P and B go to Vegas

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I’ve ranted about how much I hate Vegas a billion times here on this blog. Sometimes I notice how big the sky above Vegas is and I think, I could live here. I love the desert. It kind of reminds me of my childhood in The Sticks. But then some thick-headed frat boy yells his drunk head off, or some big-boobed dancer with perfect legs showing all the way up, reminds me of how imperfect my body is or I see someone talking to themselves with missing teeth as they sit in the gutter, drunk at 9 in the morning… and I turn away, repelled. Vegas makes me sad.

I get bored too easily here. I don’t love gambling and I don’t have a ton of money to shop all day. I can only drink so much and I miss being creative.

I don’t know how I matched up so perfectly with someone like Payam who loves Vegas so much. He’s a night owl. I’m a morning person.  I want to go take pictures of some cacti and shrubbery at five morning when the sun turns everything pink.  He wants to sleep.  He wants to stay up all night sipping whiskey and gambling. I want to sleep.

But I get it. Sort of. The excitement of winning money, the bright lights, the pounding music, the clinking of ice cubes in glasses, the good-natured banter between players at the blackjack table… It is a really fun interesting intersection of so many different kinds of people all finding a common ground sharing their vices. There is something to that.

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Payam humors me and I humor him. He does everything he can to help me have a good time in Vegas. He lets’s me pick the hotel, he lets me shop, he lets me explore….And sometimes I do have a good time.  I can throw back a tequila shot or four. I just have to be careful I don’t go down any self-loathing paths to the pits of despair when I wake up too early in the morning and I’m stuck all by myself in a strange land. I spend so many hours alone because I am a cursed morning person.

I’ve been doing it for ages. You’d think I’d have a million routines and morning rituals to stave off the loneliness (and I do!) but sometimes I let myself sink into the luxury of sadness anyway.  I miss Bug. Thanksgiving without her is always really hard.

The whole reason I met Payam five years ago is because I was lonely during Thanksgiving break. Bug was with her dad (like she is this week) and I was faced with a week to myself with nothing to do but Netflix and work.

So I hopped on a free dating app. I just wanted to find someone to talk to. I wanted a walking partner or someone to take me to the movies. Payam doesn’t really do either but I’m so glad I found him. My whole world has changed since I met him–in a good way. You all know that. Everyone loves a love story.

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So here we are in Vegas on Thanksgiving celebrating five years together.  We aren’t married yet but we have plans!

I brought my new red party boots to Vegas to help me have a good time. (I need every advantage I can get.) I LOVE these boots. I put them on and I immediately feel fifty percent more fun. They give me two inches of height and they scream, “I am not a boring frumpy mom who is missing her kid! I am fun, dammit!” Payam loves them too.

We went out to dinner at a steak house and I had the *Thanksgiving Special* that was probably better tasting than any feast I’ve ever been part of but you know… it was missing all the people. We had few drinks and then crashed. I don’t even remember what we did. Vegas is a ghost town on Thanksgiving. It was fun to wish all the hard-working staff a happy thanksgiving and hope that they were getting paid triple time.

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The next day we explored. I love taking pictures of graffiti and really cool old typography in Vegas. I just wish I had some beautiful daughters with me to take pictures of. I get really sick of taking pictures of myself.

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As I said, Payam humors me.

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Explore, explore, explore… it’s not pretty cacti in morning light but I can’t say it’s boring.

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These are all really quick shots snapped as we walked down Fremont street.

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We didn’t even really get to be foodies and try all the crazy amazing restaurants because we had our steak house thanksgiving leftovers for breakfast and they filled us up all day! I guess that’s a good thing. I didn’t mention it but our hotel (The Hard Rock) upgraded us to a two room suite with TWO bathrooms so we were perfectly content to stay in our room and have leftovers for breakfast. Nothing like eating cold dinner for breakfast out of takeout boxes in your hotel room that is big enough to host a 45th birthday bash. But again, we were missing all the people.

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That night Payam bought us tickets to a Burlesque show. I’ve always wanted to see one.  Unfortunately it started at 10pm, which is like midnight to me. I made it through though. It was very entertaining and I have a deep appreciation for the athletic abilities of those dancers. They are very beautiful and very talented and they shouldn’t be ashamed of any of it. Too bad I seem to be ashamed of my body all the time. But I have to tell myself, I was once that hot. I still have a lot to offer even if I don’t have perfect legs and a flat stomach anymore. I just didn’t really know what to do with myself, sitting there in the audience. Lots of women were hooting and hollering. I just felt awkward.

Don’t worry. I am not fishing for compliments. I’m just sharing parts of myself that you might not know were there. I take pictures of Payam and I smiling and having a good time but it’s not the whole story.

I am very very very thankful for him and I do love these trips with him.

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I love the long talks. I love how he helps me push through missing Bug. He catches me spying on her with my phone, watching her stories of bouncing cousins vying for her attention and tells me to put my phone away. Be present. Be here. Have a Bloody Mary for breakfast!

