I remember during our first year of marriage when we had a weekly date night. We were beyond poor...in mounting piles of educational debt as we both were in Masters programs. We lived in a tee-tiny apartment in Pasadena and often times stood in line for free food to make ends meet. (Those cans that just said "beans" were always a surprise...what kind of beans would we be eating tonight???) But every Friday night we knew that we were going to get out of our tiny apartment and go somewhere...do something. Sometimes we would hit up a two-for-one happy hour for dinner, other times we'd use our precious gift cards that we were given for wedding gifts. Sometimes date night just meant a walk through downtown Pasadena or laying out a blanket in a park and hanging out, or driving to see sights of Los Angeles. It didn't have to cost anything; we were just glad to put away the books and ministry thoughts and focus on each other for a few hours.
Then we moved to Greenville and life got even busier...date nights became a little less frequent, but at least we could somewhat afford to go out to eat a little more often.
It seems that date nights became an anomaly after Ella was born. Exhaustion had set in for both of us, and the whole, "we have to find a babysitter" thought didn't make either of us want to do a little dance...it almost always added at least $20-$30 (by the way, this figure has gone WAY UP since I used to babysit) to a date night bill. So we took them when we could...when free babysitting was being offered by the grandparents or our adult friends.
Since Allie's been born, date nights have become few and far between. We've since employed the help of pairs of some of our youth group girls who can each entertain one baby while hanging out at our house and eating our food.
But on Saturday, we were really wanting to go on a date, yet had not figured out what to do with the kids. Brandon called his parents who agreed to watch them OVERNIGHT at their house. We just had to get them up there, which we did and then we happily came back home, showered, and got ready for a fun night on the town.
Our first stop was Sushi Hana. We had never been there, but Restaurant.com had offered 80% off gift certificates, so I grabbed one from Sushi Hana: $25 that I bought for $2. Not too shabby. After all was said and done, we saved over $30 on a meal that both of us thoroughly enjoyed. Neither of us are very experienced in the sushi realm, but our friendly server helped us pick some good choices. The restaurant located on Haywood Road, was a pleasant surprise. The atmosphere was nice, and the food even better.
We had gotten a late start, and determined not to allow ourselves to turn in early, we headed next to Starbucks for some caffine and sugar. I chose a pumpkin spice frap and he a venti caramel macchiato. Next we got arrested by Kispy Kreme's Hot Now sign all lit up, so we got a dozen to eat and share with others.
Our final destination of the night was the HandleBar where Need To Breathe was performing in a sold out show. We had been put on a list to get in (thank you!!!), and met up with some of Brandon's friends from Furman. The lead singer from N2B, Bear Reinhart, played football with Brandon for Furman, so there were a lot of people out to support him. The show was awesome, we were so glad to be there. The band is really making it big now, and it's cool to think that they had their beginnings at a place so close to our heart.
After the show, the caffine and sugar kick had worn off, and we remembered that we're not 20 anymore and were ready to hit the sack. Brandon woke up the next morning and had to be at the first service at church, but I had planned on making it to second service so I found myself at home...with no one else there...completely quiet...for a couple hours! Bliss!
As much fun as it was to have a kidless evening and morning, I was sure glad to see my baby girls at church when B's parents brought them down. We spent the rest of the afternoon cuddlin' on the couch with them and remembering how blessed we are to have them in our lives.