While brainstorming ideas for a few new features to add to a bit of sunshine this year I started thinking about ways to use this space to really bless and encourage my family. As most of you know this past fall we welcomed our third baby into our home and my oldest is just four. That is a lot of littles running around here - we have lots of fun yes but please don't be confused we also have lots of messes, whining, wiping, crying, yelling, running, jumping...utter chaos in every aspect of that word. Mr. Gough and I rarely find the time (or the money for that matter) to get out together on regular dates. Babysitters are rare and lets face it slightly intimidated to watch our brood at this young stage and so Chris and I end up giving each other breaks but we don't really spend much time alone together (when we are not zombie like tired at least)...
Then it occurred to me, what if I staged simple and sweet dates at home for my sweetie and I. Put the kids to bed early once in awhile, lit some candles, turned on some music and focused on our marriage for a change. I love the idea of having the kids help me with this project fully knowing that they will be going to bed and not a part of the actual date but a great way for them to see the importance of our relationship. Our children need to see that we love each other and that their home is built on our respect and deep commitment to each other. Dinner at Eight was born.
I instantly knew I wanted to do this project with someone else too, to help keep me accountable and excited. And someone who I knew would encourage me in my marriage and I in hers - lift each other up in prayer and cheer each other on in being intentional. I knew it had to be Andi. A kindred spirit in so many ways, married young, little ones...we chatted on the phone the other night for hours and I felt so deeply inspired and blessed by her.
So we have decided to kick this project off with a little q&a today and plan to stage our first dates, next week just in time for valentine's day. This will be a bi-weekly feature so that we don't get too burned out. Every other Thursday we invite you to join us for a peek into how we manage to go about dinner at eight..I am so excited!!
Now a little bit about the Goughs:
Now a little bit about the Goughs:
01. When + where did you meet your husband?
I met Mr. Gough the Spring of 2001. He was working at the Church I had just started attending and the pastor had asked me to come to a worship rehearsal for the new evening service. Chris was there to help out on the drums and I distinctly remember him walking in. I was introduced to him and the first thing that went through my mind was "wow that is a real man" ha ha...he just seemed so tall and handsome and I was immediately drawn to his strong hands (all the Gough women love our Gough boys hands!)...I also remember thinking he was so shy (HE IS NOT) and asked him if he wanted to help out on drums at a Tuesday night service too. I sort of just knew this was different. He was so different.
02. How long have you been married?
Since April of 2003, I was twenty three and he twenty five. We were married on the very same stage we met surrounded by all the worship teams and about six hundred of our closest friends and family (ha ha, told you he wasn't shy)
03. What do you think is the biggest challenge in your married life right now?
Most certainly finding time for each other. We have some serious responsibilities on our plate much more than when we first met and a lot of other stresses play into how we spend our time too. My Mother in Law calls this season the "trenches" and I must say that is the perfect way to describe how we feel. Just surviving day to day the best we can with little energy for ourselves.
04. What is one of your favorite dates you have ever had with your husband?
My favorite date was one we had early on. Our first Christmas together Chris planned an amazing date - we got all dressed up, his brother picked us up and acted as chauffeur taking us to a romantic dinner and then the ultimate for me amazing seats to the Nutcracker. Seattle is world renown for our ballet company and it was seriously so magical I will never forget that night!
05. What excites you the most about this project?
The chance to really focus and pour creative and intentional energy into our relationship and knowing that I will have at least one evening every other week to simply sit and enjoy my husband. and I am also excited about planning the dates too..I can't wait!!All right now go check out Andi's q&a and come back next week too when we share our first date night with you!