Making Time, Taking Time

by Ginger on January 25, 2012

in Marriage

A full-time job, a commute, a toddler,a dog, a cat, a freelance business, an upcoming art show, a side business, three blogs, one online store, multiple twitters, facebooks, tumblr, pinterest, etc., etc., etc.

24 hours. Two people.

Something ends up giving, and sadly, what usually gives first is time together. We retreat to our corners, we work weekends, I’m on the computer upstairs, he’s painting in the office downstairs. It’s not always like this, but right now, things are kind of insane in our house, and so we power through with our heads down and grab an hour here, 30 minutes there.

That’s no way to sustain a marriage.

So I got this idea in my head last week–why not take Tuesday off work, take one of my precious precious PTO days, and celebrate my husband’s birthday with a full day, just the two of us? A day of holding hands and talking, a day without wrangling a two year old, a day with no agenda and no goals and no point other than just be together. The kid would be in daycare, so we wouldn’t have to pay for a sitter, and we’d get a full day, just the two of us. I think the last time that happened was our anniversary day in Vegas…last May.

So that’s what we did. We got nine full hours to just hang out together. We went and had a leisurely breakfast. We wandered around some funky little shops. We stopped in a cafe for a pastry and coffee (for N.C.). We went and did a little clothes shopping. We had a long, leisurely lunch complete with mid-afternoon cocktails. We wandered some more. We held hands, and we talked, and we laughed.

It was amazing. It was nothing special, and yet it was one of the best birthday celebrations I’ve ever planned for N.C.

It reminded me so much of our time living in the New York area. We would often spend weekend days just wandering through the city, or through Jersey City where we lived, finding little spots to eat, popping into a new store just because it looked fun to wander through.


We would window shop, letting ourselves wander wherever the urge led us. We spent a lot of our limited disposable income on food, and we’d pop into restaurants where we’d split one dish so we could go to the restaurant across the street and have something there too. Or we’d find a small little bar and linger over a drink or two with an appetizer before heading home to eat our “real” meal.

We were excellent linger-ers (but great tippers, so most places didn’t mind).  Talking for hours over a drink–debating, conspiring, planning, daydreaming. And plenty of silliness and laughing.

Always, always laughing.

Yesterday was like those days in New York. It was a day of the two of us, being silly, talking, conspiring, wandering. lingering, laughing, and just being together. It was a day where we weren’t consumed with bills and deadlines, with work and logistics, with the toddler’s needs and the dog’s needs and the cat’s needs and the needs of any other thing…except the need for the two of us to spend time together. The need to make time with each other more important than anything else. The need to take the time to just be together.


*For any locals–we went to St. Germain’s Cafe for breakfast, St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro for pastry & coffee, and Solace and The Moonlight Lounge for lunch/drinks. All three in Encinitas and all three were astoundingly good.

San January 25, 2012 at 10:22 am

Oh, this is wonderful, Ginger, that you were able to spend a whole day together and made time for each other 🙂 It sounds like a thing one should do more often!

Ginger January 26, 2012 at 10:40 pm

It was pretty fantastic–I highly recommend it!

Jen January 25, 2012 at 10:45 am

I am a huge (HUGE) proponent of doing exactly what you just described. Roth’s bday fell on a Saturday (this past, actually), so it didn’t time out with daycare, but we did this for my bday in October (a Thursday), and it was glorious. I went to a spa in the morning, we had lunch together, then saw a movie — all before picking up the kid.

Glad you guys got a chance to re-connect. So, so important. 🙂

Ginger January 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm

N.C.’s birthday was actually on Sunday, so we made the choice to celebrate on a different day JUST so we could do this. It was totally worth it.

Life As Wife January 25, 2012 at 10:46 am

Yay for a day just the two of y’all! Hope he had a great birthday!!

Perpetual Breadcrumbs January 25, 2012 at 10:56 am

Okay, so my commenting time is ridiculously low, but I just needed to stop by to say that you look so freakin’ pretty. 🙂 Happy birthday to NC!

Ginger January 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Awww, thanks!

Tragic Sandwich January 25, 2012 at 11:09 am

I’ve started doing this as a way to get stuff done around the house, but Mr. Sandwich and I recently discussed that we ought to schedule an “us” day. We’ll drop Baguette off at day care, watch some of the TV we can’t watch in front of her, and do whatever else comes to mind.

Ginger January 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm

At one point, he was suggesting that we use the day to run errands in peace–which would be a great way to use time, if it wasn’t his birthday! But now, I kinda want to do this more often for those kinds of things.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks January 25, 2012 at 11:26 am

This is a great post, Ginger! I think any couple with busy lives feels this way. But, it’s exponentially the case when you have a child or children. One of my resolutions for 2012 is to have more date nights and to do more things with just my husband and son. I don’t think anyone would regret decisions like that. So, I think it’s awesome you took a vacation day to spend with your honey. How romantic!

Amrita January 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm

This is so true, Ginger, of couples who are immersed in work and taking care of their families, that they hardly have any “couple” time. I’m so glad you and NC enjoyed your day together, a beautiful gift indeed! 🙂

Sara January 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm

It is so important to get away from things and just spend time as a couple every once and a while. I’m not even a busy parent and I know that. I’m glad you two got to spend a good day together.

Cherie Beyond January 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Okay, 1) you two are ridiculously adorable. Stop it. No, just stop it. 2) I love this idea so much that I am stealing it for my birthday, which is in a month. Except that my birthday is on a Saturday so we won’t have daycare but we will figure it out. Because this sounds so fun.

