Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Getting to Know You: Goal Setting

This week, we're linking up with Belle Brita for her Getting to Know You link up. This link up is hosted monthly and encourages bloggers to answer questions based around a theme. This week's theme is Goal Setting and I'm going to be reflecting on our goals from 2016 and talking about a few of our goals for the future. After all, we're big fans of setting goals together.

After you read our answers to Brita's questions, I want to encourage you to head over to her blog and participate in the link up as well. After all, a link up is most fun when there's more bloggers participating!

What goals did you accomplish in 2016?

2016 may have been a rollercoaster of a year, but we did manage to accomplish a lot of things together. We survived our first PCS as a married couple. We bought our first house together after much debate over whether we should rent or buy in Michigan. We learned that our family would be expanding in 2017. We adopted a new dog from a local shelter and welcomed my dog back into our lives. I would say those are probably the highlights of 2016 that are worth sharing.

Do you set New Year's Resolutions? Why or why not?

We don't tend to set resolutions at the new year. Rather, we periodically sit down and discuss what our goals are for the future. Sometimes this conversation falls around the new year, but not always. With military living, we've found it better to set goals in smaller segments of time because there's always a question hanging over our heads about where we might be in the future.

How do you work for what you want?

We tend to decide what we want and then we make a plan of how to get there. This includes how long it will take, where it falls on our priority list, and how much it will cost. Priority has become a big focus since buying our house. Everything gets weighed and assigned a priority before we start on it. This is helping us keep our budget under control and our sanity as we work through the many things we want to accomplish in our home and in our family.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

We see ourselves with our growing family and happy. We're never sure what that means in terms of location, job, or home.  Military life has taught us to focus on where we are now instead of where we'll be in the future.

Getting to Know You | Belle Brita

Don't forget to head over to Brita's blog so that you can join in the fun this month! We'd love to see your answers to this month's questions!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Unique Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought I'd share a few new ways that you can celebrate the holiday - even if you're spending the day alone! We have spent three out of four Valentine's Days apart and this year we'll most likely be enjoying our newborn son. Needless to say, Valentine's Day hasn't been traditional for us in any way and that's where the idea for today's post originated.

Some of these ideas are geared towards those who will be spending the holiday alone due to deployments or other obstacles, while others are designed with couples in mind.

Girls Day
Turn the day into a fun night with the girls. You could do a girls night out having fun together. You could also plan an at home party and invite all of your friends to join in on the fun!

Why not spread the love to complete strangers? Spend some time investing in Random Acts of Kindness. Leave small notes and surprises in various places for strangers to find. You'll be doing a small act of good for the world and I guarantee you'll add a smile to someone's day!

Secret Valentines
This is a fun twist on the holiday. This one works just like Secret Santa except in February! Team up with your friends, draw names, and spend some time showering each other with gifts!

Focus on Self Care
Use the holiday as an excuse to pamper yourself a little bit. I recommend planning a special night for the most important person in your life - yourself. After all, self care is an important part of life.

Care Package
Send your military member a special care package to celebrate the holiday. There are all sorts of creative holiday themed care packages that you can find on Pinterest.

Handmade Gifts
Instead of spending a fortune on gifts from the store, how about challenging each other to make your gifts this year? You'll have fun flexing your creative muscles and it'll result in meaningful gifts.

Creative Date
Forego the classic dinner and a movie this year and create your own perfect date. You'll avoid the crowds and have a memorable night for years to come!

Exchange Letters
If you can't be together for the holiday but would still like to do something small and simple, then why not exchange classic love letters? This one could even be incorporated into the holiday if you're going to be together.

Or don't celebrate at all!
There's no rule that says you have to celebrate every holiday that is on the calendar. This includes Valentine's Day. Don't hesitate to avoid the holiday and do something special on a different day instead!

Stories from the Military Community
How have other military couples celebrated in the past? I asked a few and they gave me a few of their favorite stories to share with you!

Kelly has a post that talks about how Japan celebrates Valentines Day and how it's actually 2 holidays. You can read her post here.

"One Valentine's Day when he was deployed, he surprised me with a delivery of a wine gift basket! It had wine, chocolate, and even a decorative wine glass! That took some of the sting out of being so far apart.

