Down the rabbit hole

Welcome back, folks.  The drive back to Vegas from Death Valley was a long one.  A really long one.  Maybe not all that long compared to others We have done, but after spending the day at Death Valley, it seemed like forever.  We slept so good that night.  The next morning, after scooping up some pals at the airport who were in town for birthday fun:

Birthday girl Marissa
The lovely Danielle (bday girls sister)

and dropping them at their hotel, We headed to Lake Mead in Boulder City and drove around for a bit.

Going in

There wasn’t much to see…besides a seriously low lake,

low water



a lakeshore beach that had definitely seen better days,


dirt, cactus and dirt.  Did I mention dirt?  The visitor center had an informative diorama of the Lake Mead area, including the Hoover Dam which was one more exit up the road from Lake Mead, and the lady who spoke with Us about the area was very nice, but there just wasn’t much to tell.  There were a few scenic drives We could take, but they led Us to attractions outside of Lake Mead.  I’m sure, with some research, I could find out why it’s such a protected area, and why it’s a designated “National Land”, but nobody there told Us, and We certainly didn’t see it.  There was a “scenic loop” around the lake that We drove, and We pulled off onto a “beach drive” at one point.  Well, there was a drive, but as far as a beach…  I have to say We were sorely disappointed.  It was dirty, there was trash everywhere,


the water was freezing cold and brown…but if people playing in the water is what makes it a beach, a beach it is.  I couldn’t even imagine getting in that water. Eeew.  Needless to say, We didn’t stay at Lake Mead long.  We went back to the House of Pretty and about 2 minutes later, Cali decided We should hit the road for TX.  I was pretty surprised by this, as was everyone else (since We weren’t scheduled to leave until Wednesday), but We packed it up and hit the road.  Angela was still at work, and that made me pretty sad, but off We went.  First, We had to stop by Lor’s and say goodbye.  We hung out with her for a while and had as much fun as We always do before Our conversation was rudely interrupted by a ridiculously loud and swear word laden phone call from my ex…and then We were on Our way to ABQ to rest and break up the trip a little.  When We got to Albuquerque, I discovered why We left early…the whole day, Cali thought it was Tuesday.  Even with everything We did that day being on the calendar for Monday, He thought it was Tuesday!!  We laughed about that for a few minutes and then went to sleep.  It had been another loooong day.  We slept in the next day, and to be honest, I don’t really remember what We did.  I know We visited the FABULOUS Lisa VanDyke, and Our friend Melody came over to play:

Good times

but other than being lazy…nothing comes to mind.  Early Thursday We left Stephen’s for Austin-and that was a pretty big deal.  That meant I would see my kids soon!!!  I hadn’t seen my babies since February 21st because their dad didn’t allow me to spend my last weekend in town with them due to it not being my “court appointed weekend”.  Lame.  But now, I was less than 48 hours from holding them again!!!  Not to mention the birthday party Zoe and I had been planning for a few months was right around the corner.

We arrived in Austin laaaaaate thursday night and went to stay with my derby wife.

Horrorshow on the track 2008 ❤ my wifey!!

For those of you who don’t derby, its a fellow rollergirl who has your back in every situation.  Cali, myself and her have been really close since I was still in New Girl training, and she didn’t hate on me for deciding to go to the opening of Cali’s new shop instead of final evals for derby.  In case you didn’t know, I tried out for TXRD roller derby and was 1 day away from being a Rollergirl, but… Since I didn’t go to finals, I didnt derby, but We have been a big supporter of  TXRD every chance We get

3 Musketeers

and I made many friends who still call me “Free” (shortened from “Free Bleeder” which was my chosen derby name).

Me Hispanic Panic and my derby girls!! MFHR!! (Its an old pic, but one of my faves!!)

