Tag Archives: the husband

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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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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Christmas Card Outtake

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I’m attempting to send out Christmas cards this year, but naturally I waited until the last minute to commit. I realized last weekend that we didn’t have a family picture to send out with our card and I needed to do something about that. After church, I forced Tij into some festive flannel and set up our camera with the self-timer. We somehow managed to get some pictures that looked nice enough. (Not great, but not terrible. Maybe next year I’ll be on top of things and we’ll actually have some professionally done!) Then we just got silly and used the timer to get pictures of us with zee babies! I love the few decent (not blurry) photos we got of all 5 of us, but I decided that it would be best if we sent out cards with just our human family. I wanted to share this gem though because it is very “us”, furballs and all.

(Oh, and I chopped all my hair off. Surprise!)

Merry Christmas –
from Bianca, Olive, and Daphne
XOXOX

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5.5 Years Together

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photo courtesy of heatherblissphotography.com


When Tij and I were dating, I didn’t really celebrate monthly “anniversaries”. I had friends and roommates who would do something special to commemorate every month together, but I just never did. (I actually don’t know what day we went on our first date. It was sometime in March…?) But now that we’re married, I love marking our anniversary every six months. Getting married and staying married is an on-going project and I like to celebrate it twice a year rather than just once. Tij and I aren’t doing anything special (Tij is actually going to watch a UFC fight with guys from work and I will NOT be attending – too violent for me!) but I like being able to say that we’ve been married for 5.5 years instead of just 5.

I am so grateful for Tij. (I really lucked out in the husband department guys!) Happy 5.5 year anniversary! I love you.

(Man, looking back at pictures of us when we were first married makes me feel old! I still think I look like me, but then I see photographs and I can’t deny that I DO look different. Anyone else have that problem?! I guess I should just be grateful that Tij and I have been together long enough to have started growing “old” together.)

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Calico Basins

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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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Part Two: Discovering Happiness (And Other Emotions) Again

Today we get to the good stuff, the “happy ending”, of yesterday’s post (read it here). I was in such a dark place when we moved to Las Vegas. I couldn’t get out of Salt Lake City fast enough. As I followed our moving truck south, I remember feeling hopeful for the first time in several years. Things would have to be different in Vegas, right? They had to be, didn’t they?

Thankfully, they were.

I wish I could say that I had an epiphany one day. I wish I could say that through Tij’s unflinching love and support I was healed. But it wasn’t that dramatic or that quick. It just kind of…happened. Allie, from hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com, said her big turning point was when she was crying on her kitchen floor and she spotted a piece of corn under her fridge and started laughing hysterically. Depression is kind of nonsensical like that. It comes, it goes, it does whatever the crap it wants.

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picture courtesy of hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com

Those first few months in Vegas were like an extended vacation. My only real responsibilities were to keep the house reasonably clean and food in the fridge. I slept (real sleep, not escapist sleep) as much as I wanted. I rarely went out, preferring to lay at home, reading, watching BBC, or listening to audio-books. i detached myself from the world. It was a relief that I didn’t have to “fake” it anymore. I didn’t have to go to work with a smile on my face. I didn’t know anyone in town yet so I didn’t have to socialize and pretend like I was enjoying myself. I wore pajamas. I rarely did my makeup. I just let myself be me. No prodding, no telling myself to “get it together”, no pressuring myself to “be better”. If it didn’t sound interesting or I didn’t want to do it, I just didn’t. That included showering and cooking dinner. (Tij is obviously a very patient, kind person. He has been incredibly supportive. He’s been through a lot with me and I’m relieved he’s stuck it out. He’s just the best.)

And then we got the rats. Pets can do wonders for your mental health. (There have been studies conducted that prove that petting a dog or cat can lower your heart-rate and stress level.) At that point, I didn’t care about much in my life, but boy did I care about my girls. I could 100% be myself around them. There were days when they’d sit on the couch with me for hours while I held Netflix marathons and they didn’t judge. They just made me feel loved and didn’t ask anything of me.

And have you ever heard of SAD (seasonal affective disorder)? Some people call it the winter blues? Yeah, that’s not really a thing here in Vegas. Being able to spend time outdoors and getting back in touch with nature has been really beneficial too.

Slowly, but surely, I mended. I went from feeling miserable, to feeling ambivalent, to actually feeling contentment. I remember truly laughing at one of Tij’s jokes and he looked at me and said “I haven’t heard that in a while”. Tij and I started dating each other again. I entered the social scene, tentatively at first. I still feel like I have to keep my social schedule small to keep myself from getting overwhelmed, but I’ve made some really good, supportive friends here. I tested out old hobbies to see if I still enjoyed them. I tried to look for new hobbies, but set no expectations for myself. I looked for my happy. I tried getting to know myself again.

I am not depressed anymore. But I am on guard. I know now that I am susceptible to depression and I want to avoid going through it again at all costs. I try to exercise (endorphins), I write (vent), I get enough sleep, I try not to over-schedule myself, and I pray. But it’s an ongoing process. The bad habits of self-criticism and self-abuse remain. I still struggle to manage my stress and anxiety. I get easily tired and overwhelmed. I am doing my best to better cope with life. I know that in the future I will not be so fancy free and more responsibilities will come my way. I want to be prepared so that I can enjoy them and not just survive them. Still, I am so, so grateful for this time in Vegas where I didn’t have to work, didn’t have to worry, and just got to heal.

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picture courtesy of hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com

Again, thanks for listening. Writing about my life and experiences helps me so much. It’s all part of the process. What makes you happy? Are you finding ways to relax and deal with stress? I hope so. Life is a funny thing. It should be fun too.

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One Year in Vegas, Baby!

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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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Lazy Weekends

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Tij and I were lucky enough to have a friend stop by and stay with us for a few days in between cross-country flights. (He was on his way to Costa Rica. To surf. I was just a little jealous.) But between playing host/hostess, a long week at work for Tij, and some big projects at home, we decided to take it easy this weekend. Also, the heat makes it hard to feel motivated to do much of anything. (Except escape.) We are slowly adjusting to our new climate, but some days it still feels foreign and oppressive. Friday night we had a lovely time barbecuing with friends in the relative cool of the evening. (100 degrees feels a lot more manageable after the sun goes down!) Saturday we got away from the heat by hanging poolside. I got the poshest pool floatie ever that allows you to stay cool and keep your book dry at the same time – perfection.

I think I am finally re-learning how to relax. Maybe that sounds silly, but it really did take some getting used to. When we first moved and I started doing things like laying around and reading, I felt guilty. I would get distracted, wondering if there wasn’t something I had forgotten to do. Or perhaps I should get ahead on a project? Couldn’t I be doing something more productive with my time…? The past few years of work and school have made me anxious and uptight. I’m so used to having to be “doing” something all the time that I’ve had a hard time letting go and accepting that I can and should relax sometimes.

I love this quote by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

“Isn’t it true that we often get so busy? And, sad to say, we even wear our busyness as a badge of honor, as though being busy, by itself, was an accomplishment or sign of a superior life.

Is it?”

I remind myself of this from time to time. I am absolutely guilty of wearing my “busyness as a badge of honor” and using that as a way to tell myself that I am accomplishing important things. Sometimes the things I am doing are important, but oftentimes they’re not, and they just keep me occupied and distracted from what really is important to me. I feel so lucky that Tij and I have had a chance to slow our lives down and reconnect. And connect to our pool…I mean, who could say no to that? The thing even has twin waterfalls. I hope you all are taking some time to relax this summer! Take an afternoon to take it easy. It won’t hurt, I promise. I’ve already triple-checked for you.

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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.

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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…?
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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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