Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The house that built me...

I'm sure it's just because I'm the lamest person on the planet, but I just heard Miranda Lambert's new song "The House That Built Me" yesterday on the radio.  

If it's possible that anyone could be lamer than me and there's someone else out there who hasn't heard it yet, go here and listen.  

It's okay.  I'll wait. :)

So yesterday I'm driving down the road, and this song comes on, and I just start to cry.  I'm pretty sure the people in the car next to me thought I was crazy.  But that's nothing new. :)

It's just that I get that same feeling every time I go home and drive down that white rock road, past the house that my parents built.  The house my mom adored and dreamed about for years.  

Because I had my first kiss in that driveway.  

And I saw my first shooting star on that front porch.

Micah told me he loved me for the first time in that upstairs bedroom.  The one with the big dormer window that opened out onto the roof. 

I think I just miss home. And I know that home isn't a house.  Believe me, I know that.

But that house was a wonderful, wonderful home for a lot of years.  It was a safe place - a place where love lived.  I thank the Lord all the time that I was blessed with such a happy, healthy childhood.  And, hands down, I had the best parents in the world.  No question there.  

Today is just another one of those days.  I just need to remember that Micah and I are building a "home."  It may not be in this house, but it's certainly not lacking in love. :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fun with Lilly...

Our puppy is a high-energy little girl.  So we've tried to figure any and every way that we can run down her energy.  The best approach we've found so far is a pretty low-cost, high entertainment situation:  the water hose. :)
We get out a plastic kiddie pool, and she goes to town.  Here she is, gathering up the courage to jump in.

She's still not quite sure how she feels about it.
And here she goes. No fear. :)
Crazy, flying puppy.
And then we got out the sprinkler.  Holy cow.
She's not sure what to think yet.
But here she goes.
Get it, girl.
And... did I mention that my puppy is a demon?

Friday, May 21, 2010

My husband loves me...

After dinner last night Micah and I were watching tv, and I started dancing for no reason (as I've been known to do from time to time).

"Babe - don't you remember what the Dove chocolate wrapper said?"  Micah asked.

"Of course," I replied.  "It said dance like no one's watching."

His reply?  "Well maybe you should think of it as saying dance when no one's watching." 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Jalapeno cream corn...

Thank you, Ashley, for reminding me that I forgot to post the jalapeno cream corn recipe!  This recipe is DIVINE and SO easy!! It's one of my mom's recipes, and I'm pretty sure she just made it up, but I actually received the recipe in an email recipe exchange from someone else a few months ago, so maybe there's another version out there. :)

Jalapeno Cream Corn

2 cans corn, drained
1 package cream cheese
Sliced, jarred jalapenos (don't use fresh - you're not cooking them, just warming them up)
Splash of jalapeno juice
Salt, pepper, other seasoning to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan until hot and bubbly.  Serves 4-5 people.

This is a base recipe.  You can adjust the ratio of corn to cream cheese to your preference - some people like it creamier or less creamy.  How many jalapenos you add are also based upon your preference - if you like it milder, add 7-8.  If you like it hot, add as many as you like!!  The jalapeno juice just makes it a little thinner, but don't add too much or your mouth will HATE you! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Meal Planning Tuesday

It has been WEEKS since I've had enough time to menu plan and shop for groceries properly.  But I FINALLY took today to get all that done.  So here's what we're having in the Hargrave house this week!

Tuesday:  Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Quesadillas with chips and guacamole

Wednesday:  Cream Cheese Crock Pot Chicken with jalapeno cream corn

Thursday:  Chili cheese hot dogs with chips and ranch dip

FridayCreamy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole with rice

Saturday Lunch:  Grilled cheese sandwiches with chips and ranch dip

Saturday Dinner:  Out to eat at Cheesecake Factory!

Sunday Lunch:  Leftovers

Sunday Dinner:  Bertolli skillet meal with garlic bread

Head to Home Depot!

Here's a deal I couldn't resist!

Many Home Depots have an incredible deal on batteries right now.  You get SIXTY Rayovac AA batteries for $9.99.  I often see four-packs of AA batteries at the store for $4-$5, so this is an amazing deal! 

Make the bargain even sweeter by using a $1 coupon.  You can get that here (look to the right of the screen where it says "Save $1.00).

Not all stores are participating, so check here to see if your local Home Depot has them. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

I graduated law school!!!!!!

Yep.  That's right.  Elle Woods made it! 

Just call me Ryan Hargrave, J.D. :)

This post is going to be a little all over the place, but things have just been CRAZY! (In a good way.)  I don't have time to upload pictures now, but I promise I will get to it at some point.

My mom and Steve came down on Friday night.  We had such a WONDERFUL time visiting with them.  It took us three tries before we could find a suitable restaurant on Friday night, but we finally figured it out, and I just loved getting to visit with them.  We also had breakfast on Saturday morning (at the same restaurant, actually!).  
Then my Dad, Lori, and my sweet grandparents made it into town.  My Mamaw finally got her new, super-convenient portable oxygen machine, and she was just ecstatic that it enables her to be more independent.  I can't express how touched I was that they came down.  Really.

Then my brother and Faith made it in, and our little house was filled to the brim.  But it was really nice having everyone here, though it sure did make me miss home.

Saturday night, we all went to one of my favorite Mexican food restaurants around - El Patio.  And can I just say how nice it is that my parents can be comfortable around one another? We all just visited and ate and enjoyed the evening, and there wasn't one bit of drama.  I just love that.

Sunday morning, we all headed to the graduation ceremony.  After waiting in line for an hour and half my classmates and I FINALLY walked into the pavilion, and it all started to feel real.  

