I have always wanted my home to be a haven, a place of comfort and safety. But in the seasons of littles with not so little messes and not so quiet voices, our house feels like anything but. We’ve never been travelers, but this year has been and is going to be a big one for us. At best, we manage a single trip to visit my husband’s family just before Christmas and some years, if we’re very lucky a week at the beach with my extended family. But this year we planned four weekend trips, possibly more. No where particularly exciting or exotic. Just reconnecting with old friends and family. Because sometimes someone else’s home can be a haven.

The children play together with delight in new or infrequent playmates. The grownups have conversations with fewer interruptions than usual. Long time friendships are renewed, and family ties rekindled. Because to step away from the daily stresses that even the literal walls of the house represent, even if only for a little while can be restful. Having something to look forward too on the calendar, even if it means 3 plus hours with three kids in the car.

It can be so hard to maintain old friendships and build new ones when your children are small. The occasional park playdate with a harried conversation between preventing falls on the jungle gym or pushing babies on the swings. But actual adults, both my husband and I, having a conversation with another couple? This rarely happens. Because life gets busy, and hard and it feels like too much work to plan ahead. (Because spontaneous weekends away all but go out the window when leaving the house take more effort than planning a royal wedding). But the payoff of investing in each other (which is really just a fancy word for caring) and reconnecting, makes the hard work worth it.


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