Monday, February 25, 2008

Staying Out of the Rut, and Keeping the Spark Alive

My fireman hubby works a lot, and when he's home we've got six kids clamoring for his attention. His little girl wants a date with her daddy. The little boys want to wrestle with him. Every now and then the teenager comes out of his cave to talk, too. :) Somehow my husband manages to hang out, wrestle, and spend time with all the kids, plus pay a lot of attention to me too.

When we were poor college students back when we first met and were dating we never ran out of fun stuff to do. I can remember going puddle jumping in the rain, taking a walking picnic as we ate food out of a care package my mom sent to me (I'm pretty sure the box include rice crispy treats. Thanks, Mom!), jumping in piles of leaves, and a zillion other totally free and fun things that occupied our time together. This quality in our relationship was one of the things that made me think we could survive getting married when we were still poor college students. If we could be happy and have fun on no money, we were pretty well set for life!

Well, as time has gone on, we've gotten into a little bit of a rut. Our usual routines includes watching a movie after the kids have been put to bed. This started back when we had a bunch of littles and needed a way to feel like we were doing something like a date, without having to hire a sitter. Now that our oldest is 15 and the youngest is almost 5, we're pretty stinkin' spoiled because we can drop everything and head out the door and let the oldest one handle the childcare issues for awhile. The trickier part now is that we live someplace that has very little (possibly nothing) to do as far as entertainment, eating out, parks, or anything else that would be conducive to a date night. We often drive farther away in order to do some more interesting stuff, but it would be a whole lot nicer to have some fresh stuff to do near home. Frankly, we can use some fresh ideas for a happy medium so that we can have some fun, special times together without having to drive all over tarnation or spend a fortune to make it happen.

I found out about this fun site that has a bunch of romantic ideas that we can definitely use. A lot of the ideas are really simple ways that you can increase the specialness of an ordinary event, like holding hands while you're at a restaurant. Some of it is a new idea, but a lot of it is stuff that it just helps to be reminded of every now and then.

Another idea I can definitely use is to simply write an I love you letter. My husband and I used to write letters to each other daily, back before the internet, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Now we don't do that, but I could easily send something to his work to surprise him, or tuck a note into his bag that he takes to work with him. I've mentioned before how much I appreciate the concept of telling people how much they mean to you, and it seems to me that a spouse is a pretty important person to do that with. Yes?

What do you do to keep the spark alive and keep things fresh in your marriage?

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