Manely Firm - November 2019

All family law. All around Georgia. All around the world.

N ovember 2019

C elebrating D iwali How the Hol iday Is Fami l iar Yet Unique

In my line of work, I have the opportunity to explore new countries, cultures, and holiday celebrations. This time of year, Americans are looking forward to enjoying Thanksgiving or Christmas without realizing another great holiday just took place: Diwali. Whenever I start thinking about the holidays, I can’t help but remember the times I spent celebrating this vibrant festival. Diwali, or Deepavali, is an Indian festival of lights that usually takes place at the end of October or near the beginning of November, depending on the Hindu lunar calendar. This festival dates back over 2,500 years and is still celebrated every year by Hindus around the world. Diwali is observed over the span of five days and represents the triumph of good over evil. I’ve been to several Diwali festivals in my lifetime, and I was lucky enough that the first one I ever attended was through the invitation of a friend. They were going to celebrate Diwali at its peak and were inviting their family and friends to join in on the festivities. My friend sprung the invitation on me unexpectedly, but of course I said yes. I’d never heard of Diwali before this, but I’ve always been the type of person who loves to submerge myself in other cultures, and I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by. That first festival I went to was a few years ago, but I can still fully remember how much fun I had. It was wonderful to mingle with the variety of people who were there, try some excellent Indian food, and take in the vivid colors and lights. There were candles and clay pots burning

everywhere I looked and rangoli — which are patterns created by colored sand — on the floor. Many people were wearing traditional attire, including Nehru jackets, colorful dresses, and a variety of jewelry. What struck me most at the festival was that it was celebrated in a similar manner to how Americans enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, or any other holiday of the year. Everyone was socializing, enjoying great food, and mingling together for this special occasion. It’s one of the many amazing events I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing by being exposed to so many different cultures around the world. While each holiday or festival is unique in its own way, the manner in which cultures celebrate is largely similar. It’s two sides of the same coin. On

one side, there’s the familiarity of enjoying coming together with loved ones for food and good conversation. On the other, there’s the exceptional and unique facets in which that celebration is experienced. In every holiday, no matter where you are and how people celebrate, there lies the joy of community, culture, and family. The world is a wide place, and I have an unrelenting curiosity to explore as many cultures as I can. It’s through that curiosity that I’ve experienced so many unique and amazing moments throughout my life. If you have a chance to explore something new this holiday season, take that chance. You’ll be surprised by how much you can learn. –Michael Manely 1

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G et R eady for G ood N utrition in N ovember ! 3 Tips to Get Your Picky Eaters to Eat the Veggies Thei r Bodies Need

1. L et T hem H elp .

It might seem strange that November — when millions of Americans gather around the dinner table to show gratitude through lavish Thanksgiving feasts — has recently been dubbed Good Nutrition Month. But it’s true; now is the time to pay extra attention to the nutrients your body needs to maintain its healthy state through the new year. While mindful eating is a habit families know they should practice year-round, once the holiday season kicks into full gear, it becomes much easier to overlook. With colder weather keeping you inside, the cravings for heartier meals and delicious baked goods leave parents struggling to encourage their picky eaters to consume anything nutritious. If you’re finding it more difficult than usual to convince your child to eat their greens, here are some tips to keep in mind!

gets a good share of fiber-rich nutrients while being none the wiser.

If your child has grown out of the toddler stage and is still resistant to eating their vegetables, child psychologists say you should have them help with the cooking process. The excitement and anticipation that comes with getting to prepare the vegetables can encourage kids to try a couple bites during dinnertime. Cheese can undoubtedly make veggies more appealing for your little ones. When making their favorite mac ‘n’ cheese dish, consider adding broccoli and peas to the sauce. The cheese will mask most of the veggie flavor, and your kids won’t care as much! Another option for really picky eaters is to purée vegetables, like sweet potatoes, into the cheese sauce. The bright orange color will mask the inclusion, ensuring your little one

3. G et ‘B eefy ’ W ith Y our V eggies .

If your kids are fans of meat-based pasta sauces, meatballs, or sloppy Joes, you can substitute some of the ground beef with finely chopped mushrooms. Since the meaty texture of the tasty fungi is similar to ground beef, it’ll be hard for kids to notice the difference. Riced cauliflower can also be mistaken for tender ground beef when cooked in darker sauces and gravies. While it can be frustrating to negotiate with a picky eater, especially during the holidays, don’t lose hope. Try out these three tasty tips and observe Good Nutrition Month with a little more ease.

