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Sweater & Blouse – Francesca’s Jeggings (similar) – Maurices, Boots – Charlotte Russe, Necklace – Urban Peach Boutique, Earrings – Claire’s)

I wore this outfit on Friday night when my husband and I went on my most favorite date ever!!!  You would think that after 4.5 years of dating and another 12.5 years of marriage that we’ve already done all the super fun dates, but you would be wrong!

We had a totally new kind of date, for us anyway…a tattoo date!

Yep, that’s right after a delicious dinner of Alfredo we went and got some tattoos!  I’ve wanted one for years, years, year and years.  Basically since high school but have been too much of a wimp to get one.  I’ve had several planned out in my head for what I want and actually met with a friend of ours who is a tattoo artist last spring to start discussing getting one with him, but put it off on the pretence that I was waiting until after summer so the sun didn’t fade my new tattoo at all.

Notice I said “under the pretence”.  It was just a guise.  I was truly just too much of a wimp to get one.  But then my hubby got one this fall and that really got me chomping at the bit so I started working on the design, figuring out just where and how I wanted my very first tattoo and at the ripe old age of 31 I finally took on the needles!

Here’s a few picts during…

 

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Yep, I am even smiling in a couple of those!  I don’t know what I was so afraid of this whole time it really didn’t hurt bad at all!  

I wanted a tattoo that represented my family so my tattoo design is two dandelions representing my husband and I with four seeds blowing off into the breeze.  These seeds represent our four kids.  Flowing with the seeds are the words “Dandelion Wishes Come True”.  As a child I blew many a dandelion and wished for this exquisite life of mine.  I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and four fantastic children.  God truly answered my prayers and wishes when he gave me them!

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My husband decided to get his second tattoo that night also and put one of his favorite chapters out of the bible on his chest.  Psalm 91 is a chapter full of the promises of a wonderful and loving God. 

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BEST DATE NIGHT EVER!!!  I can’t wait for the next tattoo date night!  Like I said I’ve had a few planned for some years so I have some catching up to do:-)

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Our week free from electronic/gaming devices (PlayStations, Television, Computers, etc.) was in a word…EXQUISITE!

It truly was.  It went far better than my husband and I anticipated.  There was not one fight or argument in our household all week long.   Our kids rediscovered the joy of playing games that aren’t on an electronic device.  They played together outside, far more than they would have if electronics were allowed, they used their imaginations, they read far more than usual.

I was even amazed at how much better our mornings went.  No joke, mornings were amazing!  All of my kids were up each morning before their alarms went off, I never had to get on them about getting dressed quickly or to brush their hair better.  They were ready so fast and did most everything on their own, that I had time to make waffles, eggs, etc. every morning.  I was able to be the mom I always dreamt I would be, haha.

Midway through the week I wanted to encourage their fantastic behavior so gave them all stickers and told them if they kept it up we would make some snacks to eat while we played some games together.  They succeeded and we enjoyed some delicious treats!

The image below is from Friday night while playing a game and enjoying our snacks of puppy chow and caramel corn after their week of awesome school mornings!

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Tuesday nights in our home is game night, and when my children are asked what they want to play they will usually choose something on the PlaySation.  The only time we play a card or board game is when I insist upon it.  One of the new rules my husband and I have decided to instate is that we are only allowing a PlayStation game night one Tuesday night a month, the other Tuesday’s are card or board games.  This isn’t to say we will only play our PS3 only once a month, we’ll have weekends also (though there are the usual time limits for that also) we just think they’re little brains are a bit more challenged when it comes to a board or card game.

