“Couples Who Play Together, Stay Together” . . . Creating New Ways to Connect

old-happy-couple-piggyback-rideAs we are in the heart of the growing season, I cannot help but think about our own growth as a couple. Sometimes I have couples in my office who feel they have no common interests or that they do not do anything together. There are lots of reasons for this of course. If a couple has children they may feel they do not  have time to do things as a couple or for that matter, as an individual. Or it may be that a couple has drifted away from doing things together as they did when they were dating or before they got married.

Regardless of the reasons, my feeling is that “Couples who Play Together, Stay Together.”  So lets look at some WAYS TO CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT CAN CREATE SOME NEW GROWTH & CONNECTION.

  • Really being together is more that about being in the same place. It is about REALLY BEING THERE emotionally and connecting. 
  • If you are a parent, take time as a couple to be together by your selves. It is important. You can remember you are being a good model for your children in showing them how to keep a relationship strong.
  • Put the PLAY back in your relationship. Think back to when you were dating. My guess is you were more light-hearted and playful. I do know that our adult lives can be challenging and are full of responsibilities, but taking time to play and be with the one we love will keep us strong and healthy to be the responsible adults we need to be and fulfill our life purpose.
  • Create a new hobby or interest you both can pursue. It may be dancing, biking, taking cooking classes together, etc.
  • Revive an old passion you both had in the past. It could be bowling or antiquing together. Whatever you both enjoyed in the past and has gotten buried a bit.
  • Remember too there is more than one way to play together. It may be an activity or a hobby. But it may also be relaxing and bantering back and forth. It may be sexual intimacy. Or it may be “playful” dialogue with each other.

So much of this is about making the time for each other. And then committing to having some fun together. So go play and have a good time. And remember, “Couples Who Play Together, Stay Together.” ♥♥


Family (or Couple) Travel Game – Mutual Story Telling – Builds Communication and Cooperation

As parents we know that children (well, actually adults too) can just last so long in the car before they become bored. Here is a game that can be used as a family or as a couple.

Here are some of the benefits of the MUTUAL STORY TELLING GAME:

  • This is a communication game in which careful listening is required by all players.
  • It encourages creativity and using your imagination.
  • Working together as a group is critical to making this mutual story telling successful.
  • It is also a cooperation game opposed to a competitive game. This story telling builds on what each person says.
  • There is no technology involved,  just your family.
  • Potential joint problem solving.

The Mutual Story Telling Game

Equipment Needed: None

Ages: 4 years and up; This can be used as a family game or as a couple game.

1.  Explain to family members how the game works. Keep it simple and consider the developmental age of your children. The explanation could be something like the following :

“We are going to tell a story together. There is going to be a beginning, a middle and an end. One of us will start with  – Once upon a time ….. Then then after a sentence or two, the next person will take over the story and

add something to the story that goes with what the first person started and then the next person will add something else, etc.

2.  It is important to note there is no wrong or right way for the story to be told or created. It may be a silly, fantasy story or a more serious one.  Whatever the members what to create is the order of the day.  This is also something you can relay to the family so they know that this is fun with no specific expectations or wrong or rights. Note:  If, as a parent, if you are concerned with the direction of the story you can add in with your parts ways to balance and interject your thoughts without judging or correcting.

2.  One possibility is to have a designated end time set up in the beginning that everyone is aware of. The ages of your children and the interest level may help decide this or you can decide as a group. Five minutes can give everyone several turns and not extend it out so long that folks become bored. You can always choose to end early if you feel interest is being lost, by simply saying lets each take one more turn and have our ending. You want this to be a positive experience. Note: An alarm timer on your cell phone can be set as a neutral time-keeper and then when that goes off you can each have one final turn.

3.  As to ending the story, you can have the person who started it, end it OR you can have another family member end the story. Deciding in the beginning who will end will help alleviate arguments.  

4. If there is enough interest, you can take turns starting a story, creating additional family stories.

Special Note: You might consider “Recording the Story” as it is told to create a fun family memory. Many cell phones have an audio record device.

The important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process of CREATING SOMETHING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY!

family travel


This activity can be done as a couple also. This will probably work best when there is some time involved, like an out-of-town trip, when you have miles ahead of you. It also works best when you are both feeling a bit light-hearted and playful and feel like experimenting a bit. It can be a fun bantering kind of playful story that ping pongs back and forth. Give it a try and see what you think. You might consider setting a time limit, like 5 minutes or less if you are just trying it out. As mentioned above you can set an alarm to end your story, with each having one more turn after your timer goes off.

