Attend the 14th annual Smart Marriages® Conference

April 1st, 2010

Every year for the past 14 years, Diane Sollee has organized a conference that has attracted the biggest names in Marriage and Family Therapy circles in this country and from around the world. People like Dr. John and Jane Covey, Dr. John Gray, and Dr. William Doherty, just to name a few.

Ms. Sollee had come to the conclusion that too many marriages were falling apart and something had to be done. Sollee firmly believed that “..when it comes to marriage, we’ve been operating with good intentions, but terrible information. All that’s about to change. The research shows anyone can learn how to have a Smart Marriage®. Welcome the new era as we move out of the marital “dark ages” and into the Marriage Renaissance!”

Initially, the attendees were mainly marriage counselors and local clergy who were looking for additional information on how to support and educate couples on strengthening marriage commitments, but the conference has evolved into a fun getaway for couples who just want to find a unique way to travel and spend quality time together. In the past, it has changed venues so that each year you travel to a different part of the country.  This will be the second year in Orlando.  Think about several days at DisneyWorld with a couple of marriage education courses thrown in for good measure. For those couples who are always on the lookout for ways to strengthen their relationships, consider attending the next Smart Marriages Conference being held this year (for the second year in a row) in Orlando, Florida.

One of the Keynote Speakers will again be Dr. William Doherty. Over the years, crowds have loved his analysis and valuable insight into the world of marriage relationships because of his courage to ignore politically correct sensitivities and shed an honest and truthful light on some of the mistaken beliefs and past misunderstandings of marriage counselors, while at the same time encouraging couples to work through difficult periods and stop giving up too easily.

Says Doherty, “You move into marriage in the springtime of hope, but eventually arrive at the Minnesota winter, with its cold and darkness. Many of us are tempted to give up and move south at this point, not realizing that maybe we’ve hit a rough spot in a marriage that’s actually above average. The problem with giving up, of course, is that our next marriage will enter its own winter at some point. So do we just keep moving on, or do we make our stand now with this person, in this season? That’s the moral, existential question we face when our marriage is in trouble.”

As I’ve written before, people don’t have to get married with their fingers crossed, hoping that they can get along well with their spouse. Happy marriages can be learned! If you are serious about saving your relationship, don’t panic at the first sign of boredom, resistance, or doubt. Have faith in each other, remember why you fell in love to begin with and attend a seminar in Orlando. It will do you good!

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5 Daily acts that will remind your spouse you love her (or him)

March 28th, 2010

With the pressures and speed of daily life, it is easy to forget that our marriages need to be nurtured in the same way we would nurture a small plant in our kitchen window.  With our plant, we need to give it sunlight and water on a regular basis.  It doesn’t take much, just a small amount of water and a little sun will keep the plant growing and over time you will see a beautiful bloom of color and life.

Our marriages need the same attention.  It doesn’t require much, just a loving glance here, and an affectionate touch there, but that small amount of nurturing will keep the love between you blooming and full of color and life.

Here are 5 small acts you can do each day to ensure your loved one knows you still care:

1) Kiss her goodbye before leaving for work.

2) Send him a text saying “Hi”

3) Find one thing to complement her on.

4) Ask him how his day was and then listen to him tell you.

5) Hold her hand while watching TV.

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Arguing in front of the kids…. Could it actually be good for them?

February 22nd, 2010

It seems intuitive that if parents continually argue in front of their children, the children will be affected. However, there is a new study that has found that the affect does not always have to be negative.

According to a recent report by the University of Notre Dame, which has been conducting an ongoing study for the past 20 years, kids can actually learn conflict resolution skills if they witness their own parents working through a conflict.

“Children actually are not disturbed by (witnessing a conflict) if there are sincere efforts to problem-solve,” explains Mark Cummings, a professor of psychology and the lead researcher on the ongoing study. “They actually are happy about it, which surprised us to find that kids would actually say they’re happy to see the parents work it out.”

The study was quite elaborate in it’s design. Psychology researchers at the University of Notre Dame set up a home-like environment with cameras to record the children and to monitor their reactions. They then hired actors to play the parts of married adults that would argue in front of the children. Researchers tested around 500 children between the ages of 5 and 18 over the course of 20 years. They monitored their reactions to different argument scenarios and even took saliva samples from some of the children to study their levels of cortisol, which is the primary hormone produced by stress.

Different scenarios were portrayed. Sometimes the adults started an argument and then worked through a positive resolution. Researchers discovered that the children learned from these experiences and could recall details of the experience as well as the resolutions.

In other scenarios, the adults would initiate an argument, then pause and leave the room. The children never knew whether or not the disagreement was resolved. In other scenarios, the argument would end with one parent storming out of the room in anger.

Additional findings reported in the study included the fact that, on average, typical married couples have about eight disputes a day. These can be simple disagreements about who should pick up the dry cleaning, or who will do the dishes and can range to much more heated exchanges. But, as hard as we try to shelter our children, the report found that children witnessed their parents arguing about 45 percent of the time.

Po Bronson, co-author of the book NurtureShock, explains that if parents pause mid-argument to take their conflict elsewhere, they should tell their children afterward that the argument was resolved. “In the study, children who don’t see the entire argument, or who see just the beginning but not the resolution, can become overly dramatic in their conflicts. They may become more erratic in their behavior, and their relationships may suffer” says Bronson.

“Boys and girls react differently to parental conflicts,” he added. “Boys show more anxiety in the short term and rebound faster, yet while girls may not seem as affected initially, the conflict depresses them for at least a couple of weeks,” he said.

According to Cummings “The lesson is that if children see grown-ups fighting and making up, those children learn that disagreements can be stepping stones to solutions.”

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Dr. John Gottman to speak in Salt Lake City

January 30th, 2010

As part of the National Marriage Week celebration in Salt Lake City, the Utah Commission on Marriage is sponsoring Dr. John Gottman at the Salt Palace on Friday, February 12, 2010.  This nationally acclaimed speaker is the founder of The Gottman Institute™.  The Institute “helps couples directly, and it provides state-of-the-art training to mental health professionals and other health care providers. It also applies leading-edge research on marriage in a practical, down-to-earth therapy and trains therapists committed to helping couples. No other approach to couples education and therapy has relied on such intensive, detailed, and long-term scientific study of why marriages succeed or fail.”

The seminar is targeted to Therapists, Professional & Faith-based counselors, as well as Family Life educators.  Students studying each of these disciplines are also invited.

