Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thankful Thursdays (Link Up!)...

Loved and Lovely

You know what?

Today, {I'm thankful} for dinners with sweet friends.

{I'm thankful} for a husband who worked late last night, stopped and got groceries, and then made it most of the way home before he realized that he forgot my heartburn medicine.  So he drove right back to the store to pick it up. #whyishesoperfect?

{I'm thankful} to have gotten the Etsy shipment notification for Grace's crib bedding.  I seriously cannot wait to see how it turned out!

{I'm thankful} for my best friend who has spent hours editing photos, trying to send them to me, realizing that they were too big to email, loading them onto Photobucket for me to see, attempting to order canvases, and finally realizing that the Groupon codes I sent her weren't working.  I'm trying to order some large canvases of blown up Paris/London pictures for our game room, and it has been an ordeal.  Lauren's such a trooper, though, and I know they're going to look fabulous once I can call Groupon and give them a piece of my mind...

{I'm thankful} to have already gotten some fun questions for Micah and I to answer.  If you haven't submitted one yet, you totally should - we're looking forward to answering them!  Go here to leave us a comment.

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Your turn to ask the questions...

I've been bombarding you guys with baby questions lately, so when I saw this post over at Joy's blog, I thought it might be a fun way to say thanks for all your help!  (And I hope Joy doesn't mind that I'm shamelessly borrowing her fabulous idea. :))


So here's how it'll work:  what questions do you have for me or Micah (he doesn't know it yet, but he's going to join in on the fun for this post!) or both of us?  I try to be an open book here, but I know there are things you guys probably don't know (particularly if you're new around these parts!). 

Ask us anything from where we plan on going for our next vacation to what made Micah pick up the phone and call me on that fateful day in 2002... we'll do our best to answer!  Just leave your question in a comment below (or if you're the shy type like my husband, click on the "contact" tab under my blog header and leave it there).  I'll give you guys until Saturday to post your questions, and I'll get our answers up on or before Wednesday of next week.  Sound like a plan?

Hopefully this will be a fun way for you guys to get to know me (and Micah) a little better!  (And I'll feel totally lame and uncool if no one has questions, so throw a sista a bone and help me out, would you? :))

What I'm Loving Wednesday... {Love}

I haven't linked up with Jamie and Michelle in awhile, but today...

I'm loving love.

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and I've been racking my brain to think of a thoughtful gift for Micah.  (As a rule, we're both terrible gift givers and tend to wait until the last minute to try and come up with something.  I'm determined to not suck this year.)  For inspiration, I went to check out my Love board on Pinterest and found so many sweet, lovey-dovey pins that I couldn't resist sharing.  Enjoy!

And because sometimes it's fun to save the best for last...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mommy in Training: Feeding

(Seriously, y'all... I can't thank you enough for all your helpful registry tips.  They were incredibly helpful when I went to register!)

As if you guys haven't had enough baby talk from me lately, today we're talking about boobies.  And bottles.

I am planning on at least attempting to breastfeed (but I'm not going to put a whole lot of pressure on myself, and if it ends up not working out, I will happily [and with no guilt] feed our little princess with formula).  It's obviously a strange concept for someone who has never done it before, and I will frankly tell you that the idea of it weirds me out a little bit.  So I'm soliciting any tips/pointers/suggestions you guys have for a newbie breastfeeder.  I registered for what I've heard is the "Cadillac" of breast pumps:  the Medela Pump In Style double electric breastpump.  Did you guys use others that you swear by?

Similarly, if you used formula, I'd love to hear your thoughts on bottles, which formula you ended up using, etc.

Lastly (with hopefully no controversy), I'm curious about what you all decided on with respect to feeding on demand versus more scheduled, parent-directed feeding (i.e., the Babywise method).  I don't have any definitive plans yet (though I'll admit that I'm leaning toward a modified Babywise approach) and would love to hear your thoughts.

In a nutshell, I want to know:

How do/did you gals get your babies' tummies full?

This week's topic might strike some strong feelings in some of you mama bears, but let's keep this a judgment-free zone.  As I've said here before, I feel strongly that moms should support one another, and there are many ways to achieve what I'm sure is the ultimate goal of most moms:  to raise healthy, happy children who are equipped to face the world.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Stuff we did this weekend...

