Status: Thank you for everything x

Footsteps for a Bride-to-Be

#8: "First Family Outing"

July 1st, 2011

As part of our wedding planning, Michael and I were told that we needed to make an important trip to Maui, Hawaii for the sake of our venue and reception as well as other nitty gritty details that were needed to be sorted. I originally thought that it was only me flying to Hawaii as Michael was supposedly headed to Washington D.C. for some sort of photo shoot and whatever else Michael does for promotional things, but he randomly told me a few days ago that before he went back to work and get back to his training, he would want to take the week off to spend our first family outing together in Hawaii, and we would spend Fourth of July there as well. He actually had so many things planned, which I couldn't keep up with.
Apparently, he also wanted Baby Phelps to be introduced to the place where he wanted to get married.

7:50am - Hilton Hotel Room

"Okay, okay, I'll get up," I groaned as I rolled onto my back and sat up. I pressed the blanket against my body to make sure I wasn't making any inappropriate exposure, although we were the only ones in the room at that time. It took a few minutes before my eyes were fully open and aware of the surroundings. "What is it, Michael? It's still too early to check out and we went to bed really late last night..." I yawned.
The Olympian sat at the seat that he situated opposite the bed, and he sat there merely in his boxers as he crossed his arms and leaned back. "I'm sorry, babe, but I was thinking," He began. "You know how you're going to Hawaii and I told you that I'd want to come with you and we'd bring Mitch?"
I didn't catch anything he said. I was half-asleep. I simply nodded in response.
"Is Mitch okay to fly? I'm worried. It'll be the first time he'd be out of Baltimore and on the plane, and we're going to Hawaii, which is going to be a long flight for him, and it'll be his first time on the plane-"
I waved my free hand in front of me. "-Michael," I interrupted him. "I don't have a clue what you're saying, can you talk a bit slower, because you're fiancée is still in dream land," I instructed him.
He rubbed the back of his neck and mumbled something under his breath.
"I heard that." I suddenly became alert when he commented that I sounded like I wasn't worried at all, but I was, and Baby Phelps's health was of great importance to me, especially since he was only a few months old and still a bit helpless. "Hon, I already booked an appointment with the Doctor later today, we're going for a check-up for Mitchie and see if he's okay to fly and get him immunised," I revealed.
A smile appeared on his face. "And that's why I fucking love you," He brightly announced.
"Ah, watch your tongue, Mr Phelps. I don't want Mitch to be hearing words like that!" I scolded as I leaned and landed back against the comfortable queen-sized hotel bed that had survived a pretty crazy night. A smirk curved at the corner of my lips as I closed my eyes. I felt a pair of hands slide up my legs, higher to my hips and waist, up my arms and shoulders. His lips were leaving trails on the way up as well, and right before I could say anything, there was a sudden pressure against my lips.
His taste remained distinct and I was hooked onto him like a drug.
"We don't have to leave until a couple of hours, right?" Michael whispered into my ear as he pecked the side of my neck lightly. "I have an idea on how we could waste some time." He nipped at my ear lobe before his weight pressed me deeper into the bed. His hands travelled back down, caressing my skin with his touch, which distracted me before a sudden feeling of pleasure surged through my body. My back arched, and my fingers dug into his back.

Michael was a gentle lover, an amazing Father, and I was going to be married to him next year.

