This past weekend my husband Paul and I had a rare weekend away without the kids. We have been married for 16 years and together for 22 years (where did the time go?) and have only been away together as a couple without the kids a few times since we had our first child 11 years ago. After such a crazy summer, filled with a ton of travel for me, a new puppy, and a chaotic schedule of camps, soccer games and playdates for the kids, we needed this time alone together as a couple more than ever before.

A weekend away along the South Shore of Lake Superior, home to the stunning Apostle Islands and quaint Bayfield, Wisconsin was the perfect antidote to a stressful, busy life. I realized how tense I have become and how incredibly important it is in life to take a step back and relax. I also realized how important it is for a marriage to have time alone together away from the kids. As much as we love our children, we rarely spend time alone together except for a nice dinner out or a walk around the lake with our dog. Getting away from it all together was the best thing we could have done!


Sailboat Ride in the Apostle Islands

Sailboat Ride in the Apostle Islands


I am incredibly grateful that we had six years together before we got married and another five years before we had kids. These years were so important to building a strong, healthy loving relationship and friendship. Once the kids came, life was turned upside down and there was very little time together as a couple. Only now that the kids have reached an age where they are more independent and easy, do we have more freedom to be together.


A weekend away reconfirmed how lucky we are to have each other and how important it is to get away. As I unpack the suitcase, I take a deep breath realizing that yes there are hundreds of photos to edit, untold stories to write and share, laundry to fold, school supplies to organize and a messy house to clean. Yet, this time I stop myself from getting overwhelmed and remember how fortunate I am to have married the love of my life, be blessed with two amazing children and a wonderful array of family and friends to keep me sane. I will bottle up this peaceful calm feeling for as long as I can for it will be awhile until we have another weekend away and free babysitters thanks to my mom and dad.

This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Rare.

Stay tuned…the kids are back in school in one week! Where on earth did this summer go? I plan on returning to a more regular blogging schedule and look forward to sharing my stories from Romania and more. 


  1. Yes, it’s always good to take a step back, get out of the ‘rat-race,’ and enjoy what rally matters in life. The ‘rat-race’ will change you over time if you don’t make time to ‘actively intervene.’ Life is good, but it takes conscious effort. Our grand-kids go back to school next week too, and they think time flies! 😉

    1. So true. I was so impressed with this part of Lake Superior and surprised I had never been there. Time goes way too fast. So nice to take a break and slow down and spend time together!

    1. Me too! It felt so incredibly nice. Wish we had a little more time like that but then again the kids are growing up so fast. You would absolutely love this place Cathy. It is amazing!

  2. Lucky you … for many reasons! Glad you had a nice getaway. I looked at a kayaking trip in the Apostle Islands once but couldn’t go. It looks nice.

    1. I loved the Apostle Islands Lexi. Wow!!! I can’t wait to go back next summer as we decided we must bring the kids. So incredible and only four hours away!!

  3. Yes, you need that time as both adults and as a couple, so make sure to get more, even if just for a weekend or even an evening. But longer time is even better.


  4. Lovely post Nicole. it’s so important to have quality time away together, and it looks as though you had a wonderful time. Good for you. xo

    1. Yes so true Louise. I’m back just a few days now and life is crazy again. I hardly have a moment to even work on the blog. But that is life. Better busy than not doing anything at all I guess.

  5. We all do need to decompress and spend quality time together with our significant other. Choosing a trip to Bayfield and the Apostle Islands sounds perfect. We loved both!

    1. Yes, life this summer has been way way way too busy and hectic. Although it has been fun, too much traveling and the puppy has added a whole new dimension. I feel so behind in my blogging and everything. But the kids start school Monday and once again I will have time. It is bittersweet though.

  6. Nicole I so applaud you and your husband for taking some away together. We have been together since 1979 and I can assure you these weekend getaways and even date nights are gold to a relationship.

    1. Yes it is so important Sue especially given the summer we have had. I admit, it has been fun but very hectic. Too much travel, the new puppy has caused a lot of extra work and I’ve had absolutely no time to write, read blogs work on anything. The kids start school Monday. It is bittersweet because I will have time to work on my blog again yet I will be sad as summer and life just seems to go faster every single day.

      1. It’s a challenge to find the balance isn’t it Nicole. As we spend time with our Grandbaby I marvel at the speed of the years. All fabulous stages which seemed to twirl by in a blink. 🙂

      2. Yes a challenge indeed. I have found myself so utterly busy and stressed this week trying to jam everything in that it isn’t good. I need things to slow down a bit or else that blink of the eye will truly be real! 🙂

  7. Beautiful pictures! I live in one of the cities in Wisconsin. I don’t get to see pictures like this unless our family decides to take a road trip and that is not too often.

  8. Wonderful for you both. It really is love that makes the world go round. Our forty second on the weekend and we were together for seven years before that so hard to believe that next year it will be fifty years – yikes !! 🙂 Enjoy the last part of summer 🙂

  9. Yup, absolutely crucial to get away from routine and also from ones beloved children. Almost everything can usually wait. Prioritizing couple time just so very important. Looks like a great time, especially the sailboat photo.
    Good for you ~ making it happen!

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