Thursday, January 21, 2010

This is where 10 years got us...

A little over a month ago, we celebrated 10 years of marriage by going to Las Vegas! Jason and I were nervously excited to leave the kiddos with the grandma's in charge, and take our longest vacation, for just the two of us, since our honeymoon! We finally arrived, after a two hour flight delay, at about midnight, or in other words, the middle of the day for Vegas!

I giggled as I saw all the slot machines in the airport. I'd read about them, but seeing them in person just made me laugh! I was also amazed at the airport being right in the city. In my limited traveling experiences, most large airports are fairly removed from the hustle and bustle of the city they are in, but not here!

We were dropped off at our hotel, TI (Treasure Island), about 1 am, and so, got to witness the incredible energy of the city right away. I've never seen so many people on the streets, laughing, partying, wearing the tiniest dresses, and just living it up, as I saw that night/morning. I have to say, I actually loved it! I loved getting to see everything so alive in the middle of the night! I suppose there's a little bit of a party girl in me after all! :)

Jason and I had such a great time together. We needed this trip more than we both realized I think. We never ran out of things to talk about. We never got sick of each other. We never wished the kids were with us! Ha! I remembered what life was like pre-kids, honestly for the first time ever. I remembered all the things that made me fall in love with my sweet husband. I remembered who we are as a couple, and not just parents. It was really, really, good.

Some of my favorite highlights were...

The Eiffel Tower at Paris!

We went up in the tower just as the sun was setting. The view was amazing. Here is my attempt at a self portrait! It might not be the best pic ever, but it reminds me of how much fun we were having! I really did love it up there!

We saw the beautiful mountains, the city. We watched as the lights of the buildings came on, and then we saw the Bellagio fountains from above, which was incredible!

The murano glass ceiling at the Bellagio was also quite impressive. I think it is amazing how incredibly ornate the hotel/casino/resorts are. I was amazed time and time again.

Two of our "must do's" were to see all the sights, and eat as much good food as we could! :) We are Food Network fans, and I really wanted to eat at a couple of the celebrity chef restaurants. Our first celebrity chef meal was at Emeril's, Lagasse's Stadium. And let me just sum that meal up with one word...INCREDIBLE! This place was SO cool. It is a sports bar/restaurant. Very casual, and much more reasonably priced than the other celebrity chef places. The atmosphere was so fun. I have never seen so many TV's in one place in my life! They covered the walls, upstairs and down. Every table had it's own TV. There were giant screens everywhere. So much fun. The food is supposed to be Emeril's take on his favorite ball park foods, kicked up a notch! Jason and I shared the nacho's, which were wonderful, and then I had the Stromboli. And then I died, and went to food heaven. No seriously, I have never had food that good. Ever. I want to fly to Vegas to eat there again. Here is a picture of heaven on a plate.

Our other celebrity chef pick was Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill! I loved the vibe of his place. Upscale, but casual and cool. Very modern and elegant, all at the same time. The food was good, more "gourmet" than Lagasse's Stadium. However, Emeril's food won hands down for me. I am thrilled we ate at Mesa Grill though, because I just feel cooler knowing that we did. :)

Another must for us was to visit the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, from the History channel's show Pawn Stars! Jason is a huge fan of the show, and we had to go see it in person. It was very cool, and exactly as seen on TV. My husband was thrilled when we immediately saw Chumlee from the show! Here they are...!

And then a few minutes later Cory, aka: Big Hoss, came out from the back and he and Jason talked it up for a few minutes!

VERY exciting stuff people! I think that was the highlight of Jason's trip!

Our last day, we hit a different section of the city, and saw New York, New York...

So cool. Like I said, these places amazed me with their detail.

We also went to MGM Grand, Excalibur, Hooters, The Tropicana, Mandalay Bay, and the Luxor. I really wanted to go into the Luxor and ride the elevators that go on a diagonal. It wasn't quite as exciting as I thought, but hey, you win some, you lose some. We did get J's picture with the Sphinx!

I'd go back again tomorrow if I could. It was SO good for us to have a real break together. I can tell you one thing for sure, it will NOT be another 10 years before we get away like this again! I definitely have the traveling bug now!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

First babies...

If you are an animal person, then you understand what I mean by "first babies." When Jason and I were dating we got our first babies. A black lab named Abbie, who went to puppy heaven a few years ago, and a fluffy furry cat named Daisy.

