non-glamorous {monday day dates}

i actually prefer the non-glamorous ones.

expectations are low. cost typically is too.

while it's not zip lining from the redwood canopies or trying sea urchin for the very first time,

it's low key and that can be absolutely perfect.

 this isn't just any ceasar salad and pizza.

it's tony's.

and to san franciscans, that means something.

ben and i haven't been here, just the two of us, since the early days of calling this place home.

in fact, today we were reminiscing of taking a bus here and not exactly sure when to get off!

i also commented about the reality of the scents of the city choking us in the past, but now the smells are...well, normal.

this time, we gambled a bit and parked in a parking spot that technically had a construction zone sign on the curb. living dangerously, i know.

this is the best magharita pizza on the planet. and tony is a world-renown genius when it comes to pizza.

as i was in another local boutique last week, i was talking with the shop owner who told me a really cool story about tony.

a new restaurant was under construction across the street from tony's pizza.

while the work was going on, tony would send over pizzas to the crew.

that makes this local smile!

{i could greatly divert here and say how valuable it is to get to know the service people and shop owners in your town, but that's in my book and i know you're reading it!}


then we went across the street to an original hat store. we know that a friend who has visited from missouri bought a hat here and our worship pastor friend has too. since ben will need a hat in india, we stopped in.


it only helped the experience that i watched downton abbey last night. for a moment, i forget our purpose for being there.  immediately i was shopping for a hat that i would need for my outing to london with lady mary crowley.

oh wait. ben needs me. back to his needs!


i chatted with the gal helping with our purchase...

we were in the original store and there's now more in the bay area and around the country.

doesn't ben look swell!? it fits him.

these non-glamorous dates have me laughing hard and often.

and like my pastor husband spoke of on sunday, you reap what you sow.

connection isn't a guarantee simply because we're married to each other.

connection takes quality time together.

the glamorous and the non-glamorous.

since our last {monday day date} we have had 2 court hearings! 
i don't know how many more of these dates we will have before these dates 
become 3 of us on mondays together. the latest adoption post here.



ritual {monday day dates}

it's the coffee.

but it's so much more.



so ritual is the name of a coffee shop in the city, but we stumbled upon another in napa today as we needed a place to sit and read and be caffeinated.


the coffee shop sits in this market near downtown napa in what i would describe as a chic open market with restaurants, artisans, and delicacies.


so to catch you pastor husband and i are making deposits by spending time together on mondays, his day off, before we travel to india to bring home our daughter. and embark on another adventure in life! monday {day} dates and revisit the past few years are the previous two posts about such dates.


it comes from the root meaning a customary service or practice. 

that's what mondays are for us right now in this season.

for us, it looks like leaving the pile of weekend laundry and crumby floors and not doing "work."

this means we have to leave the house and not go near the office!

so today...the east bay and napa.


our central plan was to enjoy lunch at assemble {recommended by our brother-in-law matthew}. and we love recommendations.

assemble opened at 11:30 and we were there with growling stomachs.

interestingly, this restaurant is located deep in the industrial park of richmond, california.

the street dead ends into an old ford assembly plant {hence the restaurant name...clever, huh?}

now, the plant is home to columbia and mountain gear clothing.

and there's a national historical park and visitor's center because the plant and surrounding land was home to shipyards during world war II.


so i learned a litte more about rosie the riveter and how the bay area was so attractive to whites and blacks alike in the midst of the great depression to come for work in the shipyards. how the women found purpose in working outside the home while the men went to war. how childcare centers and after school programs grew in high demand with moms no longer at home.


henry kaiser saw the future and got the shipyards ready before the usa was fully involved in the war.


this day continues to explain the diversity in our city and through the messiness of war and drastic cultural and religious practices, how people learn to work and live together for the good of a nation and the world.


and then this...


a faint view of the city.

a city that looks gray, but once in the midst, is full of color.

a city that me and my pastor husband can't get enough of!

and escape {step back} to see the very place God has called us to.

then we give thanks and eat!


frito pie in the frito bag, kale salad with bacon dressing, sliders and fries and one of the last slices of mississippi mud pie.

