Why I Dress My Best….And Expect The Same From My Kids

You may remember this post where I talked about wearing clothes that were still casual (think cotton) but were just a little nicer than shorts. I was surprised that others took notice. At work, I tend to wear dresses. To me, they’re actually more comfortable than pants are (I’m hippy), but they truly do take things up a notch.

The past several times that I’ve gone to WalMart, I’ve done so right after work. I’m there in my mid-high heels and my dress. Nothing super special. For about five times in a row now I’ve been complimented by strangers on looking nice. Usually by the end of the day, my makeup is a blur, and my hair isn’t the way I had it in the morning. They’re not necessarily inferring “pretty.” They were simply saying the appreciated that I wasn’t there with wet hair and shorts with “juicy” written across.

Our culture has become increasingly casual – to the point where someone in a simple cotton dress is noticed. Can I tell you my secret? I have about seven dresses. That’s all I wear to work. It keeps my closet cleaner. I prefer a minimalistic approach to living. I have two pair of earrings that I wear regularly. I also have a necklace that goes with about four of my dresses. I’m no Kate Middleton. I just do what works for me, but I truly do not think stepping up how we dress is any extra effort at all. As I explained in the first post where I talked about attire, putting on a skirt is really no extra effort than shorts. I’m not turning cartwheels, so I’m not worried about anything in that arena. My top is still a cotton top. It’s still very simple.

I do feel, though, right or wrong, we make an impression on others by how we look. I try to dress my best and for what’s appropriate, and I expect the same for my family. I want my kids to understand that taking a little time on our appearance isn’t vain. It is actually showing respect for ourselves and respect for others.

Thank you for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Fun Weekend Full of Grace

So this past weekend was one full of fun, family, friends and grace. As is pretty par for the course for me, I overbooked the whole weekend. Due to the grace of friends, it all ended up being okay, which I’m very thankful for!

Each Saturday before July 4th, we have our Independence Day Concert, which is hosted by the Sulphur Springs Symphony League. The Northeast Texas Symphony Orchestra sets the perfect patriotic tone, and a beautiful fireworks show follows the performance. I work for a local bank that is one of the major underwriters of this event, and we hand out free goodies to the attendees each year. I knew I would need to be in town that evening, but I woke up on Saturday morning raring to go. We decided to head east in Pittsburg, Texas.

     Grant and Katherine about to enjoy hotlinks!

I’m a big supporter and lover of small towns. We first went to enjoy Pittsburg hotlinks (I had the amazing frito chili pie….truthfully, I love all concession stand-like food), and my kiddos split a buger but devoured more than their fair share of hotlinks, as well.

After we ate, we headed over to Efurd Orchards, where we got to pick our own blackberries.

               Picking blackberries!
              A rare picture of just the two of us.

As you can see by the clouds, the weather wasn’t the best, BUT that did mean amazingly cool temperatures, which I loved! The entire place was beautiful, but watching my kiddos’ faces as they picked blakcberries took the cake. We even remembered to get a family photo!

                                The whole family.

After we finished picking the 3 1/2 pounds of berries (enough for a cobbler and extra snacking berries!), we headed back to the main area for ice cream (the kids got strawberry, and I chose peach) and peaches for days! If I had had enough sense, I would have gotten a watermelon, too, for a party we had on Sunday.

Happy kids with homemade strawberry ice cream!

We were going to run by Los Pinos winery, too, but time (and the rain that ended up coming) got the better of us. We made it back in time for me to work my shift and to watch the beautiful fireworks!

              The WHOLE family (my mom’s side).

Sunday was my aunt and dad’s birthday. After church, we headed out to my aunt’s house for a birthday lunch for the two of them.

Then, just after presents, we headed over to our friends’ home for swimming and grilling. And my etiquette fail of the week.

I had told my friend I’d bring watermelon to their house for Sunday. However, that’s literally what I did. I brought the watermelon. It wasn’t cut up or even cold. 🙁 Thankfully, with the help of Sharla and the grace of Chelsea, it worked out. But I’m still beating myself up about it today BECAUSE….etiquette is about consideration of others. I hate that I just brought an uncut watermelon. By letting myself run out of time, I wasn’t able to do everything we were doing to the best of my ability. And that bothers me. I’m very grateful to have friends who just wanted to spend time with us, but I never want to take advantage of them. It helped me realize I truly ENJOY etiquette and consideration of others, which will be my “why” for next time.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

Happy Father’s Day!


Happy Father’s Day to all dads and dad figures out there! Thank you for all you do. This post may step on toes, but I want to take today to share the history of Father’s Day.

In recent years, I’ve heard single moms say that today is their day, too. Now, if you are a single momma, you are an amazing person doing an awesome job. Truly, just like single dads, you are having to carry more than your fair share.

