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Showing posts from July, 2018

What Makes a Good Gift?

Our youngest child graduated from high school this spring, and our gift to him was a grad party.   Grad parties are a big deal where we live – white tents, catered food, a fancy cake, and a display of photos of the graduate growing up.   And, of course, that pretty box for guests to place their cards! Last weekend, as we wrote yet another check to place in a pretty box, we got to talking about giving gifts.   This summer gifts have almost exclusively been of money.   We took a step back and considered what gifts we have we been giving each other this summer.   And, what makes a good gift?   Money?   Time?   Our favorite gifts to give each other are gifts of our self with the other in mind. We learned this a while back when some friends recommended that we give a gift of ourselves to each other for two weeks.   They encouraged us to choose a simple, everyday gift, something we did not readily do.   Examples of their past gifts to each other were putting the toilet seat down

I Will ROMANCE You Every Day of My Life

Ahh, Romance!  You may be thinking wine, roses, candle light dinners and such.  Every day would get pretty expensive.  Let's call that dating -- more about that in another post.  Dating involves an invitation -- that is half the fun.   Romance is simple and spontaneous. Romance is defined as " a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love and remoteness from everyday life. "    Used with Permission Romance is a passionate kiss, turning off the TV and snuggling on the couch.   Some of our favorite ways to romance each other are turning off the road into a remote parking spot just to talk, or enjoy a sunset together.   Tom has called me on his way home: "OMG look at the sunset!"   Enjoying it on the phone adds mystery and intrigue and I can't wait to bear hug him when he pulls into the driveway!   A non-agenda phone call or text with a special emoji ( not an update to the honey do list) is a great way to say I love you.   Romance is be

Tone of Voice

Something that we’ve become increasingly aware of in our marriage is how our tone of voice so significantly affects our communication – for better or for worse! It is remarkable how something so seemingly small can make such a huge impact on whether our communication is healthy, productive, and enriching or debilitating, disheartening, and provocative. Believe it or not, tone of voice is huge. WE would go as far as to say tone of voice is at the root of most of the small hurts we experience in our relationship. Perhaps it would be easier to make our case using an example. Recently, we were trying to get out of the house to go to church and be on time. I (Stephanie) have to admit I am typically the one who is running behind trying to get one last thing put away or rushing because I did not plan my time well. Paul will often playfully turn the hall light on and off letting me know he is by the door ready and waiting. Usually I will laugh it off and tell him I am coming. This pa

It's Not About the Dress

It’s Not About The Dress   The wedding venue, the dress, the flowers, the photographer...when did all this get to be so important?   Rather than making TV shows like “Say Yes to the Dress,” we would like to have a reality TV show where a young couple gets together with their parents and grandparents and they talk about the REAL stuff of life and love.  One thing is for sure… It’s not about the dress.  It’s about what to say (or NOT say) when your spouse doesn’t get home from work at the time you expected.  It’s about dirty dishes and dirty diapers.  It’s about planning holidays around two different families often hundreds of miles apart. It’s about HOW to express feelings in a healthy way.    Rather than the perfect wedding dress, marriage is about laughing at spontaneous inside jokes with your spouse, who is also your best friend.  It’s about that knowing look and heart melting moment when after 5 or 15 or 55 years of Marriage, ‘your song’ comes on the radio. It’s also a