Friday, February 22, 2013

Las Vegas 2013

For the past 4 years we have traveled to Vegas during the doldrums of winter... for a soccer tournament. 

Though the destination screams "PLAY! PARTY!" it typically turns out to be a well needed relaxation trip.  Just enough heat to thaw my frozen Colorado bones, just enough sun to tint my winter white skin, and just enough city (restaurants, shopping) to tide me over till spring soccer season.

This year Madison's team played in the LV Mayors Cup; this tournament draws teams from all of the United States and even internationally!  There were teams from all of the western states of NV, AZ, CA, but there were even teams from states as far east as Pennsylvania!  Madison's team was placed in a bracket that included a team from NV, the #3 team in CA (#15 in the nation - we are #250), and a team from Vancouver Canada!  Though the girls didn't win a game they played some pretty competitive soccer against some great teams.

Nevada:  Lost 1-2
California: Lost... by a lot... it was incredible to watch this team play! They had some incredible plays, were incredibly fast, technically sound, and at least one of their players were invited to play on the national team!
Vancouver Canada: Tied

Their record earned them a consolation match, which pitted them against another Canadian team, this time from the province of Alberta. 

It was a fun experience to play international teams, one of the customs in international matches is to give the opposing team a token from where you are from.  Each of the Canadian teams gave our girls pins (which were quickly attached to their soccer bags) from their province.  Our girls gave the other teams post cards from Colorful Colorado!

Overall this tournament was one of the best we had played in, it was pure soccer with very few dirty plays - unlike the Colorado league we play in where it is common place to be assaulted and come away with multiple bruises or injuries from foul play.

We did a bit of shopping at the outlets, I got a summer dress, and Madison got outfitted with a summer wardrobe... B got a hat. 

We dined at a fancy steak house called the Golden Calf at the very end of the strip on Sahara.  From the outside it looks old and maybe a bit shady, the inside is pure "old skool" mob boss!  The a la carte menu and enormous steaks (with prices to match), and a bottle of bubbly, set our bill at almost $500.00.  When Madison and Tia looked at the bill I think their jaws hit the floor.  But- what the heck- you can only splurge like that once in a great while, so why not do it in Vegas!

This may be our last trip to Vegas with Madison's club soccer team.  Right now she is pretty sure she will only play school athletics in high school, and not continue with the local soccer club.  Which made this trip all the more nostalgic.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ordinary is Extraordinary

My blogging has lagged, truthfully our lives are so full and busy with ordinary day to day living, I don't consider it "bloggable".

I don't know if it's seeing the despondent home lives of many of my students, or if I am awakening to a new definition of splendor. For when I reflect on a typical evening, what once seemed dull and familiar has begun to shimmer with the radiance of extraordinary.

The specific event I ponder could be an excerpt from any of the pages that may document my family's lives: the boys have left for an evening of wrestling, leaving Madison and I with errands to run, and indulging in dinner out and a sweet treat. Then spending the rest of the evening, just her and I, perched on the couch laughing as we play with the Split Pic app on my phone. Our creations, a few of my favorites I share below, are not what lend the gleam to this memory, it's the normalcy in which we spent our evening and its stark contrast to how many of her peers will have spent theirs. We engaged, partook, and connected with each other. Investing the most priceless gift of all, time.

There is a beauty that seems to be fading, like the sunlight leaving the day, its out of my control and I fear it will be lost for ever. This beauty, called family, is being forgotten among the very people who chose to creat it. This beauty called family is disappearing and replaced with complacency and selfishness.

Just as the radiant rays slip over the horizon, there is a moment when all heavenly light seems lost. But then when it is darkest, twinkling lights appear at their brightest, and maybe that is what I am seeing in my life. What was ordinary, maybe even unseen, has become spectacular and extraordinarily beautiful.

It is beautiful, it is rare, my ordinary life is truly extraordinary.