Today is my one-year blogging anniversary. One year ago today I held my breath, crossed my fingers, and hit publish. I simultaneously hoped that it would be a success and that no one would ever read it!
I am so grateful that all of you have been reading, commenting, sharing, and encouraging over this past year. I thought that it would be fun today, in honor of my “blogiversary” to republish my very first-ever post! That’s right, one year ago The Orthodox Mama went live with The Date Night Challenge as its first post. Enjoy!
The Date Night Challenge
So, I have a little confession. I am a complete nerd. Not just any kind of nerd–a Type A nerd. You know, the kind that loves to create lists for the sole purpose of being able to cross things off. That’s me. Luckily for me, I married a man who loves me in spite of my compulsive list-making behavior.
However, this Type A Nerd with a List mentality has actually added a little extra fun to our date nights. Let me explain.
Five years ago, my husband and I began our Date Night Challenge. We found the AFI (American Film Institute) Top 100 Films, which lists the best films of all time. This list has become a never-ending source of date night inspiration for us! We have watched over 50 incredible movies together, generally while cuddled up with a bowl of stove-popped popcorn.
In the process, I’ve discovered several benefits to having a Date Night Challenge.
1. Frugal Fun
I cannot even begin to calculate all of the money we have saved by having an in-house date night. We have borrowed all of the films from our local library, saving hundreds on movie tickets or Redbox rental expenses. Our homemade popcorn (besides being a healthier and tastier alternative to movie popcorn) is much less expensive than theater snacks. And, we didn’t even need to hire a babysitter! We simply waited until our little ones were in bed before we began our date night.
2. Shared Purpose
Our Date Night Challenge has brought us closer together. We feel a common sense of purpose as we move toward our goal together. The AFI Top 100 list is hung prominently on our office bulletin board, where we can see the movies we have watched together and plan for our next date night.
3. Common Experiences
The films that we have seen and the discussions they have fostered are now a part of our experience as a couple. We have inside jokes and stories. You’d be surprised how many times the phrase, “My mouth’s bleeding, Bert! What do you know about that?” can find its way into a conversation–but it never fails to crack us up. These common experiences help us remember that we are a team.
A Date Night Challenge doesn’t have to involve a list of movies to cross off, though. You and your spouse can create your own challenge.
Here are a few ideas:
- Select an author or series and read the books aloud.
- Listen to audio books together.
- Have a book club with just the two of you–read his favorite book one month and yours the next.
- Train for a 5K or half marathon together.
- Challenge yourselves to hike all of the trails at your nearest state or national park. See how far you can cycle together.
- Do yoga videos and learn to do crazy complicated poses.
- Complete the 30 Day Abs challenge.
- Learn a language together.
- Get a star map and study the constellations, quizzing each other while on a blanket in the backyard.
- Check out a book on gardening from your library and plant one together.
- Cook every recipe in a cookbook.
- Take a Craftsy course together–learning to bake bread, sketch, or garden through online videos and lessons.
- Listen to TED talks.
- Get a different $10 bottle of wine each week, take notes on your impressions, and create a list of your favorites.
Choose a challenge that fits your personality as a couple. What are you waiting for? Go have fun!
What do you do for date nights?
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(This post was linked to Share the Wealth.)