Thursday, April 26, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

Hello ladies! It is time to announce the lucky winner of the Olive Garden gift card!
I seriously wish I could give everyone one. Seeing other couples go on dates makes me so happy. Almost as happy as when I get to go on one with Hubby :)

So, courtesy of RANDOM.ORG the winner is......

Number 12!!!
(I am a little technogically challenged and couldn't 
get the drawing-generator-thingy to show up on here...sorry)

Who is Number 12?
  1. Sara Said...
    I'm a follower! And...$25 is more than we've spent on our last 10 dates as well :) 
    But we ate at the Olive Garden the night we got engaged, so it's got a soft spot in my heart...
    ReplyDelete

                               Congratulations Sara! I will be contacting you soon. 

                               Thanks to all those who entered the giveaway and are now 
                               following my blog!

                                           Happy Dating!
                                                        


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Romance Spotlight: Tiffany

Hello everyone and welcome to my ROMANCE SPOTLIGHT! Tiffany from Health-N-Balanced is here to talk about the sweet love that her parents have for each other. I absolutely love it and know you will too. Hope you take a second to read it and be sure to stop by her blog and say hi to her!
Take it away Tiffany! 

My grandparents back in the day


I admit it. I am incredibly blessed. Not only do I have a husband who loves me, but I have parents who taught me and showed me what love truly is.
My parents met and were married within 6 months. I guess my dad didn’t believe in taking things slow….actually, he would probably say, “Why wait when you know?”. When my parents met, let’s just say my dad really liked his alcohol. But when he asked for my mom’s hand in marriage, she agreed with one condition. Stop drinking! He did and he has never returned to it.
They have been married for 36 years and have loved each other everyday with a 1 Corinthians kind of love. Not the kind of love that many people “fall out of” once they are tired of each other, but the kind of love that endures.
My daddy still sneaks up behind my mom, wraps his arms around her waist, gives her a kiss, and tells her, “I love you.” This is usually followed by my mom shouting his name (faking being annoyed) and wiggling her way out of his arms as he laughs.
Throughout my life I have seen that love displayed time and time again.
My parents never argued in front of us. That doesn’t mean they never argued. They just knew the importance of not arguing in front of us kids. They knew that in doing so they were providing a home that was filled with love and peace.
My mom would almost always have dinner ready for my dad when he got home; not because it was “a woman’s job” but because she loved him and she loved to bring him joy….and believe me-one thing that brings joy to my dad’s life is food! ;)
My mom taught me not be ashamed of being a housewife and to take pride in having a clean home and a hot meal on the table. Her relationship with my dad taught me not to be bullied into thinking that I was falling into some kind of “macho” mindset just because I wanted to do those things for my husband and family.
Their relationship also taught me that submission is not a bad a thing. When the Bible teaches that a wife should submit to her husband, it’s not saying that the husband should treat his wife as his slave. Submission is something that flows naturally from a relationship where two people love and respect each other. When you have that kind of relationship, submission is never a master/servant issue.
My dad loved, and continues to love, my mom..he still will wait for her so he can follow her home from church if they happen to be in two cars. He still brings her balloons, flowers, or a card just because.
My mom loved, and continues to love, my dad…she still makes his favorite homemade biscuits for him at least once a week. She still respects the decisions he makes and stands by him no matter what.
They have stood together through job losses, rebellious children, cancer, surgeries, financial troubles, and many more storms of life. They have also stood proudly together as they have seen each of their children marry, start families of their own, and follow hard after God’s plan for their lives.
They will be the first to tell you that the only reason they are able to love each other is because of the love that God showed to each one of them. He is the one who has remained in the center of their relationship throughout the years, throughout all the ups and downs. They will also be quick to tell you that it is a love that was shown to them by their parents.
That love is a legacy that I hope to be able to pass down to my children as well.
So today, I am thankful for the example that my parent’s love has been for my life. Without it, I wouldn’t have had a clue as to what to look for when I was in search of my soul mate. Their example allowed me to be able to spot a REAL man who TRULY loved me when the time came and how to TRULY love him back. Today I am not only thankful for my wonderful husband but I am thankful for my amazing parents.
I love you both so much and here’s to at least another 36 years of true love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Thanks so much Tiffany! Loved it!
Hope you stop by next week for another ROMANCE SPOTLIGHT!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Candy Store

One time Hubby and I went on a date to this awesome candy store. I mean awesome
I wish I would have taken more pictures. There was more candy than I could imagine. (Most of which I had never seen or hear of)

But to be perfectly honest, I'm not a candy person. Just not that in to it. 
Chocolate on the other hand? LOVE IT!

