Cabin in the Woods

Vacation, noun
1. freedom or release from duty, business, or activity.
2. an act or instance of vacating.

What is it about our lives that makes us feel the need to escape the way we live? Why do we constantly want to vacate our homes and families and disappear into something else?
Our family members gave us the most adorable newborn hiking boots for Roxy.
I nearly died of cuteness overload when I saw them.
Of course our baby has the nicest looking shoes in the family...
My little family (bearded husband, rosy-cheeked baby, and tousle-haired me) headed out into the mountains this weekend. We have amazing friends that offered up to us their spacious cabin home while they are visiting family for the holidays. After months in an apartment, an actual house feels gloriously large.

There was a wood stove (the fire I'd been craving), hot chocolate, snuggles on big couches, sprawling on the living room floor just because I could (there was that much room), and the most lovely snow-covered trees outside the window.
I had been to this house many times before and we were less than two hours' drive from home. I still did very normal mom and wife things like dishes and diaper changes and middle of the night feedings. That doesn't exactly scream "vacation."

But it felt like one.

We went hiking in snow, surrounded by pungent pines and spruces, the freshest air imaginable filling up our lungs. Roxy slept most of the time, strapped to my chest. And when she woke up, we changed her diaper on top of a rock and I nursed her while we hiked again. I felt like the ultimate badass mom.
The Infantino Flip carrier is a fantastic hiking companion. I love using my wraps,
but this thing was way faster and easier to take on and off,
plus I can always hand her off to the husby if needed.
The entire time, I felt incredibly relaxed. Nothing really bothered me. Everything was warm and comfy and still. I came home trying to figure out why it was like a vacation for me. Why I didn't feel stressed, emotional, confused. Why each moment came and went and I dealt with it in that simple fashion.

I think part of it was my mindset. I set aside the whole weekend in my head as a time where I didn't "have" to do anything.

Another part was that I was removed from the internet (no cell service, no internet); my phone tends to keep my mind whirring, adding palpable background noise to my life. You don't notice how loud it is till it's gone. 
But the biggest reason I could relax? I felt that I had escaped. Time, stress, decisions, money, to-do lists...none of these things existed for me. Being in the woods tends to have that effect.

We watched movies. We hung out with our baby girl, who is honestly super low-maintenance right now. Her favorite part of the weekend was definitely laying on the floor, smiling and cooing at the ceiling fan. Does it get much cuter than that? We made pasta and biscuits and coffee, ate a chocolate cake right out of the pan. I read, he played gameboy.

It was impossible not to be giddy, not to feel drunk on the idea that we were just having fun and nothing else mattered. We talked about a million things, and yet also were content to enjoy the silences.

Does your life feel a bit tangled up in a quicksand of stress and noise and never having enough time? Does it make you want to vacate everything that boxes you in? The solution to this is not finishing everything on your to-do list, believe it or not. The cure is something far simpler: take a vacation today - for ten minutes, or thirty. Turn off your phone and allow yourself to sit down and do nothing. Or do something you love, that isn't on your to-do list. Let yourself to breathe, release any stress that's tightening your muscles, and let God's peace have control again.

If we constantly feel as though we need to escape our lives, then something is wrong. Make your life something beautiful, peaceful, joyful - an environment that you are happy to be alive in. If you can succeed in this, then you won't ever have to escape your life to find happiness again.

I do have a small confession to make. While I love taking, editing, and posting photos, I absolutely have no idea what I'm doing. It doesn't help that my camera is a phone I got for free that packs a whopping 5 mega-pixels, and my editing software happens to me my Instagram app. Any tips for how I can (economically) get in to photography? I have a Canon PowerShot but I'm not sure how to get the best photos out of it, so I never use it...

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