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May 28, 2012

6 Good Years

A therapist could put in a new pool trying to help me get over my sentimental devotion to inanimate objects. Growing up it was stuffed animals. Each and every one was real and had a personality. The thought of throwing any of them away was just heart wrenching. So heart wrenching I never did it. I still tell myself they are all living at my parent's house...although I haven't seen them there since I was 21, so that's pretty unlikely. I am not going to ask them where they went though.

As an adult, I have transitioned my disorder to more age-appropriate objects. Namely, my car. I got my first car when I was twenty-two years old, heading to law school. I went to the dealership with my Dad, who is a salesman by trade, and totally dominated the dickering process. We were negotiating with the salesman for what seemed like hours, and at the end of the day they practically gave us the car because they were so sick of dealing with a sale on a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am.

{Photo taken moments before I got in my car in Idaho and drove it New York) 

I loved that car. It was awesome for a girl just out of undergrad. It was red and had a spoiler. It only had a tape deck, but that's okay because I should listen to the radio more anyways.  Most importantly, this little red car got me from Idaho to New York City, back to Idaho, up to Spokane, and down to Dallas and never let me down. 

I had every intention of driving this car forever, but recently we were involved in a little car accident.  It was 100% not my fault, and quite frankly she handled the impact like a champ.  She kept me and Kadira safe, and suffered minimal body damage- but the airbags deployed, leaving her totaled.

Here's a fun fact (if the mango tree fun fact wasn't crazy enough for you).  Replacing airbags? Yea. Kind of expensive. Like thousand of dollars expensive.  Who knew.

But we kept driving her.  Why?  Because its totally legal to drive a car without airbags.  Yea. For real.  We checked.  We ducked taped those suckers back in and kept driving her because that's what two fully employed lawyers do.  Just livin' the dream.

But a week ago she gave her dying breath and it was time to part with her.  It wasn't fair, running her into the ground like that.  She was tired.  Her life was over.  It was time to say goodbye.

We could have sold her to a junk yard, and we thought about it, but at the end of the day she deserved so much more.

So we donated her to Texans Can: Cars for Kids.   You can learn more about the organization HERE.  They have been great to work with and all the proceeds go to at risk youth.

It was a sad day, saying goodbye to my little Pontiac.  We had been through so much and I had so many great memories wit that car.  The morning she got towed away I patted her hood and said goodbye to my transportation for the last six years.  

Now, introducing my new ride:



If buying an SUV doesn't make you feel like an adult I don't know what does.  Here's to six more, hopefully accident free, years.

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May 24, 2012

"This is a serious problem. These Friday dinners are the only proper food that child eats all week." -Emily Gilmore


"Let's buy this one."
"I don't know if I like this one."
"You just said you liked it."
"Yes I am aware of what I just said, but now I am not so sure. Can we go to just one more store? Just one?"

I am the type of person who hyperventilates at the thought of big purchase.  If I am going to drop some serious money on something I want to make sure its perfect, that it is everything that I want, and that I am getting the best deal possible.

Hence, why we have been living with an empty dining room for the last two years.


For Dan, I am sure that it was some level of avoidance.  He knew this was going to be a long, annoying process.  That he would be forced to sit on various styles of hard chairs while being repeatedly asked:
"Is this comfortable to you?"
"Do you think this is too big?"
"Will it match our other furniture?"

But recently, after three years of living in Dallas, my family came to visit and we decided it was time to pull the trigger. Here is what we wanted: A long table, wood, with an insert, and room for up to eight people.  Also? We want this table to last.  I don't want to be dining room table shopping in another five or even FIFTEEN years.  So this was a big life investment. 

I won't bore you with a dramatic(ly boring) account of the Day of our Life We Lost To Dining Room Table Shopping, but I will say that when buying a dining room table it is worth doing your homework.  We found the quality and the price ranged significantly at every store. Just when we thought we were going to give up, we popped into "one last store" and found: IT. 

Here's a fun fact for you.  Did you know that once mango trees stop producing fruit, they live for two years before they die?  Therefore, buying furniture made of mango trees is very environmentally friendly.  Which I wouldn't say sold me on the table, but certainly gave me the little push I needed.

We had to wait a week for it to be delivered and I daresay it felt like adult Christmas.  I mean, it's pretty fun buying adult furniture.


That evening we sat at either end of the table and I forced Dan to reenact a scene for Gilmore Girls wherein I was Emily and he was Richard and we talked about his stocks and my Daughters of the American Revolution luncheon.  The whole thing was hilarious, especially since we were eating leftover tacos. Emily would so.not.approve.

