Values Drive Experiences at Seasons52 in Raleigh

Values Drive Experiences at Seasons52 in Raleigh

When your Values drive experiences, you’re on the right track.

We are all different, aren’t we? Unique identities with diverse upbringing, all coming together. There’s every chance you’ll share life with¬†people who, outwardly, are quite dissimilar compared to you – and it might even be in your own marriage! ūüėČ

So how do you find things to do together that you’ll both enjoy – even if you’re so different?

Choose to do things which you both value and let your Values drive experiences.

Mapping your experiences to your Values

If you know what you value as a couple, you¬†can come together so both will¬†enjoy (most) any activity. It’s all in how you frame the experience.

How does that happen?

It’s not about both of you needing to love a specific activity – like running, or opera or learning a new language or¬†enjoying restaurants, fishing, or renovating¬†your home… it’s what the activity represents to you. What do you value about the activity?

Consider these Values:

  • responsibiity
  • communication
  • sociability
  • mastery
  • innovation

Each of these Values (and many more – I just chose five) could be found in all five of activities above. It’s not about the activity. It’s about the Values that show up in the activity! When your Values drive experiences it’ll show up.

Husbands and wives who look deeply into their likes and dislikes – what they value and what they don’t value – can come to enjoy (almost) any acitivity together. Really! They just need to understand their own, differentiating Values!

How it works for us when Values drive experiences…

Rob and Lori at Seaons52 in Raleigh - Values Drive ExperiencesWhen we were invited to a new restaurant in Raleigh for a complimentary meal, we didn’t know what to expect. Their website says¬†

Seasons 52 is a celebration of what‚Äôs good now. Seasonally inspired menus featuring ingredients at their peak of freshness.”

Rob and I talked a bit about the opportunity, and we had a sense that it might map to our own differentiating Values as couple. We love to discover new things, so having a new menu every season seemed like it would fit our 3rd Differentiating Value of Discovery. Values drive experiences at Seasons52 in Raleigh!

So we went – it was a Tuesday at lunch.

This Seasons52 just opened at the beginning of April 2017 at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh NC, so this restaurant is new to everyone, including the servers!

There are over forty Seasons52 throughtout the USA, and are a division of Darden which also owns Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, etc. The General Manager has worked with Seasons52 for more than seven years, and has opened locations around the country.

He talked of how the company is invested in providing learning opportunities. His recent learning experience is as a sommelier (wine expert).This is especially useful at Seasons52 because of their desire to present all the favorite varieties of wines, that includes 6 new options which may be famous someday! (See? Discovery!)

What makes Seasons52 unique?

When we asked for one word to describe the restaurant, the sales manager. Cam, said, “Fresh”. It was fun to find out later that their Values as a restaurant are mapped to the acronym “FRESHNESS”

Values in Action

Seasons52 Raleigh lobbyRob and I delight to find companies where people are living the Values the company states.  (Not just as a static plaque on the wall.) This was true in our experience at Seasons52 in Raleigh at Crabtree Valley Mall where the team lets their values drive experiences.

So… what happened? (Yeah – you’re wondering, right?)

Friendly & Responsive: We were warmly greeted at the front of the restaurant, and seated immediately. I’m a larger person, (I like to say that I’m a “person of size” ūüėČ ) so seating can be a challenge in some restaurants. Where they seated us was perfect for me! We were at¬†a half booth – Rob had a chair, which he prefers, and I sat¬†on the¬†bench. The table shifted to make me comfortable!

Rob at Seasons52 in Raleigh

Effortless Service and Hospitality: I can image that someone with a disability would be right at home with many choices of where and how to sit. There weren’t any stairs and the doorways and ailses were wide. Even the bathrooms included a “family” bathroom along with a Mens and Ladies option with easy access for everyone. The manager explained that this new restaurant has a unique decor with different seating options in comparison to other Seasons52 which have mostly standalone tables and chairs. It felt intimate and comfortable, yet upscale.

Lori at Seasons52 Raleigh

To the right side of the restaurant was the bar and booths. Seasons52 carries a plethora of wine from which to choose, and more than 30 local spirits and a great variety of craft beer options. To the left (where we sat) were tables, and chairs, booths and half booths, along with two private dining rooms/areas.

seasons52 decor

Yes. There’s the option of two private rooms available for groups which can be configured as needed. One of them has AV equipment hidden in the cabinets if needed for meetings. I’m going to be thrilled to recommend Seasons52 in Raleigh for anyone needing a board meeting venue, or wedding shower, anniversary or special birthday!

