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Archive for the ‘Celebrations and Fun!’ Category

Happy Valentine’s Day! With all the focus on today, we’d thought we’d start to look at tomorrow a bit early. In order to make today the best it can be for you and your Valentine, consider February 15th. That’s right, looking into tomorrow could help you pull out the stops on your efforts today. Consider…

Tomorrow is the day…

… when you could look at your spouse and experience pain in your shins as you kick yourself, or when you could pat yourself on the back for how your love and thoughtfulness paid off.

… when you could see other couples and think, “I bet they had more fun than we did yesterday,” or you could know, “The great times we had can’t be beat!”

… when confusion about your relationship could reign supreme when it comes to what he/she wants from you, or when you could have a sense of clarity about where you’re at and what you can do.

… you could experience a torrent of doubts and questions about your love-life and its success, or you could revel in a new-found sense of connection and security regarding your relationship.

… you will have added another unmet expectation to the pile lying on the floor of your relationship, or added another memory worth talking about for years to come.

… when your spouse could wake up to their normal life with a sigh, or with a great big smile on their face.

Good thing you still get to choose. Go have a great day, and a great tomorrow!

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Valentine’s Day, our favourite holiday, is fast approaching. You might be thinking about what you can do or give to your husband or wife already, or maybe you’re saying, “What? Already? Where does a year go?”

Valentine’s Day is all about romance, and wooing your sweetheart. There are the traditional methods of flowers, chocolates and a dinner out, but we’d like to provide some more “creative” ways to say Happy Valentine’s Day, for the first 14 days of February.

Here’s the last of our list. (See part 1 and part 2 here.) All of them are very simple to do, but some ideas may require more planning than others. Enjoy!

On the eleventh day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
Watch the sunrise together. Find a great lookout, take along your favourite morning beverage, and enjoy. Perhaps stop for breakfast on the way home to give your spouse’s day a great beginning.

On the twelfth day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
Be a concierge for a day! Take a day to be at your spouse’s beck and call. This could mean being the chauffeur, picking up some needed groceries, making some phone calls or needed reservations on their behalf, and perhaps end the day by preparing a hot bubble bath. Whatever it is, pamper your spouse to let them know they’re worth it.

On the thirteenth day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
Take an online personality test with your spouse and compare your results. Here are a couple of free suggestions:
The 5 Love Languages, by Dr. Gary Chapman. This test helps you discover how you express and interpret love. It’s different for each of us, sometimes especially so in marriage!
Out of Service, by Jeff Potter, has a number of personality tests. Find one that interests you, or try “The Big 5” test.
Jung Typology/Humanetrics This test is based on Carl Jung and Isabel Briggs Myers typological approach. Be sure to click on your “type description” after you “score” your test results.
After you take a test or two, reflect on how the combination of your personalities contributes to your relationship.

On the fourteenth day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
Re-establish your favourite Valentine’s Day tradition, whether it be chocolates, flowers or a special dinner together. And take some time to get feedback on this Valentine’s season. What did they enjoy, what surprised them the most, and what didn’t really hit the mark? End your feedback session and reaffirm how much you love Valentine by saying, “Just wait until next year!”

We hope you enjoyed our list! May it inspire you to start a new tradition and celebrate the 14 Days of Valentine’s every year with your spouse. Let us know what ideas you try and how they worked for you in the comments below.

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Valentine’s Day, our favourite holiday, is fast approaching. You might be thinking about what you can do or give to your husband or wife already, or maybe you’re saying, “What? Already? Where does a year go?”

Valentine’s Day is all about romance, and wooing your sweetheart. There are the traditional methods of flowers, chocolates and a dinner out, but we’d like to provide some more “creative” ways to say Happy Valentine’s Day, for the first 14 days of February.

Here’s part 2 of our list. (See part 1 here.) Ideas are in no particular order, but some ideas require more planning than others. Enjoy!

