Viva-ing in Las Vegas: Red Rock National Conservation Area

Living in a city that is almost completely known for being a tourist destination can be a little tricky.  Before we moved here, I was legitimately worried that the entire town would be like The Strip:  all flashing lights and casinos and just general wildness.  While there ARE slot machines and poker games in the grocery stores and gas stations (because why wouldn't you want to be able to gamble while picking up some produce?), we have been so pleasantly surprised to find that there are tons of other unique and fun things to do in Las Vegas besides just going to the strip.  I'll be writing about a few of them over the next few months in case anyone who is visiting Vegas wants to venture off the beaten path!

Red Rock National Conservation Area sits on the western edge of Las Vegas and is so easy to get to.  There are trails for hiking, biking, horsebacking riding, and you can rock climb.  But, if you have a baby (or some other person who is physically incapable of walking over rocks for several miles - or just doesn't feel like it), good news!  The 13-mile scenic drive loop is breathtakingly beautiful and will get you a million spectacular views.
We did duck off the scenic loop and take a short little hike (as in, approximately 1/2 mile) with AA in my Moby wrap!  Hopefully we can both build up our endurance (me, for carrying a 15-lb. object on my person) and tolerance (AA, for being wrapped and strapped to Mom) and take some longer hikes in the future!  Or just get a different baby backpack and throw AA on Dad instead :)
If you bring some friends, it makes the drive and photo ops even more fun (we had Heidi and Marshall with us that weekend!).
But of course, watch out for that extremely bright Las Vegas desert sun.


Works in Progress: Baby Stuff, Of Course

The last things I sewed before having AA was that plethora of bridesmaid dresses.  Right as I was finishing up, my poor sewing machine's motor up and gave out - understandable, considering what I had put it through.  I just got a brand new machine (which I look forward to writing an extensive review about later), and am slowly diving back into sewing projects.  Of course, what else is there to sew but ALL THE BABY THINGS.

First, I cut out this little jumpsuit from some old t-shirts of mine that were headed toward the trash anyway.  I'm using McCall's 4236, and cut out a Medium...which looks like it is going to swallow AA whole.  He might have to grow into it!

Secondly, somewhere in the last couple years, I had come to possess this packet of sample colors from Michael Miller's Cotton Couture quilting cotton.  It was this big stack of 5x5 inch pre-cut squares.  So, although I have previously claimed, after finishing my first quilt that took me 20 years to make, that I would never make a quilt again...
these squares were just dying to be stitched together, right?!  I'll add a border to make it a little larger, and even then, it won't be big enough to be anything but a baby quilt, so to AA it will go!  I'm excited to finish this one (can't believe I'm saying that about something I'm sewing that's not a garment...) - I just love the simplicity and cleanness of it!

These days, WIPs might take a little bit longer than they used to to find the time to get stitched up, but hopefully the finished products are up here sooner than later!


Stuff I Like: Intuitive Kindness

This story floated around on my Facebook feed all last week (because it involves the basketball team of my alma mater - Go Boomers!), and I thought it was just the sweetest thing.

This short clip is not the clearest picture, so let me set the stage for you:

The player in white who is shooting, #52, is a senior, and this is his last high school basketball game.  Due to some physical disabilities, he hasn't seen much play time throughout the season, but was a dedicated member of the team.  This last play of the game was designed specifically around him, to give him a chance to score in his final game.  As the clip begins, you'll see him put up a 3-point shot, which bounces off the backboard back into his hands.  He puts up another shot, and...

Did you see what happened there?!  After #52 misses the second shot, the ball is rebounded and passed back to him again...by a member of the opposite team, #23.  This act of sportsmanship allows #52 to score a 3-pointer on his last shot, of his last game, in his last year of high school.

It was just #23's automatic, intuitive reaction to pass that ball back to #52 and give him another chance.  How incredible that his instinct was to do so, after hours and hours of practice trained him that when you rebound, you get back to your end of the court!  Not only that, perhaps my favorite part of the whole clip is #23's genuine reaction of excitement after the shot goes in.

This is a very tiny gesture in the grand scheme of things - a simple pass of a ball back into the hands of a player whose team you are already beating - but it serves as an oft-needed reminder that kindness comes to us automatically, intuitively, and not to stifle that urge.  The world could always use a little more of that.


Three Months Later

Well, I last left this blog on quite the cliffhanger:  it was my due date!  I'm happy to tell you that, yes, don't worry, we did eventually have that baby.  Proof:
AA came 8 days late, in a way that was sort of planned and then not planned at all, but he got here and he is, of course, perfect.  And now, he looks like this:
AA is 3 months old today.  The last 3 months have basically been nothing at all like I imagined they would be.  They have been better and they have been worse, and thank goodness for that.  Both ways, they have been more full and intense and meaningful than I could have predicted, and I am continuously amazed and surprised each and every day.

Although I stay at home anyway, I've had a little self-imposed maternity leave of 3 months from sewing and blogging and the internet in general, getting to know AA the best that I can, learning the new way that Scott and I function as parents, listening and learning about what it is to be a mom.  Now, it's time to learn what it is to be a mom who also works and has dreams and goals about a business she hopes to return to, and at the same time cherishes and engages with her son as much as possible.  It's a whole new world over here!  And I'm excited to explore it and write about it and so, here we are.  Here I am again.