As I happily anticipate my first son coming home from his first year away at college, I have found myself reminiscing a lot about all of the years with my boys. My boys have been having some fun chats lately about favorite family memories, and new ones they hope to make while Josiah is home this summer. As it turns out, my boys appreciate family traditions more than I had ever realized.
With all of this on my mind, I was so excited to hear about Jessica Smartt’s new book, Memory-Making Mom: Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home. I absolutely LOVE this topic, and I think Jessica did an amazing job of sharing her heart, and so many inspiring ideas for establishing traditions and creating memories that the entire family will cherish for a lifetime.
Jessica is sharing some inspirations from her book below, and then be sure to comment to be entered to win a copy of her lovely new book! Enjoy…
A decade ago I sat outside the obstetrician’s office, crying into my steering wheel. We had just found out our first baby would be —to my utter shock —a boy! “What will I even do with a boy?”I worried. “What if my husband dies? I have no idea how to raise a boy!”and other sorts of hormonal, pregnant-woman-nonsense.
Ten years and two boys later, life is rougher, louder, messier, busier, sweeter, and more wonderful than I ever imagined it would be as a boy mom. I love every minute of it.
Yes, they’re every bit as rambunctious as I imagined, but they’re also even more tender and loving. My little men tuck in their little stuffed animals, mourn deeply over lost games and hurt feelings. They enjoy snuggling and flowers and writing cards for their friends.
My tender warriors love adventure just as much as they love beauty.
In my quest to do this motherhood thing well, I have landed (quite accidentally) on the wonderful blessing called family traditions! Traditions are the link between the things we want to do and making it actually happen.
All the things I value for my boys —adventure and beauty and faith and serving and nature —each of these things has a tradition in our home.
Here are a few of our very favorite:
- March Madness Tournament and Super Bowl Party: Some of the most treasured traditions are silly or little but our kids treasure these “anchors”in our year. Give us all the sports traditions!
- Hiking Rock Collections:When we hike, we keep a rock and write with marker the date and location.
- Camping! Our new shared adventure is RV camping. I’ve talked to many friends whose cross-country trips were some of their treasured childhood memories.
- Saturday Morning Pancakes: One of our favorites; we never miss a Saturday!
- Cookies for dad’s office: I have all the cookie cutters and we love blessing dad’s office with some snotI mean frosting covered treats during holidays.
- Birdwatching: Does your family have a shared hobby? Hobbies are traditions, too! We feed and admire our feathered friends all year-long.
- Dates with Mom and Dad: we go through an informal rotation throughout the year.
- Back-to-School Fairy: The Back To School Fairy visits the night before school starts and places a fun, school-related toy under your pillow!
- “Restaurant”for dinner: Copied from my own mother, sometimes I make menus and pretend I’m the waitress in a restaurant. The kids love it.
If you, too, long to make fun and meaningful memories with your family, you’ll love my brand-new book, Memory-Making Mom: Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home. I’ve listed 300+ tradition ideas such as these, on how to celebrate the big things and the small things. It’s packed with encouragement and practical ideas to make memories together, even when you’re tired and busy!
Today, we’re giving away one copy of Memory-Making Mom: Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home to one of you!
To enter, comment with one beloved tradition from your home. I can’t wait to read them! I never cease to be surprised by the creative and life-giving traditions from other families.
Thank you, Jessica! This book is such a treasure and I know so many families will be inspired by everything in it!
And to you, Friends — Please do comment below! I’m looking forward to reading about your traditions and we will choose a book winner next Wednesday, May 1st and notify you by email! 🙂 Be sure to tell your friends about this delightful new book, and share this post by using the Social Media links below!
Jessica Smartt is a former English teacher turned homeschooling mom of three. A week after her first baby was born, she began her motherhood blog “Smartter” Each Day. Jessica and her husband live in sunny North Carolina, where she loves hikes with the kids (mostly), steaming coffee in the afternoon, family bike rides, and anything that’s ever been done to a baked potato. In March Jessica released her first book, Memory-Making Mom: Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home.