A Few Tips For Brides

By the time the first note of the bridal march is played, thousands of decisions have been made, for better or for worse. Knowing what to do and what not to do can help you to avoid missteps so you can make the most of your perfect day. There are many details involved in making your wedding a success, and careful attention should be paid to all of them, big and small.  Begin by getting an overview of all tasks ahead of you.

Here are a few reminders of what to do and what not to do while on your jounery to the altar.

What Not to Do?

  1.  Do not try to please others by doing your wedding as they suggest. It’s your wedding. Do it your way.
  2. Do not make major decisions with consulting your fiance’ (e).
  3. Do not discuss the details of your budget with other people. Unless they are helping to finance the event, the details are not their concern.
  4. Do not expect service providers to work for unreasonably low prices. Get the best deals you can, but be willing to pay appropriately for people’s time and efforts.
  5. Do not forget that everything will go perfectly. There are bound to be glitches, but you can deal with them.
  6. Do not make spur-of-the moment decisions about anything. Take time to consider everything carefully.
  7. Do not be rigid with your plans. Try to be flexible when possible.
  8. Do not spend so much on the wedding that you enter your new marriage heavily in debt.
  9. Do not make unreasonable demands of all the people helping you make your plans.
  10. Do not use your wedding as a time to highlight and perpetuate family differences.
  11. Do not allow differences of opinion about wedding details to come between you and your fiance’.
  12. Do not neglect your relationship with your fiance’ as you get caught up in planning the wedding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           What to Do?

  1. Leave enough time to handle all the unexpected details.
  2. Start at the beginning by getting a game plan.
  3. Don’t forget one of the most important things to do, “seek out pre marriage counseling” with a professional that you and your fiance’ trust and rremember that the marriage is the most important thing, not the wedding.
  4. The wedding party is an important feature of the wedding begin to think about who should be part of this select group.
  5. Take advantage of a professional wedding planner if possible. It will take some of the burden off your shoulders, and will leave you time to deal with other details that only you can handle.
  6. Ask professionals who will be helping you how much time they will need to get everything done properly.
  7. Select a date for your wedding that is not already notable for something else.
  8. Choose attendants and other member of the wedding party with care. They will part of your memories of your special day, and will be a part of the photos that you will cherish.
  9. Try to choose outfits that your attendants really can wear latter.
  10. Get details in writing.There is nothing worse than thinking you are getting a particular product or service in one way, and finding out that you are incorrect. Keep receipts for everything you pay in connection to the wedding.
  11. Select some method of keeping all your details organized there are many free wedding web sites that are designed to help you and your wedding party stay organized. Weddingwire.com is an excellent. Many brides still use index cards, and some find a loose leaf notebook system helpful.
  12. List all wedding tasks to be done and assign a due date for each. This will be helpful when meeting with suppliers of goods and services. 
  13. Find out deadlines by which you will have to have particular decisions made and abide by them. Remember they are intended to help you.
  14. Get a master calendar where all activities, plans, and deadlines will be recorded.
  15. Begin to think about what type of service you would like, wha traditions you would like to honor, and what religious elements you would like to include.
  16. Have a back up plan if your wedding is planned for outdoors.
  17. As you begin to think  of whom you will invite, keep a list of extras  that out-of-town guest will need, such as a ride to the rehearsal dinner.
  18. Enlist help ahead of time to help accommodate special needs of guests.
  19. Be ready to bear the cost of extras that you ask your attendants to have, such as professionally applied make-up or perfect manicure.
  20. Check well ahead of the wedding for marriage license requirements.
  21. What to wear?  You can ease the process of dressing everyone appropriately for the ceremony by knowing what your wedding vision is before you even start.
  22. Plan to show your appreciation to members of the wedding party with a gift to help commemorate the occasion.
  23.  Remember you are blending your families,so make sure you remain respectful of your fiance’s suggestions he knows them better than you do.
  24. Send thank-you notes promptly so you do not feel overwhelmed by the task.
  25. Take time to enjoy the journey to the altar. Relax and savor the process.
  26. Begin to develop a budget for your wedding expenses.
  27. Include in the budget honorarium for the minster, musicians, and others who help the ceremony but who are not attendants.
  28. Decide up front who will pay for what.There are traditional guidelines about this, though in recent years they have become more casual they are still an important facet of planning a wedding. 
  29. Consider setting up a wedding gift registry, it helps to take the guess-work out for those who are buying you and your fiance’ gifts.
  30. Remember to tie up the loose ends and finishing with finesse because you are creating a day you will cherish for a lifetime.

