***NEW HOME for LB Living Better***

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Hi Friends,

I have merged this blog with my new website:  www.lblivingbetter.com.

I appreciate all  the support, comments and conversations I have had with followers of this blog and I sincerely hope that you will continue you to follow me on my new website!

Here is a link to subscribe with your email address – don’t want to miss a new post! 🙂

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If you prefer you can receive posts via twitter @LBLivingBetter or on Facebook!

Cheers, LB

p.s.  A new business card too…. what do you think?

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New Summer Bucket List 2014 – Download Today!

Crazy as it may seem, we are more inclined “to do something”, if we write it down. Using this principle, I set out to make our summers full of “doing” and the summer bucket list is as much fun to create as it is to complete!

summer bucket 2014Since my children were very little we have had a summer bucket list and we continue to use it with our teenagers today.  It’s a great way to get input from everyone ~ because no two “perfect summers” look the same!  We also go screen free from June 1st to September 1st hence the need for the list!  That will be a story for a future blog post!

Some years our list included elaborate vacation plans while other years we focused on a theme.  There was the year of the sea shell, the year of visiting and last year, was the year of travel.

The list has space for movies, people to see, things you won’t do this summer and more.  Children love to fill this out and you will be surprised how simple and easy some of their requests are to fulfill.  I hope you enjoy this activity with your family.  Love to hear what is on your bucket list!

 

 

Spin the Bottle….(i mean map!)

It’s that Time of Year again…. have fun on your adventures!

LB Living Better

images (4) The Kids are Home, the Kids are Home…Spring Vacation in New England!

Here is a fun, simple game I have played with my kids for years, when we cannot think of anything to do! Get out a map of your town, state, local area and place on a table. Have your child close their eyes. Spin the map and have your child drop their finger to stop the spin. That is your new destination. If you have multiple children you can vote, fight, or debate the options after each one tries (good luck letting only one of them do it). In the meantime, take the opportunity to show your kids the different elements of a map and how to read it (bonus education points).

You can set parameters prior to the spin – we are only doing an outdoor activity, we have to stay in a 50 mile radius, we…

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…the only mistake is not to begin (the irony of my tagline)

I can’t believe it has been a year since I wrote this post. Makes me smile now to think how much I have learned! This year my new social media “jump” is Twitter. Please join me @lblivingbetter!

LB Living Better

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I am a planner, there is no denying it, but sometimes you have to be a jumper. You can plan yourself to death, this I know. However if you are always planning than you are not actually doing. I can’t help but hear a very wise old priest, my uncle, saying “if you want to see God’s sense of humor, just tell him your plans!” So today I jumped, sort of by accident, but a jump nonetheless. I created a facebook page for the website and future book that I am writing. I sent the page to a few friends hoping they could give me some feedback, when they of course “liked” the page therefore making it public. After a quick panic, I realized that even though I write about organization, and emphasize to everyone that it is not about perfection, I somehow felt that this did not apply to…

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Thank You to the Best Bus Driver Ever

images (15)When we send our children to school, we naturally worry about their education. Who will their teacher be? What classes are they in? Will they succeed? What will they learn? Are they happy? Will they make friends? What is their day like when they are away from  home? And the list goes on and on…

I don’t think that I ever gave a second thought about my children’s bus driver.   And yet, much to my great pleasure, my children were fortunate to have one of the best bus drivers ever, Ben.

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About ~ Updating Your About Page

aboutIgnoring the obvious. I wrote my “About” page when I started blogging about nine months ago.  I dare say that I have not given it much attention since, shame on me. Where do I go after I read a blog post I like, to the About page of course. I want to know something about the writer, what are you like, what motivates you, what is your story and what else are you writing about?

Today I spent some time revamping my About page. Truly defining my “platform”, my reasons for writing, and some things about me I thought you should know. I added key links to social media as well as to my work as an organizer and public speaker.  I also introduced my newest travel blog.

Here is a link http://wp.me/P3fnXI-1 to my About page.  I would love to hear what you think and please share if you update your About page!

You Know It’s Serious When the Colored Pencils Come Out.

My thoughts on planning the big stuff… what is your planning style?

LB Living Better Travel & Adventure

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You Know It’s Serious When the Colored Pencils Come Out.

No, that is not my children’s homework paper, that’s me, planning our 30 day cross-country train trip.   Time for all the suggestions, pieces and parts to come together in a way that makes sense for me, and that my friends means a large piece of paper and colored pencils.

Snarky comments from my family aside, they know when the big paper and the color coding hits the kitchen table, we are all in.  No longer a pipe dream, a simple idea, a mere suggestion, these accoutrements mean it’s happening.

