Friday, November 30, 2012

{Thanks}Living and a Birthday List

It's Friday.
It's my brother's birthday.
It's my birthday.
My husband comes home from his business trip.
Today is going to be a great day!

It's also the end of the month.
That means I get to share with you what I've been thankful for this month.
However, I'm going to do it a bit differently.
On instagram, I shared each day in picture what I was thankful for.
Now you get to see it! :)


Starting at the top, from left to right:
1.  My goofy husband.  He's the absolute best!
2.  Food delivery.  I didn't get the chance to have food delivered growing up!
3.  To be able to have some down time to create.
4.  My 2nd amendment right...my husband taught me well. :)
5.  My husband's servant heart...coming home to clean dishes put away, dirty dishes put in the dishwasher, supper being made, and the laundry sorted...all without being asked!
6.  The hearts of people that gather in a home of our new friends.  I'm so thankful for our small group.
7.  My legs...and the ability to walk.
8.  #SheReadsTruth and the community of women who've participated.  I've met some incredible ladies through Bible reading together.
9.  My husband's job!
10.  A book that challenges me to become a follower of Christ rather than being a fan.
11.  My beautiful mother.  She's one of my best friends.  I'm so thankful for her example as a Godly woman, wife, and mother.
12.  That I have the financial resources to pay for gas, when many don't.  It's something I take for granted most days.
13.  A little pick-me-up when I need it.
14.  Prayer warriors.
15.  A creative outlet, and a tiny bit more income.
16.  My daddy.  He's the bestest one in the whole entire world.  Don't even try to compete with that!
17.  My "littlest" brother who's one of the most caring people in the world.
18.  My warm, comfy bed.
19.  The apartment we live in.  It continues to prove that this is where God wanted us.
20.  My job...God's plan is always best.
21.  A man who takes time first thing in the morning to read the Word of God.  This is what I would call the sexiest thing he does.  There's nothing that melts my heart more than seeing him spending time with his Father.
22.  Family time.
23.  Prayers being answered.  My dad was well enough to make the 4.5 hour trip up for Thanksgiving.  He doesn't have pain in his shoulder or collar bone anymore, and he made it through his surgery without any complications!  (This is what I'm most thankful for this month...God has been incredibly good to us.)  The Lord hears his children and answers their plea!
24.  Friends who send happy mail via the USPS {aka Snail Mail...yes, people!  It still exists}! 
25.  Beautiful artwork in the sky so I can be reminded who's the Author and Illustrator of life.
26.  Preparations for this special season...I'm happy to be spending it in our new home.
27.  Time to rest...especially when needed most!
28.  Receiving a "granddaughter" birthday card in the mail from my husband's grandparents.  It warms my heart to know I'm accepted as one of their grandkids! :)
29.  Preparing a box full of goodies to give to a family God has laid on my heart.
30.  My big, goofy, teddy bear brother.  He gives great hugs! Today's his birthday.  Did I mention that? :)

Finding things in each day that I'm thankful for has been a huge blessing to me this month.  It has made me reflect on the littlest things in my life and realize that they are all a gift from God.
What are you thankful for?


>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<

I also get to share with you what I've been working on for over a month now.
My birthday list.
It's not just any list though.
It's my "25 Before 25 List."
That's right...
This is a list full of things I hope to accomplish in the next 365 days.
Here it is:

  1. Itemize our tax deductions.
  2. Send a handwritten note to 48 different people.
  3. Go to the Muny to see a show.
  4. Become better at apologizing.
  5. Print a wedding canvas or a big picture.
  6. Go to a St. Louis Blues game.
  7. Have friends over to our home.
  8. Make (or at least start) a quilt.
  9. Be financially free from our parents.
  10. Memorize 25 Bible verses and be able to recite all of them.
  11. Make 25 crockpot meals that are yummy enough to put on our meal rotation.
  12. Go camping with my husband.  In a tent.
  13. Take a trip on the Amtrak.
  14. Participate in Girls Trip 2013.
  15. Sew something just for me.
  16. Sell 100 items on etsy.
  17. Participate in 25 random acts of kindness.
  18. Start and finish a whole spool of floss.
  19. Keep a running birthday/Christmas list all year 'round.
  20. Start saving for a house...in an account.
  21. Keep a journal (either written or photos) of what I'm thankful for, for the entire year.
  22. Find a ministry at our church to serve in.
  23. Enjoy one night a month with my husband and no gadgets.
  24. Find some sort of "consistency" in my etsy business.
  25. Fall even more in love with Jesus.
I'm a little nerdy, I know.
Some of these things are "hopefuls," and if they happen, then I will be totally excited (such as itemizing my deductions)...I do have an accounting degree.
Other things you may think are funny, but they are actual goals (such as finishing a whole spool of floss.  I always start a new one after I go to the dentist...and never finish the other one).  Have you finished one?
I hope to have a goal and a loose plan of what will be going in my shop.
Other things are just things that I want to do, something that will challenge me, or something that is a goal of the future.
And what a way to welcome the big 2-5 in with a list full of completed aspirations!
Oh, and don't let it fool you...today, I turn 24. :)