What Married Couples Can learn From Divorced Couples?

Would it surprise you that some of the best lessons about how to strengthen a marriage can come from those who have suffered through divorce?

I want to share with you five things couples have learned the hard way that you can do today to help strengthen the bonds between you and your spouse.

Terri Orbuch is a psychologist and research professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute of Social Research, she recently identified some of the top common regrets of divorced couples.

“Divorced individuals who step back and say, ‘ This is what I’ve done wrong and this is what I will change,’ have something powerful to teach others”, She recently told the Wall Street Journal.

1. Boost your spouse’s mood: Encouraging and affirming your spouse in very simple ways can go a very long way. One study found that when a husband reported his wife didn’t express love and affection (not necessarily sex) the couple was as likely to divorce.

2. Talk more about money: Money is a magnifier of problems but it’s also a common source of significant tension. Don’t keep secrets and establish a family budget and stick to it.

3. Get over the past: Couples who can’t forgive past hurts grow bitter and resentful. Again, talk it our. Write a letter. Talk with a friend.

4. Blame the relationship: Studies suggest that 65% of divorces blame the ex-spouse for the demise of their marriage. When discussing relationship problems. Dr. Orbuch suggests saying, “we,”or “I,” for example, you might say. “We are both so tired lately,” not “You are so crabby.”

5. Reveal more about yourself: Dr. Orbuch recommends: Every day, for 10 minutes, the couple should talk alone about something other than work, the family and children, the household, the relationship. No problems. No scheduling. No logistics.

Do you resonate with these findings? What might you add as #6 on this list? leave your comments in the comment box… Thanks

Lost In The World Of Disney

Today’s children live in a world filled with adventure, mental stimulation, topical issues, and personal challenges. The values they learn now, between the ages of 5 and 8, will shape the rest of their lives.

 When I was about six years old, I had an adventure that shaped me for the rest of my life. I went to Disneyland with my cousins one week-end and had a wonderful day full of excitement.

Little did I know that the real excitement wasn’t to begin until that night while we watched the fireworks and I began to get an urge to go to the ice cream parlor, but I didn’t want to miss the show. Then I over heard my cousins talking to my aunt, and I got closer to them to hear what they were talking about. “Mom, we’re going to get an ice cream cone.

“Okay,” my aunt replied, “but stay together I don’t want any of you getting lost.” The second I saw my cousins leaving, I didn’t think twice before running off after them without telling my aunt. As I followed them through the huge crowd of people, I started to lose sight of them. I began to panic as I scanned the crowd for them crazy thoughts ran through my head like, what if I never see my family again?

I gave up trying to find my cousins and tried to get back to my family, but I was completely mixed up. After searching for what seemed like forever, I couldn’t hold back the tears, and I started crying like I had never cried before. “Mommy!” I cried out. But everyone around me was too caught up by the fireworks to pay attention to me.

I tried to stop the scary thoughts that were going through my head and started running as fast as I could… anywhere and everywhere. I was going crazy. I’m only six, and I’ve gotten lost. What have I done? How could I have been so dumb to run off  without telling anyone? I thought.

With my face wet from tears, I kept running, pulling at people’s pants and crying, “Mommy!” I was hoping and wishing, that one of those adults would be one of my parents. Luckily, I tugged at a lady who worked at Disneyland, and she asked me, “Are you lost?” “Yeeesss!” I cried.

She picked me up and carried me through the crowd as she kept asking me where my parents had been standing. As I began to feel safe in the Lady’s arms, I calmed down and thought for a few minutes I remembered we had leaned against a wooden fence. She carried me around the wooden fence, asking random people, “Is this your child?” “No. Sorry,” everyone kept saying. You’re sorry?  Look at me. I’m looking for my mommy. I thought.

Then I began to cry uncontrollably because it hit me that my parents didn’t live together any more and I wondered if they could stop loving each other could they stop loving me too? Did this mean I really wasn’t anybody’s child any more?

Finally, through the crowd of people, I recognized a face. I was so happy. “Daddy!” I shouted as I pointed toward him and the lady carried me to him. When the lady put me down, I ran to my daddy and gave him a huge hug. I couldn’t let go of him. I didn’t want to lose him again. As I cried in my daddy’s arms, my aunt and cousins thanked the nice lady for everything she had done for me.

