Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category
Today’s blog is form Luis Moreno, The Relationship Coach at Optimal Relationship Coaching.
Is your wedding planning stressing you out? Is your partner making it worse? Is he/she not understanding how important it is to have everything perfect on your special day? It happens, however, both of you could be to blame. Do you think you are an effective communicator with your future spouse? If it’s challenging at times, here are some great tips you will find very useful during this nerve-racking time.
What is communication? According to Kay Arthur, the founder of Precept Ministries International, “Communication is the free exchange of thoughts, ideas and opinions shared between two or more people who are willing to be open, honest and vulnerable.”
- How well are you communicating with your fiancé?
- Has your communication suffered during your wedding planning?
WHAT MAKES UP YOUR COMMUNICATION?
The following are generally accepted facts from communication experts.
- We communicate verbally and nonverbally.
- Our words only account for 8% of our communication
- Our body language accounts for 55% of our communication
- The emotions we express account for 36% of our communication.
What does this mean? This means that about 92% of our message is conveyed by physical means, what we say with our eyes, our facial expressions, our body and the tone of our voice. Think about this, our words only account for 8% of our communication, but that 8% is very powerful. If that message is negative the words can cut like a knife and tear down a person’s spirit. On the other hand if the message is positive it can build up a person’s self-esteem, gives hope and softens resistance. Your message in words is very powerful.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD COMMUNICATOR:
- Be slow to speak; think about your words.
- You don’t need to say everything you are thinking.
- Let your message be clear and concise.
- Let you words be truthful, respectful, loving and encouraging.
- Don’t let the tone of your voice be an issue.
Also be flexible, choose a good time and place for those difficult conversations, and practice Active Listening.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Communication which is Active Listening in the coming weeks.
Tags: communication, relationship coaching, relationship counseling
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Love is a word used to describe one, if not the most, potent experiences available to humans. The word love was once *leubh, a word used by the Proto-Indo-Europeans approximately five thousand years ago to describe care and desire. When love was incorporated into Old English as lufu, it had turned into both a noun to describe, “deep affection” and its offspring verb, “to be very fond of.”
Love and Religion
One of the earliest uses of love, and its biggest influence, was religion. Love was used to describe the benevolence and affection of God, as well as the affectionate devotion due to God, “God is loue, and hee that dwelleth in loue, dwelleth in God” (John 4:16). From this widely recognized meaning, love began to be used to positively describe instances of affection or acts of kindness.
Falling in Love
From Middle English onwards, the most popular meaning for love however was to describe a “beloved person” (1255)-especially one’s sweetheart. This naturally turned love into an intimate form of address which began to describe goings on of lovers such as love letters (c.1240) and love songs (c.1310). One could say that they had “fallen in love” with someone from 1423, and under a hundred years later that they were lovesick (1530). To make love (1580) meant to “pay amorous attention” to another person and it wasn’t till the middle of the twentieth century that it became a euphemism for sexual intercourse. The word love was introduced to tennis from 1742 to mean no score- from the notion of playing “for love,” came the notion “playing for nothing.”
Love and Sex
Of course the sexual meaning of love was present from the very beginnings of Old English, but it was not till the late 17th century that love was more strongly associated with sex. At first love was used to describe the personification of sexual affection in the form of cupid, “Wher’er her step in beauty moves, around her fly a thousand loves.” By the early 18th century however, love began to mean an illicit partner, or even sexual intercourse itself. From this meaning came the negative term love brat, or its modern form love child (1805), which described a child born out of wedlock. New meanings for love were still being created well into the 20th century- love life (1919) began to mean “one’s collective amorous activities” and was originally used as psychological jargon.
What “love” means from person to person, let alone from century to century, is one of the most varied in the English language. From describing one’s faith to God to describing a child born out of wedlock, the connotations for love are many and varied.
Tags: evolution of love, love, words
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With the Olympic Opening Ceremonies only hours away, we are giving you permission to stop the wedding planning for a couple of hours to enjoy a dazzling spectacle that only happens once every four years. Peace and good will are the only thing on the menu tonight. Countries from around the world will convene in London for the next two weeks to compete and show the world what good sportmanship is like.
