How To Date Your Husband

Almost six months ago, we were blessed with our second child.  A beautiful baby boy!  What a joy he is and we have enjoyed it so much!  Our daughter, who is almost three, has been an amazing big sister as well. 


This also means that my husband and I haven’t been on a real date in at least six months. =)  While I realize that it may have been a lot longer for other couples, we were blessed to have friends and family around during the past couple years to watch our daughter so we could go out even if it was just to dinner.  Therefore, we were a little used to having some time to ourselves.  Once our son was born, we found it a bit harder to find someone to take care of both children.  Especially since one is still an infant. 

After several nights of “marital discussions,” we realized that we REALLY needed to find a way to spend more time alone together.  The problem came with how.  We went through our typical night.  Husband gets home at around 5:15.  Dinner is eaten and cleaned up.  He plays with the kids until bedtime ( which I find awesome since he hasn’t seen them all day).  Both kids down by 8:30-9.  I start getting tired around this time and am usually in bed by 10 which means that we only have an hour to an hour and a half of “alone” time.  And that’s if both kids stay asleep!!!!  And what do we normally do during that time?  We are on the iPad, computer, watching something on DVR, etc.  What we are NOT doing is being with each other.

This is where we had to figure something out.  We knew it wasn’t a lot of time each night, but we knew something could be done to spend some time together.  We talked about what we could do to change things…to be a couple again.  Here’s the solution we came up with:
One night a week, we would turn off all electronics (cell phones on vibrate and only answered if urgent) and have a game night.  We would include coffee (decaf for me of course!) and maybe some dessert.  We would choose a Pandora station and pick a game!  Last date night, we played Sequence.  If you haven’t tried this game, I highly suggest it!!!  So much fun!

You don’t have to necessarily play games, but you get the point.  We are solely focusing on each other and it is allowing us to TALK!  And not about the kids =)  We are able to focus on each other without distractions.  Of course, the last game night also included our children getting up several times, but we were still able to be with each other which is the more important part.

So, whether or not you have children, you have had children for a while or are expecting…please know that “dating” you spouse even after marriage is SUCH an important part of a relationship.  One thing my husband and I agree on is that…after our personal relationships with God… our relationship with each other is the next most important one because if our relationship is strong, then our relationships with our children will be equally as strong.  We also agree that once the children leave, we don’t want to be left looking at each other and asking, “Who are you?”

My husband and I may be in the “early” stages of our marriage and life as parents, but we are trying to make sure that we still remember why we fell in love with each other and decided to have our lives intertwine.  I must say…I’m enjoying it just as much as when we were first dating.

Here’s to continuing to strengthen marriages and families!  What would you choose to do for your next date night?  Let me know!  I love suggestions!
~ Jess Elaine

Photo courtesy of Candice Lynn Photography


Recipe Review: November 5-9

I have to admit…I had a lot of fun cooking this past week!  I feel so good when I have planned something in advance and it comes together.  Maybe it’s because I’m a little type A, but planning and organizing is fun to me =)  I’m going to include Monday through Friday even if I didn’t cook each day, so you can see what a typical week in our house looks like.  Everyone is different, but you can easily plan for your family if you try.  I’ve also started two new boards on Pinterest.  One for successes and one for things we will not be having again.  You can find those here and here.

So, what did we have last week?  Here’s a breakdown plus a few thoughts I had…
I had several cans of croissants in our refrigerator, so I tried to find things I could use them with.  I’m learning to “shop” my fridge and pantry first before meal planning and shopping so I don’t let something go to waste or spend unnecessarily.

Monday: Carmon’s Taco Croissant
I really like the blog where this recipe was found.  I saw this recipe a couple weeks ago and knew I wanted to make it.  This was a BIG hit in our house!  The taco seasonings plus the buttery croissant was really tasty.  I am becoming a fan of filling a croissant ring with whatever I want and just putting it in the oven for a bit.  It opens the door for so much experimentation!  I served it with On The Boarder tortillas chips (cause they’re the best!) and salsa.  An easy yummy meal!