On the sixth day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
Give the gift of “I love you because…” Write them a note that you’ll be sharing a multitude of reasons why you love your spouse today, and then proceed to do it. Try to give a new reason to begin each new interaction with them throughout the day. We recommend brainstorming a list of a few ideas, because you might just find your sweetheart looking for excuses to call or interact with you!

On the seventh day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
Try a walk together. Find a nice park or pathway to stroll along, hand-in-hand. Try geocaching or letterboxing if that is something you would both enjoy. End your walk by thanking your spouse for the time you spent together and share what made it meaningful to you.

On the eighth day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
Give your spouse a loving massage. Watch a YouTube video on how to give a scalp massage, a foot massage or a back massage. Then try out what you’ve learned on your spouse. Massage is a very personal thing, so make sure you know if your spouse likes light touches, a deep muscle rub, etc. and then indulge them accordingly.

On the ninth day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
Shoulder your spouse’s load today. Take care of their home responsibilities, whether it means taking care of the evening meal, doing the dishes or a load of laundry, or bathing the kids. Let them watch their favourite tv show or curl up with a good book while you handle it all for them.

On the tenth day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
Try on some new lingerie, or a new pair of sexy panties, boxers or briefs. Whisper your secret in your spouse’s ear in the morning, letting them know the time of the unveiling. Again, build the anticipation for a great surprise!

To be concluded tomorrow…!

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what ideas you try and how they worked for you in the comments below.

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Valentine’s Day, our favourite holiday, is fast approaching. You might be thinking about what you can do or give to your husband or wife already, or maybe you’re saying, “What? Already? Where does a year go?”

Valentine’s Day is all about romance, and wooing your sweetheart. There are the traditional methods of flowers, chocolates and a dinner out, but we’d like to provide some more “creative” ways to say Happy Valentine’s Day, for the first 14 days of February.

Here’s our list, in no particular order. All of them are very simple to do, but some ideas may require more planning than others. Enjoy!

On the first day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
The gift of intention. State your intention to make this Valentine’s more special than you ever have before. Write them a little note for them to read before they go to bed, or just tell them over your evening coffee. Remind them they’re worth it, and they’re in for a Valentine’s like no other. You’re building anticipation for a nice surprise heading their way.

On the second day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
There’s nothing more connecting than a long, gentle kiss, or and lengthy, affectionate embrace. Try both! When you greet your spouse after your work or her work today, do so with a kiss. Count to 10 in your head before you break the connection. Follow up the kiss with a long hug until you can feel your spouse relax in your arms. The best thing is the connection you make will last the rest of the day.

On the third day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
Buy a package of small post-it notes, and write something on each one. Write small phrases like, “I love you,” “My sweetheart,” “You are beautiful/amazing,” a drawn heart, and the like. Post them everywhere your spouse might go throughout the day – the bathroom mirror, inside cupboard doors, on the steering wheel, beside light switches, everywhere! The entire day will remind them of your love, and make them smile.

On the fourth day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
A good gift is a combination of something that’s wanted, and something that’s needed. Try it today. Does your spouse need something from a cosmetics store? Or is it black socks or nylons? Or do they need a new book or journal? Get them they’re favourite brand, or the slightly more expensive version that your mate may have always wanted. Knowing what they need shows your thoughtfulness.

On the fifth day of Valentine’s, my true love gave to me…
When was the last time you went for a coffee with your spouse? Take an hour (or two!) and visit your favourite tea or coffee shop, or try a local shop that’s new to both of you. Spend some time just sipping and visiting.

To be continued tomorrow…!

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what ideas you try and how they worked for you in the comments below.

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I was arrested in my kitchen today. No, not by police, far from it. It was by my wife, Mara. She stood there in her part of a ballroom dance pose awaiting the other half: me. I played along and after teasing me with her smile and drifting around the room for a bit she whispered, “Happy Half Anniversary.”

You have to understand this about my wife: she’s a mathematician, and she remembers dates. So everyone in our home gets their birthday celebrated, and their half-birthdays. Quarter-birthdays often get mentioned, too… I think you get the picture.

