Thursday, May 21, 2015

David's Birthday :: Houston Trip!

Hello everyone,

Last weekend was quite the weekend!  Not only did Phoenix have its last performance of the season (Flight), it was also David's graduation and birthday weekend!  I know, the weekend could not have been more packed.  

Sadly, David's graduation and Phoenix Flight happened on the same day, so I couldn't be in Houston for his graduation, but I booked it home after the concert, packed, and got on a flight to Houston a few hours later for David's birthday!  --giving that whole life/work balance a go over here  hah!

His birthday began with a pretty darn spectacular sunrise in Boston ;)  
the only (and I truly mean the only) perk of being awake at this hour, in my opinion... haha

I definitely went to sleep freezing my butt off on the plane, but a few hours later, I woke up to unbelievable heat and humidity.  Oh Houston... thank you for welcoming me back with everything you had to offer...  but all that was soon forgotten as I met up with my birthday boy and the rest of the S clan!  

Jack and their Dad had made it out to Houston for David's graduation, and I was so glad to see them! 

Dad was flying out soon after, so we grabbed a quick bite to eat and shared some birthday cupcakes while enjoying the short amount of time that we had together. 

Though I had met David's dad and brother individually, I had never seen them all together like this before.  It's hard to put into words, but there was something really heart-warming about seeing them reunited, interacting and spending time together like this   =)  

                                                                <----                                            <----  The evolution of David?  hehe

As soon as Dad left, the kids went wild.


As wild as the couple that chooses baking over drinking gets  =p   

I hear that Houston actually has a pretty great bar scene, but poor Jack never got to experience that because he had us grandparents as his tour guide  haha  Amulet did drag me to one bar (Flying Saucer) during our roomy era, so we did bring Jack there during his visit!  

Oh, but we definitely had the best BBQ we've ever had!  We may not drink much, but if you've followed this blog for awhile, you know that food is definitely our thing! And of all of the BBQ we've ever had, this is the best.  Ray's BBQ is in a gas station, the inside is quite cramped, and the table we got was literally spinning off of the base, but none of that mattered as soon as we tasted the food.

Oh... My... Goodness...  seriously, the juiciest BBQ we have ever had!  
If you live in Houston, you have to go try it!  and all of the many students (ahem, Rice!!) about to move away to a new city, you will seriously regret it if you leave without trying this place!

Having stuffed ourselves, we took a stroll around the Hermann park.  I was kind of shocked to find this part of the park (some sort of a garden) because I don't think it was here when I was at Rice..?   It'd be really sad if it was there all along and I never knew!

The big bro and the baby bro.

David and I have been engaged for awhile now, and we knew that we wanted to be together long-term waayy before we even got engaged.  However, the fact that we are getting married has just begun to feel real, and I think it's because we've gotten to spend more time with both sides of the family (mine in Charleston and his here) in the past couple of weeks.  (and maybe because mommy calls daily asking about the non-existent wedding details...)

For me, marriage isn't just about the couple; it's about two families becoming one.  So when families came into the picture a little more, our upcoming marriage seemed more real to me.  I grew up in a big, loud, and very tight-knit family on both sides, and I've always known that I wanted to continue that tradition as I added my own to the mix.  Family is everything to me; they're there to lend a hand when it is needed, to hold you accountable for your actions, to argue with you, to laugh at/with you, and to share the joys and the sorrows of life. I can't imagine not having that giant support group as you move through different phases of life.

Having such a big family that likes being in everyone else's business has its pros and cons, and one of the cons was that whoever I decided to marry had to have approval from all of the 50+ family members. My aunts and uncles have always joked that their nephews and nieces will never be able to find anyone to marry because it would be impossible to find someone who could pass the family test haha  so when David survived meeting all 50+ of them in Korea, I knew he was a keeper  ;)  haha 

We are both pretty excited to be gaining another set of parents, and another brother each. (and alllll of the extended families.. hah) David was the baby of the family, so he's really liking being a big bro to Peter, and I'm pretty stoked to be getting an older brother myself!  I was an only child for 5 years, and for as long as I can remember, I've always asked my parents for an older brother. I ended up getting a younger brother, which I guess is the next best situation (I love you baby bro! haha). I've also always had many older cousins who filled that older brother role, but now I'm getting a real big brother!  =D 

David and I were discussing our thoughts on this matter, and David told me that girls are very rare in his family, so getting a sister may be a whole new adventure for Jack.  But I'd say he's a natural ;) He already grudgingly endures the many photo shoots coming his way like a seasoned pro  =p  haha

It was a really wonderful day celebrating David's birthday, hanging out and getting to know the family a bit better, and exploring different parts of Houston!  

If you have noticed that the pictures look a little bit different in quality, it's because David got me an early birthday present--a new portrait lens!!  It has a bit of a learning curve, but I am loving the quality of the photos so far.  I'll be back with a new post soon trying out the new lens during the last of our Houston explorations  =)

Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

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