Despite the on-line planning software from Amtrak, the guidebooks, the terrific suggestions and itineraries, the excel spreadsheets and lists,  nothing comes together in my mind like hand writing or drawing the complete picture.   And so, here I am with my thirty neatly drawn boxes representing the 30 days of our trip.  The…

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Instantly Outnumbered

copies from old computer backed up oct 08 085As my book nears its completion (yup almost there, really, I’m pretty sure). I thought I would add some excerpts to spark your interest or perhaps amuse you.

“Instantly Outnumbered”

(excerpt from Barbies in the Horse Bin, Living Better with Organized Children)


I knew that I was having twins by my 12th week of pregnancy. I did not know that I had two babies to care for until they were wheeled into the recovery room, side by side, in one bassinet. They were just lying there, two hats, two blankets, two babies.

My memory of this moment is one of the most vivid of my life. I took a deep breath and apparently said aloud, “there are two of them”.  At this point the nurse looked at me with sheer amazement and asked, “Didn’t you know you were having twins?” As I recovered from the initial shock of seeing two babies, together, I replied, “Yes, yes I knew I was having twins, I just didn’t KNOW I was having twins.”

And so it begins, my new normal, instantly outnumbered by babies, forever changed and yet forever blessed. While I had always considered myself to be a relatively organized person, this new normal would challenge everything I thought I knew about being organized. I was instantly out-numbered, counting the two year old sister, there were three babies, all in diapers!

When people saw us coming, triple carriage and all, the most frequent comment I received was “Oh, God bless you.”  My response was always the same, “He already has.”  The twins will be 14 next week and together we have learned to live better everyday.    My mantra when they were young was: “You will never miss out on anything just because you are twins, we will make it happen.”  So far so good since we became instantly outnumbered!

Series of Letters. Letter 11.

If my blog post is featured on a blog in Ireland ~ does that now make me an international writer? 🙂 Such a nice treat for a blizzard day here in New England. This letter to a Coach remains one of my favorite pieces over a decade later. Thank you to My thoughts on a page for posting!

My thoughts on a page.

Todays letter is one which I am sure many of us would agree with.
It’s writer blogs at Lb Living better.

Dear Coach… Sincerely, Every Parent

Dear Coach,521974_517023424987067_745421541_n
Here is my child, a player for your team. This is difficult for me because I am entrusting you with a child I love more than life itself. It seems silly that a volunteer with 8 games and 6 practices can shape my child’s life, but it’s true. So coach, there are a few things I wanted you to know and that I hoped you would share with my child.

Teach my child to win gracefully, but more importantly teach my child to lose with even greater dignity.

Know that my child takes what you say to heart so please choose your words carefully and tread lightly.

School is hard for my child and life hasn’t been so easy lately. This sport…

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Dear Mom at the Bus Stop – Please Put Down Your Phone!

august 08 - boys bday 09 new camera 017This post has been building for months… perhaps longer.

I see you Mom almost every day. You are at the bus stop with your daughter, she looks to be about five or six. She is cute as a button. We must be on the same schedule because I see the two of you nearly every day, waiting for the school bus as I drive by.

What I also see is your phone, it’s at your ear, every day. I don’t mean once in a while, I do mean every day. I have watched since September and it is now February (however creepy that may sound) but day after day of seeing the same thing, you do begin to notice in more and more detail.

I have noticed your child trying to get your attention, sometimes it has been by pulling your pant leg and you dismiss her by pushing off her hand.

She has held up papers to which you have nodded, but you didn’t actually see them.

That leaf pile she made on the sidewalk, she was calling your name to watch her jump. She jumped, you didn’t see her, she kicked the leaves away.

I wonder who could be so much more important on your phone, I wonder who could not wait just a few minutes while you see your daughter off to school.

I have seen you go through the motions,  you hug your daughter before she climbs the bus steps, but you did not put down your phone.

Today, was the clincher, your daughter looked sad. She did not try to get your attention, she kept her head down and kicked at the ice with her boot. You were talking on your phone.

You will not see this precious little being for another eight hours, might you give her your full and undivided attention for the short few minutes before she leaves your side for the day?  It’s just the two of you, one on one for a few moments of another busy day, in our busy lives.

So very soon, dear Mom, your baby girl will be leaving your side for good. Don’t miss these small yet very significant moments to let her know that she is the most important person that you will see all day.

Today, I write to you, from your child. It would seem that she has given up, she is resigned to the fact that you would rather be talking to someone else than to her. I know that cannot be true.

Dear mom at the bus stop ~ please put down your phone.