But, it wasn’t just the ambience and comfort that impressed us – it was the food also…

Because the food was ah-mazing!

Fresh. Unique. New each season. The food was served and displayed with care. When we sat down, our server was so helpful. She explained the menu and options in detail, and answered any questions we had.

Rob and I had decided ahead of time Рafter looking at their online menu Рthat we would let our server decide what we should eat. Oh, my. That was the best choice! 

We started our adventure as Executive Chef Bryan Florence came to our table with a little amuse-bouche (single serving appetizer) of lobster with a bed of handmade guacamole, and other delectable ingredients. So pretty! (I must admit we weren’t sure we if we should eat it off the spoon… or use our fork… or… ¬†now there’s something to research). There was even a tiny little triangle wedge of lime. (Another Value: Detailed)

seasons52 raleigh little amuse bouche

Next, Haley, our server, brought us one of Seasons52 Flatbread options: All Natural Pepperoni with roasted Roma tomatoes, mozerella and basil pesto. ¬†This is one of Rob’s favorite combination of flavors. She couldn’t have chosen better. (Thanks Haley!)

It was huge! ¬†Rob and I started imagining that it would be a hoot to get together with a group of couples and order all the choices and share! Hmmmm… anyone game?

(Having couple-friends in the middle of marriage is important – we¬†talked about that in our first mid-marriage video . If you don’t have any/many couple friends, we have some suggestions for you in that post.)

Then came the appetizer: six Lump Crab, Roasted Shrimp, and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms


What a special combination of flavors Рwe were quickly realizing that one gift from the menu at Seasons52 in Raleigh is the pairing of flavors to make something new!

Combining ingredients to create something new.

What happened next was extraordinary. It was a gift from Haley and Chef Bryan. Three servers came with plates and plates of food for us to try, including an asparagus soup that Rob had his eye on…

seasons52 raleigh servers

Carmelized Sea Scallops on a bed of lemon rissoto, english peas & roasted asparagus.

sea scallops Seasons 52 Raleigh

aged cheddar, pickled red onion, horseradish crema, au jus dip

This handheld sandwich that you dip into the au jus (broth) surprised Rob greatly – he admitted that he would never order this by himself. (mostly becuase he thinks/thought he didn’t like horseradish). Yet this was one of his favorite of all the food we ate!


At Seasons52 in Raleigh you can trust the combinations of flavors to be so special that you’ll love what you didn’t believe you could…

seasons52 raleigh handheld sandwich - Values drive experiences

sauté of vegetables, Yukon mash, balsamic demi-glace

Lamb at Seasons52 Raleigh - Values Drive Experiences

pico de gallo, salsa verde, cilantro sour cream

seasons52 raleigh mahi mahi Tacos - Values Drive Experiences

And Dessert!

These are the Mini Indulgences – Haley, our server said, “No meal is complete without one of these.” We chose the Mocha Macciato.

mini indulgence dessert at Seasons52 in Raleigh Values Drive Experiences

And you could have rolled us out of the restaurant! WOW!

We didn’t eat the rest of the day. What an experience!

Make Seasons52 work for you…

You might think you don’t like seafood (or some other food) – our experience at this restaurant has demonstrated we need¬†to encourage you to TRY it!¬†Try seafood or your “I don’t like..” in a combination with something else – the Chef and his helpers are experts at making the sum of the grouping of ingredients into a special experience. Trust them. Being in the middle of marriage you can get stuck… try something new and fresh!

You might think this kind of meal is beyond your budget.¬†Lunchtime is a good option. Or try Happy Hour from 4-6:30 Mondays to Thursday. The selection of small plates for $5 each will be a delight you can afford. Fast food does not need to be your only choice on a budget! The middle of marriage has lots of costs – your kids are growing up, you want to do things for them – but you and your spouse are important too! Make time for each other, and it doesn’t need to cost the earth. Celebrate the good stuff in your life. Here’s a place to celebrate.

You might think you’ll feel out of place in this environment.¬†The team at Seasons52 in Raleigh are kind people and they’re going to welcome you. They’ll make your dining adventure something to talk about for a long, long time! Take photos. It’s important to have good memories to talk about¬†and this will be one.

Can you relate with any of Seasons52’s Values?

FRESHNESS: Friendly РResponsive РEffortless РService РHospitality РNew РEvery РSingle РShift!