Besides a lot of game playing we spent a few evenings after school outdoors.  This Saturday we went ice fishing (My first time since high school!) with my husband’s workplace…

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When we weren’t spending time together as a family in its entirety my kids were off playing together outside, coloring or crafting together, playing in their rooms together…without fighting!  I love to sneak up on my kids and take pictures of them when they don’t know I’m photographing them.  If they know I’m there then they are trying to show off for the camera or, in some cases, trying to hide from the camera, haha.  It’s hard to sneak up on them in our creaky old farmhouse but occasionally I’m able to capture them like this…

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We’ve always had limits to the amount of television/movies that is allowed to be watched in our home, but like most mom’s sometimes the television has been my babysitter when I need to get things done.  I didn’t have that option this week so my youngest daughter spent a lot more time helping me with things than usual, which was really fun, although albeit a bit slow.  When she didn’t want to help me with chores she was busy coloring, playing, and beading with her new fray free string/plastic type stuff that stays tied super well!

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She also learned how to separate her Twizzlers on her own last week while we played Bingo!

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I reached the end of my love for winter!  Well, not really, I still love winter…I’m just ready for some 50-60• temps instead of 20-30•.  I want color in my wardrobe and my home.  With Easter on its way I took down our Valentine’s decorations and put some Easter/Spring decor up.  I’m only giving you a little peak because I’m not completely done and plan to show you it all next week.  For now here’s a look at a banner my youngest daughter and I made together last week…

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Speaking for myself of this week, it was a week of revelations to me. For sometime, a couple of years actually, God has been showing me things about his love and grace. This week he showed me scripture that, though I’ve read several times before, has kindled something new in me.  I believe he’s about to bring me down a new path in my life.  A lot of this I’m going to keep to myself for the time being but hope to maybe share with you someday.

Last week I also began waking up EARLY in the morning with my husband again.  I use to do this for the first couple of years in our marriage but stopped when I was up sleepless nights with my babies.  I don’t really have this excuse very often anymore and I knew it meant a lot to my husband to have me up with him in the mornings spending time with him so, as difficult as it is, I’m up with the rooster now, actually before the rooster and enjoying some wonderful mornings with my husband.   Thank God for my cappuccino machine because cinnamon roll cappuccino and cinnamon swirl bread, makes waking up at 5 am a little easier!  (I’ll share the recipe with you later this week!)

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We ended our media/electronic free week with a trip across the lake in our snowshoes with my mama, yesterday after church!

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They went directly inside to play Call Of Duty with Grandma, haha!

All in all we truly enjoyed good, fun, quality family time.  There was so much joy and laughter in our home last week that I was kind of walking around in a state of euphoria.  My oldest daughter really enjoyed it also, which surprised me since I thought she’d struggle with it the most, but she really enjoyed the time off.  My husband and I were tempted to see if we could drag the week out a bit longer…maybe a month or so, or at least another week…it was so enjoyable.  Since our kids had been so good, and my middle daughter was keeping track of the calendar, we couldn’t do that and are now back to electronics   This time with much more limitations than we originally had set.

 I see many more electronic free weeks in our future.  We’ve discovered that we can survive for a little while without them, and in fact, enjoy it!

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When my husband is behind the camera, laughter is inevitable.  I can’t help it.  For some reason when he’s playing the photographer for my blog photos we end up laughing hysterically over the littlest thing and I have a hard time holding to my professionalism as a model. 

Did you catch that little joke, “professionalism as a model”?  It’s quite a hilarious statement when you take into fact that 90% of my pictures don’t look like the ones I actually post on here.  Nope, they look something more like this…

…Me trying to hold myself together (Which as you can see, I’m not very good at.), while he continues to snap away and make jokes which make it even harder not to laugh.  As you can tell from some of the photos I just start playing around or, as in the case of the picture below, I just decide to give up and go crazy!

After all the outfit’s been captured and that’s all that really matters, right?  So I’m no Olivia Palermo, oh well, at least I’m having fun!  I’m sure even she has her silly days; and if not I feel bad for her boring life.

A picture of the two of us from Friday night, I love that he makes me laugh!

