MDP date 12: Another at-home date

Our 12th and final Marriage Dating Project date happened this past Saturday.  I say it’s our final, because it is for this project for now, but I guarantee my husband and I will continue to have dates.  I can’t guarantee how exactly that will work out in the first couple of months after kiddo number two makes his arrival, but we’ll do our best to find moments here and there.

Just like last month, this month’s date was tricky to plan because of how I feel and being on modified bed rest and all.  As the baby grows, my pain and issues have increased a bit, so going to a movie theater this month was definitely out of the question.  However, we were able to have a nice time, get some things done and just hang out and enjoy each other’s company.

The date started with dropping the kiddo (and pooch) off at my in-laws’ house just before lunchtime.  (My in-laws have our dog’s littermate brother, so they love having our dog visit as much as he loves visiting and having a chance to play with his brother.)  We then headed off for an errand.  It took longer than we thought it would, but I enjoyed my time hanging out in the quiet car with the heated seat turned on listening to my favorite Christian radio station.  I had a pretty cool God moment that reminded me of how very blessed I am just when I was starting to feel sorry for myself that most of my getting out these days is just to ride along somewhere and sit in the car while everyone else goes in to do something “fun.”  God used a favorite song to remind me of how very blessed I am to have this baby in my belly.  (I may have another blog post coming about that soon.  But, I don’t want to digress too much.)

After a quick trip through the bank drive-through, I thought a trip to McDonald’s sounded really good.  I have been craving fountain Sprite.  And a McRib would really hit the spot.  People either love or hate the McRib without much middle ground. I’m in the love camp.  I usually can’t have them often, though, because the vinegar in the barbeque sauce irritates my bladder.  However, in spite of my crazy issues, I’m still pretty much in remission right now with being pregnant.  So, there you have it.  We spent our lunch talking and hanging out together.  We talked about random daily things and we continued discussions about a name for this baby.  So, what if my due date is less than a month away and we still don’t have a name?!  I’m pretty sure we’ll have one before he goes to kindergarten!  Pretty sure…

Our final stop was Lowe’s. My husband has taken a few vacation days from work and really gotten things underway for the baby’s room; however, we still need to paint it.  Right now it’s a pale yellow with a horrible mauve trim.  It’s an extra bedroom in our house, so we’ve never bothered with painting it even though we’re not fond of it.  Now’s the time.  I’ve been wanting to go look at paint colors and wondering how I’d manage that.  Saturday was a pretty good day, so I suggested we stop in and look at paint and pick up a shelf we need for our bedroom.  I figured we’d start with paint and then if I needed to go on to the car, Chris could find the shelf alone.

We picked up paint color samples and continued our debate of the exact color scheme we want to use on the walls and trim and then found our shelf.  I was pleased to have been able to do everything and not have to go out to the car.   It was a quick trip and a good feeling.  We headed home again where my husband cleaned off the driveway from all the snow that fell overnight and I hit up the couch to rest.  I can be productive and do things, but I work best in spurts right now.

The afternoon was spent taking down Christmas decorations and putting them in the attic.  Chris did all the attic business while I tried to feel helpful propping boxes on the ladder.  He also pulled down a few things we’ll need for the baby that were packed away up there.  That made me feel better.  I’m stressing a bit about getting things done.  We made a list of what still needs done and then put in a pizza order and settled into the couch to watch “Tron” in 3D.

On the evening of Christmas Day our television went out.  It was crummy.  When my husband went out to replace it, he found a 3D model on sale for barely more than the cost of replacing what we had, so we were excited to watch something in 3D.  I hadn’t seen the newest “Tron” and wasn’t sure if I’d like it (I wasn’t impressed with the older one or the cartoon), but I concurred.  It wasn’t bad.  And I had great company. We were a couple of minutes from the end of the movie when my father-in-law brought the kiddo and dog home.  Lexiana finished the last couple of minutes with us and then we had time to play just a bit before bedtime.

It was a good day.  We got things done.  We worked together and accomplished tasks when we could.  I took time to think about and appreciate all my husband does for our family as I watched him snowblow the driveway, knowing how tired he was and how hard he’d been working around the house while on his “vacation.”  He’s a very good man and I’m blessed.  We also got some time to just relax and be with one another.  Planning and getting ready for a new baby is exciting, but it’s also stressful.  The closer we get to the due date, the more we have to do and the more often it seems like when we get time to talk with no distractions that we’re busy discussing serious subjects like names, chores to be done and plans for the future.  These things are fine and needed, but we also need fun time to decompress and just hang out.  We got both on this date.

Thus concluded our 12th and final MDP date.  I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned from doing this project.  I knew spending time dating my husband was a good plan.  I hoped to have creative and innovative dates each month.  We did some different kinds of dates that were really special and we did some tried-and-true dates like dinner and movie that were also special.  In the end, what we really did was say to one another that dating each other remains a priority.  And that is something I don’t plan on letting go ever.  My husband is a priority.  In fact, he’s second only to God.  Keeping our relationship strong is one of the best gifts we can give to our children.  I’m blessed with a good man.  I’m blessed with a caring man who loves me, works hard for me and our family and makes me laugh more than anyone else.  Having dates and time alone together reminds me of all those things in the midst of what can otherwise be a crazy or stressful life.

And it reminds me that I’m more than just a mom.  Sometimes I get into just mom mode and I know I’m about to enter a phase again where I will be totally consumed with motherhood and childcare as I welcome a newborn into our lives.  These dates remind me that I’m also a wife and a woman.  They remind me that long before I was a mom, I was Stacey and Chris’ wife.  Those are roles I always want to have, because long after our children are grown and on their own, those roles are still going to be there and I don’t want to totally neglect them.

If you’ve not tried it, I strongly suggest you try dating your spouse, whether you have children or not.  Take time once a month, once every other month or even once a week and reconnect and remember all the good things about the person with whom you’ve chosen to share your life.  I’d love to hear how your own dating project is going!

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