Thursday, April 5, 2012

Adjusting to Our New Neighborhood

This post is an answer to the following question from my Q&A post:

How are y'all liking the new neighborhood and surrounding areas around your house? Any good restaurants? And have y'all found a new church to go to?

The short answer: We absolutely love it! Yes, and yes! 

The long answer: We really like the new area we moved to. We grew up in a northwest Houston suburb (about an hour from downtown), then lived in River Oaks (smack dab in the middle of everything in town) for a year, and now I think we've found a happy medium with Humble (northeast Houston suburb, about 25 minutes from downtown). 

I'm a suburb girl. I did the city thing, and it wasn't for me. I wanted a Hobby Lobby. I wanted a Sonic. I wanted good restaurants that don't cost $20 per entree. I wanted sidewalks and friendly neighbors. Jeff was okay with the city stuff, but he wanted a backyard. He also wanted to live closer to his office (he had to drive 40 minutes to get there when we lived in town, but now it's about 7 minutes from the house).

Jeff's backyard (it's kind of mine too, but really... it's mostly Jeff's. Haha!)

As for the neighborhood itself, I have no complaints (well, except for the HOA making us plant bushes around our air conditioner... haha!). The people are friendly, it has a gym that's free to all residents, and there are pretty lakes and landscaping throughout the neighborhood (surrounded by sidewalks, so we can run by the lakes, which is nice). We've met our neighbors, and we love buying raffle tickets and chocolate bars for their kids' school fundraisers. I love being in a neighborhood where neighbors are friendly.

one of the little lakes in the neighborhood

As for restaurants, we're still discovering things and exploring. We do have a few favorites so far:

Zammitti's (delicious, family-owned Italian, near Lake Houston)
Hasta La Pasta (another great Italian restaurant, the mushroom ravioli is delicious!)
Humble City Cafe (good country cooking, I recommend the fried okra, cornbread, and chicken deluxe sandwich)
Sarpino's (our pizza delivery place - SO many delicious pizzas! We like the gyro one, and the spinach special, and the alfredo chicken)
Cedar Landing (seafood and a view of Lake Houston, plus there's a $2.95 catfish sandwich special on Fridays for lunch!)
Tin Roof BBQ (delicious Texas barbecue, a nice outdoor seating area, and live music on the weekends)

Of course, we love having our favorite chain restaurants here too: Which Wich, Cracker Barrel, Pei Wei, Spring Creek BBQ, Chipotle, Whataburger (home of the honey barbecue chicken strip sandwich!).

We're still searching for a Mexican restaurant that we love. There are about a million of them here, but we haven't found one yet that we really want to go back to. I'll keep you posted. :) 

As for church, yes - we officially joined our church about four months after we moved in! The great thing about being Catholic is that you don't really have to go "church shopping" when you move... there are usually only a few options within a reasonable distance.

For the first couple months we went to the church closest to our house, but we just couldn't picture ourselves getting involved and loving it there. It was a smaller church than what either of us was used to, and it seemed to be just a ton of families that had been there forever and not very many younger people. Plus it seemed like they were just begging everyone to donate money all the time (they were working on a fundraising project to buy some land adjacent to the church, so it made sense, but we never could figure out whether we liked the priests' homilies because they were so often about money), so we explored a little further and ended up at our current church.

The church we go to now is about 20 minutes from our house. It's a lot bigger than the first church, so there are a lot more opportunities to get involved. It's a beautiful building, and the priests are really welcoming and engaging. We go to the 5:30 Mass on Sundays, and we like it a lot.

We live in a very family-oriented area, so none of the churches around here have a very active young adult ministry, so that's been a bit of a challenge. There just aren't a lot of other couples like us (newly married without kids). But, when we moved we wanted to be in a family-focused community for the future, so we're okay with it. When we do have kids one day, they will have an awesome time and a great religious education at our church.

Overall, we feel like we made a great decision. It was a bit of a risk moving out to Humble because we didn't have any family or friends in this area, but it was so close to Jeff's office and we liked it a lot, so we took the plunge! So far, we've been really happy. To me, this house felt more like "home" after three months than our apartment in the city did after a year of being there. We just love it! 

1 comment:

  1. love, love, love all of those restaurants! sarapino's is my parents' go-to pizza place, as well. and i totally understand your church decisions.

    if you ever want to meet some young, catholic married couples without kids yet, i know a few from high school that have moved back to the area after college and i could definitely introduce y'all. just something to keep in mind! :)