I am a bit of a romantic. I love reading love stories. I particularly love Nicholas Sparks books. Love how most have sad endings simply because life is not always butterflies and roses. Doesn't mean true love cannot happen and instead makes the story more real.
One of my favorite things about a Nicholas Sparks book is the settings in which the stories take place. They are typically in quaint little towns. I love the small town feel of people knowing their neighbors, tree lined streets, local restaurants and stores. Makes for a romantically perfect setting.
For quite some time I have wanted to pack up and move to my small dream town of New Bern, NC. A place that encompasses all those things I love about a small town. So imagine my surprise when the veil was lifted from my “the grass is always greener” eyes the day I realized that I live in one of those quaint little towns. I was elated with joy!!!
My idea of the perfect home always consisted of living in a place where there were sidewalks that actually led somewhere. Like to a park, a neighborhood restaurant, the local market, a library and so forth. A place where the streets were lined with trees and an abundance of flowers and greenery. I live there!
I live in the adorable little downtown area of Wake Forest, NC and it has all of those things I mentioned in the previous paragraph and more. Not only do I have my perfect setting but my little house is my perfect cottage. My romantically sweet hideaway completes the package.
So how does a town keep the romance alive? Let me tell you. Have you ever been a newlywed living with five children? Yeah. Not an easy thing to do. Add to that the reality that the budget is tight and going on extravagant outings are out of the question. This leaves my remarkable little town to provide the romance we need for some serious date night escapades. We have become quite creative.
When you are happy, fancy dates are not required. Time spent alone with your significant other laughing, talking, and sometimes eating are all you need. My small town provides the perfect setting and it's a little romantic!
Before we were married a simple date was taking a stroll down the street to the neighborhood park. There nestled in the trees is a green swing overlooking the little creek that winds its way through the trees. It’s our own romantic little spot in the woods.
Now that we’re married we have discovered the simplicity of using the car as a getaway. A favorite outing is taking a ride to our favorite little take-out place once the younger kids are in bed and sharing dinner together in the car while watching an episode of something together on Netflix using my phone. We laugh and have an hour or so of just “us” time. I love it!
Another thing we utilize is Redbox. A couple of weekends ago, my hubby recommended renting a movie. We do this a lot. This time instead of driving the two minutes is takes he suggested we walk. We took a stroll down those adorable tree lined streets of our little town, talking and holding hands and rented our movie. We wouldn't have had that precious time had we taken the car.
Earlier this summer hubby and I took a second honeymoon so to speak. Know where we went? No where. We stayed home. What a concept! One of my favorite nights was spent simply getting ready and taking a walk to a little restaurant in town for dinner. A few days later a neighbor who had seen us on our walk stopped us. He had asked where we were going and once we told him “on a date” his reply was “you two looked so happy and in love. Keep it up!” Yes! We definitely will! We will because we know the importance of keeping the romance alive. Because we know the importance of time spent together.
My life is simply amazing. It is not always butterflies and roses and we have our struggles. Nevertheless, because we know the importance of “keeping the romance alive” we are able to overcome those struggles. We also know the importance of kisses, snuggling and cuddling and lots of I love yous. I have discovered that in today’s world there are many who think we can be too much but from where I have come from there is no greater way to keep love alive then “loving” your spouse too much! I also believe that it is very important for my kids to see that marriage is about loving each other not just with words but in action too. It took some getting used to for them and they still tell us to get a room sometimes but you know what? It’s worth it! It is worth it because it creates laughter in our home and a closeness in our family that is created because love is truly alive and well.
Today I am thankful for the way in which God handpicked my home and the little town we now live. That story in and of itself is pretty special too. This place is where our love story began and it is where it will continue to grow until God shows us something different. Until then we will continue the work of keeping the romance alive!
Romance and marriage are hard things. (especially with kids) It takes work. It takes effort. But the more you put into your marriage, the more romance you have the more you are going to get out of it! And trust me when I say, it is totally worth all the effort!!