Showing posts with label traditions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label traditions. Show all posts

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Southern Series: A Southern Wedding

Y'all, I went to my first wedding since moving Below the Mason Dixon Line a few weeks back.  It was... not quite what I expected. In talking to a few people, it doesn't sound like a traditional southern wedding... it sounds like maybe they were looking for a fancy northern wedding and missed the mark a tad. Of course, now I'm turning all y'all for opinions.

First, let me say it was lovely.  I'm sure the bride, bless her heart, got what she wanted, which is how it should be, but it was not exactly "user friendly."

For starters, it was a full Catholic Nuptial Mass, which for me, growing up in a town that was 75% Catholic, was old hat, but I'm pretty sure most of the people in the church had no clue. For example everyone went up for Communion... EVERYONE. In the Catholic Church, that's a huge No No!

I mentioned in a previous post that the invitation said "Black Tie Optional" but that's kind of hard to swing when the service starts at 4:30 on a Friday. Most people didn't even make it to the service. At the reception, which immediately followed, most of the men managed suits, but the women were largely under-dressed. I was in a black cocktail dress that I'd worn as a bridesmaid in my sister's wedding and I was close to being overdressed.  There were ladies there in cotton sundresses, a maxi dress from Target, and white cotton pants. Oh, and LAWD 'A Mercy! the bride's mother was in head-to-toe white!

There was a cocktail hour with beer, wine, and soda when we first arrived at the reception venue. After an hour, we were ushered into the hall, which was gorgeous but really large for the number of guests, so we were really spread out.  There was a HUGE dance floor in the middle. They also didn't assign seats and LB and I didn't know anyone, but fortunately had "made friends" with a few members of the groom's family and were able to sit with them.

The bridal party was announced and the happy couple had their first dance and family dances. Then they called everyone up for the buffet and had piano music playing.  The beer and wine table closed down, but there was sweet tea and water on the table. Following dinner there were champagne toasts and then the family moved through the room to greet guest.

Five hours later, not one person had danced. ~Did I mention the HUGE dance floor?~  It looked like perhaps they were going to open the beer and wine table and get things started, but by that time, LB looked at me, I looked at him and we made a gracious exit.  FIVE HOURS!  Y'all, I've never been to a wedding where guests were made to wait more than five hours to dance!

So my bloggy friends... faux pas?  Bad form? Or welcome to the south, this is how we do it in these here parts?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Another Sorta Southern Failure

  • Cold Mountain  I didn't even realize this was a southern movie!
  • Driving Miss Daisy  I have seen it, but it's been so long that I don't remember it.  I certainly didn't remember it as being a love story!
  • Forrest Gump Okay, I've seen two and I did love this one!
  • Gone With the Wind Nope. Haven't seen it. ~I know, I KNOW!
  • The Notebook  Haven't read the book or seen the movie. Didn't even realize it took place in The South!
As I was surfing the net one recent weekend, I came across this blog post about emotional Southern movies. I thought I'd know some. I knew I wouldn't have seen all of them, as I still haven't watched Gone with the Wind, but y'all, I was shocked when I realized I had only seen two of the five movies on this list and one I watched so long ago I don't remember it!

Here's what would have been on my list:

Sweet Home Alabama Maybe not so emotional, but it had it's moments and it is definitely a romantic comedy AND one of my all time favorite movies!
The Blind Side  Seriously... totally tugs at your heart strings from beginning to end. LOVE this movie!

Steel Magnolias Isn't this right up there with Gone With the Wind in the Southern Movie Bible?

    How about y'all?  Which ones have you seen? What's on your list? Which should I watch first?

    Monday, February 4, 2013

    A WASP Goes to a Southern Bar Mitzvah

    This past Saturday, White Anglo Saxon Protestant me and my fair-haired children went to our first Bar Mitzvah.

    Here are some things I observed:

    My children were the only naturally fair-haired people there.  Oh, there were other bottle blondes, like, ehm, yours truly, but my kids kind of stood out.

    So did my coworker next to whom we sat. She and her family were the only African Americans there.

    Did you know that the first 45 minutes or so is just recitations of scripture and you don't have to get there right on time?  I did not. We got there right on time and may have seated ourselves before we were supposed to.