When we were stationed overseas, we had a creative Valentines party for the unit. The Gunny's family hosted a couples night. They hired a local caterer to prepare authentic paella (we were in Spain), then we played some funny couples games and won prizes. It was a great way to get to know other couples in the unit and split the cost of a creative date night!" - The Seasoned Spouse

"One thing we like to do is give each other and experience rather than just gifts. So one year we went to a concert, another year we tried out one of those meal delivery services, Plated and made a gourmet dinner and dessert together. So that way the focus is on our relationship rather than just buying each other things we don't need." Adventures of a Young Wife

"Our most memorable Valentines Day was a couple years ago when we were in the middle of moving. Due to some unexpected housing frustrations, we were enjoying an extended stay in a hotel with our two large dogs, the UHaul parked out back and hysterical fits of tears while trying to find another suitable home.

We debated going out for a nice dinner but instead settled on ordering two medium pizzas from Dominos and buying a couple six packs of our favorite beer. So we spent the evening sitting in our hotel bed, each with a whole pizza in our lap and bottle of beer in hand and dogs faces in our laps begging for food. If I remember right, I ate my entire pizza myself. You can imagine how attractive I felt that night.

Not our classiest holiday but it has certainly become my favorite. I guess sometimes it's not about having the perfect evening planned but the quality of your time spent together that defines the holiday."- Danielle Keech, Military By Owner & Personal Blog

"One year, we went out to breakfast for our Valentine's Day date because we both had obligations Valentine's Day night (Valentine's Day was on a week day that year)." - Lori

"We were newly married and wanted to get a hotel weekend - but didn't have the funds, so we made a sheet Fort that took over our entire living room, and had pizza under Christmas lights we'd strung up. Hands down my favorite way we've celebrated."- Operation Patiently Waiting

"Our very first date was at this quaint, hole in the wall, mom and pop Italian restaurant...on Valentine's day! Every year for the next 6 years, we went back to the same restaurant, sat at the same table and ate the same delicious meal as we reminisced on our last year together. Then we moved to Germany and I missed our tradition so much that I attempted to recreate our meal. I mean, the whole nine yards, but it just wasn't the same.

So the following year, I get home (the day before Valentine's to throw me off) and my husband had been in cahoots with my best friend back home. She went to "our" restaurant, begged them to freeze prepare our meal, packed it in dry ice and sent it to us all the way in Germany. We had the full nine yards from the soup starter to the side roll to the cheesy tortellini! The only difference was instead of a table stuck in the corner, my husband dimmed the lights, lit some candles and had a bottle of wine on the table! And if you were wondering, yes it was still edible, yes it was delicious and yes it was the most romantic thing my husband could have done!!" - Economical Excursionists

"In lieu of gifts this year and to celebrate with our young son we decided we will take a family vacation to Maui. Just getting to relax, unplug and soak up the sun even though we are stationed in Oahu. I like going on vacations and making memories instead of buy stuff. Planning on BBQing the whole time and just enjoying each other's company!" - Moms Gonna Snap

"We've spent many many Valentine's Days apart, but somehow my hubs always manages to surprise me. One year, he enlisted the help of our oldest son who was in high school at the time. I was at a meeting and came out to find flowers, chocolates, and a giant teddy bear in the front seat of my car. smile emoticon:) Another year, he asked my kids to use multiple boxes of the conversation hearts to create a giant 'heart' on our table and "I love you" for me to see when I woke up smile emoticon:) Though we may be apart and these aren't giant or expensive gestures, it lets me know he's thinking of me and put some thought into it!" - Jen McDonald

Do you have a fun story to share? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

He Said, She Said: Dog Edition

Nobody signed up for this week's edition of "He Said, She Said," so I thought we'd have a little fun with it. We'll be enlisting the help of our dogs for this week's edition and I think you'll enjoy getting this little glimpse into more of our family. Don't forget that you can sign up to be featured in a future "He Said, She Said" by simply emailing me at thecoastiewife@gmail.com!

Today, we have Mr. Gibbs and Ella here to answer a few questions. Since they are not a couple, I have altered the questions to be more applicable to their relationship and species. You can read more on each of their back stories at the bottom of this post.

Do you have a nickname?

Ella: Mommy likes to call me Ella Belle or Baby Girl when she's happy with me.

Mr. Gibbs: They call me Gibbs a lot - the mister must be a formality. There's also a lot of other names that come out when I've done something wrong.

What is your favorite time of day?

Ella: My favorite time of day is in the evening when I can get extra attention from the humans.

Mr. Gibbs: I love Deer-Thirty. At least that's what Daddy calls the time of day when the deer are in the backyard and I can see them.  I love love love trying to look out all of the windows in the house!

What's your favorite treat?

