The best gift.

Craig told me last week he took some time off for my birthday.

I was so excited.  I started planning what I was going to do with the time he was going to watch the kids for me.

The night before my birthday, he looked up weather reports and stuff to do outside around the area.

He announced that it looked like it was going to be a nice day and we should be able to spend the day at the gardens in Fort Worth.

And wasn’t I excited?!?

I smiled and nodded.

He held Evan in his lap and Iz was on the floor..and Craig was so happy that we had another full day planned as a family to celebrate my birthday.


I was crushed.

I wanted the day for myself.

I wanted time for “me” and only me.

The thought of spending it away from home, away from our normal routine, to pack up feeds, snacks, medicine, extra clothes in case of explosions from Evan’s mouth….strategically planning time to wake up to make sure he takes a full bottle so that if he didn’t take the bottle while we were out we’d still meet his caloric goals…thinking about how to keep Evan from waking up Iz too early or she’d be a wreck and in diva mode all day…

But, I kept silent.  He was so happy he had the day off to spend it with us.

The morning of my birthday I woke up ready to start my day of “fun.”

My boy slept in until 6:30 AM and I was already worried since that was an hour later than normal…and you better believe we need the full 13 hour day to get in all of our bottles and calories.

Breakfast was made and Craig hugged me tight and asked what our plan was.

He kissed me on my forehead and looked down at me and I blurted out.

“I really just want to be by myself and run errands!”

He looked a little crestfallen at the realization of my true birthday wish.

He gave me a squeeze and said, “Ok…if that’s what you want to do.  It’s your birthday.  It’s your day.”

I gave Evan his 2 morning bottles and breakfast.  Iz was a hot mess – running around putting on swimsuits.

I kept on saying, “It’s ok.  I don’t have to go anywhere.  I’ll stay here with you.”

He looked at me again and said, “Go.  I know you don’t get any down time.  Enjoy yourself.”

I was only gone for 2 and half hours.  But here’s what Craig gave me by giving me that time…

1) A spa day:  He watched the kids as I got ready.  Every time one would crawl in the bathroom or ask for snack or a drink…he’d take care of it.  I was able to close the door to the restroom.  I was able to go to the bathroom without two pairs of eyes watching me.  I was able to go to the bathroom without the background sounds of, “Mama…what are you doing?” “Mama…are you done?” “Mama…what’s dat smell?”  I was able to “use the bathroom” at normal speed.  Not pushing out something that shouldn’t be pushed out with mach forces…or stop “the flow” to run and check on what that “thud” was.  I washed my hair using the shampoo and conditioner separately.  Not combining the two to save time because the naps were about to be over.  I soaped places that often get overlooked because my 2 minute shower is interrupted by a cry.  I “cleaned up” areas that needed some attention…..  He gave me a spa day.

2)  A bonus:  I went to the store by myself.  I didn’t have to add something to the grocery cart to make the kid stop whining.  I was able to peruse the aisle for things I needed and not hurriedly throw whatever and whichever in the cart because I only had 20 minutes to shop and get home before Evan’s medication or feed.  Since we normally have family watch Evan during the day for an odd errand and not nurses…they don’t know how to do the nurse stuff for him.  I was able to price compare and shop smartly.  He didn’t realize it…but he gave our family a Christmas bonus.

3) A nice meal: I left right around lunch time.  My plan was to run through a drive thru and eat in the car before I ran my errands. I found myself parking at a nice sushi place instead.  I walked in and bravely said, “It’s just me” and was sat at a table…with linen napkins…and glasses..and REAL silverware!  The hour had not yet hit noon but I found myself saying, “Yes…I’ll have a glass of pinot gris.”  I looked at the menu…that wasn’t on the wall behind a counter above fryers and a milkshake machine…and ordered stuff I wanted.  I took out my e-book and read.  I ordered my food, sipped my wine….I ate my food at a normal pace.  I had the time chew!  I ate food from MY plate and not scraps off of a high chair or off of my lap or from my hair.  I only had to use one napkin and not a roll of paper towels to clean up sticky hands, throw up, spilled water, and crumbs that turned to mush.

4) A mini vacation and time travel:  As I sipped on the wine, at the sushi…I read a book I’ve been wanting to read for eons.  The Stephen King novel 11/22/63.  I engrossed myself in it…not worried about the next feed, the next medication, the random cries.  I was transported as I read.  It was brilliant.

5)  Me:  He gave me a bit of me again.  I neglect me so much these days.  I’m spent most days.  I don’t take enough time to do stuff I want.  More often than not, dinner is catered to what the hubs like to eat or what I know the kids will eat.  Our outings are few and far between…not just because we are trying to keep Evan as safe as possible…but because  it takes careful planning and lots of praying to survive two kids in public.  I got to listen to the sports talk radio station I like…and not the same two songs that Iz has deemed, “da car songs.”  I got to walk around the store without fearing for the safety of the “fragile” items.  I had silence when I wanted.  Noise when I chose to have it.  I got to choose how I wanted the two hours to play out…not dictated by what someone needed or wanted.


I love, love, love my kids.  I love, love, love my husband. But, when you are constantly being asked to do something, hold someone, make something better….you are deprived of something I think is so crucial as a regular person.


My receptors for touch, for sound, for sight are on overload. I’m holding on to a someone, listening to the sound of toys, T.V., or little voices, watching their little world around them to make sure they are safe as they live it…all these things…close to 18 hours a day.

My husband comes home and kisses me hello and holds me tight…everyday..without fail.  And I let the embrace envelope me…it makes me feel safe and reminds me of where home is.  But, what I want to do a minute after he walks in the door is pass the torch of parenthood onto him so I can decompress, allow my senses to take a breather…and find a piece of peace to my day.

Alas…that doesn’t happen.  Dinner needs to be made, kids need to be fed, stories of the day need to be recounted, chubby cheeks need to be kissed, sticky hands need to be wiped.  Our nightly dance party needs to happen. It needs to people.

Baths need to be given…footie jammies need to be donned…bedtime stories need to be read…fuzzy animals need to be tucked in….prayers need to said.

All these things…that are the core of my being and the light of my world…need to be done…I’m so thankful I get to do them…thankful I WANT to do them…

But, for today…on my birthday…my husband gave me the best gift I didn’t know I needed.

A little bit of down time to lift me back up.


****Some silly pics of us after my birthday cupcake!****

Little ‘stache.

 She’s just’ache cute as can be!

This is fun…






  1. very well said and I agree…nice to know that you can still have “me” time when you really do need it and want it. As a mom of 3, two of which have some special needs or concerns, I know that it can be hard to feel that you are taking care of yourself when sometimes you can’t. as a mom and wife, we tend to others’ needs first and then worry about ourselves. that’s why it always bothers me when someone says “you’re just a mom” or when I don’t do what they think I should–“you only care about yourself”. I love how you put yourself out there and don’t worry about what others think about what you have to say…it’s you being who God created you to be. You definitely inspire me!!
    May God continue to Bless you and your family!!!

  2. Shelly Radel says:


    I just wanted to take a minute and let you know how much I enjoy reading your blogs! I am a mom to 4-one baby in heavaen-born very prematurely at 19 weeks……My oldest son is now 15. My youngest son is 8. My heart kiddo -she was born 13 years ago with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. She had so many complications..for sooooo many years………..and I remember soooo many of the situations you describe so clearly! This one especailly made me stop to reflect. I can tell you-you will have more hours, days, and yes even nights out and possibly weekend girlfriend getaways! Wishing you and your family continued blessings at this holiday season!

  3. PERFECT day!!!