I wanted to blog a little bit about my vacation with Nick. Not necessarily what we did, because honestly there isn't very many exciting stories to tell. But more about what this trip represented to me and the things God did in my heart in preparing for it and during the time.
Ever since our 10 year anniversary, I fell into a hole that I felt like if I tried to do anything, organize anything plan for anything, it would all crumble and fall apart. Because in a way, my life did. Starting with Mal's infection leading to a surgery 3 days after our 10 year anniversary, sickness after sickness came into our home. My twins were also super clingy to me, and I had a fear of leaving them with anyone at that point.
I had fears in my life.
Fears of going away some where with Nick and both of us dying and leaving our kids without parents. That was a definite fear, that I decided in my head it was not worth Nick and I going anywhere away together, because I would not want to leave my kids with no parents. September 11th happened 5 days before our 1 year anniversary.
Fears of tsunamis. Those close to me, know that it is a real fear. I go to the beach, and I am looking for the quickest evacuation routes to get to the highest spot. This fear came from the Japan tsunami... which is where my grandma is from, and I figured, I would not want to go to a beach like that for a long period. Because if there was a tsunami and no way of escape, we would leave our children with no parents.
Fears of things falling apart last minute. If we planned something, what if one of our kids got sick, and we had to cancel plans again. What if something happened to a family member... what if what if what if... because that was what happened in our ten year anniversary. We had our plans of going down to Disneyland with our family not happen together, because Mallory got sick.
Then I have had hard family stuff that I have had to witness and walk along side of. Things that almost brought me to the point of mental breakdown.
So because of those fears I would say no. Or I would say no to Nick and I together. I had no problem with him going away, or me going away, just as long as one of us was home with our kids, because to me no sacrifice would be worth it to leave our kids without parents.
Since January I have been working with God in a lot of these areas. One day my mom mentioned to me how her and dad saw this movie called Parental Guidance. They said they loved it and we should go see it. It had been such a long time since Nick and I had gone to see a decent movie together, so I planned a last minute date night, and off we went.
God used that movie to plant the seed in me of retrying to do our ten year anniversary. Without going into all the details of the story, there is a scene where the mom is talking to her daughter, and telling her husband's dream with his job was coming true, and part of his dream was having him there with him, to celebrate it together as he received his reward (away from their kids). It hit me that night. Nick's dream was to have his wife there with him, living life with him, and dreaming dreams with him, not just be the woman that takes care of their children. I wanted to get back into position of being Nick's wife first and then my kid's mom. And I wanted to go on a trip, just me and him. I mean really truly, what husband wouldn't want to go on a trip with his wife without kids, right??
So once we saw how much bonuses and tax returns were going to be, God laid it on my heart to start dreaming up a dream for us to go away. I knew it couldn't be frivolous. And I knew it wasn't time for a busy trip filled with sight seeing (New York will have to wait:). The purpose and design of this trip was to rest and be refreshed, just me, Nick and God. I kept looking into different options, but they added up pretty quick. Of course there was the matter of who would care for our four children.
I mentioned the idea to our amazing neighbors Josh and Maddy, who I am so grateful for the gift God gave us in moving them two houses down from us, and they both very enthusiastically offered to watch our kids for us. I was so amazed at the provision of that. Then I talked to my mom and she would be willing to take the twins, and things began to fall together.
God brought the idea of Mexico to me, through a friend who suggested it. God laid a specific weekend on my heart, that ended up being a great time to go cost wise. I started to doubt it though, and wonder if maybe we should plan something different, or maybe another weekend, but every time I thought about it, that was the weekend God impressed strongly on my heart. So I figured I shouldn't fight God on it anymore. We confirmed things up with Josh and Maddy, and my mom. Then we booked our trip.
