Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Texas Visit: Cake and Ice Cream All Swirled Together

Here I sit back in Las Vegas fresh from our trip to Texas. The air in Texas was crisp as we flew away. The air in Las Vegas was hot when we landed. It seems the few days we were there were so jam packed there weren't many free moments to sit and savor the environment my heart calls home. Hugs and love are the perfect recipe for any trip. We truly enjoyed our time and found ourselves feeling so blessed by friends and family.

We flew in on Wednesday. We were so excited to see a family friend as our flight attendant! She followed us to the house where we were also joined by good friends Brandon and Geoff. We ate and just chit chatted into the night. Thursday I woke up early to make a visit to my friend, Paige who just had a brand new baby boy. We hung out for about two hours on her couch just catching up and enjoying life with baby David. Let me say right now this trip was surrounded by babies and pregnant friends. It sure puts the pressure on me that time is a' ticking! They make it look so easy though, not sure I could make it look that easy! I left Paige and met my dear friend, Andrea at Taco Diner. We don't eat much mexican food here so it was a nice change, but it filled me up very quickly. We had a great time and went to get a Sprinkles cupcake after our meal! I got back to the Grays where Nick was hanging out and my friend, Melissa came to visit with baby Georgia. We had a great talk and just caught up. It was September 11, and we realized we were together on that horrible day 13 years before. In fact, it was on Melissa's TV where I walked in to see the disaster. After she left friends Corri, Jana, Stephanie and baby Abigail all came over. Abby was our entertainment! She is so cute and funny. Jim and Dianne had a blast with her taking her on walks with the dogs! It was just an overall great day with friends.

Friday was when the colder air hit. We took the dogs on walks and just enjoyed the air feeling more like Fall. One main difference in Dallas is the treeline. There are many trees lining the streets. Palm trees line the streets of Las Vegas. Nick and I got the house ready because we were having people over that night. They started to flow in about 5:30. Some of Nick's parents' friends, the Hickeys, the Krones, followed by Anna, Jenna, Libby, the McDaniels, Michele, Heather, Destinee, the Sznajders, Justin, Lindsey... so fun! Our best friends, Tony and Katie drove in from Houston as they were staying with us for Saturday's wedding. We stayed up talking until midnight! We had a really great time!!!

I only brought sleeveless dresses so the weather sure wasn't a match to my strapless navy blue dress for Saturday morning's wedding. Tony, Katie, Nick and I headed out to the lake to see Ashton get married. The wedding was beautiful and small. It was so neat because we were served omelets and french toast! We had a nice time catching up! We hurried back for the Texas Tech football game because we were watching over at Sean and Karen's. We were late so Angela, Jason, Cody, Kristy were already there! Kacie brought over baby Beau to hang out with us, too! Heather also dropped in! We didn't watch much of the game because we were all socializing way too much!!! We stayed until way after the game as the boys were outside and the girls were inside talking! We left about 9 to visit Matt's house and watch the Mayweather fight. We needed our dose of the boys! We got to see Geoff again, Tony, Matty and Jen! The fight wasn't that interesting, but atleast we got to hang out. Katie, Jen and I mainly just talked and ignored the fight. I'm not into boxing! Needless to say after this long day we were exhausted!!!

Sunday we had brunch with the parents and hit the road to catch our flight.... long story, but we drove with Katie and Tony to Houston and caught a flight back into Vegas. We love our friends so much. So very blessed are we. I am now planning a trip to go see my family and West Texas friends. I easily get homesick missing them! We are glad to be back in a daily routine, back with the cat and back to learning new things about our new world. I told Nick now maybe he understands why I love to go home when living away. It's a different type of medicine! I've lived away from West Texas for a long time so going home is like cake and ice cream all swirled together! The Fallish weather is said to hit tomorrow so maybe it will feel a bit more like football season than the desert!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Country Princess to Casino Queen

Enjoying our pool

My friend says I should make this blog all about being a transplant in a new place. Texas and Nevada are very different, yet the same. Maybe I will. We've been throwing around catchy names, too. It's quite interesting if you sit back as an outsider like me. Being in a new place is very strange. I feel like we are still in Dallas. I still talk to all of my friends and family the same. Nick jokes I've always been a better Facebook friend anyway! I am great at staying in touch. So it's not the distance. It's strange because it just is. You pinch yourself and wonder what the heck is going on some days. I pray a lot asking for guidance. People ask over and over how life is in Vegas... Well, it's life! We do a lot of outdoor activities. We are always riding our bikes, taking walks, sitting by the pool just chatting. Nick golfs a lot and sometimes he makes me drive the cart. We explore new areas and go shopping in the little shopping centers. We eat a lot of fruit because it's really fresh here. We go to church most Sundays, but we haven't gotten as involved as we would like at this point. We have a handful of friends, and hey, it's hard to meet new people even when you are as social as the two of us. Let's talk about stereotypes, that shall be this discussion.

While I do feel I am still in the same location, I am thrown back into my place when I tell people I am from Texas. Some say they think of guns and trucks. Others think we are cowboys. Another asked if we were all Baptists. I grew up in West Texas in a small town, but not tiny. My last location in Texas was a huge city. I don't know which I love better. I loved growing up in Big Spring. My family is in West Texas. It has my heart. Dallas is where most of our friends are, where Nick grew up, the world at your fingertips. I am very naive which can be both good and bad. I am very proud of my roots. All Texans aren't cowboys. We don't all own guns. We aren't all Baptists. Actually, I love these thoughts though. Many of my family and friends are farmers. Most do own guns. And well, we are actually many different denominations. I didn't own a pair of Cowboys boots until a few years ago... except the time I went through the Wrangler stage in 4th grade. To me Texans are friendly, loyal, predominately truck driving, great people..... just like the people of Las Vegas... with less trucks...

Everyone thinks Las Vegas is full of sin and lights. People that live here don't hang out on the Strip. Oh, sometimes Nick and I will go for a show or play a slot, but it just isn't something people think of to do. It has a small town feel. It seems everyone I meet is a transplant like me. Many are from the East coast trying to find the sun. We see many people biking around town or even on their skateboards. Everyone seems to be all about going green. The homes all basically look the same, stucco with Spanish tile. The yards are beautiful full of gorgeous landscaping. At first I hated them because all I saw was rock. Now I see the palm trees and flowers. The Strip is like another country. It's exciting, but it's just a different realm. The people don't talk about it really. No one ever asks if we have been over there in a bit. I don't know if a lot of people are religious in this area. We started going to a church our friends told us about and we've enjoyed it so I guess that's all that matters to us.

So we are still trying to figure it all out. I guess you just go where God leads and try not to ask many questions! Though we are great at keeping in touch our hearts are very lonely for our family and friends. Talking on the phone is never enough! Nick is very blessed with guy friends that love to talk on the phone and text as many men don't do that. We are both raised that you go visit people you love and you never take friendships for granted. No matter how many friends we have in this new land we don't lose grasp of those in other lands. I've always held tightly to those I love and just made more room in my heart for others. So if we're talking stereotypes let's just say "from country princess to casino queen" - (thanks to Jen for the title!)... the adventure continues...

Biking to a park by our house
Labor Day Party
Loves to Grill
Mufasa is happy
Biking to a nearby neighborhood

Firepit time