The seminar costs $45.00 and has already been sold out once.  Arrangements have been made to increase the available seating, however, these newly added seats are almost gone, so you will want to act quickly!  Tickets are available through all SmithsTix locations.You will need to They have made arrangements for a larger area, but the remaining tickets

CEU Credit available!

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Utah Governor proclaims February 7th to 14th as “Marriage Week”

January 30th, 2010

In conjunction with National Marriage Week USA, Utah Governor Gary Herbert has declared February 7th to 14th as “Marriage Week.”  According to the National Marriage Week website, this proclamation is part of a national movement which is “a collaborative effort to encourage many diverse groups to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture, which in turn helps curtail poverty and benefits children.”

The Utah Commission on Marriage is part of this national trend and has been working hard for several years with the aim of providing educational resources and opportunities that will help strengthen marriages.

Melanie Reese is the coordinator for the Commission and works feverishly to help promote and spread the word about the many services and resources that are available to the public.  As part of National Marriage Week, she has been instrumental in getting Dr. John Gottman tp speak in Salt Lake City.  According to Ms. Reese, “This is a major coup!  Dr. Gottman is a nationally acclaimed speaker who travels all across the country providing valuable research information on the importance and positive affect that marriage has on a society.  The fact that he is coming to Salt Lake City is a major complement to the efforts of the Commission and to the professional, as well as faith-based, marriage counselors and other relationship professionals.

According to the National Marriage Week initiative:

“Marriage works. It makes people happier, live longer, and build more economic security. Children with married parents perform better in school.

Deep down, everyone wishes they could have a rewarding lifelong commitment with their spouse. But in the midst of challenges, we forget how marriage can benefit our personal lives. We are losing our determination and the skills to keep marriages healthy and strong.

Marriage breakdown is costly to our kids and to society at large. Divorce and unwed childbearing cost the U.S. taxpayers a whopping $112 billion annually.

In these economic challenging times, building stronger marriages helps build a stronger nation.”

(Click here to see official proclamation)

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No secrets: Couples share email addresses to keep things open

December 19th, 2009

Over the past couple of years there has been a new trend developing in online communications.  No, it’s not the use of Twitter or Facebook, although those two technologies are a huge trend that is sweeping the country.

The new trend actually has more to do with using an old technology in a new way.  Electronic mail (e-mail) has been around for a long time and it would be hard to find anybody nowadays under the age of 65 who doesn’t have at least one email account.

Email has fundamentally changed our world, both in our personal lives as well as in our businesses.  However, as is often the case with technology, it can be a double-edged sword.  Because of the inherent privacy built into having your own personal email account, a new type of “affair” has evolved.  By traditional definition, an affair has meant an intimate physical relationship with another who is not your spouse.

However, email, and the Internet in general, has created a new type of affair.  This type of affair could happen between two people who live thousands of miles apart and maybe haven’t even actually met, yet they have grown emotionally attached through intimate conversation and the sharing of very personal information.

There are those who will argue that this is simply a form of friendship, there has been no betrayal.  Yet, if the act of having sex with someone who is not your spouse is bad, but a highly intimate and emotional relationship with someone who is not your spouse is OK, then I think the bigger point is being missed.

I submit that by definition the act of having sex is as much an emotional and intimate experience as it is a physical one, and I would also argue that it is this intimacy and emotional connection of sex that is the root of the feeling of betrayal.

Therefore, if someone has an intimate, emotional relationship with someone other than his or her spouse, even if sex is not involved, it is still the same type of betrayal.

This brings us back to the new trend in email accounts.

In an effort to show total confidence in the online communications between spouses and their friends, couples are starting to share email accounts.

Many couples have started sharing accounts simply as a way to consolidate all electronic bills or online statement communications, however over time they have grown to appreciate the “built-in safety net” of the idea.

The temptation of an online affair with someone over the internet still exists, and someone who is determined to cheat will still cheat, but sometimes the simple knowledge that someone else might easily see the communication you are sending out helps keep honest people honest.  But the real value seems to be just the confidence that there doesn’t appear to be any secrets.

James Furrow, a professor of marital and family therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary, an evangelical school in California, said sharing an account can be helpful if the goal is promoting openness. But he said the practice can hurt a relationship if it’s meant “as an act of deterrence.”

“We can take steps to manage our behavior, but then the problem with that is it begins to become the emphasis rather than the trust of giving the other the benefit of the doubt,” Furrow said. “What you end up with is the doubt.”

While this approach to openness in marriage may seem trivial and ineffective to some, for others who are proactively looking for ways to strengthen their marriage relationships, the idea is one that is starting to spread throughout marriage support groups like Focus on the Family and the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education (CMFCE).

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The Good, The Bad, and The Funny Finalists!

November 4th, 2009

Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry to our “The Good, The Bad, and The Funny” honeymoon story contest. 

We have reviewed every single one and spent many long (and fun-filled) hours reading and watching all the entries.  We enjoyed all of the submissions and realized that narrowing them down to a few was no easy task. 

However, after many hours of “discussing” (honest, there was no arguing) we have narrowed down the list to the following entries.  Please read through all the entries and select your favorite by adding your comment to the post you’ve selected as the winner.  There are 16 finalists, so make sure you read them all.

Please tell all your friends and neighbors, so everyone gets a chance to vote.  We had intended to have the voting done by now, but with so many entries, we got a little behind.  Hurry and get your votes in today, voting ends November 15th.

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Honeymoon Vacation With My Family

November 4th, 2009

(This entry was a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.)

Dear Diary,

I now know how sound proof the rooms at the family cabin down at the Lake are. They aren’t!

Adam and I decided that instead of spending money on an expensive honeymoon, we would just go down to the cabin instead and spend a week hiking.

Come to find out, Dad, Grandma and Papa were down there working on the kitchen plumbing. Dad was in the room next to us, and Grandma and Papa were in the room below us.

We thought it wouldn’t be so bad because we would be gone most of the day and only be there to sleep.

Well, halfway through the week we were in our room umm…sleeping…when we heard my dad yell from the bottom of the stairs “I”M COMING UP THE STAIRS NOW!!” and proceeds to stomp up the stairs…ooops. I

 thought I was being pretty quiet, but I guess I wasn’t as quiet as I thought. That probably explains why every time we came down stairs Grandma was sitting next to the TV reading a book…with the TV on…maybe we should have gone on a cruise after all.

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The Detour

November 4th, 2009

(This entry was a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.)

December 2002.  

My wedding day, the happiest day of my life!

Although, the day of our wedding was also the same day as the worst storm Oakland, California had seen in 100 years. Maybe I should have taken that as a sign.

