Monday, February 27, 2012

Penelope and Morty February Date

Morty and I hardly ever have a babysitter so we decided to meet for lunch on Valentine's Day. We went to a Japanese steak house and had amazing food! (I also slipped in a couple glasses of wine). We thought it would be really busy but there was only one other couple at our table. The poor chef only had 4 people to entertain with his onion volcano.
I'm looking forward to next months date!

Kenzie & Dan

Married at the Courthouse - 05.01.2009

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Our February "Not Really A Date"

We don't technically have our February date for another week and a half, but since yesterday was Valentine's Day and we spent 12 straight hours kid free and together for work I thought I'd write about that as our February date. It ended up being such a special and inspiring day that I wanted to share it.

We had a client meeting in Northern New Jersey, about 2.5 hours away from where we live so we dropped the kids at Grammie and Papa's house and drove to the meeting. Our client is J and his wife is L. They are both 55 years old. This was our first time meeting them in person, even though we have been doing work for J for several months (we have a web marketing company, he has a home improvement business).

After we all went for lunch, Dan met with J in their home office and I sat and talked with L in the living room for about 2 hours. L is permanently disabled and disfigured from a disease that in the beginning of it (about 15 years ago) left her completely bedridden, in her second story apartment, for two years. Over the years she has been told a number of times she only had a short time to live.

A year into her 2 year bedridden state, J came to visit her at her house (they had gone to high school together, but weren't connected after that. He had heard about her and her illness and wanted to visit). After 4 straight nights of visiting her, he found a way to get her out of the house and drove her around town so she could feel the wind in her hair. He did that for several nights in a row. Two weeks later he proposed to her. She was stunned and after she improved and was no longer bedridden, they got married.

Two things really struck me about this couple and these two things just made for a surprisingly beautiful Valentine's Day.

The first was that she has the most amazingly positive attitude. I have never met anyone like her. She's a "Jersey Girl" at heart, although her disease has ravaged her body and she looks much older than her 55 years. But she is the kind of person that after spending just 30 minutes with her, you just truly do not see her disability or disfigurement and she really is beautiful. She has NO complaints, even though she is in constant pain. She feels NO sadness for herself, even though it's very hard for her to walk and do other daily things. She feels SO much love for so many people and talks about everyone as if they hung the moon. She even gave so much grace to the nurse, who during one of her recent surgeries threw away the bones (!!!) that her doctor was supposed to be putting back into her finger after he removed them to do some work. (Sorry if that was TMI!). While I was there she got a phone call from a veterinarian that she has never even met and, to make a long story short, offered to pay for someone's vet bill if they can't afford it--all the Dr. needs to do is call her. She is just that kind of person. (She wasn't scammed...she contacted the vet first).

Ok so that's the first thing--I was just so unexpectedly inspired by this beautifully fragile, yet strong, human being who has so little in terms of physical ability, yet is thankful for so much.

The second thing that struck me, and is the main reason I wanted to post this as our date, is about the love that J has for L. He outright pursued and chose her when she was unable to even move in bed. She couldn't do a thing for him and he, at that time, had to do everything for her. And now, everything he does, is still for her. He works only so he can provide for her and make her happy. Every word that comes out of his mouth about her is praise for her. Not in a sickening way, because really, she is that wonderful. But he just LOVES her with generosity, humility and true selflessness. And honestly...looking at him, and even hearing him talk about other things, you wouldn't expect it. He is a Jersey Guy, right down to a diamond stud in each ear. :) I really wish I had heard his side of the story about why and how he chose her, but maybe some day.

L credits J with a lot of her recovery and current stability. Her doctors say she is in a state of remission and hasn't gotten any worse in recent years and some things have gotten better. Dan and I had a lot to talk about during our drive back to PA from NJ last night. We both learned a lot. I think True Love helped her heal and it's so inspiring to see what they are doing for each other--and many other people-- through the simple testimony of their life lived with so much gratitude.

(Our next date will be less serious.....I promise). :)

Please pass the cheese!!! Famous Couples Challenge Winners

Here is the video I promised with the winners of the Famous Couples Challenge contest.  Matt and I cheesed it up for your entertainment.  We had a professional 7 year old camera man who offers his own commentary at times.  Congratulations to our winners! Your prize will be on the way soon~

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day 2012!

Happy Valentine's Day to you and your loved one!

