Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fort Worth Weekend

Dating Jon for the past year and a half has been anything but boring. He keeps me on my toes with his quick wit and we always have fun together. As cliche as it sounds, he is my best friend.

With our jobs and activities during the week and his MBA program eating up much of his "free time," being intentional with quality time for each other has been crucial since the beginning of our relationship. We established Saturday night as "date night" from our early days of dating and have worked hard to protect that time.

In the premarital class we recently took through our church, one of the lessons was focused on relational intimacy and pursuing your significant other. (Side note- we loved the class, Merge, and can't recommend it enough for every couple before they get married! If you're engaged or seriously dating, check it out!)

In Merge and from many married couples, I've heard over and over the concept of dating your spouse.  Marriage is supposed to be FUN, not boring! : )

Both being creatures of habit, Jon and I can see how easy it is for us to fall into the simple "dinner date" routine. While we love this, we know we need to mix it up with new activities and creative dates together, and want to avoid getting stuck in a rut as we continue dating and prepare for marriage- and (someday) introduce kids into the mix!

Our Merge leaders suggested writing down as many date ideas as we could think of onto little pieces of paper and putting them in a water bottle.  Then, when planning a date (or being spontaneous!), pull out a piece of paper, and BOOM, date activity done!

We've decided to get started on this concept and have a sort of "bucket list" of date activities that we are adding to, and kicked off the first one with a trip to the other side of the Metroplex- Fort Worth!

Fort Worth, also known as Cowtown/Funkytown, has a special place in my heart because I went to TCU. I showed Jon all of my old stomping grounds- the empty lot where the little yellow house I lived in during senior year stood, the church I used to work at, favorite restaurants, and of course, all around the TCU campus.

Somehow the stadium was unlocked, so we waltzed on in and walked around the field. And while my Baylor Bear was a good sport for his full campus tour (I made him see all of my favorite places, including pushing me on the Jarvis swing), he insisted on doing the Baylor bear claw on MY field.

At least he made up for it by buying a TCU hat in the bookstore.  I have a feeling a Waco trip is in our near future...

We met up with friends for dinner at Joe T. Garcia's, a Fort Worth staple, for Tex-Mex and really good margaritas. A word to the wise- get there early, as it is always crazy crowded.  Worth it for the atmosphere though.

Following dinner, we headed downtown to Four Day Weekend, a comedy club, to see a late show.  It was improv comedy, really funny- especially because we were in the front row and sort of got involved in the show, and something we had not done together before!

The next day, before making our way back to Dallas, we went to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and walked around the Japanese Garden. It was so peaceful and pretty, and Jon especially enjoyed feeding the coy.  We want to go back in a couple of weeks and explore the Botanic Gardens- it was a little chilly and cloudy the day we were there.

We also didn't have a chance to explore the West 7th area or visit one of my favorite wine bars, Times Ten Cellars. All the more reason for a return trip soon!

What memorable date activities have you and your significant other enjoyed together? Help us fill up our water bottle!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

LA Getaway Girls' Weekend

Caroline, one of my best friends from high school who was also my roommate all throughout our time at TCU, moved out to Los Angeles 3.5 years ago, and we miss her terribly! I was long overdue to visit her, so when Jenna (our other roomie BFF from college) told me she booked a flight out to LA for a long weekend, I checked my calendar and booked one as well! And thus, an epic girls weekend filled with reunions was born.

Jenna and I arrived in LA Friday afternoon, checked out Caroline's super cute apartment (which has an incredible patio and view, by the way), and then headed out for a comedy show.  David, one of Jenna's closest friends from high school, had also flown out for the weekend to visit Michael, another childhood friend of theirs who lives in LA. We had bites and beverages with them before we were finally reunited with Care after she finished with work! The comedy show was hilarious (so inappropriate, but hilarious). It's incredible the amount of talent there is out in LA, and pretty neat that you can find many forms of entertainment daily.

We enjoyed a leisure Saturday morning on the patio (I would be out there everyday if I had such a patio and warm weather almost year-round) before walking to THE BEACH. Also known as my happy place. And with two of my best friends! It was gorgeous, refreshing, and so peaceful.

I also decided it was a good idea to go swimming in the freezing cold Pacific Ocean. Cold as it was, it's almost impossible for miss an opportunity to get in the water when I'm by it. The beach (and waves!) are good for my soul.

Saturday night we got all dolled up and went out to the 3rd Street Promenade before meeting up with our long-lost friend, Alyssa.  She was Jenna's roommate our freshman year before moving back to California, and we had not seen her in eight years! Even after a long time, it was crazy how we were able to just catch right back up, and suddenly it felt like we were back in our dorm and 18 years old again. So glad we got to see you, Alyssa!

We enjoyed delicious brunch and mimosas on Sunday morning and took another leisurely stroll along the beach and in Caroline's neighborhood before picking up another long-lost friend, Sarah, from the airport.  Sarah went to TCU with us and moved out to LA for grad school, and we hadn't seen her in something ridiculous like three years! It was so special getting to catch up with her.  If only everyone lived closer!

Caroline had to go back to work Monday morning, so Jenna and I grabbed coffee and took a last stroll on the beach and decided to walk to the 3rd Street Promenade again... a little longer than we anticipated, but the weather was perfect and there was plenty to see! We had lunch with David and Michael before heading back home to Dallas.

We couldn't have asked for better weather or better company for the weekend. My favorite part was just sitting down with Care and Jenna and catching up on everything.  Living together throughout college, we truly saw each other's best and worst moments and have cheered each other on through achievements and disappointments as we've found our places in this "real world." With them, I feel fully known and fully loved, and I am so grateful for their friendship.

Thank you for a fabulous visit to the City of Angels, Caroline! Now come back to Texas soon, please!