Fortunately, Shawn is not a fan of the normal, busy, or mundane. So for our big 13th, he planned a little surprise for his young bride (that's me!). And surprise according to Shawn goes a little something like this:
He casually mentions one day that he wants to plan a little anniversary thing and to leave such and such weekend open. I, being the control freak that I am, begin a firestorm of questions about what he is thinking and what's the plan and what should we do. He answers none of these and we go on about our day.
Fast forward a week or so and he comes home from work with a gigantic grin on his face. This is the grin he uses when he wants me to ask him what the grin is all about. So I do. He says "oh nothing." Ten minutes go by. He finds me in the kitchen and ramps the grin up even bigger and says "well...I want to tell you but I want it to be a surprise." So I assure him that I want to know and he divulges the scoop and we get all giddy and jump up and down and kiss square on the mouth.
This is how we work. He loves planning and researching and spoiling me. I love surprises but I love the way he can't keep a surprise a surprise even more so I always let him ruin it. It's kinda the best.
So we packed up our boys and a few clothes more appropriate for warmer weather.
The four of us jumped on a jet plane and flew to Scottsdale.
This is what was waiting for us. Hello sunshine.
Shawn's parents live in Scottsdale and volunteered to keep the boys at their house while Shawn and I had our little adventure. I am pretty sure the boys had a horrible time.
Wouldn't you say?
Meanwhile, Shawn and I did our best to shock and offend every person in AZ with our pasty white midwestern skin. But we considered it a sport and even threw in some bloody marys for good measure.
To say it was the best would be an understatement. To say we needed it would be comical. We needed it.
I feel like the two of us do a pretty good job of keeping our relationship first and trying to keep it fresh and spontaneous and fun. But there is only so much you can do in the span of meeting for lunch or date nights or the hour and a half we have after the kids are in bed before we both pass out.
This vacation did what we can't do at home. It gave us time. It took away the pressure of having to be parents and workers and room-moms and friends and neighbors and housecleaners and remodelers and billpayers and short order cooks. It gave us time to be a couple. With four nights alone, we really were able to get into the real groove of relaxing and enjoying each other.
Sometimes in the day to day life we lead, I find myself wanting to embrace our marriage and our relationship but I often have a window of like 39 minutes to get it accomplished. So we spend our date night trying to soak each other up but I am flooded with thoughts of if the babysitter is going to accidentally let the dog out or if the kids are going to let us sleep a little in the morning or who are we going to run into while we are out or do we need to pick up milk...blah blah blah blah.
So we soaked each other up until there was no more to be soaked and then we tried a little harder. We sat and didn't have to shove all the important discussions we need to have into a 45 minute dinner. Sometimes we talked. Sometimes we just sat. Sometimes we napped. Sometimes we read. We belly laughed and I think I even cried a few times just for good measure and to keep it real.
And it wasn't until I got back and finally slipped back into my normal life that I realized how much we needed it, because I found myself really missing him. Even when he was just at work or fixing something outside. I missed that connection we had just spent days nourishing and building and perfecting. The good news? It's easier, now, to find it more quickly on date nights and while watching a show together in the evening or even with a quick glance across the dinner table with two little monkeys chatting away because of it's new strength.
Thank you for an amazing anniversary, Sweet Pea. Thanks for always knowing what we need. You are my best friend.