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Married with children? The secrets to keeping a merry marriage (WITI) — Are you married with children? It can be a challenge to keep the romance alive once a couple has kids. But, it isn’t impossible. Child development expert Jessica Lahner joins Real Milwaukee to talk about the keys to keeping a merry marriage....

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2014 will soon be gone.  This year has not been easy as my brother died of cancer in July. This Christmas was not the same without him and although I know he is enjoying his new home in heaven, we all miss his presence here. We never know from day-to-day what life is going to bring us.  How we live our life on a daily basis really determines how strong we are to handle adversity when it comes. If we think we have any control of our lives, then we are living in a delusion.  The best way to live is realizing we do not have control and learning to relax and let go of our expectations of what we want our life to be. I try to have an attitude of gratitude for all the things in my life, even the hard and painful things. Those things build character and strength and by not fearing them I can embrace them and know God is with me and His grace is sufficient. I do wonder what 2015 will bring. My parents are getting older and I could lose them at anytime. The economy is getting better, or so they say, and still it seems like there is more month left than money each month. So thankful for all that we have and we never go to bed hungry, like so many others in the world.  I am grateful that I live in America. So many have sacrificed to give us our freedoms. I am also thankful for all the rain we have been getting. I love those rainy days and never want to take them for granted. We need the water. I turn 65 this year and I will now be on Medicare and getting social security.  How did that happen! Cannot believe I am reaching that age and how quickly it has come. I do not know what this year holds for me, but I do know Who holds the future and I know that whatever comes I am not alone. There is always a certain excitement about the New Year.  It is like an opportunity to love and give more and hopefully be a blessing to others. Life is what we make it and living one day at a time and being thankful for all things is vital if we want to grow. So as the New Year approaches, my prayer for you is that you, also, will continue to grow and if you need to make changes in your life, that you will have the courage to do it. Everyday is an opportunity and there is...

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My Dad’s heart is getting weak and at 87 he has lived a full life.  My son is very close to my dad and so when I saw my dad going down hill, I contacted him so that he could know what was happening.  He lives 700 miles away and has not seen my dad for about 18 months.  He and his family moved away 5 years ago and have really only been back once as a family to visit.  We have been up there many times, because it is easier for us to get away than for them to come down. When my son realized how weak my dad was, they made a quick decision to come for a visit.  My parents live a few doors down from us, so staying with us was good because he could just walk down to visit them whenever he could. It was wonderful to see them and it really gave my mom and dad an emotional lift when they came.  When my son and his family arrived, it brought back so many memories for them  when they lived here.  Their wedding, the birth of their daughter, the house they lived in and now rent and places they used to go frequently.  My 10-year-old grand-daughter started crying when she saw her old room. Reconnecting with friends and family was wonderful for them.  I could tell that it made them  homesick.  Most of their family live in this area and not having us around where they now live is hard. So many changes in the last 5 years.  Their children are older, parents and grand parents getting older and adjusting to not being so young anymore; the reality of life and we must keep moving forward.  They cannot move back as much as we all want them here.  Life does not always give us what we want and embracing the reality of the future is sometimes difficult. It was so hard to see them leave. We had such a wonderful time together for 2 days., but life goes on and every time we part I struggle with sadness and I have to focus on the positive.  We have so much and we can stay in contact with them through the social media and cell phones.  Twenty years ago we would be much more disconnected. I do not want to live in the past.  I want to be thankful for everything I have today and I want to embrace the future with a positive attitude even when my heart is heavy. Having a family is so valuable and accepting what life brings us and...

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This is a guest post by Carrie Schmeck. Until I nearly died, I didn’t know I was dying. Not true. I knew. We know. Nothing is really secret. But the fear of truth can be so frightening we choose not to see. Truth brings certain change we cannot know so we opt for the present, brushing aside inklings, ignoring misgivings for all the reasons that make sense…our values, beliefs, the kids, our lifestyle, finances, pride and fear. And for the reasons that don’t…our values, beliefs, the kids, our lifestyle, finances, pride and fear. In short, we lie to ourselves to preserve our world. We are good at justifying, aren’t we? At least I was. Facing truth was the scariest most life-altering experience of my life. Facing truth brought my worst fear to fruition. I am divorced. As I feared I might be. — This is my story. It’s long and it’s sad. But it has a a good ending because, in the end, I live. Truth saved me. But first, I had to understand whose truth counted. Because truth can be defined three ways: your truth, divine truth and my truth. Until recently, my truth came in a distant third. For most of my life, I’ve accepted divine truth as a cornerstone of my life. Then somehow, I placed your truth, his truth, ahead of mine and spent years wondering why my feelings did not match the picture he painted. I understand now I gave my right to own and value my truth away. It didn’t happen overnight and it hasn’t unraveled in a hurry, either. I’ve had to step back in time to understand where my heart, mind and feelings diverged. How did I become a narcissist’s dream? How could I, for nearly 27 years, convince myself I had a relationship with a shill? Was I that good at deceiving myself or did I just not know? I find there is as much to forgive of myself as there is my former spouse. I ignored the evidence, choosing instead to be afraid. I allowed myself to be the wind beneath his wings and called it submission. It was submission all right, but not godly submission, not healthy submission. It was subterfuge, deceit used to achieve my desire to be anything but divorced. If I were a guessing girl, I’d guess my divorce scares you, dear reader. Who wants to go there? I’m not going to advocate for divorce. That’s simply where mine ended. It doesn’t always have to be that way. I will, however, advocate for courage to face truth—no matter its end. Because living in truth is...

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Several years ago I became aware that about every six months I would go through some kind of crisis. I would get mad at my husband or get upset with someone or something in my life. It didn’t seem to be any one thing, I would just get upset and create a crisis. When I became conscious of my behavior I started asking questions of myself when I became upset. There didn’t seem to be any triggers, I just would get upset. I felt like my world was falling apart, yet really nothing had changed except my perception of my reality. I was creating chaos in my life for no good reason, accept for getting an adrenalin rush. In a few days I would feel better, but the impact that it had for my husband was lasting. It created insecurity for him because some of the time the upset was directed at him and I would blame him for the way I was feeling. I am sure he was confused about my irrational behaviors. Since I have become aware of my patterns, I am able to control them much better. Sometimes I feel it creeping up on me, but sometimes I do not. It has been a long time since I have had an upset and I feel more in control of my life. I realize more and more how my thoughts and beliefs about things can dictate my behaviors toward life. When I apply Philippians 4: 6-9 to my thoughts, that helps me stay on track. I can only have peace when my mind is fixed on what is right, pure, lovely, and good. Peace will be the by-product of keeping my thoughts focused on the right things. When I am anxious, I am not trusting. I have found that the problem is usually not “The Problem”. The problem is how I am interpreting the problem and how I react to it. My beliefs about the event and how I perceive it determine my reaction. The way I react is a reflection of what is going on inside of me. The equation that I use to help me respond to situations and not react is E+R=O. E stands for event, R stands for my response and O stands for the outcome. I cannot always control the events, situations or people in my life, but I can control how I respond to them. If I want a good outcome I have to stop and ask myself, what is the best way to respond to this situation to get the outcome that I want. If I want to have a...

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