I wore this outfit on our date to The Olive Garden Friday night.  We’ve been really bad the last couple months at keeping up with our monthly dates so made up for it a bit this weekend.  My parents took our kiddos Friday and Saturday night and we went out to eat both nights.  I’ll post Saturday nights outfit on Thursday’s WIW.  

Besides going out for dinner twice and a little stop by the mall for a little shopping trip where David got new shoes and I got a couple of blouses and a cardigan at Francesca’s (Remember that’s my new favorite store!) for this fall, we were basically lazy in our new room the entire weekend.  It felt so wonderful to just eat, veg, play COD, watch the olympics, movies, soak in our whirlpool bath and just be lazy for an entire weekend.  After late nights and all the hard work we’ve been putting into our home since November we felt we deserved a little R & R.

Oh, I almost forgot on our way to The Olive Garden I just had to stop and get pictures of this beautiful sunflower field.  I love sunflowers!  

My hubby suggested that since I was wearing a yellow top maybe I should take a few pictures of my outfit in front of the sunflowers and I actually managed not to laugh!

(blouse – The Buckle, cami, ring and wedges – Maurices, jeans – GAP, earrings & bracelet – Target)

I opted to show just one of those photos of me because compared to the good times had earlier they weren’t as much fun to share with you.  After all…

*Linking up with  

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Yes, I know “Marry-ment” is spelt incorrectly but I did it on purpose and you’ll soon know why.

My husband and I haven’t a had chance to fit in a May date yet.  You see, even with a scheduled date each month, it’s still hard to fit a date in.  Our big excuse right now, as you all know (because I think I mention it in at least every other post), is the attic/master suite project.  Yes, it is still soaking up all of our time.  Soon, very soon, we’ll be done (knock on wood).

We originally planned to take full advantage of this weekend with my in-laws taking our kiddos while we hit The Avenger’s Friday night and my cousin’s wedding Saturday, but you may recall from my last post that my back went out a week ago and I’m still not up to par.

Since it was more important to me to attend my cousin’s wedding on Saturday than go to The Avenger’s we took it easy and just did a short dinner and headed home to lay on ice.  I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty good and super excited for my cousin and her big day!

Weddings are always so beautiful and hold so many exquisite moments!  I always enjoy seeing the bride on the arm of her father.  Her, with a big grin that says I’m more than ready to spend the rest of my life with that handsome man standing there at the front of the alter.  The fathers face, also holds joy but there’s a bit of sadness there too, as he recalls all the special moments he has had with the woman, yet just a girl in his eyes, who he’s walking down the aisle.  In that short walk I’m sure he’s recalling many special moments he’s had with her, from the time he first held her in her arms as a tiny babe, to now be giving her away and knowing he’s not the number one man in her life anymore.

My favorite face to watch is the groom, when he first beholds his beautiful bride and tries to keep his emotions in check, but you can see the overwhelming joy and awe in his expression and you know he believes he’s the luckiest man in the world to soon be able to call that smiling bride his wife.

I remember that moment as I was standing within arms reach of my future husband but still had my arm locked within my fathers.  I remember looking at my husbands face feeling so much love for him and from him.  I also remember feeling a bit sad at having to let go of my father’s arm and not be my Daddy’s little girl anymore, yet feeling like our pastor couldn’t ask fast enough, “Who presents this woman to be this mans wife?”  I watched Justin during this and the look of passion and love on his face for his bride and I could tell that he couldn’t wait for that question to be asked either.

And as they finally took each other’s hands and made their vows to love, protect, cherish and serve each other all of their lives the smiles grew bigger.

 And my favorite moment was this…

A great big high-five after their first kiss as husband and wife!  This is so Justin and Rebekah and I know they’ll have many more high-five moments in their marriage!

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Justin Peters!

(And now you get the “Marry-ment” in the title, right?  Merriment + Marry!  I told you I can’t resist a play on words!)

My attire to this formal affair was 20’s inspired!

(Dress – Modcloth, Heels – JCPenney, Jewelry – Claires, Clutch – Herrbergers)

My handsome husband and I!

