Our Christmas {New Years} Getaway

Every year Zach and I do something just us around Christmas time. We used to ALWAYS go away together every year on a legit trip. But when we added a third baby to the mix we have tried to find a better balance as we don’t like having to ask people to keep our kids. SO our deal is IF we go on Aflac’s National Convention then we do a mini-trip instead. If we don’t do National Convention then we go away on a longer trip together. We do the same for our anniversary: If Zach makes Presidents Club we treat that as our anniversary trip, if he doesn’t make it then we take an actual trip for our anniversary. It’s work out super well so far and it gives us two trips a year JUST US and I love that our anniversary is in May (Presidents Club though is typically in April) so it spreads out the two trips nicely πŸ™‚

This was a non-Presidents Club year (B/c stinking Italy got CANCELED…so we went to Cali instead!) but it was a year that we attended National Convention (we surprisingly LOVED NOLA!). So we planned to just spend one night in the Savannah area so we could go shopping at the nearby outlets as our Christmas gift to each other (we decided last year to spend our budget money for gifts to each other on a shopping spree together instead and it was SO FUN).

With all of Zach’s medical news I have gotten even CHEAPER than cheap. I didn’t feel okay spending $100 for a one night stay in a hotel. I know it was a getaway trip, but we didn’t need to spend that money. While in NOLA one of the guys in Aflac was sitting with us and said he had a place in St Simons and that we were welcome anytime to stay. Zach reached out to him to arrange the one night to stay there so we got it for free!

We planned the getaway for the weekend after Britt’s birthday (weekend of Dec 10th). Well. It just so happened Zach’s spinal tap was the day before we left. And my face decided to have some MRSA that day as well. When they scheduled Zach’s spinal tap they told him he’d be GOOD TO GO for our trip Saturday. They said as long as he laid in the bed all day Friday that he’d have NO PROBLEMS. Ugh. We were so mad at how misled we were about the whole thing!

Even with following their exact instructions (staying flat in bed all day and drinking TONS of water) Zach STILL got the spinal tap headache. Which meant he couldn’t stand without having intense pain.

Well. I’m not saying “I told you so” or anything but let’s just say this weekend was a BIG lesson in listening to Zach’s body. What it needs and then doing THAT. I did encourage Zach to have us just stay home. The kids were all spread out for the weekend (Kye at Court’s, Britt at Casey’s and Tess at Mrs Char’s) and they were SO PUMPED for that special time so they could have just stayed there and we could have just stayed home…rested…then if he felt better gone to a movie or dinner or something. I truly would have been okay with that!

Instead Zach took the kids to all their locations while I was at the dr getting my face drained then I got home and he was in the bed because he was starting not to feel well (the headache was starting to come but we didn’t realize it). He rested for a bit and decided to still go through with the trip.

At the time when we left Zach still didn’t realize he had the full blown spinal headache. I love and appreciate how much he wanted to push through and have fun that weekend. I knew he already felt like all of this health stuff was “letting me down” on some level (not true, but it’s how he sees things being such a devoted husband) and he didn’t want to “ruin” something we were excited about. So he had me drive and he laid down the whole way to Savannah (almost 3 hours). Y’all. It did not go well.

I’ve talked before about how defined our gender rolls are. We BOTH like it that way. And me loading up that car with our stuff? Then ME driving? I legit haven’t had Zach as a passenger in a vehicle in YEARS. Especially not on a major trip like that. He rested on the ride and that silence in the car left me with tooooo much time to think. I’m a person that as long as I’m busy I don’t get too emotional about stuff. I can keep on keeping on. But that long of a time period of silence? I couldn’t help it. I kept thinking about our potential future. How it may be a reality that I will have to be THE ONE to always load the car. Always be driving. I know all of that is real “negative Nancy” but my mind went to that place and my emotions couldn’t stop and I spent a good bit of the drive crying.

Which of course upset Zach as his big thing is feeling like he is causing me pain. It makes him feel horrible to see me cry over all of this health stuff b/c it makes him feel guilty (even though it shouldn’t). So then he was upset. And I was upset. And it was a royal hot mess.

We FINALLY got to the outlets (legit at 4:00) and went into a few stores but Zach was just MISERABLE. Like literally couldn’t stand (I’m not exaggerating either, it was pitiful). I told him we just needed to stop. It wasn’t fun. And we would be just wasting money to buy anything if we weren’t able to have fun while doing it. I called his mom and she was SO SWEET about it all and told us we could go again after the holidays when Zach was feeling better. I finally convinced Zach to just call it a day.

So then we had to drive to St Simons which isn’t as close to Savannah as I’d assumed. And it was dark. Which yall may not know this about me but I’m USELESS in the dark while driving. Like a hot mess. So I couldn’t see (even with my glasses) and we had to stop and get dinner AND find this guy’s condo. It was tough.

We finally got to the condo and ate our dinner and just watched How I Met Your Mother. Oh and we did get cake pops πŸ˜‰ So that was a bonus! At least we had that quality time together and really it was a ROUGH time but it was a lot of lessons for us too. The biggie being that in the future we have to just really put Zach’s health and physical needs first. If he’s hurting then no one can have fun! It’s better to change plans than to “push through.” Which I know will be hard for him as he’s a push through type of guy, but this was the lesson we both needed to have in the back of our minds for a reminder in the future! We also ended up having an AWESOME talk. I got out my emotions and he talked through his and we came away from it with a better understanding of each other and our needs.