... in no particular order.

Finished up a fun project for the nursery...

If you're a follower on Instagram, you caught a sneak peek (and if you're not a follower, you can go check it out at @MrsHargrave).  The project took most of the day on Saturday, and it's definitely not perfect (I've still got to do a little touch-up work on the letters), but I'm pretty in love with how it all turned out.


... once again.  I'm telling you guys... this third trimester exhaustion is already hitting me.  I slept for three hours straight yesterday (and probably would have slept longer if Micah hadn't called and accidentally woke me up).  It was glorious.

Got a text from Micah that said "The Wicked Witch of the West" and attached this picture of Lilly napping under our bed...


... I just about died.  (Although, as a true Wizard of Oz fan, I had to remind him that it was actually the Wicked Witch of the East who got smushed under Dorothy's house.  I may or may not have gone through TWO VHS tapes of the Wizard of Oz when I was a little girl.  I also may or may not have seriously contemplated Dorothy as a middle name for Grace before ultimately deciding on Riley.)

Dined with both sets of my parents, as well as Micah's parents.

I love spending time with our sweet families and feel so thankful that they're all so close.  And I know I'm going to be really thankful once Grace gets here. :)

Blew off going to the grocery store...

... so we'll be eating some hodgepodge meals this week, I'm sure.  Is it weird that I'm kind of excited about the prospect of eating Ramen Noodles?

Marveled at all your sweet comments in response to this post...

... thank you all so much for being so supportive and encouraging.

What did you guys do this weekend?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thoughts on being a working mommy...

"You are coming back to the firm after your maternity leave, aren't you?" my secretary asked me as I was leaving for the day yesterday evening.

No one had actually asked me that yet, but I knew that others were probably wondering the same thing.

I smiled and assured her that, yes, I'd definitely be returning to the office when my twelve weeks are up.  She seemed happy to hear that, which made me smile.

And before I get lambasted with judgment, let me just say... the reasons for my steadfast determination to muster up the strength to continue working after I become a mommy are many.  First of all, although Micah has a great and steady job, we definitely couldn't afford our house and car payments without my salary.  I also have law school loans that stress the heck out of me (even though I know they're fairly insignificant compared to many others'), and we're aggressively trying to get them paid off in the next two-and-a-half years.  So even if I wanted to stay home, we'd be looking at selling our house, moving, getting different cars, and drastically changing the way we live life in order to accommodate that desire.

But more importantly, and beyond the financial aspects, I truly do love my job.  I know I'm going to love Grace more (I already do) and that my ambition and drive to succeed at work will shift significantly once she's here.  But I don't think my fundamental desire to delve into a case and advocate on behalf of a client is going to magically disappear after I have a baby.  I just happen to really like being a lawyer.

I also worked really hard in school for seven years to earn that J.D. -- with four years devoted to mastering biochemistry and three years reading thousands of pages in an attempt to learn to "think like a lawyer."  And I'm proud of what He has done in me through that learning.  The idea of leaving it all behind is honestly unthinkable to me.

Lastly, I grew up with a working mom, and I always planned on being a working mom, too, because that's what was normal to me.  I'll honestly admit that it was hard sometimes for my brother and me when she couldn't make it to every single event at the school and simply didn't have the time to be the president of the PTA.  But she didn't miss much, and she bent over backward trying to juggle it all.  And mostly?  She did an amazing job.  I never felt any less loved, and I was inspired to reach for my dreams because I saw that it really was possible to be a fantastic mom and wife while also accomplishing achievements in my own right.  Her strength always always encouraged me to be confident in my ability to do big things on my own.  I want that for Grace.


I can already imagine how incredibly difficult it's going to be to have to leave Grace in the care of others when the time comes.  And I know, without any doubt, that I'm going to be green with envy of you incredible stay-at-home mommies. 

