Project 52: Date Nights
This past weekend we had Eric's family in town visiting, and since it was the first week of June, it was once again my month to plan the dates. Sunday night we got out the dominoes for a game of Mexican Train with my inlaws. We've played lots of games with our inlaws over the years and love doing so. This date lasted for several hours, as we shared snacks and laughs. Both of us come from families who have long traditions of playing games together and we hope to pass that on to our kids. And if its Disney Yahtzee for now, that'll do.
Last Friday my mom took the girls for the night, and I surprised Eric with dinner at Boise's newest sushi restaurant, Yoi Tomo. We both had bento boxes and split a spicy crab roll and it was all fresh and delicious. (I'd completely recommend the place to the locals, except the service was terrible.) We took a leisurely twilight walk from there to The Flicks a few blocks away. We were about an hour early, but ordered some glasses of wine and tried out their popcorn sprinkled with brewers yeast and tamari (interesting, but not something I'd order again). It was so decadent, reading the local paper, sipping our wine by candlelight, and chatting about life. We watched The Eclipse (no, not that Twilight thing by the same title coming out soon), a sweet little Irish film about ghosts and love. It was such an adult night - the kind of dates we used to have more often than not in our 20s pre-kids. And being surrounded by other adult couples at the 9pm showing, sipping their wine and beer, I remembered how much I've missed it.
This was our second week participating in Simply Modern Mom's Project 52 and I have to say that this night was so much easier, cheaper and more successful than our first one. Taking an idea from Tiffany's list of 16 suggestions to get you started, I set up a game of "Would You Rather." Basically, you write down a bunch of different phrases on slips of paper (Tiffany gets you started with a great printable sheet) and put them in a bowl. (You could also print them instead of write them out longhand if you were more technologically hip than we are and actually have a printer that works.) Each of you takes turns picking out two and asking the other, for example, "Would you rather live with snakes or eat the same meal for the next 10 years?" The concept is simple and the answers always spark a little interesting conversation. It was fun to find out that we answered much the same on them.
I dimmed the lights and lit some candles. I poured each of us a frosty mug of beer (obviously I've never been a waitress, as my beer pouring skills have much to be desired) and popped some popcorn. Our poor 1960s transistor radio in the kitchen is on the fritz, so the only station I could get was some some light rock/Muzack type sounds. It felt a little like we were sitting alone in a really bad hotel bar, having a drink. Which, actually, suits us perfectly.
I talked to Eric about joining in the project three months late, and he was as enthusiastic as I am to jump on board. I have been lamenting about us not taking enough time to nurture our relationship - to remember how we used to enjoy each other's company before there were bouts of pink eye, mountains of laundry, swimming lessons, and bathtimes. We really miss each other. This seems like the perfect way to fit it all in, especially with Tiffany's guidelines, adapted a little to fit our needs:
The plan was to take the girls to my dad's place in Ontario, Oregon, on Friday night and leave them there for our Saturday night of freedom. Friday also happened to be Alice's second birthday, in which she proceeded to get crabbier and crabbier as the day progressed and ended out her special day by projectile vomiting not once, but twice. And then developed a really high fever. Disappointed, I called the Geiser Grand and explained that I was going to have to cancel our trip and reservations. The receptionist could read the sadness and desperation in my voice and let me reschedule our room at a later date for no charge. It'll now be June before I get a night away with my hubby, but sometimes life and motherhood take precedence.
So we ended up tending to a really sick baby at my dad's place all weekend, but had a great time watching movies, playing Wii, hiding Easter eggs, and taking long naps. Eric and I did manage to get away for a few hours on a date on Saturday - we spent an hour or two browsing thrift shops and a flea market in Ontario. Later that night we spent more than $20, which totally contradicts the idea of Project 52, going to the movie theater to see Hot Tub Time Machine. The movie was horrible, but come on, our other options were Clash of the Titans, The Bounty Hunter, and that new Miley Cyrus thing. The date redeemed itself with a delicious Mexican dinner at Tacos el Zarape, a little gem of a place hidden behind the Pilot gas station near the freeway. While this was totally not within the guidelines of Project 52 or our normal nights, it is always fun, every once in a while, to have an old school, traditional date. It kind of felt like we were in high school again, holding hands during a really bad 80s movie. And we actually had time during our meal to enjoy it leisurely, order a beer, and have a conversation. And we sat IN THE BAR.
I'm really excited to post about our dates each week, and hope you'll follow along, as we have some fun ideas planned. Actually, YOU should think about joining in, too, with your significant other. It is a realistic project with a focus on nurturing our most personal relationships, so what could be bad about that? And we're bound to have a good time and learn a few new things about each other along the way.