At the beginning of each new year Evan and I enjoy recounting memories from the previous year. Thank goodness for all the photos we take and the ability to scroll through them and recall with such vividity (is that a word?) the emotions, smells, surprises, and feelings had throughout the year.
In our 2018 top 9 review we didn’t include a write up of any of the sad moments but we don’t want to go without recognizing those as well. In respect for those moments, I’d like to honor and respect the passing of Evan’s Grandpa Charles, and the season of saying goodbye to our friends, family, and home back in Georgia for a year.
To us, “top 9” is defined by moments of joy that have shed light on our year - they are comprised of formative and enriching experiences that drew us closer to one another, our community, and Christ.
So, without further delay, here are our top 9…
Mexico - Anniversary Trip
We honeymooned in Cancun in 2017 and decided to go straight back for our one year anniversary. We got to unplug completely, rest, relax, and enjoy beauty all around us. The swinging seats under palm trees, the swim up bar, the ceviche, and of course the margaritas all enhanced our time together for an entire week. We think of this trip often. In all honesty we've even been trying to figure out a way to make it into Mexico in our RV this January... who knows. If anyone has any experience taking an RV into Mexico, we'd love to hear your thoughts!
Greece - Grace's Family Trip
This trip definitely makes the highlight reel for 2018 and it's honestly difficult to put into words all the reasons why. We traveled with Grace's mom, stepdad, sister, and brother-in-law. Here are a few of the reasons this one made the highlights...
- crisp white villa
- fresh Mediterranean food
- couples massage
- village by the water
- hand crafted leather goods
- family meals
- lots of laughs with family
We've dreamed of getting tattoos together and while in Greece we decided the time was right. Evan got a Greek cross on his wrist and I (Grace) got an olive branch on my arm. This wasn't Evan's first tat but it was mine so all I will say is my heart was completely racing. Did it hurt? No, honestly, it didn't. It was more so an annoying feeling like scratching the same spot on your skin for a while. This experience makes the top of the list because it was definitely an adrenaline rush, it was done together, Lauren and Andrew were there, the tattoos are symbolic to us, and the tattoo artist didn't speak english.
Rosemary Beach - Summer Vacation
This was our second year returning to Rosemary Beach, Florida. In July, we chose a date near the end of September to sit down and make a decision on whether or not to pursue our RV Dream. It just so happened that date was on our trip to the beach. It was quite obvious to us amongst our time together on the beach soaking up the sun and allowing wonderful conversations to submerge that the decision to hit the road for a year was what we were being directed to do. We'll never forget it.
After we adopted Michael in 2017, I quickly became certain I wanted another puppy. Evan told me we could go get puppy #2 once we fenced in our back yard. So, we put a fence in the yard in no time and I visited the Humane Society on my lunch breaks for almost a whole week until I found our Madge girl. She's been a dream. She provides company for Mike, snuggles for us, and is just all around pleasant.
In the fall we were invited to a friend's wedding in Colorado. Typically we book hotels for trips in a good bit of advance but for whatever reason this wasn't the case. I kid you not 2 days before we left for CO we still hadn't booked a place to stay. That same day Evan was approached about staying in a multi million dollar mansion cut out of the side of a cliff in Evergreen, CO in exchange for some marketing consulting for the coming weekend. The decision was a no brainer and the house did not disappoint one bit. Though we only stayed there 2 nights to be able to attend the wedding, those 2 nights were heaven. I mean, the place was legitimately called "In the clouds" on VRBO. This place was relaxing to the max with indoor waterfall, jacuzzi, movie theater, fireplace in the round, heated wood floors, and decks overlooking mountains of trees so high up that you could see clouds laying below. Who in the world are we that we got to stay there?! It was nuts and so generous of a friend to hook us up with this opportunity.
Foster Fall Camping Trip
We truck camped at Foster Falls in Tennessee when the weather was much warmer. This trip was a blast because it included the classic camping memories made in movies yet also gave us what would later become some vision for what RV camping experiences could look like. We brought the pups along, did a few hikes, cooked all meals outside, and enjoyed the fire pit and stars. Definitely a trip we will never forget.
In October Evan and Andrew (brother-in-law) surprised Lauren (my sis) and I with a trip to Oklahoma to visit Evan's parents and go to our first Oklahoma State University football game as they conquered #6 Texas. Killer memories made on this adventure. We had a blast learning about Evan's college days and learning the cheers, chants, and hand motions of the cowboys. Go pokes! Theres something about a college game day atmosphere that can't be replaced by anything else. Our experiences in Stillwater (Stilly! Stilly!) won't be soon forgotten.
Buying our RV
I got home from a work trip to Chicago on what was my last week at my full time job to Evan picking me up at the Atlanta airport telling me we were headed to Peachtree City to pick up our Winnebago! There's nothing quite like the feeling of driving off in a giant tank that you know will be your home for an entire year. It was definitely surreal and I can say I was giddy with excitement that our dream was coming true, one step at a time.
I imagine it’s going to be near impossible to pick only 9 highlights for 2019. Cheers to the year ahead!