enter at your own risk

Today Sean and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage on the same beautiful island of Maui where we honeymooned. It seems impossible that we’ve shared as many ups and downs as we have in this mere handful of years, but alas, we have. Never could I have prepared myself on that glorious snowy day in Park City, Utah for what lay ahead. Ready to start a family quite literally on our wedding night, I never imagined we would struggle to get pregnant. Never did I imagine that fear of never having my own children could so quickly resolve itself in the form of two very healthy and beautiful babies in less than three years. I never thought I’d spend the last weeks of my first pregnancy by my mom’s deathbed or that I’d be giving her eulogy in a maternity dress. Like anyone who’d never before experienced a crippling loss, I expected nothing less than for her to go peacefully in a nursing home well into old age. I never imagined I’d then muster up the strength and determination to leave all of the pain and sadness of that experience behind me and start anew in Colorado. We started the process of leaving with no guarantees of work, of friends or of family. But leave we did, with faith and optimism. Five years ago I’d never have guessed I’d ever find myself sitting helpless in my beautiful new home wondering what the hell I was thinking taking this risk when my marriage was clearly in such a fragile state. Sean had left me and I had left him. We had hit rock bottom and we were failing each other with equal determination. But then fate stepped in and stopped us from destroying what we had promised to do on that snowy day in 2009. Sure, we had made the same vows most people make on their wedding days, but we were also doing what Sean and I do best together. We adventure together. Most people get married in June because it’s the least likely month to rain. They want sunny, picture perfection. We went to the top of a mountain in the dead of winter and hoped for as much snow as possible because we were going to spend the first few days honeymooning on the slopes. Most people stay near family to raise their kids in hopes of offering them a constant source of love and stability. We took the path less traveled and moved to where there is a new adventure waiting around every corner and, in our case, just outside our front door. Some people seek professional counseling when they find their marriage in ruin. We sometimes go the more traditional route as well, but then realize maybe the other person just needs to spend two weeks in Indonesia by herself. Some people plan for retirement with the best case scenario including a nice golf villa in Naples, Florida. Sean and I just discussed figuring out a way to retire by age 50 so we can spend a good 10 years traveling the world and staying in huts before splitting the rest of our years between Breckenridge (actively skiing, of course) and Maui (maybe…we’ve heard great things about Kauai too). Of course nothing is ever as easy as it sounds, but as I’ve contemplated the foundation of my marriage this week I find overwhelming evidence to prove that risk is the glue that holds mine together. Yesterday on a hike we came across a sign that gave two options: Hike to the right .5 mile to see the Nakalele Blowhole. Hike to the left at your own risk. Guess which way we went? Without even questioning the choice we headed left and I thought to myself, “this is why I love this man.” Happy anniversary to the most adventurous soul I know, Sean O’Malley.

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