That being said, it did get me thinking about all those athletes in one confined space for a whole two weeks. It must be very difficult to leave your loved ones behind and go to a foreign place with only your team members to interact with. Or is it?
As with many couples, proximity has a lot to do with who your significant other ends up being. I mean, how many relationships start off in the office, because you just spend so much time together? Sometimes, it’s inevitable.
We found that this is also the case with many athletes/Olympians. With similar training schedules, daily routines, eating habits, etc. you wouldn’t be shocked to know that it makes sense for these types of individuals to gravitate towards each other.
Here are just a few Olympic couples we found in the recent years:
Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner: Nadia, now 46, as a Romanian gymnast won five Olympic gold medals in all-around, balance beam and uneven bars and was the first to score a perfect 10 in an Olympic event. Conner, 50, took gold on the parallel bars in 1984. The two had met at a meet in 1976 and 20 years later, they got married in Bucharest. Nadia became a U.S. citizen in 2001. Now they run a gymnastics school in Norman, Okla., and do TV commentary and much charity work. They had a baby boy in 2006.
Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra: Mia, 36, is certainly the most famous women’s soccer player ever … she led the U.S. team to Olympic gold in 1996 and 2004 and holds the record (male or female) for most international goals (158). Nomar, 35, led the AL in batting with averages of .357 and .372 … phenomenal for a shortstop … with the Red Sox. He’s playing for the Dodgers now as his career winds down. The two met at a charity event, she divorced her husband and they married in 2003. She gave birth to twin girls in 2007.
Misty May and Matt Treanor: Misty, 31, won gold in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in beach volleyball with partner Kerri Walsh. Matt, 32, is in his fifth season with the Marlins as a backup catcher. They met at a sports therapy clinic in California and married in 2004.
Julianne McNamara and Todd Zeile: Julianne, 42, took gold on the uneven bars with a perfect 10 in gymnastics at the 1984 Olympics. Then she went the TV route, only acting, not announcing, as she appeared on “Charles in Charge” and “Knight Rider.” In 1989, she married Todd, now 43, whom she had known at UCLA. They have four children. Todd spent 16 years in the majors as a catcher and third baseman; he achieved career highs of 31 homers, 103 RBI and .293. He caught the acting bug himself, playing in 2005′s movie “Dirty Deeds.”
Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican: What a pleasant surprise for her fans when Kristi, 37, returned from domestic obscurity to win the popular “Dancing With the Stars” TV show this year. She had been retired for six years from figure skating, a career highlighted by taking gold at the 1992 Winter Olympics and then touring professionally. She’s also done some acting (“Everybody Loves Raymond”). At the Olympics, she had met Bret, now 38, who was on the U.S. hockey team. They married in 2000 and have two daughters. Bret has spent 19 seasons in the NHL, most recently as a defenseman with the Carolina Hurricanes.
So as you watch the Opening Ceremonies tonight, make sure to listen and watch all the back stories on the athletes. We are sure you will find a few that wil or have already coupled up, could possibly get engaged in London, have an Olympic sized wedding, and possibly produce future Olympians of their own. This just goes to show you, you never know where you might find the future love of your life.Tags: couples, Olympic couples, Olympics
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By Brogan Lozano
Planning on carrying a bouquet down the aisle on your wedding day? How about tossing it at the reception venue? And for the grooms: wonder why you have to carry your beloved over the “threshold?” Or perhaps what exactly a “honeymoon” is? All of these traditions came from somewhere, so here are a few stories to explain why these fun activities have made it into the hearts of newlyweds and their guests for centuries.
The origin of a wedding bouquet dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times. Just like every other wedding tradition, it was thought that carrying this lucky arrangement of flowers, herbs, and grains would ward off evil spirits. Along with the usual, hilariously enough, brides can also attribute carrying gorgeous flowers to their not-so gorgeous stench. In ancient Greece and Rome, baths were not apart of the daily routine, so in order to mask the odor and shield the groom and guests from the funk, the bride was encouraged to carry a bouquet of flowers.
