Last Christmas, my wonderful Mom gave Mark and I the gift of a couple’s weekend away to a hotel in the NC Mountains, baby sitting by Grandma included. Sweet deal! 9 months later, we finally got to use it a few weekends ago in September. I chose September because its my birthday month (I’m 24 now, woo!), the weather would be cooler and more fall-ish, plus Jaxson would be over 10 months old and less dependent on me. Boy, did I underestimate the stress on me though in leaving my breastfed-on-demand child. I worried for his comfort, would he be okay leaving me for the first time? Would I have enough milk stashed? Would he sleep at all in a new setting?! Regardless, we couldn’t back out of the trip for many reasons so I just prayed a lot and trusted in my Mom’s ability to take care of my kids and looked forward to quality quiet time with my husband.
So, here’s a few lessons I learned in the mountains:
1. My kids do just fine without me, if not even better. Jaxson actually slept through the night one time for my mom…not fair! But, it was a relief to know that they were doing great and comfortable in their new surroundings.
2. Salsa’s in downtown Asheville is one of the best mexican-ish style food I’ve ever had, probably because everything seemed so fresh and healthy! I thoroughly enjoyed my chicken empanada stuffed with veggies and side of black beans and fresh salsa. Amazing. Even my non-veggie-loving hubby was brave and enjoyed it.
3. French Broad Chocolates has the best chocolates. Ever. Sure, my little souvenir box of 6 chocolates was a lovely’ $13….but it was worth the price. Mostly. I had a few that weren’t good choices for my taste (strawberry balsamic? Gag). My favorites were the lavender and honey, salted honey caramel, and one other one that I can’t find online that had caramel as well. Oh my word…such goodness. I treasured those 6 chocolates and spaced them out for days to enjoy when I got home.
4. The Waynesville Inn needs to work on their landscaping. Sure, their golf course was in excellent condition and beautifully taken care of….but for those who wanted to watch or enjoy the mountain view? Well, lets just say some bushes got in the way. Seriously? Whose grand plan was this? It sure gave Mark and I a good laugh though! We did enjoy their row of rocking chairs on the patio instead, which was a lovely way to spend our mornings watching the fog uncover the hiding mountains, hand in hand.
5. We needed this. All tourism aside, Mark and I needed this trip. We hadn’t had a trip just the 2 of us in about 3 years. This weekend made us realize we need to do this more…simply treasuring each other’s company and having quiet. Maybe that doesn’t mean a mountain getaway or a second honeymoon, but at least more date nights regularly. It was so incredibly nice to just feel like us again– letting go of chores and work responsibilities, getting to eat my food while it was still hot, not having to worry about getting strollers out, or tag teaming who gets who into the car. It felt like…freedom. Not to say I don’t enjoy and love our kids– I’ll take cold meals and dirty dishes any day if it means I have their joy in my life. But, it was so nice to step back and breathe for 2 days and come back feeling refreshed and in more in love with my husband.
And that, makes us even better parents in the long run.
Thank you mountains, and thanks Mom!