New routines in marriage can be so healthy! Recently my husband and I have been enjoying Saturday night drives. Our Saturday’s are typically busy getting ready for a busy Sunday, so by the end of the day, we both need a little time together and a drive as the sun sets has been so refreshing!
Since Thursday is Valentine’s Day, I know most are thinking about recipes for all things chocolate, right? If you want a yummy treat to bake up for your sweetheart, you can go here to find some yummy treats, a couple that do indeed include chocolate!
Back in October, I introduced you to a blog idea that I want to share from time to time – it was called, Follow Us On the Scenic Route. I am married to a man who likes to have adventures. He enjoys scouring out new back roads, new restaurants, quaint areas of town in which to drive and activities that we would enjoy sharing together. The holidays kept us pretty close to home, but now that the new year is upon us, we took the time for a date recently to a place not too far from home. Come along and I’ll show you where we went!
We live in the Tri-cities area of Tennessee – meaning we’re in the Bristol, Kingsport, Johnson City area. All three cities are really ramping up their towns and there is more and more to enjoy in each place!
Last Thursday morning I was headed out the driveway when my husband motioned for me to roll down my car window. He said,
Be ready at 4:30 this afternoon. We’re going to dinner and a movie.
I love it when he tells me ahead of time that he has made plans for us! I can anticipate and look forward to that date and it makes any difficult day easier to bear with that in my view!
At 4:30 we loaded up and headed towards Bristol via I-81. I had no idea where we were going for dinner, but when we pulled up to to 620 State Restaurant, I was sure it was a good choice! Before going into the restaurant, we were lured into an adorable shop on the left. It was full of handmade items, very reasonably priced. We had a fun time browsing before we ventured over to 620.
Once we were seated and began looking at the menu, we learned that this place is known for their sushi. My husband ordered a small plate of salmon/cream cheese sushi for us to enjoy before our dinner. It was very good!!
Sometimes just doing something fun like learning how to use chopsticks can make a date night memorable! I was impressed by Dale’s skills!
We tried to just chat about casual things and not talk about serious matters. We needed this time together to get refreshed maritally, physically and emotionally. What a blessing our time together was! Going to a new place for dinner is such fun – you get stretched out of your normal routine and get to try new menu items and surroundings!
For dinner we ordered Shrimp and Grits. We always share an entree’ when we go out and I’m sure glad we split this meal! It was absolutely delicious – maybe the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever had! There was plenty to share!
We left with full stomachs and an absolute intention to return!
Bristol has lots of history with it being known as the Birthplace of Country Music. You’ll see lots of interesting memorabilia along the streets. The nighttime view was so pretty!
Following dinner we headed to the theater to see Mary Poppins.
I’m a HUGE fan of all things Mary Poppins…(remember this from this past October?)
so I was super-excited to finally get to see this new movie!
Who else is always sad to see Mary flying away? Her mission is accomplished and she must go. **Sigh** It was a sweet movie and I was smitten with it!
More than that,though, I was smitten with a sweet husband would make the plans for a Scenic Route local adventure that could refresh our marriage and our hearts and give us another memory of roads traveled together!
If you’re in this area, you need to visit 620, and if you haven’t seen the new Mary Poppins, make plans to see it! Oh, and take a kleenex with you…just saying!
What adventures and scenic routes have you taken recently?
One day last week I stumbled across my journal entry from our anniversary last June. How thankful I was that I had entered a memory from that day, even though it wasn’t one of the “Big” anniversaries, ending in a 0 or a 5! It was number 36 (how can that be possible?!). It was a blessing to be reminded of the sweet day we shared together and the fun we had celebrating another year the Lord had given us as husband and wife.
I had been sick with a nasty cough and body aches the week of our anniversary. I had gone to the doctor and had a shot and a prescription, but when our special day rolled around, I still wasn’t feeling well enough to want to go anywhere…totally unlike me! We had plans to go to a beautiful bed and breakfast, but had to cancel our reservation. My sweet husband was sympathetic, understanding and very caring for my needs. On the day of our celebration, he insisted I rest. I did, taking a nap in the morning and another in the afternoon. He kindly got take out for both lunch and supper meals, and though I didn’t have an incredible appetite, we enjoyed the food and ate outside on our patio.
