How was your fall weekend?
What a fantabulous weekend this was. I was so sad to see it end! One wonderful thing after the next. Loren had his fall break on Friday, and I took the day off so we could have a full day of adventures together. I've been wanting to get back to Bloomington (they have the best food, apparently) and also visit Nashville/Brown County, since it has been recommended by so many. It was the perfect fall day, even though it was cloudy. The leaves are all starting to change, and the drive was quite pretty! I guess Indiana isn't so bad after all. ;)
We left home around 8:45 so we could stop at this scenic barn and pasture that Loren passes on his way to school every day and has wanted to get a picture of in the early morning rays. Our next stop was breakfast in Bloomington. We dined at Uptown Café, where I ordered Huevos Rancheros and Loren chose their breakfast special of the day, the Hoosier Benedict. Super-fast service and delicious food and coffee! It was so good and we were so hungry when it came, that we didn't wait take pictures. Not that you wanted to see more food pictures, anyway. After we stuffed ourselves, we wandered a bit around Bloomington and the IU campus.
Our next stop was Nashville, an adorable little town nestled in Brown County about 30 minutes east of Bloomington. Nashville has over 200 little shops that offer anything from antiques to candles to fudge to art to leather goods to wood works to pottery and everything in between. Our decision to get some peanut butter and maple pecan fudge from Schwab's Fudge was probably the best decision of the day. Best fudge I've ever had! We wandered around the town, stopping in whatever little shop took our fancy. Eventually hunger struck again, so we stopped at That Sandwich Place, a rustic sandwich shop very proud of all things IU/Bob Knight, for a late lunch before taking some alley pictures and driving back home.
And our date day was not over yet! Since we got back home around 4, we decided to go see the early showing of Inside Out, which had FINALLY come to our cheap theater. Pixar, you've done it again! Later on after dinner, we sat in front of our "fireplace" (candles) and had donuts with apple cider. The perfect end to quite the perfect day!
Saturday we slept in, Loren worked and in the afternoon we headed to Cincinnati to visit with Loren's parents for a little bit before having a fun dinner and games with Caleb and Chelsea.
Sunday was also pretty relaxed and we didn't do a whole lot.
How was your fall weekend?
I am by no means easy to surprise. Many have tried and failed. But exactly two years ago, Loren pulled off the biggest surprise of my life when he asked me to be his wife.
Loren had recently started his senior year of college and I was working full time. We had been trying to take a day trip to Charleston, SC (my favorite city) with another couple for quite some time, and had planned to go October 5. Coincidentally (or so I thought), one of my best friends, Joy, also asked me if I wanted to take a girls day trip to Charleston on that same day. Unbeknownst to me, to make it all seem like coincidence, Loren had arranged for her to ask me before he told me that our other friends had to cancel at the last minute due to a family emergency. Since Joy is a rather spontaneous person and also loves to go to Charleston, I thought nothing of it.
So after finding out our other friends had to cancel, it was decided that I would take a girls day trip with Joy and Steph. I assumed Loren would be working, as he usually did every Saturday. We headed out Saturday morning, of course stopped for coffee, and had a fun 3 hour road trip to the best city ever. Joy kept texting "Jordan" the whole way down (well, Steph did since Joy was driving) . "Jordan" was actually Loren, but since Joy has a couple of friends named Jordan, I once again thought nothing of it. Turns out "Jordan" was also on his way down to Charleston with my sister and her family to set up the spot where he would propose.
We got to Charleston around 11am. Joy had a few places she wanted to go once we got to Charleston, and the Battery/Waterfront Park was were she wanted to stop first. We started walking that way. Once again, Joy was texting "Jordan" the whole time about something "important" (where we were).
We stopped for pictures along the Battery, then stepped into the gazebo in Waterfront Park for some more pictures.
And then Loren walked up!
