"Being a family means you are part of something wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what." ~Author Unknown

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Vegas Baby

Mark and I went on our first vacation together since we brought Sof home.  Mark has been bugging me to do it for a year now, and I finally felt like  I she was ready.  The draw of going to Vegas, with our friends Barb and Jeff, helped nudge me along as well!  I made sure I was ready a little before it was time to go, so I could sit with my girls and soak up the essence of their presence.

1Grandma Linda and Papa Curt showed up for duty, and it was time for my exit.  The girls were stoked about their plans for the coming days and never batted an eye as we walked out the door. 

2I was quite excited about my plans for the following days(which included doing what I want when I want) too!  I will admit, I missed my kids every second.  Dorky, I know, but I just couldn’t stop thinking of them!  I dared to voice it a few times and was met with a look that could have indicated my hair was on fire:)  We had an amazing time though, and I’m so glad we went!

First off, when staying at the Venetian, always look up!

3Every ceiling is ornately decorated!  When we arrived it was quite early in the evening Vegas time, but there’s a 3 hour time difference so it felt late to us!  Nevertheless we had to explore a little before turning in for the night!  Jeff even got his feet wet with a little video blackjack:)


Mornings were great.  We got up and going pretty early and started with a Starbucks.


Obviously pre-shower.  Then we would walk down the strip and see the sights, occasionally going in a hotel to check it out. 

4  15

I loved the Cosmopolitan!  We went back later for drinks and dinner there.  I fell in love with their pop up wedding chapel!  So cute, I swear I won’t be a bit bothered if one of my girls does a destination wedding there! 

43They go all out for Chinese New Year there!  The decorations were amazing!

18   25

40  41


It made we want to be Asian, or at least pretend to be:)  I did eat with chopsticks every chance I got!


Speaking of eating…the first night out we went dressy. 


It’s official, I can’t take selfies.  They are always just awkward.


We started with dinner at a restaurant called “Stack”.

33Everything they served was pretty.


10  35

Dinner was at the Mirage, as we had a show there later.  Insert awkward selfie.



Our first show was Cirque Du Soleil’s “Love”.  It’s all Beatle’s music, and the costumes and set are amazing. 


Our seats were literally right next to the stage.  It felt like we were in the show!


Night number two we decided to go classic Vegas. Buffet and showgirls.  We started at the Cosmopolitan having a drink at “The Chandelier”. 




The buffet there is called “The Wicked Spoon”.  Not exactly the buffets I remember from when Mark and I were first coming here.  Dessert was the best!


From there we saw the classic “Jubilee”.  Of all the times Mark and I have been there, we’ve never seen a classic showgirls production.  I can appreciate a beautiful girl, but holy cheesiness.  It was a disappointment.  They could do it with so much more class.

Our last night there we decided to go more casual and head downtown to Fremont street.  They have a new hotel called “The D” after Detroit.  We felt like we had to visit it!  It’s not the glitz and glam of the strip, but something different to do for a few hours.



You can’t go downtown without stopping at “The Golden Nugget”.  Classic Las Vegas!


Lunches were at fun places like “Senior Frog” and “Margaritaville”.   Such a luxury to sit and enjoy a lunch without having to feed someone else first, eat out of a lunchbox, or have to watch the clock for when lunchtime is over. 


My Jeff, what big cheeks you have…


4 nights is plenty in Vegas.  We had plenty of time to see the sights and have our fun.  We gambled a fair amount and walked away pretty much even.  In Vegas, that pretty much counts as winning!  We play blackjack most the time, but we have a little soft spot for the Wheel Of Fortune slots.  Going back about 15 years, we won $600 on a Wheel of Fortune slot.  At that time it was a life changing amount of money! 



When it was time to go, I was sad to leave the weather, but happy to be going back to my girls.


Sure helps to have this smile to come back to:)


Back to the real world.  Work and school tomorrow.  Ugh.  Buh Bye Viva Las Vegas!

42  44

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Valentine’s Love

It’s no secret we’re a big Valentine’s family.  We decorate the house for it, dress for it, and celebrate it.  Our Valentine week started off at dance.  The studio calls it “Happy Heart Week”.  All the kids, big and little, dress in excessive red, pink, hearts, and lace! 


7  11

We spent the beginning of the week preparing.  Buying Valentines, teacher gifts, and of course trying on shoes as long as we were at Target:)


Sof made a Valentine for each of her 14 school friends.  She signed each one herself.

2  3



We were very ready when Thursday, the 14th rolled around.  I arrived home from the gym with donuts, and went to wake the girls.  I started in Lexi’s room and didn’t have to go any farther.  There was a little stowaway curled up next to her.

15No arguments about to what to wear, or getting going on this morning!

6After school, Sof was so excited to see what her friends had given her.  I couldn’t convince her to wait till we got home, she just had to see!

10 Friday was our Valentine party with the cousins.  We had to kinda rush it/pull it together at the last minute/make it happen.  Adrienne was due to her friend’s house by 8 that night for a ski trip she was joining them on.  Anne and Rick were flying out the next morning for Florida, and Mark and I were flying out the next afternoon for Vegas.  We refused to risk running out of time to do it though, so we made it a priority. 


Is that a BOY in there??  Em’s college friend Meg and her son Gabe joined us for the festivities.  So did Steve’s parent’s Marie and John, and of course Anne and Rick.  It made for a bigger crowd(the more the merrier), and we had to do the important stuff before Adrienne had to leave.  We made sure we still did cards.

19  32

We left time for a little hang out and be silly time.




We had gifts, which were over in a flurry!



29  21

Not only did I get Natty Bug a whistle, I instructed Sof to teach her how to use it(evil cackle implied).

28Before we knew it Adrienne was off and Sof was zonked.

22The other girls were settling down when they realized they hadn’t read their Valentines.  They ran for their mailboxes and found a spot to read them.



For the record, Adrienne read hers before she left.  They really look forward to that part!  Sweet girls:)