>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<

22 years ago, I received the best birthday present ever.
A baby brother.
Growing up, we absolutely hated the fact that we had to share a birthday.
(Maybe he hated it more than me.)
But ask me now and I'll tell you, that baby brother has grown into a wonderful, Christ-like  person.
He's still ornery, but I know that he would do anything for me.
He'd be there for me.
And he'll always cheer me up with his witty remarks.
Happy birthday, Ben.
This is YOUR day, not just mine.
I love you!





topofthepagewithleslie

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Tyler!

Happy birthday, Love!

I'm so thankful God brought you into my life four years ago.
I am excited to see Him working in your life.  
You have grown so much since I met you, and I am excited to see the plans play out that He has for you.
Thank you for being my best friend.
Thank you for making me laugh.
Thank you for loving me for me.
Thank you for loving Jesus first.
Most of all, thank you for choosing me to do life with you.
Happy 23rd!  Here's to oh, so many more!!
I love you!

P.S.  Hurry home!  I miss you!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thou Shalt Begin Again and Again


Well, we're nearing the end of this series.  I've enjoyed reading this book and posting.  Have you?  What have you learned?  Are you putting anything into practice?  Well, if you haven't found anything to work on yet, try this one.  This week's commandment is

Thou Shalt Begin Again and Again

It's true.  50% of all marriages end in divorce.  That is a sad, sad, sad statistic.  But it's very real in today's society.  You either decide to work on your marriage, or you decide to give up on it.  Many people get married thinking that if it doesn't work out, they can always get out of it.  That if they disagree about something, they don't have to work it out.  Instead, they can just "make it go away."  That is not how God intended marriage to be.

But how do we stop this cycle?

Malachi 2:16 says,
"'I hate divorce,' says the Lord God of Israel, 'and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,' says the Lord Almighty.
So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith."

God hates divorce.  He says it right there.  But in today's society, it's the norm.  Is there something that we can do to prevent it?

Yes.

Give each other second chances.  And third chances, and fourths, and fifths, and so on.  God is a God of second chances, so why shouldn't we give each other more than one chance?  We are human.  We mess up.  We sure as heck aren't going to get marriage right on the first try. I am redeemed by Him.  He makes my imperfections, my hurt, my damaged heart into something new, fresh, and alive!  If He can do that with me, then I know He can do that with you.  And he can definitely do that with any marriage.

In the book, Ed gives 6 principles for beginning again and again.  I'd like to share them with you, if that's alright.

1.  Acceptance.
"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God."  Romans 15:7
We are to accept one another, flaws and all.  After all, that's how Jesus accepted me.  He accepted all of me, unconditionally.  Sometimes this is a stretch.  But pray and ask God to help you accept your mate, just as they are.  God made them, and He made you.  He made us all in the image of Himself.  We must learn to accept one another as they are, unconditionally, because that's how Jesus accepts us.

2.  Attention.
"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart."  
1 Peter 1:22
What would you have done in a dating relationship if your guy always wanted to hang out with his friends?  He only wanted to hang out with you on Fridays, but all the other days he wanted to hang with his friends.  You would have left because you didn't feel like he was giving you the attention you deserved, right?  Same here...giving your mate attention is like telling them you love them without actually saying those words.  There are so many ideas on how to pay attention to your mate:  compliment them, call them, buy them a gift, encourage them.  This might help you start at the beginning again and again.

