Boredom in Marriage

Boredom in Marriage

As a lifestyle coach and former athlete I am all about efficiency and schedules. But that can get boring real fast. The pain of regiments and disciplines becomes the pain of regrets. It can become so monotonous to do everyday life that one day we wake up and cry from the dullness. Unaware of how we got from burning passion to “Did you feed the dog?”,  we except it as is.

We crawl into the ho-hum of routine and settle in for consistency and average mediocrity.  This does not have to be you.  This is not what you were made for.  This is not the standard you should hold yourself up to. It is not what God considered good when He made man a partner in the Garden. This is not acceptable. 

We were made to be in God’s bigger picture and our marriages are the foundation of that.  Making sure we are focusing on developing our romantic dreams can keep us excited for creating something extraordinarily above average. Stepping up and raising our standards to live boldly and fearlessly can create immense drive. Despite all this encouragement on dreams and romance, you can still become bored. How? Two things, you’re either living life too fast or too slow. The pace of your marriage is crucial in creating excellence. 

Are you so busy you’re losing your wonder and curiosity for what it could be?  When was the last time you paused just to give a soft kiss? How many times have you promised you’d be somewhere or do something for your wife or kids only to allow situations to derail that commitment?  Sure, there are always exceptions that cannot be avoided (like a flat tire, emergency, or sickness).  I’m not talking about those.  I’m talking about the times you failed to prioritize, failed to watch the clock properly, failed to account for traffic, failed to close the laptop on time, or failed to tell someone else the word “no” rather than your spouse.

Exhausted from the normal speed of our existence we squash out any fire. If you’re so busy and you’re so overwhelmed in your day to day that there is no margin for dreaming, or engaging, you lose all zeal. You only have room for flipping the television on, maybe not even that. You find yourself out of energy to engage in anything. Game night, laughter, special plans for date night, gifts, and deeper conversations have no place because you physically have no band width for thinking of it.

On the flip side of this, perhaps your dreams are so slow at coming to fruition you’ve lost hope of reaching it entirely. Some dreams are life dreams and it’s a long time coming to make them happen.

To wait it out is really hard and very daunting. It’s much harder if your also not focused on smaller dreams during the wait.

When your timeline isn’t God’s, unfilled desires are painful.  

During a particular season where we were at this point we studied Paul, the apostle. Paul, who spent the better part of his last days in prison. He managed to stand fast despite beatings and massive persecution. How could he write such passionate and inspirational things while going through so much pain and so much boredom? Prison, (I am guessing) is very boring. I believe it was because he knew the bigger picture, his purpose, and the part he played. Do you know the part you play in you marriage? Do you know the bigger picture? God said it was not good for man to be alone in the garden. It was the only thing “not good” before the fall of man. We were created for connection with God and our spouse from the very beginning of time. 

For us to get out of bordom and the rutt we decided to create a vision statement that we both could stand on for our relationship. That no matter what, in the up’s, the downs, the storms and the calm, we would hold fast. We didn’t want excess, we wanted excellence. We wanted to continually be Creating Exceptional. We wanted to guard the good deposit that we had been given. (2 Timothy 1:14).

Do you have a vision for your marriage? Is it written down? Do you both take ownership of it?

Psalms 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

Accountability

Accountability

This is such a beautiful and vital place to start the conversation on showing up correctly for your marriage. In order to show up correctly, you must surround yourself with people who will hold you to higher standards and push you to achieve more than you could ever think possible. Ruth is one of the best examples in the Old Testament to showcase this principle. The book starts by explaining about a woman who got parenting all wrong. Naomi uprooted her family from their native country and people because of a famine in the land. In doing so, both her boys ended up marrying foreigners far from home who had very different religious backgrounds. This was considered taboo and a very big “no no” in that day and age.

Despite all of that, Naomi became a legend for her daughter-in-laws. They wouldn’t leave her side even after Naomi’s husband and sons had died.  She had lost everything and was far away from any relatives or any semblance of home. She had sacrificed greatly to protect her family. We don’t know exactly why she left, but I personally believe it was out of fear. Naomi had simply run away from a famine. Why is she even mentioned?  She wasn’t very notable.  The story is a tragic, melodramatic one for sure. The thing is, Naomi made such a massive impact on her daughter-in-law’s lives that these foreign, non-God fearing women wanted to follow her back to a land where they would be considered outcasts and lower citizens.  

