Category Archives: Relationships

Day 6 – Advent Calendar

Advent Day #6 – Sleep by the Christmas Tree.

{You may choose to simplify the process big-time and do something as easy as  pick one person a day from now to Christmas and pray for them.  It doesn’t need to be time-consuming, stressful, or cost you anything.  Do what works for you and enjoy the season with the ones you love!!}

Alternate Activity: Pray for God’s blessing on someone who has wronged you. 

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”  Luke 6:27-29

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Filed under Faith, God, Holiday, People, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Traditions

Day 3 – Advent Calendar

Advent Day #3 – Make a list of love and appreciation.  Sit down as a family tonight and spend some time talking about what you love and appreciate about every person.

{You may choose to simplify the process big-time and do something as easy as  pick one person a day from now ’til Christmas and pray for them.  It doesn’t need to be time-consuming, stressful, or cost you anything.  Do what works for you and enjoy the season with the ones you love!!}

Alternative Activity:  Tell someone who you don’t tell regularly, “I love you.”

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Filed under Family, Holiday, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Traditions

Jersey Strong and Thankful

There is nothing that could have prepared any of us for the DeVaStATiOn that resulted from Hurricane Sandy blowing through the Jersey Shore.  My children are the 4th generation of family spending summers on Chadwick Beach so seeing homes that have been in the backdrop of photographs with my grandparents  tossed on their sides and nearly unrecognizable was heartbreaking.  Those of you who follow our blog know how much the beach means to my family.  From my seaglass collection to finding special shells with my children to make wreaths or to just paint for fun, Chadwick Beach has been our own little paradise right here in our own backyard.  Chadwick Beach is on a barrier island that rests between the Atlantic Ocean and the bay.  During the storm the water from the bay and the ocean met causing extensive flooding.  Our family home was filled with a foot and a half of water in the first floor, but thankfully it is still standing.  Others were not so lucky. Neighborhoods of houses were completely washed away into the Atlantic Ocean.  Another beach suffered a tremendous loss when gas lines exploded and blocks of houses burned to the ground.

Abby on our beach path Summer 2012

Back home we lost power from the storm for six days and lived on a generator that we used conservatively because of a major gas shortage in the state of New Jersey.  My brother-in-law waited on a line for four hours in the middle of the night to fill up his car and some gas cans to keep his own generator running.  It was a very scary week for all of us and at the same time we were trying to find out any information we could about the shore house.  Thankfully my parents had full power fifteen minutes away and we were able to drive over there during the day to watch the news, stay warm, and let the kids play in some normalcy.

My second summer at Chadwick Beach ~ Summer 1978

Now that the power has been restored, the gas lines are back to normal, and we look forward to rebuilding our Jersey Shore back to its original beauty I am trying not to focus on what was lost.  The hurricane may have washed away many of the buildings and landmarks that were symbols of our shore, but nothing can take away our MeMoRiEs.  Let’s be thankful for what we have, and not ever for a second take anything for granted, it might not be there tomorrow.

This picture shows the two houses that line the beach path that Abby was on in the above photo.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving  celebrating

all that you have to be ThAnKfUl for!

My little loves

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Family, Hard Reality, Life, Relationships, Uncategorized

Are You Generous?

This year I am trying to put more focus on ways that I can be GeneRouS. If this is an area that you struggle with, the holidays offer plenty of opportunities to GiVe. Offer to help an elderly neighbor with their holiday shopping. Buy a giftcard and give it to a stranger. Have a love for music? Go carol a family and friend that is in need of a pick-me-up. Can’t think of anything you want for Christmas? Instead, donate the money to a family in need. It doesn’t take much to brighten the life of another. Be creative and have fun with it!

Make this holiday season the BEST one yet by being generous and reaching out to anyone that you meet!

~Lara

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Just Do It – Say “I’m Sorry”

As humans none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes.  Sometimes on accident, sometimes on purpose.  And occasionally sometimes those mistakes call for an apology.  Whether or not we give one is completely another story.

Knowing I need to say “I’m sorry.” to someone gives that sinking feeling in my stomach because a true apology requires complete humility.  It requires that I put aside any justification on my part, any of those pathetic, “I’m sorry if I offended you.” pseudo apologies and just say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”  But when I finally do, I feel like I’m walking on air.  I guess that is because a clear conscience is as the MasterCard commercial says, “Priceless.”

Do you need to make a sincere apology?  What are you waiting for?  Free yourself from the pain of a guilty conscience and just do it – say “I’m sorry.”

:) Robynn

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Filed under Family, Friends, Hard Reality, Life, Marriage, Parenthood, People, Relationships

Wait It Out

I don’t know about you, but when I get upset I want to get it off my chest as soon as I can.  Let me tell ya, there are diSadvAntaGes to that.  I have found that if I speak my mind as the disagreement arises, I usually regret what was said.

The other day I was aggravated.  A first, I let my mind spiral out of control on all the things that bothered me about the situation.  Instead of verbalizing them as they came to mind, like I normally do, I took time to think long and hard about what I was going to say before pleading my case.  By thinking things through I was able to sift out unnecessary comments that would have been said only due to anger.  This was HuGe because back in the day it would have caused our arguments to fester twice as long!  By taking the time to fully evaluate the real reason I was upset, I had already calmed down which naturally heLpeD me discuss the situation in a more reasonable manner.

It is easy to want quick results and responses in all that we do.  The longer I live, the more I see the benefits in not getting in a HURRY.  As painful as it was to keep my mouth shut until I calmed down to carefully choose my words, it allowed me to resolve a problem with a person that wasn’t hurtful to them and regretful to me.

