The Dollar Tree is my home away from home! This place is seriously magical. I think Noah has been to the Dollar Tree more times than he’s taken a bath! 🙂
I was pushing Noah around in his stroller the other day, going up and down the aisles of our favorite store and something caught my eye! It was a set of two puzzles, 50 pieces each. They were small – just the right size to challenge the brain but not too big that you go insane with the endless project cluttering the dining room table. AND the most magical thing about the puzzles was that they were DISNEY – with Mickey and Minnie and even Donald.
I had a brilliant idea.
$1.06 later, I was walking out of there with a big smile on my face, thinking about the fun Ryan and I were going to have that night after Noah went to sleep.
We put the baby to bed, ate dinner, and watched an epispode of HOUSE (our NEW obsession! I LOVE that show!), and then just before Ryan hit the remote to play another, I jump up and say, “Wait! I have something we are going to do!!!”
I race to the bedroom where my treasure awaits and then race back to my husband, who sits on the couch with a grin because I am always keeping him guessing with random bits of magicalness.
I toss one of the puzzle boxes in front of him, “We are going to have a race to see who can finish their puzzle first!”
“What do I get if I win?” he asks.
“Brisket and Mac and Cheese,” I declare, not missing a beat (I know that one of the only ways to get him to do stuff with me is to use food as a lure).
“Done,” he replies and starts to rip open his box.
“Wait!” I cry, “What do I get?”
We think about this for a minute.
“Full body massage!” I finally say, feeling pretty confident that I’m going to win. I mean, I am a teacher. Teachers are supposed to be awesome at puzzles and crafts and stuff like that.
Ryan gets this twinkle in his eye, “You’re on!”
And our puzzling date begins!
A person could hear a leaf fall in Pennsylvania for how quiet it is in the room as we each frantically try to put our pieces together. Halfway through, Ryan shouts, “Hey! I think I just heard Noah!” Which then throws me off for a second as my Mommy Worries drop my puzzle piece and reach for the monitor. Then I realize he is just buying himself more time! He’s over at his puzzle snickering and looking remarkably close to being finished.
“You Meanie-Head!” I spat and then I lean over to swat his arm so he is forced to drop his puzzle piece.
Our date is a puzzling one. Puzzling in that we are slowly digressing in maturity. 🙂
I see that Ryan is almost done and I am close too. It’s neck and neck. I start heeving and huffing like a lady in labor. This is intense!
“DONE!” Ryan cries out in celebration!
I look down at my puzzle. Only 4 pieces left!! So close! I head to the kitchen to write a grocery list.
But Ryan’s not done.
“Let’s do it again and switch puzzles.”
I prance back happily, “Ok!”
We play again, desperate to put our puzzles together as quick as those Nascar people change tires!
I think, “This is a great idea. Everyone needs to do this with their husbands!”
“DONE!” I shout and proceed to raise my arms above my head in victory.
But Ryan’s not too happy about my win. I’ve hurt his male pride. Oops, maybe I should have let him win. Maybe I should have gone slower on purpose. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.
“I’m sorry, Big Hunny!” I say and crawl around the table to give him some love, “You are the best Puzzle Maker ever! I didn’t mean to gloat! I just got so caught up in the magic of it all!”
“You’re right,” he says, “It’s a silly thing to get upset about. That was fun!”
And then he kisses me and stands up to get the massage oil. 🙂
Ladies, what a fun idea to do with your husband! Hit up your local Dollar Tree and grab a set of puzzles. Put the kids to bed, decide on the stakes, and then start your competition! Then switch it up! You’ll be laughing yourselves to “pieces!”
As a special treat, I am GIVING AWAY a brand new set of puzzles!!!!! Leave a comment below with your name and email address and you’ll be entered for a chance to win two 50 piece Disney puzzles for some Date Your Mate Magic! Giveaway ends SATURDAY, August 28th at midnight! Winner will be notified by EMAIL. Sign up now to help build your happy home!
You crack me up. What a fun idea!
[email protected] :o)
I was mad… but I recovered quickly. =) I think my male pride is more offended by the lack of caption explaining that ridiculous picture of me with the crazy eyes. We were both supposed to make silly faces but you tricked me!
What a great idea!
What an AMAZING idea Julie <3 you are so awesome!! Miss that little Noah <3
So fun!!! You guys are hilarious… Life would be so boring without you! =) Love you both!
Happy Home Fairy
CHRISTEN YOU WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 I put all of the names in a cup and made Ryan pull the winner and he pulled your name!!!!!! Isn’t that funny?!?! Must be brother/sister vibe-age!!! I will get the puzzles to you before your next date night. Xoxo
Ya’ll are THE BEST!! I am SOOO up for that challenge with Dave! We’ve been playing “spoons” with our family, and it gets really brutal – but I think the Disney puzzle competition is a great new idea for the Healy fam!;-)
Happy Home Fairy
WE LOOOOOVE SPOONS! That game does get intense!!!!
I don’t know if I can wait long enough to see if I’ve won… I might have to hit up the dollar store tomorrow!
lauriesibley (at) gmail (dot) com
Also, Ryan– Something tells me that giving your wife a full body massage means you win, too…
such a cute idea!!!! Thank you! [email protected]
You are the most creative ever! Love the idea and the great pictures too 🙂
julie, you are such an incredibly gifted writer! :o) i love the game and the pictures. soooooo funny that rascal, ryan!
p.s. i'm glad you won! (sorry, ry!)
You are too Funny. I love this idea. Keep em coming!
such a FUN, fun stay-at-home date!! Love it!
I love this idea! I’m always trying to think of cheap-o yet fun and meaningful things to do together. Thanks for the inspiration!