Not because it's easier.  In fact, I firmly believe that it's harder for stay-at-home mommies than it is for working moms because you phenomenal women carry the load of growing up your children all by yourself -- day in and day out -- without being able to pass the load on to others to carry and without the tangible reward of a fantastic bonus or a great year-end-review to remind you of what a great job you're doing.  Seriously... this mommy-to-be applauds you all and can assure you that I will never feel anything except admiration for your decision to stay at home with your loves.  (And I suppose I hope for the same courtesy from you about my decision to continue to work.  I really, really believe that we're all in this together and that, as a group, we could stand to be a whole lot less judgmental of one another.)

No, my envy will stem from the fact that I'm going to miss out on things in order to try and balance it all.  I know that going in.  I know that there will be many tears and much exhaustion and a whole lot of guilt.  There will be days when I'm tempted to quit, and heck... I may very well change my mind three years down the road. 

But I know one thing. 

I'll be counting on Him (and you guys!) to lift me up on the rough days.  I'm going to do my very best for Grace (and any other siblings that pop up down the road) and let Him do the rest. 

Because that's all any of us can really do, isn't it?

So here's to what I know will be the most incredible, rewarding, frustrating, wonderful, exhausting, and trying journey of my life.  Let's all just hope that I don't screw her up too badly... ;)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January 24, 2013...

My Darling Grace,

There are moments when I feel like I might burst with the anticipation of meeting you.  I imagine what your little eyelids and lips and toes will look like.  I wonder what shade of blue your eyes will be.  I think about the person you'll become and pray with all my might that you will come to adore Him the way your Daddy and I do.

And then I just thank my lucky stars that I get to be your mom.  Because whether you wind up with my chubby hands or your Dad's dazzling smile, you will still be ours; you will be the most beautiful girl in the world to us.  And we will love you to the moon and back.

Only eighty-five more days until I see your face.  I'm counting down the seconds.


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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Week Twenty-Seven

(Sorry, y'all... no picture this week.)

How far along?  Twenty-seven weeks.  I'm officially at the end of the second trimester, and it's blowing my mind.

Baby is the size of... a head of cauliflower.  Um, holy cow.

Best moment this week?  Registering for all the adorable, tiny baby things we're going to need.  It's so amazing that something so tiny could require so much STUFF!

Miss anything?  Being able to bend over comfortably.  I can still do it, but not easily. 

Movement?  All the time.  I love it so much.

Sleep?  Still sleeping well, but I wake up with numb fingers.  Apparently this extra weight is too much for my poor nerves.

Food cravings?  Nothing this week.  Well, at least nothing that I don't usually want.  I can put away some donuts like nobody's business, but that's nothing new.

What makes you queasy/sick?  Nothing this week.  (Although I think I'm going to pick up a small bottle of new perfume.  My usual stuff smells SO strong to me lately.)

Morning sickness?  Nada.

Other symptoms?  We're doing pretty darned great right now, y'all.  I am feeling more tired than I had been, but I know that's to be expected.  Other than that, and the inconvenience of my ever-growing belly, things are fabulous.

Gender?  It's a GIRL!

Looking forward to... continuing to prepare for her arrival.  It's all going so fast!

Stuff we did this weekend...

Celebrated my best friend's husband's birthday...

... Minute to Win It style!


Lauren had planned out all kinds of games and created a score chart and everything.  The one game I thought I might excel at (aptly titled "Junk in the Trunk") required each person to strap a kleenex box containing 8 ping pong balls to their butt and shake it around until all the balls popped out.  Totally in the bag, right?  Um, no.  Not even a little bit.  I was embarassingly bad.  But we had tons of fun anyway.

Continued working on the nursery.

And ordering all kinds of things on Etsy.  So fun!

Enjoyed a little In-N-Out...

... animal style!


Guess who ordered the cheesy fries... :)

Registered at Target and Buy Buy Baby.

As we walked around, scanning all the things Grace is going to need once she arrives, it suddenly became very real.  And so, so exciting.  (And terrifying.) 


Well, I  napped.  Micah isn't really a napper, and I so wish he was.  It'd make me feel a whole lot less lazy.:)

And because I'm so slow to get this post up, we're already almost halfway through this week. Hallelujah!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Nursery Progress...

We're still nowhere near being finished with the nursery, but we've definitely made progress, and I just couldn't wait to share a few sneak-peek pictures with you guys. 





