Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Love Lesson of Sunsets: Radical Appreciation & Acceptance

I’m learning so much about life by watching and admiring the daily sunsets here at the ranch.

Sometimes they are fiery red, all passionately ablaze.

Sometimes they are spectacular, knock your socks off, oranges and pinks,
painted wildly across the sky, like the Universe’s personal canvas.

Sometimes they are soft, light, comforting hues of pinks,
gracefully caressing the horizon.

Sometimes day just fades to dusk in gentle shades of yellow, peach, or grey.

And sometimes, a sunset that seems as if it will go off without a bang, surprises you with burning fireworks of glory, right at the end.

Each is so different, and it’s quite easy to grow a fondness for the most striking ones, and feel a tad disappointed when the sky fails to live up to yesterday’s amazement.

Yet all are beautiful when you approach them with gratitude in your heart, with appreciation for the opportunity to watch the process unfold once again.

And a willingness to accept them as they are, rather than as you would want them to be.

Even the subtle ones, are naturally stunning in their own right, if you’re not expecting them to be something they are not.

There seems to be a striking lesson in life and love here for the taking:

You can extract every possible moment of pleasure from life, from your relationship when you accept life, when you accept your partner, exactly as they are. Not needing them to be other than they are, right this moment.

Just approaching them with appreciation, soaking up whatever beauty stands before you, in whatever form it has manifested.

I realized that this gift of unconditional acceptance is perhaps Greg’s biggest gift to me. He gives it daily.

No matter how I show up, he finds a way to see the beauty in it and by doing so, I’m encouraged to raise myself up to be a more beautiful person.

To match the beauty he sees. Then suddenly, I get to see it in myself too.

Dear Readers: Not that you should never request change, but just for today, I invite you to practice radical appreciation & acceptance of What Is.

Maintain a child-like curiosity: “I wonder how it will go down today?!” Find beauty in all of it’s facets.

Notice the difference it makes in your heart.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Abandoning Monochromatic for Technicolor

Here's something I never knew about myself: I hate the color taupe.

In my mind, it's not so much a color as a tragic lack of color.

It's so boring, so blah, so depressing.

Too bad Greg had painted his entire house Taupe.

The house I moved into and lived in with him for 3
years before we were blessed with this ranch.

Greg likes Taupe- it's a fine, solid, soothing, no ruffles in your feather kind of color. I mean how could taupe offend anyone!

Except me!

It was only during the last 8 months when I realized the effect floor-to-ceiling Taupe was having on me: it was actually depressing me, stifling, snuffing out my joy!

Essentially, it just wasn't ME- it was the opposite of me.

I love color- bold, bright, beautiful color. It makes me feel alive.

Surrounded by taupe in every single room, I felt dead inside!

Once I realized that, finally put a name on it, I became excited about having a fresh canvas at our future new home.

Finally, free at last to paint however I choose!

I ran to the library to get books on color, lots of books filled with crazy bold color combinations.

Soon I started envisioning a home with a different color splashed across every room! I wanted red rooms, green rooms, blue rooms.

Heck, I even planned a vibrant orange and pink room and I wanted my office to be purple and yellow!

Then I took my enthusiastic plans to Greg, after all, he had to live in this house too!

What if he hated the idea of color all over the home? He, who was happy having a light shade of brown all over his last home.

What he said was music to my ears!

"Sure, whatever you want, you should do it. I'll help you paint!"

What a gift he was giving me, allowing myself to be surrounded by colors that make my heart sing!

We talked some more, and it turns out that he was even grateful for my nudge out of the blah zone. Maybe he wouldn't LOVE every color I chose, but he was up for an adventure- even a yellow and purple one!

Lest I think he was just caving to please me, recently while we were watching a home decorating show, the host said "You never want to paint the walls something too personal, too out of the ordinary (read- paint it taupe). When you go to sell, other people have to be able to envision living there."

And Greg spontaneously said, "To hell with that! It's your home and you are living in it- you might as well do what makes you the happiest!"

Such sweet sweet words, from a man who wants me to be happy. Who's ready to help me be happy. Who's even willing to stretch himself out of his comfort zone in support of my happiness.

A man who supports all of my visions, because he loves me.

And he knows that living in my technicolor world, brightens up his monochromatic world, every single day.

What greater gift than the gift of free self expression is there?

My gift to him? The first room we painted was his office- a lovely forest green, he selected!

How does your partner help you live out loud? How do they support your own self expression?

Please share.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving: Who Has Been Your Human Angel?

Recently the Daily Om newsletter wrote about Human Angels, those people who step into our lives at just the right moment to offer just the perfect, most needed thing.

Immediately, I knew that Greg has been my angel.

Maybe it's one of the nicknames I gave him, Angel, that gave it away. Maybe it's because since our early days I've been telling him, "You're my angel."

But mostly, I know it's true, because from the moment I met him, my life has changed dramatically for the best.

I credit his love and support for saving my life. With him by my side, I've healed from an almost deadly chronic fatigue to radiant health. From a depressed and dreadful pessimist, to a sunny, optimist whose playful passion comes out to frolic daily.

And this past year has been no different.

Even through my dramatic spiritual awakening that neither of us were prepared for, his love held strong. Even when I started talking about all manner of spiritual things, which being the eternal logical type, he still can't grasp or believe- his love keep us tightly together.

And this all happened a few months before we were supposed to get married! He just jumped into the fire, fully expecting that we'd sink or swim together.

His love holds no room for doubt.

What a truly amazing gift!

And having that anchor, that steady, strong, unwavering love, has allowed me to continue blossoming into the healer and teacher I am called to be.

Without him, I am not sure I would have made it this far. I KNOW I would not have been able to come so far, so fast.

I know he considers me something of his angel too. I'm not so sure about that!

But I know the gifts that he gives to me could come from nothing less than an Angel.

Thank you Greg, with all of my heart and soul, for giving me back to myself and for helping to make my dreams come true, every day.

With you by my side, I deeply know that everything is possible- through the beauty of our pure, sweet love.

You truly are my angel.

Readers: Who has been your angel? How have they helped you? Big or small? Thank them here!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Date Line: Des Moines

What is this? A note?

Unfortunately, I have to travel on occasion. And when I do, I always miss Jenn. We talk on the phone but it still isn't the same as being with her.

Before we started this blog, we would write "love notes" to each other every weekday morning, without fail. However, when I would have to leave for a business trip we couldn't maintain our ritual.

One day, however, when I was unpacking my clothes at my hotel, I noticed a bright yellow-green recipe card. On the card was a quick note from Jenn. Nothing long, just a quick note saying that she loved and missed me.

But that wasn't all. The more I unpacked, the more notes I found. It turns out that Jenn had snuck into my luggage and hid a bunch of short notes telling me what she loved about me, what she was missing about me and how she couldn't wait until I came home.

Jenn had found a way to continue our ritual, even when I wasn't home. She went out of her way to make sure I felt loved and adored and not so lonely. And it worked.

What does your sweetie do for you when you go out of town? Please share.

Early Morning Chicken Inspires Me!

Gosh, I feel so grateful today!

My husband had to leave the house today at 8am for a flight out of town.

And before he left, he cooked me chicken!!

So I would have something to eat while he was away!!

Who does that before 8am?

He does. Because he loves me. And he's such a giver.

That is just so darn thoughtful and generous!!! It amazes me.

I admit, I am learning from him how to be more selflessly giving like that.

He inspires me to step into my Highest Self. To embody more beautiful traits- even if I am not in the mood, or it's not easy.

That is an even bigger gift than cooked chicken!

What traits does your partner inspire you to embody more fully, through their example?

Please share.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

What in the world is Bell's Seasoning?

I grew up in the heart of the Mountain West and Jenn grew up in New England, so needless to say, our tastes in food are quite different.

Jenn grew up eating lobster while I grew up eating burritos.

She thinks cracked black pepper spicy enough while I can't get enough hot green chili.

My mother, the daughter of a mining engineer, grew up in far flung places in the Orient so I learned to eat all sorts of exotic food at a young age. Jenn's folks are stanch New Englanders so meatloaf, chowder and mashed potatoes were staples on her table as a kid.

You might think this disparity of food experience makes it hard for us to agree on what to eat.

But it doesn't.

We like sharing our lives with each other.

Not just our lives together, but our lives before we met too.

And that means trying food that the other person likes.

Last weekend we got a package from Jenn's Mom. The package contained Bell's Seasoning. I have never heard of it and it isn't available here in Colorado.

But Jenn swore that Bell's is the key to the perfect meatloaf.

So when we were at the store next, we bought all the ingredients Jenn needed to make meatloaf and mashed potatoes, rushed home and made one of Jenn's favorite childhood meals.

I'll have to admit that I couldn't really tell the difference between the meatloaf with the Bell's and the meatloaf she made before with out it.

But that really wasn't what was important.

What was important is that Jenn was sharing a piece of her childhood with me and I'm grateful to be able to experience it with her.

What does your sweetie do to share parts of their childhood with you?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Do You Know What's On Tonight?

The other day I was on the phone with Greg, who was at work.

He says, "Do You Know What's On Tonight?"

On TV that is.

Actually, I had no idea, "No, what?"

And Greg says, "The CMA's!" AKA Country Music Awards.

I had asked him to tape it for me the previous week. And sweetly, he did.

But even more sweetly- he REMEMBERED!

You might not think that is remarkable- but here's why it is:

Greg HATES, hates, hates country music.

He only remembered because he knows it's important to me.

And in a show of soulmate solidarity- he even watched them with me!

Plus, to his credit, he only slightly rolled his eyes when I squealed with delight as Kenny Chesny took the stage.

Now that's love. Real love.

What does your partner remember for you?? Please share!

Monday, November 17, 2008

For the Love of a Man, or an Ice Man

FLAP, FLAP, FLAP! (Ears flying everywhere)

What was that? Oh no, not Ice again.

For some strange reason, our Greyhound Ice Man
(and no I don't have some unhealthy infatuation with Top Gun, that's the name he came with from the rescue) has been getting up at two or three o'clock in the morning recently.

He doesn't necessarily need to go to the bathroom. It's almost like he's bored or something. What ever the reason, he's up, which means one of us has to get up too.

Now luckily for me, Ice has formed a strong bond with Jenn. Stronger, in fact, then his bond with me.

So when he wakes up, he always goes to Jenn's side of the bed first. This means that Jenn gets to take him out, right?

Not really. Ice is my dog and my responsibility.

And Jenn would have every right to wake me up to tell me to take him out, especially since Jenn loves sleep more than life itself. But you know what?

Jenn usually takes him out, especially during the week when I have to go to work in the morning. And I really appreciate that because sleep seems to be in short supply in our house.

In reality, Jenn takes Ice out to help me out.

It allows me to either stay asleep or fall back to sleep quickly, which makes my mornings much more tolerable. If I had to get up and let him out, it would cut my five or six hours down to just four or five.

I really appreciate Jenn getting up with Ice and taking such good care of him and me.

What does your sweetie do to help you out? Please share.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Honey, Look!

"Honey, look over here..."

That's one of the sweetest, most thoughtful phrases Greg says to me.

That's because it's always followed by something he knows I will like.

Like a pretty sunset.
A gorgeous moon.
Our greyhound galloping.
The ponies frolicking.

But it's especially touching when he's pointing out something he doesn't even LIKE, just because he knows I'll find it adorable.

Like our new kitty, Joie. Greg hates cats, but he knows I'm all mushy for this one.

So he always tells me to look when Joie's being especially cute.

It touches me so much to know that he just likes to make me smile, so he's always on the lookout for anything that will make my heart melt.

Gosh, how does a man get so thoughtful!?

I've won the man lottery with this one!

What does your partner draw to your attention to help make you smile?

Please share.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jenn, The Artist. Not

You know how when a 5 year old bounces up to you and proudly shows you a drawing, most people exclaim, “Wow, what a beautiful picture! You’re a great drawer!”

And the little kid leaves beaming. Feeling confident that indeed he is a wonderful artist, even though he colors mostly outside the lines.

In fact, done over time, that’s how all of us build our self-esteem and learn to feel worthy inside.

Just now, I realized that is what Greg does for me all the time!

I just finished drawing and coloring a garish rendition of the new barn I hope we’ll be building next spring. See pic above.

Putting colored pencil to paper is one way I work on manifesting my heart’s desire. I put my goal in vivid color. Then I post the colorful drawing where we see it every day.

I’m not quite sure how I was a better artist when I was 12 then I am today, but let me tell you, these drawings are never pretty.

Somehow, it never comes out looking like it did in my mind.

Frankly, it disappoints me.

But then along comes Greg, and he’ll always exclaim, “What a nice picture. You’re such an artist.”

And I know it’s not true. I mean, I have eyes. They work.

But even though I know this praise isn’t objectively earned, in the same way the 5 year old’s “outside the lines” isn’t truly well done, it still feels good.

Strangely good.

Maybe the words speak to my inner 5 year old and tell her, “Hey, whatever your natural skills, you’re still perfect to me, just the way you are.”

And knowing that makes me feel loved, and safe, and it builds my strength to go out and do things, try things, even if I’m not so good at them.

Maybe that’s part of what makes a great relationship.

You build each other up, and knowing that just one other person thinks you are great, makes you reach for your own greatness.

Because even if you fail, you know it won’t make a difference in their eyes.

And even more, knowing your partner will stand up with you, proud of your efforts, even if they aren’t the most successful.

Just the way Greg says “No, leave the picture up.” Even when we are having company over.

He’s not embarrassed by my childish drawing because it represents a dream. Our dream. That together, we’ll bring to reality.

In what way does your partner build you up so you’ll reach for your greatness?

Please comment.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pancakes and Waffles

So, I'm making chocolate chip pancakes for Jenn. Know what it reminds me of?

When I was a kid, one thing me and my friends always looked forward to was breakfast at my house. Often, two or three of my buddies would spend the night on Friday just so they could partake in the feast on Saturday Morning.

My Dad would get up early (as he did every day) and make a huge bowl of batter from scratch and before long there would be stacks of pancakes and piles of waffles for us to devour with bacon and sausage.

My Father was never very good at showing emotion but the one way he was comfortable showing love was by cooking and so he did it every weekend without fail.

Now I follow in my Dad's footsteps (although I hope I'm better at sharing my emotions and showing my love) by making breakfast for Jenn every weekend morning.

I don't get up early and I don't make it from scratch, but I do make it with love and I know Jenn appreciates it.

Now if I could only figure out a way to make a pancake that looks like a heart rather than misshapen blob, breakfast would be perfect!

What rituals do you have to show your love?
Please share.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chocolate Chip Pancakes- A Gift From the Heart

So this morning, like almost every weekend morning since we've been together, I'm eating my favorite breakfast in the whole wide world: Chocolate Chip pancakes!!

The best part? I didn't lift a finger.

Greg slaves away in the kitchen and prepares for me an entire breakfast: Cheesy eggs, chocolate chip pancakes, and sometimes a bit of ham.

And always: "Do you want some coffee??" And it arrives momentarily exactly the way I like it.

I'm so touched that he's taken the time to learn just the way I like it, with just so much milk and just so much sugar.
Every time he brings me a cup, it's a little gift from the heart.
And every chocolately sweet pancake, a loving work of art.
I'm grateful for a man who gives so much.

You gotta understand, I am NOT a morning person.
I am barely alive in the morning. So while I try to awaken from my morning stupor, Greg doesn't mind making breakfast, because he's already super hungry.

Do I feel a little guilty? Um, yeah. That's why I help clean up!

You'd think Greg would get sick of being the one to make breakfast all the time.

But you know what? I think for him, it's a gift of love. A way to care for me and demonstrate his love.

That's an important love lesson: That when you really love someone, it feels good to give, to do something for them that you know makes them happy. It makes you happy, when they are happy. You are not doing it to get something in return.

Of course the bonus to giving like this, is that it almost always makes your partner give more in return!

Win-win all the way around!

So, actually, I guess that is the best part! (Not that I didn't have to lift a finger).
Bring on the maple syrup!

What do you do just because you know it makes your partner happy?

Please comment.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What Kind of Kiss Was That?!

What do a tornado, a slider and a drive bye all have in common?

They are all kisses Jenn has invented over the last three and a half years.

Actually, Jenn has created 64,542 kisses, at last count. And best of all, they were inspired by me!

As I'm sure you've been able to tell from her earlier blog posts, Jenn is VERY creative. And her creativity isn't limited to writing or coaching or even kisses.

But one area in which Jenn excels in creativity is how she shows me she loves me.

Whether it's coming up with a new kiss or a new song or some other new way of showing me her love, I am always amazed (and impressed) with how she makes me feel adored and cherished.

I am very lucky to have such a loving Sweet Pea.

I just wish my lips weren't so chapped!

What special thing does your partner do to make you feel loved?

Please Comment.

Supporting My Vision 100%

This past weekend I hosted my first equine assisted singles workshop at our new home, The Happily Ever After Healing Horse Ranch.

This represented the culmination of a year-long vision to begin creating a healing retreat for singles and couples. What a difference a year makes!

But more than that, it’s a huge step toward combining
my two life long passions: horses and relationships.

And guess who was right by my side?

Greg of course!

Greg gave up his whole day to be my assistant, our photographer, and our group’s lunchtime chef.

No, he gave up more than that. He helped shop and clean in preparation too!

And I was so grateful to have him be there, his simple presence a profound support.

And his actions, so helpful for the smooth success of our workshop.

The success was so much more sweet and meaningful with him along side.

But more than that.

I KNOW that there were things he’d like to be doing more, like riding his bike.

But I also knew, deep in my bones, that there was NO other place he’d have chosen to be, but by my side, witnessing the first chapter of a dream come true.

Do you know what it’s like to have a partner believe in your dream 100% and to support you in every way possible, as you strive to make your vision a reality?

It’s the most amazing feeling in the world.

We have a saying, that
“Together, we can do anything.”

And this weekend was the perfect example that when two hearts and two minds come together in support of each other’s vision, dreams really can become reality.

I was so touched by the realization of the momentousness of the occasion, that my simple introduction to the workshop, left not a dry eye in the room.

Greg included. And Greg never tears up.

Thank you Greg for giving all of who you are in support of helping me make my dreams come true.

I couldn’t ask for more.

After all, finding you has been the biggest dream come true of all!

What does your partner do to support your vision?

Please comment!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A dream come true

I'm so proud of Jenn!

This weekend, Jenn was finally able to combine her two passions in life with her first equine assisted dating workshop!

From the time she was a little girl, Jenn knew that she wanted to help people build loving, healthy relationships.
Also from the time she was a child, Jenn has had a love for horses. She understands the powerful affect they can have on peoples' lives. As the saying goes, there's nothing better for the inside of a girl than the outside of a horse.

This weekend, it was amazing to watch Jenn in her element, working with the horses to positively impact her client's lives.

I'm always amazed when I see Jenn work. It all comes so naturally to her.

Her observations and coaching points flow so easily and are so on-target that it inspires me to be better in everything I do.

I was lucky enough to be one of Jenn's assistants for the workshop so I was able to be part of the experience.

It felt good to be involved with such a positive experience for a great group women and I'm glad I could contribute to the workshop if only in a small way.

But most of all, I'm lucky to have such an amazing soul mate with such passion and skill who leaves the world a better place each night when she goes to bed than it was when she awoke in the morning.
How does your partner inspire you?
Please share.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Trash Genie

Ok, I am truly lucky.

First there's trash, then there's no trash.

Like there is a trash fairy or something.

That's because Greg takes out the garbage, every single week, without EVER being asked.

And now he has to do it before 7 am, drive it to the road, and do it even when it's cold or raining.

And he never yells at me when I forget to bring the cans back in!

(I'm sorry Greg- I'll try to remember to bring them in!!)

A man truly willing to split the work, 50-50.

What a dream he is!

That means I never have to be a nag!

What don't you have to nag about?

Please comment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Power of 3 Kisses

So I just hung up the phone.

Know how it ended?

With three kisses.

First from him, then from me.

This is just one more way Greg makes me feel loved, every day.

Almost always, we finish our phone calls, by giving each other 3 kisses.

I don't even have to be the first one to start, unless of course, Greg is at work, and then maybe he can't kiss back!

It's just one more ritual that makes us feel like us.

I didn't even realize how important these rituals were until I started writing about them.

But these rituals create a bond, a special-ness that says, "This is US."

And it makes me feel secure and happy and loved.

What rituals do you share that make you feel special?

Please share.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Making Time to Check In

Jenn has been working really hard over the last six months.

Between putting the house on the market (and keeping it clean enough to show), looking at countless horse properties (and finding our dream home), packing, painting and unpacking, Jenn has had an extra full-time job.

Add to that all the work she's been doing on her business and Jenn has been burning the candle at both ends.

And I couldn't be more proud of her.

I can see the passion in her come out when she tells me about her day and the progress she made on what she was working on. She shares with me her triumphs and her challenges.

She asks me my opinion on different things (even though she knows way more about what she is doing than I do) and values what I have to say. And through all of this, even when she is working into the wee hours of the night (or morning), she always makes sure that she spends time and pays attention to me.

I know she is stressed about getting done all the things she has to get done before her various deadlines come to fruition so the fact that she takes time to focus on me really makes me feel loved and appreciated.

Jenn is one in a million and not a day goes bye that I don't feel thankful to have her in my life and by my side. Jenn is an amazing woman and my best friend!

When you are stressed and really busy, what do you do to make sure your partner feels loved and appreciated?

Please share.

Laundry Man to the Rescue

I have a husband who does laundry!!!!

Without being asked.


I HATE ironing. I really suck at it.

Enough said!

Thanks Greg, I promise to perfectly fold your pants and hang your shirts as soon as they come out of the dryer!!

What teamwork!

What do you do better as a team?

Please share.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Music to My Ears

Okay, I'll admit it.

Jenn doesn't have the best singing voice in the world. But that isn't what really matters.

She sings because she's happy, in love, and because she feels comfortable enough to sing. And I want her to sing because I know, in turn, singing makes her happy because it's a way for her to express her love for me.

Therefore, whenever I hear her sing, I feel loved.

The Angel Song

Over the past three and a half years Jenn has made up several of her own songs. The most recent one being the "Angel" song.

She tells me that I inspired the song because I'm her angel (and no it doesn't sound anything like "Angel" by Aerosmith). That makes me feel loved because I know she understands how much I love and care for her and appreciates everything I do for her.

Jenn sings this song to me all the time.

Sometimes she sings it to me on the phone when she first gets up in the morning, sometimes when I get home from work but most of the time it's spontaneous. And every time she sings it to me I feel her love and love her that much more.

I love it when Jenn sings to me, no matter what the song. But when it's a song inspired by our love it's that much more special.

What special little things do you do to show your love for your partner? What does your partner do?

Please share.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Adopting "The Girls"

I need to thank Greg from the bottom of my heart for adopting my horses, Pony, Poni, and Ponie, otherwise known as Serendipity, Charm and Frolic, or collectively as "The Girls."

He even agreed to sell the house he had built so we could move to the country and live with them- which is my dream come true.

Now every day I am so grateful for living my dream. It's magic!

But more than that- he loves them like they were his own.

Which I guess they are, since he pays a lot of their bills! And never complains. Ask any horse person if their horse husband doesn't
complain about the money they cost! And you'll know how big a deal that is!

But, even more than that, it was him that showed me how to slow down and love each one just for who they are.

I used to be more focused on the goal, on the shows, and progressing our training.
But now, I focus on loving them, and kissing them lots. And it's much more enjoyable!

But perhaps most important of all- I want to thank him for joining me in one of the most important parts of my life.

I can't tell you how meaningful it is to me to have a husband who rides with me. I never dreamed I'd end up married to a man who not only knows which end kicks, but also knows how to get a stubborn horse in a trailer,
will clean horse manure, and rides almost as good as me! :)

He's even learning my particular sport (he grew up riding in a different sport and hadn't ridden in 16 years when we met). And we plan to start showing together next year, side by side.

Tears come to my eyes when I see Greg, atop my very first horse, jumping over tiny cross rails. Each taking care of the other.

My heart smiles as wide and happy and as bright as could be!

Thank you for giving me the joy of sharing such a big part of who I am.

What activity or hobby do you join in with your partner because it means a lot to them?

Please comment.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Delusional and Freedom to Be Me

Ok, now I KNOW Greg is delusional.

But those are the kind of delusions that every woman should be lucky to live with!!

But speaking of singing.

I suck. I have zero musical talent- and he went to college as a music major.

BUT- for the first and only time in my life- I feel comfortable singing in front of someone.

So comfortable that I have made up 2 or 3 songs in honor of him and our love. Stupid songs. But songs I do proudly sing out loud so he knows just how special he is!

And I don't care how awful I am, because I know he loves me, no matter what.

Because of love, any singing I do, no matter how truly awful, is still music to his ears.

That's such a gift he gives to me- the gift of feeling free to be yourself with someone.

What is more important that that!?

What do you feel comfortable doing with your partner that you would have been embarrassed to do before?

Singing, Loudly

Okay, my last post was about why I think Jenn is so cute.

And in her reply, she said that I wasn't objective.

But, the more I think of it, the more I think she is wrong.

For instance, when I have to go away on a business trip she'll sing "Please Don't Go" (by KWS) while holding me close so I can't go.

Other times she'll turn on the stereo and dance around the house while singing the songs loud and proud.

There are just so many things she does that warm my heart I could go on for ever.

So, you see she really is cute and I really am an objective observer. You could plop anyone at random into our house and they'd have the same response I have.

Jenn is the cutest thing in the world, period.

What things does your S/O do that warm your heart? We'd love to hear.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Shhhhh, Jenn's Sleeping

So, I'm upstairs in one of our new bathrooms, one we never use and notice that there is shower stuff in there.

Later Greg tells me, "Oh yeah, I started showering up there so I wouldn't bother you in the morning."

Awwww, how sweet.

How thoughtful is that?

I sleep later than Greg. And he knows how precious my sleep is to me and makes every effort to be super quiet so as to disturb my rest as little as possible.

That's already sweet enough, but for him to start showering upstairs without me even asking, or him even telling me...that just shows what an amazingly caring and empathic guy he is!

Thank you Greg!

What do you do for your partner, even though they never asked, just to make life easier for them?

Please share.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cuteness Factor

Speaking of cute.....do you know what it feels like to have someone think everything you do is cute?!

I feel adored. I feel cherished. I definitely know I am loved.

Seriously, Greg thinks all of my quirks are adorable. And he's always saying, "That is SO cute." And there is adoration in his eyes- I can SEE it, I can feel it.

We've already decided that he is a seriously NON-objective observer. He's lost all ability to objectively assess my cuteness, otherwise known as my "Current Cuteness Factor."

On a scale of 1-10, I routinely score a 23. Go figure! I know I am not THAT cute!

It's like when you are always showing your kid pictures to anyone who will look, or constantly telling stories about all the silly things your dog does. Or the insane way I feel about my new kitty. YOU think it's cute, but it's not always so cute to everyone else.

But who cares?! Your partner, your pets, your kids, are just that darn precious to you!

It's the most amazing feeling to know that he loves me, just the way I am, for just who I am, in all my quirky, silliness. That is a true gift of his love.

And I'm ever grateful.

What do you love about your partner, even though no one else would care or agree?

Please share.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why is She So Cute?

When people ask me what first attracted me to Jenn, being a typical guy, I have to say it was her looks. She is a beautiful woman with gorgeous blue-grey eyes.

But soon after we started dating I began to appreciate all the little things that make Jenn, well, Jenn.

For instance, Jenn loves to add "ers" to the ends of words like "shrimp-ers, "toasters," "strokers". I don't know why, but I think that is the cutest thing in the world.

We've gotten into the habit of adding an -er to half the words we use! It's part of what makes us, feel like us.

Heck, we've made up half of our vocabulary. Jenn is a wordsmith. She makes up words out of the thin air. Which we then use, for infinity.

I'm not sure anyone listening to us would even know what we were talking about most of the time!

It makes our bond feel special and unique- like none else in the world.

It seems to me that it is the little things that you really have to appreciate to be in love with someone.

What are some of the little "quirks" your partner has that makes your heart warm?

Please comment.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Last Bite

Last night I was reminded of another thing I really appreciate about Greg.
We were finishing up a tasty ice cream from Cold Stone. I took the second to last bite, saving the last nibble for him.

But whenever we are sharing a sweet dessert, he always scoops up the last bite, and offers it to me.

Always, always, always!!!

I mean, I can't think of a SINGLE time he EVER took the last bite before offering it to me.