Do you have anyone in your life that inspires such greatness? Naomi was this for Ruth. Because of her guidance and wisdom, Ruth was able to find a husband that would value her despite being a non-Jew. Boaz, the son of a foreigner, would ultimately marry Ruth. Why would he accept such an offer? Because Boaz was Rehab’s son. He was part of another famous story involving a foreigner. Rehab was a prostitute and non-Jew who saved her family by letting down a red cord for some spies. Boaz was probably the only Jew in the entire city that would understand Ruth’s situation so completely. Not only is this story one of my favorites but it is the epicenter of true romance and heroism. To top it all off, Ruth is stated in the lineage of Christ!  

Mathew 1:5: “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth…”

I wonder where Ruth would be without her mentor and how her story would’ve unfolded without her guidance.  Naomi coached Ruth on cultural norms, ways of life, and how to ultimately approach her husband. I firmly believe that without her Ruth’s life would not be what it was.

Who are the people who instill excellence in a bountiful way in your own life? If you don’t have this, I encourage you to find someone who can cultivate greatness in your marriage. Who is that couple that you just love how they do life as a team?  We personally have people we look up to because they are awesome at parenting and have incredible kids.  Others we look to because they represent exemplary status in career growth and personal development.  We have some individuals that are beautiful examples of a life focused on service and spiritual growth. Our most prized mentors are the ones that have “rock star” status marriages and they push us to have that for ourselves.  The individuals that radiate joy, fun, love, and growth in these areas of life will be the most incredible mentors you can give yourself.  I believe marriage mentors are irreplaceable, invaluable, and incredibly important. 

Proverbs 15:22: “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”

 

Date Night Ideas

Date Night Ideas

We believe in date night with a passion! We beleive you should do it often and with out condemnation. It is such a joy to carve out time to have fun together! Life can get boring with monotonous chores, schedules, home routines, work, and family life juggling. Take time for adventure and for cultivating your romantic relationship. For your pleasure here are a few ideas to take from. We personally have done every single thing on this list. Spice it up and get out of the dinner and movie rut. Many of these ideas for date night are free. (All of these activities should be done with phone silence.)
Relishing in late breakfasts over mimosas
A long, quiet walk
Reading a good book out loud together
Doing a unique activity – cooking class, white water rafting, building a fire-pit or outside deck
Gazing into a fire
Spending time in a hot tub
Cooking a multi-course meal
Star gazing late at night (we have a telescope)
Cuddling under a blanket with the person of your dreams
Watching the sunrise or sunset
Swing in a hammock
Hiking
Eat at an Indian restaurant where you sit on pillows and have fire dancers put on a show
Pizza picnic night – lay a blanket on the floor while you watch a movie
Game night
Indoor sky diving (iFly)
Indoor rock climbing
Helicopter ride
Dance club
Concert/shows
Sporting events just the two of you
Train for a race as a team
Gun range
Couples massage
Kayaking
Camping trip
Pedicures
Ride horses
Ice skating
Art and wine show
Wine and beer tastings
Drive in movie
Apple/blueberry/pumpkin picking
Rent scooters or vespas
Scavenger Hunt
Rent a limo
Drive around looking at Christmas lights with coffee
Dueling piano bar
Ballroom dance lessons
Botanical gardens/aquarium/Atlanta underground

How to Make Your Life Better

How to Make Your Life Better

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Simple idea. Go on vacation. Harder to implement. Traveling is wonderful, but it is also expensive and exhausting in the planning. However, I encourage you to get away. 

You should use every single day of vacation you have, every single year of your entire life and you should be making it special.

Just go gain some perspective. You will be better for it and able to tackle life strong. Creating passion despite all the hustle and bustle. 

This year has been no exception to that rule for our lives and it has further encouraged us to keep up this practice up and to make it a top priority for growth in our lives and our relationship.