Tell us in the comments- what was your wedding song?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Steph & Craig February Date

Happy Valentine's Day Month. Craigger was responsible for planning this month's date. It must have weighed on his mind because he tried to cancel saying he could not come up with something. I tried to explain that the idea is not to go crazy with the idea, just to have a date, big, small, short, long, it really does not matter. Anyway, he decided to go with a theme, "Things We Have Not Done Together."
Roller Skating was our first stop.
Both of us have skated, just not together. Quite frankly, I don't believe I have been on skates since the early 80's at school skate parties. . We had to giggle at the skate hander outer behind the counter, all 59 pounds of him. He was throwing Craig some grief as Craig did not get the appropriate hand stamp to rent skates. I think he felt like we were trying to pull a fast one on him. Really????? We had to put him in his 16 year old place (I still think he had to have used a fake 16 year old I need a job to buy m&m's ID), he did not look older than 12. He finally accepted the fact that the stamp may have rubbed off and gave us our skates. I chose the 2x2's, Craig went with the inlines. Skating is not like bike riding, it does not "all come back to ya." Grace was not present with me that night. These little fool kids would speed all around me as I tried to just stay upright. Craig was a natural. His hockey days seemed to translate with the inline thing. He was a master skater. If he ever quits his day job he should consider buying up a whistle and becoming a skate guard for sure.
After the fun of the skating game had worn off, and the shin splints had start to set in, we decided to call it quits. We turned our wheels in and headed to the PacMan game for one quick round. A much quicker round for me than Craig. Quite obviously, someone must practice when no one is looking!

We had really worked up an appetite with all of that skating and game playing, so we headed right downtown to Baby Blue for the some sushi. Again, both of us have had sushi, just not as a couple. You have to allow for patience at Old Market eateries during the Valentine season, post Creighton game crowds, and the fact that it was a Saturday night. The wait was going to be an hour or more. Left us only one solution, Sake Bar. Some lovely patrons finished up, we took their spot and forget that hour wait. Plus, being at the bar, you get great insight as to which Martini's have the most booze. This is only to help my Craig's window of opportunity if you catch this tired mom's drift.We ordered up quite a few sushi rolls, the "Itchy Sea Bass" turned out to the favorite. Usually one would stay away from items that include the word itchy but the fact that sea bass followed that adjective teased our palate. Yum Yum!
After 3 martinis, much sushi, and fried ice cream, we called it good and headed back over the state line. We stopped for a quick drink at the Keg Creek, and ended the night with some friends celebrating a 40th birthday. What a fun filled night. I believe I will be planning the March date and I am challenging myself to have a fun at home date. Thanks to Amber and Matt for including us in the fun.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Jason & Mindy - January Date

The day that we decided to kick the dating project off it was 65 degrees. Mindy came up with a great plan for us to go out and enjoy the weather by playing Frisbee golf. One of our very first dates in Ames was spent Frisbee golfing, and it was an activity that we've both always talked about doing again sometime when we get the chance.

Unfortunately, it got to be 5:00p.m., daycare was running late, and the sunlight faded a little too soon for us to make it to a Frisbee golf course anywhere close-by. Our babysitter arrived and we had to scramble for a quick Plan B!!

I came in the house to change out of my work clothes, and had an idea. I searched a couple websites and came across an events calendar for the Omaha/Council Bluffs area. There in front of me was our Plan skating at the Mid-America Center. Bingo!!

When we arrived at the Mid-America Center we picked up our skates and strapped them on. We headed out onto the ice and began instantly pulling off triple axels, back flips, and an assortment of other skilled ice skating moves. It was just like being in the Olympics, only it was the Mid America Center and Council Bluffs. Ok, so we didn't really have any sweet moves, but neither of us fell the entire time and we had a lot of fun skating together.

After we were done ice skating we went on to Michael's in the Old Market for dinner. The service was lousy and the food was not much better, but once again just spending an evening together made it alright. We shared an order of fajitas and enjoyed each others company.

As a tradition, no date is ever complete without dessert. We stopped at the new Freddy's restaurant in Council Bluffs for ice cream. That definitely made up for our Michael's experience. We were extremely stuffed and ready to call it a night.

January was a great date and we look forward to 11 more months of fun!

