Why Kristen and I Almost Didn’t Get Married (For a Good Reason)

by Richard Furleigh

The decision to get married is a big one; one of the biggest of your life. The decision to spend the rest of your life with one person is daunting to say the least. Now, Kristen and I love each other (a lot) but when talking about the rest of our lives we had a serious debate whether we wanted to get married or not. We definitely wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, but the question was the paperwork behind it.

It wasn’t until more recent history when governments at a local and state level began requiring licensing for marriages; starting around the mid 19th century.  Prior to that announcements in newspapers or by word of mouth in communities was accompanied by a simple ceremony without all the lavish trappings of modern weddings.

For Kristen and I it came down to a few things. One, we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and didn’t need a piece of paper telling us that. Two, those pieces of paper do cost money to get in addition to the time required to go get them processed. So in many respects it just felt like an unnecessary step in our lives.

The United States however thinks otherwise in many respects. Unless we wanted to jump through a ton of other legal hoops at various points in our lives, being married is one of the only ways to ensure life with your chosen partner is smooth in the legal sense. End of life care, life insurance, health insurance, taxes, offspring rights, even renting an apartment all become massively more difficult to navigate if you are “together” but not married. On top of that, with our name change we would have had a harder time convincing a judge to allow it.

In the end we did get married in Harris County, but only for the simplicity of legal processes throughout our lives. I really wish the US and it’s states made unmarried life for committed couples a little more accommodating in this respect because, as I stated, it really just feels unnecessary. We love each other and choose to be together and we don’t need a document to tell us that.

We do know there are couples out there who have chosen to go without that paper, and we would love to hear from you so some of our other readers can be informed too! What issues have you run into and how have you overcome them? Do you have any recommendations for others who may think about doing the same? Let us know down below and thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge! Until next time Pengminions!!

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Middle Earth: The Land of Hobbitses! (Pt 4) The Final Chapter

Pengminions!!!!

This has been a CRAzY year! Do not fear we shall not end it without the final installment of New Zealand adventures 😀

Now where did we leave off…

Oh yeah…We left off with Wine day in Christchurch…

Now we shuffle on down to Dunedin:

sealsWhere we met lots of SEALS!!!!!!
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We also stopped at Tunnel Beach
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Where the waves have carved an arch in the rock
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It was a long walk down through private land
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We made it down and found a tunnel to the beach

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A majestic land
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Waves crashing
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Hand standing in the sand
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A view of the beach from the top of the arch
The tide was coming in while we were down there and my shoes got soaked!
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When we were on the edge at the far side of the arch we could feel the waves crashing into the rock!!!
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We stayed in a bungalow and Richard did his fair share of creeping
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On a rainy day in Dunedin we took a tour of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory.
They even gave us special newlywed chocolates!
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We then spent time looking for penguins
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Called lover’s leap
On our first attempt we only found wilderness and beaches til one night….DSC_0950222
We ended up seeing 32 lil blue PENGUINS!DSC_00152
These lil blue penguins are the smallest of all penguins getting no bigger than 13 in.DSC_00172
As they approach their nests they are very, VERY loud.
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After Dunedin we started a day trip through The Catlins.
A lil green caterpillar caught a ride and we saw a rainbow
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We stopped by the Lost Gypsy Gallery but they were closed for the season 😦
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We also found Teapot World!
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Then we went and found beautiful Waterfalls:
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These alluring falls behind me are the Purakaunui Falls
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These are the Matai Falls!
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While we were there we wanted to take a picture that ended up a bigger adventure:
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What are we looking at?
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I was keeping an eye on it…
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He looks like he is up to something….
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That is a boiled egg!
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He is on his way to fetch the boiled egg I dropped trying to take silly pictures…
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He’s not happy about this…
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its in the fall water 😀
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The water must be COLD
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Hurray for long arms!
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HAHAHAHA I’ll let you guess what he was saying
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I even found a vine swing that held my weight!
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We had some fun on all these trails in the Catlins
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This is the only picture of Curio Bay….It took Richard a loooong time to finally spot the dolphins (you probably cannot 😦 see them in this picture) that live there. We heard multiple stories from locals how if you are swimming in the water they will come up to you. They are hector’s dolphins. They kinda look like baby killer whales and are the smallest (at about 1.4m) and rarest dolphins.
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Richard’s first look at Lake Wakatipu that feeds Queenstown’s local water supply. It is the longest and third largest lake in NZ.
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Breathtaking views as we made it into Queenstown.
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Our first stop was up the skyline
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Where we took pictures that made us look photo-shopped.
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We even had Wall-E join us
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Look at that blue water and snow capped mountains!
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This was made completely out of jelly beans

