Monday, December 31, 2012

Word of the Year - 2013

When Layla blogged about her Word of the Year for 2012, I remember thinking, "I'm totally doing that next year!"  I'm a big-picture girl, so for me, the idea of picking one word to inspire me and create intention in my life throughout the year, rather than torturing myself over a long list of well-intentioned resolutions that may or may not fall by the wayside, was appealing.

When Layla recently posted her word for this year, I asked myself what my word should be.  It came to me immediately.


I mean, could it really have ever been anything else?

Obviously, Grace is the name we've picked for our little girl, and I know that her arrival in April will be, by far, the most significant moment of my year (and probably my life).   But it also signifies my desire to really dig into His grace this year.  Lately I've been feeling nore negative/critical than usual, and I'm ready to shake it off and gain a fresh perspective.  In my experience, the easiest way to keep my mind fixed on things above is to simply keep an eye out for His blessings in the everyday moments.  They're everywhere.  

I think that staying focused on His saving grace, rather than the failures I perceive in the world around me, will make all the difference for me.

So here's to lots and lots of grace in 2013.  And I hope next year holds wonderful things in store for you all!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sickly rambles... (plus a new rug!)

I'll just go ahead and state the obvious:  being sick while pregnant really sucks.

I started getting a sore throat the day after Christmas, and it has been downhill ever since.  I've now got a case of what I'm pretty sure is full-blown bronchitis.  (It hit me when I woke up about 30 minutes ago, coughing up my lungs and struggling to breathe, that this might be more than a bad case of allergies.)  So now I'm up, hoping that an urgent care center won't be too packed tomorrow, with nothing better to do than pop in and say hello! :)

Micah and I spent all day today running around town, picking up furniture.  First, we went and picked up the crib (yay!).  While we were there, we decided to order a dresser that looked to be almost the exact same color of the crib, even though it was made by a different manufacturer. 

After going through all the paperwork for getting it ordered (and scheduled to come in no less than 10 weeks from today - be forewarned, if you haven't already discovered this little gem, that you'd be smart to order baby furniture just as soon as you know the sex of the baby, particularly if the baby shower's going to be at your house and you'd like the nursery to at least resemble a furnished space when your friends and family come to generously shower your baby with gifts... ahem.), we asked them to make sure it wasn't at another, nearby store.  Turns out it was, so we put it on hold there and then proceeded to try and pick out a glider.

I showed you guys this rocker before, and while I definitely still love it, (1) I'm scared to order a large, upholstered piece online for fear that the fabric won't be accurately reflected in the picture, and (2) I became increasingly convinced that I needed a big, cushy, comfy chair.  So after about an hour of looking at fabric swatches (no joke, y'all...), we settled on a white, upholstered glider with a gliding ottoman that didn't look too tacky.  There was a note on the back of the fabric swatch that said something about piping, but our (not-so-bright) sales clerk indicated that it was merely suggesting a particular color piping for that fabric. 


Turns out, that fabric was suggested by the manufacturer as being appropriate for piping only.  So I'm going to have to call Buy Buy Baby in the morning and cancel that order.  So now, because that was the only fabric I found acceptable, we're back at square one, and I've pretty much resigned myself to shelling out the big bucks for a PBK glider.

After we picked up the dresser from the other store, we brought it all home, unloaded it into the garage, and then headed right back out to pick up what I'm pretty sure was one of my best purchases of late.

I had popped into Home Goods with Faith on Friday because she had never been, and that was, in my opinion, too great a tragedy to leave unaddressed.  I was hoping we'd go in there, and she'd see a bright light and find all kinds of stuff she couldn't live without.  Turns out I read the cards wrong, as I was the one who ended up buying up the store.  After snagging some really fun pieces for the walls in the game room upstars (that I can't wait to blog about once I get some other stuff done up there), I stumbled across the perfect area rug for the living room.  Micah has been bugging me about getting a rug in there for months, and I had planned on going to a carpet store and having one bound until I found this one.

It's a super-thick, enormous (8 ft. by 10 ft.), plushy, shaggy rug in the perfect cream color, and at about 1/3 of the price of what I'd pay to have one made.  I'm in love.