    Did you know that the Torah is backwards?  I made it 36 years without ever knowing this.  As such, I just could not get the hang of turning the pages.  The Boy was having fits of giggle watching me before he finally just turned the pages for me.

    Did you also know that these things last for over 2 hours?  I did not know this. We missed the luncheon after because we had to skirt out to get to The Boy's basketball game. We were still late, missing pictures and forcing him to play with no lunch! D'oh!

    Teachers, when getting together after hours, will make complete fools of themselves!

    I think I need to meet more Jewish people! *grins*

    In all seriousness, I was honored to be invited and attend. I was grateful to expose my children to a religion other than their own.  The Rabbi was aware that there were many friends in attendance who were not Jewish and was helpful in leading us along as he went. 

    As we listened to the Hebrew reading of the 10 commandments I was able to help my children follow along in English. They were able to see that we are not so very different... a wonderful teaching moment.

    Since the of honor has a brother just one year younger, I'll be better prepared next year! *grins*

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Signs of Fall

    image source
    Fall is in the air my friends. Here is how I know!
    1. Football, football, more football.
    2. Apples...pie, cider or just by themselves. I love me a tart, juicy Mac!
    3. Pumpkins... pie, bread, on the front porch
    4. Changing leaves... I was told when I moved Below the Mason Dixon Line that I would miss the leaves. I scoffed. Well, five years later, I am here to tell you I need me some changing leaves!
    5. First fire in the fireplace.... Oh how I love that down here that simply means flipping a switch to turn on the gas logs.
    6. S'mores in the fire pit... A fall activity here because it's too hot in the summer.
    7. A warm fleecy sweater... for those crisp, cool afternoons outside and because I'm cheap one won't turn on the heat! 
    8. The Great Costume Discussion that begins in preparation for Halloween...not that I manage to actually get costumes until the weekend before. *sigh*
    I was aiming for 10 things, but I could not think of two more, so I asked my children?  The Boy was no help. Here is his list, in order, without looking at mine:  Leaves on the ground, football, apples, pumpkins, Halloween and Jack-o-lanterns.  I guess he's mine! *grins*

    I originally wrote this post last week to link up with Monday Listicles after missing the Writer's Workshop on the same topic the week before. I figure, heck, it's still fall, right?I might as well just go ahead, because apparently, everybody else is doing it!

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    PYHO: Negative Spaces and Places

    Last week I went up north, to drop my children off for my family's annual camping trip and to visit with my Grammy.  Since I was already there and it's such a long trip, I went with my parents and children for a few days of the camping trip. I'd skipped it last year, figuring that my mother and I had had enough together time in the days leading up to my sister's wedding.

    I was blindsided by my reaction to being on that vacation, in that place again.

    It seems that some places will always hold negative emotions no matter how long it's been.

    You see, my family has taken this trip, to this campground in some form or another for almost 20 years. I've been going for more than 10.
    • This was that last family vacation we took, just my mom, dad, sister and I, before I got married.
    • I camped pregnant with The Boy Child.
    • It was on this trip, one year later, that I realized I was pregnant with The Girl.
    • Most notably, it was the last vacation my ex and I took as a family. We split up just a month after that trip.  It was NOT a good trip.
    I've been there since. It was easy to go when I still lived up north and it was important to my kids.

    But now, seven years later, it is not a place I need to be anymore. It seems it will always remind me of an awful time in my life.

    Perhaps because I'd taken a year off last year and in that year, have begun dating again... been in two fairly serious relationships...truly moved on, I wasn't expecting the sense of ... dread... that overtook me when I entered the gates... I was quite literally fine one moment and not the next.

    But this trip is important to my children, so I need to find a way to get them there without my going, because to me, it's just not worth it anymore.  I don't need to "go there."

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    Wordless(ful) Wednesday: Special Birthday(s)

    In honor of the nation's birthday, I bring you a picture from mine last week, because let's face it, when don't I take the opportunity to make it all about me?

    Birthday Tiramisu, brought to my table by a very cute, very Italian and very young waiter at Epcot!

    In all seriousness,
    We'll be sharing the day with friends and family enjoying the freedoms for which those that have gone before us fought so hard.

