Springtime

The weather in Vegas right now is gorgeous! Mid-70s, gloriously sunny, everything green and bright…I’m in heaven. Spring in Vegas seems to last about 2 whole weeks so you’ve got to enjoy it while you can. I went for a walk on the greenbelt this morning and I was just amazed at how lush everything looked. Lush is not a word I would normally ever use to describe Vegas, but it truly was beautiful. It was like a Disney movie – birds were singing, people were out walking their dogs, flowers were blooming. Magical!
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After much deliberation I decided to try to grow a deck garden again this year. After my tomato and basil plant withered and died in the blazing heat I’d pretty much sworn off try to get plants to grow. They were extra work and I didn’t get to eat a single fresh, ripe tomato. Well, I talked to a friend from church who has some more experience gardening in Vegas than I do and I decided to give it another go. (Someday, when Tij and I have a real yard, I want to have a big garden. I’m going to have to cultivate a green thumb someday!) I picked out an eggplant (apparently they grow really well here), two different types of tomatoes, and a basil, sage, and mint plant for some nice herbs. 3 days in and everything’s still alive. Fingers crossed!
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I have burned through several books on my reading challenge and it feels so good to get swept up in good books once again! I’ve been seriously contemplating buying some deck chairs and a table so I can spend my mornings nibbling on breakfast, reading in the fresh air. While I find worthy projects and activities to fill my time (I’m currently planning a bridal shower – what fun!) Tij is truly busy. He works hard at his job, comes home for dinner, and then often has to rush off to meetings for church, or a physical therapy session, etc. I hope that in a few months, after some work transitions have been completed, things will simmer down for him! I wish I could just have him all to myself sometimes, but alas! I suppose one of us needs to provide us with an income ;)

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Bonnie Springs

Tij had the day off yesterday so we did a little exploring. Tij heard about this little tourist attraction called Bonnie Springs, 10 minutes past Red Rock. Bonnie Springs is designed to look like an old western town, complete with theatricals, a petting zoo, horse rides, and restaurant. We didn’t realize this before we left, but since it was a Monday, the “hangings” and “gun slinging” shows weren’t running and most of the shops were closed. Still, we got to check out the zoo and wander around.  Plus, we finally saw some of those wild burros they always warn you about on the signs posted around Red Rock! The weather was gorgeous and it was nice to get out and explore with Tij. We love cheesy stuff like Bonnie Springs and hopefully we’ll go back on the weekend when things are happening.

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A Thursday Gratitude List

All last weekend I had been thinking about life was going really well right now. I was just feeling good, feeling driven, feeling happy. Then I took Daphne back to the vet Tuesday and the vet (who was incredibly nice) told me that Daphne probably wasn’t going to get better and that I needed to prepare myself to let her go. She couldn’t tell me how long I had left with my girl but I know I’ve still got some time. *makes choking noise* I am crushed. Daphne is secretly my favorite (don’t tell the others!) and it’s hard knowing what’s coming. *sigh* I got some good advice from a good friend and I am determined to just take things one day at a time and I have decided that I can’t let all the good habits and all the things I’ve been working on fall apart! My girls really helped me feel better mentally (see post here and here about how sucky depression is) and I feel like I owe it them to keep moving forward. (I am definitely anticipating some major snuggle sessions and copious photo taking in the coming weeks though.) To remind myself of all the goods things I do have going on in my life, here is a little gratitude list:
#1) I am grateful we have a vet that I trust. As hard as it is to hear, I feel good knowing that Tij and I have done/are doing everything we can for Daphne and that she’s in good hands.
#2) One of my cousins is in town! She’s so much fun and such a wonderful distraction right now.
#3) I started subscribing to a DIY dinner service and it has done wonders for me in the kitchen. Everything they send me is already perfectly measured and the directions come with pictures (which is so helpful for me). I don’t have to think about what to make for dinner 3 days a week and they send me ingredients and recipes I would never try on my own. And everything has been delicious!
#4) I’ve indulged in a little retail therapy recently.
#5) I attended a Women’s Conference at my church a couple weeks ago and it was lovely. I felt very peaceful and loved – just the feelings I need right now!
#6) Thanks to a little workout group my friend started, I have been exercising pretty consistently. Being outside more and getting my blood (and happy endorphins!) pumping is great. I feel much more prepared to “take on the day” when I’ve started it off right.
#7) Tij came home with flowers and chocolate the other night. What a guy! I’m so glad he’s my guy.
#8) I have been keeping up with my New Year’s Resolutions (for the most part). They’re important to me so I’m happy that I’m knocking them out.
#9) It’s been raining a lot here in Vegas which is a treat. Sunny days are great but it’s always fun to mix things up!
#10) The 4 year-olds that I teach at church are hilarious! It’s such a fun calling to have and I love how excited they are when they see me outside of class. Little kids can make you feel like you’re super cool :)

I hope you all are having a great day! Life is good.

