Rule 076 | Mystery Is Meant To Keep Marriage Alive

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Jessie accidentally hops on the “true crime” bandwagon and Gerard agrees that some of their media consumption is concerning. In this episode, The Peppers discuss everything from sex to drugs to murder, so you may not want to listen with your kids in the room.

Thanks to PrepDish, Minted + Audible or making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.

QUICK BITES:

  • So many true crime mentions from this episode: Serial, NBC’s Dateline, Dirty John, and many more!

  • Haven’t caught up on The Pepper’s cross-country trip? Check out Episode 10 to hear about our coast to coast adventure!

  • Jessie has talked about her skittish nature on the show before. Episode 27 was when we documented her mild paranoia and the drama that ensued after she dove through a window.

  • Connie Britton is Jessie’s crush of the week.

  • Take a look at the Peppers neighborhood by watching Dexter + CSI: Miami!

  • Bravo is launching a new scripted series called Dirty John (based on the popular podcast) and some of the taping took place on our very block!

  • My Favorite Murder is one of the leading true crime podcasts that Jessie mentions, much to Gerard’s dismay.

  • This article inspired the original Dirty John deep-dive and was written for the Los Angeles Times by Christopher Goffard.

  • The Girl On The Train + Gone Girl are two of the books that increased Jessie’s appetite for mystery.

  • Grab the Overdrive app to read your LIbrary’s books for free!

  • Making A Murderer is Gerard’s exception when it comes to true crime TV that features blood or gore. Fictional shows are another story, and in this category he has watched The Sinner, Yellowstone, Breaking Bad + House of Cards.

  • The Peppers both enjoyed Weeds + Ozark which we promise are only coincidentally about drugs.

  • We last discussed our distinct TV preferences back in Episode 56. (The front runner is still a show called Big Little Lies: a mini series based on the book by Liane Moriarty.)


TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. What is the best mystery you’ve ever read?

  2. Have you ever gotten sucked into a show, series or book about something dark or disturbing?

  3. Do you ever feel concerned about the kinds of media that your partner consumes?

Rule 075 | All Is Fair In Love And Politics

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We’re talking about politics and it’s just in time for the midterm elections. Facebook-Gerard is glad to be back but Uncensored-Jessie is unsure about his arrival. Social media may cause a sense of split-personalities but apparently, it’s even harder to for these two to agree on important condiment decisions as a family.

Thanks to PrepDish + Season for making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.

QUICK BITES:

  • It’s high time to revisit some of the things that we talked about in Episode 27. (Pretty funny to the last time we tried to tackle a similar subject, pre-Trump.)

  • Gerard explains how digiphrenia has been a very real experience for him. If you’d like to learn more, we recommend the book Present Shock by Douglas Rushkoff.

  • The infamous FB post has since been deleted, but Gerard’s sentiment remains the same and Jessie happens to agree.

  • Tearing down someone’s character is an unfair and ineffective way to win an argument online. (Especially if you’re attacking someone who is married to a collegiate-champion debate captain.)

  • We’re looking for ways to have real-life chats with people about what they believe, but we promise not to ruin the evening if you end up having us over for dinner.

  • Pacifism resurfaces in the form of a lurking husband that is covered in camouflage... We talked about this last (minus the weeds and the machete) back in Episode 49.

  • Gerard’s edgy approach to twitter has created conflict in our midst and it’s something that that gets Jessie riled up about, even after a full year has passed.

  • The podcast called “I love you, but I hate your politics” has been broadening our perspective of what it means to love someone who may be on the opposite side of the aisle.

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. Who’s more political on social media -- you or your partner?

  2. How does it make you feel when your partner posts about something online that you happen to disagree with?

  3. Have you ever made a joke (either in person or online) that got taken out of context?

Rule 074 | Venting Is The Best Way To Let Out Hot Air

The Peppers discuss the distinct value of having a group of friends who can love you despite the occasional need for an honest debrief. Gerard asserts that drinking scotch with dudes makes a great backdrop for discussing scripture* while Jessie agrees that having close friendships are a key element to the pursuit of Great Love. Their conversation proves that gender stereotypes do not matter when it comes to communication and despite some overanalyzing, the two learn a ton from completing the full-loop together.

*No confidentiality codes were harmed in the making of this episode.

Thanks to PrepDish, Ritual + Follain for making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.


QUICK BITES:

  • Jessie + Gerard have very different approaches when it comes to walking into a party. Take the Strengthsfinder test to find out if you’re a woo or a relator.

  • Men deal with chronic loneliness more than most people might think. Gerard referenced this piece about masculinity after telling about the men’s retreat that he went on with our church. → “What’s the problem with men in America?”

  • Venting is not an excuse to slap the other person across the face with an insult, it’s about releasing of internal pressure and understanding each other more fully.

  • Take a peek at the full definition of the term triangulation to find out if it could be something that happens in your own marriage.

  • Jessie is a stickler for restaurant service, but she sometimes needs some help when it comes to speaking her mind.

  • Gerard vents his work frustrations when he gets home from work, and Jessie is keen to let him so that they can get it out of the way and get on with their evenings.

  • Using a protective forcefield is key when your partner needs to share but you don’t want your feelings to get hurt. Whether it’s a preface or a footnote: give your partner a head’s up before you launch into a diatribe.

