A marriage isn’t all sunshine, roses, chocolates, and sweet nothings. It takes hard work, compromise, and honest discussion. In the interest of taking a more realistic, less Hallmark-worthy approach to Valentine’s Day, I figured it would be refreshing to share how my husband, Dave, and I approach the less- than-glamorous aspects of our marriage. Like many 21st century couples, Dave and I both work full-time jobs. We also happen to work opposite schedules. I keep pretty traditional hours, though I occasionally have to stay at the office for a few extra hours. Dave, on the other hand, works an overnight shift at Ford from Tuesday through Saturday. You don’t have to be a scheduling wizard to realize that doesn’t leave us much time to spend together. But we’re determined to make the most of it. In fact, our differing schedules have created a tradition that is wholly unique to us. Every morning from 6:30 to 7, we take the time to sit down and share a precious 30 minutes. Dave is coming home from work and I’m preparing to head off to it. This half hour may not seem like much but we cherish it. Barring emergencies, we never miss it. In the evenings, the only time we get to spend together is when I pass Dave on the highway, so the mornings are non-negotiable for us. Work schedules aren’t the only things Dave and I have to work around. We have the same values, but not necessarily in the same order. I love to travel, for example, and he’s more focused on at-home concerns. To Dave, paying off the mortgage is more satisfying than booking a trip. He’d forgo a vacation every year to pay off a little more of the house. I lean the other way. When we butt heads on matters like these, we have to figure out a way to find a middle ground. In this case, it was pretty simple. I asked Dave what his top priority for the year is. He said it was paying down a certain amount on our house. I replied, “Dave, I’m totally on board, but if you really want my buy-in, I need you to make room for my top priority as well.” We decided that we would focus on the house this year while simultaneously planning a vacation for 2020. Understanding that FINDING THE MIDDLE GROUND HOW DAVE AND I MAKE OUR MARRIAGE WORK
Dave knows where the cleaning supplies are, and how to use them!
your spouse’s needs won’t always be the same as your own is so important for a healthy marriage.
Of course, there are times when our goals line up perfectly and we don’t have to play a game of give-and-take. We are both always working on our health. Given our schedules, working out together is impossible, but we recently discovered a way to have a joint investment in fitness even while we’re apart. It’s called Run the Year, a program that challenges groups of people to run 2,019 miles in 2019. We’ve even gotten two of my kids involved, making it a fun group initiative. We may all run our miles separately, but we get to watch each other’s progress and combine our individual efforts into a group goal. Pretty cool, right?
Melissa and Dave at Universal Studios this past July
During this time of year, we can pretend that romance works like magic. In my experience, that’s just not how it goes. Don’t get me wrong — I love getting a box of dark chocolate on Feb. 14 as much as the next woman — but what’s better than a man who knows where the cleaning supplies are and isn’t afraid to use them? The most important thing is that Dave and I both understand marriage isn’t always easy. We work on it together, which makes our moments of bliss all the more meaningful.
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FAMILY GAME NIGHT
BREAK THE MONOTONY OF OVERPLAYED BOARD GAMES!
Catan is our family’s favorite game!
chess game offers but with a twist. At the end of each turn, a player fires a small laser beam that bounces off the mirrored chess pieces. If it hits the non-mirrored surface of a piece, that piece is taken by the player. A player wins when the opposing player’s king piece is illuminated. CATAN Welcome to the island of Catan! After a long voyage at sea, the people in your expedition compete against other seafarers in building settlements. Enjoy the 45–90-minute game as you and your family build roads, barter resources, and race for absolute supremacy on Catan. ONE NIGHT WEREWOLF Every night, werewolves prowl around the village, and it’s up to the villagers to find the werewolf once the sun rises — before it’s too late. Each person plays a unique role with different abilities to help find or conceal the werewolf. If the werewolf is caught, the villagers win the game, but if the werewolf manages to escape, the villagers lose.