Those beautiful buds conjured up their second claim to wedding fame in France in the 14th century. Along with the bouquet, the wedding gown itself was considered incredibly lucky. Wedding guests often chased the bride around after the ceremony, hoping to tear off a piece of her lucky gown. Brides, no longer wanting to be harassed or even injured at their own weddings opted to come up with a way to distract the unruly crowd of wedding guests. When it came time to decide between the dress and the flowers, they chose the dress. And thus, tossing the bouquet was born. Now brides happily toss their bouquets into the crowd of party-goers for the sake of looking fabulous in their precious dress.
Don’t think we left the gentlemen out! The groom has important traditional duties too! Carrying his bride over the threshold has been around for centuries, originating from ancient Germanic tribes. Some of the earliest marriages usually involved a groom, his “Bridesmen/Bridesknights,” and an unsuspecting bride. After kidnapping a woman from another tribe, the groom and his fellow conspirators would then have to fight off the bride’s family and tribe (it’s said that swords were held in their right hands and the groom held the bride in his left hand, which is the origin for why a bride stands on the left side of the groom at a wedding). Once the battle was done, the groom would cross the “threshold” out of her tribe and back into his with his new wife still in hand.
Now for the fun part: the honeymoon! The word “honeymoon” was created to describe the activities that would take place after the marriage. After a successful capture of his bride, the groom would hide her away for one month in hopes of propagating a family before her tribe found her. During this month the couple would drink plenty of mead, which was a honey-sweetened alcoholic brew that was thought to increase the acidity of the womb and thus aid in fertility.
These traditions continue to stand the test of time and prove to just be plain old fun even in a modern wedding. Whether you’re throwing a bouquet, stuffing a penny in your shoe, crossing the threshold, or tossing the garter, be sure to remember one thing: have a blast on your special day! Chances are with all these traditions in play; “evil spirits” will choose not to be in attendance.Tags: history of weddings, Wedding Traditions
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By Brogan Lozano
For those of you that do not know how we are situated here at the Wedding Guide, our offices are uniquely setup. For the most part, half of our office space is for the Wedding Guide and the other half is for our sister venue business, Granberry Hills.
We, in the Wedding Guide offices are always prive to a multitude of eager couples as they plan their nuptials and take tours of our property. Eventually, the rehearsal for the wedding and then the wedding day follows for all of these couples and we get to witness some pretty amazing (and often funny) stories. Such was the case last Friday when a slightly frazzled groom entered our offices. Luckily, we were able to have a hand in making their day as special as possible.
While sitting in the web department of Wedding Guide last week, finishing up some routine paperwork, a “Granberry Girl” walks in with what seemed to be a distressed groom at her side. She went on to explain that his wedding was to be held at Granberry that very night, and he needed a little help with the music. With one glance we knew that “overwhelmed” was an understatement. “I need help,” he remarked, “I’ve been trying to burn a CD for the wedding and everything keeps going wrong.”
Monica, the head of our web department, warmly extended her services and asked how she could help. “Well, I have the music on my phone, and I need to somehow transfer them to a CD…I can’t figure it out… can you please, just, help me?” The look of desperation on his face sent us into action. Monica grabbed the phone, and a few moments later she had it connected to the computer and the songs ready to download.
The rest of the “webbies” offered their congratulations, a Kit-Kat, and a cold drink of water to soothe the frantic groom. “I really hope this works out,” he joked, “because I have gone through so much today.” One by one the different tracks popped onto the computer screen. “Can we listen to them? Just to make sure they work?” He asked. Monica pressed play. For the next few minutes our web department listened to the soundtrack of this couple. In the midst of Train’s “Marry Me” the once anxiety-ridden groom softened and became lost within the song. With glassy eyes he uttered his sudden realization. “Wow, this just got real.”
As the music came to a close our groom explained lovingly, “I just wanted to keep all the drama away from her today. I know she’s gone through a lot to make me happy. I just want everything to be perfect for her. I want it to be special.”
