Date Night in the Time of COVID

As you might know by now, we like to do a monthly date night. We started it … two years ago, I think? … and have kept it going since.

Sometimes it’s simple – just dinner out. Sometimes it’s a bit more.

But what do you do when everything’s closed?

You figure out a way to do date night at home.

First of all, you dress up, because sweats aren’t gonna do it.

Secondly, you get take out from a place you’d maybe normally do dinner at if it were a normal date night.

In our case, we went to Rio, which we’ve done a few times for date night before. Mainly because we love their damn fajitas.

Although they offered their (in)famous margs to go as well, we just made our own at home.

Next, you do a fun activity. In our case, it was building a couch fort in which to watch a movie in.

Or attempting, as the case may be. We successfully made one at our apartment back in the day, but this effort? FAIL.

Tried to make it taller … that may have been our downfall. And maybe lighter blankets/sheets would have worked better. Who knows.

As a result, you want to have a solid plan B. The husband actually came up with a great one – make a super comfy spot on the floor in which to watch a movie on.

Couch cushions under a ton of blankets to have a comfy spot to snuggle on.

Finally, we rented a movie on DirecTV in order to make it more “date-like” as opposing to just choosing something out of the DVD collection. In our case, it was something I’d seen before but B hadn’t – the LEGO Movie. I did not guess who much he’d love it, but he did.

And in full disclosure, we changed into comfy clothes for the movie part. There are perks to date night at home, and one is not having to stay in heels.

Hoping we can do something a bit more out and about for May, but if not, we know how to improvise.

On 2019 and 2020

I wrote quite a bit about 2019 in here already.

It contained a few concerts. I met Shinedown again.

It had some travel. A bit less than last year, but still some wonderful places – Las Vegas, Tucson, Madison, Bozeman, Yellowstone, Coeur d’Alene, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Mexico (near Tulum), and Amsterdam.

I don’t think I gained weight (for once), but I’m not sure I actually lost much, either. Maybe a few pounds. Maybe that’s not bad for being well on the wrong side of thirty.

I didn’t do the two super creative things I wanted to – finish that purse I’ve been working on and do a larger painting – but I did actually completely swap out my paints (… they were a little old and a little gross) and did a small piece. That I obviously forgot to share here. I did write a bit more (as evidenced by quite a few more drabbles posted here).

I didn’t really have a main goal in 2019. I don’t know if I really want to have one in 2020, either.

I’d like to try to get my house in order (both literal and metaphorical). Deep clean everything, swap some stuff out, continue culling items. Also acquire a few more things, but have them be more purposeful.

I would love to keep writing, and maybe even a book. If I can ignore and fight my brain’s natural inclination to self-edit EVERYTHING. Maybe if I hand write it I’ll have more luck. Maybe.

I would love to keep sewing. Maybe make a few more pillows, maybe finish that purse (hey let’s not get crazy here), definitely keep up with my mending pile.

I would love to paint more, too. I forgot how much I do truly love it.

Really, I would love to just continue being me and finding out who “me” is these days.

On 2018 and 2019

2018 was an interesting year.

My first inclination was to call it a good year, filled with a lot of travel (which it was), but it also had some hiccups.

I tracked my travel – Minnesota, Tucson, California (Disney), LA, Costa Rica, Scottsdale, LA, Italy, Montrose, LA/Las Vegas, Sterling, Vegas/LA, Rifle, Tucson, Minnesota, Tucson, S. Colo/Las Vegas, Telluride, Bloomington, Belfast, St. George/Vegas. I met Shinedown. I did a lot more hiking. I saw friends each month. I tried new recipes and restaurants.

I also gained more weight, and had an existential triathlon crisis, having my lightest racing season in a decade.

The goals that I stated here, I mostly accomplished.

The main one, live with purpose, I feel like I was pretty good at. If you count it by my comment of less mindless scrolling of the interwebs … well … that got worse as the year went on.

I did continue to chase the sun, getting some stellar sunrises and finally catching a good sunset in Tucson.

I successfully visited all 41 (43?) state parks, gaining a wonderful new perspective on the state and life in general. (and yes I still need to blog about that)

I’m not entirely sure I got more organized … or had more grace … but I don’t think I was entirely deficient, either.

I did create a bit more, but not nearly as much as I would have liked. You saw the evidence of the few fiction pieces I did here, and I kind of did Inktober this year (though all those doodles were pretty crappy and I didn’t share them for a reason).

So what for 2019?

Travel will happen (and already has – started off the year in Las Vegas), but a little less as I’m training for another IRONMAN. It doesn’t mean that I can’t travel a lot prior to September, but it does mean that my travel will be limited.

I still have my create and write monthly goals, but I also added in the goals of actually doing a larger painting and finishing the purse I started a few years ago.

In general, though, I like the purposeful life goal. I’ve been setting daily intentions since late July and I like living with intent. I think I’ll keep with that.

On 2018

While I may not always post them here, I am a bit of a New Year’s Resolutioner. Most of my goals this year have to do with my triathlon life (as they do,) but I have a few others that I’ll share here.

My main goal is to try to live with purpose. I’m not entirely sure as to what that means, exactly, but part of it is, I am fortunate enough not to work so I don’t want to waste my days.

