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As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

How can you tell if someone will be successful? When I was in high school, they still had a category for a graduating senior titled: Voted Most Likely to Succeed. How, at 18-years-old, could classmates look at someone and say, “Yeah, I think they will be the most successful person in our graduating class.”

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

The way my husband structures his day is different from how I organize mine, but there is one thing we both do. We start with a morning routine. I make coffee, read the news while eating my breakfast, and then dive into an hour of bible study. Once I finish, I pull out my journal and plan my day. About 2 years ago I discovered an organizational method that resonated with me.

Remember as children, during holidays, we would spend what seemed like hours creating homemade craft projects for our parents? It might be a paper Christmas snowflake sprinkled with glitter or a cutout heart for Valentine’s Day. We would address it: To: Mom or To: Dad. We would sign our name, and this become the gift we gave our parents. The act of giving is how we should view all letters, especially a thank you note. We may not be cutting out cute hearts, but when we take time to put pen to paper and share a little of ourselves with someone else, we are giving a part of our heart to another.  

People give to make you feel loved and remembered. Sometimes gifts are given out of obligation, but mostly they are presented to honor a special relationship or occasion. No matter the reason, we need to know how to show our appreciation. Here are my 7 tips to become a gracious gift receiver.  

Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive most of my questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction.

I recently bumped into a friend at the store, and as we began talking, she expressed how she struggles with the holidays. When January rolls around, she feels like she somehow “missed out.” I understand this feeling because I, too, have often felt this way. Life was so busy with the preparation of celebration, that I missed the joy that awaited each of us this time of year.

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

  • Alina Gersib

10 Ways to Support Yourself



Last week I wrote a blog about 10 Ways to Show up for Friends. In order to fully support our friends, though, we need to feel supported, too. Considering the massive shifts in work and life for millions of people during COVID the overall level of unpredictability has increased dramatically. For some, unpredictability does not bode well for health and wellbeing as it causes stress to spike. To bring just a bit of added peace, here are 10 ideas to give yourself some added support.

1. Surround Yourself – This one can go one of two ways. If you are an extrovert, facetime your friends or meet them for a walk at the park. If you tend to be more introverted grab your coziest blanket and a pile of books.

2. Cook Your Favorite Food – Food nourishes the soul. Is there a dish that you love but have not eaten in a while? Break out the tools you need, play some music while you cook, and enjoy the process.

3. Go on a Walk – A multi-faceted form of stress relief, walking provides low impact exercise as well as a time to process thoughts and enjoy nature.

4. Therapy – Speaking to a certified professional is one of the best ways to give yourself support. Therapy is a helpful tool to identify blind spots, heal past hurts, and receive perspective.

5. Consistent Rest – If you want to function at your highest level it is imperative to cultivate the habit of recuperative rest. With all the content on the internet, it is all too easy to be sucked into a Netflix or HBO binge and next thing you know it’s 1 am! If you go to bed at 10pm one night, 2am the next, and 11pm the following, your body will be scrambling to catch up. This causes you to not only be groggy but also increases irritability and moodiness. Your body craves regularity when it comes to sleep. Aim for having a set time to go to sleep and wake up, and try it for one week to see how you feel.

6. Speak Morning Affirmations – Affirmations are a powerful tool to speak life over yourself and focus your attention on areas of growth. If you do not know where to start I highly recommend using a tool like the Enneagram to help you pinpoint areas of growth. If you already know your Enneagram type here are some affirmations specific to each type.

7. Give Yourself Permission – Do you usually say yes to things even if you do not want to do them? Give yourself permission to say, “No.” This will instantly help if you are feeling excessive stress over your schedule.

8. Find a Fun DIY – There is a great sense of accomplishment that comes with making something yourself. Scour Pinterest and find a diy that catches your eye. Whether it is a painting tutorial, a string wall hanging, or a clay jewelry bowl, you are sure to find a fun project.

9. Complete That One Ever-Looming To-Do – You know what I am talking about. There always seems to be something on the to-do list that you keep putting off. For me it was mending a pair of yoga pants with a hole in the seam. I knew it would only take a few minutes when I sat down to do it, but I put it off for weeks. I finally fixed them the other day and it felt great to cross off my list!

10. Facial – I do not know about you but between stress and wearing a mask my face has not been happy with me lately. Whether you schedule a visit to the spa or just light a candle and wash dishes with a facial mask on at home, your skin will thank you. Give some extra time to taking care of it properly.

I hope these 10 ideas help you create space for yourself and find a bit more rest throughout your day.

Alina Gersib

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