A few weeks ago, Sam and I went out to dinner with his boss and some of his other lab members.
Somehow along the course of the conversation,
I mentioned that Sam and I try to go on a date weekly.
His boss was surprised and asked what we do...
"Just go out to dinner?"
I laughed a little because going out to dinner is so seldom in the budget,
and also because I was a little sheepish about our dates.
"Uh, weird stuff..." I explained.
"Like what?" she asked.
My mind was racing, trying to come up with something fairly normal to say.
"Well...like go on a picnic and feed the ducks or go to free concerts or something...
Or, sometimes we just stay at home and eat together after the kids are in bed..."
The conversation moved on,
but it left me thinking about our many non-traditional dates.
Budget constraints do a lot to increase creativity!
Nighttime croquet in the backyard followed by homemade Oreo making and Andy Griffith,
fiercely competitive board game olympiads,
free college symphony concerts,
dollar store dinner menus,
used bookstore browsing,
hiking in the snow,
a tournament featuring food inventing competitions, song-composing, and love note collages,
ice cream sculpting,
an IKEA scavenger hunt,
cheese & fresh nut butter sampling at Whole Foods,
races to build model dinosaurs,
high school plays,
eating milkshakes and swinging on swings at a local park,
backyard Subway picnics and stargazing,
online personality test taking and comparing,
playing at Chuck-E-Cheese,
and so much more!
One of our most recent stay-at-home dates (we call them "states")
featured a few pints of gourmet ice cream for which I had some great coupons.
I passed out cards and we judged each flavor based on texture, taste, and creativity.
As we revealed our results we saw that my favorite was the Ben & Jerry's, Sam's was the Talenti, and the Talenti was the overall winner.
It was a most delicious beginning to the night!
No matter what activity our time together leads us to,
I tend to come away refreshed and rejuvenated for the following week.
Our monthly temple dates in particular do so much to bring clarity to our lives.
That time together does so much to strengthen our relationship
and improves me as a mother.