  • Being honest with each other about faith has been something that tends to trip us up when it comes to venting. Waiting until the other person is open to receiving the feedback is the only way we’ve been able to navigate this space, but it’s tempting to blurt things out before your partner is ready to talk.

  • We loved reading The Zim Zum of Love to get a better idea of the connection between us... The idea is this: Marriage is like a magnetic force that deserves to be protected.


TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. Do you consider yourself to be more of a woo or a relator?

  2. If the the wrong meal gets delivered to you at a restaurant, are you more likely to send back your food or just eat it anyway?

  3. How would you describe the difference between venting and complaining?

  4. Who are the people in your life that provide space for accountability and emotional safety?

Rule 073 | Sympathy Pains Can Lead To Sympathy Problems

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This week, Gerard + Jessie learn that sympathy pains can extend from partner to partner, as well as from person to pet. Appliance anxiety causes destruction at Casa de Pepper and the whole family is shocked that no one actually got shocked. Depression isn’t always easy to talk about, but it’s important to tell your spouse how you feel for the sake of boosting the overall (mental) health of the marriage.

Thanks to PrepDish, Thrive Market + Amazon for making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.


QUICK BITES:

  • Jessie and Sadie suffer from sympathy pains in everything from back pain to misophonia to general anxiety.

  • We are trying to figure out the best ways to keep our girl calm, and these herbal pills and CBD drops are starting to help. We loved this podcast episode about separation anxiety and are thinking about getting Sadie a thundershirt for any noisy holiday nights.

  • Jessie is pumped about the new Thrive Market clean wines + Gerard gets on board with the sustainable meat + seafood section!

  • Sadie’s anxiety started with Summer fireworks, but we’re hoping that it stops at the infamous attack of our air conditioning unit.

  • The Peppers try to decide if electricity can scramble someone’s mental health. Are there any scientists in the audience who would like to weigh in?

  • Jessie shares about her struggles with anxiety + depression and wants the Gang to know that they can find hope in healing. Three things that have helped with her own personal progress: Studying self awareness, designing her life around alignment, and embracing spirituality in a wholehearted way.

  • Please be careful of adverse reactions in pet vaccines! This has happened to us twice, and thankfully never resulted in the loss of any furbabies. (A related warning to our local friends: Don’t EVER take your animals to the Long Beach ER Vet on PCH + Ximeno.)

  • Jessie’s new Amazon-fueled guilty pleasures: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and sugar-free dark chocolate chips.

  • A Henri Nouwen quote that is encouraging us this week: “As soon as we feel at home in our own house, discovering the dark corners as well as the light spots, the closed doors as well as the drafty rooms, our confusion will evaporate and our anxiety will diminish and we will then become capable of creative work.” -- From The Wounded Healer.

  • The podcast Jen Gotch is OK… Sometimes is a great resource if you’d like to listen to someone share their personal experience, and she also gives tons of info and resources about mental health.

  • For anyone who’s been told, “If you’re sad, just pray about it,” we are here to assure you that God is fully ready and willing to sit with you in your pain. Jessie has taken a deep look at how her sense of spirituality helps her operate in the world, and this approach has made a significant difference in her overall wellbeing.

  • Gerard describes his experience of worry and stress and how they both pertain to his own emotions. There are distinct differences between anxiety and depression, especially when it comes to clinical and situational settings.

  • Knowing how to support your partner during a difficult time is the key to pulling through the depths together, in one piece. Jessie learns that her attempt at coaching Gerard is not always well-received, so The Peppers get honest about what either one wants when they happen to be feeling low.

  • Jessie is a big fan of practicing gratitude daily and has evidence to show as to why it helps keep anxiety at bay. TLDR: Filling your brain with good stuff will leave less room for the things that brings you stress.

  • This week’s MIF Mailbag highlights a listener question about how to support your spouse during a bout of depression… Gerard relies on something that we call “redirection” and it’s become a very effective tool to help pull someone out of a funk.

  • Distraction Disclaimer: This is not the same as avoiding or ignoring your problems, and it’s far more about giving the other person the choice to get pulled out of their “well” as you help them climb up to safety.

  • The bottom line is that asking your partner, “What do you need in this moment?” is often the best way to find out which way to go next.

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

1.) Do you ever get sympathy pains when your partner is uncomfortable?

2.) Have you ever tried a gratitude practice? Do you believe that it would help you in a moment of stress?

3.) What do you typically want or need from your spouse when you’re feeling down in the dumps?

Rule 072 | Your Memory Might Not Be As Strong As You Think

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This week, The Peppers learn that it’s hard to claim accuracy if you can’t quite remember the details. Gerard admits to correcting Jessie more than he should and Jessie admits that she only exaggerates when it’s truly necessary.

Thanks to PrepDish, Thrive Market + RXBAR for making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head over to our site for more info about how to support the show.

EXTRA NOTE: We are donating all of the profits from this episode to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Feel free to join us if this cause is also near to your heart!

QUICK BITES:

  • Jessie is closely following the career of Brian Williams. His career may be tarnished, but her admiration is unwavering.

  • Check out the clip of that fateful Letterman episode here. (Jessie cannot watch without hiding her eyes.)

  • Sneak a peek of the new photos we took with Christa and be sure to check out her work if you’re local!

  • The Peppers cannot seem to agree on the details of how they met. Is this a case of basic stubbornness or simply the fading memory of an avid storyteller?

