Thursday, May 31, 2012

Steph and Craig May Date

We did not get an April date in so we made up for it with our May date in a big way. We are currently enjoying a fabulous date weekend here in Scottsdale! We landed at 9 this morning. We chose Scottsdale in June because we have both been here before and did not want to do much more than hang out and do nothing! We did just that today! We chose the gorgeous Phoenician Resort, old school and a class act. I have not been called Mrs. Patzer this much since I was a teacher. We hung at the pool for over 4 hours, eating, drinking, swimming and sleeping (Craig). I read half a book. Who does that when they are a mom? I rocked it with the SPF 50, no sunburn ~ so I will enjoy my massage tomorrow. My milky white skin cannot take much! We had some great talking points, met some lovely Kanooks and balked at the cost of drinks ~ $20 per drink. We came back, put out the do not disturb sign and played reindeer games, aka Shades of Grey. We showered up and headed to Fashion Squarebtondo what we do best ~ shop! We actually did not buy anything but found a great deal. Next time. We ate some sushi and had some really good chit chat. We shopped some more and headed back, the time change is killer. We are gearing up for our June date tomorrow, a big old hike up Camelback. We need to do this 1x a year.

What I'd Wish I'd Known...

One of my favorite author and speakers, Dr. Gary Chapman, had a fantastic broadcast on Focus on the Family.  You can click here to listen to this program. This is part one called "Building a Strong Foundation for Your Marriage". 

"There's more to marriage than loving each other" Dr. Chapman says in his book, Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married. 

Tell us here in the comments for a chance to win another one of Gary Chapman's books- 

What is something you or your spouse wish you / them knew before you got married?  Leave your comment by June 15.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dan and Tara: May Date

We went to the Outer Banks last week with some good friends, a tradition we started several years ago. The several friends we went with had 6 "older" kids between them (ages 12 - 20). So we really had plenty o' time to ourselves while the kids occupied our 3 and 4 year olds in the pool, with games, in the movie room, etc. We even had plenty of help at nap time which was awesome!

But we did go out on a date one night, to the same restaurant we always go to in Duck, NC. It was delicious as usual (well, last year wasn't delicious because I tried soft shell crabs on a whim...YUCK..never again). Then we went to another restaurant and tried to get a drink at their outside, bay front bar. We sat there for 15 minutes and weren't acknowledged once by the bartender! It was so weird.

So we left, bought a bottle of wine elsewhere, and sat on the beach to drink it until the sun went down, which was WAY better than the bar anyway! I'm sure that will now be part of the tradition in years to come.

Keeping Fun in Your Marriage

Monica came across another great resource for us she wanted to share.  If you haven't ever checked out some of the broadcasts on Focus on the Family you are missing out.   They have some absolutely fantastic shows on a variety of topics.

 This broadcast on May 8 was called "Injecting Fun Into Your Marriage".  Click here to listen to this broadcast.  As I listened to it, they go over simple ways to make time for your dates!  I have noticed the date summaries have gone down the past few months and I hope that each of us can remember to make it a point to spend some simple, fun time together for your relationship.  ( But maybe everyone is still getting dates in, just not having time to write a summary!)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

52 Things To Remember

I came across this idea today on Pinterest so wanted to share it....I hope to find time to do it! And please share with the rest of us if you do it!

52 Things To Remember

Friday, May 25, 2012

Emotional Intimacy

Lovebird Monica was kind enough to pass on an article that you might find interesting.  A link to this article can be found here.  It is titled "Seven Ways To Develop Emotional Intimacy In Your Marriage". 

No matter how many years you have been married, author Jill Savage suggests that all couples can benefit from strengthening their emotional intimacy.