(sorry for the terrible picture and lighting... it's 3:50 a.m., and this picture was one I snapped with my iPhone this evening before bed.  I love you guys, but I just couldn't muster up the energy to turn on enough lights to get a good shot with my big camera.)
Of course, now that my OCD husband has discovered that our vacuum can't actually traverse the rug because it's so thick, it looks like a new vacuum purchase is in our not-so-distant future.  Who's surprised that actually vacuuming the darned thing never even crossed my mind?  :)

Alright, lovies, I think I'm sufficiently loopy to attempt sleeping again.  Hope you guys have a lovely Sunday!  (And if you actually made it through to the end of this post, you're a champ.)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas food...

Look at me, remembering to share my Christmas recipes!  It's like I'm almost a real blogger.  Almost...

As one of the "kids," I'm not usually charged with bringing anything super important to our family get-togethers.  I plan on milking this for as long as I possibly can... :)  But if you're ever in need of some yummy desserts/appetizers, here are the things I brought this year.  Click on the titles or pictures for the recipes.

Dad's Christmas:  Butterfinger Pie.

The verdict:  This was delicious.  My aunt made a version of this for Thanksgiving, and I loved it.  The best part?  It only takes four ingredients and about 2 minutes to whip together (although you've got to give it some time to chill in the fridge after it's all put together).  I'd recommend buying an extra Butterfinger bar to crush on top for presentation.

Mamaw's/Mom's Christmas:  Paula Deen's Corn "Salad"


The verdict:  loved it.  I've made corn dip before, but this was simpler, and the addition of the chili cheese Fritos made it even more delicious.  I served it as a dip with tortilla chips, rather than as a salad, because I love dip.  As the recipe suggests, you can make the dip ahead of time (and I'd recommend doing so to let the flavors blend), but don't add the Fritos until just before serving, or they'll get soggy.  Also, this recipe makes a lot.  I took half to one Christmas and half to another (and had plenty at both). 

Mom's Christmas:  Hot Louisiana Crab Dip


The verdict:  hated it.  Although the "base" dip was pretty darned scrumptious, it was completely overwhelmed by the intense crabby taste.  Perhaps I need to try again with different/more fresh crab?  I also think it'd be delicious with a half-pound of sauteed, chopped shrimp instead of the crab. 

Micah's Parents' Christmas:  The "World's Best" Macaroni and Cheese

The verdict:  liked it.  This was definitely good, but the consistency was just a teensy bit off for me.  It could have been because I made the sauce the day before and had to reheat it the next morning before I added it to the pasta.  But honestly, if you're looking for an interesting, slam-dunk mac and cheese recipe, I'd go with this Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese.  Marry me.

Micah's Extended Family's Christmas:**  Hissy Fit Dip


The verdict:  loved it.  This is a fabulous variation of the ole' Velveeta/Rotel standby.  It calls for cream cheese, white American cheese, and, of course, a little Velveeta.  But it also has other interesting ingredients like Worchestershire sauce and curry powder.  I'll definitely make this again when I'm in the mood for cheese dip.
** In the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit that we didn't actually make it to Micah's aunt and uncle's house because of the snow/ice, so I didn't get to test this one out on anyone else but Micah and me.  But I had already mixed up the dip, so I threw it in the oven when we got home, and we enjoyed it for our Christmas dinner.  :)

Micah's Extended Family's Christmas:  Creamy Jalapeno Corn

The verdict:  liked it.  My mom makes this jalapeno cream cheese corn (which I adore), but I had seen this recipe floating around the internet and wanted to try it. Overall, I think I prefer my mom's mostly because I really like the pickled jalapeno flavor with the corn better than the fresh.  (But I do think I'll add a few tablespoons of butter to my mom's recipe next time, though.  It added a richness and thinned the creaminess out a bit.)  I also prefer the canned corn to the frozen corn, but maybe I'm just crazy.  Plus, I didn't think the use of the crockpot was necessary -- it all mixes together perfectly in just a few minutes in a saucepan on the stove.

What did you guys make for Christmas?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Don't you love it...

... when you find exactly what you're looking for at half the price??

Remember when I told you guys how in love with this crib I was?


I searched high and low and couldn't find anything I liked even a fraction as much.  On a whim, we went to Buy Buy Baby because we were in the area and had time to kill, and would you just look what I found?