1:50pm - Our Love Nest

"Mommy and Daddy are home!" I heard Lia yell from the other side of the house. She was probably in the Living Room as Michael and I were greeted by Derek. He looked at us smugly as he commented, "Well, well, you two look well... Relaxed, and it's not even your Honeymoon yet."
Michael laughed and replied, "We'll probably be more exhausted if it was our Honeymoon."
"You two and your sick-minded jokes," I shook my head.
"It's what we boys do," My fiancé chuckled as he pecked the top of my head and took my bag from me to take to the room. I turned to Derek, who beckoned me to the direction of where his wife would be, and I walked towards them. So it was only a day away from Baby Phelps, but I missed him and his goofy smile.
"Look who it is! It's Mommy," Lia greeted as she lifted the baby to his feet and turned him around towards me. He smiled brightly as he waved his little hands around, and I couldn't help but smile either.
I wandered to him and lifted him to the air before pressing him against me. "I missed you, Mitchie."
He cooed in response.
"Was he being good?" I asked Lia as she stood to her feet.
"Mitchie is too well-behaved," She joked as she gave the baby a pinch on the cheeks. "But so adorable," She added as she then turned around to the coffee table, lifted up an envelope and waved it around. "Oh, and your tickets are arrived this morning."
"Great, I have to take him to the Doctor today to get him immunised and checked to see if he's okay to fly."
"I'm jealous that Baby Mitchie gets to Hawaii while I have to go to North Carolina for Fourth of July," She complained with a baby voice as she pinched the baby's cheeks again. "And I bet that your Mommy and Daddy made you a sibling last night."
I covered Baby Phelps's ears and hissed at my best friend. "We did not, and he doesn't need to hear it."
"Hey, he probably doesn't understand the process yet," She continued to tease.
"Ah, I want him to stay innocent for as long as I can," I replied. "But between you, Derek and Michael, I don't know when he'll lose his innocence."
The baby only cooed. He was adorable, since he probably thought Lia and I were playing with him because he giggled every time my best friend said something rather inappropriate. I couldn't help but smile and laugh with him whenever he giggled, and I wasn't supposed to as I tried to look like I was serious in the playful argument with my best friend - talk about being a bit immature.

Lia and Derek went home an hour later, and I was set to leave for the Doctor's appointment for Baby Phelps too while Michael was unsure of what to do with his day, which was a first. He usually had something up, even when he looked like he didn't.
"I think I'm going to sleep," He muttered as he had Baby Phelps lying on his chest as he lay on the bed, watching me pack for our flight in two days.
"Why don't you- Erm, never mind," I stopped myself. I trusted him and appreciated his responsibility, but packing for a week trip to Maui wasn't something I wanted him to do, and it was probably just my fussy persona, but yeah...
"I'll make myself handy," He suggested.
"What are you going to do?" I questioned him as I closed the luggage and stood up, turning to him with my arms crossed. My eyebrow lifted as I waited for him to answer.
"Don't give me that look." He laughed as he stood from the bed, his grasp tightly on Baby Phelps as he made his way to me and gave the baby over. He leaned down to peck the top of my forehead, then my nose, and to my lips as he said, "I'll surprise you."
"I'm worried."
"I love you too."

What was he up to?


July 4th, 2011 - Maui, Hawaii

7:40am - Hotel Wailea

Touched down and checked in, we were exhausted. Baby Phelps didn't cry as much on the plane, but he became fussy when we got off the plane and cried on the way to the hotel. We didn't usually stay at that hotel before, but because it was a good place to rent out a retreat for the guests attending the wedding, we booked a room and wanted to explore the retreat for our wedding. Lindsay didn't arrive until the 6th, which allowed the three of us for some quality family time before getting on with the planning. Though she did mention that she's sorted most of the troubling parts already, however, the food was all our decision, and Michael was the one more excited for the taste testing.

We entered the suite with a half-asleep Baby Phelps in my hold.
"Mitch got a bit fussy," Michael commented as he lugged the luggage into the bedroom.
"I know. I thought he'd be fussy on the plane, but-" I paused as the baby began to cry again. I cradled him in my arms, did a little side to side dance and wandered to the balcony to look out at the view to relax me, and hopefully, the baby too. "Don't start acting like me," I whispered to him. I continued to try to calm him down, which worked - eventually. I figured Baby Phelps was annoyed because his sleeping pattern was screwed up, and he got that from me. The more I learned to be a Mom, the more I realized and became thankful for my Parents for raising me, because I swear I was a little rascal.
"I have to warn you, Anne," Michael called from the room as he sounded like he was rummaging through things and exploring the suite. "Mom said that I was like this as a baby," He revealed, which made me turn around so fast that it made Baby Phelps slightly twitch. I apologized to my son before I looked back at my fiancé, who walked towards us and softly said, "Mom said that when I was a baby, whenever we travelled somewhere, it wasn't really the travelling that troubled me, but it was because I didn't have proper sleep."
"That's like me!" I exclaimed.
"No way," He couldn't believe it too.

