Dates · Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route

Stress-Reliever Scenic Route Date

I’m so thankful for a husband who is my sounding board. He listens so patiently as I share the things that are burdening my heart. This week I said,

I’m feeling really stressed over several things that are coming up in the next few weeks. I’m really going to need your help to think right!

He nodded, knowing already the truth that I had just shared. He lives with me. He knows what triggers my wrong responses.

That night after supper, I asked if we could go for a ride. We live in the country, and we often just hit a country road, enjoy the scenery, watch the sun set and come home refreshed. We jumped in the car and he headed towards the interstate. Hmmm, this was no “drive in the country – I sensed we were having a Scenic Route Date/Adventure!” We headed towards Bristol, Virginia, about 30 minutes from where we live.

After driving into town, we headed downtown where all the cute shops are, but also our favorite local bakery – Blackbird Bakery! Excitement was building!!!

Blackbird Bakery (@blackbirdbake) | Twitter

Dale parked along the street and we made our way into the bakery where we carefully deliberated over their expansive dessert selections. Their donuts are outstanding, so my husband had one with Peanut Butter filling and a Chocolate glaze. I enjoyed a cute little chocolate tart filled with a light, fluffy mousse and topped with a raspberry.

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Here’s the Mousse I enjoyed.
(Picture from Blackbird Bakery site)

Taking our treats to a small table, we settled in where we carefully enjoyed each bite of our treats. Then my husband pulled a small cardboard box out of his pocket that contained a game. My heart melted at the fact that he had thought ahead to bring a game! It was Scrabble Slam! A card version of Scrabble. It’s face-paced and of course, “wordy” and so much fun. We played the first round. I won. The second game delighted him because he beat me! So of course we had to have a tie breaker!

Scrabble Slam Cards

We were there about 45 minutes before we headed towards home. It was such a fun time, and a great diversion! I enjoyed it so much that I failed to even snap a picture! The date was relatively short and very low-key, but it was just what I needed, and just what our marriage needed. It’s proof that it doesn’t take lots of planning or lots of money or time to invest in your relationship. It was also a reminder to me about how much I need my husband and what a treasure he is to my life!

Oh, in case you’re wondering about the tie-breaker Scrabble Game, let’s just say, it was close, but my love for words won out!

What fun, yet simple outing could you and your spouse enjoy this week? Perhaps he’s the one who is a little stressed. Your response to him could be the blessing my husband’s thoughtfulness was to me. Take the Scenic Route and enjoy a simple date together!

Help for busy moms · Marriage · Motherhood · Overwhelmed

Six Suggestions for Stressed-Out Moms

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Sticky floors, piles of laundry, emotional meltdowns, food battles, dirty diapers, frequent illnesses, limited outside activities, bedtime squabbles and marital strain all point to one thing —-

an overwhelmed mom.

Did I just describe you?  How did I do it?  I’ve been there.  I remember the days of wondering Continue reading “Six Suggestions for Stressed-Out Moms”

Dates · Refreshment in marriage · summertime

Family Friday – My Favorite Summertime Dates

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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? 

Refresh your marriage,

Denise Signature 150 px

Dates · Marriage · Refreshment in marriage · Uncategorized

Taking the Guess-Work Out of Date Night

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Who doesn’t love a fun date night?  Getting dressed up, going somewhere fun and spending time together is a great way to recharge your marriage.  But there can to be two problems when a man and woman are going to go out for a date:

  1. They always go to the same place because they can’t think of something new.
  2. They’re afraid to say what they really want to do, or they can’t make up their mind, so they go back and forth with, “Where do you want to go?”  “I don’t care, you decide!”

Does this sound familiar?

I have a couple suggestions for you that will alleviate both of those issues:

Resolution #1. –  Either Google “New restaurants (or stores, etc) in our area”, or use another kind of guide with that information to find new possibilities, like your newspaper.

It’s easy to fall into a rut!  You go to your favorite restaurant, get dinner and call it a night.  But with the world around us growing as it is, there’s no need for that to happen.  In our city and I’m sure in most areas of the world, new businesses, walking/biking paths, books stores, and restaurants are popping up every year, giving opportunities for new adventures.

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Recently our local newspaper published their 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.  In it are Restaurants with the best french fries, Asian foods, barbecue ribs, pies, doughnuts, desserts, coffee, Stores including gift stores, department stores and book stores. It goes on and on, listing the best of all kinds of fun places to shop, eat, be entertained or pampered.  I couldn’t believe how many places were recommended that I’d never even heard of!  I am writing those places into a book of date idea places.  The next time we want to “try something different,” we’ll simply open the book and make a new choice!

You could also write the names of the places you want to try on Popsicle sticks and put them in a jar.  Draw one out and do it when Date Night rolls around.

I love this idea of color-coding so you can make a more careful choice regarding price range or planning ahead.

125 colored popsicle sticks-$5. Mason jar-$4. 100 date ideas!

Resolution to #2. –  Take turns deciding.  When it comes down to making the choice of which place you should go, do this – He chooses this week, you choose the next.  It takes the pressure off trying to be sure he likes the place, and vice versa.  This way, you both get the chance to decide and if it’s not the best, well, next week they can make the choice!

Don’t allow boredom or indecision to ruin your date night!  Mix it up a little and make the most of the time you take to share a special evening together!

Refresh your marriage!

Denise Signature 150 px

Husband · Love · Marriage

Date Time!

There are lots of fun things to do on date days/nights, but last week, I got to enjoy a really special treat that was a bit of a sacrifice for my husband to pull off. Going to the Biltmore Inn for afternoon tea is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, so as a belated birthday gift, he took me!

HE TOOK ME!!

The sacrifice came in that my husband doesn’t even like hot tea.  He’s a coffee guy, but he went.

He poured tea.

He drank tea.

It’s also a pretty fancy affair.  While I know he’d much rather be hiking an Appalachian Trail, he was happy to take me on this fun adventure!  That’s what marriage is all about – giving of yourself for the other.  It meant all the more to me  because he went and had such a sweet spirit about it.  He didn’t roll his eyes and grimace; he enjoyed it for me.  That made it all the more fun, of course!

The experience at the Inn did not disappoint!  It was regal.  It was delicious.  It was romantic.  It was a memory-maker!  Let me show you what we enjoyed!

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A sweet Doorman greeted us.

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The menu for the tea, and the beautiful setting at the table.

 

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We could read our menu card, and it had listed in order each appetizer on our plate.  So good!!!

 

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The cheese and sweets tray.  Delicious!

 

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Sweeteners for our tea.

 

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Proof that you can still be a man and pour a cup of tea!

 

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We enjoyed walking around the Inn afterwards.  It’s stunning…and so was my company!

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Even outside, there is beauty all around!

I have two points in my post today:

  1. If you ever have the opportunity to enjoy Afternoon Tea somewhere, do it!  It’s expensive, but it’s a treat that is worth the money and the time.
  2. Be willing to be stretched for your spouse.  This made me love my husband all the more.  He did this for me because he knew I’d love it.  The reservation was made several weeks before and I got to anticipate and look forward to this for days!  Now the memory of it all is tucked away in my heart, filled with admiration for a man who’s not too proud or selfish to do something just for me!  I’m looking for the opportunity to return the favor!!  It will be fun, and I’m sure it will include hiking, sweating and burning calories, rather than adding a few, but that’s okay!  Our marriage is worth it!

What event could you plan to do this week to sacrifice for your spouse and spend time together?  

Refresh your marriage with sacrifice,

Denise Signature 150 px