Motivate Me Monday

First, before I start my "Motivate Me Monday" post, I just want to thank Sarah Mae for creating this wonderful link up! I am so thankful I found it. This post each week is probably my most thought out and personal post I write. This blog is about being thrifty but, sometimes I think it does me good to just step out of thriftiness for a bit and look inward. So, thank you Sarah Mae!

Saturday was my husband's birthday. He is not big on making anything out of his birthday. Me, on the other hand, I love my birthday! I want the whole day to myself. LOL Personally, I think every person should spend their birthday the way they want. But, they really should celebrate it. After all, it's the day God welcomed you to the earth. He gave you this gift of life and expects wonderful things from you. You should rejoice this gift each year.

Okay, now you know my opinions regarding birthdays, let me tell you how we celebrated Troy's birthday.

Our life has become so chaotic and insane these past few years, (if you follow along, you probably have gotten a peek here and there into my life)that I tend to forget all the "how to step back and just relax and live the moment" things we need to do from time to time. Well, Troy and I did just that Saturday.

After getting some commitments out of the way early on in the day, we dropped the Princess off at my parents house and headed out for a day, just the 2 of us. Wow, that hasn't happened in ages! We wanted to go out for dinner and then see a movie. Like a real honest to goodness date together! What a concept!

We had our Entertainment Book so we could find some bargains. What we really wanted for dinner was to try a place totally new to us. We love to find new restaurants and just experience the meal. With the princess, we haven't been able to do that very often any more. So, we headed out toward a city that is about 45 miles away to explore.

We reviewed our coupon options and none of them really appealed to us because they were all places that we had been to. So, instead we just drove around until we spotted a restaurant that was new to us. Troy had mentioned that an authentic Italian restaurant really sounded good and I am NEVER one to turn down Italian food! Sure enough we spotted this little family run Italian restaurant. We pulled in and went inside. Hummmm, this was a bit more fancy and expensive than we had planned on spending but, after taking one look at the menu, we sat down!

Now, like I said, we really do most of our dining and activities very cheaply. We have had to and plus we really do like getting a good bargain. This was not going to be one of those times. LOL However, my parents had giving us $50.00 to go out to dinner on our anniversary (which was April 1st!) and we have not had the opportunity to do so. So, we had that money as the "down payment" for our meal. LOL

We haven't been to a restaurant that has several people assigned to your needs and dressed in tux's in a very long time. The staff was trained to perfection! They did their job like true professionals and it was so nice to have that level of service.

Fortunately, Troy and I have gotten into the habit of splitting all our courses most of the time. And we really did want to try a dish from every course at this restaurant. We met the owners and chefs of the restaurant and they explained how their menu works. They change the menu for every season. We were in the last week of the Spring menu. Once that season is over, the recipes never get made again! They offer a beautiful cookbook every year that has all the recipes for the past year in it.

The owners are from Italy and return twice a year to research out new recipes. As a matter of fact, in the ladies room I saw all the framed pictures and little notes about each of the pictures of them in Italy. What a cool idea!

When we have the opportunity to visit a restaurant like this and meet the owners/chefs, we really like to try the menu items that they recommend. We have found that these are generally their favorite dishes and the ones they are most proud of. You can't go wrong, especially if they know this is your first time to their restaurant.

So, we started with an antipasti. It was a "pizza" of sorts. It consisted of a very thin crust cooked on a stone. It was spread with a horseradish, lemon and olive oil sauce. On top of that was very thinly sliced lemons, and fresh grated cheese. That was cooked and then topped with sauteed spinach and soft shell crabs. Wow, what a way to start a meal! So different and interesting and flavorful! Next came our salad. A fresh bed of various leaf lettuces, sliced pears, walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese. The dressing was olive oil, balsamic vinegar, walnut oil and herbs. They also brought out a basket of fresh and hot rosemary twisted bread and extra dressing and plates to dip our bread while eating the salad. And yes, I am going to be working on making the dressing recipe through trial and error until I get it right. I just can't wait a year for the cookbook!. LOL

Next came our soup. It was a curry fish soup. Just the right amount of seasonings and sweet white fish! It was a robust and rustic soup. Our main course was a rolled pork loin stuffed with rhubarb, chopped apples, raisins and an herbed cream cheese and then topped with a pine nut cream sauce. Our dessert was THE BEST cake I have ever had! I honestly didn't expect to really like it but, OMG! It was awesome! It was a lemon curd olive oil cake with a balsamic and basil syrup. I know, doesn't really sound that good does it? I swear, I would drive back JUST for the cake! Honest!!

The meal took us about 3 hours. We got to savor each course and relax and talk and just enjoy ourselves. Like I said, the waitstaff was fantastic and encouraged us to take our time and relax between each course.

By the time we left the restaurant, we were so relaxed and just happy to be with each other. We forgot about all our daily trials and tribulations. We were just Diann and Troy on a date and glad to be with each other.

We went and saw a movie, "A Night at the Museum pt 2" although we had been planning on seeing "Angels and Demons". But, the movie really didn't matter. We mattered.

I know this post is probably way too long and really isn't about this lovely Italian restaurant we visited. It is about, us as a married couple and the need to remember to step back from time to time and focus on our relationship. Remember why we fell in love with our spouse. Be silly or romantic or adventurous. Just BE.

Everyday is filled with a million little problems. We are all dealing with some huge problems as well. But, the only way to get through it is work at them together. And in order to keep up with the strength that it takes everyday, is to reconnect with your spouse once in awhile away from the home and the problems that are there. They will still be there when you get back from a small satisfying and happy evening away.

So, now I will head back to the mountain of weekly laundry, pay some bills, figure out what is for dinner. But, the entire time I will be able to do these mundane chores smiling and thinking about how much I love my husband and how much he loves me. And what could be even more important is how much I like him and how much he likes me!


  1. I enjoy 'Motivate Me Monday's too, because every Monday, you get a chance to remind me again why I fell in love with you.

    I had a great time for my birthday, and I couldn't help but remember back to the different ways we have spent my birthday in the years we have been together.

    No matter where we were, or what we were doing, you have always found a way to make me know that you are grateful I was born.

    What more could I ask for in the way of motivation?

  2. That sounds like a WONDERFUL birthday date! What a sweet post!

  3. What your hubby commented? how'd you get him to do that?

    just kidding, but that's real love, isn't it?

  4. Thank you Muthering Heights! We really enjoyed ourselves!

  5. Kristen, My "How I get my hubby to post lovely things" ebook will be out next Fall. LOL

  6. Thank you Composing Hallelujahs! I'm looking forward to Linking up with you next Monday! :)


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your ideas. If you ask a question, I will answer it here in a comment back to you. Please check back! Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day! Diann :)