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Monday, June 1, 2015

This weekend, Paul and I got out and drove.

It wasn't intentional, until it was. We were planning on just running out to get coffee, maybe stop by the Farmer's Market... but then we found ourselves one kid down (Porter spent the morning with Grammy and Opa), so we packed up our sleeping 4 month old into the truck and just drove.

We drove past the Farmer's Market (which was SO PACKED. That's what happens when it's a sunny Saturday in Washington... everyone decides to get out and be active, ha), we stopped quickly by the post office and then Starbucks, and then we just kept driving. We went down the valley and into a small town called Orting. We were going to stop for an early lunch at a cute cafe or bakery, but we didn't see any that looked worthwhile (sorry, Orting). So, we kept driving. We drove through Orting and the further we drove, the more tranquil and peaceful the setting became. Rolling countryside, farms, evergreens, blue skies, whispy clouds... and we began to talk.

One thing about Paul and I: we have opposite communication styles, especially in regards to conflict. The other day, he asked me if I wanted to go to grab a dessert at a local diner, so we left the kids with the grandparents after they were in bed, and ran off to get milkshakes. I was feeling so excited - an impromptu date night! - only to find out when I got there and settled that Paul had decided this was an ideal time to unload all his grievances. How he was feeling - about life, about kids, about the aftermath of Simon's health issues, about me. Had I been SET UP? It completely overwhelmed me.

I was ANGRY. I immediately got on the defense and refused to hear anything he said. I know he was frustrated with my reaction, because in his mind - he thought he was doing a good thing. Taking me out, getting us on neutral ground, putting ice cream in my face, and then telling me how he was feeling about life.

All I could see was him working hard to devise a scheme to catch me off guard and OMGHOWSELFISHANDANNOYINGISTHAT.

Needless to say, the convo didn't go great. I cried, he back-peddled, we accomplished nothing. We did talk more that night, when we got home, and I was able to explain to him how I felt a little "tricked" and that I wish he would have come to me and said: "Hey, babe, I want to chat about some stuff - nothing too serious, but just some things on my heart. Let's go get ice cream." (For those of you that know my husband, that's not weird - he would and has totally approached conflict like this before).

ANYWAY. After the whole Fake Date Fiasco, we found ourselves alone (not counting a snoozing 4 months old) in the car and driving through gorgeous countryside. The sun was beaming. John Mayer was on the radio. Naturally, we began to talk. No phones, no agenda. I asked questions out of curiosity, and not out of anger. He gave me honest and heartfelt answers. He asked questions. I analyzed, and gave heartfelt answers. We accomplished a lot, but better than anything - we just talked. It was so nice to reconnect on an emotional level, without the drama of a fight or a "come to Jesus" meeting of the minds.

When was the last time you truly connected with your spouse? Was it forced, or organic? Did you listen, or did you do all the talking?

Just like I think investing into date nights and alone time is so important for married couples, especially when you have kids (it's still a non-negotiable for us!), communication is also key. It doesn't have to be a fancy date away... you can literally get in the car and drive into unfamiliar territory, get lost, and focus on nothing but each other.

We were both so refreshed after our drive, and we had come up with a fun game plan for a few realistic dreams we have for our family... all because we chose to take a couple hours and just get lost with each other.


  1. I just love this girl!! Shelton and I have started skipping naps at home on Sunday and doing Sunday drives. The boys sleep, we have lots of time to chat and dream, it's my new favorite! You were out by me too, we drove the back roads of Buckley, Enumclaw, South Prairie, up to Mt Rainier. It's just such a fun adventure! Next time do stop at the Orting bakery though! Yummy sandwiches for lunch and the donuts are GOOD! You can also walk on a trail right there that goes down to the river and all the way to South Prarie if you are wanting a long walk, another favorite of ours. Anyways so glad you guys connected and got lost! Xoxo!!

    1. YAY! Jessica, that's exactly where we were - it's just BEAUTIFUL out there, we're going back for sure. I totally saw the Bakery and was wondering if it was any good. We love us a good donut, haha. Buckley, Enumclaw was just beautiful. It's amazing what you don't even realize is out there unless you GO EXPLORE. We ended up looping around and driving through Bonney Lake/coming down 410... which was sort of depressing. Coming back to traffic and tons of people was a bit of a mood killer. Haha! I wasn't ready.


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