  • Gerard listened to a podcast about memory that is making him question his “flashbulb moments.” This discussion causes both Peppers to ponder how our memories change as we get farther away from them.

  • Envelopes = danger. Licking them is a sticky business.

  • Alzheimers is a real bitch. Donate here to support research for a cure. We’re giving all the proceeds from this episode and would love to have you join us!

  • Listen to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Free Brian Williams” episode of Revisionist History.

  • The Notebook opened the floodgates of Jessie’s tearducts and Gerard has been puzzled about this for the past 13 years.

MIF MAILBAG:

This week we share tips about moving houses with your spouse! Hiring movers, how to pack, and who to call when you’re up to your ears in boxes.

Listen to past episodes about furniture and purging for extra suggestions and we’ll try to share a house tour over on instastories soon!

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. How long do you have to know somebody before you consider them a true friend?

  2. Do you and your partner agree on all the details of your wedding? Guest count, dinner menu, playlist, etc?

  3. Can you remember what your partner was wearing the first time you both met?

Rule 071 | Fancy Knives Make Happy Wives

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The Peppers are spicing things up in the kitchen while also trying to save up for some serious upgrades. Jessie insists that cooking shows are what keep her feeling inspired and Gerard admits their new diet is improving his cooking and his confidence!

Thanks to PrepDish, Casper + Amazon for making this episode possible! Find out more about our amazing sponsors right here.


QUICK BITES:

  • Gerard wants Jessie to be a contestant on Masterchef, but Jessie fears that her baking insufficiencies (among other things) will prevent her from making it to the first cut.

  • Jessie shamelessly admits to her plan for trying to befriend Joe Bastianich as a way to get to his mother.

  • Gerard is proud that his wife is doing her research before making a big purchase. Time to bust out the Consumer Reports in order to get the best deals on a new appliance!

  • We learn that Amazon is the best place to buy a new appliance… Who knew?!

  • Jessie shares three tips for stove shopping: Try before you buy, always ask for a price cut (obv), and avoid the warranty by purchasing a nicer model to begin with.

  • Here is the fancy SMEG oven that is worth daydreaming about.

  • Jessie is an aggressive saver if she has a goal to aim for, while Gerard likes to gradually set money aside so that he can shop whenever he feels like it.

  • We’re obsessed with our new Misen cooking knives.

  • Gerard shows off his proficiency for imitating The Swedish Chef.

  • PrepDish is making us both feel more confident in the kitchen, while Primal Blueprint is revving up our metabolisms and making us more conscious of what we eat.

  • It’s true that switching things up in the kitchen is a great way to increase your creativity throughout the day!

  • We couldn’t live without our bulletproof coffee in the morning… Gerard uses grass-fed ghee + Jessie blends hers with MCT oil. The help of a new immersion blender has drastically changed the deliciousness of both!

  • We are bringing back the MIF Mailbag segment so send in your questions if you want us to answer them on the air! This week, we chat about keeping “the cushion” healthy and also share some thoughts about welcoming a new child into the home.

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

1.) Who is your all-time favorite person to cook with in the kitchen?

2.) Are you more likely to splurge for an appliance warranty OR spend more upfront on a more reliable option?

3.) What is the one kitchen gadget that you would not be able to live without?

Don’t forget to share this episode with your favorite married friends and be sure to tag us on social media while you listen!

Rule 069 | An Irish Goodbye Is The Best Way To Leave A Party

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The Peppers begin to realize that one of them is a party animal and the other one usually tries to sneak out early with an Irish Goodbye. Jessie tries to explain her fitness-overdose to Gerard, but she ends up feeling both physically and emotionally tender. (So, of course this means we're talking about it.) 

Ps. - Want to come on vacation with us? We’re headed to Mexico with some of our favorite listeners, and you can find all the info at greatlovegetaway.com!
 

QUICK BITES: 

  • Gerard brings up a new social trend that he’s noticed lately, and Jessie defends herself against an accusation of ghosting.

  • Jessie tried to make a case for skipping Gerard’s company Christmas party this year, but the allure of getting dressed up got her out of the house.

  • Our annual 12-hour party is right around the corner and you can hear about the backstory of all things epiphany back in Episode 21.

  • Some couples have a safe word in the bedroom, but we are instituting a safe word for various preferences within social settings.

  • Tone it Up is the at-home workout program that has whipped Jessie’s butt into shape over the past several months.

  • The Peppers recently purged their closets (episode 65) and had somewhat surprisingly different reactions to trying on all of their clothes. 

  • Gerard has a hard time understanding Jessie’s deep seated body insecurities. We talked about bikinis back in episode 7, but Jessie still puts a lot of stock in how Gerard sees her outward appearance.

  • The Pepper Dress that Jessie launched earlier this year was born from the desire to wear something that makes her feel beautiful despite the bloat.

  • Letting your most shameful bits show can bring a ton of healing if it’s done correctly. A particular  instagram post by Jen Gotch provided a ton of inspiration for Jessie this week.

  • Jessie is sick of standing in front of the mirror alone, so she’s starting a new podcast instead of a support group. Stay tuned here

  • Jessie’s chronic pain (episode 33) can be confusing when it comes to feeling healthy vs. looking healthy, but she's trying to be better about discerning between the two.

