"It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy...
Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other,
and seven days are more than enough for others."
| jane austen - sense and sensibility |
Trevor was a traveler growing up. He came from an adventurous family that took exotic vacations out of the country...on cruises, excursions through jungles, basking on tropical beaches...I, on the other hand, have never been out of the country. When I was younger we had some All-American trips to scan through Philadelphia and a week long stay in Jamestown, Virginia. And of course camping trips here and there. But for the most part, compared to Trevor, I really didn't feel like I'd "been anywhere." When we got engaged and a honeymoon became a thing we had to plan, his first idea was "Belize!" He said it was the most gorgeous place he had ever been. The water, which crashes upon delightfully white sandy beaches, is the clearest teal you could ever imagine, and the beauty around every corner is bright and intoxicating. I, needless to say, was mesmerized and so SO on board. We would both have to get passports because his had expired and I didn't have one. Well, December passed...and then January. Then we found ourselves in February. Less than three months away and still not even the slightest step towards honeymoon planning had been taken. He was busy with work and I was busy working AND planning a wedding. At the end of February, perhaps early March, a new possible plan was more or less dropped into our laps. Trevor owns his own web marketing and SEO company that services local businesses in need of a better web presence. One of his clients is a glass company that installs anywhere from store fronts, to custom mirrors, to glass shower doors. The owner has really taken to Trevor (him and his wife even attended our wedding!) Trevor got a call from him one day and he said, "Hey man! I'm doing a job for a lady up here in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. She has this real pretty honeymoon cabin. And she starts talking to me about how she wishes that she showed up better on search engines. I gave her your number! Told her I had the best web marketer around!" (Happy customers that share the word are the very best!)
Long story short, Trevor did call Shari. And she did need his services. And my husband (then fiancé of course), who I am quite certain is the king of bartering and getting good deals,
arranged a little agreement with his newly acquired client. He normally works with one year renewable contracts so she paid him for six months and then (since this happened to be of equal value and relevant to Trevor's current needs and interest) for the expenses of the other six months she agreed to let us stay at her new luxury honeymoon cabin for 6 days! The opportunity was a huge blessing! Too good for him to pass up! A literal Godsend!
As you can imagine, he was quick to share the news with me. When he mentioned us honeymooning in a cabin up in the woods of Oklahoma, to be honest, I almost laughed. Surely that wouldn't be exotic enough to even begin to compete with his past and it definitely wouldn't be enough to make me feel like an adventurer! It took me a while to accept. I mean...it wasn't Belize. But I trusted him. He would be my husband after all. I suppose we could've been in a tent underneath a city underpass and still had more than enough to be thankful for. ;)
I didn't want to see pictures of the cabin because I wanted to be totally surprised when we got there. Therefore, not being able to show me, Trevor proceeded to show anybody that would look at the pictures! He was SO very proud of it. And excited! Everyone that saw it "ooo"d and "aaah"d enough to drive me mad! But I stood firm and didn't peek. ;) It was nice because we were able to plan our six days to start on Sunday afternoon, allowing us to go home the night of our wedding and not have to rush to an airport or anything! And the cabin being only a little over an hour from our house made our first day married just as stress free! I was able to go pack at my parents house and get some leftovers from the wedding so we wouldn't have to go out to eat as much if we didn't want to. Our drive there was quick, easy, and scenic! Once we got into "cabin territory" it took us awhile to find which one was ours...but it wasn't a bother! It was enchanting! Like a vast kingdom of wooden castles! :) And once we were driving down the right driveway -- we were stunned. It was perfect...and we hadn't even gone inside! (Also please agree with me...Ain't that just the sweetest name for a honeymoon cabin?! <3)
We realized we had gotten there a bit early as we walked in to see Shari and her husband doing some last minute clean up. I'm so glad it worked out that way because it was such a joy to meet and talk to them! They were personable, down to earth, genuinely excited for us very very newlyweds (one day in! we were practically babies!), and even told us about nearby restaurants that were worth trying out. :) They also were kind enough to show us around this magical place that would be our home for the week! And each new twist and turn took our breath away. <3
The kitchen (which was fully stocked with pots, pans, cookie sheets, dishes, silverware, glasses, coffee maker, blender, etc.) made the food situation a breeze! We were able to toss all the food we had brought from home into the fridge and have an easy option if we didn't feel like going out. It was really like a home away from home! (You know...only this was dripping with granite and marble and gorgeous black custom cabinets.) It was like having a mini wood mansion as a first house! We felt shmancy. ;)
I love how they have the bedroom decorated! Simple, elegant, inviting. The color scheme was super relaxing, peaceful, and soothing. Perfect for two people that just spent 6 months rushing towards one of the biggest events of their life!
