Monday, December 30, 2013

25.75 KIDLESS HOURS

You may have noticed on Instagram that John and I had an overnight getaway without our precious children courtesy of John's wonderful parents this past weekend.  We went to the faraway and glamorous city of Memphis.  You see, we found out that the Zac Brown Band was playing there, and it was right up our alley to check it out.

I worked at Kanakuk Kamps for 4 summers, and for breaks, we would get a "2-4", 24 hours off.  I remember being amazed at how much you could cram into that time, but also how quickly it went by.  I experienced that same feeling when we left Friday afternoon.  The world was our oyster.  The sky was the limit.  We got to Memphis without even hitting the dreaded 1-40 traffic.  What will we do with all this time?

We had planned in time to hit the traffic, so we found ourselves near our dinner reservations with an hour and a half to spare.  When does that ever happen?  We hit the mall with no double strollers that needed to be pushed.  I actually purchased some new jeans, because everything was in major after Christmas mark down mode, and I had time to try them on.  Having some new jeans will allow my polka dot jeans a little rest from their busy work schedule.

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Dinner was delicious at the Melting Pot.  Sitting some place for a couple of hours and being served scrumptious food was such a privilege.  Here's a peak at our white chocolate/milk chocolate dessert fondue.

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Then it was on to the concert.  It truly was one of the most enjoyable concerts that we've attended.  We are huge fans of the ZBB.  (Did you see how I did that? Obviously we are huge fans if I can refer to them by their initials.)  After two opening acts, the band played for 3 hours, and it was never boring.  Here we are - so excited to take it all in.

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It was so good, and Zac Brown seems like the nicest guy that also happens to be an amazing musician.  Though he didn't say this, from what we heard, he spent the afternoon with the kids at St. Jude, and he did dedicate several songs to kids he met there, some of whom got to attend the concert.

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For their encore, the band came out to black lights wearing skeleton suits.  We did not see that coming, and they rocked it out.

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One of the best parts of the trip was getting to sleep through the night.  John didn't sleep as well as I did, because when you become an actual adult, sometimes you lose the ability to sleep through anything at anytime at will.  Which is a crying shame.  Next time we get away, there will definitely be Tylenol PM in our bags to help him to stay asleep.  But, even when we did wake up, no one needed us to do anything.  There was not a stinky bottom to be smelled near us.  Nor was anyone crying or asking for a granola bar to be opened, though everyone who eats granola bars at our house can actually open them by themselves.

We took in breakfast at the Blue Plate Cafe.  And by "took in breakfast," I actually mean that we ate much more than is healthy for people to eat in one sitting.  It was so very good.

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Oh - and there's us again, looking happy and moderately well rested.

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I have realized that when I am away from the children I have a totally different experience out in public.  The difference is quite marked.  When I'm with the kids, which is usually, the only questions or comments that I get relate to all the kids I have with me.  Also, I can really only focus on the kids myself, because someone always needs something, and it takes all my mental energy to do whatever I am trying to do while also keeping them simultaneously well fed, entertained and generally happy.

When I am out by myself or just with John, I am shocked to discover that I actually somewhat enjoy interacting with strangers.  I can be moderately charming and pleasant.  I can smile and look at their faces when we talk.  I can take pictures for somebody else.  It is a different world, truly.

And, being away with just John was such a treat.  He's my very favorite in the whole world, and having time away with just him reinforced that once again.  We got to see each other again.  We had breathing room.  We laughed a lot and talked over lots of stuff that never seems to come up when we are at home deep in our normal lives.  24 hours can do wonders for your heart and soul.  I am so thankful.

But, like all good things, it had to come to a close.

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Though we could have stayed away for several more days, coming home was really nice too.  Our peeps were so happy to see us, and we were glad to see them and hear their precious little voices and receive their exuberant hugs.  We are richly blessed, and I never want to take that for granted.

(A special shout out and thanks go to John's parents and sister who care for our children so well in our absence.  Thank You!)

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