So while this store was absolutely brilliant, our visit was more for Hubby than me. 
He was completely giddy and got a few pounds of candy. POUNDS! 
Sheesh.
And since visiting a candy store is every 9 year olds dream, he couldn't help but act like a 9 year old as he ate his goodies on the way home. 
Good times, good times. 

When was the last time YOU went to a candy store? Ever been there on a date? Try it!

Happy Dating!


P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a Olive Garden gift card!

Linking up:
We are THAT Family

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Date Night Giveaway!

Guess what? I finally reached the 100 follower mark!
I am so excited! And just to show you all some 'lovin, I'm giving away an awesome date. 


That's right, a $25 gift card to Olive Garden!
(And just so you know, this is more mulah than Hubby and I have spent on our last 10 dates combined.) Awww...aren't I nice? :)

So, here's how to enter: 

1. Follow Friday Night Date Night!
(Either GFC or Linky Followers)
2. Leave me a comment and let me know! 
(oh, and include your email too so I can contact the winner)

That's it!

This giveaway ends on April 26th. Spread the word and good luck!

Happy Dating!

P.S. If you have an idea for a date you would like to share, be sure to check out my "submit a date" tab!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Romance Spotlight: Jocelyn

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly ROMANCE SPOTLIGHT! Jocelyn from We Talk of Christ, We Rejoice in Christ is here to share an anniversary tribute with us. I hope you take a minute to read it and be sure to stop by her blog and say hi! Take it away Jocelyn!


Steve and I are celebrating seven years of marriage this Sunday...

Seven wonderful, action-packed years!

Here we are on our wedding day, sitting on the very bench where he proposed to me, outside of the Washington, DC Temple.  I like to say that Heavenly Father had to move heaven and earth to get the two of us together, and that isn't too far from the truth. 

Steve and I were both in the same singles ward in 2003 - The Langley Ward.  I had recently moved to DC and was still untangling myself from emotions left over from a previous relationship when I first met Steve.  I remember sitting in my car, listening to some music, before getting up the nerve to enter a bowling alley where our ward was having FHE that evening.  I was mulling over the huge waste of time the last two years of my life had been...dating someone who I neither liked, nor wanted to be married to.  But now I was in a different place, back in DC among many of the friends I had loved so much the first time I lived there a few years earlier.  As I gave myself a little pep talk to get ready to "mingle" with the singles, the thought entered my mind, "Who knows?  I could meet my future husband tonight."  Then I gave myself a mental lashing for even thinking something so ridiculous and cliche and I joined the party.  Later that evening, I did in fact meet Steve.

He didn't make a huge impression on me that night, because I observed him laughing at jokes made by a girl who openly admitted to having had a boob job.  Sorry Steve, but I'm just being real here.  He was just another guy to me, one of a thousand or so who ran in the LDS singles scene in DC.

That is why when we ended up on a date together one evening a few months later, I didn't even remember him by name.  "Steve Christensen," my date Clark told me, "You know him!"  I insisted that I did not know a Steve Christensen.  Clark was my home teacher.  He liked me.  He was an extremely nice guy, very righteous, very stalwart.  I wasn't interested in him, but I went out with him anyway when he asked.  I didn't have a reason to say no, really.  We went on a double-date:  Clark and I were joined by Clark's good buddy Steve and Steve's girlfriend.

When I got in the car that evening, Steve and his girlfriend were in the back seat.  It was dark, so I still could not see who this Steve person was who I supposedly knew.  And then he spoke.  At this point, I still couldn't see his face, but his voice was like some magic combination of chords that made my heart and mind feel alive!  It wasn't necessarily a love reverberation, but it was something--some kind of connection.  It was like he spoke on a frequency that no one in the world had ever spoken to me on before!  I didn't even know what his face looked like, but his voice made me hungry to hear more.  Every word that he spoke was so intelligent and insightful.  He was funny without being silly, personable, but genuine.  More than anything, I wanted him to say more...

