Married, with Children…

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… or, Keeping the Romance Alive When You Have Kids.

Valentines Day Gift Idea: Date Night Ideas in a Box!

Looking for a handmade Valentine’s Day gift idea for your significant other?

Somehow jewelry commercials airing around this time of the year would have us believe that diamonds equal romance.  That love begins with a rock on your finger, and is best displayed by whatever is wrapped up inside that little padded box.  Before the kids arrived, I knew they’d take up most of our energy but I had no idea they’d sap all of it.  Days with no alone time with my husband turned into weeks.  While I knew it wasn’t diamonds that equaled romance, I’ll admit I never appreciated how important time was together.

We soon discovered that if we didn’t mark out a date night on our calendars in pen {or, in “virtual” pen on our synched iCals} then it wouldn’t happen.

So, we did just that– scheduled date nights.  As unromantic as that seems, in this day and age it’s exactly what we needed.  When we couldn’t get away for our anniversary, we put the kids to bed early and spread out a picnic in front of the fireplace (yes, in August) with take-out from one of the best restaurants in the area.  Champagne flowed freely, as did non-kid-related conversation.

For this Valentine’s Day, I put together a “date night” kit for my husband.

It’s a way to carry the romance of Valentine’s Day into the other months as well.

We’ve been married for 7 years, so 7 items made it into the kit.  Now when we schedule our date nights, he’ll get to choose one of the items to keep our dates interesting and not fall into the same old routine.   I’m going to be totally mean and make him guess what type of date each piece stands for, but here’s a cheap sheet for the blog {which he probably won’t read before Valentine’s Day, so no surprises ruined here}.

1.  Lunch Date at Work (with food from favorite restaurant, delivered by me)

2.  Movie on Opening Night (backstory: I HATE crowds, so I never want to do this with him.  This time, I will!)

3.  Take the Train into the City for Dinner (for two people that live so close the City of Brotherly Love, we never seem to do this.  PS- ten points to the person who can guess which children’s movie I modeled the punched ticket after…)

4.  Popcorn and Movie at Home (yes, we do this almost weekly because it’s not always feasible to get a babysitter, but this is a DATE so no laptop, no iPhone, just straight-up snuggling while watching a great movie)

5. Brewery Tour and Tasting (my man loves craft and microbrewed beers, and I can certainly appreciate them as well!)

6.  Try a New Restaurant (in the spirit of getting out of our rut, try a new-to-us place to eat)

7.  Go for a Hike (again, another thing we used to love to do until we had kids)

I thought it was a good mix of things he liked to do and things we both enjoy.  Here’s a few ideas I didn’t add but might next year…

rock climbing
cooking class for two
couples massage
night at the orchestra or whatever the “hot” ticket is that month
run a 5K together
ball game,we both love baseball

… and so much more, once you start really brainstorming.

You know what?  Once we’ve gone on all our adventures, these pieces will become mementos of our dates.  We can save them as memories, use them again, and add in new ones.  Now, isn’t that worth more than diamonds?  {humor me and shake your head yes here, friends…}

Here’s my favorite part of Totful Tuesday– YOUR ideas.  What date night ideas have you done that have been interesting and fun?  How do you handle ‘date night’ when you have kids?
Valentines Day Gift Idea: Date Night Ideas in a Box!
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