But Cupcake recently weaned and I've had a couple of opportunities to get out of town without a child growing in, suctioned to, or clinging against my body.
Last weekend The Man and I enjoyed our first night away, just the two of us, in nearly 3 years. It was heaven, a wonderful 24-hour slice of heaven.
We love the sweeties and we know how blessed we are to have them, but I truly underestimated the necessary "connecting" that does not happen when we are living real life, day in and day out. The connecting that is hardly possible when scared children are sleeping in your bed or suctioned to your body. The connecting that is not possible without "Can somebody come wipe me?" interrupting our cherished adult conversations.
We felt SO rejuvenated in our relationship with one another, resembling giggly, ridiculous newlyweds for days afterward. Sigh.
Only a week later, I got to take a trip to Cherokee Cove in the Tennessee mountains with two other moms for a scrap-booking getaway (which cost just a little over $100, food and all!) We joined other women (who also don't get out much) and experienced pure bliss. Our weekend went something like this: Talk, laugh, coffee, scrapbook, eat, coffee, talk, laugh, ooh and ahh over photos, scrapbook, eat, laugh, talk, coffee...
You get the picture.
I am a lapsed scrap-booker. Once able to leap over stacks of completed albums in a single bound, I am now many, many years behind. I am waiting to morph into Scrapzilla. Scrapzilla's super-powers make 40,000 photos on one's hard drive reappear into completed albums.
I have not morphed yet. I did resolve, however, to take all the supplies to start Cupcake's baby album. And guess what? It's nearly done. It's simple and lovely and written in. Amazing what you can do with 48 hours, much caffeine, great tunes, and a host of chatty women let out of their homes for the weekend.
And in case you don't hate me enough, I ate the most delicious food EVER. We had our own chef. He would call us for each meal when it was ready and describe each dish in detail, using words like demi-glaze, fresh, organic, and homemade. I ate things like salmon and asparagus and cabbage rolls and chocolate dessert deliciousness.
And while some of you may eat things like this on a regular basis, my lunch du jour typically consists of cold mac n' cheese chiseled off my kids' plates. Having a happy chef cook the meal of my dreams every few hours nearly put me in a food coma. Honestly, I'm surprised to have anything to show for my weekend besides a few extra pounds and a great deal of bloating.
To top it off, the mama's I traveled with (and who invited me) are awesome. I've known B as an acquaintance for 6+ years. I've known the other B for only a few months. We all ended up in the same Bible study small group this semester and I love them both...especially after a weekend of eating, laughing, crying, story-sharing, and an inordinate amount of potty humor. Because we're classy like that.
I also enjoyed the company of other wonderful women and heard bits of their stories. I love peoples' stories. I was chatting it up with one of the women and after making a series of connections, we discovered that she's read my blog. We don't even live in the same state. How's that for crazy?
So what's the moral of the post?
You've got to get out.
I feel refreshed, energized, equipped, and connected. I got a little bit of myself back. And I realize that I have greatly underestimated the power of getting out.
I've even felt guilty for feeling the need to get out. I mean, frontier women in the 1800's never got to go on scrapbook weekends or get to spend a night at the frontier Marriott with their hard-working frontier husband.
But the fact is, I'm not a frontier women born into frontier culture and equipped in frontier ways. I am a twenty-first century woman with twenty-first century kids and twenty-first century stresses.
I learned that getting out is good for the soul and quite possibly a necessity for non-frontier types like myself.
Do you get out much?
A HUGE thank you to The Man, who selflessly braved a weekend alone with our children and lived to tell about it.