Return to Real Life
October 28, 2014


The name evokes images of paradise, beauty, warmth and the feeling of being a world away.

Russ and I returned this past weekend with our hearts overflowing from nearly three weeks of celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.

We’ve been planning this for almost two years and just like that we are home with our photographs and rich memories tucked in our hearts.

As parents it’s awkward to focus on “just us”. With a child who will always be dependent on us, it has become more imperative to set aside time to feed our marriage. In turn, Allison now has rested parents who are excited to be home and able to face the coming days with more energy and vitality.

The truth is, I never dreamed of visiting the Islands. I didn’t have anything against them. It just wasn’t on my top ten list. The truth is, my top ten list is out of my reach at this time. Having a child with multiple disabilities doesn’t allow two parents to travel more than a day away at the same time. When it came time to plan, we asked an expert and decided to be creative.

With an over scheduled life we weren’t interested in an over scheduled honeymoon. We wanted to rest, reconnect and celebrate a milestone that at one time neither of us thought we would reach.

We expected amazing views, warms weather, blue oceans and clean beaches. What I didn’t expect was to come home with an ever deeper love for this man than I left with.

Let’s face it, vacations often have high expectations of grand adventures. We leave home hoping to get our money’s worth and more. As a home maker I am always concerned about getting my “my money’s worth”. Splurging is for someone else and the urge to be a tightwad spills over into all areas. Thanks to my husband, his wise planning and his commitment to give this celebration the honor is deserves, I was able to just enjoy being pampered.

We visited the fancy french bistro the night before was a great idea. At the french bistro I wore my vow renewal dress, sat in a fancy cloth booth and dined on duck.

On the night of our anniversary we booked a Brazilian churascarria. In case your not familiar with a churascarria, it’s a steakhouse with a twist. Passadores (meat waiters) go from table to table with beautifully grilled meat on a sword. They stop by, explaining what they have and offer you a serving.

Earlier in the afternoon Russ encouraged me to visit the on-board spa for a wash and blow-out. After four days of salt and sand from body surfing and snorkeling, my hair needed extra attention. Better than that, to sit in a salon and feel pampered was the best part of the treatment.

jem Anniversary

Returning to the room, I threw on a new black and white dress, splashed on my red lipstick and headed to dinner with a fresh sassy hairdo. The best part about it was hanging on the arm of a man who couldn’t take his eyes off of me.

It was a great experience and the staff was exceptional. They went out of their way to celebrate our anniversary and made it unforgettable.

I’m still unfolding the beauty of this past month. A vow renewal ceremony with friends, a weekend with family and two weeks dedicated to giving honor to our marriage.

the way he looks at me

Now that we are home, Allison’s bathroom is gutted and finally becoming an accessible bathroom. Russ is back at the office and ministry is in full swing and I’ve even contemplated taking a few sub jobs this week (I’m in a coffee shop writing instead).

My point? Life was still here when we returned but stepping backgave us the strength to face it all head on with new perspective. I think we hold hands a little more and make time for sunrises and sunsets. Our smiles are bigger, sighs are deeper and our souls are satisfied.


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