Lathe Lavada - Edition 8




A CHANCE MEETING The 10th Anniversary of Meeting My Wife

A word of advice for would-be valentine shoppers: If your significant other says they don’t want chocolates or flowers next year, still get them something. My wife tells me every year that she doesn’t need a Valentine’s Day present, but I’ve long since learned that this doesn’t mean she wouldn’t like one. After all, Feb. 14 isn’t about your needs; it’s about taking time to celebrate what you have together. Marites and I certainly have a lot to celebrate. Not only are we in the middle of the month we celebrate love, we’re also approaching the 10th anniversary of when we met! Looking over the past decade we’ve spent together, it’s hard to believe that Marites and I almost never crossed paths in the first place. Fortunately enough, our lucky meeting happened on St. Patrick's Day. It was 2009, and a good friend from my time spent in Hawaii had come to visit. Of course, after flying all the way to Vegas, this buddy of mine wanted to get the full experience and hit the strip. At this point, I’d called Las Vegas home for about three years and had long since put my clubbing days behind me. But my friend was insistent; it was St. Patrick's Day, after all. Eventually I relented and took him to one of my old favorite dance clubs. Looking back, I’m sure glad I did. What I remember noticing first about Marites was her smile. Amid the flashing lights of the dance floor, it

shone through, warm and full of joy. I thought to myself, I need to go talk to this person — so I did. She was understandably shy at first; Vegas clubs aren’t exactly known for being a great place to meet stand-up gentlemen. But after chatting for a bit and explaining that this was not my regular weekend routine, she gave me her number. It’s amazing what can grow out of a single chance meeting. In the dates that followed, I got to know more about the woman behind the incredible smile I’d seen that night, and our relationship blossomed. I learned that she was incredibly giving, almost to a fault. I’ve never met a more generous person. And the more we talked, the more we found we had in common. Despite having grown up on opposite ends of the earth, this Idaho boy and Filipino girl had both grown up to want to be loving, providing parents. The advice I give to new couples or those just starting to get serious is to know where their non-negotiable points stand. All relationships are negotiations in some way as you and your partner work to bring your lives in line with one another. So long as you are clear on where you are willing to be flexible and where you aren’t, you can know early on if you both have what it takes for a long- lasting partnership. Being honest with yourself and your significant other is the most important part.

For me, my litmus test for the person I wanted to spend my life with was someone who’d be an equal partner in providing a stable upbringing for our children. My own tumultuous childhood taught me the value of having two nurturing parents in the picture. Marites shares these convictions, coming from a hard childhood herself. Together, we set off on the adventure of a lifetime, raising our own family. As any parent can surely attest, nothing tests your mettle like raising children. There are so many aspects of the job that they just don’t teach in school — it’s a stressful, messy learning experience. But I can say with certainty that if you build your relationship on love and understanding, any challenge can be overcome. I’m incredibly lucky to have such a strong and loving woman by my side through all the challenges of being both a parent and a business owner. Today, 10 years after that chance St. Patrick’s Day meeting, Marites and I have two beautiful, happy children I get to be with every day. Best of all, my daughter and son both have their mother’s smile.

Here’s to those we love most,

Lathe Lavada

1 702-476-2000

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