Work out 4-5 times a week. 
Go consistently to church with my kids.”
~ Landis Sinnett

“My resolution is to say ‘No’ more often to make time for the things that really matter.”
~ Summer Hogan

“My kids got me a guitar for Christmas so my New Year’s resolution is to learn to play it!  Also, I just watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun and decided my dream vacation is to go to Italy so I’ve decided to learn Italian. I downloaded an app and everything! It’s about to get real!”
~ Maria Houghton

“I don’t make resolutions. I have life goals that are an ever-changing list. Mine and my husband, Brandon’s, current goal is to buy a house before the summer.”
~ Kristen Moorefield

“My real resolution is to delete apps off my phone so I am on my phone less.”
~ Jennifer Conrad

“Mine is to eat more vegetables!!”
~ Holly Steiner

“My New Year resolution is to stop making New Year resolutions.  I am just setting myself up for failure and I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.”  🙂
~ Amy Mills

Like our Facebook page for a little New Year humor!

Where In The World Is The BT Koozie?

The Barrister’s Title koozie was spotted in Atlanta with Sal and his law school roommate, John Shiptenko! The BT koozie is proving to have quite the social life! It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!

Like our Facebook page to see the other places our BT koozie has traveled!


Why did the police go to the daycare center on New Year’s Eve?

Email your guesses to Summer.

The answer to last month’s riddle was: Oh snap!

Achieving Happiness in 2018

For the first article of The Quill for 2018, I hope you will indulge me in a non-legally related topic.  In this article, I want to focus on Happiness and, in particular, what steps we can take to achieve it.

Psychologists have recently begun to conclude that achieving happiness can be a trained behavior.  In other words, there are things we can do that will impact the quality of our lives.  Human Beings are extremely social animals.  It is hard wired into our DNA.  At the most basic of levels, we need each other.  Not just to help us accomplish tasks, but because we absolutely must form bonds with each other to be fulfilled.  To me, this is the essential definition of what it is to be a human being.  And so, it is no wonder, that one of the major keys to happiness is the quality of our relationships.  It is important to our personal fulfillment that we have good relationships with those that we are closest to.  If your relationships with your intimates are not fulfilling you, ask yourself why. . .and, more importantly, what you can do to change that.

Second in our quest for Happiness, is to recognize that we are fueled daily by little happiness trigger events.  It may be a smile from an attractive person, a pat on the back from a co-worker or a friend telling you how great you look.  When those triggers happen, take time to enjoy them.  As humans, we tend to skip over the positives in our lives and dwell on the negative.  Make a conscious effort to do the opposite.

Another positive thing that we can do to enhance our own happiness is to give to others.  This could take several forms.  Sure. . .we can give our money to a charity and that can be very rewarding, but we can also give our time.  Visiting a Senior Citizens Center or donating some time to the Food Bank can be rewarding experiences.  Alternatively, it could be as simple as taking the time to pay someone a compliment.  Sending someone a nice e-mail and getting a positive response in return helps make a connection with a person.  And since we have already established that Human Beings are very social creatures, that connection can be very rewarding.  Along those lines, taking time to express gratitude can be very fulfilling.  Studies have shown that taking time to jot daily into a journal the things that you are grateful for can enhance your life.

Scientists have discovered that whenever we accomplish a goal that we have set for ourselves, our brain delivers a little jolt of dopamine.  That may seem obvious for big goals, like running a Marathon or climbing Mount Everest, but the same triggers are in place when we simply tick something off of our To Do List.  Be proactive in setting little challenges for yourself and take the time to enjoy your accomplishments.  Along those lines, I am a firm believer in scheduling for yourself things to look forward to.  Buy yourself tickets to the symphony or to go see Phantom of the Opera or a sporting event.  Find a show on NetFlix and binge-watch it.  Binge watch the hell out of it if it makes you happy.  Plan weekend excursions periodically.  It doesn’t have to be somewhere exotic, it just has to be something that you look forward to doing.  I think it helps us deal with the daily grind and helps break up what can be the monotony of our individual lives.

Studies have shown that Happiness tends to bottom out for many individuals at age 44.  However, Happiness rises steadily in people who are in their 50’s, 60, and 70’s.  There may be a multitude of reasons for that (not the least of which is that your responsibilities for child rearing are likely over by that point).  But one of the possible reasons is by the time we reach our late 50’s and 60’s we care less about what people think of us and have learned over the years that we have the ability to exhibit control over the things that make us most happy.

Lastly, understand that being happy can be a mindset if you let it.  Happiness can be a choice.  Yes. . .we are all faced with challenges in our lives that can act as significant obstacles to our Happiness, but when you make a choice to focus on “Emotionally Meaningful Goals”, life gets better. I hope everyone of you has a great 2018.  Make a choice to enjoy it!


Barrister’s Title All Star

Joe Scumaci
Post Closing/Legal Assistant
Doyle & Wallace

We would like to recognize the fabulous Joe Scumaci as our next Barrister’s Title All Star! When preparing finals for submission Joe always sends everything we need – including recorded documents!  It makes issuing policies for his Firm a breeze! Joe, you are much appreciated! Keep up the great work!

Meet The Family: Next Gen

John Nabors
(Future) Underwriter

John Nabors, a remarkable 3 year old (future) Underwriter at Barristers Title and (future) Wake Forest Alum (Go Deacs!), recently joined the team in December when he was adopted by his mommy and daddy.  This little Deacon enjoys fighting fires in his power wheels fire truck and hitting home runs off of his T-Ball set.  He is passionate about playtime with his puppy “sisters” Maddi and Lizzi who enjoy corralling and herding him like a sheep while playing in the back yard.

His recent accomplishments include a solo vocal performance of Jingle Bells at his Christmas concert, pretending to be Santa Claus giving gifts to his classmates, screaming like his mommy and daddy at the TV when the Panthers score a touchdown and establishing a methodical plan to memorize all 50 states (he currently has 6 nailed down with a mere 44 left to go!)

His favorite shows are currently Paw Patrol and Blaze and the Monster Machines, although he has been dabbling quite frequently in recent days with the 1983 rendition of He-Man because well, daddy reminds him of Skeletor. Contact him at john@futurebarristerstitle.com