Along the journey of trying to start a family, it is easy to forget to live life. It's easy to say "we don't have the money," "what if I'm pregnant by then," "we can't plan too far ahead because we don't know when we will get to have our baby." It's easy to place the priority on trying to make a baby...and it's easy to get sucked into living in misery while you watch the months and years pass by as your dream of becoming parents seems to get further and further away. Learning to still enjoy life is hard when creating a family and fulfilling your dream of being a mother and father to a precious little baby doesn't come easy.
Sometimes I like to think someone up there in the great big sky knew our journey wasn't going to be easy. And that person knew if we didn't buy our Time Share before we got married we would have never been able to go on vacations. We wouldn't be able to get away from our stressful life to enjoy each other. We wouldn't have been able to squeeze out the extra money it takes to afford a 5-7 day vacation.
Fortunately for us we made an investment in taking vacations before we learned what married life was going to have in store for us. Since owning our Time Share, we have been able to go to Virginia for our 1 year anniversary, on a cruise for my 27th birthday, to New York City for our 2nd anniversary (and to see a fertility specialist), and to Tennessee this past week. We have a vacation planned in May 2016 to go to the Dominican Republic as well. I am very thankful we have something that forces us to take time away to simply enjoy life together.
At the beginning of this year we had more points, bonus weeks, and vacation certificates than we knew what to do with. We decided we wanted to go on a vacation before Baby M comes in August (or maybe July) but I didn't want to be out of the state after 20 weeks in case something happens to go wrong again. Even though I am pregnant now and all seems to be going well, with my pregnancy history it is still easy to find reasons why we can't go certain places or do certain things and travel a certain ways. We came up with a simple trip to the Pigeon Forge, TN area...a 6 hour drive and somewhere my husband has always wanted to see. Our trip was planned March 1-8th because next weekend we have our niece and nephew's birthday parties...and after that I will be 20 weeks.
March 1st is typically a sad day for me. It's the day we said hello and good-bye to our first daughter, Riley Grace, 7 years ago. This year I had moments of flashbacks to that day just like I do every year. And I cried....just like I do every year. But it was nice to be able to get away during a time that is normally consumed with thoughts of what went wrong and memories of burying our daughter. It was also nice to be able to spend time with my sister and niece who spent three nights with us to celebrate my niece's big 5th birthday. I'm glad they came....it was the first time my niece has been on vacation and has been outside of Ohio, and the first time my sister has taken a vacation in probably two years. They both deserved the time away from work, school, and the cold weather. I've been preaching to my sister for years that she needs to take her daughter on vacation and needs to use her time off work for an actual vacation instead of going out with her friends here and there. Making memories with family is the most special gift we can give each other so I am glad we were able to make memories with the two most important people in my life.
Here's some of the memories we made together:
March 2, 2015-Raegan's 5th Birthday
March 3, 2015-Exploring the Smokey Mountains
March 3, 2015- Fun in the Arcade Photobooth
March 4, 2015-Raegan's 1st time on a Go-Cart!
March 4, 2015-Raegan and Ashley at Dick's Last Resort in Gatlinburg
March 4, 2015-Raegan at Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg
While in Tennessee we enjoyed swimming, exploring the mountains, watching the Dixie Stampede, playing in an arcade, riding go-carts (I even took a few laps around the track), walking the streets of Gatlinburg, taste-testing wine (Alex only) and moonshine (Alex and Ashley), viewing the sharks and penguins at the aquarium, shopping, and one day of total relaxation with watching movies. The weather was beautiful on Tuesday and Wednesday but started to get bad on Thursday. We checked out and went home on Friday instead of today because it was just as warm if not warmer back in Ohio over the weekend and I was really wanting to go to my friend's baby shower yesterday. Plus I was ready to get home to my doppler to check for Baby M's heartbeat since I hadn't been feeling much of any movement this week. Fortunately I found the heart beat right away and it was strong and steady. Baby M must have thought he or she was on vacation/relaxation mode too! My husband was ready to get home and get back to work on our house projects since the past couple of weekends have been spent getting our other house (rental property) together so we could put it on the market this week. He's made a lot of progress on the bathroom-walls are painted and everything is finally prepped to begin tiling this week! The five days away were just what we needed to regain motivation to get this house ready for Baby M and to rock the last half of this pregnancy!