Updated: Jun 2
What is going on with the world?!! All I can think is that now is the time to dig in and test our resiliency. And I have to admit, I think it has seriously taken me some time to figure out how for the last few months. And just when I thought I was getting back in my grove, more heaviness was placed on my shoulders with the pain and heartbreak of people all over the country. For the people directly affected by the loss of their fathers, sons, brothers, and friends. For all people of color who feel the weight of yet another senseless loss of life. My heart has been heavy all weekend pondering what can be done. I feel like while we have all considered what it is that we can even do to be better or do better, the enormity of the problem seems to be an insurmountable task to take on single handedly. I also believe there is good in the world. So much good. And this might be the time for those of us committed to living in the light to show it and let it shine like great spotlights amongst the darkness. And collectively our spotlights combined have to power to break through the darkness and give light to all. It is something I truly believe.
I also believe that the first and foremost thing we can do to change the world is to change ourselves. We must have conversations with those who don’t look like us or those who don’t think like us. We must understand that we can honor the light in others while not diminishing our own light. The second thing we can do is to strengthen our families and our homes. Families come in all shapes and sizes and the core of that family is that the members find a place of love, acceptance, forgiveness, grace, laughter, someone to cry with, and someone encourage them. Phil and I have been married for almost 13 years now, and I still feel like we are newbies. Compared to some we are just babies in this family life. We have 4 children ranging from 3-10 and life is BUSY. The daily grind of work, school, laundry, dishes, park days, spills, grocery shopping, sports, dance….I don’t think I got it all, but I’m exhausted just writing that…and where was I….oh yeah….The daily grind sometimes finds us with little time for us and for our relationships. I truly believe that when we build strong marriage relationships, we build strong families, which builds strong children, which influences communities for good, and, in turn, strengthens a nation. When I say strong children, I mean children who lead with kindness, understanding, and the courage to choose the good in the world. Children who are able to understand their emotions and how they affect the way they think and act. Leaders who have the emotional intelligence to mentor others and encourage the light to shine bright in a world that can sometimes appear so dark.
Phil and I have come up with 10 great At-Home Date Night Ideas to help encourage you to continue connecting and building your relationship at this time…or whenever, because cheap date night ideas are always good to have in your back pocket! A cute PDF is linked below for you to print and keep as a reminder, so feel free to use that. It’s FREE!
#1 Starry Picnic in the backyard
This is one of our favorites since we have always loved the stars. Phil and I met working in a wilderness therapy company, and we got engaged under the starry sky of the Southern Utah desert. It was also one of our first date nights, to go check out the stars in the desert. So, this one is easy and requires little planning. I like to get takeout, or just save dinner that I made for the kids and set it on a blanket outside in the backyard. To add a little spice to the date you can set up pillows, flowers, candles, music, or whatever you think would set a special mood. Think Bachelor type dates here. All you Bachelor fans, you know what I’m talking about! Don’t forget a chart of the stars and a flashlight.
#2 Cook and Exotic meal together
The World Wide Web has seriously EVERYTHING in it. My daughter was just trying to find a recipe for frosting without powdered sugar and even after I assured her it didn’t exist, she decided to ask Google anyway. Although I was right, I was a little curious if she would actually find it! So, Google a recipe from your ancestor’s country, or your favorite restaurant, and make it a cooking date night. You could buy a pizza for the kids and put on a movie and to keep them occupied or make a new dessert when they are in bed!
#3 Have a paint night
Again…the World Wide Web comes to the rescue with tutorial videos on almost anything you can think of. Get some paint supplies and settle in for a night of creative genius. Don’t forget to hang them up!
#4 Play charades
Now this might seem a little silly with just the two of you, but you could keep it that way and write words or phrases for each other and just see how good your partner can pull it off, or invite a couple of friends over for a night of laughs and fun.
#5 Give each other Massages
Couples massages can get expensive but feel so good. Set up your own at-home massage by grabbing some essential oils, lotions, coconut oil, and help each other relax with foot rubs, back massages, and head rubs.
#6 Put on a playlist and dance
Every once in a while, Phil and I will pull on our wedding reception playlist, or some hits from our high school days in the 90’s, and we dance our little hearts out. We try some actual couples dance moves, which are usually ruined by my lack of ability to follow (hee hee), “jump around” with House of Pain, and let our heart rates slow down with a nice cuddling slow jam. It is just so fun to let loose and enjoy the moment.
7# Have a photo shoot
This activity can be done a lot of ways, so take it and make it your own. You could be funny, classy, sexy, imaginative, or creative. What ever you do, get in touch with your creative side and have fun.
#8 Scavenger hunt around the neighborhood
This one could be a fun activity and depending upon your level of creativity, it could be filled with clues involving friends, certain stops in the neighborhood, or favorite trees. You may just want to let your neighbors know what is happening so they are not nervous with someone scavenging around their yard. Make the end prize YOU with a fist full of flowers. SOOO FUN!
#9 Bubble Bath
….The End. ;)
#10 Play 20 Questions
Even after knowing Phil for 14 years it is fun to ask questions and get to know his thinking on things. If you are struggling to come up with questions, this list, from Freshly Married, has 100 for you to choose from!
I hope these ideas give you some inspiration for creating a sense of fun in your marriage. When you do them smile and know that you are doing your part to change a nation! How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
I have made this cute PDF for you to download to remind you of these date night ideas. I’m excited to try out a few of these over the next few weeks myself.
Love and Aloha to all!!