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We could spend hours diving into every aspect of table do’s and don’ts, but I want to give you my top 13 tips that will help you navigate any social or business gathering with confidence.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

Vacations are back on the calendar, and many people are crossing the country through our friendly skies. I thought a refresher on airport and plane travel might do us all a little good.

I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99!

“Conflict is part of every marriage. Thirty-seven percent of newlyweds admit to being more critical of their mates after marriage. And 30 percent report an increase in arguments. Whether you argue does not determine the health of your marriage. Far more important than how often you argue is how you argue.

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!

 I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99! 

“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. 

  • Lisa Lou

Traveling with Friends



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.


2. Destination: Determine your destination. This may sound unnecessary, but it is important. I cannot travel to high altitudes, and the friends we travel with know this. They are always kind and accommodating when I am around. People have preferences in their choice of destinations so get everyone’s input before proceeding.


3. Transportation: How will you get to your location? Are you flying, driving? Is everyone taking their own car, or are you renting a van? If you rent, remember to let the company know who will be driving, as this matters for insurance.


4. Finances: Be honest about what you can and cannot do. There is no shame in this. It is honorable to be a good steward of your money. Ways to cut back: stay in a B&B and cook your own food; instead of a 5-star hotel stay in a 3-star; go camping; stay fewer nights. It is better to stay 2 nights and enjoy all the activities (which cost money) than 5 nights and have no money to participate in the events with your friends.

5. Who Pays: Decide who pays for what activities and meals before leaving town. Is everyone on their own? Will you split things down the middle? If participating in shared activities, maybe one person fronts the cost and everyone else Venmo’s the money to that person before the activity begins. Have a plan and pay promptly.


6. Itinerary: Plan what you will do on your trip before leaving town and get input from the group. Once the itinerary is in place, have one person take the lead in preparing a written agenda. This avoids confusion. No one can say they did not know, because it is written for all to see. An itinerary also helps people plan accordingly when packing.


7. Contacts: If you are traveling with people you do not know, make a few friends, and put their contact information into your phone. This allows you to stay connected to the group and can be extremely helpful if you are running late or have an emergency.


8. Be on Time: When working within a group, be on time. You do not want to be “that” person who is always running late. If you tend to get behind allow yourself an extra 15 minutes before you need to meet up with your friends. Being prompt is one way of showing respect to those around you.


9. Good Companion: Have a good attitude. If your group agrees to an activity, participate unless there is a reason why you cannot. If you do not wish to join in, tell everyone up front you will sit this one out. If you do not feel well or need rest, let them know. You do not need to be beholden to everyone else, but honesty is key. Be a good communicator about what you will and will not do.


10. Luggage: Do not overpack. Rule of thumb is one suitcase and one carryon per person. Remember you have other people to think about. Fitting four adults into a sedan with four suitcases and four carry-ons will be quite tight. Be mindful when packing.


11. Roommates: If you are in a situation where you will be sharing a room, ask the organizer of the trip to do their best to match people with similar habits. A night owl and an early riser? Probably not the best combination.


12. Social Media: Be careful what you post. Other people may feel left out if they were not included in your friend group. Also, showing pictures while you are out of town is an open invitation for criminal activity in your home. Police departments strongly advise against posting when you are traveling. Most importantly, you are with friends presumably to be together. Minimize your phone time and learn to be physically and mentally present with the people you are with.


Vacationing with friends can be great fun. The key is to communicate up front, be intentional, set boundaries, and have a plan. Not all people have a personality that travels well with others. If you are the type of person that needs a certain structure, is not flexible, and becomes irritated if you must change plans midstream, then group travel is probably not for you. When others are involved, flexibility, a good attitude, and a little grace are necessities. Friends that frequently go places together know their ultimate outcome is not exclusively about the destination or excursions. Their goal is creating deeper connection, love of each other, and memories to carry them through life.


Together with you,

Lisa Lou