Viva Las Vegas!

So, I haven't updated in awhile because...well, nothing's happened. The past nine days have been full of work, last-minute planning for our Vegas trip and cleaning. Well now, that's all in the past, and I'm blogging from Vegas!

But first, let me backtrack. I've been able to add some checkmarks to my 101 in 1001 list..the first being a huge update. My best friend and I got tickets to the Lady Gaga concert on July 20 in OKC! This starts no. 67, which was to go to three concerts. I'm still beside myself right now, but there's still a lot of time between now and July. As it gets closer, I'll definitely get more anxious and excited about it. For now, I'll just blast Gaga songs from my CD player and count the days until I can attend the biggest concert event of the year.

I also added another one to no. 28, which was to have dinner with friends eight different times. My best friend, her husband, J and I went out to dinner on our anniversary. Dinner was so fun. My best friend and I haven't been able to hang out a lot because of our separate lives in separate cities, but we've had more time to see each other lately - which has been great. We went to a Mexican restaurant back home, and I was successful in freaking some people out at a table behind us. The day we went was the same day Kansas lost and busted my brakcet [big time]. I yelled in despair, which freaked out the people behind us. Baha.

Project 365 is going pretty well. I've done really good with taking pictures - either with my regular camera or my camera phone - and it's been fun. My Project 365 blog is updated quite a bit with pics...I may not post all the time, but I DO take a pic every day and post with the date I took it and a caption. It's been super easy to do that in Vegas. :)

Yes yes. Our trip has finally arrived - J and I are in Vegas. We left for our vacation on my birthday, which was awesome. I wore a tiara to celebrate the occasion:

But I must remember not to stay up until 2am when we have to leave at 5am to catch an 8am flight. I was dead all day. Good thing about that was I could sleep on the plane...I never sleep on airplanes, but I did this time. We had a four-hour layover in Salt Lake City, but they had free WiFi, so we were able to stay occupied and walk the airport a bit.  Around 2 that afternoon, we were finally in Vegas!

After what felt like forever to get our luggage [well, my luggage - J got his right after we got to the baggage claim], stand in line for the shuttle and get our rental car [thank goodness i booked ahead of time, because there were no cars to be found], we were on our way to our hotel - MGM Grand. We've had a blast the past couple of days we've been here, walking the Strip and exploring the city. I've been able to add to my new restaurant count here - ate at two new ones in a single day!

The first place we went to was House of Blues for lunch. I've really been wanting to eat here, but we're never near the one in Dallas when we go down there. I found a coupon for $25 off on Restaurant.com, so I got it and was determined to use it. We walked down the Strip yesterday and made it to the restaurant, which is in Mandalay Bay [not luxor...note for next time].

I had the bacon cheeseburger with the sweet potato fries. I also had key lime pie, but I forgot to take a pic of that one. Both of them were SO good - the sweet potato fries were absolutely amazing. I was so stuffed after we ate here, but we found enough room for dinner last night at a new place.

I have been DYING to eat here. I got a coupon for a free appetizer from MGM Grand Dining's FB page, so I printed it off, made reservations and went hungry. The atmosphere there was so chill and classy...I loved it. Our waiter was funny, too.

We had SO much food. Our appetizer was this BBQ pork, shoyu chicken and roasted duck platter - that was SO good. J doesn't like the taste of duck, but I love it. I ate most of that platter by myself. :P Then, I had the almond-crusted lemon chicken, J had the sweet and sour chicken, and we split the garden fried rice. OMG - the chicken was SO good. I was in heaven eating that. I wish I had gone with a more empty stomach, because I just wanted to devour everything. Good thing our room has a fridge so we could bring home leftovers!

This trip has been so fun, and we still have a couple of days of exploring to go. At first, I was disappointed in it because it just didn't feel the same, but as we started exploring and doing our own things, it started to become a blast. Tonight, we're going to a Cirque show, eating at ESPNZone and maybe going GoKarting. Can't wait!


And now...to start project 365...

My engagement ring and wedding ring - a year ago today, they were combined. Happy Anniversary babe.

Happy Anniversary to us!

When I married my husband a year ago today, I wasn't quite sure what marriage would bring us. I just remember thinking about how disappointed I was that we weren't having a "real" wedding - we were married by a JOP at the Comanche County Courthouse.

