Friday, March 29, 2013

Date Ideas and a Free Printable Bucket List

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner Blog for Show Us Your Life: Date Ideas. If you're stopping by and you're new to the blog, let me tell you a little bit about myself! I met my husband 13 years ago when we were still in high school and have been married for five years. I am also a mama to four beautiful babies: an almost four-year-old, boy/girl almost two-year-old twins, and a beautiful angel in Heaven.

With three kids, we have to get really creative with our date nights, but we make it a priority. We live by the Nike motto: JUST DO IT.

 


Before having kids, I thought date nights meant getting a sitter - but I didn't realize the costs associated with doing that on a regular basis (first there is the cost of the sitter and then the cost of finding things to do for the several hours you're gone out of the house). I hear a lot of people say, "Oh you're so lucky that you can afford to get dates" or "you're lucky that you have family who watch your kids." But the reality is that neither of those are universally true. We have only hired a babysitter twice in all the years we've had kids (almost four years). And my parents and sister only watch the kids a handful of times a year. Because my mom watches the kids one day a week for me during the day, I feel like it'd be burdensome to ask her to watch the kids even more for us to go on a date night. So, unless it's a wedding we can't miss or a gift (for Christmas she often gives us movie tickets and a night of babysitting), we only ask her to help when it's a work function and one of us can't pick up the kids. The truth is that while we ARE lucky that we have family to help out, it isn't LUCK that gets us date nights. It's that we make it a priority. We plan it. And mostly, we get creative.

The majority of our dates are at home dates after the kids go to bed. In fact, we make it a priority to do it at least once a week. And, honestly, our dates can be as simple as sitting by the fireplace and asking each other questions to ordering takeout and having picnics, fun drinks, and renting movies.

Here are some of the things we've done at home while the kids are in bed:

(1) Date by the fire. We used The Dating Divas Questions to ask each other.
(2) We often take an ordinary evening and make it special by adding something special like Champagne on the couch. This night we watched the newest Bourne movie with champagne.
 (3) This particular night we caught up on our Hulu list with champagne (from our wedding glasses) and Talenti gelato.
 (4) This particular night we picked up a Papa Murphy's pizza and had a little picnic with champagne.
 (5) Often times we go on little "dates" to pick up the kids together from preschool. It's about 30 minutes we get in the car alone.
 (6) We haven't done these dates for a while, but we used to do bath dates at home. It gave us time to catch up on talking and we usually used the time to take a nap and relax together.
 (7) Sometimes we take ordinary things like voting and make a date out of them. Last November, we took the kids into preschool and then went to vote together. We made a quick Starbucks date out of it.
(8) On mornings when we have a little more time and aren't in such a rush, we have coffee dates at the kitchen table before the kids wake up. Some day when we are more rested and our kids are sleeping through the night, we want to do a coffee date on our patio, snuggling up to watch a sunrise!
 Because I'm a teacher and Mr. Howard works a different schedule every week, we also take time together by sending our kids into preschool for a day or two for lunch and breakfast dates on my holiday breaks (spring break...winter break...summer break). In the past, we also took advantage of the Parents' Night Out nights that our old preschool offered (four times a year). And finally, we utilize family to spend time with our kids so that we can get out of the house. We've done all sorts of fun "out of the home" dates. Here are a few:
  1. Lots of Sushi Dinners like THIS NIGHT
  2. The movie theatre
  3. Monterey Overnight Trip
  4. Our Local Comedy Club
  5. Local Basketball Game Date Night
  6. Game Night at Dave and Busters
  7. Massages, Lunch at Olive Garden, and a few Movies
Mr. Howard and I have been together for 13 years and I think it's important to try new things. So when I saw a bucket list idea for a lot of the holidays (Fall Bucket Lists, Winter Bucket Lists, etc.), I thought it'd be fun to put together a short bucket list of ideas for Dating my Husband. I put it in a frame and am going to use a dry erase marker to cross off the items as we go! Here's mine:
 I did put together a generic one (that doesn't have The Howard Bunch on it) below:
I want to share the Date Night Bucket List printable I created for all of you. Download it here. It is an 8 x 10 page, so you will want to put it in an 8x10 frame or one larger with an 8x10 mat. 

I am no expert by any means on marriage and I learn everyday right along side all of us on this crazy journey we call marriage, but I have learned a few tips that make dates possible in MY household. And you might find them helpful. Some of them include:
  1. MAKE DATES A PRIORITY. I know, I know. You're busy. The kids need you. You have so much to do. No more excuses. The way I look at it: If I don't nurture my relationship NOW, I will not have a relationship to nurture LATER. This is probably the most important of all the things I've learned.
  2. Always put your "dates" on the calendar. If you plan them out, they'll be a priority and feel more special.
  3. Find the extraordinary in the ordinary (take a normal night on the couch and introduce something you don't normally do...champagne...some fun questions...or a picnic on the floor).
  4. Have fun.

14 comments:

tesha said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wonderful post and great ideas!!!! I love the coordinating pictures:)

Bailey said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

These are such great ideas!! Good for you and your hubby for making your romance a priority - a lot of people don't do that nowadays. Thanks for all the ideas!


xox
Bailey
http://akabailey.blogspot.com

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thank you so much, Bailey!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks, Tesha!!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It's hard in the beginning, Mandy! When your kids go to bed, all you want to do is veg out (that or do all the laundry you haven't been able to do!). It gets easier!

tesha said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh Yes please re join Google friends connect when you have a chance this is the new URL http://teshastreasures.blogspot.com/ even if it says your following you are following the old URL. This is the instructions to resubscribe through Google friends Connect


Go to my new address http://teshastreasures.blogspot.com/



Go to Google friends connect and sigh in,
Then go to options, sight settings hit stop following this blog (on the right hand side)
Next refresh the page
last re-follow the blog




Thanks:)

Amy Walton said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love this!!!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks, Amy!!

Amy Walton said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

:)

Diana Chang said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love this idea! I mean, i might not be married now but definitely something to keep in the backburner until then!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks so much, Diana! I'm glad you found it helpful!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks, Crystal! You and Nic inspire me with all your travel!! You guys are awesome!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love this and I actually have to work on making it a point to date nights with my boyfriend. We havent in two months!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It isn't easy to make the time, but it's soo worth it!!

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