Dates · Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route

Another Date on the Scenic Route

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!

One side of the street is Tennessee and the other side is Virginia!

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?

Refresh your marriage by taking a scenic route,

denise a



Dates · Marriage · Refreshment in marriage · Uncategorized

Taking the Guess-Work Out of Date Night

Date night.jpg

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.


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

Family life · home · Husband · Marriage · Winter

Family Friday


Welcome to a new feature on my blog – Family Friday.  I’m beginning this weekly post because one great passion that I have is for the HOME.  Home isn’t the structure in which you live, it’s the people – your family that makes it a home.  But the truth is, there are lots of hard things in every family.

  • Strained marriages
  • Financial woes
  • Parenting stresses
  • Busy schedules
  • Miscommunication
  • In-laws
  • Rebellion
  • Sin

How do we keep home a happy place?  Is it even possible?  Home will never be a perfect place, but yes, a happy home is possible.  I know that it is, based on God’s Word.

So, I’m dedicating Friday’s to Family issues.  From fun date ideas to parenting issues, I am going to strive to give you some encouragement.  It’s not because my home is perfect – as I said earlier, none are!  But based on the fact that home is God’s gift, and His Word is our manual, we can learn what He says about creating a happy home.  Let’s open God’s Word each Friday and get some practical helps that we can apply to our families.

There’s no better time than the present, so let’s start with an idea that will encourage your marriage.


Fireplace Date – Cold winter nights need a fire.

  • Find somewhere where you can sit by a fireplace – Home,  Starbucks, Panera – anywhere there’s a fireplace!
  • Fix/Buy a hot beverage and a baked good to share
  • Have some fun with one of these activities:
    • Take a game with you to play -Dice for Farkle, Card game, Scrabble tiles for Bananagrams,  etc.  Some Starbucks have board games available for you to use in their store.
    • Before the date night, write up a list of questions on 3×5 cards.  Flip one over at a time and ask your spouse to answer. Here are 25 to get you started!  I found these  great questions on the Internet – one place was Intoxicated on Life. 1.       What are some books you’ve really enjoyed?

      2.       What books would you like to read sometime?

      3.       What are your favorite foods?

      4.       What did you want to be when you grew up?

      5.       What are some of your favorite memories from your childhood?

      6.       What are some of the more difficult memories from your childhood?

      7.       What are your favorite hobbies?

      8.       What did your parents teach you that you appreciate now?

      9.       What did your parents say or do that you found difficult?

      10.     Who is someone that inspires you?

      11.     What do you like us doing together?

      12.     What would you like to do together in future, just the two of us?

      13.     What would you like to do together in future, all of us with the kids too?

      14.     What is your favorite passage of Scripture?

      15.     What is your favorite memory verse?

      16.     What are your greatest strengths?

      17.     What are your greatest weaknesses?

      18.     What overwhelms you?

      19.     What is concerning you?

      20.     What are you fearful of?

      21.    What is the best marriage you’ve ever seen modeled?

      22.    When did you first know you loved me?

      23.    Who are the heroes you look up to?

      24.    What is your earliest childhood memory?

      25.    What is your greatest regret?

    • Make a list of things to do on future date nights
  • Dress in a way that will show you care.  Add a little makeup.  Fix your hair.
  • Hold hands, snuggle up and create a little fire of your own!

I’m open to topics for future Family Friday posts!  Do you have a suggestion or request?  I’d love to hear your ideas, or if this was helpful today.

Keep your marriage refreshed by having a date night!

Denise Signature 150 px