And on that note the disc had finished burning. He grabbed the treasured tunes and held it to his heart with tears in his eyes. He thanked the entire web department for being so supportive and gave his closing words with the CD still glued to his heart, “I’m going to go have a moment now.”
Don’t forget to submit your Love Story to possibly be featured on an upcoming blog.Tags: love songs, love stories, love story, technology
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Once in a while you hear about these epic love stories that couldn’t possibly be true. They defy nature in longevity and beg to be shared as inspiration for others. This is one of those stories. And though this story is almost a year old, it’s a story that tugs on your heart strings and makes even the most cynical of people believe that there could be that one special person out there for you that can stand the test of time. So as you’re planning your wedding, remember, it’s not just about the wedding, it’s about the marriage that comes afterwards. And if you’re one of the lucky ones, you will be blessed with at least 72 years with the one you love.
Family said the story of Gordon, 94, and Norma Yeager, 90, is a real-life love story.
On the day she graduated from high school, Norma Stock promised to spend forever with Gordon Yeager. The couple got married on May 26, 1939 in State Center.
“They’re very old-fashioned. They believed in marriage til death do you part,” said son Dennis Yeager.
Dennis Yeager was the youngest of four children born to the couple. His sister Donna was first born.
“Staying together for 72 years is good, I’d say that’s exceptional,” said daughter Donna Sheets.
The way the kids tell it, dad was the life of the party while mom kept everything together.
“Anybody come over — she was the hostess with the mostest. She just seriously — the more she did — the more she smiled,” said Dennis Yeager. “Dad would be the center of attention, like, ‘Weee look at me,’ and mom was like ‘get him away from me!’ You know we even got a picture like that.”
Norma didn’t really want the distance, and family said she hardly left Gordon’s side for 72 years.
At the intersection of Highway 30 and Jessup Avenue just west of Marshalltown, state troopers said Gordon pulled in front of an oncoming car. The Iowa State Patrol crash report said the other driver attempted to avoid the crash but was unable to stop in time.
In the intensive care unit of Marshalltown’s hospital, nurses knew not to separate Gordon and Norma.
“They brought them in the same room in intensive care and put them together — and they were holding hands in ICU. They were not really responsive,” said Dennis Yeager.
Gordon died at 3:38 p.m. holding hands with his wife as the family they built surrounded them.
“It was really strange, they were holding hands, and dad stopped breathing but I couldn’t figure out what was going on because the heart monitor was still going,” said Dennis Yeager. “But we were like, he isn’t breathing. How does he still have a heart beat? The nurse checked and said that’s because they were holding hands and it’s going through them. Her heart was beating through him and picking it up.”
“They were still getting her heartbeat through him,” said Donna Sheets.
At 4:38 p.m., exactly one hour after Gordon died, Norma passed too.
“Neither one of them would’ve wanted to be without each other. I couldn’t figure out how it was going to work,” said Donna Sheets. “We were very blessed, honestly, that they went this way.”
“They just loved being together,” said Dennis Yeager.
At their funeral on Monday, Norma and Gordon held hands in their casket. Family said they will be cremated and their ashes mixed together.
Reprinted from KCCI Ch.8
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By Dr. Jennifer Mushtaler (OB JEN), Capital Ob/Gyn Associates of Texas
Leading into your wedding day, it is common to schedule a well-woman exam and to discuss personal decisions such as birth control options and family planning needs with your obstetrician/gynecologist.
Your relationship with your obstetrician/gynecologist is one of the most intimate professional relationships you may have. Although it can take time for this relationship to develop, you should feel comfortable with this person and should be able to trust your obstetrician/gynecologist with your most private concerns.
Important questions to consider when selecting an obstetrician/gynecologist include:
Does she/he have experience caring for and delivering high risk pregnancies?