What were the odds that we were similar?
Oh wait, I actually knew that, because whenever Michael got home from a place with a different time zone, he had a whacky sleep pattern and he got moody if he got disturbed. Although, I had a better sleeping pattern than him because he always allowed me to sleep and my easy-going type of career had helped too. I supposed either way, Baby Phelps was doomed to be cranky whenever his sleep was disturbed, because both his Parents loved sleeping.
My poor son.

An hour later, I collapsed on the bed. Baby Phelps finally stopped crying, but he decided not to go to sleep, instead, I made Michael take him as I took a nap. The two actually got along well, and because the baby lay on the Olympian's chest, they both took to the TV while on the sofa and watched cartoons on that Monday morning. We were supposed to be doing Family things that day, since it was our first Family outing and it was the Fourth of July, but really, we were tired just from trying to calm Baby Phelps down. And all the fireworks weren't happening until night time, so we had a full day of doing other things for a while.
I fell asleep for a good half-an hour before I forced myself up from the bed and dragged my feet along the crème carpet and pushed the sliding doors open and saw Michael changing Mitchell's nappy. My knees nearly gave way, and if it did, I would've fallen to the floor by the time Michael took notice of me watching him do his Daddy duties. I was always a sucker for his Fatherly ways with Baby Phelps. I waited until he finished changing the nappy that I made my way over to the both of them, standing behind Michael and wrapped my arms around him, and I leaned my head against his as we stared down at the smiling baby.
"Well, look who finally cheered up," I commented as the baby kicked around and giggled at me.
"I was about to say the same thing," Michael added to tease me. I knew who he was talking about, but he quickly saved his own butt by holding onto my left hand and pecked the diamond ring that was wrapped around my ring finger. "I love you."
"You better." I playfully choked him. "What's the plan today?"
"Remember when I said I had a surprise?"
"Oh, I'm still worried, so yes, I remember."
"Well, Ms Sassy Miller, we're going back to the Blue Pool," He proudly announced as he reached forward and lifted Baby Phelps from the sofa and held him up to his feet. The baby nibbled on his fingers as he cooed and smiled and remained adorable. While I slid my arms away from Michael and crossed my arms and asked, "What are you planning, Mr Phelps?"
"I told you, it's a surprise."

Oh gosh.

11:12pm - The Blue Pool // Helele'ike'oha Falls

Instead of riding the bicycle all the way to our secret spot, we rented a car for the week and placed the bicycles at the back so that we would only bike for a short time. And with Baby Phelps with us, we had to be extra careful when riding the bike on the bumpy road. Although Baby Phelps was giggly and looked fine throughout the bike ride, by the time we got to our spot, he probably didn't like the heat because he got a bit grumpy. While waiting for Michael to set up a small picnic spot, I carried the baby and we both eyed the waterfall as it collided with the water. I pointed towards certain areas and explained to Baby Phelps about what happened and what his Father and I did while we were there, but I made sure not to go into deep detail because it wasn't appropriate for a baby to hear such things.
"Anne, even if you tell him what we did in the cave, he wouldn't know or understand," I heard Michael yell over the waterfall as he then asked me to turn around. I took a peek and smiled at the sight. He arranged a picnic just for us, there was a camera out and he began taking photos of everything in the area. I asked him why he brought a camera, and he answered, "Because we need to keep memories of the first outing. Stuff like these need to be remembered."
I laughed at how cute it sounded coming from a man like him.
"Plus, you two are photogenic," He complimented as I made my way over to him and sat on the blanket. I sat Baby Phelps against me and we both eyed the whole arrangement. It was sweet for Michael to do such a thing, especially since his elaborate plans usually came out when he wanted to be romantic, or he had something to announce or...
"Can I ask you something?"
There it was.
"What would do you think about having a simple wedding back in Baltimore?"
I didn't look at him. It was his idea that he wanted to get married in Hawaii in the first place.
"Or just in front of the judge or something...?"
I bit my lower lip as I held onto Baby Phelps's hands and clapped them together to distract myself from getting annoyed at him. "Are you having cold feet?" I grunted. So it came out anyway, the moody me.
"No, um, maybe."
"What do you mean maybe?" I hissed, though trying to keep my tone of voice a bit civilized and not irritate the grumpy baby that sat innocently in front of me.
"It's just... I feel like I rushed you into this."
"What are you on about? What's gotten into you?"
Michael rubbed his forehead and mumbled, "I don't know. I've had these thoughts lately, and I don't know why. I mean, I want to marry you and have you take my last name, but then I wonder if you're really ready for it, you know?"
I reached over to him and caressed his cheek. I smiled weakly at him and said, "Michael Phelps, we've been together longer than you and I hoped. We have this little boy over here to look after, and you're not going to marry me? What are you afraid of?"
"The same thing you're scared of."
I looked away for a moment. My mouth shaped into an 'oh' as soon as I clicked. "That's right," I began. "I guess it's my fault for making you think this way, right?"
"But I won't leave Mitch like how my Dad walked out on me, and I won't ever leave you."
"Are you sure?" I sighed.
"Well, if you want to stick by a little longer with me, then yeah."
You didn't know how relieved I was to hear him say that. I felt my heart pound bump against my chest as I returned my attention to Baby Phelps and lifted him to his feet. I lifted him up and down for a bit before I handed him over to Michael and said, "I think he wants to swim."

