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

IMG_8493

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!


 

Political Politeness, Part 3

Political Politeness, Part 3

Today, locally, begins our city council race, among other races in our county. This can be a time of tension, though I think it could be used as a time of learning. So, to continue our political politeness series seems quite appropriate on the first day of early voting.

So behaviors, such as wearing a candidate’s shirt or pin to the polls, are actually illegal and could get you removed from the voting area. Other behaviors, such as setting up just outside the legal boundaries, simply are in bad taste. Garnering support for yourself or your candidate shouldn’t take place only the days of early voting and Election Day. It should have been an effort all along. I will say with honesty, sometimes we can lose a race for ourselves or others based on our actions. That is why etiquette and manners are so vital in the political arena.

Here are a few dos and don’ts for going to the polls.

DON’T:

Break the law by campaigning at the polls.

Reduce people to their political party. You don’t have to like a certain political party to respect someone as a human.

Tell people for whom you voted unsolicited. I strongly discourage political talk, but it is especially uncouth when it is unwanted.

Forget to vote. If you have done your research and plan to vote, make sure you actually go to the polls.

DO:

Remain calm and polite. The volunteers are doing their best with limited training. They will need to verify you are who you say you are.

Your research ahead of time. I have little respect for voting just to vote. This can often do much more harm than good.

Encourage others to voting in an informed matter, but always keep in mind: their opinion is no better or worse than yours.

Remember candidates and their supporters are human beings.

Remember the Golden Rule.

For everyone running for an office, I wish you a lot of luck. Regardless of the election outcome, I hope you find time to volunteer for your community. It needs you.

For everyone voting, I hope you put a lot of thought into your vote. Remember the candidates are not perfect, and support the winning candidate, regardless. We cannot move forward by cutting our nose to spite our face.

 

Political Politeness, Part 2

Hello, everyone! I hope you liked yesterday’s post that started the Political Politeness series. I had a comment from a reader, Marvin, who suggested I talk about the difference in listening to understand and listening to respond.

Too often people listen simply to reply. They’re planning their retort before the speaker has finished. We are simply too worried in ourselves (too absorbed with ourselves may be more like it). However, what do you hope to gain from listening only to respond to a political candidate? If that’s your goal, you were never interested in learning about their political stance to begin with. We can all learn, develop and grow from each other when we approach political conversations at a political forum with respect and a desire to truly understand where the other person is coming from.

If you are a political candidate, the same rule applies when debating your opponent. People are more interested in what YOU will do than they are in seeing you trying to “up” your opponent. Without respect, our political system is not as effective as it could be.

This is an aside, but reading from the 1942 Emily Post book, there is a section regarding “The Code of a Gentlemen.” Don’t worry, ladies. There’s a section for us, too. This chapter begins, “Far more important than any mere dictum of etiquette is the fundamental code of honor…” Yes. Everything about this, yes. Etiquette can only take us so far, which is why this blog cover much more than traditional etiquette. Honor. So many sayings and clichés cover this topic of kindness, including in politics, such as a the Golden Rule. However, given our topic, I’d like to end with a quote from President Abraham Lincoln that I hope we all keep in mind. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Next up in our political politeness series: How to address politicians and elected officials.

Thank you for reading!