Thursday, December 10, 2009

The perfect 24 hours

I am going to attempt cramming what could be at least 3, if not 5, blog post into one. So, consider yourself warned that this could become a lengthy ramble very much about me. You may want to get your reading glasses out. {and you may find that you need to get some after reading this.} It's freezing cold here, so make sure you're good and comfy, with maybe an extra throw around you and when your ready, here we go...

I am pretty sure that Joe and I have never gone so long in our 6 year marriage without an overnight getaway. It's been over a year since we went somewhere overnight, just the two of us. My recent sickness stunt and laying in the bed for 6 weeks shenanigans has really taken it's toll on both of us. I don't know who it's been harder on. I'm not him, he's not me, but one thing we can agree on, is it's been tough on both of us as a couple. Many days over the last 2 months, have been difficult as we fought to keep trudging along another day, we fought for ourselves, for each other and with each other.
We both agree this tiring, troublesome time has brought about much good to our marriage and in our personal growth. God has given us strength and helped us through. Alot of days, we were on different pages and opposite ends of the spectrum. I'd have a day of dealing with things in a positive way and he'd be stressed that day, then I'd get mad at him for being stressed, and visa versa.
Basically, we've devoted alot of time to sortin' through alot of junk and working to stay connected. I have an amazing husband who has dished out forgiveness and grace to me day after day. Continually focusing on such stressful things is exhausting and we both were exhausted with failing each other, with staying positive and hanging on 'til tomorrow.
I don't know how long we could survive at this pace, {don't ever want to find out} but I know we desperately needed to getaway. To run like the dickens, from this house and these four walls, from the washing machine and the empty cupboards that are crying out for us to go to the grocery, and our sweet, snotty nosed, croupy coughing, medicine headed children.
So we did, we went to the Big City to Christmas shop and just be together. I cannot tell you how good it felt to just be ourselves and be best friends enjoying each others company. It poured down rain all the way there, while we were there it was freezing cold and the wind blew like crazy. Traffic was bad, Christmas shoppers were rude, we made some wrong turns, but none of it mattered. We weren't in a hurry, we didn't have to wrestle with children being children, it was just the two of us. We had fun discussing what toy to get for which child, listening to each other moan over how wonderful our coffees tasted and laughing at our inside jokes.
It was 24 hours, one night and I can't tell you how much fun we had. So many great things crammed into such a short time. We stayed at a Hyatt Place, some one please tell me I'm not the only person that wants to move into a Hyatt Place! You know you can buy their bed? I doubt it is anymore affordable but I'd settle for their wallpaper.

The colors and tones put me in a good mood and cheer me up. Breakfast was bit lacking for Joe, but we didn't' starve! He said, "Really? You're taking a picture of this!?" {See, what did I tell you? I'll ignore the skimpy breakfast just because I love the green walls and the white square dishes, with the heavy silverware!}
We finished the kids Christmas shopping, ate at Panera, {twice} and drank close to an ungodly consumption of coffee. We stopped by the jewelry store were Joe bought my engagement ring and we bought our wedding rings and had them cleaned and re-dipped. I was so excited, I don't get to have this done very often because we have to leave the rings overnight. It's always like getting new rings when we pick them back up, especially my engagement ring.
Getting our rings re-dipped always makes Joe and I reminisce about the first time we picked up our wedding bands after we purchased them. It was month or so, before our wedding and we wore them into a Home Depot Store. Afraid we would lose them, or see someone we knew and they would notice our wedding rings, we put them back in their boxes as soon as we made it back to the car. We still laugh about how fun that was.
Yesterday evening, Joe had a meeting for work in the Big City, so I dropped him off and was thrilled to be in such a beautiful old part of the city. I set out to take pictures of my favorite houses I saw along the way. It was overcast, 29 degrees and there were 50 mph winds. I was exhausted from shopping all day. Call me fearful or full of wisdom, I just planned to drive around and take pictures from the inside of the van.