We were so excited for the honeymoon! On our wedding night, we stayed in a nearby hotel with plans to leave the next day and head up north, near California. We must have been a little excited to get to our room because we left our keys sticking out of the key hole on our car. Luckily someone turned them into the front desk. The clerk got a big kick out of it, “honeymoon huh?” :wink, wink: “Almost left your keys behind!”.

Awkward.

We hit the road and took turns on the nearly 5 hour drive. I took the wheel for the second half of the trip, and obviously I was a little over eager to get to our destination. I received my first speeding ticket, going 16 over. Obviously the police officer took no notice (or pity) of the GIANT “Just Married” sign in the back of our window.

We arrived at our destination and had a wonderful 3 days. The night before we were to leave a huge thunderstorm hit, and it poured all night long. In the morning we packed up our bags and headed home. Not 10 miles later we hit a problem. There was a massive mud slide closing the only main rode to get home. We tried asking around for another way, but the only way was to go on a mountain road, and come back down. Everyone suggested we just hang around a few days until the road is all cleaned up.

We were poor college students, we couldn’t afford to stay longer, and we had to be back at school in Utah in just three days. It was also New Years Eve, and we wanted to spend it with family, so up the mountain road we went.
We used an old atlas in order to find our way. It wasn’t real exact, but we assumed we were going in the right direction. Since it had rained so much the night before, it had also snowed just as much in the mountains.

At one point we were on a narrow snow covered road (in a Chevy Caviler) with a sheer drop off on one side. White knuckles are all I can say about that. Eventually we made it to the road we were supposed to take back to civilization only to find it was also closed due to an avalanche. We had already been driving for over 5 hours.

We looked at our atlas and found another road that looked like it hooked up to the highway we wanted to take. Every once and a while we would see another car, and at one point we passed a slow moving car with a scared looking man in it driving REALLY cautiously. We laughed and mocked him. Two minutes later we hit black ice, slid, and hit the side of the mountain. The car was fine, it was just snuck in a snow bank. Seconds later the frightened looking man came driving around the corner and offered us a ride. When we got in the car we realized he was as paranoid as he looked. Eventually we realized he was not stopping anytime soon, and we didn’t want to leave our car in the mountains so we had him drop us off.

Now we were miles away from our car, standing on the side of a mountain road. By the way, no cell phone reception either.

Luckily, a crazed looking woman showed up in a jeep going towards the direction of our car, so we hopped in. When we got back to our car there were two other people who had slid off the road. We all helped each other, and we able to get all the cars out, except ours. As everyone left, they promised to send help when they reached the first town.

Now we were all alone, on the side of a mountain road, and it was dark. At one point a drunk snow plow driver came barreling down the road, almost smashing into our car. He was no help, he just kept going on about the avalanche covered road he was supposed to be plowing.

Our savior came in the form of a mountain man driving a giant truck. Apparently he was the brother of the crazed looking jeep woman. He had a fun time goading us about “the city folk” who come down this way. He couldn’t believe my husband grew up in Utah and didn’t know how to drive in the snow (I was a little surprised myself). The Mountain man was able to tie a tow rope around our front tire and pull out the car. We were saved and were able to make it the rest of the way home, without incident.

We walked into the door of my parent’s house 10 seconds before midnight, said happy New Year, and crashed into bed.

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16 Years and Counting

November 4th, 2009

(This entry was a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.)

Dec. 10, 1993
Oh Diary, I am so excited! Tonight Sam asked me to marry him! I said yes, of course. He is so sweet. I know we have only been dating for 2 months, but we have been good friends for over a year. We were sitting in the driveway of his friend’s mom’s house. He has been staying there until he can move into an apartment. There are 7 in the family besides the kids she babysits, so we were sitting outside in the driveway in his 1973 “Jalopy” station wagon. I can’t believe the jalopy still runs. He just got it out of the shop but it still runs kind of rough. It is so big that, when we play slug bug, I can slide to the passenger door and Sam is not able to get me from the driver’s side. At least it runs, I guess.

Anyway, we were talking about our relationship and he told me that he loves me and asked me how I felt. When I told him that I love him too he told me to hang on while he ran in the house. When he got back in the car he showed me a ring and asked me to marry him. It isn’t the ring that I have always dreamed would be my engagement ring (that beautiful black hills gold engagement /wedding set at the jewelers in the mall that has the 2 roses intertwined around a diamond), but maybe I’ll get that for the actual wedding. He didn’t ask me about a ring so he doesn’t know that I have always had my heart set on that one. He got me one with two small diamonds on the sides and an Emerald in the middle. “GREEN” I would at least think it would have been red for love, or a pearl. I like purple and blue too. Oh well, we’ll get the black hills gold ring for the wedding.

After I said yes, he ran in the house and brought out a bottle of champagne and 2 white roses. He told me that he had planned a romantic candle light dinner for the next evening to propose to me, but that the moment just seemed right tonight. I kind of wish he would’ve done the romantic dinner anyway.

Oh, by the way. Neither my roommate Tonya nor Sam’s sister Emily is happy about us getting married. Tonya says Sam is taking away her best friend and Emily says I am taking her brother away from her. I don’t understand this as we spend a lot of time together with them. Emily is with us almost everywhere we go.

Dec. 27, 1993
Dear Diary, Sam and I have been planning a wedding for the Fall of next year. I love the Fall and think it would be so romantic to be married and have our anniversary during the Fall season. But…. We are moving into an apartment together in January and he wants to be married before we move in to the apartment. He said we could go to the court house to get married now and have our wedding next year. I so know this will never happen- if we go to the court house, there will never be a wedding. He keeps trying to talk me into it but I am not going to give in. I haven’t even gotten the ring I want yet either. I know it’s the marriage and not the wedding that really matters, but I want a wedding! After all, I only plan on doing this once.  
 
Dec. 30, 1993
Dear Diary, I am still a little in shock. Today was the last day of Sam’s Christmas Vacation. He got 1 week paid vacation from work for Christmas. We are scheduled to move into our new apartment in two weeks. He talked me into going to the court house to get married, insisting that we had to go today. It took most of the day for him to talk me into it. I agreed to go this afternoon.

I came home to get ready and I didn’t even have time to do my hair. Sam kept rushing me. I know he was afraid I would change my mind. I tried to call my mom to talk to her and see if there was any way she could be there. She didn’t answer. And so, we left for the court house. I wore a pair of jeans and I borrowed a white poetic frilly shirt from Tonya, my roommate. Sam wore jeans and a jean button up shirt with a tie.

