So this past weekend, both of our kids spent the night at my parent’s house! Our oldest, Emilia, has slept over many times. Ethan, however, this was his first night away from mommy and daddy! We were both a little worried about how he would do when it came to bedtime. Turns out though, he was FANTASTIC! We were worried for nothing! This was our first kid free night since May 7, 2014…the day Emilia was born. It also was probably the first time, or maybe one of a handful of times, that this mama slept through the night! 🙌🙌🙌
Matthew and I had been planning what we wanted to do since we arranged the whole sleepover on our way back from Indiana visiting family for Christmas. We planned on going to dinner (we ended up at Salsarita’s…one of our favorite places right now!), going to the mall and doing a little window shopping at the Apple store while we were there. For those of you that don’t know…we might be a little obsessed with Apple products! Just saying! Anyways, even though it was a kid-free weekend…we still couldn’t help ourselves from stopping into the Disney Store to see if there was anything Frozen or Mickey Mouse that the kids might like for a little surprise! Little did we know it was the time for their “Twice Upon a Year Sale!” EEEEEEKKKK!!! It was almost dangerous! We got a really good idea of some birthday presents though while we were there! 🙂 After the Disney Store, we went to the Cheesecake Factory to get some cheesecake! Our plan was to get the Cinnabon Cheesecake…but our appetites had other ideas in mind! Matthew ended up with the birthday celebration cheesecake and I got the double Oreo Chocolate Cheesecake. HOLY MOLY! Whatever you do, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT look at the calorie count on those things! Just close your eyes and enjoy! We got home and decided to watch The BirdBox. It was really suspenseful and honestly pretty good in our opinion!
So after the movie was over, we were both just sitting there deciding if our bodies and bellies were about to hate us from eating all the yummy cheesecake. We had watched our movie on Netflix on our Apple TV. When our Apple TV goes to sleep, we have it set up to where it’s connected to our photostream so it started streaming and showing photos of us and the kids. Matthew got really quiet and was staring so intently at the TV screen. He then looks over at me with the gleam of tears in his eyes and he just says “they are growing up in front of our eyes and I’m afraid we’re missing it!” We started talking about how wrapped up in this life we get…not necessarily the experiences we have…but literally all of the things that we feel we “have” to do in order to be successful in life. Now, not all of them are bad things…things like picking up the house, cooking, making grocery lists, doing laundry, menu planning, running a photography business, launching a new business, working on my Young Living business, trying to be a good friend, good wife/husband, good mom/dad, a good daughter/son…the list goes on and on. Sometimes by the end of the day…or when there comes a moment where we’re not doing anything…we choose to sit on the couch and half of the time we end up scrolling mindlessly on Facebook or Instagram while the kids play in the background. But at what cost is trying to #doallthethings and #beallthethings going to affect our family and our children? It does affect them. It really does.
Looking back at those pictures and just watching them scroll by…in no particular order really just hit me hard. How was that picture of Emilia crawling almost 5 years ago? That newborn picture of Ethan all swaddled up…no way that was 2 years ago. All of these things..but one thing we noticed is that it was a lot of the same pictures. The kids playing in front of us, sitting on a couch, taking pictures from our comfortable vantage point of the couch with a blanket. We weren’t on the floor playing with them. Rarely was there a picture where we went somewhere with them…to the Zoo or the Muse or the park even. Not that staying at home playing in their playroom is a bad thing…but couldn’t we do more? Yea…we definitely could!
The funny thing here, Matthew and I actually ended up in a little bit of an argument because he wanted to go to get the kids early on Saturday morning to spend the entire last full day with them before he would go back to school after Christmas Break. While I understood where he was coming from, I really wanted to spend some more time with just him. After having kids, our relationship sometimes has gotten put on the back burner. I’m sure that’s a normal thing and its a season of life that we are in right now while we have young children. BUT…we had the opportunity to spend almost 24 hours together…just him and me…and I really needed this time with him. I’m such a relational person. I thrive on having deep, meaningful conversations not only with Matthew but with my friends. I want to feel close to someone and need to to help me be filled up. As a parent, we pour so much of ourselves out into our kids throughout the day, that sometimes…we just need a quick fill up. I felt that Matthew didn’t understand and didn’t want to spend time with just me. He felt that I didn’t understand and that the time we had spent that night wasn’t enough. It was a little tense. Though I did end up getting my deep and meaningful conversation I craved in the end. Just not necessarily how I had planned on getting it.
We decided to wake up and have a slow morning. And by slow, I mean I slept until 10:25 am (I think Matthew got up around 8:30 or so). We had some coffee and just kind of sat with each other not really doing much. Suddenly, Matthew finds this new song from The Backstreet Boys that they just released. It’s called “No Place”…go ahead and do yourself a favor and go listen to it. We’ll even make it easy for you and drop the link right here. We decided right then and there, that’s going to be our theme song for 2019! So after that, we decided to then go get the kids and take them to the park. Well, when we got there..the kids were devastated that we were there to pick them up! I mean, totally devastated. They wanted to stay and play! So in the end, we did get the entire day on Saturday to ourselves too! Funny how God works sometimes! I think that He really knew we did need this time to ourselves and to just be together. We would just take them to the park after church on Sunday.
We had never been to this park before. It’s a relatively new one in Karns. It’s got big sun shades over all of the playground equipment so that it doesn’t get too hot for the kids. It even has the turf that is soft to cushion falls from little kids. It’s got playgrounds for little kids, big kids, swing sets, obstacle courses, musical instruments, a walking track and a covered room for little babies too! This GEM of a playground is just a short drive from our house! I can’t believe we haven’t gone before. Even though we took our camera with us to document some really fun times…we really decided that our main goal was to be present and intentional with the kids. Playing with them, following them around from place to place as they explored a new playground, laughing with them when they found something new and fun. It was so refreshing. Something we both noticed as we were there…the number of parents who were using the playground to babysit their kids while they were on their phones in some capacity or another. It just confirmed even more for both of us that we really needed to take a step back and rethink a few things!
Sometimes life can get really insanely crazy! We lose track of what’s really important in life. We start thinking that our house has to be perfect; our bodies have to be perfect; we have to have all the answers, go to the right places, have the right things…well, this weekend we got slapped right upside the face with some truth. And to be honest, the truth slap is still stinging a little bit. None of that really matters. What matters is our relationship with our Lord and Savior, our family, our friends. Each other. Our children. Our friends. Spending quality time with them…really with them. Not sorta with them but my mind is elsewhere wondering what “ding” that was on my phone and if it was something I needed to know. Our kids are growing up in front of our eyes and half the time we’re not even sure if we’ve seen it. Matthew and I have been together for almost 10 years and our relationship with each other is so much more than just what we send back and forth to each other via text or gifs. So, take the time…be intentional with your kids, with your spouse, with your family and friends. Take the time to set your priorities straight in life. Put God first…IN EVERYTHING! Keep your marriage strong and show your kids how to love God, what a godly marriage/relationship looks like and what it means to have REAL relationships with each other! I promise you, you will not regret it!