Monday, February 06, 2012

How Dating Helps - One month later

I've been posting a lot about my dates.  Dates with my kids as well as with my husband.  But I realized that I haven't really been posting much about the outcome of those dates.    No.. not THAT outcome. ;)  I mean how said dates have been affecting my marriage.

In the past month, Larry and I have begun to spend so much more quality time together.  Now that seems obvious, since we're consciously setting aside one day a week to spend together.  However, we're also spending other times together...  just sitting around at night playing on the computer/watching tv doesn't seem to be nearly as appealing.  It appalls me when I think about how many hours we've been in the same room without ever speaking a word to each other.  That's changing.

Which leads me to our second change.  We are beginning to talk more.  My husband is not much of a communicator.  And I'm easily sucked into the computer or a book...   I'm not saying we talk all the time, of course, and at times I wish I had a list of subjects to talk about (like last night in the car on the way to our date).  There are so many of these lists on the internet.  I plan on printing several out, and keeping them in various places.  The car, the house, my wallet.  LOL  Just to pull out whenever I need one. I'm surprised sometimes at how hard it is to find something to talk about other than kids... and even that topic gets exhausted after a while. :)

Now these are all little things... but ladies all know that it's the little things that make the biggest impact.  (Did you get that guys!??)  Larry has been opening my car door almost 100% of the time lately.  Even if we are just in town, on a run to my parents, or whatever.  It's a little thing, but I notice it.   I don't know if he sees a difference in me or not... I hope so.  LOL

I'm not saying our relationship is perfect.  Far from it.  I don't believe anyone has a perfect relationship, and I'm not striving to have a perfect relationship.  I'm striving for a strong marriage, a loving marriage, a marriage that can endure anything that life throws our way.  And I think we're well on our way.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Lantern Festival ..... Date 5 of 52

The newest bouquet Larry bought me

I had been looking forward to this date for a while.  I purchased tickets to the Lantern Festival through Arkansas Daily Deals a few weeks back.  One of the things I *LOVE* about these group coupon sites (other than getting things so cheap!), is finding out about things I wouldn't have ever heard about otherwise.  I've listed a few sites below.  I'd love to hear if you know of any that I don't have listed!

So we started out by eating at Macaroni Grill.  I've never eaten there before and had a gift card.  One of the goals of our "day out" dates is to eat somewhere we've never eaten at before.  I'm hoping we find some new favorites!  As far as Macaroni Grill, I really liked the building.  They were generous enough to supply us with crayons and a paper tablecloth :D  So I took advantage of course!!!  I must say I was a bit disappointed in the quality of the food.. Both of our entrees were quite bland, and honestly pretty dry.  My favorite part of the dinner was actually an appetizer.  I can't remember what it was called but it was full of goat cheese. ;)

After we left the restaurant, we still had about an hour before the Lantern Festival was set to start.  So we headed to Sams Club real quick.  LOL  I got some headache meds for a nasty migraine, plus we picked up a few odds and ends.  And Larry bought me another bouquet of beautiful flowers.  They are innie outtie disbuds.  I *LOVE* them.

Finally it was time to head to the Lanterns! Festival.  I was pretty excited about this without really knowing what to expect.  It was really neat to see all the luminaries.  The idea is you could stroll hand in hand with your love, all romantical and stuff.  LOL  I think Larry and I are past the oozy public romance type thing.  But it was super nice.  I was actually disappointed in the lanterns.  There really wasn't as much as I was expecting.  There was plenty of white lights, plenty of luminaries, but not big lanterns.  Most little areas were just focused on selling food and drink.  But I loved watching the ballet dancers, the Shakespearean mini skit, the musicians.  We had a great time.  And a bonus... we found a cold stone creamery in Little Rock!!!  It was closed already on our way home.  But it's definitely on the list for a future date night. ;)

Larry has his fortune "read" (just for fun).  It was too funny!

I love date nights!!!  What about you?  Are you dating yet???

Daily Group Coupon Sites:

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Double Date Day!!!

Yesterday was a double date for me.  Not the kind you typically think of, though.  We didn't go out with another couple.  Instead *I* had a double date... as 2 dates in one day!!!  I'm turning into a girl that gets around, I tell ya! ;)

My first date of the day was with a dreamy guy.  He has these gorgeous brown eyes, big full lips, beautiful smile.  He's sweet, kind, and keeps me laughing all the time.  He's my son, Justus.  :) 