I took a liking to both of these houses and then I came down a street that brought me to a strip of quaint little shops. What a fun unexpected find, I eagerly parked and wandered into this shop. Although, I almost turned around and walked out because there was hardly any room to move around inside.

Heaps, upon mounds of antiques, stacked high up to the ceiling and somehow all decorated for Christmas. It was eerily quiet and the floor creaked, I didn't see anyone running the place and that was a bit unnerving, wondering from where someone might jump out at me. I was able to calm my organizing compulsion shortly after I began to weave through the maze of an aisle way and admire the madness as a fun treasure hunt.

A few minutes into my adventure, and I had yet to see the proprietor of this establishment. I did find a sleeping security guard, curled up under a table. He scared the lights out of me at first, but by the end of my time there I wanted to bring him home with me to keep me warm. His sweet owner, finally identified herself by coming through the front door, her arms loaded down with more treasures. I couldn't believe that she really thought she had more room to house anything else! Her, her dog {Tanner} and I almost couldn't fit inside with the door shut already, and she was packing in more furniture, more artwork and odds and ends.I think I was cast under a spell by this woman in her early seventies, I fell in love with her, her dog, her shop and all her cluttered, random stuff. I wanted the $95- handmade child's vanity, I wanted things that neither she nor I knew what they were!Then I saw something, a stack of old books, on the very top was The Bernstein Bear's Christmas and underneath was this very precious, mysteriously old book about the first Christmas. I had to have it, her asking price was $2- and it was mine, all mine. I found my very own piece of gold amongst all her finds. Doesn't look like much? Just wait until I show you, in a minute.
My time was about up, I had to head back to pick up Joe. I made a quick stop at the bookstore next door, it was really neat too, but all of those new crisp storybooks paled compared to my $2- 1950's book.
There were so many shops I didn't get to see, but I didn't even care. I had such a fun time, it was a really neat adventure created just for me. All I could think to myself was, "Isn't God good!" What a perfect way to end such a excellent 24 hours.
You know you want to see inside the book, so here it is. It's a cut out book, each page builds a little more into the nativity scene. It's beautifully illustrated by Richard N. Osborne, has no author name or date.

I will always cherish this book and reminisce about where I found it as I unpack it each Christmas. This is yet another good gift that I didn't even know I wanted, but has made me incredibly happy.
It's a great feeling knowing that you were right, I was right to marry Joe. It's the best decision that I ever made. Not that I doubted my decision, but getting away and being together revealed that we still have the most important piece to our relationship, we are best friends. Best friends not only stick with you in the hardest times, they are who you want to be with after the hard times too. Our marriage isn't perfect, we aren't perfect people or perfect parents, but we were meant to be together forever! I love you George!!


{Kimber} said...

this made my heart sweet and so true!
I long for what you have my dear :)

Melissa said...

That is so sweet! My husband and I never get away alone. We don't really have anyone to watch the kids and when my mom comes to visit we don't really want to leave b/c I like to visit with my mom. I guess we need to think about it though and go away even just for 24 hours. Good for you...sorry for my rambling! LOL!

Our Crazy Crew said...

Most people don't understand what you just wrote, but I could have written it myself. Hold on to what you know God has given just you. Being best friends and allowing God to fill you up can is what you hold on to. And never listen to anything different!

Sweats, Nikes, and No Make-up said...

That's so awesome, Miranda. Brandon and I do the same thing when we go to the store where we bought our wedding rings (same one you guys went to I believe). :)

Melissa said...

Miranda, I'm glad you enjoyed the crafts! We had fun walking around looking at all the crafts and ideas. In fact, we put things away twice b/c I thought we were done and would find stuff in another aisle!

Bonnie said...

I could not read that post and not We would do very good shopping together..we seem to have similar tastes. I would have loved that woman's shop too!

So happy you had a wonderful time. Marc and I have not been away on an overnight since 2007!

jess said...

That was sure encouraging. It's nice to know that someone else is willing to open up and be honest about their marriage. ~ That even best friends have to "fight" to stay connected. Good for you! Makes me want to plan a getaway myself. Have a very merry Christmas!