Monday, October 5, 2009

romance...on a budget

Saturday night my hubby and I had an amazing date night. We got decked out, had dinner, dancing, saw a movie and an ice cream night cap. The music and candlelight at dinner (which was shrimp and pasta primavera...mmm!!!) set just the perfect atmosphere, and the movie was a romantic story of a hero and a lady... It was just simply the perfect date. And it cost $10 (including babysitting!).

Yep, that's right, 10 bucks! All afternoon on Saturday I was yearning for a date, but we are down to our last gift card from our credit card points, which is what we use for 'date nights', and we had just used one last week, so I really couldn't justify using another one. These things need to be saved and used sparingly! But Todd & I really wanted some alone time, so, at 6:15 on Saturday I was struck by a creative wave, and thought, I'm just gonna MAKE a nice date for us...right here! However, I was not simultaneously struck by an urge to cook a full dinner. And there was the fact that the 4 children would need to eat and be attended to, and Kate needed to spend the evening working on a history project, so was unable to be responsible for babysitting her brothers. Soooo...I was off to Giant (our local supermarket) on a mission. I returned with a frozen pizza for the kids, and a bag of Birds Eye frozen shrimp & past primavera for us, as well as a movie. (And even the movie was free because I had a problem the last time I went to redbox, and I emailed them and they sent me codes for 3 free movies!) I stuck the pizza in the oven, told the kids to pick out a movie and went to change. I returned a few minutes later wearing a dress that's a bit too sexy to wear in public (but perfect for an 'at-home' date), heels, jewelry and all, and threw our dinner in the skillet. (When I walked past the boys playing Legos in the living room, they said "Whoa!!" Lukey piped up with "Mom, you look old!!". I think he must've meant I looked 'grown up' because he said it in such a complimentary way. Even so, Bryce quickly set him straight..."No, she doesn't!!" Yeah, they made some points!) I set up a card table in the downstairs family room, threw a table cloth, a vase of flowers (just delivered by a friend earlier in the day), some candles and goblets on it. I put tealights all over the family room, turned out the overhead lights and left only 1 or 2 lamps lit. Our family computer is down there, so I headed to Pandora and picked my music style for the evening, and they kindly put together a lovely play list to finish off my mood-setting. Then, to get rid of the monitor glow (not exactly in keeping with the candle light) I simply flicked off of the monitor. I told my hubby to hit the shower, get dressed and meet me downstairs for dinner. Having seen what I was wearing, he gladly complied. By the time he was done, dinner was on the table, and one of my favorite songs just happened to be playing. We got in a quick dance before dinner, then leisurely enjoyed our delicious cuisine. After that, some more dancing before starting our movie. By this time a few little heads poked down the steps (they had been under strict orders to eat their pizza, watch their movie quietly and let their sister alone. If they obeyed, they'd get some extra time to read in bed before lights out.) to let us know the movie was done and see how long they could read. We did take a 'time out' from our movie to tuck them in and grab some ice cream before returning to our getaway. It was great.

It's been a while since I had done anything like that, and I guess I had forgotten how much fun it could be. Being frugal doesn't have to mean second rate. This was a first-class evening, actually better in many ways than going out often is! I mean, really - I don't usually wear my (faux) diamond necklace and little black dress when we head out to Applebee's. People would wonder. But in my little family room, nobody thought a thing of it!! :)

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