I did get Sam to stop by Albertson’s, after much persuasion,  so I could get a bouquet of red roses, but they didn’t have any red roses – nothing about this went the way I had always planned or hoped- so I got “Fire and Ice”  roses (white roses with red edges). They were pretty.

Tonya and Emily went with us to be our witnesses. Neither was happy about it. We got through the paperwork part and then had to wait in the judge’s chambers for an hour and a half with both sour faced witnesses. You would think they would at least pretend to be happy for us. We had no other family there.

When the judge finally came in, the ceremony took all of 5 minutes and we used the engagement ring he had bought me (with the “GREEN” stone) as my wedding ring and an old silver band I had for his.

Tonya wanted to go home right away. Emily, my new sister in law, went with us to Jack in the Box for our “wedding dinner”. After dinner we took Emily home and on our way “home” (Sam’s friends house with the 7+ people) we got a flat tire on the Jalopy. Since we hadn’t gotten very far, Sam ran back to his sister’s to get a jack, while I waited in the car, and came back to change the flat. When we finally made it back to the house full of people we realized the judge had written the wrong date on the marriage license. It is the 30th of December and that is what is on the license from the clerk’s desk, but on the bottom half of the license where the judge signed it says December 31! I wonder which one will be our legal wedding date. This was not the day I had envisioned as a teenager or that I spent time planning as a fiancé. Nothing has gone as I thought it would.

I really wish my mom could have been there. It is so loud in this house I can hardly concentrate. I can’t wait to get into our new apartment in 2 weeks.
 
October 19, 2009
Dear Diary, Today is October 19, 2009. In a little over two months Sam and I will celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary. As I say, “It is the “marriage” and not the wedding that really matters.” I am more in love with him now than I was then. Good marriages don’t just happen. A “good” marriage is a lot of hard work, full of compromises and disappointments, tears and laughter, joy and pain. I would do it all over again if it meant having the love we have in each other.

I never did get the ring or the wedding I wanted, but that doesn’t even matter to me now. I have the man and family I wanted and that is worth far more to me.

That old Jalopy got so bad and money was so tight right after our honeymoon and moving in our apartment, that when the brake lights went out, Sam rigged these 6 inch square lights in the back window. The wiring ran from the front dash along the sides to the lights in the top corners of the back window. You had to flip the lights on with a switch he rigged on the dash. It had a serious electrical problem. Somehow, when the car would no longer start, he figured out that if you turned the radio and left blinker on, the car would start. It would no longer idle because of a carburetor problem, so when you came to a stoplight you would have to flip the “brake lights” on, keep your foot on the brake, throw the car in park, and rev the gas so the engine wouldn’t die. We looked like we were revving our engine to race someone in our jalopy.

The saying, “You might be a Redneck” comes to mind. My mom rode once with my husband driving this car and did not ride with him again for almost 10 years and even then she had to be slightly intoxicated to, “calm her nerves” she said. She thought he was a crazy driver.

I am so glad the marriage has not gone like the honeymoon or the ’73 jalopy station wagon.

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Thanks, Mom

November 4th, 2009

(This entry is a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.  There are 16 stories, please vote for our winner by adding a comment to your favorite.)

Have you ever felt you had one of those mothers who just can’t seem to let go of their child? Well, mine went way beyond that!

From the day I announced I was getting married, Mom took over. Forget the fact that I was a successful 22 year-old running a production company with nearly 200 employees, my mom just couldn’t believe I could handle anything myself. Nor would she trust my bride-to-be to do anything either. While that part may be typical of most mothers, what happened at the wedding luncheon and beyond took the cake.

Realizing the wedding was now over, and this would be the final place she could show her dominance, Mom turned the talk to sex. Given that we had just left the Salt Lake Temple not an hour earlier, this took a few people by surprise. Mom began speaking of what we would do and got everyone to share some pretty personal experiences, then everyone started tossing in their two bits. While discussions of sex were not taboo in our home, my poor bride had grown up in a home where sex was never discussed. In fact, it wasn’t until she was 17 that my wife found out how babies were made. To hear my mother go on about sex and the honeymoon activities, looking at the looks on her parents’ faces and watching her grandmother cringe nearly killed her.

Once the luncheon was over, we headed for the hotel. This was a scary time for my bride. As sex has never discussed in her home, the idea of having sex and actually getting down to it was terrifying. At least we were alone! But then again, were we? After only a few hours, and with my wife finally over the initial fears and cozying up to the idea of spending a night alone with me doing what newly married couples do, we sat naked on the couch under a blanket catching our breath and enjoying the moment. There was a loud knock at the door. “Room Service” the voice called out. Rushing for a robe, or anything to allow me to cover myself, I went to the door and my wife ran for the bed. We didn’t order room service I said through the door. “Room Service” the voice said again. Thinking maybe the hotel had included something in our honeymoon suite package, I opened the door only to find my mother holding a large Dunford doughnut and a Big Gulp (Coke).

She barged in and said “I’ve brought you some sugar so you can keep your energy up…You know you’ll need it – You’re a Shepherd!!” She peeked around the room, made a comment about the jacuzzi tub, yelled “good luck with him” to my wife and finally left.

To this day the visit from mom is brought up at every opportunity.

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A Little Too Late

November 4th, 2009

(This entry is a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.  There are 16 stories, please vote for our winner by adding a comment to your favorite.)

My wife and I will have been married for 8 years in November.  Our honeymoon started off at the Anniversary Inn in Salt Lake.  It was a very beautiful room and we very much enjoyed our stay there.  The next day we boarded a plane for California.  My wife had never been, so I thought it’d be fun to take her there.

A friend of mine told me about a place that you can rent.  To get to this place you have to take a ferry.  We stayed two nights there, but the first night we got into a huge fight and I ended up sleeping on the couch for most of it.  However, that was just the start of our grand honeymoon adventure! 

On the morning of our third day I’d mentioned to my new bride that I hadn’t had a bowel movement since before we were married.  So she offered me HALF of a Dulcolax that she’d brought with her.  I have no idea why she’d had it, but I took it anyways.  This was on the morning that we were to leave the island and ferry back to the main land.  The ferry ride was fun, especially watching the seagulls flying along side the boat.  Just before we drove off the ferry my stomach began to make sounds and rumblings which were reminiscent to that scene in Dumb and Dumber where Harry rushes into the bathroom and finds out that the toilet is broken.

