All to often our lives and relationships become a gigantic skipping record. We tend to get so wrapped up in the mundane events that are our routine, our memories lapse and we forget to make things special, or even pay attention to each other. Add the responsibilities of parenting and there are times when the tunnel gets so dark, that our peripheral vision is lost. This is what makes our relationships stall, there has to be an avenue of recharging a love this special.
Lets face some other hard facts, relationships are really tough work, if it were too easy and nothing but roses, then the relationship simply would not be real. It is human nature to have a desire to feel special and men here is a newsflash, it is our innate duty to make our significant other feel worshiped. I will admit there is a point in every relationship when you get wedged in a corner and you are unable of making the effort to go above and beyond. This is the point when we seek the “something every relationship needs”: a VACATION. Vacation does not mean a family trip to the Alabama Riviera or Great Wolf Lodge, it means going some place where you can rediscover one another. A location that can be romantic, but with not too many outside distractions. We just had one of these vacations and it was nothing short of phenomenal.
After 7 kids and the birth of the twins, we had not gone anywhere alone in about 2 years. It was beyond time to get away together. This trip had been planned 2 years prior, it was an item we had bid on and won at out nephews Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation annual gala. It was unbeknownst to either of us how important and magical this jaunt would actually be for us. The name of the location was Three Forks Ranch and was located about 90 miles north of Steamboat Springs on the Wyoming border.
Take a brief moment to envision a cool mountain breeze with highs in the high 60’s, a rambling stream outside the door you left open all night while you slept, a beautifully appointed suite with amazing food and wine, and acres for as far as the eye can see to play…
Wow was the only word I could conjure up when we approached the lodge (see opening picture). We were picked up from this tiny airport in Hayden, Colorado and trekked from a 2 lane highway, to a gravel road that snaked through grove after grove of Aspens, to a mountain paradise. It was quite the journey, but we got a little unsure where exactly we were going to end up. To say the least we were not disappointed, it was an oasis in the middle of 400,000 acres owned by the lodge!
This is literally an outdoor adult playground, you can do any activity and at any time. We were one of 5 couples staying at the lodge so we had the place to ourselves! We fly fished, shot guns, went on a 3-D archery course, shot sporting clays on an amazing course, ate fantastic food, and made many new friends. All of that was out the backdoor and at our finger tips! Most of these things we had never done before, and best of all we got to experience them together. After a decade of marriage its an amazing feeling to go through the joys of discovering something new together. It reaffirmed how incredible a woman my best friend actually is, but it was quite surprising how good of a shot she was having never touched a gun before. So many more options of things we can do together were opened up! I can not tell you how many times we both looked at each other and said this was the best vacation we had ever been on.
I am sure everyone reading this rambling I call a blog, will agree that they need a trip like this. No matter how incredible you think your relationship is, take the time to go away together and forget the stresses, even if only for a long weekend. While where we went is not for everyone, the idea behind it is what we all desire. I would be an absolute fool to tell you that my relationship, or any for that matter, is perfect, but I can tell you we are getting better with time. The more we can make our significant others feel amazing, the healthier our love grows. Having seven kids, 25 employees, and college on the horizon, we are under an inordinate amount of pressure, but most people who know us would tell you we seem to have it all under control and with ease. We must put on an incredible facade, however it is because of vacations we take yearly together, one on one, that make it more of a reality. Life is short, our love is never-ending, and this family makes us unique, but I will never take for granted what my super woman means to me, nor should you. Treat your family, every day, like this will be the last dawn you will experience together. Do that, and there will be no regrets when that last dawn does come. Enjoy the journey…
Huge thanks to my amazing nephew, MOHF, Allison Pratt and all the amazing people at Three Forks for an unforgettable trip. See you next year!