(These will eventually make it onto the wall once I figure out what to put in them.)


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thankful Thursdays (Link Up!)...

Loved and Lovely

It's the small things that are filling my heart with thankfulness this week, y'all.

{I'm thankful} that I got to work from home, curled up in a warm blanket, when Texas decided to give us a little more snow on Tuesday.

Those of you who have to deal with real snow on a regular basis probably laugh at us southerners who can't seem to function when the white stuff starts falling.  But after Micah spent 45 minutes trying to go 5 miles on the highway, slipping and sliding multiple times, he turned around and came back home and informed me that I wouldn't be going anywhere that morning.  Who was I to argue?  
{I'm thankful} to have come home last night to a kitchen full of freshly chopped veggies, all ready for me to throw them in PW's Summer Stir Fry.  It was delicious, y'all.  

And relatively healthy.  But don't skimp on the butter because it absolutely makes the dish. :)

{I'm thankful} that Hobby Lobby had all the things I needed to finish up a project I've been wanting to get to for weeks now.  Here's a little sneak peek.


I'll have the details for you in a few days. :)  

{I'm thankful} that Miss Grace has been especially active this week.  In addition to her kicks and jabs, I've felt other kinds of movement (still not sure exactly what's going on down there, but apparently she's having a good time), and I'm loving it.  So, so sweet.

What are you guys thankful for this week?  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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mommy in Training: stuff I need but don't know I need

After all your fabulous advice on the carseats and strollers, I'm hitting you gals up for more tips for this mommy-to-be who needs all the help she can get.

I've started a registry list, and I feel like I have all the basics covered.  (If you're curious, we decided to register for the Chicco Keyfit 30 carseat and a cheaper, lightweight stroller frame because I'd just heard that the travel system strollers were pretty bulky.  Plus, this is what my sister-in-law used, and my parents already have the extra bases for this system.  I will probably also register for the City Mini Jogger because you gals raved about it, and because I need all the incentive I can get to make me want to get out and walk/jog with her.) 

But I know I'm missing things that have probably been lifesavers for you guys.  I know so much of the "little" things will be baby-specific, but I want to do my very best to expect the unexpected. :)

So this week, I want to know:

What did you end up needing/loving that you didn't know you'd need/love?

(And since I'm not sure I'll get to another one of these posts before I register, shout out any- and everything you think I absolutely must register for... basic or not.  Feel free to assume that I've forgotten to register for obvious things because, chances are, I have. :))

Monday, January 14, 2013

Week Twenty-Six

I never got around to taking a photo last week, so we're just combining weeks twenty-five and twenty-six, if that's alright with you guys. :)

(holy cow, y'all... she has GROWN since my last picture!)

(Week twenty-three)

How far along?  Twenty-six weeks.

Baby is the size of... an English cucumber.

Best moment this week?  Watching Micah work tirelessly to get the house ready for Grace's arrival and meeting with my besties to start planning the shower.  It's all coming at me so fast!

Miss anything?  Being able to walk around and run errands without being worn out.  Putting on this baby weight (and boy have I put on some weight...) makes me feel like I felt before I lost it all, and I remember how tired I was all the time.  I'm even more determined than ever to get back on the plan hardcore once she arrives.

Movement?  All the time.  Again, I'm still trying to discern any sort of a pattern to her movement, but I'm not very observant, so I haven't yet figured out when she's most active. 

Sleep?  Still sleeping fabulously, thankfully.  I'm just waiting for the sleepless nights to hit.

Food cravings?  I've actually had a taste for Mexican food the last couple of weeks, which is funny considering that I couldn't even stand the thought of Mexican food in the first trimester. 

What makes you queasy/sick?  Nothing.  Hallelujah!

Morning sickness?  No nausea in the past week or so.

Other symptoms?  Heartburn nearly every night.  Thank the Lord for Zantac 75.  Last week I had incredibly intense tightness and pain in my lower abdomen... right where she's sitting.  It was a little scary, but she contined to stay active, and I didn't have any other symptoms, so I figured it was ligament pain.  I finally called my doctor's office on the fourth day of constant, sharp pain, and she confirmed that it was just ligament pain and that I didn't need to worry.  Thankfully I started feeling better the next day.  I've also had some swelling in my feet and ankles.  And my boobs are getting enormous.   