Almost identical, right?  (I'm telling you guys... I had searched all over and never saw this crib.  Just goes to show that sometimes, you've got to get off your lazy butt and head down to the store.)  I prayed my little heart out that it came in white, and because God must take pity on desperate pregnant women, the sales clerk told us that it did. 

And then I saw the price tag and just about cried of happiness because it was half the price of the Restoration Hardware crib (swoon!).  Plus, I've signed up for BuyBuy Baby coupons and will get a refund of 20% when we go pick it up this weekend (double swoon!). 

The only downside is that I kind of hate the dresser that goes with it.  The lines just do not go with the crib in my opinion, so I'm on the lookout for a dresser that comes in the same bright shade of white as the crib and has straighter, cleaner lines.  Here's hoping the Lord is feeling merciful... ;)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thankful Thursdays...

Loved and Lovely

Want to know what I'm thankful for today?

{I'm thankful} that four years ago today, this handsome man made me his for the rest of forever.


In the past four years, we...

... graduated college (Micah) and law school (me).

... adopted a crazy puppy who has stolen both of our hearts.


... moved across the state, back home to our families.

... started our first, real grown-up jobs.

... bought our first house together.


... became an aunt and uncle.


... found out we were having a baby!

... traveled to Europe to explore a beautiful city.


... fell more in love with one another each and every day.

From the time we started dating ten years ago, I kept wondering how it could get any better.  And then it did.  Again and again.  I can't even fathom how in love I'll be fifty years from now.  All I know is that I'll be somewhere, old and grey-haired, holding the hand of the man who stole my heart with a puppet and never gave it back. 

What are you guys thankful for?  Link up and tell us!

Also linking up with black tag diaries, The Fontenot Four, First Day of my Life, kate says stuff, and  a punk a pumpkin and a peanut.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Say hello to...

... Grace Riley.



We are so excited that we finally decided on a name, y'all. 

I've actually had Grace picked out since I was twelve.  I just never could get over its elegance, simplicity, and Christian undertones.  Thankfully, Micah likes it too (it would have been World War Three if he didn't... ;)).  But we struggled a lot with middle names because it seemed like very few things flow with one-syllable first names. 

I was pretty in love with Grace Caroline, but Micah vetoed that.  Micah liked Grace Kennedy, but I eventually vetoed that.  We both really loved Grace Cameryn, and we actually almost went with that one, but we challenged ourselves to try and come up with a middle name that had a little more meaning.  Grace is kind of a family name (my great-grandmother's name was Gracie), and I loved the idea of having a middle name that also had some significance to us. 

We were driving down the road one day, and it occurred to me that Riley would be a combination of my first name (Ryan) and Micah's middle name (Lee).  When I suggested it to Micah, he loved it.  We slept on it for several days and eventually agreed that our little girl was definitely Grace Riley.  I hope she grows to love her name as much as we do.

And, of course, now that she has a name...

... let the monogramming begin. :)

Week Twenty-Three...

(Another bad shirt for a bump picture.  Sorry, y'all...)

How far along?  Twenty-three weeks.

Baby is the size of... a large mango.

Best moment this week?  Micah finally felt her kick!  It was such a sweet, amazing moment, and he just loved it.

Miss anything?  Nothing this week.  We're just loving every minute of this sweet journey.

Movement?  She's moving around like a wild woman.

Sleep?  I generally wake up at least twice to pee, but I can usually go right back to sleep.

Food cravings?  None this week, although I have drank almost a gallon of orange juice.  Maybe that's a craving?

What makes you queasy/sick?  Nothing this week.

Morning sickness?  I had a teensy bit of nausea early on this week, but it's mostly gone now.

Other symptoms?  Some headaches and a weird tightness on my left side.  It feels like my muscle might just be a little strained.

Gender?  It's a GIRL!

Looking forward to... going to Lone Star Baby this weekend to see if we can find a crib that won't break the bank... :)

Peace, joy, and... food!

Hi friends!

Who else feels like Christmas flew by way too quickly?

We had four Christmases this year, and each one was filled with delicious food and time with family.  And the best part?

We had a white Christmas!  In TEXAS! 

It started storming early yesterday morning, and although the rain eventually stopped, the snow started falling in the early afternoon and continued on past dark.  This is the first white Christmas the Dallas area has seen since 1926, and we absolutely loved it.  My sweet sister-in-law even volunteered to brave the biting cold so that I could recreate a picture that Micah and I took ten years ago.