Ella: Definitely Beggin Strips or peanut butter in the Kong.

Mr. Gibbs: Daddy just finished getting the ice maker installed. Even though it's freezing outside, I'm in love with the on demand ice capabilities of the freezer now.

What is your favorite toy?

Ella: I really like the antler when it comes to chewing.

Mr. Gibbs: There's this frog that Ella brought with her when she moved in. I love the way it squeaks - especially when it's annoying Daddy! And there's the rope...and the a Intler...and the alligator...and the duck...and I think I'm going to have to say all of them!

What is your favorite thing to do during the day?

Ella: I love stealing people's seats when they get up to do something - especially if they have a better pillow option.

Mr. Gibbs: I love running around the backyard - especially when Ella plays with me.

Are you looking forward to the new baby?

Ella: I've been around babies before - they aren't much fun until I'm able to play with them. How long will it be before I can play with him?

Mr. Gibbs: What's a baby?

About the Dogs

Ella has been a part of the family since before the husband and wife met. She was adopted in 2011 by the wife and for three years, they lived happily together in Charleston. When the wife moved to California to join the husband, decisions had to be made and Ella was left in the care of her grandparents and her best friend, Kandy (the family dog). Kandy passed away shortly after the wife and husband moved to Michigan and it was decided that Ella would come live in Michigan where she'd have a new companion (Mr. Gibbs), a little boy (soon!), and a big back yard to play in.

Mr. Gibbs was adopted in September of 2016 and is the first dog that the husband and wife have owned together. He was adopted from a local animal shelter after a lot of searching. He came home with them the day after they closed on the house. He seems to have adjusted well and really enjoys having a family. He absolutely adores his big sister and loves to be near someone at all times.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

DIY: Antiquing a Dresser

Okay guys, it's the wife here for the introduction since that's our normal set up. Today's post is brought to you by the husband and I really think you're going to like it. When we bought this house, the previous owners left a dresser in the bedroom. It was in less than perfect condition, but I knew it would make the perfect dresser for our little one's room. So, I mentioned keeping it with the original intention of simply giving it a face lift with a coat of paint. I even had my dad sand it down for me while he was home. Well, time got away from me, pregnancy zapped my energy, and the husband came up with a different idea. I'm so glad he did because I can't even tell you how much I love the final product he came up with!

All right guys and gals (if you’re into making your guys do things like this.) Do you want sweet, distressed wood furniture? Do you enjoy half assing projects? Do you have pent up rage issues potentially caused by your honey do list? Well, I’ve got the project for you.

This piece of furniture was found left at the house we had bought. Luckily, it was real hard wood but in bland, drab, and overall unlikeable shape. So, we decided to make it look nice and allow it to continue its life in the service of our son. Honestly, the first step in this process is to acquire the piece of beat up furniture you’d like to transform. I’d suggest finding a crappy piece of furniture at a flea market, craigslist, whatever, just make sure it’s actually wood and not that particle board garbage. Plywood sides and crappy back board are fine, you won’t see them but the face is best if it’s actual wood.

After you have acquired your furniture you are going to sand it down. We are half assing this project so be sure to leave remnants of the old stain in areas varying in size and scattered haphazardly across the flat faces . In this process, corners are key. I, personally, like to take the corners all the way down to bare wood and fade off into the stain spots on the flat faces.

Pent up rage? This is where you get to take that out. I used a rusty old chain, a hammer, and a screwdriver to make my masterpiece. Beat the hell out of it. All over. Like it was damned. Start with the chain, to make the smaller spots. It is important to note that you still must take care on the edges to avoid destroying the furniture entirely. Remember, even though we are taking out our aggression on this poor furniture, we’re still only half-assing it. After chain, bring out the screw driver, if that’s your thing. Add notches and scratches at will. Then comes the hammer. Use the edge of the hammer to ensure the deepest divots you can make without breaking anything. Corners are key here - be sure to notch those corners well. With age, the corners are the first things to go.

Once your rage has been expended, you’re going back to a little TLC lightly sand it again to take out any splinters left from the damage you created. Now your furniture should be dented, dusty, and discolored. You might say, “But Husband, the dents are barely visible and the wood is all light” and I say unto thee, it is coming.

