prepare for the MOMENTS

This past weekend I went out of town with Jim – yes just Jim and I for a whole weekend.  To our recollection it was the first time since we had children (i.e. 13 ½ years) that we had left for a whole weekend.  We have the annual company picnic party, but that is about it for our get aways.  I can tell you, you know you are married to a fireman when your first get away weekend is to a Fireman’s Class/ Meeting.  And you know you are a fireman’s wife, when you are okay with the plan.  It was near State College, so the drive was beautiful.  But, it was hard leaving the children, the dog, and home.

Some observations as a mom, I kept saying when I heard a train or we crossed several train tracks, Samuel would love this!  On the way home, there was a train running along the mountains in the fall leaves.  Beautiful and Samuel would have LOVED it.  We ate at some incredible restaurants and said Mary would love to be eating this. She also would have loved what I did… on Saturday, I literally got up and had breakfast with Jim and returned to the hotel room while he went to the class and put back on my pjs

On Friday night, I cleaned out my personal email account – literally I had over 1800 UNREAD emails, not counting the other 1200 read emails that just sat in the inbox, not counting the close to 800 in my sent box.  This is ONE email account. It is also important to note that this personal email comes to my tablet, my cell phone, and my laptop.  Unfortunately, I have to delete from all 3 separately.  Pure craziness – My email was down to only emails for the current month that was flagged for follow-up, everything else either filed in folders or deleted.  What a huge relief.  I hated checking my email because I kept seeing the unread list grow and grow.  I unsubscribed to many things I had signed up for that I never got the chance to.  Some were Christian blogs and though I wanted to read them, I never got to them.  So, I would “like” them on facebook and if it appeals to me I can read them there.  This is something I would have never done at home because when I look around I know there are many other things that need done. 

** also note: I have 2 personal email accounts, 3 work email accounts, and now 3 cyber schooling email accounts (mine, Mary, and Sam’s) – a total of 8 email accounts to check!!! (enough craziness to support a whole blog – maybe at a later date).

On Saturday, I had got up and ate with Jim and returned to the hotel room, crawled back in my PJs and started reading one of the many books on my Kindle I have wanted to read.  One is a sequel, sort of, to a previous book, Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben.  This one is the Happiness at Home Project.  I wanted something to help me refresh my thinking.  It was exactly what I needed.  Light but insightful!  I did take a break and walked to the Aldi’s next door to choose lunch.  I ended with a little bit of sweets, some snack mixes, yogurt, hummus, and pita chips.  I must say, I have always steered clear of Aldi’s – the thought of paying for a cart, being herded through the check out line, etc.  I am also often stuck in my “brand-name” attitude.  But, I was pleasantly surprised with the items I purchased, and may just go back.  Probably to the Morgantown one, because, I often can’t deal with FayetteCounty shopping – LOL.  Come evening, Jim and I went out for our anniversary dinner to a very nice restaurant along the river.  Great food and great company.   We headed back to the hotel and went to the pub for awhile.  Let’s just say, when you are married to a fireman, they are like magnets to each other.  They gathered and talked, and talked, and talked. 

On Sunday, you know you love your husband and want to get away when it means you sit in a car all day – literally.  We checked out at 6:30 am and headed to Dunkin Donuts for some coffee and then he went to class until 4:45 pm.  I moved the car once to look for some lunch.  I hit Walmart for the bathroom and thought about shopping until I saw the lines and resolved I didn’t want the chaos.  I went to McDonalds to eat and it was crazy, the orders were being messed up, and decided forget this.  I headed to Dairy Queen and had a blizzard and some chicken.  I took it back to the FireAcademy and ate at a picnic table.  Then back in the car to read my book some more.  Then home for a 3 hour drive and then work for the night.  The ride home was beautiful with the sunset, the changing leaves, and sitting next to my wonderful husband. 

So, after the details, I sit and reflect about the weekend.  A definite success.  Samuel made it a whole weekend without me and I made it a whole weekend without him.  Mary is different because she had always stayed at Nanny’s and Poppa’s for weekends.  Is it how everyone would want to spend their 20th anniversary – no, but for us it worked.  No matter the location, as long as we are together that is all that matters!  Can we still have conversations about things beside the children? Yes.  But, it is awesome when they sneak into our conversation too!  Did I miss the kids? Absolutely.  (every time I heard a train whistle or heard a song that Mary also likes on Jim’s playlist).  But, I did truly enjoy cleaning out the emails, reading a book, and laying in my PJs with nothing to do.  I honestly cannot remember the last time I did.   I had time to reflect on things.  We always do family vacations, but I learned that dad and mom need some time too – to be a couple and to be individuals.  As I listened to the fireman talk, it just reminds me why Jim does what he does.  One thing for sure, after 20 years married and 25 years together… I am blessed to be his wife. 

I have to prepare to capture the moments when we can – whether at a firefighting class or a remote island.  Savor the moments when he reaches across the car and holds my hand (another plus to the new car).  Remember the moments we spend together as a couple.  Ponder ways to make more moments happen.  Count each moment together as a blessing.

“Life gives us brief moments with another… but sometimes in those brief moment we get memories that last a lifetime…” – Unknown

Things I learned

  1. I am blessed to have family to watch (and spoil) the kids!
  2. I am not as daring as I would like to be.
  3. I am content in a hotel room with a book versus sight seeing.
  4. I never get all the books read that I want to on a trip.
  5. I never get to all the “to do things” I planned on thinking about.
  6. It’s okay to change plans after arrival – I planned an uninterrupted bath but changed and enjoyed uninterrupted reading in my PJs.
  7. I always overpack even when I intentionally try not to overpack.
  8. The best thing I packed: my tea cup / tea bags/ etc and enjoyed the coffee pot in the room for hot water.
  9. The second best thing I pack: a powercord for all the chargers for the gadgets
  10. The thing I wished I would have packed: a spoon to my packing list for when I walked next door to a grocery story and get yogurt for lunch.
  11. Trying new grocery store and a new brand (even if generic) can be so worth it (especially Chocolate Fudge Filled Wafer Rolls).
  12. Walmart is Walmart no matter the town – crazy and filled with rude people
  13. McDonalds is McDonalds no matter the town – too long of lines and messed up orders
  14. You can never go wrong with choosing Dairy Queen no matter the town
  15. It isn’t about where you go… as much as who you go with!



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