Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Date Night do-over!

Last night, our dinner date got off to a bumpy start...

Trey was busy getting things ready for our date before I even got home from work. He packed clothes and pajamas for the kids so they could spend the night at his parent's house, he packed a cooler with a few beers for each of us and was dressed when I walked in the door around 5 PM. All I had to do was change into some casual clothes and we were ready to go.

After picking up Tallen from daycare, we headed to his parent's house to drop off the kids.  Tallen was either tired or not feeling well because for the first 5 minutes we were there, he cried and wanted me to hold him.  After getting him something to eat and kissing both kids goodbye, we were ready for our date to begin.  I gave Trey directions to the cafe where we planned to have dinner. It is located in a outdoor shopping center filled with restaurants, wine bars, clothing stores, a fitness facility and a local performing arts theater. We pulled in and found the cafe right away, with an empty parking spot right in front.

Maybe the available parking should have tipped me off, but I did not notice until we got out of the car that a handwritten sign was on the door.

New Summer hours! Closing time on weekdays is now 6 PM instead of 8 PM.  I looked at my watch, it was 6:14 PM. Total FAIL on my planning for our dinner date.

We got back in the car and tried to think where we should go on this random Tuesday night. Since we already brought our own beer, I grabbed my phone and searched for BYOB restaurants on again. Then over the next 15 minutes, things started to go downhill. With a limited selection, I threw out a few names of restaurants and Trey shot them down. While I was still searching for places on my phone, he started driving which makes me car sick, so I loudly suggested that he find a place to pull over until we decided where to eat.

By this poing we were both irritated and hungry.  Trey took off driving again and we still did not know where to eat.  I pointed to an upscale pizza place that I knew was BYOB. We pulled into the parking lot and sat there a minute. Eh. Neither of us were feeling it. Finally, Trey suggested a wine and coffee bar that we stopped at a few months ago. I pulled up the online menu, saw the words flat bread pizza on the menu and shouted "YES! Let's go there." We needed to pull this date out of the black hole that it was quickly disappearing into...

Less than 10 minutes later we pulled into the parking lot. Trey ran inside to see if they were BYOB. Nope.

No problem.  Instead of heading in the restaurant right away, we decided to have a "do-over" to the beginning of date night so we each opened a beer, toasted each other and celebrated the fact that we were having a conversation in our own car without getting interrupted by the kids or being forced to listen to Scooby Doo on the DVD player.

It was wonderful

To read about the rest of date night and see what we finally ate, check out my post on Food and Fitness 4 Real

Monday, July 18, 2011

An Unexpected Weekend...

I admit it.  I am spoiled.

I'm not talking about the fact that I am spoiled because I don't have to pump my own gas (Trey puts gas in my car every week) or wash my own car (Trey does that for me too).

No, I am freely admitting that I am spoiled for my weekly date nights with Trey.

I have bragged - um, I mean Blogged about the fact that I go on a date with my husband every Friday night.  My in-laws love spending time with their grand kids, so each week my kids spend the night with them.  Trey takes them on Friday afternoon (around 4:30 PM) and I usually pick them up the next day before noon.

Because of all of our traveling and guests over the past three weeks, we missed out on several date nights this past month.  About a week ago, I planned our Friday night date that included a sushi dinner followed by a show at the House of Blues.  We were so excited to have an adult night out so we could reconnect and have a conversation without a million kid interruptions.

Sometime in the middle of the week, I realized that there was a huge snag in our plans...

My in-laws were going to be out of town for the weekend! 

After some debating back and forth about getting a baby-sitter, we decided to stay home instead.  Friday night felt different, because I went grocery shopping with Sophia instead of out to dinner with my husband.  I think I actually spent more time with Sophia than I did with Trey the entire weekend.  No complaints though, it was nice to spend time with my daughter after she ignored me for five days at the beach.


