Where it all Started

Have you ever had one of those moments that happened and at the time you had no idea how much it would go on to change the rest of your life? We have all had those moments, more than one I’m sure.  They are the moments that shape us and define our lives.

One of those times happened to me on a cold January night in 2010.  My only child at that time, Eli, had just turned four a couple of months earlier. Four is such a special age and I just felt like he and I weren’t spending enough one-on-one time together. A few weeks earlier I had decided we should have a date, just the two of us. That evening we went to eat (he picked the restaurant), visited a used bookstore and got dessert. We had a really special time and I promised him we would do it again the following month.

Over time it became …well a thing in our house. Once a month we had a date and it began to grow organically. On our third date, we began taking pictures before we left. On that third date, we also began naming all our previous dates in chronological order while on our date (that lasted a few years). I began to journal about our dates and keep mementos that we got. On our 41st date, we began taking a picture with a chalkboard before leaving home that detailed our date.  On our 50th we began to celebrate the milestone dates and went on our first overnight trip.  Eli is almost eleven now and we recently celebrated our 75th date together! We have never missed a month.

Nowadays, I have them monthly with my two oldest and will begin this coming January with my youngest child. My wife has them as well. The more kids we have the harder it becomes on our calendar but it’s a priority, a big priority. Our dates have become as much a part of our family as having dinner together or playing in the backyard.  They don’t have to be lengthy or extravagant, they just have to happen.

It was the greatest single decision I have ever made as a parent and one of the greatest in my life.  It changed…everything. It changed him, it changed me and more importantly it changed us and our relationship.

I want to try and share with you everything I have learned over the years. The goal of Chalkboard Dates is to encourage and equip you in as many ways as possible. You are already an awesome mom or dad (grandmother or grandfather)! I simply want to come alongside you and help in any way I can.

When I began having dates with Eli, the hardest thing for me was deciding what to do on our dates. You can only eat so much pizza or see so many movies. The more one-on-one time you spend with your child, the more ideas you need. I decided to sit down and come up with a list of unique ways to spend quality time with your child. The book, Chalkboard Dates is a sampling of the ideas I have worked on the last several years.  In it, you will find 40 unique ways to spend time with your child. Each date contains resources such as what makes the date special, expense, planning required and date variations. Each one also has website suggestions, YouTube videos, Amazon links and more. The graphic design work is great as well and makes for a very special book. I think you will find all the resources that come with each idea helpful and equip you with everything you need.

My desire is that Chalkboard Dates becomes a trusted source for your family. I want to equip and encourage you as you walk through this journey. Keep doing what you’re doing and know that you are changing their lives and your family tree.

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