Monday, April 29, 2013

Guest Post: Denise from Gratefully Inspired

As promised friends, while Justin and I are enjoying ourselves in Cabo, I have some of my favorite bloggers guest posting for your enjoyment! This first gal is actually from my hometown; in fact, we grew up together, danced together, and our dads worked together. She's the reason I became interested in blogging, so you can all go check out her fabulous blog and thank her! :o) Everyone, meet the beautiful Denise!

after a hike to the top of a very tall mountain

Hello readers of Walkin’ on Sunshine!  I am thrilled to be guest posting for Kelly while she is off frolicking in the surf and sand with her family!  I'm Denise and I blog over at Gratefully InspiredWhen Kelly asked me to guest post on ANYTHING, my mind went kind of blank for once.  But as we continued chatting and I found out she was jetting off to somewhere warm, sandy and salty, it made me want to re-live my last tropical vacay – which was Antigua last summer.  So I’ve scattered this post with some pictures of those glorious 8 days.  I was also left pondering the importance of traveling when you’re married.  And when you have kids. 
So friends, here is my humble opinion….

First let’s talk about traveling when you’re married (pre-babies).  Sometimes it can get tough.  And we all know it’s not cheap – especially when you are young and both in entry-level jobs trying to work your way up in the corporate world.  But one thing that always sticks out in my mind is something my husband, Matt, and I learned in pre-marital counseling.  My pastor told us we must travel.  I think “get-away” may have been his word usage, but either way, it all means the same thing.  He said it is so important to step outside of your day-to-day life and go somewhere else.  See each other in a different setting for a little while.  It doesn’t even have to be somewhere new – just somewhere different than your home.  And Matt and I have made that a priority.  We have been married for 2 ½ years (not a lifetime I know), but we’ve made some pretty great memories on trips we’ve taken in these past 30 months.  And sometimes it was tough to make these trips.  We were both starting new jobs, working hard and we felt bad asking for time off.  Not to mention we had bills and budgets that tried to get in the way.  But yet still, we made it a priority.  Whether it was a week in Napa Valley or a weekend in Myrtle Beach, we made time to get away.
the view from our balcony...

But we all know what happens next… for a lot of couples it goes something like this: “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.” 
Well Matt and I are on our way to that 3rd step and are currently a week away from 7 months pregnant.  Although we are absolutely overjoyed, we also know that life is going to change.  A lot.  And our week-long getaways to Antigua and Napa Valley may be few and far between.  But what I don’t want is to ever stop traveling.  Our pastor also told us that the best thing we can do for our kids is to have a healthy relationship with each other and I fully believe that traveling makes that easier.  He also said it’s important to travel both with your kids and without your kids.  Hearing that as 23 year-old engaged bride-to-be, I was skeptical.  Travel without my kids?  Of course not!  Matt and I will just do family vacations all the time!  Well friends, now that we are on the path to a bambino of our own, I think I get it.  Yes I want to travel with our kids and take them places they’ve never been.  But I never want to lose the wanderlust, romantic nature of traveling as a two-some either.  I know I hear some couples say they had forgotten what life was like as a couple living without kids constantly by their side.  Then their kids go off to college and they are left to re-connect and re-figure everything out because they forgot to be a couple while they were raising their babies.  I don’t want to do that.  I don’t ever want to forget what it’s like to get lost in my husband’s arms on a beach under the stars.  Even if those stars are only an hour down the road from my back yard – I will still get away. 
Now I’m sure some of you are thinking I’m crazy and naive.  I’ve only been married a few years, and I haven’t even popped my baby out.  And some of you are probably right.  But I choose to hold on to my optimism as long as I can, as naive as it may be, because traveling truly is the only thing that makes your richer.  So bravo to Kelly for stealing away with her family for a tropical vacay – especially with little Tinley still at home.  I’m sure she misses her a ton and can’t wait to scoop her up when she returns… but I’m pretty sure she’s having a blast right now as well…. 

Do y'all have any travel destinations that you are dying to return to?  Any travel tips for mama's? 

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