None of us want to experience a complicated, high risk pregnancy. However, an attending of mine in my training used to remind us at the beginning of every call night, “The sickest patient will be the one you least expect.” Even if you consider yourself to be healthy, pregnancy and labor can unexpectedly become risky to mother and baby. You want to make sure that your obstetrician has the training and experience to handle any surprises from severe pre-eclampsia to acute hemorrhage. If you live in a major metropolitan area, you also want to know if your obstetrician delivers at a level 3 center with in-house anesthesia and an experienced NICU. Hopefully you don’t need those services, but if you or your baby were in grave danger, you would want to feel confident that your obstetrician can manage your care and that she/he has the resources needed to do so.
How will she/he manage a pregnancy that goes beyond the due date? At what point will she/he insist on induction?
These questions tell you a lot about your obstetrician’s medical beliefs and style of practice. Some providers believe that babies should be delivered as soon as possible while others may take a wait and see approach. A seasoned obstetrician may tell you that the answer is not easily defined because she/he will need to consider multiple factors specific to your situation in deciding when and how to recommend an induction.
What are her/his views about the use of doulas?
Again, this question tells you a lot about your obstetrician, whether she/he is open to a holistic approach and whether she/he is going to help create a supportive environment. Doulas are labor companions who can help ease anxiety during labor and offer emotional support. A great doula may be someone you hire or it may be a family member or friend. In any case, knowing your obstetrician’s opinion will give you insight into their practice style and if it matches with yours.
Will she/he deliver my baby?
No one physician can be on-call 24 hours a day/ 365 days a year. Most obstetricians share call with other doctors in their practice or community. You should know who the other doctors in the call group are and how the call rotation works. Some groups are extremely large so you may not have an opportunity to get to know all of the doctors who may attend your delivery. Other groups are smaller and may have a system in place for you to meet the other doctors who may deliver your baby. Also, in many communities ob/gyn’s perform circumcisions upon request. If this is relevant to you, don’t forget to inquire about it and whether or not she/he uses anesthesia.
What is the practice’s policy for handling emergencies?
For example, will your doctor be able to see you on a regular office day or will you have to wait for an opening or see a mid-level provider? Who can you reach by phone during office hours or after hours for an emergency? How long does it typically take for the doctor or a nurse to return your call? Many large groups utilize a nurse telephone triage system, while in a small group you may be able to reach your doctor or nurse directly.
Thankfully routine pregnancy is only 40 weeks, give or take a little bit, so you should also consider your gynecological needs when selecting an ob/gyn. Consider some of the following:
How far in advance do I need to schedule a routine annual if I want to see my doctor?
This gives you insight into how accessible the doctor really is. As a mother and working woman myself, I want a physician I can actually see even if nothing is wrong and I am not pregnant. Everyone’s schedule is different so consider how important this is to you. I have had friends tell me they haven’t seen their doctor in years because they cannot get an appointment scheduled for months.
Are you comfortable with the ob/gyn?
I think this is crucial. If you need to discuss STD testing, vaginal dryness and hot flashes or …something smelling badly down there, you need to feel able to do so. Moreover, if you are going to have surgery you need to feel confident that your surgeon is going to take good care of you. You should also consider your own value system and lifestyle. She/he may not live exactly as you do, but your healthcare relationship will be more comfortable if there is understanding and respect.
For additional information about a prospective physician, you can verify licensure with your state’s medical board. You can also verify that your physician is board certified through the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Both will offer information on a public website.
Tags: family planning, health
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Today’s blog comes from our friends at Illuminate Photography. Thanks Lisa for this important and helpful information.
Submitted by Illuminate Photography
Dave and I participate in a few bridal shows each year and this last one got me thinking…
When a bride walks into a bridal show, it is freaking overwhelming. I mean I’m friends with or am usually at least familiar with half of the other vendors at shows and when I walk around to visit my industry friends sometimes I even get a little overwhelmed.
I can see that look on your face. So much to look at. Where do I start? What questions do I even ask? Who can I trust? Who’s really good vs. who’s just really good at marketing? What product or service are you even offering? (Sometimes it’s hard to tell at first glance).