Family game night is a time when a family can forget about all of life’s commitments and bond over a good old-fashioned board game. But the old, tattered Monopoly box or worn-out UNO cards can leave something to be desired, and the classics might be getting a little dull. If you’re tired of playing the same board games over and over, it might be time to start looking for ways to change things up. Here are four tabletop games you might not have heard of that are perfect for spicing up family game night. MYSTERIUM Your family will love delving into this cooperative murder mystery game that is a mixture of Clue and Dixit. You can play as the ghost or as one of the mediums who enters the haunting. The ghost player gives each medium a clue or vision about a potential murderer, and the mediums have to guess which person, room, or weapon was used to murder the ghost player. After each turn, the ghost reveals whether each of the mediums’ guesses are right or not. If all of the mediums succeed in guessing correctly by the seventh in-game hour, they work together to find the true murderer. LASER CHESS A classic game of chess is a great way to spend an evening, and it just got a little more interesting. Laser chess includes all the problem-solving skills a typical As a member of the National Academy of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers (NAMIL), I have the chance to share experiences and ideas with motorcycle injury attorneys across the country. Our mission is “protecting the rights of injured bikers nationwide.” Because of the added danger in riding a motorcycle — and the unique nature of motorcycle injury cases — it’s important to work with an attorney who understands the particulars. Being a member of NAMIL lets clients know that Emery Law Office cares about riders and their concerns. It also gives our clients the chance to win a brand-new Harley- Davidson motorcycle. That’s right, NAMIL is currently sponsoring a giveaway for a 2019 Harley FXDR 114. The FXDR 114 is a cutting- edge bike that Harley calls “a feast for the eyes with performance and attitude that’s off the leash.” Entry is totally free. All you
Now you can bring some exciting variety into your family game nights. Don’t miss out on these excellent tabletop games, and most importantly, have fun!
WIN A BRAND-NEW HARLEY!
THEN FOLLOW THESE TIPS TO RIDE IT SAFELY
Whether you win a new bike or ride your existing one, it’s very important to stay safe on the roads. I’m proud to represent the motorcyclists of Kentucky and Indiana, but I’d love it if you avoided injury in the first place. Before you ride, make sure your bike is in working order and the conditions are favorable. Preparation also includes wearing protective gear. Helmets may only be mandated for younger riders, but it goes without saying that it’s a good idea to wear one. Heated gear is a great option when the weather’s frigid and you still want to get out on two wheels. If it’s your first trip of the year, take the time to give the bike a spin around the block to test the brakes. It’s much better to find an issue when you’re going slow rather than discovering it at 60 mph on a highway. Once on the road, it’s important to ride defensively. Leave yourself extra space to react to other drivers. Drivers in bigger vehicles often struggle to spot motorcyclists, so it’s up to you to remain visible and vigilant.
have to do is register at Namil-Law.org/ WinAHarley. Some rules and regulations apply, so be sure to read the official rules on the giveaway website.
I’d love to see this brand-new Harley go to one of our clients. Register for the contest today and ride safe!
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HAVE A LAUGH!
INEXPENSIVE VALENTINE’S OPTIONS SHOW AFFECTION WITHOUT BREAKING THE BANK Whoever said “love don’t cost a thing” probably never had to buy anyone a Valentine’s Day gift. When February hits, advertising tells us we need to go all out to show our affection and appreciation for our significant others. I say that’s crass commercialism at its finest. There’s no rule saying the best Valentine’s gift is the one that comes with the biggest price tag. What matters more than how much you spend is the memories you create with your partner. With that in mind, here are some of my picks for awesome, inexpensive Valentine’s experiences. FOR KITSCHY FUN: WHITE CASTLE Yes, you read that right. White Castle on Valentine’s Day is a truly unique experience. The restaurants are decorated for the holiday, but that’s just the start. There’s also a special menu and tableside service. The absurdity of having a romantic dinner at a chain known for quick service and tiny burgers only adds to the magic of the experience. Believe it or not, snagging a Feb. 14 reservation can be tough. Head to WhiteCastle.com to reserve your space. FOR MAJESTIC VIEWS: IROQUOIS PARK HILL You can see the entire city from the top of Iroquois Park, making it the perfect place for a romantic photo op. The paths are easy to navigate and not strenuous in the least. The park remains open until 11 p.m., so you can opt for either a day or night jaunt to the summit. It’s the perfect place for an entirely free, distinctively Louisville Valentine’s Day. FOR HOMEBODIES AND HOME COOKS: DIY CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRIES Chocolate covered strawberries are an iconic Valentine’s Day delicacy. They are also marked up like crazy to take advantage of desperate lovers. Don’t fall for the high prices. Buy some strawberries and melting chocolate and make them for yourself. You’ll spend way less, and it’s a lot more fun to decorate the berries with the help of your special someone than to simply buy them. I’m not saying that fine dining and jewelry are a bad options, but they’re not the only options. Think outside the box, and you can come up with an unforgettable Valentine’s date that you won’t be paying off for months.
