Sunday, February 12, 2012

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise...

Think that title in a Gomer Pyle type of voice. :)

Since I am watching my calories these days, I have to carefully plan which day I want to "splurge" (not count them). On Friday, I was cooked out. I really wanted to go to one of my favorite spots (Catfish Hole). Our youngest child had been telling me he missed going there. Suddenly I had visions of hush puppies and stuffed shrimp going through my mind.

But I also knew that Valentine's Day was coming up. We had already ordered pizza from our favorite Chicago pizza joint (it comes via Fed Ex on dry ice!) for our Valentine's dinner.

Yet I just had this gut feeling that there COULD be a surprise coming my way.

Hubby had mentioned looking into some things.

I went ahead and ate fairly lightly for breakfast and lunch.

Finally we talked about dinner.

I just point blank asked.

"Is there ANY possibility we will be going anywhere tomorrow? If not, I want to splurge on my calories tonight at Catfish Hole."

He did give me a hesitant look. Then he assured me we should go to Catfish Hole.

By the way, my "splurges" are NOT pig out sessions. In fact, I am still probably eating way less calories than I used to on a normal day.

Anyway, yesterday (Saturday), I went back to counting calories. I even only ate 1 waffle in anticipation of making mostaccioli that night.

By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in until 7:30 yesterday morning since Child 3 did not have a basketball game. We just lounged around the house (avoiding going out in the cold). We cleaned up some paperwork. Straightened up the kitchen. Worked on laundry. It was just a nice leisurely morning. Even better, Mark took two kiddos out to buy a couple of things they needed.

Around lunch time, I checked my e-mail and found a message from my husband (who was across the room from me) with the title "Thought you might enjoy this..." When I opened it up, I saw a confirmation for that night at the Loft Hotel in a nearby town.

"Um, dear, what is this?"

He smiles.

That sweet handsome fella of mine had been lying to me.

He DID have a surprise.

A night away.

He even had a sitter for the kids and the dog.

"Just be ready by the time Child 2's games are done so we can get going..."

At that time, I was walking around in pj's. I had paperwork everywhere (gathering tax stuff). I was working on laundry. And had no idea what to think.

Then dear hubby informed me that not only were we going away for the night, we were heading to the new art museum (Crystal Bridges) the next day (being today).

I asked, "Can we watch a movie tonight?"

It is VERY rare for us to go to the movies.

If we get a "date night" out, we usually go out to eat or something like that. Not go to the movies.

But I had been reading about a movie called "The Vow". And I had just been thinking that morning, "I would love to go with Mark to see that."

He said that sounded great and even got right on the Internet to buy our tickets.

I went ahead and ate fairly light for lunch, anticipating a popcorn dinner at the movies.

Then hubby left to take Child 2 to her volleyball games. I stayed home to get ready for the night and to hang with the little ones since it was their naptime.

I did not get to take a nap. A small price to pay for a night away. :)

Finally, Mark came home (Child 2 went out with friends for the evening). We threw our stuff in the car, gathered up the remaining children and the dog, and headed to my parents' house.

We said our good-byes.

The kids were more than excited by the way. The dog, well, she was a bit antsy when I was packing. But she always has fun with my parents' doxie.

Then we headed down the road.

We are like little kids when we get a night away.

Free of responsibility.


Maybe a little too happy. :)

We checked into our hotel room. (I was a little worried we were splurging too much but he had gotten a special on it which was even better)

Then at the last minute, we decided to hop across the street (via the car since it was bitterly cold at that point) to eat dinner at a yummy restaurant. Crabby's. Seafood of course. And steak.

Dadgum those calories.

I had already splurged.

I couldn't even splurge for the week ahead since I am doing that on Valentine's Day when I enjoy my Chicago pizza.

I decided to eat sensibly but enjoy myself too. And just take a loss in the calorie department.

We were fortunate.

We got to the restaurant early.

Their first question (since it is the weekend before Valentine's Day)?

"Do you have reservations?"

Of course not. We are flying by the seat of our pants. Being spontaneous. Etc.

Thankfully there were some tables in the bar area that were open since every other table was reserved.

Dinner was delicious.

I ate as lightly as I could while still enjoying my meal. And I just knocked off the rest of the calories left on MyFitnessPal app. Probably "undercounted" but that was okay. It was a special occasion.

By the time we finished dinner and paid our bill, we were cutting it close with the movies.

Thankfully hubby knows the area better than I do. He took the most direct route to the theater. And we made record time.

VERY thankful we had already bought the tickets and were able to by-pass the line.

We walked into the movie and found a very full audience.

We were able to squeeze in partway up.

Most people who came in after us had to sit up front. The neck-ache rows.

As hard as it is for me to resist, I did NOT get any popcorn. I really tried to be somewhat healthy.

Oh, loved the movie. It was romantic, but not sappy romantic. Just a nice movie to enjoy with one you love.

One little perk with the movie was that it was set in Chicago (unlike the actual story which was set in New Mexico). Since we went to Chicago for our anniversary, it was like taking a walk down memory lane every time they showed Chicago landmarks. :)

After we left the movie, we went straight to the bookstore and bought the book the movie was inspired by.

By the way, the book (now renamed "The Vow: The True Events that Inspired the Movie") is very different from the movie. I knew that going in. And I highly recommend the book. It is a beautiful story of love and faith. Just don't expect it to be the movie.

And yes, I have read the whole thing already.

Nights away don't have to be romantic the whole time.

Sometimes that means he can watch t.v., I can read.

The best part is we are doing it without interruption.

This morning, we enjoyed sleeping in without any children OR dog waking us up (though I admit, I missed the little furball wanting to snuggle...she wakes up early in the morning and curls up with me until I get up).

We lounged then went to the hotel gym to work out together. Well, in the same room. He did the elliptical. I hopped on a recumbent bike. It was still a treat. We rarely get to exercise at the same time. Hopefully we worked off a few of those extra calories we had consumed at dinner the night before. :)

Then we freshened up and headed further down the road to the museum.

And since this is pretty long already, I will save that post for another day. :) I guess this story is "to be continued".


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