Date Night In: Our Movie List

movie nightHere in the Wier house, we love our babysitter. She’s well qualified, has medical training, is responsible, and she cares about the kids. They love her, too. The only problem is that we don’t see her nearly enough. Between our often hectic lives, busy travel schedules, and the $15 an hour babysitter rate, Colin and I do good work to have a date night once a month. This summer, we went out at the beginning of May and it was August before we had another date night. We just couldn’t get it together until then. With this kind of random dating schedule in mind, Colin and I took Lisa’s cue and sat down one night in May after reading her “It’s Not Too Late to Date” post (click here to read) and made a list of movies we wanted to see together. We scoured through internet “best-movie” lists and thought about movies that we’ve seen in the past and came up with a list of 28 movies. Some are old, some are new, some comedies, some serious. The only stipulation was that we both had to agree before the movie went on the list. It was actually really fun just making the list together. Colin was blown away by how many movies I haven’t seen (I have a hard time sitting still long enough to watch an entire movie). So we’re working on that and enjoying spending some quality time together. 😉

In the beginning, we decided we would watch a movie together every weekend, but that hasn’t happened either. Still, after the kids are in bed on the weekends, we’ve been slowly chipping away at “the list”. We cuddle up on the couch with popcorn and there is a strict rule of no computers, no phones, and no iPads; only popcorn and a blanket. For fun, below is our list of movies and a quick note on the ones we’ve seen together so far.

  1. Les Miserables – We really enjoyed this one, but then we’ve seen the musical together a few times and knew what to expect. We both agreed that Anne Hathaway deserved the Oscar for best actress in a supporting role. If you aren’t into musicals, however, you should skip this one.
  2. The Lord of the Rings – To be fair, this should have been six entries on our list. There are three movies to this series and each one is at least three hours long and broken into two DVD’s. Luckily, Colin had bought the entire set when the movies first came out so we were able to just watch as we wanted. It took us three weekends to get through the entire series. That being said, it was a fantastic story and even though I didn’t plan to like it, I really did!
  3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – After we finished Lord of the Rings, it was only logical that we would start watching The Hobbit movies as well, since they’re interrelated. I liked this first movie of the series and am anxiously awaiting the second installment (due out in December of this year). That being said, watching it so soon after seeing The Lord of the Rings trilogy left me a bit underwhelmed with The Hobbit. It’s still a great movie, but it just can’t compare to the grandeur of the imagery and the captivation of the storyline in Lord of the Rings.
  4. Silver Linings Playbook – Colin really enjoyed the movie. I thought it was pretty good, but since I had already read the book, I had some trouble accepting all of the differences between the book and the movie. There are a lot of them. If you’ve read the book and that kind of thing bothers you, I would skip this one. Otherwise, it’s a decent movie.
  5. Little Miss Sunshine – A lot of people really like this movie and I had heard a lot about it. Plus, we both really like Steve Carell, so we gave it a try. We really, really disliked it…lol. In fact, we were both so bored by the time we got 3/4 of the way through, that we just turned it off. This one was a dud for us.
  6. Star Trek Into Darkness – Surprisingly, I loved this movie! I remember being surprised way back in 2009 when Colin convinced me to see Star Trek in the theater and I actually liked it. I was surprised again this time. I really enjoyed it.
  7. Field of Dreams
  8. Trouble with the Curve
  9. Seabiscuit
  10. Charlie St. Cloud
  11. The Princess Bride
  12. Memoirs of a Geisha
  13. Braveheart
  14. The King’s Speech
  15. Good Morning Vietnam
  16. Dead Poets Society
  17. Citizen Kane
  18. E.T.
  19. Unforgiven
  20. Desperado
  21. The Italian Job
  22. Moulin Rouge
  23. Secretariat
  24. The Count of Monte Cristo
  25. Blazing Saddles
  26. Robinhood: Prince of Thieves
  27. Lincoln
  28. Argo

As you can see, we still have quite a way to go, but I have to say that this is something we have really enjoyed and I would encourage any couple having trouble finding time for a true night out to make time for this kind of thing. It’s amazing how much you can enjoy just watching a movie together when you devote 100% of yourself to just sitting still, tuning out any distractions, and just being together.

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It’s Not Too Late to Date

If you’re a parent, then I’m willing to bet that more than a time or two, you’ve wished for just a few moments of adult conversation.  You’ve passed your significant other in the hall on the way to put the kids in bed and realized that you haven’t talked to each other about a single thing other than the kids. That’s a pretty good sign it’s time for a date.

Making time to date is extremely important. I know you may be thinking, “With the kids, the mortgage, work, and pure exhaustion, who has the time and effort for that?” Well, money isn’t necessary really and the effort will be worth it. Sometimes with all of the demands of parenthood it’s easy to get lost in that role and forget the reason you ended up in the blessed state of parenthood in the first place. You like each other, or at least you did at some point.

Being a stay at home parent means very rarely getting time to myself, much less time to share with Brian. I feel so blessed to be able to stay home to raise our daughter, but sometimes I can’t help but feel envious of those people who get 15 minutes alone in the car commuting back and forth to work. As a stay at home parent, that doesn’t happen. Even more than that, children need routines and structure, which make it difficult to have spontaneity in your relationship. Before Lilly, if Brian and I decided we wanted ice cream at 10 pm, we got ice cream at 10 pm. With our precious little one sleeping in the next room over, that’s not going to happen these days. As any parent knows, you let “sleeping dogs lie.” But, just because things are different now that we’re parents doesn’t mean we can’t still have a date every now and then. It usually takes more planning on our part, but sometimes we can even throw in something unexpected and exciting.

Dates these days usually involve staying home. When Lilly goes to bed around 7:30 we plan for our “date” to start then. Brian and I love watching movies together.  We like to curl up on the couch with some sort of dinner, either take-out or something homemade and we rent a movie on demand from DirecTV or get caught up on the latest episode of Survivor or The Office that we’ve missed.  Sometimes we even like to get a little wild and crazy with a heated game of scrabble or Monopoly. We peruse funny picture sites and laugh together at other’s misfortunes. We’ve even spent an evening or two watching old home videos and laughing at our own misfortunes. These are the little things that don’t cost money and usually end up providing us with the most laughs and enjoyment together.

426449_10200742949275042_1082015312_n                                               On our date to the George Strait concert in Knoxville, TN.

Three times since Lilly has been born, we’ve gone away for a night. Once was to enjoy some Christmas shopping and the other two were for concerts. Thankfully, we both have wonderful parents who love to spend time with their granddaughter. And we are very appreciative for the break. I feel like those rare occasions when I’m away for a night leave me feeling refreshed and ready to start again when I return. A mother’s heart is never far from her child’s and although I know she’s very well provided for in my absence, I still worry about her. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a good time, though. When we’re away it gives us an opportunity to regroup and remember what we love so much about each other in the first place. We genuinely enjoy each other’s company. These rare happenings allow us to focus only on each other, without having to run and do a pacifier replacement or change a diaper. Sometimes you just need a break.

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Enjoying the freezing rain in May at the Zach Brown Band/Kenny Chesney concert in Columbia, SC.

As I’ve said, a date can be as simple as ordering pizza and watching SNL or sometimes a little more planned, allowing us a night away. I do think they’re very important though. Life is demanding.  Children are demanding. It’s important to set aside time to enjoy your partner. In our fast paced day-to-day world, it sometimes requires penciling your significant other in on your schedule, but rest assured when you do you will both feel refreshed and ready to refocus on the partnership of parenthood.