Tuesday: We ended up going over to our friend’s house and having taco salad this night.

Wednesday: We usually go to church on Wednesday nights, so I try to keep dinner easy.  I opted to try a new crockpot recipe.  I had run across Crockpot Beer Chicken and thought I’d give it a try. It was an easy recipe to follow and didn’t require much prep, but that was about the only thing good about it.  It wasn’t that it tasted bad, but that it didn’t have much of a taste at all.  You would also expect that chicken cooked for about 7 hours in a crockpot would be moist.  The chicken fell apart easily, but it was actually very dry.  I served it with peas and rolls.  Just to make sure, I called my friend who made it the same day and the response was the same.  We both will not be making this again.

Thursday: I was able to go out with a dear friend for dinner this night, so the amazing hubby watched the kids.  I did have some leftovers warmed and ready for him when he got home though.

Friday: I usually don’t cook on Fridays because we are with our church small group.

I’ve now been doing this for a couple weeks and I’m feeling really good about it!  It’s like I can’t wait till I can plan for the next week and see what other yummy recipes I can find and make.  I hope this blog is encouraging to you.  I know we can all use a little encouragement now and then.  I hope I can provide some!

Happy cooking!
~Jess Elaine

Recipe Review: October 28 – November 2

As I stated in my last post, I am trying hard to plan our meals more in advance so that we don’t find ourselves without something to eat and having to resort to eating out.  Last week was my first test and I must say that I’m pretty darn proud of myself!  Let’s start from the beginning shall we?

Monday: I found this link on Pinterest for “The World’s Best Chicken.”  And since I love chicken, I couldn’t resist!  This recipe was so easy and also so delicious!!!!  My husband kept talking about how good it was and there was nothing left when we were done.  I modified it a little because there’s only two of us.  I only use 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (which did equal a pound) and I didn’t have any rosemary so that was cut out.  I baked it for about 45 minutes and I think I am going to do it closer to 40 next time.  I served it with steamed frozen peas and dinner rolls.  Fantastic meal!

Tuesday: It was supposed to be “slightly” warmer, so we made some hamburger patties and fired up the grill.  If you’re every worried about not being able to plan or cook, grilling hamburgers might be the easiest thing to fix.  I just threw a bunch of spices in with the meat (Lawry’s, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder).  We also butter the hamburger buns and toast them on the grill as well.  So good and easy!

Wednesday: I knew we were going to be busy this day because it was Halloween.  Every year, my husband’s company lets all the children come up to the building and trick or treat around the office.  We were also supposed to stop by my husband’s grandparents house on the way home.  Because I knew we’d be home late, I decided to put something in the crockpot.  Best decision ever!!!!  For some reason the traffic was horrible that night and we didn’t get home until 7 pm.  But it didn’t matter because dinner was warm and ready to go!  That, fellow domestically challenged friends, is why I’m trying to plan ahead!  So I can be prepared!  What did I have cooking?  Check out this easy recipe for “Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup.”  Now, I was awesome and forgot enchilada sauce at the store, so I used some taco seasoning I had in the pantry and it turned out great!!!!  Highly recommended.

Thursday: I was able to go out this night with some of my amazing girlfriends, so I had a frozen pizza all cooked and ready to go for the hubby before I left.

Friday: We usually meet with our church small group on these nights, so it’s easiest to grab something on the way there and eat.  Not the best plan, but we’re working on it! =)

All in all, I would chalk up last week to a success.  I have already planned this week and have gone shopping for the necessary items.  It’s costing us a little more in the beginning because I’m having to build up my staples.  But I think it’s going to help us spend less on “food” then we normally do in a month.  I hope this has helped some of you see that if I can do it…so can you!!!!

Until next week…
~ Jess Elaine