My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
Marriage Therapy

This week is an exciting one for me for several reasons:

1) We’re in Georgia visiting our families.

2) Tomorrow morning, Brian and I will hop on a plane to go to Chicago and leave our kids with my parents…for FIVE days.

3) I forgot what else I was going to say.

I can hardly sleep I’m so excited about this trip! We’re headed to Chicago for the annual BlogHer conference where I’ll be speaking on the topic, “5 Vlogging Hangups and How to Overcome Them.”

More on that later, though…

I want to share one more story with you from our trip to Mackinac Island, Michigan, that we took earlier this month. When we learned that the resort offered childcare, we were so. stinking. excited.

[Doesn’t she enjoy spending time with her kids?]

Of course I do! And I also enjoy it when other people are forced to say, “children, PLEASE don’t lick the baseboards.”

Ad nauseam.

We also had Brian’s family there, and they were willing to put the kids to bed so that we could have a few hours to go on a sunset kayak trip around part of the island. And while that sounds incredibly romantic, I have to say that it was a bit more like an intense marriage therapy session.

Only cheaper.

Allow me to explain my side…(and Brian can explain his side when he starts his own blog entitled, “So I Can Defend Myself.”)

We strolled up to an apartment complex on the shore of Lake Huron to meet with our guide, Paul. There is little I can say about Paul to do him justice, but he’s a bit like a hippie, a guy on Duck Dynasty (because of his beard), and Barney the super-nice dinosaur all rolled into one. My guess is that he is close to our age (31), but he had the wisdom of someone much more seasoned and experienced in life.

Paul the Kayak Guide

And maybe that’s what happens when you take couples like us out on the water for a “romantic” sunset kayak trip day after day after day. You become seasoned.

And voluntarily single.

Brian and I decided it would be best if we took out a tandem (two-seater) kayak so that I could take photos of the sunset while he kept me from falling into Lake Huron with our nice camera and my iPhone.

Let the romance begin.

Paul’s instruction to me—the front seat paddler—was this:  “You just go left, right, left, right, left, right. Really simple.”


Brian’s instructions were to control the direction of the kayak if we started to get off course. So, if he saw rough waters or that we were drifting too far toward the shoreline, he could do a few quick paddles on the right or the left to get us back on track. Or he could use his paddle to stop the momentum in one direction.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

I was to sit up front and paddle my little heart out without trying to control our direction.

Brian, on the other hand, was to control the direction of the kayak without me being able to see him.

Drown me now.

For the record I wouldn’t say that I’m a control freak or that Brian has zero control in our household. I’m a Christian woman who believes that God has given men and women separate roles in marriage and in the church that we should joyfully embrace. I respect my husband immensely, and I do my best to honor his God-given role within our family.

That has nothing to do with controlling a kayak…or so I thought.

Paul could tell pretty early into our session—er, trip—that we would need some guidance. Rather, I needed some instruction on how to relinquish control of the direction of the kayak.

Just tie something heavy to my ankles and toss me overboard.

Paul situated himself fairly far ahead of us (imagine that), and I could hear his instruction to me wafting over the choppy, barely sunlit waves, “left, right, left, right…Katy! Just go left, right, left, right.”

I tried. I really did. And I did so well for a while—left, right, left, right—until I was faced with a fast-approaching shoreline or the wake of a passing boat, and I just couldn’t stop myself. I would paddle left, right, left…right, right, right, RIGHT, RIGHT to try to get us back on course.

And Brian, in his quiet way, would just continue to over-correct my over-correcting from the back of the kayak. Eventually, I caught on to his passive control and called him out.

“Are you correcting my over-correcting?”

“Yes, I am. You’re supposed to just sit up there and paddle left, right, left, right. Sit up there and enjoy the ride, DEAR.”

So, I did. In fact, I stopped paddling altogether and said under my breath, “Fine! if he wants to be like that, I’ll just let him paddle my butt all over this lake with zero assistance. Give me the camera…DEAR.”

Give me the camera, DEAR!

I snapped a few sunset photos.


I marveled at the size of the beautiful Grand Hotel.


I tried to take some artsy photos.


And that was fun for approximately 2 1/2 minutes. Until the waves started to move us closer to the shoreline than I cared to be. And then I was back to my old, controlling ways. Left, right, left, left, left, LEFT, LEFT!!!

Seriously, someone should have brought a cinder block and some rope.

