This past weekend Stephen and I took an overdue "outing" to visit my little sister, Rachel, and my brother in law Hollis.  Hollis moved to Houston soon after college and, after long-distance-planning a wedding, Rachel moved out there about a year and a half ago.  They have a precious little duplex in an amazing part of town, a sweet group of friends, more places to be/eat/things to do than anyone I know, and blessed jobs.

Some life-long friends of ours moved to Baton Rouge almost a year ago so we were able to split up our travel time on the way out there and spend the night with them.  Quick but wonderful visit.

The drive was not bad at all and as much as I had planned on listening to all of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity book on tape {fabulous by the way!!!} on the way over and back, Stephen and I found ourselves much too busy having uninterrupted conversation to bother much with anything else!

This was a fun little snack on the ride over: peanut butter yogurt covered pretzels with craisins and pistachios.  Yum!

When we arrived in Houston on Friday we met at Goode Company BBQ for lunch.  Admittedly I am NOT a big BBQ guru but from my experience of un-inspired BBQ reactions, this BBQ is in a league of its own.  Sliced beef with peppery sauce served on jalapeno bread.  Uh-mazing.

We ran around "town" {ha...Houston is HUGE} a bit, visiting Rachel's work {Marie Flanigan Interiors}, a frame shop, and a monster western store so Stephen could deck himself out for the rodeo.  He had every intention of purchasing a dinner-plate sized belt buckle but, seeing as it was a joke, he wasn't comfortable shelling out $350 for it {!!!!}.
{posing for a pic with a cow and a real "cowboy" to show the babies}
{omg Stephen I just noticed this but look at his belt buckle!!! ha!!}

The Houston rodeo is quite the event...with a carnival up front, a Christmas-Jubilee {for you locals} type shopping venue in a separate building complete with 4H events and live animals, and food tent after food tent.  I did not buy any animals but I did impulsively purchase this amazing cow hide rug
The company is from Brazil has been setting up shop at the rodeo for the past 40 years but does not sell to the public year round.  Their quality and prices were unreal and I tried, to no avail, to get them to let me open an account with them {they just don't do it}. I am beyond thrilled that I a}do not have a kitchen but b}have an extra rug for a room that is the least decorated in my house and never used.  PERFECT! :)

After our impulse shopping we went to our seats for the rodeo.  I did NOT know how they got bulls and horses to buck and I was NOT excited about it when I found out.  Basically they tighten a strap over a particular area on these male animals which makes them super mad...until the 8 or so seconds are up and  men on horses ride over and remove the strap so the rider and the animal get some relief.  Stephen thought I was a sissy, I am OK with being a sissy ;)
The rodeo was educational and really fun.  But, the piece de resistance was Mr. Tim McGraw.  I'm serious that guy can sing and move and climb and jump better than one might expect at his age, even for much younger.  Stephen and I went to his concert in college and he was just as good now as he was then.  We had a BLAST and the Houston radio stations played Tim McGraw songs back to back our entire ride home.  A+++
{our cute "cowboys" ;) }
Saturday Stephen and Hollis did boy stuff while Rachel and I ventured into IKEA territory.  I thought it was going to be overwhelming but I was impressed at how easy it was to maneuver.  We racked up on kitchen type stuffand then headed over to another huge experience...High Fashion Home.  I peruse the website every now and then for work, but have never purchased anything from them since much of what they have is available at different vendors.  {Seriously guys and I kid you not...one of the pictures in a previous post about which I said there was no saving it and I would just scrap it all and start over was from a vignette from their store! oops! ha.}  BUT the website can be a source though for many items in one place and they do carry some great lines.  Also, if I lived in Houston I can see how this store would be a HUGE help...tons of fabrics, clothes, accessories, not to mention furniture/lamps/tables galore.  We ran to a few more of Rachel's favorite interior stores/sources and then rested before dinner.

Saturday night was dinner at Max's Wine Dive which was DIVINE.  We each had different things and each was delicious.
I could not partake in everything, however, since I gave up fried food for Lent...serious sacrifice apparently {chips and salsa?? NO.  Tacos?? NO.  Fried oysters?? NO.}
{i die}

If we weren't leaving the next morning and if we didn't have a seven hour drive and if the time wasn't changing I could have visited and sipped vino there the entire night.  But alas all those things mentioned had to happen so we left by ten thirty or so. {which I must say is still at least an hour past this old lady's bedtime!!}
It was an awesome visit and made me miss my sister and Hollis {and Stephen} even more...now that I can visualize exactly where they are and what they are doing I feel like it should be down the street {and Stephen and I should have seven hour long uninterrupted stretches frequently.  He is my absolute best friend and I miss "hanging out"!!}.  Thanks for having us guys and we want to come back, soon! 


  1. we miss yall already!!! so wish yall couldve stayed for longer. next time it will have to be for 4 days :)
    can't wait for girls trip though. hopefully sooner than later <3 <3

  2. Natalie,
    That was so fun!! See why we love Houston so much? The last place we lived was right around the corner from Max's Wine Dive. That's where we were having dinner when Peyton almost convinced me to find out the sex of our baby. Good stuff. Next time you will have to go to El Tiempo for the BEST Mexican food in the world. Maybe we can all carpool out there sometime. Love it. Thanks for that fun post!


    1. EL TIEMPO IS THE BEST!!!!! if nat could've eaten fried foods we would definitely have taken them there. we made sure to point it out for next time ;)

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  4. aw i'm jealous of y'alls fun time together. those cowboys (your hubbys) look awesome as do you two sissys! :)


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