VALENTINE’S DAY COOKIE CARDS
Inspired by Food & Wine magazine. INGREDIENTS
• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour • 3/4 cup sugar • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes • 2 large egg yolks • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract • Royal icing, sprinkles, and edible markers, for decorating 1. Heat oven to 375 F. 2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour with sugar and salt. Add butter and combine using a mixer at low speed, until butter breaks down into small, crumbly DIRECTIONS
4. Carefully roll dough into a sheet 1/16-inch thick and cut into 4x6-inch cards. 5. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, bake cookie cards for 6 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. 6. Let cookies cool completely, decorate, and distribute.
pieces. Increase mixing speed to medium and mix until butter and flour clump.
3. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract to bowl, return mixer to low, and mix until dough congeals.
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TWO JOBS, TWO SCHEDULES, ONE HAPPY MARRIAGE 1 BRING VARIETY TO FAMILY GAME NIGHT HOW TO WIN A NEW HARLEY 2 VALENTINE’S WITHOUT BUYER’S REMORSE VALENTINE’S DAY COOKIE CARDS 3 LET’S RETIRE THESE HEALTH MYTHS 4 INSIDE
3 HEALTH MYTHS YOU PROBABLY BELIEVE THE 5-SECOND RULE WILL MAKE YOU SICK
W e live in the golden age of information. The answers to many of life’s questions are just an internet search away. Despite this readily available wisdom, we still have a bad habit of believing health-related myths. Here are three popular health “facts” that are total works of fiction. THE 5-SECOND RULE KEEPS FOOD SAFE
CRACKING YOUR KNUCKLES CAUSES ARTHRITIS
The connection between knuckle-cracking and arthritis came from studies where participants self- reported their habits. Modern medical research has shown these results to be false. The official stance from the John Hopkins Arthritis Center states, “There is no evidence that cracking knuckles causes any damage such as arthritis in the joints.” Still, chronic knuckle-cracking can lead to reduced grip strength, so you might want to break the habit anyway. You’ve probably heard these myths for years, but just because something is common knowledge doesn’t mean it is true. With information so easily available, always take the time to research the facts, especially when it comes to your health.
BOTTLED WATER IS SAFER THAN TAP WATER
Obviously germs and bacteria don’t really wait five seconds to pounce, but snatching your chip off the floor fast keeps most of the germs away, right? Not according to a 2006 study published by Dr. Paul Dawson. He found
People seeking out safer water alternatives increases the sales of bottled “spring water”
each year. However, bottled water is more expensive, bad for the environment, and, as Dr. Morton Tavel of the Indiana University School of Medicine pointed out, over 50 percent of bottled water is just filtered tap water. The same effect can be achieved with a home filtration system. Of course, if the tap water in your area has been contaminated, bottled water is a safer alternative. However, in most circumstances, bottled water is no healthier than tap water.
conclusive evidence that when food comes into contact with a contaminated surface, bacteria are transferred immediately. Even one spent on tile, wood, or
is enough to infest your food with salmonella or another serious contaminant.
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