Making Every Day Special

My granny had a talent for making every day special. Even though I was 12 when she and my aunt built a new home to move into, I associate most of my childhood memories with her in her old home, which she and my pappy moved into when they were married.

It was a simple white frame home with well-loved wood floors. There were also three points of exit, which probably caused gray hairs for my granny when she was watching me. The home didn’t have central heat or AC, so windows were regularly open, and the smell of honeysuckle permeated the air. She was an avid pie maker, so it was a regular occurance to see a cocount meringue pie in the kitchen.

My granny always told me that she cooked simple meals. But they never felt simple. Even a sandwich lunch in the heat of summer was special there. She pulled out all of the stops, and, as a mom, I wonder where she found her energy. For sandwiches there were always multiple varieties of meats and cheese in the Brookshire’s deli bags. Variety never stopped there, as there were options for every topping I could think of. She’s usually have a cantelope or other ripe summer fruit that she had cut up earlier, and tomatoes were both a topping and a side, sprinkled with a bit of salt. While her favorite chips were Lays potato chips, those were never the only ones she had. Even in the absence of one of her homemade pies (which never lasted long), Little Debbie treats were there following the meal. She still made it an experience.

I was thinking about these meals recently. I think too often we add unneccesary pressure on ourselves. While I do not (and will not) ever think it’s acceptable to just grow lazy and do the bare minimum, I also don’t think it’s prudent to add extra work just to add the extra work. She never felt pressured to make seven-course meals. She knew how to keep things appropriate.

My granny made sandwiches special. She enjoyed doing more than throwing a piece of meat and cheese on a slice of bread. That’s where I find much of my motivation. The meal never cost much, but, even as a 31 year old, I remember those meals vividly.

To me, this sums up etiquette so well. It doesn’t have to cost much. It just has a way of making the ordinary special. Don’t let fear hold you back from making each day special. You don’t need to work yourself silly. Invite friends over for sandwiches. I can guarantee those memories will last.

My daughter, my mom and I are the next generations of my granny’s legacy.

 

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