Daisy is now a spunky, independent, 12 1/2 year old cat. She has lived through 2 moves, 3 kids, 4 dogs, and 1 cat. She still doesn't act like she likes us much, unless she's hungry. I credit her long life and good health to being smart enough to stay away from the kids most of the time! :)

So tonight I was walking through the playroom, and I saw this...

Seriously, I about died laughing. She has the life!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Kansas City!

My families idea of a good time?


Even better, shopping in a good city. So after Christmas some of the ladies of our family took off for Kansas City!

Aunt Denise, my beautiful mama Diane, cousin Lauren, me, and Grandma Ellie!

We missed Lane, but the rest of us managed to have fun. I mean hello Anthropology!

A big snow had just come through before we went, and the Christmas lights were still lit at the Plaza, so everything was extra pretty.

Poor Lauren got shopped out though, so eventually we did have to head home.

It was super awesome fun while it lasted!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

More Christmas past...

I loved that my Grandpa and Dorothy and everyone else were able to come to my home this year for a Christmas celebration. I realize that they are getting older, so this was very special. My favorite pic of the night is with them and their grandkids (us!) and spouses.

I especially love the fussing child clinging to me. Ahhh memories! :)

Also funny was Austin's reaction when Laney tried to kiss him under the mistletoe. Only mama gets those kisses!

It was a great night!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snowy days...

(okay shhh...i am breathing lightly and typing quietly because i have a sleeping austin next to me on the couch. this has never happened before! at least not since he was a tiny baby! oh the joy! okay, moving on...)

We are on day three of snow days here in B-town. Three days of no school, and another snow coming tonight, so I'd bet a good amount of money that we won't have school the rest of the week. This coming on the heels of Christmas vacation means we haven't had school for 19 days...and counting. IF we go back Monday, we'll have been out for 23 days. Yeah...

My nerves are frayed. The girls are so tired of each other. It is too cold outside to send them out to play. In fact, it is colder here right now than it is in ALASKA. I know, I looked it up.

On the bright side...Annie went to my mom's today, and is spending the night. Ellie went to work with daddy this afternoon, and decided to stay until closing, and Austin is asleep! I think God knew I needed a break. :)

I have to say though, the snow is beautiful! Last Sunday morning we were all amazed to wake up to 5 inches of fresh, white, powdery snow on the ground! The kids had spent the night at Grammie and Grandaddy's the night before, so Jason and I packed up everyone's snow clothes and sleds, and headed up to their house to play! They have a perfect sledding hill, and we took advantage of the beautiful sunny, snowy day! I am so glad we did, because since then the bitter cold has set in, making it not so much fun to be outside. We got some great pics that day though...

Some of my favorite memories of that day are...Seeing how happy Ellie was...Annie sledding as fast as she could with her hands in the air...watching the kids climb all over daddy...hearing Austin calling the sleds "boats" and pushing Annie around in one...and just being together as a family. What a great way to bring in 2010!

Happy 2010!

We welcomed Twenty Ten like this...

We're cool like that.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Well, it's January 1st, Twenty Ten!

That feels weird, and exciting to say that. A new decade, wow.

And I am beginning this year completely exhausted! December was quite a month. I feel like I need a month to recover before starting January! But alas, that will not be, so I need to pick myself up and get moving!

December held a LOT for us. We hosted several holiday celebrations. We went to Las Vegas for 5 days to celebrate our 10th Anniversary! We shopped, we wrapped, we decorated, we cooked, we painted, we didn't sleep much! We had school class parties, Christmas shows, and dance recitals. We watched parades and went to Silver Dollar City. We played on the new land. We celebrated friends and family birthdays. We adopted two families to buy gifts for, one with some friends, and one with Austin's class, which did my heart good. We visited Santa! We had 4 big Christmas celebrations with different parts of our family. I went to Kansas City for 2 days for a girls only shopping trip. And finally we had a little New Year's Eve party! In the end, as I look back, it was all good. The kids were well behaved, relaxed, and happy for the most part. The only thing I would change would be to cut back a little. I am wiped out from all the fun! And I need to plan ahead better. I was so last minute this year, and that was not good. Next year the Internet shall be my friend, and I WILL get done MUCH earlier with the shopping and wrapping!

So again, Happy New Year! I pray that this year is our best yet!

I have quite a bit of catching up to do on my little blog, so there will be another post coming soon!