I had a fleeting thought that I should probably use the restroom on the ferry, but decided that I didn’t have time and would take care of things once on the mainland.  So we get in our rental car and drive off the ferry.  Then it hits me, wave after wave of pain is pulsating through my guts and I quickly realize that we were moving rather slowly due to the traffic of cars ahead of us who also had just departed the ferry.  Then I notice that there are only two lanes of traffic and no shoulder, so there’s nowhere to pull off, and even if we did the street was lined with homes.

I finally announce to my wife (who’s driving) that she may want to hurry it up.  She asked why and I informed her of my increasingly volatile situation.  She thought I was joking and informed me that there was nothing she could do to go faster.  I was nearly in tears at this point with no gas station or sign of relief anywhere in sight.

Then it happened!  The walls of Jericho were breached!  My new bride suddenly caught the scent of unhappiness and looked at me and stated, “You didn’t???”  To which I replied most dreadfully, “Uh huh!”  She then did something that I did not expect…  She began laughing hysterically!  This reaction was very bad for me, because it caused me to begin laughing, and as you can imagine, laughter is not an effective way to keep certain things in.  At this point I’m trying to raise myself off the seat of the rental car, laughing and expelling all at the same time.

Just then, we rounded a corner and saw a Chevron sign.  If only we’d gotten there a mere five minutes sooner…  If only…

So my bride goes into the gas station and gets the key, since the restroom was outside the building and I go inside to try and clean up as best I could.  The sad thing is that the restroom seemed to be even grosser than I was at that point.  I did ask my new bride of 2 days to help me clean up, which I thought was a very reasonable request since it was her Dulcolax that had caused the situation in the first place.  However, she replied, “No Way!!!”

While I was trying to clean myself up and dealing with more waves of explosiveness, my bride bought some baby wipes, and unpacked new clothes for me to wear.  I ended up destroying the clothes I’d been wearing and threw them away in the dumpster.  The piece de resistance was the moment that I had to retrieve my watch which has somehow slipped out of my hands and landed with a plop into the not-so-clean toilet.

Now for the funny part of the story, as if you aren’t laughing already…  Little did I know that another traveler had been waiting quite some time for me to come out of the restroom.  I only saw him briefly as I exited, and when I got in the car we saw him immediately exit the restroom and he seemed to be quite upset about something.  We drove away rather quickly ourselves in the hopes of leaving that horrible scene far in the dust!

I wish I could say that was the end of our miserable experience, but it wasn’t.  Later that night after shopping for new clothes for me we found ourselves in one of the worst rainstorms that this area had seen in quite a few years.  Again, my bride was driving and we were attempting to find the exit so we could get to our next destination.  I found the exit and told my wife to exit, which she did.  However, what neither of us knew was that there were two lanes which exited the Highway, and the inside lane (the one we were in) only goes back onto the Highway and the outside lane is the one that actually leaves the Highway.  So now tempers flare as we realize we are back on the Highway and now lost in a horrible rainstorm.  Then to top it all off, my wife realizes that she is coming down with a Urinary Tract Infection and needed to use the “little girl’s room”  A LOT!.  About an hour later we finally find our way to our hotel, but let’s just say, it was a very “unproductive” night.

Our final two nights, we stayed in a little Bed and Breakfast there and apparently we were the only residents for both nights.  That is except for the feeling that we had ghostly neighbors.  The place was FREAKY!  The bed was as hard as a rock and literally felt like they’d placed a board over the springs.  There was a nice big ceramic tub in the bathroom and we were eager to get in and try and relax.  That was until the water that exuded out was a nasty reddish brown rust color and never turned clear!  The shower was the same, but we suffered through the odd smell and color of the water in the hopes to get somewhat clean.

So the Bed part of the stay was less than stellar, so we hoped the Breakfast portion would be better.  Let me start out by saying that my wife has horrible Acid Reflux and wasn’t on any medication at this time.  She also hates bananas and is not a big fan on chocolate either.  So we get down to breakfast and they lay out chocolate and banana crepes with a big tall glass of Orange Juice!  I ended up eating both servings and immediately took my wife to McDonalds for a winning breakfast.

At least on our flight home to Salt Lake the flight attendant lets us sit in First Class since I’d informed her that we were on our Honeymoon.  That was nice, even though the flight was extremely bumpy and my wife was grabbing my arm with a death grip.  Then as we landed they offered us a bottle of Champaign in celebration…  We politely declined.

That was our Honeymoon.  It had it all to be sure!

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Party of Four

November 4th, 2009

(This entry is a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.  There are 16 stories, please vote for our winner by adding a comment to your favorite.)

We went to Maui and my in laws paid for it BUT, since they where paying for it they thought that they might as well take the opportunity  for them to go to Maui as well (mind you my in laws are very religious, Me and my husband aren’t, so we don’t do things in front of them that they wouldn’t approve of)

…. Well we thought ,we will just do our own thing and so we will they try and avoid them there. That way we could drink on our honeymoon and just be ourselves. Well, we get to the hotel and check in go to our rooms and our rooms are combined!!!   The only thing that can separate the beds is a thin wall and a door other then that everything else was shared Bathroom etc…I thought to my self “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME, THIS HAS TO BE A JOKE!”

Well it wasn’t.. we spent the whole time with them.  If we went to dinner, they’d see us leaving and ask where we were going and would decide every time to join us..we went to the pool, they were reading at the pool!!!

The hotel area was to small to avoid them! And not to be so upfront but Sex?? ….  ya that happened once the whole time we were there, cause I was nervous they would hear or walk in!

We tried to attempt another honeymoon last year for our 1 year anniversary but money got tight because my husbands job started laying off people so we couldn’t save.. I would like this night to try and make it up to my husband. It would be so nice to just have a romantic evening to ourselves…

So please consider us , we know its not a Maui trip but we would be so grateful to just have one night to make up for it. Thank you for taking the time to read my bad honeymoon story.

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A Blushing Bride and a Flushing Groom

November 4th, 2009

(This entry is a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.  There are 16 stories, please vote for our winner by adding a comment to your favorite.)

Dear Journal,
Nothing says romance like a warm bubble bath for two, dimmed lights and….a plugged toilet? Well, our romantic honeymoon started out exactly that way. 

We were married in December of 2007. Ever since I was a teen, I knew where I wanted my new husband and I to spend our first night together- The Anniversary Inn. When we decided to finally get married, I had a lot of fun just browsing the rooms, daydreaming and wishing we could afford one of the more expensive rooms. 