So I know she’s right. Sure enough, 17 and a half years ago today, we said “I do.” This post, however, isn’t about how far we’ve come, or the road ahead or any of that. Rather it’s about the importance of the ballroom dance pose in the kitchen, and the invitation to celebrate the moment together.

The longer we’re married the more we realize it’s the little ways of celebrating that can pack the most joy. They are the excuses to make an otherwise ordinary moment more special, and they often end up stirring our love for each other more deeply: like the impromptu date in between the ones you have planned. Or buying her a single rose because you realize it’s the anniversary of the day you first met, or had your first kiss, or got engaged. Or writing him a love note along with an extra special lunch, to remind him how much you appreciate him. Or setting the CD player to play “your song” the next time they start the vehicle. And yes, it’s remembering the day that marks your “half anniversary” and celebrating it with a slow waltz around the kitchen.

These moments to celebate each other await you hidden in your average days. Moments like these frame your experiences together and highlight all the wonder and gratitude of being together. Done right, you’ll feel it all over again. If you look for these chances you’ll start to find them everywhere. If you act on them, they’ll arrest you in ordinary places like kitchens and invite you up into the dance of love.

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You doubtless have many reasons for believing in marriage for life; or maybe you’ve been in one long enough you’re starting to wonder about that.

However, scrap your moral, cultural and conventional reasons for being pro-monogamy just for a minute or two. Instead consider this one highly compelling reason for choosing a mate and sticking it out for life: It is the MOST fun way to live!

That’s right, the purpose of marriage is maximum pleasure. It provides the parameters within which the best of life is possible. Acting as a shield for a couple from the world, marriage protects the potential for joy of the couple. It’s a covenant that provides a safe place. And safety is necessary to bask in the comfort and joys of love instead of grasping for or defending your satisfaction. Isn’t that why we all signed up for it in the first place – to live happily ever after?

When asked how you know he or she is the right one for you, we’ve all answered, “he/she makes me laugh,” or, “we just have so much fun together,” and, “I really enjoy being with them.” We marry to capture that, for life. However this target can easily be lost amid the rush, the mundane, and, in some cases, the hardship of everyday living. Hurting and separating couples complain that, “he/she only makes me cry,” or, “we just don’t have any fun together anymore.”

Having fun together is the glue that holds two hearts together for life …happily. The starting place for having more fun with your spouse is to realize how central fun and enjoyment is to your marriage. You may need to be reminded that it’s the purpose of the covenant you’re in.

Go out for coffee, watch a funny movie, or do something together that is wonderfully enjoyable. Do it again, and do it often this year. And through the vehicle of fun, to become more “one.”

Whatever else your love-life is in 2012, it should be fun!

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I find it funny how people run with crazy schedules for 49+ weeks of the year and then take ten days (or so) off hoping to catch up and relax. Yet, I find myself doing the same thing.

Here’s the logic that precedes this phenomena: If I get all my tasks done, then I can relax and enjoy what I’ve worked for and the people in my life.

The problem is, the task list is never “done,” and so we try to cram enjoyment (read: more stress) into mini segments of time – the occasional weekend getaway, the summer vacation, taking a “sick” day, etc. But cramming is like eating dessert too fast – it’s gone  before you can really appreciate it.

I’ve decided to turn this unfruitful logic on its head with a different idea: If I can find a way to get back in touch with what’s already enjoyable in my life and the people around me, I will find more fulfillment and purpose behind the day-to-day tasks all year long.

Now I have a better reason for vacation and time away: It is an opportunity to reconnect deeply again with those things and relationships that make life worth living.

Vacation experiences aren’t for remembering wistfully until you get another holiday at Christmas or next summer. Stay in touch today. Perhaps call home at lunch with sweet nothings and minutia from your day, or kiss appreciatively upon seeing each other, or turn off the tv at dinner and reflect on some good times together.

It’s funny how even with crazy schedules, frequently stealing moments for getting away and being together are more than enough to colour the busyness with the motivation and inspiration that make it all worthwhile. I’ve decided I want to find myself doing that.

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