Great Love Getaway 2016 | Puerto Vallarta

Kelly and I just arrived from back to back trips in paradise.  We'll talk first about the first one in Puerto Vallarta for the Great Love Getaway with our favorite married couple Gerard & Jessie Pepper of popular podcast, Marriage is Funny.  It's hard to believe that we have only been "married friends" ("married" because Jessie and I were insta-friends prior to including our spouses into the mix) for less than a year.  Jessie and I already knew we liked each other but we did not foresee how much Gerard and Kelly would click.  And click, they did.  Before we knew it, the Peppers asked if we would be willing to go to Puerto Vallarta for their first Great Love Getaway, which is basically a vacation for married couples.  Kelly and I glanced at each other, looked back at the Peppers and gave a synonymous "YES."  The Peppers told us to think about it and we told them we didn't have to.  One thing they didn't know about us at that point was how "down" we were for anything.  When it involves the both of us, Kelly and I are a total "YES" couple.  We say "YES" to anything fun or adventurous because we're just stoked we can do it together!  We officially announced that we would be joining them on their podcast.  You can listen to our guest episode HERE.  The rest was history.  

The Great Love Getaway was open to five couples, only one of which we knew -- Jessie & Gerard.  That means we would be vacationing with four "stranger" couples.  We had no idea what to expect but we knew that it would be a good time.  We met with the first couple, Neil & Megan at the PV airport and connected immediately.  Alright awesome, we can guarantee that three out of the couples are somewhat normal (including us haha).  Upon our arrival at the house, we were greeted with the rest of the crew!  Jessie & Gerard, of course, Sandon & Angela and Grant & Jennifer.  Everyone seemed cool and I am so thankful to let you all know that they were beyond cool...they were AWESOME!!!

Our fearless man leader Gerard...Jessie is probably on the side jumping up and down out of excitement that we all finally arrived.  

Our fearless man leader Gerard...Jessie is probably on the side jumping up and down out of excitement that we all finally arrived.  

The house we stayed at was amazing.  It had five rooms, a massive pool and overlooked the ocean.  Plus we had our own house staff who were so kind to accommodate us overenthusiastic American tourists.  

View from our bedroom patio

View from our bedroom patio

Not even 10 minutes passed when two massage therapists roll up to give free 10-minute massages. Kelly and I were the first to take them up on their offer. 

The masseuse brought eucalyptus-infused towel for my face to lay upon...my sinuses thank you! 

The masseuse brought eucalyptus-infused towel for my face to lay upon...my sinuses thank you! 

My favorite part was the in-house staff that provided us with a homecooked meal EVERY day! I know.  Sweet Lupita was a magician in the kitchen and I will forever be grateful to her for blessing her with her incredible dishes.  

Sweet Lupita plating fresh fish and veggies

Sweet Lupita plating fresh fish and veggies

Each day consisted of breakfast, coffee chats, mad relaxing by the pool, some fun activity whether we were by the pool, at the beach, downing margaritas, eating the freshest guacamole, rummaging through stores downtown and watching street performers.  The sunset at the end of the day didn't suck either.  

We attempted to work out each day but that didn't happen (at least on my end).  We did practice yoga on the patio the first morning but after late nights of food, margs and too much laughter, we were exhausted! 

Dressing the part is half the battle right?

Dressing the part is half the battle right?

One day was dedicated to shooting Creative Marriage sessions for all the couples which was a complete blast.  I can't wait to share with you the photos from all four!  

BTS from Neil & Megan's session

BTS from Neil & Megan's session

Epic sunset walk on our last full day.

Epic sunset walk on our last full day.

Meet the crew!

Meet the crew!

Beach day!

Beach day!

Thank you to Gerard & Jessie for making this trip possible and to Grant, Jenn, Sandon, Angela, Neil & Megan for bringing the party to life!  

PHOTOS + VIDEO BY KELLY

Daniel + Lauren

We love the Scottis.  Coming from a rare combo of photography and ministry, the Scottis and us are cut from similar cloth. Daniel is the tech director at Saddleback Church and Lauren runs a successful photography company in Orange County.  We had a great time photographing them in their home and getting a few tips and insights on how they keep their marriage fun and exciting!

ON BEING EACH OTHER'S TEAMMATE:

Daniel: We try our best to be patient with one another and most importantly champion each other on.  
Lauren: Daniel always calls us a team. It's our business, our finances.
Daniel: Yeah, we try to be very intentional with our words. There's not mine or yours.  No my money, your money, my car, your car.  It's our money, our cars.  Little things like that keep our values as a team in tact.  

ON IMPROVING YOUR MARRIAGE:

Lauren: We read separate daily devotions.  
Daniel: Yeah, we love "She Reads Truth" and "He Reads Truth."  
Lauren: It doesn't necessarily apply directly to our marriage but when we are in the word, we are better parters.  
Daniel:  It's the same content just geared toward toward men and women separately.  I think we also do a good job of getting away and doing 'staycations.'  Rick Warren says that in order to prevent burnout: Divert daily, withdraw weekly, retreat monthly, getaway quarterly.   We were inspired by the Dluxes (that would be us, Kelly & Michelle) to take a weekly sabbath.  We make sure we have a day to each other once a week...not to get stuff done but simply enjoy one another.  

ON WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE:

Daniel: I love Lauren's heart for others.  She treats me, her friends and her clients with so much love.
Lauren: I love Daniel's kindheartedness.  I have never met anyone who doesn't love Daniel and it's because he is such a kind soul.  He is also very helpful. He never runs away from a problem.  When I get stressed, he stays positive and helps me figure out how to solve the thing that is stressing me out.  

ON DATE NIGHT:

Lauren: We basically like to eat food that we can't afford.
Daniel: Also, adventures!!  Our last staycation was glamping in San Clemente state beach at a trailer park called The Holidays.

ON CELLPHONES:

Daniel:  We battle the phone attention issue so we have to be conscious when we use our phones around one another so the other person feels valued.  

ON SLEEPING TOGETHER:

Lauren: We've never not gone to bed at the same time.  It feels weird if we don't.  I can probably count with my fingers how many times we didn't sleep at the same time in our four years of marriage.  
Daniel: Also, we try to pray together every night. 

ON  SEPARATE SINKS:

Daniel: Have separate sinks
Lauren: No, have separate bathrooms...so you don't have to do your makeup while he's pooping.