When you get away from your jobs and your chores and your house projects and routines it creates space for the creative mind to breath and to be refreshed in ways only separation  can. It makes you appreciate things like hot water and your own pillows. It makes you love cultures that talk about afternoon down time and of the long two-hour dinners where not a phone is in sight. It makes you love history and people more! There is a way to do this though that maximizes the potential’s and minimizes the damage. Our very first “vacation” trip was the fall after we got married and just months after our first official jobs. We went to wine country. We stayed with extended family to help with costs and we hiked the red wood forests (cause it was free) and dipped our toes into The pacific waters (cause it was free). To this day we talk about the tone that trip set and how we’re always going to take trips. No matter what else happens.

So here are our tips. In just over one year between the two of us, we have been to Africa, Italy, The Bourbon trail in Kentucky, Disney World, Canada, Palo Alto, and soon Scotland, 30A, and Colorado.  Our Advice: Go Somewhere Special! Anywhere. Save up your vacation, and your money, – hit the road. You will never regret it.

  1. Do not take a curling iron. Waste of space and time.
  2. Save up for your vacations ahead of time. If the money is there it is no longer a budget issue and you aren’t nickel and  dimming everything. If the money isn’t there, go somewhere cheaper. It’s just not fun to be penny-pinching on vacation.
  3. Do invest in the plug adaptors kit from amazon!
  4. Take time to rest, coming home exhausted isn’t a vacation in my book, it’s a trip but not a vacation. Life is busy and crazy enough. As the house keeper in Italy told me “no stress, no worries.”
  5. Hit all of YOUR top places and realize you can’t do it all. So do what you want and not what you “should” do or see.
  6. Disney World fast passes are a joke – the lines are crazy. Just expect it.
  7. Gelato anywhere is amazing
  8. Never travel to Canada unless it’s the summer time! (You will freeze)
  9. Buy yoga flops. They are awesome!
  10. Take tons of pictures
  11. A Vespa is a must
  12. Plan outfits ahead of time and only bring one extra. Wrinkle free preferred.
  13. Don’t forget your favorite fragrance and your toothbrush on the plane. You never know the smells you could encounter.
  14. Leave room in suitcases for bringing back souvenirs – note again on not over packing. 😉
  15. Dance whenever challenged
  16. Always carry band-aides, chapstick, and essential oils for muscle relief
  17. Neck pillows are an awesome investment! My Africa plane trip without it was a nightmare, buy the memory foam ones.
  18. Ignore all the audio tours. But If you can get the VIP tour with a real guide do them. The guides personalities and passion are awesome to witness as a bonus!
  19. Order “WHITE” wine everywhere in Italy just to hear them say it
  20. African safari’s are over rated you can see just as much at Disney Animal Kingdom
  21. Drive yourself if you can, Being car sick is not fun but on vacation it is the absolute worst
  22. Carry a backpack purse.
  23. Make copies of your passports, leave a copy at home, one in your suitcase and of course have your real one always
  24. Always take a fun read
  25. A hard copy map is great. Someplace’s the apps just don’t work
  26. Journal about all of Gods beauty you witness and experience while away

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Welcome Our New Writer!

Welcome Our New Writer!

With great pleasure and excitement I am pleased to announce the exciting news of adding another writer to this site!

At six feet and with a smile that melts anyone, he is GQ in the flesh. The one and only “Stevo”. We have been married for over 11 years and as he is an excellent leader, speaker and writer we are joining forces to bring you the top tips and tricks in creating the exceptional life.

His focus will be more on spiritual growth, “man-ly” things, and on relationships. I am pleased to share the platform with him and give him the due respect and space for his ideas and thoughts to shine. To give you, our readers, clarity in being a person on fire for the things that matter most.

He and I (together) are passionate about marriages. We have been working with couples for over six years to fan the flame for a firm foundation and passionate life as a team. He will be giving all kinds of tips and ideas on creating opportunity for you to thrive and perform at a higher level in all of your endeavours, and relationships.

Steve likes to golf, take our kids to the lake, grill out, “Cheers!” everyone, make a priority of date night, have a great looking lawn, give with abandon, and laugh a lot. He has been blogging as a solo writer for some time now and we feel its time to join forces and create ease for our followers. He is a rock star when it comes to content and I know each and every one of you is going to be so inspired by what he brings to the table.

Welcome aboard Steve! I’m thrilled to be starting this part of our writing! You are my fairy tale.