What would you try that you’ve never had before… Check their menu HERE and leave a comment! ūüôā

Full Disclosure – we were given this complimentary experience with the understanding that I’d share our experience with you.


Recharge – Make time!

Recharge – Make time!

Have you made time to “recharge” – gather energy – lately?¬†What about supporting your spouse if they need to recharge? We talk about how introverts need to recharge in the 7th mid-marriage encouragement video…

Time to Recharge

Susan Cain – who we referenced in this 7th mid-marriage video – has a website called the Quiet Revolution, corresponding to her book, “Quiet“.

You can find her TED-talk video¬†on her website. And she also has a quiz/assessment to give you insight into whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert.

It might be fun to find out – share your results in the comments!

She defines introverts as:introverts have a preference for a quiet, more minimally stimulating environment.” and extroverts as “energized by social situations and tend to be assertive multi-taskers who think out loud and on their feet.”

time to recharge pin


Focus on the Good Stuff

Focus on the Good Stuff

Good Stuff – What’s that?¬†

Marriage and life itself is filled with both good and not-so-good. Where are you focusing? We talk a little bit about what to do when faced with the bad stuff…

In the video we speak of strengths, and focusing on strengths in each other. Do you know your own strengths? What about your spouse’s strengths? Do you share strengths – or are your strengths complementary?

What are your strengths?

A few years ago we all (Rob, me and our 3 adult children) completed the StrengthsFinder2.0. The book version provides your top 5 strengths (out of 34).

Robert and I¬†share two of five strengths: strategy & connectedness. The three ladies in our family – our daughter, daughter-in-love and me – all have the strength of empathy in¬†our top five… ¬†and it goes on. When¬†the 5 adult people in our family put our strengths into the 4 quadrants for a team, we are completely missing one quadrant. ūüėČ ¬†We joke that God will find our daugher a husband with strengths to fit into that last quadrant! ¬†You can read more about our StrengthsFinder 2.0 experience in this post.

In the end, we are given what talents we have. God knows our challenges and what we need to face along life’s way. He will provide the perfect answers in the perfect timing.

In the meantime – let’s focus on the good. What’s good?

 Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable‚ÄĒif anything is excellent or praiseworthy‚ÄĒ¬†think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

Download the printable below – and print it – to remind you to focus on the good stuff!

click on the image or HERE

the good stuff - Philippinas 4-8

Quick! What’s good right now in your marriage/life?

Plan to be a Dream Team

Plan to be a Dream Team

Dream Team Planning and how to work your plan. That’s what the 5th mid-marriage encouragement video and this post is about!

Caution Flags

There are 2 statements which show up over-and-over again when we speak with couples in the middle of marriage: go from distant and bored to more - planning makes the dream team work

“Is this all there is?” ¬† and ¬†“We’ve grown apart.”

Sometimes those phrases are excuses. They become reasons why a couple won’t fight for their relationship. In other instances, we hear those phrases when a couple truly doesn’t know where to go next in their relatioplanning makes the dream team - go from distant and bored to more - encourage your spouse to be the Dream Teamnship. They’re defaulting to chasing their own, singular goals.

Those two phrases raise the yellow caution flag for us. However.

Couples might find it easier to address those two statements than they believe.

They might be surprised at how simple it can be to grow closer together and feel re-energized by how much more there can be as a husband and wife leading a meaningful life!

What’s one idea to handle those two statements?

One idea to answer the question, “Is this all there is in my marriage?” and counter the feeling that you’re growing apart is to make a plan – together. Then work that plan.¬†Yes. It can be that simple. (Simple… not easy. ūüėČ ¬†)

A plan.

  • It can be as small as finding an¬†inspiring spot¬†go on your next vacation, instead of the tried and true.
  • the plan might be to serve your fellow humans in a new way (at church, a non-profit, or in your own business.
  • a plan could come from a dream you both had as a young(er) couple… what have you forgotten that you once wanted to experience or do? Do some reminiscing and reflecting with¬†THIS resource we’ve developed.

A Planning Driven Excursion for the Dream Team

In our 5th Mid-Marriage video we encouraged you to go¬†off-site to plan. We did this twice in our life, and it has had a profound impact.¬†Here’s a book we recommend to shape your planning driven excursion – “48-hour Relationship Retreat“. It’s currently free in digital form if you have a KindleUnlimited account.¬†It’s written by a husband and wife team, and it’ll get you thinking and doing – with a healthy heaping of laughter.

Once you have your plan for the Dream Team… then what?