And once you turn away from the bed, you have this luxurious display! (And once again...doesn't everything just look pleasant? No wonder we were pretty happy to stay in a lot of the time!)
And adjacent to the gorgeous shower (with two shower heads -- which is quite literally one of the best things ever) there is this magnificence. (Would it be too kiddish to say that I was extremely thrilled about the jacuzzi tub?! I had never used one like that before! What a thrilling addition!) Remember at this point I'm seeing all this for the first time! Every new attraction around every corner was like a surprise birthday party for me. Again and again!
As you can tell in the last two pictures...they put thought, love, and beauty into each and every detail. From the gorgeous dish of sweet lavender bath salts, to the rolled towels, to the candles, to this: an assortment of romantic movies to watch on the big flat screen. What a fun and thoughtful thing! (We watched The Proposal which is not pictured because we had it out. That was about all the girly movie extravaganza that Trevor could endure. We spent the rest of the week enjoying the movies that were on cable. Yep...tooons of movie channels -- we were living in the lap of luxury after all! ;) I think we found a Matrix marathon the next night to his great excitement. Much more his flavor.)
Then, after she was eventually able to peel us away from galking at the bedroom, she took us up the spiral staircase. (SPIRAL. STAIRCASE. We were basically royalty.)
A darling little sitting area to the right. :)
And to the left, a cheetah printed massage table. ;) Shari let us know that there was an actual masseuse from town that travels to the cabin for people that stay there. Her phone number and rates were on the fridge if we needed them! (Let's pause and note: I had never had a massage before and I kinda didn't want my first one to be given by a stranger while I was on my honeymoon. So we didn't make use of that service.) But I will say, for not being a professional, my new husband did an excellent job! I wouldn't have rather had any other person give me my first massage (and my second, third, fourth...well you get the point.)
But out of all that we had been shown so far, it was what was awaiting us on the balcony that made us both squeal and gasp the most. I present to you...the hanging bed!
On the balcony! Outside!
With a stunning view of the whole forest behind us! Because the weather was delightful our first day (May! Southern springtime! Gotta love it!) I insisted that we had to sleep out there at least one night. Little did we know there was gonna be a cold snap two days in! Thank the Lord for those fireplaces inside because it was chiiiilly! But it was beyond nice to hang out up here, talk, laugh, listen to sermons. One of my favorite and most sacred memories was the night we went up there, bundled up in blankets and listened to the audio of our wedding ceremony that our friend Daniel was so kind to capture and send to us! Even though we didn't get to spend a whole night up here, it was a great place to nap. :) We were so thrilled and giddy when she first showed it to us that we immediately hopped right onto it and curled up together as Shari continued to talk to us. Even Trevor was surprised at this part! Apparently it was a new addition since he'd seen pictures :) It was there on the swinging bed that she left us, wishing us a happy stay and we were alone at last. ;) It was the first time that we were really able to take a deep breath and start taking it all in. We. were. married. And alone! With no one around! No one to pop in and see what we were doing. No chaperones or public eyes. Just us, together...as husband and wife. On our honeymoon. Did I mentioned MARRIED?!
That afternoon we finally came down from our lofty perch and got ready for lunch. I was excited to find these in the drawer of the vanity in the bedroom. Once again -- just so thoughtful!! They especially came in handy because I had leftover wedding makeup that might as well have been glued to my face! You try so hard to make sure it won't come off during the big day...but you don't think about the day after! ;) These were a lifesaver that face wash was no match for.
Getting ready with all this new bling made me feel lovely. :) (The necklace is what Trevor gave me as a wedding gift...and the wedding band of course.) ;)
My sleepy, newly married,"I just napped and then violently scrubbed off the most makeup I've ever worn" face. ;) But isn't he just the cutest?! I should like marry that guy. <3 Driving to lunch, we couldn't help but keep recounting the innumerable mercies of The Lord that past weekend. We feel so undeserving to have received sososo much kindness. We felt the presence and favor of God over everything and we are inexpressibly thankful. For friends. For family. For all the prayers. For all the love. For the weather. For...just everything!! Wow. What a beautiful way to start marriage...we couldn't have dreamed up something more amazing if we tried.
