Thursday, February 24, 2011

Recipes I'm drooling over...

One of my friends from law school, Laura, has a wonderful blog, and she recently posted a few recipes that look absolutely delicious. So, I'm going to re-post the recipes she found (plus one!) in a blatant act of blog theft. But I'm sure she won't mind. :)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie



Holy crap, this looks good. Like so good I want to go home and bake one right this second. But I won't (only because I don't have any pie crusts and don't have the inclination or time to make them from scratch). I'll make it tomorrow. :)

Hot Corn Dip




This is an Emeril Lagasse recipe, and it looks classic and delicious. And I love all varieties of corn dip, so I'm excited to try it!

Jalepeno Popper Dip


Any warm dip with cream cheese and jalepenos has to be delicious. It's a rule. It's called the, um, jalepeno cream cheese dip rule. Surely you've heard of it?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Music Wednesday

Well, look at me! I actually managed to remember to post another song! Maybe I'll do better with this than I did with the meal planning. :)

This week's song is one my favorite worship songs. Something about the melody and lyrics bring me to tears every time I hear it. It's one of those songs that, if played during a point in the service where everyone is sitting, people begin to stand up and worship, one by one. And I think part of that is because it's not self-serving in any way - it's all about rejoicing in God's goodness. Not because of the good things God does, but simply because He exists.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Some days...

Some days I think that I don't totally suck at this lawyer thing. Today is one of those days. Because even though I'm incredibly aware that I'm just a baby attorney trying not to screw stuff up, it feels nice to win an argument that I briefed essentially all by myself.

I'm also aware that I really really love what I do. It's the next-best thing to getting to blog or write novels for a living. And it means that all the exhaustion and frustration of law school and the bar exam was absolutely worth it. Who knew that little old me would get the chance to be a part of this profession?

It's hard. Grueling. Exhausting.
But it's also challenging. Rewarding. Fulfilling.
It's worth all the years it took to get here. Worth every second.

Memories with Bubba


In honor of my big brother's 28th birthday today, I decided to share some of my favorite/craziest memories of us together (and you can read more about my crazy big brother here and here). One thing's for sure: life is never dull with Bubba around.

1) I was a pretty conscientious kid. I always followed the rules, and one of my brother's favorite things to do was to try and get me to break them. I remember riding with him on the back of a four-wheeler in an open pasture when I was probably six or seven. All of a sudden, he took off toward a barbed-wire fence, telling me that if I didn't say the f-word that he'd run us into the fence. I resisted for a few seconds, trying to call his bluff. But he just kept right on going, and I became more horrified by the prospect of crashing into a fence than I was of the consequences of saying a bad word. So I screamed the f-word at the top of my lungs about fifteen times in a row. And I'm not going to lie. It felt really, really good.

2) One of the craziest things we ever did was get an old purse and attach a really long piece of fishing line to it. Then, we took a dollar bill and place it inside the purse so that it stuck out about halfway. And then we stuck it in the middle of the road and hid behind a fence, holding the other end of the fishing line. When people stopped to check out the purse, we yanked on the fishing line, and they'd chase it. I swear I'm not lying. But our plan was clearly very short-sighted, because eventually the person would end up heading right toward us. When one of the men started towards us, we just dropped the line and ran as fast as we could in the other direction. I'm pretty sure our parents got an earful from a really angry man that night. But it probably wasn't as bad as the time my brother threw tape balls at cars as they were driving by.

3) When my brother was in the Navy, he'd come home on leave, and I practically lived in bars the entire time he was home. Clearly, because I don't drink, I hadn't actually been in very many (read: no) bars before that, and it was a very foreign experience. The standing. The noise. The obnoxiousness and sloppiness of drunk people. But I did my good sisterly duty and tagged along because I really just missed my big brother and wanted to be where he was... even if he was in a loud, smoky bar. One night, we were getting ready to leave, and Bubba handed me his credit card and asked if I would close out his bar tab. So I went up to the bartender, handed her the card, and signed the receipt. She looked at the reciept, turned a violent shade of red, slammed the reciept back down on the bar, and said "I think you need to finish filling this out." I was utterly bewildered and walked over to my brother and told him what happened. He glanced down at the reciept, looking horrified. "Sis, how did you not tip her? I had a $150 bar tab!" he yelled. Um, apparently you're supposed to tip bartenders? Who knew? (I'm pretty sure my poor brother had to fork over like an 80% tip that night to make up for the fact that I'm an absolute idiot.)