 

 

TRIGGER QUESTIONS: 

  1. What is the best party you’ve been to?
  2. Did you have any embarrassing nicknames in grade school?

  3. Do you have any pieces of clothing that trigger insecurities when you wear them?

 

Rule 068.5 | An Audio Christmas Card From The Peppers

Merry Christmas + Happy Holidays from your favorite podcasting duo! We love you guys and we'll be back with a full new episode before the end of this year. ♥️

QUICK BITES: 

  • Jessie's festive "bobsled cocktail" recipe can be found here
  • Follow our holiday antics on instagram while we're away.
  • Get involved with the show by checking out the t-shirts and letterpress prints in our shop!
  • Try episode 23 if you like rollerblades and episode 38 if you are particular about the proper way to hold hands. 
  • Gerard's least favorite episode involves the story of how he split his pants on vacation. Jessie admits that it will probably be her gift-wrapping entertainment for this week. 
  • We're headed to Puerto Vallarta for our next Great Love Getaway in April 2018. Grab a ticket and surprise your sweetie pie with a tropical vacation for Christmas! 
  • We're reminded that no marriage is perfect, which means there is no such thing as the perfect husband OR the perfect wife. Unless you're talking about a podcast, then here she is.
  • We've heard from our listeners about chronic pain, not having kids, sleeping in separate beds, sleeping in separate cities, armoires, birthday slip-ups and so much more. 
  • Join our private FB group to keep in touch! 
  • Leave your feedback about our show in the form of an iTunes review and don't worry about Jessie's feelings, because we've got a big goal to reach! 

Rule 068 | Never Underestimate The Power Of A Primetime Drama

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This week, The Peppers try to decide which room of the house is best for watching tv, eating dinner, making love + falling asleep (in no particular order). Gerard claims that more pixels will keep him awake while they snuggle, and Jessie spins her wheels trying to decode their varying personality types.

Ps. - Want to come on vacation with us? We’re headed to Mexico with some of our favorite listeners, and you can find all the info at greatlovegetaway.com!

QUICK BITES:

  • We talked about our TV watching habits back in Episode 44 and you won’t be surprised to find out that not much has changed.

  • Gerard falls asleep approximately 13.5 seconds after getting into bed... for TV watching, for naps, and probably even for sex.

  • Jessie wonders if watching heartfelt shows with each other can create as much as a connection as actually having heartfelt conversations

  • Gerard thinks that watching TV outside of the bedroom will keep him from falling asleep in the middle of a show. Especially if it involves some sort of fancy projector screen so that we don’t have to ruin the decor in our front room.

  • Jessie finally concedes to Gerard in an argument for the very first time in MIF history.

  • We recently watched The Christmas Story and Gerard slept for almost the entire film. Jessie was annoyed, but now she finally understands all of the inside jokes about fragile leg lamps.

  • This episode has us shamelessly processing our possible Enneagram numbers, and you can take this free test to find your own. Jessie also recommends a book called The Road Back to You and the corresponding podcast of the same name.

  • Studying our Strengths has been an eye-opening way to learn more about each other’s inner world.

  • Jessie’s family plays Balderdash with a political (and incorrect) spin but despite their annoying habit, we still really like the original game.

  • Episode 43 of the Sorta Awesome podcast is a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about the Myers-Briggs test.

 

TRIGEER QUESTIONS:

  1. Which partner is more likely to fall asleep while you’re watching a movie together?

  2. Does watching an emotional show or movie help you feel more connected with your sweetie pie? Are there particular shows that fall into this category for you?

  3. Have the results of a personality test ever helped you to understand your spouse more fully?

Rule 067 | Coffee Is The Best Way To Ground Your Morning Routine

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Jessie unlocks the key to manipulation by taping a magazine tear to the front of the fridge. Now the Peppers are considering a brand new brewing contraption and Gerard’s recent facial hair makes him the perfect candidate for a Chemex. Neither partner can decide on the best approach to pest control, but Jessie's recent spider run-in is causing some extra urgency.

Don’t forget that we’ll send you a letterpress print when you post a shout out to social media...  just make sure to use the tags @meetthepeppers / #marriageisfunny and send us the screenshot before the end of 2017! 


Ps. - Want to come on vacation with us? We’re headed to Mexico with some of our favorite listeners, and you can find all the info at greatlovegetaway.com

 

QUICK BITES: 

 

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. If you could add or remove one thing from your morning routine, what would it be?
     
  2. What is the best cup of coffee that you've ever had in your life?
     
  3. Which person in the relationship is better at bug squashing -- you or your partner?

Rule 066 | Spontaneous Combustion Is No Laughing Matter

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Jessie admits her anxiety around family holiday dinners + Gerard begins to realize that both Peppers have far too much on their plates.

Don’t forget that we’ll send you a letterpress print when you post a photo to social media with the tags @meetthepeppers / #marriageisfunny but just make sure to send us the screenshot before the end of 2017!

Ps. - Want to come on vacation with us? We’re headed to Mexico with some of our favorite listeners, and you can find all the info at greatlovegetaway.com!

QUICK BITES: 

  • Jessie is still perplexed about the confusion around her dietary restrictions. Listen back to Episode 6 for a funny example of the last misunderstanding.

  • We’ve spoken before about feeling like a guest at your in-laws house, but Gerard explains that he sometimes has to hang back in order to make it work.

