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Backyard Bliss

at_the_topWe both enjoy our work so we tend to work a lot. We feel fortunate that we get to work side-by-side. However, just because we’re physically near someone, it doesn’t mean you’re really “together.” So this past weekend, we took our own advice and had some bigg down time.

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marylynn I love garage sales because there are so many great bargains! So George drove, and I dragged him all over hitting garage sales.

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georgeAnd thanks to Mary-Lynn, we followed that up with … yet more shopping.

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We have these gorgeous, bigg, old trees on our lot, but that means there are a lot of limbs down after every storm. We had a fellow who mowed our yard and hauled the limbs away. But he had knee surgery this spring, and the gentleman who mows it now doesn’t do that.

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marylynn That’s right. But here’s the thing … I have a love for fire! So I thought … why not burn these limbs? So we bought a fire pit! But there was something about the fire pit we bought that George really liked.

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georgeYeah, I thought it was cool because it’s also a grill. Since I’m a purist, I like to cook with charcoal rather than gas. This way, we can cook on wood, which we get for free, and not spend money on charcoal!

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Even hassles don’t create angst

We also bought a chain saw. Now, don’t be alarmed … this chain saw is about the size of a blow dryer! But when we opened the box, there were pieces missing. So back to the store we went. Then we realized it didn’t come with the oil we needed. Back to the store again.

It proved the theory a friend of ours has – no home improvement project is complete until you’ve made at least three trips to the store!

But it was our day off! We weren’t in a rush so we enjoyed the time together in spite of it all.

Backyard bliss

So last Saturday night, we sat around our fire as we listened to music and grilled some hot dogs … and okay, a few marshmallows! It was so relaxing … all on our own back patio.

We had backyard bliss. (Don’t confuse it with the song “Ballroom Blitz”!)

So we caught up by slowing down!

Even if you work with your spouse or significant other – and maybe we should say, especially if you work together – it’s important to have “together time” that’s not associated with work.

We wish we could say that we planned to do this, but we would be lying. We’re good at planning our business and work activities, but sometimes we struggle with planning personal things.

But now that we have our fire pit, it will be easy to walk out the door and relax! Not long ago, we talked about why it’s good to spend time in nature. For many of us, nature is in our own backyard!

So you don’t have to do a lot of planning. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. You don’t even have to go anywhere. Stay at home and have some fun!

marylynn Don't forget the bug spray…that was our 4th trip to the store!

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Who Should Stay-at-Home with the Kids – Dad or Mom?

By Bigg Success Staff
06-11-08

Work – Life Balance

dad

Young couples often both work to make ends meet. Once children enter the scene, many couples decide that one of them should stay-at-home and raise the kids.

More and more of these couples are bucking tradition. There’s an increasing trend toward "dad" being the one to stay-at-home rather than "mom". According to the United States Census Bureau, there were 143,000 stay-at-home dads in 2005 compared to 98,000 in 2003.

Assuming you decide that one of you should stay-at-home, how do you logically decide which one it should be? Here are 4 questions to ask:

Can either of you work from home?
If one of you can work from home, this makes the decision easier. That doesn’t necessarily make getting the work done easier! If you can work at home, you may be able to juggle family duties and work duties, particularly as your kids get older.

Who makes the most money now?

It makes sense for the person who is earning the most money to keep working while the other person stays at home. Don’t look at just actual pay, though. You should also consider health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits.

Who has the best chance for advancement?

It’s possible that one of you makes more money now, but the other spouse is primed for take-off. You should consider the longer term in addition to today. If one spouse’s pay will greatly outpace the other, you should factor that into the equation.

Who will be affected least by an extended leave?

With some careers, you can pick up right where you left off. With others, you may practically have to start over. Look to other people who have reentered the work force in your career as models of what you might expect yourself.

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(Image by Carin)