Tag Archives: marriage

Weekly Photo Project: Week 20


Window View

Last Saturday morning we boarded a plane and flew to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Then we hopped  into a car and drove, pausing along the way for jerk chicken, festival bread and a bottle of Red Stripe, until we finally arrived at our hotel. We walked up to the lobby where we were greeted with fresh watermelon juice and escorted to our room, with this view.

A Year of Dates

A Year of Dates

I’ve pondered the concept of date nights in this space before. (Specifically here and here, if you’re curious.) Then a few weeks ago I was reading my favorite blog when I read a post that inspired me to finally take definitive date night action – a whole year of them. Ben’s birthday was right around the corner, so it seemed like the perfect time to coordinate such a feat. I began brainstorming, and a spreadsheet. But there were two glaring roadblocks that needed to be addressed first. I started with the first, babysitting. I did the math and figured that if each set of grandparents and aunts and uncles took two months I’d be covered, so I sent an email asking if that in lieu of a traditional birthday gift the grandparents/aunts/uncles would offer their babysitting services for this grand birthday gift. Then I worked on the second, budget. Having a child has been a gateway to discovering all the amazing free things in our city so I was pretty confident I could rock 12 dates on a tight budget. I set it at $25/date. I’m ambitious like that.

The emails came in, the Google searches returned great ideas and this is what I came up with:

March: Biscuits and gravy at Lankford Grocery followed by checking out some bikes and cycling around Buffalo Bayou Park.

(Sidenote: We did this last Saturday, and it was amazing! Ben and I were long overdue for time doing something new together. It had been over a decade since I rode a bike, but after rediscovering the hand-brakes I got in a groove and it was such a fun (and beautiful) way to see Houston. This year of dates might also do wonders for my rocky relationship with this city.)

April: Early afternoon movie at Sundance Cinemas and happy hour at Blue Fish Sushi.

May: Benjy’s classic happy hour and then experiencing a sunset under James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace.

June: Finally see Jurassic World at Discovery Green.

July: A Friday night moonlight cruise on Lady Bird Lake.

August: Crossing Killen’s BBQ off our bucket list.

September: Migas and a stroll along the Austin Boardwalk.

October: An afternoon of beer and bocce ball at the Brooklyn Athletic Club.

November: Live storytelling at The Moth. (We might even get brave and throw our names into the hat.)

December: An evening of Christmas cheer at the iconic Lights in the Heights.

January: Wine tasting and trying out the hype of Common Bond.

February: Open Mic night at Rudyard’s Pub, a nod to our first Valentine’s date together.

Once I got going the list just kept growing, so I’ve started a second for “family dates” this summer…

Do you date night?


A rare dight night excursion

The other night I found myself watching an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap. Not just any episode either. It was an episode with couples from The Bachelor. I know. I know. For what it’s worth I was by myself with no access to Netflix or HBO Go. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’m pretty sure I did have a book with me.) Anyway, the reason I’m bringing up this embarrassing fact is because one of the couples shared how they go out for a weekly date night where they explore something new together. It sounded fun, and it got me thinking about date nights again. Or, more honestly, this got me feeling insecure that the marital product of a season of The Bachelor was more competent than us at coordinating a date night. Every week. An original date night, every week. I know. I know. Now I’m comparing. This whole anecdote is just getting worse.

I eventually forgot about reality television and got back to life. Then I saw this video.


On parenthood, marriage and feminism.

Posted by Jonathan Mann on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Many, many interesting topics of discussion, but once again I got sidetracked with the date night (you have to watch to almost the end to hear the reference).

Unlike our celebrity Bachelorette counterparts, or bloggers I read, or many couple friends of ours, Ben and I do not really date night. Not consistently and not even really sporadically. I understand the premise of a date night. But I guess I feel like do you need to physically leave your home in order to have meaningful time together? Who has the time? Who has the money? Doing something new together sounds amazing, but who has the time and the money and the energy and the creativity to do something new every week? Also, how many new things can one city have to do?

I feel all crotchety typing this out, but I’m obviously preoccupied with date nights.

Do you date night?

What "date night" usually looks like (with our adorable 3rd wheel)

What “date night” usually looks like (with our adorable 3rd wheel)

PS You can read about our summer of dates here, here, here and here. And a family date.