Our wedding day was a hot mess. We had to wait for a court hearing to go through first because my parents were late, words were exchanged, tempers flared, I almost walked out and cried all my make-up off...honestly, the day we got married was one of the worst, most emotionally draining days of my life. But, we did get pictures taken that day - and the one at the top of this entry is my absolute fave. It definitely captured what I truly felt that day - that no matter what was going on around us, it was all about us. And I was happy as hell to be his Mrs.

The past year has been rough on us. We were living in two separate cities the entire time, the whole Air Force thing materalized, our son spent most of the year sick and in/out of doctor's offices, we separated for two months...we fought a lot, didn't communicate, didn't really understand each other, and things were just different. The past year was by far the most challenging year of the 5.5 years we've been together - and for a few months, I didn't think we'd make it. I almost gave up, to be quite honest. But my husband fought for me, and internally, I fought for him, too.

My husband is my best friend, my other half, my everything. Every time I think about my life, it always has him right by my side. I couldn't imagine my life without him, and I'm forever grateful for his patience, his love and his devotion to me. I'm so excited that we've been married for a year...and that we are in a much better spot now than we were a year ago. I feel like we're finally back on track...and that I'm falling more and more in love with him every single day.

I have no idea what the next year will bring for us...all I know is that as long as he's by my side, everything will always be just fine. Happy Anniversary babe. I love you.


Add to nos. 6, 22, 65; cross off no. 84!

It's been a few days since I last blogged...it's been kinda stressful around here the past couple of weeks. J has this amazing opportunity with the Air Force that's kinda put some things on hold. I'm so excited for him and am supporting him 150 percent, but I'm also very nervous about it. This whole thing is why I changed no. 5 from throwing him a party for his 25th to throwing him a party after BMT. There just isn't time, no one's going to be around, and things are really unpredictable right now. I'll also have to put our date nights on hold until after he gets back from BMT and school, so it could take a little bit to get that one done. At least we'll get four date nights in before he leaves.

Speaking of date nights, we went on one last Friday - bowling. We bowled three games, and I sucked really bad at it, but I broke 100 two out of three games [bowled 125 my last game!] and had fun with my husband. We were gonna go to the movies, but I didn't really want to see anything that was out, so we went bowling instead. Definitely a good decision. We'll have another date night this weekend since our one-year wedding anniversary is this weekend. Holy cat. We've been married for almost a year! I'll blog on that one this weekend. :)

J and I also got our first Powerball ticket together - and my first ever, so I crossed off no. 84! We bought it at EZGo this past Saturday:

J filled out the ticket, and I gave him the numbers. We didn't win, of course, but it was fun to pick numbers. I'm sure we'll play again this weekend...well, maybe.

I added another to nos. 22 and 65...no. 22 was to go on a date night with my sister, and no. 65 was to see 15 movies in theatres. I added to both when I went to the movies with my sister on Monday to see:

I wasn't quite sure if I'd like it, but it was pretty good! It had some freaking hilarious moments, too. I'd watch it again - and probably laugh just as hard as I did in the theatre. It was my first time going to Tinseltown in OKC, and that theatre's pretty awesome! AND, I only paid $5.75 for my ticket - without having to use any sort of ID or anything. Cheapest freaking theatre I've been to for a night showing in a long time. Love it.

That's all I got for now. I'm excited about our anniversary this weekend...I'm going to start my project 365 then, too. I can definitely take a picture every day, but I probably won't post them every day - will probably post them every other day. Life's about to get really hectic for us, so I can't promise I'll be able to post every day. I hope I'll be able to though.


My little boy.

I've been debating about writing this blog for a little while because I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to dive into something as personal as my child. But...I'm going to do it. This is gonna be long, trust me.

It was my 22nd birthday - March 28, 2008 - when I figured out that I was pregnant with JJ. Call it maternal instinct, but I wasn't late yet and just KNEW I was pregnant. I didn't take a test to confirm until more than a week later...one, because I didn't trust a pregnancy test when I was only a few days late, and two, because I didn't want to know what my body already knew. I was 22, engaged to J for only four months and finishing my senior year of college. I wasn't married, had no money saved, didn't have a full-time job and had planned on grad school...I didn't know what I was going to do, honestly, and lost A LOT of sleep over it.

