Reconnecting With a Little Extra Date-Night

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #YoursandMine #CollectiveBias

crisKevindancing

When I first met The Husband, I was instantly attracted the moment I laid eyes on him. We were seventeen and I was at a dance with another boy so that I could spy on a third boy, but the minute I saw The Husband I forgot the other two boys were even in the room. We had a great night of laughing and dancing and flirting our little hearts out. But we didn’t date then. Life rolled on and we didn’t see each other for three more years.

When I walked in to that pool party the summer after my sophomore year of college, I immediately picked The Husband out of the crowd, not because he hadn’t changed (he’d grown about a foot so he was close to unrecognizable) but because I felt in my chest the same thing I felt the first time I saw him all those years ago. Instant attraction. For the first few years we were together, we were inseparable and the chemistry between the two of us was almost available to the human touch. We needed to be near each other, with hands or feet or anything touching, whenever we were in the same room.

These two had the tiger by the tail, no?

Then, we got married and our lives got busy. Then, we had kids and our lives got busier and our days even more full than we could have ever imagined. We were tired. We were strung out and used up by everyone else in the world, so being near each other and touching became less and less of a need and more and more of another task on the to do list.

I love The Husband more today than I ever have. Physically, he has changed from the tall and skinny 24 year old I wed to a stronger, thicker, bald-is-beautiful 40 year old, and I dig it all. More importantly, he is an incredible father, and really, what is sexier than that? Attraction and love have never been our problem. Time and energy are.KingsDadBackBeach

Now that our kids are a bit older and our jobs are more secure, we haven’t slowed down at all, but our energies have shifted a bit. I don’t feel so used all the time, as there aren’t small people literally pulling at me for attention and needs. I’m rested. I’m active. I even get to put on makeup once in a while. As for The Husband, well, he’s killing it at work, he’s happy at home and he’s made time to take care of himself as well.

It seems we’ve hit a sweet spot, not just in our parenting, but in our personal life as a couple as well. We’re trying to capitalize on that. You hear all the time that in order to make a marriage work you need time to reconnect emotionally and physically. I remember, when my kids were smaller, those articles and editorial news pieces suggesting date nights and cuddling were one more thing to add to the list of What I Should Feel Guilty About Doing Wrong as a woman. We had no time and then we had no money for anything short of sitting on the couch watching television. So, that’s what we did.FamilyCommunion

Then, something funny happened. In the middle of the chaos of our lives, The Husband got laid off from a job. It sounds terrible, but it turned out to be the thing that saved our marriage. Suddenly, he had all this time. And while the stress of job-searching can take a toll on a person, the stress of the previous job had wrecked him so much, those few months jobless turned out to be almost like a vacation. He relaxed. He got to know us. He learned about the neighborhood where we had lived for four years (since moving for said job) and he began to rediscover who he was a member of our family and I remember why I couldn’t take my eyes off him all those years ago. We took long walks. We ate lunch together. We sat up late into the night just talking. We made time for (ahem) other stuff that had fallen into the cracks of a chaotic life.

Our kid thinks we're cute enough to Instagram.

Our kid thinks we’re cute enough to Instagram.

He’s been back at work for over two years now, at a job much different than the last. This one doesn’t suck the very marrow from his bones, so there is something left when he returns home at the end of the night. We’ve made a commitment to each other to make sure we still have days like those blissful ones where he was out of work. We make sure we still take long walks. We kick the kids out of the living room for “adult swim” on weekend nights where we reconnect over a glass of wine and conversation. We also carve out time of our busy weeks and weekends for (ahem) other activities.

Date Night Selfie

Date Night Selfie

This Christmas The Husband got me tickets to a Broadway show and a babysitter. For Valentine’s Day, we’ll spend the day in the city, see a show, eat an incredible meal and spend the night in a clean, quiet and romantic hotel. It will be reconnecting at its finest and we’ll have the time and space and privacy to get a little (ahem) creative in our reconnecting. A few short years ago, I never would have imagined such a thing. Lucky for me, The Husband could, and he made it happen. So we could keep making it (ahem) happen for our marriage and ourselves.walmartk-ydatenight

For more great ways to add a little (ahem) to your marriage this Valentine’s Day, visit K-Y.com. Check out the K-Y® YOURS+MINE and the K-Y® DATE NIGHT pack at Walmart.com for discreet purchasing. Feel free to share your ideas for staying connected in the comments below. We could all use a few (ahem) ideas.

