Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I keep wondering two things: (1) am I EVER going to feel better (the sick-ish-ness has turned into full-blown sick... my allergies are just insane right now) and (2) am I EVER going to get our house in order?

We've made a LOT of progress since Saturday. Almost all of the rooms are unpacked, as far as the big stuff goes. Our closet is totally organized, the master bedroom and bathrooms are basically done, and so is the kitchen. It's just all the little, decorative things that I'm trying to get finished. I have SO many frames/vases/candles that I'm trying to find a place for. At this point, since we don't have a nice dining room table yet, all of my "pretty" stuff is laying on my dining room floor, just waiting for me to find the perfect spot.

Plus, there are several things we still need to pick up. We decided against buying new living room furniture for this house because we're only going to be here a year and I really don't want to buy something that may or may not go perfectly in the next place we end up. More importantly, I'm still not exactly sure what my style or vision will be. I'm planning on looking at a LOT of decorating magazines over the next few months. :) I do think it'll be okay to decorate our bedroom at some point... as soon as I figure out what I like.

So that's what we've been up to. Micah starts back to work on Thursday, and I start on Friday, so hopefully we can get everything done before then ! For now, here's a peek at the inside of the house.

It's the view of the kitchen from the living room. It's kind of hard to see, but the island is enormous. My Pottery Barn vase and candle sitting in the middle of it are actually pretty big, but they're clearly not big enough to serve as a centerpiece. I found a pretty vase and some flowering dogwood branches at Pier One, and I'm planning on picking those up this week. And I still need things to go on the walls in the breakfast nook, but that will just have to wait... along with the many, many other things that need to be done. :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We're home!

This is going to be short because I still have SO much to do around here! But I just wanted to let you all know that we survived the move and we made it home!

We're officially moved into our new house in Sunnyvale, and I can't tell you how good it feels to be so close to our family and friends again. How good it feels that my sweet sister-in-law just popped in this morning to help me unpack. Or that my dad and stepmom just dropped by last night to bring over cupcakes! I can't believe I can actually meet my mom for lunch if I want! No more rushing and running around to see everyone so that I never really got any time with anyone.

Other news: this house is humongous and we need new stuff, I'm still feeling sickish, and I'm SO over boxes/tape/bubble wrap. And, best of all, Micah and I are so proud to be uncle and aunt to his brother's new baby boy! Welcome to the world, Landyn Lee Hargrave!

I promise I'll write more later... I just realized that I actually have an empty house and I desperately need a nap! :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Life is like a box of choc-olates...

The Lord is testing me right now. I'm sure of it.

We're in the FINAL stages of packing, which, as anyone who has ever moved a three-bedroom house across the state would know, is the worst part. It's finding a spot for all the little things you left out just in case you might need them as you packed. Or all the big things you couldn't find a spot for before and set aside, hoping some brilliant, super-creative and space-saving idea would suddenly come to you at some point. There are definitely no brilliant ideas here.Justify Full
If that weren't bad enough, I couldn't sleep last night and have been so exhausted that I've felt tipsy all day long. Plus, my allergies are horrible, and I'm sick-ish. (Are you feeling sorry for me yet? :))

To top it all off, I've spent the evening with Forrest Gump. Micah has been in one of those moods that makes me wish I had a hidden camera so I could show everyone how ridiculous he really can be. For about two hours straight he demanded to be called Forrest, kept calling me Jenny, drawled out that horrible, slow accent and recited every cheesy line from the movie for what felt like forever while we were packing up our pantry. I almost hurled a can (or seven) of chili at him, but I figured it would leave a dent in the wall, and Micah had already packed the spackle.

I'm pretty sure it's time for a bubble bath and a good book, but my bubbles and books are already boxed up. Can't a girl catch a break?!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ryan loves Micah... duh.

I love Micah... blah, blah, blah... you've heard it all before. I'm sorry to keep repeating myself, but I can't help it. He's kind of wonderful.

