Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and though I may not celebrate the actual meaning of Valentine’s Day (well in a sense I do )who wouldn’t love a gift or two to commemorate the Holiday?February 14th only equaled into a day of love way back when young lovers wanted to get married and it was outlawed. Needless to say the stories about who started valentine’s day has changed as the years have changed and as much as I would like to give you a history lesson on the real reason we celebrate Valentine’s Day that’s not what we are here for , so let’s get to the business at hand. GIFTS!
If you’re like me practical gifts make the best gifts. So before you run out the house at the last minute to buy a teddy bear and a card please read this first. Again if you’re anything like me I don’t want a bear , I don’t read cards, I can buy myself a candy bar and well flowers grow outside. So here is a simple guide on buying the best gifts for practical people.
- Watch what they like. If your spouse or girlfriend is obsessed with a certain item take note of the item . Keep up with their latest purchase and then look and see where you can buy them their next item. I’m not a collector but when I was younger my mother collected these dolls ( All God’s Children). They were a rare find , meaning you couldn’t just walk in a store and find them so if she got them it was something memorable. My Dad kept her collection growing until they were discontinued. Also have a conversation with them about the item because there was a time I liked something and I would have rather I purchased them for myself. Sometimes women are strange like that, where our independent ways can get in the way of an easy gift.
- Lasting Gifts . I personally love these sort of gifts . One year when I was 20 years old my mother bought me a bed for Valentine’s day. I kept the bed for a number of years , it moved with me to my first home and every time I looked at it I said …I got this for Valentine’s Day and it made me super proud to say that . It doesn’t even have to be as big as a bed it could be something as small as a light fixture for a closet or a lamp for your bedroom or a chair for your blogging desk but it should be something that will have to look on for years to come.
- Expensive isn’t always best. I have to confess I have expensive taste. When I go to a department store to shop my eye for fashion often gets in the way of my budget. But just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean that is best. Sometimes its just about Quality. Valentine’s is the best time to shop for Quality things at a lower price. Take advantage of those after Christmas sales! Coats for the next season is always a great investment and it won’t break the bank. Who wouldn’t want an extra coat for Valentine’s Day and guess what …it’s a lasting gift . Well as long as it stays in season.
- NO ONE REALLY WANTS CANDY. I get the idea that everyone wants to get sweets for their sweet . But if its not chocolate from Switzerland or Italy I don’t want it . I have a stash of chocolate somewhere in the house and lets all face it , the candy has been in the stores since Christmas …I’d like something a little fresher. LOL So unless your partner only eats candy once a year and this is that once, scratch the chocolate off the list . Well unless you mean a chocolate diamond in that case head on over to Kay’s and you might find one for $24. Who knows?
- MOST WOMEN LOVE HANDBAGS/Shoes . If you know me well you know that I carry a good bag and I usually ( not as much as my mom) have a great pair of shoes on when I step out. You can never go wrong with a handbag or shoes. But listen do not buy any handbags from anyone’s house, if you are not shopping at a department store or ordering directly from the company it ain’t right. And just because its not a Louis Vuitton ( although I’d like a new one ) doesn’t mean its not good. Just make sure the leather is good. And it’s something that she would like . In my case I would rather have a Tory Burch or something like it .
- Electronics. One year when the Kindle first came out I got a Kindle for a gift. Although I don’t use it much now , it was a wonderful gift and something that I was so proud to have. Other things you may consider is apple watches, fit bits, small tv’s for your closet, iphones , cameras (go pro) or even an Alexa.
- Perfume. It’s a simple gift it works as long as you know what she likes. Don’t go out experimenting and bring back something that she would hate.
- NO FLOWERS! If you want flowers why not plant flowers for the spring to come , buy a tree but make it something that lasts. Wouldn’t it be a great story to tell your kids that you guys planted that tree during Valentine’s 2018. And spend years to come watching that tree grow and shade a portion of your yard that needs it.
- Jewelry- Every women deserves some diamond earrings and if you don’t have any by now (this is the BEST idea I’ve had yet.) here is your opportunity . Valentine’s were meant for Diamonds. You will thank me later, a Karat or two will suffice .
- MOST UNCONVENTIONAL . 1 year supply of Starbucks ( Or your favorite Coffee shop) , A Gas Card, 1 Year of Full Service Car Detailing, a monthly make up box subscription. A Prime subscription, Fit Stitch or Fabletics 1 year subscription, 1 year Blue Apron Subscription , 1 year subscription to POP SUGAR . Netflix Subscription paid for 1 year , I could go on.
There are so many different ways to show love and purchase the best things and put a smile on her face at the same time…well Basically
So we had a snow week end that turned into a snow week . The day before school let out I had two girls come home with a stomach ache and a sore throat. We figured that they planned this considering that the time they got home they were in a different spirit. We missed the basketball game that night and our weekly hair appointments because I feared that they may in fact be sick. By Saturday I had enough and took the kids out for a lunch date as well as a time to play . All kids need some sort of recreation , daily whether its 10 degrees outside of 100 they need that time to play . We had plans to make them tired on Saturday and it worked . We attended church Sunday morning and Sunday night my youngest daughter came down with a fever . The next morning she was still running a fever and then the baby boy was sick.
