January 24, 2012

date nights

Marriage has been a big topic of conversation around me lately. I think a lot of it has to do with the life stage we are in. When you are a family with young kids, life is much crazier than those newly married years when it's just you and your husband. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the kids and lose sight of each other. I get that. I am crazy about my kids. I love them dearly and would do anything for them. It would be easy to want to spend all of my time doing things with them and for them. If you haven't seen a picture, they are pretty sinkin' cute. : )


I love Jake more.

Jake and I had a date last night. It was SO great to be out with him. We love each other and our time together. He is my best friend and my teammate. We started to babysit swap with our sweet friends Andrew and Michelle and it was our turn. They came over to our house, played with our kids, cooked dinner for them, bathed them and put them to bed. What a huge blessing! I on the other hand put on my skinny jeans and heels (later to be replaced by TOMS... seriously... how to people walk in heels all day every day) and enjoyed every second of our date night out.

We believe so much in marriage. We also believe that a mom and dad who love and prioritize each other brings true security to kids... not child centered parenting. Because of this we make a big deal about date nights in the Box house! We budget for them, and not just that, we make sacrifices/cut back in other areas to make sure we have enough money for 2 fun date nights a month. The other two weeks in the month we do a low key "date night" at home. This mostly looks like renting a movie, sitting by the fire pit with hot chocolate... you get the idea. Date nights are a BIG deal to us.

I know that seems impossible for many people. Maybe it's a tight budget, or hard situation with kids. I just want to say that's not lost on me. It may be that after looking at your budget, making cuts and sacrificing, all you have enough money for is ice cream. That's ok. Still, get out and have the best ice cream date any couple has ever had!

While we were in Uganda, we obviously couldn't hire a babysitter and go on dates. But it was still so important to us. We ended up having a date night every night when the boys would go to bed. We would go on the back porch while we lived at the orphanage, or cozy up on the couch at our Bridge Africa house and talk, laugh, dream and blog. : ) Half of the time it was by candle light because of rolling blackouts! We made a habit of walking down to this little market during the day and buying 2 cokes and 2 candy bars for that night. I would usually make a cup of Via coffee with caramel creamer and we were set!

I kind of miss those little dates. They were warm, simple and every night. They hold so many memories for me and our time in Uganda.

So, if you are on a tight budget, or if it seems impossible to leave your kids right now, pretend you're in Uganda. Set aside nights to be together and make a point to grab a candy bar, coke or cup of coffee to go with it.

You won't regret it.

{Date night last night at Contigo Austin}

{I love him.}


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  2. so true. love this post. date nights are a must in the harkey house...even before having e. since we have only been home a month now we haven't gone out on a date night (yet) but we for sure make time when he goes to bed. so most of our date nights at the moment seem very similar to the ones in Uganda....but they sure are memorable and i am thankful for each one. have a great day:)

  3. Thanks Amy! I totally know what you mean. We didn't leave on a date night for a little while after we got back. We are fortunate to have family close by and incredible friends. They would come over and stay at the house while the boys were sleeping so we could get out of the house for a late night date. Now, E does really well with them babysitting. We haven't ventured out to get an actual babysitter yet though. One thing at a time. : )

  4. We were really starting to feel the pain of NOT having date nights. We finally found a GREAT babysitter at church and we budget for her. We try to get groupons so we don't spend as much money on date nights. It has been so wonderful.

    When our kiddos come home I know this is gonna have to change for a little while, but our marriage has really needed some special time and I am so blessed that we both felt it and have made it a priority.

  5. we too LOVE LOVE LOVE date nights and they are the outlets that i look forward to throughout the week. we try to make sure we are out each week alone. :)
    on a side note .... we too LOVE Contigo!

  6. @Cynthia, you guys are so great. I know it is hard when you first get back in country with your kids. And for most families it is much harder than it has been on us. I promise there are LOTS of ways to pull off date nights (at home or away) until things get back to normal. Love you friend!

  7. @Jamie, first of all, thanks for commenting on my blog! Secondly,yes, we love Contigo. I went there for the first time a while back with Jessica. GREAT date place.

  8. loved meeting you this weekend !!
    went back & ordered the zipper scarf for my trunk after seeing you rock it saturday ;)

  9. Thanks so much Paige! It was so great meeting you as well! Glad you liked the zip up wrap! It's my favorite!

  10. Such wonderful encouragement to keep the priority on the marriage. That's one of my biggest New Year's Resolutions this year. Love reading your blog!!


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