The Place is in the Details

Before we had kids, my husband and I wrote up a plan for how we’d keep our relationship strong after they came along. I am a recovering perfectionist, so I do mean this literally. Our plan was thorough, and it definitely included regular date nights out.

These days, we rarely — and I mean rarely — get out of the house together without our kiddos in tow. To be honest, I’m kind of embarrassed by how little we get out. Taken one way, we’ve completely botched our plan. File that one under the growing list of “Things we thought we knew before we had kids.”

Taken another way, we have held fast to the intention behind that plan, even though the details look different than I expected.

Here’s what I mean: Most nights, once the kids are in bed, it’s just the two of us at home. A night at home can look a lot of different ways. It might be dishes and laundry and scooping litter boxes and doing just one more thing that sends us to bed juuuust a bit later than we meant to be there.

Or a night at home can be beverages on the couch and talking and listening and debating and joking until one of us realizes that we’ve lost track of time and we drag ourselves to bed juuuust a bit later than we meant to be there.

We wake up tired either way. The difference is in the details.

When we do get out of the house together, I like to spend time at places that specialize in the details. Because they matter and can be the difference between a good time and a not so good one. Even between a good life and a not so good one. Young Joni is one place where the details hit me just right. The plants, the old books, the candles, the big wood fire oven. I love it all, and that’s worth leaving the house for.

💛This is part of my ongoing series #WordsforMN where I hand letter reflections inspired by places I love in Minnesota.

Minneapolis writer Words by Emily’s hand lettered phrase The Place is in the details

Published by Emily P.G. Erickson

Emily P.G. Erickson is a freelance writer specializing in mental health and parenting. She has written for popular digital publications, including Everyday Health, Health, The New York Times, Parents, Romper, Verywell Mind, WIRED, and more. Emily is a professional member of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), and the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ). Previously, Emily researched PTSD for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and earned a master's in psychology. You can find the latest from Emily at

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