3.  Adjustment.
"And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ."
Ephesians 5:21
Many people get married thinking that they can change their mate.  Uh, wrong!!  You can't change anyone.  But you can change yourself!  When you submit to one another, to each other's needs, wants, goals, desires, we'll have a happy marriage.  I've heard many a times, "I can't change...it's the way I am," THAT'S A LIE STRAIGHT FROM THE DEVIL HIMSELF.  Just keepin' it real, people.  You can change, and sometimes we have to pray and ask God to help us change.  To help us get over our selfishness and inflexibility.  When you have the right mindset, God will change your heart, and in turn it may change your spouse.

4.  Amnesty.
"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."
Ephesians 4:32
Forgiveness is one of the key ingredients to making a marriage work.  When you tell the other person that you forgive them (and really mean it), it means that you've canceled their debts and wrongdoings.  However, amnesty really means that you make the other person innocent of all their wrongdoings.  You let it go, like it never happened.  And if you're like me, this is a step that I have to begin again and again.

5.  Appreciation.
"Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing."
1 Thessalonians 5:11
We have to encourage each other, and when encouragement happens, appreciation happens. But we also have to build one another up.  Our bodies are temples, and we must build each other up so that we have layers and layers of value in our temples.  Ed states, "Think of what happens when you buy and improve a piece of property.  It increases in value;  its value appreciates.  The same thing happens when we encourage and build up our mates."  We need to do this on a daily basis.

6.  Affection.
"The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband."
1 Corinthians 7:3
Affection is not meant for just a woman or just a man.  It's something that each person needs. However, the wife's need for affection is strong.  So strong, in fact, that if she doesn't receive it, it can be what causes an extramarital affair.  Affection is to a woman as sex is to a man.  But affection is what sets the "atmosphere" of the relationship, if you will.  It's important to meet each other's needs in this area.

Keep on, keepin' on.  When both partners are committed to each other forever, it's a beautiful thing.  I'm so thankful to have seen my grandparents and parents stay committed to each other.  My grandparents were married over 50 years, and my parents have almost been married 30 years.  Growing up, I always knew my parents would work things out.  Divorce wasn't a word that was allowed in our house.  I was glad to know that at an early age, so I didn't have to worry.  It's something that Tyler and I practice too.  We know that no matter what, we're committed to each other.  Forever.  Til death do us part.  But it's also a work-in-progress.  We have to always be bettering ourselves, working on ourselves, and working on our marriage.  You have to work at marriage, no matter who you married.  


Questions to reflect on this week:

  1. What three things would you differently if you could start your marriage over?
  2. Which of the six steps to "beginning again" does your marriage need the most?  Explain.
  3. Would you consider your marriage warm and loving, hot and cold, or dry and barren?  In what ways?
  4. Have you hugged your husband or wife today?



Missed a post?  You can catch up here:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Did you all have a good Thanksgiving?
I woke up this morning and thought, "Wow, it's Saturday for the third day in a row!"
It was pretty sweet.

We had a wonderful couple of days with my family.
I'm so glad that they were able to come up, and Dad was feeling well enough to travel.
God has been so good to us this year.

This was my first time to host Thanksgiving.
It was so much fun.
I wanted my family to not to have to do anything but show up.
However, since I'm a little inexperienced at cooking a turkey, ham, and stuffing, I had to have a little help.

Here are some pictures of our Thanksgiving table.
We live in an apartment, and our "dining room" doubles as my craft room.
So I had to put everything away and make room for us all.






I made the napkins with Sally.
We finally got to use the China that my Aunt Kristie gave us.
My mom made the centerpiece trivet that I like to use in the Fall.
I got the owl napkin rings at Hobby Lobby for 80% off.
I also made the leaf "table runner," as well as the place cards.


Not all of the serving dishes matched, but they were all wedding gifts that I haven't gotten to use.
I was excited to dig out those nice dishes and finally put them to use!
I also got to use my roaster pan that I hadn't used.

Here are some more pictures of the rest of the weekend:


All the boys on the couch...waiting for lunch to be served.


My perfect pumpkin pie.


Tyler made a buttermilk pie all by himself! 


We played Clue!
My late Aunt Irene gave us this game as a wedding gift, and we just opened it this week!


My ornery brothers.


Then we played Monopoly.
If you ask my husband who won, he'll say my dad whooped everyone.


