Originally published July 9, 2011

Last night I enjoyed dinner and a movie.  Sounds like many of the dates I go on with my husband, but this time, I was with a girlfriend.  We went to see "The Green Lantern".  Silly movie and time to linger over dinner and talk.  It was perfect.  We laughed, we talked about serious things, we caught up on each others' families.  Just what I needed.  I have learned the last several years how important breaks are.  It can be hard sometimes, with the difficult medical issues Shelby has, to feel confident leaving her with anyone else.  But I HAVE to.  I have to laugh, play, talk, and be someone other than the mom of a special needs child for a while. So Chuck and I nurture our marriage with frequent date nights.  They provide rest for us and help keep the home fires burning.  And often these dates are as simple as dinner and a show.  We are so blessed to have family who do a great job caring for her as well as a slew of great babysitters that we trust.  And that trust is imperative if we want to be able to relax and enjoy ourselves.  
In addition to the company of my husband, I need time with girlfriends.  My husband is sweet enough to spell me for these times because he knows I need someone I can talk to that isn't in the trenches with me.  I need a viewpoint outside of our family.  And I need someone who knows what it's like to be a girl!  I am so thankful for my girlfriends - friends here that I go to church with and do life with on a daily basis, and friends I grew up with that I don't see very often, yet feel like home when I do.  And these relationships are God ordained.  "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." Proverbs 27:17 He intends us to be in relationship with others to keep growning personally.  My friends help me to be a better mom, a better wife, a better person.  The moral of this blog is:  time away with spouse and friends = good.  Good for my marriage, good for my kids, good for me!