Dressed in a tiny pair of blue striped board shorts that was similar to his Father's - thanks to one of the sponsors - the two stood in front of me in their matching get up. Even though Michael hadn't gone to the gym or trained for the past two weeks due to getting sick, he still had a toned figure, the lines of his abdomen formed at each inhale, and his biceps flexed as he held the ten pound baby in one hand. Baby Phelps was the opposite as he had a round belly, chubby cheeks and arms. He cooed in his Father's arms as he looked excited to go for a swim. Like his Father, Baby Phelps loved the water, well, he hated it at first and cried when water got on his face, but as he got used to it, he loved it way too much.
I stood up with the bottle of sunblock in my grasp and I began to rub the lotion all over the both of them, even though I teased Michael by just slapping a blob of lotion on the side of his face when I squeezed too much in my hand. He leaned against me and rubbed his face against mine to wipe it off. When I reached to his chest area, he lifted Baby Phelps away from his chest and there I saw a tattoo of my name at the top and our son's baby at the bottom. I gasped as he said, "Surprise."
"When did you get this?" I stuttered as he replied, "I told you I had a surprise. I got it done the day after my birthday, when you went to the Doctor with Baby Phelps."
"How come I didn't see it?"
He shrugged. "You're just not observant enough."
"Alright, off you go. I need some alone time with myself and the fruits," I spoke as I pushed Michael gently and I watched the two of them wander away and into the water. Both of them had big smiles on their face. I lifted the camera up from the top of my bag and began to take photos of the two, waddling and splashing the water around. They enjoyed themselves so much that I got a bit jealous and followed after them.

10:20pm - Wailea Beach

The Fourth of July fireworks were held by the beach. The three of us were seated on the blanket laid out on the sand, staring at the beautiful night sky. They delayed the fireworks to 10:30 in the evening because there was some problem, so we got there in time with some space for us to take a seat. It was packed. Most of the people there were in families, some were guests and the others were residents. We mingled a bit with the surrounding families because thy managed to recognize Michael and we appeared on a few of their holiday photos because of it, and Baby Phelps seemed to enjoy the attention too. An elderly couple behind us played with him and he couldn't stop laughing. I cuddled into Michael's arms as Baby Phelps took a seat in between my legs, and he sat there, tapping his little hands against my thighs as gurgled around.

"Anne, every year, we're going to come here on the Fourth of July, okay?" Michael suddenly suggested. "I want to make a Family tradition, so this should be one of them."
"A visit to Hawaii, huh?"
"Yeah, we'll talk about it later, after we get married."
"Buying a holiday house," I thought aloud. "What about Thanksgiving and Christmas in New York?"
He laughed. "Anne," He whispered my name as he pressed his lips against my cheek and pulled me closer to him. "I love you, Ms Miller," He added.
"I love you, Mr Phelps," I grinned as I pressed my lips against his.
"Wait, before the fireworks gets going, lift Mitch up, we'll take a photo," He instructed me as I followed his instructions and he placed the camera in front of us.
"Smile, Mitchie." I bounced Baby Phelps up and all three of us smiled. Just in time too, the camera flashed and the fireworks then started.

So, having Fourth of July in Maui every year wouldn't hurt, right?
Our first Family outing and our first Family tradition, and Michael got a tattoo of mine and Baby Phelps's name on his chest, what's next?
♠ ♠ ♠
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