We went to Wal-Mart on Thursday evening for about 45 minutes.
It was ca-razy!!


My momma helped me put up my Christmas decorations on Friday.
I'm so glad she helped!  
I haven't felt very good this week, and she was a tremendous help!


She also made me this absolutely gorgeous Christmas wreath for my door!!
{She read my mind...I was just thinking the other day that I was going to have to figure out what kind of wreath to make for Christmas...now I don't have to.}


The "birthday kids."
We celebrated our birthdays this week since we won't be together next week.
Tyler's is the 29th, and mine and my brother's is the 30th (no, we're not twins.  And I'm older than him, too).


We went to eat pizza at a cheap, but yummy pizza place for lunch!
That would be my youngest brother and my parents.


My beautiful momma and I.


Then we went to Target.
This is how the boys felt about it.
By the way, it's safer for my dad to wear his cervical collar out in public so people won't bump into him.  ESPECIALLY during Black Friday sales...I can't believe he braved it out there.


My daddy and I. 
I'm his "mini-me."
I love him.


My family left last evening.
They had a 4.5 hour drive home.
When they left, my husband told me to sit on the couch.
Then he retrieved a blanket, my pillow, and a drink for me.
He told me that I was to rest and the only reason I could get up was to use the restroom or go to bed.
He served me supper, dessert, and refills on my tea.
Then we watched Netflix.
He's so good to me. :)

I was blessed to be able to host my family in my home.
I absolutely loved having them here.
We had a good time, and memories were made.

I hope y'all had a good Thanksgiving!
What'd you do?
Who did you see?
What was your favorite thing to eat?


Oh, and by the way, I've decided to extend my sale through the entire weekend.  To help celebrate my last week as a 23 year old, you can get 23% off in my shop using coupon code YAYFOR23 at the checkout.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Preparations {and a SALE}

As I make the final preparations, I'm getting more excited to see my family.
They are coming tonight!
This will be my first Thanksgiving meal to cook and prepare.
No worries, I will have some help. :)
I've never roasted a turkey, never cooked a ham {my husband is spoiled}, never made stuffing.
Lots of firsts for me!
But let me tell you what I have made...
every year for at least 10 years...
the pumpkin pie.  
And it will be perfect.

Here's what my preparations have consisted of this week:



Monday night was spent making cookies and other goodies.


These were originally for our small group.  Sadly, it got canceled last night, so they will now be more goodies for the family.  I mean, they are my Dad's favorite cookie...


We got the meal all planned out.


Last night, my hubby surprised me and took me to eat Mexican.  Oh, I'm so glad I married someone who loves Mexican food as much as I do.  Isn't he such a cutie??  #howdidigetsolucky?

I've been trying to take advantage of the spontaneity in our life.  Sometimes I just get so "in the groove" of things that I know what needs to be done and when.  I don't want to take the time to cuddle or just enjoy each other's company, because there are things to be done.  But I've realized this, and now I'm trying to just take it all in.  Life is short and I don't want to regret always passing up opportunities.  So that's why I said "yes" to a spontaneous date out last night.
{Then I stayed up til midnight cleaning and doing everything else while he was sleeping.}


This is what is waiting for me when I get off work early today!  I'm making my pie and brownies for our dessert.  Friday, I will share all the recipes of the goodies I've made for Thanksgiving.  So be on the lookout for those!



I think this is the cleanest our living room has been in a l.o.n.g. time!  Other than our work bags and the orders that are going out today, it looks pretty darn clean.

I am really excited to share with you the details of our weekend.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family, friends, or whoever you will be spending it with.
Are you going Black Friday shopping??

**For those of you who don't want to face the crowds {I don't blame you}, you can shop online in my shop.  As I gear up to turn 24 at the end of the month, we'll celebrate year 23 with a sale!**

Starting midnight on Friday, 11/23 and midnight on Monday, 11/26.


With every jewelry purchase, you'll receive a free red or green organza bag!
Use code YAYFOR23 at checkout.
But not until Friday or Monday! :)
Oh, and it may be the last time to get some of these items at these prices!
I'll be revamping my shop after Thanksgiving!
So get them while you can!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thou Shalt Keep the Home Fires Burning



Well, after taking a break from our 10 Commandments Tuesday series, I'm back with week 7's chapter!   This week's commandment is


Thou Shalt Keep the Home Fires Burning.