I had always imagined finding some cutesy way to tell J that we were expecting...but when you're as lost as I was when I found out I was pregnant, all that goes out the window. At the time, I was still at OSU, and he was still in our hometown. I'd dropped hints the week I took the test that I thought I might be, but I already knew and didn't tell him. When I saw him for the first time after I found out, I was so emotional and upset that I told him to drive to Wal-Mart and didn't say why. I walked straight to the prenatal vitamins, told him I'd be needing them because I was pregnant, then walked off. Yeah. What a way to drop it on a guy. I knew he wouldn't bolt, but I wouldn't have blamed him if he did. Telling my mom was even less glamorous - I blurted it out on the phone four days before graduation. She didn't talk to me until graduation, and I still have no idea how she told my dad - he was serving overseas at the time. Don't think I want to know.

From the very beginning, I never even thought about adoption or...other alternatives. I wanted this baby more than anything, and I knew I was going to get through it and find a way to make it all work. For the first few weeks, the whole thing was completely surreal. I couldn't imagine that I had something growing inside me. Even after the blood test confirmed, even after I started having food aversions and all-day sickness...I just couldn't believe it. Not until I heard his heartbeat at nine weeks did I know that it was real. I cried - a lot - at that point. I think I was more afraid of what people thought of me - ya know, the superstar high school and college girl who got knocked up and wasn't even married - than the fact that I was carrying the most incredible miracle. I'm trying not to regret that.

Once the shock wore off, the sickness set in. For four months, I was sick as a dog. It was a blessing in disguise that I didn't have a job straight out of college, because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have made it to work every day. I was super nauseous all day, and it got worse at night. I remember spending most of my nights from four weeks until 20 weeks asleep. I didn't want to do anything. I couldn't eat anything. During finals week, I went and ate BBQ because I was craving it. An hour later, it all came back up...and it took a year to want it again. Right around the time we had our ultrasound to find out if the baby was a he or a she, the morning sickness faded away. Thank the good heavens.

We found out that July that we were having a boy. I was even more shocked. I had only really dealt with girls; how was I supposed to raise a son?! I was thrilled though, because I had always thought I'd be destined to have girls since my mom had all girls. We got another surprise that same week - I was hired back at OSU to be an admissions counselor. J and I struggled and prayed about it - for crying out loud, I'd just moved back to be with him, and we were separated again - but in the end, I moved back to Stillwater. My sister was getting ready to start her senior year, so we moved in together. She ended up being my rock for the last few months of my pregnancy and first few months of JJ's life.

When I moved back to Stillwater, life became a blur. I was so busy with work that I was always moving. I was also getting huge. I had lost weight my first trimester because of my food aversions, but I put it all back on - and then some - my last two trimesters. I gained 40 pounds when I was pregnant with JJ...that number still shocks me to this day. However, the last few months were amazing. Fall settled in, and I felt great. JJ was measuring right on track, we were both healthy, and I was starting to get really excited about having him. I had a great support system in J and my family, and together, we made it through. It takes a village, after all.

The last couple of weeks were rough. My blood pressure went up, and I was pretty much put on bedrest. Only problem was, the Tuesday I was put on bedrest was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving AND the Tuesday before the Bedlam game...um, bad mix for me. I still went Black Friday shopping, but I skipped watching the game. The following Monday, I went back to my doc. My blood pressure was still high, so I was scheduled for an induction that Thursday - December 4, 2008, two days before his due date. That's when I started to panic. I'd heard so many horror stories about being induced that I didn't sleep at all for the last three days before I become a mom. The night before, J came up to be with me; the next morning, we drove to the hospital together and set on our new adventure.

