As I was reviewing the past few months of our budget… taking a deeper look at where each dollar was spent, I was surprised that an area that once ruled was gone almost completely- Date Night.


Here, we are always advocating to schedule time for each other. We tell others to plan ahead, write it in ink, get it on the calendar or it won’t happen. Yet in the shuffle of holidays and extra hours at work- our eating out budget was for quick subs during our separate lunch breaks.

As I looked at the receipts I thought… yea, I guess that’s right. We opted to participate in that gift exchange instead of dinner. We grabbed that caffeine pick-me-up on our way to work instead of with one another.

Those Date Night dollars found new ways to be spent, but not on intentional intimacy-building date nights. We both dropped the ball a little.

But hey, it happens and that’s ok! Let’s just pick up where we left off and get that ink on the calendar again!

So if you, like us, haven’t been on a date in a while. Let this be your little reminder to put it on the calendar. Set aside your time, and money where possible, for this.

Because this is where intimacy is built- In the consistency of time well spent together.


Come back and tell us what you did on your date this week!

How to Sweep them off their Feet…. Again

During the beginning of a relationship you work hard to impress your crush. You want to snag that guy, woo that girl, knock them off their feet and fall madly-deeply-in-love!

Dating is marked by adventures, small surprises, and sweet gestures- In short, dating is going out of your way to make the other feel loved.

I remember going out of my comfort zone for the sake of my partner’s interests- For Tappy, I went bowling even though I think it’s boring, I’m lousy at it, and I always walk away with a painfully broken nail. For me, Tappy took me on a special date to Chicago even though he always dreaded the traffic.  Countless women watched sports for their mates, and men danced for their ladies. But overtime, what we were willing to do to snag them we stop doing once they are snagged. Can you relate?


So the first step to sweeping them off their feet all over again, is to rekindle that habit of adventure and compromise. Spice it up! Get out of your Rut. Do something for them.  Here are a few places to start brainstorming.

1) Do Something They Love

Does your hubby watch sports, fish, hunt? Is there something you already know that they love, but you’ve never taken the time to try it? Take the chance to do it now.

Does your wife love her spin class at the rec, reading mystery novels, or watching chick flicks? Indulge a little.

Honestly for us… this would be me sitting down and watching Tappy’s beloved Dr. Who, and Tappy painting pottery with me.

Maybe your partner doesn’t want you tagging along though… and that’s ok! We all need our me-time, but I’m sure they would love for you to take a little interest in hearing about their day and how they spent that me-time! So take a minute and actively listen to their story.

2) Try Something New to Both of You

When we got engaged we specifically chose to honeymoon at a place neither of us had ever been before. We wanted our “special spot” to only share memories of us as a couple. This spot brings up so many memories and emotions for us now, and we can’t wait to revisit it for the special meaning it’s created for us.

In the same way, create new memories only the two of you share. If it is new to both of you it evens the playing field and adds to the mystery and adventure of it all.

During the course of dating we would take dance lessons, but there are still so many things we haven’t tried! Like a cooking class, rock climbing and belay course, or horse-back riding…

Whatever it is, big or small. Try something new! Take a class, read a book, try a new restaurant, or travel to a new spot.


Now you tell me… What did you do in the dating years to impress your mate? What is something you want to try now?


Tappy and I are going to start small. We are committing to trying a new restaurant this week and dressing up for the date like we used to.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled, as we are going to keep talking about how to rekindle the romance in our relationship by taking a look at our past.

Ditch the Flowers… Our Valentine Traditions

Have you noticed that the price of flowers almost double in the month of February? And those cute heart shaped boxes actually hold less candy?

I love fresh flowers to smell and tend to, and I LOOOOVE my chocolate. However, in the month of February we decided to skip the cliches and start our own traditions to get more bang for our buck. I’d rather have small bouquets throughout the year if it means skipping them tomorrow, and my chocolate can come in any shape or form and you know they’ll be eaten!

If flowers and chocolates is what your significant other truly truly wants though, don’t you dare blame it on me. Splurge! The love of your life is worth it! But if you want to stretch your date dollars this month here are a few go-to Valentine date ideas.

