Last Wednesday, New Year’s Eve eve, Elian and I were deliberating over possible NYE activities. It’s not my favorite holiday, mostly because owning little children and staying up until the wee hours of the morning do not mix. I’m also not a club hopper, a downtown scenester, or a pyromaniac. In fact, the last couple of years, I think I was in bed by 9 PM on NYE, just like every other night of the year.
Before we were old (read: had kids), we would get together with a couple friends and play board games, eat good food, and have a couple of drinks until the ball fell, and then we’d head home shortly thereafter. Those were the best NYEs in my memory.
Our token couple to hang with was Michael and Hallie Finney. I went to high school/college with her and met him at church when I was in college. Elian has known him via church since they were teenagers and later worked at the same company together. We were in each others’ weddings (in fact, Elian proposed to me on their wedding night, well after they said, “I do,” of course). And we did NYE together every year until the Finneys moved to Nashville 3 years ago.
Well, this year, at about 3 PM on the 30th, Elian and I decided what we’d really like to do for NYE – have a night with the Finneys. Within a couple of hours, we had babysitters lined up and were packing our bags. In case you didn’t know, spontaneity like this is UNHEARD OF for parents with little kids. But, due to Elian’s flexible job – he works for his dad/himself – and our abundance of free, quality childcare – our awesome parents – we were able to leave less than 24 hours later!
I always like road trips. I love to drive; I love pulling out old music from long ago to fill the hours in the car; I like the random conversations I get into with my car mates; I like choosing my pit stops based on what restaurants/gas stations are on those blue signs on the side of the highway; and I like the scenery.
We got to Nashville (Smyrna, if you want to get technical), about 2 PM on NYE, just in time to watch a Memphis basketball game with our friends. Then we had dinner at Cheddar’s, a restaurant that was new to us – another perk of traveling. We hit the grocery store and then headed home to play card games, board games, and Wii the rest of the night. I wasn’t sure how I was going to stay up, especially since my children allowed me only 4 hours of broken sleep the night before, but I made it til 1 AM and had fun too. We slept late the next morning, to the tune of 10 freaking 30 🙂 We had lunch at another new-to-us place, Five Guys. We took a scenic drive through the expensive hills of Nashville, we played more games, ate a yummy dinner a la Hallie, and enjoyed the company of our friends late into the night. We spent one more night, where I, get this, SLEPT THE WHOLE NIGHT THROUGH, minus bathroom breaks. We didn’t head back to reality/Memphis until about noon the next day.
It wasn’t until I was back with my children that I realized how restful the weekend was. Before we left I was constantly irritable/impatient/exhausted. But the weekend allowed me to recharge so I could enjoy my children again… for a couple of days… until I got re-exhausted again after 2 nights of minimal sleep. Sigh. But, although the exhaustion is back, the time away seems to have staved off the irritability for a little while longer, for which Lexi should be thankful.