What I didn't write about or even talk about was that those were the years we were trying to conceive. In terms of fun, we had a lot of it in those two years, especially because each trip began with the exotic notion that maybe our baby will be conceived in....Singapore, Guam, Tokyo, Hawaii, Germany, California, Arizona, Texas....
We are both practical people, so when it comes to gift-giving, we just plan a trip in lieu of a gift. Really, people who speak gift-giving as their primary love language are baffled by this, but it makes perfect sense to us. We would rather spend the money making memories on a getaway than to fill our lives, closets, garages with stuff.
Our lives changed in October 2008, when the pregnancy test came back positive. It turned inside out when we learned we were expecting twins.
It turned upside down when they came early at 35 weeks in May 2009. Two little miracles that we felt undeservedly chosen to love.
Our twin boys were the best thing that had ever happened to us. The most thrilling, exciting, mind-numbing, bone-weary, exhausting thing that had ever happened to us. But we determined they wouldn't slow us down. We would still travel, taking our new comrades along.
That's when I started writing on the blog, and changed the old travel site to become a kind of family update/family adventure blog.
M and N boarded their first plane at age 2 months, Minneapolis to Michigan. We took them back every 6-8 weeks the first 6 months of their lives. That was so easy, we decided to take them to Hawaii, along with my mother in law and sister in law. To prove to our future selves were also completely delirious, we also took them to St. Maartin in December 2009!
We were so proud of ourselves...see, even TWINS can't crush our travel plans!
We continued the insanity, taking them to Tennessee for a family vacation with my parents in 2010, at age 13 months, still flying to Michigan for every holiday as well as the twins' birthdays.
They turned two in May 2011. We took them to North Carolina the next month in order to attend a friend's wedding, one who was a bridesmaid for me.
I probably blogged about what a fine adventure it was, but it was not. It was our wake up call. Traveling with one year old twins the summer before had been challenging, and we were proud to have done it. Traveling with two year old twins was something altogether different. It clipped our wings.
No more trips, we decided. Just back and forth to Michigan for family visits, we said. The travel blog became an update blog for friends and family and my world got a little smaller- groceries, Sunday church, library story time and Early childhood classes were the extent of our adventures.
The twins were 2 years and 3 months old when we learned baby C was on his way.
Each day my belly grew bigger and my patience thinner; our trips to France and Italy together seemed as ancient as Rome and Paris themselves. I began to wonder if they had really happened, or had I just dreamed them?
Would we ever see the day we'd pack up our little buddies and show them the world, like we'd planned? Oh, the ideas we had, the things we thought we could do! We'd stay up late, talk about all the places we'd take our kids, we'd make them little world travelers! Before we had them, of course....Having 3 kids in 3 years will take your breath away.
We decided to tame things down a bit. Our families visited us for stay-cations. We vacationed in Michigan with our families the last two summers. We didn't mind, and it IS a relief to drive rather than fly with potty training children.
Since C was born 18 months ago, we've only gotten away as a couple for two nights to northern Michigan. But my smart husband has been holding an ace in his pocket for nearly a year: a 4th quarter business trip to Maui.
He's been holding it, waiting for things to settle after the move, waiting for C to be weaned at his first birthday, waiting for an open weekend in the busy fourth quarter of the year when our moms were able to watch ALL 3 boys.
To take me to Maui, just the two of us.
To fly again, to be our old selves- the fun ones who go stand up paddle boarding at 8am, who pay exorbitant amounts of money to eat organic coconut milk ice cream for lunch on the road to Hana, who stay up late talking about the future and planning trips in it.
For the first time in two and a half years, we are talking about taking the kids on a trip next year, the kind of trip I think they will, around their 5th birthday, remember.
I'm not sure what excites me more today, traveling again with my adventure buddy of 11 years, or planning a future trip with our kids. Mostly my heart is full of gratitude to God for the love of a good man who has stood with me through the tough years of trying to conceive, then the crazy years of having a lot of babies very quickly, and now the still crazy years of two preschoolers plus one toddler.
Nobody asked us if we were honeymooners this week, like used to happen in romantic destinations. Perhaps 11 years show on us...a bit of leftover baby belly, a grey hair on Hubs's head are telltale signs, I suppose. I think he gets more handsome every year, though. We are a far cry now from the kids we were on our wedding day in 2002, but oh the adventures we've had!
And will continue to have, with the grace of God and our little adventure buddies by our sides. Stay tuned for all bloggy adventures!