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Archive for the ‘dates’ Category

Many, many moons ago, Jeff and I went on a date.  A little road trip to our state’s capitol city in Lincoln.  It was the week between Christmas and New Years (told ya it was a while ago!)

I sent him a little invitation a couple of weeks before:

Before we left, we took our picture in our kitchen:

Then we drove to Lincoln.  First stop: the State Capitol Building in time to take the tour:

Which included viewing the room that the Unicameral meets:

And where the Nebraska Supreme Court meets:

From the top, you can see the tents of the Occupy Lincoln movement.

Next stop?  DaVinci’s for lunch!  Yummy Italian goodness!

Then it was off to the Museum of Natural History and the Planetarium, located on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where Jeff met a really tall wooly mammoth.

Then we took in a movie.  Yeah, we could’ve done this in Omaha, but Jeff really wanted to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie, so I included it in his day!

Then it was time to end our time in Lincoln with dinner.  Qdoba!  One of Jeff’s favorites, plus the one in Lincoln offers a deal where if you bring in your movie ticket stubs, then you can get dinner for $5!

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Day at the zoo!

This is kind of becoming an annual tradition for us.  Or maybe it’s just cause we live so close to the zoo, but Jeff and I went to the zoo last month.  So far, we’ve been every year since we’ve started dating.

We took a 1/2 day off work on a Friday, went to lunch at La Mesa and ordered their great cheese dip and split a single order of Chicken Fajitas.  (Side note: why don’t people give you cheese to put on your fajitas?  When did that go out of style?  I like cheese.) 

Then went to the Henry Doorly Zoo for a few hours.  We love the Skyfari that they have there now – for those of you not familiar, it’s a chairlift that takes you from one side of the zoo to the other.  Such fun!  We bring a couple of slices of bread and try to drop pieces in the lake as we fly over.  We also like to feed the fish and watch them jump all over each other to get the little morsel.

We’re not crazy about the desert dome, but we love the aquarium.  This day, there were like 5 scuba divers in there cleaning things out.  That was kind of fun to see.  And, is it just me, or does the Lied Jungle smell pretty bad?

We went to the IMAX theater – something on Alaska, which is beautiful.  That was totally worth the money. 

For dinner, we headed home and I made Marlboro Man sandwiches.  Jeff wanted to make chocolate chip cookies and have them ala mode (that means with ice cream).  We’ve only baked (or cooked) together a few times and he took the lead on this one.  I did the dishes and gave assistance as needed, but it was pretty much all him.

Selected quotes:

  • “Why do you need to measure flour?  Just eyeball it.  That was about a cup.”
  • “Uh oh.”
  • “I’ve never seperated an egg before.”
  • “It came out like poo.” (referring to how the brown sugar plopped out of the measuring cup…he hadn’t ever “packed” brown sugar before.)
  • “Jeff, that’s not a tablespoon…that was a teaspoon.”  “I can adjust.”
  • “Oh boy, I was only supposed to use 1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder, not a whole teaspoon.  Oh well, I’ll just fish out half of it.”
  • “These are just guidelines anyway.  I don’t need to be that strict.”
  • (scooping cookies onto the sheets) “That’s gonna be a big cookie.  I INTEND that to be a big cookie.”
  • “Do we have ice cream?” “Yes.” “Good wife.”
  • “I intend THIS one to be a big cookie.  A big cookie with lots of chunks.”
  • “Is this going on facebook?”
  • (put the first batch of cookies in the oven) “I’m gonna stretch.  It’s important to stay limber when you’re making cookies.”
  • “Hey, these didn’t come out as big as I thought they would.”
  • “I’m gonna have 3 scoops of ice cream on top of my 2 cookies.”

Guess how they turned out?  Wonderful!!!!  They were great cookies.  He did a fabulous job!

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Last month, I planned a “I’m so fond of you” date.  I gave Jeff a little invitation a couple of weeks ahead of time – just on his pillow – nothing fancy.  I wanted to have fondue (we’d had it once before) and combine it with the other favorites in his life.  The plan had been to eat dinner at Godfather’s (see dates don’t have to be fancy!), come home and watch the NY Mets game (we have subscription through our Roku player), then have Fondue for dessert.

The invite:

How it went:

Godfather’s went great.  They were running a deal where we got a small Combo pizza and breadsticks for $12.00.  That’s perfect for us.

The baseball game did not.  We couldn’t watch the Mets game because it was blocked (they block games on the weekends to encourage people to go to the games).  So, instead, Jeff played more of his computer game.  Worked out for him because that is one of his favorite things.  I prepped the fondue.

