How a craving for adventure lead to a massive turn into the unexpected
I can remember vividly; it was last September when the weather was still warm and sunny. I was sitting on my bed chatting with my husband while he got ready for work. "I think what I'm craving most right now is Adventure," I said excitedly. "I want new, travel, fun, spontaneity and adventure."
He looked at me and smiled, responding "Babe, adventure is something you create on your own. It's not something you have to go out and get. You turn things into adventures."
I stopped in my tracks; I couldn't think of any response because he was right. I had the power to create the adventure in my life; I didn't need to go away or seek it out.
It was the beginning of a new chapter in my life, one that I had no idea where it would lead. Following that conversation, I made an internal agreement to start saying Yes to adventure. I start putting myself out there and open myself up to allow new and exciting things to happen. I agreed to go on a few trips even though my schedule was already hectic and planned to embrace how lucky I was. My life became so adventurous in fact that I've been M.I.A from my blog, social media, and really everything for the past four months.
It started with a weekend trip to Nashville with my Mom. We had always talked about going to music city, and finally, this dream was coming true. We arrived in the city and immediately knew this was going to be the trip of a lifetime. We pulled out our cowboy boots, and my mom had a massive list of places we needed to visit. Now, this was a country girls adventure if there ever was one.
We started with a walk along the strip, taking in the sights and sounds of the city. We'd stop every 10 feet to listen to the fantastic music playing from every bar. We ate a ridiculous amount of comfort food, drank the drinks, and danced the nights away. We checked off every single spot on her list and sang every country song that played.
My mom and I have an incredible history of amazing trips we've taken together, and this was just the beginning. After Nashville, I came home for two weeks only to head off for another country-themed girls trip with Mom. This time, Vegas.
My mom and I have been to Las Vegas many times, both together and apart. It's where I spent part of my honeymoon, and where she and I meet almost every year for the National Finals Rodeo. Yes, a rodeo in Las Vegas.
I love Las Vegas during Rodeo season; it's like the city turns into a 90's country music video. Almost everyone wears belts and boots covered in bling; we felt under-dressed everywhere we went. They play country music in every hotel-casino, and it just seems like Vegas slows down for a few days. My mom raised me on country music and line dancing, so the Rodeo just feels like a natural place for us to go. We packed up our boots once more and headed off to the desert.
We almost always stay at the host casino, the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. It's right in the middle of the strip, so it's easy to walk anywhere. We unpacked all of our freshly used country attire and just like in Nashville we danced through the halls singing every country song that played.
There was one huge difference between this trip and Nashville, and it wasn't the desert. As we got ready to walk the strip and take in the Vegas sights, I sat on the hotel bed and casually said: "Hey Mom, would you be upset if I wasn't able to drink on this trip?"
She poked her head out of the bathroom and looked at me thoughtfully. "Well…of course not, I don't care if you drink. Why do you ask?" she said curiously.
"I may, or may not be pregnant…"
"WHAT?!?!" Mom jumped into the room smiling, but also still very serious. We talked for a few minutes and determined that it was probably best if I acted as the designated walker this trip. I swore that we would still have just as much fun as always, but she didn't seem to care at all. I could tell she was genuinely just happy to be spending time with me.
We spent a day horseback riding on a local ranch where my Mom looked the happiest I had seen her in a long time. She grew up with horses, so it was like she was in her natural habitat. I fell in love with the horses and the three ranch dogs that jumped onto the horse's backs and rode along with the ranch hands. We enjoyed a cowboy dinner by a campfire and wanted to stay forever.
This year we had tickets to the final night of the rodeo, the ultimate night of cowboys in a Vegas show experience. We started in this giant tent outside the stadium where daring spectators would try their hand at the mechanical bull. Riders included grandma's and grandpa's who seemed to have more fun than anyone. There were table dancers and free shirts thrown around, and a lot of familiar faces.
My favourite rodeo event is the barrel racing where women race at lightning speed around barrels on their beautiful horses. My mom loves the team roping event where two cowboys chase down a calf; one cowboy ropes the head and the other the back feet. She would giggle as I squirmed during the calf roping event when the little calves were flung to the ground to be tied up. I've had a soft spot for cows since my childhood; they were my favourite animal growing up. I know, not your typical choice for a young girl's favourite animal.
After the show, we attempted to venture into the hotel bar where there was a fabulous band playing. The massive crowd was getting a little too rowdy for our liking, so instead, we sang and played the penny machines.
On our final day we checked off an item on my bucket lists, we took a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. It was more incredible than I had ever imagined. My mom had already done this tour before, and since then she has been planning to take me along with her. I will never be able to repay her for the incredible memories of that day. The views, the experience, and the day with her on top of the world.
By the end of our few days, we were both exhausted and ready to head home. Although not for long. We parted ways again, but I left with some of my most prized memories.
When I arrived home, I knew that things were going to be different from then on. I told my husband of our incredible trip, showed him all of my pictures, and later confirmed…I was pregnant.
I started feeling sick about a week later, general nausea and a nasty metallic taste in my mouth. Nothing I wasn't expecting, although I didn't realize that morning sickness would last day and night my entire first trimester.
We were beyond excited, I had asked for adventure, and that was what I got. Two weeks later it was Christmas, and off we went to Orlando for a family vacation with my parents and brother. We love going south for Christmas; it takes what can sometimes be a stressful holiday and turns it into a real vacation.
Myself, my husband and my brother all had five day passes to Disney and Universal Studios. We are all kids at heart and spent every minute we could at the parks. The first day was Universal Studios where my husband lived out a childhood dream at the Harry Potter parks. He and my brother bought it all, robes, scarves, wands, all of it.
The two of them rode every ride imaginable, I, on the other hand, was trying to survive the hits of nausea that would come and go throughout the day. I played Mom and held their bags, bought food, and shopped the Disney stores.
One night before a family dinner, my husband and I decided it was time to take a pregnancy test. There it was, we hugged and smiled beaming with joy as the test read positive. With my Mom already knowing, and my brother becoming suspicious of his sister who loves rides not going on a single one, we decided it would be best just let them know.
We sat down at dinner, both unable to hide the smiles on our faces. They were thrilled with the news just as we were. The remainder of the trip consisted of random hugs, constant smiles, and joking about how our lives were over. After an incredible week of sun, Disney magic, and family we returned home to the cold.
Here I am, after three months of morning sickness and trying hard to hide my nausea from coworkers and friends I can happily say we're expecting. There were a lot of things I wasn't expecting, like the fact that morning sickness is like three months of having the flu.
This chapter of my life is definitely one of adventure, and not just because I took a lot of trips. I'm committed to being open to adventure, possibility, and excitement as I move forward in this amazing journey. I'm excited to share this journey with you, hopefully, more consistently now that I'm not constantly plagued by nausea.