Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wedded Wednesday: Time Together

Ali wants to know: Do you go on regular dates?

(This is Meredith, the wife):

I don't know that we date with regularity, but yes, we do go out on dates and we love them! We're inching closer to the day that we can leave our kids at home without a sitter, but we're not comfortable with that just yet so finances are definitely something we have to consider. By the time you pay a sitter, go out to eat, and see a movie, you can easily spend $100. I believe it's important to put time and money into your relationship, but sometimes we have to get creative with our options.

John worked at home for a few years and we used to take our kids to school/preschool and go to Starbucks for a couple of hours. He always told me I was a cheap date. Sometimes we'd wander around the library (free!) or drive around and look at old houses downtown or go on a hike. These days it works well for us to meet for lunch while the kids are in school. Those lunch dates are my favorites. I especially love it when John calls and says, "Hey, wanna meet me at Chipotle in a little while?"

When our kids were really small, we did lots of "at home" dates. We'd make dinner or get take-out and eat together after the kids were in bed. Sometimes we'd eat while we watched a tv show or a movie. It was fun because we planned it and looked forward to it all day.

As for overnight dates, they're wonderful but we don't get very many of them. Probably because we live far away from family and we only have one or two families that we're comfortable leaving our kids with.

We are very protective of our family time on weekends. We spend a lot of quality time with our kiddos; we enjoy hanging out with them and I think they enjoy hanging out with us too. I believe that it's good for them to see us step away on a date every so often, and realize that dad and mom need some alone time.

How do you make time for each other, plus make time for your 3 kids?

(this is John, the husband)

Verily, verily, there is a way that seemeth right unto a husband and father who seeketh to make equal time for those he loveth, but yea he walketh through the valley of the shadow and somebody is always sure that everyone else got the goldmine whilst they got the shaft.

But I say unto thee, above all things, seek ye first your spouse that your days may be long upon the earth and forget not all her benefits. At the same time, forget not that for every child, turn, turn, turn, there is a season and sometimes thy middle daughter’s weeping lasteth beyond the night and no joy cometh in the morning and she needeth reassurance that her father will never leave or forsake her. Or thy firstborn son, thy strength, who once was blind but now has been granted sight to see nothing but perky middleschool girls with perfect 20/20 and he needeth both thy counsel and wisdom. Fathers, do not exasperate your children, nor look down upon their youth, for you shall need them one day to feed you pudding and change the channel.

But always be quick to return to the wife of thy youth, slow to make excuses for there are no righteous excuses, no not one, and even slower to believe that even though thou hast the desire to do better next time, thou are a prisoner to thy nature: namely, there are four of them and one of thee, and thou art a wretched one at that bound by time and space. What I want to do I do not do and what I don’t want to do I do. What shall we say then? We find these truths to be self-evident – 1. Gird up thy loins, my brother and 2. a little wine is good for the stomach.


How do you celebrate anniversaries?

(this is Mer, the wife)
I think it all depends on our budget and our babysitting options. The last two years we've gone out for dinner and a movie. Two years ago, our kids were in Arkansas with their grandparents so we were able to spend a few days at a beautiful cabin in the mountains. This summer we'll celebrate our twentieth so we're planning a special trip!!!

Our Anniversary Box is something I created several years ago and no matter what we do to celebrate, it's always a special part of our day!


Melissa said...

I announced I wasn't going to blog today, but then I remembered that it's Wedded Wednesday...something I look forward to so much! So, I'll choose Thursdays as my second unplugged day.

Anyway...I know what you mean about dating. It's so important, even if it's just getting a cup of coffee somewhere. My man & I used to date a lot more, but finances got tight. We're fortunate that my parents live nearby, so we're able to skip that expense. In the early (poor) days of our marriage, we would ride around and look at new construction he was working on (and dream of our own home). Now, if we have time alone, we usually end up getting a pizza and watching a DVD at home. It's about the time (not the money) spent :-)

Unknown said...

I'm loving the Wedded Wednesday' guys are an inspiration.

I'm sure I've read about the Anniversary Box before...maybe not...but I love the idea!!

Anonymous said...

John- the husband, he scared me a little. I'm choosing to believe he spent hours concocting that little speech; otherwise, I'd be totally bowled over by his creative genius. Mer, you should maybe think about dating him or something.

Sami said...

I am really enjoying these posts. I have only been married for 8 months and it is so nice to hear "truth" from those who have been married for years. I love that y'all are honest and candid. It is so encouraging! And I LOVE the idea of the anniversary box. We will definitely be starting this tradition this year! And how cool will it be to be able to go through a box of memories 50 years from now? If I can still remember where I put the box when I'm 81... :)

Becca~CapturingSimpleJoys said...

I'm also loving these posts! It is hard to do and it's something that my husband and I struggle with~making time for just us.
We had a wonderful day last weekend when our good friend Edna agreed to watch the kids for us. I just need to schedule something like that more regularly:)

Mama Voss said...

I love your Wednesday posts -- it is nice to hear about date night. As important as it is, financially it can be a bear. Our three children are not at an age to stay home, but yet they aren't babies either. It gets tough to pay a sitter. We had date night this past weekend and it proved to be an expensive night, but a very needed night... it had been since early November (I think).

Also, love the anniversary box... I'm definitely "stealing" that.

Mollie said...

Great advice as always!! I do love the obx idea...we are just 10 years into it- that would not be hard to catch up on!! Great Post as always- looking forward to next wed.

Gretchen said...

Lunches out are the bomb. Also, usually the menu is quite a bit cheaplier.

Carpool Queen said...

We try to go out regularly - at least once a month. While the kids are in school, we sneak in a lunch here or there, and those are my absolute favorite.

Brenda said...

It's all a balancing act for sure.
Love the 'gospel according to John'!

*carrie* said...

Am definitely enjoying this series. I've been mulling over the post on disagreements all week, especially John's thoughts on "being on the same page." Disciplining our kids is our biggest challenge these days, and it can be so discouraging! (Similarly to you guys, I tend on the lenient side, and Eric tends to be much more firm/strict.)

Ali said...

I loved reading this post! Thanks for all the great details! Great idea on the lunch dates! I can't wait till they are all in school so we can try that! Babysitting is crazy expensive so at this stage we tend to put the kids to bed and hang out and eat take out together for a date! Fun to have a date in your own home that doesn't cost much! John's post was funny! :) He tackled a hard is so hard to juggle the family time and the couple time! Have fun on your 2oth anniversary trip this summer! Loved your anniversary box creative!

~ Ali

Anonymous said...

Our church offers free Friday Night Out babysitting from 6 until 9 for parents that attend Sunday School. I'm not above accepting that bribe. It has saved my sanity many a week.