(Too bad he doesn’t have a fedora!)

We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing and taking it easy with my family.  There may or may not have been some Scrabble involved!

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I can never resist a play on words!

(Pants, Blouse & Earrings – Maurices, Shoes – Old Navy, Purse – JcPenney, Bracelet and Necklace – Claire’s)

Friday night was April’s date night.  Originally we thought we’d have our master suite done by now and had a home spa day planned but since it’s not done that has been postponed and we decided to go out instead.  

Living in a small town means that dressing up is never warranted, but even though I’m a small town girl, I have a big city mind and I like to dress up when I go out.  So I seized the opportunity to wear this outfit that’s been waiting in my closet since March.  I thought the bright red pants needed Red Revival lipstick (by Maybelline) to go with it!

My husband choose to switch our spa date with a Chinese restaurant date so after a little time at the park for a walk and picture-taking we went to the super chic…

…China Buffet!!!  Okay so maybe it’s not chic but it’s one of my hubby’s favorite local spots.

Of course no date is complete without a stop at …

…Menards to blow more money on our bedroom.  I feel like we spend so much time (not to mention money) there, we’re now on a first name basis with most of the workers.  Okay maybe not first name but they do recognize us.

We had planned to go see a movie, but the thought of going home to a quiet house void of children where we could watch something that isn’t made by Disney or Dream Works was too wonderful to disregard so we headed home to crawl into pajamas and bed and watch a couple of movies. 

It may not sound like the most exciting date ever, but for parents of four loud, energetic kids it was pure perfection!

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The title was sung like the song from the musical Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, one of my favs!

May I have a moment to say, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!”   It feels so good to be wearing clothes that aren’t a part of “30 Wardrobe Challenge”!

To welcome in spring and to celebrate my first day off of “30 Wardrobe Challenge” I chose one of my favorite color combos…

Sea Green & Coral

We spent our morning in Duluth, MN and stopped to let the kids play at Lake Superior and try to get some pictures.   It was cold and windy on the beach which meant my face is entangled in a web of my hair in most of the photos. Major bummer.  So we left the wind and 43 degrees to head back home to 79 degrees where I could stand still and not shiver.  Though trying to walk to the woods behind our house through the tall grass in my heeled sandals was a lot of fun…eek!

My family enjoying spring!

My 10-year-old daughter captured some pictures of my husband and I.  When our bedroom is finished I want it to be full of pictures of he and I so I’ve been trying to get a lot taken lately, which he absolutely loves (sarcasm)!

“Yay Spring!” Is what my children were yelling in these first two photos , but more fun than posing…

I love capturing them as they play!

Just curious…Did anyone notice, that “Life Exquisite” received a spring time face lift?  I have a feeling my blogs backgrounds will change with the seasons and my moods!

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You may recall me mentioning that my husbands Christmas gift from me this year was a prepaid date for each month.  Since I wrote about the first two dates I thought I’d share the other 10 with you as well.  I know you’ll remember that January’s date ended with me accruing bodily injuries (https://lifeexquisite.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/ski-date/) and February’s date was a lazy day of playing Play Station 3 (https://lifeexquisite.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/no-broken-bones/).

March’s date started after taking pictures in our fresh falling snow for “30 Wardrobe Challenge“, and so that you can see what I wore on this months date.

This months date had to be revamped just a bit because of our current remodel job. Instead of a night out to a movie, as was planned, we spent the morning shopping for lighting and plumbing fixtures.

By the way, I hate Menards.  Every trip there is so tediously drawn out, with my husband and I discussing the pros and cons of each product we need, why I like a different one than he does and debating over which one would look and be the best option.  I know it’s important, and I want a say in all the fixtures and what not, but I usually end up with a head ache, sore feet and an empty savings account, none of which are fun.

