Young married couple. A new baby. Renting an apartment. Saving for a house. All on one income. Sounds financially challenging, right?! It is. But, Joseph, my husband, and I try not to let our tight budget get in the way of having a fun, active relationship that includes many date nights. Our date nights have gone from going out on the town to many nights ‘in,’ mostly with our son included.
Living in the Upper Midwest, with dreadfully long (well, to me, at least) winters, the months where it is warm enough to go outside without bundling up is delightful! When Joseph gets home from work, we pack our son in the stroller and head outside! Yesterday, as we strolled to nowhere in particular, I was able to tell him how much our baby has changed only in one day! He is learning how to grab on to clothes and toys, laughs more and more, and ‘talks’ to me while I eat lunch. Joseph shared about his day, which working in a K-12 school, varies from a funny saying from a kindergartener to the struggles of a particular families’ loss. Yesterday, he told me about soccer meeting he had with the varsity girls’ team. As a coach, his eyes light up as he talks about setting up summer workouts and getting ready for next year. I am grateful for our time together in the fresh air, so good for our bodies and our relationship as we share about our day!
Many evenings after our walk, we enjoy cooking a simple meal together. When Joseph reads this, he is going to shake his head. Most likely because I ‘take over’ in the kitchen. But, when I do actually let my guard down and we cook together, it’s so fun to see the result of a delicious meal in front of us. Last night, we made one of our favorite meals, taco salad. Simply brown ground beef or sauté some chicken tenders in olive oil and taco seasoning, add salsa, cheese, onion, avocado, black beans over a bed of lettuce. Voila! With tortilla chips on the side, a healthy and simple dinner can be enjoyed together as a couple.
The arrival of our new son in March has definitely tightened our budget, but we made a commitment to one another during our engagement that we will always strive for a strong relationship for each other and our child(ren). Our nightly walks and homemade dinners have definitely helped to keep our love strong while we build our bank account too!
P.S. I’m always looking for more “free” date ideas, so feel free to leave me tips in the comments!