who says we can't leave the south and still not get a taste of it!?

then back to the city.

back to the kids.

back to the pile of weekend laundry and work.

but with someone who is on my side and has heard my thoughts and dreams and fears.

deposits made.

what is a ritual you have or will start with your spouse? 
put it on the calendar. 
keep at it!

revisit the past few years together {monday day dates}

one would think this would be a natural conversation between a husband and wife,

what the past few years have been like together, 

but i'm not betting my monday dates on it.

this requires more minutes than our kids tend to give us and more emotional energy than we can muster up most days.

all the more reason to have this conversation together.

this morning we sat down with a couple who are most likely going to plant a church in the bay area.

first, that's always a major win for us as we LOVE this area and want more people to know Christ.

and second, we shared our stories over a few plates of this...


it's more than can be captured on a phone camera.

it's the thickest slice of bacon, slathered in syrupy goodness and sprinkled with just enough spice.

they call it millionaire's bacon and you can find it at sweep maple.

now. what was i writing about?

oh yes. revisiting the last few years together.

this was a much easier conversation because we were sharing our story with a couple with whom we have some commonalities:

church planting. marriage. parenting. love for bay area. sports.

we got a moment today to verbalize what life was like before we stepped out in faith, before we moved to san francisco.

then we shared struggles that have shaped us into hopefully better people.

we laughed about some of our decisions and failures, but got to speak with confidence in what we've seen God do despite us.

i left our time together with this fabulous couple and felt like it was so good for our souls and hoped they were encouraged!

it was so refreshing to revisit the last few years together.

time goes by so fast and we often assume that the other person that sleeps by us at night is rolling along in life too.

talking about what we've experienced together in the past season or year or month is a reconnect.

and reconnects are necessary to fuel the passion in your marriage to keep pursuing God-given dreams that are beyond mundane and cause you to lean on each other for support.

while we got to revisit and reconnect today, why don't you try it?

invite your best friends over for dinner and share your stories.

that new couple at church or at work? sure. learn from each other.

i guarantee there's a couple that's just a few steps ahead of you or a few steps behind you that could use a reconnect.

that's our monday {day} date. extremely simple. but a deposit worth its weight in gold.

and next week?

it will be the 5 of us for a holiday excursion. and i'm certain it will be rather spontaneous.

monday {day} dates

we're making deposits.

for now, we have mondays together.

just the two of us.

and we're making the most of it.


we've been going on monday {day} dates for the past year and a half as our three boys are in school

and as we wait for our daughter to join our family.


these deposits add up.

they are what we've been given for right now.

we don't know how much longer we will have mondays, just the two of us.

so, we're making deposits.

what we put into our mondays together, we can withdraw when the season changes.

but for now, we're stocking up and the return on our investment is going to be grand!

today: point reyes lighthouse.


this meant when we dropped the boys off at school at 7:30,

we would drive a curvy 2 hours to the jagged edge of the pacific.


"doesn't get better than this," read the weather sign.

utterly quiet.

it was as if the sound machine playing oceans was on.

oh wait. it's the other way around.

gray whales spotted between two fishing boats.

it doesn't get better than this.



the number of steps down to the lighthouse.

interestingly enough, the same amount climbing up. they just felt more like 616.


the keeper of the lighthouse had to be very lonely and under-appreciated.


some went mad and crazy living such isolated, rigorous lives.


as glorious as the view was today, i was thankful to be with my favorite person on planet earth.

with whom did the lighthouse keeper share his days?

who did he tell when he spotted the gray whales on their way from alaska to mexico in january?

he toiled for the crew aboard the ships that he probably rarely met.


life is meant to be shared.

life gives us moments to make deposits.

to stock up on a good thing when we've got it.



every step together adds to our legacy we give our children.

every step together breathes life into our relationship benefiting our other relationships.

deposits made reap benefits.

each one matters.


and monday {day} dates only count if a sweet or pastry is involved.

bovine bakery, a meandering off the curvy road back home.

what will we do next monday?

it's ben's turn to plan.

but more deposits for sure.