When we got back from lunch, we decided to walk around the cabin's outside a little to see if we had missed any goodies. We happen to find this beauty. ;)
As if having essentially a hot tub inside wasn't enough, now we had one outside...and with a viiiiew.
The next morning (after we slept in...because we could!!!) we walked out of the bedroom to gloriously find that this wasn't a dream and we really were staying in this magnificent wooden fairy tale castle of love. ;) Look! Our stuff! We were there to stay! No pinching necessary...this was real life wonderfulness.
For lunch we decided to check out this funky little joint that was about a mile from our cabin called Grateful Head Pizza Oven. We had heard good things about it and thought, "Hey! It's pizza! Worth a try!" (Little did we know we'd become so hooked...we would go back 3 more times before the week was out! Yep...that's 4 times in 6 days. We are fans.)
After having our bellies filled with scrumptious cheesy greatness, and watching about 1/4 of Forrest Gump from our seat as it played on the TV hanging on the wall, we decided to go exploring at the nearby Beaver's Bend State Park. :)
It took a few tries to get the whole "taking a selfie with my big camera while balancing on a slippery rock in the middle of a bubbling creek" thing right. ;)
Guess who got the camera for a bit? ;)
After we explored for an hour or so we headed back into town. On our way we passed by here and he said, "Coffee!!" and I said, "Cute name!!" so we both agreed we had to stop. :) Newlywed honeymooners in front of a funky little coffee shop called Adam and Eve?? Come on...way too much sappy-cheesiness to pass up, right?! And so we got out and the selfies began. (Regular selfies.) ;) And then he kissed me in one and I missed it. So we took another. Anyways! All this to say we stood out there smiling, kissing, selfie-ing, being awkward newlyweds for like 5 minutes. Then we went to the door and were abruptly met by a man and a woman with tool belts on and confused looks on their faces. "Um...can I help you? What are you...here for?" the guy asked us, looking skeptically (clearly having watched our PDA outside his window.) As we looked behind him and saw a bare building, floor cluttered with sawdust and construction blueprints we realized we had a made a mistake. "Coffee," Trevor embarrassingly replied, "We came here for coffee. But...this is apparently not..a place...yet." We then grabbed each other's hand and walked (swiftly, and with blushing faces) back to our car. Before getting in we looked up, made eye contact and then burst out laughing. "Welp. That was awkward."
If we weren't eating pizza at Grateful Head for lunch, we were eating it left over for dinner. And Trevor wore that wedding band of his that makes life so grand. Seriously! Who knew I would get goosebumps seeing a ring on his finger! It dawned on me how stupendous it was for us BOTH to FINALLY be wearing representative jewelry. My eyes were drawn to it the whole trip and the butterfly parade marched on in my stomach anew each time! He's MY HUSBAND YOU GUYS!
We spent the rest of the evening chilling at the cabin, watching the rest of Forrest Gump on Trevor's laptop (both remembering that we just really love that movie!), and washing towels. It was very convenient having a washer and dryer there in the bedroom. Not because of dirty clothes...but because of towels! I mean, let's face it...when you have such an awesome shower, jacuzzi tub, and hot tub outside...its a given that towels are gonna be your best friend. ;)
Another day, which I'm quite sure was the coldest and windiest...Trevor got it in his head that he wanted to go golfing! Good thing Broken Bow has that too nearby. ;)
There were nine holes and he wasn't doing terrible. (Not great...but not terrible. Hey, he's not a golfer! What do you expect?) But I...the tagalong...was admittedly...cold. Uncomfortably cold. I tried to be a trooper! I tried to cheer him on! I tried to helpfully watch where his shots were going so we could find the ball quickly. I was the best caddy I could be in such a time as this. But he could see it in my face that this wasn't all the fun that he once thought it was going to be. So on the fifth hole he said, "Alright. I have an idea. We'll both get on the putting green...about 20 yards away from the hole...and take a turn. Like putt-putt. If you win, we'll leave. If I win, I get to finish the rest of the holes." I agreed but knew this was gonna be a disaster. It was bright, and cloudy, and windy. I was cold, I could barely see. But...I had more to gain if I tried than I had to lose, right? So I stepped up and more or less blindly swung. I could tell right then and there as I saw where it was going that it was going to be a close one. Did I really just do what I think I did. Trevor's jaw dropped as he noticed it too. Then with a mutual, "WHAT?!" we watched the ball fall brilliantly in. I had just gotten a hole in one and won us a ticket outta there. ;) I happily gloated about it for the rest of the
On the way back to the cabin we went to Beaver's Bend again, but this time we were checking out the camping areas cause we had heard that there had been flooding. And they weren't kidding!