So I try to put myself in the bride’s shoes. Often times I even ask brides what they’re thinking (especially when I see that overwhelmed wide-eyed look on their faces) and they often tell me… they don’t even know what they’re looking for. If you’re not familiar with photography, if you’ve never paid attention to what you really like, you will probably end up just shopping on price. So that’s usually the first question we get: “What packages do you offer?” or “What are your prices?”
And I don’t blame you. But if I can give you a word or two of advice, the last thing you want to do is choose your wedding photographer based solely on price. Besides the groom, one of the few things that will remain from your wedding day will be your photographs. I’ve had brides years later tell me that they still love looking at their wedding photographs. I’ve also heard horror stories from brides who let their wallets decide and ended up regretting their decision. There’s a wise saying that generally holds true when it comes to wedding photography: You get what you pay for.
Remember: you’re investing in the entire experience, a service and a final product that will last for years, if not your entire lifetime, as well as future generations.
We hate to see anyone have regrets around their wedding, so here are a few things to consider when searching for your perfect wedding photographer…
Traditional, photojournalistic, illustrative, fashion, fine art. There are tons of labels out there. Take a look at some samples of wedding photography (wedding magazines and blogs, pinterest and friend’s wedding photographs are a great place to start) and decide which style you’re drawn to. There’s no right or wrong answer. Photography is art. You have permission to like what you like.
Full-time professional, weekend warrior, aspiring amateur. Check out this helpful pro-con list of 8 types of wedding photographers to help guide your decision.
At a bridal show or when meeting with other vendors, ask for recommendations. They’ll be able to give you the behind the scenes scoop on other wedding professionals – who’s just in it as a business vs. who’s really got integrity and passion. Other wedding professionals will be able to let you know. The last thing you want is a photographer with a bad rep in the wedding industry. And another bonus is that your wedding will run more smoothly the better your vendors gel with one another.
And of course, ask your friends! You’ll spend a majority of your wedding day with your photographer either interacting with or at least having him or her close by, so you want someone who will enhance the vibe of your day, not have your rolling your eyes. A good rule of thumb… if you wouldn’t invite your photographer to a social gathering, you might want to keep looking.
We understand that although money shouldn’t be your main deciding factor, your budget is an important part of the decision-making process. So here are a few tips to help you get the best value for your investment:
- Get the best wedding day coverage you can afford and find out if you can purchase the CD of images later on or order your wedding album for your first anniversary.
- Set up a payment plan.
- Register for your wedding album or other professional services.
Quality & Experience
Photography is unique in that it’s one of the few things you purchase before seeing the final product. So a photographer’s experience and portfolio will be your best window into the chances that you’ll end up with pictures similar to what they’re showing. Ask them how many weddings they’ve photographed. Ask to see a full wedding with diverse lighting conditions.
Understand that being a great photographer requires a tremendous amount of personal and technical skill. An experienced wedding photographer might cost more, but the value of being able to:
- anticipate moments and surprises
- deal with every detail of a wedding
- capture your list of must-have shots
- interact pleasantly with the bride & groom, their families and hundreds of guests
- be prepared to handle an array of lighting situations
…all while maintaining the highest level of technical skill possible definitely takes a professional with experience. You have to decide how much their experience and the peace of mind that it provides is worth to you.
So where does Illuminate Photography fit in?
Dave and I both believe that stories are best told in the context of a conversation. And we believe that everyone’s story deserves to be told. So our goal when we meet with you, whether at a bridal show or on our first appointment, is to first engage in a conversation. We want to hear about you, your history, your hopes and dreams, your needs and wants. Then if we’re a good fit, we work together to create images that visually tell your story. In doing so, together we co-create memories that are uniquely you.
Our photography style leans toward photojournalism, but with a more creative and intentionally stylized bent aimed at telling your story.
If you’d like to know how we’d answer any of the above questions, just ask. We’d love to start a conversation.Tags: Photography, planning, tips
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Todays blog is from one of our floral vendors. We have been doing some social media posts in the past couple of weeks about new floral trends and alternatives, so we were excited to get this submission from Seasons in Silk.