Paul just smiled at us playfully (truly) bickering—as we corrected, over-corrected, and then over-corrected the over-correcting—for a solid two hours. And as the sun gracefully floated behind the horizon, and the gentle waves rocked us all into silence (finally!),


Paul turned to us and said, “A trip in that tandem kayak is like marriage therapy, isn’t it?”



Note: If you’re ever on Mackinac Island and want the best view of the sunset, visit our counselor/guide Paul at Great Turtle Kayak Tours. This is not a sponsored post. I’m just a grateful recipient of fun, affordable therapy.


Comments to "Marriage Therapy"

  1. Robyn

    July 23, 2013

    So that’s why you were so exhausted when you came back from the easy, relaxing kayak trip! Too funny! The photo of you reaching your hand back for the camera says it all 🙂

  2. Colleen A Argentine

    July 23, 2013

    Have you ever helped your beloved back a boat into the water to launch it?  Or better yet get the boat back on the trailer after a day of fishing?  After either or both of those fun filled tasks you will definitely need real therapy…or perhaps medication!?!

    • katyinacorner

      July 23, 2013

      Colleen A Argentine That sounds like shock therapy to me, Colleen! 😉

  3. GMan

    July 23, 2013

    Great post. Beautiful pictures. I did see a couple of things in the post that were a bit familiar to me. First, the raised eyebrow look in the last picture. I might have been “the victim” of that look a few times. Also, the use of the female “F-word” i.e. “FINE!” I might have heard that one a time or two as well. Ahhhhh, memories.

    • katyinacorner

      July 23, 2013

      @GMan I’m telling mom. Expect “the look” when you return home.

  4. Elisabeth

    July 23, 2013

    Katy, we took a kayak trip in the ocean at Hilton Head this past week–with our two kids in tow! It wasn’t marriage therapy exactly…more like an episode of “Man vs. Wild”! Can’t wait to fill you in on the details. I’ll just say it was more than the pleasant little boat ride we were expecting!

    • katyinacorner

      July 23, 2013

      @Elisabeth Small, unstable mode of transportation + children = unpleasant ride

  5. RegGriffin

    July 23, 2013

    At risk of losing my man card, is that the hotel from “Somewhere in Time” in the background there?

    • katyinacorner

      July 23, 2013

      RegGriffin Yes, that is the hotel. And, yes, you can hand over your man card. In fact, you and my dad can hand them over together.

  6. Darcy Perdu

    July 23, 2013

    What beautiful scenery for your marriage therapy!  :o)

    • katyinacorner

      July 23, 2013

      @Darcy Perdu Too bad we didn’t enjoy it at the time, right?

  7. Maria

    July 23, 2013

    Love it! We had a similar “therapy” session on a tandem bike in Bruges!

    • katyinacorner

      July 23, 2013

      @Maria That’s some high class therapy, Maria!

  8. Debbie

    July 23, 2013

    I can so relate to this even after 40 years of marriage.  Not too long ago we went on a tandem kayak ride.  I decided any future kayak rides would not be tandem.  After all, I can do it so much better and would not have had any problems if I could do it myself.

    • katyinacorner

      July 24, 2013

      So it IS possible for a marriage to survive a canoe? Thank goodness for that! 😉

  9. Adrienn

    July 23, 2013

    I’ve been in a canoe with my husband.  Let me translate that for you: I know what it’s like to want to smack myself in the face with an oar.

    • katyinacorner

      July 24, 2013

      I think this is one of the funniest comments I’ve ever read!!!

  10. Heather

    July 27, 2013

    Loved this post. Steph and I went in a tandem kayak once. Only once. We can’t ever do it again, because it may or may not have ended in her screaming that we were going to be stuck in the low tide while I ignored her and laughed hysterically. She still hasn’t forgiven me.

    • katyinacorner

      July 28, 2013

      @Heather Thanks, Heather! Great to meet you this past weekend!

  11. Janie Upchurch

    September 9, 2013

    My husband and I went on a canoe trip with our Sunday school class the first year of our marriage. We began the trip as the number one canoe and ended the trip so far behind the other couples that they sent someone back to find us. We tripled the miles by weaving due to that age old “overcorrecting” issue. That was 41 years ago. We have overcorrected many times in many ways and still do not travel smoothly, but we have had many adventures that we look back on in laughter. :-)))


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