I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I love date nights. When Zach and I were dating, it was mostly long distance, so he would come visit for a weekend, and we would have two days packed with dates followed by a hard goodbye until his next visit. Looking back on our newlywed years, it seems like every night and weekend was a date. There was so much time for just the two of us during the five years before we had kids. We really didn’t need to do a scheduled date, because it was constant. I’m so grateful for the way those dates shaped our marriage and friendship.
Now, with three kids, I crave the elusive date night. We just re-watched the movie, Date Night, and in the beginning it shows this ordinary couple with kids and jobs (Steve Carell and Tina Fey) just trying to get out of the house, and there are so many obstacles. By the time they sit down at the restaurant, they are exhausted and it’s not very romantic. So, they try to do this big, fancy date, and everything goes wrong, which is perfect if you need a romantic comedy to watch on the couch and laugh with your husband. I think the first time I watched this movie, we maybe had one baby, and the beginning scene was funny because I thought it was overkill, but now it’s so close to reality that Zach and I almost couldn’t laugh at that part.
Life is really full. It is good and rich with moments I love. But it’s also a lot of diapers, dressing kids, sleep schedules, whining (oh, the whining!), and messy meals. It’s hard to lift my head sometimes and see my husband outside of to-do lists and bedtime routines and grocery shopping. So, we’re back at this season where date nights are hard to come by, but SO appreciated. And when they roll around, I’m like Tina Fey’s character, trying to throw on a pretty, dry-clean only dress, instead of the t-shirt and shorts I’ve been wearing all day, everyday, to mix things up and date my husband. We both push through the exhaustion of the end of the day and sit across from each other to eat and laugh, talk uninterrupted, feel like adults again, and find the romance that’s still there fifteen years after we first met.
And our attempt this year at a big, fancy date has been going to concerts – first The Drew Holcomb Band, and then The Lumineers and then a Nashville roadtrip with great friends – instead of just dinner. And I have to report that the switch up has been so good! Right now it’s really fun to experience something new together instead of just re-hashing our week over dinner.
I love that man so much. I love how this is a season of life, and it will keep changing and I get to date him year after year, through thick and thin.