Real Men Practice Yoga – My 2018 Resolution to Keep At It

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When I reluctantly gave yoga a try several years ago at Lailan’s insistence, I absolutely felt like the Tin Man. I’m pretty sure I muttered “This is bullshit” out loud more than once. I easily violated every written and unwritten rule of yoga ever published. My fellow practitioners had valid reasons for slapping a lifetime ban on my practice. Then a funny thing happened. As I found my shoes and packed up my stuff, I was swarmed with encouragement ranging from, “You did great!” to “Keep it up, you’ll love it.” On top of the positive feedback, I was surprised at how great I felt mentally and physically. I could tell I got a complete body workout. I didn’t expect that. Continue reading

Kendra’s Legacy – Why Flu Shots Matter


Kendra Mann-O’Brien was 35 years old when she contracted the flu on or about March 1, 2012. A month later, she was no longer alive, leaving behind a loving husband and two small children.  Continue reading

Be Creative and Have Fun! Yoga Mantra for Halloween!

Sue Park Halloween Yoga

Yes, everyone was smiling this morning as we walked into our yoga class and there greeting us at the door was no one other than a blonde Yoko Ono…. aka Sue Park!   As the class started, and in the spirit of Halloween, Sue encouraged us adults to listen more to our inner child and seek ways to add more creativity and fun to our lives. Yoga, she said, just as in life, does not have to be serious all the time and needs to be balanced with light-heartedness and laughter. And so our practice was filled with the sounds of Thriller, Spooky, Ghost Busters, Phantom of the Opera, and The Adams Family to name just a few. I’m still smiling as I think back on what Sue said and the fun we had as a creative, joy-filled class this morning.

Also, Phil and I are so excited to be sitting down with Sue over the next few weeks and having her share with us the many benefits of yoga particularly for our 50+ age group. We will then compile all that we learn and share it with you in a Think Beyond the Nest blog post. Sue is one of the leading yoga instructors here in KC and has truly inspired many of us, and I am looking forward to sharing more of her insight into the positive role yoga can play in each of our lives. Namaste and Happy Halloween!

Empty Nest Marriage Tips From Ghandi – Guess We Should Listen!

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The Today Show, and author Bela Ghandi, published a short article a couple of days ago on some common challenges married couples are likely to face when all of the kids have left the nest. Our mission is to “think beyond the nest,” so it only makes sense for us to share these great tips. You can link to the actual article here, but here are their tips with a few of our comments added for a bit of extra flavor! Continue reading

TBTN Book Club: His & Her Favs

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Women are pretty good about organizing and religiously attending book club month in and month out, even if we all know it’s really about the food and wine. We know some guys have participated in book clubs, even if we know it’s more about the food and scotch. Our sense is the women still excel at the book club game.

However, one of the core ideas behind the Think Beyond the Nest blog is to share things that empty nesters, both male and female, can enjoy together. So in that spirit, we are introducing the TBTN Book Club – our list of “best sellers” or in reality, a list of books that we both agree are top notch and worthy of a read. We’re going big right from the git go – here are the books we both love and actually still keep a hard copy of around the house. In no particular order here we go: Continue reading

Costco For Two – Top Products July 2017

Thanks for the huge interest in our previous list of awesome Costco products. Fortunately for us, and hopefully you, there are so many fun Costco products to feature that we’re back with another compilation of favorites! Without any further delay, here we go: Continue reading

The Golf Course Is My New Beach


When Phil and I became Empty Nesters, one thing we decided to take up together was the game of golf. Phil had played a little growing up, but I had never picked up a club if you don’t count putt, putt golf!:) With Alzheimer’s in my family, I knew I needed to keep learning new things to keep my brain active. So, I decided to “learn” the game of golf! Since taking golf lessons with girl friends about four years ago, I have literally fallen in love with the sport for so many reasons. Here are a just a few of them:

The golf course is my beach – Growing up in Hawaii, I was a swimmer and body surfer. I know it seems crazy, but to me, golf is a lot like being at the beach and striving to catch the anticipated awesome wave. You may sit for a while waiting for that perfect wave or you may catch some dud waves. Just as in golf, you will make some really dud-worthy shots, before making a great shot. But, when you connect with the ball and make a great shot, boy, it is a true rush! For me, it’s just like catching a great wave! The rush keeps you coming back for more – sounds like an addiction to me, but I think it’s a good addiction! Beaches are beautiful and golf courses are equally as spectacular. Many times while out golfing, I’ll turn to my husband and jokingly comment, “the waves are pretty good today!” Continue reading

Teen/Young Adult Suicide – There’s Always Hope

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Unfortunately, suicide and teen/young adult suicide in particular, is a topic we are experiencing and seeing the effects of way too frequently. Our hope with this post is to do just that – offer a bit of hope and highlight a few organizations that are trying to do something to help save lives.  We encourage you to stick with this post. While it might be a bit lengthy, we want to provide at least a few resources and ways to help.

First, while we’re guessing anyone reading this has been affected by suicide one way or the other. So, while you might have highly personal experience with mental health and suicide, we did want to share a few statistics though to help demonstrate the severity and importance of this issue:

  • There is one death by suicide in the world every 40 seconds.
  • Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
  • Suicide among males is 4x’s higher than among females. Male deaths represent 79% of all US suicides. (CDC)
  • 7 in 100,000 youth ages 15 to 19 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
  • 12.7 in 100,000 young adults ages 20-24 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans. (CDC)
  • 55% of college undergrads reported having suicidal thoughts at some point during their college years.

Continue reading

A Few Colorado Hikes – Now and Then

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When you live in Kansas, an obvious and popular summer vacation destination is Colorado – one state over and a straight shot on I-70. I mean that literally. You only need to turn your steering wheel twice. Once as you veer northwest past Oakley and then again as you turn left at Colby. OK, I’m already off topic.

We wanted to share just a couple of Colorado hikes we’ve been on recently, just in case you are headed that way this summer or if your future plans take you there. I (Phil) grew up going to Manitou Springs almost every summer and fell in love with Pikes Peak, the Barr Trail and the history in that area. As a teenager, I also spent a month at Cheley Colorado Camps just outside of Estes Park. We hiked/backpacked almost every trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. I will save that post for another day as you can certainly find multitudes of guides on hiking in the park. For a few years in college and immediately after, my Dad I took annual backpacking trips out to Colorado and I’m sharing one of those hikes below (Pawnee Peak). It was so good we did that one twice! Continue reading

Costco for Two – Top Ten Products: June 2017

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You know the Jeff Foxworthy bit about “You know you’re a redneck when (fill in the blank)? We now bring you the Think Beyond The Nest version, based on the idea that ever since becoming empty nesters we’ve seen our shopping habits at Costco dramatically change.  We’ve had to be much more thoughtful about what we can buy in bulk and what we can’t.  One day it occurred to us that “Costco for Two” sounded like a pretty interesting blog post!  So, we made a trip to our local Costco and have highlighted some of our current favorites.  We’d love to hear your favorites too!  Please, do share!:) Continue reading