(Man, we were babies...)

So we enjoyed the snow and all the sweet presents from our families.  Miss Priss even got a few, which was so, so fun.  And the food... holy cow, y'all.  I've eaten a ridiculous amount of goodies in the last few days.  I also made several yummy treats for all of our get-togethers, most of which were delicious.  I'll be sharing the recipes in the next couple of days. :) 

I totally slacked on taking pictures, but I did manage to snag this one of Stella telling Santa (my brother), "no, no, Santa! Bye bye!"

Sorry it's blurry, but it was too cute not to share.  She was just so conflicted.  It was like she felt the need to be polite, so she'd wave at him and tell him hello... through her tears.  But then he'd try to come closer, and she'd just lose it.  Too darned adorable...

So that's what we've been up to for the past few days.  Hope you guys had a WONDERFUL few days with your loved ones!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

On this dreary, rainy day, and in the midst of much-treasured time with our families, we seek to remember why we celebrate at all.  It is our hope that this day will be filled for you, as it is for us, with thankfulness for His grace and redemption through Jesus Christ. 
"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15  
Merry Christmas, friends!
Love, The Hargraves

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thankful Thursdays (Link Up!)...

Loved and Lovely

Things I suck at:  getting my crap together ahead of time. 

Maybe that's why I didn't buy my office Christmas presents until yesterday. 

Maybe that's why I STILL have Christmas presents to buy and wrap... for a gift exchange on Sunday.

And maybe that's why I'm throwing together a hastily-typed Thankful Thursdays post from my hotel room.  (I'm a couple of hours from home for a hearing tomorrow.)  I already took my contacts out, and I can barely see the screen, so don't judge if there are significant typos. :)

Needless to say, I haven'been able to devote much time to things I'm thankful for this week, but I can say this...

{I'm thankful} for a husband who loves me despite my (many) faults.  I won't pretend like he's perfect (although I will say that I think he's perfect for me...), but he gets pretty darned close.  Some days, I think my heart might burst from all the love I feel when I look at him.  And when I think of how much he already loves our little girl... I almost can't take it.  

So that's what I'm thankful for.  What are you guys thankful for this week?  Link up and tell us!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Music Wednesday...

This song, y'all.

The first time I heard it, I immediately filed it away as one of my top 30 favorite songs.  Ever.  And if you know me, you know that's saying something.

If you're a fan of John Mayer's Slow Dancing in a Burning Room, you might just love this song as much as I do. 

Enjoy Ed Sheeran's Kiss Me.

What we loved about Paris... {Part Three}

If you missed Parts One and Two, click here and here.

Now, where were we?  Oh, right...

{We loved} the cathedrals.


This is Notre Dame, with its beautiful gothic architecture.  I couldn't resist going to take a peek at it the first day we arrived, although we didn't actually go inside until we came back the next day.

And holy cow, was it gorgeous.







We made the mistake of going on a Sunday during mass, so it was more crowded than I can even express, but it was kind of a cool thing to see so many worshiping in such a historic place.  What a crazy thing to go to church in a building whose construction began in 1163...

We also took a quick stroll just a few blocks away from our apartment to see Saint-Sulpice, which was much smaller and quieter.



(If you read The Da Vinci Code, this is the church in the book containing the meridian line... which isn't really a true meridian line, but who really cares...)

On our last day in Paris, we climbed the narrow, winding staircase of Sainte-Chapelle.  I didn't get a picture of the outside because it isn't really very impressive.  But the stained glass inside sure was.


I won't pretend that I wasn't incredibly angry that the construction and scaffolding completely ruined my pictures of this gorgeous place.


It's hard to tell, but the stained glass went all the way around the room, and, starting from the left and working all the way back around, the panels told the Biblical story from Genesis to Revelation.  It was incredible.

So we obviously enjoyed the cathedrals.  But...

{We didn't love} the museums.

If you're the artsy type, I feel sure that you're totally judging me.  But I'd be lying if I told you that I could really appreciate beautiful art for what it is.  They're all just pretty pictures/sculptures to me.  (My mom, the artist, is totally cringing right now...)

That being said, there were just a couple of things I wanted to see while we were in Paris. 


