Updated Models

by Karen

Okay, so this so-called digital sabbatical didn’t last too long. But that is okay, I guess I just have words to say, regardless if anyone reads them or not. Clay and I were married almost five years before the little guy came along. While that time was filled with quite a bit of adventure, nothing could prepare us for the whirlwind of becoming parents. And as much as we love being parents, we sometimes look back longingly at the more carefree days of our child-free existence.

Lake Ontario, Sackets Harbor, NY – 2007

Our apartment in New York was 100 yards from the shore of Lake Ontario. We bought kayaks and would spend afternoons exploring the body of water that separated the US and Canada. When we would visit my parents, we could spend hours on the jet skis or boat without a worry in the world – just seeing if we could get lost on Lake Lanier. Loving all things water, it wasn’t difficult to spend the day at the beach when visiting Clay’s parents in Wilmington, NC. And we even snuck away to the Bahamas just to swim up to a bar for Pina Coladas and Rum and Cokes. This is not to say that these days are over, but a lot more planning goes into what use to be a last-minute spontaneous decision. When you have a little guy who can’t swim yet, the opportunities to engage in such water sports and beach-related activities are limited.

That being said, we feel as if we have done a pretty good job of seizing opportunities and not hemming and hawing about whether we should embark on an adventure just because we have a toddler. We just take him along (and make sure not to forget blankie). We’re going to Alaska later this summer and plan on touring Europe next summer (we want to wait until he comfortably sleeps in a bed). The opportunities for adventure only increase with Weston’s age and I can’t wait to see the world as a family. Basically, we don’t feel like our lives are over because we now have a child. In many ways, we (cheesy alert) feel that it has just begun (now I have The Carpenters in my head…).

Lake Lanier, GA – 2011

But on the other hand, not getting time alone as a couple can be the kiss of death. Granted, I am still a fairly new to this parent game. Weston is only 20 months old and as of right now, he is our one and only – so take these thoughts with a grain of salt. But I love spending time with my husband alone. Whether it is just sitting down and eating a meal or going out on the lake, feeling the wind as the speedometer raises. This doesn’t mean that we love our son any less, it just means that we value our marriage and are determined to carve out time for ourselves. Yes, we’re a mom and a dad, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t Karen and Clay anymore. We’re just updated models.