7 Reasons Why This Year’s Valentine’s Day Won’t Be Like Last Year’s

A brief synopsis on what happens every year on Valentine’s Day and what you can do this year to make it better than ever.

1. This year you will open up and communicate to your partner what you want for Valentine’s Day, figuratively and literally. It’s time to be assertive and vulnerable with your partner.  You will both appreciate that you were able to open up and say what you are really thinking. Read More

Why You Need Not Marry the Wrong Person


A letter from our VP:

The New York Times most read story of 2016 recently popped back up on the most popular list again, nearly a year after in first ran last May. As is often the case for the most popular story, the topic was love and relationships:Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person” by Alain de Botton.   A primary argument de Botton offers to support his pessimistic title is that couples entering the commitment of marriage can’t possibly know enough about themselves or each other to make an informed, data-driven decision to spend (or at least plan to spend) the rest of their lives together.  Our society is such that a person “in love” fails to get past the shiny veneer and discover the idiosyncrasies, the warts, the psychoses of their potential spouse…the ways in which they “are crazy.”  Even when preceded by years of dating, the curtain is pulled back only after vows have been exchanged.  Real life sets in and exposes expectations, personality quirks and manifestations of past hurts that can form a toxic brew – a vicious cycle of reactions and overreactions that severely test or even destroy the relationship. Read More

Relight the Fire in Your Relationship


The snow has fallen, wool socks have been pulled out of storage, fire places have been lit, winter is here and it has plateaued: don’t let your relationship do the same.  Here’s the thing about complacency, it’s a natural part of a relationship’s journey, but it can be avoided.  Leading up to National Marriage Week, the team at PREPARE/ENRICH wants to encourage you to keep your relationship on your mind.  When you do this, you are already taking a step in the right direction to combat complacency. Read More

Bring Back the Butterflies Contest

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Some first dates turn out flawless, they go exactly as planned. Your shirt remains free of pit stains, you manage to make your date laugh several times throughout the date, you hear doves singing in the distance, and at the end of the night, you seal the deal with a kiss. Other first dates? Not so much. Some end in heartbreak, some end in belly laughs, others may end in a shocking surprise.

I never had an outrageous or over the top first date, but my story makes me laugh every time I reminisce about it. I had been texting back and forth with this fascinating guy I had met (spoiler alert – he’s now my husband!). We decided to have a relaxed first date on a week night to see if the conversation was as good in person as it was over text. He invited me over to his house and we had planned to order pizza and watch movies. It had come to his attention that I had an embarrassingly long list of classic movies I had never seen and he was bound and determined to check a couple off the list. Read More

Monopoly, Money, and Marriage


“I will buy water works from you for $250,” my husband offered.  We were playing our first family game of Monopoly.  Sitting around the board was my daughter who is eight, my son who is ten, my husband Brad, and myself.  Having played board games with my husband for 13 plus years, I knew what kind of overall “game player” he was – aggressive.  However, I had never played Monopoly with him.  He was definitely aggressive, buying up properties left and right and making deals on the side.

As the game went on, greed was evident, as well as spending all your money, taking big chances, and mortgaging property to pay bills.  I found myself reflecting on what we were indirectly teaching our kids about money by the way he and I were playing the game. I worried that Brad and I were modeling behaviors and values that we did not espouse in our management of money. Read More

Check In – Part 3: Conversation Inspiration

Last night was rough. Work ran late, traffic was bad, dinner was overcooked, kids didn’t want to take their baths or go to bed, and then finally, after all of that, my husband and I sat down for our Wednesday night “check in” and we just stared at each other.

I set aside time at the end of my (hectic) day for what should have been an effortless (and rewarding) talk with my husband, and yet we both felt like it was another draining task that needed to be completed before we could finally get rest.

If this situation sounds familiar – you’re in luck! Read More

Check In – Part 2: $20,000 vs. $20

You know what? Weddings are expensive. The beautiful venue, delicious food, trendy entertainment, stunning dress, personalized invitations, crafty decorations, photographer with the perfect eye, adorable favors, so on and so forth, it adds up. I spent just over $20,000 on my (small) wedding years ago and comparing that to others, turns out it was inexpensive! Wedding websites like theknot.com suggest the average cost of a wedding to be just over $31,000. Regardless of your financial situation, that’s a lot of money to spend on one day.

Assuming you spent a decent amount on your wedding, let me ask you – how much money have you invested in your marriage since your wedding? Read More