As it turned out, a dear uncle booked us the Romeo and Juliet Suite for our wedding night. Needless to say, we were pretty excited. As our wedding day grew closer and closer, our anticipation grew and grew. Neither of us have “been” with anyone before (anyone else or each other for that matter!) so we wanted everything to be perfect for our wedding night, the first time we were to spend the night together. We each had this perfect scenario of our wedding night in our minds and were very much looking forward to spending that special time together!

And special it was! It just wasn’t quite what we expected. Let me explain. We arrived to our suite fairly late. Soon after settling in, my husband stepped into the bathroom to get ready for the evening. I got ready upstairs in the loft and waited for him. And waited. And waited. After nearly falling asleep, I heard the bathroom door open downstairs and I heard a bashful voice yell out, “Honey? Honey? I have a little problem…I just clogged the toilet!” All of the romance we had been trying to create just flew out the window. My poor husband, wanting more than anything to make this night perfect for us, was completely embarrassed to make this announcement to me. And me? I just laughed and laughed and laughed at my new husband’s predicament. Of course we didn’t have a plunger so my husband had to make the awkward call down to the front desk to have one brought up. He eventually got it taken care of, but our hopes for a perfect night went down the drain….literally!

It wasn’t a perfect night but it sure was fun. And it is even more fun to think about as time goes on!

P.S. We spent the night at The Anniversary Inn for our first anniversary. It was like being on our honeymoon all over again, plugged toilet and all. Except I was the culprit this time! 

P.P.S Honey, it’s your turn this year!

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The Un-egg-spected Surprise

November 4th, 2009

(This entry is a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.  There are 16 stories, please vote for our winner by adding a comment to your favorite.)

The third morning of our honeymoon found my new bride resting dreamily as the first hint of light came creeping through the sails of the boats resting quietly in the Florida harbor and in through the window. 

I had hatched the perfect romantic plan to surprise her, show her my deep love, and convince her of my homemaking skills all in one go.  I crept quietly out of bed and into the kitchen of the hotel room where I had secretly stashed breakfast food.  Not too hard… cantaloupe, eggs, juice, and toast, napkin folded into a heart… Oh baby!, was this going to be romantic!

Things were going fine until I began to search for the pan to cook the eggs with.  My thoughts went something like this:  “What’s this… no pan?!!  Great!  It just doesn’t seem right to have snuck out the night before to buy eggs and then not use them for my super romantic surprise breakfast in bed.  Ok, so, I improvise.  Never tried eggs in the microwave before, but hey, let’s give it a go.  How long do you stick eggs in for anyway?  Well let’s see.  Popcorn goes for about 3 minutes 20 seconds (I know that one well after years of bachelorhood).  Eggs should be about half that, right?  Well maybe a little more, so they won’t be mushy… say 2 minutes and 30 seconds.  While that’s cooking, I’ll just busy myself cutting the cantaloupe.”

Well, little did I know that microwaves in hotel rooms aren’t actually meant to have anything cooked in them. I was in the middle of removing seeds from the cantaloupe when suddenly I was blasted to the floor with the most earsplitting schizophrenic beeping I have ever heard.  There was smoke pouring out of the microwave.  They had managed to strategically place the fire alarm directly over the microwave of course. My pocketknife I was using went flying across the room one way and the cantaloupe half I was working on went flying toward the bed.  My wife was jerked wildly from her sleep in a fashion quite a bit less romantic than I had hoped.  This turned out to be doubly unfortunate because she timed her bolt upright response perfectly to catch the slimy cantaloupe right on her nighty.  I frantically tried to wave off the smoke while apologizing to my befuddled wife over the blaring alarm, but to no avail. 

The burnt egg smell permeated the room along with the smoke.  I tried to blow on it, but alas, it beeped on and on.  Now I can hear urgent hispanic chatter as hotel personal are rushing to the room.  After several minutes of failed efforts to get the darn thing to shut off, we donned our robes and were eventually driven out of our room by the ruckus. 

Outside we were greeted by a couple of crying Pakistani children huddled around their bleary eyed parents.  They were the first of many unhappy hotel guests who were compelled to leave their rooms on that wing of the building.  Did you know that in a hotel, when one fire alarm goes off, they all do?

Well, needless to say, my breakfast (though memorable) wasn’t as romantic as I had hoped.  Lucky for us, the nice Fireman gave us a break… this was our honeymoon after all.  

Now, when people ask us how our honeymoon went, my wife is quick to reply “Well, my husband surprised me with breakfast in bed!”

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They sound like idiots

November 4th, 2009

(This entry is a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.  There are 16 stories, please vote for our winner by adding a comment to your favorite.)

For several months now, I have been bugging my husband to take me kayaking. We thought our honeymoon would be a perfect time. We called the kayak rent shop and asked about conditions vs. skill level and such. He said the sea was a bit choppy and that, especially since we were inexperienced to sea kayaking, it would be difficult to row against the current and wind, “but you should be fine.”
 
“Is the bar open today?” I asked.
“Yep, it’s open” he said.
 
We felt pretty dang cool clad in our rented wet suits and carrying a tandem kayak down toward the harbor. We had to wind down a stair case, passing several people who, no doubt, were thinking to themselves, “They must be so hardcore. If only we were as cool as that.”

Both silently nervous, we ventured into the water. Soon enough, however, our nerves were calmed (though not helped by my constant repeating of “We are going to die.”) by the rhythmical waves.  We quickly became comfortable and really began enjoying ourselves, especially once we left the Depoe Bay, Oregon Harbor and got out into the open ocean.
 
Now, let me explain something. This is no river kayak; as dinky as those are, sea kayaks are even more dinky. In a river kayak, you sit in a hole in the kayak. In a sea kayak, there are no sides, not even a lip. It is practically flat, and you just sit right on top. So it really is just you and the sea and nothing in-between.
 
As we got farther out, the waves turned into swells, but we were still having a ton of fun (mostly because we felt so hardcore). Before too long, we capsized. But not a big deal, we were calm and climbed back in (which proves to be rather tricky). Right after, a whale watching boat drove by and asked if we were doing alright (which, of course, we were) and advised us not to go any farther out: the wind was picking up and the swells were getting bigger.
 
In the course of turning around, we capsized again and as we were just about back in the kayak we flipped over a third time. But calm and cool we remained. At this point, the swells were…oh somewhere between 6 and 8 feet. Due to my husband’s aid, I successfully climbed back in, but he couldn’t: the swells were too high and too frequent.

The same whale watching boat made a circle around us and announced, “We’re coming to pick you up.” While I was thinking, “that is a great idea”, I afterward learned what he was thinking, “That’s a bad idea. We’re fine. I’ll just swim to shore, tugging Angela and the kayak.”
 