I could definitely go on (and on), but I'm pretty sure I'd better not. I'll just say that my life would be completely incomplete without my brother. He's my hero. He's the person I call first when I'm scared or need the truth. And he's a constant pain in the butt. I can't wait to be an aunt to Miss Stella, just so I can buy her a drum set and inflict just a tiny, tiny portion of the hell that he inflicted on me. See supra number 1 above.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I ♥ PW

I'm just now posting about the book-signing adventure because work has been CRAZY this week. Apparently crazy is the new normal, but that's another post for another day. :)

On the day of the signing, I was as giddy as a rock-star groupie. I left work a few hours early and headed over to the Borders on Preston around 4:00. The book signing wasn't supposed to start until 6, but I figured I needed to try and beat all the crazies (plus, I really just couldn't wait!). It was encouraging to see a lot of empty spaces in the parking lot when I pulled up, but apparently it was so empty because all of the smart people had already came and picked up the bracelets we didn't know we needed. They had like six different colors of bracelets, each with 100 people per color. Each color represented a group number, which determined when you could line up. We got the fourth color, so we knew there would be at least 300 people in front of us in line.

When she first got there, we were so thrilled to see that her entire family (including Marlboro Man!) was there. She did a Q & A, which made me love her even more than I already did because she's just so humbled by it all. And I couldn't not raise my hand and ask a question, but the best I could come up with was "Do you plan on writing another book?" How unoriginal! But, in case any of you are wondering, apart from the Charlie book she's coming out with in April, she doesn't have any plans to write anything else (at least for now).






When we realized that it would be hours before we could even get in line, we ran across the street and grabbed some mexican food for dinner. When we got back, we saw a line forming in front of her kids. When I realized that her kids were signing books, too, I just about died at the cuteness. Especially her youngest boy - he's so adorable I can hardly stand it!! So we got in line and they graciously signed our books and even let us take our picture with them, which was just so precious.

But check out how close the little guy is squished up against his brother. I tried to lean in a little farther so the picture wouldn't look so awkward, but he kept moving farther away from me. :) Poor kid...


And I'm not gonna lie... meeting Marlboro Man was probably the highlight of my night. He just reminds me so much of Micah: strong, quiet, happy, content. And I get giddy at the sight of Micah the way the Pioneer Woman gets giddy about Marlboro Man. (Tonight, when I grabbed a table at Johnny Carino's while Micah parked the truck, the hostess asked me if I wanted her to look for the rest of my party so that she could send them back to the table. I said, "Sure! He'll be the handsomest guy that walks through the door." And he was.)

After that, we finally got in the line that stretched all the way across the store to have the Pioneer Woman sign our books. And even though we were in line for over three hours, I honestly had a BLAST. I'm fairly certain that Lauren, Faith, and I were thoroughly entertaining everyone around us with our randomness. It got a little awkward when we were parked in front of the ... ahem ... adult literature for almost twenty minutes, but I'm pretty sure I haven't laughed that hard in a long, long time. At long last, we got to the front of the line. When we walked up to the table, all coherency left my body. I think I remember telling her that she was a "fountain of knowledge" after she told us that Stella (the name Faith and my brother picked out for the baby) means star. Fountain of knowledge?? Seriously??



And I look like absolute crap in this picture, but oh, well. We made some wonderful memories that night.


And I FINALLY got to see the face underneath this hat! :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Music Wednesday...

That doesn't have a great ring to it, but I know myself better than to try and post consistently on a Monday. So, from here on out, I'm going to try and share a new or old song/artist/album every Wednesday. I'm not promising they will always be hip or relevant (yes, I may slip in some old-school Mariah or Boyz 2 Men). This week's post is another Pandora find, and I love it. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Returning...