Gender?  It's a GIRL!

Looking forward to... continuing to finish up the nursery and going to register sometime soon!  (I'll be doing a registry must-haves post in the next day or two so you guys can tell me all the things you didn't know you needed... until you did. :))

Rats, babies, and a meal plan...

I woke up in the middle of the night on Friday, screaming at the top of my lungs.  Apparently I had stumbled across a rat in my dreams, and my subconscious was smart enough to wake me up before I actually came into contact with it.  Thank the Lord...  Micah, worried that something real was actually wrong, started shaking me and asking me what was going on, and I just started laughing uncontrollably.  I still laugh when I think about it because I was seriously screaming at the top of my lungs.  I really hate rats, y'all.

In other, non-rat news, my sweet cousin had her third baby on Friday, and she is such a doll.


Her name is Ainsley (don't you just love that?!), and I got to hold her for, like, 30 minutes on Saturday.  It was pure bliss, and it really hit me that I'll be holding Grace in a little over three months.  So incredible...

Before we went to the hospital to see Ainsley, my best friends came over for a little baby shower planning session, and I'm getting really excited for March.  We're going to have the shower at my house, which I'm thrilled about because it puts the pressure on me to finish up all the to-do projects I have around the house and get the nursery totally finished by then.  So be expecting some house updates between now and March. :)

Poor Micah spent the entire weekend in the nursery (1) painting the crown molding, (2) installing the ceiling fan, and (3) putting the crib together.  Y'all... I seriously cannot wait to show you the finished product when we get it all done.  I'm in love already!  (Maybe I'll post a little sneak peek soon so you can at least get an idea of the colors we're using.)  On to curtains, wall decorations, and all the little accessories...

I also did some meal-planning this weekend.  Here's what we're having this week in the Hargrave house:

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings (we actually made these last night using Micah's parents' "recipe" [I use the word very loosely, as it was a lot of "a little of this" and "a pinch of that], and they were incredible)


Hot Chicken Salad and Homemade Creamed Corn
Papaw's Tilapia and broccoli with cheese
Creamy Garlic Pasta and salad
Summer Stir Fry and salad

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!  Check back in later for a baby bump update. :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

High Five Friday Confessions...

I don't normally do link-ups on Fridays, but my girl Joy is hosting Friday Five, and I thought I'd join in.  Turns out Lauren also has a fun Friday link-up, so it feels like it's meant to be. ;)  And because my Friday posts usually resemble confessions of sorts, I'm showing some love to the always-fabulous Leslie, as well. (And really, I'm just giving you the same ole' ramblings you're used to, so this lengthy introduction was likely very unnecessary.)  Anywhoodle... let's get to it, shall we?

{One}  I stumbled upon this City Wall Banner a few days ago and decided that, although I loved my Home Goods clearance finds, I loved these a little more.

These are significantly bigger and almost the same price as the Home Goods versions, and they, too, came in both London and Paris varieties. Plus, they're the same size (the Home Goods London sign was much bigger than the Paris sign), so that makes finding the right spot for them in my game room much easier.  Now, I've just got to decide on which London/Paris photos I want to have blown up and get the canvases ordered.  I'm excited to be finally figuring out my vision for the game room, and I hope it all comes together without looking cheesy.

{Two} I looked down at my feet last night and saw what no girl ever wants to see, even if they are twenty-six weeks pregnant: cankles. Apparently the days of swollen feet have begun.  Goody.

{Three}  A sweet reader (hi, Dee Dee!) mentioned that she was having trouble seeing my pictures, and I just wanted to take a quick poll and see if anyone else was having the same issue.  I forgot to mention this, but awhile back, I apparently hit my Blogger photo upload limit (I think it was all those large-sized London/Paris photos that did me in...), and my options were to either (1) pay for more storage space or (2) start uploading all my photos to Photobucket and pasting HTML code into my posts.  I chose the Photobucket option because it was free and because I didn't have any issues getting the pictures to appear in my browser or Google reader, but I may obviously need to rethink that if you guys can't see them!

