This summer, I decided to take some time off from blogging. It’s something I really enjoy, but I think with every good thing, there’s a needed time for a break. And I appreciated that break. It allowed me to focus on my family, get back into God’s Word, and re-evaluate how I had been structuring my day.
Our summer wasn’t busy with travel, but we did stay active as a family. Beyond the regular work schedules, we spent a lot of time outdoors. We went to the beach, took many walks, went to some fairs in the area, and enjoyed local attractions.
I even got back in the pool to swim twice a week this summer. It was something I missed doing after having my son, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to get back into a regular exercise routine. My son and I also enjoyed walking almost every day. It’s something that we’ve done together since he was in the womb.
As summer begins to wind down, I think this is the first time I’m genuinely looking forward to fall. I’m usually heartbroken that summer goes so quickly, but with age, I’ve really come to appreciate all four seasons.
I don’t think the cold of winter will ever completely grow on me, but I do love being outside during each season of the year and looking at the transformation that happens. It’s also been nice to look at what activities can be done year-round or seasonally within our area. There’s always so much to learn and enjoy.
It’s been six months since my husband and I started the 2-dates a month commitment. We decided to start this back in February of 2017 because we realized we hadn’t been spending a lot of quality time together. Life’s demands seem to pull us away from one another pretty easily, and we get distracted and can forget the importance of spending quality time with one another.
We have family that is willing to babysit our little guy during our time together, and two dates a month have seemed to be a great fit for our schedules. Anything more, and I think it would be difficult to keep the commitment because of our work and family schedules.
6-months in, and we’re still happily going strong!
We’ve Been Able to Re-Connect Away from our Daily Lives
When I asked my husband how he thought our date nights were going up to this point, his reply was, “Great!” He says that he’s enjoyed having the time to ourselves. And he agreed that it’s all too easy to not plan time together, and these planned date nights have helped do that.
Most days, it’s difficult for my husband and I to actually have a conversation or even just time to ourselves. It’s not uncommon to hear me asking, “Can you watch our son so that I can use the bathroom?” (And I could probably include our dog in that sentence as well).
Or, “Can I have 10 minutes to get ready without anyone barging in the bedroom?
As soon as I enter our bedroom to get ready, my toddler and dog are usually quick to follow. This is often followed by my dog running under the bed to hide for cover, and my son trying to pry the dog out from under the bed so that he can “ride” the dog. My husband will then enter the bedroom, trying to get our dog out from under the bed.
Looking at our Basset Hound, this might seem like a simple task, but one quickly realizes that being the stocky 70 lb. dog that he is, he uses his low center of gravity, stubbornness, and excessive amount wrinkly skin to his advantage.
Our son will continue to try and crawl under the bed in an attempt grab our dog’s ears or legs to “help” get him out, all the while, laughing.
Thankfully, our dog is always a good sport about it, and I secretly think he loves all the attention. It’s quite the scene. And this is pretty much the norm between the two of them every day.
With my husband and I having limited alone time, it’s easy for us to not check in with one another.
With these dates, it’s allowed us to slow down and really check-in with the other person. Even if the date night is going out and watching a movie, we still have that time on the drive there and back to just talk, laugh, or catch up.
We need to touch base with what’s happening in our individual lives. It’s important for me to know how things are going for my husband at work. I don’t necessarily need to know all the details, but I believe it’s important for me to know what he thinks about his job experiences, and how he might be processing that. Or, I often share with my husband how things are going for me at home while he’s away. It allows him to have a glimpse into my life and be there for me in ways that he may not understand if we weren’t able to communicate.
I believe these dates have really ignited in us a willingness to check in more frequently. We now usually try and ask each other each day, “How is your day going?” Because I may interpret the day one way, but my husband may interpret the day differently. It’s important that we are in-tune with one another and support one another in our needs.
When the days get busy, it’s nice to recognize the importance of the commitment we’ve made in our marriage, and to really love the other person by putting aside the time to re-connect.
We Have Fun Together
I’m not saying we didn’t have fun together before our date night commitment, but there’s something about planning the time together that enhanced our relationship by giving us the opportunity to be with one another without other distractions.
We can be ourselves with one another, and we don’t have to be “Mom” or “Dad” for that time, we can simply be husband and wife. I’ve realized just how much I love my husband’s giving spirit, his infectious laugh, and goofy personality. It’s nice to have him all to myself, even if it’s just for a little while.
It’s also been nice to have a break from a regular routine or difficult circumstances. As some may be aware from a previous post, my dad was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer this year. (Praise, Jesus! He’s doing so much better to date, and he is most recently completely off of chemotherapy).
There’s been ups and downs during this year, but it’s been nice to have the support of my husband throughout this time. It’s also been great to have the date nights as a time to have fun, let go, and just be.
Healthy distractions during difficult circumstances can sometimes be helpful. I think they are a good reminder that there is beauty in each day, and that we really don’t have to look too far to see it.
My husband and I have found beauty in simply being together. When we slow down, and take the time to enjoy one another, we truly learn to appreciate one another.
We also always look forward to the date day or night for the month. The waiting, planning, and anticipation are all a fun part of the process as well. It gives us something to talk about as the next date night approaches. We discuss what we might like to do, where we’d like to go, or what might be of interest to the other person.
It’s also been really helpful to know that we’ll have 2-dates a month when planning for special celebrations like birthdays or our anniversary. We are often able to plan the date nights around those special occasions.
It’s been a fun year dating my spouse up to this point, and I’m looking forward to our dates throughout the remaining part of this year, going into January of 2018.
It will be interesting to see how our date nights will continue into the year 2018. I’m not sure that we’ll always use social media as an accountability for our dates twice a month. But, I do hope that as this commitment continues, others will be inspired to date their spouses.
Don’t hesitate to take a picture on a date night!
I now love that I have more pictures of my husband and I together because almost all my pictures before this year were of our son (who is wonderful). But, our marriage is important, and Lord willing, it will continue well past the time that our child(ren) are grown and out of our home.