My labor and delivery went A LOT better than I thought they would. I was induced at 8:30, felt my first contraction at 9:00, and I labored for 12 hours. Although I have a huge fear of needles, I got the epidural at 1:30 that afternoon and made it through without a hitch. I was able to sleep most of the afternoon because my labor just wasn't progressing, but by the time 6:30 rolled around, things were moving fast. I went from 1 to 4 in a short amount of time but was stuck there for hours. At 6:30, I was 5.5; by 8:30, I was at 10. They're not kidding when they say you know when it's time...I definitely knew it. I have a low pain tolerance, but I managed to breathe through it all [my epdiural had started to wear off] and keep my calm. I counted the squares in the curtains of the L&D room to keep myself sane...I'd been doing times tables for awhile, but that didn't last long. I started pushing at 8:40, and JJ was born at 9:03 p.m., a healthy 7 pounds even and 20.5 inches long. I had been prepared to turn him right over after he was born, but I actually got to hold him and cuddle for a few minutes before he was cleaned up. Those first few moments changed my life.

From the second he was born, everything was different...different from the better. I became a pro at changing diapers, washing clothes and balancing the budget to make sure we could cover everything. JJ has never gone without anything, and I'm so proud of that. The one thing I do regret is that I wasn't able to breastfeed. We lasted a week before his weight started to drop, and the breast milk just wasn't enough. I don't think I tried hard enough to breastfeed him...and although he's flourished, I wish I could've done it and had stuck with it. Next time, I will.

Now, JJ is a happy and healthy 15-month-old. We've had quite our share of ear infections, medical issues [asthma and projectile vomiting amongst them] and accidents, but he has been the most amazing blessing in my life. He's made my life better, and I will always be grateful that I got the chance to be his mommy. I look forward to many, many years of happiness, love and laughs with my little man.


Finally...no. 61 done, and no. 22 started!

After what felt like forever [but was really only like, three months], I finished the Twilight series. I would've been done sooner but lost my motivation during the last two books and quit reading for awhile. But, "Breaking Dawn" sucked me back in, and I finished it on Sunday morning [at like, 2 am]. The entire series was SO good. I wasn't all that thrilled with how the series ended, but I'm not sure if it should've ended any other way...if that makes sense. I'm sure I'll go back and read it again to catch the little parts that I missed. AND, I still haven't seen "New Moon." What a tragedy. Good thing it's almost out on DVD [and that jacob's finally legal].

I also started no. 22, which was to go with my sister on our own sister date night. We went to Girls Night Out last Friday at the Thunder game, and I had a TON of fun. Of course I did - I'm a huge Thunder fan and enjoy basketball more than any other sport [but college football comes a close second, with college basketball right behind it]. There were these little kids sitting in front of us that were turning around every five seconds because Alicia and I were being obnoxious, loud and into the game the entire night. I think their dads were annoyed, but hell. I paid to sit in those club seats, and they weren't going to say anything that would get me to shut up. The Thunder won the game, we got to "meet" DJ White and Jeff Green [that whole thing was kinda disappointing], and I got a margarita glass out of it. OH, and I won lower-level seats to tonight's game vs. the Kings! I was shaking when I figured out I won the tickets - I never win anything like that!!! My mom, JJ and I are going to the game tonight. So, I've sat in Loud City, lower level, bowl and club seats. It's been quite the Thunder season for us! Now, if only they'd make the playoffs...that would be the icing on the freaking cake.

I'll upload pictures later from our Girls Night Out...I've been meaning to do it for days now but keep leaving my camera in my car or at home. I'm really bad at uploading pictures...I need to get better. I need to get even better at printing them off. We have 200 free Shutterfly prints sitting there, waiting on us. I've got to use them before they peace out.

Things have been pretty quiet lately for us, which is good. We went shopping in Dallas this past Saturday and are pretty much outfitted for Vegas [just need a new bathing suit] and spring [jj got more clothes/shoes than i know to do with at the moment]. Vegas is in 3.5 weeks [and my 24th birthday - starting to feel old now], our anniversary's coming up, and H leaves for BMT next month. The whole BMT thing makes me nervous, especially since it's coming up, but I have faith my husband will do just fine there and will come out stronger than ever. I just hope he gets to graduate on time and join us [maybe...don't think he'll be able to leave] for our vacation to Orlando this summer. :)

It looks like the weather's finally turning spring-like...gosh I hope so. All this cold and wetness has got me in a funk. I don't think I've ever been a part of a winter this cold [or full of snow] like, ever. I'll be glad to see it go! However, I hope that doesn't mean tornado season's going to be rough. I can handle snow and ice, but I HATE thunderstorms [especially since it's just me and jj]. We'll see!