We clumsily climbed into our “rescue” boat, and, while heading back to the harbor, saw a whale (which, turns out, we were headed right towards in our kayak). As we were unloading, we saw the Coast Guard waiting to talk to us. “Uh oh. We must be in trouble.”

After ensuring there was a lack of injuries, the Guard told us the bar was closed that day. “Did you not see the blinking yellow lights which indicate the bar’s closure? Or did you not check weather conditions? That sea is dangerous for anything under 16 feet long! Where did you get the kayak?” Trying to act as unknowing as possible, which wasn’t hard since we really had no idea, we named the rent shop. 

Fortunately, truly being poor newly weds, he did not fine us the $1100.00 for disobeying the rules. But we did get to hear all about the apparent history this rent shop has of renting kayaks under dangerous weather conditions to inexperienced kayakers. And then he let us go.
 
Since we still had the kayak and the wet suits, we kayaked around the harbor for a while, which had plenty of sea life. Intermittently, we were interrupted by people asking, “Are you the couple that was kayaking out in the sea??”

Yeah, that’s right, we’re famous. We truly were hardcore. 
 
To top it off, we told my husband’s brother this story upon our return. He actually went out to Depoe Bay the following day to show a friend the Oregon Coast. They went on a whale watching trip, and were chatting with the captain who said, “Yeah, you never know what you’ll find out here in the ocean: whales, kayakers,…”

Marshall: “Wait, you saw kayakers?!”

Captain: “Yeah, just a few days ago. We had to rescue them; the sea was dangerous.”

Marshall: “Man, they sound like idiots!”

Captain: “Yeah….”
 
Either way, we felt cool. Perhaps we should have been nervous…

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Things to keep in mind while planning a honeymoon

November 4th, 2009

(This entry is a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.  There are 16 stories, please vote for our winner by adding a comment to your favorite.)

Have you ever thought you knew so much about a certain activity that you planned minimally, and found out how horribly wrong you were at the worst possible moment? I have. It was called our honeymoon.

All my life, I thought going backpacking for my honeymoon would be the most amazing thing in the world. When I got engaged in 2008, I asked my wonderful wife whether or not it would be OK to do this for our honeymoon. Somewhat hesitatingly, she said it would be fine, as long as I made all the correct preparations. My plan was to use the truck I was in the process of rebuilding to get us to a trailhead, then hike in to a beautiful lake, camp, and spend four blissful days under the cover of nature. 

The first thing that went wrong was that I did not finish the truck in time, so I thought “No big deal, my 22 year old convertible sports car should work just fine, not like we will be doing any major off-roading or anything…”

Our wedding day came and went, and we headed off on our honeymoon on August 6th. That night, I surprised my wife with a nights’ stay at the Anniversary Inn, which was great. The following morning, we went out to my car, excited and apprehensive about the next few days. The previous night had gone so well, what could possibly go wrong? We loaded our gear into the car, sat down, and I turned the key… and nothing happened. My lights had been on all night, and had run the battery down. Fortunately, someone was able to give us a jump-start and then we were on our way (already two hours later than expected).

We drove for a couple of hours to the Uinta mountains were we planned to camp, and using a hiking trail map, began our drive north across the Uintas to the Alligator Lake trailhead. 

As we drove in, the roads became progressively worse and worse, first being a paved road with lots of bumps, turning to a dirt road, to a gravel road, then a fork in the road. We stopped, got out and looked at our map to decide which fork to take, and it started to rain. We put the roof on the car, and continued along a now muddy road in the middle of August in a black car with no air conditioning. As we continued, so did the rain. Eventually we were bouncing along the road, hearing metal scraping against rock every few feet of driving in a car that wasn’t even designed to drive on the freeway in rain, let alone a rock road built solely for 4×4 access. With this being the case, I was only able to go about 4mph the entire time. My wife was alternately praying and questioning why she married me.

As we continued to slowly progress, we decided that we were not going to be able to reach the lake that was on the other side of the map from where we were, so a change of plans was in order. We decided to go to the next lake that had a road sign indicating it’s existence. We found one, I turned down the path, and we reached it very shortly… But there were RV’s there, and I decided arrogantly to refuse to camp next to them, much to the dismay of my wife.

So we plodded onwards, still scraping, on even worse roads than we had initially dreamed my car was capable of limping down. I will not go into too much detail about the many times my wife said “Honey, I don’t think you can drive down that one…” and I did anyway, but suffice to say we found a place to park the car with a trail access to Lym Lake. 

After loading up with our backpacks, both looking like twelve year old Boy Scouts on his first camp-out, taking care of some business involving shovels, toilet paper, and a disgusted wife who had barely even used a pit toilet, let alone a trench, we started off. Finally!

We were actually doing what I had been wanting to do! Yes, it was late in the day (probably around 5pm) but we were on our way to blissful days by a lake shore! We followed a trail for about twenty minutes, came to a clearing, excitedly picked up the pace… and saw a sad, muddy black sports car we both recognized much to our dismay. We had gone in a complete circle, and ended back exactly where we started. The decision was made to find another trailhead, so we loaded back into the car, and drove to yet another “Honey, I don’t think…” road.

After we got to the point where there was no way the car could climb anymore (trust me, I tried…) we parked the car and began our trip where there was an actual sign pointing us towards Lym Lake. 

After hiking for over two hours, with the sun setting, we were not finding the lake. We decided to set up camp just off the trail, and as it got to be pitch black, fear set in. We realized we were at least 50 miles from the closest human in bear country with lots of wonderful smelling food. About halfway through trying to set up our brand new tent in pitch black conditions, we looked at each other and decided enough was enough. We packed up and decided to head back home. After a very difficult hike back out in the darkness of the night, we saw the car! As soon as we were out of the dirt trails, my wife fell soundly asleep and didn’t wake up until we were almost home. We got home at 1am, went inside, and fell asleep in seconds. 

Later, I did some research and discovered that Alligator lake can only be accessed from Wyoming. I had tried to get us to a lake that was impossible to drive to from the southern access. Thankfully, my wife and I are still married, and a year later I convinced her somehow to try the trip again, this time with much more planning, and much better results.

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Hurricane Honeymoon

November 4th, 2009

(This entry is a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.  There are 16 stories, please vote for our winner by adding a comment to your favorite.)

My wife and I have stayed in the Anniversary Inn in Logan as a gift and LOVED our trip. That was before we had our son however. We would love the opportunity to stay again but that’s a little out of our budget.