This chapter discussed the stages of marriage that each couple goes through.  There are three stages that are discussed:

1.  The Honeymoon Stage--almost every couple goes through this stage.  Remember how it was when you first started dating your spouse?  You couldn't stay away from each other.  You had to see them every day.  They were perfect in your eyes.  At this stage, the fire is burning brightly.

2.  The Party's Over Stage--this stage happens when you realize that your significant other isn't perfect.  You have the opportunity to see the person for who he/she really is.  You don't have to be around them every waking moment, and they definitely aren't perfect.

In this stage, each couple must make a choice:  choose to stick it out, opt for divorce, do what it takes to make marriage happy and healthy.  

3.  The Best Is Yet to Be Stage--When you decide to make marriage happy and healthy, you get to this stage, which is supposedly the best of all {How would I know?  I've only been married for a year and a halfish}.  This is the stage of mature love.  The love withstands all odds.  Absolutely nothing can destroy this kind of love.

Mature love.  What is it?  Well, Ed gives some great examples that I'd like to share:

  • Patient.  I put up with the imperfections of my mate.
  • Kind.  I perform acts of kindness for the other person.
  • Joyful with truth.  My love grows out of a base of honesty and integrity.
  • Trusting.  I believe in the best from my spouse.
  • Full of Home.  I hope for the best from and for my mate.
  • Enduring.  My love lasts through even the toughest of times.
Mature love is not:
  • Jealous.  Instead, it rests secure.
  • Boastful.  Instead, it refrains from building itself up.
  • Arrogant.  Instead, it humbles itself.
  • Self-seeking.  Instead, it puts a spouse's need and desires first.
  • Angry.  Instead, it refrains from rash outbursts.
  • Looking for paybacks.  Instead, it forgives, even when treated wrongly.
Most of all...love never fails.  Always there to support your spouse.

Here are three tips on working toward a mature love {read the book for a more details}:
1. Speak Blessings.
2. Open up and Confess.
3. Change yourself, not your mate.

I think these three things need to be worked on, no matter the person.  Sometimes we can get wrapped up in the mundane day-to-day things and we forget.  All we want to do is what is on our to-do list so that we can relax.  Making an effort in your marriage will bless it, even if that means taking 10 minutes out of every day and telling your spouse what you admire about them, talking with them, or reading the Bible together.

This chapter is really good, and I highly recommend reading it so that you can get the full effect from it.

Also, to become mature, be...
Motivated
Attentive
Tender
Understanding
Respectful
Excited

Questions for this week:
  1. How important is it to you to "work" in making your marriage a happy, passionate, loving one?  Explain.
  2. In what stage of marriage are you today?  What steps do you need to take to move on to the next stage?
  3. Do you consider your marriage a loving, passionate one now?  Explain.  What can you do to make it so?
  4. In what areas of MATURE love are you strong?  Explain.  Where are you weak, and what can you do about it, starting today?

It's been a couple weeks, but if you missed a post, you can catch up here:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Miscellany Monday

What a weekend!! This is the only weekend we had in the midst of busy-ness for the next month or so.  I used it to my benefit, which you will see in a minute.

Friday, Tyler and I decided to go out.  We had to meet up with a friend anyway, so we decided to go eat at Red Robin.  Now, I know Tyler and I look young.  We seem to dress "down" when we go out because we wear dress clothes to work all week and we just want to be comfortable.  Well, sometimes I wonder if the waiters/waitresses judge us by our age and/or what we wear, because we haven't had super service in a l.o.n.g. time.  Maybe we don't look like we're made of money, but you never know.  {These are all just my thoughts out loud...nothing for sure.}  So Friday night, we were surprised when we had not only great service, but excellent service!  We were very happy about it, and thought that he should know. 


Tyler dropped me off at World Market...I had never been there before.  The jury is still out on whether I think it's as fantastic of a store as everyone else says.  I may have to go back just to feel it out again.