She has been a derby girl since the beginning as a “Holy Roller” (#13)  and is pretty bad ass.  She retired this year though, 8 years is a long time to kick ass…and get slammed into and thrown over rails, and fall down and skate almost daily… Anyway, We got to Horrorshow’s house and I took a shower and passed straight the eff out while her and Cali went downtown for a bit.  The next morning, I finally got to see my BFF for a little while before going to pick up the kiddos.  We grabbed Zoe from school and then got Sariah from their dad and headed back to Austin to enjoy our time together.  The weekend was awesome.  We gave Zoe her presents on Friday so she could enjoy them all weekend with Us,

Technology junkies already! Zoe and her DS, Sariah with my iPod touch

gave both girls their souveniers from everywhere We had been already and spent a lot of time swimming and talking and just hanging out together.  I missed them so much…and do everyday.  Her party was a big hit and she had the most fun I think I’ve ever seen her have.  Her two best friends from school came, along with a bunch of other kids, and everyone had a blast.  It was a Mad Hatter Tea Party that kinda included most of the movie.  Playing cards scattered around, a caterpillar cupcake cake that Zoe did an amazing job helping put together,

She did so good on the caterpillar cupcake cake!!

real tea cups that everyone drank from, crazy hats, and so much fun.  Those kids demolished all 45 cupcakes!!


I couldn’t have done it without help…my mom brought the tea cups and came early to help out,

My mom, Sam and a parent setting up the area

Our good friend Sam also came early to be a tremendous help and brought a metric shit ton of BBQ and sides from Pok-e-Jos where he is a manager, and I couldn’t have done it without La.  I love her sooooo much.  She did research for the party decorations and games (so did my mom and I) and she hosted the party at her house since We don’t exactly have a residence you know?  She was/is…just awesome.  Even with all the stuff she had going on with her 3 kids that weekend, (4 baseball games, 2 football games and multiple cheerleading functions), she helped make magic happen.  I couldn’t have spent so much time with my beautiful babies if it werent for her hard work.  *round of applause*

The kids made decorations. Laurens 3 there with mine ❤
La and Ammerface ❤

Once the party started, the kids lived in the pool.  They did get out to eat,

Big kids eating (some of them)
Tiny kids eating...and drinking tea!

and then it was cupcake and game time.  They raced to “paint the roses red” (color white printed roses red with crayons)

Who's gonna win??!!

and whoever was fastest got to take home a teapot of their choice.  3 girls tied and all got a teapot!!  They were excited 🙂  Zoe opened her pile of presents while everyone’s food settled and then they were all back in the pool as soon as she was done.  We got her a Nintendo DS and her friends got her games and accessories and some littlest petshop stuff and some temp tattoos (she loves tattoos), and and and…so much.  So many people that she has known her whole life and asks about and misses were able to be there, as was my family and some of her newer friends plus Lauren’s girls-the oldest of which is one of Zoes besties.  My kitti made it down (and Zoe was super stoked) even though she is clinically allergic to the sun, she donned a heavy coat and came out for singing and presents.

kitti in her jacket 🙂 zoe on her #? cupcake

Everything Zoe wanted for her bday and party, she got…it just worked out that way.  Writing about it now makes me all misty…she had so much fun and so did Sariah and by the time they left to go home, they were both soooooo tired.

My big girl! (blotted out a lurker...) and thats my gramma ❤
Love it!
Just before they went home

The party was Sun May 23rd and the next day was her actual bday.  My big girl turned 8!!  We took cupcakes to her class for her bday and she had gotten flowers and balloons from her dad and stepmom and sister…she was so happy.  It was also the last week of school so there wasn’t a whole  lot going on.  I got there at recess time and hung out with her on the playground for a while before we all went inside and had cupcakes and her teacher read some of their story book.  After the reading, the class (with help from the teacher) explained to me what had happened in their book prior to that day.  It was a wonderful time.  Her dad picked her up from school that day so just before the bell rang I left to go back to Austin.

