Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Birthday Trip!

Did you know that ALL three of our birthdays are in the lovely month of March? We think that calls for a little early celebrating ... so we decided to go to San Diego for a little family getaway. We leave tomorrow morning! We are so, so, SO excited!! We have only ever gone on vacations to visit loved ones, or with family and/or friends! This is the first trip we're taking just us!

The only downside to vacations (is there ever really a downside?!) is packing. I hate packing. Like I hate social injustice. Or mean kids. It completely undoes me. We have packed us enough stuff to last us through the millennium - just in case :)!

But after all that is done?! It's sunny (hopefully!) skies and fun times!!

See you when we get back!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Love-day Date 4: Daydreaming

We had a busy week last week ... and an even busier one this week! So when we sat down to have our date we were pretty bushed. As a general rule, I think this is a non-excuse. However, on Monday we did have our amazing massages ... and we are headed on vacation in a couple of days. So I decided to cut us some slack :)!

The idea behind this date was to take us back to those pre-marriage days when we used to do nothing but dream. About our possible future together and what it could potentially look like, how many kids we would have, vacations we were dying to take, places we could potentially live ... the sky was the limit. Sometimes now I find us discussing a lot of practical/logistical stuff (who is taking care of what, who is going to the grocery store, have rides to the been airport arranged, etc.) instead of old fashioned dreaming. And that just won't do ... thus this date came to mind.

First, to set the mood I hung some Christmas-light "stars" (we spent a lot of time in parks during our dating days in good-ol' Provo) and laid out blankets just like we were at a park. And we made delicious oven s'mores (with chocolate marshmallows and dipped in chocolate ... seriously, best. s'more's. EVER). And that's about as far as we got. We looked at each other and realized that the only dreaming we really felt like doing that night involved the sleeping kind :)!

So we decided to postpone until this week ... when we'll be on vacation! Landon goes to bed pretty early (and will be really worn out from the busy days we have planned) ... so we'll sit in our little hotel room "living room" and finish our date in style. What better place is there to dream than vacation?

I'll post a recap of how our "part two" went when I get back. In the mean time ... are you brave enough to get a little cheesy and re-live those daydreaming dating days?!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Love-day Date 3: Romantic Dinner at Home

I don’t know about you, but when my husband says he wants to make me a steak dinner, I never say no! This week Jeff planned our date – a romantic steak dinner at home. Jeff grills steak better than most restaurants, so this is a real treat.

First we fed Landon and had some fun family time. Then we tucked him in bed and Jeff got to work. While he cooked up a storm I got to sit on the couch and read a book. That’s heaven right there. When he finished I walked in to find this:

Amazing!! Seriously. Steak, grilled asparagus and baked potatoes … by candlelight, while enjoying grown-up conversation. It was wonderful.

Then (as if it could get any more delicious) we had brownies and strawberries drizzled with chocolate … while watching The Proposal (a fave!)!! Love him!

This is a favorite date of ours. It’s nice to eat together without the distraction of other people (even our favorite little person) or a restaurant. I always feel like we have great conversation and it takes me back a bit to our dating days when getting cooked for was such a treat – and so new at the time! It’s still such a treat, and makes me feel really special. As an extra added bonus, this is another cost-effective date (could it get any better?!).

And in true Jeff-fashion he couldn’t stop there - he booked us a couple's massage! Jeff should give classes on how to score deals like the one he found for us (this one is less than the cost of ONE massage!) he’s that good at it! So we’re headed to our massage tomorrow afternoon. I can’t tell you how excited I am!!

Spoiled rotten, I tell you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Love Day!

Happy Valentine's Day ... to everyone we love! We're having a pretty fun day around here. Landon and I decided to head to Salt Lake and take Jeff out to lunch! Since it's quite the drive, it doesn't happen very often. We had a delicious Cafe Rio lunch and then grabbed cookies at Jeff's work Valentine's Day party.

Jeff drove to Cafe Rio and managed to slip a Valentine surprise on my dashboard ... flowers? chocolates? Nope ... "New Girl" valentine's :)! It's our new favorite show and they had printable valentines. Um, it's love :)!
I am still smiling! What a cute boy! I love that Jeff can make me laugh.

Tonight we have a fabulous evening planned. Heart-shaped chocolate chip pancakes for dinner. Give Landon his valentine ... then toss him in bed. Then Jeff and I plan to make chocolate covered strawberries, exchange cards ... and watch New Girl :)! Can't wait!

I love my two Valentines so much!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love Languages Follow up

We followed the plan I outlined in my last post ... and it was a huge success!! We had a great time and it led to some really good discussion. When talking a little about each of the languages we thought we had a good idea of what our assessments would tell us about ourselves and the other person. And we were only sorta right! Drum roll please ...

Primary Language - Quality Time
Secondary - Physical Touch

Primary Language - Physical Touch
Secondary - Quality Time

Um, do you see that pattern ... amazing! So really, it should be quite easy for us to perfect our communication.

We then took some time to read out of the book about ideas to express love using both of our primary languages, just to spark some thoughts about what might make us feel the most loved. Then we wrote down four or five ways that our partner can help us feel loved in the next several weeks. We're planning on having a follow up date to check in on our progress.

