Going with the Flow

I am a planner. There, I said it. I like having something to look forward to. I enjoy having an idea of what to expect. However, I don’t believe I’m someone that *has* to follow a particular plan to the letter. I can absolutely go with the flow if a new or better idea comes along. This is something I’ve gotten better at since having children. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned about parenthood is how challenging the balancing act can be. You really do have to battle routine vs going with the flow constantly. 
This past weekend, the hubs & I truly enjoyed about 24 hours of spontaneous fun. Saturday night, the hubs & I had a sitter all set up. We had planned to go out with friends, but they had to back out due to unforeseen circumstances. That was a bummer, but we were still all about going out. We had a sitter locked & loaded and hadn’t had a date night in a couple months. Didn’t have a ton of plans, but our goal was to keep things on the cheap, so we headed to our favorite dive-bar that has the yummiest bar-food in Grand Rapids, in our humble opinion. The kids don’t like it because it’s too loud but we do drag them there on occasion, just to break them in. Plus, if they throw a fit about it, the place is loud enough that no one will hear. If you haven’t tested that theory before, try it. Every subsequent visit has gotten easier! 

After a couple of kick-ass burgers, free PBRs The Birch rocks! and a couple shots of Patron, we headed downtown, where the big Local First Street Party was taking place. We paid $7 to park so much for the free party and started walking around downtown, going wherever the welcoming breeze was going to carry us. We could hear a band playing a few blocks away. The weather was absolutely perfect, I even grabbed a light sweater! Such a relief for this fall-weather-loving chic after suffering through nearly 100 degree temps a few days prior. The evening took us to a few different spots over the course of the evening, a couple bars were literally pit-stops, a girl’s gotta pee sometimes! But despite hitting up a couple of bars we don’t normally frequent, we soon realized why we don’t hang there and exited as soon as my beer exited my body! Those particular bars just weren’t us. Call us snobs or whathaveyou, but with age comes wisdom, and we are wise enough to know where we do and don’t belong; some bars are for the 20something set, and some are not. The bars we spent the most time at either had a fantastic jukebox Steeeeeeella’s! or a fabulous outdoor patio looking at you Hopcat. The hubs & I had a blast. We ate & drank our way through the night, had excellent conversations, snapped silly pictures of each other, stumbled home around midnight, scared the babysitter I likely overpaid away, and the rest is a blurry mess.

I thought I’d wake up hungover Sunday morning, but I didn’t. I actually felt pretty good. Guess it really does help to stop drinking beer and switch to caffeinated beverages an hour before driving home. See what I mean about age & wisdom? It also helped that our 3 yr old slept in until 9:30am. She’s been doing this on the weekends. It’s all kinds of awesome! Especially on mornings after a date-night full of great beer & good times.
Sunday continued to be a flurry of spontaneity. Soon after Sedona woke up for the day, I noticed that ET was starting on one of our movie channels. Natalie had seen a few parts of ET before, but not the whole thing, so we all snuggled together and watched the movie. Sedona was pretty leery about ET at first, but wow, Sedona really reminds me of Drew Barrymore. I know I know, I’m totally a biased Momma, but if you’ve seen my crazy daughter & some of her antics, you’d likely agree. Once Sedona learned that ET was a friend, she eventually lost interest in the movie and entertained herself with her toys in her room, which is good — I hadn’t seen the full movie in years and I totally forgot about *obligatory spoiler alert, not that you need it for a 30 year old movie, but I refuse to let the trolls win* ET “dying” before “going home”. My 6 year old is pretty resiliant and has no issues with death & dying, she wanted to learn what was wrong and how it would be resolved, it didn’t really affect her in a devastating way, cut to me balling my eyes out for the last 15 min of the movie! 

Once we finished watching ET, we ate lunch and decided to go to a park on the north side of town we love, but don’t frequent very often. Since Sedona slept in so late, we figured we’d take advantage of that and have her skip her nap for the day. This worked out pretty well. We spent a few hours at the park, took a weird road home that we never took, and ended up stopping for pizza, followed by ice cream on our warped road-trip back. We survived a massive 3 year old breakdown as we left the park, and felt the need to celebrate — go figure. But none of that was planned, in fact, we had ribs spiced & ready to be smoked at home, which made for an excellent Monday night dinner last night… YUM!

The whole weekend was refreshing… not only was the weather too perfect for words, but we felt just a little more free, our child-free, adult night out was awesome, but we had a great weekend as a family too. The spontaneity was so healthy for all of us. It really felt like a couple of old-school summer-vacation days. Responsibility won’t allow us to live every day like that, but we’ll embrace those fun days when we get them. 

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