Then we had fondue.  It was a chocolate fondue with strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, graham crackers, pretzels, and angel food cake for dipping.  Delish!

Since it was a Saturday, we then watched the first few sketches of Saturday Night Live.  It’s kind of our tradition.

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What makes a date a date anyway?

Had a couple of pieces of feedback on my post last week where I stated that it’s not dates that make a marriage great.  Mostly along the lines that it is important to focus on each other and your relationship.   Totally agree!

So, it got me thinking on what makes a date, a date? The closest definition on dictionary.com defines it as “a social appointment, engagement, or occasion arranged beforehand with another person”.

Are these dates?

  • Jeff and I go to a wedding.
  • Jeff and I go to a movie on a Friday night.
  • Jeff and I watch a movie at home on a Friday night.
  • Jeff and I play a board game together on a Friday night.
  • Jeff and I watch a TV show together on a Tuesday night.

Back before we were married, I considered all of these dates.  We were intentionally spending time together.  I had to physically leave my house to spend time with him.

In the very early days of our relationship, I kind of made Jeff define events as dates.  When he asked me out for the first time, he asked “will you go on a date with me?”  Crystal clear that it was a date.  But a few days after that, he asked “Wanna get lunch together on Monday?”  Because he didn’t call it a date, I wouldn’t let him pay.  It wasn’t a date.  Jeff, being the gentleman that he is, didn’t fight me on it.  (I was quite insistent.)  BUT…from then on, he also was very clear that we were on a date.  So I don’t think I ever heard “Wanna get lunch together?” again.  I always heard “Wanna go on a date with me for lunch?”.  Major kudos to him for 1) being clear and 2) not rejoicing in the fact that he got to spend time with me without having to pay.  As time went on, it wasn’t so fuzzy – we established who “we” were.

Anyway…now that we’re married, does the definition of date change?  We tend to only call things dates that we plan way ahead of time.

I think time together as a couple is HUGE.  Uber important.  But I don’t think you must have a “date” to do that. We intentionally have lots of time together as a couple, without the “demands of daily life” because we’ve been blessed to have the ability to have simple lives.  Our jobs don’t require more than 40 hours/week.  Our social schedules intersect and when they don’t, we plan our individual activities for the same time (ie: I hang out with the girls on the same night he hang out with the guys).

I’ll freely admit that kids would definitely take away from simple lives.  But I don’t know that they have to.  A friend of mine puts her kids to bed by 7:30 p.m. – leaving her and her husband ample time together.  At that point, they have a choice to drift apart or drift towards each other.  I read in a marriage book that just about everything in your lives will be taking you away from each other and that you have to intentionally fight to keep on the same page.  Dates can maybe help with that.  But really, it’s time together that helps keep you together — whether that’s a date or not.

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How important are date nights?  You know, for a married couple.

I ask because lately I haven’t felt like they’re all that important.  At least I haven’t felt like I needed one.  But I’m supposed to right?  In order to keep my marriage healthy and happy, this is supposed to be a required part of our lives, right?  Once a week or maybe twice a month, you have to go on a date.  It’s written somewhere.

And yet…I dunno.  I’ve been listening to a bunch of John MacArthur sermons lately.  One was on God’s design for the family.  He mentioned briefly about what makes a great relationship.  And it’s not going on dates.  His words:

I hear suggestions all the time, take your wife on a date, take her out to dinner. That’s all fine. That’s not going to repair a marriage that isn’t right. There’s only one way to cultivate a right relationship with anybody and that’s to be filled with the Spirit of God, filled with praise and gratitude to God so that your heart is overflowing with joy. And that’s what makes a person someone who you can live with, someone who is a blessing to you. It should be, frankly, almost impossible to start a fight with you because you’re just too blessed, too full of praise, too full of thanks, too full of the overflowing grace of God, too controlled by the Holy Spirit. You’re so filled with love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control that your spouse may just get upset at their inability to cause conflict. It has to start there.

So I started thinking about it.  And in my 8-month marriage (yeah, I know you’re rolling your eyes about this newlywed writing on this.  I am too.), there have been times where I’ve really wanted to go on an actual, honest-to-goodness, take me out to dinner date.  Was I wrong then?  Nah, I think I just didn’t feel particularly close to my husband.  And I thought a date would bring that closeness.

But it doesn’t.  What brings the closeness is the things that John MacArthur mentions.  Someone who is focused on my good.  Someone who is thankful – for me, but for other things too.  Someone who is joyful, meek, gentle and good.