For the rest of the evening and the entire next day I was more concerned with making sure that my daddy and the rest of his family were within my sight at all times, than I was with seeing the sights at Disneyland. My daddy called my mommy on the phone and they both told me how much they loved me. I asked them even if they didn’t love each other any more did they still love me? They said yes and I never doubted that they loved me again.

I look back on these memories and laugh at myself but to this day, I always make sure to tell someone where I am going before I run off to get ice cream especially at Disneyland.

What Do Grandparents Want To Know

Being a grandparent in today‘s world isn’t what it use to be, it’s better. If you’re already a grandparent you know that being a grandparent today isn’t just about babysitting and boasting it can be the most challenging role of your life.

 Grandparents today are so different from all other generations especially from their grandparents. A new grandparent is created every twenty seconds and if you are one of them, welcome!

There are a lot of us already statistics show that we make up one-third of the U.S. population. There are now 70 million grandparents in the United States, and 1.7 million more every year. And while there are a lot of books written to help parents who worry about their baby’s health, their baby’s size compared to the charts, and what IQboosting toys they should buy for their toddlers, there are very few books for us. Their parents. The grandparents!

Do we really need a book about grandparenting? After all, weren’t we parents already? Aren’t we founts of help and advice? Thrilled and devoted? Ready to jump in and help, but wise enough to know when to bow out and be silent? The givers of gifts, and guardians of family history? Mature? Mellow? and Marvelous?

You might be thinking yes, but… and isn’t grandparenting natural? Weren’t their grandparents long before there were books? Isn’t it instinctive? Basic? And built-in? Yes, but… haven’t we grown up watching our own grandparents in action? We had grandparents, our children have grandparents, and now our grandchildren have grandparents. It’s the way of the world, isn’t it? Yes, but… You’ll find that while your emotions may be universal and the problems are timeless, one thing is very different for today’s grandparents. We are different!

Who we really are is a question that many grandparents are asking themselves and each other in today’s society. Here is what a few grandparents are saying; We are healthier, more active, and more youthful and young at heart than our predecessors. Plus, we’re still working and working out, teaching, and learning, traveling, marrying, divorcing, remarrying, and melding our families. Grandparents today have more access to information full of tips on ways the can be the best grandparent they can be.

Our book cases are full of books about cooking, traveling, art, gardening, home improvements, investing money, how to look ten years younger, how to use our nooks, Ipads, cell phones, computers, the million apps that we can use for free, consumer reports covering the A to Z’s of any thing you could think of to buy along with the series of “Dummy Books” and let’s not forget how to be a modern grandparent.

I don’t know if there is a book called ” Grandparenting for Dummy’s” or not I just thought of that. I can tell you that if there isn’t one I’m sure someone will write one soon and it will probably be a best seller. It’s time to google Dummy Books to find out if there is a Dummy Book for Grandparents let me know.

What do grandparents today want to know? Since we are grandparents like no others, our questions are like no others. We want to know how to pick a name of ourselves. What’s wrong with “Grandpa” or “Grandma”? Nothing, but it’s often already taken, since our parents, and perhaps even their parents, are still alive. With so many grandparents, blended and melded grandparents, and great-grandparents in most families, grandparents today want to know how to be the favorite or at least, among the favorites.

We want ot know if it is normal to have “favorites,” to feel bored at times or stressed when our grandchildren visit. We want to know how to make grandchildren smile without spoiling, and help their parents provide for them financially in this bad economy without becoming a purse or a nurse.

We want to know how to handle divorce without hurting the grandchildren (our divorce, their parents’ divorce). We want to know what our daughter-in-laws really think about us and how to develop a better relationship with them so we can get even closer to our grandchildren.

Grandparents want to know so they participate in groups focused on distant granparenting, daughter-in-law problems, grandfathering, financial concerns, and much more. Lots participate in the online surveys. Many of them enjoy contributing and reading grandparent humor. I love everything about grandparenting humor and sometimes I write about something my grandson’s have just done and I find myself laughing as I am writing it’s a blast isn’t it?

