The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Marriage

beach pic

Isn’t it wonderful to start the day with a warm, relaxing bath? The calmness, the quiet… the realization as I reach for the soap that I left it in the separate standup shower… I wonder if anyone would notice if I use the random bottle of conditioner from five years ago as soap…

Anyway, back to why we’re here:

I’m convinced that this summer my husband and I discovered the #1, hands-down BEST thing you can do for your marriage. And it only took us five and a half years. {To be so book smart (or, in my case, pop culture trivia smart) sometimes we’re a little socially slow.}

In the past, we thought we were nurturing our relationship as long as we spent a night or two away. Away as in 20 miles away. We would go “away” maybe twice a year if we were lucky.

Get to the destination around 4 or 5 o’clock, have a nice dinner, go back to our expensive hotel, and wake up the next morning with the TV still on, realizing we fell asleep while trying to catch up on a little Grim. Then we’d laugh about how lame we are that we fell asleep before 9 pm, pack up our- wait, no need to pack what we didn’t unpack, get in the car and go home, maybe picking up breakfast on our way.

That was the extent of our “us” time.

Then it all changed… This year my husband had a conference to go to. He could choose between Sandestin, FL or San Diego (which, apparently, does NOT mean “a whale’s vagina”). He got an idea… he said, “Let’s see if someone can keep the kids and take the trip together!” {which means Florida because he doesn’t like to fly} I said “OK!” Then I said, “I can’t leave the kids for FIVE DAYS!” Then I said, “But I would love to drink at the beach all day without having to hose sand out of Roman’s butt crack or worry about Bella flinging sand in a stranger’s eyes as she Baywatch runs through everyone’s towels with no concern about anyone else around.” Then I cried a little. Then I picked them up from day care and quickly packed my bag. A month in advance.

The anticipation of the trip gave me as a mom hope and excitement. I had more patience. My perspective changed. Work was manageable, home was manageable. I had something to look forward to.

E leaving for beach

Normally, I’d dread spending 6 hours in a car. This trip was FUN! We stopped when we wanted to, where we wanted to. We had no one to worry about but ourselves. We sang at the top of our lungs. Needless to say, we’re super cool.

first beach view

Once there, we enjoyed EACH OTHER. Even the room smelling like shat didn’t keep us down! For reals, it smelled like someone took an actual shat in our room. We could have gone back to the lobby and asked for another room. But we were tired and just wanted to get dinner. Instead, we decided to open the drapes in the master bedroom to get some light and air in. That’s when we realized that being on the second floor means you’re eye-level with pool goers. Normally, I would have marched myself to the lobby and DEMANDED that if there were another room available maybe we might like to perhaps switch. Instead, we laughed about it and left to get dinner. When we came back 3 hours and several drinks later, we didn’t even notice the smell!

We were able to relax and have fun and DO NOTHING. We remembered that we actually like each other. It wasn’t life on autopilot simply going through the motions to get through the day and get the kids to bed so we could go to sleep. We laughed mockingly at other parents who had to drag their entire houses to the beach while we clinked our Yeti cups together and chugged our alcohol.

e and r beach pic

My husband and I spent just enough time away that we reconnected and at the end, we were ready to get back to our babies. And we came away with memories and inside jokes and experiences that we have together. And if you’re ever in Sandestin, go to Marlin’s and ask for Pitman. He’s an amazing photographer and an avid Dixie Chicks fan.

rick and e at dinner



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