The Louvre at night being one of them.  You probably know that the Louvre is the largest museum in the world.  These pictures don't even come close to capturing the entire thing.  It actually used to be a palace until King Louis XIV moved everyone to Versailles, so it's all incredibly beautiful, particularly when the pyramid (which wasn't added until 1988) is lit up in the dark. 

And we did actually go in and see a couple of things.  You could spend days in there, just walking around.


This is the Winged Victory of Samothrace (also called the Nike of Samothrace).  I actually found this piece to be breathtakingly gorgeous.  If I had a favorite piece of art, this might be it.  It's mind-boggling to me that this dates back to the 2nd century, B.C.  B.C.!!!

And, of course, we couldn't go to Paris without taking a peek at the Mona Lisa.


(You have no idea how many people I had to elbow to make it to the front of the crowd to snap this picture.

I suppose her smirk is enigmatic.

I was also told that we just couldn't miss the Orsay Museum.


And I suppose I am glad I saw it.  We made sure to see the Monets, Manets, and Van Goghs.  But, again, I'm afraid it was all mostly lost on me. 

You can take the girl out of the country... ;)

And I promise, I've got the final Paris post coming in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012


I've struggled with what I should say about the horrific shootings in Connecticut.  In fact, I wondered whether I should say anything at all.  People much more brilliant and eloquent than I am have already said just about all there is to say about the atrocities of a madman entering a place where children should feel safe and unilaterally ending the futures of twenty-six people in a matter of minutes. 

And so I think I'll just offer up another prayer for those who are left picking up the pieces of their lives.  Those who are grieving the loss of their child, their mother, their wife, their fiance, their favorite principal.  Those who will never again feel safe or secure in their homes and school. They are living my worst nightmare, and I just keep praying that His peace and comfort will sustain them.

And in honor of the victims, I'm joining other bloggers who are participating in the bloggers' day of silence tomorrow.  I'll post only the button below:


I'll also be joining those who are donating to Newtown Family Youth and Family Services, which is collecting donations on behalf of those who have been affected by the shootings.

Seems like a small thing we could all do to make a big difference for those who could use some kindness after having their lives ruined by the worst kind of hate. 

Join me?

Paint, paint, everywhere...

I feel like I need another weekend, y'all.  I didn't get near enough done.  How the crap is it already almost Christmas?

We did manage to scratch a few things off our to-do list, though.

(1) We got to love on this little sassy-pants a couple of times.


Our niece is impossibly adorable and getting so big.  She can say so many words (and I'm not afraid to admit that my favorite is "Ry-Ry!"), and she is just all over the place.  I love thinking about when our little one will be old enough to keep up with her.  I have a feeling they might be trouble... :)

(2) We celebrated Micah's mom's birthday.  And I get that I shouldn't love Olive Garden because it's just a chain, but is there really anything better than bottomless breadsticks and salad?  I think not.

(3) We made many trips to Lowe's and Elliot's Hardware and eventually...


Micah manned the ceiling, and I did a lot of the walls and trim work, and we knocked it out in a couple of hours.  I'm kind of in love with the look, but Micah's convinced it's way too bright (anyone surprised?).  I'm trying to talk him off the ledge, though, by explaining that once we get the room filled up, the pretty walls won't be the only thing the eye goes to.  I'm going to wait to post pictures until we get it done (or at least almost done), so it'll be awhile before I can share, but I can't wait. :)

(4) I also spray-painted some side tables that will go upstairs in our guest room.  They're black metal, and  I got them from Ikea, like, seven years ago.  I gave them a good dose of hammered brown paint, and I think they'll look perfect up there with the whites and neutrals we're going with.  

(5) I managed to get paint all over me, and Micah manged to stay impeccably neat.  As usual.

(6) I squeezed in a nap and woke up to the Cowboys clenching the win in overtime.  Love.

(7) We stayed glued to our seats with our hands covering our faces during the Dexter season finale.  Did anyone else catch it last night?  Oh. Em. Gee.

Now that I'm looking at our weekend in list form, I'm feeling significantly more productive.  We'll just ignore the fact that I still have several Christmas presents to buy and wrap, briefs to write for work, a nursery to decorate, and baby stuff to register for.  There's still plenty of time for that, right?  Right?? 

Twenty-Two Weeks...

(pardon my eyebrows...I've really got to start filling them in so I don't look like a ghost...)

