My hubby and I are very committed to having weekly date nights. Right now, Friday night is booked as date night on our family calendar. We take turns planning our dates together and I don't know which I like more ... getting to plan the dates and trying to surprise my hubby, or getting to see what Chad has dreamed up for us. (Admittedly, sometimes the dream is simply dinner and a movie. Still, there is a lot to be said for the anticipation as you wonder what the night may bring.)
Over the years our date nights have morphed into different things. When we had lots of little ones at home, sometimes date night might have meant a trip to the store where we had just a little time together, didn't talk about kids or bills, and he held the doors open for me. At that time, it felt like a major accomplishment to have those precious few minutes to ourselves.
Sometimes we were lucky enough to hire a babysitter or my parents would schedule "grandates" with their grandchildren and we would get a couple of hours together. (I will definitely repeat the grandate plan with my own grandchildren. My mother is a genius to have planned those special days that gave me time to stay connected to my husband and at the same time strengthened my parents' relationships with our children. Brilliant! Once that groundwork was laid, the grandates were sometimes all of the gents and sometimes just one or two at a time.)
As the children grew up a bit, we decided to have family date night. Our gentlemen would take turns choosing a movie or game and treats for their evening together while Chad and I holed up in the den with our own plans for the evening ... no babysitter required. As more time passed, we had a gent or two that were old enough to be hired as the babysitter for the evening and our boys continued with their brotherly date nights.
Last night it was Chad's turn to plan our weekly date. During the day, he arrived at my office with a pink heart balloon, flowers, and a vase. This is typical of my sweetheart, showing up with flowers for no reason in particular other than he loves me. (This always seems to draw the attention of my co-workers who wish their spouse/boyfriend/significant other would do the same. Sorry girls, he's mine.) Later he sent me a text message to confirm what time I would be done with work so he could make an appropriate reservation. I asked if I would have time to fancy up for our evening, but was informed that no dressing up was required because the food would be messy. Interesting. I had no idea he had an evening planned reminiscent of "Lady and the Tramp."
Scratch Cupcakery and got some delightful treats that we would share with the gents later. (This business is actually owned by the daughter of one of my colleagues, which makes this stop even sweeter. I'm excited about the new shop she has in the works called Sweet Basil Market - Gourmet & Bulk Foods. Natalie says it will have a large variety of goods from spices and sprinkles to pasta and sauces ... and everything in between. I can't wait to check it out. Here's wishing Natalie continued success!)
Zippy's BBQ Shack. Here is where Chad had the Lady and the Tramp set up. The last time we visited Zippy's, we used the drive thru to grab our grub and then headed to another location for dinner. This time, Chad said he wanted to take the time to look over the menu, so we parked and headed inside. Just inside the door was our dinner reservation ... a table set for two complete with tablecloth, flowers, candle, and real place settings (not the disposable stuff that Zippy's normally uses). Adorable! We were the only customers inside and it was a lot of fun to have the place to ourselves with the staff fussing over us. (The staff was even sweet enough to wash our dishes before we packed it all up to head out.)
We headed next to rent a couple of movies to watch at home. Technically, this was a dinner and a movie night, but with great new twists! (Sometimes our dates must be timed to coincide with our parental taxi service, so the rented movies meant we could pause to pick up a gent at 8:00.) My knight in shining armor pulled off another memorable date night. I am one lucky lady!