Celebrating my love.

My husband is a man I highly respect.  He's been through some of worst circumstances in life and has risen on the other side with such a beautiful humility and a sincere desire to help other people.  He loves me and our daughter well.  He hears me and knows me and sees who I really am, sometimes better than I see myself.  He can be rambunciously silly or reflectively serious; he can make any dish seem gourmet; he has the softest hands and the warmest eyes.  And he just turned thirty-three.  It's not everyday that the love of one's life turns thirty-three.  So several days of celebration were in order!

It started with a double-date in the Big D with our friends Josh and Audrie Patterson.  We met at Tei Tei Robata Bar for an early dinner. 

Josh & Audrie

Tei Tei was completely authentic...with menu boards in both Japanese and English, and an uh-dorable little Japanese man in his 70s (on the left in the white Nike bandana) who was serving up his native specialties with such diligence.

It's not even possible to see how cute he was from this photo.

Steven deemed the meal "one of his top 10 of all time" which if you know him, is really saying something!  It might have had something to do with the mini popcorn crab.  Everyone at the table except me was crunching on 'em like they were potato chips.  Blech.

Right before leaving, Audrie and I both had quite the interesting experience that capped off our dinner at Tei Tei.  On an innocent, ordinary trip to the ladies' room, we each noticed the unique Japanese toilet that had an assortment of buttons.  One button had a diagram of a person sitting on the toilet with water spraying "the front."  Next to it was a similar button with water spraying "the back."  Little did we know that once the spray started, you had to push "STOP" or...it wouldn't stop.  Oh geez.  So let's just say we each left the restaurant giggling, with shocked and embarrassed looks on our faces, and a nice cleaning.

To finish off our date, we went next door to the restaurant The Porch, which has one of the absolute best desserts in Dallas: the Gooey Butter Cake.  Imagine the tastiest, chewiest sugar cookie made into a pie crust, covered with buttery yellow cake and topped with vanilla bean ice cream.  Drooooooooool.  I wish I could say I had photos of it, but we all four shared the dessert and gobbled it down in less than 2 minutes flat.

I'd also had quite a bit of wine by this point.  Tee hee.

He is darn cute.

All in all, a fun evening!

~ ~ ~

The next morning, we had brunch for Steven at a very crowded and popular restaurant in our neighborhood called Smoke.  Love their style - the walls are covered in wood pallets and funky artwork, and their dishes are so creative.

We were joined by some of our very favorite people: Tommy and Linda, and Justin and Autumn.

Here are the adorable new parents, Tommy and Linda.  Linda had just popped out a baby, NATURALLY AND AT HOME, 5 days before this.  Are you kidding me?

Tommy & Linda

BuddiesJustin & AutumnBrunch was delish - light and airy biscuits, and fluffy ricotta pancakes...

And of course, since there was bread involved, Luci Belle enjoyed herself.

I love our sweet friends and family.  Thank you, Lord.

I'm also honored to have spent over 8 years of my life so far with this man.

Here we are 6.5 years ago the day before our wedding...

And here we are now...

Not.too.shabby.  Not too shabby at all.