I blogged about the Things I learned on my Sunday morning run on Food and Fitness 4 Real this weekend.    If you missed it, one of the things I learned was to make sure my kids are supervised when I am out running:

6) Kids need to be supervised when I go running. My daughter greeting me at the door, showing off four new tattoos that she had applied on her own while I was gone. Then my son came around the corner with a ring pop in his hand and his entire face stained blue. Apparently they found the goodie bags from the birthday party we went to last night. My daughter, being the helpful big sister, opened the ring pop for her brother and went tattoo crazy. Awesome. Now when I get up early to run, my husband will have to get up early too to make sure the kids are not eating CANDY before breakfast. Or we just need to do a better job hiding the goodie bags.

After I walked in the door and saw Sophia and Tallen, I could not resist taking pictures.

This sweet smile is hiding the fact that she was up to no good while I was out running. 
Sophia put on tattoos all by herself!!!

"This one is a little wrinkled," she told me, "But that's okay."
Mmmm.  Candy for breakfast!
WHAT?  Do I have something on my face?
I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  We had a great weekend with the kids but I am really looking forward to date night with my husband this Friday night.  Yes, I know I am spoiled. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Six Reasons I Love the Beach

You may get the impression from my last post that I Hate the Beach.  I actually love the beach but I just have a different point of view now that I have to take my children with me on vacation.  Although there were some low points, we did have some wonderful moments on our trip to Florida.  So now I give you...
Six Reasons I Love the Beach!

1)  The View - Sitting in a chair on the beach, staring out at the clear blue water and listening to the crashing sounds of the waves was my favorite way to spend my day.  In spite of the kids, I managed to take a few walks along the beach in the middle of the day to just enjoy the scenery. 

2)  The Slower Pace - Because we were on vacation, I had more time in the mornings to spend doing the things I enjoy, so I went running.  Running barefoot on the white sand, with only the crashing waves as my soundtrack, was a completely different experience than running in my neighborhood or in the park.  Having my husband running alongside of me was also a luxury of going on a family vacation.  We ran a little slower, enjoying our time together and the beautiful white sandy beach.   
Trey on the beach after our morning run. 

3) Trying New Things - Vacation is a time to try new things, like new restaurants, new beaches... or if you are my daughter, the Zip line and SkyFlyer.  Sophia decided to leave her shy, timid self at home and unleash the daredevil inside of her on vacation.  

Sophia on the zip line.  I think my heart was beating faster than hers. 
Sophia was so excited for the SkyFlyer with her Daddy!

Trey asked if she was scared and she replied "No Way!"
Amazing!  I was so proud of her and she LOVED it!

4)  The Food - We tried some amazing new restaurants while we were in Florida.  We ate on the front porch at Borago in Grayton Beach, which was perfect for the kids. An old favorite is The Crab Trap, another family friendly restaurant which is right on the beach and has an outdoor play set to occupy the kids while the adults grab a drink at the outdoor bar. 

The Crap Trap in Destin, FL
My favorite dinner was our adults night out at Caliza Restaurant in Alys Beach.  It is in a very exclusive new development and had a European feel.  Everything we ate was excellent and I would highly recommend this restaurant for a date night. 

Caliza Restaurant in Alys Beach

5) Late day beach trips - After a hot day of playing at the beach, we would head back inside around 2 or 3 PM to take a break from the heat.  After a few hours of rest, I like to head back out on the beach.  This time of day the sun is not as strong, the ocean seems calmer, and families tend to cluster their chairs together at the edge of the ocean.  

My beautiful daughter on the beach, late in the day.
6)  The Family pictures - Every year I make our family take pictures on the beach.  We have lots of pictures of the kids playing in the sand or swimming in the ocean during the day, but I like the shots that we take on the beach of our entire family together.  Because we had some fights about taking family pictures earlier in the week, I put this off until our last night at the beach, right before we went to dinner.  I am not ashamed to say that we bribed Sophia by telling her she could wear pink Barbie high heels to dinner at the restaurant.  I am also proud to say that I LOVE THESE PHOTOGRAPHS!

To avoid a meltdown, we allowed Bunny in our family picture.  I guess she is part of the family!
Look at Trey and Tallen, they stand exactly the same!

It may look like a smile, but Tallen is trying to scare Calvin (our photographer) in this picture. 

