Sunday, October 16, 2011

Date Night "N"

Well.......who would've thought "N" would end up being such a difficult letter?  Hubby struggled.  And struggled.  Claims he even resorted to a google search. The funny thing about that is all he came up with there was "necking" and "nudist beach."  Now, we're not against either of those things but wouldn't you think that there would've been something a little more "G" rated?  Hubby jokingly threatened early in the week that we would be doing "nothing" as he continued to struggle.  (All I could think of was how relieved I am that I already have "Q" planned!)
In the end, befuddled and frustrated, he threw in the towel--and we headed out the door for dinner at Noodles.
Not exactly original but hey, it's a night out and who am I to complain?  At this time we still had our two little girls from Lydia Home and any break was fine by me.  The girls were pretty sweet most of the time but prone to sudden meltdowns amidst the occasional tantrum and foot stomping.  So, when hubby let me know he felt like he let me down by not coming up with something more exciting I assured him that anything would be wonderful and doggone it--I meant it. The girls were scheduled to have an overnight visit with their mom, so after dinner we decided at the last minute to go all out and make it a "Night at the movies."

  The movie was wonderful.....I love to get lost in a good story and I love love love going to a movie as opposed to say.....Redbox.  I'm no movie critic but this movie was soooooooo good and the better the movie is the more delighted I am that I got to see it in a theater instead of my living room.  Something about the experience of the big screen, no distractions and someone else popping the popcorn just makes me happy!

Having little ones in our home reminded me of how much I wished we would have had regular date nights when our children were young.  Kids really do have a way of hogging all the attention (I mean that in the nicest way) and it is SO true that after decades of that, plus not much attention on your spouse equals a ho-hum marriage.  At least in our case. So, hubby--you may have thought you fell short this date night but for me---It was nice--even nifty--and with nary a complaint from me!  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Date Night "M"

"M" brings us to halfway mark.  Thinking back, we started off slow but determined and along the way we've had some delays, a few clunkers, and some great memories.  It's hard not to stop and reflect here---in the center of the alphabet.   Where to begin? So many lessons learned already.

"M" was my night to plan and I went with "Memory Lane."  We started off our evening a little unsettled as we had two new little ones placed with us through Lydia Home just a few days prior to this date night.  We were given a two hour window for our date by our babysitter for the evening.  Two hours seems like enough in theory, but by the time you orchestrate drop off and pick-up complete with tantrums and tears, it's really more like an hour and a half, maybe less.  So, short and sweet is how we played it.  Still summer, air conditioning in full throttle, we set off to have dinner at the restaurant where we had our first date.  Ironically, it's the same building but now has a different name, appropriately starting with the letter "M"!
In my humble opinion, not nearly as wonderful as the restaurant that was there thirty-some years ago, especially on this night when their air conditioning was on the fritz, our salads were lukewarm and our waitress was full of sarcasm.  Being the date night troopers that we are, we rose above all of that and headed to a park up the hill for part two.  I had packed up our old photo albums and we carried them to a picnic table in the shade.

It was still HOT, but it also was a beautiful summer night and we enjoyed looking through our old pictures even if our most frequent comment was, "Look how skinny we were!" Although I had brought several photo albums, our attention pretty much zoomed in on our wedding pictures as we each shared memories of that day.
We both got lost in indescribable feelings and thoughts as we scrutinized those photos trying to recapture that special day and absorbing the undeniable fact that the years have flown, just absolutely flown by.

As for lessons learned at the halfway mark?  Well, for one, marriage takes work, sometimes really hard work.  I don't know why that continues to be a surprise to me. We still fight. We still laugh. And we still cry. But, surrendering our marriage to God is one of the best decisions we've ever made.  God has honored that decision over and over, in spite of the days when we are our worst enemies, when we slip and struggle, and especially in spite of our selfish selves.  Every day we're getting a little better at seeing this new thing He's doing in us and in our marriage--and that is truly something to behold!  (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Date Night "L"

Back into the swing of things.....sorta.  After a month with twins in our home, it took us a few weeks to get Date Night going again.  Trust me when I say the recuperation time was necessary! At long last.  If we don't pick up the pace we're never going to finish the alphabet and after all, I've got letters like "Q" and "Z" to look forward to planning! figure out what on earth I'm doing.  We've struggled with easy letters so gee, I can hardly wait!  (insert sarcasm here)
It's always nice when it's hubby's turn to plan and all I have to do is show up.  One thing I can count on is that when it's his turn we'll for sure be going out for dinner.  Since I cook almost every night, this works for me!  He's pretty sweet about choosing a restaurant he thinks I'll like or one that we've never been to before.  This night, in honor of the letter "L" he chose Lunardi's, an Italian restaurant near us.  My dinner was DEE-licious--I had pasta marsala---our waitress recommended it and it was pretty yummy!  Hubby stuck with the "L" theme and ordered lasagna.....gotta love a rule follower!

That has to be an optical illusion.           >>>>
No way is my plate that much bigger than his!

Afterwards, we headed to Lindsay Park and had  fun just hanging out and watching the world go by. Hubby brought along some conversation would think after nearly thirty-one years of marriage we wouldn't need them.....but sometimes it surprises me when we just take the time to talk....or should I say Listen?
Proof that a great date night doesn't have to cost much or take an enormous amount of planning.  On the way home, we impulsively decided to stop for lemon meringue pie which was a double bonus for me.  I can't eat lemon meringue pie without remembering my mom (it's a dessert we both loved) and I'm pretty sure calories don't count on when the treat lines up with the letter for the night!