When we got out of the car, I realized that I truly had met Steve before, but this time, I had gotten to know him better.  He was a nice guy...an interesting person...with a great voice...and a "steady" girlfriend.  Lucky them, I thought.

Months passed, and Steve and I were thrown together again, this time because of our church callings.  Brother Haraguchi was the counselor in the bishopric who called us both to serve as co-chairs of the activities committee.  Every month we planned activities for about 400 singles in our ward.  It was a lot of fun.  By this time, Steve had broken up with his girlfriend, but I figured Steve wasn't interested in me, because he never flirted with me during our many late-night (because of my work schedule) meetings, so in my mind we were never going to be more than friends.

Just Friends - At "Mulligan Madness" a mini-golf event we planned for the singles ward.
I was working for CNN at this point, and I got off work at 11pm.  So I would go out most weekends to parties as soon as I got off work.  I enjoyed meeting lots of guys and hanging out with my girlfriends and co-workers.  I had pretty much resigned myself to a life of dating around, working, and enjoying all that DC had to offer...at least for the time being.

Then Memorial Day Weekend rolled around:  Singles in DC traditionally go to Duck Beach over Memorial Day Weekend, rent houses, and hang out at the beach.  I had decided that I would go to Duck Beach that Memorial weekend with the singles too...and then Steve asked me out.  I had to weigh the choice:  go to Duck Beach and hang out with 700 singles or go out with Steve, my co-chair on the activities committee.  Hmmmm.  (What would you choose?)  Up until this point, I thought he was not interested in me (although he had asked me out once before...I was out of town that time too.)  I waffled between the two options, and Steve, in an attempt to mask his eagerness said, "Well, if you do end up staying in town, we'll have to hang out."

I worked an earlier shift that day, because I planned on hopping in my car around 3pm and driving down to join the party at Duck Beach.  Although, admittedly, I was still waffling.

Around noon that day, my roommate Cindi called me at work.  She asked if I was sitting down.  (I thought she was going to tell me that my grandpa had died, her tone was so grave!)  She told me that a tree had fallen on my car...the very car I was going to drive to Duck Beach.

When I walked home from the Metro that day, this is what I saw outside of my apartment:

My car is underneath all of those leaves...

There's part of my car now...as you can see this tree had rotted out at the base.


At this point, workers were already sawing away the treetops so they could get my car out.

Bye-bye Windshield.


I did in fact stay in town that weekend.

And Steve and I went out not once, but three times....



Saturday, he took me to Rockford, MD to see the Spin Doctors in an outdoor concert.  (He didn't know that this was my favorite band in high school!)

Sunday evening, we attended a Memorial Day Concert of the National Symphony Orchestra in DC.  We sat on the steps of the Capitol, and he held my hand as the rain fell softly, creating a beautiful mist.  The music was amazing.  A perfect atmosphere for falling in love.

Monday, we went to Arlington National Cemetery to watch the President lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  We were held up in security and missed the wreath-laying, but as we walked the grounds, a bird brushed my face with its wing as it flew past.  I'll always remember the sensation.  I took that as a sign of good things to come.

After that week, I KNEW that Steve was someone who I could marry.  I had never been able to say that with 100% confidence with any other guy before.  Whenever I entertained the idea of marriage with other men, I'd get an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach, or I'd have a bad dream where I played out getting married to that person and things would just feel very wrong.  But not with Steve.  I always feel right with Steve.  That is how I knew that he was the one.  

He also did something that other guys didn't. He was strong enough and secure enough to show me that I was his number one choice very early on.  He held nothing back.  He was willing to make himself vulnerable to me and was always very unselfish emotionally.

One time about a week or two after we went on our first date, Steve had to attend a dinner at a girl's house.  He had made this arrangement previously.  I don't remember the details, but I remember that he called me at work to tell me that he was going to dinner at this person's house with a group of people and that he wanted me to know that it was just a friend situation.  I absolutely did not expect him to do this.  He cared about my feelings from the very start and was so considerate of me.  Other guys I met in DC at that time, were so inconsiderate.  They dated girls for sport.  They'd take you out one night and forget your name the next day at church.  It was so degrading actually.  But Steve was a real man.  He was dating with a purpose.

