How to Have Difficult Conversations with Your Spouse—Successfully!

December 08, 2020

In love and marriage, we often hold back from being fully honest with our partner, even when it’s important. Maybe we’re afraid that we’ll hurt their feelings, or we’re fearful of their reaction. Or perhaps we think they’ll feel like we’re criticizing them. However, we may also hold on to resentment or anger toward them until it spills over to spoil our fun or warps our everyday interactions. Our unwillingness to speak up begins to padlock our hearts and closes off the current of our love.

What are those things in your relationship that sap your love? It might be little things that add up [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships, Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Eloping: Not the Escape Weddings of the Past

December 03, 2020

The year 2020 seems to have changed just about everything we know to be true, including weddings. I was invited to three weddings in 2020, all of which were canceled or postponed due to the pandemic. Each couple decided to cancel or postpone their wedding hoping that next year may have more of a sense of normalcy. These choices seemed like the only options for couples, but is there another way?

 

Recently, I ran into my dear friend, Merissa. She is a local photographerin Bozeman, Montana, who photographed some family photos for my family, and my husband and I’s wedding. As we caught up on [...]

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships, Intentional Weddings & Wedding Planning

Stop! These 5 Things Will Destroy Responsibility in Children

December 01, 2020

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." ~Abraham Lincoln

All parents want to raise responsible, self-reliant children—but getting there doesn't happen overnight. It takes years of nurturing to prepare our kids for a life of independence. Not only do we need to actively teach our children responsibility, but we also need to model the behaviors we want to see. And it's also important to avoid making critical parenting mistakes that could undermine our goal of raising independent kids.

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting, Parenting Favorites

Combat the Holiday Blues with These Simple Tips

November 25, 2020

When the seasons change and the holidays approach, many people experience a building sense of excitement. Just the thought of decorating, shopping for gifts, planning holiday get-togethers, and organizing family travel is enough to make some people feel merry. If thinking of the holidays doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, however, you’re not alone.

If you’re worried about the holiday blues and feeling the pressures of the pandemic, here are some simple tips to keep your mental, emotional, and physical health in balance all the way through to the New Year.

Posted in Brain Fitness, Mindfulness and Perspective, Habits for Health

Your Expectations Are a Big Problem in Blended Families

November 19, 2020

William Shakespeare said, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” When Shakespeare coined this phrase over four centuries ago, blended families and step-parenting went mainly unnoticed by social scientists. However, the quote is relevant in isolating a profound problem created by today’s blended families’ complex and unpredictable dynamics. The nature of these relationships creates common problems and challenges that often cannot be anticipated. Yet, as families are combined, individuals may not realize the obscure expectations that often exist within them: expectations around roles, [...]

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

Why Soft Skills Are Needed in Every Workplace

November 16, 2020

Our meritocratic culture emphasizes the importance of packing your resume with job-specific skills along with hard skills like software, statistics, different languages, or coding—but without soft skills (a.k.a. emotional intelligence), that knowledge becomes virtually useless in the workplace.

Surveys show that hiring managers are more likely to prefer candidates who use soft skills to make themselves more likable over candidates with lower emotional intelligence. “Hard skills” may help you get a foot in the door by landing you that first interview, but it’s up to you to hone your soft [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership

An Unexpected Place to Discover Love and Resilience

November 12, 2020

Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from hardship or difficulties. We've all known difficulties. However, it is how we respond to what happens to us that determines how we greet the future. It is what we make our experiences mean that influence our lives. It's our response to adversity, not the experience itself, that determines how our life story evolves.

Without resiliency, life's hardships weigh us down, and we become an unbending tree that breaks off in the high winds of a storm.

Posted in Emotional Intelligence & Fitness

How to Achieve More Intimacy in Marriage

November 09, 2020

No intimacy in a marriage has many consequences. One of the biggest complaints I hear from couples is that they feel more like roomies than lovers—not what they signed on for. However, there are many varying forms and levels of intimacy; each couple is unique. Every person has a different drive and desire level. So, there are no magic solutions for lack of intimacy, although many behaviors steal connection from a marriage. Eliminate those, and you'll be on your way to a healthier and happier relationship.

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

The Autocratic Leadership Style—and Why It Doesn’t Work!

November 05, 2020

On day one of a new job, one thing remained in my assigned cubical from the prior resident. A whiteboard with a single quote read in red letters: “Because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” I asked a co-worker what the phrase meant, and he quickly said, “Oh, you’ll see!”

Wow, was he right. The phrase summed up the blanket leadership approach that I experienced for my tenure with that company.

When employees shared ideas or presented possible solutions, instead of listening, we heard “because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Managers were unwilling to challenge policies or processes [...]

Posted in Business and Leadership

3 Critical Skills that Every Teenager Needs

November 03, 2020

No matter how long ago it was, you probably remember what it was like to be a teenager: feeling alienated from the world as if no one could understand you. A common and familiar theme.

When you’re a teen, the inner critic, negative self-talk, and anxiety can spiral out of control unless you know the right coping skills, how to regulate emotions, and develop intrinsic motivation.

When you’re the parent of a teen, it can be challenging to access the mindset needed to relate to the struggles of adolescence. This can create a rift between you and your children as they enter their teen years. [...]

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting