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Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like a clean bathroom and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP.

Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”

Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

  • Patti Hatton

Q/A Defining Role in Parenting

Updated: Oct 22

Q: How do you draw the line and define the roles in parenting. Often moms spend more time with the children than dad. We take them to doctor appointments, playdates, we handle their schedules and discipline more often. Usually it is because we are with them more. How do you handle it when the husband has different ideas on parenting and takes the approach, “Well, I’m their dad”? What language should I use instead of saying, “I know them best?” How do you resolve the tug-of-war?

A: The context of a parental discussion is to be considered when making decisions that are best for the children. I would ask myself why my husband might feel the need to pull the “I’m the dad” card. I think this is the bigger question. Does the husband feel the wife has an alliance with the children and he feels like an outsider? Is he trying to stake his claim as a leader of the family? The wife needs to consider the cost vs. benefit of including her husband in decisions, especially if he is trying to step up and become more involved in the decision-making process. If the mom is with the children more than dad, then there is no doubt the mom has had opportunities to make child-rearing mistakes AND learn from them. Has the dad been given these same opportunities to bond with his children, make mistakes with his children and grow and learn? I would also ask if letting your children follow dad’s lead when he is with them, as opposed to correcting your husband, even if there might be a better way, could be viewed as teaching your children disrespect for their father. Witnessing the battle between two parents can be damaging. A husband and wife need to create a unified front when the children are around. Wisdom becomes your friend as you seek an appropriate time to discuss options with your spouse. If the husband can see his wife as his partner, someone that is for him and not against him, he will welcome her input. But if the wife is acting out of a heart filled with hurt, or a place of arrogance because she feels she knows better, the issue will not be resolved by telling the husband he is not needed as a decision maker. This will only serve to divide the couple, which, ultimately, hurts the child. Parents that are united, even when mistakes are made, create healthier examples for children than parents that are divided, even if the “right” decision won out. And making a mistake as parents, united, also affords you both the opportunity to show your children you are not perfect, correct your mistake and ask their forgiveness. This teaches a child to have a forgiving heart (assuming the mistake was something the child even notices). We make mistakes, we say we are sorry, we forgive. As parents, stay united, and have discussions on parenting, when possible, in private.

Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

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