Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Five Years! Really! Five of them!

Five years has always been a big deal to both of us. Somewhere, we'd heard statistics saying that if you make it to your fifth anniversary the chances of divorce decrease by some huge percentage. So we'd looked at each other and said we'd celebrate that one big. (Also the 10 year, because that one dropped it even further.)

It was perfect. I knew it would be. Scott's been working on our anniversary plans now for almost a year. He booked our room at the Anniversary Inn back in November, I think. Or was that when he called to confirm the reservation, only to find out they'd lost it? Oh well. That's another story.

So the night before, Scott leaves to run an errand. And, since he asked me for the car wash certificates, it left little mystery about where he was going. When I queried him, he just said, "Gotta get things ready for my big date tomorrow. ...You need to be ready to leave the house by 8:45." He was up early on Friday, and when he got home to pick me up, I saw he'd bought the car paint and decorated our car: "Just Married" in big, white letters. Underneath in red, it said "five years ago." For the rest of the weekend it was fun to see people point, smile, and honk.

First, he took me to Bridal Veil Falls. He knows I'm obsessed with learning how to take better pictures -- and right now I'm experimenting with the manual mode -- so it was the perfect treat. Here's some of the better shots:

...Yes, we have an independent sitter on our hands. She just keeps growing up. I think she started right at the end of July/first of August and had it mastered before we knew it -- quite literally. I was expecting to need to still support her one day, and she just sat. And sat. And sat.

After taking pictures, we wandered in Riverwoods and South Towne Mall, toured all the Anniversary Inn Suites, dropped off Betsy at my parents' place, changed for dinner at the hotel, and then went to the Melting Pot. Wow! Our first time there. Incredible. We exchanged presents at the restaurant... sort-of. I got mine, anyway. His will get here eventually. After a while, we picked Betsy up and went back to the hotel.

Everything about the weekend was utterly blissful. I think we need these getaways more often. Life just gets too stressful, and it weakens marriage. Nothing is more important than marriage, and nothing is entitled to ruin my relationship with my husband. ...If only we had the money for such extravagant getaways more often. Guess we'll have to tone it down for our next excursion. Here's hoping it isn't in the too-distant future.

Camping with Betsy (takes 1 & 2)

When you get this far behind in blogging, the idea of catching up is positively frightening.

We took two camping trips with Nick this month; both were wonderful. But the better scenery was definitely Zion's and Bryce. And it makes it feel like you're really camping when it's 3 days, two nights. Overnighters are just a tease, don't you think?

The two daredevils hiked Angel's Landing; Betsy and I stayed far away from that cliff and instead tried to get a bit of extra sleep.

But I did join them for a partial hike of the narrows, which quickly became my favorite hiking experience ever. But we were poorly equipped with sandals, and rainclouds were moving in, so we turned around before any of us wanted to. And right after returning to camp, a flash flood began.

Betsy, who is normally a holy terror in the car, actually did pretty well. For her. We had to stop a few times, nurse, get her to sleep. But I was expecting oh, so much worse. And outside, during the day? She was an absolute trooper. Probably more so than her mother, at times. Hiking, playing games, setting up camp, riding the busses -- she did it all with a smile on her face or else while quietly napping. She did get a little frazzled in the evening, when she just wanted to fall asleep in a familiar place and in a familiar way, but who could blame her? And it was the only time she was ever upset all day long, so it was really very nice.

I'm grateful to still be so active when we have little Betsyface. She does slow us down, but we both get such a kick out of seeing her reaction to our adventures. More kids will, undoubtedly, exponentially change things. But what fun!