Jun 11, 2011

Home Dates for April and May

I haven't been posting about this as regularly, but we have been doing our best to take those home dates. Here it is in June and this is still going since Valentine's Day, so I would say we are doing pretty well. In the last couple of months, we even managed to get a couple of (gasp!) "real" dates out of the house...with NO children! One was in Hawaii when we traded off with our friends and gave each other a nice night out. We ate at this restaurant that was over a Koi pond in the Grand Hyatt. Then we walked around the grounds and found a swing over looking the beach and the full moon. Sweet! I had our friend take a picture on our way out the door since it was such and epic moment, haha!
Our church also held a family date night where you could drop off your kids and go do something for a couple hours. So we took full advantage of that! The funny thing is, we picked the same restaurants as our good friends so when we walked in and saw them sitting there, we totally decided to eat together and had a nice UNINTERRUPTED dinner with friends. I didn't realize that could ever happen anymore.

Tone bought a little fire pit for our patio, so one night we broke it in and lit all the tiki torches around the edges of our backyard. I think we spent at least half of our "date" trying to get them to stay lit.A couple nights ago, we played games and made margaritas. We played "Scene It", in which I totally lost because I never remember names of movies and actors though I can remember every detail about plots. Then we played Skipbo and I won that game.

Though we don't always sneak in a date night every week like we would like, we do manage to get quality family time every week, and I think that that counts too even though the kids are included. The goal of date night is to spend purposeful time together and sometimes a family day counts I think. One day we broke the boat out and took it out for it's first spin of the summer with just us and our kids. No one else was out on the lake and we thoroughly enjoyed just being a family together. Another day was Tone's birthday so we went out for a family breakfast, and then went shopping for his birthday. We spent a lot of time in the Apple store that day and then discussed (and are still discussing a month later) the pros and cons of a new laptop or just an ipad. The problem is that we aren't sure if we want to make the full leap to Mac, many things we use are just not compatible, so he still hasn't bought his birthday present.

Ainsley's birthday was another family fun day that I posted about.

Then we spent the end of May and the first week in June visiting Washington DC with both our families. Tone was able to be there for about 4 days of it (he couldn't take vacation) so we toured the Smithsonians and the Memorials together and enjoyed my brother's house, so I consider that another time where memories were made together. We spent one whole day with the kids touring the American History and the Natural History Museum. The American History Museum had a large hands on area on the bottom floor that we spent one whole afternoon in. That was great family time!
Tone is gone again flying for the rest of this week until Thursday, so we won't get a date night this week. However, we have an upcoming camping trip with our lifegroup, so again, that will be quality family time spent. The best family memories are made in a tent out in the woods, swimming in the creek, and talking over the campfire.

Some weeks, we only had one night and both of us were too tired to put much effort into date night. A couple times we just kinda crashed on the couch together or gave each other massages. Not really a planned date, but at least we didn't retreat away from each other - me sequestered in the office and Tone watching TV on the couch (which would be typical).

I think the goal I had for date nights when we started was just to make sure we are taking purposeful time for each other. I think that since we have "date night" as a goal each week, we are also more aware and take quality time. So even though a couple of weeks weren't "home dates" per say, we did spend a lot of quality time as a family, and I think that that counts too. When Tone and I are eating together, running errands together, in the car together, or doing a project together, we talk and talk and talk. Even when the kids are with us. The kids do join in, yes, but we don't completely focus on them and we aren't "child centered". They sorta enter in to whatever Tone and I are doing and we doing a lot of talking and they are often quiet. We do engage them in conversation and the activities, but it's not all about them. I like to think we are more " whole family centered" which is healthier in my mind. We are being purposeful in staying connected to each other and that trickles down to the whole family unit.

June is going to be a tricky month to fit in home dates because we are so busy, but we'll see what we can manage to do...

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