I can't really explain how I felt during the ceremony.  It was just so surreal.  To know that I'd be done with school.  Forever.  It was indescribable.

So then I walked across the stage and was "hooded," and now I'm officially a lawyer!  Now I just have to pass that pesky bar exam, which I actually started studying for today... Yuck.

I'll write more about the obedience program we bought for Lilly later.  For now I'll just say that we're definitely seeing positive results, so maybe the $70 was worth it! :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I have been...

... INSANELY busy this last week.  Here's the semi-short version.

I had one final last Wednesday (I think it went well, but I have learned that I should NEVER try and predict how I did on law school exams - it's totally and completely random). Then I studied for my Trusts and Wills final all week and weekend.  I took that final on Monday morning.  It was painful.   

Then I ran straight home, packed a bag, and rode with Micah and the devil puppy to Josephine that afternoon.  Micah's grandma is very, very sick, and we just... wanted to make sure we got to visit with her.  So we spent most of the day on Tuesday at her house.  She's the most wonderful woman, and it was lovely getting to talk with her and Micah's sweet grandpa (who reminds me SO, SO much of Micah).

Then I got to see Lauren, her husband Eric, and their adorable little boy Landon and Landon's t-ball practice, which was SO hilarious.  Those kids were the cutest thing EVER and made me practically ache for a baby.  But, judging from Micah's freaked out "uh, um... well... I mean, do you really think we're ready?" and the fact that I'm still jobless, it's definitely going to be awhile. :) (Sorry, Dad!)

It was wonderful getting to visit with my best friend for a little while, and later that night we got to visit with  some of Micah's best friends, as well.  His best man, Cody, and two of his other very close friends from high school, Jake and David, dropped by his parents' house last night.  We stayed up until almost 12:00 (hey, that's practically an all-nighter for us!), but it was SO good to see them.  

And then we got up at 7:00 this morning and made the drive back to Houston.  Ugh.  Just typing it all makes me crave another nap.

I'm about to write a quick paper and crank out a take-home exam for my Public School Law class, and then I'll be DONE with law school! Whoa... surreal.  Expect a cheesy, sentimental post about how much I have loved law school in the next few days. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

My saving grace(s)...

Today was my very last day of law school.  I still have to take exams (ick!), but today was the last day of classes.  While I'm SO excited and ready to be done, it felt a little bittersweet to know that I wouldn't be coming back to school in the fall.

Part of the problem is the fact that I kind of love school and know that I'll miss the learning (don't judge me for my nerdiness), but I'll mostly miss all the people I have met since I moved here three years ago.  I can't imagine not running into them every day or gabbing with them about anything and everything.

And I'm going to miss these two girls, in particular.

The feisty redhead on the left is Amanda, and the adorable blonde on the right is Kristen.  

These girls have been my saving grace during the past three years.

I met Kristen during orientation while we were in the computer help center trying to figure out our laptops.  We clicked instantly, and I guessed that she'd be one of my favorite people in law school.  I was right.  She's sweet and funny and endearing and genuine, and I love her to pieces.  She's there for me anytime I need her, and she always lets me vent and whine without complaining.  Plus, look how freaking cute she is.  She and her boyfriend look like Barbie and Ken - they're both ridiculously gorgeous.

Amanda was the first person our Contracts professor called on on the first day of class. She answered brilliantly and had us all buzzing after class - I was convinced that I would fail out of law school if everyone was as smart as Amanda.  At some point during the semester, we ended up hanging out together, and I just loved her.  Somehow, she manages to be honest without being hurtful, and I love that you never have to wonder what she's thinking.  She's comfortable in any group, and she makes me feel like I fit in, even when I don't.  She's just an easy, kind, wonderful person, and I consider myself lucky to be counted among her friends.  And let me tell you, watching her in the courtroom is a sight to see - she was born to be a trial lawyer, and I can't wait to be there to watch her win her first case.  

These girls have made law school bearable.  In fact, they have made it wonderful.  I can't imagine what the past three years would have been like without them, and I'm thankful I don't have to. So thanks girls, for all the good times!  Looking forward to many more as we enter this crazy profession... :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Perfect Dog...

So Micah and I made another impulse purchase yesterday.

I'm not sure what it is with us - we're both pretty frugal, but occasionally we just get a wild hair and want to buy something a little impractical.  So we do.  

Yesterday we bought "The Perfect Dog" obedience training system for Lilly, and I'm hoping it does wonders.  

We had seen infomercials for this product before, and while I generally giggle at most infomercials and their ridiculous cheesy-ness, we were both intrigued by the product.  It's basically a set of DVDs, a training (non-shock) collar, and three different leashes.  I mostly just want the DVDs, so I can hopefully figure out how to show my sassy puppy that I'm the leader of the pack.

Lilly's a sweet girl, and she's very smart.  She can sit, stay, lay, shake, high five, come, and fetch a frisbee like a champ.  Plus she's fully potty trained.  But occasionally, she just doesn't do what we want her to do, even though she hears the commands.  And occasionally she growls at us (mostly me) when she's laying and apparently doesn't want to be bothered.  

She also is AWFUL on a leash.  I've tried taking her running with me, but it's an all out mess and more trouble than it's worth.

So when we saw this system, which promises to show you how to teach your dog how to obey, without using a shock/high frequency collar or treats, we decided to just bite the bullet and buy it.  

We sound like a bunch of suckers, I know.  And maybe the $70 we spent will get us absolutely nowhere, but I'm optimistic (shocker, right?).  I read a lot of online reviews on various consumer websites, and most customers seemed very satisfied.  So we're giving it a go.

I'll keep you updated on how it works. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll have a puppy I'm not afraid to take out in public. :)
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