How far along?  Twenty-two weeks.

Baby is the size of... a spaghetti squash.

Best moment this week?  By far, it was getting to take another peek at her during our high-resolution sonogram and hearing the doctor tell us that her heart is 100% perfect.  (Well, that and the part where he assured me that she was, in fact, a girl.  Our regular sonographer wasn't completely positive...)  It was such a blessing, and we loved getting to see our girl again.

Miss anything?  Not this week.

Movement?  TONS.  This little spaghetti squash is moving.  Sometimes her little kicks and jabs are so strong that they make me jump out of my seat!

Sleep?  Finally the jet lag seems to have disappeared, so I'm sleeping pretty well.  Although, I'm still getting up a few times a night to pee...

Food cravings?  No real cravings this week.

What makes you queasy/sick?  Still just strong smells.

Morning sickness?  Just a little, like last week, and it's mostly in the morning before I've eaten.

Other symptoms?  I've had a few headaches this week, and I got a weird rash on my arm (probably completely unrelated to the pregnancy), but it's mostly gone now.  And this is TMI, but, although I haven't had any full-fledged nosebleeds, things haven't been quite normal in there.  I'm told this is pretty common.  My skin has also been super itchy.  It seems I've been on weird symptom overload this week. :)

Gender?  It's a GIRL!

Looking forward to... her movements being strong enough for Micah to feel them.  (Y'all, he's so adorably in love with her already, it makes me want to cry...)  And I'm ready to hammer down her middle name.  We thought we had it figured out, but a new name popped into our heads this weekend, and now we're unsure.  I swear, you guys, I'll share as soon as we decide for sure. :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

An open letter...

I wrote this post way back in November 2009, but my experiences with the public toilets in Paris brought it to my mind, and I thought I'd share it again with you guys.  Just in case... ;)

Hey, you!

Yes, I mean YOU. You girls who think it's perfectly acceptable to squat and hover over public toilets, leaving a fun little mess for the person behind you.

I realize this isn't exactly the kind of thing people like to talk about, but I've got a bone to pick with you.

I understand that public toilets aren't exactly sanitary, but if you are that bothered by sitting on them, use a toilet seat cover. And if you can't find one of those, put some toilet paper down.

But it is completely un-fun when I come into the stall after you, sit down to use the restroom (because I don't seem to have the issues that you have with public toilets), and realize that you've apparently squatted and missed the mark, and that you failed to clean up after yourself.


So to all you squatters out there, let's get this problem under control. Stat.

Hugs and Kisses.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thankful Thursdays...

Loved and Lovely

Good morning, y'all!  Hope this week has flown by for you as fast as it has for me. 

{I'm thankful} for a very well-behaved little puppy girl. 


We picked Lilly up from training on Monday, and we were so pleased with the results!  Before, she was incredibly fearful of other dogs and people.  While she'd usually obey our commands if we were at home, she wouldn't while we were out for a walk, and certainly not when other people/animals were around.  She now sits, lays, stays, comes, and heels without trouble.  We're still working on her jumping when people come through the door, but I'm hoping we can get that down soon. :)  (And isn't her little graduation cap just the cutest?)
{I'm thankful} that Micah seems to be feeling a teensy bit better.  This bug is lingering, though, and I'm ready for him to feel 100%.  It's rough seeing my strong man look so pitiful...
{I'm thankful} that I finally broke down and called the doctor so she could confirm that I don't, in fact, have listeriosis.  :) 
{I'm thankful} that, although the jet lag is still going strong (I fell asleep at 7:30 last night and woke up at 4:30 this morning), I've made myself get up and just go to work so that I can leave early.  I'm bound and determined, though, to make myself stay up until at least 9:00 tonight.  Fingers crossed...
{I'm thankful} that I finally started Christmas shopping.  Although I bet most of you are done or almost done already. :)
Alright, y'all, what are you thankful for this week?  Link up and tell us!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nursery Inspiration...

When we found out that I was pregnant, one of the first things to pop into my brain (after the initial, "Holy crap, we're going to be parents!") was that I was going to need to decorate a nursery.  As you probably know, I enjoy decorating our home, but the idea of furnishing a room for a baby was a bit daunting.