We hit March, and little fears began to enter my mind. My mom wasn't feeling well one weekend, and I started to get afraid that maybe her taking the girls would be too much for her. After talking to my dad a little bit more and realizing he was going to be working nights when she had them, my fears started to take hold that maybe it wouldn't work. But God came along side me, and reminded me of so many people that cared about us. So I sent out an email asking for scheduled play dates for my girls to have during the days, to give my mom breaks. Within a few days I had several friends offer playdates, and even back ups that I could offer my mom.
We came to the beginning of April, and my grandpa had a heart attack the day before Easter. He was in the hospital for over a week, and my parents focus became very much on what needed to be happening there for my grandma and my grandpa. And I began to be very concerned that my parents watching my twins would be too much for them. Fear began to grip my heart because I didn't know what was going to happen with anything there. Once again an unknown from health issues meant we didn't know what to do. God kept telling me not to worry. That He wanted us to go on this trip. And deep down I knew that was right, but still I struggled with fear, instead of focusing on how to be helping my parents more when they were going through everything. I talked to Nick and he said we were going, and not to worry. Then he talked to my parents and made sure we weren't adding too much to their already full plate. They graciously and willingly still were going to take the twins, and I hunted down more amazing friends who were willing to watch the girls on a moment's notice if something came up at the hospital and my parents needed to hand them off.
By the time the week arrived, I remember looking on facebook to see how my friend Carissa was doing on her marathon, and to my shock saw a post that she had written about a bomb in Boston. My eyes were glued to the television that day and an all too familiar reminder of how I felt when September 11th came into my mind.
But I had to remind myself that God had this covered. He wanted us to go. He had worked out all the details. Now all I needed to do was pack up things for my family and prepare to go.
And we went. And we came back, and guess what we didn't die and our kids still have both of their parents. And my conclusion from the time, is that it is so much more fun to be able to go away once you have kids, because you appreciate it so much more. Nothing is taken for granted. You recognize every second together is peaceful and not meant to be wasted. Even in reflection of it, His timing was perfect. My grandpa was at a point that he was doing okay, and my dad had taken time off for that and was not working nights, so the twins ended up not being too much of an extra stress for them. I think about that, and if it had been any other weekend in April, this trip would not have worked out well at all. But really listening to what God had impressed upon my heart when the planning started, was really a secure place to fall as I watched the trip come to fruition. Little things like our neighbors having a roommate moving in, that happened to be gone house sitting the weekend our older kids were scheduled to be there. He had the big picture in mind when this happened and there was NO reason for any fear or worry. Just resting and trusting... oh why did I ever worry?
Nothing in the world could compare to this time we had just the three of us. We enjoyed talking and reading books, and sitting by the pool or watching Nick enjoy swimming in the pool (I'm a silly girl and don't like to get my hair that takes an hour to get straight with the flat iron all wet). We only had a half hour of wifi every day so there was no pressure of emails or texts or phone calls coming in through out the day, which actually was a really nice break. We tasted amazing Mexican food, and found little gifts for our kids to bring them. Nick let me cry through some things that were hurting and needing to be cried through. We drove into town on Sunday morning at 10:45 and passed right by an English speaking Bible church that had a service starting at 11, so we decided to attend which was very fun. We went to the ocean, we drove around in our little car and even found a restaurant that Jodi Stilp had recommended to me when we were driving by.
And there was no need to fear. That was not what this time away was designed for. I caught up on much needed sleep, and woke up to no alarms (or no Mallory's) for 4 mornings in a row. I ate by a restaurant that had waves coming very close to it, and had a beautiful Hispanic lady bring me a blanket to keep me warm in the cool night. And although I was aware of my surroundings and possible tsunami issues, I rested in God.
So I just wanted to take the time to say thank you to God who is our Provider. And thank you to all my friends and family who blessed us so richly by loving our children for us while we were away. You all were a part of the gift of showering God's love on us and we could not have done this trip without everyone involved.
And I would like to suggest to those that are married, if down the road, God brings you to a season in your life, that He might prompt you and your spouse to go away for a trip just the three of you, I strongly advise following that prompting and cherish every moment!