First comes….Dating

A couple of weeks ago we had a vacation, we were suppose to go up north for the races (Jeff, my father in law drag races….and it’s AWESOME) but due to Ava being so little Paul crushed my dreams and said “Not this year, babe!” WAHH!!!! Soo, we decided to stay in town!

BUT with us staying home we were able to accomplish the long list of our honey do’s and more! Which was a HUGE weight lifted off of my shoulders because we all know how that list can add up and there never seems to be enough time to get it all done- especially with little ones.

Another benefit to our staycation was daycare. Daycare on a staycation= DATES. ANYTIME of the DAY. You’d think we would have had a list written down of anything and everything to do with out our kids, but guess what? We can think of everything we’d like to do on dates when we have the kids but with out them we are almost….lost. When you have kids it’s easy for everything to be about and revolve around them.

While most of the time this is true, (especially when they are so little and depend on you for most things.) it’s not always best. I’m a firm believer in order and that your spouse needs to be first and kids second. This is not always easy, especially from a mother’s perspective. At least mine. I love my husband with my whole being, but I tend to the littles ALL day long. I hate to admit it, but sometimes, by the time Paul is home I just want to sit by myself in silence and not have little hands pulling at me or my adrenaline going from a 0-100 in 2 seconds flat from a scream in the other room while I’m trying to prepare something for dinner. This can take away from the attention I’d like to give my hunny because of my exhaustion from the days obstacles.

Thus, staycation for me turned into date your mate! Through out the week I reflected a lot on my 4 years with Paul. We have done and seen A LOT in a short amount of time but when I think about just how much we have accomplished and how much we have grown, dating my husband is some of my best memories- past AND present!

Which brings us to the dating stages:

  1. Getting to know you: This dating stage everyone knows (insert Vince vaughn from wedding crashers.) Do I like this person? Does this person like me?  Do I have food on my face? Am I talking too much? Are they talking to much? Am I interested? I’m not really interested…should I pretend that I’m interested? Is he interested?
  2. Relationship status: I am interested and investing my time because I see hope in you for the future. Please survive meeting my family and friends. That’s all I’m asking.
  3. Married dating: We’ve made it!  You’re my person and I don’t care if we spend time with others or by ourselves as home bodies as long as I’m with you.
  4. Married with kids dating: Dinner and movie nights  Does this exist??
  5. Dating like your kids again: Bringing it back to you, like when you first fell in love.

I will never forget my first date with Paul, it was different from anything I’d experienced and I still remember standing in my apartment when he dropped me off that night and thinking ” This is it. He is the guy I am going to marry.” It was November 12, 2011- He took me to the Dakota Jazz Club for the first showing featuring latin cuban music. We talked SO much we sat through both shows and it took us roughly 2 hours in before we had our meal. I should also mention we did have an appetizer right away and the man ate calamari which I later found out he was disgusted by but had to impress me. In my defense,  I also ended up eating a piece of what I thought was chicken- turned out to be chicken fat and I MADE myself swallow it so I didn’t have to spit it out in front of him. Talk about sacrifice! (that’s NOT the experience I am talking about!!) He was intriguing, smart, genuine, good looking, a gentleman and could carry AMAZING conversation- I was for sure interested.

We moved to relationship status fairly quickly. Even though it was so easy to fall into being comfortable with one another, one thing paul is really good at is impressing me. He continued to plan dates- from going to dinners, rollerblading (to be exact, once around the block.), ball games, different b-fast places (one of my favs), walks or making me dinner (THIS IS HUGE. Pizza is his lifeline.) and talking for hours- to name a few. He opened the car door for me, walked me to my door at night and treated me as his priority! I was totally investing my time on this guy!!

We were engaged at 6 months and married July 14th, 2012. Being married and dating is similar to relationship dating except for us we were going home together at night vs him dropping me off (#Winning) I told you he was a gentleman- LEGIT. We still saw friends but when you’re married something changes….the comfort level or maybe the relationship growing from 2 becoming 1. I became content in just being home with him or whatever we were doing as long as I was sharing my experiences with him. It didn’t matter if other people weren’t around all the time. (Which is BIG for me because I am a social butterfly.)

