Three years ago I was celebrating my first Christmas as a new mom. Chan was 8 months old and I was having trouble thinking of what to get Chris for Christmas. I was tired, we didn’t have much money, and I didn’t have the energy to go out shopping. I was also feeling so much love in my heart for this little person he helped me create that I wanted to give him something that would last all year long.

year of dates

Each envelope in the Year Of Dates has a pre-paid, planned out date night!

So I decided to give him a Year Of Dates. I planned a date for each month of the year and put it in an envelope to be opened at the beginning of each month. It sounds like a lot of work but I promise you it’s not. I’ll give you some ideas of what I used and how I did it and you can come with things in your area that would fit. Some were as simple as a riding a bike, some were more involved like dinner at a fancy restaurant.year of dates

But the main reason I wanted to have A Year Of Dates was to make sure that he and I made time to stay connected to each other. Parenting is hard and anyone who says otherwise is a lying to you, or themselves. Chris and I had been married for 10 years before we decided to have kids. That’s a long time to be with someone then suddenly introduce a baby so I wanted to make sure we still made time for each other. And a Year Of Dates sounded like the perfect way to make that happen.

And thanks to the power of the internet, I was able to purchase almost everything online so the all the dates were already paid for.

year of dates

For example, in January I bought us a Groupon for a Paint Night. This was back when only a few people were doing it so we were clearly trendsetters. We drank delicious wine, painted mediocre pictures, and laughed our butts off.

In February, I made us reservations for Valentine’s Day at The Magic Castle in Hollywood! We had always wanted to go but never did for whatever reason. This was a pricey date, but so cool. Loved seeing a part of Hollywood history! One month we went “off the grid”, meaning just a night of the two of us a home, no phones, no TV. We just put some music on while Chan slept and played board games, talked and you know…got busy “connecting” with each other.

I was particularly proud of the May date night. May is our anniversary month so I thought I’d combine our anniversary date night with a Dollar Store Scavenger hunt.  When I made the dates, I created a list of questions for us and put them in an envelope along with $10. So when we got to the dollar store we opened our envelopes, then had 10 minutes to run through the store and find the things on our list. We then took our purchases to dinner and revealed what the other found. A sample question was, “What’s the one thing you think your mother-in-law needs in her house?” Chris brought back Beano and I bought spray cleaner. You can draw your own conclusions from there.

Here are some other dates:

I’m sure you can come up with ideas that will be specific to your special someone. If you do, let me hear from you! I’d love to know what you do on your Year Of Dates.