Champions of Extraordinary Marriages

Staycation 101 November 30, 2009

Filed under: General,Romance — Tony & Alisa @ 8:31 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Downtown San Diego is awesome!  The Gaslamp Quarter and Sea Port Village area are alive with people eating, sightseeing, dancing, and my personal favorite people watching.  Over the Thanksgiving weekend Alisa and I were blessed with a staycation.  My brother and sister-in-law took both of our kids for the long weekend giving us plenty of time to relax and do a couple of things we wouldn’t otherwise do.

We try to get a weekend away at least once or twice a year to reconnect and recharge our marriage.  The last time we had an overnight without the kids was in July when Alisa and I attended a marriage conference in Indian Wells.  We always head out of town for such an occasion, but this time we decided to forgo the cost of a hotel and stay at home.  We instead splurged on some great food at Croce’s Restaurant where the sounds of Yavaz, a latin jazz band played with gusto while we ate.  Afterwards we walked along 5th street enjoying the sights and sounds of the Gaslamp.

The following morning we lazed around the house enjoying the quiet that comes with not having kids around.  With rain coming down on and off all day we decided to head to the USS Midway Museum.   All I can say is wow!!!  We spent close to 3 hours on the USS Midway and didn’t see the whole ship.  After being aboard the USS Midway I have a new appreciation for all of our servicemen and women who protect and serve us with their lives.  Thank you to each and everyone of you.

That evening we attended church before heading to The Barrel Room.  Another fine restaurant with a very relaxed atmosphere.  Alisa and I decided to sit on a comfortable leather couch as we talked and ate our dinner.  There is just something about hanging out on a couch side-by-side eating a meal.  The Seared Ahi Salad was simple and tasty while the garlic fries added a good kick to the meal.

Sunday came and we were off to Los Angeles to pick up the kids.  The joy of seeing them again was fantastic and the quality time spent with Alisa allows us to be the lovers and parents that we are called to be.

So to sum up the weekend:

Dinner at Croce’s: $80
Tickets for the Midway tour:  $30 (AAA discount, use it if you have it)
Dinner at the Barrel Room:  $6 (with a $25 gift certificate)
Not staying in a hotel:  (-$250)

A weekend to rejuvenate our marriage:  PRICELESS

Are you ready for a staycation?  Take the Lead and make it happen for you and your spouse.



Truly Thankful November 26, 2009

Filed under: General — Tony & Alisa @ 7:34 am
Tags: , , , ,

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

On this day set aside for gratitude I hope that you will take the time to reflect on ALL of your blessings.  I’d like to share some of my list with you:

My life, all of it, the good and the bad because without both I would not be who I am today.

My husband, who puts up with more than he should, who does more than he probably wants to, and who loves me no matter what.

My children, who day in and day out deal with a mom who’s trying to get it right, some days more successfully than others.

My family, who has known me forever and has come to embrace, or at least tolerate, the quirks that make me unique.

My friends, who support me, encourage me, listen and love me.

My clients, who have enriched my life by sharing their lives with me.

The readers of this blog, who give me an audience for my thoughts.

Please take some time today to reflect on your blessings and share them with us.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Bumps in the road November 24, 2009

Filed under: Communication,intimacy,marriage — Tony & Alisa @ 9:58 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I am not perfect and this time of year usually magnifies those flaws.

Between Thanksgiving (at our house) and Christmas we have both kids birthdays and the anniversary of the death of our second son on top of all of the usual holiday “stuff”.  I am one of those people  who tend to shut down when things get to be too much and that happened just a couple of days ago.  My multitasking was not going as well as I would have liked and I was starting to drop those balls that I typically juggle so well.

It all came to a head on Sunday night when Tony said the dreaded words “I think we need to talk”.  Now, I don’t care who you are hearing those words is usually not a good thing and this was one of those times.  We sat on the couch, I didn’t even want to look at him, as we attempted to work our way through what was heavy on my heart.  My first reaction was to sit there, in silence, take in what he had to say, parrot back to him the “right” answers and move on.  But you know what, this time I fought that urge, I resisted being flippant and I took the time to listen, truly listen to the pain that I was causing my husband and my marriage.  I allowed myself to be vulnerable to my husband and I deeply appreciated his sentiment that he was not going to “give up on me”-ironic because that had been the topic of Pastor Harry’s sermon just that morning.

Why do I share this with you?  Because on the outside you can’t always tell what is going on with someone or with their marriage.  Because even good relationships hit bumps in the road.  Because you can learn new behaviors to overcome the ones that have been a problem in the past.  Because when you are married to someone who is not willing to give up on you, you have to make the extra effort to grow that marriage, to make it truly extraordinary.

What do you and your spouse need to talk about today?



Friday the 13th… November 21, 2009

Last Friday was a great Friday the 13th…It was my day to Take the Lead and I did, Tony had no decisions to make.

