Monday, July 14, 2014

Date Your Spouse

"Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?"

"I do."

It has been seven months since I walked down the aisle towards my groom. Since we shared our first kiss a husband and wife and he swept me into the dance floor for our first dance to "Turning Pages."

Seven months of life together- it's hard to believe. It seems only yesterday that our friends and family were gathered up in Helen, Georgia to witness an celebrate our covenant. We had our "hiccups" of the day of course, like my heel breaking right before I was supposed to walk to the aisle- thank goodness for flats! But the day was absolutely perfect and beautiful, because I was marrying my best friend.

And marriage has been even more beautiful. Of course it is hard- you bring two people together as one under one roof and you have to work at it. I don't think I ever realized just how selfish I could be until Zach and I were married and I saw I needed to be selfless, and that compromise didn't mean that he did what I wanted.

One thing that we have made priority in our marriage is date night (or day). The key is to set aside intentional time to do something together. We alternate weekly who plans date night, and it's something I look forward to every week.

Some nights are simple, others more extravagant, others still adventurous. The focus is us- our relationship and quality time together- unplugged an focused. It doesn't have to cost a lot, or anything at all. We have had some pretty fun, free and creative date nights so far!

I want to share just a few is my favorites with you, in hopes to encourage and inspire those who are married to make intentional time for your relationship. Set aside time at least once a week, and you may just be surprised to see what happens!

Here are my favorites from this year:

1. A day trip and picnic to Helen, Georgia. Helen is only forty fives muted north of where we live, and holds so many precious memories for us. We had one of our first dates up in the small Bavarian town. We have traditions of stopping at Nora Mill (an old grain mill) for "pioneer porridge" and to feed the trout in the river. We also frequent the local country store "Betty's" and get soda and giant cookies.

This particular time we also decided to stop and pick up a block of cheese, some sliced ham and salami, dried fruit and a fresh load of bread. We took it down to the river and set up a little picnic for ourselves! It was a gorgeous afternoon filled with joy in the simple things.

2. A homemade dinner, a blanket fort and a new movie. Both Zach and I are kids at heart, so for one of my date nights I sent Zach out on errands and quickly constructed our own blanket fort in the living room. I prepared dinner, complete with s'more cookies for desert- a special treat. I also rented a new movie from Red box, and we were set for a night of fun! Even though we were at home, it was all new and exciting!

3. Cooking together. One of my other favorite reoccurring date nights is cooking a fancy meal together. I absolutely love to cook, and Zach has grown to like it more now since we've known each other. So every now and then, for our date night, we cook our own gourmet meal!

We start with a recipe or menu idea, and head to our local farmer's market (one of my favorite places in Atlanta), and grab some fresh ingredients to bring home. Then we lay it all out and prepare our meal together, put on some jazzy music and dance to some songs in between stirs and timers beeping.

Throw up a few candles on your table and you have a super romantic, fun date night at home!

These are just a few of my favorites- there are so many. All you have to do is have a little imagination and creativity! But my challenge to you is to make time for the important people in your life. Set aside the time intentionally and have fun together! You'll be glad that you did.

What's your favorite date night with your significant other? Share the creativity below so we can all try out your favorite date nights !

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