If you know him at all, you know that he's just a tiny bit obsessive-compulsive. It's almost always amusing, but it's also often fairly useful because it means that he does things well. He's neat, orderly, meticulous, and always works out the details.

(Just a kid, and he was already sporting the preppy sweater-vest. He's so cute I can't stand it.)

The past few days, as we have been packing up the house, I've been thanking my lucky stars that he's so thorough. Because, when it comes to getting things done, I'm an Abbott through and through. We're a duct tape, estimate, give it our best try and then leave it be kind of family. We're not known for overdoing things, but by golly we can get things done in a hurry! :)

As opposed to just throwing everything in boxes and sending up an earnest prayer that nothing gets damaged in the move the way I would do, Micah's taking furniture apart and double wrapping it so that he can be totally sure that it won't. We've gone through three rolls of bubble wrap, and we've only packed up two rooms!

And, of course, it's taking us much longer to get our house packed up, but at least I won't be worrying the entire drive up to Houston whether my leather ottoman will make it to Dallas unscathed. In fact, I'd bet every penny I've got that it'll have just the one scratch that has been there since I threw it in the moving truck to move it down here three years ago. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Right now, my life feels like it's moving in fast-forward mode. We have a week and a half before we move home, and there is just so much to do!

We're in the process of packing up the house, which is definitely not fun. Thankfully, my mom and Steve had a billion boxes, so we haven't had to buy any yet. We've got a lot of things packed, but we're also still using a lot of things, so we can't pack everything yet.

We've also been trying to get our house in Houston figured out. We're going to lease it, and we're trying to make sure we get all the loose ends tied up before we leave. Of course, our microwave went out, and it would have cost more to fix it than to buy a brand new one (crazy, right!?), so we've got to pick one up. Plus, we're not sure how to make sure our yard will be maintained while the house is vacant. And Micah's got to get everything off the walls and all the holes spackled and painted over. Very un-fun stuff.

Not to mention the fact that I need to buy a new wardrobe for work before I start on October 1. I've been picking up things as I'm out shopping, but I definitely need a few more pieces.

I'm also trying to make sure I get in some time with my friends before I leave.

So, that's what I'll be doing for the next week and a half. And then we're coming HOME! :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Our new house... for now!

We've had a great weekend in the Hargrave home! We slept in until 11 yesterday (seriously... I haven't done that in YEARS!), finished Season Three of Dexter (love it!), and I went to a friend's birthday dinner.

Today, we had a great morning at church, vegged around the house and watched football, and then I went shopping (I found two suits for work!) and to a movie with my Houston bestie, Kristen. We saw Going the Distance, and it was really funny. Incredibly inappropriate and awkward, but funny.

The best news of the weekend is that we finally got our Dallas living situation wrapped up! We're renting a gorgeous house in Sunnvale. Like I said here, it's really country-ish, and Micah and I fell in love with the house, although it's WAAAAAY bigger than we need. But we knew we wanted to rent in Sunnyvale to try the area out before we buy something there, and there were only three houses for rent there. It was a process of elimination.

So here's where we'll be living for the next year!

We're thrilled, and I can't wait to show you the inside! We currently live in 1200 square feet, and there's no way our stuff will fill up this house, but we're just going to try and decorate slowly. I tend to like to get things done, so I end up buying things I don't absolutely love just for the sake of filling a space. I've PROMISED myself I wouldn't do that, so my goal is going to be to get one room done each month. I'll make sure to share my decorating adventures here. :)

We move in in two weeks, and I'm so excited. But my heart is also realizing that we're actually leaving this home we built here. And our friends. It's harder than I thought it would be, and I've already shed a few tears thinking about how much I'll miss the girls who got me through law school. But I've already planned to come back a few times a year for some girls' nights. That's the great thing about real, true friendships: they can survive even across long distances. :)

So that's what I've been up to. Hope your weekend was wonderful, too!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Recipes I'm excited to try...

