After I graduated in 1998, I moved to the bright light sin city and continued the vocation I had begun in high school – construction accounting. In the ten years I spent in this field, I continued my education, learning about contracts, contract billing, insurance, human resources and payroll among many other things. I picked up new skills in Microsoft’s Word and Excel programs, learned how to use an AS400 computer system and helped one company for which I worked improve their proprietary billing program. Two of the areas that I had been immensely interested in my high school years – accounting and computer programming – were now taking a front and center role in my career.
Life in Vegas was quite enchanting! I got involved with the college age singles group at a large local church and I hung out with them on a very regular basis for about the first two years in Vegas. We did things like play broomball (like hockey only with brooms and in tennis shoes…on the ice) at the skating rink at the Santa Fe Station casino at midnight – because that is when the ice was free; hike up to the frozen Mary Jane Falls on Mt. Charleston in November at five o’clock at night and hike back down in the dark; hang out in each other’s apartments studying the Bible. Those first two years were so much fun. I was enjoying my career, hanging out with a mostly Christian crowd and really enjoying life in sin city.
It was my first move out of sin city, believe it or not, when I first began to slide down the slippery slope of sowing those infamous wild oats. During a brief, six month move to my home state of New Mexico I found it hard to get involved in community with the local church which turned into a convenient excuse to hang out more with my work buddies – at the local bar. Conveniently, even though I wouldn’t turn twenty-one until about two months before I left Albuquerque, one of our buddies was a nephew of the bar owner, so I never had any trouble getting in.
The funny thing about those wild oats is that it takes a while from sowing to reaping. I moved back to Vegas, got involved again with church activities and continued working in my chosen field. A whole lot happened in the nearly five years that passed from the time I moved back to Albuquerque until I moved back in with my parents, but all of the stories from that time would fill a book, so in the interest of saving space here on this blog, I’ll give you the Cliff Notes: Someone I met in Albuquerque came in and out of my life; I got engaged to be married to him; he left me shortly after our engagement for someone else; in pain and anger, I acted out; I got pregnant; I moved home to live with my parents.
Being a Mama was more fantastic than I had ever imagined. My beautiful little girl weighed in at 9 lbs. even on her birth day. I was instantly smitten with this brown haired, brown eyed beauty. And my parents were of course in love with her, too I found a part-time job in…you guessed it…construction accounting and the four of us settled into a routine. And I prayed every night that God would send my little girl the daddy she so desperately needed.
Hang in there for one more blog! We’re coming into the home stretch now!
*My title today is a respectful nod to the King – Elvis who passed away on this day in 1977. This line from his song, “Viva Las Vegas” seemed especially appropriate!