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We returned yesterday from a fantastic weekend.  Yes, the weather was nice.  Yes, it was relaxing.  Yes, Mom and Dad took the kids.  But those are only parts of the reason it was fantastic.

We attended our second Family Life Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference.  Our first conference was about five years ago in Ft. Wayne, IN and we had a blast.  This time around we attended one in Kalamazoo, MI (yes, that’s a real place) and it was as good or better than the last one.  We had worried for a few years that much of the content would be redundant if we went to another one but let me tell you, this was not the case!  The speakers are different at each one and the content is kept up to date, rich with fresh illustrations and stories to bring the truths they teach to life!  Even if each conference was identical, we’re so hard-hearted and memory-challenged at marriage that we’re guaranteed to always learn something new each time we go.

These conferences are so good I highly recommend them to anyone and everyone.  Engaged couples, married, divorced or re-married.  All people in these various different places in life were there.  There was a couple there who had been married only 5 weeks.  There was (how awesome is this?) a couple that had been married 68 years there too!  Hosted in the Radisson in downtown Kalamazoo it was probably the fanciest hotel we’ve ever stayed at, second only to the Hotel Baronette in Novi on our wedding night.  The conference was in the hotel itself so the convenience factor goes without saying.  The hotel had multiple restaurants to eat at, a souvenir and coffee shop (bought a couple souvenir coffees myself, thank you for very much) and other very nice amenities.  Here’s a shot of it from a distance (it’s OK, go ahead and sing some Bette Midler while you look…):

The Radisson Kalamazoo, MI

Family Life covers virtually every topic on marriage and parenting at these conferences –

  • What is marriage anyway?
  • Why marriages fail.
  • Where does the power come from for a healthy, happy family?
  • Sexual intimacy.
  • Roles of men and woman.
  • Money, children, extended family.
  • How marriages thrive.
  • How to leave a legacy to your children

We had a fabulous time.   I know I keep saying that, but I’m just that excited about all that the weekend encompassed.  Learning new things, being reminded of things again, meeting new people, laughing, hanging out with my beautiful bride.  They even carve out your Saturday evening for a date night so you can make sure to go apply some of what you’re learning or just enjoy a much-needed night away as a couple.  We had our first experience at a Tapas Bistro which, let’s just say, may have been the most confusing dining experience we’ve ever shared as a couple.  Two key words in the description of a Tapas Bistro: “Small Plates” 🙂

Lastly, I want to send a special shout out (as the kids say these days) to my Mom and Dad who partnered together this weekend to not only make sure the children were clothed, fed, bathed and didn’t kill each other, but ALSO drove them ALL out to a Saturday soccer game in the completely wacky and unpredictable weather in support of our oldest goalie-playing son, Peter.  What an absolutely overwhelming blessing from God to not only have parents, but ones who are both able AND willing to help support our marriage like this.  We count ourselves very blessed to receive such support and encouragement from them and all of our extended family.

I know I confidently speak for my bride when I say we both would highly recommend this conference to you.  No matter your stage in life, you will learn and be so greatly encouraged by what goes on there.  The speakers are great, hilarious and very down to earth.  You won’t get Zig Ziglar or Joel Osteen fluff from these guys.  You also won’t get brow-beat over the head with a Bible.  Just an honest discussion and interaction with the truth about marriage and family.  One you cannot experience without walking away changed for the better.

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