Then we decided to ask ourselves the weekly questions posted on the blog I referenced. They came up with such good ones, we didn't think we could do any better :)!

This was a fun, essentially free date. I checked the book out from our local library ... and I don't know about you guys but we generally always have brownies, ice cream or both laying around, so I don't count it against us that we ate them! And we had a great time together - meaningful time that was really well spent.

I challenge you to do this activity with your spouse/significant other. It was eye opening for us and I believe will really help with those little communication breakdowns that happen in relationships.

Happy communicating!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Love-day Date 2: Love Languages!

We aren't actually doing our date this week until Sunday. Jeff is taking the GMAT as I type this and we thought that to get some really good connection time we shouldn't have our date after a four hour test rapidly followed by my little brother's birthday party. It seemed like the wrong timing somehow :)!

So, instead I'm going to outline for you what we have planned and then give you a guys a quick update following our actual date. Our second "Love-day Date Night" is all about The 5 Love Languages. Have you heard of the book? It's by Gary Chapman and has been around for quite some time. I hadn't read it until recently, but had always wanted to.

I don't know about you and your significant other, but occasionally we have a bit of a communication breakdown (and occasionally it's more that a "bit of" one :)!). Sometimes I'm pretty sure we're even speaking different languages. So I grabbed The 5 Love Languages and started reading. What he said makes so much sense!! We give and receive love in our own "language" and sometimes our spouse doesn't give or receive love in the same language and then we end up feeling like our love-tank is empty. And who can run on an empty tank?

For our date we are going to this website and begin by talking about each of the five languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. I will also have the book on hand to give us a few more examples of each.

Then we're going to take the assessment ... there is one for men and women, so we'll take it side by side on two different laptops so we can do it at the same time.

I'll confess, after reading the book, I'm not 100% sure of what Jeff's language might be. From my interpretation of him I believe he can fit into more than one category. And since he hasn't had a chance to read the book (silly GMAT!) I think the whole exercise will be enlightening for him as well!

We're pretty excited, since we've been talking about doing this for a couple of weeks. We plan to finish up with a good discussion about how we can better demonstrate love and keep those love-tank's full!!

I found this blog on Pinterest and I loved the questions she and her spouse discuss every week. So during our discussion we're going to talk about coming up with our own (or perhaps just using these ... you never know!).

Each week she and her spouse discuss:

1. How did you feel loved this past week?
2. What does your upcoming week look like?
3. How would you feel most loved & encouraged in the days ahead?
4. How would you best feel pursued in intimacy this week?
5. How can I pray for you this week?

And to top it all off we will be having this discussion while indulging in brownies and ice cream :)! I can't think of any better way to discuss love than with chocolate, can you?

I'll follow up with a date review and what we discover our love languages to be!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Love-day Date Night Series

Anyone who knows us knows that we aren't big on Valentine's Day in general. The actual holiday just seems a bit contrived and fake. However, I must confess that the idea behind it definitely has merit. Taking a bit of time to strengthen our relationships is something I can get behind. With that in mind, I've have also been inspired by some friend's blogs "series" and have decided to do a little one of my own.

Drum roll please ...

Introducing: The Love-day Date Night Series

I am going to spotlight on one date per week in February that focuses on strengthening something about your relationship with your partner. Most of them will be very inexpensive and instead focus on getting back to the basics.

Date 1: Love Collages

I was looking at a pile of old magazines thinking about getting rid of them, when I had this idea. I haven't made a collage in as long as I can remember ... but what better subject that love?! I also went to the library and got a few more magazines they were getting rid of for free. Then I gathered up some white paper, scissors and glue sticks. And made a fun dessert (what's date night without dessert?!)
LinkYep, found this idea on Pinterest

I only gave a few ideas to get us started ... our love story, a collage about what we love about the other person, things that make us think about the other person, etc. Then away we went!

I thought we would talk a lot during the creating process, but apparently we were very serious artists! Afterward, though we sat down to talk about what we did, and it was fantastic!! Jeff's collage told our story and what about it makes him think about me and mine described Jeff and things I love about him.
I thought we would spend our time after laughing while we talked, but instead it sparked great (and pretty deep!) conversation. It was a great date! We highly recommend it ... and we loved our finished product so much we hung them in our closet so we could look at them every day while getting ready.

Stay tuned for week two!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bum Spelling

Do you remember when clothing designers started putting lettering on the bum of girls' clothing? It's pretty classy. However, I'll confess, that I have a favorite old (like, from my college days, old) pair of jammies. They have pink stripes and - you guessed it - the word "Pink" on the bum.

I was wearing them the other day when I suddenly felt a little finger pointing at those letters on said bum while cheerfully (and quite delightedly) naming the letters. He's very excited to recognize letters (that day it was the letter "P" and he then proceeded to list off all the letters he knows off the top of his head in the entire alphabet while still poking my bum!), and he was even more excited at where he had just discovered letters.

So much so that it was quite the feat to get him distracted away from them.

It's a good thing I don't own anything else with letters in that same location. I can only imagine this same scene playing out in public.

But, hey, I can't fault the kid for practicing his letters :)!