Justus enjoying his cheese dip

I sent him an invite, hinting at the things I had planned.  He figured about half of it out.  We started out by making a pitt stop at Walmart to pick up something for my SECOND date for that day (good thing he's not the jealous sort!).  Made a swing through Goodwill so he could see if anything caught his eye... nothing really did.  Then we headed on over to Santo Coyote.  This is Justus's favorite restaurant.  Mine too, if we're eating Mexican.  If you haven't... you should seriously check it out.  YUM!   They truly have the best cheese dip ever.
Checking out the mosquito net
So after we left the restaurant, Justus was chomping at the bit to know where we were going next.  He figured it was a museum, but couldn't figure out where.  In his invitation it mentioned a Heifer..  Which is how he figured out the museum.  When I scratched my head a bit at that he simply explained that a heifer is a cow, and cows go moo, therefore we must be going to a MOOseum!  Well duh... how could I miss that???  What he didn't realize was the MOOseum we were going to was all about cows!  LOL  It was the Heifer Village, actually.  Heifer Int'l is all about helping poverty stricken areas.  They gift a cow - or goat, or chickens, camels, whatever is needed in an area to a family.  This gives the family milk, cheese, etc to eat.. plus extra to either trade or sale for other things they need.  They also teach the people of the area about agriculture and ways to improve and work their land, etc.  Their goal is to give them something that can sustain them for a lifetime, not just handouts to help them today.  It's such a wonderful organization.  Justus and I both really enjoyed the tour of the green building, along with looking around the village.

Once we left the Heifer village, we (ok *I*) decided to head down to the River Market area.  He's been wanting to walk across the Junction Bridge for quite some time, so that's the first thing we did.  We didn't walk the whole way across the river.  Just over the Little Rock side. ;)  I made him pose for a bunch of pictures while up there tho.  Poor boy. ;)    I kind of wish I had taken him all the way across, but oh well.  Maybe next time. :)  It was interesting to see just how many people ride their bikes across tho!!!

 Afterwards, we walked down and looked at the sculptures in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden.  Now I'll be honest.  I had no idea this was there.  When I saw it online, I was excited to go.  Once I got there,I must say, I was a bit disappointed in the size of the sculptures.  They are all quite small, with the exception of one.  But we still enjoyed looking at them all, and found them quite interesting.  Justus even got to pick the nose of the resident Indian chief on the walk over to it. 

About the only thing we didn't do that I *tentatively* had planned, was the Nature Center.  I promised him we'd hit that on another day.  I did buy him a strawberry shake on the way home to make up for it. ;)

Once I got home, and the kids went to bed, I broke out my purchases from earlier that day.  I decided that I'd have a "no no" date... one that I don't plan on doing often.  But it wasn't our typical date night, so this was a bonus date anyway (well, and we never had a TRUE date night last week, tho we spent several nights playing games together).  Anyway I bought the movie Courageous for us to watch.  We had never seen it, but had been looking forward to it for quite some time.  I must say this is a terrific movie, and all we had expected it to be!  I love it, and encourage everyone to watch it.  But even better than the movie, was snuggling on the couch with my baby... We enjoyed it so much, when Courageous was over, we put on another movie and just continued to snuggle.  <3  Tonight, my kids are reaping the benifits of date nights.  2 kids are watching Courageous (one on dvd and one on blueray), 1 is watching Fireproof, and 1 is watching Facing the Giants.  I love their taste in movies! :)

Another great week for date nights!!  I hope you are all dating up a storm too.  Trust me... it's so worth it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Date 4 of 52... just playin' games

So this week was a bit of a down week as far as dates go.  I had planned a wii night, and so far that hasn't happened.  LOL  But we've been spending the evenings playing games, and talking, and just being together.  Without a prearranged date!  It's just coming naturally.  So I'm going to hold wii night in my pocket for one of those weeks I just don't feel like making a big plan, and pull it out then.

Also, I'm adding a button on my page.  If you want to begin "dating your spouse" and blog about it, PLEASE send me the link.  I'd LOVE to share it on my blog!!!!

LINKS to other dates:
Jennifer's First Date

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

He brings me flowers

So yesterday was supposed to be our date night.  However, my husband was on a date of his own... with our oldest son.  I wasn't feeling well, so called and asked if he minded if we postponed.  As it turned out, he didn't mind, and came home with a bad headache.  He also surprised me once again... with these beautiful things....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A few things about me you might find interesting....

So I thought I'd list a few things that I thought you might have wondered or whatever.  These are things that I randomly think that I should add to my blog.  Usually I think to add it when I am away from the computer (often at night trying to go to sleep), and the opportunity never presents itself.  LOL

  • I am a wife of 16.5 years.
  • I am a mother of 4.
  • I home school.
  • We live in a little podunk town in the middle of nowhere.  
  • We are NOT big drinkers (tho I realize that the bar/club date night out might imply otherwise.  We rarely drink anything at all.  Just wanted to put that one out there.)
  • I'm thinking about blogging about weight loss, since I really want to focus on this in my life.  
  • I am thinking about putting a "schedule" of post topics on here... such as Weigh In Monday, Putting Him First Tuesday, etc etc.  I think it would help me to remember to post things I tend to forget to post.  I haven't done it because I'm bad about keeping to schedules.
  • My other project going on right now is getting my house organized.  I've thought about adding a series detailing my progress.
  • There was more but I can't remember what they were!
Would anyone enjoy hearing about the new things to follow along with the dates?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rubbing elbows with the famous... date 3 of 52

Last night Larry and I had our 3rd date.  It was a special one.. the night we got to LEAVE THE HOUSE!!!  I arranged for my mom to watch the kids overnight, and started scrambling to try and figure out what to do.  The plan was having Larry's input on most of our nights out.  That way I know that we're doing something we both enjoy.  The problem was, neither of us had ANY idea what to do.   I've discovered we're no longer individuals with interests of our own... we our extensions of our children!  We just didn't know what to do without taking their interests in mind.

