Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ABC Date Nights/"D"

 You don't bring me flowers anymore.

You don't bring me flowers
You don't sing me love songs
You hardly talk to me anymore
When I c
ome through the door
At the end of the day

Remember that song by Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond?  Well, my husband used to bring me flowers all the time.  For almost any occasion.  I remember once I even received green carnations for St. Patricks Day!  One time, I, in my infinite wisdom utter stupidity mentioned that flowers were awfully expensive and maybe even a waste of money.  "We don't have a lot of money" I would lament..."and you don't have to spend it on flowers for me".  Well, I hurt his feelings.  And I never got flowers again.  Serves me right I guess. Fast forward to "D" day of our new ABC Date Nights.

This is what I woke up to that morning>>>>>>>>>>

He later confessed to googling name of a flower that starts with a 'd' which is pretty darn sweet if you ask me.  He also said when he went looking he had no idea if he would find daffodils anywhere.  Since it was early April, they were everywhere!   Jackpot!  Our date nights were part of our commitment to God that we would truly work on our marriage and I could not believe how extraordinary it was of Him to lead my husband to daffodils right in the heart of Spring. Not the first blessing we've experienced, but certainly one of the sweetest. Oh, and I looked up the meaning of Daffodil--"Symbolizing rebirth and new beginningsthe daffodil is virtually synonymous with spring." !!!!!
There were other highlights to "D" date night (which technically started in the morning!)---In addition to the daffodils, my dearest left me a donut which the oh-so-charming son managed to devour before I could get back from the gym.  For dinner we had chicken and dumplings and later we played a DVD round of Deal or no Deal, with the loser (him) having to serve the other (me) dessert.  But by far, my favorite part of "D" date night was the daffodils.  And, that, this isn't us, anymore--

                                                                        You don't bring me flowers
                 You don't sing me love songs
                 You hardly talk to me anymore
                   When I come through the door
            At the end of the day

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ABC Date Nights/"C"

  More rainy days and cold nights had me wondering if staying "in" for Date Night would be a better alternative.  Though I knew it would require more effort from me I chose "Candlelight Dinner" for my turn.  Indeed it did prove to be a bit more work but it was also fun to plan and I finally had a chance to use some candles that I've had for years and years.

Once I decided on a menu I was off and running.  I found a recipe for Teri Tips that proved to be excellent although I have never in 30 years of cooking purchased $$ Filet Mignon $$.  In honor of Date Night, I splurged and we were not disappointed.  Having blown most of my budget on the aforementioned filet mignon, I simply added yummy mashed potatoes and vegetables to the meal.  It was fun to prepare a "special" dinner and to anticipate my hubby coming home from work to a dinner complete with ambiance.  Seriously, why don't we do things like this more often?

Later, for dessert and keeping with my 'C' theme we had Chocolate Cake for dessert.

Sounds silly, but it was enjoyable to actually sit down to dinner at the table, in our home---most meals in the last few years have taken place on our couch in front of the TV.  When our kids were little and even teens, we did our best to have dinner together frequently and it was always AT THE TABLE.  Anyone who has seen what the couch looks like after children ate there knows what I'm talking about!    Just because they're not here doesn't mean we had to turn into savages!  Candles or no candles, it certainly seemed like a more civilized and sophisticated way to go!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

ABC Date Nights/'B'

  It's Greg's first turn at deciding what to do for Date Night.  I anxiously awaited the day--While it was nice not to be the one who was planning, I have to say that not being in control made me a little anxious.  We had decided to leave the actual destination a surprise until the actual day so it had an element of surprise.  Now, this is all well and good when I'm the one doing the planning, but I'm not so great at being "surprised."  I'm the ultimate planner.  So much so that when planning say, a vacation, I check into every little detail to the point where I exhaust myself and everyone around me.  I realize that it's good for me to step out of my comfort zone and let someone else take over and JUST GO WITH IT.  I have found that I can and do survive with nary a scratch!  Without, further ado......the date.

We pull up to Borders and I'm elated!  I could spend a lifetime there and I quickly got lost in one of my favorite worlds.  Time flies and before I know it, I notice Greg out of the corner of my eye, patiently waiting.  Turns out looking through magazines (that would be Greg) does not take nearly as much time as picking up every other book you see, (and this would be me) examining the back cover, perusing the first few pages and....yes....sometimes, I confess to just holding the book up close simply to smell the sweet scent of fresh-print-and-never-before-read pages.  (I know it sounds pretty crazy, but being cheap has caused me to be a Library Girl and for the most part the books I check out are frequently VERY well used, and some of them sometimes even have dried food on them!) Weary of the magazine section, Greg implored me to move along to Part B of our "B" date night and we proceeded to Famous Dave's for BBQ.  By this time we were both pretty hungry and we quickly devoured our dinner.  It was another cold and rainy evening, so we called it a night and headed home.  Date Night was over again for the week and already my brain was spinning with ideas for next week.....What to do, what to do??

By the way, these are the two books I actually purchased that night.......
One Thousand Gifts

The Book Theif

ABC Date Nights (Inspiration and "A")

Date Night Inspiration

It had been a long winter.  We were bored.  Bored with winter and bored with each other.  In addition, thirty years together had made us complacent about our marriage.  My life was no longer crazy busy running children to and from, no bedtime stories to read, no school lunches to prepare....not even a kid in college that could use a package from home.  Hubby was quickly morphing into a work by day, couch potato by night machine.  Seemingly endless days of snow, ice and cold along with "nothing to do but watch TV" dragged on....and on.  We decided we needed to make a few changes.  We were SO distressed we had actually resorted to mall walking just to get out of the house for awhile.  It was during one of these 'mall walks' that we had the brilliant idea to reinstate Date Night.  Not a novel idea---but we both knew we needed a jump start of sorts--we needed to learn how to have FUN together again.  To make it more interesting we decided to use an ABC theme and take turns planning our date nights.  We would begin with a date idea that started with 'A' and then planned to work our way through the alphabet until we got to 'Z'.  All that was left was to flip the coin for who went first!  I was the lucky (?) winner and so ABC Date Nights began.  
  Our first date night started about six weeks ago.  As I later discovered, most of the vowels will fall on my turn and by most I mean ALL.  After some quick calculating I also discovered I will get 'Q'.  Oh, it's definitely going to get interesting. 
I actually had a few ideas for 'A' but ended up with Antiquing.  (Special thanks to Beautiful Daughter #2 who gave me this idea!)  The challenge, for me, was to come up with going somewhere that fit our time frame.  Most antiquing places require a bit of a drive and our date night is on a weekday.  I found a place and--BONUS--it was pretty new---we had never been there before!   This was no small feat as any antique business anywhere near us Hubby has been at least a hundred times before!  We were pleasantly surprised to find a new Antique Mall that was the perfect size and had plenty of booths for us to explore.  We spent about an hour there and then headed out for dinner.  We were happy to find delicious wood-fired pizza in an amazing array of varieties!  It was wonderful to get out of the house and enjoy time together.  No TV definitely makes for better conversation!  In addition to a pretty good start to date night, we also had found our new favorite pizza place!  All in all, our 'A' date went well and best of all, we were motivated to press on!