  • Jessie’s famous healthy lasagna recipe is really just a mashup of the following: eggplant “noodles”, tomato sauce, your cheese of choice, cooked spinach, black olives, artichoke hearts, and plenty of herbs/spices. Bake for 45 mins at 375 degrees and sprinkle with parm + crushed red peppers.

  • Listen to this refresher of our Epiphany set up back in Episode 21.

  • Jessie makes this sugar-free version of cranberry sauce every year for Thanksgiving... There is still a large leftover vat in our fridge, but she’s somehow convinced that it was a huge hit.

  • If you’re curious about the house church movement that our community is following, feel free to check out the book Multiply by Francis Chan.
     

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. What is the one traditional holiday food that your partner (or your in-laws) cannot live without?

  2. Have you ever had to cut a commitment out of your life in order to protect your priorities or your relationships?

  3. What is your all-time favorite way to really rest with your partner? 

Rule 065 | Always Start A New Season By Clearing Out The Garage

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The Peppers have opposing feelings about their favorite winter drinks, but both are highly averse to Christmas music that plays before December. Jessie tries to rally for a “pre-decoration purge” but her motives come to light when she claims the garage as her future Season Headquarters.

Don’t forget that we’ll send you a letterpress print when you post a photo to social media with the tags @meetthepeppers / #marriageisfunny but just make sure to send us the screenshot before the end of 2017!

Ps. - Want to come on vacation with us in April? We’re headed to Mexico with some of our favorite listeners, and you can find all the info at greatlovegetaway.com!

QUICK BITES:

  • Jessie’s Official Bobsled Recipe: Prepare our favorite healthy hot cocoa mix (according to the package) and then add a generous glug of peppermint shnapps to spice things up. Add a festive travel mug and you’ve got yourself a party on ice skates!

  • The Little Drummer Boy Challenge is being officially extended to our Great Love Gang. Find the rules and play along on the thread in our FB group. (Here’s a pro-tip: Don't listen to the Pentatonix Christmas Album without skipping the first song.)

  • Feel free to get yourself a nativity scene and copy our orthodox version of elf-on-the-shelf.

  • The used paint cans have GOT to go because the stock for Jessie’s ethical apparel line is getting ready to take over our humble garage.

  • Time to bust out the Marie Kondo Method like we did in our last episode about minimalism. Back then we were just dipping our toes in the water, and now we’re ready to dive in head first.

  • Gerard proposes a phased approach to getting festive, but insists on beating the neighbors by getting our lights up first.


TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. If you could only listen to one Christmas Album for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

  2. Which partner is more cutthroat when it comes to competition?

  3. What is your favorite tradition that is used to mark the beginning of Winter Holidays?

Rule 064 | A Unified Marriage Makes The Best Goal Line Defense

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This week, Gerard is working overtime while Jessie decides to leave him in the dust on her next device upgrade. The Peppers try to be strategic about stress management skills, but all of the football metaphors are really upping their game.

Don’t forget that we’ll send you a letterpress print when you post a photo to social media with the tags @meetthepeppers / #marriageisfunny and just make sure to send us the screenshot before the end of 2017!


Ps. - Want to come on vacation with us? We’re headed to Mexico with some of our favorite listeners, and you can find all the info at greatlovegetaway.com!

 

QUICK BITES: 

  • Gerard has been working nearly around the clock and Jessie is trying to be a good sport amidst the crazy schedule. Listen to another surprisingly accurate sports reference in Episode 33, where we chat about living with chronic pain + college basketball.

  • Past birthday hurts propel most of Gerard’s decisions on taking PTO days celebrate, but everything goes out the window when he lets work-stress take over his week.

  • Being overwhelmed about work feels oddly (and unfortunately) familiar to both of the Peppers. Listen to another episode about Gerard’s perpetually crammed calendar and then hear what happens when Jessie eventually turns into a work widow.

  • Jessie has a rage black out when Gerard lapses on his husbandly-duties, but Gerard is quick to forgive because the apology was sincere.

  • Emojis and iMessages are no longer healthy elements of our communication, but hashing out our cell phone preferences has oddly seemed to help.

  • Gerard has spoken about his unhealthy cell phone relationship on the show twice before and now it’s apparent that his struggle is an annual thing.

  • Identity theft is a valid concern for Jessie (something she happens to share with this past podcast guest), but Gerard brings a dose of reality that finally gets her back on track.

 

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. What is one thing that you'd like to receive more grace about from your partner this week?
  2. What are some of the actual symptoms that help you recognize when your spouse is stressed out?
  3. Which partner is more paranoid about things like identity fraud and conspiracy theories?

Rule 063 | Babies Take Way More Work Than Podcasts

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Still no plans to have kids of our own, but that doesn’t mean we can’t put our (amateur) parenting skills to good use. Jessie gives Gerard a pep talk while he processes his emotions, and we both resolve to be better about arguing with generous amounts of grace.

Join us in April for the next Great Love Getaway and we'd love to hang out with you online while you listen! 

 

QUICK BITES:

  • Looking for the backstory on our parenting status? Ep 40 is where we dig in to the personal decision that we get asked about at LEAST twice a week.

  • Jessie recently opened up in a blog post about motherhood doubts from an intentional non-mom.

