What is real? Today, real looks like me typing this into a blue lighted keyboard in the dark of a cozy hotel room housing two sick parents and one sleep deprived baby laying in between. I’ll spare you the details of ‘sick’ and the audio of a sad cry of a tired baby woken too many times. This is real, a long awaited family vacation to Santa Fe, highly romanticized in my mind for months. To be fully transparent, I’m really happy about this quiet and imperfect moment with food poisoning in attendance for full grandiosity. Now, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t curse throughout this experience, but happy is complex like that sometimes. Let me explain this epiphany. I’ll start with the fact that this vacation has been in the works for 5 months. I have planned three different full length itineraries, booked multiple rental homes, and lost a sizable amount on nonrefundable deposits over that time period. Each attempt resulting in a chickened out mom too nervous to travel with her baby because it wasn’t the right time. Don’t let anyone tell you different, mothering is hard. Traveling with baby is hard! But hard is somehow what strings our smiles as human beings together. My hardest days have led to my deepest happinesses and biggest smiles. This vacation at a glance may look like a complete and utter failure. Jake even turned to me at 2:00am and said smiling “should I book a flight home tomorrow?” I couldn’t see his face but I knew he was smiling by the way his words spilled out with positivity. That is how rocky the first day on this trip was. My response rang with defeated chime “No. we do this.” Not we do this well or we stick it out to persevere just “we do this.”. Brene brown said in her book Daring Greatly “what is worth doing even if you fail?” Well, I think our first vacation as a family to a unique southwest destination is on the list. This is what it looks like to dare greatly for this 26 year old mom who has nothing figured out but all of the willingness to get messy trying. For those reading, I truly hope these words inspire you and remind you in a sea of polished pictures that we are all failing at something. It is still worth daring greatly!
Photography by Shelley Foster