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Put Together a Spa Kit

You can gather some of these items from what you already own and mix them in with a few inexpensive additions: Soap or Bath bomb for soaking, pumice stone or grater for smoothing, lotion for healing, and a new nail polish or face mask as a cherry on top! Soak your feet together in a warm sudsy bath or tub, scrape the old, massage with lotion, and voila. She’ll feel pampered!

Give an at Home Massage

My hubby will never turn down a massage. He will take one in a box with a fox, here or there, or anywhere! You can make a cute coupon if you have time, but honestly he doesn’t need one- He just wants the massage. Up the game with some lotion, oil, candles, or how you dress.

Check out a new to you RomCom from the Library

Redbox is less than 2 bucks, and Family Video isn’t bad either, but the Library is free! Rent an old tried and true, or try some of our favorites: Flipped, You’ve Got Mail, Moulin Rouge, The Proposal, Charade, Pillow Talk, & If a Man Answers.

Dine in now, Eat out later

It can be hard to get a reservation on Valentine’s Day, and once you are out and about you realize that it is BUSY! The roads, the restaurants… you may even feel shuffled about and whisked quickly through your meal. Skip the hustle and have a romantic candle-lit dinner at home and make reservations for another weekend to make up for having to cook. We always grab fancy steaks from Sams and serve them with our favorite drink!

Make it Special, Whatever You Do

Whether you choose to go out, or stay in- Be sure to make it special! Valentine’s Day is a day to remind us to cherish one another and not take each other for granted. Be sure that your significant other doesn’t go unnoticed. Tell them how much they mean to you, be specific. Spoil them with a massage, gift, or dinner. Get dressed up, light some candles, and make them feel loved.


What are your Valentine Traditions? Do you love splurging on a night on the town or do you prefer cuddling up close at home? Give us some ideas for next year in the comments!


Love Letters & Valentines

Do you remember writing notes in class? Putting pen to paper, practicing those bubble letters your BFF always uses, or staying true to your own mixture of print and cursive… Then carefully folding your message into a triangular “football” hiked to your recipient.

What about those handmade valentine’s that came out of the Family Fun magazine? Staying up with mom and the hot glue gun pouring your heart into the craft of wiggly eyes and Hershey’s kisses.

Or my favorites…. handwritten notes quickly jotted by mom left in my lunchbox, or the love letters Tappy would leave me to discover on my lunch breaks from working at Walmart.

I even remember in highschool one friend painstakingly made recycled paper in his blender, and I marveled at his dedication to the art of letter writing.

Love Letters & Valentines

Whether it’s a homemade valentine, or a hand-picked and store bought one… Whether it’s a full blown love letter or a sneaky post-it note… Take the time to write a little love to those you love. Surprise them with your old-fashioned thoughtfulness!


Fight Night is Over…. Now What?

You went to the Fight Night Simulcast… you laughed at all the Parrott’s jokes, a lightbulb went off as you identified with their stories, and you even enjoyed some dessert and made a date night out of it…. But now it’s over and your life and marriage didn’t really change. So now what?


Here are a few next steps to keep the momentum!

1. Go on a Follow-Up Date

It’s important to take the time to process the things we hear and learn. I tend to process out loud, bouncing ideas and conclusions around in conversation. Tappy likes to process quietly, mulling things over in his head. If you haven’t already, grab your notes from the simulcast and discuss them with your partner.

Here are a few questions to get you started

  • What did you identify with most?
  • Where do you land between High Expressiveness and Low Expressiveness?
  • Do you think you have high flexibility or have low flexibility?
  • What is our strength when we fight? Are we naturally good at cooperation, ownership, respect, or empathy?
  • What one weakness is the most prominent when we fight? Criticism, defensiveness, contempt, or stonewalling?

2. Choose One Action Step, and Write it Down

Make one simple and attainable goal. Often goals and resolutions fail, because they are unreasonable to begin with and we get stress-paralyzed. We tend to think if we can’t do it all and do it all perfectly, it’s not worth trying. However, we know that big results come from small changes over time. So pick one attainable goal to start.

