Things have been a little hectic this month. Truman has been busy with work, I’ve been exhausted and sore, and the girls have been extra needy (or it just seems that way since I have little energy). As much as I love the sweet, cuddly newborn stage it’s hard work and Truman and I both agreed that we needed some time alone before we enter the land of no sleep and constant nursing (on my end). We arranged for his parents to take the girls for a few days and we decided that we wanted to keep our activities to a minimum, giving us plenty of time to rest and read and just enjoy the silence together. Whenever the girls are gone, my mind naturally starts making this long list of things I could do SO easily without them. Errands to run, projects to finish. But I forced myself to ignore the list this time.
We spent our first night at home where we went out to eat and saw a late movie without feeling the need to rush back to the girls. We slept until 9 (!!) and enjoyed a big brunch. After that we packed our bags and headed to the Inn on Crescent Lake. A few different friends have recommended this place and it looked like the perfect setting to relax and do nothing. We stayed in the Ballroom which is considered the “honeymoon suite” and it was complete with a relaxing whirpool tub and a few cozy reading nooks where I spent the majority of my time.
The Inn was very Gilmore Girls meets Anne of Green Gables. It’s a beautiful mansion tucked inside of a charming little town called Excelsior Springs, about a half hour from Kansas City. Because our stay was at the beginning of the week we had the whole house to ourselves.
We spent the afternoon laying in the sun, reading, and taking a much-needed nap. The town was quiet on Sunday evening and most shops were closed so we found one of the few open restaurants called Wabash BBQ and had the BEST pulled pork sandwich. Our next day was filled with much of the same. I woke up and spent the whole morning praying and journaling in the sunlight. I can’t even remember the last time I lingered in that way. I long to one day wake up early enough before my children to have a nourishing devotional time because it was so life-giving. God revealed so much to me that morning–things I already knew but didn’t slow down enough to confess. I remember feeling this exact same way when I reached full term with June. I was excited to meet her, but my fear of change and the unknown overpowered everything. For someone with control issues, it’s hard to let go and surrender to the approaching labor and delivery instead of tensing up and letting anxiety win. I got to have long conversations with God about that and it was very healing.
Figuring out this stage of life hasn’t been easy for Truman and I. We look at our lives and feel so incredibly blessed and, believe it or not, we WANTED this many kiddos. But we’re realistic enough to say that parenting and maintaining an intentional relationship with each other and God is HARD. I know this season of toddler-hood is particularly difficult and thankfully it won’t last forever, but in the meantime we’ve been focusing on the question “what does it look like to have young children but still love each other well?” That question certainly won’t get answered in one weekend, but we’re on the right track and God has been shaping us as we go.
Returning home to our normal responsibilities isn’t easy after a relaxing trip (though I miss the girls terribly). The fridge needs to be re-stocked, the laundry will start to grow again and uninterrupted sleep will be a fond memory. And even though I may be dragging my feet a little bit, I can look forward with confidence that Christ is by my side, giving me the strength that I need to face each task. There is so much joy ahead of us. Celebrating Miss Penny’s third birthday this week and adding a new member to our family soon after. I thank God for the blessing of a restful weekend and I look forward to the next step. (I also highly recommend a visit to the Inn. We plan to return some day!)