Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mom and Dad's Visit!

Last week my parents made their first visit to Houston!  I was SO excited, especially since I hadn't seen them since June.  Unfortunately due to weather and the very seldom idiocy of Southwest Airlines, their flight didn't make it in until almost 10pm Wednesday night.  Thankfully, my mother made it in one piece..bless her little phobic heart.  We brought them home and immediately all went to bed, M and I had to work the next day.

Thursday, I put on the charm, and somehow convinced my boss that it would be a good idea for me to be off on Friday.  How awesome is that?  So instead of working all day Friday, I was free to hit up the Galleria with Mom and Dad!  The only stipulation was that I had to stay late to finish up a case , but staying an extra 2.5 hours, totally worth it.  After work, we met Mom and Dad at Pappadeaux, one of Mom and Dad's favorite Atlanta restaurants, that was actually started in Houston, along with Pappacitos, Pappa's BBQ, Pappa's Burger, etc...  Pappadeaux has some of the best fried seafood around, even though it is a chain.

Friday while M was at work, I drove Mom and Dad into town and took them to the Galleria.  Dad spent most of the afternoon reading on a couch in the mall, while Mom and I went shopping.  We ate lunch at the mall at a local place called The Daily Grill.  I won on best entree.  The waiter convinced me to get their signature chicken pot pie, and it had the flakiest/best crust I've ever tasted.

How cute are they?!

Doesn't it make you just want to dive right in?

Friday night we stayed in/cooked dinner and preceded to watch one of the worst movies I have ever seen.  DO NOT see The American with George Clooney.  It was boring.  So boring that every 5 minutes or so, someone would mention just how bad it was (Mom or me) while others (Dad or M) would say, "Well maybe it's about to get better"....it never got better. 

Saturday we drove them to Sugar Land to show them where we go to church, went furniture looking, and then went back home to watch some college football before lunch.  We took them to a local place in Pearland called Lupe Tortilla.  We had eaten there before, but this time it was 10 x's better.  Mom even said that they had the best tamale she had ever eaten...and Mom is extremely picky about her tamales.  Sadly, after lunch, we had to take them to the airport to catch their flight :(

Someone was SO glad to see her Honey and Pops. 

It was so much fun having my parents here!  Only hope next time the whole family gets to come!  Come back soon... Don't let the airways scare you away!

Love my family!  And no, we didn't purposefully leave M out of the pictures...Mom has them on her camera... so in 10 years when she finally figures out how to upload them to her computer, we will finally get to see them. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


How to celebrate 3 years of marriage?  Well since our 20 day trip through Italy fell through :) ..Ugh, don't I wish...we met our friends in Chicago over Labor Day weekend!

My dad recently stated that my blogs tend to almost always be about food.  I don't really know what that makes me....food obsessed, food snob, lover of all things tasty??  But I would like to point out that there is a reason I am this way, and I think my father played a part. 

So...to preface.  This blog may contain a food theme.

Friday night Matthew and I flew in to Midway and took a shuttle to our hotel for the night.  The Palmer House Hilton.  It was REALLY nice.  And we Pricelined it for like 90 bucks!  We then hurried to get ready and took a cab to the Second City.  It is a comedy club/venue that is fairly famous in the comedy scene.  Stars such as Dan Akroyd, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Steve Carell, Tina Fey, etc... all got their starts in the business there.  The show was absolutely hilarious.  So glad that we went, even though it meant staying up until after 1...after we'd been up since 5:30am!

Saturday we met our friends who had arrived late Friday night at their hotel.  Yes, we stayed at 3 different hotels every night we were there.  We spent the day shopping and eating...

Sears Tower...Although it has a different name now.  Can't remember.

Giordanos Pizza.  We had been told that if you want Chicago style pizza this was the place to go.  So So good.

Lawry's Saturday night for dinner.  Yes, it is where the seasoning salt came from.  Although more famously known in the Smith household as a really good seasoning for popcorn!

Prime Rib so good that you've gotta pick it up..
Sunday we spent most of the day at Navy Pier...

This is how thrilled M was to be riding the ferris wheel...not too fun for someone with a fear of open heights!

A lady we met in Nordstrom's Rack told us that we needed to check out a mural a couple of blocks away.  Unfortunately we enjoyed it in a different way that I don't think she had in mind....

The Bean

Sunday night for dinner M and I went to this Italian place for our official anniversary dinner.  Some of the best homemade pasta I have EVER had.  I would definitely go back to this place. 

Chocolate cake for 1 please!

M's cannolis. 

Such a great trip with fun friends.  We had a blast!  We definitely need to do this more often...  Miss you all!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reflections on 3 Years

3 years?  Where did the time go?..  3 years ago yesterday, Matthew and I were married and were eagerly anticipating what this crazy journey/roller-coaster called marriage would bring.  I don't think 100 hours of premarital counseling could have prepared us, but it's been so fun trying to figure this thing out together... I'm sure we will spend the next 60 years wading through it one step at a time.  3 years...went by too fast.

In 3 years we have:

- Lived in 2 different cities
- Resided in 1 mansion, 1 tiny apartment, 1 OLD townhouse, and together bought our first home
- Bought our first dog child, named her Lexi, and decided we would love her more than life
Survived one PhD and a Nursing degree
-  Vacationed in Jamaica, Amelia Island, Savannah, Destin, Panama City, New Orleans, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, went on a cruise, and paid an exorbitant amount to watch our Cats lose in the Final Four (Houston)
- Defended a thesis and passed the NCLEX a few months later
- Sat through 2 graduations
- Spent thousands of dollars on unnecessary medical bills (thanks GERD)
- Lived off virtually nothing, we literally could have qualified for food stamps...and I wouldn't trade it for anything :)
- Started jobs, quit jobs, and started new jobs again
- Struggled (me) through months of homesickness
- Made wonderful new friends (in both Alabama and Texas), and kept up with old (in both Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and California (shout out)
- Discovered a joy of food and cooking together (shocker that we both love to eat)
- Trusted God to lead us to new opportunities, and here we are... (dying in the heat)

Ok, time for me (Matthew) to commandeer this post, I mean for those avid readers of our blog you know that this is the time for my (roughly) yearly post.  I am going to take this space to brag on my beautiful wife.  God has truly blessed me more than I can say with this woman that I get to go through life with.  She is loving, hilarious, gorgeous, a gracious host, uber-competitive, a wonderful cook, and a supportive Christian woman, who could ask for more?  These three years (to paraphrase Dustin Hoffman in Hook...has it been three years?) have flown by and I cannot believe all of the things listed above that we have done, but more important than those is the day to day that we spend together and that we enjoy spending together.  Thank you Chris and Vicki for entrusting me with your daughter, I do my best to cherish and love her in the way God wants of me.   On to year 4 (start the countdown to the Olympics!!)