My husband and I recently embarked on a new adventure. It has team-building exercises, including trust falls, group projects, and communication improvement activities. The group projects can get pretty messy - but the joy is in the journey, right? There are some challenges that are mostly for me to figure out and other tasks that he’s in charge of, but our mutual support and encouragement of each other along the way have been crucial. We’ve been all over the world together - from Nepal to Costa Rica to Greece - but this adventure will forever be our greatest.

Every day of the adventure is brand new - new things to see, countless photo opportunities, and situations that we can barely wrap our minds around. There are happy moments and sad ones, and others that I wish I could freeze and relive over and over again. Each day has a full itinerary - some days we stick to it, but most days we allow for flexibility because our circumstances tend to change often. We’ve seen new parts of the world, been able to sympathize with new groups of people, and learned more about ourselves than we ever thought possible. We’ve been challenged to become better, more selfless, and more patient - qualities that we know we’ll be practicing for a lifetime.

It’s amazing how this adventure has changed me. I’m confident that the skills I’ve developed, the perspective I’ve gained, and the deep love I’ve felt cannot be matched in any other life situation - for this is the adventure of parenthood.

Every day our baby girl is learning, growing, and finding new joys. We’ve watched her learn to roll over, then crawl, then walk, and now run. We’ve witnessed her learning to talk - starting with “mama” and “dada,” and by 18 months, putting together full sentences like “where did the dog go?” I will always be in awe of the way her little mind takes in each word, each sound, and gives it meaning. As her friendly personality develops, we have a front-row seat to watch her begin to interact with the rest of the world - waving and smiling at everyone, being excited to see her family members, and always giving out hugs. And of course, the little moments are our favorite - eating meals together, playing chase, building blocks, doing puzzles, blowing bubbles, reading books, and snuggling before bed.

Along the way, I’m so grateful to have my husband, my best friend, as my adventure buddy. Adventures are fun but they can also be risky as you venture into the unknown - having a strong partner changes everything. To step in when things get tough. To laugh when there’s nothing to do but laugh. To stay positive when things go wrong. To share the good times and the bad.

Yes, this adventure means there will be less time for other adventures because this adventure changes everything - and it’s all for the better. The opportunity to see the world through her eyes, to be able to be her guide through life, and to be her biggest fan - that’s the adventure of a lifetime.