Articles Posted in Love

Family musings and relationship advice.

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Venn Crawford

He might be your father, stepdad, or husband, but this Sunday, you’re celebrating him for being Dad.

There’s a lot of work that goes into being a dad. Dad brings us water and sits with us when we’re sick to our stomach. Dad walks the dog we promised we’d take care of. Dad keeps us safe from the monsters in our closets and the real ones outside. Dad does all this because he loves us. And that love right there is what makes him a Dad, whether he’s related to us or not.

This Fathers’ Day, make sure to give your Dad some of that love back, and let him know that yes, you do notice how much he does for you. If you’re not sure how to celebrate him, check out some of the ideas below.

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Venn Crawford

Valentine’s day is aimed at couples, and those who are single often feel left out or disenchanted. But while the focus of Valentine’s may be romance, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate love of all types.

Platonic love is perhaps one of the most underrated kinds of love. Our friends are the people who support us every day, comforting us when we’re hurting, laughing with us when we’re not. But we don’t recognize that love nearly as much as we do romantic love.

The love we share with friends, siblings, and parents is just as worthy of celebration as the love of a significant other.  So if you’re feeling down about being single on Valentine’s day, try celebrating the other types of love in your life.

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Venn Crawford

Valentine’s day is approaching, and pink and red coat nearly every store. Shelves are overflowing with heart-holding bears, roses, and assorted chocolates with dubious fillings. Everything is marketed to say “love,” but is a prewritten card truly the best way to express that?

I’m a firm believer that the most meaningful gifts are the ones that you put effort into. The Christmas before I moved out, my parents gifted me dishware and supplies for my new home. Among these gifts was a cheese cutter from my dad. Instead of buying a cheese cutter, he instead spent hours of his time making one – and unlike spent money, spent time is gone forever. Of all the gifts I’ve received, this one stands out the most due to the work my dad put into it.

It isn’t just the time spent that makes such a gift special, though. Making a gift means you aren’t limited by a store’s selection, so you’ll always be able to choose something perfectly tailored to the recipient.

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Venn Crawford

One of my most popular posts last month was about crazy divorce stories, including the incredible saga that was the Wee Man’s Chronic Tacos custody hearing. Since so many people have been enjoying them, I’ve dug around the internet and found five more crazy divorce stories to delight and appall you.

Fighting Dirty

An ex-wife was too lazy to work – and not just on a career. To prove her laziness, the husband had his construction crew remove 5 to 6 truckloads of dirty laundry from the house and photographed them. He brought the photographs to the court as evidence to support his case in reducing his temporary alimony. It turns out that rather than washing any clothes, the wife had just been buying new clothes every week.

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Venn Crawford

I have three grandchildren, all ages four and under. I want them to always look forward to the holidays as a magical time of year, and I want to make wonderful memories with them that we’ll cherish forever. The holiday traditions they grow up with are a large part of that! For kids especially, candy and treats are one of the exciting parts of Christmas (or any holiday, really), and so I’m starting a tradition of making gingerbread houses with my grandkids. This year I bought a frame for the house, as well as lots of decorations and icing.

Gingerbread houses first started being made after the Grimm brothers’ tale “Hansel and Gretel” was published. Professional gingerbread bakers saw an opportunity and started baking fancy fairy-tale type houses. These grew popular at Christmastime, and a tradition was born!

Making gingerbread houses can get pretty intense. Some people go for size – the largest gingerbread house ever made was 2,520 square feet! Hansel and Gretel would have loved that, I bet. Other people go for size in a different way and build entire towns. The largest gingerbread village even had a commercial district with 22 buildings on top of the 135 gingerbread homes in the village.

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Venn Crawford

Being divorced is difficult, and being divorced with kids during the holidays is even more so. But though it may be difficult for you, it doesn’t have to be for your children. Below are tips for making the post-divorce holiday season fun and love-filled for you and your kids.

Make the holiday about the children. The winter holiday season is magical for children, and they’ll cherish the memories you make for years to come. Embrace the giving spirit of the holidays and set an example of generosity and kindness for your children.

Establish a new tradition to fit this new situation. You don’t want to keep everything exactly the same, or your kids might feel like they’re celebrating “Christmas minus mom/dad.” Instead, break from your habits a bit and bring in something new. You could have a special dinner you make as a family or open advent calendars together each night – no matter what you do, make it special for you and your kids.

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Venn Crawford

Every year we gather around a table with our family, friends, and a roasted turkey to celebrate. But what are we celebrating? We’ve all heard some version of a historically inaccurate story about pilgrims and Native Americans, but a lot of times we seem to miss out on the thanks part of Thanksgiving. We may go around the table and say what we’re thankful for, but do we really sit down and spend a moment sitting in gratitude?

For most of us, the answer is no. The day that’s set aside for “giving thanks” is usually overshadowed by turkey and family drama, and the rest of the year we have too little time and too much to do. So when do we make time for gratitude? We should be making time for it every day.

Gratitude Makes Us Happier

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Venn Crawford

There’s nothing quite like divorce to bring out people’s true colors (except maybe Monopoly), so unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of crazy divorce stories floating around. Below, attorneys, ex-spouses, and family members from Reddit share some of the ridiculous antics and plot twists they’ve witnessed, with stories ranging from hilarious to horrifying. If you think your divorce is crazy, check some of these out.

The Sticking Point

One couple took two hours to decide who would get the groceries left in their fridge. The groceries were worth about $40. The two hours spent with attorneys and mediators to distribute them? $1,000.

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Venn Crawford

Sometimes we feel like life has chewed us up and spit us out on the pavement. Perhaps your confidence was shattered by career problems, loss, or an abusive relationship. Maybe you’re just having a slew of bad luck and aren’t sure how to turn things around. Either way, you can build self-confidence by taking control of your life and exercising your ability to change it.

Make Small, Reachable Goals

Building self-confidence takes time, so don’t pressure yourself to feel like a rock star immediately. Yes, we want to change. We want our lives to be better, and we’ve listed out all the ways to do that. But if we try to change every bad habit at once, we won’t succeed. We’ll be proud for two days, then eventually it will feel like too much. The bigger the effort required, the easier it is for us to allow ourselves to “forget” to do it.

Published on:

Venn Crawford

Last week, we discussed embracing change as a part of recovering from a breakup or divorce. Today I’d like to suggest a change which helped me tremendously – learning how to love yourself.

Yes, it sounds vague and empty. People always tell you that “you need to love yourself,” but they never tell you how to do that. Personally, I’m not sure half the people who say it know how to do it anyways.

It’s Easy to Love Others