    This is what I am bringing

    Oh and I'm making a fruit salad with the leftover fruit, you know, for the kids, yes the kids! *grins*

    Linking up today with

    5 Minutes for Mom

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    PYHO: Their Own Holiday Traditions

    One of the things that was hardest for me to come to terms with when my marriage ended was the loss of family holidays and traditions... all those years of growing up with mom and dad and family and special routines... it felt like my children weren't going to get that... it would be different every other year... there would be no consistency for them.

    It took a few years, but I realized a few things.  

    1.  That heartbreak was mine, not theirs.  They were too young to remember their dad and I together, so this was their normal.  It hurt ME that their childhood Christmases wouldn't be like mine, but they didn't know the difference!

    2.  They would make their own traditions and they have.  Without realizing the significance of what they've done, my children have their own rituals that they demand regardless of where they are on Christmas...Things like the Elves leaving pajamas on their pillow on Christmas Eve, getting 3 presents from Santa and this one about which I posted last year. Boy Howdy, don't think they'll let either their dad or I forget!

    I can relax.  Maybe their childhood didn't turn out like I thought it would... maybe it's not like mine ~ which, while traditional and good, had it's own warts *winks*~ but they have done their own thing, without a conscious thought. As the only living reminders of a union and family unit that no longer exists, they have made their own little unit... one that is just for them and comes with it's own traditions.

    I couldn't be more proud and I probably love them even harder for it!

    I hope your holiday is filled with love, laughter, and family traditions.

    I am going shopping... I need more butter and biscuits! *grins*

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Christmas Travel Tip: Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

    This year, I got my first real tree in four years. We are staying here for the entire holiday this year ~YAY~ so The Boy and I went out one night, picked a tree, strapped it to the top of the car, brought it home, got it off the car and into the stand.  I am very proud of us!

    When the children were little and we lived int he Great White North, we went every year and cut our own tree.  When I moved down here, I went fake...until the children broke the fake tree two years ago.

    If this was the first year I got a real tree and the tree broke two years ago, what did we do last year?

    Funny you should ask, because I found the following, from last year, still in draft mode in my list of posts.  Apparently I never got around to posting it, so I will now...

    From Christmas 2010:

    I wasn't going to put up a tree this year. PERIOD.

    Last year, I wanted to get a real tree for the first time since moving Below the Mason Dixon Line, but it kept snowing and sleeting and raining.  The kids got impatient, so I set up our old artificial one.  By the time we took it down, the kids had managed to somehow break the bottom branches. Okay, it was like 10 years old and a little rickety, but the kids did deal the final blow.

    Since we are traveling for an entire week around Christmas this year AND it was the kids that broke the tree, I wasn't going to put one up.  We certainly couldn't have a real one, being gone that long, and I wasn't going to pay full price for a new artificial one.  Plus, the kids would have a tree at their dad's and there will be one at my parents'. I talked about this with the kids and they were on board.

    Then my parents showed up for Thanksgiving.  Somehow my mom, in all her infinite wisdom- thank you, Mom, for undermining my lesson- *Yes, this is when she most makes me crazy- my house, my rules, but when she thinks it should be another way, she manipulates and then pretends she was really just concerned for our well-being.  It makes me INSANE *mini vent over**- while pumping the kids for the story of why we weren't getting a tree, instead of just asking me, planted the idea in the kids' heads that we weren't getting a tree because I couldn't afford one.  Following their visit, the kids, who understood WHY we weren't getting a tree, suddenly needed one.

    My solution:

    A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree!

    Do you like how our star is almost bigger than the whole tree?

    It's a 3-foot table top job from Target.  Cost me $23.  This I can live with.  I think, now, we will use it every other year when we travel for the holiday!

    ***Please excuse the blurriness.  I am not photographer, but I liked the way the lights looked in this photo over the other more clear ones, so y'all will just have to deal! ***

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    Happy Halloween

    What will you be doing today?

    Or did you celebrate over the weekend?

    Or maybe you don't celebrate at all?

    Up north, when my kids were little, and when I was growing up, Halloween wasn't a huge deal.  Pretty much everyone went Trick-or-Treating and there may have been a small party at school, but that was it.

    When I moved Below the Mason Dixon Line, well, fewer people celebrate, but those that do, watch out!  

