Hello, happy Monday! How was your weekend? We filled ours with a TKD belt test, soccer, and basketball, but also squeezed in a family movie night and a couple hours of catching up with David’s brother and my nephew who were in Charlotte for a basketball tournament. Yesterday the weather was nice so the girls played outside with a friend all afternoon after church, giving David and I some time to get in a long walk and talk through the packing list.

We head to Wyoming on Wednesday (sounds like a Magic Treehouse book title- ha) and are finalizing what we need to pack. Currently they are experiencing a winter storm and while we are psyched to get to see some real snow, I’m intrigued to see how we will do on our first day skiing when the high is predicted to be 14 degrees. We plan to be bundled, but brr!

We are really excited about this trip. While we visited Wyoming in the summer, neither David nor I have ever skied there, so having a completely new destination lined up has us quite giddy.

Last night we also booked flights for a return sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands with The Moorings in spring. Considering our last sailing trip was David’s favorite vacation ever, we all are looking forward to returning. Apparently Kaitlyn hid a heart shaped rock at The Baths and intends to unearth it upon her return. That should be interesting

All this hubbub gives me butterflies in my stomach, but the anticipation and excitement is mixed with other emotions, which has surprised me a bit. I’m also feeling a stab of grief, some nostalgia, and a little fear.

See, it’s gearing up to be an exciting year; something we’ve worked towards and anticipated for a long time. Family travel has always been a top goal for us and it started really ramping up in 2019. We visited Deer Valley, the British Virgin Islands, Disney World, and Jellystone. I’m not sure if I ever shared openly about this, but we had talked about buying a catamaran for even more family adventuring. 2020 was set up to be a big year. And, well, it was, but not the way we pictured.

The pandemic hit, my Grandma Betty passed away, my dad passed away, and the whole world, both my world and the real world came to a grinding halt. There are a million emotions to tackle from that time, but for me personally I was struggling with grief and loss on a large scale. I’m not sure I even realized it or let myself feel it all at the time.

Like most people, we fumbled through the next year or two asking ourselves questions along the way about our priorities, goals, and intentions. We started putting words into action, making changes in our investments and fine tuning our habits. And now, three years later, things appear to be coming together again.

It’s thrilling. More adventures with the family! The ability to share it here with you! And yet, along with the joy and anticipation, I’m also processing other emotions that are rising up of residual grief and fear. How can we really plan anything? What if it all falls apart again? I’m not pushing those feelings down, but as I work through them I’m trying to coach myself as I would a friend.

Like Brene Brown shared in The Power of Vulnerability, fear is the great restrictive force, as it stops most people from ever stepping more than one foot outside their comfort zone towards realizing their true desires. Because fear and criticism will always be there in some form, the best course of action is always to show up anyway and move forward.

So I’m encouraging myself to step forward into the unknowns and embrace the adventure of it all. I’m encouraging myself to show up as my truest self and move away from my ability to morph into what I think people want me to be. I’m embracing that I’m that person that talks to the sky when I want to fill my dad in on life, like I promised him I would.

Life is messy and complicated and rarely are any of us feeling just one emotion, especially once we have a little life experience behind us. But that’s the beauty of it all, isn’t it? To take the mix of emotions, set our priorities, and step bravely in the direction of living the life we want to live.

So while on the outside, it’s just us taking a family ski trip, it feels more momentous to me. It’s my first step into a new chapter and I plan on doing my best to step into it open armed with joyful anticipation. I can’t wait to share it all with you.


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