Between the frigid temperatures, and the fact that our son goes to bed at 7 p.m. it makes it a tad hard to get out of our apartment and go on an actual date.
So, we've come up with a few fun stay-at-home dates that we've really enjoyed. I know I often have a hard time coming up with them, so I thought I'd share. I'd love to hear your ideas as well.
We've listened to some books on CD. This has been really fun. I know it's not too active, but it is so much more enriching than watching a movie. The plots are so much more complex and thought provoking. It gives us so much to talk about. I love checking in with him and saying things like, "What do you think will happen with Mercedes??" And so on. Here are a few we've really enjoyed:
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Glass Castle
All of the Harry Potter books
The Shaken Earth
Of course, we're not perfect at listening to every second together. Often times, I'll have time to listen while Carter naps and Claudy is at school. Or, Claudy will listen as he commutes. This is almost as fun because then we have to catch the other one up. We'll summarize and pepper each other with questions. It's really been a fun thing to do together. In fact, just last Saturday I made Claudy's favorite homemade pizza, BBQ chicken, and we filled our bellies and our minds as we finished The Count of Monte Cristo. Another great thing about books on CD is that we can get other things done while still doing something "together". If I have some dishes to finish, or he has some ironing we can do that while listening because we're not stuck on the couch or having to view something. It's truly been enjoyable!
We've watched different documentaries together. We've pushed ourselves to learn about new things that aren't just "fun" to watch. Thank you Netflix!! This again is something that forces us to talk and really see into each other. We've watched things like:
Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed
Forgiving Dr. Mengele
30 for 30--tons of great sports documentaries
And tons of biographies
I always love the discussions that follow. These aren't just brain candy, so I don't feel bad if we're bumming it on the couch because we're learning something new, and best yet--we're learning together! I think the most refreshing thing a couple can do is to have something NEW to talk about. I think that's the point of dates, is that by hopefully changing your scenery you won't talk about the baby, school, finances...etc. Since we're not leaving home, we still have plenty of fun topics to dive into, because we start hashing out our thoughts on the things we've just watched. I always admire Claudy's viewpoints. He is truly singular and unique in the way he looks at things, and I love any time he opens up and discusses things with me. These documentaries have been a great sounding board for new conversations.
We've tried to host people over for dinners regularly. Sundays are an especially perfect day for this! We don't have to leave, and I'm already having to make dinner. So, all we have to do is tidy up a bit and make extras. It's a great way to get to know other people. It's probably the journalist in me, but I do love hearing people's stories and learning about different people. We've been blessed to have great neighbors, friends, and people in our ward to get to know better.
And, probably the funnest was playing Just Dance 3 on our Wii. We received a Wii from Claudy's parents and borrowed the game from Claudy's work. I kid you not when I say that we were panting when we were done. Out of shape much? It was neck and neck the entire time. I sadly admit that Claudy did win. But, he has been dancing longer than I have (insert excuse here). We both love to dance--in fact, that's how we met. So, it was especially fun to do something like that together. We were laughing pretty much the entire time.
The best part about all of this is having someone fun to enjoy it with. With how hectic Claudy's work and school schedule is, I'm always grateful when we can steal a few minutes to ourselves. I used to feel bad when we wouldn't have something official planned, on an official day of the week where we went somewhere and spent money. I felt we weren't living up to the "dating standards". But, I have since realized that the term "date" can really be molded to fit your circumstances. Don't get me wrong--I love going out, but I am glad that we can make due with our current circumstances and still grow close.
I am looking forward to warmer weather so we can go on walks, picnics, and other fun things outdoors. Until then, we'll keep trying to come up with fun ideas for the indoors.