Monthly Archives: May 2014

10 “Commandments” for Marriage

My sister just celebrated her 1 year marriage anniversary and Ben & I are celebrating our 5th anniversary Friday! I’m so grateful for such an awesome husband and have loved all of our adventures of the last 5 years!  I put the following advice together when my sister got married (I know I think I have a problem with unsolicited advice ;). What is your advice for a good marriage and good relationships? I’d love to hear!

10 Commandments/Advice for Marriage
By Teyanna Munyan

1)       Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t say it meanly. Content communicate – don’t make your spouse guess, if you want a romantic date for your birthday just say so. Don’t be sarcastic or hurtful, once something is said it is not easily forgotten.

2)       “Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” It is your job to look out for each other and help each other be happy. You now need to maximize your joint happiness not just your individual happiness. If you are maximizing your joint happiness, your spouse’s happiness matters as much as your own.

3)       Plan ahead together. Many stressful situations can be avoided by planning together. Plan so you both know when that vacation is you need to take work off for, the weeknight date you planned, when the home teachers or in-laws are coming over, how much that major purchase cost and how it will be paid for, when you are having children, etc.

4)       Manage money so your money doesn’t manage you. A) Make it a priority to have a $1000+ emergency fund. B) When you plan your monthly budget, make sure you each get an allowance – money you can spend however you want – be it 1% of your income, $10, or whatever you can afford. C) Pay yourself each month – ie save and invest so that your money makes money for you so that one day you will be financially free. “Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this.” –Dave Ramsey,

5)       Never talk bad about or complain about your spouse to others. Never.

6)       Support your spouse. If they had a bad day, try to cheer them up. If they need to work really hard for a while to accomplish a goal, try and do more housework to give them extra time and space. If someone talks bad about them, stick up for them.

7)       Always be honest. Unless you are planning a surprise 😉 .

8)       Show your spouse you love them in various ways. Say I love you often. Kiss often. Write notes/letters for each other. Do acts of service. Give gifts. Talk. Compliment and say thank you. Find out your spouse’s “love language”, but it doesn’t hurt to do them all.

9)       It’s okay to go to bed angry. Sometimes it’s good to take a timeout or get some sleep before you talk about an issue. Being hungry or tired can make you more emotional. Just make sure you take care of the issue after the timeout or after some sleep.

10)   Love is work. Make sure you work for your marriage every day.

April 2014

April wasn’t too terribly exciting but spring is here! And if you know me you know I love spring! Ben probably is getting tired of me commenting on how pretty all the flowers are on our street everyday lol.

Even though it is our 5th year here, it is the first time we really made it down from to the Cherry Blossoms which are gorgeous! (Thanks to my coworker Kimberly Conlon for the bottom 2 pics!)

cherry_Ben cherry_Teyanna

cherry_Kim&JeffersonMon cherry_kim


We also attended Grandpa Munyan’s funeral in April. We were sad that we didn’t take the chance to get to know him better, but it was good for me to meet some of Ben’s extended family and Ben got to meet lots of family he hadn’t met or hadn’t seen in years. The ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was very nice.

We also helped my G&G Schollian mulch their gorgeous yard and gardens & celebrated my Grandmom Schollian’s 82nd birthday with her and some family!

G&Gdinner bear

Happy Spring everyone!



Funerals and Family

In April, I attended my second funeral.

My first funeral was 6 years ago, in Mexico for my Grandpa Memmott or Abuelito — my mother’s father. Some funerals are tragic – you grieve the death of someone who left before their time, before they got a chance to live a full life, someone who left things undone. I have known a few people that died young and I wish I would have made it to their funerals. One in particular was my high school math teacher – she was only in her twenties and died in a rock climbing accident in the middle of my junior year. My junior high/high school was very small and she was my math teacher for 4 years starting in 7th grade for algebra and died in the middle of my junior year as my calculus teacher. She was a great person and role model and our whole school grieved her death – the loss of a great teacher and the loss of a great person before she really had a chance to live a full life.

However, other deaths are not as tragic. When death comes in old age, after someone has lived a long and good life, when they have a chance to say good-bye to those they love, it is sad but not tragic. This was my Abuelito’s funeral. His wife, 8 children, and 20 plus grandchildren and other family & friends, came together to celebrate a good man’s life. He was in his eighties and many had had a chance to say good-bye before he passed. We were sad that he was gone and he wasn’t perfect, but he was good. He had lived a long life and had been a part of our lives. At the funeral, we had the opportunity to reminisce and hear stories about Abuelo. When my parents got divorced I was nine and my Grandma & Grandpa Memmott lived with us for a couple years. My Abuelito read me & my sister scriptures in the morning and would walk us to the bus stop. He also taught me how to mow the lawn and helped me and my sister and cousins build a tree house and club house. So, while the funeral had tears and sadness, it also was a celebration of a good man that had lived a long life and touched our lives for the better. Isn’t that what we all want?

Last month, I attended my second funeral. This was for Ben’s grandpa – his Grandpa Munyan, and was my first time meeting any of Ben’s extended family. Like my Abuelo, Grandpa Munyan was also in his 80s and from what I know he was also not perfect but a good man. It was a quiet military funeral at Arlington National Cemetery, as he served in the Army for many years and fought in Korea. Like my Abuelo, he seemed to have lived a full life but I still felt sorrow. Not like my teacher, for the life she missed – because he lived a long full life. Not like my Abuelo, for missing him being gone – because I never met him. Sorrow for a missed opportunity. I grieved never getting to meet or getting to know an interesting man. Ben hadn’t seen him in 18 years. He grew up less than an hour away and he grieved not seeing his Grandpa and hearing his stories as a kid & teenager. For the last 4.5 years, we had lived an hour away and had sent Christmas cards and meant to find out his phone number and plan a visit … but it never happened. Life got too busy and it felt intimidating to be the one to reach out. We grieved a missed opportunity. An opportunity to learn about and from a good man. An opportunity to get to know a part of Ben’s history.

On the bright side, we met many interesting family members whom we had never met or hadn’t seen in years. It was a time to hear a few stories about Grandpa Munyan and make some new connections.

As Anne of Green Gables says, “Life is too short to hold grudges.” Life is amazing and there are some wonderful people in it. Let’s not waste time and energy being angry and judging. Let’s not make mountains out of molehills. Let’s move past our differences and find our common ground. We don’t have to agree on everything, we can agree to disagree. We can respect each other and be there for each other. We will make mistakes and hurt each others feeling but we can make amends and move on.

Personally I love family. I loved growing up with my cousins and being best friends with my sister and cousin my age. Uncles and aunts who tease and help you out. Grandparents who share their life’s wisdom. We don’t all agree on everything, but family is about being there for each other, loving each other, and helping each other. I hope my funeral is a long way away, but when it comes I hope I qualify as family to many people. I hope I’ve loved, helped, and been there for people. I hope I’ve touched a few lives for the better.

Here’s to living life to the fullest and enjoying every day! Cheers!

~Teyanna Desiree