Major Announcement!

We are two people who absolutely LOVE marriage!  Who else loves marriage?

We are so happy to be entering a new season in our marriage.  Throughout our engagement three years ago we made a commitment to build a resource for married couples – newlyweds, remarried couples, and veteran married couples of 15-25-35+ and even those who are engaged.  We have heard from so many couples that there are too few places they can go to invest in and build a resilient marriage.

So here we are today with a MAJOR announcement!  We are SO excited to announce the first of it’s kind marriage event right here in New Hampshire!

One of the top marriage experts in America, Ron Deal, is coming to Jaffrey, New Hampshire for a marriage conference.  Come to the conference for the day or come for the weekend for a bonus session.

Check it out hereFree childcare too – so hopefully there is no reason to miss it!

New Hampshire has not had a marriage conference like this in recent memory so PLEASE take advantage of it!

We met Ron Deal one year ago and at that time decided to arrange for his visit to New Hampshire.  We know first hand how he can impact marriages.  He has such a unique gift and we guarantee that you and your spouse will be enriched by this event.

Please join us!

2nd Anniversary

You wouldn’t think these low numbered milestones are very important.  But given the chaos we have gone through in our first two years of marriage, we are here to tell you that it is a BIG ONE for us!

Some days, it seems like we’ve been married for 5, 7 or even 10 years.  We have gone through more difficult experiences than any “typical” honeymoon couple would go through.

Most “typical” honeymoon couples go through issues of money, sex, and leaving the cap off the toothpaste! We are happy to say those haven’t been our issues.

However, as a remarried couple and one working on blending a family, our issues have been: ex- spouses, parenting styles, health issues and putting each other, and our marriage, first when we were both used to putting our children first for so many years during our divorce.

Here’s where we are today. Continue reading “2nd Anniversary”

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?”

Mike and Carol Brady had it right

We know, we know.  It’s just television and it wasn’t real.  BUT!  Mike and Carol Brady modeled some great behavior for us married folk!  And who doesn’t love the clothes, house and decor from the 70s? (NOTE: Michael Dennehy is a 1970s freak)

As you may know, we are both remarried and blending a family together.  Thinking way back to 1969 when The Brady Bunch first aired is a pretty remarkable storyline.  A couple remarrying, each having three kids and blending a family was not something that was very common.

Now, of course, we know firsthand that blending a family is not nearly as easy as it is on The Brady Bunch.  No one is screaming – “you’re not my real Dad!”, or “my real Mom would do it that way!”  However, it is pretty much understood that both of the Brady’s first spouses passed away which made it easier to blend 6 kids together when they only have Mr. and Mrs. Brady and the kids live together full-time.  But, still hard to believe it can ever be that easy!

Let’s get to what is realistic in the show and is a great modeling for marriages and families. Continue reading “Mike and Carol Brady had it right”

As victims, we learn to survive…and thrive

“Victim” may not be the most appropriate term, but it feels right given what we’ve been through – and what we know so many have been through as well.

Whether it is in marriage, or at work, or in other areas of life, we sometimes encounter people who attack us – and don’t stop.  For almost two years now, there has been someone in our lives who has gone all out to ruin our marriage and steal our joy on a weekly, and at times daily, basis.

During our engagement and through our first years of marriage we have been attacked and we didn’t know how to handle it.  We felt like victims.  And like most victims, survival is hard and even traumatic.

We’ve talked with and leaned on friends and they have constantly said, “Don’t let that person steal your joy.” Logically, we know they are right.  But as we get relentlessly attacked, it is hard not to feel victimized and helpless.

Only recently have we figured out how to survive…and actually thrive.

Several things have come together for us to get beyond this season in our life.  By creating a stronger marriage we are more equipped to handle the arrows headed our way.  We hope these few points can serve as hope for you or someone you know too.

