Valentine's Day... yes, it's here again! What better excuse for strengthening your marriage and reconnecting with your spouse could there be than a day devoted to love?
Here are our Top Ten out-of-the-box ideas for celebrating the love you have for your significant other — with or without your kids tagging along. Because let's face it, we've all missed out on snagging a babysitter on Valentine's Day at some point in the parenting stage!
1. Burning Love. Build a small campfire in the backyard and roast hot dogs or marshmallows, or just sit and watch the flames. Don't have a backyard that will allow you to do that? Purchase a small portable grill, and have fun with it!
2. Love is blind. Instead of deciding where to enjoy Valentine's Dinner (or going back and forth with "I don't know, where do you want to go?") flip a coin: heads is right and tails is left. Just leave your neighborhood and every time you come to a stop sign or stoplight, flip the coin to determine your direction. Eat at the first restaurant you find.
3. Picnic Perfect. Spread a tablecloth or sheet on the living room floor, light candles and place them all around the room, turn out the lights, and enjoy a simple no-fuss meal.
4. Come away with me. Find out where your significant other has always dreamed of vacationing or exploring. Clip pictures from magazines or purchase a few items that reflect the customs or ethnicity of that area and decorate your entryway and dining room. Have at least one food or beverage of that country prepared to serve your love. Talk about all the things you would do together if you were visiting that place.
5. May I have this dance? Dress up in your finest clothes or purchase some second-hand evening attire at a thrift store and have a "Ball." Crank up your favorite music and dance the night away.
6. How do I love thee? Make an acronym of all the things you love about each other out of the letters of each person's FIRST name. Together, make an acronym out of the words that represent your family with the letters of your LAST name.
7. Puzzle me this. Purchase some inexpensive puzzles from a dollar store and enjoy putting a puzzle together. For a couple who likes to compete, buy identical puzzles and see who can put theirs together the fastest.
8. Awaken your inner artist. Get out the kids' craft supplies — paint, markers, crayons, paper — and create a portrait of your spouse. For several minutes you'll really get to look at your partner, and perhaps remember just how wonderful they really are.
9. Sweet Serenade. Using the melody to a favorite song, change the lyrics to describe your spouse and why you love him or her. Perform the songs for each other. Not that creative? Search for a song that fits your feelings for your significant other and sing it (or lip-sync it if, like me, you can't carry a tune).
10. Bursting with love. Purchase a bag of balloons. On small strips of paper, write out the things you love about your spouse or things that you are grateful for. Take those strips and roll them up so that you can slip them into the mouth of a balloon. Fill all the balloons in the bag with the papers and inflate the balloons. Have your spouse pop the balloons and read each sentiment aloud.