This post has been on my heart for a while and it seems only fitting with Valentine’s Day on Friday that I get it out there. Not that you need one specific day to tell someone you love them but… On our 5 year wedding anniversary Kev and I headed off to Paris for a few days (Wow! Almost 3 years has passed already!). Rowan was only 9 months old at the time and stayed with her Grandparents while we were traveling. She, of course, loved it! It was the most wonderful trip – LIKE, EVER. It was so magical, romantic and just a whole heck of a lot of fun. During the trip I got an email from a women who was very angry that we had taken the trip without Rowan. She said something like “You shouldn’t have had kids if you were going to be so selfish and leave them to do what you wanted to do.” I was very hurt by the email back then. What a blow to a new parents self esteem. Times passed and well, I haven’t thought about that email in a very long time. However, it popped into my head a few weeks ago and I just laughed. I felt sad that whoever that was couldn’t have seen why I would want to go away with my husband. That her and her husband didn’t have that kind of relationship where they could value that importance.
Long before we ever had kids, my husband was there. He was first. When I got back from Alt Summit a friend asked if I was able to have a good time being away from the kids. Truth is, I can. I can be in the moment and appreciate the small break away as an adult. I miss them every second of the day, but you know who I miss the most? Kev. I have the hardest time being away from him.
Kev will always come first.
Our relationship will always be top priority because I love my kids.
However, that doesn’t mean the kids get neglected. They are not second rate in any respect but it does mean that it’s ok for Kev and I to make it a priority to go out on date nights, to get away every now and then and to make sure they know how important our love is for each other. I think the best thing we can do for our children and our home is to have a happy, healthy relationship. In doing so, I always want him to be my very best friend. It’s an aspect of our relationship that we choose to nurture. Before we started dating, we were friends. I don’t think that is the way it has to happen, but for us it worked. We hung out a lot as friends in college. Lots of late nights up in the art studio cramming to get projects done. We shared so many interests in common: Art, music, cats, strong bad (jk), love of adventure, hockey, being silly, etc… Slowly (or not so slowly for someone – cough, cough, Kev) friendship turned to love. Now 8 years later our love is greater than ever but it’s still based on friendship. There is no one I would rather be with than him. I don’t care what we are doing, where we are or what our circumstances are. If we are together, then I am home. He truly completes who I am. I am still my own self, but in him, I am a better version because he is my strongest cheerleader and my encouragement. He listens to my dreams, my fears and my struggles. He knows every part of me; the good and the bad. He is my truest friend.
Now, not everyday is dreamy. I don’t want to give off a false picture. I will always love him, but somedays it’s easier to love him than others and I know it’s the same for him. Everyday I wake up and I choose to love him though. In the beginning, being in love is so easy. Everything is new and awesome. Unfortunately, life goes on and the beginning butterflies can fade. 8 years later you are left with a household that is nonstop with kids, chores, responsibilities, and very little time for each other. It could be very, very easy to settle in the routine of life. To accept the way things are. Let’s face it, we are tired. Very, very tired. It would be so much easier to put the kids to bed, turn on the tv, watch all night and then go to bed with very little real conversations. I won’t accept that though. I choose to love him more than that. I choose to make an effort to show him that he means the world to me. I choose to make sure he knows I love him more now than I did 8 years ago. I choose to make him feel special, loved and respected. I am not always great at it, and I fail a lot (most) of the time but I pray that God will show me how. God is the greatest example of love and I am constantly in prayer that our marriage can mirror that. I want out marriage to be selfless, grace filled and deep.
You don’t have to travel or go out to stay connected with your husband. Because lets face it-certain stages in life aren’t the easiest for you to be away from your kids (nursing being one of them). We honestly don’t get to go out very often. Are closest relative lives 3 hours from us. Sometimes we have “date nights” at home. We plan them. If you don’t, chances are they won’t happen. When Kev gets home, we play with the girls, I get them dinner, they eat and off to bed they go. Afterwards, we cook a nice dinner for ourselves. We sit down together with no distractions and eat and talk. We drink a glass of wine. We sit on the couch together and actually share things with each other. Like real conversation, not just 2 sentences that get interrupted by kids. We might work out together, we might just continue to talk, we might do something creative together. Whatever we do, it’s together and it’s not watching tv. I have nothing against tv. Sometimes it’s super fun to watch something together, but don’t let that be the only thing you do together.
I encourage you to find new things to do together as a couple. Find new hobbies to share with each other. If you don’t have interests in common, pick something to try together that you can agree on. When Kev started running with me this past year it seriously brought us even closer together. I may have dragged my feet a little because running has always been my solo thing. I do still enjoy getting out there by myself but doing it together has seriously been so fun. Running a marathon together was way better than running it by myself. For Valentine’s Day we decided to find something to do together instead of just going out to eat. We found a candlelit hot yoga class on Friday night and signed up. We’ve never done it before and I am a bit nervous but at the same time I know it will be so fun. Even if it’s awkward and I suck, I know I will be there with Kev. At least we can laugh about it after. Or maybe we will be yoga experts and love it so much that we keep going. Who knows!
p.s. Have you ever tried the Love Dare challenge?
p.p.s I had way too much fun looking through old photos. Sorry there are a lot.