  • We’re excited about the short-term voluntary care organization that we volunteer with, and you should definitely check to see if there is a Safe Families chapter in your area!

  • Gerard comes clean about a WIDE range of emotions: sadness, relief, guilt, confusion… We’ve both changed our minds at least once throughout this process, but wholeheartedly agree that being generous is our priority.

  • We've learned that accepting help from our church family has been the only way to survive our first care-taking placement.

  • Gerard has a propensity for correcting Jessie when she gives inaccurate statements. There are “no buts” about the fact that arguing fairly requires a willingness to be wrong every once in awhile.

  • Saying "YES, AND" is a very useful marriage tip when communicating with your partner -- Whether you’re playing an actual improv game or decided where to go for dinner, we highly recommend agreeing with each other as a way to move the moment forward.

 

TRIGGER QUESTIONS: 

  1. What would it take to fit an extra kid into your household and life for a weekend? 

  2. Do you consider your partner to be more of a "yes and" person or a "no but" person?

  3. Does your family have an abundance of something (time, money, love, skills) that you could be radically generous with as a way to help someone else?

Rule 062 | It Only Takes One Spouse To Change A Lightbulb

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Jessie admits to a birthday wishlist that is “dirtier” than most, and Gerard is determined to wiggle out of cleaning the house. Conflict bubbles up from the home management department and both Peppers decide to toss the “honey do’s” straight into the compost pile.

We love hearing what you think about the show... Leave your feedback on iTunes, and find out how to support the podcast right over here!

 

QUICK BITES:

  • Jessie’s birthday wishlist is dirtier than most... Does composting count as a normal (earth-friendly) way to celebrate another year on the planet?

  • The countertop compost bin is not going to cut it (unless we add an outdoor pile as well), but a large scale version won't cut it unless we can find a way to get one on the roof.

  • We were guessing on most of the set-up process and details, but here is a handy link to some REAL know-how for Composting 101.

  • Nitrogen IS good for gardening, but carbon is why we add newspaper clippings to the pile. 

  • Gerard admits that the act of composting only sounds fun because it would make a good conversation starter.

  • Additional things that can be composted: pet hair, post-it notes, seaweed, q-tips, tea bags, fingernail clippings, leather scraps, and lint from the dryer. Who knew?! (Obviously, not us.)

  • The giant chalkboard wall (which made a cameo appearance in this lipsync video) may indeed have been the perfect solution to all of our chore-list woes.
     

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. Which person is more likely to do the heavy research (or extensive review-reading) for an upcoming purchase?
     
  2. Do you ever make chore-lists for your spouse? Which is more effective for your family: a shared family list or a separate one for each partner?
     
  3. Have you ever intentionally left a task undone, in hopes that your partner would take care of it for you?

 

Rule 061 | Getting Away Creates Space For Great Love

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We’re back for Season Five with lots of fun stuff to tell you! First -- tune in for a BIG announcement about our next Great Love Getaway in Puerto Vallarta, and then head to our vacation page to find out how to join us on the trip.

This week’s show is a story-filled recap of everything we learned on our anniversary trip to Morocco, Spain + Portugal in September. Adventure lovers will learn from our silly mistakes and seasoned travelers will laugh at all the ridiculous blunders... A must-listen for anyone who missed our insta-stories and is dying to hear (or willing to tolerate) the full rundown.  

Meanwhile -- we’re so excited to be back for another season and thank you so much to our generous Great Love Gang who is making this show possible! Find out how to get involved on the support page of our site and don’t forget to come hang out on twitter and instagram while you listen!

QUICK BITES:

  • Check out the highlights of our Summer Travel Series for the full itinerary and all of our BEST adventure tips.
  • If Tomorrow Gerard has a problem, then Tomorrow Jessie has a problem too. (Unfortunately, Today Gerard likes to save money without thinking of the consequences and that can sometimes cause a lot of problems for both of them.)
  • Jessie’s new favorite travel sleeping contraption is called a trtl pillow and the irony of that name is not lost on either one of us.
  • The Peppers packed for two whole weeks in just two tiny carry-ons! Proof that when you pair a stylist with an actuary, they can combine their packing powers for the good of suitcases everywhere.
  • Our trip to The Blue City of Chefchaouen got cancelled after a rough night on the overnight train.
  • Jessie’s refuses to rest her head on any questionable surfaces so she MacGuyvered herself a sleeping situation using some extra flat sheets and her trusty leather backpack.
  • Who doesn’t love sleeping on a mattress that reminds you of a greasy-spoon diner booth?! (Jessie doesn’t. In case that isn’t clear from the episode or the sarcasm of this question.)
  • If you ever find yourself on the coast of Central Portugal, please go try the buttered cheese and pesto from Azenhas do Mar.
  • If you ever find yourself eating too much buttered cheese at Azenhas do Mar, we recommend chasing it with a digestive enzyme and a couple of charcoal pills.
  • Despite any rumors you may have heard, Jessie has NOT switched over to Team Nap.
  • Gerard hates to leave a country with their local currency, so Jessie has gotten quite good at spending it out to the very last dirham.

 

Lessons From Our Anniversary Adventure: 

  1. Sometimes it’s ok to pay a little extra money to fly direct.

  2. We could all probably stand to do a lot less laundry in our lives

  3. Switzerland is really expensive.

  4. Never force your wife to ride on an overnight train in Morocco.

  5. It’s always ok to change your plans in the middle of the trip. Sometimes it’s worth it to go with the flow and change your plans at the last minute.

