Archives for November 2013

Making Her Beautiful—Bridal Primping on a Budget

last-minute touch up

Wedding Day has dawned, and it’s time to make the bride beautiful. This is a day every bride would love to be pampered and treated like a princess, with one person after another seeing to her every need as she makes herself ready for her groom.

Making the bride look and feel like a princess doesn’t come without cost, though. Of course, the gown and accessories are in a financial bracket all their own, but they are ready to go come Wedding Day. The expense of the final primping—the hair, make-up, manicures, and pedicures—that takes place on Wedding Day (nails possibly the day or two before) can add a hefty last-minute addition to the ever-growing total expense column on the bridal budget sheet.

So, Mother of the Bride, how can bridal primping be accomplished when you’re trying to hold expenses down? This is one of the times to call on friends and family. This is when you and your daughter put your wedding-planning heads together and think of the perfect people you can ask to help you.

Do you have other daughters or does the bride have bridesmaids or friends who are especially good with applying their own make-up or doing their own nails? My younger daughter Kelli served as make-up artist for her big sister Kristin (above). Do you have friends or family members who are hairdressers? Each one would probably love to be enlisted to be on your sweet daughter’s fairy godmother team on Wedding Day. If someone you’d like to ask isn’t a particularly close friend but could do an amazing job, you could see if she’d like to provide the service as wedding gift. This could be a win-win for both of you.

Making your darling daughter beautiful on her wedding day while trying to adhere to your budget is possible, MOB. Assemble your team of assistants, sprinkle some fairy dust with plenty of smiles and yummy treats on hand, and treat your daughter like the princess she is. Everyone will enjoy!

*What are some great hair or make-up tips for Wedding Day?

*Photo by Chris Humphrey

*This will be my only post this holiday week. Let’s enjoy the week with our loved ones!

Give Thanks


Happy Thanksgiving week to all of you! This the perfect week for—you guessed it—giving thanks. No matter what is going on in our lives, there’s always something to be thankful for, isn’t there?

Won’t you join me in listing five things (or one or two or however many you want!) that you’re especially grateful for this year? As we do so, let’s be sure to praise and thank God, for he is ultimately the giver of all our blessings.

Here are my five today. I’m especially thankful for:

  1. The “Tender Mercies” God surrounded us with during the recent loss of my mom.
  2. My loving family and the amazing reunion we got to enjoy together this summer.
  3. Getting to attend a top-notch writers conference in Michigan with my long-time friend Jeneal.  
  4. Our son-in-law Jake graduated from law school and passed the bar exam—a goal both he and our daughter Kelli have worked hard to achieve over the past three years.
  5. My mom’s life of eighty years and the blessing it was to be her daughter. She loved her family, and we loved her and will miss her every day.

Okay, I said five, but I must add one more—every loving word and gesture extended to me and my family during the loss of my mom. Thank you, Lord, for all of these blessings. With all that I am, I thank you!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

*What are the things you’re especially thankful for this year?

*Flickr photo by JFXie, Creative Commons License

*This will be my only post this holiday week. Let’s enjoy the week with our loved ones!

Midweek Morsel: When Life Doesn’t Make Sense


“When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God . . .” Psalm 73:16-17a

Since the earliest of times, people have been grappling with situations in life that just don’t make sense. Natural disasters, loved ones taken much too early, infertility, injustices of all sorts. The list goes on. The whole issue of why bad things happen to good people is nothing new to our generation.

In the verse above, the Psalmist Asaph, like many people today, struggled to understand why the wicked prospered. The whole dilemma was oppressive to him—until he entered the sanctuary of God. What happened then? The last half of verse 17 tells us that then he understood their final destiny.

When we’re burdened and discouraged and life doesn’t make sense, let’s remember to turn to God—to enter his sanctuary. Everything may not be made plain to us, but God will give us a fresh perspective and help us understand. He will give the peace we need to carry on.

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:25

*How has God helped you when you’ve entered his sanctuary?

*Flickr photo by pdbreen, Creative Commons License

*It’s not too late to receive the new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter. It’s a special Advent issue this time. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Time Management: Give Yourself a Break, MOB

2837855969_63e4c584f9_zEvery woman is busy, but the word busy takes on a whole new meaning for mothers of the bride. Believe it or not, the world doesn’t get the memo that an engagement has taken place and a wedding must be planned. Everyday life and the demands that go with it just keep on coming.

So, Mother of the Bride, how can you manage an already full life and schedule plus help your daughter plan the wedding of her dreams? My best advice is to learn right away—preferably yesterday—how to say no and help.

When others ask you to take on extra tasks during the wedding planning months, don’t think twice—say no. That’s right—politely decline with absolutely no guilt. This is one easy way to help safeguard your sanity during the beyond-busy months ahead.

Another way to say no is to look at your calendar and give yourself a break by postponing or canceling some of your regular activities. Let someone else organize the school book fair this time. Scale back on your holiday baking or skip sending Christmas cards this year. Take a break from teaching your Sunday school class for awhile. You can always get back to your regular activities after your daughter’s big day has come and gone.

Saying help will also free up more of your time to concentrate on these once-in-a-lifetime months with your daughter. How can your friends and family help ease the load you’re carrying? What everyday tasks might they be able to help with—either on a one-time or a repeat basis for a few months? Do you have friends, sisters, or other daughters who can lend a helping hand with some of the wedding tasks?

Mother of the Bride, do yourself a favor, give yourself a break, and allow the simple words no and help to make the all the difference in managing your time—and your sanity—over the next few months. Who knows, you might decide to use those words long after the wedding, too! :)

*Which wedding tasks feel especially overwhelming to you? Who might be willing to help?

*Flickr photo by Andreanna Moya Photography

*It’s not too late to receive the new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter. It’s a special Advent issue this time. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Bridesmaids Luncheon: Treating the Girls


Mother of the Bride, have you thought about treating your daughter’s bridesmaids to a luncheon or some other fun outing—like getting their nails done or having dessert together? Since these special ladies make sacrifices to join your girl for her big day, it’s such a nice gesture to honor them in some way.

Just think of all that the bridesmaids do when they’re asked to be a part of the wedding party. In today’s world, many of them pay for their own dresses—whatever the bride chooses for them. Often they have to buy a new pair of shoes in a color the bride has selected. Many have travel expenses and may even have to stay at a hotel, all on their own dime. Most also pay to have their hair styled for the big day. With wedding expenses as high as they are now, most brides’ families simply cannot afford to pay for all of these bridesmaids’ expenses.

The least the mother of the bride can do to show appreciation is offer to treat her daughter’s attendants to something special. When my oldest daughter got married, I hosted a luncheon for the bridesmaids and invited the groom’s mother and sisters as well. We met at a nice restaurant a couple of days before the wedding and enjoyed delicious food and fun girl talk. The girls had not been together for quite some time so it provided a sweet time of reunion, too.

When my younger daughter got married, I offered to do something similar for her bridesmaids, but travel and family schedules just didn’t allow it. Every wedding will not be the same, and that’s okay. You just have to go with what will work for you and the members of the bridal party.

So check with your daughter, MOB, and make the offer. Take your cues from her. Here’s hoping schedules will allow you to treat the girls to some pre-wedding fun!

*What other ideas would work as a special treat for the bridesmaids?

*Flickr photo by Sweet Carolina Photography

*It’s not too late to receive the new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter. It’s a special Advent issue this time. Sign-up is free and to the right!