Archives For tradition

It’s hard to believe that in a about a week my littlest guy will be four months old! Where does the time go? Just like I did with Eli, I took a few months off from blogging to get adjusted to our new normal. With my first post back I wanted to take the time to write about Ephraim’s birth.

{Don’t worry, I’m not an overshare-er when it comes to that sort of thing} 

After two years we are finally a family of 4!

After two years we are finally a family of 4!

With Eli my husband made a video while we were at the hospital, documenting the family that came to visit and those precious moments when we got to hold him for the first time. We love having those memories captured and did the same for Ephraim as well. The video is not done being edited, but once it is I will gladly be sharing it with you.

Well to start off, this pregnancy was much harder than my first. Granted I was four years older so that definitely plays into it I’m sure! But, I also didn’t know that I had Lupus with my first pregnancy. Thankfully, my Lupus tends to be less active during pregnancy, so even though this time around it was much harder, I am grateful that overall everything went well.

I love the excitement in Eli's eyes! He loves his brother!

I love the excitement in Eli’s eyes! He loves his brother!

I was induced at 38 weeks this time around and that was completely different. I liked it, yet didn’t like it all at the same time. With my first I went into labor on my own at 39 weeks. I loved the excitement of getting to call family and tell them we were headed to the hospital. This time it was nice that our family got to plan ahead of time for the delivery. But, man was it hard sleeping the night before being induced! It’s like being a kid again the night before Christmas! My mind was constantly spinning thinking about the next morning.

We headed to the hospital around five in the morning. It was super weird just walking into the hospital knowing I was having a baby that day and yet I wasn’t currently in any pain like I was last time since I showed up to the hospital in labor with my first. Another thing that was super weird was being able to sit in our room at the hospital and watch tv since I was waiting for the induction to start. They said to rest while I waited, but that wasn’t going to happen! Once they began to induce me everything progressed rather quickly. My labor started around 7:00AM and Ephraim was born at 1:20PM.

Hello my sweet boy!

Hello my sweet boy!

Those moments after he was born was absolutely perfect. Our oldest had to go to the NICU for a few hours. They literally handed him to me for a few seconds and then took him away, I didn’t see him again for about seven hours. It was horrible! But this time around everything went so smoothly! I got to hold him, cuddle him and introduce him to his big brother and the rest of our family! No NICU visits for us this time! Yay! It was truly wonderful!

 

The following post I wrote for a friends blog, Miss Banana Pants. Check her site out and enjoy the post!

20111221-133556.jpgIt is officially the holiday season! I love this time of year. I love the winter, the family gatherings, Christmas trees, I pretty much love it all! I have so many great memories during this time of year, and now I am a parent and get to build those lasting memories with my children. I look back at all the memories and traditions I have with my family and get all excited thinking about passing these same things on to my children. But, the one thing I never thought about was that every family has their own traditions, their own favorite way of doing things. Wait, what? We don’t all celebrate Christmas the same way? No, and I learned this from my husband.

I grew up where Santa did not wrap his presents, in fact not all the gifts under the tree were from him either. We had a mixture from him and from our parents, but the ones from him were always unwrapped. This completely shocked my husband. In his family every gift was wrapped and every gift was from Santa. I would be lying if I were to tell you that our conversation about which way was the correct way didn’t get a little heated. (sad I know, but we both could not comprehend the others tradition) Another example of the difference we found was just how we opened gifts Christmas mornings. We have known some friends whose families would all open gifts at the same time. Both of our families took turns and watched each other open gifts. However, my family made a pile for each person at the beginning and we could decide each turn which one we wanted to open. His family would pick one person each year to pass out the gifts, one gift for everyone to open and then would pass out again like this until all were gone.

The more we talked about different traditions we loved and wanted to pass on, the more we realized that some of those traditions we both did growing up, but differently. I knew that not everyone did things the way my family did, but never really cared or thought about it much until the time came to start thinking about my children. What my husband and I learned during this discussion, and the many more that followed was that we have to find a median, AND make sure that the other person doesn’t feel like we are saying that their traditions are less important than ours. We had to decide what things we wanted to take from both of our childhoods to pass on and then we want to come up with our own traditions for our family to start passing on. The important thing is that we create a family tradition, whatever that might be, but something that is ours and for our children to grow up remembering.

Things will not change. Every family will continue to do things differently. As long as my family has beautiful memories that my children love and that they are shocked to find out later that not all families celebrate Christmas like our family, I know then that we have done a good job. We will have created a legacy that they will find a way to incorporate into their families one day. So, have you started making a legacy for your family?

 

“God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.”  J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922

As I have gotten older and had a child of my own keepsakes have become more important to me. I am not just talking about things of my sons that I want to hold on to, which there are plenty of things. I am also talking about other family members, ones that have passed away. I was in the 8th grade when my gran-gone (grandma) died and a freshman in college when my aunt died. I loved them both very much and was close to both of them. As I have gotten older the things that I have been given of theirs have become close to my heart. When I was first given a few pieces of their jewelry it was special and I loved it. Now, as the years go on and I raise my child those things I have of my gran-gone and aunt mean more. They both left an impression on my life. Who I am has to do with the family that surrounds me, and since they are no longer here it is their memories, lessons and traditions that live on. When I make nachos I always think of my aunt… that was the signature meal we had when she babysat us! Peanut butter cookies and homemade chex mix always take me back to my gran-gone, not to mention that everyone in my family says that I have her eyes! And now, when I look down at my finger and see one of their rings on my hand I will always think of them. The legacy of my family lives on in me and in my children and as my children grow up the cycle continues. I hope that I will have a few keepsake items for my children that they will want to have that will remind them of their childhood and our family. I have a vision of the legacy I want to leave behind. What is your vision?

“I am still convinced that a good, simple, homemade cookie is preferable to all the store-bought cookies one can find.” James Beard

“Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” Kevin Arnold, The Wonder Years

Today on the radio they were talking about how food is such a strong factor with memories. How true this is, you can smell a certain food and it brings back a rush of memories. What foods do that for me? Well… the smell of peanut butter cookies and homemade chex party mix cooking in the oven. It brings me back to family get togethers. It was a staple. Any time the family got together my grandma (or as we called her, gran-gone) would have these two things ready for us! Sadly she has passed away and my son will never get to meet the wonderful woman that she was. But, I intend to keep her memories alive! I actually started a new tradition a year before my son was even born, the first year we got to host Thanksgiving. I made her party mix the night before so everyone could snack on it while waiting for the big meal. I have also decided to have the cookies be something that me and my children make together Christmas afternoon (once they are old enough of course). These amazing memories that I have are ones I want to pass down to my children. When it comes to raising children I believe it is so important to pass on traditions and that is what I intend to do. Now, I can’t pass down every tradition my family did because then where would it leave space for my husbands traditions or ones that we want to make for our family. But, picking those memories that really stand out and mean something are important. So, you may wonder why cookies and party mix are so important to me. Well, not only was it something to count on, but, it was just an example of her loving and generous spirit. It was something that only she would make for us, and we got to help to… usually licking the beater! She loved hosting and making us her snacks from the bottom of her heart, it was just one way she showed us her love, and… even though I have the recipe, no one can make it better than she did! What traditions are you going to pass on?