If you ever come across anything else that might be good for us to share with the other love birds, be sure to pass it on and I'll get it posted!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Amber and Matt May Date Summary

Since we didn't get a date in for April, I wanted to make sure we were able to get a date in for May.  The month is half over and our new baby is due any day now.  I know that we might not get time for a date with just the two of us over the next few months so I tried to think of something special we could do.  I know going out to eat is not really that special and nothing too exciting however!  I have always wanted to go to a place in Omaha called Lo Sole Mio.  I have always heard how wonderful their food is (the best around) and wanted to go for years.  Both Matt and I have never been there so that made it kind of fun. I looked it up online and was actually surprised that it is not actually as "fancy" as I had thought it was.  It is nice but still a bit casual.  You could be in jeans and a nice shirt or a dress and suit. 

My grandma and grandpa were going to take our son Brock and his cousins to the Three Stooges at the local theater so I knew we had a babysitter for the evening (our problem last month).  I hadn't really told Matt about my date night plans in advance however.  Friday morning Matt came home from work and went straight to track day at the school. He came home at noon to sleep until 5:30 when he had to be up to coach B's baseball game.  Later that night Matt headed back in to work.  Saturday morning he was off at 7 and we met him uptown for breakfast before he started an overtime shift at 8:30 for the parade.  After the parade (and the day after payday) we did a big grocery shop and he finally got home to go to bed around 3 in the afternoon.  I dropped Brock off at 6:30 at grandmas and came home to the quiet house.  I was bored out of my mind and I really wanted to go out on my date but knew how tired my hubby was!

At 8 I woke him up and told him my plan.  He didn't realize it was so late so he was fine to wake up and go!  It was pouring rain and we had no idea where this place was but GPS took us right there!

We got right in and had  a nice table in the corner.  The place was pretty quiet.  I had heard the food was huge and that was no lie!! It could have served 3-4 people so I was happy with our yummy leftovers!  Dinner and conversation was great and I am glad I got a little "alone" time with my man before our life turns upside down with the new baby!!!

** We don't have any pics because when I ordered  us a cannoli for dessert to take a cute little cheesy date night picture, Matt said, "does everything have to be about your facebook status or blogs?"  and totally ruined my moment. So, um, yeah.  I of course got teary (I'm a little adoptive emotional) and said something like- I wish you would just see how important these dates are to me and actually want to go on them and plan something for us instead of every date being a dud because you always make me mad because you are not romantic enough and this date night blog is important to me and I'm trying to win the jackpot for us by making sure we get a date each month and I don't think you even care if we go on dates .....or something along those lines.  And then I was pretty much a sour puss the rest of the drive home after Matt tried to say he was sorry and offered to take the picture but of course I was too stubborn to do it.  I know- this may totally come as a shock to some of you!

:)  But luckly, I don't stay pouty for long!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Robyn and Josh Funeral Date April 2012

Unfortunately, the only time Josh and I had alone this month was to attend a funeral for a good friend's father.  Not exactly our idea of a great date night.  The funeral was in the evening on a Friday and afterwords, a few of us went to The Holiday for drinks.  Josh and I called it an early night before things got too crazy.  We drove through the Taco Bell drive thru on our way home, climbed into bed and called it a night by 10:45pm.  REAL EXCITING we are!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Krystal and Justin - Love Story

Group photo - Back row - Krystal, Jim, Suzanne, Captain Gino, Adam.  Front row - Kristie, Kim, Carl, Justin

Krystal, Justin, Suzanne, and Kim at Hope Town Light House

Justin and Krystal on the Lion's Paw

Krystal snorkeling

Suzanne, Krystal, Carl (buried), Adam, and Justin

Justin snorkeling

Love story (narrated by Krystal). 

When people ask how Justin and I met, I usually give them the super-condensed version of the story and say we met during a youth group trip to the Bahamas.  Or sometimes, if I feel I might seem like it's bragging to say it was in the Bahamas, I'll just say we met in a youth group.

