Day 4: A Surprise Snack and Why Learning Preferences is Helpful

Hello from our 9th day out of town! We’ve been in Charlotte for the past week with my family, and are spending our last couple days with Mike’s parents before heading home.

Two things we’ve learned:

  1. It’s basically impossible to keep up with the #31creativeways challenge while on vacation.
  2. It’s basically impossible to keep up with the no-TV-watching challenge while on vacation.

It’s been 4 minutes since I last watched TV, having walked away from the Lifetime movie my mother-in-law and I were getting into so I could focus my attention on finally writing this blog entry.*

*Okay, so I’m actually listening to the Lifetime movie while I write. I have to know if this movie about a girl suspicious of dating apps is going to end up being a horror film like the movie that came before it about the babysitter who wanted to destroy the perfect family. So it’s been, like, 3.5 hours since I last wasn’t watching TV.

I also haven’t given much thought to loving and encouraging Mike intentionally as we spend time with family, visit with friends, and attend midnight release parties for “the new Harry Potter book” (having read the book, I’m of the opinion that this book feels more like fan fiction than canon). And it’s been a rather unique week in which lots of discussions and prayers* revolve around the future. This means there is less loving Mike intentionally and more Mike loving me unconditionally as I occasionally fall into emotional black holes. Another blog entry for another day, am I right?

*I haven’t kept up with praying daily, but we’ve prayed together a couple times this past week. That’s something! It’s hard for me to pray when Mike and I are working through things together and I don’t see his point of view. Perhaps that’s another reason why praying for him daily is important. I think it’ll help me to consider things from his perspective and for his best interest instead of just my own. 

Although we’ve taken a break on activities over vacation, I was able to complete Day 4 the Wednesday before we left. I’d actually read about this activity in advance, so I was ready to respond when inspiration struck. Noah and I were at the church. I’d had a meeting, so Mike had agreed to watch Noah for me. After the meeting, I’d loaded Noah up in the car and pulled up to the stop sign at the parking lot exit. It was then that I remembered Day 4’s activity: make a snack for your hubs.

What I did:

Here’s the deal. I’m not a big “make food” kind of person. Mike isn’t home during ideal snack times. I don’t pack his lunch. (He hardly packs his lunch, either. The fact that we need to eat somehow takes both of us by surprise three times a day, every day. It’s a miracle Noah is still alive.) But there is something I know he loves, so I decided to improvise. Instead of turning right toward home, I turned left toward the nearest Starbucks.



If you want Mike Paschal to know you love him, you buy him his latest favorite Starbucks beverage and a warmed blueberry muffin. The man was ecstatic. His face lit up when I showed up outside the door where he was meeting, S’mores Frappuccino and muffin in hand.

What I learned:

It’s easier to come up with ways to surprise Mike like this when I know what he enjoys! And one quick way to know what he enjoys is by familiarizing myself with a few of his favorite things. I’d texted him a couple days before this activity so I could be prepared (without him catching on to what exactly would be coming). Here are the few questions I asked:

What’s your…

  • Favorite breakfast?
  • Favorite lunch?
  • Favorite dinner?
  • Favorite snack?*
  • Favorite beverage?
  • Favorite candy or travel snack?

Simple. 🙂 I feel like I’m getting to know Mike all over again when I get updates on things like this.  And there’s nothing more exhilarating than seeing the excitement on his face when I surprise him with a little something I know he loves. With that said, I totally suggest you take this idea and run with it this week. Ask one of your people about their faves. Spouse, significant other, friend, family member. Do something for them. Make their day. It’ll be fun. 🙂

*Confession: Mike didn’t actually have the Starbucks drink & pastry down as his favorite snack. His response to that question was spinach dip, but ain’t nobody got time for that I know how much he loves his Starbucks in the afternoon, so I went with that instead.

Next time: a spontaneous evening that was not part of the #31creativeways challenge, but might as well have been.

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