With Heels and Heart,
-Kate

“Being engaged is a way of doing life, a way of living and loving. It’s about going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers us, a hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light. That’s what I want my life to be all about – full of abandon, whimsy, and in love.”
Bob Goff, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

We will both be blogging monthly and as a bonus I personally just launched a You Tube channel as well, for those who are interested in getting further coaching tips and tricks for life.

Detox

Detox

This topic is something that many people have become very opinionated and strong on. I want to be clear. These are my thoughts and what has worked for me. For me the detoxifying life has become a term that is part of my lifestyle. Not a diet. For me I detox regularly from many things and not just food. I eliminate days off social media in my life. I detox from chores when I go on vacation. I detox from shopping besides the grocery store.

Food is such a powerful regulator of our biology and detox is huge. It literally makes a world of difference. But when I detox I make sure I put in the good. It’s not just about limiting and taking the toxic things out. It’s about choosing the good and the healthier to replace the bad.

When I do a detox I do it to feel good, to get from feeling decent to feeling GREAT. I have been an athlete my entire life. I love dancing, yoga, am a mild runner, and am passionate about growing my own garden. When I decide to go all out and clear out, I am aware of the tweaks that I need to do because I have slide just a bit. This is not a massive diet strategy because I need to lose 70 lbs or want to go from couch to tri-athlete in six weeks. So remember, if this looks super over the top and strict for you, it might be. If you are going from eating fast food and milkshakes everyday I don’t assume that you are going to be doing this detox program. However, I am an average american that enjoys her wine and cake too. I am not gluten-free or vegan 24/7 so this plan does work a ton for my clients that want a little boost.

What I eliminate: processed carbs, sugar, dairy, meat and sometimes even fruit for a few days.

What I don’t give up: coffee.

I have done this before but I am in a place with my health now that I don’t put sugar or cream in my coffee. I drink it black and I buy organic and this is pure enjoyment for me. The effects of taking this out for me are usually far worse than what eliminating does for me. BUT….If you are dumping a pound of sugar and cream in to a cup and calling it coffee do not fool yourself. Eliminate it!!!

What I ADD: 

Vegan protein mixes, tons of fresh veggies, and a detox soup I make for dinners. I add tons of water!! Tons. I drink coconut water and green smoothies and salad every day.

I do try to do this every season change. And it makes me feel amazing!!

My struggle: Cheese and Alcohol elimination. Now this is going to come out and I know I’m going to get judged on this. Here me out. When I do this I do it for 10-14 days and its over two weekends. The weekends are just harder for me. My husband and I enjoy a good grill-out and a glass of wine on our deck and we host big dinner nights regularly. For whatever reason the minute I decide to do this it always seems to fall on a celebration weekend and its so hard for me! I hate missing out on the festivities.

My Recipes:

Detox water

(make up and seep in fridge over night)

2 liters water,

1 whole cucumber

1 lemon

mint leaves

Leek Soup

2 leeks – white and green parts washed

10 cauliflower heads sliced up

1 carrot diced

3/4 cup greens (this is an estimate It might be more) cut into slices

4 cups of organic vegetable stock

1 Tbs olive oil or coconut oil

pepper to taste

herbs to your taste

Simmer the leeks in a pan with the oil. Add the other veggies to stir fry. Add in the vegetable stock and some water if needed. Season to taste.

 

 

 

 

 

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

We take date night very seriously in our household. I take each of my children once a month for a special time just with me and My husband does the same thing. We take date night twice a month for our marriage and we each take a personal night out a month too.

In our fast paced and ever busy American cultural it can be daunting to find the space and the margin (and the money) for date night. We know it is worth it. It still can be a challenge. I am aware of this but it has to be priority. No excuse. No reason why it didn’t happen last month. Just get to it!

Because we have made this a priority it has become second nature to us to have this. If we go without dates for a time I start getting cranky. We all crave that much-needed one on one connection and quality conversations over the speed and hustle of quantity and busyness. You don’t have to go out to make date night either. A one on one basketball game in the front yard with my son, a Barbie ball playdate with my daughter, and an ice cream on the deck with my hubby can all be called “dates”.

