My sister had offered to watch the boys in exchange for us watching her son so we knew we had some kid-free time coming up. The trouble was, we weren't sure what to do with it.
We sat down several times to make a plan. Just to cross it off the to-do list, you know? But it was way too hard to figure out.
"What do you want to do?"
"Ummmm. I'm not sure. You?"
"We could take the boys to Louisville and then just come home for the weekend?" Bill suggested.
"But I'm always home," I complained. "What about a hotel?"
"I'm sick of hotels."
"I have lots of miles. Do you want to fly somewhere?"
It was pretty pathetic. Even when we pretended there were no obstacles - not money or time or anything! - we still couldn't figure out what to do. Things either sounded so fun we wanted the boys to come too or not exciting enough to seem worthwhile.
We were this close to just staying with the kids at my sister's house (not a bad back up plan) but at the last minute I found a cabin about an hour outside Louisville that had a hot tub (our only search criteria) and was available for the dates we needed. Even though we wondered if it would be scary being all alone in the woods, we manned up and booked the cabin.
I am so glad we did.
We basically spent the whole time in the hot tub watching birds, waving at barges (which is hilarious because they're super slow), listening to the trees and the wind chime, talking, not talking and catching snowflakes. We played cards. We listened to music loud. We did whatever we wanted loud. It was like a different world.
The cabin had a whole stack of guest books people had written in over the years. It gave us such reverence for the space and made us even more appreciative of our little home away from home. I loved reading all the stories of what brought people to the cabin - birthdays, family reunions, a 60th anniversary, a romantic getaway before another deployment to Iraq, a girls' trip that sounded full of adventure, drawings, poetry, you name it.
There were people of all ages and all walks of life represented in those little books. But there was definitely a common thread. Everyone talked about how great it was to step away from everyday life to connect with the ones they love. To spend quality time just being together. I couldn't agree more.
Even though I wasn't aware that we needed quality time to connect (don't we do that every night?!), there was something special about being so intentional. Taking the time, making an effort, spending some money - it turned our weekend into an experience. One I'm grateful to have had with the one I love.