  6. Never ever (4x) travel without antibacterial wipes.

  7. The world isn’t going to end if you occasionally indulge in really good bread while on vacation.

  8. Check the weather before you go on special excursions, and be flexible on dates in order to make it work.

  9. The world would be a better place if everyone anchored their days around a siesta.

  10. Always change your money to the local currency if you want to get the best exchange rate.

  11. Getting outside your typical routine is a great way to experience special moments with your partner.

 

TRIGGER QUESTIONS: 

  1. Which is worse? Being stuck in a small airplane seat for a short amount of time OR having extra leg room in a big seat for a really long flight with lots of layovers?
  2. What is your all time favorite food indulgence that you reserve especially for travel or other special occasions.
  3. Where is the best spot in your neighborhood to take a blanket and a bottle of wine for date night?

Rule 060 | Don't Get Your Bikini Waxed The Day Before A Beach Trip

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The big finale of our special Summer Travel Series! Jessie + Gerard dive deep into their hardshell rollerbags to bring you the absolute best of their biggest travel tips. This episode is all about efficiency while adventuring, and please consider it a personal survival guide packed with resources just for you!

Thank you so much for tuning in this Summer... We would LOVE to have your support for our upcoming episodes and you can find out how to get involved with the show right over here

In the meantime, come hang out with us on twitter or instagram and see below for this week's handy show notes...

The Official "Marriage is Funny" Travel Manual

 


Jessie's 6 Points to Smart Packing:

  1. Capsule wardrobes are key. The Peppers discuss this discovery in Episode 59 and it proves the love that both partners have for form, function, and ultimate efficiency.

  2. Choose a color scheme. Let the season and the destination determine your selection, and don’t forget that complimentary colors make it much easier to mix and match all of your pieces.

  3. Multifunctional clothing is key. Jessie loves pieces like this drapey cardigan, and of course the Pepper Dress was literally MADE for feeling stylish on your next big trip.

  4. Choose a uniform. Figure out what you love to wear most at certain points of transit and then OWN IT instead of trying to get creative each time. Jessie says that a great pair of compression leggings makes for the perfect base layer, and Gerard swears by his fancy leather backpack to keep his personal belongings in tow.

  5. Keep your neutrals in check. Most accessories are either leather (or leather-like) and differing shades can cause a bit of clashing depending what else you bring to wear. Optimize the options by selecting one color (or two that are complimentary) and Jessie personally loves sticking with black and/or camel... with the occasional pop of red.

  6. Leave the heavy stuff behind. Shoes and handbags should be as light as possible (especially when empty), but it also makes sense to leave out bulky bras, hats, and other cumbersome pieces that you can live without.

 

  • Grab Gerard’s style faves here:  red chinos, barracuda jacket, and a suede bomber.

  • Jessie’s favorite boutique is Moss Designer Consignment in Austin, Texas, and here is what she wore on the day she bought the world's heaviest bag.

  • Gerard explains that planning ahead in the food department is key to keeping Jessie healthy when they’re away from home. Things like grapefruit/oranges, sugar snap peas, protein bars and mixed nuts will keep you full and happy.

  • The Peppers reminisce about the time when Jessie almost got detained at customs because of a lesser-known Jamaican export.

  • Jessie uses this ginger tea to keep away the tummy problems and Gerard prefers the stronger method of immodium ad.

  • Listen in for the secret to getting a mini-fridge delivered to your hotel room so that you can hit up a local grocery store or keep your fancy leftovers cold.

  • Gerard can’t live without these fancy licorice bites. Or Mountain Dew Code Red. Or Smuckers Uncrustables.

  • Jessie realizes that Gerard accommodates her food needs so that he can LATER gripe about the make-up and skincare obsession that we’ve talked about on past episodes.


TOILETRY TIPS:


PACKET PRODUCTS YOU CAN’T PASS UP:

Nail polish remover pads
Murad Resurfacing Peel
Starbucks "Via" instant coffee
Leaner Creamer
Collagen powder
Hand + Face Wipes
Acure Coconut + Argan Oil wipes
Whiskey
Mac + Cheese
 

  • We’ve talked about travel rewards points on the show before but Gerard uses this opportunity to dive even deeper into his favorite topic. No word yet on whether he can redeem the frozen yogurt frequent-shopper cards that Jessie has collected from across the country.

  • The Peppers prefer Southwest Airlines when it comes to a credit card with great earning options. The Chase credit card has extremely versatile points that can be redeemed for almost anything, and we use our American Express to get 6% cash back on our purchases. JetBlue offers family accounts in case you'd like to accrue points as a crew, but regardless of where you start: please SPEND RESPONSIBLY and don’t email us with complaints about your debt bill. (But DO message us here with any questions/additional advice.)

  • The Points Guy is Gerard’s go-to resource for learning, but the best place to start is with a simple sign up. We love SPG, Marriott + Kimpton for hotel stays, and most of these have transferrable or gifting options.

  • Download your binge-able content from Netflix or Amazon Prime instead of staring at the in-flight magazine for the umpteenth time.

  • Get a kindle or e-reader and then download the Overdrive app for FREE e-books (as long as you have a valid library card)! Using your prime membership will also give access to tons of free books + magazines that can come straight to your device!