We developed these 5 steps as we went through making a plan for one of our adventures as a husband and wife…

1 – Decide.

You can’t work as a team without agreeing on a course or direction. You can use¬†your shared Values as a signpost and rumble strips as you’re deciding. Learn more about your shared Values as a couple here.

UPDATE: ¬†Here’s a resource I’ve just found! The “Commit30” Journals! ¬†If you don’t commit to doing something together – it’ll never happen. An Adventure Journal seems like the perfect way to explore ideas and COMMIT to something! Too cool.

The Adventure Journal has sparked my imagination…What a cool idea - a place to put all your "bucket list" ideas and then journal about them as they happen.

Click to go the page on Commit30 – and scroll till you see the “journal preview” – it lets you see each page of the journal! ¬†There are quotes, and ideas and all kinds of fun stuff!

Yes. Ths is an affiliate link – should you click and purchase Robert and I will recieve a small commission at no cost to you. We really appreciate your support. Thank you.

2 – Develop.

Make your plan. Even if it’s on-the-fly, or last minute, be strategic and know the steps you need to take. ¬†The more often you work as a team, the easier it’ll become.

3 – Divide.

Divide and conquer. ¬†As the dream team, you need to know your roles, know your strengths and take action toward the goal. Yes, working together is sometimes best, but teamwork is as much about working on one¬†goal separately and using your strengths toward the common purpose. Have you ever done a strengths assessment? Here’s a great tool/assessment¬†– we’ve done this as a family (our adult children and us) and it’s very insightful.

4 – Dig.

Dig in and dig deep – be persistent. ¬†Don’t let the first (or fifteenth) obstacle derail your efforts as the dream team! There will be roadblocks. The way might be slowed by dips or humps. You might need to take a detour. Don’t give up – DIG in. Be stubborn about your goal.

5 – Done.

Celebrate when you reach your goal! Every completed goal needs a bit of “hooray” – and what’s better than a bit of celebration with your spouse? ūüėČ

Dream Team action of planning

The action of PLANNING together reminds the two of you you're a TEAM! PIN (1) (1)

Thankful to share with Holley Gerth and Messy Marriage and Tune In Thursdays 

Visit Commit30 to see all the journals available!Commit30 Planner - Pre-Order Now and Save.

Talk about Time – What are your shared priorities?

Talk about Time – What are your shared priorities?

Talk about time and your shared priorities as a couple. It’s hard to get the important stuff done first. We provide solutions on how to do that in the middle of marriage. Take a look at the video below!

Talk About Time

The busiest times are in the middle, aren’t they? Time is at a premium. Be assertive with your time allotments. Be united when you¬†decide what is and what is not a priority.

How do you decide what is a priority when you talk about time?

We provide some suggestions on how to decide what is a priority in the second part of our 4th mid-marriage encouragement video.

  • using the 1-10 concept in two different ways
  • having a mission, vision and values as a couple to talk about time and prioritize
  • the “Lead Like Jesus” and “Lead Your Family Like Jesus” books
  • how Robert describes the view of¬†a vision, a mission, and values

talk about time - use your vision, mission and values

Use your Values as a couple when you talk about time and prioritize…

Robert and I use our values – loyalty, optimism and discovery – when we decide what will take priority in all the things we need to do.

As an example: If we find something new to do, or people to meet, (the Value of Discovery), we then decide if this new item or people fit into our Value of Optimism. If it works and fits, then we talk about whether the activity or people meet our need for Loyalty (to God first, then each other and those we love). If this new idea, activity or person fits into our rank-ordered Values, then we go ahead!

Your values will be unique to you as a couple, as unique as your meaning filled life!

You can learn more about the idea of Values in Marriage by reading the 27 posts in the series… or check out the¬†workbook on Gumroad to determine your own Values as a couple!

Talk about time as a couple. Agree and Prioritize!

Bottom line? Have weekly meetings as a couple to prioritize. It’s important!

Agree what’s #1 on your list of items to do (according to your vision, mission and values) as a couple. Then complete your first priority before moving onto the other nine on the list.

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to complete the other 9 items on the list, instead of number 1, just because they only take a few moments. Time disapears. Don’t¬†move your first priority to next week’s agenda.

What’s your #1 priority this week as a couple?

Talk about time as a couple - prioritize - mid-marraige encouragement video

Thankful to link with

¬†‚ÄúFrom Messes to Messages‚Ä̬† and “Coffee for your Heart”