We came home and got in our sweats and vegged out on the couch while watching {or sleeping through on my part} The Amazing Spiderman.  It's SO much better than the other movies.  Oh, and we bought a new candle at Michael's.  Tyler loves it. :)


On Saturday, I sneaked a peek at my china dishes.  My aunt gave me her china for a wedding gift.  I was immediately humbled again when I got the dishes out.  She got these for a wedding gift and wanted to pass them to me.  People from our home church bought them for her, so I would know each person who bought a piece.  Not only is that special, but my Grandpa was one of the last people to eat on these dishes.  He has been gone for 6 years now.

 I've had them for over a year, and most of that year they've sat in storage as Tyler and I have moved around.  But I brought them back with me to St. Louis, and I immediately knew that when I invited my family to come to Thanksgiving here, that we would eat off of them.


I made a ginormous list of things that needed to be done before my family got here.  I started with the one on the left side and I worked and worked and worked.  Sunday afternoon, I got to the list on the right side.  There are a couple things that are surprises. :)  Can't give them away yet.

 I was excited when I checked the mail Saturday evening, that I got a birthday card from one of the ladies that is involved with #TheSnailMailDiaires.  She made me a gorgeous bracelet!!  I just love meeting ladies around the United States!


Sunday, I went grocery shopping for our Thanksgiving meal/week!  I'm so excited to be hosting it here in our apartment.  We don't have tons of room, but I am so thankful for the room we do have!  I'm looking forward to hearing and sharing all the things we are thankful for this year!


I also opened the bottle of Blackberry Pomegranate "Pop" that I got at World Market!  It's delicious!  But don't ask my husband...he has a different opinion. :)


And this is what he did all weekend.  :)  He's gonna hate me for posting this too...he has no idea I took it!  But this is what I got for not letting him buy the X-box game...he just rented it.  And played it.  And played it.  And played some more.  While I cleaned, cooked, and baked!  Hehe!



I hope you all have a wonderful week!  Happy Monday to you!

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Vegas Vacation {Picture Overload}

As I'm gearing up for a very busy week, I thought I would sit down and recap our Vegas Vacation for y'all.

We were very blessed to have been gifted this trip, and it was great to spend some one-on-one time with my hubby.  He has been really busy at work, especially last month...put in lots of hours, worked late, and we didn't get to spend much time together.  Even when we were home together, we'd be chillin' and trying to wind down from work rather than focusing on each other.

We had never been to Vegas, as I had mentioned before.  I always heard there was a lot of walking involved, lots of crowds, and bright lights.

One thing we knew for sure were the shows we were going to see.  I have been dying to see a Cirque du Soleil show for a very long time.  We were staying in the MGM Grand, and KA was playing there, so we just decided to see that show.  We also wanted to see The Blue Man Group.  My hubby was is a drummer.  He had to see  that show.  Both were excellent, but incomparable.

The sites to see are incredible!  The hotels are magnificent!!  And everyone is right. LOTS of walking was done.  34 miles to be exact.  In 3.5 days.  Crazy!

If we're friends on facebook, you've already seen this pictures.  But for those of you I'm not facebook friends with, here they are! {And in no particular order...}



I love looking out the plane window...I'm fascinated by God's creation!



Yes, we just had to go find the sign!  And my eyes aren't shut...I was just squinting.  It was bright.



We went to Shark Reef in Mandalay Bay and I got to touch a sting ray!


We saw Blue Man Group...were in the 4th row even!




We at at The Buffet at the Bellagio and I tried just about everything which included but wasn't limited to:  rack of lamb, crab legs, California roll, prime rib, duck breast, cheesecake...and other choices as well.  We didn't eat all day {except breakfast} so we could just eat the buffet.  It definitely was not worth the amount of money we paid for it.


We went down to Fremont Street one evening...


We saw a guy spray painting art while we were there!


Isn't it incredible?


The light show was interesting...felt like a hippie. :)


We went to M&M World one night! 


I was very impressed with all the escalators.  That city definitely caters to pedestrians.


Fountains at Caesar's Palace


We even won a little bit of money on the slots...the first night we were there! :)




My attempt at using the panoramic setting to take a picture of the fountains at the Bellagio while they were going off...




The swanky curved elevator at the Wynn...I had never seen one like it!





We had a really good time.  It was definitely a city to experience.  Honestly, being a Southwest Missouri girl, it was like Branson on crack.  LOTS more people, lots of shows, lots of lights.  We aren't rushing to plan a trip back to Vegas, but we'll see.