Have I ever written about how much I love the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32)? I'm honestly tearing up right now just typing these words. If you haven't ever read it, I encourage you to click here and take a quick read - it's not long, I promise.

The thing that gets me every time I read this story is the fact that the father, after suffering the betrayal of his beloved son and seeing him again after such a long time, just cannot wait to welcome him home. He doesn't let him finish his humbling journey and say "I told you so." He doesn't ask about all the money he squandered. He doesn't let his pride take over or give his son the punishment he deserves. Instead, he sees his son, who is still quite a distance away, and runs to him to embrace him. He prepares a feast and clothes his son in his finest robes, and rejoices in his return.

And the most incredible part is that his son, after losing all of his father's money and being reduced to eating and sleeping with the pigs, would have been satisfied to simply return home as one of his father's servants. He was prepared to grovel and beg, but before he could say a single word, his father bestowed an incredible gift of mercy and grace.


And isn't it just like God to blow us away with His grace? Isn't it just like Him to take our hopes and dreams and visions and give them back to us ten-fold? Even when we've taken His blessings and squandered them, He runs up the hill and welcomes us home, time and time again.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tomorrow...

... I am doing two things I've never done before.

(1) I'm not celebrating Valentine's Day with Micah. I actually love Valentine's Day, and for the last eight years (holy cow!), Micah and I have done something special together. But this year, he has to go to Louisiana for work (which I think is so cute), so we're going to be apart. But I'm actually not too upset about it because of (2) below.

(2) I'm going to a book signing! You can probably guess who's going to be there.


Yep! It's The Pioneer Woman! She's coming to Dallas to sign copies of her new book, and I'm going with my best friend and my sister-in-law (who are just as obsessed with her as I am!) to the Borders on Preston to get my book signed. I'm going to stammer whatever words I can muster when I get to meet her, but I'm pretty sure it'll go something like this: "Uh... um... well... I just... er... CAN I BE YOUR BEST FRIEND?" My sister-in-law is a redhead, and she's pregnant (Ree has a known love for babies and pregnant women), so we're hoping she'll let us take our picture with her. :) (Yes, I know I sound like a groupie... I just LOVE her!)
So if you see a headline in tomorrow's paper that reads "Local lawyer restrained at book signing after aggressively hugging blogger," you'll know who was responsible. :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lovely by Sara Haze

I discovered this song on Pandora a month or so ago, and I finally got around to buying it today. I honestly cannot stop listening to/singing it. It's gorgeous. Just absolutely beautiful. So listen and enjoy! :)


Monday, February 7, 2011

Meal-Planning Monday: An Update

A week or two ago, I posted these recipes, and I just wanted to let y'all know how they turned out!

Flavorful Pot Roast
The verdict: DELICIOUS! I'm not usually a fan of pot roast, but this was so moist and flavorful - and I love that you just throw it in the Crock Pot and forget about it. That's my kind of meal! :)

Cheesy Corn Casserole
The verdict: Yummy! It has a really different texture, and the flavor is wonderful! Plus it was so easy. The only downside is that, for a side dish, it's a little pricey (just because Cheez Whiz is kind of high), but I like it anyway, and I will be making it again for sure!

Parmesan and Bacon Pasta:
The verdict: I didn't actually cook this one yet, but my sister-in-law did, and she said it was SCRUMPTIOUS, so I'm really excited to try it!

Butter Chicken:
The verdict: I've made this one before, and you seriously, seriously have to try it at your earliest convenience! It *only* has a half-stick of butter (although it DOES have quite a bit of heavy cream) and the best flavor. Just remember that you have to marinate the meat overnight. But it is so totally worth it. :)

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes:
The verdict: I actually thought these were incredibly yummy, but Micah wasn't super impressed. You have to peel the potatoes, then boil them, then mash them, and then bake them, so it's a bit of a hassle. Micah actually said that he preferred these potatoes. And I think I do too. :)

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies:
The verdict: A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Seriously amazing. There's nothing more to say. Make them. Make them soon.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels

I think my love for Ree Drummond (a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman) has been well-documented here. I love her recipes, I love her photography, and I love her witty writing.