It makes me feel so loved.

He's such a gentleman, plus, he knows what a sugar freak I am.

Sometimes, I use all of my will power to decline and give it to him- I'm a total sugar addict. My tiny effort at being selfless! :)

And often, I smile, thank him, and he feeds it to me.

Sometimes we argue over who gets to be kind enough to offer the last bite:

"It's yours. No, it's yours. NO, IT'S YOURS!!!"

Now, that's the kind of fight you want: Fighting over who gets to give something nice to the other!!

Silly sweet!

What do you give to your partner, even though you'd rather keep it for yourself???

Please comment.

Sunday - Its a Guy Thing

Well, today is Sunday and the Broncos are playing at home. As a season ticket holder I'll be heading to the game shortly. Unfortunately I spent all day yesterday away from Jenn, up in the Mountains getting firewood. So that means a whole weekend will go by without much "together" time.

Since moving into our dream home it seems our together time has decreased somewhat. The house was a bank-owned property which means there's a lot of work to be done and we're quickly running out of time to do it before the snow starts to fly. Add to that a longer commute and you end up with less time to spend with each other. And what time you do have is spent working - not the ideal for a newlywed couple

Now, Jenn would have every right to ask me not to go to the game, but she doesn't because she understands how important it is to me that I go

Well, ok, maybe she pouts just a little!

But I grew up going to Broncos games with my Dad, so it is somewhat of a tradition for me.

In fact, Jenn has tried hard to keep me involved in activities that I have a passion for.

I'm the type of person who readily sacrifices things to either avoid conflict, hurt feelings or make the other person happy so it is easy for me to put my life on hold while I become engrossed in someone else's.

But, we understand that we fell in love with the two individuals that we are and to keep that, we must each keep a portion of our lives from before we met.

To stay in love for the long term, you've just got to encourage each other to do what you love, even if it sometimes means being apart.

Jenn does just that. She encourages me to do all the things I love. Not just the Broncos games but also cycling, skiing and playing the drums. And I encourage her to do the same.

I'm grateful to have such an understanding and loving wife who values me as I am. I am indeed the luckiest man in the whole world!

What activity do you love that your partner encourages you to do, even if they don't want to do it with you?

Please share.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The "Other" 3 Magic Words

So Greg is leaving, going to be gone all day to pick up wood for the winter. And tomorrow, he'll be gone all day at the Bronco's football game.

Yes, I am a bit pouty. I miss him!!!

His last words as he pulls out the driveway?

"I'll hurry home!"

After a few disappointments, I've learned that this phrase DOES NOT mean he'll be home any sooner, like I used to hope it meant.

Instead, I learned it means something even better.

It means: "I wish I could be home with you now. And I can't wait to be back in your arms."

And that always makes me fuzzy, cause I know I'm loved.

A little phrase he utters often, just to show he cares. So easy, yet profound.

They are the "Other" 3 Magic words. (The first being 'I love you' of course).

I SO appreciate him for that!

What 3 (or 4 or 5) magic words does your partner often use that makes your heart sing?

Please comment.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Power of an Oreo

Ok, onward to appreciation!

So, last night, I had a BRAND new thing to appreciate about Greg.

I'm in the shower, with my eyes closed. I open them up and there is a hand sticking through the curtain holding a cookie, then, "Want an Oreo?"


I was so touched. How sweet!

This is a man who deeply KNOWS my chocolate addiction.

And knows when it's prudent to say, "I can tell you are having a bad day. Do you want me to pick up some chocolate on the way home from work?"

Later he told me, "Well I was having a cookie, and I know you like cookies, so I had to come offer you one."

How thoughtful is that!?

It's the small things that count!

BTW- I didn't even eat the Oreo!!

What small thing did your partner do that made you warm and fuzzy? Please comment.

A Brief Introduction to Me, Greg

My name is Greg and I’m lucky enough to be Dr. Jenn’s husband. As Jenn mentioned, I’m an accountant, which is about the furthest thing from a Psychologist or dating coach you can get. That said, over the past three years Jenn had been schooling me up on all the touchy-feely stuff that comes so easy for her. So now, she’s ready to unleash me on the world.

Where to begin? Life before Jenn. . .

Before meeting Jenn, I wouldn’t say I was an unhappy person but I did manage to find my way into an unhappy marriage. I married a woman who I had dated for nine (yes, you heard that right, nine) years. That should've been a hint, but it wasn't!

Unfortunately, neither of us was good at expressing ourselves so I don’t think we really knew what we needed from a wife/husband. Looking back, we would have been better friends than life partners. We enjoyed the same activities and were a good match intellectually.

Unfortunately we were horribly matched in the areas that really mattered, like the level of affection each of us needed, how we showed our love, and sex drive. Eventually all of these differences, which we couldn’t really see at the time, drove us apart until we divorced. When the end finally came, we were both miserable and it showed in every aspect of my life.

