Today marks 17 years of being lucky! Lucky to have found each other and lucky to still be madly in love with each other!
To celebrate we spent Friday night at the Cameo Heights Mansion, a bed and breakfast in Touchet, WA. This place was incredible! It has been rated in the top ten bed and breakfasts in the country which is no surprise after being there. Last year I had wanted to stay there was it is spendy (also no surprise) and we opted to Priceline a hotel. This year I found that you can do a same-day booking which was still expensive but made it possible. What a treat to be hosted by such a fabulous couple and feel like royalty! The breakfast was outstanding as well. We had maple pumpkin waffles, glazed bacon, and scrambled eggs paired with juice and fresh fruit. Next time I would love to go earlier to take full advantage of all the neat things the home has to offer.
I'd love to go during the summer so we could enjoy all the outdoor beauty and spa.
Although the room was a little extra pink for my taste the bed was luxurious (even though I had another rotten night of insomnia) and the view of the orchard and vineyards was beautiful!
Yeah baby...I don't even like baths but I loved this one!
We're so grateful for Julie Turner staying overnight with the kids. Alex and Tyler had a campout and so the four younger kids loved being spoiled all night. Around 3 am everyone received a surprise when all the fire alarms in the house went off and WOULDN'T TURN OFF! Julie called her husband and he came to the rescue and had to unwire many of them. Apparently Alysee was freaking out, Nate thought Tyler had left his alarm on and was frustrated that it wouldn't turn off, Coop slept through half of it, and Chloe never woke up. Needless to say, we just bought ourselves nine new fire alarms after we were advised that ours had aged and were not tastier like wine but rather faulty and dangerous. Merry Christmas to us!
After a leisure breakfast we went to the temple and kept up our tradition of doing sealings on our anniversary. What a great reminder of the promises and covenants we have both made to each other and God.
The morning we woke up at the B&B there was a daily newsletter written by the hosts. The theme was "Living in the Middle of things." The topic really stood out to me as he wrote about how the beginnings and the endings in life are often celebrated and remembered. We spend all sorts of time, energy, money, emotion on the beginnings/endings but often the middle goes unnoticed. He points out though, "the reality is that we live largely in the middle of things." In the eternal scheme of things we are always in the middle of bigger and better things. President Uchtdorf shared, "Being in the middle means that the game is never over, hope is never lost, defeat is never final. For no matter where we are or what our circumstances an eternity of beginnings and an eternity of endings stretch out before us."
As seventeen years of our marriage have gone by we celebrated many beginnings -- babies born, new jobs, new homes, and new callings. We've also shared many endings -- baby Sara's death, no more diapers, finishing our schooling, death of loved ones, etc... In the middle though we have found joy and many opportunities for growth. The middle we are in right now is intense -- intense with our time that is gobbled up so quickly with the kids, our demanding but wonderful church callings, extra activities, etc...
Birch and I have both realized that taking time for each other doesn't just happen. We are in the middle of a crazy and wonderful time. And so our weekly date nights become number one (which I admit is so much easier have in-house babysitters). In the middle, I'm finding that I have to conscientiously remind myself to keep Birch as my number one. Not that I don't feel that way, it's just that life and stuff seem to get in the way. Date nights, love notes, yearly trips without the kids, lunches together, late night talks don't just happen when you are in the middle...they have to be planned for and made a priority. I truly do feel like one lucky girl to have landed such a boy!!! I'm so lucky to spend an eternity with this hunk!