Being married with kids (very small people) and dating your spouse is life changing. As if having kids in the first place wasn’t life changing enough! It’s hard. You have routine and responsibility to the littles, yet don’t lose that responsibility to your spouse. It becomes a balancing act, one of which I’d be lying if I said I had it all figured out. I don’t, not even close. But I know I love my husband more today than I ever have before. He knows me on my worst, hardest days (not pretty, quite ugly actually) and still loves me and cheers me on. It’s harder for him to plan because well, we have two kids and I own a business that he doesn’t have constant access to the ever changing schedule. Sometimes I have to voice that I need a date, but when I do he puts forth effort in BIG ways. Coming up with different date ideas can sometimes be challenging-especially when you’re just excited to have a meal that you don’t have to talk over your babies (which you end up talking about non-stop through dinner) and a movie to watch at the theatre sprawled out in a plush leather recliner vs your worn out spot on the couch. (SMART move on their part) I can feel my muscles relax just thinking about it. But regardless of what he surprises me with, a dinner and movie or something new, it give us time. Quality time that for me is a MUST when you have littles.

When we were on vacation, we had time that we were not used to having access to- with out kids. What in the world were we going to do??!! We went to breakfast 3 times alone that week! I highly recommend trying:  This place is much smaller than I had anticipated but we were able to cozy up to a small table outside that gave us some privacy to talk! I had the bacon, green onion and cream cheese omelet with coffee, which was SOO GOOD!!! If you want something lively this is your place to go! The decor was original and the smell of the bakery when you walk in was enough to sign us up for a Granny’s sticky caramel pecan bun to share. I had the classic eggs benedict which also was really good (the english muffin could have been toasted more though.) I wasn’t crazy about the coffee but I stick to 1/2 caff these days so I also am not a great person for review on that. They do have great reviews on other coffee varieties though. This is a small hometown feel diner in the heart of Wayzata. We’ve been quite a few times- Their french toast is AMAZING. It also comes with your choice of eggs/ meat and hashbrowns so go with an empty stomach because you will walk out FULL and probably not have to eat again until dinner.

We also went to the new JASON BOURNE movie (Paul’s choice) My first choice is usually the current rom-com playing but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have to see all of the previous BOURNE movies to fully understand what was going on- If you like action, I would definitely suggest checking it out!

We did some shopping etc. BUT my FAVORITE thing we did was go to Cascade Bay. If you have not been to this place, you MUST go WITHOUT kids. There is an area for children, I mean its a water park after all but this was the FUNNEST date to go on, on a hot day with my guy and not having to worry about my littles (where is my child? Is she a safe distance from me? I hope she isn’t inhaling water! Why doesn’t she understand after the 1675X that she can’t inhale water??) We floated down the lazy river for 3.5 hours, occasionally pulling off to take the water slide route or the obstacle with bubbling rapids landing you under a faucet with torrential downpour. ( I got Paul REAL good with this one a few times!!) I felt like a kid again, falling in love for the first time all over. It was that great, so much so that when we left I asked if we could go back again that week!

In the end Paul and I have really great memories through out our dating which also leads to really funny stories. I think if we compiled them all we would land a book deal and an early retirement. I thought he may have been a cancer survivor because his picture online portrayed him with this light fluffy hair that looked like it was growing back in (NO PAUL it wasn’t a pity date!!) and later I found out he thought I sounded like a dude. Yep I said that. A DUDE. Thank God my picture was appealing! Through it all I can’t imagine what life would be like with out him and having all of these experiences with someone other than him. The man makes me over the moon happy beyond words!! So until the time comes when it’s no longer a possibility I will continue to date my husband. They have been the best dates of my life and I wouldn’t want them with anyone else. Ever.



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