MDP: Date 3

We had some challenges in making our Marriage Dating Project date happen this month.  The original idea was for me to plan a surprise date day for my husband like he did for me on our first MDP date.  But, we realized that with some family activities we wanted to do together (like go to the St. Patrick’s Day parade) and our parents (read: babysitters) being out of town most weekends, things got a bit trickier.

Me all ready to leave for our date. I figured since we were driving the Jeep with the top down I ought to take one before my hair got all frazzled.

So, the surprise date is on hold for April, hopefully.  In March, we were able to come up with one weekday evening: last Thursday.  Knowing that we wouldn’t have much time in between the end of the work day and when we needed to pick up the kiddo from my in-laws’ house so we could have her home for bedtime, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what we could do.  My husband didn’t have many ideas or hold out much hope that we could even have enough time to do anything.  After having a low-key second MDP date, I was itching to get out of the house and do something.

I came up with a few options: laser tag, go-karts (it was unseasonably warm), a walk through a local garden or painting pottery.  I asked Chris if he wanted to know the options or be surprised.  He decided he’d like to hear the options.  He may not admit this, but I think he was a little dubious as to what I could have come up with in such a short time.  My Internet skills came in handy, though.  I didn’t even know we had a pottery painting place in town. I’d heard of The Artist Within in downtown before, but I didn’t know it was pottery painting.  I called and asked a few questions, so I was prepared with information.  I was hoping that’s what he’d pick.  I figured he’d go for go-karts or laser tag, though.

I was pleasantly surprised when he picked pottery painting.  Something to know about my husband, though, is that he is super creative, crafty and artistic.  He can draw incredibly well.  In fact, when our daughter wants images drawn on her doodle pad, she goes to him for the more complicated ones like frogs, dolphins, Mickey Mouse, Goofy and forests.  He pulls them off.  She comes to me and requests things like beach balls.  I sort of pull off beach balls.  Sort of.

My husband helping me make one of the coasters look better once he finished painting his dragon.

I prepared myself knowing that whatever we did he’d be better at it.  And I was OK with that.  The cool thing about being married is I knew I’d get to take home both the crummy pieces I painted and the cool ones he painted.  Mine could easily take a backseat in our home decor (this is even easier since my non-artsy side lends itself to the fact that we have no real home decor).

We planned to give ourselves about an hour and a half for painting.  The place closed at 6 p.m.  My husband had been able to work from home, so we were able to leave a bit early.  We rolled in around 4:30 looking for ideas.  I had no clue what we’d paint.  I was thinking a coffee mug might be nice, though neither one of us drink coffee.  We settled on a set of four coasters.  We thought we might each paint two.  Then we found a cute cartoonish little dragon figurine.  My husband decided to do that, too, with some coaxing from me.  I knew he’d do well with it.  (And, secretly, I was sort of glad he wasn’t doing some of the coasters because then mine wouldn’t look so bad in comparison!)

We got our pieces, picked out some colors and set to work.  The table next to us was full of rambunctious school-aged boys.  They were corralled pretty well, but, honestly, I was glad when they finished about 45 minutes in.  I’d like to tell you that my husband and I had deep conversations while we were painting.  I’d like to tell you that we brushed each other noses with paint and giggled.  That sounds like the romantic movie version.  But, that’s not what happened.  We chatted casually.  We painted intensely.  I asked him for some ideas for the coasters.  The time passed pretty quickly.

Though we didn’t converse, giggle or make googly eyes at one another, we had a really nice time.  It was relaxing.  My husband had had a stressful day at work.  I’d had a busy day between taking care of the kiddo and doing my own work.  It was a really nice way to unwind together and just quietly enjoy one another’s company.  It’s something we’re pretty good at doing 12 years into our marriage.  We’re quiet people to begin with.  And, as the parents of a chatty toddler, quiet is something we appreciate more now than ever.

My salsa and the chips. This mild salsa is so good I'm often tempted to just drink it down and lick the bowl clean -- but I don't want to deprieve any chips of their duty to transport the salsa to my mouth. After all, they are yum-o-licious, too!

After we finished painting and submitted our pieces for the kiln (they take a week for us to get them back, hence the delay in this post), we headed off for a dinner out.  You’re going to think I’m super fancy, but I suggested maybe Taco Bell.  My husband loves it and I rarely think it sounds good.  The Doritos tacos had me thinking otherwise.  We bandied around a few names and then decided on our favorite local Mexican restaurant.  We went to a different location than usual so it gave our date a different feel — after all the people working at that location don’t know to bring me mild salsa (because I’m a gringo wimp) and they don’t know my husband’s usual special order of adding chorizo to his chips.

We chatted at dinner.  We talked about serious stuff, we talked about fun stuff and we talked about the kiddo.  It was a nice end to the evening.  When we loaded into our topless Jeep to pick up the kiddo and dog from my in-laws’ house, I think we were both pleased with how our third MDP date had gone.

The dragon my husband painted. Isn't he adorable? (Both my husband and the dragon!) The best part is that it's now sitting on top of the kiddo's chest of drawers. It doesn't match her pink Minnie Mouse room, but it's absolutely perfect. She loves it!

My coasters in the holder. I was super dubious how they'd turn out when I was finished, but they look better than what I expected. (I had very low expectations!)

And a photo showing all four coasters. Not much to say about my art skills. But, I sure had fun!

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