Last month, Joy celebrated her anniversary by sharing 31 date ideas. This month, it’s my anniversary.
Fifteen years ago, my husband (ironically named Chris just like Joy’s husband) and I were married on Friday the thirteenth. And it was one of the most fun days of my life! When I woke up that morning, I was thrilled that I had slept.
When I arrived at the church wearing my overalls and my wedding veil in place, I couldn’t find my dress. For some reason I wasn’t worried. I figured it was somewhere, I just didn’t know where to look. Twenty minutes later, my personal attendant ushered my panicked, sobbing mother into the dressing room. She was carrying my dress and said, “Gianna, I was steaming your dress and the skirt touched the steamer and it BURNED A HOLE IN YOUR dress.” Deep breath “I was able to cut the burned part out and create a tuck. Is this okay? I think it looks good. What do you think?” Tears and sobbing ensued.
I took my dress in my arms and said, “Mom. It looks great. I can’t even tell. No matter what happens, I am getting married today. Even if I’m in my overalls.” Then, my personal attendant said, “You need to give you mom a hug,” as she took my dress from me.
And I did get married. In my dress that my mother and I had designed and she had tailored just for me!
So while I celebrate my marriage with my husband this month (eating Chinese together), I will remember that my love and readiness to marry him was a calm thing. A peaceful experience. Something that was meaningful because we were together.
So I bring you a list of dates that seem laidback and relaxed even if your children join you.
Friday, August 15
Breakfast on the Farm
8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Gale Woods Farm
Reservations by 8/13 by phone only; call 763.559.6700 $8-$15
You may not be a morning person, but most people like breakfast. I know my family does. Pancakes and bacon are loved by everyone. But this fun breakfast is not only about the locally grown foods. It’s also got some classic farm goodness. Meet the animals, visit the barn, listen to music, and meander through the gardens.
Saturday, August 16
Music and Franconia Global Rhythm Fest
12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Franconia Art Park
$5/vehicle for parking
Performers include Pan Dimensions Steel Drums, Greg HerrIges and Duniya Drum & Dance. This is the perfect event to bring noisy children to. They can explore the Sculpture Park before settling down at Franconia’s Earthen Amphitheater to enjoy some banging drums. Food and beverages are for sale onsite. Bring a blanket or chair and enjoy some music or get a guided tour by some of the artists in residence.
Tuesday, August 19
6:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m.
James J. Hill House
Reservations are Recommended by phone only 651-297-2555 $8-$12
James J. Hill was the railroad tycoon back in his day and his sprawling mansion is filled with areas that no one but the family and the servants knew about: the back staircases, dust chutes, silver vault and more. On this 90 minute tour you will be able to see the top-floor attic with original theater, use the backstairs going into the basement and sneak a peek in the gatehouse overlooking Summit Avenue. Technological innovations present in the house and preservation difficulties will be discussed. The 7 p.m. tours are led by a costumed interpreter portraying a construction worker or house servant. How fun!
Nine Nights of Music Okee Dokee Brothers
5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Minnesota History Center
Free, parking $5/non-member’s vehicle, $3/member’s vehicle
Presented as part of the Toys of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s fun, join the down-to-earth family folk band of the Okee Dokee Brothers. You don’t get to enjoy these guys for free anymore, now that they are Grammy winners! So head over to MN History Center and enjoy the bubbles, lawn games and toys before the music starts at 7:15 p.m.
Tuesday, August 26
9 Nights of Music Ukrainian Village Band
6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Minnesota History Center
FREE, parking $5/non-member’s vehicle, $3/member’s vehicle\
Tapestry Folkdance Center will offer dance instruction at 6:30 p.m. Don’t worry about looking like a fool because unless you are Ukrainian or from the Slavic region of the world (which you might be and thus you will have an advantage over the rest of us), you won’t be the only one! Music begins at 7:00 p.m. And the best dates are the ones where you laugh at each other the whole time!
I feel it’s very important that as parents we get away together without our children to laugh, have deep discussions or just relax without saying a word. But there are times when that’s not feasible. Instead of becoming bitter, embrace it and smile over your children’s heads at each others. You can flirt with kids around. We did it in college, and I’m sure we’ve still got it.
Happy Dating in August!