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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

Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

Our dads are often the backbone of the family. How do we celebrate them when our covid-19 world keeps us home more? In times like this, we need to think outside the box. Get the ideas flowing with the help of these 10 suggestions that you can do from home.

BBQ Grill: With more time spent at home and summer approaching, now is a great time to invest in that BBQ dad has been wanting.

Steaks from His Favorite Meat House: Don’t just buy the new grill, gift him the entire party. Buy a family pack of steaks online. Include the seasoning and don’t forget his favorite sides.

Binge Watch HIS Favorite Shows All Night: It’s one thing to purchase his favorite shows on a streaming service, but you elevate your gift when you hop on the couch and watch the shows with him. Pop popcorn and make it a great night.

Coupon Book to Organize His Closet: …or any other part of his life that he would like to have organized. When we spend a great deal of time at home, things that we have ignored suddenly start bothering us. Offer a day of cleaning and organizing to help your favorite man de-clutter his life.

Gift Card to His Favorite Hardware Store: He may not be able to shop in person at his favorite hardware store, but most have an online presence. Let him stay in his robe and go on a shopping spree from the couch. If your local store does not have online shopping, an Amazon card will always work. Try to support small businesses, though. Buy local when you can!

Make His Favorite Breakfast: And make it a big one! Add a twist by flipping the day. Start by grilling steaks in the morning. Let Dad relax during the day and end the evening with a big breakfast.

Favorite Earbuds: Earbuds or headphones, whatever he prefers. Being quarantined at home with a great set will allow him a little extra quiet.

Indoor/Outdoor Slippers: He may be dressing from the waist up for those at-home Zoom meetings but treat him to a soft and sturdy pair of house shoes that can be worn inside or outside. Trust me! No one from the office will know!!

Upgrade His Desk Accessories: At this point in our semi-quarantine, Dad has probably mentioned he would like a nice desk set for his home office. Now is a great time to spruce up his space.

New Running Shoes: If the dad in your life has spent as much time outdoors as mine has, he is probably due for a new pair of athletic shoes.

Although our mind usually goes towards tangible items when it comes to gift giving, the best way to please the man in your life is by speaking his love language. These languages include words of affirmation; acts of service; receiving gifts; quality time; physical touch. If you do not know what language Dad speaks, I encourage the entire family to take the 5 Love Languages quiz. You will learn how to better communicate to both your spouse and your children. When it comes to gift giving, if you can speak his language, your gift (whether tangible or spoken) will be a hit!

Together with you,

Lisa Lou