The Importance of Grammar

So, this blog post isn’t really about etiquette OR tradition. It’s about grammar. However, in truth, just like etiquette helps you put your best foot forward, so does correct grammar. This, by no means, implies you have to be perfectly correct every time you speak. I end sentences with prepositions. 😉 To be perfectly honest, my aunt is a very good English teacher, so I’ve been exposed to grammar from an early age. In fact, she taught me to nictitate (wink) before kindergarten. Still, I fall very short of proper grammar all of the time.

A good friend of mine (who blogs at www.kaylaprice.com) had a post recently about etiquette essentially helping us become better people – more civilized, more respectful and so on. There are a few areas of grammar that seem to have gotten away from us.

First, “could care less.” If you could care less, that means you care. The amount you care could be decreased. What most people likely mean when they say they “could care less” is that they “couldn’t care less.” If you couldn’t care less, the amount you care cannot decrease.

Secondly, the pronunciation of mischievous. It’s not mis-CHEE-vee-us. For some reason, the popularity of the wrong pronunciation has increased recently.

Finally, another common mistake I hear is people using “I” always instead of “me.” A hint my middle school English teacher taught us is to remove the other person. You wouldn’t say (or shouldn’t, at least) “This belongs to Sam and I.” Removing Sam, the sentence would read, “This belongs to I.”

I hope this was a helpful post, even if it isn’t specific to etiquette. Just like etiquette will help you in life, I believe grammar will, as well.

As always, thank you for reading!

Breaking Tradition

I speak (well, write) a lot on tradition. It’s important to me in so many ways. Tradition links generations together. It adds importance to holidays and other special occasions. It gives us something to remember loved ones by. It allows us to feel a sense of connection with others. Tradition eventually becomes almost like a habit – engrained in us. That’s what makes traditions hard to break.

I’m here today, though, to tell you – there are some traditions worth breaking.

Were your parents absent from you life? Did they do the bare minimum, maybe less?

Do you find youself always attracted to the same type…the type that ignores you or hits you?

Do you think you’re following in your parents’ footsteps by milking the system and doing drugs?

Stop. All of it. Break the cycle. I promise you, you can. The traditions you implement at first – cutting down a Christmas tree, Sunday dinners with friends, ice cream on the first day of school – won’t absolutely have that special feeling that traditions you’ve grown up with have. The safety net will be missing. That’s the cold, ugly truth. But for your children and family, THIS is what they’ll remember.

You are a good person. You are worthy of more than a mediocre life.

Traditions have to start somewhere. It is WONDERFUL that they start with you. I think traditions have a tendency to change, depending on what part each person found important. Regardless, like every generation, we tend to romanticize the past. I guarantee the ugliness has been wiped clean each time. The affairs and abuses tend to be overlooked. We can stop normalizing hurtful behavior.

Perfection isn’t expected, so don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Give yourself grace. Aim for better. No matter where you came from, I think each person wants more for the next generation. I wouldn’t change a thing from my childhood. I somehow still want better for my own children. We all do.

What tradition will you start today?

Special Anniversaries

Mother’s Day 2017 was a double dose of special for me. Not only did I get to celebrate Mother’s Day, but it was also the 6th anniversary of the day Garrett and I exchanged our wedding vows. With the craziness of life, it’s easy to overlook little occasions like that, but I think it’s important for us to stop and enjoy the little things in life.

Initially we didn’t have any big plans to celebrate our anniversary. In our town, a couple is currently about to open a new bed and breakfast – something we’re sorely lacking in Sulphur Springs. They were looking for Guinea pigs and asked if we’d be up for the task. We sure were. J Amazing doesn’t begin to describe the beautiful transformation that has taken place at this once run-down home. It could be in any city or town and fit right in. They outside is stately, and the inside is breathtaking. The details were not overlooked here, and they made us feel like their guests – exactly the feel you want while staying at a bed and breakfast.

We were staying there to review and let them know what might be added before paying guests stay, so I didn’t want to mess up anything at all or put them out in any way. However, when we got to our room (the beautiful bridal suite), there was a bottle of wine and two wine glasses waiting for us. After sharing the evening with friends, we started to forget we were in the same town where we live. There was something wonderful about that moment. The wonderfulness of simply being is often overlooked in favor of the busyness of life. And that’s a cycle I’m going to break.

My husband and I are both bankers, so, financially, we know the risks of keeping up with the Joneses and have no desire to participate. However, socially, we were on a vicious wheel and at risk of falling on that same sword. We are both very involved people, but there are no people on Earth who I love more than my family. I’m ready to get back to relaxed family meals and multiple, slowly read books at bedtime.

