Friday, June 17, 2011

Italian Night

Hi Friends!!

Warning: this is a really long post! This is the original "Dinner @ Eight" email I sent out, I included as many of you as I had emails for, but I missed so many that are dear to my heart, so I hope this blog finds you although I missed you on email. Here it is:

I am about to take a fun adventure and wanted to offer you the opportunity to join me (and Damion:)

I want to give you a little back story before I deliver the invitation :)

Damion and I recently celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary! One trip to Iraq, a new job, two kids (and two c-sections) later and we find ourselves so blessed and honestly so "in the thick of it" :) We love each other deeply and so desire to live our lives as best friends and to parent our kids from that place and for ministry to naturally flow out of that. I firmly believe that Jesus uses our marriages to help us not just become servants of Jesus, but to actually become like Jesus.

With that said, I wanted to share what Jesus is doing in my heart. Over this past weekend my heart and eyes were truly opened in a new way to my husband and our marriage. He was becoming a priority in my life rather than my top priority (only second to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ). I love him deeply, but I have also taken him for granted. The simple truth is that I am really I am sure many of you are. Oh, my heart is so grieved. Praise Jesus, Damion looks at me with gracious eyes. So how did I end up here? I believe it is because I wasn't being intentional. He would speak to me, but did I intentionally listen? No, I missed it, and it is a big thing to miss. So what does repentance look like? Intentional focus on Damion and our marriage relationship! My heart is in a place of repentance, and I have a few action steps to walk out my repentance. I am talking to you as my sisters. I know you may not be in the same place as me, but I am assured I am not alone in this. It is so easy for kids, and girlfriends, and family and ministry, and can I just say couponing:)...all good take up so much space that our marriage relationship starts to feel more like a business relationship than that of two lovers.

There is much more to the story as we are starting an exciting journey in our marriage as well as one of discipline for me. This includes learning to say the word "no" more often as led by the Holy Spirit, responding to what Damion says and asks for with much more intention likened unto my heart to serve Jesus as my Lord, and focusing on building our marriage in this summer season!

This is where the fun adventure part begins! I want to DATE my husband..... and I bet you want to DATE yours!

How can we date our husbands when money is tight, babysitters are scarce, and we have to spend another night in at home?

I read on a blog a while back about an idea called "dinners @ eight"

The basic idea is that you put your kids to bed early (or just on time) and have dinner at home. I am talking tea lights and cute little dresses and yummy food...right at home! We are going to have "dinner at eight" every other week for the summer months. Our kids are going to be disciples as to what it looks like for a mommy and a daddy to treasure one another as they help me prepare for our dates. I am really excited because this is a way I can be intentional and purposeful in my season of life.

Maybe this is really resonates with some of you...maybe not...but if it does I would love for you to join us in this adventure.

I am going to be planning my "dinner at eight" nights and would love to share them with you so that you could share my ideas. I have included pictures and the menu of our first "dinner at eight" It was really simple and so relaxing and wonderful! This is definitely not about being perfect...more about being intentional :) And now the much anticipated first date :)

Dinner @ Eight

A Night in Italy


Artichoke with Garlic Aioli

Bread with Olive Oil and Vinegar

Main Course:

Garden Salad

Linguine with Chicken Sausage and Red Sauce


Starbucks Coffee Ice Cream


Simple white and Blue Table Cloth with Tea lights

and a vase of lilacs from the yard


Artichoke: trim 1 inch of top and discard and trim stem even with base. Rinse with cold water. Place in 4 cup glass measuring cup. Add ¼ cup of water and cover with vented plastic wrap. Microwave for 7-10 minutes or until leaves pull out easily.

Garlic Aioli: mix 2-3 tbsp of mayo with 1 clove of smashed garlic (I love Trader Joe's cubed garlic in the freezer section-these will change your life!) and a smidge of lemon juice.

Chicken Sausage: grilled for 15 on Cuisinart indoor grill

How to: I prepped everything I could early on in the day…made the salad, prepped the artichoke, made the salad, assembled the decorations. We told the kids what we were doing and had some good family play time before we put them to bed. We started about 15 minutes earlier than normal just to make sure we didn’t get a late start. Damion took the kids up to bed while I did the last minute prep which took about 10 minutes since I had most of it done!

We had a really enjoyable time. It was super relaxing to just sit across from one another in our own home, without even the distractions of a restaurant. Damion left me a sweet note in the morning telling me how much he enjoyed the evening! How did your evening go?

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