All three fill up our home from top to bottom. Literally bursting the seams of every single nook and cranny.
Chloe’s belly laugh is high pitched and contagious. Definitely to be considered a warning shot.
Brody’s two year old feet are running. Quickly. Today, I can still describe them as toddling. But his steps are achingly smooth and strong. Soon-to-be just plain old walking.
And sweet Kayli is in rare form. Just as loud and wild as her brother and sister.
Just a few short moments earlier, they were upstairs with me.
Dabbling with my blush brush.
Dipping their teeny tiny fingers into my lip gloss.
Passing along my hairbrush with a satisfied flip of their hair.
Rummaging through my jewlery box. Here you go Mama. Wear this one.
But when the doorbell rang, downstairs they went to greet their grandparents. Eyes already bright, smiles already wide.
Watch out people: Mom and Dad are going out and Papa and Oma are here to babysit!
It warms my heart to know how content they’ll be. Games, tickles, noodles, treats, books. So. Many. Books.
But my smile isn’t just for my children. It’s for me, too. A night out with Jason at a new-ish restaurant known for loud jazz, perfect cocktails and appetizers galore. Bliss.
We dress up. Well, as dressed up as we get these days. My hair is in place, I have heels on and the promise of absolutely no food thrown mid-meal. Why yes. Yes, I am dressed up.
And the evening goes exactly as promised. It’s relaxing. Rejuvenating. Just what we need.
About halfway through the meal we gaze at each others’ eyes and share a thought: Our kids are so going to make us pay for this tomorrow.
Mean, sad and inappropriate. I know! But it’s so-very-true.
Our kids are cut from the same cloth, my cloth. We all crave routine. And when we change things up on them, they need to recalibrate.
So in the morning, we stay in our jammys. We squeeze and snuggle them to pieces. We read books and color. And we make it all FINE again. Because that’s exactly what it is.
It’s so good for us to take that time out. For them to see that we’re focused on each other. It’s healthy for them to see that we leave and then we come back That they’re safe, cozy and giggly while we’re gone.
I didn’t used to think this way. In the beginning (Do I dare say it?) I prided myself in not getting out. Ever. And then it became a habit, routine, just the way it was.
Three kids and many Mama years under my belt later, I know better and revel in nights out.
Like the one that Jason and I just had. You remember: The scrumptious appetizer-perfect cocktail-payback inducing one.
So when things got harried at our house today, I called Jason at work and wistfully asked, Do you remember? The fun? The music? Holding hands? Finishing our sentences? Do you remember the mojitos?
And he responded, as only husband do, Yes, I remember. It was only Saturday.
Our night out was just a few days ago. And I miss it already.
So today, in honor of Saturdays.
Spilled coffee days.
Sidewalk sad days.
Kids are sick days.
It’s still snowing days.
And all of the in-between days when a mojito is most definitely in order, we made those perfect cocktails together.
They’re called Black Bunnies or Blackberry Mojitos. I know. And here’s the recipe so you, too, can make one on your next in-between day.
16 Mint leaves
12 Fresh Blackberries
1 Tablespoon Sugar
3 ounces Sweet White Rum
1 ounce Lime Juice
At first, I thought that the kids would be the ice crushers.
Organized noise-making. What’s not to love, right?
But as I was prepping and mixing and photo opping,
I noticed that they had other ideas.
So I did exactly what the rest of y’all would have done: Made Kiddy Cocktails!
Swapping Sprite for rum meant that it was Happy Hour for everyone at our house today.
And a lovely Happy Hour at that.