But, I'll write the long version here.  I'll start with what led us to meet in the first place.  The summer prior to my Sophomore year of high school had been tough.  I had been a cheerleader my Freshman year and did not get picked for the team after tryouts for my Sophomore year.  This was the most devastating thing that could ever happen, from my little 15-year-old perspective.  I remember sobbing, hugging my mom for what seemed like eternity, and then moping around the house for days.  Eventually, I picked myself up, brushed off the dust, and decided I could find other things to do.  I joined the cross-country team, in which I discovered my love for running.  I also joined a group called Exploring, which was the young adult division of the Boy Scouts of America.  It was a group meant to help both young men and young women explore different career options.  My Exploring post met at Chalco Hills Recreation Area in Nebraska.  I still remember the nice leader named Bob who volunteered his time to help us kids out.

At one of the Exploring meetings, there was a flyer about a group called a "High Adventure Post".  It was basically an Exploring post that was dedicated to taking a sailing trip to the High Adventure Sea Base in the Bahamas.  I grabbed the flyer and knew right away that I was DEFINITELY going on the trip.  It took a lot of begging and pleading, but eventually my mom called the number on this flyer and asked about a million questions to Justin and his parents, who were arranging the trip.  After my mom learned that we would have plenty of safety, supervision, etc., she finally agreed that I could go if I would get a job to pay for the expense of the trip.  So, I began carrying out groceries at Baker's Supermarket and saving my paychecks!  

I spent the next few months busy with school, running, friends, working, and obsessing over photos of the clear, turquoise water with white sand and colorful fish that I would see in the Bahamas.  During the preparations for the Bahamas trip, I did meet Justin in person a couple of times.  The first time was at a planning meeting on the UNO campus.  The other time was at a fundraising car wash.  

Finally, it was time to go on the trip.  The week was everything I expected it to be, and more.  The group of guys and girls was a great mix of personalities.  We all chipped in with the work and learned how to sail from the captain of our ship named Captain Gino.  His ship was called the Lion's Paw and she was his baby.  We toured the island of Great Abaco, Bahamas by bicycle.  We ate conch fritters and grouper burgers (pronounced "groupah buh-gahs" in Bahamian).  We fished off the side of the ship, snorkeled, swam, and played on the white sand beaches.  

One night was particularly memorable.  We convinced Captain Gino to let us sleep on an uninhabited beach on Great Guana Cay.  We had a campfire, told stories, and slept under the stars.  Justin and I stayed awake talking after the others had fallen asleep.  We decided to build some sand sculptures, so we built a Mickey Mouse and a starfish by the light of the moon.  I would have kissed him, but Justin didn't try to make any "moves".  I know now that he was super shy, but back then, I thought maybe he didn't like me in "that way", maybe more of a friend.  I was actually pretty impressed that he didn't try any Don Juan stuff.  That made him very different from the other guys I knew.

When we returned from the trip, Justin and I kept finding ways to keep calling each other or getting together.  I was dating a guy at my school who was super nice, but I kept thinking about Justin.  I finally broke it off with the other guy and decided to ask Justin to my Junior Prom.  He said he would go and also asked me if I would go to his Senior prom.  Our proms were on the same weekend, mine was Friday and Justin's was Saturday.  It was such a culture shock for both of us to experience the other person's prom.  I attended a fairly large high school with nearly 500 students in my class.  Justin was from a very small town with about 30 students in his class.  My prom was in a rented facility, with a fancy DJ, disco ball, strobe lights, etc.  Boyz II Men was the popular music that night.  Fast forward to the next evening, in Justin's hometown.  The parents lined up to see all the couples walk into the high school gymnasium.  There was a live band called On the Fritz.  They played a mixture of hair band music and rock.  There were door prizes, the teachers hung out with us, and us girls kicked our shoes off.  We definitely had the best of both worlds that weekend!

From this point on, we dated pretty much every weekend Justin's parents would let him drive the hour and a half to my house.  After Justin graduated from high school, he decided to go to Creighton University in Omaha, NE.  A year later, when I graduated from high school, I decided to attend the Unvierstiy of Nebraska at Omaha in order to stay close to where Justin was.  Our college years were spent studying, working, and traveling, but we always found time for each other.  One regret I have is that Justin turned down an opportunity to do a college internship program at Walt Disney World, one of his favorite places.  He would only go if I went, and I didn't want to quit my job at Hyatt in order to go for the summer.  But, who knows, maybe he will get to work there someday!

