dinner at eight :: mexican fiesta

{Dinner at Eight is a special project I am doing with my friend Rebekah 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!}

I was so excited to surprise Erik with this week's Dinner at Eight! Mexican food is hands-down his favorite kind of food. Every time I make it, he tells me that he could eat it every day and never get tired of it. 

So I got to work planning. Erik's favorite steak tacos + all the fixings, check. My favorite recipe for Spanish rice, check. Mexican soda in glass bottles, check. Yellow tissue paper flowers, handmade by me, check. Chips + salsa (of course), check. A yummy Mexican inspired dessert, check. Pina Coladas to drink, check.

Yet, for all the pre-planning I did, I still procrastinated. I still waited until the last minute to purchase everything I needed. I completely disregarded my own suggestions for getting the little ones to bed early. In the end I was completely stressed out and overwhelmed trying to pull the whole thing off.

In one of my lowest moments, I remember yelling at Audrey to give me space so that I could make the tissue paper flowers for the table decorations. That is when God stopped me in my tracks. What was I doing? Were silly flowers really more important than my sweet little girl? Was it really necessary to spend my time + energy making them when my attention so obviously needed to be elsewhere?

I put my dinner plans + preparations aside. I sat and cuddled with my little ones for a bit. Then I made them dinner and talked to them about their day. Yes, I still had preparations for Dinner at Eight to do when Erik got home. And yes, I still had to run to the store to get a few last minute things. But my heart was in a much better place for it.

Our dinner was so lovely. Sure, it could have been eaten earlier. Sure, my decorations could have been fancier. Sure, we could have watched a Mexican inspired movie instead of Survior + Parenthood. But friends, it was still so perfect. Erik felt very loved (he told me so!) and as cheesy as it sounds, we went to bed with our stomachs and our hearts so very full.

And that my friends, is what Dinner at Eight is all about. It is so fun to plan our dates around a theme- to get caught up + inspired by the decorations and the meal planning, the whole atmosphere of the evening. But more than anything, it is about taking the time to celebrate our husbands. To show them love. To nurture our marriages. I feel like I say this every time, but being intentional is so, so powerful. And God can do amazing things with our hearts and our relationships with our husbands when we put forth heartfelt effort and attention.

I would love to hear in the comments about some of the creative ways that you are being intentional in your marriages!

And you can check out Rebekah's Mexican fiesta HERE!


chocolate ice-cream with brownie chunks
fudge sauce
whipped cream
a spinkle of cinnamon

Layer your ingredients in the order listed.
Next time I am going to add homemade cinnamon brownies for the bottom layer.
Don't be afraid of being generous with the sprinkle of cinnamon on top...
I wasn't sure about how it would taste myself and it was so yummy!


  1. You're adorable. I love all of the details you thought of-- even Mexican soda! Sweetest wife ever. I have a secret plan to put together an at-home Italian date night for Karl, with a few little goodies I snuck back home in my suitcase from our trip, including little Italian paper gelato cups and paper placemats with Italian writing on them. For now, it's just an idea, but I need to get it on the calendar!

  2. you are lovely Andi~ Anne

  3. You are onto something here.... something quite impressive and (not surprising-coming-from-you...)something beautiful!! I love reading your Dinner at Eight posts. Shoot, I love reading ALL your posts! But every time I read about a special, intentional date you have thoughtfully prepared to bless Erik & create a memorable night, I am inspired. I keep thinking, "I should try this, it could be soooo much fun & a real joy." And then for whatever reason, I don't follow through. But it's time. ;) Ok, this Thursday!!... stay tuned. ;) (Or, you might be getting some texts from me for ideas.) :) haha. Love you heaps & hope you have a GREAT weekend!!!! Miss you sweet, wonderful Friend!!

  4. A husband and a wife; a night together; special atmosphere; feeling loved and special. All delightful!

  5. Full stomachs and hearts might sound cheesy but it feels really good.

    Your date sounds lovely.

    Thanks for the inspiration,