After three and a half hours at Menards (Yes, you read that correctly 3.5 hours!) we decided to work our movie part of the date in to our day, and hit the newest Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds movie, Safe House.  Which was good, typical, but good.  I didn’t walk away thinking, “Wow that was an awesome movie!”  But, every Denzel movie is good right?  I also tend to have the mindset that pretty much every movie is worth sitting through as long as I can eat a ginormous tub of butter smothered, movie theater popcorn!  I LOVE popcorn, especially movie theater popcorn!  In my opinion the whole reason to go to the movie theater is for the popcorn.

Following the movie, we did some fun shopping, also known as CLOTHES SHOPPING!!!  One of my favorite things about my husband…he loves shopping as much as I do!  Well maybe not quite as much but it is so nice being able to have a good time clothing and accessory shopping with my husband.  Most of my friends husbands hate shopping.  My husband is AWESOME to shop with!  A trip to Mall Of America is one of our favorite things!  He loves getting clothes and accessories as much as I do, though he might not like me telling you all that.  His accessories are manly though, you know, watches, belts, sunglasses, shoes, etc.  I love that I don’t feel guilty buying clothes and stuff because he’s just as into it as I am.  He actually helps me to justify my spending!  We really didn’t get much, one shirt each, because we’re putting all of our money towards our master suite project.  Well that and the fact that my bum arm doesn’t allow me to try on much, but it was still a fun time!

After that it was SAM’s club and Target, then we capped off the night with a late drive back home; that we spent listening to comedians such as Bryan Regan, Jim Gaffigan and Mike Birbiglia. We spend a lot of our driving time listening to comedians because they are so stinking funny and we love laughing, especially together.  I wanted to share one of our favorite skits with you but couldn’t find any of the “cheeks hurting” funny skits so I settled for this one, Brian Regan on Walkie-Talkies…

One of the reasons I love to listen to comedians is because I get to hear one of my favorite sounds…my husbands laughter.  He hates his laugh, for some reason of which I have no idea, but I think it’s wonderful.  Whenever I hear him laughing it makes me smile.  I can be in the kitchen doing dishes or something and hear him laugh about something from another room and my face will crack into a huge grin. His laughter brings me so much joy!

I’m really enjoying these, once a month dates.  As I said in a previous post, we weren’t very good about fitting them in before.  Sad isn’t it?  Dating each other 12 times a year shouldn’t be that hard to do. Twelve days out of 365 really isn’t that many.   I’m super glad, and he is to, that I decided on this for his Christmas gift this year.  The only thing I’m not liking about it is that since it’s his Christmas gift, he gets to choose all the activities.  I totally would have chosen a different movie.  You know something more girly and light-hearted, but it’s been really fun so far and I look forward to the rest of this years dates.  I hope that we can make a habit out of “once a month” dates long after this years are done.

I encourage you once again to set aside time to date your spouse.  It’s so important to find time as a couple.  Wether it’s a movie, dinner, shopping, or just an evening at home by yourselves it’s completely worth it.  If you aren’t quite sure what you’d like to do while out on your date (or home, if you so choose) and need some ideas; here are a couple of sites to inspire you:

50 Questions to Ask your Spouse on a Date Night. Pretty interesting/deep questions that 1) don't really involve the kids and 2) probably don't come up on a regular basis!

http://www.niftydateideas.com/

http://zachterry.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/50-questions-to-ask-your-spouse-on-a-date-night/

http://loveactually-blog.blogspot.com/

So this months date may not have been as exciting as January’s, but I’m not going to injure my body each month just to provide humor for you.  Sorry, just not going to happen.  But hopefully by posting each months date I’ll be able to inspire you to date your wife or husband.

One last reminder for a chance to win a copy of “The Vow”, the true story behind the movie.  All you have to do to enter is “like” my post “The Vow” (https://lifeexquisite.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/the-vow/) or follow Life Exquisite.  I’ll be announcing the winner this week.  Good luck!

Humor: When out on your date, please don’t follow after this couple.

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