{Four}  Micah and I are making a concerted effort (I won't quite call it a resolution) to be more social this year.  We both work hard and are pretty homebody-ish, so we like our weekends pretty quiet and cuddly.  But we also really love our friends and want to be better about spending time with them.  So we're going to try harder to venture out into land of people and spend less time curled up on the couch.

{Five}  I found out yesterday that the sweet girls from work and some of the attorneys' wives want to throw me a shower/luncheon in March, and it seriously made my day.  These ladies are fabulous, and I'm excited to get to visit with them and get ready for Grace's debut!  (Let's all pray, though, that she doesn't decide to come early, because we'll be cutting it really close...)

Alright, y'all - what are you confessing/high fiving about today?

the Sowell life   Photobucket

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thankful Thursdays (Link Up!)...

Loved and Lovely

It's Thursday,  y'all.  You know the drill by now... :)

{I'm thankful} for the rain.  The Dallas area has gotten almost two whole days of rain, and I love it.  It feels lame to be thankful for the weather, but I seriously adore sleepy, rainy days... even if I would rather be enjoying them curled up in bed.

{I'm thankful} that, although work has been tough this past week (a few of my favorite people left to start their own firm), He is reminding me that all things work together for His good and glory.

{I'm thankful} that my sweet husband stuck a Golden Grahams Chocolate Marshmallow treat in my purse this morning.  Have you guys tried those things?  Holy goodness, they're scrumptious.

{I'm thankful} for lots and lots of kicks and movement this week.  I just can't get enough...

And {I'm thankful} that tomorrow's Friday!  This is my first full week back at work in awhile, and it's whooping my tail.

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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Best of Pinterest Recipes...

I'm taking a page out of Miss Charlotte's book today and sharing with you some of my favorite Pinterest recipes.  Although I've only made a fraction of the 503 dishes I've pinned, there have been some definite winners.  (To be fair, I feel like I should admit that there have also been some utter failures.  Like this dip and this pasta.  Blech...)

So the next time you're looking to try something new, give one of these babies a go (click on the titles for recipes).


I made these for my Christmas party last year, and they are absolutely scrumptious.  A nice change from the classic chocolate chip cookie (although, let's be real, I'm pretty crazy about those too).


I've told you guys about this stuff a billion times before, but I'm telling you again... if you haven't tried it yet, you totally should.  It's just the perfect creamy, garlic-y, cheesy flavor, and a fabulous, interesting texture, too.  Plus, it really couldn't be any easier to make.

Banana Bread Pancakes


I was definitely more in love with these than Micah was, but they are seriously the most dense, flavorful pancakes I've ever had.  And they really do remind me of banana bread.  I omitted the maple flavoring from the glaze because I'm more of a plain-jane vanilla girl, but I'm sure the maple version is just as fabulous. 


I could seriously drink this dressing.  If you've never had a BBQ-based dressing, you should really try it.  It gives any salad a summery, smoked flavor, and this recipe, in particular, is  (And for the record, my salad looks nothing like this one, with the dressing perfectly and delicately drizzled over the chicken.  My salad's swimming in the stuff.)


Yeah, I said it.  Red velvet brownies.  They're heavenly, beautiful, and the whole darned pan disappeared in a day at my house.  I'd blame Micah, but then I'd be a liar.  And one shouldn't lie about red velvet brownies.


I liked these because they were so much more moist than regular sausage balls.  Next time, I'll probably use a teensy bit less cream cheese to appease my picky husband (who apparently prefers his sausage balls a bit drier... blasphemy), but these are for sure getting made again.

Banana Bread Bars with Brown Butter Frosting

What can I say... I love banana bread.  I made these and took them to work, and they lasted maybe forty-five minutes.  The brown butter frosting takes them over the edge, for sure.


If Paula Deen makes it, you can bet that it's probably going to be delicious.  This recipe's no exception.  I served it as a dip, rather than a salad, and it will definitely be a go-to recipe for me for parties and get-togethers.


