Category Archives: Relationships

Mother-of-the-Bride Song by Carrie Underwood

I love this sweet mother-of-the-bride music video from Carrie Underwood to her mom, but I can’t help but think she should’ve used What I Love About You, Mom in there instead of a plain old photo album. Have a listen:

Carrie Underwood Music Video

Carrie Underwood with her Mom

 

CatholicMom.com Interview with Kate

CatholicMom.com Interview with Kate about What I Love About You, Mom :

Q: Tell us a bit about What I Love About You, Mom — what prompted you to write the book and what went into its design and contents?

When David’s mom had a special birthday a few years ago, we wanted to give her a memorable gift. She had no material needs; like many moms, all she really wanted was love and appreciation from her children. We decided to adapt an earlier journal that we’d published for couples – What I Love About You – for her. All four of her adult children filled it with memories and thanks, and presented it to her on her special day. She was floored. To this day, she says it’s the best gift she’s ever gotten from her children. We decided to create a version of this journal for others to do this for their moms, too.

What I Love About You, Mom is a little fill-in-the-blank journal that helps you tell your mother the many things you love, admire and appreciate about her. We provide the prompts, and you fill it with memories and love. It lets you share memories from the early years; express admiration for your mom’s special qualities and talents; say thank you for the many things she’s done for you over the years; and express good wishes for the future. 

It’s not always easy to say what’s in our hearts, so the journal leads you through this in different ways: writing prompts with a few lines to answer, lists to checkmark or circle, spaces for photos or drawings, fun things like a template for a gift certificate, a place to trace the outline of your hand like we all did as kids…lots of different ways to express thanks and memories. Some of the prompts are more playful (I love this funny family sorry about the time you…) and some are more reflective (You are strong or unique in this way…).

Q: What are readers saying about their experience of using this book?

What I Love About You, Mom has only been out a few weeks, so we are just now hearing from people who have started writing in it. They’re saying that they can’t wait to see the look on their moms’ faces when they give it to them. They like making a one-of-a-kind gift like this for their mom. Some have said that the journal is giving them a deeper appreciation for how important their mom has been to them over the years.

We expect similar responses to this book as the ones we’ve gotten over the years from people using the couples’ version – What I Love About You. They share that it does take some time to write in the journal (at least a few sittings), but that the pleasure that it gave their loved one, many shedding tears of joy, made it a wonderful experience. We hear about how close it made them feel to each other.

Q: What’s your favorite section of or activity in the book?

David and I worked hard to include a mix of topics and activities so that everyone—all kinds of personalities and preferences—will find things that engage them and are comfortable to them.

I liked doing the more creative pages. Even though I’m not an artist, it felt right that a child-to-mother gift include a little drawing. One page in the journal asks you to pick one word that describes your mom and illustrate it. I picked “determined.” My mom is a great role model to me for aging well—she works hard at staying mentally and physically fit. She had a stroke a few years ago, but immediately started re-training and very soon was back to her farm work and hiking the hills.  I drew “D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-E-D,” with each letter climbing up a hill. The final “D” was on the top of the hill, wearing sunglasses and a carrying a walking stick.

I also liked writing about things I look forward to in our relationship; things I want her to a part of in my life and that I hope we can do together, both big (celebrating future weddings and great/grandchildren) and small (tea time, watching our favorite shows, going on walks). 

Q: Have you filled out the book and gifted it to your own mothers? What was their reaction?

David’s mom is still thrilled with her copy, years later. She has it on her coffee table for all her friends to see. She says she wishes she’d thought to do something like this for her own mother before she passed.

I filled it out for my mom as soon as we got the published edition earlier this year. We live on opposite sides of the country and don’t get to see each other often, so this was a nice way to stay close. She’s in her early 80’s now, and doing really well, but you never know what could happen, so I am immensely grateful to have been able to fully express my appreciation to her now. She loved it. She especially loved hearing my memories of our early days, which triggered memories of her own. As a result, we had fun exchanging stories, including a funny story she told me about a trip to the pediatrician when I was a girl that I had never heard before.

Q: How will children — including adult children — benefit from enjoying and sharing this book?

Performing acts of love feels good. In our experience, expressing love and gratitude like this is at least as beneficial to the giver as it is to the receiver. One person told us that the memories the journal extracted from his mind were as pleasurable to him as he expected they will be to his mom. In addition to the pleasure of recalling happy times, writing about the relationship, focusing on the positive blessings, makes you feel more connected and even more loving to the person. If the journal brings you closer together, that’s truly a gift to you both.

David and I feel more at peace knowing that our moms have heard what’s in our hearts. Saying “I love you” is great, but there is something powerful about giving something that can be read and re-read many times over. Now we can be sure that our moms know how much we love them back.

