New On The Blog

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! As a busy mom, Mother’s Day can sneak up on you with the chaos of end of the year school activities, home projects, and travel plans. Moms have a heart of gold and do not have expectations of presents, but we still love the gesture of gifting to make the day special and show our appreciation for everything she does for the family.

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

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.

  • Lisa Lou

68 Great Dating Ideas




When two people have been together for a while, it is easy to slip into that comfortable place and stop truly dating. Does this mean you cannot enjoy lazy nights on the couch watching a movie? Of course not. In fact, it is a nice place to be in your relationship when you get to that point. I would recommend, though, that couples change things up a bit, otherwise weekend routines can become mundane which can often lead to complacency, and complacency can be an enemy of marriage. This can prove especially true for couples that have been together for awhile. Out of curiosity, I sat down one day and wrote as many dating ideas that I could think of that two people might enjoy. Some are geographically specific, and others are only applicable during certain seasons, but I hope these will get your own thoughts churning as you come up with creative ways to continue to grow together in your relationship.

1. Play games: chess; Hive; Clue (you can find a lot of games for 2 players with a simple search)

2. Grocery shop together and cook a meal

3. Binge watch a great series: The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Wars; old classics; The Lord of the Rings (that would be an all-day binge!)

4. Visit your local museum

5. Assemble a puzzle: buy a puzzle with a picture of your favorite vacation spot that you can then frame

6. Take a dance lesson: my husband and I did this for our son’s wedding and dancing has now become a daily fixture in our lives=

7. Take a cooking class

8. Go to the zoo

9. Go to a wine bar and spend your time setting your goals together for the next 1, 5 and 10 years

10. Picnic at the park

11. Search top tourist spots in your town and pick 3 to do

12. Set the dinner table with your wedding china and crystal and have an elegant meal at home


13. Build a snowman and roast marshmallows

14. Attend your local high school musical: these are inexpensive and can be very good

15. Host an outdoor BBQ

16. Take a driving or walking tour of your local National Historic Trails

17. Attend your local high school sporting event: my husband and I love to go to our local football games to get into the spirit of fall

18. Charades

19. Bowling

20. Ziplining

21. Go to a shooting range

22. Have a slumber party at home with movies and popcorn

23. Fondue night

24. Escape Room

25. Skip dinner and have a wine and cheese night

26. Attend a rodeo

27. Go hiking and end with a picnic


28. Research local festivals in your area to attend

29. Miniature golf

30. Tubing on the river

31. Rock climbing

32. Ride go-karts

33. Restaurant hop: go to two and just eat appetizers; go to two more and just eat dessert

34. Take a painting class

35. Lay outside and gaze at the stars

36. Attend an outdoor concert or play

37. Volunteer for a charity that is dear to your heart

38. Pick pumpkins in a pumpkin patch

39. Carve a pumpkin together

40. Cut down your own Christmas tree

41. Take a tour of your city

42. Go to the midnight show at the movie theatre

43. Make ice cream sundaes

44. Decorate a Christmas tree


Via K945

45. Attend an animal show/race (nothing cuter than watching wiener dogs run!)

46. Drive to a nearby small town for lunch at the local café

47. Explore geological areas near you (waterfalls, caves, beaches, forests)

48. Go paintballing

49. Karaoke Night

50. Wine tasting tour

51. Brewery tour

52. Go to a comedy club

53. Attend the carnival that comes to your town

54. Dye Easter eggs together

55. Take a ferry ride

56. Go antiquing and then find your favorite food truck for lunch

57. Go on a scavenger hunt: you can find ideas online

58. Recreate your first date

59. Curl up in your pajamas, grab your hot chocolate, light a fire and read a book to each other


60. Go berry picking

61. Enjoy a spa day at home

62. Take a bike ride

63. Make a bonfire

64. Go Christmas caroling in your neighborhood

65. Take the 5 Love Languages online quiz, and discuss each other’s language

66. Sleep in and go to breakfast at your favorite cafe

67. Eat takeout by candlelight or picnic in your front yard

68. Cake night: make your 3 favorite cakes and eat them with a fork on the couch-no plates required!

I had fun coming up with ideas, and new ones are still popping up in my mind! Part of the enjoyment of date night is the creativity involved. If you are on a budget, come up with a list of 10 things you can do at no-cost (the above list has several). Continuing to date takes effort, but effort is required to have a successful marriage. This is especially true during the child-rearing years. Remember the best thing you can do for your children is have them grow up in a home where they witness two parents that have a healthy and loving relationship. As we all know, keeping our bodies in tip top shape takes work. Maintaining a marriage that thrives is also no easy task. Shake things up, try something new and you will keep the spice in your marriage.


Together with you,

Lisa Lou