Monday, March 16, 2015

George Bailey Ain't Got Nothing on Me

Preston and I celebrated our 14th anniversary, my 36th birthday, his 39th birthday, and life in general with a "Staycation" for the past 48 hours. Some of you may find this hard to believe, but this is the longest we have been away from the girls, ever. We have had friends tell us, "You guys NEED to leave them for a week or so, for the sake of your marriage. You NEED to leave them so they will be able to be away from you. You NEED to leave them for yada yada yada." I disagree with these statements. 

1. Our marriage is good. Like, really good. I think being married to Preston gets more fun with each passing day. He is crazy about me. And I know it. I don't really see how a week away would confirm that more than him unloading the dishwasher, bringing coffee to me in bed, and not allowing the girls to disrespect me. 

2. I'm ok with them liking us best and wanting to be with us. Before I can even believe it, they will be gone. As in, not living here. Not reading Bible stories with us. Not complaining about the meals I cooked. Not giving me goodnight kisses on every inch of my face. 18 years x 365 days=6,570 bedtime routines. That's really less than what I would like. Tick tock.

3. I get ridiculously fed up with my kids and, yes, my husband. But by the 24 hour mark away from them Preston and I were both wishing they were here. Kind of. 

Again, everyone gets their rest in their own way, as I discussed in this post, and I do not judge that. I think if you can travel for a week solo and that makes you a better parent and have a stronger marriage, please love your kids by doing that. But we don't roll that way, so please leave me alone about leaving my kids. They will leave soon enough. 

Anyways, the Staycation. We ate out every single meal. It was awesome. Steak, eggs benedict, burgers, beer brewed on site, wine, margaritas, coffee that was "poured over" and "pressed." Gourmet chocolate made right before our very eyes. Cheesecake that made me wish all food was cheesecake. 

And we stayed up until 3 am binge watching "Justified." It's getting a little intense for me, but maybe that's because I am softened by 8 1/2 years of Disney and Barbie.

It was an amazing 48 hours. 

Last night we started reliving our prekid days when we were both teachers with amazing breaks of no work filled with books, pools, vacations, projects, spontaneous trips to Destin, skiing, boating, late movies instead of bargain matinees. Preston made the comment, "Do you realize the past two days is how it would be all the time without the girls?"

Which set me to thinking. At one point in our history, we had no debt. We both made decent money. We had 14 weeks a year to ourselves. We had no responsibilities. Like, none. If we had continued on that path, what would our life be like 14 years in?

Maybe I would be a principal somewhere. I did get the "Most Leadership" superlative in high school. Which Preston assures me is code for "Most Bossiest." 

Maybe Preston would be a professor. After all, he only quit his education when we had our oldest. With 10 more class hours and a dissertation the man would have his doctorate.

Maybe I would still wear a size 7 shoe instead of a 9. Thanks, three pregnancies.

Maybe I would shop in the bikini section instead of the "skirt to cover up the cellulite and underwire to hold things up" section. 

Maybe we wouldn't be so well-versed in the best vomit clean-up methods.

Maybe we would have travelled to more exotic locations than Gatlinburg. 

Maybe we would have some money in a 401(k).

Maybe we would drive not a minivan. 

Maybe my house wouldn't look like this:

Notice the birthday countdown chain hanging on my mantel.
And the American Girl box on the coffee table. 
Not straight out of Pottery Barn.

Play-doh box on the floor.
Craft table in dining/living room.
Where everyone has their craft table.

Overflowing trash.
Dishes and dishes and dishes.
And wine. 

And maybe our house would be downtown, within walking distance of all the wonderful places we discovered in our area.

But then I would miss this:

Me, dressed up for an evening out.
I think maybe those are wings?
Or maybe the shoulders of the dress from this post?
I have a million more pictures of art like this. I also have stories of sweetness with which I could bore you. 

But if you have chosen this life path, you have those as well.

And you know there is no steak in the world you would trade for the last sleepy kiss from an almost five year old.

It really is a wonderful life. 



  1. I love this. I stumbled upon your blog and read this, and it is similar to the very feelings with which I am grappling right now. Of course, I am a SAHM by accident, having lost my career to serious injury. I will eventually return to working. I've also been married 14 years, am in the second half of my thirties. So I can relate, relate, relate. Life is crazy with children, but the blessings are so bountiful that the crazy is well justified. Thanks for this post!

    1. Andrea- I'm so glad you stumbled along! Thanks for your kind, encouraging words. I will pray for you as you return to work and that you can enjoy these crazy SAHM days. Nice to "meet" you! Martha


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