I'm pretty picky when it comes to color and furniture, so I spent a long time poring over Pinterest and my favorite furniture stores' websites (ahem, PBK) for ideas.  Eventually, but before we even found out it was a girl, I stumbled across this nursery, and it made my heart go pitter-patter.


I loved the yellow Jenny Lind crib, the turquoise-ish walls (which give a lovely, fun pop of color without being obnoxious), and the vintage-y, bright colored accents.  Micah ended up vetoing the yellow crib (and, after I gave it some thought, I agreed that it would probably be smarter to do the big pieces in neutral colors and bring the pops of color in elsewhere), but otherwise, I decided to try and recreate the look and feel of this space. 

Here's what I've come up with.

clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

I originally started out planning on doing a bright bumper, but I had heck trying to find one that wasn't either (1) too bright, (2) too understated, or (3) too cheesy-looking.  I'm not really a theme-y kind of gal, so I focused instead on finding colors I couldn't live without.  I pored over Etsy's crib bedding for what felt like days before I found this rag crib quilt and fell in love.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  I think I'll pair it with a simple white crib sheet and a crib skirt in a solid color (maybe coral?).

The idea of a waterfall curtain in a pretty yellow as a sort of replacement for the yellow crib just kind of came to me, and I'm now pretty stuck on the idea.  The crib is from Restoration Hardware, and if I can find a suitable replacement that's a little cheaper, I'll consider myself a very lucky woman.  Otherwise, I'll just have to justify the cost by telling myself that, since this bed converts to a toddler bed, and then to a full-size bed, it can grow with her up until, and maybe even through, college. 

The rocker is gorgeous, but I'd probably rather have a glider.  I just can't get over the lovely tufted upholstery.  I'm still on the hunt for a stylish, yet comfy glider, but until I find one, this is the plan.

I've still got some work to do, as far as a dresser/changing table and accents go, but I'm happy to finally have a plan.  Hopefully our little love will feel at home in the space we create for her. :)

What we {loved} about Paris... Part Two

More Paris for you guys.  (I swear that by the time these posts are over, you're going to be sick of Paris... :))  We're continuing on with our {We loved} and {We didn't love} list.  I wanted to save this one for last, but I just couldn't wait. :)

{We loved} the Eiffel Tower.

Nothing screams Paris louder than the Eiffel Tower.  I just couldn't get enough.  I literally squealed the first time I saw it peeking through the skyline.  We managed to wait until the second day to go see it up close, with the thought that we'd also ride up to the top and get pictures from that perspective, as well.


Just breathtaking. 


There was something about standing there, in front of one of the most famous monuments in the world, that made me feel so incredibly small. 



I snagged this shot while standing on top of a moving double-decker tour bus, and it ended up being one of my favorites.  (We decided to take a bus tour of the city like I had done in London and loved it.  Even though we nearly froze to death...)

{We didn't love} the fact that the line was RIDICULOUSLY long to ride up the elevators to the top.  So we didn't.  Two days later, we got up at the crack of down and made it to the ticket line 30 minutes before the elevators started running so that we could be first in line.  But then it started raining.  And we had no umbrella.  And it was 35 degrees outside.

  We toughed it out for about twenty minutes, and even managed to have a little fun.

But then the rain really started coming down and we couldn't take it anymore, so we dashed for cover under the nearest building, losing our place in line.  While we stood there for about 5 or 10 minutes, trying to come up with a plan for getting to a cafe without getting soaked, the rain pretty much quit, and we felt like idiots.  So we decided to go ahead and go up and got back in line.  I whined and complained the whole time.

But then we made it up to the top (the VERY top), and all my frustration disappeared.


I took this picture with a zoom lens, so it's a little misleading.  We were way up there. 


And then I crossed off one of the things at the top of my metaphorical bucket list:

Kiss the love of my life at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Magical, y'all.  I wouldn't have traded that moment for anything in the world.

We also took a riverboat tour on the Seine river (which runs through the heart of Paris) on a different night.  After the tour was over, we grabbed dinner at a riverside restaurant with a direct view of the Eiffel Tower as the sun went down.  If it's possible, the tower was even more beautiful at night.


At the top of every hour, the lights started twinkling, and it was so incredibly gorgeous.

So there are about a billion more pictures of the Eiffel Tower than you probably ever cared to see, but I'll treasure them forever.  
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