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Ian and I have started something new. It’s thanks mostly to Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo at ONE Extraordinary Marriage.

The first Friday of every month, Tony and Alisa do a date night. They have a sitter lined up and take turns planning the night’s events. Ian has started listening to their podcast and he thought that this was a great idea.

However, with Ian working a rotating shift, it’s not always possible to do the first Friday, so for April we did the first Thursday. The best part about dating this way is that there is a plan ahead of time and we aren’t given the opportunity to be indecisive about what we’re doing as we’re driving away from the sitter. I foresee this saving us a lot of frustration.

So Thursday morning we dropped the kids off (except for Isaiah) with my mom and headed to the gas station. The plan was to drive to a nearby small town named Ashwood and have a picnic. So we filled up the tank, swung by KFC (the meal wasn’t planned as extensively as the trip) and headed northeast.

The scenery was beautiful and I couldn’t believe that I’d never been there before and I’ve lived in central Oregon since I was five. That’s twenty years, if you’re wondering. We found a nice little place to pull over on a dirt road and ate in the car. Ian had planned to eat outside, but the weather didn’t cooperate.

My favorite part was talking about our dreams for buying some land and starting a really small, self-sustaining farm. I love planning.

After we left, we tried to take another dirt road back to Madras but we soon discovered that our VW Vanagon, Pearl, was not going to make it, so we got back on the highway. On the way back up, I asked Ian to take me through the little town of Gateway (another nearby town I’d heard about and never seen) and I loved that, too.

A few days later, Ian called me from work to let me know that he already has our date planned out for June and that I’d better start exercising because it’s going to be a long(ish) hike. I can’t wait.

But wait! What about my turn? I want to plan something fun for May, but so far I’m coming up blank. If you have any fun date ideas, please share them in the comments section. I’d really appreciate it.