(Read: I need to not mindlessly scroll the internets, particularly Facebook.)

I’ve really enjoyed chasing the sun, so I’d like to continue doing that. It will probably need to mostly occur when B is out of town (as he’s not quite as into it), but that’s okay.

I also have the goal of visiting all 43 (41 … whatever) state parks here in Colorado. I’ve got two so far, and I think about a quarter of that number will be easy to hit. The others will take some planning (and the summer), but it will be fun exploring different corners of the state.

In general, I’m also trying to work on my organization, both in the house and in life, and on my grace.

Obviously I’d like to continue creating, and I think (I hope) that will be a thing.

Here’s to a good year!

On 2017

You got to see most of the year unfold here, but all in all, it was a pretty good one.

– I saw two movies in the theaters, “Hidden Figures” and “Patriot’s Day.”

– I saw two shows – “The Secret Garden” here in Denver and “Le Reve” in Las Vegas.

– I traveled fairly extensively. Grand Forks, N.D., in February. Road-tripped to Albuquerque, N.M., in March. Road-tripped to Tucson, Ariz., in April. Boston, Mass., Los Angeles, Calif., and Las Vegas, Nev. in May. Indianapolis, Ind., in July. Road-tripped to Tucson again in August, as well as flew to Minneapolis, Minn. Back to Minnesota in early September, only to get stuck and drive back home through the night. Road-tripped in September through Utah and Sacramento en route to Santa Cruz, Calif., coming back home through Las Vegas. Also went to Atlanta, Ga., that same month. Los Angeles again in October. Road-tripped to Tempe, Ariz., in November, driving back through Tucson. Las Vegas again in December, but driving there after flying to Los Angeles.

– I saw the last of B’s foursome of college friends get married (the Georgia trip).

– I saw my dad go through cancer.

– I quit my job in May.

– I gained some weight and lost a little.

– We picked up curling.

– I saw three concerts – Shinedown twice (both out of state) and Apocalyptica.

– I spent a lot of time in the mountains.

– I made a few new friends.

– I started to catch a lot of sunrises.

Taken December 31st at Cherry Creek State Park.

All in all, once again, it was a good year with quite a bit of life changes. This next year will include a bit of the same (different travel, but probably still a lot of it, sunrises, mountains, friends), but with no more foreseeable huge life changes. Hopefully.

On Quality and Quantity

I haven’t posted in here in a while. I know. Especially because, once again, I committed to posting twice a week. I was doing well, too.

But then … I started having trouble coming up with things to write. I haven’t been able to create as much (yet) this month due to other factors, so I couldn’t blog about that. Sure, we did date night (Rodizio, as we do) on Valentine’s Day, but we’ve been quite a few times so what could I really write on that? Or what could I write that would be better content?

We went to the Colorado Home and Garden Show (free thanks to our Botanic Gardens membership!) and I took some photos ideally for a post … but I really didn’t have much to say. Yay, we saw landscaping and a whole bunch of random companies (including one that might help us grade the garage, so that was helpful)? I could have written on that, but it would have been a stupid post.

I’ve read some novellas – guilty pleasure over here is “Pride and Prejudice” fanfiction (no shame), so I’ve bought some and read them, but they’re basically fun crack and I’m not sure what I’d write on them. Maybe I will when I have a few to review.

Therefore, I’ve decided that instead of forcing posts, I’ll write when I have something to say. I think I would prefer quality over quantity, and I know that when I travel, I inevitably end up with multiple posts from each trip and at the end of March I’ll have my quarterly style post and I will have things to say. I’m hoping to still stick with at least once a week, but maybe not. So, I’m hoping to churn out a bit more quality as opposed to a lot of quantity. Thanks for bearing with me!

January Date Night

One of the things B and I are trying to do this year is an established monthly date night. Not the, “oh, well, we’re out and about so date day!” type of things we usually do. Actually planned, actually dressed up, not on our phones, etc.

For January, we started off super basic with your classic date – dinner and a movie. Which, amusingly enough, I’ve never actually done. My first boyfriend took me to a movie on our first date (and mini-golfing), but he didn’t feed me. In hind sight, that simple fact makes me wonder why I kept dating him …

In any case, for the movie, we went to see “Hidden Figures”. We had both heard wonderful things about the film (and I’d seen interesting fun facts regarding the women it’s about in Tumblr posts on Pinterest), and as there isn’t much else* out that we would want to go see (“Moana” again not included), it became our choice.

There were a few things in the movie that were a bit predictable, but it was a great, well-told story nonetheless. And shit, I can’t even get close to math like that.

We did the movie first (backward life) solely so we could eat popcorn. Small, early lunch so we were hungry enough for the popcorn to pretty much destroy the bag during the previews. With our dinner reservations an hour after the movie, we were still plenty hungry to eat dinner.

Dinner was at an old, but trusty standby, in Benihana. Always delicious, but a bit too pricey for a random dinner, so it was a perfect choice for dinner. We both had a drink (B a Blue Moon and me a Pinot Noir), split a Shrimp Lovers Roll, and each got the Splash ‘N Meadow (steak and shrimp) dinner.