Grandparents from every walk of life and from across this country are asking questions about grandparenting we want to know and if someone would write a book called “Straight Talk for Grandparents” telling us what we want to know we would appreciate it and maybe in the future our grandchildren will say thank you grandma or grandpa for believing in me. Grandparents are busy enough so a book written in plain english full of do this and do that because it is in the best interest of your children and grandchildren would help make the world of grandparenting run a lot smoother.

I want to thank my grandparents for making me feel like the smartest and most talented grandchild in the world. Doesn’t that statement just melt your heart? Take a minute and  image that your grandchildren are saying thank you Nana for making me feel like the smartest and most talented grandchild in the world. Don’t you feel all warm and tingling all over just thinking about them saying that to you? I know I do!

When Childhood Is Tea Parties and Chasing Butterflies

Childhood is hanging your pictures on the refrigerator, and tea parties you always cater.

Childhood is chasing butterflies and picking flowers, playing with blocks and making towers.

Childhood is hating nap time, and thinking everything is MINE.

Childhood is crayons and coloring books, playing hide and go seek in all the right nooks.  Childhood is falling asleep to your favorite lullaby. Childhood is wishing you had wings so you could soar into the sky. Childhood is only crying over a scrapped knee, or being stung by a Bumble Bee.

Childhood is collecting seashells, building sand castles, swimming and roasting marshmallows down by the seashore without a care in the world.

Childhood is thinking boys have cooties, or your mom making you wear itchy booties.
Childhood is ruining mommy’s new rocking chair, and making friends and keeping them forever.

Childhood is a time when we are innocent, when our world seems to be fair and when our universe is around out toys.

Childhood is a time when we live in dreams, when everyone seems selfless, when everyone appears to be a friend.

Childhood is the time when our life is full of colours, when sorrow never knocks on our door and when a smile is a gift presented to everyone.

Childhood is a time when love is pure, when there are no obligations and when tenderness prevails.

Childhood is a time which is long gone for many of us but smiles flow from our faces and our eyes sparkle when we revisit our childhood. Our childhood will never come back but the child within us will always be able to dream of catering tea parties and chasing butterflies.

Do You Have A Grandparent Rival

Grandparents love indulging  grandchildren, love surprising them, love giving them presents, and love seeing the smiles on their fabulous faces when they walk in the door. It’s so much fun! Isn’t it?

A recent grandparent poll asked grandparents this question:  Do you have a grandparent rival?  62% said, Yes I can’t help it and 38% said, No we’re fine. The response to the 62% group was don’t be surprised or embarrassed it’s natural, if you feel a bit competitive with the other set of grandparents and want to be the favorite… or at least on your grandchildren’s favorite list.

But of course, being the favorite grandparent every minute of every day isn’t always possible. First of all, no grandparent can always give their grandchildren everything they want and never say no. Grandparenting may be more fun than parenting, but it’s not a free-for-all. As my grandmother use to say when she had to say No,”anybody can be your friend but my job is to be your grandmother.”

The truth is you probably can’t out do all the other sets of grandparents all the time even if you wanted to. But thank goodness grandparents don’t have to. Just like grandparents, grandchildren have enough love to go around. We can love all our grandchildren and they can love all their grandparents! You may not be your grandchildren’s only favorite, or favorite every day, but if you treat them with love and respect, you will always be a winner in the end. And so will they!

And finally, if you feel like you’re losing the “favorite” race from time to time because you’re the grandmother-in-law and your daughter-in-law prefers her own parents’ brand of grandparenting to yours, you’re probably right! The same Grandparenting poll found 57 percent of paternal grandmothers (that’s the husband’s mother) often felt left out.

It went on to say, After all, your daughter-in-law is parenting the way she was parented by her own mother and in some circumstances it may have been a grandmother, aunt, older sister, or a father who did the parenting but try to remember they did their best.

After all it’s familiar to her and seems “right”. And besides, you were the first woman in her husband’s life, know him longer and better than she does, she’s probably compared to you too often, and if you have a daughter of your own, you may play favorites yourself without even realizing it.

Grandparents who live far away worry that grandparents who live closer will be preferred, and the grandparents with less money worry that wealthier grandparents will gift their way to first place. And if there’s only one child, the stakes are even higher.

So, being “the favorite” may be only a grandparent’s fun fantasy, but there are lots of fun things you can to do that can help you make your dream of being on your grandchildren’s “favorite” Grandparent list.

