Monday, March 4, 2013


I am a little bit crazy paranoid that Logan won't have a wonderful childhood.  I just really want him to look back on his time here at home with fond memories and warm fuzzy feelings.  I think sometimes this leads me to over think, over plan, over worry, and over force the fun.  On normal days this can lead to over-stimulation and an overly tired little boy.... but around holidays, the paranoia and panic to make a magical memory gets taken to a whole new level!  Family traditions and fun memories go hand in hand to me, and I'm concerned our family just isn't doing enough in these departments.  Maybe I've been reading too many blogs.  Maybe I've been pinning too many pins.  Maybe I'm worrying for nothing.  I want these things to happen organically but sometimes, they just don't..... so I force it.  And then it's not magical and it's not really that fun.  


There are a handful of things that our family does that I think are fun and special and happened all on their own.  I didn't have to do a thing!  Some of these things are age old traditions in my family.  Some come from Daniel's family.  And some, Daniel and I have started on our own (these are my favorites!)  I feel like they are pretty unique (some of them) and fun!  Here's a few things our family does that are our traditions- the ones that we created, the ones where the real family memories are made!

1.  George Washington/Michael Jordan/Woody Hayes Birthday Party-  I also refer to this as "Daniel Hero Day".  It just so happens that George Washington, Michael Jordan, and Woody Hayes all share a birthday the same week.  These happen to be 3 of Daniel's heroes.  This year was a special one because it was MJ's 50th birthday, and WH's 100th birthday.  And we got a day off for President's Day (which is not a real holiday, the REAL holiday is GW's birthday..... don't even get Daniel started on that one...).  We decided this year that we would throw them all a birthday party!  So we invited our good friends over for dinner, had cake and ice cream, and sang happy birthday.  It was pretty relaxed, but I loved the idea!  And Daniel and I both agree we want to continue doing it from now on.  I think it will be a great way to teach our children all about US, Basketball, and Ohio State History.

2.  Oscar Night-  This one is a new one that we are definitely going to keep going.  We fill out Oscar ballots for the big Academy Awards.  Whoever has the most correct at the end of the night gets to pick out a movie to buy and choose all the movies we watch for the next month.  Simple?  Yes.  Fun?  Yes.  That's all you need for a great family tradition for us!  PS- I won this year!

3.  Half Birthdays-  This one started with Logan.  Daniel and I never celebrated half birthdays until he came along.  We still don't celebrate our own half birthdays, but we celebrate his.  We just get him a pretty big gift.  That's all.  It's simple, but fun!  6 months it was a basketball hoop, this year it was swimming lessons.  I want to continue this tradition with future half birthdays and future children!

4.  Yearly Trip-  Ok, so we've only done this one once, but it was so fun, we all agree that we are doing it again, every year we can!  Two summers before Logan was born, we went on a trip with Daniel's Grandma, Aunt and Uncle.  We went to Hershey, PA and Gettysburg.  Although it was only a couple days long, and pretty simple, it goes down in my book as one of my all time favorite vacations.  If you didn't know, the mulch does not smell like chocolate in downtown Hershey, and some General in the Civil War mailed his sawed off leg to the opposing side's General.  We learned this and so much more!  Anyway, we all agree that we are taking a yearly trip to some random destination every year to learn fun facts and but mostly to just spend time together.

5.  Fishing in Minnesota- This one goes all the way back to my Dad's parents.  Living in Illinois, their yearly vacation was to go fishing in Minnesota.  So now that's my family's yearly vacation.  We've been going my whole life.  And my parents still go every year.  We haven't been able to go since Daniel and I've been married, with work and everything.  But, this year I get to take Logan, and I'm super excited!  I can't wait for him to catch his first Northern!

6.  Pumpkining- My mother and I have been going pumpkining since I was a baby.  What is pumpkining, you ask?  Every year before Halloween we go to Half Moon Bay, CA, pumpkin capital of the world, to Bob's Pumpkin Patch to get pumpkins to carve for Halloween.  This is and always will be one of my favorite family traditions.  We used to take days off of school to go, I flew home from college to go, and this year, I got to take Logan for the first time!  You get to wander around the patch, looking for the pumpkin that speaks to you.  We go shopping, we go to a great nursery in town, we go to a couple other patches to go groovy shopping to find treasures such as a talking candy bowl, Hilda, the sexy witch, and "Pumpky" my favorite stuffed toy as a child.  It's a wonderful, wonderful day and one I know I will continue the rest of my life. 

7.  Black Friday- Yes, we are the nuts that stay up all night for the killer deals the Friday after Thanksgiving.  But one thing that we do that is unique with Black Friday, since Logan was born, is give him a "Black Friday Present".  Something big that we snagged an awesome deal on, that he gets that day.  I like it because I hate keeping secrets, and of course he likes it because he gets a Christmas gift early, essentially.  We started this because for Logan's first Christmas, we really wanted to get him a jumper chair.  They had a great deal on them for Black Friday, so we picked one up at a great price.  We got it home, and I was afraid by the time Christmas rolled around he would have out-grown it (I know, first time mom, give me a break!), so we just gave it to him that day.  Of course, he didn't outgrow it for 6 more months, but at least a tradition was born!  This year we gave him this adorable Little People set we got on sale for $20.  He loves it and it was fun for him to have it a little early.  I'm thinking this tradition will help tide the children over until Christmas.

8.  Animal Shelter-  This past Christmas Daniel's boss at work got him a beautiful book as a gift.  He asked that Daniel not get him anything in return, but that instead he go and buy a box of dog treats and take them to a local shelter.  Boom!  Family tradition.  It was so fun to go to the animal shelter for the holidays, Logan loved seeing all the animals, and the dogs of course enjoyed the treats.  This one is definitely a keeper!

9.  Give back-  Daniel and I began this tradition a couple years ago when we asked the Bishop in our ward if there was anyone we could help during the holiday season.  He gave us the name of a sweet lady in our ward who had asked him for someone to bring her a basket of fruit for Christmas.  So we did just that, and had a great visit.  Now, every holiday season we ask our Bishop that same question, and try to spread a little holiday cheer to whoever needs it!  I love the idea of teaching our children to help those in need around Christmas.

10.  The Morgensen Challenge- I specifically like this one, because I am a 2 time champion.  The Morgensen Challenge is a college football bowl pick 'em bet we have every year with my family.  It makes watching all the college bowl games so much more fun.  We each have our own strategy.  Daniel always picks all the Big Ten teams.  I always go big on Boise State.  My dad puts up $50 and whoever has the most points at the end of the bowl season wins.  He loves gloating when he gets to keep the money.  I love gloating when I get to take it from him.  No one else ever gets to gloat because we are the only ones who ever win (yes, that's me gloating).  We are a competitive family, so whatever we can do to bring that out is always a good time.  I just got off the phone with my dad who mentioned a possible March Madness Morgensen Challenge.... sounds like another tradition in the works!

Well there you have it.  It's not much, but it's us.  Actually, writing all of our traditions down makes me feel a little bit better about it.  Like maybe we are doing better than I thought.  In fact, I can almost hear Tevye singing now, ok maybe not quite.... But I think the more I just go with the flow, the more I just let things happen, the more I just try to enjoy spending time with my family, the more traditions will form on their own and the more we will cherish these magical moments.

What about you, do you have any fun family traditions to share??

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