Mostly because of the village we've built. When circumstances change, and you have to go outside of your comfort zone (and outside of the tri-state area where 90% of your friends and family lives), finding people who are there for you makes all the difference in the world.
Today, as I was answering e-mails and text messages, I came to the realization that we've got a whole lot of people here in Vegas who have our backs. They are the family that stands in when ours is so far away. They are important to us, and they are super special because they are the family we got to choose.
My friend Rose is always looking out for things that our son Sam loves, and she was travelling today and sent me pictures of Southwest airplanes for Sam to see. She even said she would try and get some Southwest swag from one of the flight attendants. :) She's the same friend who knew of Sam's love of signs, and went to her city engineer friend and got Sam some real street signs to hang in his room. Sam is one of the only people who gets to call her Miss Rosie. She is a treasure and a gem.
Our friends Marty and Mel, Cammie and Jim are special to our kids, too. They have watched them grow, and tease them, and indulge in everything they are interested in. They would give us the shirt off their back, and are always willing to help if needed. We've spent Christmas and other holidays with them, when we were all unable to be with our families. We make plans on weekends and drop off soup/smoothies when they are ill. They make fun of me and know I drink wine out of a Thermos at the park on Sundays. They accept me for my crazy.
Rebecca and Norm have become an extended part of our family. They are Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Nor-man. Their kids and my kids play together, like cousins. We vacation together and can talk about anything from politics to Lady Gaga. The kids have sleepovers together and we call each other in a pinch. We help raise each other's kids. Rebecca is my best friend, and we are sad if we don't see each other at least once a week. They accept my kids for their quirks, and love them like their own.
This is just a sample of the village we've built here. For the first time, I feel like if we ever left Las Vegas, I would be sad, and we would have an entire group of people who we would miss and who would miss us.
Friendship is a wonderful gift, and I am so, so glad that we found these people. Happy Vegas-versary to us.