Today is our 3 year wedding anniversary.  We decided that instead of going out to a fancy dinner, that we would eat dinner at home on the new dining room table and give it a proper "breaking in."  The decision is less about the table itself, and more about the symbolism.  When we first got married, we sold all our stuff that wouldn't fit in a U-Haul and drove down to Texas.  Slowly but surely, we have been building our life together from scratch.  Replacing old furniture, getting new furniture, developing comfortable routines, and building new memories.

I couldn't ask for a better partner or somebody I would rather build a life with - and I can't wait to see what memories we create around this table:



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May 6, 2012

Its Gonna Be MAY!

This morning, I walked out on my front porch and was greeted by a familiar enemy: humidity. Welcome, my arch nemesis, so we meet again. I was hoping it would not be so soon, but I was a fool to think otherwise.

In the month of April the weather slowly crept up to 90 degrees.  I started sweating through all my clothes.  My nights were spent tossing and turning. Looks like I will be spending yet another summer in the South.

This month is busy.  I start Junior League.  My family is flying in to visit us for the first time ever.   I will attend two Rangers baseball games.  Plus, we have a very adult purchase arriving next week, which will surely warrant its own post.

I am thoroughly enjoying having access to Instagram, although I have given up on the photo-a-day prompts:



That being said, I totally buckled down and completed my May goal which was to organize my recipes.  I made a list of all my favorite recipes, and then cut and pasted them into a word documents that even has a table of contents.  Our little cookbook is about 30 pages.  Love! 

In May, I want to create a working budget.  We are pretty good about having a monthly budget and putting money in savings, but we have some long term goals we want to start planning for and I want to work on getting plans in progress to make them a reality. 

Oh, and I also resolve to spend more evenings doing this:


Welcome May! 


May 2, 2012

Books 11-15


Work Less, Make More: Stop Working So Hard and Create the Life You Really Want!Work Less, Make More: Stop Working So Hard and Create the Life You Really Want! by Jennifer White

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn't even really want to read this book, but I needed an audiobook and my options were limited, so I impulsively added it to my overdrive cart and I am so glad I did. You know those books that you will remember reading for the rest of your life? This will be one of them for me. While a lot of the book focuses on people who are entrepreneurs, there are so many amazing tips and lessons for the everyday working individual. I found it so empowering, so much so, that I looked up the author to find out what else she had written and found out that she tragically passed away in the early 2000's. It is so sad because she had so much to offer.

I loved this book so much I ordered a hard copy and am anxiously awaiting its delivery because I plan on reading it again and again.

*****

Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We read this book for my book club and when I started it I had no clue what it was going to be about - and I ended up really enjoying it! It was very well written and creative. The subject matter is definitely young adult, which I didn't mind, but you know how some YA books everybody can enjoy (i.e. Hunger Games)? Well that isn't true for this book. It takes place in a high school and is about teen subject matter, but it dealt with really important subjects and if you know a teenager or have a teenager you should have them read this book. This book was a page turner and I think that the author could have taken the easy way out at the end and she didn't, which I always respect. A good read!

******

The Paris WifeThe Paris Wife by Paula McLain

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was equally dull and engaging (also, another book club pick). I don't know much about the 1920's "Lost Generation," and I loved taking breaks from my book to google the characters whose names I knew but stories I did not. That being said, there were big chunks of the book that I found boring and inconsequential, but I think if I knew more about Hemingway and his life I would have enjoyed the book more. My heart tore to pieces for Hadley at the end, and I kept waiting for some knock down drag out fight that never came. Overall, this book was pleasant but not a page turner. If you are a Hemingway fan, its a must read. If not, you might want to do some research before starting in order to really enjoy the book.

*****

Crossed (Matched, #2)Crossed by Ally Condie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Meh, this book was just okay. More than last book, I found Cassia to be really annoying and needy and I wonder if all books have to make the girl fall to pieces when confronted with a boy. Also, what is going on with Xander? Does Cassia like Xander? Do we as the reader like Xander? I don’t understand that dynamic. I did like the epic nature of their adventure in the outlying communities and I definitely enjoy where the story is going. I also appreciated Ky’s perspective, which surprised me. I am excited to read the next book to find out what happens, but this series is certainly no Hunger Games (or Divergent).

*****

Knit Two: A Friday Night Knitting Club NovelKnit Two: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel by Kate Jacobs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My audiobook subscription ran out right at the end of this book, so during my lunch break I scuttled over to the nearest book store to read the ending while standing among the rack of books. When I read the Friday Night Knitting Club, I was so utterly surprised at how much I liked the book. The second book was good, primarily because I loved the characters so much, but it did feel a little like a book that was never supposed to have a sequel. The storylines were a bit strained, and most importantly, I felt like Jacobs had all the characters doing things that did not fit in with their personalities. I still enjoyed it, but it was not as good as the first (but are they ever?)

2012 Books
-Books 1-5 
-Books 5-10 

View all my reviews and make sure to friend me on Goodreads!

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