Bay Area Inbound Marketing Blog

When Your Daughter's Best Friend Moves in the Middle of High School

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Wed, Jan 30, 2019 @ 01:55 PM

Such a bummer, my daughter's best-and-oldest friend since she was tiny, Ella, is moving to Utah in the middle of high school.

Kaeli has a lot of other great friends that she does stuff with, including tons of guy friends, but Ella is her same religion, so they went to lots of dances, did Wednesday playdates at our house after preschool, hung at school and seminary, Gualala, and went to church camp together. Ella is super fun and they have so much history together. It's sad she's moving, but it's life.

There was nothing to do, but throw her a party. We had 15 teens over, served Middle Eastern food (Ella's favorite), played a few games, and there was lots of loud laughter and talking to say goodbye. There will always be texting, and Gualala reunions, and who knows, they could live in the same state for college in another year and a half.

We put together a Shutterfly digital scrapbook of our pics and pics from Ella and her other friends to project at the party and give to her. Ella will be sorely missed.

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Tags: teen angst, bon voyage

Advice to Our Kids About Dating and Marriage

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Sun, Jan 27, 2019 @ 10:16 PM

We are in that stage of teen shyness most aptly characterized by the Taylor Swift song, “You should take it as a compliment that I’m talking to everyone here but you…”

I went through it, so I get it. It’s painful, but as my son puts it, “stupid should hurt." OK, that's a little harsh.

Being shy and modest is natural when you are young. Our kids are only 16, so I'm definitely in no hurry for them to date. If they are going to date, my advice would be to follow the Stephen R. Covey quote, "Begin with the end in mind."

I recently told them they shouldn't go out with anyone unless they are pretty good friends first, which is smart. It means they have to ask more questions. They agreed.

Their church leaders asked them to group date until they are 18 based on what the Prophets have counselled them to do, and they, as well as all of their friends committed to do that. I'm proud of them for that as well.

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Tags: dating and marriage

Teen Juggling Act: Why Do It All?

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Sat, Jan 26, 2019 @ 09:15 PM

Anyone with teens can tell you, the teen years can be exhausting. They need to prep for SATs, get their licenses, and try to get straight As to get into their target college.

If you are LDS, like we are, they also need to attend seminary 86% of the school days, read an entire book of scriptures every year, get an Eagle Scout, complete Duty to God, do personal progress, and somewhere in there fit in a sport or instrument, and a job.

Seminary is hard, but honestly, the kids do a lot better when they attend. They have a peer group with their same values. They get to joke around in the halls to start every day.

Sports can be a lot of driving around, signing up for tailgates, fees, and putting in extra workouts, but the peace and discipline sports bring to our home is definitely worth the effort for us. They don't get sick as much, not to mention they love to play and we love to watch them.

My brother-in-law, who played football at BYU and was a multi-sport athlete in high school recently told me, "I didn't always feel like going to practice, but I was always glad I did. Nothing as an adult has been hard for me because of sports, like going to work."

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Tags: Teenagers, teen angst, sports are good for kids, working toward our goals, practice makes perfect

What I'm Giving For Christmas This Year and Why

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Sat, Dec 08, 2018 @ 03:44 PM

Christmas is definitely not about the gifts, it's about celebrating our Savior's birth and His gifts to us, which are many.

We believe Jesus Christ:

  • Suffered for our sins, so we don't have to, if we take advantage of His atonement for our sake.
  • He taught us to forgive (again so we don't suffer).
  • He created and implemented the Plan of Salvation with our Heavenly Parents, where we all come to earth, have free agency, and make mistakes to learn what makes us happy; We can work to overcome challenges, progress, and learn to handle a lot like our Heavenly Parents do. We can become like God and create our own worlds some day.
  • He died and rose again so we can do the same and live eternally with our families. What better gift is even possible? 
  • He was the only one among us who didn't sin and was the perfect example of forgiveness and living a righteous life.
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Tags: sharing the gospel, Christmas ideas

Changing Neural Pathways for Moral Habits and to Fight Addictions

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Mon, Nov 26, 2018 @ 10:57 AM

We know that creating neural pathways helps for things like math and foreign languages, but did you know it can work for morals, to reverse addictions, and even win in marketing?