He proposed after 3.5 months of dating, and we were married one year after our first date.

I guess this isn't actually THE WHOLE story, but you're getting the gist of it.  Two fiercely confident and independent people brought together by the hand of the Lord.  It wasn't enough that we were put into a calling together, forced to work together...He had to drop a tree on my car for us to TAKE THE HINT.  We were meant to be together...

I like to think that our love story is unique, but maybe it's not.  I just know that I hear lots of lovely, fluttery, goo-goo-love stories, and I think our love story was much more sensible.  I had had those kissy-kissy, can't live without him love/crush experiences in the past, but none of those lead me to THE ONE...the one who gives me wings, but keeps me grounded in what's true.   The one who encourages me to follow my dreams while still being true to myself and my covenants.  The one who knows me instinctively, knows what's best for me, wants what I want, works as hard as I work.  

Steve would disagree with this next statement, but I got the sense that he really could live without me and would carry on just fine, but that he CHOSE TO BE WITH ME, and that made me love him even more.  We are equals.  We stand side-by-side.  We can like different things, have different interests, and yet neither one must bend to the other, because we are equally yoked and perfectly in step.  We are just an absolutely perfect fit.  



And three kids and two moves later, I want him now more than ever.

So thankful to the Lord for bringing us together.
So thankful for the institution of marriage.
So thankful for the beautiful children that we have made together.

So grateful for the life we have ahead of us.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, STEVE!

I love you!




Thanks so much Jocelyn! Loved it!
Hope you will stop by next week for another ROMANCE SPOTLIGHT!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tailgate at Home

When I drove into our apartment complex the other night, this is what I saw...


Too cute right?
If this doesn't scream creative, fun, at home date, I don't know what does. 
It was just the two of them. Grilling on the back of their truck and watching a movie on a lap top while waiting. They were clearly enjoying themselves and it just made me happy seeing them.

Thanks for the inspirations guys! 
We will have to try this sometime. And you should too!

Happy Dating!
Linking up:

Thankful Thursdays Button

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sweets and a Movie

I've been trying to eat better lately. 
Who isn't right:? 
I have banned myself from all desserts. Period. 
And you know what? It hasn't been as hard as I was expecting it to be. 
But...
Sometimes its nice to just sit down and have you favorite sweet treat.  Just because. 
So for date night, Hubby and I swung by the grocery store and picked up some root beer and a doughnut. Yum! And then snuggled up to watch a movie together. Nothing elaborate. Nothing expensive or outrageously fun. Just one on one time with delicious food each other. 
And that's all that really matters right?

Date night? At home, relaxed, and delicious. 
Perfect. 

Happy Dating!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Romance Spotlight: Jami

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly ROMANCE SPOTLIGHT! Jami from Young Wife's Guide is here to share her engaement story with us. I hope you will take a minute to read it and be sure to stop by her blog and say hi! Take it away Jami!

 In August 2008 when I was 18 years old and my boyfriend was 20 we both moved 8 hours away from our family to attend college. I was starting as a freshman and he was transferring in as a junior. I lived in the dorms on campus and he lived in an apartment on campus.

We had talked about marriage already. We had started talking about the ring and we settled on the idea that I would pick out 5 different rings that I loved and he would make the final decision to surprise me. Well after shopping around I ended up deciding on the one ring I loved. 

So I knew what ring I was getting, that we planned on getting married the next summer, and that he was probably itching to propose. I just didn't know when this would happen and my boyfriend played that up as much as he could. 

We were at Disneyland one night (we had a season pass) and my boyfriend surprised me with a reservation at The Blue Bayou, and adorably romantic (and expensive!!) restaurant inside the Pirate's of the Caribbean ride. I had always wanted to go here and just knew that this meant I was getting engaged that night! 

I started planning right away that after he proposed we would go buy the mickey and minnie wedding hats and get a picture taken there...only he didn't propose. Dinner came and went. We finished dinner and the first thing he asks me if if I thought it was going to happen tonight. 

