Etiquette vs. Enough

I have a confession. I am addicted to Pottery Barn. In fact, my husband just chunks the magazines when he checks the mail now. I had longed for all things Pottery Barn when I was younger. My mom was very practical and wasn’t into “cutesy.” She was into functional. She has never once cared about brands, and this is an area I wish I shared with her more.

Before school started this year, I really struggled with wanting my daughter (who is soooo similar to my mom) to want a Pottery Barn backpack. But not just that. I wanted her to want the whole set. What did she want, though? The same backpack she had last year (it’s glittery and Frozen) and a lunchbag from Target. Nothing matched. She didn’t care.

I sometimes buy into the lie that I ask all of you to avoid – that certain brands are better than others; that etiquette costs money. None of that is true. Etiquette is about respect. It’s not about Pottery Barn.

One year I’m sure she’ll want a certain backpack, but it may just be from Walmart or Target. I came to realize that the values I had myself were ones I want her to avoid. What you have does not make you any better of a person. How you treat others, though, does.

Today, though, I’m thankful she’s confident enough in who she is to pick out what she truly likes and go with it. It is enough. 🙂

Traveling and Culture

Hi, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve had an opportunity to post. For 9 days my husband, kids and I were out of cell phone range, which, to be 100% honest, was actually wonderful!

“At Mother Goose’s (Mary Goose) grave in Boston”

We had the opporunity to go to New Hampshire, Boston, Cape Cod (the Mayflower Beach in Dennis was beautiful!), Plymouth, Martha’s Vineyard, Maine (another favorite), and my husband went and ran the original Spartan race in Vermont. Overall, our trip could not have been better! We spent time with family who live in New Hampshire and disconnected from the outside world for a while.

However, this trip and its lack of cell phone signal did not give me any opportunities to update, so I apologize for my absence.

I was very intrigued by some of the regional differences in New England and the South. My aunt told me that the people are very nice in New England (and they are), but they’re not as initially warm. There’s definitely a sense of formality in how they act. That same formality, though, does not extend to dress, and I was mildly surprised that most did not seem to dress up as they do in the South. In fact, at the church we visited, I was the only female (aside from my daughter) in a dress. Y’all know my tendencies to wear dresses, though.

“At a lighthouse in Maine – one of our favorite stops!”

Additionally, people did not seem to initiate conversations, but they were happy to talk once they began. We dropped off my cousin and her two friends at a middle school dance, and the parents lingered briefly, but it definitely wasn’t like some of the local dances here where the outside of the dance seems to be a social gathering for the parents.

At Martha’s Vineyard, I was doubly shocked that people didn’t seem to ever stop for pedetrians who were trying to cross in the cross walk during their turn, but they seemed to have no problem wearing white after Labor Day. A lady I met at the above mentioned dance (from Florida) said she has still not gotten accustomed to the white after Labor Day she saw there.

However, even with the differences from “normal” life, I truly loved and appreciated our time there. Culture is so unique and diverse, and it should be. Out of all the places we visited, Martha’s Vineyard was actually my least favorite. Maine and the North End of Boston were my top two. When I visit, I don’t want to feel like a tourist; I want to be submerged into the culture.

“View from Gay Head Lighthouse in Matha’s Vineyard”

Martha’s Vineyard is undeniably beautiful. However, while we were there, other than the scenery, I couldn’t find anything about it that really made it unique. The shops were very similar to one another. Ice cream has to be the top trade there.

“Sharing ice cream on vacation”

On the other hand, in the North End, I walked into a cafe to order a cappuccino, and I had to find a waitress that spoke English. Fresh pasta was in the windows of a couple of the markets. There were fish markets, produce markets, meat markets, etc. I could have stayed there for days. By the end of the day we stayed there, I felt like I truly experienced the North End – I can only imagine how much more engrossed I would have been given more time.

I am so thankful my family and I had this opportunity and this time together. Getting to experience life in a different area is something I will never taked for granted. Is there a culture you truly enjoy experiencing other than your own? I’d love to hear!

Happy Labor Day!!

Happy Labor Day!

Fun fact: Most people don’t really seem to know when the “No white after Labor Day” rule first began. While it isn’t a rule that has 100% logic behind it, it doesn’t completely not make sense either. White is a cooler fabric, which is needed (especially pre-AC) in the summer. Likewise, you wouldn’t wear wool or other winter fabrics in the summer, even if it was a cool day. Just like no pajama pants in public, some rules are about respect for others, and this rule is about dressing appropriately for the season.

Fun fact #2: In the South, white is reintroduced at Easter. Northern etiquette (where it stays cooler for longer) generally doesn’t show white until Memorial Day.

Personally, you will not see me wearing white jeans until next year. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject! Thank you for reading!

Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Today is a very special day, as it is my mom’s birthday! For my entire life, she’s been the most giving, selfless person I’ve ever met. She’s the best mom and granny anyone could ask for, and I’m thankful for the role model she is to my kids. She is constant, dependable and more loving than any of us deserve.

Happy birthday, Mom! We love you!!! (Three exclamation marks just for you!)