In light of trying to make this a priority, We personally have fallen into a routine of predictable dates. Part of dating is the shared adventures of doing things out of the norm. And so those of us who even do date night regularly can fall into monotonous and underdeveloped relationships. To get your head out of mundane chores and work and school and house routines and into a more creative and fun thought process. It gives us room to imagine and dream and laugh and remember why we do all the things we do in the first place. So are you giving yourself the time to date? You do not have to have kids or spouses or even a significant other to date. Sometimes my most favorite “dates” are all by myself.

For this blog I have chosen to give you a fried chicken recipe that is amazing!! We did this recipe at a cooking class this last month and ate way to much! it was incredible. I hope that this recipe can inspire you to be creative, to take time away from your normal routines and to go have fun! Go see a concert, take a drive somewhere you haven’t been, go try a new coffee shop, visit a museum. There is so much more out there than just dinner and a movie. (although for us toddler moms, going to the movies would be like a kid getting told they get to go to Disney.)

Find time to make this happen! Take the leap, don’t let any opportunity be wasted. Investing in the most important people in your life is a life well lived. By having fun and going on adventures together you create passion and drive and connection. Connection that you just can’t get folding that persons socks and t-shirts. So without anything further here is the fried chicken recipe that we created in our cooking class. It literally created some “spice” back into our date nights as we considered fun and different ways we could experience date night.

Nashville hot Chicken

The secret to the spicy chicken is in the layering of flavor the spices show up in the buttermilk Brian spice flower and at the end of a burnished layering of spicy glaze.

 

Nashville spice mix:

2 tablespoons of ground Cayenne pepper 

6 tablespoons of granulated garlic

A fourth a cup of paprika

Fourth a cup of onion powder

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons sea salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Marinade:

1 (3 to 4 pound) whole chicken cut into 10 serving pieces each breast split in half

four cups buttermilk

1 tablespoon vinegar-based hot sauce such as Frank’s

Fourth a cup Nashville spice mix

Seasoned flour:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Fourth a cup and Nashville spice mix

Buttermilk coating:

one cup of buttermilk

one large egg

1 teaspoon baking powder

half a teaspoon baking soda vegetable oil for frying

Glaze:

half a cup Nashville spice mix

1 cup oil reserves from deep-frying

sea salt or seasoning

1: To prepare Nashville spice mix: in a small bowl whisk all the ingredients to combine and set aside. 

2: To prepare marinade: arrange the chicken and a large baking dish and set aside in the refrigerator in a large mixing bowl combine 4 cups buttermilk hot sauce and spice mix pour over chicken. Cover and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least three hours and up to eight hours

3: Place a wire rack over a baking sheet remove chicken from marinade set on Rack and drain thoroughly Pat away the excess with paper towels and bring chicken to room temperature about 30 minutes

4: To prepare seasoned flour: in a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour and spice mix set aside

5: To prepare buttermilk coating: in a large mixing bowl whisk together butter milk egg baking powder and baking soda and make sure will bubble and phone as the baking powder reacts with the liquid creating a ration in the batter by releasing carbon dioxide

6: Clip a deep fry thermometer into a large heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat add 3 inches of oil and heat until the oil registers 350° if you’re paying a smaller used to pan and fry the chicken in batches

7: To dip the chicken pick up a piece of marinated chicken and ranch the piece in the season flour making sure all the creases are well coated dip the chicken in the buttermilk shaking off any excess and then dredge it back into the seasons are shaking off the excess

8: Add coated chicken to the hot oil carefully skin side down always plays food in a hot skillet away from her body to avoid splashing your skin and clothes. Once all the chicken is in the pan turn heat to medium so the sizzling is study after about 15 minutes check the chicken if a rich brown crust has developed turn each piece if the chicken still looks pale increase the heat slightly and cook for a few more minutes continue frying the chicken and so well browned the meat is totally cooked through when it registers 165° about 15 to 20 minutes transfer the check into a wire cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. If you are cooking chicken in batches allow your oil temperature to return to 350° before starting the second batch

9: Add 1 cup of hot oil to the remaining space makes and whisk until thoroughly combined generally brush the season and glazed over the chicken and sprinkle lightly with salt serve warm or at room temperature