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.

  • Alina Gersib

Going Social Media Free


The other day I felt like I was balancing on a tightrope. I caught myself becoming overly irritated at the smallest things. My thoughts were running through my head in a loop of negativity and I needed it to stop! I felt my mood improving after going on a short walk, however, I wanted to figure out what had triggered these tumultuous emotions.

After thinking through my day, I realized that on this particular morning instead of hopping out of bed to start my day with movement, reading, and journaling, I laid scrolling on Instagram. This one act had propelled me into a wormhole of negativity. Instead of setting my own trajectory and intentions for the day, I was filled with other people’s lives, ideas, and thoughts. When we don’t take the time to identify what is important for our lives, we are left impressionable to what other people are saying is most important.

For the next week I put in place a few measures to make sure I did not fall into any mindless scrolling. The first thing I did was charge my phone in another room. This kept me from grabbing my cell when I first woke up. The second (and arguably more helpful) thing I did was log myself out of Instagram. Every time I impulsively clicked onto the app without thinking, I was faced with a login. This small act was enough to break me out of the autopilot I so easily fall into during lull moments of life, like waiting to check out at the grocery store. Instead of becoming absorbed in my phone, I started to appreciate simply standing and observing the things happening around me. It felt both invigorating as well as unnerving to be untethered to a device, as if the small shield I used to avoid standing alone was suddenly pulled away. Only, instead of feeling anxious without my phone, I found myself enjoying the small interactions with the people around me. Smiles behind masks and nods of acknowledgment binding together patrons of the local chains.

I do not think social media is negative. I love the tool as a way to keep updated on friends’ lives and learn from people I appreciate. However, like anything on the internet, Instagram can be a ticking time bomb of negativity and people yelling from every corner. I find that in order to live my happiest and most balanced life, I need to limit the amount of time I spend on the apps or take breaks from it completely.

The world is made more beautiful when we live out the unique callings within our souls. Use social media as a catalyst to gain inspiration and connection, not as a tool of self-doubt or frustration. I challenge you to log out of your Instagram to give yourself a check when you click onto the app. You might be surprised at the increase in your positivity and decrease in stress. Not to mention the time added back into your day!

Alina Gersib - Contributing Writer