Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Issue 55 - Surprise! It's a Wedding!

Quote of the Month

“Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.” -- Boris Pasternak

Surprise! It’s a Wedding!

After 10 years of less than stellar results with post-divorce dating, Margaret’s expectations weren’t high when she joined When Art saw her profile, his expectations went through the roof. Not only was Margaret a beautiful woman, they both had vintage travel trailers and restored vintage bicycles. Art had found the perfect woman who shared his interests. 

On their first date, their attraction was instant and mutual. Their romance progressed nicely until Art accepted a 2-year contact in Abu Dhabi. Margaret wanted to go along, but co-habitation in the United Arab Emirates is frowned upon. They made a decision to marry, but kept it from their friends and family until they could reveal it in a special way. 

Four days before Art was scheduled to leave, he called his friend and business partner, Kevin, who is also a minister. Kevin had obtained a ministerial license to enable him to perform weddings when he owned a bed and breakfast. Art asked, “Can you do me a favor?”

“Anything for you,” Kevin responded. Art explained their plan.

In the meantime, Margaret and Art had moved their 31-foot Airstream travel trailer to their cul de sac. To satisfy the home owners association, they said the trailer would be there one night for overnight guests. Margaret called their neighbors and a few close friends to invite them to a “trailer trash martini party” to say good-bye to Art. 

The guests arrived. With drinks in hand for a toast, Kevin said, “Isn’t it a shame Art is leaving? Don’t Art and Margaret make a perfect couple?” Everyone agreed. Kevin continued, “Don’t you think they should get married?” With nods all around, the group showed their enthusiasm. He pulled out his license and said, “I can do that.”

Margaret and Art said, “Okay, let’s get married!” To the astonishment of their guests, the ceremony commenced. It was a lovely, mostly impromptu wedding. Guests were honored and excited to be included in this intimate, no-fuss nuptial. The newlyweds knew they didn’t need an elaborate wedding to start their happy marriage. They enjoyed giving their guests the gift of surprise. 

Three days later, Art left for Abu Dhabi. Margaret joined him several months later after she sold her house. They spent their first two years of married life there. 

Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop - April 27, 2013 

With Boris Pasternak’s belief that “surprise is the greatest gift life can grant us,” he would have loved this wedding. It was also perfect for Margaret and Art. 

It’s no surprise that surprise doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Sometimes when spouses try to surprise each other, the results can be disappointing. How you react to the unexpected can be predicted by your Surprise Tolerance Type. This is something I developed to help people find out just how much surprise is wise to use when planning romantic adventures for their beloveds. To find out more about the advisability of surprise, come to the next Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop. 

You’ll discover that acts of service are one way to express your love, one of Five Love Languages we discuss based on the work of Gary Chapman. And that’s just a start. There are hundreds of way to express your love and celebrate your sweetheart. The workshop explores love, romance, and fun for couples in committed relationships -- married, engaged, dating or partnered. You’ll also find out how easy it is to have romantic adventures on any budget. 

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to avoid five common mistakes couples make:
  • Expressing love in ways their partners don’t understand
  • Using surprise when it’s ill advised
  • Being so busy with other responsibilities that their relationship gets lowest priority
  • Becoming bored because the focus is on all work and no play
  • Thinking they can’t afford to invest time or money in their relationship
Back by popular demand, Special guest Molly Lord, creator of Tuned-In Workshops, will teach how to use music as a tool to rekindle fun and passion. Recently acknowledged as an elite teacher and visionary, Molly was featured in the human potential film, The Keeper of the Keys, with authors Jack Canfield, Marci Shimoff and Dr. John Gray. 

When I took Molly’s Tuned-In Workshop, I realized how much music influences all our relationships. Naturally, I was most interested in how music can enhance our romantic adventures. After two successful field tests of my own, I asked Molly to join me for the next Art of the Spark Workshop. 

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see Molly in an Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop!

Date and Time:  April 27, 2013
                          10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location:           Old Town Guest House
                          115 S 26th Street, Colorado Springs, CO
Cost:                  $109 per couple, if paid by April 20
                          $129 per couple, if paid between April 21 and 26
Includes:            The Art of the Spark (one copy per couple)
                          A very romantic light lunch

Click here to register.  Don’t wait until the last minute to register. The last workshop was sold out.

Schedule Your Own Art of the Spark Relationship Workshop

It's easy to host your own Art of the Spark workshop tailored to meet your needs. You provide space for the workshop in your home, office or church, tell your friends about it and I do the rest. When a church or non-profit sponsors the event, 20% of proceeds will be donated to that organization. 

Click here for more information.

Rave reviews from past participants Art of the Spark Relationship Workshops

“I was deeply touched by the things that happened that afternoon. My husband, who has always been a great husband but never particularly demonstrative, totally blew my socks off… He’s been so warm and considerate since that afternoon -- I’m just elated!” 
— Linda Lauck

“On a scale of 1 to 10, the workshop was an 11. It was filled with substance and depth, yet still playful and easy.” — Ronna Vigil 

“Mary has a wonderful presence and a wealth of information that is invaluable to any relationship.” — David Thomas

“LOVED YOUR WORKSHOP!!!! Thank you for bringing an extra spark to our relationship. I know the next 10 years are going to be that much more amazing!!” — Noelle Arbon

“I not only endorse and recommend this class, but feel that Mary has put a creative and fun approach to a subject we sometimes take for granted in this fast-paced world of ours.” —Dr. John Daugherty

“The course brought together many new ideas and all the things that have worked for us but were forgotten.” —Tom Saponas

Two-for-one Special

Buy The Art of the Spark: 12 Habits to Inspire Romantic Adventures, and get one free. It's a book that shows you how to express your love in simple ways that your sweetheart will best understand. That helps you build a foundation for romantic adventures. You'll be inspired by the hundreds of examples to create your own romantic adventures, and see that it's possible on any budget. 

Buy one for yourself, and give the other as a gift. 

If you are hosting a party or shower and want a fun and unusual icebreaker, try Romance Bingo.

Food for Celebration

When snow piles up outside, warm hearty meals make me feel good on the inside. The recipes I’m including this month are perfect companions for snow days. 

This chocolate baked oatmeal is an easy and tasty alternative to traditional oatmeal. If you prefer the oats to have a softer texture, you can make the batter the night before and refrigerate overnight. You can eat it straight from the oven, or add brown sugar, milk or strawberries for additional sweetness or moisture depending on your personal preference.

Smoked Salmon Corn Cakes

This recipe comes from Linda Johnson, my husband Jim’s long-time barber. The corn cakes are delicious with smoked salmon. My absolute favorite smoked salmon is from the Honey Smoked Fish Company, which is available at Costco or Sams Club in Colorado. I’ve also had success with leftover grilled salmon. This versatile dish can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or entree with a salad. 

Pork Loin with Leeks

The first time I made this recipe, I was amazed at how much flavor the leeks gave to the dish. The braised leeks have a smooth texture and mild, peppery taste.

Until Next Time 

If you enjoyed this free newsletter, please forward it to friends. I care about people and how they celebrate. If you have any stories you’d like to share, please send them to me at

Have fun in love,

Mary Zalmanek

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