One way I choose to slowdown is to better recognize the milestones in our lives. If you’re like me, you may not always remember the traditional anniversary gift ideas, and I thought now would be a good refresher for us all. Enjoy!

By the way, I would highly recommend The Oaks Bed and Breakfast to celebrate your anniversary or to simply have a night away. The breakfast of migas and stuffed brioche french toast was to die for!

1st Paper

2nd Cotton

3rd Leather

4th Linen

5th Wood

6th Iron

7th Wool

8th Bronze

9th Pottery

10th Tin

15th Crystal

20th China

25th Silver

30th Pearl

40th Ruby

50th Gold

60th Diamond

 

Guest Post: Mother’s Day…for the Non-Mother

I’m excited to bring you Freaky Friday again! Today’s Guest Post is by Kayla Price Mitchell, who blogs at www.kaylaprice.com about cooking, crafting and the fun she has along the way! Here is her post on Mother’s Day…for the Non-Mother

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I grew up with three amazing parents: my dad, my mom, and my Aunt E. Aunt E saved me from many a spanking, she rubbed my back until I fell asleep, she picked me up from elementary school at 3:30 p.m. everyday, she taught me to crochet, craft and draw.

Aunt E gave me raw potatoes and lots of treats. She cooked for our family on most nights, so I must have gotten my love of cooking from her (my mom was not a fan of cooking).

Mother’s Day has always been a day that we celebrated my mom and my Aunt E. Both women are now gone, but I do think of each of them on this day. I am appreciative to both women for teaching me to be a strong, independent woman.

Now, life has repeated itself. I am an aunt and a step-mom, but not a mom in the traditional sense. I have never been one for being traditional, so it is fitting.

My nephew always gives me a card, takes me to lunch, and all the other things he does for my sister. He makes me feel like a queen (and a mom). I appreciate that he thinks of me on these special days.

When he was born, my sister was very ill and had to be taken to Dallas for emergency care. My nephew had a breathing issue, so he needed around the clock monitoring. Aunt E and I took care of him together so that my parents and brother-in-law could be with my sister. We three bonded.

Life isn’t always traditional or clear cut. Sometimes we are blessed with moms who did not give birth to us, but cared for us as if we were their own.

Do you have women in your life who took care of you as a mother would take care of a child? It might be a dad who filled the role of a mom as well. It might be your best friend’s mom or even a special teacher. Whoever it was that made or makes you feel safe, loved and cared for, please don’t forget them on Mother’s Day.

A card, flowers, phone call and/or visit is all it would take to make that person feel appreciated, remembered and loved. And, as we get older, that is all we really want from this world.

To all the non-moms out there who are caring for a young person as if they were their own, Happy Mother’s Day! To me, it is so special to be a mom and also to choose to be a mom.

Mother’s Day Traditions

Mother’s Day has taken on new meaning for me since 2012, which was the year I was blessed with my first child – a beautiful, perfect (but loud) baby girl. Katherine was born full of life, an allergy to bandage adhesive, and I pity the world if it had never known her. The day has only become more special since the birth of my second, Grant.

Motherhood is most definitely not a bed of roses, though, and I have come to appreciate my own mother’s sacrifice all the more. Mother’s Day 2017 will also bring new challenges, as it will be the first one we celebrate since my sweet, beautiful granny passed away.

Traditions are what bind generations together, like that of my granny, my mom, my kids and myself.
Traditions and etiquette are strongly tied together, and I hope you enjoy this list and consider incorporating some of them as your own!


The carnation – Most often handed out at church services, the carnation is to be given to all adult women. This flower is actually not symbolic of your status as a mother, but it is actually reflective of your own mom. Traditionally, a white carnation symbolizes that your mom has passed away, while the pink or red carnation indicates that your mother is still alive.

The corsage – My sweet husband gifted me an Easter corsage this year, which I adored. Likewise, corsages are very common on Mother’s Day. These are most commonly given only to mothers, but it is very kind to gift one to someone who has played a motherly role in your life. These may be given by adult and young children, alike. Husbands, I would encourage you to take a page out of my own spouse’s playbook and get one for your kids to give to your wife. You’ll thank me later. ☺️
The cooking – I will say, my own household is fairly atypical when it comes to stereotypical gender roles. We split cooking 50/50 at best. An easy tradition to start if your kids are young is to cook a simple dinner for Mother’s Day. Breakfast is a common meal portrayed in movies, but, speaking from experience, mornings can also be an incredibly hectic time in a home with young children, especially if you are religious and trying to attend morning services.
The beautiful thing about traditions is that you can tweak them to make them your own. Every one doesn’t have to perfectly fit the mold. This Mother’s Day, I encourage you to start or continue traditions that are special to your mom or mother figure. The best traditions start with the heart. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!