Here a four Secrets of Favorite Grandparents out of many

  1. Don’t buy love. Reassure yourself that your grandkids will love you even without the nonstop presents and then prove it. Set a one-month gift or candy moratorium, and just play with the kids when they come over, or read to them, or teach them something special, like a funny dance or a goofy kids song, instead of taking them shopping. Let yourself see that you are valued and loved even if you don’t dispense gifts.
  2. Don’t load them up with contraband. Gifts of toys and candy are a problem in another way too. If we take our grandchildren to the candy store, and they stuff bags full of candies and carry them back home, we’ve put their parents in the position of saying yes to junk or no to the special treats. The kids should not bring home varieties of toys and candy that are not allowed in their house, because then you won’t be given many chances to become a favorite!
  3. Do Listen. Ask questions about their likes and dislikes, their games and friends, real and imaginary, their TV programs, books, and their electronic games… and then really listen to their answers. Listen when they talk spontaneously, when they talk repetitively, when they talk endlessly. Listen when they are silly and serious. It’s been said before, their parents just can’t listen to them on a daily basis the way you can when they are with you on a visit. Be the grandparent who understands, the one who is patient, the grandparent who accepts what they say without a lot of lectures and criticism.
  4. Do find Similarities. Become one of your grandchildren’s soul mates and they will feel a bond that will never be broken. Start by going throughfavorites” lists and compare notes. They are called the “Top-Three Lists”. Try top-three favorite… vegetables, meats, fruit, candy, snacks, colors, activities, holidays then do the “Bottom Three” you get the idea. Then go through secret wishes, hardest school subjects, least favorite chores, funny movies and so forth. Every time you find a match, make a big deal out of it. Shout, “Match!” Write it down but mainly remember it. When you talk to your grandchildren, even by phone, Skype, chat, text, e-mail, try to bring up one of those similarities. Like “Our favorite holiday is only three weeks away,” or, “I had to eat our least favorite vegetable today because it was in the salad already.”
  5. Make your home their home away from home. If you have the space, set aside the basement, a room, or even a corner of the living room as your grandkids’ very own space. Let them keep their toys and games there. You’re not only telling them they’re welcome, your backing up with actions. This keeps them wanting to come back again and again. And after all, that’s the plan!

Being a grandparent in today’s world isn’t what it use to be, it’s better! Lets embrace our exciting new role and create wonderful relationships with our children and grandchildren. Remember being a grandparent today isn’t just about babysitting and boasting and it is different from our predecessors.

Top Model or Cowboy

The nursery rhyme “Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief ” is a great reminder that we don’t know what the future holds for our grandchildren. We don’t know in what directions our grandchildren will choose to walk.

What we do know is that we are privileged to walk with them along their paths and share in their journey. Who knows, maybe someday one will say, ” I became a famous wardrobe designer because of my Nana cut out swathes of pink for me, and mixed and matched outfits.”

Elizabeth has always been fascinated with fashion. Now her younger sister Amy has become her top model she tries on all of Elizabeth latest creations especially the outfits made in the color pink. My friend Jane who Elizabeth and Amy call Nana always says, Who knows Elizabeth just might become a famous wardrobe designer or the next Coco Channel and Amy might become the next top model pretty in pink.

Jane sees Elizabeth and Amy’s fascination as an opportunity to interact on a most personal level, with them. She buys them books about colors, fabrics, hats, the other day she bought a book about buttons.

They love spending hours pouring over magazines and pictures in book about fashions for girls. It may turn into a career, or it may not; but in the mean time Jane is enjoying the journey. The other day the girls started taking ballet lessons so they just might become famous ballerina who knows. Jane is off to the book store to stock up on books about ballerinas it’s good that Jane has a lot of book cases isn’t it?

Ask any group of children these days what they want to be when they grow up. and their answers will likely range anywhere from astronaut to zookeeper, with lots of layers in between. In these answers, children are expressing their personalities, experiences, and dreams.

This past Sunday my grandson Jeremy wore his coast guard air flight jumper (that is just like his dads) with his black knee-high cow-boy boots to church. When I picked him up he had added a king’s crown and he was carrying my heart-shaped plastic basket with parts of his Lego building set in it. We went out to lunch after church with his good buddy Mr. Joel and Jeremy was the center of attention all eyes where on him. Jeremy was expressing his personality and we had a blast.

Doctor, Lawyer. Indian Chief, Model, Wardrobe Designer, Coast Guard Man, Cowboy or a King what will our grandchildren grow up to be?