When he left to go get supper, I set the patio table with framed pictures from our wedding and up through the years. I got out our wedding album and also my diary from the time when we were dating. Those things “decorated” the table, along with votive candles and the flowers he had brought me earlier in the day. After we ate our supper, we sat and looked through the albums and read my diary entries. We laughed. We cried. We reminisced over our early years of marriage, through the births of our three daughters, Ashley’s death, our years in ministry, our girls’ weddings and the countless blessings of the Lord that have made us so rich.
Our 36th anniversary was spent entirely at home. We had no fancy restaurant setting, no luxury hotel, not even a colossal dessert. It was just us and our memories and it was every bit as special as our time away would have been – maybe even more so because there was little cost, no stress from traffic or other people, and it allowed us to simplify the day and focus on one another and just reflect on the joy of being married to your best friend. After all, that’s what anniversaries are for!
There are lots of summer anniversaries (any other June brides?). If you have a year or two – (or ten!) that for one reason or another requires simplifying, enjoy it! Oh, and be sure to journal about it somewhere so you can look back on it in years to come and smile at its memory.
Here are some suggestions for a simple celebration:
Take breakfast to a park and celebrate early in the day with muffins, yogurt, fruit and coffee. Bring your wedding album with you and look through the photos.
Pick up lunch at a favorite place and eat at a beautiful spot – a lake, the Blue Ridge Parkway or a mountain view. Play the music you enjoyed while you were dating.
Eat dinner at home with your children, lighting candles and using the best dishes. Let everyone dress up! After they go to bed, enjoy a special dessert in a quiet place, just for the two of you.
Skip buying presents for one another and decide on one gift you could buy that you would both enjoy –
a new coffee maker or espresso machine
a picnic basket or cooler for dates
passes to Biltmore or amusement park
a chair for your bedroom
wedding photos that you haven’t purchased yet!
enlargements of photos of your family from your phone that you could frame and hang
a couples’ devotional book
Simplifying your anniversary celebrations can still be special and memorable. Make the most of every day the Lord gives you together!
The sand drawing above is an annual event that my husband started doing years ago when we first started taking vacations to the beach. He draws our initials in the sand, dates it, draws a heart around it and then we get a picture. It always makes a memory and I think it also speaks to other people, too. As a matter of fact, when this one was taken, several people, including a child, walked towards it, then nearly stumbled when they saw the drawing, not wanting to trample through it. Of course it would have been fine, but it was like they felt were desecrating soemthing sacred and they wanted to help us preserve it. But I wonder, do we as couples trample over and desecrate our marriage relationship by not stopping to consider what we need to do to preserve it?
Right at the top of that list is making sure that we spend time together…we continue to date our spouse. There are lots of fun things to do on dates in the summertime, and many of them cost very little! Here are some of our favorites:
Drives. Whether we drive through the country, or an ocean city while on vacation, we love to drive through subdivisions or streets and look at homes and landscaping. We turn on some music, roll down the windows and drive slowly. It’s fun to see what others have done to their homes and also dream about what we might do because of ideas gleaned on our drive.
Back porch dates – Those cool patio lights make the perfect setting for a movie on your laptop or tablet out there, accompanied by popcorn or a treat!
Backyard dates – We pull out the croquet, badminton or other yard game and enjoy some friendly competition.
Bike rides – So many places offer great trails. Sometimes we even pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the ride and lunch along the path!
Ice Cream Dates – The only thing we ever order from McDonald’s is their soft serve ice cream. We also love Chick-fil-A’s cones. Often we’ll buy a half gallon when it’s marked down, and enjoy a cone outside on the swing.
Yard sales – We like to make a mental list of things we’ll look for – a piece of furniture for the patio, books, or antiques for decorating. We load up on quarters and $1 bills and head out, newspaper in hand and scavange for the best deals on those items.
Don’t trample over your marriage this summer; make time to create favorite dates and times with your spouse!
Do you and your spouse have any traditions like our drawing in the sand that you do? What fun plans are you making for this summer?