But there is another story worth telling from this vacation, and this once revolves around my in-laws, with whom we were staying in a large, multi-bedroom rental house that afforded us the luxury of our own space while still allowing us to spend time together.
The house was really lovely, which was a relief after our disastrous trip down. We had gotten stuck in traffic, and every time the car stopped, my 20-month-old daughter Clara would scream and cry from the backseat—so essentially, we'd move a few feet and she'd take a breath and pause, we'd think we were in the clear, then traffic would come to a standstill again and she'd resume her wailing. I'm pretty sure I have some permanent hearing loss as a result of the screeching—it literally went on for hours.
At one point we stopped at a rest stop to get some more snacks and drinks for the kids (we'd thrown everything we had at them so far in an attempt to keep them distracted from the fact that we weren't going anywhere), and the children leaped out of the car and pranced around with huge grins on their faces. My four-year-old son Evan shouted "We're here! Where's the ocean?" *sigh*
After begrudgingly piling the kids back into the van (with new snacks and beverages in hand), we resumed our stop-and-go pattern until we finally found an alternate route that was less jammed up, and let me tell you, it was absolutely exhilarating to be able to exceed five miles an hour.
Despite our delays, we finally arrived at the house. We were haggard and tired, but grateful to be there, and we were immediately distracted from our recent ordeal by whispered rumors that my sister-in-law's boyfriend had brought along a ring. We already knew that he was planning on asking her to marry him, and it was now obvious that he planned on proposing during our stay at the beach! The excitement was palpable, and we began placing our bets on when the proposal would take place.
As it happened, they were engaged by day three. There was much celebrating and admiring of the ring (it's an absolutely gorgeous blue diamond), and after lots of shouting, squealing and hugging, we grew wistful and began telling stories about our own engagements and laughing about our own wedding mishaps.
Evan, sensing the excitement in the air, donned a ring-pop and pranced about, proudly announcing that the ring meant that he, too, was engaged. When we asked him who he was planning on marrying, he cuddled up to me and said sweetly, "I'm going to marry Mommy, because she's my best girl."
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I think I did a little of both.
Evan continued to wear the ring-pop stub even after he had devoured the lollipop, and he showed it off to every passerby in town who would take notice, proudly announcing, "I'm getting married!"
It was a magical time for everyone, and I had the honor of doing the engagement photos (I'm a photographer in my "spare time"—it's something I don't talk about much on my blog, but it's a passion of mine). Here's a photo I took of the gorgeous ring!
There was much to be happy about in addition to the engagement, for my husband and I had just celebrated our eight year anniversary. And when my in-laws offered to put the kids to bed one night so that we could have a rare evening out to celebrate, we wasted no time in accepting the offer!
We chose a fancy restaurant with a view of the water and had the pleasure of enjoying a rare romantic dinner at sunset. The baked brie was pure heaven on a plate, my scallops were amazing, and the view of the sunset over the water was stunning. We held hands, drank wine, reminisced about our wedding and marveled at the fact that, in two years, we'll have been married for a decade.
We posed for some photos between dinner and dessert. It was all very romantic; the combination of drinks, music and sunset definitely had us feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. My thoughts drifted wistfully back to my wedding, and by the time our desserts had been eaten and our alcohol-laden coffees had arrived, I was feeling quite inspired to do something romantic and wedding-ish again with my sweetheart.
I shot my hubby a flirty look as he snapped my picture with my decadent coffee, and as he gazed at me lovingly across the table, I proposed my brilliant idea.
"So honey, what do you think about renewing our vows for our tenth anniversary? Wouldn't that just be perfect?"
I was met with a blank stare from my husband. "Why on earth would we want to do that?" he asked. "What—didn't we mean them the first time?" I just stared at him with my mouth hanging open. Did I really have to explain this?
I said, "We could go somewhere and do it on the beach. I could wear my wedding dress again."
He responded, "Oh, I get it. This is just to prove it still fits, isn't it? It's some kind of female validation thing." I was horrified. That couldn't be it, could it? I mean, sure—it would be awesome if my dress still fit, and I would love to have an opportunity to wear it again, to get photos taken, to carry a bouquet... but surely this wasn't all about me.
I started waxing poetic about how romantic it would be, and how much more meaningful the vows would be now that we had kids, and...
"So we'd get a vacation out of it, at least," he interrupted, "without the kids?" I said that yes, naturally if we renewed our vows we would take a second honeymoon, and that it would be without the kids.
He snorted. "Good luck convincing anyone to watch the rugrats for a whole week. And what—I'd have to get all dressed up in a tux again and pay someone to do a ceremony and everything? Can't we just take a vacation?"
I stared at him and began to realize that he had zero interest in renewing our vows. Absolutely none. I slumped in my chair and pouted. "So, you really don't like the idea of renewing vows?" I asked sorrowfully.
He smiled and said, "Heck, if you can find a guy who's willing to do it with you, I'm all for it."
"And THAT," I said, "IS GOING ON MY BLOG."
He glared at me and I thought I detected some smoke emanating from his ears. "Well," he said ruefully, "apparently I have to watch everything I say around you any more." I informed him that if he'd stop being an idiot, he'd stop getting quoted on my blog.
So, I guess now I should start the search for a stand-in for my husband for that renewal of vows. But whoever submits his application is going to have to remember something—this handsome little guy has already claimed me, and he's got the ring to prove it!
|I love my Mommy!|