Not surprisingly, using the break-it-down-into-pieces-and-practice method works for just about anything in life.

To quote Emerson: “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do—not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to do has increased.”  

Changing Math Pathways

Building neuro pathways is why schools give students a math lesson, then have them practice the right way to do math with homework over and over.

A process repeated many times is how neural pathways are created and it takes many years to get to the highest levels in math, obviously. 

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Tags: effecting change, morality brings happiness, practice makes perfect

Feeling Thankful-Sports are Good for Kids

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Mon, Oct 29, 2018 @ 01:46 PM

I love Fall, with the bright colors, fall leaves, and crisp air. We just ended another Women's High School Volleyball Season in round two at NCS playoffs and already busy driving around at night for Men's and Women's Club Volleyball.

As if that weren't hectic enough, track practice for high jump begins for both our kids in a week as well. That means we are not only up at 5:30 for Seminary weekdays, we're at track meets, and practice til 10 pm sometimes, and tournaments on weekends sometimes altogether seven days a week. It's what our kids want to do and I'm proud of them for wanting to work so hard. It's a good strategy for managing  the "teenagers-who-need-to-exert-their-independence thing". It keeps them out of trouble and with kids who are also working on positive goals.

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Tags: Thankful, sports are good for kids, working toward our goals

And the Best App in the Category of Weight Loss Goes to...Lose It!

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Tue, Oct 09, 2018 @ 11:20 AM

Recently spent the night at one of my good college buddie's houses when I went to Utah for work and other reasons. She suggested I try a weight loss app with her called "Lose It". I'm so grateful she did. 

I tried another weight-loss app a month ago called "noom" that didn't work for me at all, so I was a little discouraged. 

We probably all know when we want to lose weight its a good idea to increase exercise, fiber, protien, and water in our diet. The "Lose It" app on my phone helps me keep track of it all now and it's working for me, yay!

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Tags: apps we love

What Makes a Successful Sunday?

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Mon, Aug 20, 2018 @ 09:31 AM

I was feeling especially content last night, I think it was because I felt we did a good job with our kids yesterday, on Sunday. 

We had a fun weekend, Friday night our kids went to a swim party, Saturday our daughter played in a volleyball jamboree where they don't keep score and the coaches can play with different lineups without penalty.

My friend came to watch my daughter play volleyball, our son hung out with her son that is his age, and they rode bikes together while we caught up since she now lives in Grass Valley. We grabbed a quick dinner at our place after the game, then we drove the kids to Santa Cruz and chaperoned a dance with 300 other Mormon kids on the beach.


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Tags: successful Sunday, sharing the gospel, family time

Apps That Rock Our World

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Tue, Jul 10, 2018 @ 06:07 PM

The apps we use are a roadmap to our lives. They can make us more productive, save us time and money, and even be fun. That's awesome, because work keeps requiring more from us, we have two kids in sports that don't yet drive, and colleges keep requiring more from our kids to get in. We even have responsibilities at church that need to be met.

Of course texting and Safari are our most-used communication and webportal apps, I wanted to give a shout out to a few of our other favorite apps that make our lives easier, in case they can help out our friends too.

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Tags: apps we love

Teen Angst and What is the Appropriate Response as a Parent?

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Sun, May 13, 2018 @ 10:58 AM

I heard about the teenage years long before we became parents. People would tell me things like, "I wasn't prepared to have my teenager look at me like they hate me after all I've done for them." I could understand that even before I had kids, but now that I have teens, I'm starting to get it even more. They don't look at me like they hate me yet, luckily, but there are definite signs we are in the full throws of teenage angst.

In the Web MD article, "5 Ways to Deal with Teen Angst", the author recommends:

1) Schedule time with your teen, 2) Set a sleep schedule, 3 ) Get Moving, both them and you, because exercise is the great mood stabilizer, 4) Listen, don't lecture, and 5) Keep your cool.

I believe that is all really good advice. For those of you who don't really get what teen angst is, let me give you a few examples. Don't worry, our teens read and approved this article before I published it.

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Tags: taking responsibility, free agency, teen angst