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While we were above the city we went luge riding! SO MUCH FUN
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Hot chocolate and latte during our break between runs

Our second day was spent on an all day trip through Milford Sound:
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I don’t know what he was laughing at but I love this picture.
HAPPY
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We stopped at Monkey Creek and filled our water bottles
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The fast water created these phenomenal natural wonders in the rock
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This is our boat we took into the sound
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There were many falls along the mountains
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The end of Milford Sound (It is actually a fjord) and into the Ocean
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This photo is of an actual fault line!
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Breathtaking views from the boat
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The boat even made its way under a waterfall!
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One day we went on an EXTREME Canyon Swing.
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This is actually where it all took place.
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*trying to remember to breathe*
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Later that day we spent some time in quaint Arrowtown
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Where Richard was required to wait outside
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Except when we went in for a spot of the worlds best Earl Grey tea at the old
Postmaster’s cottage in town!
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To end our day we took a picturesque hiking trail with… bluebonnets? lol

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Our very last day consisted of a survival hike guided by Pete of You vs Wild
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We ended up at this very old cottage that you can actually rent out from the department of conservation in NZ.
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Pete was the absolute BEST!!!
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On our last night we went to a pub where a duo who had been playing on the street earlier that day just so happened to be performing. I bought both of their cd’s. The were extraordinary! Phil & Tilley. One plays guitar while the other plays double bass. *MELT*

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And to end our journey:
A sneak peak of our last night’s stay
Honeymoon Suite in Queenstown
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The view from our first flight’s window
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And the icing on Richard’s cake…We took Smaug as our ride home to the US!

And that my friends is where THAT journey ends!
Our glorious honeymoon. I cannot wait to go back and only have the tingling kind of feelings as I type and post pictures for you all to see.
Fear not our adventures have continued pengminions and we are excited to share them with you…
Til next time
Some words to live by:
DON’T FORGET TO
ENJOY THE RIDE
we each have our own.
don’t fear it, live it!
❤ PengFurleighs
(Mrs)

Hiatus….No More!

Pengminions!

We are back…again! It seems we had fallen off the face of the earth but in truth that is not true. In fact we had fallen into a deep, dark routine of work. Our serving job had us working some variation of overtime each week at a nice lil tex-mex place in La Porte,  TX  for about 3 months and that was our focus.  For disappearing during that time I apologize. While we were away we did find some time for a few adventures like The Big Thicket, NASA, and wake boarding!

We are currently, as of today, back on the road. Heading up to Ohio to help out the penguy’s grandma to Chicago to pick up our things to Texas before the MOVE in November. Along the way we plan on a few stops during our road trip(s)….come along with us? 🙂

Til tomorrow pengminions..gotta set up camp!
~Penglady

Middle Earth: The Land of Hobbitses (pt 2)

Hello Pengminions!!! We bring you segment 2 of our New Zealand adventure! Here we have captured the last part of our stay in the north island and make our way to the south island via the aforementioned “ferry ride of death”

We start again as the penguin couple makes their way downstream on the
Tongariro River!

