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Mark Angelo Askew is the author of "Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake" and the founder and director of the Family Reunion Planning Group that established November as Annual Family Reunion Planning Month.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Few of Our Favorite Things

1. Union vs Reunion
2. What We've Learned
3. Do More Than Compromise
4. Schedule a Date Night 
5. "A Few of Our Favorite Things"
6. New Keepsake Book Soon To Be Released

Union vs Reunion
When marital union and family union is strong Family reunion is all the more sweeter. As ordained ministers Brenda and I have the special privilege of assisting in organizing and officiating wedding ceremonies while  providing family counseling for the newly wed couple. This season we are assisting several couples in one way or another to keep putting their hearts into their union. That's our calling.

What We've Learned
Too often couples get so caught up in their jobs, careers and past-times, like all engrossing sports, bands and clubs of the day that they begin to see their spouse as someone who is getting in the way of their fun and begin spending less meaningful moments with the love of their life. This can happen to anyone. At first it's just a casual oversight. But over time hearts break, silence becomes the loudest spoken word and the two drift apart emotionally and spiritually.

Do More Than Compromise
This past Sunday we talked to a very special couple married for over five years. He's contending with a new job and new congregation responsibilities that sometimes leaves them both a bit overwhelmed. That said, we reminded them both to prioritize each other and asked them both to consider this... When they come together for fun, do more than just compromise! Spend time doing things that they both enjoy doing together instead.

Schedule a Date Night 
Ask any truly happy couple what kept them together and they'll tell you that they're still dating. They eat together. Listen to music together, joke and tell stories together. Dance together. But the key to making date night work is not just doing something together as some activities can actually drive a couple apart. So what's the key to an enjoyable date night?

"A Few of Our Favorite Things."
Sometimes we are too tired to think about what we have in common and we settle for what ever comes to mind for a date night activity. We all love the musical called "The Sound of Music." Particularly the part we fondly call "My Favorite Things." It was that moment in time that the family bonded. So it is with a young couple.  Everyone likes to eat. Everyone likes music. Most like movies. On date night, share a favorite dessert you both enjoy. Watch a movie you both will like. Select music that has meaning to both of you. If you're at a loss as to what to do this would be a good time to consult the "favorite things list."

Soon To Be Released
In our newly written book "Fimark's My Keepsake Wedding Planner" Brenda and I have dedicated three pages to a keepsake list called "A Few of Our Favorite Things." It's a keepsake checklist of the things the couple has in common. Things the couple both enjoy doing together in the area of music, books, movies, sports, food, etc.  This "favorite things list" is something we feel a couple cannot do without. Our book "Fimark's My Keepsake Wedding Planner" is now available at

Whether you've been married for a few months, 6 years or 31 years, whether your a single parent or a house of siblings, we all can do better than compromise. Discover things the whole family has in common  and turn it into a traditional activity. When you're really having a good time together you're happier and enjoy better health. Loyalties solidify and love deepens. A happy, healthy family union is a happier family reunion for everyone involved.

Happy family reunion planning!

Mark and Brenda

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