  1. First and foremost, focus on your marriage and your relationship. Make sure you are both FULLY understanding each other.  Understand how you are being impacted and specifically hurt.  If you are being attacked it will impact you and your spouse differently – primarily because you are different people and different genders.  It is vitally important to get on the same page as your spouse in every possible way.  Counseling has been so important for us reconnecting better than we have ever connected.
  2. Research and use some self help books or video studies on marriage.  This will help you put your focus elsewhere.  We have a group that is learning about Love & Respect in marriage.  This has driven us to focus further on our marriage, our relationship and understanding each other.  We are more prepared now when one of us starts getting upset for one reason or another.  The group will also help you talk through the struggles.
  3. Find friends and people with wisdom to talk to and seek their support.  Perhaps they have been through something similar or maybe they will just be there to listen.  If they are a good friend, they will have something to offer. Don’t be afraid to ask them.
  4. Now the real hard part.  Avoid, ignore, and withdraw from any interaction with the person who is attacking you.  We have heard from many, and we understand that may be next to impossible with an ex-spouse that you share children with, but there are things that you can do to limit contact.  We won’t bore you with all the detail here but we are happy to chat privately about it with anyone who is interested.  The critically important element is not to engage in nonsense and only interact when necessary.  Don’t get drawn into fights.

As Christ followers, we know that the devil is after us.  We know that the devil truly hates that we got married and are growing a family together.  We know the devil despises the fact that we are trying to help others build strong, resilient marriages.  And we know that the devil uses people to pierce us where it hurts most.  John 10:10

Just knowing that doesn’t always help.  But, now that we have strengthened ourselves, we are moving beyond surviving and we are using our experiences to thrive.  This difficult season has helped us come together, understand each other and love even more.  We are very thankful for that blessing and that season.  And we hope you can gain some peace working through this too.

By the way, even if you aren’t being attacked, it is always good to practice the first 3 points above in an effort to get closer to your spouse.  You can never be close enough!

 

Cruisin’ For Closeness

For almost two years we’ve been blending a family.

Trying to get 4 very different kids to develop relationships together is harder than it looks. Unless you think it looks hard – then it’s exactly how it looks!

However, with last year’s vacation we felt we had a breakthrough because there were times when all 4 kids played together – more than we expected.

Then there were other moments like that throughout the year too.

So as we prepared for our second family vacation together we had high expectations that the kids would grow even closer together.

But to our disappointment, our expectations were not met.

Did they have some close times together? Yes. And that was important.img_2757.jpg

Continue reading “Cruisin’ For Closeness”

Fun Fact: Are You Part Of The 17%?

Yesterday we wrote about the wonderful benefits of sleeping naked.  We hope you started a new habit with your spouse last night if you haven’t already been sleeping in your birthday suit!  And if you missed our post, check it out here.

Today’s fun fact tells us just how many of you actually sleep in the nude!  According to a survey published by Men’s Journal, only 17% of Americans sleep “unclothed”.  52% of Americans sleep “partially clothed” and 31% sleep “fully clothed”.

Some other interesting sleep stats from the Men’s Journal survey:

  • 12% get 5 hours sleep — that’s us sadly…
  • 24% get 6 hours sleep
  • 30% get 7 hours sleep
  • 20% get 8 hours sleep
  • 36% sleep soundly through the night — also us 😦
  • 64% wake up one or more times

Click here for the full Men’s Journal article.

As we head into the weekend: sleep naked, sleep better, and if you are like us, let’s try to move into the 6 or 7 hours of sleep category!

 

 

Sleep Naked, Sleep Better.

Who knew sleeping naked had so many benefits – but IT’S TRUE!

First things first – we like to be transparent so we will tell you up front – we don’t sleep naked together NEARLY enough!  We love it and we are making it a habit to do more often. Why? Well for SO many reasons.

The biggest and best reason to sleep together, in our humble opinion, is probably the obvious one: it is sexy, appealing to your partner, and is a way to consciously encourage sex with each other.

You may not know that the skin to skin feeling releases the hormone oxytocin which increases the feeling of comfort – and in turn may put you in the mood for sex! Oxytocin also lowers your heart rate, reduces blood pressure, increases the feelings of trust, and generally makes you more ready for sexual interaction. YES!

How about the HEALTH BENEFITS? Continue reading “Sleep Naked, Sleep Better.”

1-2-3…STOP!

The Crazy Cycle.  It can start at any moment without a single warning.

What is the crazy cycle?  We have been watching a video series called Love & Respect and according to Emerson Eggerichs, the crazy cycle is the time when we react negatively to each other.  When she feels unloved, she reacts without respect.  When he feels disrespected, he reacts without love.

This crazy cycle will continue until you both stomp your feet in utter anger and leave the room.  OR…one of you puts a stop to it because you are now consciously aware of what is happening.

The crazy cycle hit us just the other day.  One overreaction struck and we continued to  respond to the other negatively.  Continue reading “1-2-3…STOP!”

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