It was a typical Monday morning for me. The dryer was finishing up load number one while the washer was swishing the sudsy clothes of load number two. My mental list was clicking through the things I would accomplish on this early day in the week.
My husband walked in while I was drying my hair a bit later and asked the question that always means he has an idea…
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!
We had the blessing of going to Michigan last weekend where my husband officiated a precious wedding for a couple that are members of our church. The bride’s hometown is in Michigan, so that was the location for their beautiful wedding. I lived in the Detroit area until I was 13, so it was fun to go back to a place where I have childhood memories.
The wedding itself was just magical. It snowed the day of the wedding, making it the perfect additional touch! Isn’t the Lord good?! Christmas weddings can be beautiful just because of the church and its decor. Their church was a rented church, so it would be both of their weddings, not just the bride’s. I loved that! Plus, this church was gorgeous, as was the bride and her attendants.
After the wedding event, we had the blessing of going to Greenfield Village for their Holiday Nights. What a fun time we had! It was romantic, musical, cold, snowy, festive, and fun! We absolutely loved the whole night!
As we were traveling home, my husband stopped for coffee, and beside the coffee shop was a gourmet popcorn shop, Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn Company. My husband slipped inside while I was in the car. He bought three different flavors and of the two I’ve tried, I can attest to the fact that their popcorn is some of the best I’ve had!!
It was a busy weekend, but we were so thankful for all the times we had to share special memories together, such as our evening at Greenfield Village, coffee at a new-to-us place, and popcorn on the long trek home. That wedding weekend wasn’t just special to the couple who got married, it was special to us as a couple!
It’s so important to make special events out of the things that are responsibilities. Turn an errand to town, a trip to the grocery store, an evening at school performance or ball game by looking for the fun in each of those things. Put your phone down. Look at the people around you. Stop for the caloric Krispy Kreme doughnut and hot chocolate – or the yummy gourmet popcorn! Enjoy the brief snow flurries by getting out and watching them come down. Hold hands with your husband while you’re out. Do the sporadic thing that pops into your head. Enjoy each moment. Turn the small things into big things!
Refresh yourself and those around you by turning the little things into big, special things this weekend!
For my Family Friday post today, I’m going to share my husband’s great thoughts from his message series of Putting Hope in Your Marriage. These are practical for every marriage – stress or no stress!
Refresh daily with God’s Word. Only His Word can help YOU be what you need to be.
Always put your spouse first. This requires humility…see point #1!
Build together time into your schedule. If you don’t put it in, it likely won’t happen.
Learn to say “NO.” This means you’re saying, “Yes” to more important things!
Cut out ministries that are burdensome and stale. If you’re plugging away at a ministry at church with no heart, it’s better to give it up and get refreshed. This will also allow you time to pour into your marriage, which is your FIRST ministry!
Serve together! Aquila and Priscilla served as a husband/wife team. Where could you serve with your spouse rather than away from him?
Communicate clearly and respectfully. Don’t use your words to punish!
Plan ahead. The anticipation of a fun date or time together is half the fun to me! If you plan it ahead of time, it will help you get through the stress-filled days of life!
Be “touchy.” Hold hands, hug, love with touch. It’s amazing what a loving hug will do after a hard time, isn’t it?!
Trust God. That means trust Him together. Stop together and pray about that stress. Read a passage of Scripture to your husband that encouraged your heart in the midst of your difficult day.
Thank the Lord for a marriage that can give one another hope in stressful times! Add some encouragement to your spouse today!
I’m excitedly heading to Michigan today for a Ladies’ Retreat! It’s cold and snowy up there, but I’m looking so forward to sharing time in God’s Word together! His Word is like an oasis in the midst of a blizzard, but I’m packing lots of warm layers anyway!!! I pray you have a refreshing weekend!