Ideally, Todd and I would like to get away alone together at least four times a year. Maybe once a quarter where we could check out of life and kids and the daily routine and just be alone and reconnect and rekindle and renew, because marriage is always needing to re-something it seems. But, four times a year - who has the time or money for that?
A dear friend of mine offered to keep the boys for a weekend should we ever want to get away together, and since we were feeling the need for that re-something, we booked a hotel in Marble Falls, left the boys and ventured out, just the two of us. I had been there once before in the spring - it was beautiful and show-offy with it's lakes and gorgeous Texas wildflowers and exciting outdoorsy restaurants.
As with any getaway I suppose, I had my own ideas and expectations of our time together. I was envisioning wildflower photo shoots, a scenic hike at Inks Lake, dinner outside at a scenic restaurant, juicy steaks, lots of relaxing and sleeping in at our hotel, and long romantic walks. And plenty of blogging fodder of course. Before we ever left, I had my own agenda.
When we arrived at our hotel I was immediately disappointed when I discovered that I didn't get the room I was promised. We had two queen beds instead of the one huge king bed. It was on the first floor. It was right next to the lobby where we could hear everyone breakfasting over their waffles and bad coffee.
The weather was cold and overcast that Saturday. There was no dining outdoors since I brought nothing warm to wear. I actually thought I could rough it when I snapped this picture. And immediately after I took it, we asked for a table inside. We went to see a movie, we walked around Walmart so I could find a new brush. We perused some shops that contained over-priced boutique clothing and decorative items.
We discovered that Marble Falls wasn't nearly as big and scenic as we were expecting, and we spent all of Saturday watching movies and napping and almost feeling lost without anything to do or anyone to take care of. It was both amazing and completely weird.
As with any time I spend alone with my husband, it was wonderful. It's when we're alone that I most often feel the natural way we click together. How doing nothing but laying on his chest in bed watching Indiana Jones is more delightful than any excursion I could ever plan for us. And the time felt bittersweet. Hard conversations, hard realizations and looking at how much "work" that has to go into making us, us. It's work. I don't want it to be work, I hate that it even feels like work, but yes, it's work.
Sunday, it stormed and our hiking plans were literally washed
out. And to my surprise, I dearly missed my boys and was ready to head
home to see them. I had originally thought Todd was going to have to
drag me back kicking and screaming as I was in dire need of a mama-break as I thought I would need two weeks to myself and not just two days.
As we drove back home in the pouring rain, holding hands and quiet, I reflected on my expectations for the weekend. The expectations of our room, of the weather, of the scenery, of the things we were going to do and how it was nothing like I had expected or planned for. I remembered where my heart was two and a half years ago with wanting to be done with us, and how my perspective shifted when I began to love without expectation. And when I did that, I saw how my husband had loved me like that for years.
I wasn't expecting to miss my boys and feel ready to head home. Perhaps I needed to know I could miss them - especially Jacob. After feeling discouraged and weary in motherhood for months, I needed to know my heart could miss that boy. And I did. And I never expected I'd feel that way come Sunday morning.
I didn't know I was needing another reminder about love and expectation, but the weekend showed me that I did. And maybe our little mini-moon as I called it wasn't the re-everything that either of us had hoped it would be, but it reminded us that our love story our life together will always come with disappointments and surprising turns and quiet, lazy Saturdays to do nothing but be. It will always be wildflowers and rain storms.