Sometimes my husband goes to sleep much, much earlier than I do. Tonight is one of those nights, and to keep myself occupied, I decided to surf two of my favorite recipe sites for new ideas: Annie's Eats and Pioneer Woman.

I'm in a munchy, appetizer-y mood, so here are the recipes I printed out to file away in my "Recipes To Try" folder.

Creamy Stovetop Crab Dip

Spicy Sausage Dip

Pineapple Mango Salsa

Creamed Spinach


Homemade Glazed Doughnuts (Okay, so this one isn't even CLOSE to being an appetizer. But don't those pictures make your mouth water?!)

If you try any of these, let me know how they are! :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More on Lost...

In other news, Micah and I FINALLY finished the series finale of Lost last night. We started watching in June and got through Season Five (apparently there are more than four seasons ;)) sometime in July. But Season Six didn't come out until the end of August, and it was a very painful wait.

When it came out and Netflix said there'd be a "very long wait" for the first disc, we went ahead and bought it. And we FINALLY finished it last night.

Let me just say that if you never did get into Lost, you should really give it another try. Just rent the first disc of Season One and watch at least a few episodes. It was such a clever, exciting show, and especially after watching the finale, I'm so glad I watched it. It ended on a very positive note, and, despite everyone who said that the writers didn't wrap everything up, I felt satisfied with how they ended it.

So that's my plug for Lost. We're watching Dexter and Weeds right now, and I'm sure I'll have more to say about both shows later. :)

My new grown-up car...

Because of Fluffy, the trip to Dallas last week was tough. I was obviously heartbroken, and it was difficult to focus on everything I had to get done while I was there. But we're planning on moving on September 25, so I knew I was just going to have to buckle down and get it all done.

So Daddy and I went car shopping on Friday afternoon. I knew what I had in mind, and we went to a dealership to look at a particular car. I test-drove it and loved it, and as we walked back into the dealership I had every intention of buying it. But as we went to sit down and wait for the manager to come over and talk with us, we saw a guy grab the keys from the salesman, get into "my" car, and drive away!

We were so confused, and the manager finally came out and explained that the guy had also been interested in buying the car, though he had originally been looking at a different car, and he was driving it home so his wife could see it. The car had been sitting on the lot for 100 days, but the dealership had dropped the price by $3,000 the day before, and I guess that guy spotted a great opportunity just like we had.

But my competitive instinct kicked in, and I told the manager that I was prepared to buy the car right then and there. When he called the guy back, he offered to pay $1,000 more than their asking price, and I accepted defeat.

Funny enough, we ended up looking at the car the other guy had originally been interested in, and I fell in love. It was a year older (with the same body style), with just a few thousand more miles on it, and it was just as clean. It was also $5,000 cheaper.

So I bought it!

In my name, on my own credit, and it felt incredible! I can honestly say that, in that moment, I felt more like a grown-up than I've ever felt before.

So here's a picture of my new, grown-up car.

It's a 2006 Lexus GX470. It's hard to see in pictures, but it's a full-size SUV, about the size of a Ford Explorer.

(Pardon my messy garage in the background. And my reflection on the car. What is that called, Lauren? Catch lights? )

It seats seven, though I'll probably keep the third-row seats folded up most of the time. It has a sunroof, which I love. And it's all-wheel drive all the time, which doesn't lend itself to great gas mileage, but it will be nice when it rains. It has all of these off-road settings and features, and as I was test-driving it, I kept asking myself: Who goes mudding in a Lexus? But I digress...

Here's the inside.

I'm strangely in love with the steering wheel. The wood grain is ridiculously smooth, and it feels wonderful! :) And I'm happy to finally have something with (1) heated seats and (2) a working cruise control.

So, anyway... I just wanted to share my new purchase with you! And that's one more thing I can scratch off my to-do list. We're also pretty certain we've found a place to live, though I'll wait and share more when I'm sure. My next task is to figure out what in the world to do with this house! If only there were more hours in the day...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Goodbye, Fluff...

