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Love is in the Air By Johanna Hicks


               Ahhh, February – a month of love, Valentines, hearts, flowers, candy, candlelight, and romance.  The months of December and February are popular for marriage proposals, and many couples will be embarking on a journey to plan the perfect wedding.  However, the WEDDING is not the important part.  The MARRIAGE should be the focus of any healthy relationship.  I am pleased to announce the Twogether in Texas Marriage Education workshop.  Here are the details:

  • When:  Saturday, February 9, 2019
  • Where:  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension – Hopkins County office, 1200 W. Houston, Sulphur Springs
  • Time:  8:30 a.m. to approximately 3:30 p.m.
  • Cost:  nothing
  • Benefits:  great information; refreshments, lunch provided; engaged couples will receive a certificate to save $60 upon applying for a marriage license

This workshop provides several topics for discussion.  Marriage Expectations explores the different expectations brought into the marriage by each partner, whether spoken or unspoken.  We’ll examine very specific tasks, such as grocery shopping, lawn care, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, car maintenance, carrying out the trash, cooking, paying the bills, etc.  This is a fun, useful session that will help couples identify their specific expectations.

Communication is unique among couples.  Find out if you are the expander or the contractor when it comes to communication.  Neither is wrong, just different.  Discover the importance of two-way communication and gain understanding of how your partner communicates. 

Conflict resolution helps couples to work through the process of solving conflict.  Disagreements will pop up – that’s a given in any relationship.  The difference between a healthy marriage and an unhealthy marriage is how that conflict is managed.  Couples will work through a hypothetical disagreement in order to be equipped with the skills to manage a real conflict.

Money Management is a biggie.  Even couples who don’t have much to begin with will learn how to set up a budget.  The Bean Game allows couples to walk through the process by recognizing priorities.  Many couples say that money is the major source of conflict, when in reality, the issue is control.

In the Goals and Dreams session, couples will begin to think about their future – what they want their marriage to look like 10, 20, 30 years down the road.  The whole message behind this session is to dream big.  Together, the important dreams can come true.

Although there is no cost to the workshop, I do need couples to contact our office so adequate preparations can be made.  Please call 903-885-3443 and give us your name and phone number.  There is no need to bring anything.  As mentioned earlier, refreshments and lunch will be provided, along with everything else you will need.

Off to a Healthy Start

               While we’re talking about starting a marriage on healthy footing, let’s think about getting active and eating right!  Lack of time or a busy life doesn’t have to stand in the way of healthy habits. According to AgriLife Extension’s “Walk Across Texas” program, 30 minutes a day is all it takes to start the journey of improving your health. Physical activities that increase your heart rate and get you moving can range anywhere from moderate to vigorous, depending on the level of intensity you want to achieve. Every-day activities such as cleaning, gardening, taking the stairs, or even raking the leaves counts as exercise! Additional exercises include:

·        Walking

·        Mowing the lawn

·        Water aerobics

·        Biking on level ground

·        Running or jogging

·        Vacuuming the house

Besides aiding in weight loss, exercising regularly can increase energy levels and strength, and reduce stress. In addition to helping you feel better overall, exercise has also been proven to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, while helping to maintain or reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.  If you’re new to the active lifestyle, remember to start slow and set manageable goals for yourself. Like losing weight, getting in shape doesn’t happen overnight.

In order to achieve maximum results and become healthier, supplementing your exercise with healthy and nutritious foods is key.  Sometimes even small changes in your favorite recipes make tremendous differences in terms of calories and fat. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up flavor! 

  • Replace butter with unsweetened applesauce
  • Reduce sugar by 1/3 cup or use a natural alternative to replace the sugar by using honey, agave nectar, or dates
  • Use 2% or fat-free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
  • Use whole grain flour instead of all-purpose

To find more recipes and recipe substitutions, visit

Closing Thought

I always prefer to believe the best of everybody; it saves so much trouble – Rudyard Kipling

Johanna Hicks Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Consumer Sciences 1200-B W. Houston P.O.Box 518 Sulphur springs, TX 75483 903-885-3443 – phone 903-439-4909 – Fax [email protected]

Author: Savannah Everett

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