Dan and I are fresh from five days well spent in Cancun, Mexico! This trip will definitely live on as one of the most relaxing adventures we’ve ever experienced. Which is exactly what my goal was when planning this surprise trip. Earlier this year Dan and I decided to plan more surprises if you will. In hopes of igniting that giddy passion from our years of dating. I have been working on this trip for a few months now and I managed to keep it a secret up until we arrived at our flight gate! When I finally told him we were headed to Cancun, his face was priceless. Like an excited schoolboy when the last bell of the day rings. Dan is very much a man of small emotion, so to get him to emote such surprise was awesome!
We spent our five days napping and swimming between the beach and pool. Our hardest moments of the day were when we had to choose which drink to enjoy. It was honestly the best time and dare I say I fell in love with my husband just a bit more than I already do? Time just us is such a treat. Though everyone says it is much needed, it is truly so hard to come by! Even the simplest of date nights can seem so daunting to plan at times. Not just sitter wise but emotionally daunting. At least for me, my heart broke when it came time to leave Mila. Not kidding, I turned into a blubbering hot mess wherein everything seemed to come crashing down. Our surprise trip destination was nearly blown, then Mila climbed into her stroller that was parked in our hallway and fell out bonking her head and I suddenly found myself laden with fear. Like why, why would I even try to leave her for so long?! But my mom kicked me out the door and we were suddenly on our way. Though the loss of my son may lead some to think my over protractedness is only natural … Every mom can relate to the inner struggle of leaving our babies with any caregiver other than yourself! It is hard!
Once we checked in and signed into the WiFi things were fine. My mom send Mila updates via text and Snapchat which were hysterical. The hours spent lounging together were re-filling our inner cups. We hadn’t taken a trip just us in a while and though hard to plan and hard to leave Mila it was beyond needed. I have mentioned on my blog (and Instagram) that the end of last year and early this year had been pretty difficult. Not just because of the holidays and dealing with emotions tied to grief, but Dan and I had frankly slipped into a frumpy rut. The love was not lost but the lust rather had been buried beneath work and our children. Honest, Dan was in the midst of building his own personal training business as I was getting ready to launch my third product for Baby Boy Bakery Kids and we somehow fell behind on taking care of US. Most days we found ourselves talking about each others schedule and giving a high five to each other as we traded off watching Mila while the other worked. To be truthful, last year was one of the most beautiful ones as it was our first year with Mila in our lives. But even as second-time parents having a newborn threw us both for a loop! A lot of the time we felt like we were drowning a bit and it all kind of came to a head at the end of last year. It was one of those things I didn't feel comfortable talking about because it seemed insane to feel so heavy when holding our gift of a newborn baby! Rest assured last year was great! It just came with a few bouts of struggle too.
It is very easy to post a smiling photo, but don't forget that there is a story behind those smiles and hard work to support them upright. That goes for everyone guys, not just us. I have now come to realize that comparison offers nothing but death to happiness. So comparing you or your relationship or your children to others around you or others on social media is toxic. This is a something I have to remind myself of often, daily even! The good thing though? Seeing how others do life can be really inspiring. It can offer ideas and advice that you can form fit to your own lifestyle. What is better than seeing something and then applying it for the betterment of your family? (just a random thought here, something I have been struggling with lately is the comparison thing.)
It is with that notion that I had to share, Dan and I work hard at our marriage like most. It isn’t easy, but things that are easy aren’t worthwhile right?! I've listed a few "tips" or things that I have come to learn in keeping our marriage a happy one. They might not work for you and most of you may already do them! Quite frankly they are things I need to refresh myself with from time to time. Being married is all about compromise and a forever give and take. I will say for certain, Dan and I aren’t perfect. Not in the least. But at times we feel perfect and we laugh after fights. We try really hard to make each other happy and we also try really hard to push each other's buttons because then can be fun sometimes too ;) We try new things and revisit things that we have been through whether they were hard or fun. It is most important to take a look back at the path we have trail blazed thus far, doing so makes us excited for our future.
Saying “I Love You” - I mentioned in our New Years Resolution blog post earlier this year that Dan and I need to try and say “I Love You” more. During our frumpy rut last year we weren’t saying it out loud as often and I simply wanted to hear it more. So I brought it to his attention and we both set a goal to say “I Love You” more. I think after being with one person for so long things can get dusty and lay within our sub-conscious. Like we know we love each other, but we didn’t say it out loud often. Making us both aware of it was important and now we are conscious of our words and how impactful they can be.
Communication Is Key (& Be Specific) - This is simple, speak whats on your mind. It is easier said than done though. What I have learned is that I was constantly getting upset that certain things weren’t getting done. Things I thought were common knowledge. But when dealing with men things are just different. They don’t think like we do. So, I started detailing things I needed help with. Things I needed Dan to get done. Having that open line of communication is so helpful and it makes me feel like we are a well-oiled machine at times. I do think though that compromise comes into play major here because when we speak our mind and detail things we want it might not always be reciprocated. So even though communication is key, coming to a compromise is the goal.
Time Away Just The Two Of Use + Time Away From Each Other - The best advice I’ve ever gotten was from my mother on the day of my baby shower for my son Ryan. She said “Be sure to not let your lives revolve around your baby. Make time for just you and Dan because once the baby grows up and moves out you don’t want to turn and look at your husband like he is a stranger.” For whatever reason that suck in my brain and has hard as time away from our kids is, it is that time just for ourselves is what keeps us afloat. Both Dan and I feel so refreshed after Cancun! It goes without saying that you can’t survive on empty and taking time to ourselves is a way to refill. What is also important is taking a few days just for us solo. For example, last month Dan went on a rafting trip with his brothers for a weekend. In turn, I plan a girls night out or a few days up north visiting my best friend Holly. I hold this thought in high regard, I never want to lose the Jacqui I was prior to having kids. And I never want Dan to lose that in himself either.
Life has a funky way of twisting and turning things over and over until we are forced to grow and evolved. Which is great! But let us not forget who we once were, let us not forget who were when we fell in love.