Monthly Archives: October 2019

Happily Ever After


Date boxes were a pretty genius invention!  The concept is like other subscription boxes.  Your monthly subscription gets you a date idea mailed to you and it comes with everything you need to spend some creative time together.  I love the idea, but Amanda’s favorite date is always going to a movie.  My favorite thing to do is be creative.  When I’ve subscribed to a box, I’ve always taken the smallest subscription, usually three months, because it takes us about six months to carve out time between movies and creative dates.

Recently, I subscribed to Happily Datebox and we tried the very first box that was sent.  You can consider this blog a two-for-one deal.  You can find out what a Happily Datebox is like OR you can take some ideas and do it on your own!

I was very pleased with the quality of my first box from Happily (and I have a few more that we’ll walk through in future blogs).  It is a very professional presentation all the way down to the box that it arrives in.  Our date was a two-part date.  The two parts didn’t necessarily go together, but they were both fun.

The first part was a card game that was all about who knows the other person better.  We took it with us to lunch and found a table in the back corner of Rudy’s where we could eat and spread the cards out.  Each person is given six cards that have a question on them.  You answer each question on a sheet of paper that you keep hidden from your spouse.  After your answers have been recorded, you lay out the cards for your spouse to read.  She has ten tokens that she spreads out over the cards based on how confident she is of your answer.  She tells you her answers and if she is correct, then she gets points that are equal to the tokens she wagered on the card.  It was a fun game!

The second part of the date was making homemade ice cream.  Before you even open your box there is a list of a few supplies that you are given for the date.  Several ingredients for the ice cream are in the box (sugar, rock salt, several types of ice cream toppings, etc.), but there are some supplies that are harder to package or can’t ship in the mail (vanilla, heavy cream, etc.).  We had all the ingredients on hand, so we didn’t have to make a stop at the store, but if you didn’t you could find yourself in a predicament.  The box comes with instructions and plastic bags that you mix the ice cream ingredients in and then shake in the bags. It did require freezing for 25-30 minutes, but you could do that while you play the game.

My first experience with Happily was great!  The only downside was that they supplied a card for a Spotify playlist web address and a “lean to dance” web address and both of those links were no longer active.

If you want an easy date, you could subscribe to Happily.  The cost is between $33 -$40 a month depending on the length of your subscription.  The six-month subscription is cheaper per month than the month-to-month option.  There is also a digital datebox that is $8 a month, but obviously comes with no supplies.  You can usually find a discount for your first box.  At the time of this blog, one of the codes was “SAVE 20”.

If you want to be creative, you could come up with your own set of questions to make a similar game and you can find a recipe for homemade ice cream in a bag here.

If you are the first person to respond and post a comment on the blog, I’ll send you the game and the ice cream recipe that we have.


Overheard Conversations


A few weeks ago, I had planned a breakfast date with Raley, our 13-year-old.  She was not at all thrilled about getting up earlier than she had to on a school day so she asked if we could go to dinner instead.  Making that decision was easy.  I just had to ask myself if I wanted to have breakfast with a kid in a bad mood or dinner with a kid in a good mood?  So, we went to dinner this week . . .

This isn’t really a date idea like most of the blogs, but an observation of an impactful moment that happened to us.  I’m writing it because something similar could happen for your family if you took a few steps outside of your comfort zone.

We went to our regular dining spot that we go to whenever it is just Raley and I.  We found “our table” (the same one we always sit at) and we had a great dinner and conversation.  While we were eating, there was a table of about eight elderly gentleman that had gathered to talk and eat as well.  The restaurant was fairly empty and I overheard one of the men mention the “prayer list.”

After we finished eating and paying at the counter, Raley stepped away to use the restroom.  While I was waiting for her, I walked over to the table and asked the men if they were from a church group.  They replied, “We’re from a bunch of different churches.”  I discovered that one of the men in the group led a prison ministry and the rest of the group were volunteers in his organization.  My daughter walked back up right about the time that one of the men began to tell a story about some gang members who had given their life to Jesus and had been radically changed.  It was one of the “goose bump” type stories.  We only chatted for about five minutes and then I asked if I could pray for them.  Shortly after that we were on our way home.

Reflecting on the event the next day, I realized several things had occurred because I stepped out of a comfort zone to talk to people I didn’t know.

  1. My daughter was exposed to an incredible ministry to “the least of these” that she doesn’t get to hear about that often.
  2. She saw how my willingness to start a conversation gave encouragement to the men who were gathered.
  3. She heard her father pray for people out loud in a public restaurant.
  4. It spurred some interesting conversation on the way home.

Those were four wins that would have never happened had we simply paid the bill and left.  What might happen if you engaged your neighbors or other people with spiritual conversation as your kids looked on?

Deep Sea Date


If you’ve read the blog often, you know that the quickest way to get my money is to give a deal on Groupon that I can use for a date!  Emerson and I went to the Austin Aquarium for an afternoon together.

I’ve driven past the Austin Aquarium a few times and I’ll be honest; I wasn’t impressed by it.  It is in the middle of a strip mall between the Salvation Army and a Half Price Books store.  If it wasn’t for the Groupon, I would have probably not considered it, but a deal is a deal . . . and I’m glad we went.

It isn’t a huge aquarium, but it is great!  They have several tanks where you can touch the animals like turtles, lizards, and sharks.  They also have a bird room that you can walk into.  That gets you a very up-close view!  We also talked to some of the people who worked at the aquarium and they were great!

This sounds like an advertisement for the Austin Aquarium, but it’s not.  If you are local and have kids, you should definitely check it out.  If you aren’t local, it’s simply an idea for a Dad/Daughter date.  Find a local aquarium and go check out some of God’s creation together with your kid.  Ask questions like:

  • What is the craziest looking animal in here?
  • If you could take one of these home, which once would you take?
  • Why do you think God made so many different animals in the ocean?
  • What does this creation tell you about God?

Tickets are $14 for adults and $9 for kids, so it’s less than $25.  You probably won’t spend more than hour there, but still worth it!