Hello everyone! Sorry for the disappearing act over the last couple weeks, I have a good excuse...I promise. Remember how I said I hadn't done anything in preparation for Christmas this year? Well, that's kinda true. I didn't put up a tree...or deck the halls...or buy any presents. Instead, I bought plane tickets to St. John, USVI and left town! Christmas in the islands!
The photo above was the view from our the front deck of our house in Coral Bay. Not too shabby, huh? Months ago we decided that we'd like to skip Christmas (again) and head somewhere warm and sunny. Since this past summer was so miserably hot (and I was still recovering from birth and was delirious from sleep deprivation) we really didn't get to enjoy our summer or get out much. In order to fill our sunshine quota for the year and maximize our Vitamin D intake, we decided to spend 10 glorious days in the Caribbean over the holidays. We found a great house with a pool, hot tub and killer view, booked our flights, rented some baby gear, packed our bags and off we went! Ryan's parents joined us, so we weren't entirely devoid of family and full-on Grinchy over the holidays. It was great getting to spend time with them and so nice having a couple extra sets of hands to help with the baby.
In the weeks leading up to our trip, I started to feel a bit guilty about leaving town and missing out on all the traditional Christmas activities. We didn't put up a tree or hang any stockings. We didn't get to play in the snow. We didn't go driving around looking at Christmas lights. We didn't get to be Santa for the first time after the baby had gone to bed Christmas Eve. But we've got the rest of our lives to do all that, right? Mac doesn't know any better and I think the best present we could ever give him is a sense of adventure, a passport and 10 days of uninterrupted quality time with his parents and grandparents. You can't put that in a stocking! And fresh mahi fish tacos and mango daiquiris for Christmas dinner may be a new tradition in our household.
I do have to say that vacation with a baby is hard. Very hard, actually. That's probably a whole separate post/bitch-session. I have quite a bit to say on that subject that no one prepared me for. But the island was gorgeous, the weather was perfection and the beaches were ours for the taking.
Mac loved the water! He loved splashing and kicking and watching the waves. He also loved eating the sand and licking the salt off our shoulders! I have a feeling he's going to be a beach-loving kid, just like his daddy.
It was so wonderful to get away, but this time it was just as nice to get back home and back to our schedule and our lives. Traveling is hard on little dudes and just as hard on exhausted new parents. We arrived home to snow and freezing temperatures, but were kept nice and warm in bed that first night by two dogs and a cat that were beyond excited to see us. There's nothing like a pile of pets on top of you while you sleep to make you feel loved and missed.
We got home just in time to watch the ball drop on TV and have a couple glasses of champagne before crashing from pure exhaustion. We didn't have a lot of time to reflect on the past year that evening, but looking back, 2012 was a very good year for us. We were blessed with the sweetest, happiest, funniest, cutest kid on the planet who makes every single day fun and exciting. It was challenging and exhausting and wonderful all at the same time. We became parents. We grew up (kinda). Our marriage matured (or at least survived). Our hearts expanded. I absolutely cannot wait to see what 2013 brings us. So many more firsts to come, so many new places to go, so much to look forward to.
For some reason, making goals and resolutions just doesn't feel right this year. Lately I feel like I can barely keep my head above water, so I don't really want the added pressure that comes with making resolutions and forcing myself to stick with them. I need to cut myself some slack. So instead, I love the idea of choosing a word to apply to the year. One Little Word that sums up what you hope to do and be this year. I thought about this a lot and finally decided on the word EMBRACE. This is not my year to push myself, or challenge myself, or over-extend myself. I've had a few of those years and they're exhausting. Instead, this is my year to embrace life - hold my family and my baby close, to accept myself as I am, to be more welcoming and open, to love unconditionally, to live life in the moment and cherish each second. I'm excited about that.
So cheers to a new year, a new start, a fresh beginning!
I hope 2013 is absolutely freaking wonderful to you!
“Shells sink, dreams float. Life's good on our boat. ”
― Jimmy Buffett
― Jimmy Buffett