Lucky Seven Family

Simplicity – Blended Family Quotes

Life is frittered away by detail… Simplify, simplify, simplify!

— Henry David Thoreau

Forgive Yourself!

Monday was a holiday for both my kids and me.  We planned our day the weekend prior; sifting through “things to do in Boston” websites looking for something that both kids found interesting and exciting.  We landed on a new indoor ropes course near our home and then lunch together and a trip to the bookstore.  The ropes course was a nerve-wracking experience for this mom that is scared of heights (and the fear seems to be getting worse with age!).  When I first got up to the platform my palms were sweaty as I hugged the pole for dear life and considered turning around.  My kids’ faces were that of true disappointment when I told them I couldn’t do it.  The little voice inside of me told me I’d regret not even trying and my kids’ support (they both crossed back over to do the obstacle with me) helped me to take the first step.  I did it!

Later that day, having checked the ballet school’s website and convincing myself my daughter still had ballet lessons despite the holiday, she got dressed, we wrapped her hair into a bun and we raced off to get her to ballet in time.  When we pulled up to the studio, my daughter asked me if I was sure the studio was open.  I assured her I had checked the website and yes, it was open.  She asked if I would just wait for her to check (trust your intuition is the lesson here!).  Sure enough, out comes running my daughter from the studio; she describes the studio as “definitely closed” as she gives me the details — the rooms are dark and all the doors are closed!  Immediately I consider how I could have potentially dropped her off, drove away and left her with no way to contact me!

So, what does this have to do with a Tuesday Tip??  The tip is FORGIVE YOURSELF!

I could definitely be upset with myself for messing up the schedule, not being organized enough to actually have the schedule we received from the studio at the beginning of the year (no idea where that is!!), and for potentially (but luckily not!) leaving my daughter alone at a deserted dance studio for 2 1/2 hours!  But, I’m not going to perseverate on this mistake – everyone makes them! This one ended with no major negative outcomes.

My tip today is to try to be nice to yourself and forgive yourself for small things (and even large things!).  I spent a wonderful day with my kids – that is what I’m going to remember!

 

Blended Family Quotes: Happiness…

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony”

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island

 

Tuesday Tips: “That’s Not Fair!!”

Children like things to be fair! How many times as a parent have you heard “It’s not fair!” related to some grievance your children have suffered either at your hands or perhaps their siblings?! One of our constant battles is who gets the front seat (for the kids that are old enough and weigh enough, of course! Safety first!) or who sits where in the mini-van.

On our recent Lucky Seven Family trip to Hawaii, the kids immediately started arguing over who was entitled to the two captain’s chairs in the middle row and which three kids had to share the back. Then, the three kids sharing the back argued over who got the middle position! You can imagine the reasons they all created to support their preferred seating position in the car. The older two kids were “too big to share the backseat” or just felt they were entitled given their birth order! The youngest girl argued that she ALWAYS got relished to the back just because she is tiny. Their negotiations with one another were interesting to listen to but after a while we really just needed them to all take a seat so we could get to the beach!

So, I devised a simple system – every time we had to pack up the clan in the van, I would choose a number between XX and YY (I always varied it just for my own entertainment!). Then the kids chose a number in the range and whomever was closest got to choose their seat first with the game continuing until they all had a seat. It only took a few minutes and no one could argue it wasn’t fair; they were indeed in control of choosing their own number that determined their seating fate. By a day or two into the trip, the kids were asking for the numbers game on our way to van!

This will be our go-to plan for mini-van seating from now on!

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Blended Family Quotes: Play

“It is a happy talent to know how to play”

— Ralph Waldo EmersonDCIM100GOPRO

Happy New Year! Welcome 2015!!

Happy New Year from Lucky Seven Family!

It’s January 1, 2015 and time to make New Year’s resolutions for Lucky Seven Family!

1.  Focus on gratitude – I want our children to appreciate what they have; not only physical possessions – more importantly, the lifelong connections they are making and the incredible experiences they are fortunate enough to enjoy.

2.  Relax!  This one is really a reminder to myself.  When we are together as a blended family, I often find myself trying to make everything the “perfect” occasion.  Whether it is a dinner, an outing or other event, this year my goal is to enjoy our time together and not worry too much about “how it is supposed to be”.  #Live the moment!

3.  Find one way to connect with each of the kids this year and use it to grow my relationship with each child.  Some of my current ideas are:  muscle cars, basketball, tennis, and brain games.  This will be a fun way to learn more about the children and learn something new; all with the goal of growing important relationships!

Blue Happy New Year 2015 Greeting Art Paper Card

Happy Holidays!!

Holiday traditions:

Because we don’t get to spend Christmas Eve or Christmas Day all together given the distance between our homes (3 hours for our new readers!) and our custody agreements, we always plan a weekend of together time to have a holiday dinner, bake Christmas cookies and exchange gifts. This year, Thanksgiving and Christmas fall very close to one another and our LuckySevenFamily weekends between the two holidays are limited. We’ve decided that it is best to postpone our family celebration until the new year. Regardless of the timing, these traditions remain paramount to our blended family’s success.

We hope that these traditions are ones that the children will remember into adulthood and hopefully find ways to continue as they grow and build their own lives!

How I wish…

What an amazing post from a mom who can accept and move on for the best of her daughter:

http://www.today.com/parents/letter-my-daughters-stepmom-i-never-wanted-you-here-1D80341783

Live the moment!

Recently, we spent the Thanksgiving holiday break with LuckySevenFamily in Maui – what an amazing trip!  We were there for 7 sun-filled days.  Prior to going, we had developed a mental checklist of all the things we wanted to do while there:  surfing, boogie-boarding, snorkeling, swimming, etc.  Once there, one of the kids requested to see black sands beaches.  This request led us on one of our most amazing adventures of the week – “The Road to Hana”.   Hana is on the east side of Maui and the journey there is filled with rain forest, waterfalls, and black sands beaches.  The day was a long one; driving on this narrow, winding road with five kids in a mini-van!  We stopped multiple times for breaks – banana bread at a road-side stand, photo ops of waterfalls at various spots and look-out points with unbelievable views.

Although we often fall into a mindset of planning every moment, this day trip reminded me that leaving room to “live the moment” is really important in a family.  First, the suggestion and request to see a black sands beach came from one of the teenagers.  Second, we used the entire day for this trip, even though before arriving in Maui we had not even considered such an adventure.

Vacation needs to be just that! Don’t over-think the entire trip.  Leave room for spontaneity! Take suggestions from the kids – they are forming and testing their own thoughts and opinions – this idea from our son led us to one of the best days for our entire family!  Although the vacation generally will stand out in their memories of family trips with LuckySevenFamily, this day will be paramount in their minds given the beautiful scenery and great family bonding!

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

IMG_4394And the final posts from the kids today…

It’s the boys’ turn –

The 7th grader:  I am thankful for having fun with our family and having nice family dinners together.  I am also thankful for spending time with my Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle and cousin here in Hawaii.

The 8th grader:  I am thankful for our family, food on the table, and that we can share nice family trips together.