27 June 2012

a year of dates: comedy club

First up in our year of dates: a comedy club with three acts. Although I can create the above date card with a moving box, scraps of paper, a Sharpie and an ink pad, it is beyond my creative ability to come up with catch-y names or titles. We all have weaknesses, right?

The title of our comedy club: ha(squared). Get it? Ha, ha.

(I know; it's super corny.)

(But it included appetizers and drinks, prepared by me. So that made up for me having to explain the name of it.)

(I am nothing, if not proud of my cooking ability.)

(And my ability to make a gift from a moving box.)

The Ha Ha Comedy Club was at our house. As promised on the date card, I made a dinner of appetizers.  Actually, it was just one appetizer since it was just the two of us. On the menu: Pioneer Woman's Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders. So, so, so good. To go with them, we had grown-up Cherry Vanilla Coke, using grenadine and a splash vanilla vodka. Very tasty!

As I prepped dinner, we had our first act. I ordered Mad Libs in Love from Amazon. I'm pretty sure neither of us had done Mad Libs since junior high. It was fun, but I don't think you'd have to have the "in Love" version. Any Mad Libs you have in the house or find at the dollar store will work! If you're on a budget--or wish you hadn't spent $5 on a book that you only use for 20 minutes--try an online version.

After dinner, we headed to the couch. (Our most favorite place in the whole house.) The second act was a comedy DVD. Tim Hawkins is a Christian comedian. We watched his I'm No Rockstar comedy DVD. HILARIOUS! He has tons of videos on YouTube. With the videos found on You Tube, this could be another no-cost way to do this date! Here's one of our favorites, his tribute to Chick-fil-a:

For the final act, we headed to the computer. I LOVE laughing with my husband. Like really laughing. Until there are tears. So we visited: Graph Jam, Cake Wrecks and Damn You Auto Correct. (I know. A cuss word after a Christian comedian. Yikes!) These produce the hoped for laughter! We clicked from one thing to the next, just dying from laughter. That's the best!

Our year of dates was off to a great start. We spent an entire evening together, laughing.

25 June 2012

a year of dates

This post has been in the works since, oh, December 26. I've meant to post, but then I needed pictures. And then I didn't like the pictures I took, so I needed new pictures. Let's just pretend that it's not 6 months until Christmas and that I take decent pictures. Okay?

From our early dating days, I knew that Husby loved experiences over things for gifts. For past birthdays, I've given him weekend trips, zip line passes (that I hated with every fiber of my being), and even a day at home with absolutely no interruptions and only good food. These things make his heart happy, and that makes me happy. (Except for the zip lining. That meant my heart almost exploded.)

Last fall, I stumbled on this blog where she gifted her husband with a year of dates. I knew that I wanted to do this for Husby's Christmas present. Wouldn't you know there are a few web sites dedicated to dates? And not just the dinner and a movie variety! I went through ideas here and here, making a list of possible dates. I even password protected a Word document once I had a complete list. And then I forgot the password. So I started all over.

Here's what Husby received for Christmas:

It's a stack of dates. Thirteen dates. I am fully aware that there are twelve months, but I love celebrating fun days, so I had to throw in an extra date for Leap Year Day. I cut pieces (to fit into a gift box) from a leftover cardboard moving box, and then decorated each piece of cardboard appropriately for the date, using paper, stamps, ink, pens and just a bit of paint that I already owned. Because I had planned for a couple of months, I had purchased a few gift cards along the way to be used for some of the dates. My goal was to be frugal in the execution so that I could spend more on the dates.

I'll post more details about each date. Here are all of the cards with a brief description:

1: ha ha comedy club, a comedy club in three acts with drinks & appetizers

2.14: hamburgers & capture my heart (Think capture the flag. I had Nerf guns and little stuffed hearts.)
2.29: blue man group

3: a mystery date (played an computer mystery game)
4: frisbee golf with a twist

   5: friday's for dinner; then to see The Avengers
6: restaurant crawl (a fancy way to say 'progressive dinner')

7: indoor camping (with a fire and the A/C, roasted hot dogs & s'mores, cards & snuggling)
8: italian date night. unfortunately, not in italy. :)

9: his choice!
10: dinner & a ghost tour in a nearby haunted town

11: pizza and a drive-in movie
12: a return to our 'firsts': first date (Barnes & Noble), first restaurant

24 June 2012

and we're back...

As if prompts from friends over the past couple of weeks weren't enough to remind me that I haven't written in a while, I just spent 20 minutes attempting to figure out my password so that I could blog. There was fear in my heart as I typed every combination. Each time hoping that it wasn't the time I'd be locked out, forced to answer security questions that I probably should pay more attention to. But I did it. Even when Blogger told me I didn't have a blog. I finally figured it out.

Husby and I just returned from a little getaway. Initially, this was going to be our vacation time. We were going to rent a cabin in the Appalachians. It was supposed to be a relaxing 10 days away--reading, writing, hiking, spending time outdoors. We even booked a few nights at the first stop on our trip. But then I confessed on the way home from church the next day that I wasn't happy with our vacation plan. (First world problem, I know.)

The issue? I can totally spend an entire weekend inside, watching episode after episode of a TV series, reading, napping and playing games. I can even spend a little time outside when it's not in the heat of the day. But 10 days in nature? Probably not the best place for me.

To be completely honest, I love the idea of hiking. And here's my confession: I really wanted to do it after Husby and I watched all six seasons of LOST in just as many months. I love that Kate totally rocks it hiking on the Island (aka: Hawaii). But I don't like snakes, bugs, spiders or their webs, feeling like I'm going to fall of the side of a steep hill, or sounds of the forest that make me think an animal is coming after me. These things are all realities on the border of Tennessee and Alabama. At one stop, when we told someone where we'd hike, she said, "Oh, just watch out for snakes. They could really be out during this season."

(Guess what they don't have in Hawaii? Snakes. Kate didn't have to worry about a water mocassin or copper head on her path.)

The next day (when I came down with whatever cold Husby had), we set out for a couple of hikes. I even downloaded a trail app for my phone. As it turns out, I prefer urban hiking. I do not enjoy overgrown trails, possible wildlife, keeping watch for poison ivy (for Husby), or spider webs. After hiking through a couple of these trails, we resorted to following a paved trail. Or a road. Whatever. This was our destination:

It's a double decker bridge: the top was for trains and the bottom was for cars. I feel certain that I would have timed my trips so that I never crossed with a train. Can you imagine?!

After we passed the heat of the day in a bookstore, we headed to our second hike: Dismals Canyon. This is why we came to this area. I found it over on kevinandamanda.com.

Because the entire hike is only 1.5 miles, we knew that we wouldn't need an extraordinary amount of time to complete it. It was well worth the trip. Although it's not urban hiking, it's wonderful! You hike into a canyon where the temperature is noticeably cooler. There's no wildlife or poison ivy in the canyon. It was great! Except in the dark, scary parts.

We timed our hike so that we could do a night tour into the cavern. On the canyon walls live little "glowworms" called dismalites. They light up when it gets dark, attracting gnats and rogue mosquitos that travel into the canyon as a meal. The canyon walls look like a dark sky speckled with stars. It was such an incredible sight! Think firefiles, but a sustained light. Unfortunately, I am not a great photographer at night, so there are no pictures to share.

Since we only spent a portion of our vacation time away, we have another trip planned in late July. This time, we'll stroll the streets of Chicago. And maybe rent a bicycle. And visit some museums. And maybe even go to a park. Because I like nature. In an urban setting.