Taking the time to be more selective in what comes out of your mouth.  If your thoughts are going a hundred miles an hour, that is not the time to be verbalizing them.  Believe me; I know it is dreadful to wait.  Your mind is good at convincing you that those racing thoughts ARE truly how you feel.  Don’t be fooled.  Past arguments are evidence that your mind keeps tricking you, so do everyone a favor and wait this one out.

~Lara

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Gift Giving

Believe it or not, this is one that I sTruggLe with.  Birthdays, surgeries, baby arrivals and house warming gifts are just some of the few events that leave me defeated due to lack of creative ideas and planning ahead for special moments.

Before I continue with my point, it might be helpful to share some of my history.    Growing up, my family didn’t CeleBraTe birthdays with gifts.  Don’t get me wrong, I have extremely fond memories of birthdays…Mom made our favorite meal, we got a custom decorated Dairy Queen ice cream cake and we ended the night watching a movie as a family.  BUT, we never had the big piles of presents…in fact, it was very rare that we associated gifts with birthdays.  I knew other kids who did that, but I never thought anything of it because I felt my birthday was special and uNiqUe the way we celebrated it.

Because I didn’t grow up getting many gifts I think that is why I have a hard time buying gifts for others.  Now that I am older, it seems more challenging because everyone around me seems so thoughtful and I find that people give gifts for almost any and every occasion!  In some ways I have learned to be better about gift giving.  I try to have a basket of goodies on hand that I can wrap up in a pinch and give to someone as the occasion arises.  Robynn gave me some great aDviCe—buy people things that they can consume (candles or a specialty food item) that way if they don’t like it they aren’t obligated to keep it around.  This was helpful because just trying to think of what to give always served as an extra road block.

More importantly, give from the HEART.  Anymore, if I don’t have time to make a trip to town I just tuck some money in a card and put a cute piece of paper around it saying “This $ is only to be spent at Dairy Queen for your Birthday”.  Even though it isn’t an official gift card, it’s the thought that counts.  In the end, isn’t that what gift giving is all about?

~Lara

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Filed under Family, Friends, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Traditions

Pay it Forward: It’s Your Turn!

In my recent Pay it Forward post I shared a story of a random act of kindness my sister had done on our recent Disney trip.  As we prepare to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving, what better time to think about ways we can Pay it Forward to those around us?  Whether you help a family member with a rent payment one month or put money in a parking meter for an unknowing stranger…you are PaYiNg it FoRwArD.  We will be collecting Pay it Forward stories from our readers between now and Monday, November 19th.  These stories will be compiled into a special post for Thanksgiving to share with our readers.

Please email your stories to suedesofa@yahoo.com

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Holiday, People, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships

Girlfriend Therapy

Do you ever feel like everyone in your family is talking to you and asking for things, but you never get your turn to speak?  “Mom, I want Cheerios with a cup of milk please.”  “Mom, that’s not the brush I like on my hair…you’re hurting me!”  “Robyn, the kids are out of vitamins, can you call the pharmacy today to  renew the prescriptions?”  ON and ON and ON…ALL day LONG!!!  If any of this sounds familiar, I’m right there with you!

When is it OuR turn???

Now that both of my kids are in nursery school, I have 3 mornings each week when they are both in school at the same time.  I have decided to use some of this time to catch up with my GiRlFrIeNds and have some me time!  Sure there is laundry waiting and toys that need to be cleaned up, but coffee and laughter with my best friends is just the escape that this MoMmY needs once in a while!

Try it…it is the cheapest therapy around!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Friends, Getting Real, Good Life, Life, Relationships

Saved By The Bell

Growing up with all sisters, I never knew what it was like to grow up around boys.  When we were bLesSeD with a baby boy over 2 years ago, our world changed forever.  I immediately learned how different (but good) life would be with a boy!

One of the main differences between Garrett and sister, Leanne, is that Garrett has little to no fear.  When that kid decides he wants something, he heads that diRecTion and never looks back.  Because we live in the country, with plenty of land to run around on, you can see how this poses a major problem.  The second we would turn around our little boy would be off eXploRinG, leaving us in a panic not knowing where to look.

Due to a few of these scares we took away his freedom when he went outside.  His FaVoRitE thing to do is to play outdoors, so you can only imagine the tantrums this created when he wanted to go and we didn’t have the time to take him.

My father-in-law happened to pick up a small cow bell at an auction.  We joked about how we should attach it to Garrett since he always runs off.  One morning, after another 2-year-old meltdown, I was desperate for him to have an atTitUde change.  I grabbed the bell, tied it to his pants, opened the windows and let him loose to play in the front yard.

Let me tell you….that bell changed EVERYTHING!

Garrett gets to play in the dirt as much as he wants, and I am always an earshot away.  I can get work done in the house and this gives him a break from me, in a way that I can know where he is at.  We’ve been doing this for several weeks now and Garrett’s temperament has changed drastically.  Now that he is able to release his eNerGy by playing outside, he is much happier and less likely to throw tantrums.  It is really cute too…every time he grabs his shoes, he always grabs his bell!  He knows he can’t go outside without it!

Who would have thought we’d be saved by a bell? If you are at at the end of your rope, I encourage you to talk to as many other people as you can AND exhaust all options. It may be as sImpLe as getting a cow bell…

Ring-a-ling! :)

Lara

 

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Filed under Parenthood, Relationships