Daniel & Katie January Date Night

I have dreaded posting January's date night because it was pretty lame. We had dinner on January 30th at Longhorn Steakhouse, did have nice conversation & used the questions that were posted to try to learn a little about each other. Had fun with the questions and really good food! Afterward we took our date to Target for diapers and pull-ups. Shopped around and goofed off for awhile, neither of us could remember the last time we went shopping together without our kids. We had a good time but both agreed that we need to be a little more adventurous with our dates, going to try to amp up the romance factor this month. Katie

Kenzie & Dan - January Date Night

To be honest, I was kind of dissappointed in our first Date Night, but we did what we could, as best as we could, all while both of us were sick. One of our most favorite things to do together is to try out new recipes at home. Since we had both been sick for about a week, we were TOTALLY chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese'd out and really wanted something GOOD. I had a recipe (found on Pinterest, of course) that I had wanted to try, so we made our trip to the store together, browsed up and down the isles, and found all ingredients to make our very own, homemade GYRO's. :) We came home, cooked those bad boys up, and talked about things we could do for our next date. After eating (recipe was sort-of a dud), we stepped outside to let out our doggies, and heard our neighbor yell at us to "Come on over!" Oh boy, did we really have to? I mean, after all, we were on a Date Night at home, not dressed very well (I don't think I had but a little bit of mascara on my face), and we were ready to snuggle in and watch a movie. Dan said "Ahh, what the heck? Come on, let's go over there for a minute and just say Hi." We haven't had much of a chance to ever get to know our neighbor, as we are fairly new to the community. We did know that he used to be the old Art teacher at the High School here, and he ended up re-modeling his garage and turned it into his very own "Art Showcase." He showed us around his "gallery", and showed us a few steps on how he makes his pottery. Very cool, very impressive I must say! I wish I would have had my phone at the time so I could take a few pictures of him in action, but I left it on the kitchen counter at home. After about a half hour, we left and came back home. Not exactly how we wanted to spend the rest of our Date Night, but by the time we got home and laughed about it for a little bit (he's a little different), we were ready for bed!
I know, not too exciting, but like I said, we had both been fighting bad head colds for a week or so. Can't wait to plan our February date...

Favorite Valentine's Day Bonus Point Challenge

Valentine's Day is a week away!  Share with us your favorite Valentine's Day memory.  It could be a romantic date, an evening in, a special gift, or how your plans went totally NOT according to plan!  Think back through your years together and share one of your favorite memories in the comment section on this post for a bonus entry!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Another fantastically fun idea!

The Dating Divas has featured guest blogger Stephanie from My Life as a Wife today.  Stephanie shared  a super funny date idea for your Valentine's dinner.  Be sure to check out her blog for the details, but I think this one is so funny, I have to share some of my favorite parts:

Each day leading up to Valentine's Day, text your spouse a question-depending on what answers they give you is how your date will turn out.  Some of the questions are:

Do you like it slow or fast?
Do you like it wet or dry?
Do you like it hard or soft? 

I think you could have so much fun with this idea.  You can also find several other date ideas on My Life as a Wife.  Check it out and get to planning!

Krystal and Justin - Wedding Photo

This was taken on July 11, 1998.

Krystal and Justin - January Date!

We are super creative people, so we decided that we would go and see a movie for our date night. Our younger son had a sleepover to attend, so we asked my mom and dad to watch our older son while we went out. After dropping him off, we headed to the Marcus Theater at Midtown Crossing. We have always wanted to try the dine-in theater option. We chose Girl with a Dragon Tattoo because I've read the books and really wanted to see the movie. The food was really tasty! It is somewhat awkward to eat during the movie because you are trying not to chomp and make noise during the quiet parts. After the movie, we didn't want to be out too late because it was Saturday night and we didn't want our sons to miss Sunday school the next morning. I know, a pretty straightforward date night, but we have some more interesting stories coming up (how we met, first date, etc.). We are looking forward to a date each month and coming up with some more creative places to go!

p.s. This is not a photo of us on our date, but the most recent photo of us together. We forgot to take a picture on our date night. . .

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Want to get fun and crazy?

Enter the Focus On Love contest at Focus on the Family's facebook page. Click here for all of the details!  And if you do create an entry video-  you have to be sure to post it here for us- we promise we will go and vote for you!!

Thanks Monica for sharing this opportunity with us!

Priorities in Marriage

The website Thriving Family has a great article on priorities in a marriage. You can read the article here. Most of this in this challenge have children and this article focuses on making time for your spouse your number one priority.

The articles states,  "We can engage in an endless number of fun, productive and even spiritual activities that ultimately take us away from the high calling of being a wife." It continues to say, "...where saying "yes" to my marriage will inevitably mean saying "no" to many other good things." 

I hope you will take the time to visit the Thriving Family link above and read the article.  It goes on to give practical steps to help prioritize your marriage (one of these being date nights!)

Let me know what you think!

Creative Love Letter Ideas

With Valentine's Day just around the corner what a perfect time to compose a love letter to your darling.  Through a different blog, I came across Loving Whisper that had some great ideas for creating a special message for your spouse. 