He was trying to throw me off the trail! He purposefully wanted me to think he was proposing just so he could surprise me more! Well it worked. 

Fast forward a month and we had a Friday off of school. So we loaded up my car and hit the road for 8 hours to visit our family for the first time since moving away to college. It was a special weekend since we hadn't seen our family in so long. 

On Saturday of that weekend we decided to go to the River to play frisbee which we had done so many times before. I was NOT expecting a proposal here. We get there and my boyfriend tries to talk me into going on a walk just the two of us down by the river. 

I'm a bit irritated with him at this moment. Why would I go on  a walk with just you when we are here to spend time with family?? (I don't know why I didn't see it coming). 

So his family encourages us that it's fine, they are going to warm up so we should go for a quick walk. We head off down a beautiful trail next to the river and halfway down my boyfriend grabs my hand, spins me around and is on one knee. 

I took one look at him and said "You're joking". Remember, he had tricked me before! I really thought he was just messing with me again. But no, this time he pulls out a ring and asked "Will you marry me?" 

Of course I said yes, I cried, we sat by the river for a few minutes so happy to be engaged and then walked back to his family waiting there with sparkling cider and yummy treats to celebrate. 

By the river where he proposed.

We got engaged October 17, 2008 and exactly 7 months later on May 17, 2009 we were married. I was 19 and he was 21. It was the best decision of our lives and we are so happy to get to spend these young years together! 
On Our Wedding Day


Thanks Jami! Loved it!
Hope you will stop by next week for another ROMANCE SPOTLIGHT!

Happy Dating!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cards

We had our neighbors over for a game of cards tonight. It was really fun!  We put our kids to bed and then made a double date out of it. 


Do you have any cards? If so, then this date is FREE! You can play at home, and during nap time! 
There are TONS of card games out there too. Uno, Rook, phase 10, spoons etc. Grab a deck and start playing!


Happy Dating!

Linking up:
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Thankful Thursdays Button





Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Romance Spotlight: Caitlin


Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly ROMANCE SPOTLIGHT! One of my best friends Caitlin, from Sugar Bea's Custom Cookies is here to share a fun date that she and her husband recently had. I hope you enjoy it and take a second to stop by her blog and check out her gorgeous work!
Take it away Caitlin!

Hello Friday Night Date Night readers! I'm so excited to be here, I love dating my husband and I think that dating your spouse is really important in a strong marriage. Just a little bit about us..
I first fell in love with my husband Tyler when I was 12 and he was 16 (just kidding. Seriously, though). When my parents moved into his families neighborhood I developed quite the crush, of course I had never talked to Tyler until after I had graduated high school when he called me on the phone and asked me out on a date. It's all history from there! Four months later we were married in the Bountiful Temple!
We've now been married for two and a half years and couldn't be happier! We love to go on dates with each other and we love spending time together. We have the cutest little boy in the world (if I do say so myself) who's sixteen months old and sometimes makes it a little bit challenging to go out, so one of our favorite things to do is plan a fun date at home after he is asleep. I thought I'd share our 'Sleepover' date I planned a few months ago. It was so much fun!
We (meaning Tyler) moved the couch and set up the air mattress in our family room and rented a movie to watch. I made punch,
and homemade BBQ chicken pizza,
and cookie dough dip!
To me there is nothing better than just staying home and cuddling up to watch a movie, play games, talk and eat junk food with your favorite person in the world!


Thanks so much Caitlin! Loved it!
See you next week for another ROMANCE SPOTLIGHT!

Happy Dating!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fishing

Hubby LOVES to fish. I mean he really loves to fish. 
He even went fishing on our honeymoon.
True story.
Since he has this great love of fish, you'd better believe that we have made some date nights out of it.


And you know, its not so bad. 
Don't get me wrong. I don't like pulling a hook out of a slimy fishy mouth. But, I don't puke either.
It's just fun being together and I love that it makes him so happy.
 And that its super cheap! (Our fishing licence was $18 for a year)


Do you and your Hubby fish? Try it! It makes a great date night!

Happy Dating! 

Linking up:
Thankful Thursdays Button We are THAT Family
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