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With Father’s Day coming soon, you and your family will be celebrating one of the most important men in your life- Dad. As a child, he was your hero, your protector, and your solid rock. Now that you are older, you admire him for all that he has done for you and you still look to him for advice and wisdom. Picking out the perfect gift for Dad is not easy!

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

Graduation is a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is the beginning of a season of responsibility, coming of age, and independence. As these twenty-somethings are about to discover the meaning of “adulting,” here are some gift ideas that will no doubt be a blessing in your college grad’s new life.

If some of you are thinking, “I believe I have read this letter before,” you would be correct. Our son and daughter (in law) had a beautiful wedding ceremony planned for April of 2020. As with thousands around the country, they had to postpone the big event, but chose to hold a private covenant ceremony in our backyard. Well, we are finally celebrating their wedding vows, and it was on my heart to re-post the letter I wrote to my son last year. Some things have changed (he is now 25, not 24 as the letter states), but I hope you enjoy!

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.

  • Patti Hatton

The 5 Love Languages: Words of Affirmation

Updated: Feb 5



I am a type six on the Enneagram scale and have a natural propensity to see the glass half empty. The shadow side of a type six is the core motivation of fear. Because I am motivated to consider what could go wrong, I can see things from a negative perspective. I developed this self-awareness years ago and am happy to say I now choose optimism in the circumstances that surround me. This did not happen instantly, and it is a skill I have practiced and honed. But now, I no longer stall out on the negative side of issues.


With the type six personality, affirming others does not always come naturally. If you fall into this category, you will need to learn to develop this skill. When you do, you and those you care about will reap the benefits, because you will be learning to speak the language of affirmation.


What is affirmation? It is offering encouragement or emotional support for something a person does well. It is using words to communicate love, respect, and appreciation.


When I use words of affirmation it helps me pivot and look for the good in others. It feels much better to focus on what is lovely than what could go wrong. According to Gary Chapman, becoming fluent in words of affirmation requires more than just mastering compliments and encouragement. He says it involves communicating with a tone and an attitude that are unmistakably loving. Otherwise it is just a form of flattery.


Here are three suggestions from Gary Chapman’s work on how to affirm others.

1) Compliment a Physical Feature: Be specific. Instead of saying, “You look good,” say, “I like the way you are wearing your hair today.”

2) Mention Something Specific You Observed: “I was impressed with the way you handled yourself at the meeting yesterday. You were calm and clear when you challenged John’s way of thinking, and he seemed to appreciate your comments.”

3) Initiate Conversations to Encourage a Loved One to Share their Dreams: Add your own observations about strengths they possess to encourage them. “You have the drive to see a project to the end, and I believe you will accomplish your goals.”


Psychologist Henry Cloud says we need each other and will achieve more in life just knowing people believe in us. Words of affirmation help a person know you appreciate their actions and contributions. Nowhere is this opportunity more valuable than within a marriage or any intimate relationship. When someone really knows you and chooses to point out your strengths and abilities, it has lasting merit. Learn the language of affirmation. It is crucial to all loving relationships!


Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

www.pattihattoncounselor.com