    Trunk or Treats
    Fall Festivals
    Halloween Parties
    Costume Parades
    Trick or Treating

    Y'all, Halloween lasted all week!

    I'm happy to report that with my kids being elementary-school-age, things have calmed down again.  My Vampire Princess and Football Player will go Trick or Treating tonight, but that's it.

    I have a Teacher Work Day today.  I'd like to speak to the genius that made the work day on the day OF, instead of the day AFTER Halloween! Tomorrow ought to be a zoo!

    How does your family celebrate Halloween?

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    PYHO: Homesickness

    I've shared with y'all some of the things that have been going on in The Great White North in the last few weeks.

    It's created a bit of a feeling of homesickness.

    Making me long for the comfort of gathering with family in the places that I remember from my youth.

    This only happens about two times a year, because most of the time, I love living Below the Mason Dixon Line and am grateful for a little space from my family (READ: my mother)

    Father's Day Weekend, my sister was in the Great White North for her shower.  Since I had just thrown her a shower down here the weekend before, I chose not to go with her for the occasion.

    I got a call from my former BIL, whom I have not talked to in at least 3 years.

    I was walking through the mall with the children in search of a bridesmaid's dress~ I did eventually find one five stores later~ and my phone rang.  The number was not one that was programmed into my new phone, but I could tell it was a northern number and it looked vaguely familiar.

    I answered and I was immediately greeted with, "Leigh Anne Thomas!  I just saw your whole DA$# family at the club.  I even met your soon-to-be-brother-in-law and where were you!?!?"

    Then, later that day I called to wish my dad a Happy Father's Day and he put my mom on the phone.  They were about to leave for a picnic at my uncle's house and were doing their usual banter about my dad not wanting to go see my mom's family ~ He loves them, but this is his schtick.

    I missed home.  I had these visions of my whole family together and I was not there...

    Then I called my sister.

    She told me all about how she and Jack were out and my mom decided to let her dog out of her crate and into the fenced-in backyard, leaving the back door cracked in case the dog wanted water.  The dog did go in for water and then, left unattended, ate 24 chicken wings off the kitchen counter and proceeded to throw up all over the place for the rest of the day.

    Suddenly, I wasn't homesick anymore.

    (The dog recovered and is fine.)

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Friday Fragments: My Birthday Month

    It's my Birthday Month!!!

    What? You ask?  A whole month?

    Why yes, I celebrate the whole month and I 'rent' out days to others.

    All in the name of sharing ~ I'm nice like that *grins*

    (And we are going to be proud of me for making it a whole 10 days before I reminded you this year!)


    It's also THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!


    Of course, I still don't know if I have a job next year, so I feel a little guilty celebrating.

    But gosh am I thankful for the break!

    In honor of the last week, the AC in my classroom is broken.  

    I almost melted.

    Luckily, with fifth grade graduation, the fifth graders left early yesterday and won't be in today, so we've commandeered a classroom with AC.

    But it's kind of hard to pack up and clean my room when I'm not in it!

    And I do have to pack up, because there is a chance that I will not be back... and if I am, I will probably be in a different room!


    My sister's bridal shower is this weekend.

    I have to come up with a good, easy grilled chicken recipe.

    They are doing a low country boil, but we want chicken on the side, because not everyone ~ meaning me~ eats seafood and I am in charge of that.

    I was going to have a friend make me a tray of Chicken Parm, but we had a little falling out this week.  It will pass, but I feel guilty calling in the immediate aftermath and being like, "I know I got a little bent out of shape because you hurt my feelings, but could you still make that chicken???'

    Bad manners!


    Next weekend, my sister will head to the Great White North for her shower up there.  I thought today that I might be able to have the kids go with her and actually spend Father's Day with their dad.  It would have taken some negotiation, as my parents would have had to keep them on the weekdays while he was at work, but my sister was willing to drive them and I know my parents would have jumped at the chance for extra grandkid time.  Then I realized my sister is not coming back until next Wednesday and I've already paid for the kids to go and am teaching Vacation Bible School that week.  The kids would miss 3 of the 5 days, so it won't work.  

    Yet, still I feel guilty.... and he very possibly could have said no anyway!


    Mommy's Idea