In addition, goals are more likely to happen if you write them down and share them. Let your partner know what your one take away was and how you want to implement it.

3. Give “Withholds” a Try

One of the most concrete ways to implement Fight Night is to use the Withholds strategy. Schedule a time each week to practice this.


  • Share 2 Positive Things About Your Spouse – things you saw, but failed to recognize and thank them for.
  • Share 1 Negative Thing – one thing that has been eating at you, that you haven’t had the time or the courage to say
  • Say Thank You – don’t rebuttle, or defend yourself, simply say Thank You for the information.
  • Take 30 Minutes – This gives our brain time to come out of “Fight Mode.” Don’t discuss any of the withholds for at least 30 minutes.

4. Read Les & Leslie’s book, The Good Fight

The Parrott’s did a great job explaining why we fight, and giving us valuable content to fight fair.  However, if you are looking for more we highly recommend their book, The Good Fight. It is not simply a recap of the simulcast, but it goes deeper and offers more application that simply was too much to fit into a single evening.


What was your main takeaway from Fight Night? How have you already implemented what you have learned?

October Favorites

One of my favorite posts to get from other bloggers are their monthly favorite lists. We decided to give you the content we love getting. Our favorites list includes what we are currently listening to, reading, wearing, and our favorite date ideas for the month.

Take a look!

October Favorites

Latest Listens

I’ve been listening to “The Power of Vulnerability” by Brene Brown on Audible. They are live recordings of a course that walks you through the culmination of her years of research. I’m only two hours in, but I can see this audiobook being helpful to: empower children, gain confidence, drop arrogance, become better communicators and listeners, and most importantly to find our authentic self. I’ve already adopted her mantra, “Don’t shrink, don’t puff up. Stand your sacred ground.” -Emilie

What I love about this album is the lyrics, especially in the songs Hallelujah Here Below and Then He Rose.  Each song paints a picture of the love of Christ and the worship of His people.  Elevation produces a great album, they are solid live, and their heart for God is evident in their writing. -Tappy

Current Reads

Actually, we are both reading “The Good Fight,” by Les & Leslie Parrott. We are hosting the live simulcast, Fight Night, based off the research that went into this book. We wanted to dive in and learn more before the big night on November 1st, and this book only makes us more excited! We hope you join us, you can find out more and buy tickets here. – Emilie

I am being ridiculously challenged by this book, “Didn’t See it Coming.”  Carey gets to the heart of leadership and the struggle that anyone will face throughout their tenure as a leader. This will be a must read each year for me; both as a gut-check and warning to not fall victim to any of the seven issues. – Ethan

What We Wear

Our autumn so far has been in the 80s-90s… But whenever we finally get a dip in temp, I’ve worn this white and black stripe top. It is loose and comfortable. It’s the perfect length to wear with leggings, but still looks great with jeans. Not to mention the fabric is sooo soft. I like to pair mine with a vest and long necklace. – Emilie

I admit it, I am almost 30 and I am still wearing skinny jeans.  I love them and I am not ashamed!  ASOS has produced some great jeans.  They don’t stretch out and I have been impressed with the quality so far. They also have a ton of color and style options! – Ethan

Date Nights

There are soo many fun festivals in October! We’ve been to the Apple Pumpkin Festival, Mum Festival, and Carnival or Halloween themed parties. Our personal favorite is going to a Square Dance, bonus points if it is in an actual barn! Count me in for all the Hay-Rack rides, apple picking, and Haunted Houses! -Emilie

Carving Pumpkins is a favorite of mine.  I have done it almost every year of my life and it started as a tradition that my brother and I did with our mom.  I like the challenge of coming up with something unique each year instead of using a pre-made design.  I have done a snow man, a deer, jack skellington, and even my friends face!  I love the tradition and challenge. This is great as a date night with friends or family.  Plus the baked pumpkin seeds with some olive oil and salt…yum! – Ethan


Tell us what some of your favorites are! We would love new ideas, and maybe they’ll end up on our favorites next month.

Also, let us know if you enjoy this kind of post and would like to see more like it!