1 Year- volunteered in Africa for a month
2 Year- Island Park- 4 wheeler rides though the back woods to Yellowstone and fishing
3 Year- Moab, river rafting and, of course, seeing all the parks
4 Year- Grand Canyon, Montezuma's Castle, and Wupatki National Monument
We've been so blessed and fortunate to have these amazing trips and for the memories that went with them. Every year I get so excited to plan our trip and this year, being our fifth, I thought this trip needed to be EXTRA special. It was, just not in the way I original thought. With Lincoln
Ryan and I had stayed at a hotel a block away from the beach last summer and it was the PERFECT location. With a short walk to the beach and grocery story, we hardly had to drive our entire trip. Naturally, we decided we should stay there again because it would be easy to go back and forth for Lincoln's naps.I took over tracking down the hotel and booking it for the weekend and that's where the first problem crept it's way into our perfect 5 year anniversary trip. I thought I had found it, but ended up booking a different place that was farther from the beach. Oops! It's okay....a short drive to and from the beach was totally do-able.
We arrived late Friday night and when we opened the door to our room, I'm pretty sure Ryan and I paused a few moments...neither of us wanted to step inside. Turns out there was no AC (next problem) and there was glass slit windows with one single fan to bring in cooler air. Luckily we brought an additional small fan for Lincoln (blessing). We got hit with a gust of hot musty smell (problem)... there is NO way THIS is the place we are spending our five year anniversary. Thank GOODNESS Lincoln had his own travel bed (blessing). Too bad his travel crib wasn't big enough for all three of us because I really didn't like the idea of laying on that bed (problem). I seriously laid a towel down on the bed and tried to touch the bare minimum.
We put Lincoln right to bed and quietly cursed the loud obnoxious people walking the streets. With the windows open, we could hear EVERYTHING (problem) and Lincoln kept waking up to the noise. The mother in me wanted to yell out the window to them, "I KNOW IT'S LABOR DAY WEEKEND, BUT CAN YOU GO BE LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS SOMEWHERE ELSE?! WE HAVE A SLEEPING BABY UP HERE!!!" We decided we would stay the night and find another place the following morning. Getting a refund was out of the question, we couldn't care less, but finding another place Labor Day weekend that was close to the beach, had vacancy and didn't cost an arm, a leg, and Lincoln's college tuition? Impossible. (Problem). Take a deep breath. We had worse conditions when we stayed in Africa, we can stay here for two more nights.
Our second night, after putting Lincoln down for bed, I started having a pitty-party with how the trip was turning out and feeling limited with celebrating with a baby who HAS to be in bed at 7pm. As I was riding my "high-horse" and complaining to Ryan, without hesitation he helped me off the "horse" and pointed out all the blessings we had right there at that moment. He showed me things that have made this trip imperfectly perfect. He's such a wise one and I felt so stupid for being so caught up on trivial things. That night went from a drag to the best anniversary trip ever. Here's my mental picture of our night I'll never forget:
My wonderful husband and I laying on the bed watching Netflix off Ryan's phone, eating a bag of cinnamon popcorn, a fan propping our door open to bring in the cool air, a teeny tiny view of the most beautiful sunset, and our precious baby sound asleep, who adjusted quickly to the cars, music, and loud people outside. We have Lincoln, Lincoln has us, and Ryan and I have each other. I was so grateful. It wasn't about where we went, it wasn't about what we did, or how fancy our hotel room was -- or lack there of. It was enjoying the blessings of my family and my husband who has always seen the good in everything. It was being grateful for the past year we have had and celebrating the next year to come.
I'm so grateful for him, for his love for me and our son, his dedication, his hard work, his closeness to God, his desire to protect and provide for our family, his patience with me and knowing me better than I know myself. He sees the good in all things and brings out the good in me. Thank you Ryan for making this trip my absolute favorite. I love you!
Oh, and thank you to the man in the speedo for adding an imperfection to what would have been a perfect 5 Year anniversary photo. It's quite appropriate and fitting actually. :)