We created a monster! If Sebastian had his way, he would be in a swimming pool 24-7, perhaps only stopping to have a bite to eat, a sip of juice and a quick look-around to see how many more toys he could drag into the pool. More on that in a bit. This weekend provided a wonderful and much-needed recharge for the parents and a delightful backyard outing for the kids.

On Saturday, the adults ventured out to enjoy some of Houston's better food, drink and bookstore options, as well as view some polarizing public art. Our first stop was Blacksmith Houston for coffee and breakfast. The coffee was good and strong, the food yummy and satisfying, yet the Jasmine Pearl tea had pleasant flavor and aroma on first sip, but revealed a mothball-y scent as it settled. Once again, we are reminded that coffee seldom disappoints. The best part of breakfast, though, was the company. A day out sans children is a rare occurrence. Sitting, relaxing and enjoying just one meal alone with my love and best friend would be fantastic. Lucky us, we had the whole day, and it was starting off just right. Jessie is the perfect date, and I'm so glad we wore matching pink shirts! 

We traveled downtown to check out a vendor fair featuring women-owned businesses. After making a few small purchases, we stopped at Conservatory, an underground food and beer hall serving everything from beer to pho to barbecue. The draft pours were plentiful, cold and delicious. I'll note here that every SINGLE time Jessie and I dine out, she always orders better. ALWAYS! I have no idea how she does this. My barbecue plate was OK, but the pho she ordered from The Pho Spot was damn delectable! Dare I say, best pho in Houston? 

Pho, meat and beer drunk, we left for a quick stop at Brazos Bookstore and ice cream at Cloud 10. While in the neighborhood, we took a quick view of Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Column" outside the museum of fine arts and did our best bad Chicago accent impressions. Finally, we begrudged all the childless couples for a brief moment before admitting that we missed our little gremlins and headed home to hungry little bellies, a mess of toys and Legos on the floors and very full diapers. 

On Sunday, the whole family headed to the backyard for a pool party. Jessie purchased a cute inflatable mini pool and brand new Sebastian-sized patio furniture. We had a blast splish-splashing with both kids. Sebastian spent the ENTIRE DAY in the pool and had so much fun he refused to come inside. Through tears and screams, he finally acquiesced. For the rest of the night, however, he would often go to the back door and point outside in desperate hope that his parents would give him 10 more minutes of pool time. Not today, son. Not today! 

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My name is Jessica Almanza, I am a lifestyle photographer. I love documenting motherhood, travel, good food, and life's simple joys.