dinner at eight :: italian style

{Dinner at Eight is a special project I am doing with my friend Andi this year - planning date nights at home for our husbands every other week, putting the kids to bed early and being intentional about our marriages! Read more dinner at eight posts HERE!}
You guys this week has been so crazy! Lots of late nights with me out teaching and Chris working late and so the thought of planning a really purposeful date night was, I am not going to lie - totally overwhelming. I procrastinated and on Tuesday when I realized that we would really only have one sliver of an evening to spend some time together as a couple I decided to go easy and casual and hit up Trader Joes for our Italian Style feast!
Miraculously it all came together so easily. When Chris came in the door a bit late I don't think he was expecting a date night and seemed so pleasantly surprised to see the table all set up. White paper and candles and some pretty flowers was all I used. I poured him a glass of wine and went through the menu: a simple antipasto platter with cheeses, olives, bruchetta spread, salami, caprese skewers, bread with oil and vinegar, artichoke ravioli with chicken sausage and vodka cream sauce and canoli for dessert. He seemed so impressed and the nice thing about it was all I really had to do was open everything up, skewer the tomatoes and cheese, boil some water for the ravioli and dinner was served. Chris put on some Dave Brubeck which was perfect and although we did have quite a few interruptions from the little ones we still had such a wonderful date night in.
I was talking about Dinner at Eight this afternoon with a friend during preschool pickup and realized just how amazing these intentional nights have become for our marriage. In the past few months Chris and I have literally only gone out once for our anniversary - otherwise these date nights at home have been it. I am not going to lie it is insanely hard to find a sitter for us during this season. We have tried like fifteen times in a row and been unsuccessful - it's actually fairly comical. I think the fact that we have so many young kids and really busy extended families we just don't get out much. But I will say that because we do these dates at home we have truly felt so blessed through our intentional times together anyway it's been amazing.

Chris and I talked about this project a lot during dinner and about how it sort of even feels like we are at a restaurant sometimes. And how it has been so helpful to to be doing the dates alongside Andi and Erik. Knowing that they have just as busy a schedule as us and are still finding time to focus on their relationship helps so much! Chris even suggested that I started challenging some of you guys to these date nights because they have been so fun for us. Would it help you guys to know that you have a bit of accountability in the dating department? Seems so funny but really if we aren't taking responsibility for our marriages who will right?
All in all it was truly another huge success and I felt so refreshed and energized to finish out the rest of a busy week after reconnecting with my sweetie pie!

ps. I realized in writing this that I owe you guys a life update post because yes you did read that right - Chris got a new job!!! More on that soon I promise! xo

don't forget to check out Andi's date night too this time she has a two parter!


  1. wow that looks crazy amazing!!!! can i come next time? hahahahaha

  2. Oh, friend! This seriously made me all teary- intentionally dating our husbands HAS been so amazing, hasn't it!? I am so grateful that you thought to include me in this little project, and even more thankful for all the beautiful ways it is growing my marriage AND my friendship with you! Love you so!

    P.S. And I loved your idea of quick + easy food from Trader Joe's! So perfect!

  3. I absolutely love that photo of Chris and Levi....so very sweet.

    And I have been thinking of joining you and doing a little Dinner at Eight of our own. With Tom working like a mad fool, we're lucky if we get to see each other before bed, let alone eat a meal together. I think it would be good for us to be intentional about dinner and have a little date fun while we are at it!

  4. Your italian dinner seems perfect! Looks like a real one! Well done, Rebekah. And the set of the table is simple but really nice. ;)) Love it!

  5. I've been reading for about 2 weeks and I love your blog to pieces. I have read through all the Dinner for 8 posts, and absolutely adore how much you are putting back into your marriage, even as stressful, crazy, and busy it is. I will be getting married next weekend (8 DAYS) and I really want to commit to doing this. Sure, it will be easy(er) for me getting started as a newly-wed, but I want it to become habit to spend a special night getting ready and making pretty plans to celebrate our marriage. I would LOVE to join the accountability. (Does this mean I get to know the themes?! :])
    Thanks so much for posting; and thank you for giving back to your marriage (especially in front of your kids.) Amazing.

    Ms. Eubank, soon to be Mrs. Allen :]

  6. P.P.S. I forgot to mention how much I love love love that picture of Chris + Levi! So so beautiful!

  7. i'm ready for the challenge! will you set up a linky?

    you know i adore these dinner's at 8...and although I know how beneficial it would be for my marriage I never seem to be motivated to try an in home date just for the two of us...so this would be perfect, i definitely need the accountability.

    but i agree...you should let us know about the theme so that we can have a jumping off point and get our creative juices flowing.

    i would also love to see a Dinner at 8 craft and cookbook!!

    way to inspire!

  8. oh and jeff and i would LOVE to watch your kids for you some night so you and chris can get out if you want to!

  9. I'm ready for the challenge, too, even though my sweetie and I are in a long distance relationship. But thats what skype is for, right? One of my favorite things is roaming the aisles at TJs and picking up a few little nibbles of a lot of great looks - looks PERFECT to me!

  10. That all looks so delicious and lovely!

  11. I would LOVE to join in! Being challenged totally motivates me and I'm so inspired by what you guys are doing.

  12. I love that you guys do this! intentional time together is so important and can be so simple! i must say, the amazing prepared foods at TJ's is something I REALLY miss about the states. :(

  13. Such a cute picture of Levi and Chris! P.S. That truffle cheese is so yummy!! Thank you for sharing...I need to go on a TJ's run.

  14. I love this idea so much! Great blog! I'm a new follower!

  15. What a delicious dinner and idea for your date night. Visiting you from The Voice of Motherhood !~Lisa
    I am all a twitter about life
    Find Me on Twitter

  16. I've been thinking about doing this, too! I think having a theme to work from would be so helpful. I'm excited!

  17. I read this last week & husband & I talked about it. We planned to make Wednesdays our Dinner at Eight night. I am so excited about tonight, even though I didn't remember until late last night. We're making it work!
    Have you thought about do a linky for the Dinner at Eight, so we can see everybody's?

  18. Erin - yay I am so excited about your date night! to answer your question..yes Andi and I are currently figuring out the details for dinner at eight challenge not sure if it will be a linky yet or not but look for a post soon - I really want to see your date, have fun tonight!!! xo


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...