What also brings the closeness is time together.  We have significant time together practically every day.  And extended time together in the car as we drive 3 hours back and forth to band practice each week.  We always go to bed at the same time.  It’s rare that we don’t have breakfast or dinner together.

We also have a common purpose in our lives.  Even if we were spending time together, it wouldn’t be good time if we were at odds on what we wanted our lives to be.  We want our lives to go in the same direction.

So, I still like “going on dates” – doing fun things together.  I like looking back on fun times we’ve had together.  Baseball games, movies, Lauritzen gardens, new restaurants.  I’ll still plan them.  I can see how important couple time is especially with kids in the house when moms want to dress up in clothes that won’t have a peanut butter smudge on them.  When you can have a dinner where you don’t have to cut someone’s meat.  But you don’t have to have a “date” to do that.  And dates won’t turn a bad marriage into a good marriage.

John MacArthur ends with:

If you have a Spirit-filled, obedient, praising, worshiping, thankful, submissive heart, you’ve got the stuff that’s going to make a wonderful family, a wonderful marriage and a wonderful life. Anything else is a battle for your own way, it’s that simple.

Update:

I wrote this post several days ago. I typically write 1-2 evenings/week as I have time and I’ll write several posts at once. I literally had just written this post about date nights, not needing them, not thinking that “they’re all that and a bag of chips” when Jeff asked me on a date for this Friday.  Of course, I said yes….but I also looked for the catch.  Did he have some issue he wanted to talk about?  If so, just bring it up.  He didn’t.  Did he have some special place he wanted to go?  Nope.  He just knew that we had a fairly busy week and a really busy weekend, so he wanted to carve out “us time”.  I think the man has ESP.

What do I know?

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Moment: Camping Date!

What: Camping Date!

When: Saturday, February 12, 2011

Who: Jeff & Jayme

Why: Cause life’s more fun this way!

These days, it seems that we get to the weekend and say to each other: “Do we have anything going on this weekend?”  “No.”  “Good!”  By the time the weekend hits, we’re just ready to stay home.  But spending time together is still important.  So, a date at home was in order.  I called it a camping date.  I sent him an electronic invite stating such.

Don’t know why I called it a camping date.  Those of you that are real campers will quickly see that it didn’t resemble camping in the least.  First of all, Jeff & I aren’t campers.  Second, its February.  In Omaha.  Third, we aren’t campers.

But I made it as “camping”-ish as I wanted to.

  • I laid out the blow up mattress that if we were campers, we’d use instead of sleeping on the hard ground.
  • I bought those glow-in-dark stars and put them over the living room.  After all, what good is camping if you can’t look at the stars?  (Note: they don’t stick to popcorn ceilings.  Duly noted.  Now I know…)
  • We dined on Hobo Dinners (made in the oven instead of over a campfire).
  • I packed a cooler of goodies – bottles of pop, chips, silverware.  The essentials you’d need.
  • We played Backgammon, a game I first learned from the Schmidts when I went camping with them for the first time in 7th grade.
  • Instead of a campfire, we watched Fireproof.  (Hey, it had fire in the title…close enough!)
  • I had dessert ready and packed in the cooler.  So what if they were heart-shaped strawberry cakes instead of smores?  It’s Valentine’s Day!

Over all, a good night!  We didn’t need to have theme, but it did make it a little more fun.  For me, anyway. Plus, it gives Jeff practice at humoring his wife.  I like to give him lots of practice at that!

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Date Ideas Blog

I read alot of blogs on a given day (I think anyway – 50 or so).  They range from “people whose lives I like to follow” to “date ideas” to “marriage thoughts” to “theology” to “crafting/DIY projects”.  I use Google Reader and it pulls them all in.  Today, I thought I’d reveal 2 of the “date ideas” blogs that I get and like.  These sites have (in my opinion) consistently good date ideas that aren’t over-the-top in craziness or difficulty in executing.  They’re my “go-to” sites for when I need good date ideas.  Now, these ladies are married, but most of their date ideas can be tailored for singles.  If nothing else, it’ll provide some inspiration!

http://loveactually-blog.blogspot.com   (She has more than just date ideas, but has good ideas for love notes, encouragement, printables, etc)
http://thedahlingdatingdivas.blogspot.com 

Some of my favorites:

(Note: I haven’t done most of these yet, but I like the ideas)

Movie Night 

St. Patrick’s Day 

Shower Notes 

Valentine’s Day Candy Hearts 

Slumber Party (if married!)

Hot Chocolate Ideas

Iron Chef Date 

Cold Outside 

Jungle Safari 

Fondue

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