Last week Will and I celebrated our five year anniversary. September 25, to be exact. We decided to take the week off in order to enjoy our anniversary, but also, because we hadn’t taken time off in forever. The last vacation we had taken was a year prior, and that, like this one, involved staying in the area and just doing things around the house.
A few months ago, I had a dream of going to Savannah, GA with Will to enjoy our anniversary before the arrival of Mr. Asher Benjamin. I envisioned breakfast in bed, sleeping in past 7am, cuddling, walking around Savannah, and eating at good restaurants– with no toddler to care for, as we would leave Eila with my parents and I would be anxious for a while and call every night despite enjoying myself, but Will and I would be able to have time to ourselves for the first time since Eila’s birth. Or so it went in my head. But the reality was that we are saving up money for a variety of reasons, so a trip to Savannah would not have been responsible. Darn responsiblity.
Regardless, we decided to take a week off to work on Asher’s nursery, finish up some things in Eila’s room, hang up some shelves and pictures, etc. Not Savannah but it will do. And while it wasn’t a restful, fun, enjoyed every minute kind of vacation, it was productive and had some memorable moments. Here are a few of them:
1) Reducing our monthly budget. Now I know what you are thinking…”Wow, what an amazing vacation- so much fun that they worked on their budget!” Yes, I am aware that it is somewhat pitiful to do your budget while on vacation. But people, it is not something we feel like tackling after work and are typically too busy to tackle on weekends, so there you are. Anyway, we had been wanting to look at reducing our car payments for awhile now (we were leasing our Hondas) and contacted the dealership to explore our options. We decided to buy the Accord and see if we could return the CRV (poor Will and his green machine), freeing us up to buy a used car on Craigslist or the like for under $4000, thereby reducing our car payments, which were the second largest chunk out of our budget. The dealership agreed. Praise report #1.
We were worried about finding a reliable used car on Craigslist, because really, you just never know. Enter praise report #2. When Will’s grandmother Novie passed away a year and a half ago, she left behind her ’95 Buick LeSabre, with only 40,000 miles on it. When we were talking with Will’s parents about our plan to acquire a used vehicle, Will jokingly (well, somewhat jokingly) asked them about the Miata they never drive. His mother, not wanting to part with the Miata, mentioned they did have the Buick and that they may be willing to give it to us. They talked it over and decided that was what they would like to do. Thank you Lord! Down to one car payment.
2) Calvin the Super-Cat. So, the cat that chose to adopt us a couple weeks back appears to be staying. Residing on the porch, Calvin enjoys eating, purring, and playing with the conch shells we have by one of the porch posts. On the only day of our week off where it wasn’t supposed to pour down rain, thereby making it “field trip to Southport” day, we wake up excited about the chance to have a day just to enjoy being together as a family. Will comes downstairs with Eila to get her breakfast while I shower so we can get going to Southport. I am getting dressed when I hear, “Liv, can you come down here?” Uh oh.
I go downstairs only to discover that Calvin the Super-Cat is perched 15 feet up in a tree across the street in a wooded not-yet-claimed lot. Will dresses in long sleeves to avoid mosquito attack and takes our ladder across the street to rescue this crazy cat. Unfortunately, our ladder is only 6 ft. tall, and despite Will adding another 6 ft, the math does not add up. We end up calling the Rocky Point Fire Dept., where a very nice volunteer fireman tells me that this is their third “cat call” this month and he will have to get permission from the Chief. This was after he asked if we had a hose to squirt him down, as that is what they do- I explained we do not have a hose long enough to go across the street where the troublemaker was. The fireman is granted permission and they show up quite quickly, hose the Calvin down, and after being thanked profusely, head on their way. I have great appreciation that they would even help in such a way. As for Calvin, he remained wet and angry for about 15 minutes before getting over it and returning to eat breakfast. We missed our ferry, but decided to go anyway and take the ferry back.
3) Getting to watch Eila on the ferry. You see, Eila LOVES water (to the point where she has blown kisses to it when crossing bridges), and I desperately wanted to take her on the ferry from Southport to Fort Fisher, hence our determination to find one day where the weather would allow for a trip to Southport.
4) Eila’s first dose of luck. Oh yes, as the title of this post alludes too, bird poop was part of our vacation. In the form of being deposited on my sweet little girl’s head, left shoulder, and back. In Southport. A few minutes after I had just said to Will that we needed to be careful sitting on the swing under those trees because we might get pooped on. Thankfully, Eila had no clue and appeared more concerned as to why we were dumping a portion of one of our water bottles on her head. I also was prepared that day with an extra outfit in the diaper bag, and some wipes of course, so it was manageable. Actually, I hesitate to admit this, but the first thing Will and I did (after noticing Eila’s cluelessness) was crack up. I’m sorry, it was funny. I have no idea why people say that it is good luck- is it supposed to make it more tolerable?
5) The actual day of Will and I’s anniversary. You see, at this point in the week, the sinful part of me was starting to resent that other people our age have actually taken real vacations, even having young children. I was mad that the weather stunk, I was mad that we hadn’t even gotten everything done we had planned to, I was mad that we had gotten married the day before my mother’s birthday which caused conflicts with planning at times, and I was mad that Will had to go to court first thing on the morning of our anniversary to try and get out of a speeding ticket. When he called to say that the ticket was dismissed, I felt a momentary moment of happiness before he added that we still had to pay court costs equaling $155. I will refrain from going into a rant on the racket our court system runs in regard to speeding tickets. Let’s just say I was probably not too fun to be around.
Due to the “court costs” and my current tendency to worry about money (and yes I recognize the irony-read SIN- in worrying about God’s provision in the midst of the miracle car situation), I began to fret over going to dinner for our anniversary. I began to do the irrational thing I do at times (thankfully rarely) in which I say to Will I don’t want to do something when I am really wanting to do it and just hoping Will will reassure me. A few hours before our reservation at the Little Dipper- one of my favorite restaurants and where I had been waiting to go again since our last anniversary- we begin to fight. Thanks, primarily to me and my crazy expectation that after five years Will should be able to read my mind. Looong story short, we end up heading to the restaurant, get caught in a torrential downpour on I-40, making us 20 minutes late for our reservation, I get upset over this and cry in the car for another 15 (arguing still with poor Will), and we finally get inside over 30 minutes later for dinner. We had, of course, lost our table (the one Will had requested that was beside the fireplace). Instead, we were seated at a table near the bar- cue more tears that I cry by going into the ladies room to save at least some dignity.
I come out, decide that I deserve it after how I had been acting, and we decide to just try and enjoy ourselves anyway. And we did. We came home and had a wonderful evening together. God is definitely still teaching me about the danger of unrealistic expectations, the danger in comparing myself to others, and my overall sinful nature.
I am so thankful He is gracious, merciful, and loving. And that He loves us enough to show us that we are nothing without Jesus.
So that was our week off in a nutshell. I’ll stop here as this post was long enough (guess that’s what happens when I don’t write in a while).