This past week has been crazy, wonderful, terrible, exciting, and awful. I've been in Dallas trying to get things figured out for our move, and it has been nuts. But the move isn't what I want to write about tonight.

Tonight's post is about my precious cat, Fluffers, who I had to say goodbye to on Thursday.

I've had Fluffy since I was five years old. My brother and his friend Brian brought her home one day, and when Brian's parents wouldn't let him keep her, my brother worked his charm on my parents and she was ours.

It's funny because, when I was younger, Fluff didn't even like me. I can't say that I blame her, given the number of times I forced her to wear my doll clothes and put socks on her feet. It wasn't until we moved to Josephine and lived with my grandparents while our house was being built that she started to warm up to me.

And then when my parents divorced, my dad took Shadow, my mom took her cat, Friendly, and Fluffy tagged along with me to live in my apartment at UTD. She terrorized both of my roommates, as well as Rebecca's dog, Toby. But she was the only part of my familiar life that I got to take with me when I left home, and that familiarity kept me grounded during those times that I just wished things would go back to the way they used to be.

She was always a strong, active cat and was, at one time, quite the hunter. When we lived in Wylie, she used to bring all kinds of "trophies" up to our back door, including one bird that wasn't quite dead yet and had one last hurrah flying around our house. I still laugh every time I picture my brother running around in his tighty whities, trying to catch the bird with a pillow case.

And when we lived in Josephine, I can't tell you how many times I woke up in the middle of the night to find her chasing a field mouse in a neverending game of cat and mouse. She always won.

She has remained in incredible health for a cat of her age for all these years. But over the last month or so, her health has been rapidly deteriorating. Her eyesight had been bad for awhile, but she finally went completely blind about a month ago. And she wasn't able groom herself, so her hair was ragged and matted. She was having kidney problems and wasn't eating much. And she finally got to the point that she was basically just sleeping all the time.

I couldn't see my strong, fearless kitty suffer any more, so I asked Micah to take her in for me because I knew I wouldn't be strong enough to do it myself. And I asked him to do it while I would be out of town because I couldn't bear the thought of seeing him leave the house with her in his arms and come home without her. So I said my goodbyes before I left and cried most of the way up to Dallas.

It was hard to let her go, but I just keep telling myself that it was the right thing to do. She lived for twenty years, and it would have been incredibly selfish to want to keep her here while she was in pain.

So this is my final farewell to my little girl. She was an incredible friend and comfort for almost my entire life, and I will miss her more than I can even begin to express.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!

This week has already been insane. And it's only Wednesday morning!

Monday morning I got my official offer letter from McKool Smith, and I happily accepted Monday afternoon! (Although, let's be real - I totally had to resist the urge to call as soon as I received the email. I figured three hours was a respectable amount of time to pretend to have been contemplating the decision like a responsible adult would have done.)

I also found out that my start date was on October 1. Which means that I've got a whole heck of a lot to accomplish in the next thirty days!

First, we've got to find a place to live. We're considering the Sunnyvale area, which is near Mesquite but feels like the country. It's about 20 minutes from downtown Dallas and 30-35 minutes from Josephine.

Also, I desperately need a new car. Aside from the fact that a bright yellow mustang convertible doesn't exactly scream "I'm a respectable attorney," it's just time for something new. I've driven that tiny thing for seven years, and I'm ready for an SUV.

We also need to figure out what to do with our house here in Houston. I'd love to sell it and just be done with it, but this market obviously doesn't present the best opportunity for profit (or even preventing loss), so we're probably going to rent for awhile. So if you know anyone who'd be interested in renting a fairly new three-bedroom house 20 minutes from downtown, let me know! :)

Plus, we've got to orchestrate the move, itself. We considered using a mover, but I think we're just going to do it ourselves. Again. Ick.

So, I'm headed up to Dallas today so that I can (1) go to Canton with Lauren - I haven't been since I was a little girl, (2) look at cars, and (3) look at houses to rent.

I'll do my best to check in while I'm there, but I can't make any promises... I may be too busy taking my new ride for a spin! :)
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