dating | your husband, your kids, yourself | olive june
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dating | your husband, your kids, yourself

when i was in college (at miami university in oxford, ohio), one of my professors gave the most memorable assignment my senior year- a date with yourself. he wanted us to spend a significant amount of time doing what we love most (alone) and then we were assigned to reflect and write about our experience. i still thank him inside for this enlightening example of how important it is to take the time to just Be and to show yourself that You deserve sacred time. for as i long i can remember, i have always had a need to re-charge after socializing and have always enjoyed time alone, but i was in the stage of my life where i believed that happiness had to be shared with other people. and although i love people, my 'extroverted introverted' tendencies tend to leave me yearning for time to unwind, cuddle up, and rest. the past decade taught me that spending time alone strengthens my sense of independence and confidence- and sparks creativity. alone time allows me to be more mindful of the present and to make more conscious choices. it's declaring to myself and to the world that taking care of myself and showing myself love are important. 


some date ideas to take yourself on //

set a time . plan it out (or not!) . get ready . enjoy!

01. a local concert/live band | 'folk acoustic' would be my go-to
02. picnic | grab a snack, beverage, book/podcast and a blanket and find some big trees 
03. a delicious lunch or dinner spot (ramen would be fabulous during these winter months) 
04. watch a sunrise or sunset
05. spend time outside + give out random acts of kindness (say hello, hold open a door, donate, etc.)
06. a movie alone at the theatre- sour patch kids, a glass of wine, and a small bucket of popcorn
07. explore an old-school bookstore | you would probably see me in the memoir, design, children's 
08. head to the beach or mountains (carolina is a gorgeous state)
09. write a love letter in your journal - remind yourself why you're awesome!  
10. a spa day or makeover
11. a cooking class 
12. buy yourself a floral bouquet 
13. try a new activity 
14. head to a local museum and fall in love with the canvases 
15. a personal favorite: a yoga class and reading + writing at a cafe or coffee shop
the older i get, the more i also appreciate and want to spend quality time with others. i have been trying to be intentional and have carved out time for dates with my oldest son, parks . one-on-one mom and son time (here is a post about our first one this past october), nights out and at home with my husband (you can keep it simple and do what works for you during this stage of life), and with my most treasured people in life. 

for example, my husband and i always do a date night in for valentine's day: we pick out a six pack of craft beer, order takeout food (usually spicy/ethnic like thai or indian) and watch a movie or a documentary. all things we both dearly enjoy.

these night in boxes are also a wonderful idea!
this past sunday, one of my best friends growing up and closest friends today, drove to charlotte for the day. renee lives about two hours away in greenville, south carolina. we went to undercurrent coffee shop, a girl tribe galentine's pop-up (you all did an awesome job!), boutiques, walked the charming streets of davidson, north carolina and enjoyed a bowl of soup and a glass of red wine together - and we talked about life. in the most beautiful ways. 
+
isn't this what life is all about? 
taking in moments with others
and leaving with a grateful heart for both them 
and for the time together. 
sweater: madewell (a gift from my sister) . skirt: anthropologie (older)
...
the wallpaper behind me is full of faces of people 
and it reminded me of the powerful message i had just heard at church earlier that morning-
where i left with tears in my eyes and knew a lot of reflecting was on the way...
the time you spend with yourself and others is quality time if it gives you both the ability to connect; to connect on a deeper level than you are able to during the routine of your days. whether that is touching more than normal or seeing someone more than normal or just being present to talk and listen, you are then able to make the most of your time together. to focus on the other person and to make new experiences.

feel God in between you both
feel the routines you establish and learn to love them 
all these little things 
become your story 
your marriage
your relationship with your children 
your friendships
your heart 
and inner soul. 

just give space for the beauty you are creating together.

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