If you read about Roby and Josh's date- here is one they can try next time they try to get in the tub!

#8 - The Floating Love Letter

It's a! Lonnie and Monica January Date

We are so fortunate to have both of our families live in town. We are even more fortunate that they are willing to watch our kids. Almost every weekend my in-laws volunteer to take our kids. We used to take advantage of this and use it as date time but since the 4th kiddo arrived it hasn't been as easy. She is older now and willing to go to grandma's with the boys so we are very excited to get back to dating.  Our first date was fantastic! We had only a small agenda, go to lunch, run a few errands and see where we ended up. My husband recently traded for a "new" van and we had to stop and pick up the extra set of keys. That was really the only thing that had to be done so once it was crossed off the list we were free to be...him and me. Ha! Does any one else know that song? Ok, I will warn you now I am easily distracted... anyway...We started driving and ended up at Hector's, not exactly a dream date location but we wanted to try some place we hadn't been. It was a good place for lunch, the service was fantastic and the food was good. We probably won't rush back but would definitely go back if we were in the neighborhood. We continued our journey west and ended up at Oakveiw. Again a few more short errands and we were back in the van. As we began talking about plans for supper we realize it is way to early to go eat plus we were both still full from lunch so we talk about going home to cook supper. A short stop off at Absolute Fresh Seafood and we are headed home with the BEST scallops you will ever eat in your life! But we were too tired to cook and decide after a pit stop at home to let the dogs out we would head over to Plattsmouth hubby says only the best for his ol' lady. Actually we love to eat there. It is cheap, good food. The service is always fast and we are hopeful that we will hit the jackpot some day.  Usually we win enough to cover supper and the bridge toll. That would not be the case this time but we were lucky enough to run into the Dyer/Lincoln family. That is almost like a jackpot....even if they wouldn't buy our dinner. We had a lot of fun together that day. We even started a list of places we would like to go on future dates. All restaurants of course. I am really looking forward to participating in this little experiment and getting date ideas from everyone else.

Side note: Hubby cooked the scallops with fillet for me the next night. Yummo! I do love him.

The Bathtub Incident-January Date

We actually completed our January date a few weeks ago, however, I am ever the procrastinator. You will most likely notice that pattern the rest of the year. We were lucky enough to have an overnight babysitter (my amazing mother in law). We were so giddy about having an evening....overnight evening....without kiddos! We had no idea where to go for dinner so I suggested we should try someplace new. We hopped in the car, with no idea where we were going, only to find that the main route out of our neighborhood was being blocked by a HUGE barn, being towed by a semi...with another semi behind it carrying a HUGE silo. There were police cars everywhere and it made for interesting conversation.

We found a different route out of the neighborhood and headed toward 168th and Center to look for a new place to dine. We decided on Shucks as we had never been and I LOVE raw oysters, Josh will eat them too but I wouldn't say he loves them.....and you know what they say about raw oysters. :) So, we walked into the restaurant and immediately decided that the atmosphere was not date night atmosphere at all. We left. We ended up at Vincenzo's. We had to wait a good 45 minutes to eat and we were not impressed. The food was ok, the atmosphere was ok, the service was good, but it was nothing special. We really enjoyed the house wine. We decided to stop at Hy-Vee, grab more wine, and go home and try to create a romantic evening. We drew a hot bubble bath, lit candles, played some fun music really loud over the surround sound and I climbed in with my glass of wine. Next, here comes Josh, only as he is climbing in, he knocks his glass of wine off of the edge of the tub into the water and it shatters! So I am sitting in the tub afraid to move. Thanks to the wine, this was quite funny to both of us. He grabbed the large pieces out and I very carefully stood up and got out, hoping not to get cut. We cleaned up the remaining glass and started to draw another bath, only we were totally out of hot water. So, we nixed that fun idea. Years ago, I attended one of those "slumber parties" and had purchased a romantic couples game, complete with game board and all. We had never even opened it and decided to try it out. It had potential.....but we ended up falling asleep before it really got fun. We are both looking forward to our February date....hoping it is a little more romantic!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Famous Couples Challenge

Happy February!  Enter to win a prize by solving this famous couples challenge! 

Directions:  Work together with your spouse to correctly identify these famous couples.  Correct answers can be in the form of their character name or their real names (where this applies).  Submit your answers via email to Amber no later than February 13th.  Leave a comment on this blog post when you have emailed me your answers. 

The winner will be determined by the couple with the most correct answers.  In the event of a tie, I will hold a random drawing.  If I can get it to work again, I will announce the winner via vlog.  (a video post) 

Good Luck and have fun together!