“I see a wood desk and I want to paint it black.” That’s right. I said paint it black. The best method I have found for this is to take some standard black interior latex paint, of the flat variety. If you want to use acrylic, water colors, whatever, try it, but why stray from what you know will create a nice product. Take about 3 tablespoons of paint and water it down until you basically just have some black water. When you paint it on it should come out an odd dingy gray. Be sure you get plenty in the corners, divots, scratches, and cracks as this will add depth to the preexisting texture. Coat the whole thing, and let it dry. With the paint watered down depending on the humidity in the area it should be dry in about 5 hrs.

Once dry, it’s back to the sander. It starts to get a little touchy here because the orbital sander has a tendency to leave little loop de loops in the black. Lighten the pressure and you should be able to coax out some nice gradients between the old stain and the black areas. Remember, half-assing it - don’t take all the black off, just most of it; and be careful with the corners that you leave behind the black divots as you round the sharp edges down. After sanding it back down, you should have a beautiful spotted piece of furniture with texture and color galore.

Now, you should be left with a piece of furniture that looks like the brightness and contrast hasn’t been tuned in quite right. Fret not dear friends for there is one more step. Well, after you wipe off all the leftover sanding dust. You are going to add at least 2 coats of clear satin finish polyurethane wood sealant. This is the only part of this whole project you cannot half ass. Thicker is not better when it comes to this stuff. So, 2 nice thin coats of sealant with ample time to dry between coats. This will help to level off some of the sharper edges, fill in the scratches and make it a much smoother surface.

Once dry, you will have a nice pretty accent to any room that will add a rusticated flare. With the polyurethane coating, this finish should last as long as the furniture itself. Last, if you happen to conduct this evolution inside, as I did, cover everything before you start sanding. Cleanup took forever, and you will even have to take a damp cloth to the walls to kill even most of the dust that accumulates… Not my brightest moment.

What was the last home project you worked on? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below! Also, return in a few weeks to see how we used this dresser in our nursery reveal!

He Said, She Said: Hey Little Sweet Thing

We're so excited to be introducing you to some of the bloggers we've met through networking and blogging over the next couple of months. Today, we're bringing you another edition of He Said, She Said featuring Missy from Hey Little Sweet Thing and her husband! I think you'll enjoy their answers below quite a bit!

What is the story behind how you two met?

He said: We met through a friend.

She said: Theres nothing really exciting to this one- what he said!

How long have you been together?

He said: 6 years.

She said: 6 years together as a couple and married for 3. (I think it's 3, I can't quite remember ... shhhh)

When did you know that your spouse was “the one”? 

He said: To be brutally honest, I was very anti marriage for a long time but but from the get go, she didn't boss me about, wasn't crazy and she had her shit together, a no B/S attitude, had a strong sense of self and knew who she was and that is exactly what I was looking for so I put a ring on it.

She said: At the start, I wasn't sure. He proposed after a month of dating and I said yes not actually knowing what was going to happen. He was funny, wasn't unbearable, we started a random life together and it somehow worked. After we had a kid, I finally decided that he was the one and we got married haha.

What is your favorite TV show and/or movie to watch together?

 He said: Favourite TV show is either the Mentalist or Criminal minds because we like to try and solve it before the TV reveals it to us and for the movie, we'll both watch anything with Melissa McCarthy or Robert Downy JNR

She said: For the TV show SNL 34 or 35 (those are the best seasons!) and for the movie anything with Bruce Willis!

What is your spouse’s favorite food? What is your favorite food? 

He said: The wife favourite food is anything pasta and mine is Lasagna

She said: He loves Lasagna and mine would be anything pasta based in a creamy sauce.. with some bacon!

What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? 

He said: We've gone through quite a few things over the years as our relationship is continually evolving so the things we've enjoyed to do together in the past has changed. Right now, its bush walking and chasing waterfalls.

She said: That's really hard because its always changing. At the moment it is exploring the forests in our city and finding waterfalls. It has been an awesome bonding experience.. even if I have been made to crawl under bridges covered in spiderwebs!

If the house caught on fire right now, what would be the first thing you grabbed?

He said: Assuming that the wife and child were already out of the house, it would probably be my PRS custom 24 electric guitar

She said: If the hubby and the little one were already outside then a bunch of hair ties! If I'm going to watch my house burn, I need to have mine and my kiddos hair out of our faces because it's wild! If they weren't, then i'd go for the child first!

If money were no object, where would you take your spouse for a week? 

He said: Bora Bora to stay in a shack built on stilts above the crystal clear water.

She said: I'm going to be selfish- PARIS! I've always wanted to go there and go up the Eiffel Tower and eat legit French pastrie so he has to come too.

Describe the perfect date night with your spouse.