Today, though, is about dads. A little history for you. Noticing the hard work her father did for her and her five siblings as a single parent, Sonora Smart Dodd helped bring the celebration of Father’s Day to a national holiday.

While many people think of Father’s Day as a ‘Hallmark Holiday,’ it has actually been celebrated since the Middle Ages.

I hope all dads out there have a wonderful Father’s Day. You bring so much to the world and are incredibly needed.

To our own superman, we love you. ☺️

It’s a Family Tradition

Sorry. The title is actually just because my husband is a fan of country music. 😉 But today we are, in fact, talking about family traditions and how important they are. In my opinion, traditions are also basic standards your family expects and show your priorities. If you have monthly family get-togethers, you prioritize family time. If you have holiday traditions, you value holidays. And so on.

Growing up, my paternal grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa Wilder, lived in Irving, fairly close to the DFW airport. Although they moved to their new house when I was around 11 (I’m about to be 31), I still consider this house their home. At night in particular, when everything was quiet, you could hear the airplanes soar over the city. It’s no coincidence that, as an employee for American Airlines, my grandpa loves airplanes. However, he liked them most in mini version – model planes, in fact. He had a shop that he would spend many hours in building airplanes, flying remote controlled planes, etc. It was a topic he was always excited (and still is) to speak on. He has, in fact, been quoted and showcased in several model airplane magazines.

While planes weren’t my forte, they most definitely were for my brother. Today, at the ripe ol’ age of 26, he’s a pilot. I truly believe the interest created by my grandfather cultivated his love for flying high.

On the flip side, my grandma, though very classy and classic, would always let me push the limits a little. I remember one time in particular, she made me peanut butter toast (I remember it being the first time I had tried it) and let me stay up late (it was past 9pm when we started the movie) to watch 101 Dalmatians. It was absolutely wonderful, and it’s a memory I always think back to when I let my own daughter stay up past bedtime for one-on-one time. Although I was one of 17 (?? Not really sure how many at that time) grandchildren, I felt so special that she had made the night all about me.

This bond I made with my paternal grandparents has lasted through the years. At my grandparents’ 50th anniversary, my grandma passed down various items she had at her wedding to the granddaughters. I inherited a handkerchief she carried. It was carried by me at my wedding. When Garrett and I got engaged, she passed down her original wedding ring set, as my grandpa had gotten her a new one for their 50th. For years she had gotten small rashes on her ring finger that she thought was from soap. In addition to her beautiful ring, I also inherited her allergy to white gold. Go figure. 🙂 Regardless, I will absolutely cherish this ring for as long as I live and will one day pass it down to Katherine.Family is a value that has been passed down from both sides. As such, family time is something I truly treasure. I hope you are able to make time for your loved ones and make memories you’ll have forever.

When You’re In The Trenches

I’ve had several mommas reach out to me feeling overwhelmed. They want to eat dinner as a family at the table every night. They have every intention of teaching their babies to say “please” and thank you.” They know thank you notes are a kind gesture. It’s the implementation of it all that makes them feel like it’s not doable.

I know. I have felt (and still feel in many cases) like it’s not attainable – that my family will not be like the Cleavers. Laundry goes unfolded many days; we have eat-in-front-of-the-tv nights like that vast majority of Americans; I forget to send thank you notes (have I mentioned that’s my etiquette flaw…ahem). Anyhow, it’s all okay, and it’s all going to continue to be okay.

We’re not perfect, and try as we might, we never will be perfect. And it still will be okay.

Instead of giving up, I hope you find encourgement in this post. Give yourself grace. Instead of continuing to think about whatever it was that you missed (a thank you note, dinner for a new mom, etc.), let it completely go. We can start again right now. We don’t even have to wait until tomorrow. 🙂

Something that truly helps me is to make a list. A to do list, a to buy list – whatever is needed. Getting it on paper helps me prioritize what needs to be done. To help me with gifts for showers or birthdays, I try to buy ahead. This is most helpful with hostess gifts, as I tend to give similar items. These are also items I personally love and would use. If I’m hosting my own party, the cocktail napkins I have in my stash come in handy.

For my kids, they learn best by example. In theory I’d love to go over the history of tea with them, but to be honest, they just wouldn’t be into it beyond an American Girl tea party. Repetitition is what helps them learn with etiquette. Instead of expecting them to know when to say thank you in public, make it a habit at home.

In most cases with etiquette, the saying “better late than never” holds true. I’d much rather receive a belated thank you note and know the recipient got the gift than to never receive one because they thought it was too late. I find people have more grace for us than we have for ourselves.

What tips would you add?

Thank you for reading!