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And now it’s time to drive back home. Home sweet home.

46 and Beyond!

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I turned forty-six last week. I thought I would write a really long post about all the things I’ve learned in my vast and extensive forty-six years but you know what? I don’t know squat. I have learned a lot of things, most of them private and embarrassing and I think anyone older than me would probably smile and roll their eyes over. I hate it when I read posts from thirty-year-olds thinking they are so smart so I’m going to be even smarter and stay mum. All of you youngsters can learn the hard way just like I did. Just kidding. Let’s take a walk sometime and I’ll share some wisdom privately. Or just laugh. That’s good too.

Anyway, this birthday was kind of a bust. First of all it was the HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR, clocking in at a sweaty 108 degrees. That meant we pretty much bunkered down the hatches (aka closed all the windows and  drew all the shades), turned on the AC and didn’t leave the house all day.

I did, however, leave the house in the morning to have breakfast with my pack of girlfriends. Do you have a pack of girlfriends? They are the best thing ever. Everyone should have a pack. There are five of us and we go out to breakfast monthly. Sometimes we go on excursions. Sometimes we bring each other food when we are sick or having surgery.

This birthday my friend Ana gave me a gold friendship bracelet, the fancy kind from Nordstroms. I love being a grown up and getting grown-up friendship bracelets. I like regular friendship bracelets too but I love this one so much because I feel like I’m part of secret club and when you get into your forties you trade up from embroidery floss to GOLD. Age has perks!

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So yeah, it was hot.

Payam promised to make me the chocolatiest of chocolate cake and EVEN THOUGH IT WAS 105 degrees in our kitchen he persevered and made it for me anyway!! I couldn’t even believe it. There he was wearing his batman apron and dripping in sweat while he mixed and measured and the OVEN PREHEATED. That is LOVE folks.

It was really really good too. Flourless so it pretty much tasted like dark-chocolate-flavored butter which is my favorite! That evil cake called to me all week long. “I’m in the fridge, Brendaaaaa…. You know you want me….” I’m telling myself that since it didn’t have flour in it it was Keto or Adkins or something. We’ll see what the scale says next week.

Isn’t it amazing how resilient our bodies are? If you eat a 2000-calorie piece of cake  you can get on the scale the next day and it won’t budge. You’ll amazingly stay the same weight. BUT you can also work-out for two weeks straight and eat 1400 calories a day and it won’t budge either so there’s that. Resilience baby.

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The other reason my birthday was a bust was that every single night of my birthday week, Joon had rehearsal for the play she was in this summer. We had planned to go to my favorite restaurant for my birthday dinner the night before my birthday but of course a last-minute dress rehearsal was called and that jacked that up and then opening night was my actual birthday so it just didn’t happen. We had McDonald’s instead.

Whine, whine, whine. Would you like a glass of wine?

I was a diva about it for about half a day and then I snapped to my senses and realized that this play Joon was in was REALLY COOL and I need to grow up and be the bigger person. She didn’t have a big part or anything but it was a fun summer camp that lasted a month and a half and she made a ton of friends and really enjoyed herself. I was the idiot fool that happened to have a birthday right when it ended. I should have been born in August instead. And really? Do I need more than breakfast with my girlfriends, a gold friendship bracelet, the chocolatiest-chocolate cake ever AND my kids singing me happy birthday at ten o’clock at night? No, I do not. It was NOT a bust it just was challenged. A very challenged 46th birthday.

I did however tell Joon that if she wants to be in a play on my 50th birthday, I’m not going. She can send me a birthday photo postcard of her and the cast to my hotel in Paris.

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And that was that!

Here are some pictures from my morning walks with the dogs. We’ve moved our walks earlier and earlier to beat the heat which makes for prettier pictures with better light. I’ve finally cracked the dog-walking code. In order to really enjoy dog walks you have to find a podcast you really like. I don’t dread them anymore. I think of dog walks as my podcast hour instead and sometimes I even find myself taking the long way home because I’m so hooked. Summer-2018-Swimsuit-Cover-ups-1

In other summertime news we made the most awesome swimsuit cover-ups on Alphamom this week. They were so fun to make! I’m sure this craft has been around forever but when I searched it on pinterest very little came up.

Joon showed me how to make really cool starburst designs and Bug outdid herself in stencil work. We spent hours on them, which when combatting summertime boredom translates to major currency. They didn’t binge-watch Friends (what they’ve been doing all summer) for three hours straight which says a lot.

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Then they we headed off to Payam’s mom’s pool for a photoshoot. They turned out great. Don’t you love how Joon’s personality is so different from Bug. They are both nutballs but Joon is definitely the more out-going of the two.

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It was a really big deal that Bug finally got up enough courage to jump off the diving board. So much of a big deal that she asked me to document it on sport-mode. Gifs all around!

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Happy Summer!