Dinner at Eight

banner image Irene Suchocki

{the mister + I on our wedding day- 1.24.2000}

This summer will mark a very special date in my marriage. On July 6, I will have known my husband Erik for half of my life. Half of my life!

Now, I could just look at that and feel super old. And while that is a teeny bit true, I mostly feel so overwhelmingly blessed. So blessed. How did I get so lucky as to have this man, this amazing and good man, as my husband, my best friend, my partner in life?

The frustrating and convicting thing is, I take him for granted. Oh, I love him. And I do tell him so in words all the time. But how often do I take the time to intentionally show him that love in my actions?

Oh, friends, not nearly enough. 

You see the thing is, I'm tired. I'm worn out. We have two little ones five and under and geesh, they are exhausting! By the time Erik comes home from work, it is all I can do sometimes to get the family through dinner + bedtimes before I crash.

The problem with that is I am not being intentional. It is not just Erik and I anymore. It is not just the two of us and the entire weekend all to ourselves. And as much as I want to say marriage comes so easy, the truth of the matter is it is hard, hard work. We have to be purposeful in our relationship. Purposeful in prioritizing our time and each other.

{my little family, Autumn 2010- photo taken by Leslie}

And I know I am not alone. I know there are other women out there who truly desire to be intentional in their marriages. To show love in action to their husbands. 

With that in mind, I am so excited to share a project my dear friend Rebekah and I have put together: Dinner at Eight.

What does being intentional in our marriages look like? 

How can we date our husbands when money is tight, babysitters are scarce, and we have to spend another night in at home?

Every couple of weeks Rebekah and I are going to be sharing on our individual blogs, practical ideas for dating our husbands and showing them our love in action.



We thought a good way to start off this first week would be with quick Q+A about us +  our marriages:

Q. When and where did you meet your husband?
A. I met my husband Erik at Malibu, a Young Life camp in British Columbia, Canada. It was the summer before my senior year of high school and I was seventeen.

I wrote a shortened version of our story here a few years ago, but I think I am going to have to write the more lengthy version soon. Looking back, it is amazing to see how God's hand was in our relationship from the very beginning, and then throughout two years of dating long-distance. Yes, I will have to share the story soon!

Q. How long have you been married?
A. In June it will be eleven years! I feel so old!

Q. What do you think is the biggest challenge in your married life right now?
A.I know I mentioned it like a million times in my introduction already, but really our biggest challenge is just being intentional with each other. I know Erik loves me, he knows I love him. We truly are best friends and enjoy each other's company so much. But having a young family means that we are really TIRED! And when you are tired, sometimes all you want to do is be alone, or watch netflix, or go sleep! And once in awhile that is fine. But all the time? Not so healthy for the marriage.

Q. What is one of your favorite dates you have ever had with your husband?
A. You know, there are lots of big dates that stand out- our first couple of dates were really memorable, and we have done quite a bit of traveling, so those have always included fun dates. But I think my favorite dates are honestly the ones at home. Our favorite popcorn is always involved, there is lots of laughing, probably some crying (on my part, not his), and good, heart-felt conversation. Oh, that and road trips. We really really love road trips!

Q. What excites you the most about this project?
A. I am excited about dating my husband! About taking the time to really plan out special evenings for Erik. I think back to when we first started our relationship and how I was so intentional in everything I did. While I am so grateful for the comfort of marriage, and being able to be myself 100% of the time, I also long for those days of being so purposeful in my relationship with him.I am excited to see how this project will grow and strengthen our marriage. And I have no doubt that it will! 

And I am also really excited about the opportunity to set a good example to my children of what being intentional with your spouse looks like. I want my kids to know that their daddy is really special + loved by me! I want them to see me making him a priority and going out of my way to treat him well. 


Don't forget to check out Rebekah's blog and her first Dinner at Eight post! 

And join us next week for a special Valentine's Day edition of Dinner at Eight.


  1. Lovely, Andi! Anything that is about marriage and starts with a sweet wedding photo of some of my favorite people is lovely. All good stuff (How late did you stay up to make this happen!?) I think the last paragraph grabs me as my favorite. And that family pic by Leslie~~ O MY! LOVE IT! WANT IT!

  2. it is possible i knew some of your young life leaders the summer you guys met at Camp Malibu...what a small world!

  3. That's a great family picture!

    Can't wait to see what you two gals come up with!
    A great idea!

  4. My girls and I have spoken often of your wedding, your bare feet, it being more of a worship service and not just an event.
    Life is hard, and yes, you have to work at the whole marrige relationship. Everyday say I love you, somehow, and all the bumps along the way will be well worth it.

  5. Oh dear sweet, Andi! I love this! I love how you purposefully set out to find a creative way to be intentional - to make him feel extra loved. You are soooo spot on in what you share here... having a young family IS exhausting, and often times we are too tired at the end of the day to pour into our hubbies. But when I think back to (just like you say you were with Erik) how intentional we were when we were dating - (implying a myriad of things!... maybe wearing earings or taking the time to "dress up" just for him, or thinking of creative ways to show him how much we care... all those things seem to hit the wayside when - again, just as you say - sometimes it's all we can do just to get the kids through dinner & bed time routines before we, too, crash. I LOVE the idea of dating our hubbies & maybe that means dinner at 8, lighting some candles as we visit at the table and enjoy a leisurely dinner after the kids are in bed. I love your heart & this idea!!! Thank you for your beautiful, EXTRAordinary life! :) Love you, Andi!!!!
    P.S. You have been on my heart much this week dear Friend...

  6. I wish I could be original, but honestly, everything that Susan said I completely agree with - including wanting a copy of that adorable family picture.
    Rick and I were just talking this morning about how fragile life is and he quoted a song from country artist Garth Brooks that goes like this: "If my time on earth were through and she must face this world without me, is the love I gave her in the past going to be enough to last? If tomorrow never comes..."
    Makes one consider, huh?

  7. This is wonderful! I love the idea of being "intentional". Right now, my challenge with Evan is trying to be a wife while he's on the other side of the world, quite literally. What can I do everyday for him even if he doesn't know I did it, that shows my love and support for him. It's a challenge! But I love doing it for him.
    One fun easy date that we do sometimes is making dinner, but setting it up as a picnic on the living room floor, with blankets and candles and such. It feels like something out of the norm and special, but it's so easy we always have such a good time :)

  8. cheering you on in this pursuit, andi! love that you and rebekah have connected in ways to deeply encourage one another in your marriages and lives as mamas and women. (and i love the family portrait you included with this post; so real & beautiful.) xo

  9. really excited about this andi! i hear you, it's so so hard. jeff is even working from home now and we see more of him than ever, but it's funny that we still have hardly any 'us' time. after graham goes to bed we stay up really super late working, then crash into bed exhausted and having not really shared any special time at all.

  10. This is a super idea! Can't wait to follow along and try out your ideas!

  11. I love your post and I am so totally with you - I want to be more intentional with David too! I'm so excited to see what this unfolds!