Category Archives: Vegas

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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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:
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.
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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Ice Box Canyon: Part Quatre

Our friend Dallas is staying with us right now and I convinced him to go hiking with me yesterday. I haven’t been out to Red Rock in a few months and I was dying to escape the “city”. It has been overcast and grey for the past few weeks here but yesterday the sun broke through the clouds, the temperature was crisp but not cold, and everything was greened up from the recent rain showers. In short, it was beautiful. Mother Nature never disappoints!

Tonight we are all going to go see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies! Tij is stoked :)

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Oak Creek Canyon


Tij had work off Monday so I dragged him on another hike in Red Rock Canyon. This hike was actually more of a glorified walk, but it’s good to switch things up. Oak Creek is a different area of the Park that we haven’t explored yet and we went in the evening when things had cooled off which was nice. (It’s still hitting 85 here in Vegas. Hasn’t it got the message that it’s fall yet?) We were in Salt Lake City two weeks ago for my cousin’s wedding and it was much harder to leave than it has the last few times I’ve been. The leaves were starting to change color, the air had a slight bite to it, (insert every other fall/autumn/harvest/pumpkin cliche you can think of,) and it was just gorgeous. One morning I took my sister and cousin for brunch at Bruges Waffles & Frites and then drove them around a historic neighborhood and just goggled at the charming homes and canopied streets. It just got me wondering about what our life would be like if we’d stayed in Utah, living the lifestyle that we’re living now…

Once we were back in Vegas though, I was happy to be back. I love our little apartment. Our ward family is wonderful. I missed our rat babies. And Vegas is beautiful in its own way. It’s not the type of beauty that I’m naturally drawn to or that I’m used to, but if you go looking for it, Vegas has a lot to offer and a lot to feast your eyes on. I don’t know if we’ll stay in Vegas permanently, but for now, I am really trying to enjoy all that it has to offer. I think part of my regret with Salt Lake is that whenever I go back I think about all the things I didn’t do, all the restaurants I didn’t try, and all the experiences I missed out on. (Tij and I were broke students with zero time so if I went back in time I don’t know if I could do anything differently. Our circumstances just really sucked.) I am determined to leave Vegas with no regrets! Maybe I need to make a Vegas bucket list? There’s so much to see and do here, I might need to prioritize!




handsome and me

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Calico Basins

Did you all have a nice Labor Day? We sure did. I convinced Tij to go hiking with me at Red Rock Canyon and it was gorgeous! Hot, but gorgeous. (Summer is still going strong here.) We tried a new trail called Calico Basins and I think it is my favorite hike yet. I hope we’ll do more exploring as the seasons change and it’s possible to go outside without getting directly into a pool. Most of urban Las Vegas isn’t really much to look at.  (All the houses have red tile roofs, are made of stucco in 3 varying shades of beige, and have itty-bitty yards with no grass. It’s all very artificial, and while not ugly, it’s boring.) I love being able to go to Red Rock and see something truly beautiful and not just tidy and HOA approved. If you’re ever in Vegas, go check it out!

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One Year in Vegas, Baby!


Tij hiking in Red Rock earlier this year. (Use this picture as a dramatic metaphor for us walking into a beautiful unknown future here in Vegas, okay?)

The last year here in the desert has flown by! (A year? Already?!) We love Vegas. Tij and I have talked and we both really feel like we were led here. When Tij graduated last May, I was at the end of my rope. I was tired. I was burnt out. I was struggling with depression. I couldn’t wait to move on. I needed to move on! I believed that Tij would have a job lined up by the time he graduated. He didn’t. (Not for lack of trying.) That bright light at the end of the tunnel I had been holding fast to suddenly winked out of existence. I spent the summer feeling hopeless. (Poor Tij. He was working really hard, looking for the right job, believing things would work out, and I was just incapacitated by disappointment and angst.) Then, right before our apartment lease was up, right before my job nanny-ing was over, right before we literally ran out of money, right before I had consigned myself to the fact that we were going to move in with my in-laws because we had no home or money and my life was over, Tij got the job. Basically, at the very last second every thing fell into place and we have been blessed beyond what we’d hoped. We feel so lucky to live here and be happy here. We don’t know exactly where the future will take us, but we think we’ll stick around here for a while longer!

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A Quarter of a Century

Despite a small sense of dread at turning the ripe old age of 25, yesterday was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. I thought turning 25 would instantly change me or my life, but I still feel the same. I’m not sure what I was expecting. Wrinkles to suddenly appear on my face? My health to instantly decline? (Apparently I have a slightly unhealthy fear of aging…? 25 isn’t old, right? Right…?!) I feel a responsibility to thank and acknowledge my mom for the huge part she played in making my birthday possible. After enjoying all the discomforts of pregnancy followed by 12+ hours of labor my mom got to take me home from the hospital to care for infant me 24/7 and spend the next 18+ years of her life raising me and worrying about me. Hope it was worth it! Love you.

Mom, Bruce, Me

My beautiful mother holding me in the hospital while my Grandpa Bruce looks on

My birthday weekend was made extra special by a visit from my friend Leah, who came all the way from Iowa to celebrate. We’ve been friends for 9 years now and it was such a treat to have her in Vegas to party with me! We got dolled up to go out one evening and got a little silly with the self-timer on my camera, but we still managed to get some good photos of us together (see below). Trip highlights: checking out the cool Mob Museum downtown and getting a little taste of the shadier side of American (and Vegas’) history. Introducing Leah to the alien beauty of the Nevadan desert at Red Rock Park. And taking in the sights, lights, and sounds of The Strip at night. The Bellagio water show and Conservatory never fail to delight. Thanks for coming Leah! I had so much fun. Can we do this again next year…?
My awesome husband had my actual birthday-day off so we got Pinkbox doughnuts for breakfast and I got to eat a croissant-doughnut for the first time. So good. Seriously, Tij and I were in heaven. Then Tij followed me around while I did some very therapeutic shopping and scored some killer deals and a new church dress. (Tij is such a champ. He joked later that he was my “sherpa” because he had to haul around my finds all afternoon. And he didn’t complain once. What a guy!) We ended up coming home and taking a nap after all that “hard work”. We party reaaaaal hard. That evening I watched The Bachelorette finale (The Bachelorette is an embarrassing guilty pleasure of mine: please don’t judge) with my friends. They brought so many fun treats and even sang “Happy Birthday” to me over homemade cupcakes! It was just about the most perfect day ever. 25 isn’t so scary after all! True friends and sweet family members will love you no matter your age. I feel so blessed! It gets me excited to think about all the wonderful things I still have to look forward to this coming year. 26, here I come!

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