It’s been a few weeks since we returned from our anniversary vacation/babymoon on Anna Maria Island, FL. We meant to update everyone on it earlier but between allergy season, a couple cases of the common cold, a promotion, schedule changes and pregnancy/life in general time got the better of us. It’s never too late though, right? Right. So were going to tell yall about it today! 🙂
Every year for our wedding anniversary we have been blessed enough to go away somewhere together, and whether it’s near or far we always have a fantastic time, mainly because we find it’s a great way for us to slow down and recalibrate our hearts together towards God’s vision for our family as well as savor all that God has done in the past year through our marriage… And this year there was a lot to savor! 🙂
We left on Saturday, August 15th and came home on the 23rd. Besides our honeymoon this is the first time we have been away for this long just the two of us. We’ve been able to take long weekends and five day trips alone but never anything longer then that. Unlike our honeymoon, and trips we have planned in the past though, we really wanted to just relax and not have any set in stone plans so we could have a lot of downtime just to be together. That is definitely what made this trip so wonderful, memorable and romantic. Normally we would have places to be and people to see but instead the only place we had to see was the waters horizon and the only people we wanted to see was each other. Don’t get us wrong, we love visiting with family and getting to try out new things, but there is a time and place for everything, and when we were planning this specific trip we really felt God telling us now is a time a place for rest and togetherness, before a new season in our marriage and family sets in.
Originally, we were planning a trip to Ireland for our anniversary this year, but then we found out we were expecting and therefore decided to forego the whole international excursion and stick with something state side for safety precautions. We thought about taking a road trip through New England, which is on our bucket list, but the thought of spending so much time in a car, hopping from one destination to the next while pregnant didn’t really sounds like the best idea. We love road trips but we wanted to be able to get to a destination and then stay there for a while without the stress of feeling like we had to be on the road at certain time to make it to the next stop. Plus, we felt that would kind of defeat the whole purpose in being able to fully unwind if we were constantly having to be on the go. So we started asking friends and family members if anyone knew of any super relaxing places to go that was only a days drive away and thats when we came across Anna Maria Island, FL. Everyone we talked to told us of how down to earth, easy going and family friendly the culture was there. That it was just a quaint, sleepy little beach town where locals rode their bikes or the trolly to the store and everything shut down by dusk and the main attraction were the beautiful sunsets that you could watch go down over the oceans horizon. Neither of us had ever been there before and after hearing how serene it sounded we decided it was just the place to get away from it all for the week! So we packed our bags and headed South!
Instead of staying in a hotel we decided to rent a beach cottage so could cook some of our own meals, plus it was only a 5 minute walk to the ocean! It was the most adorable little one bedroom, one bathroom cottage that really did become our home away from home while we were there.
Each morning we woke up without an alarm clock and spent our afternoons lazily laying on the beach underneath the warm suns rays sipping Virgin Pina Colada’s (for Blair) and a couple Jack and Cokes (for Matt) while our toes rested in the white sand and we looked out at the gorgeous crystal clear water as we read books and talked about anything and everything. Some evenings were spent eating dinner in and others we went out to try some of the local Seafood restaurants, but every night no matter what we did we ended up back down at the waters edge strolling along the shore and watching the golden sun melt into the water.
It was all so nice. We really used that time to soak in every second of being alone on the beach together because we know next time we go to the beach will be much different. It will be new and exciting and wonderful in it’s own right but very different. lol There wont just be two sets of foot prints in the sand, but three! We won’t be able to just sit in our beach chairs quietly reading but instead we’ll be exploring the beauty of the ocean, things that we already know, love and cherish, with our little Sweet P for her first time! There will definitely be more action, more fullness, and more to be amazed by and thankful for. And in that way, this new season will be better then the one we are leaving behind because it is the next step in our life that God is calling us into.
Were sure there will be other trips to take in the future for just the two of us but for now this new season will be more about discipling this little one The Lord has chosen to specifically put in our care. It will be about showing her who Jesus is through our dedicated daily love to each other and to her and raising her up to point her to Him and the path He has set for her to go.
So we savored that much needed time together. We took it in slowly and didn’t allow the time we had together to get away with making plans and busyness but instead we rested. We enjoyed it so much so that we both agreed it was by far the best vacation we have ever taken, yes, even better than the Honeymoon and the honeymoon was a pretty hard one to beat! Guess that just goes to show that marriage, and life in general, is something that gets sweeter with each passing year. Therefore we know that even though this vacation and the memories we made were the best so far, the ones to come in the future will be better yet because with each knew season we are growing and changing and becoming more of who we are meant to be.
Much love & prayer,
Matt & Blair