Because “Marriage is a Garden”

I hear these words from my mom a lot in my head. When my kids were little, she was always offering to babysit because she felt it was very important for us to get out and not lose sight of us as husband and wife. Why we’re here in this crazy life to begin with. She would tell me, “Marriage is a garden, Liz. You have to tend to it, nurture it, and take care of it. Let Dad and I come watch the babies and you guys go out for a date night.” I know, I’m ridiculously blessed with parents, right? I’d totally roll my eyes and say, yeah, I know, Mom. And thinking in my head, she’s such a cheeseball.;)

So we took her up on it from time to time. Though not nearly as much as we should have. With three kids under three, sometimes the LAST thing I’d feel like doing after changing diapers and wiping runny noses and finger painting and cooking three meals plus snacks all day long was getting fixed up and going out. Our idea of a perfect date night was putting the kids to bed, ordering take out and falling asleep on the couch.

I know, we oozed romance back then.

But we’ve turned quite the corner. I really had no intention of blogging about this, but I was out to dinner with some girlfriends last week – and some are where I was a few years back – drowning in little ones, thinking “tending to their garden” was just exhausting. Once we got on the subject, and one of my friends was so happy to hear from someone who’d been through it and come out on the other side, we half joked I should blog about it. She had a point – it might be just what someone needed to hear. I remember those days. When it was hard to bring out the fun, spontaneous Liz my husband fell in love with. When just taking a shower was a momentous achievement. When I felt more like mommy than wife.

But our kids are older now. We sleep. HALLELUJAH do we sleep! And we’re in such a good place right now. They’re in school, and yes, I do miss them. And seeing old movies of those simpler days brings me to my knees with tears. Enough to make my husband and I think crazy #4 thoughts from time to time. But having big kids also has its perks. It’s allowed me to start growing this little blog and business. I am living out my passion and it feels so so good. As much as I miss having babies around, it’s nice to get back to feeling like my own self, instead of solely Mommy. And it’s allowed my husband and I a lot more time just the two of us. Turns out, we still really, really like each other. Thank God.

So this Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do something special. And I FREAKING NAILED IT. I’m not sharing this to toot my own horn – I’m sharing this because I’m telling you, you’ll blow your husband’s mind and you will do some MAJOR tending to that garden with this. I highly recommend it. Last Friday, I made arrangements for my kids to spend the night at my parents’ house. My mom was here when they got off the bus from school and whisked them away. When my husband came home from work, I surprised him with bubbly, candles, music, and a romantic dinner, just the two of us. He was FLOORED and told me he’d have to take me to Paris next year to try and match it;) Yesterday he was still rehashing the night and said it was one of the best nights of his whole life. HIS WHOLE LIFE! See, I wasn’t lying when I said  I NAILED. IT. After 14 Valentine’s Days together, I can still surprise him. I love that.


I had told my kids what I was doing that morning, after my husband left for work and I knew the surprise was safe. When they got home from school, I showed them the table I had set, with the white linen tablecloth, candles and rose petals. I explained to them that they’d be spending the night at Mom Mom and Dad Dad’s because Mommy was surprising Daddy with a romantic Valentine’s Dinner. They were so cute and excited. I want them to see how much I love their father. I think the moments of dancing in the kitchen and kisses when we’re doing the dishes and cuddling on the couch…those are important for them to see. Just as important as these bigger moments. And every one of them is an opportunity to tend to our garden.

So if you’re reading this right now, and up to your eyeballs in baby spit-up or potty training or playdoh, take my advice. Or I should say my Mom’s advice. It may be cheesey, but it’s good. Take care of that garden. In any way you can – yes, even just curling up on that couch with take out if that’s all you can muster. Nurture it. Because one day very soon, your kids will be at school all day and spending the night at friends’ houses all the time. You’ll find yourself (and sleep!) again, and your husband will be right there by your side.


Though you won’t see him through those blurry, exhausted Mommy eyes, but the clear ones you saw him with years and years ago.

This time…this time you’ll also see him as The One You’ve Been Through It All With, and if it’s possible, you’ll love him even more.

Happy Valentine’s Day. XO






  1. That was amazing. Good for you. !!!

  2. This is great and such good advice. So glad you shared!


  3. That’s awesome

Leave a Reply to Sherri S. Cancel reply