RECONNECTING WITH FAMILY BEYOND THE HOLIDAYS A Snowy Spring Break March 2020
During the holidays, it’s almost a given that we’ll spend time with family. Like many, we always make an effort to get together with extended family, even if we’re miles apart. Between big holidays, though, it can be easy to lose touch.
We try to stay in touch with our family members who aren’t nearby via phone calls and social media, but it’s not quite the same as spending time in person.
Ashley’s uncle and aunt from Utah visited us in January, and it was so great to connect with them and show them around West Palm Beach. It got us thinking. What if we took a trip centered on spending time together, even if no big holiday was involved? With that intention, this month, we’re heading West for family and snow. When we saw spring break on our kids’ school calendar and thought about how we could spend it, our first thought was, “Let’s go to Utah!”We’ve visited before (check out the photos to left!), but we’ve been wanting to reconnect with our family out in Utah, where part of our lives, and the kids’ upcoming spring break was the perfect opportunity for it. Plus, it’ll be their first time skiing! Ashley’s family lives about an hour from Salt Lake City near Snowbasin Resort, a beautiful spot that’s a bit lesser known than resorts like Park City but equally as beautiful as that resort claims fame to the 2002 Winter Olympics. We’re looking forward to this trip because it feels like the best of both worlds: We get to be near the mountains and go skiing while reconnecting with family. This part of Ashley’s family used to live in Florida but moved to Utah 20 years ago for work, and they’ve lived there since. Ashley’s cousin recently had another baby, and we also want Russell and Ruby to get to meet their new cousin. A trip to visit — and hit the slopes — is the perfect way to spend time with our family. The only thing we have to do now before the trip is get in shape for it! Anticipating a day (or more likely a half-day) on skis has held our feet to the fire as far as New Year’s resolutions, that’s for sure. We could have chosen to go skiing anywhere, but we chose to be close to family. As our family members get older, it becomes more and more important to make the effort to spend time with them. We want Russell and Ruby to know their aunts, uncles, and cousins, so we’re making an effort throughout the year to connect with our loved ones whenever we can, not just on holidays. With the mountains in the background and our family beside us, we have all we need. – Ashley and Chris Bruce
Chris and Russell building a snowman
Ashley, Chris, and Russell in downtown Salt Lake City
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Sarina Steps Into the Next Phase of Her Legal Career
With Her Passion for Family Law
We first met Sarina Alba about five years ago while she was working as a paralegal at another firm. It was clear immediately what a positive go-getter she is. Fast forward a few years, and Sarina was finishing up law school and studying for the bar exam when she reconnected with Chris to talk about a potential mentorship. The rest, as they say, is history. Sarina joined us as a law clerk until the exciting moment this winter when she passed the Florida bar and was officially sworn in as an attorney. We couldn’t be more excited to have this motivated, compassionate professional on our team.
THE POWER OF PRETEND
IMAGINARY FRIENDS PROMOTE REAL LIFE SKILLS
For Sarina, the feeling is mutual. Since first meeting Chris, she’s recognized the strong, cohesive, and caring environment he’s built at Bruce Law Firm. “I looked up to him,” Sarina says. “He’s such a smart, driven, and talented attorney.” After law school, when it came time to think about the next step in her career, Sarina thought immediately of our firm. “When I laid out the top firms I wanted to work for, Bruce Law was at the top,” she describes. She’s found the supportive environment to be exactly what she hoped for. “I say it all the time, but Chris has set up such great dynamics for everyone here. It’s a great work environment,” Sarina says. “Everyone works really well together. I’m so grateful to be here.” Of working in family law, Sarina appreciates getting to be there for clients through such a transitional part of their lives and helping them get the resolutions they deserve. “There’s the sense that you’ve helped someone start over. It feels good to know we’ve helped a client into this next phase of their life,” Sarina describes. She calls on her personal experience to make the transition as positive as possible for people. Her parents divorced when Sarina was in fifth grade, and she understands how difficult it can be on families, especially kids. Like Ashley, Sarina also grew up in the equestrian world and rode competitively. These days, she spends most of her time outside of the office with her family, including her daughter and four dogs.
Studies show that up to 50% of young children have imaginary companions, ranging from entirely conjured entities to beloved stuffed animals. The popular social stigma around imaginary friends is that these children must be shy or lonely, but psychologists disagree. In fact, if your child develops an imaginary friend, most psychologists say it’s an activity you should promote instead of discourage. Psychologists claim that the invention of an entire friendly persona points to the fact that the child is both creative and highly social. Imaginary scenarios also give kids an opportunity to indulge in their wildest aspirations, like going to the moon or inventing a time machine. Their creativity gives them the ability to dream, explore, and experiment in useful ways. Imaginary friends can also be there to comfort your child when they’re feeling down or experiencing a tantrum, which is helpful when they are learning how to manage their emotions. There are also many ways parents can take part in interactions with imaginary friends to strengthen their own relationship with their child. Imaginary friends can make interactive play more meaningful and can be useful in accomplishing daily routines, like cleaning up or getting ready for bed. They also provide a window into the way your child’s mind works by encouraging the vocalization of thoughts and feelings they may not otherwise share. Imaginary friends are often a proxy for the children who invent them, so the conversations your child has with or about their friend can provide a lot of insight into how your child views the world and themselves. Imaginary friends are so important to how some children learn and grow that they’ve been featured in pop culture for many years. Entertainment like “Calvin and Hobbes,” “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends,” and even adult shows like “Supernatural” — which featured an episode about a main character’s childhood imaginary friend returning to teach him valuable lessons as an adult — portray the inventors of imaginary friends as outgoing and creative. It just goes to show that letting the imagination run wild not only encourages healthy development but can also lead to lots of fun.
