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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

About Me

One of my fondest childhood memories occurred during holidays when my mother allowed me to choose the place settings we used on our table when company was coming. I felt grown up, that my opinion mattered, and it showed my mother had confidence in my ability to pull off the most important part of the event…the table! I would plop myself on the floor, meticulously examining each plate. I carefully placed each item in front of the designated chair, always curious about the seating order of the guests my mother would assign (she did not leave that part up to me!). After my carefully designed tablescape was completed, I would don my clothes in preparation for the coming gathering. Impatiently, I waited for everyone to arrive. I could feel my heart race while I searched for the first signs of guests pulling into the driveway. Suddenly, I could hear those car doors close, and I would race to the entryway trying my best not to swing the front door open until the doorbell rang. The excited voices, the big bear hugs, and the exchange of kisses represented the pure joy that came from seeing friends and family. When it was finally time to share a meal together, I beamed with pride when our guests took their seats at my table. I grinned ear to ear when Mother’s voice filled the air informing everyone, I had been in charge that day. When I look back at those special moments, I realize it was not the elaborately decorated table that brought my joy. It was what each setting, each table, represented. A celebration was about to occur, and a party signaled we were preparing to extend hospitality to the world around us. There is a difference between hospitality and entertaining, and although my parents loved entertaining, it was their display of hospitality that shaped who I am today.

For me, hospitality meant that warm, comfortable feeling of friends and family together at Christmas. It meant times of laughter during Halloween parties where you chuckled so hard you thought your sides would burst. It meant watching a tear roll down my father’s cheek while he listened to patriotic songs on July 4th (I am convinced dwelling on his time in service during the Korean War). It meant playing with children in total abandon and without fear, because we knew the family around us would slay any monster we encountered. Most importantly, sitting around the table meant soaking up knowledge from those wiser and older. Entertaining was just the tool used to teach the next generation. It was where we learned commonsense, faith-based advice. Yes, I learned manners and how to entertain. I learned the importance of living an organized and orderly life. I learned how to be a parent and thrive in a family unit. But the real gift was the decades of wisdom I internalized by immersing myself in the words spoken by the adults around me. I observed and learned, and I saw the woman I wanted to become through the role models that surrounded me.

Lisa Lou’s has been created to provide women the tools needed to live a life of purpose. There is too much noise in the world that distracts us from designing our own story. The story we were placed here to write. Our platform is a place where women can gather to listen, have a voice, and guide each other. Through commonsense, faith-based advice, we strive to speak truth in a simple and uncomplicated manner, so you can get back to celebrating the life God created you to live. Thank you for joining us. Let’s enjoy the journey!

Together with you,

Lisa Lou