That week, We mostly stayed with Sam.  We lovelovelove Sam.  His parents just happened to be out of town for the week and his brother was housesitting for them, so he offered Us his bedroom and he stayed in his brother’s room (when he didn’t fall asleep playing video games on the couch) 😛  We 3 crowded his full size bed (Cali kitti and I):

Full size bed full of snuggles!

during the week, usually after watching some sort of comedic relief or just sitting around talking and enjoying each others company.  We did have a Star Wars viewing since I don’t recall watching them.  Well, We watched Episodes IV V and VI.  I saw them when I was younger, but I don’t remember in the slightest.  I watched the #3 one when it came out in the theater, but I’ve been told that doesn’t count. 😉  Being at Sam’s was a tremendous joy for Us…it was so relaxed and quiet and even when he was home (and not working or being stolen away by one of his many lovely ladies) we all were just at peace.  Sam and I used to date about 3 years ago, not long after I left josh, and we have been amazingly close ever since.  I call him my stand-in boyfriend at any family/kid events because he is always right by my side helping in whatever way he can and entertaining the children (or anyone who can hear or see him).

Never far away. Love my Sam.

He is an all around great guy and while we didn’t work out as a couple, we have stayed friends.  Friends doesnt really cover it, but it’ll have to do.  Love him.  Period.  If any single, educated, attractive, good cookin and slightly freaky (or at least open minded) girls are reading this and wanna go at it, let me know.  You won’t be good enough for my Sammy, but you can let me know anyway and I’ll investigate the situation. 🙂

So other than hanging out with My beloved kitti and my oh so generous Sam, the week was very laid back.  We did go visit April, who is an old friend of Cali’s

April 🙂

and has become a good friend of mine as well.  It was good to see her.  Even better to see her happy.  She was recently divorced and lives by the lake now and has a bf she thinks is groovy and is busy at work and has a permanent smile on her face.  While We were there, she also did my roots and…*drumroll*…CHOPPED OFF MY HAIR!!

My new hair ❤

She is the lovely lady that has been responsible for my fantastic hair for a couple years now.  Another friend of Ours also used to make some magic on my hair, but April…well, April IS magic.  Cali agreed to let her cut my hair since He was NOT digging on my ponytail that had become an almost daily thing.  The ponytail was the best thing for me to do during most of Our travels, and He was soooo over it.  I love my new ‘do’, and so does He.  It’s real short  in the back and long in the front.  I say long, but it’s not even to my chin, so it’s not really long, but compared to the back…it’s pretty damn long.  Long enough to go behind my ears when necessary.  She is at Salon Kerizma in Cedar Park and anyone who wants their hair to be treated right and doesn’t mind paying the price for it (she’s expensive but worth every penny) should look her up.  She is also a professional photographer and a damn good one.  Her studio is Almost Impatient Productions.  She has shot my kids:

Photo and editing by April Skinner Almost Impatient Productions
Photo and editing by April Skinner Almost Impatient Productions

and she has shot me a couple times as well…

Photo and editing by April Skinner Almost Impatient Productions

always amazing pictures.  Weddings?  Nobody better.   Hair, makeup AND photos in one pretty package…thats April Skinner and her team.

Cali decided We would stay in Austin until the 1st to give me yet another wonderful gift…more time with my kids.  That, however, didn’t work out because their dad never would answer the phone over the whole weekend, and when I finally heard from him, he denied me access.  Jerk.  Purposeful jerkiness.  Why would I expect any different from him?  Since I didn’t get my babies, We just spent the weekend with Lauren and Ammerface.  My kitti had to leave on saturday to go back to Houston to work, so her bf came and picked her up and took her away from me.  I miss her everyday…if it weren’t for her sun allergy, I would have already insisted that she be on the road with Us, but until the sun is blotted out, she cannot do just about everything We do.  It makes me sad, but ‘cest la vie.  I get a good morning and a good night by text and all is right with the world 🙂

We rested and prepared for the leaving on Tuesday June 1st for the next part of Our journey…and that my friends is another story.

Stay tuned.

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