We try really hard to go on a date every week,
and since we've been on a tight budget ever since we got married,
we've had to be pretty creative about how to make that happen.
We've swapped babysitting with other couples,
gone on picnics,
scouted out free concerts,
and even enjoyed a creative meal from a dollar-store scavenger hunt.
But sometimes, time and budget constraints just make that weekly date out of the question.
So we have what we call "states," short for stay-at-home-dates, after the kids are in bed.
Friday was one of those nights,
and after confining Sam to the bedroom I set up a "Christmas cafe" at the kitchen table.
The dimmer on the light switch came in handy,
and I wrapped an extra strand of Christmas lights around.
Christmas music played in the background,
and I set out cinnamon toast, kettle corn, hot chocolate, and nutritious pumpkin pie milkshakes
(they tasted about as nutritious as they were...not the greatest).
When I brought Sam down I welcomed him to our cafe
and told him we each had to make up a game using Uno cards,
and it had to tie into Christmas somehow.
Mine was a variation of speed that involved shouting out Christmas carols when red and green cards were placed on top of each other.
Sam outdid me, as usual.
His elaborate game involved constructing a neighborhood with cards wherein we got certain points based on the aesthetic value of the roads and houses we built
(red and green got the most points, of course!).
It may not have been as glamorous as a real cafe dinner with hot chocolate
followed by ice skating at the local rink,
but I'm pretty sure we had just as much fun...
plus Sam got to wear his pajamas
and I could laugh as loud as I wanted without getting funny stares.
I just really love this guy.