Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ten Years

It's crazy to think that I've been married for an entire decade. Wasn't it just the early 2000's just the other day? Even though I was pretty young when I made that pivotal decision, I can honestly say ten years later that it was the best one I've ever made. For us, the decision to get married so quickly was based on faith. We were head over heels in love with each other, but there was also a much deeper yearning- to follow the Spirit that we'd both felt, telling us both that this was right. Now, ten years later, we know each other - and ourselves - a lot better, we've seen each other at our best and at our worst, and we've never been happier. I didn't think that was even possible.
I have also learned in these ten years of marriage that for better or worse, I'm a fierce mother bear. I have a really hard time being away from my kids, ever. I've almost always arranged for babysitting after the kids are in bed (and those times are more rare than I'd like to admit!), and when I do leave them, it's hard to really relax. That's partly why we thought it was important for this anniversary for us to get away- just the two of us, for as long as I could feasibly manage. In our case, that ended up being four nights, five days. Paul made all of the arrangements on the vacation end, and I made all of the preparations on this end- basically drumming up any possible could-go-wrong scenario and ensuring there was a back up plan. Paul's sister agreed to watch our kids for us, which was hugely helpful in getting me to let go.
We decided on Costa Rica, based on some friends' recommendations, and we were so glad we did! It was nearly the same time zone (so reduced travel and jet-lag), it felt pretty safe and friendly, and it was WARM. I mistakenly assumed my passport was still valid until a couple of days before Christmas when I double checked. Turns out that honeymoon trip we took to Mexico was TEN years ago, same as the expiration date on a passport...duh! So I had to scramble to get a new one. On Christmas Eve, I expedited all of my paper work out to a company that gets paid the big bucks to turn them around in a matter of days. Since it was during the holidays, we were really under a serious time crunch to get those back. But it all worked out!

So, on to the good stuff. Pictures!
We left early early Monday morning, and had a long layover in Miami. We killed time calling family, eating sushi, and finding our favorite perfume (I have never done that before, and now I think I could possibly have my own scent! I felt so grown up. Ha!).
We got to the resort that night, and wandered down to the ocean after a nice dinner.
When we got to our room, we were greeted by this little crab. Kind of funny....ish. He found his way home outside again pretty quickly with a little assistance from us. Another funny quirk about our room was the noisy gurgling toilet. Apparently, all the big resorts down there have their own water processing plants, and since our room was on the bottom floor, we probably saw a lot of the pressure relieving or something. We should have switched rooms, but we just let it go and enjoyed some good belly laughs over it.
The first full day in Costa Rica was Tuesday. We had fun relaxing by the pool, reading, sipping tropical drinks and occasionally posing for the photographers who actually did get some nice shots of us. Unfortunately that swimsuit made me look naked in half of them...awkward!
I got a massage and a manicure too that day, and we spent some time exploring down by the beach. 
The next day was Wednesday, and we took a full day driving out to a big river to go white water rafting. I think we were going down the 12-foot drop here. It was so much fun! 
On our way back, we stopped by a waterfall and just enjoyed the beauty there. I had already dried off, so I didn't get in. 
Paul on the other hand, just couldn't say no. 
Our travel guy, Christian, was really awesome. He was the one who greeted us at the airport, and made all the arrangements for our day trips. I was so impressed by how many people spoke English there, and how friendly everyone was. I wish America was a little more that way.
 We started off on Thursday on the zip lines.
 They were a lot of fun!
Turns out those huge gloves and helmets were pretty useful. I realized this when my helmet started skidding against the wire on my way down.
 Then we repelled down to a little platform so we could "rock climb." It was kind of a joke though, with all the hand holds, and the guy at the top practically pulling me up the whole way.
 I think they let Paul actually climb some of it though.
The horse riding segment was interesting. I don't have any confidence in that area, and my horse knew it. Paul didn't either (can you tell from the picture?! haha), and he got quite a wild ride! His horse was insane! 
Then we had another trip down a different river, this time on tubes. It was mostly drifting and bumping over some good size rapids, but there were some points where we had to go down using ropes and hand holds. 
 I love rivers so much! They were probably the most fun for us, so I'm glad we got to do it twice.
 We ended the day at the "spa" there, where we painted each other in the "special" exfoliating volcanic mud and took a dip in the hot springs. I could not stop laughing while I was getting painted, so I got some in my mouth. Thanks a lot, Paul. ;)
We spent our last evening back at the resort after finding a few good souvenirs for the kids. That last pina colada was perfection (and so were the faces Paul was making at me). I've got to start learning how to make those (pina coladas, I mean). No excuse.
We watched our last sunset over the beach, then made our way up to the lounge chairs by the pool where we'd watch the stars come out every night. It was crazy how black the sky was, and how many stars you could see! It was also strange not being able to see the big dipper, which has always been my one standby constellation I can find.
The next morning (Friday) we took our time swimming in the ocean and the pool before saying our goodbyes. The trip home was a lot more lengthy and stressful, but no flights were missed, so we were fine. We saw the kids the next morning (on Saturday), and it was a happy reunion! Lydia wasn't even mad at me! Abby did such a good job with all of our kids and hers ALL BY HERSELF all week! She was the real star of the show.
I am so, so grateful we could do this. In some ways, it was a real sacrifice to make it happen, but it felt good to celebrate our marriage in a meaningful way. And hopefully it won't take us another ten years to do it again!