Describe one unique and wonderful thing about your mom…

On the eve of the publication of our new gift journal for moms – What I Love About You, Mom – I asked some folks to tell me something wonderful about their moms. Here are their responses:

 

“My mom doesn’t gloat when she kicks my behind in Scrabble…” (KC, New York)

 

“My mother is the original MacGyver. She has always had an almost supernatural ability to pull success from chaos, to take meager materials and create beauty, to make something out of nothing and save the day.” (Anne, Indiana)

 

“She has eyes in the back of her head, so don’t slouch. Really.” (Anne, New York)

 

“Long into my adulthood, she stood at the kitchen window and stared up the street waiting for me to arrive home safely. Not until I had grown kids did I appreciate her anxiety, and wish I could tell her thanks for her devotion.” (Cheryl, California)

 

“Our Mom is the glue that holds our family together. She’s always the one you go to whenever you need advice, or just a smile. She always has the best advice, and never, ever does she say, “You can’t!” It’s just not in her vocabulary! Her shoulders are strong because she’s been through a lot in her 75 years, but from the outside looking in you would never know she’s had a bad day in her life! That is love!” (Cindy, Florida)

 

“She never stopped wanting to learn.” (Maren, Arizona)

 

“I think in a different time and under different circumstances, my mom could have done anything. She graduated from college the same year I did after raising 3 children and supporting my dad’s career. She found her own space and voice in her own time, but she has always been generous in all things, most of all to her children, telling us we could be anything we set our hearts and minds to be.” (Katherine, New Hampshire)

 

“She makes me smile and makes me feel loved. She will give advice when asked but not judge. She is always willing to share about her childhood and things were when she and my dad were younger. It is one of my desires for my children to say the same about me someday.” (Susan, Florida)

 

How about your mom? What’s something wonderful and/or unique about her? Does she know you admire or appreciate it?

 To see more answers and post your own, watch our 2 minute VIDEO  on this.

The Secret to a Happy Relationship (Kate)

Gary Chapman, author of bestselling book The Five Languages of Love, writes that “the need to feel loved by one’s spouse is at the heart of all marital desires.” He explains that when one person invests energy in filling his or her partner’s “emotional love tank,” the other person naturally reciprocates and that this sets the course for a long-lasting, loving relationship. According to Chapman, Love Language #1 is “Words of Affirmation…best expressed as simple, straightforward statements of affirmation.”

John Izzo, PhD, author of The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die, claims that the secret to a happy marriage is sincere, loving affirmations. He sites a study that claims that couples who express seven positive affirmations for every one negative criticism of each other have longer lasting marriages than those who do not.

Do you agree? Of course, staying loving and positive is not always easy to do. Sometimes we lose it – nobody’s perfect. But when one of us is mindful enough to change the channel and sing each other’s praises it feels indescribably good. That’s what our two couples’ journals – The Book of Us: A Journal of Your Love Story in 150 Questions and What I Love About You – are all about. The writing prompts and fill-in-the-blank format help you find the words to affirm your partner in a way that can be read over and over.

Post-Valentine’s Day reviews – from people who got or gave one of our couples journals for VDay – are popping up on Amazon now. These reviews convince me that we’re on the right track with these journals. It makes me happy that they’re making a difference in people’s relationships.

Writing About Your Relationship Makes it Stronger (Kate)

We knew it all the time….

I just re-read a July 1, 2007 issue of the Bottom Line Personal article that should warm the hearts of writers in relationships everywhere:

“Recent Study: Participants were told to write about either their relationships or everyday things. Three months later, 77% of those told to write about their relationships were still together. Among those who wrote about everyday activities, only 52% were still together. Theory: Writing about a relationship may help focus your attention on it, making it stronger.

James W. Pennebaker, PhD, professor and chair, department of psychology, University of Texas at Austin and leader of a study of 86 dating couples, reported in Psychological Science.”

Two easy ways to write about your sweetie:

The Book of Us

What I Love About You

Letter from a Military Wife (Kate)

David and I have heard from a number of military couples who have used What I Love About You as a way to stay connected during training and deployments. It gratifies us to think that this little journal is giving some comfort to military families serving our country. Last week we got a sweet letter from a new bride about to give What I Love About You to her new husband, as he departs for training. She included two photos or her and her new husband beaming at each other on their wedding day. With her permission, I’m posting parts of her letter here:

 

“Kate and David,

I really wanted to thank you so much for creating What I Love About You. Me and my husband just got married 9/11/12. He is currently a U.S. Marine. He is training to be on the front lines – an infantry man. I send a lot of letters to him during his 3 months of boot camp since they aren’t allowed to make any phone calls, but maybe 1 or 2 to talk about travel arrangements or to let you know that they made it to boot camp. I’m always trying to find a new way to tell him “I love you” or to show him. He’s such an amazing guy! I got really sick and he stuck by my side. So we have both been through a lot. I was at B&N and saw this book and just HAD to buy it. Now I’m filling it out. It was a great idea to have a place to put pictures.

What I Love About You is more than a book to me and to my husband. There are times where I can’t talk to him, times where he won’t be able to contact me. He will probably take it with him on a deployment, and re-read it every day. Your book is so helpful – a life saver.  And it’s a way for J to always carry me with him. So when he’s sad, or down, or having a bad day on a 7-month deployment, he can open it up and know I’m always with him. That’s what this book means to me…

I hope that everyone gets the happiness with this book that I got.

Love,  S”