We might have got a little rained on and nearly froze...but we wore our rings! So that's happy!
And got to go back to our favorite place! :) Don't let the "no clouds" over the cabin fool you. Just cause it wasn't as cloudy here as it was at the State Park...it was just as cooold.
Good thing the inside is so stinkin' cozy. :)
Thankfully, the next day's weather was much nicer! So we walked to go get lunch this time. :)
And our lunch of choice was Grateful Head again. Of course. :)
And Trevor wore his ring! Glory!
On our walk back. :)
We decided our last night there we would dress up and go to a nice restaurant. It was kinda our first nice date...ever? So that was quite a plus. <3 Don't we look lovely? Gosh! I love this man!
We even make blurry look good. ;)
Working to get that perfect Instagram selfie, y'know. ;) It's funny because...walking in to go to dinner with him was one of the first times it really hit me that we were our own entity now. We were...we are the Rubys! Like...that's a thing! I know it doesn't make any sense but...its the little things that get you.
The restaurant we chose was another recommended to us by Shari and her husband called Abendigo's. It, just like Grateful Head, was only about a mile away from the cabin! Score!
Since it was such a nice place, we were on our best behavior.
And wore our finest accessories. (Again!)
We ordered blackened chicken with sauteed button mushrooms, potatoes, and spinach. Pretty sure it should have had "divine" included somewhere in the title. It was amaaazing.
So much so that this literally happened in about 5 minutes. No exaggeration here! None. We couldn't stop raving about it the rest of the night. Maaaan. So so so good. We still
The next day was bittersweetly our last. We spent the morning exploring one last time.
Packing the car :(
So. Now my story is drawing to a close. Its been a long one...and I haven't even begun to tell the whole of it. Maybe we'll have a chance someday to sit down over coffee (or ice-cream cause I don't like coffee and ice-cream is...well, its ice-cream) and tell you some more "best parts" like how we went for a run one day to be like the cool woodland hiker athletic types and enjoyed ourselves for about t-minus 3 minutes before running into a skunk and proceeding to gain all our lost adrenaline and frantically sprint back to our little wooden haven of paradise. Sure, it wasn't Belize. I didn't bask in a bikini on white sandy shores. I didn't snorkel with fish I had never even heard of before. I didn't get a sunburn or collect seashells. But. Here. This cabin. It took (and continues to take) our breath away. It really is the most incredible and magical place we've both ever stayed at. And it being the only place we've ever stayed at with a spouse...well, that gives it a few extra brownie points I guess. ;)
We cannot begin to thank Shari and her husband of Bear Mountain Lodging for allowing us to stay at sweet P.S. I Love You.
Our time there was properly named the "honey"moon. Though we foresee and prepare for future trials, right then and there was an abundance of sweetness. Like dessert for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He made a better fiancé than a boyfriend. And now he is an exceedingly better husband than a fiancé. In the year and a half that we were together I thought he was my best friend. And he was! But it took those 6 days in that cabin to make me realize he was the one whom my soul was made for. We were tied together with an invisible string of trust, intimacy, friendship, and love. I knew it wouldn't be like Hollywood. I knew it would be better than the movies. But I didn't know what better meant. I can't really put it into words because it really is that vast of a feeling. Like when a pregnant woman tries to describe what its like to feel her little one fluttering around and kicking inside of her. You never really know what that means until you feel it yourself. I am changed having felt the "flutters" and "kicks" of marriage. I am changed having become one flesh with someone. I have been made brighter and deeper having my very inmost being fasted to him. All my days aren't made of rainbows and he doesn't recite sonnets to me as I lounge. In fact, one of the biggest roles of marriage has been to show me the darkest sides of myself that I would be the most ashamed to share. Oh! But to have someone take all of you. To accept, care for, cherish, challenge, cover, and belong to all of you. I know it is but a glimpse of Heavenly love. And I truly am made better for having a taste of it.
"When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are to become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to make love every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No...don't blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? But it is!"
| Louis de Bernières - Captain Corelli's Mandolin |