A BiSC recap. Or, what I did in Vegas for four days.

May 16-19 was the fifth and final Bloggers in Sin City. I came home with countless memories, and not nearly enough words. But because people keep asking me, But what did you DO in Vegas? … and because I have to do my best to give shout-outs to our amazing sponsors and the beautiful people I met and was reunited with… here is my trip, in a nutshell.

Thursday (May 16)

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Top: Me, Abby, Caryn and San (photo from Caryn)
Bottom: Me, Caryn and Terra (photo from Kelly)

Drive to the airport. Realize I left all my jewelry at home (including my wedding ring!) – shit! Decide that only means I can’t lose said jewelry. Flight. Layover. Flight. Impatient text messages from Katherine and Abby. Where are you? In the airport, looking for Onyi. What about now? TRYING TO FIND NICOLE. WHERE ARE YOU?! IN A CAB!

Find Onyi. Where the hell is Nicole? THIS IS THE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT SECTION. Finally find Nicole. Cab ride. SO EXCITED ZOMG. Attempt to contain glee. Fail miserably. Flamingo! Fall ON MY ASS in the lobby trying to sneak up on fellow BiSCuits. Registration suite! ALL THE AWESOMENESS. Hugs! Hugs! Hugs! There’s Katherine! Hi Nicole! Meet roomie Abby! Meet San! Love them! MEET ALL THE PEOPLE. LOVE ALL THE PEOPLE. I am so fucking glad I came.

Go to hotel room. Dig through epic gift bag. Pop Chips! GelaSkins gift card! I FORGOT ABOUT MY SUNGLASSES AND MOO CARDS! HTC water bottle? Sweet. BiSC wallet-sized USB drive? Even sweeter. Stack wines? I totes don’t drink wine but I have wino friends who do. Um, these earrings by Liz Kantner are AWESOME and I’m wearing them now.

Go shopping. Overwhelmed. Cry in Sephora because BiSCuits are fucking amazing. Cannot spend $150 in Sephora in one day, must come back later. There’s Brandy! And Nic! Adore. Return to hotel room. Change into hot pink pants. Mixer at Serendipity3. Mind blown by awesome people and awesome food spread. CRAZY AS SHIT STARING CONTEST. People are crying. What is happening?

PJs. Slumber party with so many loves. Up hourssssss past my bedtime. Bliss.

Friday (May 17)

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Pool Day. Photo by Casey Palmer.

POOL DAY. Plans to poolside for a bit, then shop. End up legit day drunk at the pool ALL. DAY. LONG. Crossed paths with a bachelor party, cool guys. Kaci = wingman. YOU WROTE FOR THE ONION AND GUYS WITH KIDS? Shut up. I FUCKING LOVE BEACH BALLS! God I’m obnoxious. Dinner at Spice Market Buffet. I couldn’t even tell you where that is. I’M DAY DRUNK. AND I’M A MOM. Good food. I think. I couldn’t actually tell you. Sunglasses inside, at night, during dinner. Need fresh air and coffee. Starbucks! Sober up, Kaci. Get your shit together.

“O” by Cirque du Soleil at the Bellagio. I will never be the same.

Saturday (May 18)

Wake up with a pillow on my face. Deeeeaaaad. Abby is fucking adorable in her day sequins. Want to hate her, but can’t because she’s so damn love-able. Brunch at Paradise Garden Buffet. Yummmm. SHOPPING. Biggest Forever 21 of my life. Not enough room in my suitcase. Oh well! I’ll figure it out. Sephora. Sephora. Sephorrrrraaa. Lovely time with Katherine, Jenn and Megan.

Group dinner at Le Village Buffet in Paris. I AM IN HEAVEN. I can’t even.

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Photos by Katelin, Kelly, San and Kate

Prep for Wicked White Party. All the primping. I don’t know about y’all, but Abby, Nicole, Katherine and I look fabulous. Rockin’ the aviators at night. I don’t even care. Happy hour at Center Cut Steakhouse. SEA OF WHITE PEOPLE. Bitches be jealous. We are an incredibly good-looking group. All the free drinks this little white girl can drink! Move the party to the VIP rooftop at PURE Nightclub. Something about the Venetian (I don’t even know which club) and Margaritaville and up-all-night talks. White jeans are in definite need of some TLC when I get home. Vaguely recall something about how the red splotches are “NOT MY PERIOD!” Celebrate? Heart-to-heart with Katherine and Jenn until sunrise.

Sunday (May 19)

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Hugging Katherine like I never want to let go because I DON’T. Photo by Terra.