Is your friend or client in need of a guide as they prepare for divorce? our divorce strategy book can help! The book can be downloaded for FREE at ControlYourDifficultDivorce.com. If your friend or client lives in the south Florida area, we will mail them a hard copy of the book upon request.
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3 Ways to Stay Connected With Loved Ones
And Build Stronger Relationships
BECOME PEN PALS. While technology is a great option for many exchanges, sitting down to write a letter to someone can be a lot more meaningful. Plus, how fun is it to receive real mail? If you or your family members have kids, then they will love the chance to exchange letters with their cousins and keep each other up to date. Buy some stamps, make or buy a couple fun cards, and get started! SEND A CARE PACKAGE. You know how much you enjoy the coffee and locally made peanut brittle from your neighborhood coffee shop? Your family would probably love them too! Give loved ones a taste of your hometown and a peek into your life with a thoughtful care package. It might serve as the perfect starting place for a visit! ORGANIZE A TRIP TOGETHER. As you’re thinking about your next vacation, consider reaching out to some of your loved ones to see if they’re interested in joining you. Choose a spot you’re all interested in and decide what you’re excited about doing in the area. If you’re not super close with your family members, then this one might feel a little daunting, so start small. Meet in the middle of your two homes and plan to spend a couple days together; build in independent downtime or alone time to do your own thing. If all goes well, plan a bigger trip for next year!
As Ashley and Chris shared on the cover, it can be tricky to stay connected with family members outside of big holidays and reunions. Technological inventions like video calling can be helpful options for staying in touch, but it’s also nice to have a meaningful exchange that doesn’t involve a computer. Get a little creative and consider some fun alternatives that get little ones involved, too. Here are a few ideas.
have a LAUGH
Pesto Chicken With Blistered Tomatoes
Inspired by CookingLight.com
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
6 tbsp spinach pesto
4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a 1-inch thickness
2 cups cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/4 cup whole-wheat panko
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
In a skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat.
In a large ovenproof skillet over medium- high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add it to pan. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side, then remove pan from heat. In a bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and butter. Spread pesto over chicken and top with panko mixture. Broil chicken for 2 minutes on high heat until browned.
Add tomatoes and cook for 6 minutes.
Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
9. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper, and add red wine vinegar. 10. Serve tomatoes with broiled chicken.
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The Bruces Take on Spring Break page 1
Forging Imaginary Friendships
Meet Our Newest Attorney page 2
3 Ways to Stay Connected With Loved Ones page 3 3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make During Spring-Cleaning page 4
Your Guide to Spring- Greening 3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make When You Declutter
It takes a special kind of person to enjoy spring-cleaning. For most of us, the satisfaction of a clean house doesn’t quite outweigh the hours of scrubbing, sorting, and slogging through heaps of unnecessary stuff. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to start your spring-cleaning, try flipping the paradigm: Instead of spring- cleaning, think of what you’re doing as spring-greening, and make some eco-friendly swaps along the way. Here are a few ideas to get you started. According to a Statista report, in 2019, the household cleaners market was worth more than $31 billion, and it’s continuously growing. You can save money on cleaning supplies by taking the green route. When your current stock runs out, try buying bulk cleaners or making your own. Both options will save plastic because you can reuse your bottles, and they can help you avoid the harmful chemicals found in most cleaners. Visit UnderATinRoof.com and read the blog post “Zero Waste Cleaning Supplies + Recipes” to get started. 2. EXPLORE ALTERNATIVE LAUNDRY DETERGENTS. If you’re used to using a plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. This spring, try exploring greener alternatives like plant- based bulk laundry powder (Molly’s Suds is an excellent source). Or, if you’re 1. SWAP YOUR PLASTIC SPRAY BOTTLES FOR BULK OR DIY CLEANING PRODUCTS.
feeling really adventurous, you can even try adding all-natural cleaners like soap nuts or English ivy to your laundry loads. For more on the former, search “soap nuts” on 1MillionWomen.com, and read up on ivy detergent at Permacrafters. com/English-Ivy-Laundry-Detergent. 3. SAY GOODBYE TO PAPER TOWELS. Paper towels are a mainstay in American homes, but do we really need them when a good old-fashioned rag can do the job? According to the Ocean Conservancy, 13 billion pounds of paper towels are tossed in the U.S. each year! This spring, quit paper towels and keep a stash of dish rags under the sink to do
your dirty work. When you’re cleaning out your closet, you can even cut up old T-shirts and add them to your rag stash! If you’re brave, try giving up tissues, too — an old-school hanky does the trick. If you’ve made all three of these swaps, don’t stop there! To continue your green journey, visit any of the blogs mentioned above and start browsing.
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