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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

Quarantine Gift Ideas for Mom

Updated: Jun 3, 2020



How do we celebrate Mom when we are stuck in quarantine? Get your creative juices flowing and make a list of things she loves. This will help focus you in the right direction. To get you started, I have listed 15 ideas that you can pull off when you cannot leave your home.


Virtual Wine Tasting: I love this idea. You can sign up with different wineries and do virtual tastings. Offerings vary based on the company, so do some research. Here is a link to get you started. https://www.wine.com/content/landing/virtual-tastings#

Flowers or Balloons: I don’t care what gift experts say, flowers NEVER get old! I sometimes mix it up and send a bouquet of balloons. This is so festive.


Find a Friend (or company) to Serenade Her: My mother had two friends come over, unannounced, and sing to her outside her home. They then left a batch of homemade muffins. It was so memorable! If you hire a professional, not only are you giving a great gift, but you are also helping support them during difficult times.


Kindle: If she enjoys reading and has not tried books on Kindle, quarantine is a good time to start.


Home Shopping Spree: Instead of sending her out the front door, where many stores are not open, she can curl up on the couch and shop from home. Most boutiques have websites, and I strongly encourage supporting our local businesses. Shopping on Amazon will work, too. But shop local if you can!


Coupon Book: Ideas: clean the house; make breakfast, lunch or dinner; whatever her chores entail let the family take over for one week. There is no end to what you can include in this book. Make one coupon for each month to last a year, or one for each day that lasts a week. Let the children get involved in crafting the book. The sky is the limit on this gift!


Puzzle: Order a puzzle with a picture of her favorite vacation spot with a promise you will visit as soon as you can travel again.


Favorite Dessert: Make it or order it. Let the children be involved if you are making.


Art Set: If she enjoys art, or has wanted to start back up, order a beginner’s set from Amazon.


Pajamas and Slippers: We are spending a lot of time in clothes other than our normal street wear. Now is a great time to invest in a nicer set of pajamas and slippers.


Comfortable and Stylish Lounge Outfit: For the same reason mentioned above, a new, chic lounge outfit will be greatly appreciated.


Create a Playlist of Her Favorite Songs: This is a special treat for those that do not enjoy technology but want to have a solid playlist of music. Having someone else create the list for you is a treat.


Online Course She Wishes to Take: If there is a course she has wanted to take, purchase this online, and give her a coupon book that offers to take over her responsibilities so she has the time to complete the course.


Instant Pot or Slow Cooker: With all the homecooked meals we are devouring, now is a good time to upgrade the Crock-Pot you received when you married or invest in a first-time Instant Pot. Include a recipe book of easy to follow meals. Go a step further. Tell her she will receive her gift in the evening. Don’t let her in the kitchen. Make a great meal for her in her new appliance and then present both to her at the same time. (I may have to do a blog on competing opinions: slow cooker or Instant Pot?!?)


Silky Sheets: Sheets can be expensive. Indulge her in a beautiful set of new linens for the bedroom. This might be something you let her choose, but you can include it in the coupon book!


Although we tend to think of tangible items when it comes to gift giving, the best way to please Mom is to learn to speak her love language. These languages include words of affirmation; acts of service; receiving gifts; quality time; physical touch. If you have not taken the 5 Love Languages quiz, I encourage you to do so. Everyone of us speaks all five languages, but some of our languages rank higher than others. When it comes to gift giving, if you know which of Mom’s languages rank the highest, it will help guide you in the type of gift that will please her most. And if you can learn to master her language, this will be the greatest gift of all. https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/


Together with you,

Lisa Lou