DSC02984Smiling with our group and Australian guide
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Oogling the breathtaking views
DSCF4678Touching a lil waterfall
DSCF4684Hitting close to home! HAHA
IMG_8062 IMG_8071 IMG_8072 IMG_8073 IMG_8113Successfully navigated the narrow seas (standing up and all) without loosing a passenger! 
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Made our way to Taupo! 
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We heard screams and looked up from our peaceful view to find…
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Skydivers!!!!
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Sunset at the great lake!
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20140426_180025The Day we met Mt. Doom!
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Yes, we hiked the whole way! and then some….
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see above: Mt Doom! (you know Lord of the Rings???) aka Mt Nguauruhoe
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There was ice and frost when we started at 7am!
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DSC_0063and FOG!
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DSC_0045what natural colored mosses(?)
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as we ascend THE MTN…clouds…
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I AM ABOVE THE CLOUDS!!! (and only half way up)
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at one point we see a lake
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once we reach the summit….TWO, THREE, FOUR?!?!!?!
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DSC_0112IT IS THE CRATER ATOP MT DOOM!!!
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WE MADE IT!!!! Successful PENGUINS
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DSC_0149Our gorgeous view from the top above the clouds
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With a great sense of accomplishment we made our way back down the Mountain 
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The shoes that helped me make it
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and we make our way on to the rest of the crossing…about 10 more km to go!
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up more mountainous terrain
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the red crater
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DSC_0191We had a great view of the blue and green lakes that are located near volcano steam vents
DSC_0196View from the “trail” on the down side of the red crater
20140427_145518dun dun dunnnnnnnn! ahhhhh 😀
DSC_0200the very white steam is from a real live active volcano!!! eeeps
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20140427_135217a panoramic picture from the red crater

Sadly after the volcano we were tired and the road was as windy as the road in the clouds from DragonBallZ AND about 7 km to the end so we just forgot from lack of energy to picture anything more. We ended up in a rain forest for the last 5 km or so. The climate changes because of elevation, clouds, and terrain were surreal.
Our SUCCESS FACES! We made it. 8pm WHEW
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Next day, in pain, we went off to check out HUKA FALLS!
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DSC_0212 DSC_0218 DSC_0220 DSC_0231The water was wicked fast and pristine blue.

real honey comb

We also checked out the Huka Honey Hive where we saw beez and tasted ALL THE HONEY! (and bought some wine 🙂
It was a lovely attraction as we made our way down to Wellington; our last stop in the north.
DSC_0232 DSC_0234A hillside view of houses
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Random art
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20140429_110150The best slide ever!!! I was discouraged to use on our rainy day walking the town…I did it anyway!!! (and was soo right in its awesomeness) 
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free face art so we made our own with it lol
(I discovered howmuch I love panoramic pictures while in NZ)
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The Museum of Te Papa (on every list of must sees)
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preserved giant squid!

We also went to the Weta Workshop: Our minds Exploded inside their work space but sadly picture taking was restricted 😦 
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The dreaded ferry
(I did not know this when the picture was taken! The ship though didn’t have balancing ballasts and we were on some pretty choppy seas….the end of my life as I knew it)

Now we have made it to…The South Island!
Our first day was hiking Abel Tasman
DSC_0270Just beautiful the whole trek
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DSC_0290DSC_0294Cricks (lil creeks) and baby waterfalls everywhere
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The ever wonderful silver fern!
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DSC_0316This is the trunk of a silver fern cut close to the base
What marvelous wood grain!!!
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DSC_0335DSC_0361DSC_0369Our stay for the evening was at a quaint hostel
Our room:
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It had a name: The Love Bug
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These are chocolate/mint love bugs!!!
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We have just brushed the surface of all things South Island of New Zealand~y!!!!
Hope you enjoyed the pictures!
More to come just keep a look out friends!!

Peace, Love, and Happiness Everyone!

The Day has Come and Gone….

We had such a wonderful day full of hard work, love, laughter, tears,
and the start to another unforgettable adventure.
Without further ado we present to you….
Pictures in the form of song!

Our Day we share with you…Enjoy!
The Furleighs

PENGMINIONS….

WE’RE BACK!!!!

This is The Mrs. Furleigh!
And we have sooo much to share with you. Really so much has happened in the last month I don’t know where we will begin. Then again I do….

Firstly, We would like to thank everyone who was a part of our special day! Thank you, thank you,

THANK YOU!

