Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Day and A Date Night

Dates with my husband are finally becoming more regular. I've always imagined that if we lived close to family we would have had an easier time going out now and then. But we've never lived remotely close to either of our families, not since we both left for college in our teens and got married before our schooling days were over. Over the years we have tried a few ways to have date nights on a semi-regular basis, but for the most part it has always been difficult for one reason or another.

Things are changing now. Though I typically lament the fact that my kids are growing up very fast, one perk is that I get to go out with Jon with greater ease. No sitter is needed anymore for evening dates out. 

But dates now are not the same as they were before kids. My days before the kids came along were different, too.

Take Wednesday for instance. I was up at a reasonable time, but as usual I would have been better off getting up when the alarm sounded. I've always struggled in the morning. I went through my normal morning routine, showered and let my hair air dry. I had to choose between feeding the family or styling my hair the way I'd prefer. There was nothing easy to serve for breakfast, so I made whole grain pancakes. After all, it is summer and we should enjoy a slower pace, so I determined (i.e. made a conscious choice) to just enjoy the start of the day without feeling too rushed (which tends to be my default). Olivia made a blueberry sauce along side of me and sliced some bananas. Jon was home and we all ate out on the deck. Really, a lovely start. 

Then on to feeling rushed. It is summer vacation, but my kids still need to do a few things at the start of the day-- chores, math drills for some, reading and/or journaling. Not long, just enough to stay on top of things. I had my own chores to tackle, in addition to overseeing my kiddos. By mid-morning, as I was putting on my make-up (still in a rush), my friend arrived with her three kids. They are moving in a few weeks, and I had offered to take her kids while she packed. Soon afterwards I decided to load up the seven kids, along with frisbees, scooters, and waters, and head to a nearby park. I called up another friend who lives close to the park to see if her younger kids wanted to hang out with us too, but instead she decided to join us for the morning. It was nice: Mid-week adult conversation only interrupted by water breaks and head counts (11 kids now).

Then lunch time. Back home, Olivia and a younger girl helped me make grilled cheese sandwiches and I sliced watermelon. The boys were getting in their swim suits, and once lunch was gobbled up on the deck, they all swam till mid-afternoon. They had a sort of obstacle race course going for most of the time, or the four younger boys tried to tackle Michael into the water. I life-guarded from the deck, grateful for our pool. 

Later in the afternoon when our company had left, my kids were feeling tired so they settle into the living room to listen to an audiobook while I did some administrative things online and blogged. It was really relaxing, but dinnertime comes around all took quickly. I decided to make a huge caesar salad with grilled chicken. To make the dressing I used a nice bunch of parsley from the garden which Jacob and I planted a few weeks ago. It all came out better than any restaurant salad, if I do say so myself! :)

Then-- I'm not even sure who suggested it-- but Jon and I decided we were going to head out just the two of us. Dinner dishes were brought in and the kitchen cleaned, the kids were organized and evening directions given, and a movie was selected for the kids. Then I took about 10 minutes to myself get ready.

I looked in the mirror and drew in a big breath of determination. I had to make the best of it, and take little time doing it. I'm feeling older, you know. Hereditary traits that I hoped would skip me are beginning to manifest themselves, much to my dismay. My air dried hair was looking pretty sorry; I braided it into a fishtail starting at the top of my head and gently twisting pieces into the braid as I went. I hoped the end result was a beach-y look, not a tired mom look, and I wondered if braids like this are still in. My make-up was looking sad too, but there was no time to start over. I re-applied some liner and brushed on some shadow. Smokey eye, maybe? I slipped on some new jeans-- a cropped pair I just bought at a discount store-- and some heels, dangly earrings, and finally a splash of perfume.

Does a girl ever stop wanting to be attractive to the guy she has her eye on? Do decades of marriage and age ever take that desire away? It may be partly vanity, but not entirely. It can't be. Read Song of Solomon. And Proverbs says to the guy that he should delight in the wife of his youth. I'm guessing that wife would also want him to take delight in her! That would be the underlying given.

Jon and I took off, driving up the coast as the sun set below the horizon. The grasses glistened and the ocean shimmered in the evening light. Jon took us to a cozy cheese bar where we sat outside listening to live music. We took our time and savored. And we talked. Later we walked down the quaint little street, stopping occasionally to look through shop windows.

A happy ending to a happy day. I may not exude happiness every moment of every day, but I truly am happy. I am blessed to be doing what I do, and blessed to be loved by my husband. Just blessed, really, and I don't deserve it.


We had our second to last day of football games today. I'm not the best sport photographer, but I liked this set of Olivia. She has been quite an impressive player, a determined and tough girl surrounded by many boys.


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