We live in a different city from where my husband works. He usually works 80 miles from home . With traffic that’s about 2 hours away . Generally if he works late it will mean that he will get home around 8:00 PM or before 7:00 PM . This week because the South is not equipped for snow meant that he was off work for 2 days. What does this mean for me , well it means that my day still never ends, like ever. And for the most part I am okay with that . I have gotten used to it but it’s not exactly how I expected like to be in my 30’s after I went so many years in college. So there are days that I am cynical in my approach to being a stay at home Mommy . It actually helps me manage. Meanwhile what makes me so frustrated is the people who don’t seem to understand what being a stay at home mom really means.
So when I had my daughter and lost my full time job( well kinda…long story) in the same year it was a no brainer that I would be home with then one baby , a year later another came and a year after that we had another baby. So for about 3 years we had just babies in the house. And it was not a chance that I would get out the house . Well at least for about 7 years . And in those 7 years I’ve been in charge of everything related to our household. And in those 7 years I have not spent one night away from them. The only vacation I’ve had away from them is when I was in the hospital having them . We all know that is no vacation. I’m sitting here trying to remember a night or a date with out the kids and I cannot . I think we went out for a hour on our 5th wedding anniversary. However the amount of time I spend with my kids cannot compare to any job I’ve ever had . The many hours it takes me to keep the clothes washed and the groceries bought. Not to mention getting the kids to school and from school, participating in every activity from ball games to homeroom mom duties and those pesky projects add up and even a long work day for my husband can never equal out to what Mom’s do daily?
So why do we think that it is acceptable to downgrade a stay at home mother. I honestly never knew what women did who didn’t work. I imagined that they go to the mall daily , and were free to do things with their kids willfully. I didn’t know the amount of work it required to be a mother and run a house. I wonder how my mother did it and successfully ran two hair salons and a daycare center. She maintained and in the midst of that she and my Dad teamed together and raised all 3 of us. I never once heard my Dad tell my mother , you haven’t worked as hard as me and vice versa. But now I hear that so much …you have it easy being home with your kids. Oh so you get a break often? That must be great being home with your kids , you don’t ever have to get dressed. Why would one assume that its so much easier being home with your kids. The easy part is being at work and letting someone else keep your kids and only having about 4 hours in the afternoon to do homework and go to bed . Imagine if you will , there is never a break in the day. Kids don’t sleep till 12 they are always hungry and then life happens. Not only are you taking care of the kids you are taking care of life. And if your husband works late hours like mine , that includes car maintenance,taking out the garbage, house maintenance and yard work if need be. Its a fortunate situation to be in but its not to be taken lightly.
The funny thing is when I see meme’s that say if you have a good man then you shouldn’t be doing any of the things that I mentioned above . I always laugh and say well if he’s there to do all of those things it means that he doesn’t work . Well not very hard because most of those things are done BEFORE my husband gets home from work.
So let’s stop thinking less of people who have made this as a career choice. We are engineers in our own right. We deserve tax breaks, back rubs and weekly shopping trips . Plus I still work in addition to being home . It’s nothing wrong in accepting the fact that we do get tired too …well basically
I cannot remember how I entered the year 2017 . I imagine that I was in bed waiting on the clock to say 12:00 AM and worried if I would get enough sleep to make it to church the next morning. I however could have exactly prepared for what would happen in 2017 . And although I thought each moment was much more difficult than the last thing that I faced , I made it and in the midst of it I realized , I’m still breathing , I’m still laughing , I still have the same smile and my family his healthy and happy. In the words of Celie from the color purple, I’m still here. That only means one thing… I miraculously survived 2017 . And because I made it , I am thankful for every obstacle I endured and every successful moment I achieved in 2017.
There were a lot of life changes in the last year. My husband had joined the Air force the previous year ( I know , who does that in their late 30’s …its some wonderful advantages ) that along with his civilian job allowed us to only spend 3 full months together . I didn’t know that I would actually enjoy that moment that he left but we managed, we made it and we survived. He will possibly do some of the very same things this year. Fortunately I won’t endure that blindly I will know what to expect and roll with the adventure. And even though the military keeps us informed on things to do its more of a calming situation to already know what will happen before it happens.
This year I launched my first website. I have been blogging since 2006 but I never knew that it was bigger than my wordpress blog page. I never knew the road trip I would go on in just a few short months . I have really enjoyed learning , reading , discovering other blogs, finding people who are just like me living life and enjoying life has made my life so interesting and I have to say that it was the peak of my year. Sometimes you have to take risks and invest in your life. I am so glad that I took the risk and met so many wonderful people along the way.
One of my good friends moved out of the country . She is now a Canadian . I didn’t realize that a country that was attached to us would be so different than we are. She’s had to learn so many things from how to fill up her car to how to buy groceries using the metric system. She sent me a receipt from a normal drug store visit where she spent $60 on tylenol and rubbing alcohol. And though we consistently talk about our gas prices at least we don’t have to spend a lot of money for simple tylenol or be forced to keep a certain amount of money in our checking account that is well beyond $5 ( LOL ) . I’m praying that she enjoys her adventure in Canada. It has already been a great adventure. And the best part is that she has made friends already. Don’t you love it when you’re easy to make friends?!
2017 marked the ending of my eldest son’s high school career. As we count down the months until he walks across the stage I cannot help but imagine the day 17 years ago when he was born . I never knew that those nights he stayed up teething and crying would only be a short time in reflection to this time in his life. I pray that he makes great choices and that his life goes above and beyond what his father and I have done.
I’m ready to take on 2018 . I pray for much success for all who reads this and for my entire family.