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Link up & New page


Additionally, please check out my new page, the deeper side, this week exploring loss.


Mountaintop Couples Retreat- Part II (why are we together & where are we going)?


Question #1. Why are we together?

What an opener.  How does one even answer that?

And yet for us, the answer came almost immediately.  Jarring in it’s truth, it is why we work as a couple.

We are together because we bring what the other needs to move farther into a deeper, more fulfilling life.  To evolve, if you will, from where we started in life.

I was raised with unconditional love.  For all our faults, my family gave me unconditional love from birth.  I’ve also had unconditional love spiritually, as I have had faith since early childhood.

My husband was raised with the mantra of “no excuses”.  It doesn’t matter what is thrown in your path or how hard things get, you are responsible for living the life you desire.

Combine the two and we can build a life that knows no limits.  We balance each other out and have the opportunity to raise children who are fully loved, loving, and self-responsible (responsible for own well-being).

Why are you together with your partner? I’d be interested in others’ answers.




Question #2- What direction are you going as a couple?

As we worked through the questions, a thought kept reoccurring.  My husband and I have been able to stay together as a team through the past decade because we asked most of the important questions when we were first getting serious.  We had a long distance relationship.  You can only use small talk and recounts of your day for so long.  To fill hours on a phone or pages in a letter (email was just beginning when we met), you have to get real.  We discussed everything from our values, to how we wanted to raise kids, to what old age would look like.  We have been through so much in the last 15 years, but through it all we have been generally heading in the same direction.

The beauty of doing a retreat as a couple (as opposed to a group) is you can start from where you are.  For some, this is will be the first step in determining the direction and mission of your family.  For us, rather than finding our direction, our goals became clearer, refined.  We focused on refining how our team works and treats one another.  The planning for our future was less a battle of what direction to go and much more a discussion of when to enact certain changes we knew we both desired.

Our direction is clear, we want a life filled with love, exploration, helping others and the freedom on make our own life choices.  We began this fifteen years ago.  We are now well on our way, living in our desired location, raising our two beloved sons, and saving for the day when we no longer need to work full-time jobs.

To achieve this, we need to continue to simplify our lives.  Avoid added distractions, expenses, and negativity.

The beauty of acknowledging our direction is how simple it is once again to say no to things that do not aid us.  For the past year we have discussed getting a camping trailer, it aids our goal of exploring and spending quality, family time in nature.  However, it hurts our savings goals and our simplification goal.  We would have to find a storage place and maintain yet another big purchase.  After our retreat, we no longer need to discuss it, it doesn’t fit where we are right now.  There is beauty in knowing your decisions are rooted in your life direction and you as a couple do not need to keep rehashing the same ideas.

What is your direction as a couple?  Are you beginning your journey or well on your way?


There is a need in Spring to return to simplicity…



imagefocus on what matters, get your hands in the dirt and create with God the absurdity and beauty of a garden.

Budget, once again (Part IV Week 1 Review)


The biggest change is how I feel.  Satisfied? Content.  We have a plan to achieve what is important to us.  Each day is a step toward fulfillment of our individual and combined dreams. I am not seeking to fulfill myself through spending.  I hadn’t realized how bad it had become.  I remember having this feeling before…when I was living on a budget.

Maybe I am just like a child who needs boundaries to feel secure.  Maybe we all are? Check out this beautiful article on the habits of supremely happy people.

On the financial front, the jars each have a bit leftover.  Sure it was an easy week (we just returned from vacation- so no desires for expensive activities right now).  The leanest jar, as expected, groceries.  For the budget, we cut it to a third of what we have been spending.  We did it!

I am already thinking ahead to next week and using half the grocery budget to purchase meat from our local ranch (they give discounts for large orders and have the best meat).  I like this shift in focus.  Connecting and supporting local ranchers while saving money and providing healthful food for our family.

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