We cannot say that enough from everyone who helped pull everything together before hand (like my MOM who was always there to spring board or bounce ideas off of), day of, and clean up. Especially both our families and friends. We could not have been happier with the outcome. I was over the moon with the whole thing. So many of the details came together, of course, nothing is perfect and a few things didn’t happen that were originally planned but there were also many wonderful surprises throughout the evening. An appearance of sorts by my little sister through song (Its amazing how the things she left behind keep her present) Thanks, Dad. A swearing in ceremony for the presidents that was masterfully crafted and orchestrated by our MC (one of Richard’s cabinet members), my VP, and I. And also, a karaoke song dedication to the lady president by her mister president at the end of the night, right before the home made steampunk cake (blue velvet)!!!

With everything being crafted top to bottom ourselves and having never orchestrated something of this scale before it was amazing to see it all come to fruition. It wasn’t always easy though there were moments but it was worth it. For such a wonderful day there was also a great sense of accomplishment in it and I wouldn’t change it at all except maybe wishing we had known somethings ahead of time. 😉

Maybe this will help you or someone you know:
~The internet was our BEST FRIEND! (Pinterest!)
~Research, research, research…ahead of time. It will save you money and sanity so you aren’t rushing last minute.
~Make a list. Work up a spreadsheet. Have a plan. Share it with your other. It won’t always be 100% right on but you will at least have some direction/point of reference so you don’t feel like you are floating around in a sea of EVERYTHING!
~My best advice is to be flexible. You might find something you have to have or do but it might not be plausible but that doesn’t mean something like it can’t happen. Use that wonderful brain and work that creative muscle.
~Talk to friends they can help get those wheels a-movin’ and know somethings that all the research in the internet world you wouldn’t find.
~Make delegation lists of what needs to get done, when, and who is doing it ahead of time so you don’t miss anything the day of.~Above all remember what this day means to you and don’t get caught up making it more than that. The “things” are nice but they aren’t what is special about this day. I won’t define it for you because it is going to be slightly different for everyone but give it a bit of thought as you head into this big day. Write it down. It might help you in the long run when it gets to be a bit stressful in the process of everything. 😀

If there is anything we can help you with when it comes to planning one yourself we will gladly share our knowledge with you just send us a message!

Love you all and here are some pics pre and post set up of our venue:
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What is this about Pre-marriaging?

PENGMINIONS!!!!!
I am back again for a second time this week with…

More things all coupley:
Almost a whole week after our engagement shoot we spent 8 hours of a Saturday engrossed in Pre-Marriaging!!!
Something cool you soon to be married people/or those of you no where near engaged can keep in your back pocket for the future if you ever end up going down that aisle. (like “going down that road”, get it???) Anyway, the point being we were going to do most of our premarriage things on our own and they are going smoothly but when searching for information on a marriage license I stumbled upon this site where in the Houston area if you take this 8 hour course you get a certificate to waive the 72 hr wait period and for $60 off of your license!!?!?!? And we thought even if this is teeeerrrrrriibbblllleee we can basically get paper married for FREE! So we went in HOPING it would not be too this or too that and it was PERFECT! It was the complete opposite of a stale, stuffy, over rehearsed, book class. They had the most REAL couple leading the discussion for the day. They were well versed in their curriculum and used their own life as examples, the good and the bad, while also having us interact with them, each other, and the group.

The focus for the day was on Communication. Many of the skills learned can be applied in life period but there were a few things we took away that I think were absolutely wonderful when resolving conflict within relationships. Some things we already did but it was nice to have an outside perspective and something with a little bit clearer of a picture  that we can build on things we already do. They did not preach “this is how things are supposed to be done,” there was no shaming or finger pointing but helping by giving tools to use within each unique relationship and perhaps insight into things that may not have been thought about before. Every relationship is different and there is no cookie cutter way for navigating them. One thing that they said, I have known, and cannot say enough is that relationships are WORK and you both must always be investing in it for it to grow and be rewarding for you day after day.

There is so much more detail that I could put into this for you, so if you want to know more about the group class or want to know about the specific tools we learned don’t hesitate to reach out to us we would love to share with you!

Enjoy the rest of your day Pengminions! We look forward to next time.

Peace, love, and happiness,
Kristen Burleigh

PS: Invites are out…don’t forget your RSVP for April 12, 2014!!!!

And we may have worn our custom jerseys ;P

furleigh2014