2. C heese I t U p !

I ntroducing J ess L ill

Associate Attorney

Jess Lill is one of our expert attorneys who fights diligently for the families who come to our firm seeking help, guidance, and support. She has an extensive background in finding solutions for people and enjoys working through problems and leading people to better and brighter outcomes. When Jess entered undergrad, she didn’t have her sights set on family law. “I was studying psychology,” she explains. “But one of my classes introduced family law to me, and I discovered that it fit my interest perfectly. Family law is about finding legal solutions for problems and working through those problems that impact people’s lives daily. I wanted to help foster change in a hands-on way, and law was the most effective way I could do that.” It was then that Jess decided to pursue a career in family law, which eventually led her to our office. “The Manely Law Firm caught my eye because of their focus in family law,” says Jess. “There aren’t many firms out there that specialize specifically in this area. So, when I saw that Michael’s firm had an

opening, I went straight for it. I was excited for the opportunity to learn as much as I could from them.” Since joining our team, Jess has put all her efforts into doing what she set out to do: helping families find solutions that bring them together. Jess’ philosophy is precisely what we focus on here. Our goal is to create harmony for families all across the world. “That’s why I love working here so much. Everyone is passionate and cares deeply about what we do for our clients. I love that the firm, the attorneys, the supporting staff, Michael, and Shelia all focus on building and implementing that harmony.” Outside of the office, Jess is busy working as a chapter advisor for her local sorority at the undergrad campus, as well as volunteering her time for the crisis center. In the few free moments she has for herself, Jess also enjoys exploring downtown Savannah, reading, kayaking, and spending time with her cat.


T he D ifficulties of D ivorce D uring the H olidays

Some Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind

The holiday season is a cause of stress for a lot of people, especially for separated parents with kids. Between worrying about which house to visit, gifts to purchase, obligations to follow, and traditions to blend, the last thing anyone needs is additional anxiety. By working together, parents who are divorced or are considering divorce can create a memorable holiday with their children. S plitting the H oliday Many parents decide on splitting the holiday so their child spends an equal amount of time with each parent. However, this method can be hard to manage, and it can end up creating more stress between the parents and their child. While this method may work in the parents’ favor, it may create a chaotic and restless atmosphere during a time that should otherwise be carefree. Splitting time can create added tension between parents when organizing when, where, and how to transport the child from one parent to the next, which can result in heated disagreements, increased anxiety, and conflict. K eep the C hild in M ind When deciding what to do during the holiday season, it’s essential to consider what is best for the child or children who are involved. Spending holidays with their children is important to many parents, but it may require some sacrifice. The Child Mind Institute suggests that parents let go of what they may want in order to give their children a stress-free holiday experience. This can be extremely difficult to do, but it allows the child to fully enjoy the holidays without being caught in the middle of an argument. C ommunicate One of the best ways to decide on an action plan for the holidays is to talk to one another. This could require getting your lawyer involved to go over the finer details of your arrangement and smooth out the rough edges. Divorced parents can also benefit from updating their parenting agreements in case there needs to be any major alterations. Speaking to your lawyer is a great way to ensure you’re doing what’s best for the child and not violating that agreement. Through careful planning and consideration, families can come together, creating new memories and traditions throughout the holidays and the years to come.

G reen B eans W ith G inger and G arlic

Inspired by Food & Wine Magazine

I ngredients

2 lbs whole green beans, ends trimmed

6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp crushed red pepper

Kosher salt, to taste

D irections


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. To the side of the stove, prepare a large bucket of ice water. Cook beans in boiling water for 4 minutes. Immediately transfer to ice water. Drain and pat dry. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in ground ginger and crushed pepper. Add green beans.



4. Cook together for 2–3 minutes.


Transfer to plate and serve.


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211 Roswell St. NE Marietta, GA 30060 (866) 687-8561


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Different Holidays, Same Result

Trick Your Picky Eaters

Team Member Highlight

Create Wonderful Holiday Memories Post-Divorce

Stay in a Real Castle

Every year, tourists flock to Disney’s “Magic Kingdom” and marvel at Cinderella’s iconic castle. As fun as it is to see this Florida-based attraction, it would be even more magical to step back in time and visit a real medieval citadel. What if you could walk the same ramparts as Roman legionnaires and climb the same towers as French kings? If this idea gives you goosebumps, pack your bags for Carcassonne, France. A four-hour train ride from Paris, towering above the rolling vineyards of southern France, you’ll find one of the most intact, accessible castles in Europe. With sweeping, concentric walls and 53 elegant towers, the Cité de Carcassonne is a breathtaking sight. Once an impenetrable border fortress between the kingdoms of France and Aragon, the gates now stand open to anyone curious enough to walk its cobblestone streets. In fact, you can stay in the ancient city yourself. The five-star Hotel de la Cité Carcassonne occupies a former bishop’s palace and overlooks the inner ramparts of the fortress. With medieval tapestries and gorgeous woodwork in the hotel’s

interior, you’ll feel like you’re living among French royalty. Of course, if you’d prefer lodging with the commoners, plenty of quaint bed-and-breakfasts exist just across the Aude river. With rustic cafes, fresh crepes, and bustling crowds making their way down the twisting cobblestone streets, the surface- level experience of Carcassonne would be enticing to anyone wanting to explore the French countryside. But for those who want to delve into the history of this storied castle, grand narratives await you. Just walking the walls of Carcassonne paints a picture of the past. While the outer fortifications were built by Louis IX and Phillip III, a section of the inner wall is far older. The red brick used in this part of the construction dates back to before the existence of France itself. Roman troops first fortified the hillside town around 100 BCE, giving every stone of this site a story to tell. If you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing medieval life for yourself, your adventure awaits in Carcassonne.

C arcassonne The Real Magic Kingdom


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