D gave me something that's come in so handy ever since: My very own chef's jacket! One of our favorite pastimes is watching The Food Network together, and right before Christmas we were really into The Next Iron Chef. He decided I needed a chef's jacket of my own! And I love it.
As for me, I had pinned a whole host of ideas on Pinterest. We had determined that we wanted 2012 to be a "year of us" so-to-speak. We'd neglected our relationship a bit during 2011, between our new lives as a family of four and also having my mother-in-law and sister-in-law living with us for a large amount of time.
Anyway, after sorting through the 50-something ideas I loved, I finally decided on making this gift for D: The gift of 12 date nights, one for each month of the year. D and I have always had a "bucket list" and so I snagged a few items from that list, threw in a few other things I thought would be cool, and voila! 12 months of date nights were created.
I created an envelope for every month, decorated its outer with "hints" to what the date of the month was, and enclosed a special note revealing the date as well as any extra items (such as tickets, or a gift certificate, etc.).
I didn't know what D would think when I gave him a large envelope containing all the monthly envelopes. His initial reaction was like, "Wow, this should be cool." Totally chill. (Confession: He wasn't as enthused as I thought he would be!)
Let me tell you, this gift has just been... wonderful. To the point where we'll be doing it every year. With our crazy schedules, our "together time" is not always as quality as it should be. But these monthly getaways? They are such a blessing. We went to see the Broadway show "American Idiot." We saw "The Avengers" before it went to the cheapie theater. To celebrate the Olympics we donned shirts representing Brazil (him) and Italy (me) and played tennis, then went out for Mexican food after. In honor of baseball season, we are going to the batting cages so I can teach him how to hit a ball. And some months we've ditched what has been planned and opt for something simpler: Like the month when D was applying to grad schools so we went to the bookstore together to pore over books, talk about choices, read up on the GREs, etc. Or this month, when we decided to go to the beach and set out a blanket and just talk about new things that have come up in our lives.
My only regret is that we didn't start this tradition sooner. Better late than never, though, I guess.
Edit: I missed out on an important detail! On the first day of every month D opens the envelope containing that month's date night info. Then we look at the calendar and decide what day/date would be best. We arrange a sitter for that day or night in advance.
What do you and your spouse do for fun together? How do you make time for each other?