I made reservations at a restaurant we had never tried before, Cafe Luna.  From the moment we walked in the service was superb and the atmosphere was fantastic.   A very intimate setting it was perfect for a night just the two of us.  Our server, Jamie, was incredibly friendly and helpful.  She even offered to take the picture of us.Date Night

Jamie listed off the specials of the day and left us to contemplate dinner.  I decided on the Ravioli Con Noci and Tony had the Flat Iron Steak with Chipotle Rice.  Both meals were amazing.

It was great just to sit and enjoy the slower pace of a meal by ourselves, taking the time to just enjoy each other’s company.  And I have to say that it’s amusing to me that Tony is now the one who photographs the food so that you  can enjoy seeing our dinners.

Dinner was followed by a desert, Chocolate Decadence.  WOW!!!  A lightly baked dark chocolate confection with pineapple creme fraiche and strawberries around the plate.  For those of you that don’t know, I love chocolate and this dessert had just the right balance of flavors.

After dinner we spent the evening at Borders and at Kohls shopping together, something we really only get to enjoy when the kids are at the sitter.

In addition to discovering Cafe Luna I also found the website Coupon Cabin to get a discount gift certificates for the restaurant.  It was an amazing deal.  For only $7 we were able to purchase a $25 gift certificate.  Net savings $18 for a meal we were already going to eat.  Since then I’ve found deals were you can get the gift certificate for even less.  Check it out and enjoy your date night.

Tell us about one of your more memorable date nights.



No Turn on Red November 16, 2009

Filed under: General — Tony & Alisa @ 10:16 pm
Tags: , , , ,

It was a warm San Diego day.  One of those days when I had the radio blaring, the windows down as the wind rushed over my face, and just enjoying life.  As I exited the freeway I stopped at the turn signal, made my right hand turn and as I did the flashing lights from an police offices car caught my attention.   What did I do?  My heart was beating fast and my breath was shallow.  It was a deer in the headlight moment.  As I looked through my windshield I realized that I had made the cardinal NO TURN ON RED mistake.  Darn it!!!  From flying on the clouds to reality in 0.1 seconds. The officer turned on the siren for good measure as I pulled over.  As he walked up to my window I had a couple of choices to make, tell the truth or lie to try and get out of it?  I handed him my license and insurance card while letting him know that I missed the very large NO TURN ON RED sign. Sitting there waiting for the officer to return the only thing I could think about was how much is this going to cost me?  Have you been here before? Time dragged on as I sat there waiting for my ticket.  The officer returned, but instead of a ticket he gave me a warning.

There are times in our married lives when we take a NO TURN ON RED. Maybe viewing pornography, hiding a credit card from your spouse, lying about your whereabouts, or texting a co-worker of the opposite sex too much.  These behaviors drive a wedge between us and our spouse.  And then one day when we are flying high you have a NO TURN ON RED moment, not on the road, but at home.  We get caught!  The lights are flashing, our heart begins to beat faster, as our breath becomes shallow, and we realize that we’ve made a mistake.  We’ve hurt the one we love the most.

At this moment you have a choice, lie or tell the truth.  I have had to make that choice on the road and at home.  The times I’ve been up front and honest with Alisa have stretched me and helped us grow in our marriage.  It’s like a warning from the police officer.  You don’t pay a fine or go to court, but you get a second chance at making it right.

What’s your NO TURN ON RED moment?



So…Who are we? November 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tony & Alisa @ 9:36 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Simple answer-Tony & Alisa DiLorenzo.

Married for almost 13 years, together for 15.  Two kids.  Self employed.

The more difficult answer to that question is that we are very much just like you.  We are a “normal” couple, we have the kids, the mortgage, monthly bills and commitments to church, family, friends, school and other activities.  We have many hobbies:  Tony is an avid road cyclist and Alisa enjoys scrapbooking, photography and cooking.

We are a couple who has and who continues to weather this amazing experience called marriage.  We have learned that marriage is not for the faint of heart-it requires incredible amounts of effort, planning and old fashioned hard work.  We have survived addiction to pornography, enormous debt, child loss, business start-up, a spouse hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (Tony was gone for 138 days) and the day-to-day trials of being married to someone who has their own quirks that sometimes make us CRAZY.

And we can honestly say that after all of this time our marriage is stronger then it ever has been and our sex life has gotten better over the years.   We will talk more on that soon…

Thank you for being a part of our story.



Looking back while moving forward… November 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tony & Alisa @ 9:42 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

About a year ago something was stirring in our house that would change the way Alisa and I would approach our marriage.  After 11 years of marriage we were your typical married couple.  Working, kids, family trips, school, birthday parties, and everything else that comes with being married.  Life was routine-from finishing each other’s sentences to intimacy.

Come join us for an adventure…we will be looking back to where we were a year ago and what we have learned.  Marriage doesn’t have to be routine.  It’s OK wives to say yes to your husband more than once a week.  Husbands it pays to compliment and encourage your wives.  These are just a few of the many lessons we learned during our 40 days of intimacy.

Sound impossible?  Sound crazy?  Are you thinking there is no way my spouse would ever agree to that?

Come along on our journey…

Tony & Alisa