Another Year By the Numbers

June 27, 1998
weddingsong

Ten birthdays together

3 births together

FamilyWhoRUns

 

Four home purchases

7 homes

 beachchairs

Six Counties

4 States

KingsDadBackBeach

A million relatives

Countless friends

FamilyREhobeth

A few heartbreaks

Too many laughs count

weddinglaughs

Whatever the numbers, after 16 years they all add up to the same thing:

One Smart Choice.

Love you more today than 16 years ago. Here’s to many more.

Things I’d Hate if I Were Married to Me

The View From My Window, Because You Don't Want to See the Other Side.

The View From My Window, Because You Don’t Want to See the Other Side.

Last week I had a hotel room all to myself. Before you get too jealous, the only thing I really did in that room was sleep and study, so it was not some fancy vacation where I went to recharge. What it was though was a chance to reconnect with myself, and while that was great in many ways, it was also a bit eye-opening. Typically, I enjoy my own company. Maybe it’s being a bit of an over-scheduler, maybe it’s just that being a mom of three means there is a lot of noise in my day to day life that tends to drown out any thoughts I may have.  Whatever the case,  I enjoy a little quiet time to actually pay attention to my own self.

This time was no exception, but in addition to listening to my own self, I also had to live with my own self and it turns out I can be a bit of a pain. Turns out, I’m kind of a slob. Oh, I do hate clutter and there are areas that must remain OCD level neat at all times (bathroom counters) but overall, I  might be categorized as a hot mess. One afternoon (before housekeeping came) I came in to grab something and realized the clothes from the night before were in a pile on the floor-exactly where I stepped out of them. And the bathroom floor was covered in towels that I threw in there to get them off the bedroom floor. Oh, and my desk? So full of technology gadgets/cords, water bottles and school papers you could barely see the surface of the desk. Poor cleaning crew!

I’m sure this wasn’t a hotel-room anomaly. My bedroom and whatever surface functions as my desk at any given time (kitchen table, dining room table, bed-damn laptops make my mess that much harder to contain!) are exactly like this at home. I’m also sure this probably drives my husband crazy. I know this because there was the “Great Stevia Packet Incident of Aught Eight” that helped me see the light. The Husband had the nerve to point out that perfect little me actually did something every day that was slowly driving him insane. I left my fake-sugar packets next to the coffee pot every morning and didn’t clean them up until the dinner dishes were being done. I come from a long line of kitchen slobs. My mother passed down the “clean once at the end of the day” philosophy and I’ve stuck with it. Up until that conversation with The Husband, I had never considered this way might not work for him. That perhaps he had not inherited the gene that allows you to ignore the mess until there is time in the day to take care of it had never occurred to me. It’s a fantastic gene, but if it is absent in a person, there may be trouble.

Last week, in addition to being alerted to my pig-sty tendencies, I also learned a lot about marriage. When you spend a week in intense mental health counseling experiences, the topic of love and marriage comes up quite a bit. I learned what we all know to be true; falling in love is a chemical reaction, staying in love takes a lot of hard work.What I’ve learned through experience is that often that work needs to come after holding a mirror to yourself. Sure, you can communicate well and be tolerant of your partner’s stuff, but what really works to make a relationship work is recognizing you have plenty of your own stuff and taking care of it will benefit both your partner and yourself.

So, honey, I’ll be sure to work harder at picking up after myself now. I’ll throw away the sugar packets (most days). I’ll try to tidy more than once a day and I’ll be sure my clothes hit the hamper as soon as I take them off, not only on laundry day.

Well, maybe I’ll leave out the red heels and underthings. For you, of course. I am a giver after all. <wink>

 

This post was inspired by the novel The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger. In the book, young lawyer Sophie unwillingly takes her first divorce case with an entertaining and sometimes recognizable client. The story in this novel is told mostly through letters and legal missives which makes for a fascinating read. Join From Left to Write on March 18 we discuss The Divorce Papers. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

 

Marriage Advice From Some Old Marrieds

vlogmom-new-logoThis week’s #VlogMom question is from Julie Myers Pron from Juliverse. She wanted us to give some marriage advice and since I am only half of this marriage, I invited a special guest this week. Yep, you guessed it, The Husband, makes an appearance. As you might guess, with two of us yammering,  I mean, offering sage advice, this one might go on longer than two minutes!

 

Have some advice? Want to link up? Go on!