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!!

Follow us on
Twitter: @findingfurleigh & @richardfurleigh
Instagram: @findingfurleigh
Facebook: @FurleighFotography

Advertisements

Hubris

“It’s often foolish pride that tells us we’re not wrong” – What If I Was Nothing? by All That Remains (one of my favorite hard rock love songs, who says headbangers can’t have feelings too?!)

When it comes to relationships I feel pretty confident in saying that this one thing more than almost anything else is the killer. Yes your ex’s of the past may have been slobs, or didn’t show they cared, or were too controlling, or any other slew of problems. But, peel back the layers however and I’m willing to say that a lack of true consideration for the other person stemming from an inflated sense of ego is at the root of it all. Even in my relationship with Kristen, which I think we work pretty well together most of the time, I see the telltale signs on both ends of arguments.

Acknowledging this lurking monster has been one of the greatest challenges of my adult life. Looking back I can see how this one thing has torpedoed past relationships with people, and strained others with family and friends. So what exactly have I been doing and how can it maybe help you?

  • For starters it helps to try to keep a level head before the real argument even starts, once things begin to go red it’s too late. Understanding that in most cases the other person isn’t genuinely trying to be mean, it’s just a matter of how you’re interpreting the situation that is leading you down this path. Back up a little bit and try to understand where they are coming from.
  • If you find yourself getting agitated during a conversation ask yourself why is it that you feel that way? Exploring the rationale behind your emotions is a powerful tool to not only understanding the situation better but understanding yourself.
  • Learning to take criticism (even about small things) is pivotal. People don’t like feeling like they’re nagging, but if something is out of place or unclean there is then good reason to bring it up. General cleanliness can make items easier to find for future use, and can lend to a general sense of well-being. Not helping the other person feel good about their living situation is selfish to say the least.
  • On the flip side of that one, learn to let some small things go. Not every blanket, shoe, and cup has to be put back 100% of the time. Much in the same way that letting go of your ego about not needing to “keep everything perfect” isn’t helpful; insisting that everything be in it’s perfect little place isn’t either  and can be just as selfish. Balance is sometimes found in the grey areas.

These are only a few of the tools I’ve employed, but much of it comes down to self monitoring. That in itself is another crucial tool for life but here it has such a profound impact, if you are honest with yourself and allow yourself to grow out of it.

The next time you find yourself approaching argument territory in life pause for a moment and ask yourself why? If you’re honest I bet you’ll find a completely different way to navigate the situation in a much more positive way! If you have any other tips feel free to leave them below! Until next time Pengminions.

Follow us on
Twitter: @findingfurleigh & @richardfurleigh
Instagram: @findingfurleigh
Facebook: @FurleighFotography

Our Anniversary Wine

by Richard Furleigh

New Zealand. It’s kinda an awesome place that we may or may not have gone to on our honeymoon three years ago. Pssst, we totally did. One thing the country is know for is it’s wine.DSC_0774

Pictured is us at Greystone, one of the many excellent vineyards on the southern island. Our time at Greystone was so exceptional that we ended up buying a bottle of their Basket Star Riesling (2011) to take with us back to the US. As the bottle sat around we ended up deciding to save it and open our special honeymoon choice on our one year anniversary. It was even better than I remembered.

After that I began to wonder, as I saw other wines at different stores I began to think back to our time abroad and got an idea. It took a year and a half of searching (mostly because our taste in wine is so different) but we finally found one that we thought was good enough for our plan. The plan: find a wine that both of us enjoy that was made in New Zealand in 2014, then buy a case and open one every five years on our anniversary.

There was just something special about finding a wine that was crafted the same year we trod the ground where they grew 7,000 miles from where we now live. These bottles get to grow in depth and complexity along side us, and for the next 50 years we will have a special reminder of one of the greatest adventures the Penguin couple ever embarked on. Happy third anniversary Kristen, PenGLAP, I love you to Sirius and back!

Follow us on
Twitter: @findingfurleigh & @richardfurleigh
Instagram: @findingfurleigh
Facebook: @FurleighFotography

Experiences are the Best Gifts

~Kristen Furleigh

The best gift you can give some one is your time. Rather than spending your hard earned money on things that in most cases only offer short term fulfillment why not think differently next time a holiday or birthday come around. We as people remember most the experiences we had and the people we had them with more readily than the gift items we get. Why not give the gift of experiences and/or time when the next gift giving event takes place?

great basin

Around here we prefer just that. Any chance we get we are trying to come up with a meaningful experience in which we can gift our time when these milestones hit. This year was my Dad’s 50th birthday and what we came up with is for me to take him out to a different spot once a month for the whole year and we grab a beer together . This encourages us to make time for each other; which with our busy schedules can get away from us sometimes. For the year we are dedicating once a month to an experience and quality time; which is better than any ol’ tie or bottle of aged whiskey could offer. It’s just two months in and it has been a blast!