I suppose I could get to the reason for this message, and tell my ugly honeymoon story. My wife grew up here in Utah and I’m an import from Georgia, (because of her of course). She served her mission there and when she returned home, decided to check up on some of her old areas. I was a police officer, and a firefighter, so I was pretty easy to reach.

After about a year of phone dating, I got tired of knowing I loved her and not doing something, so I flew to Utah and proposed. She then moved to Georgia, as i was the one with the career(s). About six months later we flew to Utah to be married. Now we get to the fun part. The next day I had plans to fly back east and take my wife to a small bed and breakfast on the beach in Florida, stay there for a week and return to reality with a happy story. This was not to be. When we flew into Atlanta we were informed that not one, not two, but three tropical storms were off the coast of Florida, two of which were hurricanes. When i called the b+b we were to stay at, I was informed that there was six inches of water in the room where we should have been. So we stayed in Atlanta while it rained for a couple of days. Then i had to cut the whole trip short due to a court case that a judge brought up unexpectedly.

My understanding new wife said she had to get used to the life as the wife of a public servant sometime, why not now and we returned home. Our whole honeymoon, or the lack there of, was a disaster. We soon moved to Utah. We had our son who came with a few (still undiagnosed) health problems. This put a burden on the finances so trying to be a good daddy i took a second job as a pizza boy at night, in addition to my schooling and being a full time commercial electrician. I’ve never been able to give my bride a honeymoon, and even thought it may only be for one night, I think this opportunity would make her so happy for our anniversary on October fourth. Although I’m sure I could speak for her when i say any night would be just fine. A night away to relax, not having to worry about bills, her home, or hearing the word mommy, or just a full nights sleep, might be perfect. We love our son, but who couldn’t use a break for a bit. I hope I’ve made my case, and again appreciate your time.

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Everything Comes in Threes

November 4th, 2009

(This entry is a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.  There are 16 stories, please vote for our winner by adding a comment to your favorite.)

Ok – so you know how people say “everything comes in three’s” , like when really bad things happen or really good things happen….they come 3 at a time?

Well, that is exactly what happened to us on our honeymoon! We went to Cozumel on our honeymoon and while we were there we got a call from my sister at our hotel (at the time I wasn’t even thinking it was weird that she was calling us in MEXICO on our honeymoon!), so she ends up having to break the news to me that my best friend that was just in my wedding got in a really bad car accident and was in a coma (don’t worry she’s ok now).

So we were blessed to be able to change our flights for way cheap and leave to go see her in the hospital (She lives in Denver and we live in Utah) which was super traumatic…..my poor husband was so comforting but I know it was hard for him to see me as an emotional wreck the first week of our marriage.  Then the day after we got to the hospital , the doctors told us she was going to survive and we would just have to wait and see what happened in the weeks to come. 

The next day I got a call from my boss and she asked if I could come in because they were swamped (mind you I was still supposed to be on my honeymoon).  I explained everything that had happened and that I would, but I was in Denver and I couldn’t. Then, without even saying anything about my friend or all the traumatic stuff I was going through she says        “ Well, I’m going to have to let you go then”. 

I was FLOORED!

I had worked there for almost a year and it was a secure job….I am a licensed insurance agent, so this came as a total surprise!

So then we finally get home from Denver…..exhausted and unemployed and 2 nights after we got home our cars got broken into and the stereos stolen. We had a $500 deductible on each of our cars and the damage to each car was about $490…..awesome!

In the end my friend healed, she’s not the same, but she’s alive. It took me a year to find a new job, but I got one and we learned the value of parking our cars in the garage .

I’m pretty sure we were being taught that life is going to be really hard sometimes, but you just have to roll with the punches. We’ve been married for a little over 3 years now and are expecting our first baby in 3 months and would LOVE the chance at a second honeymoon. Thanks!

Sincerely, a hopeful husband.

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Our Honeymoon Adventure

November 4th, 2009

(This entry is a finalist in our Good, Bad, and Funny honeymoon story contest.  There are 16 stories, please vote for our winner by adding a comment to your favorite.)

Our Honeymoon Adventure began the day after we got married. It was after 5:00 pm before we left St. George Utah on our way to Arizona to spend a week enjoying the sun and each other.  The road we were on was almost deserted; as we drove we enjoyed the beauty and desolation of the sagebrush and mountains around us.  Suddenly, the car drifted off the road and as my husband jerked the wheel to get us back on the road, the car overcorrected and we were rolling over and over!  The car came to rest on its side and our brand new silver Chevy Aveo was totaled!  It was way, way, WAY, scary, but we were completely fine, not even a scratch, well… except for a “seatbelt burn” but I’ll explain that later.

After assessing the situation, and making sure we were both ok, we crawled out of our crumpled and broken car and stood hand in hand staring at it. After a few minutes of utter silence, we started to laugh hysterically! It may have been newlywed bliss, but I’m willing to bet it was really shock!

Soon a car stopped and offered to notify the Highway Patrol.  Because we were in the middle of nowhere and without a cell phone signal, it took a while to get the Highway Patrol and a tow truck out to us. We settled down on the side of the road to wait for help to arrive, which ended up taking several hours.  Thank goodness the cooler survived, so we had a little picnic consisting of leftover wedding food.  We played solitaire on the laptop, took pictures of our wrecked car, waved at the few motorists who drove by with stunned and curious looks on their faces, and tried to figure out how to tell our parents what had happened without scaring them to death with a phone call in the wee hours of the morning.

When the police arrived they were really worried about our safety. They said they see many accidents along that road because it is very narrow without a shoulder.  One of the police officers said to me “I see you have a seatbelt burn”.  I was confused for a moment then realized he had mistaken the hickey my husband had planted on my neck the night before as a seatbelt burn.  Embarrassed and blushing, I explained that it was really just a hickey, adding on “we just got married yesterday.”

Finally, the tow truck arrived.  We stopped at the first pay phone and called our parents, who were just thankful we weren’t injured.  We arranged for my husband’s dad and brother to pick us up in the next town where the tow truck driver took us. We spent our second night as a married couple in our wrecked car on top of a tow truck bed in a junk yard!

My Father-in-law picked us up early the next morning.  Luckily our car insurance, whose coverage took effect the day we got married, hooked us up with a rental car and we took off again on our honeymoon trip, this time taking a different route to Arizona!  We found it pretty ironic that we spent at least an hour cleaning hardened frosting, saran wrap, cans, string, and strawberries off our car, just to total it the next day!  I happily report that the rest of our honeymoon was wonderful…and SAFE!

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