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You Asked: How Can I Make My Sister-in-Law Feel Welcome?

Dear Sugar--

My sister-in-law from out of state (who I really don't know very well) is coming to stay with us for the weekend. I really want her to feel welcome and to have the feeling that she's really gotten to know me and the kids after the weekend, (my husband works a lot, so we'll be alone pretty much the whole time). What kind of things should I/we do? Her personality is very green. She's the eco-friendly type and she loves anything organic and healthful. She runs marathons as well and has lost weight recently and looks better than ever. She's also an urban planner. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions. Thanks so much!

--The Host Needs Help


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Dear The Host Needs Help--

Well, this sounds really exciting for you and your family. I love seeing relatives getting together and creating stronger bonds. It sounds like you actually do know a ton about her and what she likes, so that's a start. I'd suggest calling her up and asking her if she has anything in mind that she'd like to do while visiting.

Being that she's an active and healthy person, when she comes to visit, maybe you can all rent bikes (if you don't already have them), go swimming, rent a boat, go for a walk in the park, or take her on a hike. She may prefer exploring and going for a run on her own, so give her some simple directions or a map so she can find her way around. Or she might like being in nature, and going on a family camping trip. Also, check for local farmer's markets or health food stores in your community - I'm sure she'd love that too.

Even though she is coming to visit you, she can play part-host too. Maybe she can share some of her talents or likes with you. Maybe she wants to take you all rock climbing, to a local swimming hole or garden store she's heard about online or read about in a book. Maybe she wants to teach you some new healthy eating tips she's learned, or cook dinner together. Whatever you end up doing, you'll be creating lasting family memories and a potentially great new friendship. Good luck!

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