Make Marriage Happen with Lara Casey – Part 3

To round out our week with Lara Casey, I asked her to share one of her favorite date ideas with us.

We believe there is a strong case for date nights and that each one is like making an investment in your marriage. If you need some inspiration, you can check out our date night feed here. And as new parents who have to be much more creative about date night, we are always welcome to new ideas. Thanks for sharing, Lara!

With a busy toddler, date nights are pretty low-key. We love going to Whole Foods for dinner as a family or getting a babysitter and going by ourselves. The simple act of getting to talk together, face-to-face, is a gift. For us, date nights used to be fancy dinners, and now we relish the gift of time more than anything. No matter where we go, just getting time together allows us to re-connect and grow as a couple.

Lara truly has been such a wealth of wisdom in my life. Her blog, book, conference, and powersheets have really helped Vitaliy and I live with more intent and purpose, making the important things happen in our lives. Every time we fill out our powersheets, those are the months that are lived with clarity, peace, and purpose. If you are struggling to make your goals happen in life, business or marriage  – please go visit Lara’s website, buy her book, and start your first set of powersheets. You will not regret it! You can read more about our experience using them, here.

If you missed Lara’s other posts, you can find them below.

Make Marriage Happen with Lara Casey – Part 1

Make Marriage Happen with Lara Casey – Part 2

Photo by Lauren Kinsey

Lara, Ari and Grace

Pre-Planning for Date Night

Date Night with Food

If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far about parenting, it’s that it’s hard to think when you’re sleep deprived.

And let’s face it, there is a lot of sleep deprivation in parenting! But the sooner you accept it, the better you can plan for it and the fuzzy mind of a new parent won’t get the best of you. For example, we recently had our very first wedding post-baby. There are a lot of things to prepare for a wedding. On top of that, there are a ton of things to think through when you’re handing your child over to someone for an entire day. We knew once the morning arrived it would be very easy to miss things so we spent an inordinate amount of time prepping on Friday evening. It was a good thing because Rose woke up at 4:45am that morning so my mind was quite foggy as we began to get ready for the day. Good thing I’ve grown to love coffee! We were so well prepared that we arrived 45 minutes early to the wedding. It pays to have a plan!

Just as our clients and Rose deserve our very best, so does our marriage. As you know, we believe setting aside time for date nights is an integral way to invest in your marriage. But as you know, the practicalities of life, especially parenting, can easily dismay you from taking the time and energy to make them happen. We quickly realized that we would need a general game plan in order to keep consistent and creative date nights happening. It’s so easy to get in a rut of dinner and a movie! Or worst, to have date night roll around and you’re too tired to think of what to do so you just cancel.

We decided to come up with a few ideas/options to choose from each week. This way there was flexibility to the routine, but enough planned ahead of time to not have any room for excuse. Here are the options we choose from each week.

  1. Dinner and a movie (we are movie addicts!).
  2. Date Night In (we love to cook together). This is also good for weeks we can’t find child care.
  3. Coffee Shop life planning with our Make It Happen powersheets.
  4. Spontaneous/Adventure (hike, concert, donut run – the options are endless!) This is where you keep creativity alive!

Date night is all about staying connected! This could mean emotionally, physically or spiritually. Two weeks ago we canceled childcare and I spent a good hour crying on Vitaliy’s shoulder while Rose napped. It wasn’t the “ideal” date night, but it brought us closer together.

Life throws curve balls all the time, so we try to put everything aside once a week in order to reconnect, recharge, and make sure that we’re staying together as husband and wife. Because we are stronger together. When Thursday rolls around, we now look to this list, assess how we’re feeling and what we think our relationship needs, and make our selection. A little pre-planning goes a long way! And there’s always room for flexibility. Last week Rose was experiencing a growth spurt and her sleeping was all off schedule. We had planned on doing option #3 above, but instead, we spent date night walking with Rose in her stroller while we talked and spent time dreaming together. Again, it wasn’t the best case scenario for date night, but it helped us connect and dream about our future, a future that includes a strong marriage and family life.

What tips and tricks do you use to help make date night happen? Please share in the comments below!

This is the first in a three part series to get us to Think Different About Date Night.

Whiskey Library

The Perfect
Manly Date Idea

Vitaliy and I just returned from another lovely trip to Portland to visit his 91 year old grandmother.

Portland holds a special place in our hearts. Grandma is the main reason, but Portland’s creative energy and charming neighborhoods also keep us coming back for more. Being back there reminded me of an epic date night we had earlier this year that I never shared with you. Our date nights are looking a little different these days (this is pre-baby). Or this may have been the evening that led to said baby. Just kidding…kind of.

I was very excited about this date night because I planned it all on my own and it was set to be a surprise for Vitaliy. I think it’s important to have a good balance of activities that you both like to do and this one was planned completely with my Scotch-enthusiast in mind. I came across the Multnomah Whiskey Library in one of my social media feeds and pinned it on a secret board. I knew I had to take Vitaliy on our next trip to Portland. I did some further research on Yelp which really came in handy to get the best possible experience. It has a total underground, exclusive club vibe to it which can either attract or repel potential customers. I just planned our visit around all the feedback and we enjoyed every minute. The spirits and the eats were pretty unforgettable and we got to enjoy them in such a unique environment.

Perhaps your date nights need a little bit of a masculine touch to get your husband a little more excited. Multnomah Whiskey Library is located in Portland, Oregon, but I feel like these underground Prohibition type bars are popping up all over the place. Do a little research! Or just plan your own tasting at a nice bar/restaurant in your area. Regardless, the idea is to plan a date with him in mind and fully participate in something he loves.

Here are some other Portland inspired date ideas for those visiting the area or for sparking an idea to implement in your own town.

Beer Tasting
Donut Date
Bike Riding

Interior of Multnomah Whiskey LibraryDate night at Multnomah Whiskey Library in Portland, ORInside decor and feel of Multnomah Whiskey LibraryLeather couches and chairs at Multnomah Whiskey LibraryDate night at Multnomah Whiskey Library in Portland, ORWall of whiskeys at Multnomah Whiskey LibraryMultnomah Whiskey Library in Portland. OR