  • Figuring out your international data plan ahead of time is the right idea, but if you want to conserve data while you’re abroad: be sure to download the Google Translate app before you go! Duolingo is also a fun way to learn the basics in many languages. (Added Bonus: Their app doubles as an iPhone game and we talk about this more in depth on Episode 18.)

  • Sleeping on airplanes suck no matter what, but Jessie is going to test out the Trtl Pillow to see if it makes a difference in getting her beauty sleep while on-the-go. It's part scarf / part neckbrace and will hopefully lull Jessie into a reasonable about of rest.

  • Magnesium supplements act as natural relaxants for tired/tense muscles and you can use the powdered or pill form depending on whatever is most convenient. Gerard swears by melatonin for this same purpose, but it makes some people groggy so you may need to test it out first. 

  • And finally: Some say that you can speed up the jet-lag recovery process by grounding yourself in the grass with bare feet. Gerard plans to try it on our trip to Europe/Africa this fall, and Jessie is happy to have some validation of her inner hippie-girl. 
     

Three Things We’ve Learned From Our Biggest Travel Mistakes:

  1. Always Pack Underwear In Your Carry-on Bag

  2. Never Leave Home Without Anti-Nausea Medication

  3. Don’t Get Your Bikini Waxed On The Day Before A Beach Trip

 

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. Do you have a typical travel uniform that you rely on while flying or driving long distances?
     
  2. What is your road trip junk food of choice?
     
  3. If you could have tiny, individually wrapped packets of any product, what would it be?


We will miss you guys so much while we're on our next break! ❤️ Come hang out with us online by following along with our insta-stories, and join the private FB group to connect with the rest of our Great Love Gang!

Rule 059 | Nothing Is More Gratifying Than A Well Packed Suitcase

This week, Gerard + Jessie share how their spirit of adventure is exactly how they found their "soul city" in Long Beach, CA. But first: The Peppers are enlisting the help of some of their most adventurous friends... Tune in for some fun travel tips from the duos behind Swept Together, Voyagers Found and Romance + Adventure and be sure to follow these couples online for more great inspiration! 

Thank you so much for tuning in to the MIF Summer Travel Series... We would LOVE to have your support for our upcoming episodes and you can find out how to get involved with our Season Five Dollar Drive right over here!


In the meantime, come hang out with us on twitter or instagram and join the private FB group to connect with the rest of our Great Love Gang!
 

TRIGGER QUESTIONS: 

  1. Who controls the radio station or podcast playlist when you're on a long road trip with your spouse?
  2. Which partner is a better packer and who is in charge of the post-vacation laundry?
  3. Would you ever be interested in living/working in another location for a temporary amount of time? Which city would you choose?

 

Rule 058 | Vacationing Apart Is Okay If The Destination Stinks

Is traveling separately (with friends) always worth the trip? The Peppers continue their Summer Travel Series by diving into the topic of vacationing apart, but neither person seems to know how to balance out their adventures. They both feel a little guilty for exploring new places without the other, and Gerard finally makes a decision to go on the big boat trip he’s been hoping for.

Thank you so much for tuning in to the MIF Summer Travel Series... We would LOVE to have your support for our upcoming episodes and you can find out how to get involved with our Season Five Dollar Drive right over here


In the meantime, come hang out with us on twitter or instagram and see below for this week's handy show notes...

QUICK BITES: 

  • A longtime friend and listener of the show (Hi, Santos!) mentions to Gerard that he’s got a Guys Trip in the works. Brainstorming ensues and Mardi Gras beads are officially thrown out the window.

  • Jessie immediately gets FOMO and the couple decides that the trick to prevent this is to choose a city that the other partner is not interested in visiting.

  • Gerard went to Las Vegas for March Madness earlier this year and The Peppers realize that this definitely counts as an official Guy's Trip... Especially because it helped G meet his yearly quota for basketball watching AND meat eating in just a couple of days. 

  • Jessie’s past speaking schedule has allowed her to experience a handful of accidental Girl’s Trips and she's always up for the chance to combine fun with an extra dose of productivity.

  • The Peppers try to uncover truth: Do parents need separate travel time more than non-parents? The verdict is still out but this kidless couple already has a few upcoming adventures on the books.

  • Gerard admits that he needs guy time to keep their marriage healthy. The Peppers agree that pursuing outside friendships is a good way to disperse the burden of our individual friendship needs.

  • Talking about cost and stressing about money might actually take away from the benefits of travel. The last time Jessie went on a girls trip was around the same time that our budgeting episode went live, and the timing of these two things actually makes a lot of sense based on our goals.

  • The Peppers realize that financial planning can actually provide more freedom than financial restrictions. (This is basically exactly what Jessie was trying to implement in Episode 57.)

  • Jessie is going on a Women’s Retreat with Morgan in the Fall and she thinks that Gerard should go on the Sailing Trip with Zac.

 

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. Who are the top three people you’d bring on a friends trip if your partner was going to stay at home?

  2. Do you get to spend enough time with friends when your partner isn't around?

  3. Have you ever felt jealous of your spouse because of a time that they’ve gotten to travel with their friends? Or guilt if you’re the one who is getting to experience it?


Come hang out with us online by following along with our insta-stories, and join the private FB group to connect with the rest of our Great Love Gang!