So it probably won't come as a surprise that I LOVE her new book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels! I pre-ordered it, and it was delivered a few days ago (yes, even in the ice!). I finished it the night I got it. :)

I didn't read the entire thing, though, because the first 2/3 of the book is actually on her website. When she first started blogging, she posted the story of how she met her husband in a smoky bar on a pit stop in her hometown before she moved to Chicago to go to law school. As fate would have it, they fell in love and she wound up becoming the wife of a cattle rancher instead of a lawyer. She wrote the story in segments, and when I first stumbled upon her blog, I started reading the story and couldn't make myself stop! Her book includes the story from her website PLUS the first year of their marriage.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you all to go out and pick up a copy because it's a wonderful story and very easy to read (or you can order it from Amazon here). But the book also got me thinking (surprise, surprise) on another level.

One of my favorite things about the book (and Ree, in general), is how insanely in love with her husband she is. They've been married for years and have four kids, but the sight of her husband in chaps still makes ger giddy. She's not one of those women who let having kids make her forget about her insane love for her husband. That's something that is incredibly important to me. I do want kids someday, but I don't ever want to forget about how much I love being with Micah. I don't want to let the hustle and bustle of raising kids (which I know I'll love) come at the expense of my relationship with the love of my life. I think it's a tough thing to do, but I hope I can be half as good as Ree is about remembering how incredible (and insanely handsome) my husband is. :)


Tuesday's List: House Projects




I'm linking up to Love From Texas to share a list of house projects. Never mind the fact that it isn't actually Tuesday! I'll try and get on track next week! :)

I've told y'all (multiple times, I'm sure) that I'm decorating fairly lightly in this house because our lease is up in September and we'll (hopefully!) be buying something at that point. So it just doesn't make sense to spend a lot of time and money on furniture/decorations that may or may not "go" in the next house.

But we have done a few things (like the new bed and guest room), and I'm hoping to get a few other things accomplished while we're here. :)

{Dining Room Table}

We're using Micah's grandpa's table and chairs for right now, and I'm so thankful to have them, but eventually I want to get something that's a little more our style. I'm in love with this table from Pottery Barn:

It's a little rustic, but still gorgeous. I'm not in love with the chairs, and I'm not exactly sure what I want, but I'll resist the urge to put the cart before the horse: I'll focus on getting the table first.

{Office Furniture}

Right now, we're using my Ikea desk from law school, and it serves our purposes just fine, given that our "office" is actually one of the spare bedrooms and no one ever sees it anyway. But in our next house, I'd like to have some decent-looking furniture to put in a study.

Ideally, the room would have floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a big comfy chair in it, as well, but that's probably wishful thinking. :)

{Master Bedroom Artwork}

Now that I've got a color scheme for the master bedroom (hallelujah!), I'd like to eventually get a piece of artwork for the room. I don't know precisely what "style" I'm looking for, but I'm going to keep my eye out for something with marigolds and grassy greens that isn't too modern-looking. Or maybe I'll do something with words, like this:

Who knows, though. Most weeks, I'm feeling good just to get the house cleaned and picked up - I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself to finish decorating while we live here. But when we move next time (hopefully the last time for a good, long while!), it's ON! :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Because she's so darned cute...

... I thought I'd share. :) (Please ignore my weird, high-pitched, I love my dog a little too much voice. And I'm sorry about the ending. I promise I didn't plan that.)


video

Snow! (2.0)

It has been CRAZY around Texas with all of this snow and ice! I've had to work from home for the past FOUR days because our office was closed! The ice by itself wasn't much fun, but today it snowed - probably the most snow I've ever seen around these parts!
So Micah and I drove around to look at all of the snow... and then came home and played in it!

The little pond by our house actually froze over!
We tried for like fifteen minutes to get a picture with me and Lilly, but she was having too much FUN!

She was just covered in snow. The cutest thing was watching her fetch her Frisbee... :)
This was definitely before we had a massive snowball fight in the front yard. :)


Poor dog...

(Although it doesn't look like she minds too much!)
I hope everyone takes a little time today to go out and enjoy the snow! You're never too old to enjoy a good, old-fashioned snowball fight! :)
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