viva las vegas.

I have a total soft spot for Las Vegas.

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I know the stereotypes. Trust me, 99% of them are on-the-nose accurate. Watch Vegas Vacation and your eyes will be opened to the wonder that is Sin City. I swear it’s all accurate…if Vegas were stuck in 1997. My first time in the city left me completely entranced. Vegas is an anomaly. In the middle desert, it’s hard to believe anything exists outside of the flashy metropolis. However, if you extend your visit beyond the borders of the strip, you find treasures.

Like rugby. Brutal, bone-crushing rugby.

Since 2011, my family has ventured to Vegas for the USA Rugby Sevens Tournament. It’s basically three days of savage battles between the most elite countries in the world. Except the soldiers are athletes who wear short shorts and maintain Shrek-like physiques. These men could lift a bus with one arm while cradling a small child in the other–the perfect balance of brute strength and delicate form. Rugby is truly a gentleman’s sport. It’s also great for those whose love language is physical touch. I mean, look at those guys. SO MUCH AFFECTION.

baby, please don't gooooooooo.

Last weekend, señor and I made our fourth trip to the tournament. We made some goals in the past, but we’ve realized that our days primarily consist of rugby, shopping, and eating delicious food. It’s, like, a really hard weekend. Do you think it’s easy sitting through hours of rugby in a comfy box seat overlooking the stadium and stuffing your face with wings every chance you get?!

Per usual, the weekend certainly didn’t lack in entertainment. The highlight reel included…

// Learning Elvis drives a mini-van. Obviously, a disappointment.
// Watching a USA fan rush the field, retreat back to safety, evade security for 30 minutes, and get the entire crowd to cheer “LET HIM STAY!” before being thrown out of the stadium. Respect, drunken man. Respect.
// Celebrating South Africa kicking some New Zealand booty in the finals.
// In addition, celebrating the minimal amount of vuvuzelas this year. My ear drums are still recovering from years past…
// Confirming my claim that karaoke is not karaoke until someone sings Sweet Caroline. Bah, bah–STOP.
// Photo booths with dads. Specifically, mine.
// Sporting ridiculously patriotic rugby jerseys. Next year, I vote matching track jackets. ‘MURICA.

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The only true disappointment of the trip was learning that Britney Spears wasn’t performing that weekend. You think I’m playing, but you cannot deny how epic that concert would be. My next best option: Donny and Marie. Oh, sweet 1970’s throwbacks, NO.

Vegas is easily the most ridiculous, non-stop city I’ve ever visited. What it lacks in sustainability (on so many levels…), it makes up for in intrigue. Until next year, you unpredictable desert city!

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breck my heart.

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To live in Colorado and not be a skier is to live a life unfulfilled. Or, so I’ve been told.

There are people who believe it is straight up blasphemous. “Do you ski?! Snowboard? Anything? No? Oh…hmm…” Nose crinkles, lips purse, and the glare you receive could pierce your soul to its clearly non-adventuresome core.

I get it. Skiing is a rush. You put pieces of wood on your feet and glide down a 12,000-foot mountain at speeds rivaling the Jamaican bobsled team. Look, I saw Cool Runnings. I know speed. I also know that the ability to fearlessly ski down a slope is a concept that I cannot fully understand. My fear of freak accidents causes me enough anxiety, thankyouverymuch. Put me on top of a mountain and ask me to go headlong toward the bottom? That’s cute.

My dramatics are getting the best of me. If I’m honest, I would love to go skiing while I live in Colorado. I just need some more experience and a heckuva lot more courage. This girl’s feet have not touched skis since she was a painfully awkward (and TINY) 13-year-old. Decked out in a silver metallic jacket, I looked pretty boss on my first skiing experience. If I got lost, my family could just describe me as the walking reflector.

I did not know the first thing about skiing then and still have a lot to learn. To help with this endeavor, we decided we should first get a glimpse of ski culture.

This Saturday, señor and I trekked to Breckenridge with our sweet friends. It was beyond worth the hour and a half drive. While most normal visitors to Breck are skiers, we opted for activities a little more low-key. Between the four of us, playing tourist and perusing the shops was the best we could do. There’s only so much you can expect from a pregnant lady (not me), two men with bad knees, and a woman who’s severely accident prone (that’s me). Nevertheless, we had a marvelous time in Breck. Delicious food, refreshing coffee, adorable shops, addicting games, the best of company–it was a total success.

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I do indeed love Breckenridge now. Just not for the same reasons as the jokester below. Oh, Colorado.

Until next time, fancy ski town!

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pause.

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Remember when Christmas break made you straight giddy in college? 2-3 weeks of no homework, responsibilities, or proper hygiene. All adult living expectations were thrown out the window because you were on break. Family didn’t judge you. Family lovingly accepted your unbathed appearance and said, “This is a safe place.” You want to stay up late watching Netflix until 2am? Go for it. You earned it, hard-working student! Your months of relentless homework culminated to those few weeks of pure bliss.

I am proud to report that our Christmas break looked a lot like this. Sometimes, it’s ok to live like you’re in college again.

Señor and I were total jet-setters. Not that traveling is unusual for us, but spending three weeks away from home as a married couple was certainly new. Luckily, my family is 100% amazing and allowed us to rest most of the time. Oh, how needed that was! From the beauty of North Carolina to the frigid coast of New Hampshire, there was never a dull moment while visiting the fam.

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It was so refreshing for us to pause and take in our first semester of living in Colorado. We celebrated the victories (like our rockin’ GPA’s!). We laughed at our mistakes. We evaluated poor time management skills and made plans to fix them. We spent hours with family sharing all the blessings and challenges of adjusting to a new way of life with one another.

Our break was altogether marvelous. And the best part–it isn’t over!

Don’t be too jealous, but we still have another week and a half until classes start. I can see your face turning green, and it’s embarrassing for you. Turn that frown upside down and just come visit us in Colorado, mmk?

God bless not taking classes during J-term! We love having the chance to play, work without homework distraction, spend guiltless time with friends, and get caught up with our apartment to-do list. Just like in college, I wish J-term could last forever.

Starting the new year with such an extended time of relaxation feels like we’re being spoiled and not fully acting like adults. I feel that way for about 2.8 seconds and then realize that this is a season I will never have again. It should be embraced to the fullest.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have approximately 10 days to accomplish an inane amount of items on my to-do list. Cheerio.