When this wedding season started, I was determined to not let ‘date nights’ fall to the wayside. I knew I would be booked almost every weekend and I knew the spouse worked every week night, so finding time for date nights involved some major planning. I marked them on both our calendars and made sure to plan around those sacred days of dedicated time to spend with each other. However, it seemed like by the time that day got there one or both of us were utterly exhausted and didn’t want to do much of anything that required planning or effort. (Note: The wet noodle was mostly me, planning a date night the day after a double header wedding weekend was never a good idea.) So, we tried to keep scheduling them, but they eventually started to find their way off the calendar, leaving me missing my spouse and wondering ‘What happened to date nights?’ yet again.
But before I could get too bummed about it, K was moved onto a normal 9-5 type shift…and planning those date nights suddenly seemed far less important. Less important because I had my spouse back on a daily basis! Less important because now we can have impromptu date nights during the week that we don’t have to carve out of our schedules months in advance. She was home by 4PM everyday and quality time together was for the taking! No need to mark it on the calendar!
Honestly, we have never really had all this time to ourselves and it’s such an amazing change. When we were first together, she lived over an hour away, so it wasn’t so easy to just randomly do things together. Not long after we moved in together, she was working multiple (yes, multiple!) jobs and I was writing my thesis in graduate school, so it’s needless to say the quality of our time together over that year was dismal. Not long after, I dove into wedding photography full time (working those weekends), while she took on an evening shift at work. Needless to say, cooking dinner and actually sitting down to eat it together was a luxury around here! But, now…now, it’s different! We can do that every night! (Let’s be honest…not that I am actually cooking THAT much, but it’s a totally feasible option now!)
We can walk our pups together, we can watch shows we both like together, we can sit and just talk, we can work on things around the house, we can even go grocery shopping together! Mundane as it may sound, I love every minute of it! From spaghetti nights to those grocery shopping trips, the time together is invaluable! And sometimes, we can just go out and enjoy life together. We can be spontaneous, not tied down to our 1 monthly date night, squished in between weddings and work. We can just go out and do things together that we love to do. We can just BE. Together.
I met K at the dog beach after an engagement session last week and I couldn’t have been happier for an opportunity to just be together. It was a last minute decision for her to take the pups there after work and I was shooting nearby anyway, so it was perfect. I got to the beach and saw my little family playing in the sand way down the beach. I smiled and tried to whistle at them to see if our pups would notice me, but the spouse just laughed because I’m a pretty poor excuse for a whistler. As the sun began to set, she hugged me and we stood there watching our puppies live it up in the water. We talked about our days, we enjoyed the breeze, we watched ‘golden hour’ light up the beach in the most beautiful way, and we just enjoyed the moment together. In that moment, I was so very thankful. Thankful to no longer be tied to tightly scheduled date nights. Thankful to have all this new time together. Thankful we made it through all the crappy schedules, insanely busy times, and sacrifices of our quality time together over the years to get here. Thankful for here and now. To just be. To just be, together.