Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Guest Post: Rachael from Letters to Ames

Hey, y'all! I'm Rachael from Letters to Ames. A registered nurse & a musician's wife, I somehow managed to become a mother to five by age twenty-five. I blog about our big blended family over at

You'll only see the youngest two (newborn twin girls) in this post because I'm talkin' to you about DATE NIGHT! My husband & I have both agreed to maintain a marriage-centered family, instead of a kid-centered family. We believe our world does not revolve around our little ones, but that they fit into our life as a couple. As crazy as that may sound, we are learning that the best gift we can give our children is a healthy marriage!

In order to do that, we try to spend quality time together as often as possible. Sometimes, that's just a quick kiss in the bathroom while we're getting ready for the day. Other times, it's a night out, like the other night. We're blessed to have both sets of parents nearby, so we split up the boys amongst grandparents and kept the twins with us. We managed to fit three outings into one evening, and we were still home by 9pm!

First stop: our favorite restaurant. I'll admit it... we adore sushi almost as much as we love each other.

When we learned we'd have two newbies instead of just one, we decided to ditch the infant seats and wear the girls whenever we go out. It saves us space and time, and it allows us to keep an eye on the other kids! It's also relatively easy to nurse in public, which keeps me from stressing about bringing bottles or finding a discreet place to do it.

This is Isaiah Jane. She likes to cross her eyes & stick her tongue out. She's the eldest, but she's smaller than her sister.

This is Honor Rose. She is the only chubby baby we've ever had. I couldn't be more proud.

After a delicious meal, we made a stop for coffee. Chris went in to get our drinks while the twins had their dinner, in the back seat of our Suburban. Breastfeeding in a car was definitely not on the date night agenda a few years ago! But I'm learning to just go with it. And yes, that's three carseats you see. We have three under two!

Honor Rose always rides on the left.

Isaiah Jane always rides on the right.

Chris returned just as I got the girls settled back into their carseats. I always make an effort to sit next to him in the car. Remember, we're going for a marriage-centered family here! However, I know sometimes babies are just inconsolable. Sometimes, babies need their mamas. I've put in plenty of time riding in the back with the sisters. On this particular night, though, I crawled my way to the front seat and held my husband's hand. The girls stayed pleasant pretty much all evening!

Final stop: the grocery store. Romantic, right? You'd be surprised! We saw quite a few couples strolling down the aisles of the store, hand-in-hand on this balmy Friday night.

We are blessed to have the schedules that we do. We almost always grocery shop together. It keeps us financially accountable and on the same page when it comes to meal-planning. It's also another way to get some time together. In all honesty, we usually grocery shop as an entire family of seven!

After loading up the food & the babies, we headed home. Later on, Chris watched the girls while I took the dogs for a walk. I've been trying to make a point to get a few minutes to myself each day. I didn't do that enough when my son was born, and I paid for it - but that's another topic for another day.

So that's it! How we do date night. There are plenty of tense moments in our crazy household - again, another topic for another day. But for the most part, I think we'd both agree that our marriage is pretty easy. And I'm convinced it's because we make a decision, day after day, to put each other first - before ourselves and before our children.


  1. Lovely guest post! I love the intro, "a registered nurse, and musician's wife"
    its like you were describing me! :)

  2. I love this so much - I am going to make my husband read it because I love what Rachel says about the marriage centered family!

  3. Nice guest post. Cute baby!

  4. Wow. Five children at 25. That is incredible. And, makes me feel as though I have no right to complain. Ever again. About anything.

    Also, I could not agree more about having a marriage-centered family - when a marriage is solid, that sentiment trickles down to the children.

  5. You guys are so sweet Rachael! I love that you do so much together, your love for each other really shows in everything you write and I like that a lot. Also, you look amazing. WHOA MAMA.

  6. I love this.
    I love hearing about people with "marriage-centered family" instead of it being all about the kids. It's something I feel pretty strongly about, if the marriage/relationship doesn't work out, it's not good for the kids either


  7. My parents have been married for almost 30 years and are still in love. They were always holding hands and while I was growing up, and still do to this day. The two of them loving each other the way they do truly is one of the greatest gifts they could have given me. :)

  8. Wonderful guest post! & a precious family! <3

  9. I totally agree that kids benefit from parents with a great relationship. Y'all rock! So tired of seeing people who are so obsessed with their children that they lose themselves. I'm definitely going to check out your blog. You two are super cute.
    So Yeah...So

  10. I love Rachael and her beautiful family!! Such practical, real advice!! It's so easy to lose yourself in your busy everyday life and children, but the marriage is the glue that holds it all together and therefore deserves time and attention. Great post!

  11. I love that they chose to have a marriage centered life. It's what I believe in too, and haven't ever heard the right words to express the idea until I read that just now. Cool!

  12. wonderful post & fabulous to see someone else all about the "marriage centered family." it's so important to keep your relationship strong!

  13. I couldn't agree more about putting your marriage first! I believe that marriage (and your partner) is the first, basic relationship - and in order for any other relationships (your kids) to be healthy, the first one needs to be good and solid.

    Thank you for being brave and sharing this.

    PS: My mother in law constantly tells me that the day I have kids, my life needs to be ALL ABOUT THEM. I couldn't disagree more. Maybe I will show her this post (even if she goes nuts). Thank you.

  14. i really love seeing a couple putting their marriage first. my husband and i have not decided if we will have a baby or not yet. One of the reasons I'm so hesitant is because I don't want it to ruin our marriage. I know that babies can put a lot of strain on a relationship and it worries me but this post totally gives me hope that you can have both.

  15. I love that you said marriage centered! I think being open about that can get you in trouble in the blogging world! But as I see it... one day my child will leave the nest and become independent. If we're child centered, we'd so lost when that time comes! I'm all about remembering how important my husband is along with my son! And lets not forget myself, lol!