Love Her, but Leave Her Wild…

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Confession:  I went on a vacation last week.

Yet, the word vacation doesn’t seem appropriate.

Vacation means a getaway, an escape from something.

When someone says, “I need a vacation,” most have a picture trapped inside their head, their minds cutting straight to the scene of themselves relaxing on the beach.  (yes, I’m most minds)

And yes, I did commit the standard cliché on my getaway.

Several times, I found my bikini clad body burrowed against the warm, coarse sand, my skin being kissed by the burning sun.  I laid upon the shore absorbing the feel of sea air gently rippling over my legs, my arms, my face, while the chorus of crashing waves sang to me.  The whole experience lulled me into complete relaxation.  And it was glorious.

But this was only one small vacation part of such a vast adventure.

The word adventure rolls off my tongue better.  It sounds exciting, maybe even clandestine.  The word adventure leaves me curious…

It makes me want to ask questions.  Where will you go on this adventure?  What does an adventure entail?  Will you find something?  Are you even seeking anything?

My truth, an adventure is a place where you can discover pieces of yourself.

I had an adventure.

I could write an endless chapter describing all the things I discovered while in paradise (also known as the island of Maui) during my seven-day stay, but I’ve got mountains of laundry to finish, bills to be paid (hello reality), so I will just note some highlight feelings.

  • First, I fear flying…but the act of shamelessly holding my sister-in-laws hand felt like a safety lifeline.  God Bless her hand holding.  Here is where I proclaim that I know without doubt that she loves me, because she is not a hand holder.  (also squealing in lieu of crying, mixed with copious amounts of fruity sunset drinks, helped me cope with the plane anxiety, it also made others loudly laugh at me–I’m glad my anxiety serves a happy purpose).  IMG_5204
  • I went on this trip with my mother-in-law, her sister, and my sister-in-law.  This adventure deepened my love for women.  This trip felt like a sleepover with your very best friend, three-fold.  I’ve always known how beautiful women are, but this secluded time–carved out of our busy lives–made me appreciate the softness inked with bold undertones women possess too.  How vivacious our souls truly are in the company of women who simply adore other women.  It was a connection forever imprinted upon me.  Women need this bond with one another.  IMG_5827
  • It gave me an appreciation for the happiness garnered through nature.  The way the mere sight of the ocean and tropical covered mountains can breathe life into your very being.  How the smells of salted air, the peppered aroma of plants laced with the subtle hints of floral both awaken your senses and yet, slow time down.FullSizeRender-2
  • It was being alive, feeling your heart beat faster as you hiked through paths not easily traveled to wind up on the other side of the mountain, your eyes laying claim to a gorgeous lagoon.  It was gliding down a zip-line screaming so loudly your lungs ached, but feeling the rush of invincibility–living beyond the moment, crushing your fear, tasting wicked courage and adrenaline on your tongue.  IMG_0033
  • It was allowing yourself to be comforted by the vastness of this Earth.  Everyday comfort zones of our life can allow our problems, our trials to feel so large.  When you go somewhere outside your comfort zone–like the shore of a beach and feel the strength of a tide, water rapidly being pulled from your under feet–it’s the most daunting, yet exhilarating shield in the face of reality.  We are so small, powerless to nature.  It’s a healthy regard to allow yourself to be settled and owned by this poignant fact.  It gives you an appreciation for how small our problems really are in the face of an entire world.  This is true freedom. FullSizeRender-4
  • It was the comradery shared between four women.  A sisterhood obtained upon an island with endless adventure.  The ache of our stomach muscles after a solid week of straight laughter.  The solace of sharing our happiness, our whimper of fear snorkeling in a shark filled ocean, the applauds of jumping off a cliff into a sacred pool below, the elation of winding roads, the euphoric tastes of the local cuisine, the delight in the conversation of our lives.  FullSizeRender-5
  • This trip with these women was a once in a lifetime, a moment I will carry long into my forever.
  • I discovered so much within myself because of this trip. I’ll never be the same.



p.s.  My thanks to those who made this experience possible…

I’m so grateful for my gracious husband.  He is the truth behind my title.

“Love her, but keep her wild.”  –Atticus

His love is freedom.

Without his encouragement and support, I wouldn’t know half the beauty of this world–the way he gives me confidence, the space to connect with a moment that lives inside you.  To him, I owe my gratitude.  I love you, honey.

To my in-laws, Steve and Melanie–there are not deep enough words to express my gratitude, nor the blessing you are to my life.  Emotionally, you are pillars–the most beautiful, generous of them all.  To know you both is happiness, pure jubilee.  I love you both, endlessly.  Thank you for this trip of a lifetime.

To my sister-in-law Jenna and brother Dane, my most sincerest thank you for keeping my beauties safe while I was away, for the late nights while Travis worked, the dinners made and the baths given, for the tuck ins at bedtime.  My deepest respect and admiration for you both–I love you two, endlessly.  (Now give me Liam)

To Belinda and Johnny, thank you for spending the day with the beauties.  I truly covet your efforts to be a solid fixture in my daughters lives, it means the world to me.  You two make me smile, always.  I love you two, endlessly.

I cannot wait for the next adventure…