Ginger January 26, 2012 at 10:51 pm

N.C.’s birthday was actually on Sunday, so we purposefully waited to celebrate until we had daycare. On his actual birthday, he spent the day working, but he says he enjoyed Tuesday so much he’s glad we waited!

And seriously, you’re making me blush over here!

Susan in the Boonies January 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Sweet pictures, my dear. I’d say from that look he’s shooting you that the boy is in love with you.

Well…ya gotta love that!

Mama Durso January 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Good for you!!! It is SO important to step out of your daily routine to spend time with and appreciate your significant other. Both my parents’ marriage and my in-laws’ marriage suffered because they never put themselves ahead of their children. My parents ended up getting divorced and my in-laws are still married but hate each other. I’m glad that you recognize how important it is to spend your precious PTO time on your hubby. 🙂

Ginger January 26, 2012 at 10:56 pm

We’ve always said that it’s important to put our relationship (and ourselves) first occasionally. It’s SO hard to do when you’re in the weeds of the day to day, you know, so I’m glad we were able to take the time.

Reading (and chickens) January 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm

You two are SO CUTE. And yes, it’s so difficult to get any time together. Gregg and I just started date night and it is wonderful to just hang out for two hours once a week and do nothing but spend time together. So novel!

Ms Lollygagger January 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm

What a great way to spend the day. My b/f and I love to restaurant hop..we try to do at least 3 places in one night. Those 3 places sound great and I plan to check them out since I’m close 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations!

Ginger January 26, 2012 at 10:58 pm

We were told that Solace gets REALLY jammed on weekend nights, just as an FYI. But the food and drinks WERE awesome.

Jamie January 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm

That sounds lovely. It’s truly those moments that couple take for one another that help remind you how important your relationship is. It’s unfortunate that we often put our loves off as life becomes more and more busy.

I truly enjoyed your post =)

Penelope January 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm


Classic NYer January 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I’m kind of jealous… I live in New York now and your life here was just so way more awesome than mine is… then again, maybe we’ll get our chance to wander and window shop when spring comes, haha!

Ginger January 26, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Don’t be too jealous, it was basically one of our only indulgences in the city. And we’re talking low-brow places–we both were living on entry level salaries!

Justine January 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Yours is the second post I’ve read today (and I’ve only read three so far tonight) about having a date with your spouse. So I’m thinking, like, the universe is trying to send me a message? 😉

Ginger January 26, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Clearly! It’s time for a date!

Courtney January 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Sounds like an amazing day and I am so going to try that Solace place. We go to Encinitas all the time. It is such a great little part of San Diego.

Ginger January 26, 2012 at 11:02 pm

We basically spent all day in Encinitas. It was fabulous!

Deanna @ Little Green Bow January 25, 2012 at 11:45 pm

What an absolutely wonderful day! Sounds a lot like what my hubby and I did for our first anniversary last week. Nothing really planned, but being together. I love the idea of sharing a meal at one restaurant so you can go to a different one for something else. I’m going to have to suggest that next time we go out!

Ginger January 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm

The meal sharing is something we picked up living in New York without the kind of disposable income that would let us eat at amazing restaurants for every meal. So we’d hit an expensive place for appetizers, then a middle of the road place for our entrees, and then go somewhere else for dessert, and it made our money go further while still getting to try a lot of places!

Kerry Ann (aka Vinobaby) January 26, 2012 at 4:24 am

We all need a day like that sometimes. Sounds absolutely wonderful!

Jennie January 26, 2012 at 8:13 am

This post made me so ridiculously happy.

Rose's Daughter January 26, 2012 at 11:08 am

Wonderful! I need to plan to do that…soon…

Craftwhack January 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Oh, now that is just a great way to spend a day with your husband. I think I may have to plan one of those for extremely soon. You two are pretty darn cute, too.

Ginger January 26, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Awww, thanks! And I definitely recommend the day together thing–it was fantastic!

Christa aka the BabbyMama January 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Oh you sure are smarter than me, since doing such a thing would never in a million years occur to me. But now that I’ve been inspired by you, maybe I can plan something. After we both take off for the Babby’s birthday, that is.

Sela Toki January 26, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Quality time is what makes memories sweet. How fun and romantic to take time off and enjoy the day and each others. Now we just need to do it more often. I think every couple needs this.

Amy (frugan) January 27, 2012 at 6:05 am

I love this so much. It’s crazy how hard it is to find that time. We can’t even seem to get to the movies. Thanks for inspiring me to make it happen.

Kate January 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

What a wonderful day! Jacob and I try to take these at least every two or three months – they are good for the soul, good for the marriage and good for the love. I am so happy you made the time to celebrate N.C.’s birthday and celebrate you guys, too!

BTW – what am I missing… THREE blogs?! (What’s the other one?!) And, online store?!?! (selling what – your funnies?) Hmmm… You are one busy mama and apparently more busy than I already thought. 🙂

Ginger January 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Not just me–it’s the combo of his stuff and my stuff: Ramble Ramble, Noodle Knobs, and N.C.’s blog (which he does). And the online store is for N.C.’s artwork (also him. Mostly). We’re a busy couple!

Jocelyn | ScooterMarie February 1, 2012 at 11:31 am

That sounds like a perfect day! I had to comment because my husband and I also lived in Jersey City for a bit and would spend entire weekends wandering the streets of NYC, just soaking everything in. When were you guys out there, and where in Jersey City did you live? I was there from July ’01 – July ’03, and my husband came out for the 2nd year of my stay. I loved it!

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