Having a major life changing non-curable disease is scary. It’s scary for the person experiencing it and it’s scary for the person who loves the person experiencing it. We both handle it differently on different levels and in different ways. We have different needs for support and sometimes that’s hard. When you feel a certain way it’s hard to give someone the support they need b/c you are just as much in need of support in the way YOU need it! We worked through all of that and reminded each other that we’re a team. That it’s okay to have our own ways of coping through it but that no matter what we will be there to support and lean on and we will walk the path together. We’re in this for the long haul πŸ™‚

So even though it was pretty much a nightmare for a “vacation,” we walked away (well I walked…Zach laid down haha) stronger than we’ve ever been so it was all really for positive growth!

We got up the next morning and headed straight back home. Again, me driving. Zach STILL couldn’t stand at all. Bless him. It was really tough seeing him like that and especially knowing that it wasn’t even DUE to MS. It was due to the test to just find out how bad his MS was!!! He ended up going to the hospital the next day to get a blood patch done which did heal him. But trust me he won’t ever get a spinal tap again if he can help it! (I took two videos of this experience: 1 and 2!)

McDonald’s worker hooked me UP!

Miserable and in hardcore pain, yet still unbelievably sexy. How annoying is that? πŸ˜‰

Glad I had that free drink to wash down my massive pile of pills 

SO I didn’t post about any of that when it actually happened chronologically b/c I like to end my posts on a HAPPY note and I knew our redo trip would be much, much happier. And it was!!!

We decided to go back on January 1st. I’ve always heard however you spend New Years Day is a peek into what the year will hold. We spent it together all day long. It was AMAZING and was a sign of the awesome year 2017 will be for us πŸ™‚ It’s the year of Zach and Emily – so be ready!!!

This time Zach loaded the car and drove which was amazing in itself right there πŸ˜‰ We had great conversation on the drive and were both in high spirits and just pumped! We got to the outlets ready to get our shopping on! This time around we left on a Sunday so we went to church and got the kids to Mrs Charlotte’s and then hit the road. We had a couple hours to shop a bit before they closed so we hit up a few stores before leaving for dinner! Zach was pumped to just be standing haha


We decided to keep it really simple and low-key (and cheap ha!) and found a cute local place for dinner! It was delicious (and the sweet tea was legit too)

Shrimp and Grits are my JAM

Of course we settled into our hotel room and watched How I Met Your Mother πŸ˜‰

(How many seasons of this show are there? We are on season 7 and still don’t LOVE it haha)

The next morning we headed out to be at the outlets when they opened. 

I text this pic to my dad and Audrey b/c they got Zach a gift card to Fanatics and he put it to good use with after Christmas sales and was able to get an awesome Nike shirt and hat!

Ready to shop till we drop!

Zach’s best deal was at Lids. SO random! They had an AWESOME hat sale though, I even got a hat. I think Zach ended up with 10 hats total from the weekend? So funny!

Our big mission was to find some gray boots for Zach. We saw some at Nordstrom Rack in NOLA but didn’t want to spend the money and of course he’s regretted it ever since. These were the only ones we could find and they were over $60. Um. Not happening. 

Yes they are. And if this wasn’t a crop top it’d totally be in my closet πŸ˜‰

The kids had a BLAST with G-mama and I loved that she sent pics! She even got them posing! I think I may be rubbing off on her πŸ˜‰

We had a great time but started to realized there was no way we’d get done shopping in time to get home to get the kids that evening. So we had to split up some and do some speed shopping. I didn’t like that part of the day because it’s no fun if you’re not together! Luckily it only lasted a few stores! I did text Zach to see if he liked this dress. Which was probably one of my best finds of the day b/c it was only $19 and will be perfect for Aflac events 

(and yes, speed shopping means not taking your pants off haha)

We went into Gap as our last store and I didn’t find a single thing BUT Zach found his boots and they were under $20!!!! AHHHHH!!!! It was AWESOME!

Love this man with all of my heart and so thankful he’s my travel partner for life!

We tried to be fast and get a quick lunch so we could hit the road. You know how that goes. Of course the line was crazy long and of course the kitchen was slow as Christmas. 

FINALLY got our food!

So, so thankful to Mrs Charlotte for encouraging us to have a redo trip. It was so super fun! Even just the car ride was wonderful and the dinner was a blast and the shopping was fantastic! We did learn that New Years shopping is not the best though. Prices are all incredible but good luck finding sizes. We both struggled to find a whole lot as every store was just super picked over. We both came in SUPER under budget. Zach ended up spending his left over money on a couple new pairs of golf shoes and I still have mine. I’m slowly getting stuff on deals from Amazon and AliExpress πŸ˜‰ 

Here’s my stash! 

I’m really excited to try out the Nikes at Disney and love the converse. My favorites were probably a couple sweaters from Express that just fit me SO perfectly! I also had a lot of luck at H&M and got several dresses. I’m a dress type of girl so those are always my favs! (I cannot WAIT for the pineapples when we go to Mexico!)

I love that Zach and I are on the same page with making our marriage a top priority. It’s not always easy to get away “just us” but it’s so, so important. I’m also so thankful that his parents understand the value in that quality time and are always eager to spend their own quality time with our babies. We are blessed beyond measure to have each other and never want to take that for granted. 


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