Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

A friend of mine recently sent me an email announcement about a new web service that has really made me smile. It’s called HusbandHero, and as the name implies, it’s dedicated to making each husband into the hero that he wants to be, the “knight in shining armor” that his wife may have envisioned when she said yes. Here’s just a sample of their mission statement:

Husband Hero is a simple service that helps remind us to put ourselves and our needs behind those of our spouse and our children. In our (limited) experience, we have found that as either spouse does this, the relationship deepens and improves. There is a certain magic rekindled when a husband does something special (small as it may be) to serve and love his wife, and generally the wife’s inclination is to respond by doing something selfless and loving in response. If this pattern is repeated frequently over the course of weeks and months, it is almost certain that an increase in the strength of marriages and families will follow, and our homes, communities, and society would improve. Consequently, there would be a corresponding decline in the amount of neglect, abuse, separation, and divorce.

When you sign up, they send you a monthly email with simple suggestions of things that you, husbands, can do for your wives, organized into cost brackets. The sample email on the site, some helpful tips for July, includes ideas ranging from no cost (drawing a bubble bath for her and floating a hand-written “message in a bottle” for her to read as she relaxes) or low cost (picking or buying fresh flowers for five days in a row and hiding them where she won’t expect themthe fridge, for examplealong with a note detailing one reason you love and appreciate her), all the way to big bucks ideas (a hot air balloon ride). This allows you to choose an idea that you and your wallet are comfortable with.

None of the ideas on their sample email were shockingly new; I’m pretty sure I’ve heard them all before. However, that doesn’t mean that I think about or actually do them consistently. I could definitely see a reminder email being helpful, especially when it’s something that I’d like to be doing anyways.

If you, as a husband, feel particularly clueless about what your wife would actually like you to do, she can also sign in and head over to the “Better Half Haven” where she can fill out an interests and moods profile and include all the dates she’d like you to remember. These, of course, make their way into your inbox in a timely fashion.

Or, you can keep the whole thing a secret and let your wife think you’re just that amazing all by yourself.

Whatever the case, they’ve got an introductory price going right now that puts all this in your email box for a dollar a month. Sounds like a very well invested dollar to me.


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One of the apparent benefits of graduating from UCLA is the inevitable Alumni Association newsletter emails. Normally, these aren’t worth the cost of the email (to me), but occasionally, something truly interesting comes across the void.

For example, in the March 2008 volume, there was one story that caught my eye: “‘Hotties’ not so hot when you’re in love.” I clicked through and read the story and found something that was not all together surprising, though extremely insightful.

In this study, the research team at UCLA, working with a team from eHarmony.com, gathered a number of highly-rated pictures from a dating website (so, we’re talking about the ‘hotties’ of the bunch) and a bunch of undergraduates that were in committed relationships. Each of these undergrads was shown a picture of a ‘hottie’ of the opposite sex and asked to look at it for a certain amount of time.

Then, after giving the picture back to the researchers, they were asked to write an essay. One third of the students wrote about anything they wanted (this was the control group), another third wrote about a time that they felt a great amount of love for their partner, and the last wrote about when they were extremely attracted sexually to their partner.

Basically, aside from the control group, they were recalling extreme feelings of either love or lust.

While they were writing, they were told not to think about the hottie, but that, if they did, to simply put a check mark in the margin of their paper.

After the essay, they were asked to recall any details about the hottie that they studied at the beginning.

The results were quite interesting: those students actively recalling moments of love for their partners (remember: love here is not equal to attraction or lust) were 6 times less likely than the control group and 4 times less likely than the lust group to think of the attractive hottie that they had just been told not to think about. Now, I don’t know about you, but if someone tells me not to think about something, that just makes it all the more likely that I will. Don’t believe me? Just think about the last time someone said, “Don’t look now but…” What’s the first thing you did? You looked.

