"I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day.  When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon."  ~Author Unknown

Although there were no toddlers or weapons, our third Valentine's Day was ideal. The celebration kicked off Sunday evening and concluded Tuesday. I guess when there is so much love in one relationship, you really can't limit your expression to just one day. Right. 
Day 1
Sunday night Tate told me that "all the guys were hanging out and that I should probably just go to Catherine's." Seeing as how "all the guys" have never made plans in advance before, much less made plans for me, I  knew not to ask any questions. Tate dropped me off at Catherine's where I met up with the other wives and he headed off to his super secretive mission. 
Little did I know the guys were going to the store to buy groceries and make us a Valentine's Day Eve dinner. Turns out all the other husbands caved and told their wives the big surprise, leaving me as the only clueless wife with the only husband that can keep a secret. :) We headed over to the Pittmans, as instructed. We walked in to dim lighting, the smell of steak and four husbands in the kitchen. What a sight! The table was set and there were even Valentine's decorations. They did such a great job! They came around and took our order, served the food and did the dishes afterwards. We weren't as surprised as we appear, but we did feel the love. Thanks to "all the guys:" Brittan, Colby, Andrew and Tate for a wonderful Valentine memory! 

Day 2
Monday morning I woke up to an Einstein's bagel! Although it is my fave, sleep still outranked the toasty breakfast surprise, so I slept a while longer before scarfing down my cinnamon raisin bagel and coffee. Throughout the day Tate got little notes that stated simple reasons why I love him. I started this tradition last year. It's a good one! I keep a list throughout the year of specific things he does/things about him that I love, then I write them down to give him on V-Day.

Last year I gave him a box with all the notes inside, and this year I hid them around the house, in his lunch, on the mirror, in the car, etc. The last note was in his Valentine's card and read, "I love you for being my co-chair for life." As many of you know this is a reference to StuFu which is where we met and served as Student Recruitment co-chairs. For V-Day, I got a brick installed at the Ed Crenshaw Student Foundation Building with our names on it. This is where we spent most of our time together Senior year, learned that the other wasn't so bad or "the devil," as Tate referred to me, became good friends and a year later got engaged. That evening, Tate came home from work with a dozen roses and my Pioneer Woman Cookbook! For those of you that are not loyal subjects to the PW, you need to check out her recipes and website here. I am a little obsessed! I made brisket tacos for dinner, which is probably our favorite meal right now. Sadly, it is not by PW, but I'll give you the recipe anyway. 

Day 3
Our final day of the Valentine's celebration ended with an ah-maze-ing meal at a local restaurant near our apartment called Haven. I had read the rave reviews about this seasonal restaurant and had been wanting to try it for months. Tate, understanding my basic need for fine cuisine (which should have been on one of his notes throughout the day),  surprised me with reservations! This place uses only local, fresh ingredients. The waiter actually told us the name of the boat that was used to catch their fresh gulf fish of the day. Understandably, Haven was packed on V-day, so we hit it up the day after for a post Valentine feast. 

As we were shown to our seats, I spyed a table covered with a a bouquet of flowers, a GIANT teddy bear, candles and wait for it....a balloon. I got worried for a second, but then we took a sharp right to our table, and I was quickly relieved. We drank tea out of mason jars. I, of course, had to try the shrimp corndogs and shot of lemonade I'd heard so much about. Much to my surprise, they tasted like corndogs with shrimp in the middle. Who woulda thunk it? For dinner, I had the beef loin, Tate had free range chicken and we got a side of the cheese grits (best part). Yum. We were too stuffed for dessert, but we are definitely going back sometime for dessert on the patio. 

Thanks for a great Valentine's Day  Week! I love you with all that I am! 


tollesons come to youston

Oh hello, long time no...type? A lot Some stuff has gone on in the lives of the Baylor Barretts since I've seen you last. Where to begin...

Shawn and Lynley made the 5 1/2 hour trip down 45 a few weekends ago to visit us in Houston. I say 5 1/2 due to the fact they took the scenic route, seeing an extra hour and a half of the greater Houston area. It was so great to spend time with them, especially since it was Shawn's last weekend before he shipped out for Spring training in Arizona. 
They got here late Friday night and we ate dinner at the apt. I'm used to cooking for my ironman-in-the-making and not accustomed to cooking for pro baseball players. Shawn went back for seconds and came back to the table with 2 carrots, a sliver of chicken and spoonful of mashed potatoes. It was great, but not near enough. Lesson learned. 
Saturday morning the husbands went for a Saturday morning workout while others slept in well, I would say slept in, but 11:00 AM is considered early morning for Lynley. Later we went to lunch at Little Bigs, jockeying for a table in the sunshine, preferably by the golden retriever. Lunch was followed by a tour of Houston's finest sights- The Beercan House. Yep, you guessed it- a house made entirely out of beercans. I don't know if I am proud or ashamed to admit this fine establishment is located not too far from our apartment. Sounds trashy, but looks amazing  pretty cool. and shiny. This man drank 39,000 beers over a period of 18 years to complete this lustrous  project. His family must have been so proud? As we parked the car and got out to take a quick picture, we found out this place is actually a "museum." I use the term "museum" loosely (hence the quotes), considering we paid $8 to look at nothing but an old house adorned with few beer quotes from Mr. Beer Man himself. Ok- I just realized I am spending way too much time on the Beercan House...moving on!

The rest of the afternoon was filled with guacamole, watching Baylor basketball on the air mattress and Scattegories. For dinner we took our guests to Houston's own Escalantes. Always good! Later we met friends at Barcadia to play some old school arcade games. Sad to say, my hand was sore the next day from too much Track and Field. Sunday we got up, went to our new Sunday School class, Cord, and had lunch with friends at Five Guys. It was a great weekend with the sis and bro! I am so honored they would spend their last Texas weekend with us. Love you guys and can't wait to get to Arizona or where ever Shawn will be to do it again! 

Stay tuned, more catching up with the Baylor Barretts is coming soon! 
Coming Attractions: Valentine's Day and Waco Weekend