Thursday, May 10, 2012

Refreshed & Renewed

This past weekend, Michael blessed me immensely! As his birthday/anniversary gift to me, he basically kicked me out of the house on Friday night after he got home from work, and wouldn't let me come back until Sunday afternoon. He reserved a hotel room for me at the brand new Town Home Suites for two nights ALL BY MYSELF! It was glorious!

Friday evening, Linda stayed with the children while Michael took me out to dinner and a movie. We saw The Avengers at the re-opened Opry Mills Mall. We ate delicious salad and tuna sandwiches at a new "fresh" deli, and then we walked around the mall to see all the new and re-designed stores. It is a huge mall, so we got lots of good exercise! The movie was really entertaining even though I fell asleep at one point. It didn't start until 9:45 so it was right at my bedtime! But once the action started, I was wide awake and enjoyed it very much.

He stayed with me at the hotel that evening, which was a nice break for both of us. We slept in until 9:30am and then went our separate ways. He went back home to relieve Granny while I started gallivanting around town. First, I had an awesome gel pedicure at The Nail Bar, which was the coolest nail salon I have ever experienced! Then I had a massage with a $39 Groupon (can't beat that price). She was a licensed infant/child masseuse and taught me the benefits massage can have on children in their common childhood plights.

I then had delicious vegetarian enchiladas at Chuy's Mexican Restaurant, which was fitting since it was Cinco De Mayo! I read a book and leisurely enjoyed my quiet lunch. Anyone with children understands what a TREAT this would be. A quiet meal...reading a book...without, pure pleasure!

Shopping at The Galleria Mall in Cool Springs is always fun, and I strolled in and out of stores sometimes trying on things, sometimes not. It was just relaxing. I actually found a cute new swimming suit, which was NOT the plan...and we all know how frustrating shopping for suits can be! Having the leisure to "just try" this or that on was so nice. When you have children along for the ride, you must have a purpose and a plan. This day was pure, unabashed freedom! It was so, so wonderful.

My friends, Kathy and Stephanie, met me at our most favorite sushi spot in Nashville, Virago, for dinner. We were there for three hours!! They're young mommas, too, so they were enjoying the night out with the girls. We walked down to a local music bar, Tin Roof, and enjoyed live music for awhile. It was interesting, however, because that particular "scene" just isn't typical for any of us anymore. It was enjoyable nonetheless! The whole evening was a treat.

On Sunday, I slept in my hotel bed until 8am (yes, that is sleeping IN for me!). I enjoyed the make-your-own-waffle breakfast and coffee in the hotel, then spent the rest of the morning in my hotel room. I prayed and read and listened to music and took a short nap then showered and walked out of my room at 11:58am. Check out was noon. Yes, I milked that one for ALL it was worth!

It's interesting the change of perspective one takes on after having children. The former often common "luxuries" in life aren't so common anymore! So when you do experience such luxuries (i.e. pedicure, eating out, shopping, sleeping in) without the usual responsibility of caring for/tending to children, you appreciate them SO MUCH MORE! I cannot tell you how many times I've gazed at my beautiful, pink toes and smooth heels with pure appreciation this week. :-)

All in all, it was a much needed respite for this stay-at-home Mom. I gained a refreshed and renewed appreciation not only for the finer things in life, but also for my precious family whom I love dearly. Coming home to those sweet faces - all FOUR of them (Michael, PJ, Grant, and Maya!) was the perfect end to a perfect weekend. I thank God for His blessings in my life, and I specifically thank my wonderful husband for giving me the BEST birthday/anniversary gift this year (which will probably become an annual thing)!