After the essays, when asked to recall details about the hottie, students who wrote about love had a difficult time recalling attractive features of the hottie and typically provided much more general information about the location of the picture or the color of clothing the person was wearing instead of details regarding anything that typically attracts a person’s attention, like their eyes, hair, skin, muscles, cleavage, or the like.

Clearly, lust is not love, and romantic love is not sexual desire. While desire or lust may attract us to a particular person, it is love that prevents us from being drawn somewhere else. Love is, essentially, a blinder that dulls the attractiveness that we perceive in others. It helps us maintain those partnerships that we have formed, the families that we have started.

This has got me to thinking about how many people fall into the trap of infidelity, or who fall out of love with their spouse.

Might there be some application of this study to my life? I’m sure there is.

The one thing that jumped almost immediately to mind is keeping a journal. If we were to record somewhere those things that remind us of the love that we feel for our spouses (be it something they do or say or how they act), we would have a fairly steady reminder of why we have chosen the person we did, keeping those feelings of love fresh and effective in blunting whatever attraction we might have otherwise felt for another. It would be a protective barrier against intrusion into our hearts.

I’m curious: what other ideas do you have? How do you maintain an active remembrance of the love you feel for your partner? Leave your comments and suggestions below; I’d love to hear them.

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As I was putting my homemade Valentine’s Day gift together for Michelle, I found myself in need of a bar code. I googled it and found one with a link to a website by one Scott Blake, a Bar Code Artist, if you will. His site is a lot of fun. You can make your own personal barcode. Here’s mine:

hello, my barcode is

Apparently, when scanned, my bar code indicates that I am worth a grand total of $9.78.

While on the website, make sure you request your free bar code art postcard (mine’s in the mail).

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Michelle: Every time I see her cop some bad attitude I see me. And it’s scary. And that’s the reason I pray at night, so that maybe she can copy some of the good sometimes.

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My kids aren’t ice cream connoisseurs yet. They just like it straight up, plain. Nice and cold.

Unless we’re at Coldstone Creamery, in which case they like a few M&Ms mixed in for fun.

While in California, we hit the local Coldstone at the Victoria Gardens and, true to form, the kids wanted something pretty simple. Hyrum went with chocolate ice cream with M&Ms mixed in. I really don’t know what good turn we had performed, but our ice cream master was amazing. When he finished mixing the ice cream, he scooped it up on his little chopper, flicked it up into the air above his head and caught it in the cup with his other hand. He then passed it over the counter to us so we could hand it down to our eager but patiently waiting little boy.

After witnessing this little performance and receiving the tasty result, Hyrum looked at me and pointed back up over the counter and said, with wonder and awe in his voice:

Is that a magic maker? Is he a magic boy?

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About the time that the singing got old, the kids got stir crazy and wanted to head out back to see Grandpa’s pond and feed the fish. He was more than happy to take them: spending time with his grandkids is very high on Grandpa’s list of favorite things to do.

grandpa's pride and joy

After feeding them all the food Grandpa would give them, they took their bowls and began trying to catch the little mosquito-eating fish that grow in abundance.

gone fishin'

The funny thing is they actually caught a few.

the one that didn't get away

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After church on Sunday, we received strict instructions not to eat a lot for lunch, that dinner would be at 3 pm. Michelle’s grandma and grandpa came over for dinner and we had a fun time talking afterwards.

At some point in the chit-chatting, someone tried to coax my oldest niece up to sing. She’s been taking voice lessons, and everyone says she great (she’s been invited to perform in their traveling show), so I was looking forward to hearing her. Little did I realize what a grand performance it would turn out to be.

talent night

After they finished singing everything in their cute little repertoires, each time announcing the other, circus-ringleader style, they began announcing that the spectators would be performing. Much to our surprise, Great-Grandma took up the call to the stage with a splendid rendition of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes:

talent night 2

After that, hardly anyone could turn down the call and save face: if Great-Grandma can do it, anyone can.

And so Grandma got up and sang a song about rowing. Or paddling. Or something like that. And little Coral decided to join her:

talent night 3

A couple more nice shots during the proceedings:

preferred seating


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