Dragging ass. Brunch at Paradise Garden Buffet is a piece of bacon and ugly crying as people talk about all the feelings. The crying helps the hangover, actually. Cab ride to In-n-Out and I can’t even eat a burger. So dead. At least I have my suitcase to hold me upright. This is goodbye. I can’t handle it, so I just walk away. Cab ride to the airport where I get my shit together and wait, wait, wait to get home to see my boys. Flight. Layover. Not-so-great weather in SLC. Delayed flight. Minor freak-out due to never having flown in not-so-great weather. I’m still alive. Plane lands, where the fuck did I park? Find car. HOME. Shit, I need gas. Fuel up. HOME. 1:00 am. Cuddle my boys.

Monday (May 20) – present

Miss everybody so effing much. Keep “seeing” BiSCuits wherever I go. Attempt to come to terms with the fact that Vegas is over and I have to get back to real life. Can’t. Just can’t.

– – – – – – – – – –

I had to have missed something, some things. Because this wasn’t all Vegas was, this isn’t all BiSC was to me. It was so much more, as you may have started to understand from my last two posts. I’ll never ever ever be able to tell y’all what BiSC REALLY was to me. It goes beyond words. It was me at my purest. It was the real Kaci, void of any masks or expectations. It was love.

BiSC and growth and perspective

I ate Starburst on my way home from work yesterday, loathing the fact that I wore real shoes and wasn’t lounging poolside in 90º weather.

I live about 9 miles from where I work, and it takes me anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes to get from A to B, depending on the weight of my foot that day. Life has been hard since my return from Vegas, but not (just) because I miss the pool and margaritas.

The word “tribe” was used at the farewell brunch, and I couldn’t agree more. When I got home from BiSC 2011, I told P that BiSCuits were “my people.”

BiSC 2013 only solidified that.

I think that what makes the transition back to real life so difficult is that I have so few of my people geographically near me. Pre-Vegas, I was okay with it – I didn’t love it, but I accepted it. It is what it is.

But post-Vegas?

Guys.

The four days I spent with my fellow BiSCuits reminded me what it’s like to be surrounded by people I LOVE and admire and look up to, to be surrounded by people who inspire me, who push me to be a better version of me. These people are the ones who have made me truly understand that it’s okay to have fun AND be a mom, which is a Big Fucking Deal because I judged myself so hard pre-Vegas.

So now I have a lot of thinking to do, deciding where I belong and if this is it.

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Because my town and my view might be pretty, but is it really mine?

I survived #BiSC 2013… and then some.

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I can’t even with the words right now.

I am back and recovering from the physical and emotional shit-storm that was Bloggers in Sin City.

Something in me has changed. Something subtle, but very real. I feel myself walking a little bit taller (which is great when you’re 5’1″) and holding my head a little higher (which is unexpected after a weekend in mother-effing VEGAS). I am more Kaci today than I was before Thursday.

This unconference has changed my life in ways I’m sure I haven’t even discovered yet. And while I have a series of posts about the trip planned, there are some things I need to say before I get to all of that.

First, I have to thank Nicole, Doni and Jamie for their amazingness in doing all the things for BiSC. You girls. I can’t.

But mostly, I need to talk a little more in general about my trip, my justification for it (not that I need to justify myself to y’all – but to justify it to myself) and basically just why the fuck I had to go.

I think it’s easy for new moms to completely devote themselves to their new life as a mom. Not “easy” as in “not a lot of work” or “not difficult to do,” but easy as in… that feels like what we should be. We feel like we must completely BE our new title, 100% of the time.

That’s bullshit.

Yes, I’m a mom. And I love you E, but…

I’m still Kaci. I still like to have fun and get dressed up and wear pretty things and laugh at ridiculous things. I still like to talk to other females about things that aren’t poopy diapers and crazy toddler antics.

I still have all of these feelings and likes and dislikes and thoughts and feelings about things that have nothing to do with being a mom. And that’s okay.

I’ve known that this is all okay, but it wasn’t until Katherine and I were talking about it in Vegas that I fully understood why I know it’s okay to still be me, to retain all the parts of myself that make me who I am.

If I lose myself, forget myself, and am nothing but about E all the time, all day, every day, forever and ever amen… the chances that E will learn that the world is NOT about E all the time, all day, every day forever and ever amen, are slim to none. How can I hope for him to grow into a kind, selfless, thoughtful man if I teach him now that my life is the E Show?

My family will always be The Most Important, but I have to remember Kaci. Which, is why I can say…

I love you E, but I went to Vegas.

GPOYW: The BiSC 2013 edition

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See also: FUCK YEAH.