This past weekend, we celebrated our first anniversary. We found a quaint little Bed and Breakfast and booked a few nights away–just the two of us.
My parents were kind enough to dog-sit Hoosier (go mom and dad!) and we spent four days and three nights exploring the beach town of South Haven, Michigan.
So, what do I mean by “unplugged”? When we arrived on Friday evening, we both deleted all social media apps from our phone and vowed not to touch email, social media, etc. for at least 48 hours.
I did post an anniversary post for my hubs on Sunday night (after 48 hrs) but then the phones went back off when we got to dinner.
Over the weekend, we took all sorts of fun pictures on our camera to capture some memories but neither of us picked up our phone all weekend.
We've done this at home before but being away from the usual routine PLUS unplugging from the digital space left so much room for some much needed conversation, long walks, and quality time.
As we reconnected on a deeper level, prayed big prayers, had honest conversations, and made some of the richest memories we've ever made, I realized something: I cannot make full memories if I have a device in my hand.
Moments are only half lived and memories are only a quarter remembered when we're distracted.Moments are only half lived and memories are only a quarter remembered when we're distracted. Click To Tweet
And I fall so much more in love with my husband, savor every breath, and soak up the beauty of each moment when I turn distractions off and my attention on.
I've included some of my favorite photos and a few funny stories from our getaway below!
The first night was a little chilly so we threw on some warm clothes and ran out to the beach to watch the sunset. It just made me think, “Wow, how awesome is God?!”
The next day we spent almost the entire day on the beach. We ordered fresh squeezed lemonade, snow cones, and more. I mean, when at the beach, right? 😉
After a quick dinner, we put our suits back on, grabbed our sweatshirts, and ran out to catch the sunset and walk along the surf but then the clouds rolled in.
We had didn't have as much of a sunset as the night before but the sky still turned pink and it was still absolutely beautiful as the sun sank over the horizon!
By nightfall, it started to rain. So, we had opted for a cozy evening.
We ordered hot chocolate at Kilwin's and went to see the new movie, Glass Castles, at the tiny old theatre downtown. I casually bawled my eyes out. It was a fantastic movie and done so well.
If you're looking for a movie that'll make you feel something, I highly recommend it. If you're looking for something light hearted and funny, I'd look elsewhere 😉
Then, we snuggled back up in the cutest little bed and breakfast and at midnight, Matt surprised me with the most beautiful pair of earrings.
If you're married and have ever felt like your husband totally outdid you, that's how I felt when he handed me that gift on the eve of our anniversary. I think I said something like, “oops…I didn't know we were doing gifts!”
He just chuckled and said that he just wanted to surprise me. #browniepoints
We also did quite a bit of fishing. Okay, I take that back. I did a lot of watching and cheering on and Matt did a lot of fishing.
One morning, I woke up to him tip toe-ing out the door.
“Babe, where are you going?” I asked.
“Just go back to sleep! You need to rest!” He said as he started to close the door.
“Wait, what? No, I don't! It's 8:30 and I'm hungry…wait…were you sneaking out to fish while I was asleep??”
The cheesiest grin came across his face, “uh, I mean, yeah but you were sleeping!”
I started teasing him about sneaking out to fish and he rebutted my teasing with, “Hey, if that's my worse vice, that's not the worst thing in the world, is it?”
HA. Good point, babe.
Anyway, I accompanied him on his fishing adventures each day and as much as I don't love reeling in a slimy, floppy, squirmy creature just to rip a hook out of its mouth and throw it back, I managed (with a little ice cream or coffee in hand to get me through, of course 😉
On the day of our anniversary, we explored a little craft festival that was going on downtown and then we rented bikes and rode up and down the coastline together.
It was so fun to listen to the waves crash, watch people pass, and feel the wind in our hair.
We grabbed lunch and then went back out to the beach.
Matt made dinner reservations for us at a fancy place in a nearby town, about 20 minutes away.
After I got ready and changed my outfit twice (it happens), we got in the car to leave but I just felt heavy. As I watched the sun start to set over the lake behind us, the last thing I wanted to do was go sit in a fancy restaurant. I'm just not good at fancy.
So, right as Matt was looking up the address, I looked at him and blurted out, “Babe, I know you made reservations and I know it's our anniversary and stuff but…do you just want to grab pizza or something and sit out on the pier instead?”
Oh good, he's not angry!
He was actually thrilled.
We ended up having the most relaxing evening ever. We opened up the cake we saved from our wedding and devoured it out on the little porch off of our room and then we found a simple little riverboat restaurant on the harbor. We ordered finger foods and laughed deep belly laughs, reminisced on the last year, and dreamed about the future.
But more than anything, we just soaked up the simplicity and an ordinary evening became extraordinary…it became one of our favorite memories together.
One of my favorite things from our getaway: every morning, we walked down the street and got coffee and breakfast at a local bakery. Then, we walked hand in hand down to the pier. It reminded me of our honeymoon in Charleston, SC, when we got Jenni's Ice Cream EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT…just because.
I love making little traditions like this! 😉
The waves on the morning of our very last day were HUGE! We saw dozens of kite surfers catching a wave and dangerously walked out on the pier as the waves crashed over it one after another. You only live once, right?
You can see the crazy waves and the kite surfers behind me in this photo.
These big waves really put life back into perspective for me.
It reminded me how small I really am. It's funny how we can get so wrapped up in what we do or what others think. We can become so absorbed with ourselves that we miss how tiny we are and overlook the big-ness of God. The roaring waves and power of the water remind me that I'm not in control and that I shouldn't try to be.
So, I hope that if nothing else, this little piece encourages you to get out of your normal routine (even if that's just to go for a long walk or road trip to a nearby town), unplug, really BE with those you love, soak in the wonder of God all around you, and really let yourself live.
Because you don't always need to be on the clock. It's okay to let people down or be a little behind on your texts. Because you'll never get these moments back. Don't just say you're grateful for them–LIVE like you're grateful for them!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.” James 1:17
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