This summer has been everything a summer should be. The kids have spent so much time playing with friends old and new in our neighborhood, VBS, baseball, soccer and ballet camps and we just took the best vacation ever over the Fourth of July weekend with Justin’s parents Hugh and Cheryl (Papa and Gran Gran).
It might be because I’m pregnant and overly sensitive in general, or perhaps it’s the perspective we were given having raised our young family through the challenges of dental school, but I can’t help but be incredibly cognizant of how fortunate we are. Life in general is just so much easier now than it was a year ago. Living through the pressures and binds of a heavily restricted budget that was pretty much solely based on student loans was incredibly challenging, specifically for Justin and I and the impact it had on our marriage.
I don’t often talk about my relationship with Justin. I suppose because our primary focus was only each other very, very briefly early on in our courtship. We’ve learned to build a foundation for our love and bond through the layers of an unexpected pregnancy, the stress of living on one income, testing into and applying for dental school, moving across the country on our own and then not only surviving but succeeding beyond all of that.
It probably goes without saying that having involved family members has made our lives so much better in all ways-primarily lifting the pressures of raising our children with all necessary components from being solely on our shoulders. They need people around them that love them and care for them, and Justin and I are also benefiting from the support in countless ways.
I’m certainly not much of a planner by nature. I prefer to be somewhat spontaneous whenever possible and have found that, even though Justin couldn’t be more the opposite, it seems to work the best for our family in most everyday situations.
We didn’t decide to go to Tahoe for the long weekend until the day before we packed up and drove late into the night the 5 hour car ride to Justin’s aunt and uncle’s cabin on the North Shore. Papa and Gran Gran met us there and we proceeded to spend nearly all day, every day on the beach, kayaking, fishing for crawdads or playing in the perfectly clear, gorgeous (albeit chilly) water. It was as close to the quintessential “vacation” that we’ve ever taken as a family and each of us enjoyed and appreciated it so much.
This trip, coupled with my longing to take the kids back to the city for a visit, has ramped up a very real and almost tangible sense of wanderlust in me. The summers seem so incredibly short, though this one in particular feels especially pressing with the forthcoming birth of our fourth baby and school starting again for the kids at nearly the same time. Beau will go to preschool for the first time, while Jack and Zoe will enter 1st and 2nd grades-it feels so much like we’re living within the boarders of a puzzle while the universe carefully calculates the strategy for completing that picture.
Despite the rapid impending changes, Justin and I have found an avenue towards a stronger bond between each other. With the support from our family around us, we’ve been able to extend our focus to our relationship as well as raising our family as best as we possibly can. The constant peddling in tandem has just about brought us to the eighth anniversary of our wedding, and we’ve decided to celebrate with a short but sweet baby moon vacation; Justin and I are embarking on what will be the first actual trip of leisure as a married couple that we’ve ever taken together. Of course, leaving the kids and pets is never easy, but they’ll be on their own Grandparent’s Getaway, staying with family while we finally make the effort to spend some uncompromised time together. I’m pretty certain we’ll have absolutely zero idea what to do with ourselves with all of this time (we’ll be talking about the kids, obviously), but I know it will be good for us. Even if I am beached most of the time.