If you've spent anytime on Pinterest, or in the world in the last decade, you've seen the many posts on the infamous Bucket List. Ever since Jack Nicholson + Morgan Freeman appeared in the film that would make the phrase a worldwide sensation, everyone's been eager to make, and widely publicize their lists on social media.
I myself am not a fan of the word Bucket, but I do have my goal lists. I've been making life goal lists since I was 5 or so. But with baby on the brain lately, I've been thinking of all the things I want to do not before I'm elderly, but before this little one makes their appearance. Namely, the activities I want to squeeze in as a wifey with my husband pre-babies.
Mr. Charming and I spent yesterday at the Renaissance Fair that came to town and had such a great time.
Yes I was tired.
Yes we had a million home projects to work on.
Yes that $40 budget could have been added to the savings we're trying to amass.
But we also make our marriage a priority. It's crucial. And dating each other, enjoying life and enjoying travel and activities in town are things that are important to us. And should be a priority in any marriage.
"Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun." Ecclesiastes 9:9
As archery lovers and lovers of all thing new and different, we had a blast! The Festival felt much larger than in past years, and though it was over an hour drive from home each way, it was fun to be out in the sunshine, exploring, shopping and having lunch together outside. The festival employees were wonderful, as Mr. Charming called ahead and let them know about my food concerns and they allowed me to pack and bring my own lunch. (The website said this wouldn't be allowed, so always call to speak to someone in this situation!) so I packed a Paleo Turkey Wrap, carrot sticks, organic apple slices and a Nana Berry Vanilla Cookie Bar for a treat. And plenty of water!
When we are "adventuring", for the most part Mr. Charming will eat clean with me. Dining at all my vegan restaurant finds along the way and exploring healthy dishes right alongside me. But I always let him know that if he wants to indulge in a specialty item, to go for it! We live a clean lifestyle and if I could splurge more here and there, I probably would because, guys, #lifeisshort, and sometimes a bratwurst or a funnel cake just looks dang good. So he got a traditional brat and we people watched while we had lunch. People watching is a really fun thing to do for a date night that's free, and doing so in a location where people dress in CRAZY costumes makes it super enjoyable.
Some of my favorite highlights of the day were seeing all of the handmade goods, from the archery bows to the jewelry from recycled electric wiring, the glassblowing show we saw and just being out in the Spring sunshine with my hubs.
Below is a list of Pre-Baby Date Night Ideas that are fun for Spring & Summer & safe for mama's and our growing bellies!
Did you have a favorite pre-baby date night? Or are you planning anything fun + exciting to celebrate your pregnancy? Share in the comments below!
I previously started a series on our wedding and it began with Our Wedding - The Morning Of. You can start there by clicking the link.
Our wedding was easily the happiest day of my life. Aside from when we found out when were expecting Baby P. I feel like the entire day I floated. Just floated. Trying to capture and soak up every single moment of what was happening around me and within me.
When Mr. Charming and I sat down to plan our wedding we talked of what we dreamed of it being. What we had to have, what we didn't need to have and all the in betweens. Luckily our visions existed together beautifully and he was hands on for the entire process (more on that later, he was really hands on.)
What started as a ceremony at the beach with a small crowd, morphed into a fancy wedding at Hotel Del Coronado, then to somewhere we never expected, and something so much better. When I was deep in the initial stages of wedding planning, I let the fancifulness, money, and our own hearts desires get the best of us. So I went to the source I knew would handle this SO much better than us. God. I prayed and picked up the book Inviting God To Your Wedding (And Keeping Him In Your Marriage) and it was the best move I could have made. It shifted everything and led us to have a wedding that was so God and love filled it blew our dreams and expectations out of the water.
Mr. Charming's cousin has a beautiful home on a expansive piece of lush green property in Arizona that transports you to the oaky parks of California and I fell in love. With her backyard for the ceremony and reception. I fell in love with her crisp white interior for photos and cocktail area. And I knew that Arizona would be the right place, so that all of our friends and family members could enjoy with us. All 175+ of them.
As I stated earlier, Mr. Charming was really hands on with the wedding. We drove to Sedona to harvest our own Manzanita trees for our centerpieces (which resulted in a bad hand injury, a lot of blood and Mandi applying first aid in the forest to her fiance'. That was scary and I don't suggest.) He also built, by hand, our head table which is now our dining table from gorgeous Poplar wood, as well as the arbor we would stand under to be married. It was a dream.
One of my very best friends, Paul, flew in to be a groomsman and helped Mr. Charming set up the ceremony early while I got ready with the girls at the hotel. After the boys had gotten ready and had their photos done, the girls and I arrived at the ceremony locale in a stretch black SUV. After a fun photoshoot in the parlor room of Mr. Charming's cousins house I retreated to a room to spend time with my dad and hide from the groom and guests!
The guests arrived and enjoyed jazzy 40's music to be seated and it was near showtime! Standing in the doorway to the backyard, my dad holding my hand tight just as he did when I was a little girl, the butterflies flitted about and my soul beamed. The sense of peace and love I felt in that moment just may exceed any other moment of calm in my life. God walked with us that day.
Walking down the aisle to my husband to be, surrounded by family and friends that we love so much, was indescribable. I don't remember the walk very well, I don't remember speaking my vows, I don't remember much. I do that. I never remember my best concerts. It's like I float in these moments, and then they are gone from my memory. The happiness remains, the peace, but the memory of exactly what went down, it exists back in that picture perfect moment. Thankful for video and photos, haha. I'm weird I guess.
We wrote our own vows, which was so special and adored the pastor we hired to perform the ceremony. My girls looked beautiful, the men, so handsome, and it was just the perfect ceremony.
I felt like I had waited so long to confess to this man, in front of God and our loved ones, how very much I wanted him to have my forever, it was a moment of such elation.
I'd marry him again and again. Every day for all of my days.
Take a peek at the other posts in the series as the become available:
What was your stand-out ceremony memory?
As an honored member of the Today Show food club, Mr. Charming and I were asked to share our story of how we cope with our dietary differences, (me with many restrictions, him with none.) Our story was published on the Today Show this week and I wanted to share our story below, along with some added tips to supporting a loved with with food sensitivities.
I was worried that our drastically different diets would put a strain on our marriage, as I'd heard so many stories of relationships hitting bumpy terrain when one persons health forced such change.
However, my loving best friend, partner and supporter embraced the change with me and for the most part eats gluten-free and dairy-free with me. When we travel we stay in timeshares where we have access to kitchens and visit local Farmers Markets in nearby cities. He occasionally eats whatever he wants, which I support 100%, because if I could, I would too, but this road has been such a blessing, to not only healing me, but teaching us what's really in our food, and in the end we are both much healthier because of these challenges.
Next see my top 7 tips for being the best partner / friend / family member when a family member has food restrictions.
It was late 2011, and most of you know my story, I had to change my diet completely. Completely.
Which was a shock to not only me, but to my family and new husband. So much of our relationship in the beginning was based on experiences. Travel & culinary sampling was a big part of our adventures and I was terrified to how I, and we, would adjust.
My health of course came first and having a wonderfully supportive best friend as my spouse made it all do-able. You can see our story of how we work with different diet here. Our story was featured this week on The Today Show Food Club and below I share seven tips of how to make loving someone with food restrictions a little easier and a little more understandable.