The kids are fighting (actually screaming at) each other. Both my husband and I have a million deadlines looming. Emails are piling up. Laundry is done but none of it’s been put away. My house could use a good cleaning but I have no time. We have no food in the house. My mom is flying into town and I haven’t even made the bed for her. This could be a typical week in our house, but it’s also a snapshot of how life happens before my husband and I take our annual vacation. Yes, that’s right. Amid all the chaos, we hightail it out of town for a little R&R every year. These trips couldn’t come at a better time. And despite the complete disarray happening around us – and continuing when we return – it’s always exactly what we (and our kids) need.

I know some of you are thinking, “Oh must be nice,” or “Are you kidding me? We can’t do that.” I know vacations aren’t easy to plan for logistically or financially – but we try really hard to make it a three-night priority every year (that is, as long as our amazing Granny is willing and able to babysit!). I just can’t say enough good things about getting away when you can. Even if it’s just for one night.

Logistically it’s not easy for us either. We have limited family in close proximity who could babysit (especially on a weeknight). My mom, who lives in Florida, has – so far – generously agreed to fly up and sit for the weekend once every year. (Not sure how long we will get this luxury, but we’re taking it while we can!) We’ve actually been doing this since my oldest was nine months old. And financially it’s not simple either. It’s something we have to prioritize in our budgeting or we know it will never happen.

So this year – in honor of my soon-to-be-new decade in my life – we traveled to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico – directly between Cancun and Playa del Carmen (that was our resort pictured above). We found an all-inclusive trip on (another great place to look is – I learned about that site on our last trip!) and met up with my BFF from grade school and her husband. Since we were staying for just three nights, we made sure we could be poolside within one hour of landing at the airport (that is key in our planning!). So despite the fact that we woke at 4 am to catch our flight out of Greensboro, we were happy to be sipping Pina Coladas by 11:30 am “Mehico” time.

Getting away for that short time – whether we go by ourselves or with other couples – is our annual must-do. It’s a chance for us to forget about all those screaming matches, looming deadlines, mounting emails, piling laundry, dirty toilets, and unmade beds – and to just say “Aaahhh.” It’s the one quality time each year my husband and I get to focus on why we enjoy each other’s company in the first place. It’s the, “Oh yea, now I remember why I love you so much” Aha moment that we’ve come to appreciate.

And you know what? I think our kids actually appreciate a little break from us too! They absolutely adore their Granny and count the days when she arrives. I’m sure they run her ragged, but they cherish this time alone with her – away from us talking all “adult conversations” with her! It’s like their little R&R away from us (although I know they’re not R&R’ing), and when we return home, we can tell they actually missed us! We also get the, “Oh yea, now I remember why we love you so much” too!

So after a little sunbathing, zip lining, cliff diving, three-wheeling, and cave exploring – I am actually feeling refreshed, albeit a bit muscle sore – but it was totally worth it. Not to mention, it gave me a break  from my usual daily grind and parental duties. And, I have to admit, I think it makes me a better person, wife, mother, and business partner because of it!

What about you? Do you and your husband and/or significant other do the same? Tell us about it – including places you’ve been and where you recommend for our next couples’ getaway!