When I got married, I loved adventure! Kyle and I met when we randomly sat on the same lift chair at a ski resort. It was love at first sight. We had our first kiss on the top of a mountain, and we started the big adventure of marriage 4 months after we met.
Kyle and I spent an entire summer honeymooning! We camped on the beach, stayed at resorts, drove through national parks, rock climbed and visited friends and family. Even though I was still recovering from Lyme Disease, I felt there were so many possibilities for me.
After our “honeymoon summer,” Kyle started school again, and we talked about other adventures we wanted. We both wanted to have children, but my health wouldn’t allow it yet. So we looked for other opportunities to create a fulfilling life.
We decided to move in with my Grandpa Welby who was starting to suffer from Alzheimer’s. As newlyweds and a 90-year-old, it was an adventure so different from anything we’d ever experienced – new, challenging and rewarding. We loved every minute of it!
My health made progress, and 3 years later, we were ready for another big adventure. Kyle asked me, “What do you want to do this summer?” We thought about all the possibilities and decided to live abroad!
We looked at programs to be volunteers in 3rd world countries. Soon we were on a plane to Belize, Central America!
That summer was life-changing for us! Kyle was the country director in Belize and we had about 40 volunteers that summer. We learned about people, hardship, wealth and poverty, love and happiness, heartache and struggle, and the essence of life for us. So much of what we learned there sunk into our hearts and has shaped us since.
When we got back to the States, I continued going to school and Kyle took a job with an airline. He worked from home which allowed him to care for me and Grandpa Welby, and gave us the flexibility to travel a lot.
Over the next few years we went to
- Disneyland and Disneyworld
- New Orleans
- CA beaches
- Las Vegas
- Puerto Rico
- the Bahamas
- Costa Rica
- Guatemala and a handful of other places.
Our life seemed like one constant adventure, with a new travel location always on our monthly schedule. We took Grandpa Welby on road trips and generally just loved experiencing new sights, foods, people and places.
4 years after we married, we started talking seriously about the biggest adventure ever.
I knew I might be giving up my health that I’d worked so hard to get in the past 10 years. It was scary to think about being in tons of pain again, or being back to no energy. But something in my soul wanted it so badly, I could hardly think of anything else. We decided I was healthy enough to handle it, and that December we announced I was pregnant!
9 months of incredible anticipation passed by, and on a perfect afternoon in August, a miracle boy came into our lives! Life changed for us in a moment, in such an indescribably incredible way!
Before Mikah was born, I was always searching for that adventure that would fill that yearning in my heart. I always had a feeling there was something more out there. I just didn’t know what it was.
But then I did. I found it the day our sweet little boy was born. That day, we started our biggest adventure together – to be a family. It might sound so simple and so “everyday,” almost boring.
But just like we had no concept of what caring for Grandpa Welby would do for our lives and hearts, or how living in Belize would impact us forever – in the same way, we couldn’t ever have known the depth of experience being a “family” would be. For us, it’s amazing.
I’m not searching for the next adventure anymore. Sure, we’ll keep skiing, rock climbing, traveling the country and world, building our businesses and pursuing new ideas and possibilities as a couple and with our growing family.
But I’ve found it. I’ve found that mountaintop, that ultimate adventure. And for me, it’s more fulfilling than the piano career I pursued, the college degree I earned, the fabulous places we’ve traveled, the incredible people we’ve met, the businesses I’ve started or any achievement or recognition ever.
It’s like nothing I ever experienced in all my years of dreaming and planning and working and searching. And for me, it came from such an unexpected place.
Nobody told me it’d be so amazing to be a parent. Nobody told me it’d be so hard, that it would occupy my mind more than anything else ever has, that it would challenge me so much, that I’d cry harder, laugh deeper, love more fiercely, sleep more fitfully, feel more acutely, or be more alive than in any other adventure I’ve had.
Now we’re expecting another miracle baby. I don’t know exactly what our adventure will look like as a family of four. But if I think about what it’s been with one child, I know it’ll be a continuation of the adventure I searched my whole life to find.
Because that’s what it’s been already, to be a mom, to be a parent with the guy I love most in the world, to feel my sweet child clinging to my leg, pushing his world, pushing our world to all kinds of new sights and limits we never knew existed. We see life in a new way, we feel life in a deeper way.
And that’s what adventure is to me. It’s seeking that awesome high, searching to find the place in my heart that calls out to be filled. It’s finding that spark inside me and letting it shine, seeing unexpected sights, learning things so new and amazing, I couldn’t even ever imagine them because I had no idea they existed. It’s thrilling, it’s deep, it’s meaningful, it’s lasting.
And I’ve found it, all wrapped up in tiny, sweet bodies who show me the world through new eyes. We get to experience all our adventures and experiences again, through fresh, new eyes and with totally new insights and perspectives as we share our worlds together.
I still love adventure! Eight years after marrying Kyle, finding adventures together is still central to our marriage. But I see adventure now as so much more broad than what I used to see.
It’s life, plain and simple. New life, the circle of life, being a part of it, from beginning to end is the adventure. It’s amazing to have everything in my heart fulfilled now in these precious tiny things I get to call my children.
It’s definitely the biggest, most incredible adventure yet.