This year my entire family went on vacation ALL together for the first time in 6 years. My older sister got married 6 years ago and we all went to Disney World together right after to celebrate our younger sister graduating high school. That is the last time ALL 6 of us have home on vacation together as an entire family. And that is WEIRD for the Lawson clan. We used to go in family trips together at least once a year, but with babies, adult jobs and lives, it just hasn’t happened again until this year. And boy did we need it.
This past year has been nothing short or exhausting and LONG for us. After my dad’s scare last summer in the coma, we pretty much made it a pact that WHEN he got better we would all go on a trip to celebrate. I remember sitting at the cafe near his hospital in Paris and my mom just looked at all of us and said “When we get through this, we are all going to Disney World or the Beach.”
WHEN. WHEN we get through this. Not if.
And here we are, almost a year later, with a healthy daddy, two healthy and wonderful babies in tow and all of us on a beach together relaxing, playing and drinking endless margaritas. And it was the best 5 days I have had in a very long time.
This year we celebrated life, love, marriage, family and healthy bodies. This year my parents have been married for 30 years. We’ve had a trip planned to renew their vows this year for a long time now, we just didn’t know where we would go to do it. After last summer, there was even more to celebrate. And, man, did we celebrate. We celebrated the good, the bad and the ugly. We celebrated the honesty and beauty that my parents have shown me and my sisters our entire lives. We celebrated miracles and working lungs. We celebrated healthy bodies and malaria ridden brains. We celebrated that marriage is HARD, it means dying to yourself, and it means never giving up. And we celebrated a selfless, beautiful love that has gone through the worst of times in the most beautiful and graceful of ways.
And I’ve seen that for 25 beautiful years now. I’ve never seen any two people more in love in my entire life. 30 years and my parents love each other more every single day, and we get the privilege of seeing it.
These two are why I am obsessed with love. They are where my love for love stories and weddings and romance movies came from. Because their love story is the real fairytale. I have watched my parents love each other unconditionally, in good times in bad, in sickness and in health, through hell and back for 25 years now. And what I’ve never seen them do is give up on each other. Not once. Not once did they quit. Not once did they stop fighting for selflessness. Not once did they throw in the towel.
They have put the standards for marriage at an all time high for me. Some people tell me my standards are too high. Some tell me there isn’t men like that anymore. And some tell me that marriage is just hard and that’s how it is. But that’s when I can call BS. Because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen true love. I’ve seen what dying to one another looks like. I’ve seen what a strong, loving and faithful man looks like. I’ve seen what being a supportive and loving wife looks like. I’ve seen what healthy looks like. And that’s how I know it exists.
This trip was a celebration. And they even let me document it. My mother doesn’t like the camera, but my dad loves when she is in front of it because she is the most gorgeous woman on this earth. After two days of keeping my camera in my bag, they let me get them dressed up to take pictures for their anniversary. They wakeup at sunrise, after years of wanting to watch it together on the beach, and I found them snuggled up together in a hammock having just watched the sun peek its head over the ocean.
We ran around on the beach and in the palm trees and my dad is a trooper and even got in the ocean for me at the end of the first outfit. He even kept grabbing my mom’s butt because he said, “your other couples get to do that!” And we took the most beautiful sunrise session on the beach I have ever seen. After that, they changed outfits and my mom put on a beautiful red dress and took more along the road of our villa before breakfast with the family. It was the most beautiful morning with the most beautiful people on earth.
Happy 30th Anniversary to the two that showed me what love really looks like. ❤️