We got married on July 11, 1998, my senior year in college.  The first year or so of marriage was rough.  We were both young, naive, and inexperienced with life in general (like many young adults in their early twenties, I'm sure).  This wasn't the Bahamas, Hawaii, or Prom Weekend.  This was work, rent, bills, laundry, decisions about careers - ick!!!  There were some other issues that I won't go into.  We don't dwell on the difficult times, but will always be part of our story in some way.  At some point we decided to be on each other's team and cheer for each other.  Things started to work better when we thought of it that way.  We've made it almost 14 years.  I feel so blessed to have this life with Justin, our two boys, and our doggy and kitty!        

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Krystal and Justin - April Date Night

Ok, I just wrote a more descriptive summary of our date and somehow deleted it, so here is the Cliff's Notes version. We went and grabbed some wine and beer and then rented Limitless. It has been great to spend more time together!

Dan & Kenzie May Date!

Total spur of the moment date for us.  My hubby was in charge of this date, so a night out at the Country Club was where he wanted to take me.  I'm not a fan of playing golf, but by God, I enjoy riding along in the golf cart, wind blowing in my hair, and drinking a few ice cold Coors Lights....all while watching my man look cute in his collared shirt and hitting those clubs that he loves, oh so much.
We rode around for 9 holes, had good conversation, listened to the birds chirp, and looked down in the stream and saw a huge snapping turtle.  We both love to be outside, so this actually was a great date for us.
I have to admit, I thought going out to the course was going to be kind of lame for a date, but, actually it was one of the best "dates" we've had in a while!  Beers were good, but the time spent alone with my hubby was even better....  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tara & Dan: Love Story

Dan and Tara met in high school. Actually maybe Jr. High. They went to a small private, Christian school and they don't actually remember meeting each other. Tara and her twin sister, Pam, were friends with Dan's younger sister, J, so it's certain they met at some point.

When Tara was in 9th grade, Dan dated Tara's twin sister, Pam. Dan was Pam's first date and first kiss.

This is a fact that men high five Dan about..because "dude, twins?" And women moan with Tara about, because "aww...your sister?!"

But they didn't date long. And Tara swore that she would never, ever date anyone her twin sister did.

Dan graduated high school in 1988 and Tara graduated high school in 1990.

Fast forward to 1997. Dan and Tara, both college graduates and working professionally, were at a Christmas party of a high school mutual friend, L, and they chatted. Briefly. Nothing significant.

Fast forward to May of 1998. Tara and this same mutual friend, L, were out for the evening, the night before Tara moved from Pennsylvania to Atlanta for a job. L insisted that Tara say "goodbye" to Dan which Tara thought was very strange, considering she didn't ever talk to him. But Tara was sick and needed tissues. She also had to use the bathroom. So she said o.k.

And it was midnight when they rang Dan's doorbell and he answered and let them in (to his VERY cool apartment, which was in an old one room school house).

Dan, Tara and L chatted briefly and Dan told Tara he had tried to email her recently. What? Why?  Tara still doesn't know.

The next day Tara moved to Atlanta.

Shortly after moving to Atlanta in 1998, Tara, who was dating someone, became single. And Tara and Dan began emailing. And then they began emailing more and more and more. They became very good friends. They talked nearly every day.  There were many complicated things that occurred...they'd like to keep those things private.

In 1999 they fell in love and knew it was right. And so Tara broke her rule to never date anyone her sister did.

In May of 2000 Tara moved back to Pennsylvania and in June 2000 Tara and Dan got engaged. In December 2000 they got married.

Tara and Dan have been happily married for 11 years, 4 months, 2 days and have 2 miracle children.

The past 11 years have had many ups and downs for Tara and Dan. They've been through several grandparent, aunt and uncle deaths, a parental marriage breakup, faith issues, a sibling marriage breakup, a sudden parental death, 5+ years of infertility, 3 moves, 2 job changes, etc...

But they're a perfect match and they're happy!!! :)