An Important Level in a Relationship

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i am writing this on the airplane from one coast of our country venturing to the west one. i am trying to put out of my mind that it would have taken less time for me to fly to london and order bangers and mash than it takes to get back to oregon from florida.

florida breakfast

but here i sit, appreciating the memories created with my in-laws and the distinct smell of airplane coffee wafting in between the rows of seats.

i just finished reading “how to be a woman” by caitlin moran and yes, it inspired me to order tea and cookies biscuits (she’s from the UK). i borrowed it from the library since we are saving our money but this is a book i shall purchase and have on my bookshelf soon. i would recommend it and thank you andrew & darby for recommending it via a thread on my blog about not wanting a baby right now.

how to be a woman

read it. it’s fantastic. she tells it like it, shares her own stories and offers insight into the beauty and difficulties that come with being a woman in today’s society. my biggest takeaway was at the end, where she filled my soul with the stronger desire to ‘do something’ as a woman rather than simply ‘be’ as a woman. i highly recommend it (and know that it’s crass but honest in many parts – which i looooved).

over the weekend i experienced my first red tide (which is surprisingly, in no way shape or form related to menstruating, as previously discussed), appreciated the darker side of the ocean and ate my weight in food. if we are buddies on “the snapchat” then you saw this evidence of cookies on the breakfast table, in addition to our breakfast taco makings!

breakfast IMG_6572

as we were planning for this trip, my in-laws kept coming up with super fun ideas like ‘swimming with manatees, renting jet skis, perhaps even canoeing again!” but my husband and i said “we would rather just relax, day drink and hang out with y’all.” so we did just that.

i believe your relationship has moved to one of the better levels when you can do absolutely nothing together. to me, that is an important level in a relationship. there is no stress of having to entertain each other, spend money on each other but rather simply just be in each other’s presence (although we were totally spoiled by all the amazing food and drinks they made for us– thanks kathy and mark!)


we did venture out once to get margaritas at margaritaville, pay $3 to ‘spectate’ on a pier until the red tide stopped us only halfway on there and we were forced to turn back because our lungs couldn’t take it. they wouldn’t refund the money (even though we were on it for less than 1 minute) so my father-in-law took it upon himself to inform the approaching guests of the wasted money and respiratory-doom. good work, sir!

spectator IMG_6555

i have written about how to improve your relationship with your in-laws last time we were there and i stand by that. i so appreciate that my relationship continues to grow as part of this other family – and that they welcome me with full hearts and overstuffed stomachs. i appreciate that my father-in-law and i can discuss politics, feminism, racism and still respect each other. i appreciate that my mother-in-law is so nurturing and kind-hearted, truly caring about me.

florida with in laws

i appreciate that i get to build a relationship with the people who raised my husband to be the kind, generous, ambitious man that he is (and that he has an older sister who made him a strong person – as older sisters should do!) we can all also throw down at the cards table and have the agreement that ‘anything can be said at the cards table and you can’t take it personally.’

i’m sort of glad the water was too rough to get in because i watched ‘JAWS’ for the first time! let’s all take a moment to appreciate that we aren’t being eaten by sharks right now or on a boat where the shark is so smart it knows how to personally attack us.

dark and stormyIMG_6579

it was a recharging weekend and was just what i needed to help get me centered and focused for the super intense few months we have left in the year!

have you reached this level in your relationship with your in-laws yet, to simply ‘be together’ without having to ‘do’ anything?


  1. Elyse

    October 28, 2015 at 10:08 am

    I’m glad you’re on that level of not having to do something to enjoy their company! I think I’m at that point? LOL I mean we don’t normally do tons of things when I’m visiting so it is a lot of talking and hanging out which I enjoy, so I guess I’ve been forced into being comfortable with them….
    Elyse recently posted…The Ivy at Verity Staycation

    • chelsea

      October 29, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      i’m super grateful for it too because it seems like at the beginning of any new relationship there is a lot of pressure! hah glad you have that with your in-laws even if it was ‘forced’ ha 🙂

  2. Charlene

    October 28, 2015 at 10:49 am

    So glad you had such a good vacation. And yes I have reached that point with my in-laws. In fact, I think I reached it before we were even married. My husband and I knew each other since 7th grade and we started dating in high school and dated 6 years before getting married. I remember an awkward stage with his family, but it was a long time ago. haha
    Charlene recently posted…What I Learned in October

    • chelsea

      October 29, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      wow since 7th grade! yes it seems like you would have reached it before you were married, charlene 🙂 glad you are comfortable with them now and that you’ve had many years to build on that!

  3. Kate

    October 28, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I’m super grateful we both seem to have a good relationship with each other’s parents. Most of the time we hang out with them, we’re usually eating or watching tv, and that’s all we need! I love that my in-laws have always been so welcoming–and even though they don’t always agree with our decisions (because it’s something they wouldn’t do, or Matt’s sister doesn’t do it that way, so why should we?), they still respect what we want and love us all the same.
    Kate recently posted…Gettin’ Weird with Millicent: Basic Doods

    • chelsea

      October 29, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      i feel you kate and i’m often reminded how much more i’m grateful for this when i hear other friends not feeling the same! i’m glad your in-laws respect your choices and decisions, even if they don’t always ‘get it’ that’s pretty powerful!

  4. Audrey

    October 29, 2015 at 5:47 am

    I love my in-laws. It’s funny because my husband doesn’t act like his parents at all. And his family interacts differently than mine (and it took a long time to get used to). But I’m very comfortable around his parents and siblings- and even his aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. It makes holidays relaxing all the way around- except for the whole balancing two families thing. Ha!
    Audrey recently posted…Halloween Costumes | Part 3

    • chelsea

      October 29, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      my family also interacts different than my husband’s too (and a while to get used to as well!) 🙂 i’m glad that you’ve found yourself to be relaxed and comfortable with the whole family – minus the balance of two families! that’s always so tough…i’m feeling that now!
      chelsea recently posted…An Important Level in a Relationship