Dude! Did you know that Jamaicans actually say, “ya mon” to, like everything?!  It’s true! They do! I always thought it was just a silly, Rastafarian stereo type, but it’s not! They REALLY say it! That’s just one of the fun little takeaways I got from my trip to Jamaica last week with the Brettster. (That’s what I call my husband– sometimes…usually only in my head, rarely out loud, and apparently today in my writing, which comes from my head, so that kind of makes sense.)


Brett and I spent an entire week at the Jewel Paradise Cove, Adults Only, All-Inclusive Resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica last week and let me tell you, it was just what we needed! It was the first time in eight years that we took a real vacation, and it was magical! And not just because of the never-ending adult beverages. Though they were pretty magical, too!


Of course, it goes without saying that Jamaica is an absolutely beautiful destination, but that’s not what made this so special. I mean it certainly played a part, but it was just the backdrop for an experience that probably could have been had anyplace else where our cell phones were turned off, all of our physical needs such as food, water and a place to sleep were met— effortlessly, with an abundance of activities to keep us occupied were available, 24/7.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might remember a post I wrote called, “Gastric Bypass and Divorce.” It started a short series of posts, including a couple of posts from Brett and even a VLOG post where he and I shared our struggles about the changes in our marriage post weight loss surgery, AKA– extreme weight loss, AKA– extreme lifestyle change. I haven’t written about that topic since then because there really hasn’t been much to say. He and I have just found our way in life together, even with our differences. The main thing that has changed is that we trust each other to provide love and support no matter where we are in our in our personal evolution. Period. That doesn’t mean that the issues don’t exist. They just don’t affect our feelings for each other. You know, all that love and stuff.


Because we lead very different lifestyles– I love all things health and fitness and he loves…well, the opposite– spending quality time together can be a challenge. This was the main catalyst for our marital troubles in the past. Since then, we’ve realized that just because we have different interests and priorities, that doesn’t mean we can’t find common ground; so we’ve found ways to work around that. Instead of him getting into CrossFit and Spartan Races, or me trying to find the appeal in flight simulators and Reddit, he and I bond over other things like working on home projects together and trying new activities like the batting cages and hitting golf balls– poorly. Basically, we’ve stopped focusing on the activities we don’t do together and have chosen to focus on our commitment to each other, no matter what. I must say, it’s working quite well. Awww…isn’t that sweet?

One of my issues early on was blaming Brett for the choices I was making that didn’t benefit me. It was hard to face the truth and remind myself that my choices were mine and not his. But once I took responsibility for that and stopped feeling resentful towards him every time he “made me” eat something I “shouldn’t,” my love for him and myself grew. Marriage is tough, but it’s also a precious gift that we give to each other every day. I feel very fortunate that I get to spend my days with a man who loves and supports me, even when I’m at my worst. And (most of the time) I feel fortunate that I get to do the same in return.  xoxoxo– barf.

So what does Jamaica have to do with this? Well, it gave us another opportunity to just be together, to try new things and to remember why we choose to love each other every day.  In Jamaica we had no distractions from work, responsibilities, task lists, or technology. Other than a few conversations with other people here and there, we were our sole source of each other’s human interaction. We talked about important things and unimportant things and sometimes we said nothing at all. But we were together 24 ours a day for six nights and seven days and not once did either of us want to escape.  We ate when we were hungry. We drank when we were thirsty. And we got to try new activities together that have piqued our interest in perusing them further.

I tried stand up paddling boarding which was AWESOMEuntil I fell off and was convinced that I was going to step on a sea urchin. Then I was the opposite of awesome. And he tried kayaking! (no pictures because I was on the SUP when he was on the kayak.)


We boated.

We played pool.


We hiked a waterfall.

And we took a scuba course!

This was the best of all. We both enjoyed it so much that we are looking into getting certified so we can add scuba to our list of activities we can do together.

We also spent plenty of time just relaxing…

Reading on the beach.

Floating in the pool.


Drinking at the bar…in the pool.


And eating delicious meals.


We walked the boardwalk every morning and night.


And we enjoyed live entertainment in the evenings…well, the evenings that didn’t involve passing out before 8:30.


This vacation was just what we needed, individually and as a couple. Leaving was HARD! Neither of us wanted to return to reality but it was a great reminder of what’s important to us.

Today I’m thankful for tax returns and cheap, last-minute vacations on Vacation Express! It’s crazy what a week away can do for the heart and soul.

Have you struggled in your relationships due to a lifestyle change made by one of you? If so, how do you find ways to come together with love and respect for each other?