Summer Mood – Research – It Makes Sense!

Two things we have in common – for better or worse – is the temperature our bodies feel!  That means in the winter we are freezing cold and in the summer we start to warm up – just a little!  So we struggle to keep our bodies warm during the winter and REALLY look forward to the summer.

New Hampshire has had one of the coolest and wettest springs on record – and that hasn’t been good for our psyche – or our bodies.  But this past week – PRAISE THE LORD – has finally hit the 80s!

Seriously – we usually have a couple of rogue 90 degree days in May and several 90 degree days in June but we have barely even hit the 80s until this week!

Why do we tell you this?  Well there just happens to some science behind the fact that warmer temperatures increase our mood.  And when our mood increases our relations are even better with our spouse!

This is from a study by the University of Michigan:

Get out—for at least 30 minutes. The positive impact warm, sunny weather can have on mental health and mood is real, according to new U-M research.

Taking a trip to someplace warm in the middle of winter or lingering outside when spring arrives can be especially beneficial, with pleasant weather improving mood, memory and broadening cognitive style (openness to new information and creative thoughts)…

As the survey suggested, we have gotten in the habit of taking our “alone” trip to a warm spot just before Thanksgiving so that it gives us a good jolt of warmth before the long, cold winter sets in!

Another interesting statistic:

The researchers also found the optimal temperature for mood for most Americans is 72 degrees, about room temperature, with mood decreasing if temperatures became significantly higher or lower. There were regional differences, however, with mood peaking at 65 degrees in Michigan and 86 degrees in considerably warmer Texas.

We will say that we keep our house at about 68 (for financial purposes especially) during the winter and we rarely feel warm!  The house has been 72 this week and we finally feel like we are thawing out.

So now that summer is here – take a walk with your spouse, or a jog, or go catch a nice warm sunset!

Happy summer!

 

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Here’s A Question: What Is Marriage?

Ask that question and everyone will have a different marriage:

“Marrying your best friend”

“Living life with your soulmate”

“Not being able to live without your partner”

We just finished the Love & Respect video series and cannot even begin to tell you how much we learned about marriage, relationships, men and women, and most importantly the role of God in our marriage.

As we all know, dealing with conflict in marriage is the 800 pound gorilla.  Continue reading “Here’s A Question: What Is Marriage?”

A Text or Two a Day

For us middle aged folk, we might be able to learn something from the younger crowd  with respect to technology and relationships.

Regardless of your age, how often do you communicate with your spouse during the day?  One time – two times – NO times?

Would you believe that, according to Pew Research, 85% of young people expect to hear from their partner at least once a day.  35% expect to hear every few hours!  Thankfully only 11% expect it every hour.  Phew…

Another interesting stat among the 18-25 year old crowd Continue reading “A Text or Two a Day”

Listening, Sharing, Cheering, Dreaming and…Dying

Guys – Do you listen closely to your woman?  Or do you immediately jump to wanting to fix the issue she is having?

Women – Do you cheer your man on at work and in his recreational activities?  Or do you not think about it?

Guys – Do you share your feelings with your wife?  We can hear you laughing!  But seriously, the love of your life wants to know how and what you are feeling – at least occasionally!

Women – Do you talk to your husband about what his dreams are?  And encourage him in his dreams?  When he talks about his dreams do you react positively or just say “oh that’s interesting”?

We know that God made men to want to fix things and most men have to consciously go out of their way to just listen to their spouse.  Continue reading “Listening, Sharing, Cheering, Dreaming and…Dying”

Who Is In Your Church?

We read a quote and statistic today that was eye-catching to say the least!

40% of families in your church and community are blended families.

– FamilyLife

Yup – that’s us!  We are in the growing statistic of couples who got married, had kids, got divorced and then remarried.  And our kids are still under 18 so they are living with us part-time.

There was a time, which seemed not too long ago, when our churches and communities were mostly filled with the “traditional” family – meaning married once with kids.

But, as we all know, over the last couple of decades blended family living has been on the rapid increase.

In fact, approximately 33% of all weddings today will form step-families. Continue reading “Who Is In Your Church?”

50th Anniversary!

As we sit here at the 50th anniversary of the New Hampshire Special Olympics Summer Games – it gives us great perspective on life.

In marriage, so many of our challenges come from being two different people with opposing viewpoints.

Here, we are watching a community of Special Olympics athletes who have intellectual and/or physical challenges because they were either born with them or had some event that caused their disability.

Michael’s son, Liam, was born with Down syndrome. For those who don’t know, Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra 21st chromosome. It is typically associated with physical growth delays, moderate intellectual disability and characteristic facial features. Continue reading “50th Anniversary!”

Remember The Newlywed Game?

How many of you remember this game show?  If you’re from a younger generation, probably not so much.  But our generation witnessed it’s second release in the late 80’s and there was a third release in the mid 90’s after a very successful initial period from 1966-1974.

By the way, if you want to laugh – go to youtube and watch some funny moments from the old Newlywed Game.  There are some hilarious ones there.  Remember the term: “makin’ whoopee”?

Anyway, the purpose of the show is based on how well newlyweds know each other.  However, a few times Bob Eubanks opened the show with a letter from a viewer who said they have been married 10 years, ask themselves the same questions and only get 20% right.  That led to a game with “old-timers”. Continue reading “Remember The Newlywed Game?”

“I’m Sorry.”

Two words never have had such a significant impact and meaning to your spouse.  And we cannot overestimate that importance!

We’re going to keep this one pretty short.  It has been something the two of us have learned so much about in our first two years of marriage.

You may have heard the line made famous from the 1970’s movie Love Story: “Love means you never have to say you’re sorry.”  That is absolutely wrong! 

Love means saying you’re sorry and being genuine about it.

Misunderstanding and hurt is inevitable in marriage.  So saying you’re sorry is one of the most simple things you can do to help your relationship.

A quick three things:

  1. Saying your sorry means you recognize your behavior has an impact on those around you.
  2. Saying your sorry avoids the cycle of fighting about who is right.
  3. Saying your sorry builds trust and mutual respect.

We try to remember this.  Of course, like everyone, we fail but we are constantly learning and striving to be better to each other.

As simple as this issue is, we may be back to expand on it later because it is so important to a marriage.

Have a great weekend!

 

Pillow Talk

This is good.  First of all, who doesn’t love their pillow?  Second, adding the comfort of your pillow to the love of your spouse and you get a magical combination!  Unless, of course, you have a pillow problem – which we have had – but we’ll save that for another day.  Let’s assume for this post that everyone is comfortable with their pillow!

We have four kids between 10-17 who have tons of activities, and we each have our own careers.  There are days when finding time to connect are downright impossible!  Then we find ourselves falling asleep on the couch as we begin to wind down our day after the kids go to bed.

Now, we all know the importance of connecting with our spouse each day, and at a minimum, we should find 10-15 minutes to just talk one-on-one.  “Pillow talk” may be that one opportunity to connect so let’s dig in to this a little deeper.

This definition of “pillow talk” in the urban dictionary is perfect: for two people to enjoy each other’s presence through conversation, in a somewhat spontaneous way, but in a way that will let both parties go to bed with clear heads. Continue reading “Pillow Talk”

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