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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

Q/A How to Find Time to Do the Things I Love

Q: With a full-time job and a new marriage, how do I find the time to do more of the things I love?


A: Finding time to do the things you want to do comes down to choices. There are 24 hours in a day, and YOU get to choose how you use them. When you have a spouse, the two of you need to make these decisions together, because it is no longer just about you. With that said, I will make two suggestions. One of the biggest time drains is social media. According to broadbandsearch.net Americans spend, on average, slightly over 2 hours a day on different platforms. That means, ON AVERAGE, a person will spend 14 hours every week watching what other people are doing. If I were trying to pick up more time in my day, I would start by analyzing how much time was spent in these areas. It may shock you (I know it did me!). If you find you spend 10 hours over a 7 day period checking Facebook and Instagram, ask yourself, “Could I give up 5 of those hours each week to focus on something I want to accomplish?” The answer is yes, you can. What it will come down to is how important it is to you. In life, we can choose to be observers of other people’s tales, or we can choose to write our own story.


The second thing I would recommend is waking up earlier. Could you give yourself an extra 30 minutes? Maybe a full hour? Sacrificing your rest will not be good for your health, and can keep you from being more productive, so you might need to adjust your bedtime schedule. What is more important, watching a Netflix show or working toward your goal? I will state it again, you can spend time in the evening living inside someone else’s tale, or you can go to bed an hour earlier so you can wake the next day to write your own story. Life is about choices. God gives us freedom to spend every 24 hours how we wish, but he also gives us a warning. “So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent houseguest!” -Proverbs 6:9-11 MSG. That is a strong warning. We reap what we sow. Our choices have consequences. I heard an interesting statement recently. A well-known public figure said a person does not become an adult until they ask themselves this one question before every decision they make. The question? “What is the cost?” (He was not talking financially.) His point is everything in life comes at a cost. If I spend 3 hours watching TV each night, I have cost myself sleep. If I choose to watch 3 hours of TV each night, and get the same amount of sleep, then I have cost myself 3 hours the next day that I could have used to pursue my goals, to write my own story. That question resonated with me. I have known people in their seventies that, by this definition, would not be adults. They still live in a child-like state chasing their next endorphin hit. I have begun asking myself this question. It is so simple, but it puts every decision I make into perspective. If something is important enough, you will make the sacrifice. You will pay the cost. Ask God to help you. He desires that you accomplish your purpose in life. He put you here for a reason. You have a part to play. I have confidence in you! You CAN accomplish what God has laid on your heart to do! Go for it!

Lisa Lou