Here is to lots of fun mutual fun story telling as a family or as a couple!

couple traveling

Plant a Mini Garden Together


It is that time of year – lots of green, growing things popping up everywhere. It can be so therapeutic to be a part of this process. Coming together as a couple or as a family and deciding what you want to plant and doing it together is a fun ongoing spring and summer project.  Getting your hands in the soil planting and caring for your mini garden as a couple or family is therapeutic by nature. Then experiencing eating the food you have grown together is so rewarding.

This mini garden can be done in a variety of ways. It can be done in one big container or in a couple of containers – flower pots or a half whiskey barrel. etc. The other possibility is to use some of your flower beds.

Some possibilities are:

Herb Garden – Everyone gets to pick out a herb seedling or two or how every many you have room for. You will find many of these are perennial.

Tomato Garden – Each person choose their own variety of tomato plant to create a mini tomato garden.

Salad Garden – Everyone chooses one or two things that they want for their future summer salads.

Mini Garden with Your Favorites – Everyone picks out their favorite veggie or herb to grow.

Gardening Community Resources:

Tulsa Garden Center – www.tulsagardencenter.com

OSU Oklahoma Gardening – www.oklahomagardening.okstate.edu

Tulsa County Extension Department – www.oces.tulsacounty.org

Here is to a successful mini garden with lots of fun time grubbing in the dirt together!

Sand Springs Herbal Affair and Festival – April 20, 2013


Sand Springs Herbal Affair & Festival

April 20, 2013 (Saturday), 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Downtown Sand Springs near Broadway & Main Street

This is year number 24 that this event has been hosted in Sand Springs. It is FREE to the public. 100 vendors with herbs, perennials, natives, heirloom plants, herbal products, gardening supplies and folk art will be in attendance. Plus, lots of food of course.  Trolley tours of Sand Springs start at the Charles Page High School. A full schedule of entertainment is planned.

Check out the Children’s Tent with FREE games and inflatables to jump on!

This could be a fun outing for either couples or families. This is especially fitting if there is a strong interest in creating a mini herb garden together.

For more information you can check this link: www.herbalaffairandfestival.com/


Jenks Herb N Plant Festival – April 27, 2013


Jenks Herb N Plant Festival, 2013

April 27, 2013 (Saturday) 8:00 – 4:00 pm

Jenks Main Street 1st -3rd

FREE event with a hundred booths:

  • Plants of all varieties with Creek Master Garden volunteers available to answer garden questions.
  • Children’s activities: giant inflatable jungle gyms and slides, face painting and games, railroad track with train shows.
  • Nature and garden related shopping booths
  • Food

This could be a fun family or couple event.

  • As a family opposed to everyone going their separate ways, you can make this a connecting kind of activity by doing things together as a family. You can take turns deciding what to do next.
  • Festivals lend to a free kind of feel in which you can hold hands wondering and stopping at things that are of interest to you. As a couple keep in mind this is about being together and having a bit of fun.

Go to jenksgardenclub.com/jenks-herb-n-plant-festival/ for more detailed information.


Red Bud Valley Nature Walk

tanna's new camera 2010 130

Red Bud Valley

I saw the first red bud trees beginning to blossom last week. And I thought . . .  I know what I am going to recommend as a couple activity for this coming week.  Last year I had an opportunity to experience RED BUD VALLEY for the first time. It was much more of a hike than I thought it would be. This year I took the other trail and found it more level and possibly better for those not used to hiking.  Regardless of which trail you take, you will be able to experience four different eco systems. Spending time in a nature preserve with your honey is close to heaven. Just glorious nature and you and your loved one. No hurry, no distractions.  Just remember to turn your cells on silence, so you can really be with your partner in this special place.  Nature has a calming influence on us so it makes for a good place to connect and just “be” with each other.  I would suggest you allow at least 2 hours if you want to stop and really experience the preserve at a leisurely pace. The next week or two the area will have the red buds in boom. I might note red buds are not particularly prolific in the preserve, but the lands around the area.  But regardless of redbuds or not, it is a lovely area to explore with your partner.

I would suggest that you look at their website before you make the trip. Redbud Valley is managed by the Oxley Nature Center, but not at the same location. Red Bud Valley is roughly 3.5 miles north of 1-44 on 161st E. Ave. in the Catoosa area. More detailed directions are on their website www.oxleynaturecenter.org/redbud.htm . For general information you can call 918-669-6644.  According to their website they are open Wednesday – Sunday from 8:00 – 5:00 pm. The visitor center is open from 11:00 – 3:00. They are closed on holidays. NO ENTRANCE FEE. This could also be a family activity, but I would not recommend this for preschoolers or very young elementary children due to the nature of the trails.  Here is to a lovely walk in nature with your honey!