 He said: It has to involve pasta and wine, a romantic comedy or SNL season 35 and a little bit of "mummy and daddy cuddling".

She said: I'll crush his dreams right now shall I? It would be an early night in bed to catch up on sleep!

Describe your spouse in just three words. 

He said: Creative. Strong. Smart.

She said: Dorky. Intelligent. Loving.

About the Featured Blogger:
The name is Missy and I'm a blog writing, messy bun, sweary, tight wearing, in yesterday’s tee-shirt wife to a very talented IT consultant and a baking, homeschooling wannabe mum to a chaotic, sweet and clever little 3 year old. We live in little ole New Zealand where our life is a tad busy but full of fun and love.

Did you enjoy Missy and her husband's answers? Then you'll enjoy her blog as well! Make sure you hop on over to Hey Little Sweet Thing and tell her how much you loved her answers!

Want to participate in He Said, She Said? We still have a few spots available! Email the wife (thecoastiewife@gmail.com) to get your name on the list!

Want the fun of answering questions with your spouse or family but don't want them published? Join our mailing list and get a new set of conversation starters in your inbox every Sunday!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Make Time to Communicate

As you know, we started our He Said, She Said series last week. With this challenge, we are challenging couples to interview each other and send us the answers so that we can feature them on Tuesdays. We feel that communication is a huge part of a relationship, which is why we're building on the He Said, She Said series and giving you a chance to get involved each and every week!

Stop for a bit and think back to your dating days. Way back - to the early days when you were still getting to know each other. I'm going to guess that there was a lot of conversation on your dates as you took the time to get to know each other. Has that conversation tapered off some?

Not married? That's fine! We weren't married or dating at one point as well. Think about your regular outings with friends and family. I'm not talking about the get together every now and then to catch up outings. I'm talking about the ones that occur regularly - maybe even every night. Are they filled with friendly conversation or do you hit periods of silence?

In either case, we've come up with something that is going to make conversation a bit more fun and lively. Each week, we're going to be sending out seven questions to our newsletter subscribers. That's one for every day of the week or seven questions to keep the conversation going on a special night of the week. Some of the questions will be simple, while others will spark conversation about hypothetical situations. They're all designed to spark conversation and help you learn new things about the people around you.

We know that it's hard to be patient and you might be reading this on a day other than Sunday (when the questions will hit your inbox), so we're going to start you off with seven questions the moment you sign up. This means you can get started with all of the fun right way!

Simply click one of the links in this email or fill in the box below to be added to our email list. Then, look for your welcome email. The next round of questions hits inboxes everywhere on Sunday!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

January Date Night Ideas

Today's post is going to be the first in the series of posts over the course of 2017. Each month (on the first Thursday), we're going to be bringing you a list of date night ideas for the month. We're hoping to share ten different ideas a month based on the season and holidays. We hope you'll return each month to check out our ideas!

January is a cold month when it comes to dates since it's smack dab in the middle of winter. We tried our best to pick a few outdoor dates, but most of the dates ended up being indoors for this month. Don't worry - we'll make up for that in the spring months!

Movie night
This one may seem a little cliche but it's always a good fall back - especially when the weather gets cold and the roads become hard to navigate. The great thing about a movie date is that you have the option to make it a night out to see a movie or a cozy date in with a movie on your own screen. Make it work for you. For us, we have a movie date at the theater planned for this month since it might be our last one for a while. From what I've heard, crying babies and movie theaters don't mix well.

Cook dinner together
Take the classic dinner date and put a spin on it. Pick out a meal together, pick up the ingredients, and enjoy some time cooking something fancy (or not so fancy) for yourselves. Then, light the candles and make it into a romantic evening for two. If you want to have an element of surprise with this date, assign different parts of dinner preparation between the two of you and see what you end up with. Perhaps you cook the main entree while he does the sides.

Cozy fire
Remember when we talked about winter and how cold it can be? January is the perfect month to incorporate a fire into your date night. Maybe light it while you watch a movie or play a game together.

Snowball fight
This one can be fun with or without snow on the ground. If there's snow on the ground, bundle up and head on out for a friendly snowball fight or even building a snowman. If there's no snow on the ground, make your own snowballs from yarn or paper and have a friendly game inside!

Coffee date
With all this talk of cold and snow, a coffee or hot chocolate is sounding pretty good right about now. Head out to your favorite cafe or coffee shop and pick up a cup of your favorite beverage for a short date together. Enjoy your hot beverage inside or take it out for a wintry walk.