I have several gift certificates.  But I've also bought some gift certificates from Arkansas Daily Deal and other group websites.  (I've listed several group coupon websites that I like below)  My goal is to never eat at a restaurant that we've eaten before.  12 "day out" dates... 12 new restaurants.  This month, we settled on Salut Bistro.  I'd never heard of it and had no idea where it was.  I was definitely thankful for Genevieve Penelope Sassafrass (my GPS) that I got for Christmas. :)  Miss Sassy took us right to the parking lot.  However, once we were in the parking lot we had no idea where the restaurant was!!!  We wandered into a building there (there were several around), and luckily found it right away.

It was a quaint little bistro, with the nicest waitress.  We arrived a bit early (just before 5), and found out that their bar opened at 5 and their kitchen at 5:30.  The waitress was nice enough to talk the chef into opening the kitchen up for us!!!  There was a beautiful patio that I would have loved to have eaten out on... but it was just way to cold.   We had a nice little drink while we waited on our food.  Larry had a cucumber margarita.  I was leery of a cucumber flavor, but it was actually really good!!!  I had a strawberry lemonade that was quite yummy. :)  Then our food came, and it was quite delicious.  I really loved Larry's dish!!  He had the italian sausage tortellini.  Oh man it was sooo good.  Mine was good too but not as much as his.  Sure am glad I got a man that is willing to share!  ;)  It was a really good dining experience.  We had the place practically to ourselves, and it was nice and cozy.  We were able to talk, relax, and just enjoy ourselves.

After we left Salut Bistro, we decided to go down to RiverMarket area and check out a couple bars.  We saw that the Flying Saucer had a Trivia night on Tuesdays.  This was something we figured Larry would really enjoy, and was gonna check it out.  So we stop, and I have to pee pretty badly.  (keepin' it real y'all!).  So we walk up the couple blocks to the Flying Saucer, and it's REALLY packed.   We're not a fan of crowds, so we walk to WillyD's piano bar.  And their closed... it's just too early yet.  So we decide to walk around and just see what was going on.  So we walk up and down, and by this time I have to REALLY REALLY pee.  So we run into Stickyz so I can take care of business.  Sit down for a drink. There's not really many people in there.  A group of guys sitting beside us, 2 ladies at a table, and a family in the corner.  Suddenly we start noticing that the group of guys by us is garnering a lot of attention.  One of the waiters come over and asked for one of the guys picture before he leaves.  The young boy from the family came over and asked for his autograph.  Neither Larry nor I recognize him, with his dark glass frames, plaid jacket, etc.  We finally decided he must just be a local celebrity.  I even contemplated asking the waitress who he was, but figured I wouldn't know anyway.  I tried to get Larry to let me take his picture with Mr. Famous.  I wanted to post a blog poll to see who recognized him.  But I couldn't get Larry to go for it.  LOL 

So we leave and go and check the Flying Saucer out again.  It's about time for the Trivia tourney to start.  However, it's still super packed, so we decide not to even go inside.  We walk over to Willy D's to listen to the dueling pianos.  When we walk in, the place is empty.  It seems the pianos don't start dueling until 9, and it's not even 7:30 yet.  So we just decide to leave. As we are headed back to our van to leave, we see the same guy in front of Juanita's and realize he must be playing there.  So when we get home, I go to Juanita's website, I discover it's Drake Bell (from Drake and Josh) that we were sitting next to!!!!  I couldn't believe we had sit within ARMS REACH of the star of my kids favorite tv show, and didn't get a picture OR an autograph.  But ya know what... we still rubbed elbows with the famous. ;)

We came home quite early.  Much earlier than we planned.  We just realized that we don't enjoy the bar/club scene.  And from now one we will have a much more concrete plan in mind.  But once we got home we played games all night. :)  So it was a win!!  I didn't get many pictures of us at all.  There just didn't seem to be the opportunity.  But, this one that's on the side is so special to me.  I decided that 2012 was going to be about relationships.  And I've noticed such a difference in my relationship with Larry.  It was never bad, don't get me wrong.  But we had our rocky times, our tough spots.  And every relationship can be improved, right?  And we aren't perfect yet.  But we're holding hands every chance we get.  And he's opening my door all the time.  And it's nice. :)