I just thought that before I get back to being busy with family and friends that I'd do a quick last thought of the trip.
Here are the positive things that came out of this trip for me, for Joey, for Stuart, and for our family.
Well, actually, I don't want to get too personal or too touchy-feely, so I'll just say a few cool things.
Firstly - and most importantly - this trip was great for our family. It made us grow so much closer than we already were. We ate all of our meals together, Stuart and I changed diapers together, put Joey to sleep together, and spent time in the morning and afternoons walking around exploring together and experiencing things for the first time together. I do believe that's the new record for the amount of times together has been used in a single sentence. And guess what? We loved every minute of it. Stuart and Joey bonded so much on this trip. Seeing the two of them playing, reading, and daddy explaining things to Joey made me fall more in love with Stuart.. and more in love with Joey!
Next up is how much I loved this trip. My favorite part about going on a trip is exploring by myself. Getting exhausted. Walking in the heat. Running in the hills. Being pushed physically and observing the things going on around me. I am fortunate enough to have an awesome husband who was more than happy to hold down the fort on a daily basis while I got to go out and walk and hike and run on my own. It gave me a lot of time to just be Vanessa. Not to be a doting wife or mother. Just to feel independent for long enough to recharge, go back to my favorite 2 guys, and realize how lucky I am to have the role of wife and mother.
Seeing people in Bali loving Joey and being so sweet to him just reinforced to me how special and wonderful babies are. So new. So innocent. So loving. You have to love and be in awe of a baby. This love knows no cultural or racial limits. Them loving Joey and Joey loving all of them filled my heart.
Lastly, the challenge of it all. The trip itself was actually surprisingly easy and wonderful. The challenges were in our long journeys to Bali with long layovers in Kuala Lumpur and Narita, the journey of navigating our way to and through Tokyo after very little sleep (this was on the way home and I didn't blog about it), and the epic (and I say epic to mean long... not epic the way people say it these days to mean 'awesome') journey from Bali back home to Vancouver: two overnight flights and a day long layover... with almost no sleep in 48 hours while having to take care of a very distraught baby boy. And Joey wasn't too happy either. Ha. Ha.
These challenges would've been tough and exhausting enough without adding Joey to the mix, and with him they proved to be a stretching time in my and Stuart's relationship that involved plenty of laughter, anger, apologies, encouragement, discouragement, and creative problem solving and decision making. Oh, and major team work. Through these experiences we learned a lot about how we take care of Joey in times of frustration and how important encouraging words and unconditional love and sacrifice are in times when every inch of you wants to scream or turn away in your seat and selfishly bury your head in a book or a pillow while your spouse struggles with a screaming, overtired child.
If you've never gone traveling with your spouse, I highly encourage it if for nothing else than to grow closer with each other. Put yourself in an uncomfortable situation together and deal with things head on as a team. You will make lasting memories and your bond will only strengthen.
Go have an adventure!