Today, on July 12th, Jason and I will have been married for 15 years!! It was a warm, sunny, slightly breezy day and I still remember it like it was yesterday. We were high school sweethearts, went to my senior prom together and were married at 22. I can feel the butterflies I had driving to the church. We were just kids. I can’t believe it, where does the time go??
We are incredibly blessed, have 3 beautiful girls and have had so many wonderful experiences with each other. I think at the end of the day we still love hanging out with each other. He makes me laugh…..everyday. A quality that drew me to him from the beginning. Over the years of ups and downs, it seems we take turns being the strong, sane one. Sometimes, he is freaking out and I can calm him down and sometimes it is the reverse. (Most of the time it is the reverse, I tend to be more hot-headed than he is.) I don’t think we have a lot of secrets to our happy life, everyone has differences in their relationship. However, one we continually work on is date night. It is extremely important to take time for each other, without kids around. We don’t get to have date night as often as we would like. Time and money being contributing factors, as they are with all things. But here are our top three favorite things to do on Date Night. Yes they all revolve around food. I told you I want to eat FOOD all of the time!!!
ROAD TRIP— This is my all time favorite. When we were dating and first married, we would road trip a lot. Now, with three kids, there are not very many opportunities to truly road trip just the two of us for long periods of time. So it is really more of a road trip to where we are going to eat. While we live in a smaller town and would have to travel to have many different options, we usually drive farther than necessary. There are so many wonderful places in the lakes country we live in, we tend to go towards them, instead of the hustle and bustle of the “big city”. It seems more relaxed and you don’t have to rush. The food is usually home made and delicious. The atmosphere comforting and cozy.
But aside from the food, we pick road trips because of the time spent together in the car. Some of our best memories and conversations happen in the car. If we are not talking, we are listening to the radio. Which is code for, Jason is flipping stations, trying to find a good song and I am singing to every one he finds. He loves it, I am sure. If we are talking, it seems we have each other’s full attention. There is not laundry to fold, supper to make, kids to tend to, and other chores to do. We can’t look at our phones while watching the road and there are no other little ears around to hear us. I love the time together, just the two of us to reconnect, making Road Trip my favorite date night.
Take-out and Movie at home–Sometimes Road Trip is not going to work out with our world and we have to choose something else. Take out and movie at home, is our number two favorite date night. At the end of a long week, the thought of going out to a restaurant with people sounds awful and I would rather be at home snuggled up in a blanket, wearing my sweatpants. But the desire to stay at home, does not trump wanting to have date night. So another one of our favorite nights is when we get food, bring it home and watch a movie. We make a picnic area out of blankets, snuggle up and eat. Usually we get sushi when we do this because the kids don’t always enjoy sushi. We open wine and pop in our movie. If you have never seen Crazy, Stupid, Love with Steve Carrell, I highly recommend it for movie night. It was the first movie we watched having sushi and wine night, but it is hilarious if you have never seen it.
Cooking at home–Along this same line is cooking at home. You can make a lot of food for the cost of going out or getting take out. As I stated in A Successful week in the kitchen, Jason likes to cook and is really good at it. If he wants to stay at home for date night and cook for me, I am more than happy to help him out. Usually this happens in the summer, when the girls go to grandmas. We can be together outside while steaks or pork chops are grilling away. It seems grilling is also a relaxing way to cook with less dishes to do when you are done. But there is no traffic, no other people, no waitress looking at our table constantly to see if we are done. Just us, isn’t that what date night should be centered around anyway?
Challenge time!! The Summer of ME was about finding balance in this chaotic life; but date night gives us a small opportunity every so often to find it. Share your favorite date nights. What do you like to do when you finally get time to hang with your special person and reconnect? You can comment here or on our Facebook page, Speaking Jelinese. Let’s give others some fresh ideas to do when it is time for a date!!