A Day in Manitou Springs

 

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Jason and I have been living in Colorado for almost a year already! We absolutely love living here and have so many adventures planned! Manitou Springs was one of the first places we visited in our area and it remains one of our favorite places to visit with friends and family who visit us. When we visited this particular time, I was about halfway through my pregnancy with our sweet Addison, who is now almost 5 months old! It is hard to believe, really.

We love visiting Manitou for many reasons; a few of them being the overall charm of the town, the fun shops, the easy-going feel, and views. One of the things I love so much about Colorado is all the history found here and Manitou Springs does not disappoint in that arena. Manitou Springs was founded in the 1870s with the intent that the town would become a scenic health resort because of the healing mineral waters found there. The mineral springs are still functioning today, and visitors can have a drink of the water that “built the town.”

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Grace

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Two years ago, I rung in 2014 in London with Jason, my sister, and one of our closest friends. We found ourselves at a little bar called “Grace,” on the eve of the New Year. We needed a little snack prior to seeing Les Miserables on the West End.

The real point is, though, is that we stumbled into a place called “grace.” Mirriam Webster lists one definition for grace as: a way of moving that is smooth and attractive and that is not stiff or awkward.

I could not have known or anticipated then the struggle that 2015 would be. 2014 was largely wonderful, Jason and I enjoyed the rest of our time in Germany, prior to moving back to the states in September of 2014.

We rung in 2015 at our new home in California. California was always a place I dreamed of living most of my life, so at first, it seemed like a dream come true. What it actually became though, was one of the most difficult and lonely years of my life. I did not walk through 2015 gracefully, no, I stumbled and crawled my way through. I just needed to make it through in any way possible. I battled the most intense depression that I have ever experienced. I became a shell of the person I had worked so hard to become.

But here’s the thing about grace. Sometimes it finds you. Unexpectedly. Grace is undeserved, but God gives it anyway. Another definition for grace is: favor. Mercy.

2015 taught me that some years are not graceful. Some years we just do whatever we can do survive; hold on to the hope that things will get better. And, they do.

Here I sit, the first week of 2016 in our new home in Colorado, while our sweet baby kicks, the snow falls outside and the fire keeps me warm inside. This morning it hit me, that after all of the mess of 2015, I am finally happy again. Content. Inspired. I am finally looking forward and not backward. But, I am also grateful, because I know that without all the difficult things we experience, we would not always recognize or appreciate the good things.

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” -Victor Hugo, Les Miserables