Goal setting date
January is a big month for goal setting. Why not sit down together and set some goals for your family. You'll spark a conversation that will help you all year while spending some quality time together. Plus you'll be on the same page for what you want out of the year!

Bowling date
It's cold outside so why not take the fun inside and hang out at the bowling alley! Use this as the perfect excuse to try out an old activity together again.

Game night
Pull out the board games or the video games and challenge your spouse to a friendly competition! Don't forget to pick up your favorite snacks and drinks to make the night even more fun.

Snow date
If you're in an area where it snows, why not take advantage of it and plan your date around the snow? There are so many fun things you could do with snow from making snow angels to sledding down a nearby hill. It's the perfect way to use the season to your advantage.

Dinner date
Consider this one your fall back date. If all else fails, get dressed up and head out to dinner together. Make the night just about you two. The important part of a date night is spending time together after all. (Can't find a sitter? Make it a late night dinner at home after the kids go to bed.)

How often do you make time for a date night? We'd love to hear about your favorites in the comments below!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

He Said, She Said: The Coastie Couple

Happy 2017! It's bound to be an interesting year for us as we welcome our first little one into the world in a little over a month (assuming he sticks to his due date). In order to prepare for our little one's arrival, we thought we'd turn our He Said, She Said post into a guest series for the beginning of the year. We have teamed up with some awesome bloggers and influencers for this series. We think you're really going to enjoy getting to meet new people through this fun series!

P.S. You're going to want to read to the end of this post for a fun opportunity!

We thought it best to kick of the series with our own answers to the questions we created. So, today, we're featuring ourselves!

What is the story behind how you two met?

He said: I was just out for a couple of drinks and found a neat bar with a cool back patio area. Originally I was trying to push a conversation forward with one of her friends but resigned to just hang out at the table when all the others got up to socialize. Pam sat down and we both just started talking and happened to hit it off.

She said: We were at a local bar in Charleston and seating was limited since it was a busy Saturday night. My friend and I had snagged a table, but it was kind of big for two. He came along and asked if he could share with us. He started out talking to my friend but by the night's end, we were engaged in friendly conversation and the night ended with us exchanging numbers. I truly never thought it would go beyond that one conversation.

How long have you been together?

He said: 4.5 years

She said: Four and a half years. Two and a half married.

When did you know that your spouse was “the one”?

He said: While I was in Portland after Christmas at home - Our long distance relationship came back together for about a week. We meshed like I had never left.

She said: I think it was around the time we decided to attempt long distance. Even though I had my doubts that it would work, I chose to try. I don't think I would have tried if there had been any "red flags" in our relationship.

What is your favorite TV show and/or movie to watch together?

He said: Supernatural

She said: Once Upon a Time

What is your spouse’s favorite food?

He said: Macaroni and Cheese

She said: Sandwiches and wraps

What is your favorite food?

He said: Burritos

She said: Pizza

What is your favorite thing to do as a couple?

He said: We love to go hiking on trails together.

She said: We enjoy so many different things. Basically, as long as we're doing it together, we can make just about anything fun. Travel, hiking, and exploring definitely rank somewhere towards the top of the list.

If the house caught on fire right now, what would be the first thing you grabbed?

He said: A fire extinguisher.

She said: I would grab the dogs and hopefully their leashes to make it easier to get them to safety. (Obviously the baby will make this list when he's born. For now, he goes everywhere with me.)

If money were no object, where would you take your spouse for a week?

He said: In early 2015, I would have said Europe. Now I would say Hawaii.

She said: This one is really hard because we both like to travel so much. I think I would have to say New Zealand. I think it would be a nice change of pace from America. The scenery I've seen from New Zealand is gorgeous and their accents are enjoyable as well.

Describe the perfect date night with your spouse.

He said: It would start at a nice vineyard or craft brewery with live music, good food, and a bonfire. It would be followed up with a walk through a scenic establishment like a botanical garden that has been put together in a manner to make it feel like you were walking through a fantasy glade.

She said: I would have to say a quiet night at a local restaurant or craft brewery followed by a walk under the stars.

Describe your spouse in just three words.

He said: outgoing, independent, calculated

She said: Caring, imaginative, and hard-working.

What would your answers to the questions be? Go ahead - try it out with your spouse!

Asking questions is a great way to learn new things and spark interesting discussions with your spouse. We want to help you out by bringing you five new questions a week to ask your spouse. All you have to do is sign up here and you'll get them delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday!