• Ashley

Take a Hike

Updated: Mar 17, 2019

Resting at Zion

After our massive IVF fail, I wrote about strategies for coping that helped me get through a pretty dark time. One of those strategies was planning a vacation. It was kind of impulsive (we just got back from a pre-IVF vacation) and just what the doctor ordered.

We started our trip by flying into Vegas and immediately getting he eff outta Vegas! Due to some poor planning (does anyone else struggle with understanding time differences??) we were actually 3 hours ahead - not behind- our home time zone. Nonetheless, we persisted. Driving 4+ hours in the middle of the night to our first stay at the Grand Canyon was probably not advisable but hey, we didn't die.

We stayed at the Bright Angel Lodge and it was perfection. Directly on the rim and the perfect place to launch the hikes we were so excited to take. The hikes, Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibob Trail, took my breath away. Physically (ice, heights, switchbacks) and mentally (views, colors, magnitude). Throughout these hikes, I was filled with gratitude that I have a partner who will adventure with me. And I started to see hiking as a metaphor for infertility. I became overwhelmed by how I wouldn't want to go "hiking" with anyone but him.

Here's how our hiking skills help us in our season of infertility - and visa versa:

~ We encourage each other

~ We check in on each other

~ We believe in each other

~ We sacrifice for each other (OK mostly he sacrifices more. Like when I slipped on the ice and my hiking pole went down the side of the Grand Canyon...he insisted I take his).

~ We respect when the other needs a break

~ We talk about nonsense

~ We enjoy silence


~ We stop to enjoy the view, staying grateful for exactly where we are

After 2 days and 20 miles of hiking in the Grand Canyon, we packed up to leave for our next stops: Bryce Canyon, Zion, and back to Vegas (where we would actually stay and enjoy a great drunken weekend with friends). I carried this metaphor with me over our miles of hiking that were to come. And I hope to carry it with me now that we're back home.

This isn't a piece about how a perfect marriage - we're far from that. Perfection is a boring unicorn - colorless and nonexistent - anyway. This is a piece about the importance of acknowledging the positives in your relationship. Because even in the dark, those positives are there. Even when you're exhausted and don't think you can take another step, there is much to be grateful for.

How do you and your partner survive this season? What are the ways you work great together? What awesome metaphors fit for your relationship? Comment below or chime in on Instagram!!

And, just for fun, here's some pics from our trip. Because traveling is beautiful and I'm not done reliving these views.