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Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.


1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

The world is opening, and it is time to celebrate! One of the first things people are doing as they exercise their recaptured freedom is heading out of town to new destinations. I thought a few refresher tips on travel might be good for all of us.

Walking into the room, my husband pauses in front of the TV. Turning to me with a spoiler alert about my favorite Hallmark movie he says, “Hey Lisa…they get married.” And you know what? He’s right! The girl found her prince charming, and the couple has a happy ending, every time.

How many mornings have we left home in a state of utter chaos? Breakfast was late, children were crying, and we hurriedly throw on clothes from the night before only to realize how wrinkled we look. This mad dash makes for an unpleasant parting from our family and it is usually caused by a disorganized approach to our routine. So much of the bedlam we experience at the beginning of the day can be avoided if we are willing to implement a few tasks the night before.

The mamor (mother-in-law) and damor (daughter-in-law) relationship is meant to be beautiful and strong. In parts 1 and 2 of our series we learned why women in these roles might have certain feelings in their new family dynamics. Once we learned the “why” we then explored practical steps we can take to strengthen these special bonds. As we bring our series to a close, I want to impart some words of wisdom we all need to hear, and be reminded of, to ensure we create a healthy, life-long bond between the mamor/damor.

In part one of our series on the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship we learned why the women who find themselves in these roles often experience emotions ranging from pure joy to hurt and sadness. Once we discovered the answers, our understanding of this special relationship came into focus. We had an “aha” moment which makes our path forward easier to navigate.

Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

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. 

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.

  • Alina Gersib

5 Tips for Self-Forgiveness

Lately, I have found myself ruminating on the concept of forgiveness. What it means to forgive, how to forgive well, and most pointedly how to forgive ourselves. For this blog I want to focus on self-forgiveness and how the process of forgiving ourselves is one of the most powerful habits we can incorporate into our day.

Growing up in the church I have heard countless verses on forgiveness and the power behind the practice. However, I wanted to find out the roots behind the word itself. After searching into the etymology, I found it comes from Germanic roots and the late old English meaning translates to, "to give up desire or power to punish.”

To give up desire or power to punish. When we forgive, we are literally giving up the power to punish. Wiping the slate clean. What a beautiful, restorative sentiment. Why then does it feel so difficult to forgive ourselves? Situations in the past nag in the back of our minds reminding us of times we have missed the mark, caused others pain, or failed. Feelings like anger, shame, and frustration build continuously behind the scenes when they are not dealt with. These feelings cause our nervous system to operate on high alert, which leads to anxiety and depression. And beating ourself up about situations in the past only perpetuates this vicious negative cycle. It is through addressing the issues head on and forgiving ourselves that we can find healing and freedom from these destructive thought patterns. As I have been thinking on this concept of self-forgiveness, I wanted to come up with a system to assist in my own healing. I thought it would be helpful to share my 5 tips on how to practice self-forgiveness.

1. Look at Your Feelings

It is difficult to genuinely forgive a situation that we refuse to look at. Take some time to dive in and see how you feel about a memory. Let there be no judgment or frustration as you do this. Look at yourself with eyes of grace and love. Let yourself experience each emotion as it bubbles to the surface. If you are struggling with letting yourself feel without judgment, pretend a loved one is going through the situation you are in. How would you treat their heart in this scenario? Treat yourself like someone you love.

2. Write to Release

After you have looked at your feelings and thoroughly experienced them grab a pen and paper and list out the emotions that seemed to really hit home. Let your thoughts flow and work through areas of tension or resistance. Again, give yourself lots of grace and love during this process as some intense realizations or emotions may come up.

3. Take Responsibility

Do not continuously bring up negative memories as a way of punishment for how you acted in the past. In doing this you are only reinforcing the negative over a situation that cannot be changed. Instead, look at what happened, identify how you messed up, and take responsibility.

4. Ask for Forgiveness

When we hurt someone else, it is important, and obvious, that we should ask them for forgiveness. However, we often forget to ask ourselves for forgiveness and in doing so the areas of hurt remain open and vulnerable. We need to ask for forgiveness and give that forgiveness in order to fully find healing.

5. Gently Move On

There is not an exact “works every time” solution for self-forgiveness. Sometimes things seem to heal easily while other times things continue to fester in the back of our minds. Each time a negative emotion comes up, remind yourself that you are forgiven. If a memory has been simmering for a long time it is safe to say a lot of encouragement will be needed to move past it. Coming up with a phrase you can say to yourself each time a specific memory or emotion pops up can be a helpful tool in moving past the hurt.

I have been noticing improvements in my thought life and overall mental state since I began actively putting these five tips into practice. I hope they can also help you on your path of self-forgiveness and healing.

Alina Gersib

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