We’re not yet sure what February’s date night will be yet, but March’s is booked for the end of Denver Restaurant Week.

* Well, except “Patriot’s Day,” but we’re trying to decide if the Boston Marathon bombings are still too raw for us to be able to get through the film. I couldn’t make it through the trailers without crying and I don’t want to sob the whole film. We’ll probably still see it, though, but at the first showing of the day. Maybe.

On 2017

Over at my triathlon blog, I’ve listed my main 2017 goal as to learn to enjoy the journey.

While good life advice, in this context, I mean it as enjoy the day-to-day life of training. The swim, bike, run, lift, yoga, snowshoe, skate, hike, whatever, all of the little things that make me a (better) athlete. I’ve met a lot of people who like training, but dislike racing. Me? I love racing, but it’s the in between that gets me. Hopefully not this year.

My plan on combating this is to get into the general routine of working out, make it a part of my daily life … and then hopefully I’ll be in the midst of it and realize that I love it.

As for life in general, I’m still working on becoming my best self. I realize I work best when I have direction to my days and a set plan. So, for this year, I bought two fun new planners (side note: when the heck did planners get so damned expensive???) and have planned out my life.

January’s workouts? All planned. February’s? Sketched out, and will be officially planned soon. I’ll sketch March’s plan out as soon as I finalize the details of February.

I came up with a daily task list (things I need to do daily) as well as separate task lists for every day of the week. The daily list contains things spanning from “make bed” to “check laundry” and “upload photos.” Things that can be obvious, yes, but often get neglected. The days-of-week lists include blogs I need to write (in here, Tuesdays and Thursdays!) and parts of the house that need cleaning (I get so behind on dusting, for example, that it’s terrible).

The tasks can get changed/not done if, say, I’m out of town, but a lot of it is just establishing the routines. I’m over halfway done with this month and I feel like it’s been going really well. I feel much more productive than normal, more organized. Happily, I feel as though my house is even cleaner (and with more square footage, this is a very good thing).

I’m also food planning a good week to two weeks out, to make the “what’s for dinner/lunch” question a lot easier. Want to know what food is? Check the calendar! Hopefully this will help us keep our weight in a bit better check as well as save some money.

I’ve also got some hopes of creating a bit more (as always), but this time I’m actually planning it. I had a create day on Monday, and I broke out one of my old sketchbooks for the first time in about five years. I have a creative muscle that is sorely underused, but I’m hoping if, like my biceps and quads, that if I just exercise it, it’ll come back as well.

2016: Year in Review

Apparently I never did a goals post for 2016, but that’s okay; I don’t need to recap any of those (partially because I can’t find my list of the ones I think I made anyway).

In general, though, 2016 was a good year for my husband and I.

– This year meant travel. Southern California, Boston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Tucson, Atlanta, Minnesota, Phoenix, all around the South.

– I gained a nephew.
John Xavier, a.k.a. Jax.

– I raced one IRONMAN, and almost finished another.

– I sewed two teeny tiny stuffed animals.

– B got hired by a major airline FINALLY, which means that, if I so choose, the end of my coffee career is in sight.

– I gained weight.

– I attended two weddings; a cousin’s, and my dear friend Norm’s.
Love this version of a guest book.

Norm and Emily.

– I saw “Phantom” again, for the first time in almost 20 years.

– I saw my first movie in theaters since “The Dark Knight Rises” – “Moana.” (Which is awesome. You should go see it.)

– This year meant concerts. Shinedown (twice), Apocalyptica, Sonata Arctica, Disturbed.

All in all, that adds up to being a pretty darn good year (except the whole gaining weight thing).

Holidays, 2016

Not including Thanksgiving.

We kicked off our holiday season with a brunch at our house. Everyone does cocktail parties, so why not switch it up and do a brunch, right?


Muffins and lunch stuff.

Bacon and nog toast. Egg nog french toast – only way to consume egg nog. Trust me on this one.

Drinks. Plus we had coffee.

Brandon’s corner (that is, the stuff he made).

This kind of ended up being an epic disaster, with people RSVPing and then not showing up and … terrible. We’re never hosting anything again.

In our continued adulting quest, we finally gave in and got a membership to the Denver Botanic Gardens (partially because they have a reciprocity program as well!). With this membership, we got free tickets to both Blossoms of Lights (at the main York location) and to the Trail of Lights at the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms. So, off we went to both.

Blossoms of Light.

Blossoms of Light.

Blossoms of Light.

Trail of Lights.

Trail of Lights.

Trail of Lights.

Brandon had to work, but I was able to make the traditional Christmas Eve dinner with my family.

Trees and presents.

It went about as well as you’d expect holidays with the family to go. My brother put me down, parents mocked me, I hid, I found time to hang out with my niece and nephew, the usual.

I did fly out to Portland on Christmas Day to hang out with B, though, which was nice. The disaster that was getting back home (woo, non-rev travel …), was not.

But I did get to hang out in B’s “office” before he left for NYC on the 26th (well before the flight I was in theory going to take left).

Pilot wife life.

Quiet New Year’s in bed, and I am happy the holidays are over.