If you are looking for some grand adventures or experiences and don’t know where to look try out Groupon. You can get ideas and even try something new for a fraction of the original cost. They have offers in most cities.

snow

Christmas this year was a great year for Groupons, one of my favorite gifts, my parents got each of us ‘kids’ a voucher for go-kart racing! And for my parents I got us an adventure for a group snowshoeing adventure up in Lake Tahoe. For Richard and I we purchased one for parasailing this summer up in Lake Tahoe also. I can’t wait to go on these epic adventures with people I love.

cpAnother place to start when trying to come up with gifts that are more along these lines is to think about the person’s interests and how you can incorporate those into an activity or outing. When my birthday came around last year Richard remembered my love of arts/crafts and weakness for a sweet Moscato and signed me up to spend time with my Mom at Crafted Palette (a local paint and sip establishment) since he had to work.

These are just a few of many ways you can change your gift giving habits that we encourage you to try out. What are some of your favorite non-traditional gifts or some ideas that you have come up with that we didn’t talk about? We would love to hear about them. Having trouble or feeling stuck; lets brainstorm some ideas together! Til next time Pengminions!

Follow us on
Twitter: @findingfurleigh & @richardfurleigh
Instagram: @findingfurleigh
Facebook: @FurleighFotography

 

 

 

Finding Furleigh: It’s more than a blog!

~Kristen Furleigh

In my previous blog I talked about Furleigh and how it came about. Since changing our name, which if you would like to learn about our process in changing our name please message us we would be glad to share with you, it has been an interesting journey. Come to find out taking a new name and making it your own is no easy feat. Especially for two who never thought they would go by anything other than who they were named at birth.

Finding Furleigh epitomises that for us as a trifecta: it’s a journey in finding who we are as individuals, who we are together, and where you can find us along the way. Whether it be in our everyday lives or off on another travel adventure we hope to encourage you to join us on our exploration of ourselves and this vast world. It is an ever evolving process that never ends as we grow and change over time. Our goal is to continue to hold each other accountable to this continuous work.

I caught myself just the other day writing Burleigh when filling out paperwork and it’s been almost three years since we changed our names! It is easy to fall back into old habits especially when you have held them for a long time. Writing the wrong name is trivial it is true, but falling back into the old and comfortable and staying there doesn’t facilitate long term growth. It takes making a correction even if in another direction entirely to find where you need to go. Exploration is key and that takes action, it takes doing, and it takes accepting failure along the way. Sometimes mistakes can give us just the fuel we need to keep pushing forward.

What our name does for us is it helps guide us. We found Furleigh and we will continue to find Furleigh as we explore the meaning and how it may change as we continue our lifelong journey. What guides you? Share with us your inspiration and your motivation. Let’s keep each other accountable! Til next time Pengminions! 

Keep up with us @findingfurleigh on Twitter & Instagram!

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!!!!!!
DSC_0810
a1 a2 a3 DSC_0808a4
We also stopped at Tunnel Beach
DSC_08462
Where the waves have carved an arch in the rock
DSC_08522
It was a long walk down through private land
DSC_08632

We made it down and found a tunnel to the beach

DSC_08702 DSC_08772DSC_08742
A majestic land
DSC_08912 DSC_08972
Waves crashing
DSC_09082
Hand standing in the sand
DSC_09092
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!
DSC_09412
When we were on the edge at the far side of the arch we could feel the waves crashing into the rock!!!
20140507_205443
We stayed in a bungalow and Richard did his fair share of creeping
20140508_084238
On a rainy day in Dunedin we took a tour of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory.
They even gave us special newlywed chocolates!
20140508_143624
We then spent time looking for penguins
20140508_151802_Richtone(HDR)
20140508_151809_Richtone(HDR)
20140508_152647 20140508_153157

20140508_160234_Richtone(HDR)
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.
20140509_082433_Richtone(HDR) 20140509_101830
After Dunedin we started a day trip through The Catlins.
A lil green caterpillar caught a ride and we saw a rainbow
20140509_123330 20140509_123410
We stopped by the Lost Gypsy Gallery but they were closed for the season 😦
DSC_0001 (2)
We also found Teapot World!
DSC_00192
Then we went and found beautiful Waterfalls:
DSC_00322
These alluring falls behind me are the Purakaunui Falls
DSC_00512 DSC_00572
These are the Matai Falls!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
While we were there we wanted to take a picture that ended up a bigger adventure:
DSC_00592
What are we looking at?
DSC_00602
I was keeping an eye on it…
DSC_00622
He looks like he is up to something….
DSC_00632
That is a boiled egg!
DSC_00662
He is on his way to fetch the boiled egg I dropped trying to take silly pictures…
DSC_00682
He’s not happy about this…
DSC_00692
its in the fall water 😀
DSC_00712
The water must be COLD
DSC_00732
Hurray for long arms!
DSC_00752
HAHAHAHA I’ll let you guess what he was saying
DSC_00772     DSC_00992 DSC_01112
I even found a vine swing that held my weight!
DSC_01222 DSC_01422 DSC_01462 DSC_01532
We had some fun on all these trails in the Catlins
DSC_01592
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.
DSC_01682
Richard’s first look at Lake Wakatipu that feeds Queenstown’s local water supply. It is the longest and third largest lake in NZ.
DSC_01802
Breathtaking views as we made it into Queenstown.
DSC_01962
Our first stop was up the skyline
DSC_02172
Where we took pictures that made us look photo-shopped.
DSC_02192
We even had Wall-E join us
DSC_02262
Look at that blue water and snow capped mountains!
DSC_02302
DSC_02322
This was made completely out of jelly beans