As soon as Loren walked up, I knew what was going down. I was just so in shock that he was right here in front of me when he was supposed to be at work back in Greenville (he had even texted me a picture while at "work")! He took my hand and asked me if he could show me something. We walked off to a special tree where he had set up several picture frames with pictures of us from the past year of dating.
We sat on a blanket under the tree and Loren asked if he could read me a book he had written and illustrated titled "I Need to Tie My Shoe" (the title comes from back when he was little and thought it would be an awesome idea to pretend to tie his shoe and then pop the question). The book was our story, about how much he had enjoyed getting to know me, etc. Then he got to the page that read "I love you, Heidi Elise" and handed me the book while he got down on one knee, pulled out the most perfect ring and asked me to marry him! I shyly said "yes!", still trying to process that this was really happening.
Eventually, we sat back down, read the book again and talked a bit before I noticed that Crystal was hiding behind one of the canons in the park taking pictures the whole time. We made our way over to her, Joel and the other girls and took a few more pictures.
And that's how we got engaged. We spent the rest of the day eating the special lunch Loren's brother Jonathan had prepared for us, exploring Charleston and celebrating that evening at a fancy waterfront restaurant while trying to soak in that we were really getting married and enjoying the most perfect day.
Here we are two years later just over a year into marriage ... and I wouldn't change anything.
Thanks for the best surprise ever, babe! I love you!
And thanks to all who made this best surprise and most amazing day possible!
Date nights. Everyone loves them. Naturally, we do too! Most of them are pretty simple and budget friendly: dinner at home and then a movie at the dollar theater, taking a walk around our complex and somehow ending up in the fitness center lifting weights, spending the majority of a Friday night listening to podcasts....
Here are some of our favorites:
1. Picnic. Pack that basket and grab a blanket! We've already been on a few picnics and they just keep getting better as the weather turns warmer.
2. Fancy Dinner Date at Home. This is one of our favorites. We cook dinner together, set the table a little more formally with lots of candles, dress up fancy (down to the shoes!), dim the lights, turn on some romantic music, then go out and come in the front door and pretend we're dining at a 5 star reserve-a-table-a-year-in-advance restaurant. Sometime we interview each other like we're on a first date.
3. Art Projects. We don't do this very often, but the few art projects we have done together have been a ton of fun! The projects can be simple, like painting or making necklaces, or more complicated, like building a pallet headboard (on our someday to-do list). Make something you will use to decorate your house, give as gifts or sell.
4. Bike Ride. Get out there and discover new trails together! Like that one bike ride we took when we first moved here. The trail started off nice, then as we kept going, the area got sketchier and sketchier. Who knows where we ended up before we turned around. We've explored some new bike trails at some state parks recently and can't wait to find more!
5. Sight See. We love to explore new places and there are normally lots of free things to do and see in most cities. Just this past Sunday, we spent the evening wandering around Indianapolis and taking in some of its sights. Also check out our recent trip to Chicago!
6. Coffee Date. If you haven't already caught on to this, we both really like coffee and discovering new coffee shops around town. Especially on days when Loren doesn't have to study and we can actually chat while we sip coffee. Sometimes we make up stories about the people we see in the coffee shop until the stories get really out of hand.
7. Drive-In Movie. This is probably the most fun if you have a truck, an air mattress and lots of blankets. We have yet to make it to our local drive-in theater (thanks, rainy summer), but we will!
8. YouTube Dancing Lessons. This is totally free. If you don't know how to dance, like us, look up a basic dancing instruction video first. Once you get the hang of that, try out different styles. This was our date night a few weeks ago, and it was a hilarious blast.
9. Pool Day. We haven't been to our pool yet, but I definitely want to very soon with a slushy, a good book and the best company (yes, I mean Loren)!
10. Photo Scavenger Hunt. Get some friends together, maybe another couple or two, make it a double or triple date and go scavenging around the city. Make a list of items to photograph and see which couple works best together getting pictures!
And of course during the summer, it's necessary to end your date night with ice cream.
What are some of your favorite date night ideas?