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Jan 21, 2023

Bending Without Breaking: How to Identify Needs and Preferences When Dating

Many of us have wish lists for our future partners stored away somewhere, like a recipe we’ve refined over years of trial and error. While these lists can help clarify our wants and needs, great relationships often require us to deviate from our carefully planned recipes a bit.

Nov 2, 2022

The "People Growing Machine"

I always love the quote from David Schnarch - marriage is a “people growing machine.” Truer words never spoken. As we celebrate 10 years of marriage this week, I thought it might be fun to share 10 quick lessons I’ve learned through our relationship - things we guard against and focus on, and advice that often pops up as I work with couples.

Feb 14, 2022

The Other 364

It can be hard in the crush of life to savor the moments together, to express our gratitude, and to show affection and care as often as our partners, children, family, or friends would like. So, days like today act like a gentle shake to remind us to keep our heads in the game. To do the things we know we need to do to let the people we care about really know it! But, one day a year cannot carry the weight of 364 where our relationships take the backseat to everything else we have going on...

Feb 7, 2021

Fire + Ice

When the house alarm went off in the middle of the night, I jumped anxiously out of bed and sprinted to our bedroom door. My groggy, half-baked plan was to protect the children by knocking over the intruder (like the 5'2" linebacker that I am) with sheer speed and willpower, rendering them unconscious while my husband called 911. In reality, I broke a lamp, swiftly turned the corner, and face-planted as I rushed up the stairs in total darkness. 

Jun 9, 2020

The Big Impact of Thinking Small

“Do small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa  “Small things often” is a Gottman Institute motto, and I find it pretty reassuring. Essentially, the little stuff we do matters, often a great deal more than the big trips and expensive gifts we typically associate with love and romance. Kind of like showing up to work each day matters a lot more than showing up to work once a month with donuts.

Jun 2, 2020

The World Is On Fire

I believe with all my heart that the hardest, most important work we do is at home (which ripples into our extended families, friends, communities, and workplaces). How do we cultivate relationships with partners who are often very different from us and who know all the right buttons to push? How do we parent when we are out of patience and out of ideas? When life gets busy and hard, how well do our words and acts align with our values?

Feb 6, 2020

Emotional Contagion: Spreading More Good

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s important to remember the ultimate aphrodisiac…clear, positive communication. You may have had your money on chocolate or a wildcard like oysters, but bear with me a minute on this. I have an idea for how you can harness the power of emotional contagion and direct communication to give your love life a boost. I’m fairly confident the results will exceed any oyster effects.

Dec 19, 2019

Holding Space: Goal Setting for 2020

This morning, I was listening to Dave Hollis on the For the Love podcast. He made an excellent point: what we say we want and what we actually do are often misaligned. If your goal is to slow down and rest, does your calendar actually reflect that? Whatever your goals are…more adventure, more date nights, more family trips, more laughter, more exercise, more “me” time, building a business, writing a book, fewer commitments...

Sep 24, 2019

Calming the Storm

Irrational behavior, short fuses, unrealistic demands. I’ve always joked the FBI should recruit hostage negotiators from parents in the preschool drop off line. Parenting is unbelievably hard work, especially for parents committed to doing it well. Learning to navigate tantrums, potty standoffs, and food refusal alone can test your patience in ways you never anticipated. I’m grateful to positive parenting experts like Dr. Justin Coulson for providing...

Aug 23, 2019

Safe and Sound

When my newborn son lets out a shrill cry at 3 in the morning, my body has a very visceral reaction. My husband and I both wake up alert and spring into action to pick him up, check him out, and quickly diagnose what’s ailing him. Hungry? Someone scrambles to the kitchen to grab a bottle. Dirty diaper (again!)? We draw short sticks to see who’s changing it. Regardless of the need, we know as his parents it’s our job to meet it right now.

Aug 6, 2019

Is Your Partner…Quirky?

It’s pretty easy to keep company with people who have similar interests and personalities, but there’s something to the “opposites attract” idea, too. The differences between us keep things exciting, adding spice to the relationship and depth to our conversations. But, as the saying goes, you can have too much of a good thing. Enter quirks. You’ve got ‘em. I’ve got ‘em. And sometimes, they drive our partners wild (…not always in a good way).

Jul 31, 2019

Money Talks: Moving Past Financial Gridlock

It’s always an adventure working with partners who have very different approaches to money. Maybe one insists on upgrading to the newest luxury car every few years while the other already has lucrative college savings accounts set aside for their future children. Then there’s the type that shoves the bills in the freezer with vague plans to sort it all out later. If your money values are mismatched...
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