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Kisses from Bianca

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Snow in Vegas

When we first moved, people told us conspiratorially that it could get cold in Vegas – even cold enough to snow! Last year passed by without us witnessing such an event, but yesterday it happened! (This snow “storm” was preceded by two weeks of 75+ degree weather. Go figure.) I was at the gym in the morning watching the news and they were streaming videos of big, fat flakes falling. I went outside and this is what “snow in Vegas” looked like:
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Kind of pathetic, right? I laughed later as I scrolled through Instagram and saw pictures of friends’ kids who’d made 4 inch high snowmen in their backyards, clearly delighted with the “snow”. However, later as Tij and I drove to Costco (and towards Red Rock and actual mountains) we saw the snow. Apparently, this is what snow in Vegas looks like.
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Not so pathetic, huh? And so beautiful! I’m glad we got a little taste of winter here in the desert!

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White Rock – La Madre Spring Loop

The weather here in Vegas has been gorgeous so I have been trying to make the most of it! Tij is hobbling around in his brace so I have been enlisting friends to go hiking at Red Rock with me. My friend Makenzi and I hiked La Madre Spring Loop last Saturday. It was supposed to be an (ambitious) 6 mile jaunt but we ended up adding an extra 3 miles onto by missing our turn off and hiking up to a springs. Needless to say, I was exhausted when we finished but I was pretty proud of myself. I’ve also hiked Calico Tanks twice this month too.

I know Tij hates his knee brace but his recovery is going quite well and he can stop wearing it in 3 weeks. He’s started physical therapy and he plans to start swimming soon. (It’s one of the few exercises he’s allowed to do right now.) It was Tij’s birthday last week. We met up for lunch and I bought this divine French chocolate truffle cake to celebrate, but it was pretty quiet. Valentine’s Day was the same. We exchanged cards and I made a nice dinner and we stayed in and watched a movie. It was lovely!

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Low-Key Week

So Tij had surgery on one of his knee’s yesterday. Tij woke up pretty quickly after surgery and was alert and ready to go! He’s handling it like a champ.  I was secretly hoping I could take some candid footage of him acting loopy or something silly, but no such luck. We’re at home now and he’s resting and recuperating.  Things are going to be pretty quiet over here for a bit. We’re going to hang out with Netflix, our books, and the XBox. And zee babies, of course! Daphne is much the same but the vet and I have been in contact and we’re just keeping an eye on her. I hope everyone is healthy and happy!

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My Daphne

Daphne has been sounding congested and has had some labored breathing so I took her to the vet last week. The vet wasn’t sure if it’s her lungs or her heart so right now we’re giving her antibiotics. If we don’t see an improvement, we may need to take her back to get an X-ray. Daphne would need to be sedated to get a clear pictures (rats are so wiggly!) so I really hope that it doesn’t come to that. She’s still grooming herself and eating and doesn’t seem to be in any pain, but it’s worrying to think about the future. The average rat lives 2-3 years and my girls are almost 1.5 years old. I’m doing my best just to enjoy my girls and not over think things, but it’s been a rough week. So instead of grocery shopping like I should be, I took some “glamour” shots of Daphne. Fingers crossed that she gets better!
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A Wednesday Gratitude List

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Olive loves her applesauce

Happy Hump Day everyone! Daphne has been having some breathing issues so I took her to the vet yesterday and they put her on antibiotics. The vet and I are hopeful that they will clear up her lungs and she’ll be breathing normally again soon. It was a little scary though! I don’t want anything to happen to my girls! I’m trying to stay positive so I thought I would write down 10 things I’m grateful for and things that are going well in my life.

