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It seems that life keeps getting more and more crazy. We hear often how parents can’t believe how quickly the children grown up. Life tends to settle into a routine and it becomes easy to forget why we are doing what we do.

We have a strong desire at Masterpiece Images to have families enjoy each other and remember that true happiness comes from relationships (especially family relationships). I love installing a nice family wall portrait then seeing the emotions that come out – the love for their family. So, we are on a quest to help families break through the clutter of life and make meaningful memories that will last a lifetime.

We have settled on two main ideas.

  1. Quality is better than quantity – Looking at what we do and reduce those things that have little or no meaning.
  2. Life is better if we slow down from time to time and enjoy each other.

The question now is “How do we do that?”

I want to share one of my favorite ways to slow down.

Formal family dinners – My wife and I have fallen in love with cooking with each other. It allows us to talk and enjoy each other while we are making the meal. I like the way the Europeans look at dinner. It is as much of a time to socialize as it is to eat. The French have several course meals to encourage conversation. The courses are small but spread out.

We recently had some friends over for a 6 course meal (hors d’oeuvres, salad, soup, entree, main course and dessert.) Each course is small enough to be served on a small plate and each course was delayed by 15 to 30 minutes from each other. It took 3 hours to eat that meal. The whole evening was dedicated to good food and good company.

There are tricks to having a multi-course meal like that. You have to make sure each course is done at just the right time. If you would like my advice for planning a meal like that please let me know. This is one way I like to slow down and enjoy life.

We do not claim to be experts at this but we do interact with hundreds of families each year and see what others do. We would also like to hear your favorite ideas. Let us know what you do and we would love to feature your ideas. How do we break through our daily clutter and embrace what is really important?

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