I wonder how much longer she will let me hold her like this.
My baby, Tallen.  I promise one day you will love the sand!

What is your favorite part of a beach vacation?  What beaches do you like to visit?  How has having kids changed your family vacations?  I love getting comments!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Five reasons I Hate the beach...

1) The Traffic - I totally missed out on getting to the beach on our first day at the vacation because we spent almost an hour sitting in traffic during the last 30 miles of our trip.  We were oh so close to the beach, yet oh so far away.

2) The Stuff - To spend the day at the beach, my family alone required one pop up canopy, two beach chairs, two kid folding chairs, one beach bag, one bag of sand toys, one cooler of food and snacks, one backpack filled with sunscreen, and five beach towels.  Each of these items needed to be carried from our car to the beach, then back from the beach to the car each day.  (Someone also had to carry Tallen the entire time - see reason #4 below). 

Yes, even Sophia had her own chair at the beach.
We just had to carry it for her.  

3) The Sand - It gets EVERYWHERE and it you can never get it off.  I could do that shower, foot spray thing for 10 minutes and still find sand on me once I got to the car.  You also find it in unexpected places throughout the day, like in your sandwich at lunch or in your daughter's bathing suit bottoms when you give her a bath that night. 

Trey covered in sand after the kids buried him.  Yes, he did this willingly. 
No, I would never let them bury me in the sand.   

Sophia playing with her sand toys and getting sand in her bathing suit. 
 4) The Fear - Tallen was absolutely terrified of the sand on the beach.  I am talking ear piercing screams, arms trembling with fear and big fat tears rolling down his face.  This made our lives very difficult, because we were on vacation at the beach and we basically sat in the sand every day.  I spent most of the day standing up holding him, sitting in a chair while he napped on my lap, or ignoring his pleas for me to hold him.  If we would have just made a drinking game out of the phrase "Hold you Mommy!" we could have spent our week drunk and happy.

  "Hold you, MOMMY!"

Oh No!  My feet are way too close to the sand!
 5) The Fury - Going on vacation means throwing your schedules out the window.  This meant my kids stayed up late, didn't get enough sleep, played really hard, ate too much sugar, and meals were way off schedule.  This can lead to meltdowns, whining, pouting, and temper tantrums.  This applies to the kids as well as the adults.  One night we had to skip out on dinner (after we had already arrived at the restaurant) and go home to put the kids to bed.  

You would not know it from our smiles, but Sophia is off to the left having a meltdown
because she refused to be in the family picture. 

Check back soon for a more upbeat post titled "10 Reasons I LOVE the Beach".  I hope I can come up with ten reasons.  I must still love it because we are already planning our trip to the beach next summer.  I really hope that we have cured Tallen of his fear of sand by then.  

Friday, July 1, 2011

Food and Fitness 4 Real

I am so excited to announce that I am launching a new healthy living blog today, called Food and Fitness 4 Real. It is about my journey towards healthy living and what it looks like 4 real as a busy working mom. 

Unlike Suiresphere, which is about my family, Food and Fitness 4 Real (FF4R) is my personal experience with food and fitness.  In fact, my children will not be featured often on FF4R.  I will be sharing tips for eating out and staying healthy, my switch to eating more organic & seasonal foods, and trying out new recipes.  In addition, I will give tips on fitting exercise in your busy life, how I found time for myself when I laced up my running shoes, and why it is important to let your kids see you make fitness a priority in your life.  This fall I will be running two or three half-marathons so it will also chronicle my training schedule for my races. 

Stop by often, as I will be posting daily on my new blog.  I already have a week planned full of recipes, tips for eating out, and a review of one of my favorite pizza places in Dallas (yes, pizza can be healthy too). 

Suiresphere will still be a way for me to share stories about my family and the struggles of a career mom with two young children.  Make sure you don't miss a moment of the Suiresphere, sign up today to get emails with new posts.  Just fill in our email address on the top right corner of this blog.

Thanks and I am looking forward to you visiting me at Food and Fitness 4 Real.  I love to hear your comments and can answer any questions you may have about Healthy Living 4 Real.