#1) Netflix has all 9 seasons of “The Office” available. I kind of missed that boat when it was actually airing, but I’ve always heard it was good. I decided to give it a try and before I knew it, I’d burned through all the episodes in a month. Jim & Pam forever!
#2) Podcasts! I started listening to them while I clean the apartment and they’re awesome! I’ve learned so much already and they make washing the dishes much more palatable. (Actually, one of the podcasts I was listening to was talking about 5 habits of successful individuals, and one of them was gratitude! That’s something I can always work on…)
#3) The weather in Vegas has been glorious! 65 in the middle of January?! I have been going for walks to enjoy all the sunshine and fresh air.
#4) I’m trading babysitting for a photo session with a friend from church. Tij and I haven’t gotten nice pictures taken of us in over 4 years, so it’s time. I’m really looking forward to taking them!
#5) I’m grateful for Tij. I think I list him every time but he is just the best.
#6) I love having a second bedroom and bathroom. We’ve had friends stay with us a few times in November and December and it makes playing hostess much less stressful if you have a nice place to “put” your guests while they’re visiting.
#7) I’m grateful to be done with school. I was just talking to my sister (who’s trying to go back to school) and while I’m grateful I got to attend university and graduate, I’m grateful that chapter of my life is over.
#8) Our local library is really nice and I love that it’s close by.
#9) I’ve been using my Fitbit and I love that it motivates me to be more active. I need all the help I can to stay healthy!
#10) Daphne has been extra snuggly. It’s sad that she’s not feeling well, but I love it when she cuddles me after I give her her meds. (Fingers crossed that the medicine does the trick!)

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We Need a Little Christmas, Right This Very Minute

Christmas was so 2 weeks ago, but I wanted to post a few pictures and write down some memories before I forgot them entirely! Also, Tij and I got new cell phones (yay!) but in the shuffle I think some of the photos I took are gone now. I’ve got to save the ones I do have!

Tij and I had a great Christmas. We flew up to (cold) Idaho to spend it with my family. My sister and I got to spend Christmas together for the first time in 4 years! Christmas Eve we snacked on Auntie’s special cheese fondue and me, the sister, and the cousins spent a couple hours playing Monopoly (which is a secret favorite of mine) with the fireplace going. Magic! And the best part? I got a white Christmas! I’ve already posted about how sappy and sentimental I get about Christmas, and this dusting of snow was truly the cherry on top

Christmas morning festivities just continued the general feeling of perfection and contentedness. Imagine the tree all lit up, everyone in their pajamas and eating chocolate for breakfast, and the anticipation of giving and getting gifts. We all take turns opening gifts, and since there was 11 of us, it took allllll morning – my favorite.

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One afternoon my sister and my cousin and I went to a vintage store. It was charming and they had a great selection! My sister and I used to go to this great vintage store in Montana when we in high school. It’s closed down now, but hunting for treasures in Idaho took me back a few years. (I splurged on a couple rings and a cheesy Hawaiian shirt for Tij.) We met up with yet another cousin for dinner downtown after that. Talk about a killer evening! I love spending time with my sister and cousins. Sometimes I wished we lived closer, (and maybe someday we will,) but for now I console myself by enjoying them as much as I can when we’re all together.

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Before I flew back to Vegas, my sister and I walked through “Garden Aglow” at the Botanical Gardens. They cover all the trees and trellises in lights and it’s beautiful! We drank hot chocolate and indulged in fresh doughnuts. It even started snowing on our way out – talk about perfection! We got to chat about life and got in some much needed sister-therapy. Sisters are the best, aren’t they?

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I hope all of you had a magical Christmas too. I was in a bit of a post-holiday slump last week, but I’m getting really excited about all the possibilities that 2015 could have in store for our family. And there’s only 351 days until Christmas is here again!

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New Years Resolutions

Guys, I am such a sucker for New Year’s Resolutions. I love making lists and planning ahead and feeling the anticipation of things to come…even though I’m not very good at keeping my resolutions! This year I am trying something different. I only made FOUR goals! Usually I make a list of 20 things I’d like to tweak, but I’ve been reading about how paring down and focusing on a few things can really help you actually accomplish the goals you’ve set. I made this goal just for fun: I want to be more fashionable and put together in 2015. I know this doesn’t really matter in the cosmic arena of life, but I have noticed that when I look good, I feel good, and when I feel good, I do “good”. I have been wanting to really develop my own sense of style and invest in my wardrobe and express myself and I think this is my year! (I’m tired of feeling frumpy, ya know what I mean?)  And I’ll share one more goal that I think is going to be really fun and good for me: this year, I am going to keep track of every book I read and do this reading challenge! It looks awesome and I think it’s really going to force me to read some books that I wouldn’t normally choose. Anyone else make any New Year’s Resolutions?! Wish me luck! I am determined to actually finish my list this year.
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