DSC_02332
While we were above the city we went luge riding! SO MUCH FUN
20140510_155853
20140510_160014
20140510_145552
Hot chocolate and latte during our break between runs

Our second day was spent on an all day trip through Milford Sound:
DSC_02382 DSC_02442
I don’t know what he was laughing at but I love this picture.
HAPPY
DSC_02552 DSC_02722 DSC_02772
DSC_02882
We stopped at Monkey Creek and filled our water bottles
DSC_03002
The fast water created these phenomenal natural wonders in the rock
DSC_03102 DSC_03212
This is our boat we took into the sound
DSC_03412
There were many falls along the mountains
DSC_03542
The end of Milford Sound (It is actually a fjord) and into the Ocean
DSC_03662 DSC_03932
This photo is of an actual fault line!
DSC_04012
Breathtaking views from the boat
DSC_04312 DSC_04372
20140511_14262920140511_142616
The boat even made its way under a waterfall!
DSC_04742 DSC_04782
One day we went on an EXTREME Canyon Swing.
DSC_04792DSC_04902
This is actually where it all took place.
DSC_04872
*trying to remember to breathe*
DSC_04932
20140512_163156
Later that day we spent some time in quaint Arrowtown
20140512_163642
Where Richard was required to wait outside
20140512_152630
Except when we went in for a spot of the worlds best Earl Grey tea at the old
Postmaster’s cottage in town!
20140512_171747_Richtone(HDR)
To end our day we took a picturesque hiking trail with… bluebonnets? lol

20140513_160522
Our very last day consisted of a survival hike guided by Pete of You vs Wild
20140513_160536
We ended up at this very old cottage that you can actually rent out from the department of conservation in NZ.
20140513_164339
Pete was the absolute BEST!!!
20140513_202534 20140513_215621
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*

DSC_05122

And to end our journey:
A sneak peak of our last night’s stay
Honeymoon Suite in Queenstown
DSC_05372 DSC_05422
The view from our first flight’s window
DSC_054522
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
DSC02986 DSC03006

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! 
DSC_0005
Made our way to Taupo! 
DSC_0016
We heard screams and looked up from our peaceful view to find…
DSC_0017
Skydivers!!!!
DSC_0023
Sunset at the great lake!
DSC_0029

20140426_180025The Day we met Mt. Doom!
DSC_0040
Yes, we hiked the whole way! and then some….
DSC_0075
see above: Mt Doom! (you know Lord of the Rings???) aka Mt Nguauruhoe
DSC_0073
There was ice and frost when we started at 7am!
DSC_0068
DSC_0063and FOG!
DSC_0049
DSC_0045what natural colored mosses(?)
DSC_0100
as we ascend THE MTN…clouds…
DSC_0104
I AM ABOVE THE CLOUDS!!! (and only half way up)
DSC_0106
at one point we see a lake
DSC_0116
once we reach the summit….TWO, THREE, FOUR?!?!!?!
DSC_0120
DSC_0112IT IS THE CRATER ATOP MT DOOM!!!
DSC_0124
WE MADE IT!!!! Successful PENGUINS
DSC_014620140427_175200
DSC_0149Our gorgeous view from the top above the clouds
DSC_0165
With a great sense of accomplishment we made our way back down the Mountain 
DSC_0168
The shoes that helped me make it
DSC_0177
and we make our way on to the rest of the crossing…about 10 more km to go!
DSC_0182
up more mountainous terrain
DSC_0184
the red crater
DSC_0188
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
20140427_14543820140427_145457 20140427_155242 20140427_155249
20140427_175136
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
20140427_175643

Next day, in pain, we went off to check out HUKA FALLS!
DSC_0207
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
20140429_104156
Random art
20140429_105308
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) 
20140429_111721
free face art so we made our own with it lol
(I discovered howmuch I love panoramic pictures while in NZ)
20140429_123212
The Museum of Te Papa (on every list of must sees)
20140429_125438
preserved giant squid!

We also went to the Weta Workshop: Our minds Exploded inside their work space but sadly picture taking was restricted 😦 
20140430_161038
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
DSC_0276
DSC_0290DSC_0294Cricks (lil creeks) and baby waterfalls everywhere
DSC_0301
The ever wonderful silver fern!
DSC_0311
DSC_0316This is the trunk of a silver fern cut close to the base
What marvelous wood grain!!!
DSC_0334
DSC_0335DSC_0361DSC_0369Our stay for the evening was at a quaint hostel
Our room:
20140430_224208
It had a name: The Love Bug
20140430_224308
These are chocolate/mint love bugs!!!
20140430_224318
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

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