We think that if you had the opportunity to see the new trends with fresh floral, it would be interesting and a viable option to recreate the new trends with silk flowers. Maybe not for everything for your wedding, but a few special pieces to keep as keepsakes.Submitted by Carolyn Webb, Owner/Designer, Seasons In Silk
Most brides begin their journey through planning their dream wedding long before a proposal. Fantasies of gorgeous flowers and a picture perfect setting are formed into reality the day she becomes engaged.
Excitement may turn to exhaustion however, with so many choices to fit into a wedding budget. Thus the process begins to find just the right pieces to complete the plan without losing the dream.
Although not a new concept, using silk flowers is becoming more popular to save money and fill a venue with beautiful flowers. As time passes, silk flowers have become life-like and almost undetectable from fresh flowers and are used in luxurious hotels and other elite businesses. Especially when scented oils are used, the fragrance fills the air with a fresh aroma.
While usually less expensive, most brides find the cost of purchasing vases and silk floral stems pricy and elect to compromise their selections to a minimum. If you have not heard about a new alternative, take some time to see how silk floral design rental can work for you. Not only can you have your selections custom made, but the cost is a fraction of purchasing fresh flowers. Choices are not limited to seasonal flowers or the availability of your favorites. Give yourself the opportunity to compare pricing before you decide on your wedding floral and be pleasantly surprised at the savings.Tags: flower alternatives, flower rentals, silk flowers
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Unlike Hollywood movies, love doesn’t find each other, fall in love, have strife and find perfect resolution within the 90 minutes on the screen. Real life is…well…real. Not every ending is perfect, but there is always the hope for one. As human beings, we all want that connection with someone that goes beyond the spoken language. We all want to be able to look at someone and already know what they are thinking, or touch them and know what kind of reaction you will get out of them. It’s a beautiful thing. So as this official week of love comes to a close, let us not forget that it is not only our significant others that provide love to us. Other types of love feed our souls and provide us with the emotional ammunition we need to get through the other 364 days out of the year that aren’t Valentine’s Day.
And the book by which these four types of love are being considered is from a book titled The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis which explores the nature of love from a Christian perspective. For those of you who do not know of these other types of love, they are: eros, philia, storge and agape. Here is a brief explanation on each.
1. Storge – affection
Affection is fondness through familiarity, especially between family members or people who have otherwise found themselves together by chance. It is described as the most natural, emotive, and widely diffused of loves: natural in that it is present without coercion; emotive because it is the result of fondness due to familiarity; and most widely diffused because it pays the least attention to those characteristics deemed “valuable” or worthy of love and, as a result, is able to transcend most discriminating factors. Ironically, its strength is also what makes it vulnerable. Affection has the appearance of being “built-in” or “ready made”, says Lewis, and as a result people come to expect, even to demand, its presence—irrespective of their behavior and its natural consequences.
Philio is the love between friends. Friendship is the strong bond existing between people who share common interest or activity. Lewis explains that true friendships, like the friendship between David and Jonathan in the Bible is almost a lost art. Friendship is a love just like the love between two lovers.
3. Eros – romance
Eros is love in the sense of “being in love” or loving me. This is distinct from sexuality, which Lewis calls Venus, although he does spend time discussing sexual activity and its spiritual significance in both a pagan and a Christian sense. He identifies eros as indifferent. It is Venus that desires the sexual aspect of a relationship, while Eros longs for the emotional connection with the other person.
4. Agape – unconditional love
Charity is the love that brings forth caring regardless of circumstance. Lewis recognizes this as the greatest of loves, and sees it as a specifically Christian virtue. The chapter on the subject focuses on the need of subordinating the natural loves to the love of God, who is full of charitable love.
So based on these four types, it is safe to say that we seek out all types of love and reciprocate in kind. It is not just the love of one that makes us whole, happy or complete. It should be a nice mixture of all the important people in your life, parents, friends, best friends, children and mentors in our life that fulfill us.
I suppose the important thing to always remember is, you get what you give in this lifetime. So love every day, and try to attain and maintain all types of love every day of the year.
Tags: love, types of love, Valentine's Day
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