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Treehouse Adventure


This past Saturday Charles and I traveled along a tree-lined road in the peaceful Virginia countryside. Our destination was a very unusual house, one that is built among the taller limbs on an enormous tree.

The owners use their treehouse as a base for family gatherings. Since they are friends of our family, they were kind enough to invite us to tour their property.

This project will actually be on television later this year, on the DIY network. We had a copy of the episode, which we watched, and it was fascinating to see exactly how this treehouse went from an idea to reality.

We learned that there are only approximately 150 specialists in the world who build treehouses as complicated as this one. It was very special for Charles and me to explore this home in the trees, knowing that there aren't too many like them.

Below are more pictures from our treehouse adventure. There was a long wooden swing attached to the tree, and I think swinging on it may have been my favorite part of the experience! Wooden swings are one of my favorite things. :) 

By: Kristia Markarian

Three-Year Wedding Anniversary


Charles and I were only married a few days when we vowed to renew our vows every year on our anniversary. We had big parties the first two years, but this year we decided to have a more simple celebration on our...
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Sometimes You Feel Like a Nun


I want to share a funny story that happened two months ago, on June 3rd, when Charles and I were in Atlantic City for his birthday. (You can read my previous article about that here.)

As you can see from the picture above of us at dinner, I was wearing a very modest, high-necked white blouse. I am one of those people who are almost always annoyingly chilly.

Since we were going to be in a very well air-conditioned stadium that evening for the fights, I purposefully wore a long sleeve blouse and...
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Reader Challenge: Married a Few Months and Want Out


One of my favorite romantic movies is Sleepless In Seattle. I especially enjoy the scene where bride-to-be Annie has reservations about her upcoming marriage, so she pays a visit to her brother, Dennis, a very non-emotional psychiatrist. Annie paces back-and-forth in his office and tries to make sense of her feelings. Dennis very calmly informs her that love is simply "two neuroses knowing that they are a perfect match." :)

What makes this so funny is that in some ways that is a great...
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Love Is Lovelier


Charles and I were both thrilled when we received this wedding invitation in the mail last week. (I have blocked out the name of the couple in respect of their privacy.)

Our soon-to-be married friends attended our...
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Peace Amidst the Politics


One of the most memorable quotes from Mother Teresa is when she stated, "What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family."

This was not the answer that many were expecting. But oftentimes the simplest suggestions are the most profound. 

Peace must begin in our homes before it can spread to the world. And for peace to be in our home, it must first be inside each of us.

These are troubling times and there is great division in our country. This presidential election cycle is...
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Leisure Is Not Lazy


It is a common Buddhist practice to occasionally meditate on the possibility of your death within a few months. The purpose of this is not to be morbid or think negatively. The reason for this meditation is to increase gratitude and, if applicable, to make necessary changes to reflect your priorities.

It's often been observed that a person's final thoughts are never that they should have spent more time in the office.

In keeping with the meditation mentioned above, if you knew you only had...
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My Journey to More Sharing


A secondary title to this piece is "My Journey to Instagram," as I am now on that social media. (I've asked my web developer to add a direct link on the top left of this page, but until then you can access my page here.) 

I hesitated a long time, as I'm already on Twitter (very reluctantly, and only to announce a new article) and Facebook (which is surprisingly enjoyable). But Instagram, which is a picture-sharing program, was bewildering to me.

Husband gently nudged me. "It will be...
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Happy Independence Day 2016


On this Independence Day, I am so thankful for our Founding Fathers for their vision for our country. I am equally grateful for our soldiers and their victories for our country. And, as always, I am remembering all those who, like my brother Sgt. Jon, paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

God Bless America always! 
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Fort Drum Remembrance Ceremony 2016


The statue above shows two soldiers helping each other "Climb to Glory," the motto of our Army's 10th Mountain Division. This is located in Memorial Field in Fort Drum, Watertown, New York.

My brother, Sgt. Jon, was...
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Happy (Surprise) Birthday, Dad!


The above picture was taken the moment I gently led my father, David, into a room filled with his family and closest friends and festively decorated to celebrate his 70th birthday.

The image of his face captures the...
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Happy Birthday, Army!


"Gentlemen, please seat your ladies and then seat yourselves."

Those words began a 153-year-old tradition at the Union League Club in New York City, which has existed since 1863 and counts several former United States...
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Happy Heavenly Birthday, Brother


I just started to read a just-released book from one of my spiritual mentors, Marianne Williamson. Below is a quote that I wanted to share.

"The universe is wired for God's light the way a house is wired for electricity, and every mind is like a lamp.

But a lamp must be plugged in for it to shed any light.

With every prayer, we plug into the light.

With every realization of our mistakes and willingness to atone for them, we plug into the light.

With every apology we give and...
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Some Thoughts on Harambe


I had not planned on writing about the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla that was shot dead after a four-year-old boy fell into the enclosure. But I received several requests to address this, including a three-worded email that...
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Love is Cheerful and Patient When Bored


It was Charles's birthday on Friday, June 3rd, and to celebrate he and I went to Atlantic City for the weekend. 

That may initially seem like a strange choice because Husband and I don't gamble, or drink, or go to...
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Reader Challenge: Social Media Envy


In the days after Mother's Day last month, I received several emails from ladies who felt that their day was insignificant when compared to what they observed among friends on social media. One example is from reader friend Annie:

I don't know if it makes sense what's been happening to me, but the more time I spend online the more miserable I feel. It seems like all my friends are living a better and more exciting life than I am, and I feel so jealous that it's overwhelming. 

Before I offer...
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My Memorial Day: A Mets Game Tribute


In 2005, the year that Sgt. Jon joined the Army, he was granted a home leave on Memorial Day weekend. Jonny's barber, a World War II veteran, invited him to march in the Wyckoff, New Jersey parade.

Jon was incredibly...
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Memorial Day Message 2016


A few days ago I spoke with a friend of mine whose second home is in Jerusalem. She offered me and my family condolences on the loss of my brother, Sgt. Jon, as the American Memorial Day approached.

I asked her what...
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Our First Protest


This past Saturday Charles and I became protesters. It was the first time either of us had attended a protest rally. When we discovered that a "March Against Monsanto" was being organized in our county, we looked at each other and said, "Let's go!"

I am very thankful that Husband and I are so compatible with our philosophy about the world. One of the philosophies that we are most passionate about is living a life close to what God and nature intended. 

Monsanto is a company that is in...
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Heart Whispers from Heaven


I've written before about being a Gold Star Sister and losing my brother, Sgt. Jon, in war. This has been devastating in a family as close as ours, but no devastation could be greater than our mother, Nadia. 

She...
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Welcome!

I am glad you’re here!

This website is for ALL of us. CHONJ is a compassionate community that strives to be positive and uplifting as we help and connect with one another.


My name is Kristia Cavere Markarian. My husband, Charles Markarian, and I are soulmates who spend practically every minute of the day together. Our goal is that you feel better about yourself and the world every time you visit our website.


There are many challenging situations we are facing today, from being overscheduled and overwhelmed, to facing technological distractions. We want to assist you in navigating through all these circumstances, so you can become the best you are meant to be. We will help you become the hero of your life’s journey.

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