Monday, August 6, 2012

The date pack

The "date pack" is something Brett and I came up with as a gift for another couple but have also made our own for date nights. It has now been a bit of a gift for a few couples who have enjoyed it.

The date pack is really a "date night in a box". We included all the basic elements but leave room for an individual couple's imagination and own tastes re music, food, etc.

What we included:
Games - we all need some fun to unwind and if you're anything like us, a bit of competition is always fun. I found some card game versions of classic games like Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle as well as other simple games like Uno and include one or two of these in each pack.
Conversation - sometimes it's good to take about things we may not often get the chance to and so in this date pack, we put together some 'discussion sparks' or conversation starters to help things along. These include things like "In the last 12 months I feel we have grown as a couple in...(list any and all ways you feel you have both grown together)"; "One aspect of our shared life I found challenging was...and this is why it was difficult for me..."; "In the last 12 months I have really enjoyed.. (describe a shared aspect of your like that has brought you joy)...and I would like to see us continue to share this... These are just a couple of ideas but you get the picture.
Love letter - each person is to write a love letter to their love. We included instructions with suggestions for what to write like "I remember one of the things I first noticed about you was...".
Extras - we have sometimes included things like scented candles or chocolates. At other times some money so the couple can get food they'd like. For your own, you can include anything you like - tickets to a movie you'll both enjoy; a CD of music you both love; etc.

We found the questions helpful for reflection and giving and receiving the love letters was pretty romantic (and funny!).

If you would like a PDF to download of the 'discussion sparks' and/or the love letter template, just leave your name/email address in the comments (your email address won't be made public) and I'll get it to you. If you would like us to put together a date pack for you, let me know that too.

Paper hearts

I love to do different things for our at-home date nights. A simple at-home date night can turn into something a little more special when you change the lighting, decorate a little or move some furniture around.

This time, I spent ages cutting out red and white hearts to make into garlands to string up over our dining table. I also made paper-chain hearts to decorate with as well.

I made a roast dinner and we ate by candlelight with some great music playing in the background.

We played a couple of card games we enjoy and we chatted about positives from the past year and what we're looking forward to over the next few months. It's good to create space for good conversations - the kind that maybe don't happen often when life gets busy or kids are in the mix.

It was a simple night, really, but was special and fun.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Not just the two of us anymore

I thought it was time for a few more date night ideas. I haven't posted for a while, spending most of my time with our baby girl. Our date nights still happen but sometimes, it's not just the two of us anymore. 

Getting used to being parents and all that goes with having a new, small person in the house, has meant that date nights need to be flexible. There are times when date night has consisted of sitting with a small, upset baby and singing or rocking her to sleep. Other times, we have managed to spend time together while she is peacefully sleeping... We are loving the challenge of making time for each other while having this new love in our lives.

At times, date night has been very simple - a chat over a meal in between baby feeds and changes. At other times, being tired and overwhelmed with this new chapter in our lives has meant that some creativity in date night planning has gone by the wayside. Still, our time together as a couple is valued and vital as we live and love each other and our precious daughter.

So, if you have a little 'third' (or maybe you have many little 'third persons') person in your house, make sure that you still make time for each other. Things may need to change for a while but don't let your date time fizzle out.