Friday, March 25, 2016

What Are We Teaching Our Children About Marriage?

My parents divorced when I was just five months old but their short marriage taught me quite a bit about marriage - mainly that once I was married, divorce would not be an option.

After the first date with my husband I knew we were meant to be together. It really was love at first sight. So in 1999, we eloped, no big wedding, no long engagement, just a simple justice of the peace wedding.

Now, 17 years later my step-son and future daughter-in-law are busy planning their big wedding, which has made me think about my marriage and what we are teaching kids about marriage. It has me wondering, are we setting a good example of what marriage is about?

I read once that children of parents who have been together for years often have too high of expectations of what marriage is about and their marriages often end in divorce due to the fact that their parents marriage seems so perfect compared to their less than perfect marriage. I worry that is the example we are setting for our kids. Because the truth is our marriage isn't perfect, in fact it is far from being perfect.

The truth is some days we don't really like each other. We still love each other but we don't always like each other. We irritate each other, we make each other mad, and we disappoint each other. As much as I have always said divorce isn't an option, it pains me to say that the d-word has been thrown out way too many times in our 17 years of marriage.

And unfortunately as our kids have gotten older they have witnessed our arguments. Just recently our 15 year old daughter stated, "You all are so weird. One day you are arguing and yelling at each other but the next day you are hugging and kissing each other like nothing happened".

We took that opportunity to explain to her that is what marriage is about. It's about having moments where you are absolutely in love and then there are moments when you argue but you work through it together. And that is what I hope we are teaching our children about marriage.

I hope that they see in our marriage two imperfect people who love each other without end whose marriage has bumps along the way but that manage to stay together through both the good and bad times. Because that is what marriage is. Even the best marriages will be tested and the best couples will make it through the rough times a little closer than they were to begin with.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Natuical Spring Outfit

I love getting style tips from Allison Lumbatis of Get Your Pretty On. I get emails from her blog and yesterday's email included a cute white and blue nautical sweater, with white pants, and red ballerina shoes. I thought it was a cute outfit and made me think about what was in my closet.
Here's the outfit that I put together with items already in my closet.

The sweater and pants are from New York and company while the shoes are from Cato. I am happy with how it turned out and I love the bright pop of red the shoes give. I wish the pictures were better but there isn't much natural light at 5:30 AM when I am trying to get ready for work. What items do you have in your closet that might work with this springs nautical trends?

I am linking this post up to What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Review of Disney's Le Cellier Restaurant

On our recent trip to Walt Disney World we spent two days at Epcot. On one of those days my husband and I had a date night at Le Cellier which is located in the Canada pavilion.

Le Cellier is considered one of Disney's signature restaurants and is a coveted reservation. Which is why I was beyond excited to eat there.

One thing I was worried about when I made the reservation was the dress code for Le Cellier. However, that worry quickly vanished when I was informed that typical theme park attire was accepted. Which was a relief since I didn't want to have to run back to the hotel to change clothes just to eat here.

Le Cellier is designed to resemble the cellar of a Canadian castle with a very romantic ambiance. Which would be perfect for two parents on a date in the middle of a chaotic kid-centered Disney vacation. The ambiance did not disappoint but I will admit that the positioning of the tables does not give way to a very private dinner as you are literally sitting shoulder to shoulder with the table next to you as the tables are so tightly spaced.

The other detraction to this restaurant was that we felt that we were rushed through the dining experience by our server. I feel that this was most likely a server issue and not an overall restaurant issue. For example, she brought a to-go container to our table, without our asking for one or telling her that we needed one. As we were talking to her about our meal she started flinging (and I mean flinging) the food that was still on my plate into the box. It really made us feel like she was saying, "okay, it's time to go".

So now that we have talked about what I didn't like about the restaurant, let's talk about what I did like - the food. The food was exceptional.

Before our meal arrived we were given a bread basket. As you can see ours contained only three pieces of bread. Wanting to try each of them we split each piece in half so that we could both try them. The bread wasn't warm but it was good.

My husband and I both ordered the Seared Canadian Bison Strip Loin with bleu cheese mashed potatoes. Which of course I forgot to take a picture of, but believe me it both looked and tastes great. We wanted something that we couldn't get at a restaurant at home so this was the obvious choice for us.

Overall, Le Cellier was a great restaurant to eat at and the food was as great as expected. However, for the experience we got and the feeling of being rushed it didn't live up to the hype it is given online. We paid for our meal out of pocket but would have been even more disappointed if we had used the dining plan for this experience and would have had to give up two table service credits for it.

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Teenagers Not Excited About Learning to Drive

I was so excited to start driving when I was a teenager. So much so that when I was still 15 my mom took me to the parking lot of the local high school and started teaching me the basics. The first day that I was eligible to take the driving permit test I was there bright and early, which was unusual for a teenager who typically slept till noon. I drove home that day and it was the greatest feeling in the world. My mom was insistent that I keep my permit for at least a year, which was the LONGEST year of my entire life it seemed. The day I received my drivers license it was as if I finally had the freedom I had so dearly longed for.

That's why it came as such a big surprise when my oldest daughter had no desire to get her drivers license. She went at 17 to get her permit because we insisted and now a year later has only practiced once. We are insisting that she take a Drivers Ed course as she is now taking classes at the community college an hour away from our home and getting her there has become a hassle.

I was even more surprised to learn that she is not alone when it comes to not being excited about driving. It turns out this has become a cultural norm in our country with many waiting until the age of 19, 20, and 21 to learn how to drive. Many of these drivers only seem to get their license at that point because it has become a necessity due to school or work.

So why has there become this big shift towards teenagers not driving in our country?

Some moms blame it on the lack of responsibility that our kids feel, they just don't want to learn because they don't have to - especially when they have someone willing to drive them everywhere they want to go.

Other parents believe it is because driving is a hassle in some areas, insurance rates make it impossible in other areas, and many areas have lots of public transportation options. None of these apply to us, so I still find it hard to believe my daughter isn't excited about driving.

Have you noticed this trend among the teenagers you know? Or are they chomping at the bit to start driving? Do you have any tips for getting reluctant teenagers excited about driving?

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