Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Leaving Las Vegas

 “Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts."

As the chapter to Las Vegas ends and a new one in Dallas begins this quote keeps bouncing through my thoughts. Nothing can be closer to the truth. In a nutshell the beginning of this chapter was one of the scariest parts of my life. The end of the chapter is sad, the word to best describe it would be bittersweet. The middle was full of so much laughter, so much life, so much... I sit staring at the beautiful pool where we shared so many moments. I think this pool is what I'll miss the most. The walks as the sun set behind the mountains and the way the palm trees swayed in the wind. I look back to three years ago as we began this journey and want to tell that little girl it's going to be okay. I was digging my heels in the sand, hanging on with every inch of my being that God wasn't going to make me move. It was one of the main reasons I got out of the news business; I knew one day being a reporter would make me leave the state and by God I was not going to leave my loved ones for another state. God laughed. He had His own plans.

Of course, there were hard times when you want your family and best friends right there. We spent Thanksgiving with lovely friends instead of going to be with our families. We don't regret it. We made some wonderful lifelong friends in our new land. People brought us under their wing and treated us as family. Of course, it wasn't the same as it was back "home," but we made new memories with new people. We are so very blessed with the people God brought into our lives in Las Vegas. No matter the love that surrounds you, family will always be home to us. To me narrowing it down even more to West Texas will always be home to me. Being in the same state only a few hours away from my Dad and Brenda makes my heart smile. To be only an hour away by plane so they can see Walker, it's priceless to me. We will be under an hour away from Nick's parents meaning they will get to see Walker a lot as well.

Three years plays tricks on you. It's yesterday, but it's far away. You cannot simply move away and think nothing changes. People change, lives change, cities change. We know. Nick and I are some of the most annoyingly loyal people you'll ever meet. We love people hard. We knew some friendships wouldn't be as strong as we thought while others would be stronger than ever, distance is no matter. In life people can say they have no time for this or that, but in life the truth is we can always make time for our priorities. I have a friend that texts me every single day just to check in. I have a very best friend that is so crazy busy we get to talk every few weeks on the phone, but we pick up like no time has passed. One of these friends lives in Dallas. One lives in Big Spring. The point is that relationships of any kind that are loyal and true are built on this level of comfort. A friend visited us here that I had only spoken to via Facebook, but she came out and called and we hung out, hadn't hung out in probably a decade... no time had passed. We were still the silly teenagers, yet we were in our 30s. Nick and I knew us being far away wouldn't be an issue because we would never let friendships perish. We added friends along the way and now we will be loyal to those people we leave behind in Las Vegas.

We end this chapter with Granger and Walker, not here when the chapter started. We cannot imagine what life was like before they were in it either! I am excited to tell Walker tales of this place as he gets older and I will make sure he always knows it is a very special place. I only wish he could remember. We'll tell stories of going to the Strip only twenty minutes away. It seemed as if we stepped into another world as we entered the Strip. It's magical and unique, quite entertaining. The lights dazzle as they bounce in the night. We'll tell stories of going skiing only forty minutes away as we entered a cold, beautiful world in Mt. Charleston. The weather was always almost too perfect. I missed the squirrels and the big thunderstorms of Texas. There's so many things about this land that I love. It's just different than Texas, so I cannot even put them in the same category. Texas is Home, that is the main thing that draws me back. No matter how far away you travel, home is where your know your heart lies. We will leave with tears in our eyes, but we leave with happiness in our hearts.

Endings are sad. They're tough. We look back on being scared to death at the beginning. I would cry many nights asking God why He wanted me here. Then somewhere in the middle of it life was okay. I was okay. God put me in this strange bubble where not too many crazy things happened back home. We missed a few weddings, a lot of birthday parties, a few births... but, we were there for the big stuff. We got to see our families as much as possible. We got to travel to Hawaii and across the states. We were just fine. Now a new chapter begins. It's scary. It really is because you just never know what ahead in this new chapter. Fear of the unknown is the scariest thing as the page turns. Leaving Las Vegas, we wave with a tear and a smile. To many it's a town where gambling and lights come to life. To us it's a town of love, hope and beauty. Turn the page.

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