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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Weekend Getaway

Weekend Getaway

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Jonathan Oliver

My how times have changed. This could not be more accurate when it comes to weekend getaways. My bride and I were married for almost 6 years before we became pregnant with our daughter Journey. Until then, weekend getaways were full of romance, adventure, and spontaneity. The days leading up to our extended weekends of “quality time” would have me feeling like I was a newlywed again. I had an extra pep in my step, a smile that shined brighter than Christmas morning, and I would catch myself just day dreaming about my wife.
We were invited to attend one of our closest friend’s family reunion in Memphis Tennessee last weekend. This was our first getaway without any extra family support (ie grandparents). The days leading up to the trip took on a different form of planning since we are now parents. I went to have our dog’s medical records updated with their current shots before dropping them off for boarding. We arranged to pick up a rental car because we realized there wouldn’t be enough room in our Camry or Tacoma for all our stuff. I also made sure that our cat would have enough food and water as well as fresh litter in her box. Saran had arranged for us to stay at the Doubletree hotel where the family reunion was being held to enjoy the festivities.
By 4 o’clock on Thursday afternoon we had packed up all of our luggage plus a baby gate, a portable baby crib, baby bottles/baby food, a stroller, and an alphabet baby gym mat (yes probably too much but oh well). No golf clubs, no lingerie, no fun adult stuff. The trip was going to take a total of 6 hours driving taking us through Fort Smith and Little Rock Arkansas. It was a beautiful drive and Journey was awesome the entire trip. Saran and I were both tired as the three of us checked into the hotel at 11pm. We got Journey set up for bed as usual and we tried to eat some food we had picked up. We took turns watching Journey as we took a shower and got ready to go to bed around midnight. Journey typically goes to bed around 7:45 PM so she was well passed her bedtime.
I was under the impression since it was so passed her bedtime she would be ready to pass out. I began to let my mind wander to the fact we were on a weekend getaway and I began to get full of exceptions, which is never a smart thing to do. The moment Saran went to lay Journey down in her crib beside our bed, Journey jumped up and began to fuss and cry and scream “Mama!” Being in a hotel room we didn’t want to be rude and let Journey wake up the other guest near us so Saran picked her to get her to calmed down. For the next 4 hours we tried with earnest to get Journey to fall asleep in her crib but it just wouldn’t happen. She just would not sleep in her crib with us in the same room. Finally she fell asleep between the both of us in bed but neither of us could sleep comfortably or soundly because we didn’t want to accidentally roll on top of her. Needless to say this wasn’t what I was anticipating.
I strongly considered leaving first thing Friday morning and returning home. I was pretty sure both of us couldn’t handle another night like that. But we didn’t want to miss out of the festivities of the family reunion and these were some of my wife’s closets friends that I know she wanted to spend time with. So we tried to find a last minute condo so Journey could have her own room and went with Airbnb. We found a cute little duplex down the street from the hotel. That was one of the best decisions we could’ve made because the next night Jojo slept in her own room and never made a peep. We slept better also. Jojo was even able to get in a few naps.
We had a great time in Memphis. We went to the Civil Rights museum which I highly recommend. It should be a requirement for all high schools in America. We ate ribs on Beale Street, played kickball with the family, and laughed until our hearts burst with joy. We saw old friends, met new friends, and even met a Joy in the Journey follower! I even took one for the team by going home early with Jojo after dinner so Saran could stay out and party with friends. It really was a great trip; just different from our couples getaways. But that is all part of the joy in the journey. I learned that traveling with children can be very tiring but overall very rewarding and blessed with memories. My how times have changed.
Jonathan Oliver is an experienced motivational speaker, life coach, and author. He is the CEO of his company Higher Enlightenment which strives to create a world of truth, love, and faith. He was born and raised in Texas and now lives with his wife and their first child Journey in Owasso, OK. He is a first time stay at home dad. His contact information is on and follow him on facebook at


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