Live begins anew

I met Jenn on Match.com about a year after I was divorced. And to be honest, the only reason she was initially interested in me was the fact I lived close to her! You see, my online profile was nothing special. I talked a lot about what I did and very little about who I was.

Good thing she was new to the area and looking for someone to show her around or this blog might not be here at all!

When we first started dating I could tell right away she was someone special. She asked me questions no one had ever asked me before about who I was and what I felt. And my heart lit up around her.

We soon learned that we were a good match in almost every area. But most of all, we were a good match in affection. We loved each other and weren’t afraid to show it.

And for the first time in my life I could say I was truly happy. Jenn brought joy to my life and the little Greg inside of me responded by frolicking whenever we were together, wherever we were. Loving Jenn is easy and I am GRATEFUL for her every minute of every day and I try to make sure she knows how grateful I am for her.

A word on gratitude

Frankly, I was amazed when Jenn was so surprised about my level of appreciation! I just assumed everyone did it!

I was raised in a family where common courtesy was common place. Although I don’t remember ever being “schooled” in good manners, I do always remember saying “please” and “thank you” as a small child and being offended when the same behavior wasn’t returned by others.

Thanking someone for doing something for you is a little gift you can give that really makes a difference because it spreads like wild fire.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A brief Introduction to Me, Jenn

Before we start unleashing our gratitude, let me tell you just a bit about me.
We're being honest here, so I'll admit it. Before I met Greg, I wasn't a very happy person. In fact, truth be told, I was a tad bit of a whiny complainer! I definitely saw the glass as half empty and I was actually sort of proud of that- go figure!

It was much easier for me to see the black clouds then to even check for a silver lining.

And I had a penchant for dating emotionally unavailable men, then proceeding to bang my head up against the wall, trying to get my needs met. I gave myself quite a concussion all those years!

Then, Greg came into my life and things changed. As our love grew, I experienced my first taste of tears of joy (I thought those only existed in Hollywood, BTW). I found myself being filled with simple happiness just being together and actually feeling grateful for this wonderful man, every day.

Barely a day would go by when I didn't fully notice some new reason to feel deeply thankful for him. This was new for me.

And I felt truly cherished. He was always thanking me for the little things. Things I never even thought of being thanked for!

Quickly, I learned the power of gratitude. And discovered that appreciation can be the fuel that keeps love alive for the long term.

But even more than that- we brought out the best in each other. Now, Greg is an accountant, not exactly joyfully free by nature. But together, I found that my silly little girl side came out to play all of the time.

We sang, we danced, we were silly, everywhere. Airports, waiting in lines at Wendy's, down the grocery food aisle. Who cares what people thought!

And the fun continues. We've found that we enjoy doing almost everything better together, because it's just so easy and pleasurable to be with each other. We make such a natural team.

I never knew that love could be so easy!

Not that it's easy all the time mind you. But when you pick well to start with, it's so much easier along the way.

In fact, that's why I love to coach singles, because I truly believe that one of the best ways to reduce the divorce rate is to help people pick a truly compatible partner the first time around.

So, that's a bit about me and my journey from picking frogs, to finding a wonderful prince!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Weclome- We're Joining World Gratitude Gathering!

Welcome to our Newlywed Gratitude Blog!

We've timed it to start with the World Gratitude Gathering, which begins on Oct 1.
Can you think of a better way to power up your attitude of gratitude than to join a bunch of like minded folks for 42 days and nights of gratitude?

If you are ready to change your life and help change the world, consider joining them here: http://www.worldgratitude.com/.

But anyway, that was just an excuse to get started!

Greg and I have been practicing gratitude since just about the beginning of our dating relationship.

In fact, it began with a love note he left me after the first night I slept over his house. And that one note turned into daily notes, 5 days a week, ever since we began living together over 3 years ago.

I'll be honest, I may be the psychologist, but Greg has taught me a thing or two about appreciation. Naturally skilled- he doesn't even have to think about it!

The most important thing that I have learned from him?

NOTHING is too small to express gratitude for. NOTHING.

So why this blog now?

We got married a few months ago, in January 2008. Then moved into our dream house, with our 3 horses in July. Now I am getting ready to launch a major project. What a year! But, with all of the crazy hecticness- we fell out of our daily love note practice!!

And that was a 3 year-old habit!

What's a better way to get back into a habit than to blog about it!

After all, in our wedding vows, we promised we'd keep it up. And everyone at our wedding laughed, saying, "How charming, but it wasn't possible." We don't want them to be right, do we!?

So, here we are.

Mostly, it's a gift to each other.

A commitment to keeping love our first priority.

But, it's also a gift to the universe. Because every happy, gracious thought that any of us puts into the world, improves it.

We've decided to "Be the Change You Want to See."

So, we hope that you too, will add your happy thoughts to the universe. And together, we'll all improve the planet, one grateful thought at a time!

Now, that's something to be grateful about!