Sunday, July 15, 2012

I Get the Joy of Rediscovering You....

Me, Jay, and Bon Jovi on a random date night
I have been married for fourteen years, eight months, and twenty-five days.  That is quite a while.  You get to know a person pretty well living with them for nearly fifteen years.  You see it all….the good, the bad, and the ugly!  Which is why it is pretty impressive that Jay can still give me butterflies with just one little question –

 “Will you go out with me Friday night?”

I am so blessed to have a husband who still asks me out on dates, and also blessed to have my in-laws nearby who are all-too-willing to take the little man on Friday nights. 

Now, I will say that we are not able to go out on a date every Friday night.  Work and travel and Micah’s activities sometimes interrupt the romance, but in general, we try to set aside a couple of times a month just for us.

Flowers go a long way with this girl!
Sometimes our date nights are low key.  Last night, for example, date night involved a late night run to Sonic in our pjs, and a movie on Netflix, cuddled up on the couch.  Sometimes, we do dinner and a movie.  Sometimes we go all out – I’ll spend a couple of hours getting dressed up, Jay will bring flowers, the works.  Sometimes we plan every detail ahead.  Sometimes we go with the flow. 

Over the years, we’ve had some pretty memorable date nights.  Here are my top 10 (so far…)

10. (1995) I don’t know that this really qualifies as a date, but it still makes my list.  Jay and I were at TYI (a youth retreat for teens in the fifteen southern states), and we were going on a field trip to see a Passion Play.  Jay and I were not dating each other, but we were good friends.  It was announced that if you had a significant other that you’d like to sit by during the play, you could let the staff know and they’d arrange it so you could be sure to get on the same charter bus.  Jay asked if I would be his significant other for the night, and I agreed.  So we didn’t really know it at the time, but that was our first date!

9. (2009) While we were in Louisville visiting Jay’s parents for the weekend, Jay took me to see Ingrid Michaelson, my very favorite singer.  The concert was amazing and the band was so funny.  The best part was that we got in for like $10 bucks.

8. (1998) Since Jay and I were high school sweethearts, we went to each other’s senior proms.  The following spring, we were already an old married couple, and I was feeling a bit nostalgic for those special days.  I mentioned this to Jay right before I left for a weekend retreat.  When I arrived back to our apartment that Sunday evening, Jay opened the door, dressed in a tuxedo.  He had the lights down, music playing.  He’d even made chocolate covered strawberries. He said, “welcome to your prom.  Wanna dance?”  It was pretty perfect.
Posing for pics before my actual senior prom

7. (1996) Our first official date as boyfriend and girlfriend was with a big group of friends in Louisville.  We went to Italian Oven.  Jay was so nervous that he spilled his drink three times!  The waitress not only put a bib on him, she put a highchair mat under his chair!  He laughed it off, but was really embarrassed.  I thought it was super cute!

6. (2004) For Valentine’s Day, Jay sent me to a day spa for a mani/pedi while he prepared things for our big date.  Afterward, we got dressed up and Jay took me to Chili’s for appetizers, Olive Garden for Salad, Steak and Ale for dinner, then back home for dessert.  We were so full that we just put on our pjs and snuggled up in bed.

5. (2009) A dream come true!  Jay took me to Rupp Arena to see the Kentucky Wildcats opening game of the season.  I was giddy like a little girl.  I might have even cried.  I can’t explain it.  It goes down in my book as one of the best nights ever.

What more could a girl want?? (PS - check out Jay's soul patch!)

4. (2006) Jay and I didn’t really have the time or money to go out for Valentine’s Day.  We had an 11 month old and we were just pretty stinkin’ tired.  We agreed that we would just have a low key night, no frills.  At about 7 p.m., I was working in the home office, and all of sudden, an envelope flew into the room.  It was an invitation to meet Jay in the dining room in two hours, but to stay put until then.  At 9:00 o’clock, I went into the dining room and saw that Jay had decorated with balloons and flowers.  He had made us salad, spaghetti, and garlic bread (and this was back when Jay NEVER cooked!), and a giant chocolate chip cookie that said “I love you.”  He had gotten a few small gifts for me (an Air Supply CD – cheesy just the way I like it, and a book on massage techniques), and we had an amazing night.  I remember the next day, a newly married young guy said to us, “Wow, if I had told my wife we were staying home on Valentine’s Day to have spaghetti, she would have killed me.”  I remember thinking, “that boy doesn’t have a clue.”
I love a fancy night out - but nights in can be pretty great too!

3. (1998) In those early years, Jay and I were always scrimping and saving for school, so there weren’t a lot of extras and splurges, so I remember being surprised when one night during the busy Christmas season, when we were coming home from the corps, Jay pulled into the movie theater.  I looked at Jay like he was nuts.  It was midnight!  But we went in and saw Titanic.  It was such a small thing, but I always smile when I remember that night.

2. (2009) Jay and I met our good friends Trina and Adam at the Kentucky State Fair to see Journey and Heart in concert.  Best. Concert. Ever.  Afterward, we all walked around at the fair, and Jay found a booth selling Pineapple Whip ice cream, which we had shared the first summer we were dating. 
Getting ice cream after rocking out with Journey and Heart

Seeing the Cubbies in Chicago
1. (2009) This was more of a marathon date, but in May of 2009, Jay and I took off for a four day trip to Chicago.  We crammed every possible thing into those four days: Field Museum, Planetarium, Aquarium, Museum of Modern Art, Millennium Park, House of Blues, Hancock Tower, Hershey Factory, Cubs Game, and lots of shopping on
Michigan Avenue
.  The best part – Right before we left for Chicago, Jay painted “Just Married” on the back of the car.  During the whole trip, people would honk and cheer and wave.  It was the most fun.

We had been "just married" for 12 years.  Sssshhh!

So, if you're married, stop reading this, and go plan an awesome date with your spouse.  Let me know what you do so I can steal the idea! 


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