This past weekend, our little family had the opportunity for a free weekend in the Columbia River Gorge!! The Army has an amazing program called “Strong Bonds” that exists to encourage and equip military families as they seek to build strong and lasting bonds with one another. The program is through the Chaplaincy (is that a word?) and it is so great!
The theme this weekend was “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” by Mark Gungor. Childcare was provided as were all our meals and accommodations; we just had to get there! We had such an amazing time. We were surrounded by beauty and we were laughing hysterically about how God created men and women so differently.
On Friday, we got there early, played on the playground and explored the grounds. How smart for a resort to have a playground on the premises? Ding! Points with the wife.
We explored a bit more and then started the weekend with dinner (alone!) and a seminar. The first night was a bit rough once we got back to the room and I was worried Saturday morning. Chase seemed to be getting sick, he didn’t sleep very much that night, and I knew if he got worse we’d have to go home. BLAH! So I prayed. We played the day by ear and he seemed like he was ok. The day turned out to be priceless!
The seminar that morning was encouraging and helpful and when we went to pick the kiddos up, they didn’t even want to come with us! We left Cooper to have some fun but took Chase up to the room for a nap. Then, when everyone was refreshed and ready to go, we went out to explore the Gorge. What fun!
We really wanted to hike up to the top of this big water fall along the Columbia River called Multnomah Falls. It is the 2nd highest waterfall in the U.S. We put Chase in the back pack and off we went. It wasn’t a hard hike but we certainly worked for it. We hiked 1.5 miles up and then back down. There were plenty of switchbacks and it was STEEP! But when we got up to the top it was all worth it. What a great time!
We barely made it back to the hotel in time for dinner, but we made it! The evening ended with swimming with the kids in the pool and chatting with friends in the hot tub. Ahhhhhh…..
Sunday morning was refreshing as we worshiped and enjoyed a message from our Chaplain, Cpt. Lewis and then we got to enjoy one last meal together without the kids before we left.
Coming home was a bit less fun because Chase (the screaming banshee) was not happy and wanted to be sure we really understood the depths of his unhappiness. But, it was well worth the time away. We gleaned some encouraging truths from the seminar, had an opportunity to laugh at each other and created some new inside jokes. We also realized how important it is for both of us to have a break from our littles to talk about our relationship. We have had a bad habit of not going on dates and we have committed to fixing that problem. Deployment has taught us both the value of refreshment!
If you’d like to see more pics of our fun trip, here’s the link!