If you can believe it, I like this stuff even better than the original puppy chow.  It's so easy to throw together, and it's strangely addictive. The cake batter flavor is delightful.

Southern Pimento Cheese


Now, technically, I didn't actually find this one on Pinterest.  I pinned it myself after I saw it on Charlotte's blog (hi again, friend!), but I had to share it anyway.  I absolutely hate the plastic-y pimento "cheese" you can buy pre-packaged at grocery stores, but this stuff is phenomenal.  And oh-so very southern. :)

If you're looking for more inspiration, come check out my Yum board here.  (And if you're a foodie/Pin-a-holic like me, tell me where you're at so I can come follow you.)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Six things...

{One}  I took two naps this weekend.  For some reason, I've been unusually exhausted this past week.  Here's hoping the second trimester energy burst hasn't left me already.  I've still go too much to do to go back to being tired all the time!

{Two}  We got the crown molding up in Grace's bedroom!  By "we," I mean my incredibly talented carpenter of a stepdad and my handsome husband.  It looks fantastic, y'all.  Micah still needs to paint it, but I'm already in love.

{Three}  My brother texted me this picture on Friday, and I just laughed and laughed when I saw it.


He had borrowed Micah's shotgun and was dropping it off at our house while we were at work.  Apparently Lilly was happy to see him. :)

{Four}  My mom's house caught on fire last Friday night.  Micah and I were on the way home from our anniversary dinner when we got a text from my mom telling us that her house was on fire.  We immediately turned around to head back into town where she lives when we remembered that we had accidentally left a candle burning while we went to dinner (something I never do).  After turning back around, driving to our house, blowing out the candle, and driving back to my Mom's, we drove up expecting the worst.

Thankfully, though, it was contained to their garage, none of their house was damaged, and they both made it out safely with their sweet puppies.  My stepdad had dumped some ashes from their fireplace into a trash can, and apparently some of them weren't completely out and caught the trash can on fire after an hour or two.  I'm still marveling at the fact that everyone was okay and that they only sustained very minor damage to their garage.  So, so thankful.

{Five}  The Bachelor starts back up tonight.  As usual, I'm seriously contemplating not watching because I feel like I lose brain cells every Monday night.  But if I was a betting woman, I'd wager that my TV will be stuck on ABC tonight from 7 to 9 p.m...

{Six} I put together a short menu for this week.  We're having One-Pot Pasta and BroccoliChicken and Pineapple Quesadillas, Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos (again), and Slow-Cooker Tortilla Soup.  What are you guys cooking this week?

Friday, January 4, 2013

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

It hit me yesterday that, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I completely forgot to share the last Paris post with you guys!  (If you missed the first few Paris posts, you can get caught up here, here, and here.)  So without further ado...

{We loved} the Palace of Versailles.

Of all the suggestions I got for the things we absolutely had to do while we were in Paris, Versailles was the one I heard the most.  And now I understand why.


It's an actual palace (now preserved as a museum) that was built by King Louis XIV in the 1600s, and it was breathtaking. 


We had such a lovely time, strolling through this perfectly preserved piece of history, wondering what in the world it must have been like to live there during the seventeenth century.



This Hall of Mirrors was particularly beautiful.  I couldn't get enough of the light.


There were so many intricate details everywhere, it was hard to take it all in. 


After we explored the inside of the palace, we headed out to the gardens to take a peek.


It's almost unbelievable how massive the gardens are, stretching as far as the eye could see.


We rented a golf cart so that we could see it all without having to actually walk through the whole thing.  By this point, this momma was feeling pretty worn out.


Here's a shot of the palace from the middle of the gardens.
And here's one of the mini-palaces that King Louis XIV had built for his mistress.  So much scandal... :)
I'm telling you guys, I could have spent days here.  Apart from the Eiffel Tower, Versailles was definitely my favorite part of the trip.  I can't imagine how beautiful it must be in the spring, when everything is green and blooming.
Bottom line, our trip to Paris was incredible.  While I feel more sure than ever that we're not cut out for the city and that we will always feel more at home in the middle of nowhere, I loved visiting and will be looking forward to the next time we can hop across the pond to explore another piece of the world.  (I'm looking at you, Italy...)
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