Monday, March 23, 2015

12 Months of Dates

Before parenthood consumed our life, JC and I enjoyed traveling to new places, eating out at nice restaurants and experiencing new things.  Now, our traveling consists mainly of visits to see extended family, take-out food and new experiences that are child-centered.  I wouldn’t trade our new normal for anything, but with our busy, toddler-focused lives we have a difficult time fitting in time for “us” like many other parents.

Cubs Rooftop Experience in 2012.
Whiskers and Tails event in 2014.
In the past year and half of being parents we've had about ten date nights.  Many of those date nights aren't really even date nights in my opinion because they are work functions for JC where he is emceeing the event or networking with other co-workers and Decatur residents.  Those nights I plaster on a smile and put my small talk skills to work.  Even though they aren't exactly a relaxing night away from parenthood duties, I still feel fortunate to be able to dress up and attend some interesting banquets.

As 2015 kicked off we decided as a family to make more time for “us.”  In the past few years we've been on a constant “go” and it was getting so taxing that it was starting to affect our health with all of us being sick off and on from Thanksgiving through early February.  So far, we've stuck to our resolution of slowing down and making more “us” time so far.  Thankfully it’s been a wonderful change in more than one ways.

With our resolutions, and reality of our life in mind, I decided to forgo the sweets for Valentine’s Day and come up with a creative gift.  The “12 Months of Dates” was a genius gift I found while browsing Pinterest.  This idea really is perfect for us as it makes us accountable in some way for making time for each other.  Instead of trying to come up with something to do spur of the moment, and when to do it, the dates are already set for each month.  I tried to make them seasonally appropriate and unique with things that we both enjoy.  In the summer months golf and a drive in movie are on the agenda.  During the Fall and Winter, tailgating and visiting new restaurants will keep us occupied as the cold weather creeps back in.

To be honest, I didn't spend much time making the actual "12 Months of Dates" book.  It is nothing fancy.  That's because I knew the thought and effort of planning the dates was what would resonate with the hubby, not the look of the book.  Plus, my free time rounds up to about one hour every day -- not a lot of time for fun crafts.  With that said, there are some awesome, super creative "12 Months of Dates" books on Pinterest.

In theory, the “12 Months of Dates” will force us to make time for us, doing things that we enjoy; however I’m not sure the planned dates will end up working out for us every month.  Life gets busy and things may change, but the most important thing is that we continue to connect in some way and enjoy each other as a couple.

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