What do you think of when you think of traditions? For me, they are the rituals that anchor our family amid the seasons, holidays, and milestones of life: things like specially-decorated cakes for birthdays, monkey bread on Christmas morning, and summer visits to Presque Isle beach. In many ways our family’s annual RV adventures make up so much of the memories we are making with our kids that they have become one of the main pillars of our family’s traditions. The realization that we have such a limited time with our children has spurred Jarrett and I to seize as many moments as we can making memories with our kids. And that is why I am excited to share with you all about a new book my friend Jessica Smartt is releasing this week: It’s called Memory Making Mom.
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I know there are probably some people reading this and thinking to themselves, “My family already has plenty of traditions–I don’t need a book to tell me how to make more.” And I can completely relate to that because before I started reading Memory Making Mom, I kind of felt the same way: I felt like our family already had enough traditions. We make special foods for the holidays. We have special birthday rituals. We go on annual outings to favorite places. And for goodness sake: We take the kids on these epic RV adventures each year.
But after finishing Memory Making Mom, I walked away with a whole new perspective on the “why” of traditions–and how they can breathe life into our homes. Through her book, Jessica offers moms the inspiration they need to make everyday moments with their families intentional and memorable.
She challenges (without any guilt!) to find ways to craft a legacy through family traditions that will “tie us to something larger than ourselves.” Because when we mark those traditions and celebrations, we are reminding ourselves about what matters in this life. It summed up for me one of the main reasons we are RVing and traveling with our kids: When they leave home, we will be sending them off with a heritage of memories and moments that have hopefully shaped their worldview for the better.
And I loved how she reminds us that things won’t go perfectly when we are trying to make those memories, but it is still worth it. Those RV adventures are worth it–even when everyone is testy from too much togetherness in the camper; even when the slide-out breaks for what seems like the 50th time; even when the weather is lousy and ruins your touring plans for the day.
I talked a little bit about this in a blog post from last year entitled “Creating family connections when you can’t take an RV vacation.” Sometimes I know I fall into the trap of thinking that it has to be an incredible experience for the memory to be made. But that’s just not the case: Our kids will remember the awesome trips we took, but I’m fairly confident they will also have special memories of how we worked together to get ready for those trips–and then tackled all that laundry when we came home! Jessica writes that “When we make a memory, something powerful is happening. We are rewriting the story of our families, our own lives. Anyone, anywhere, anytime has this capacity.” And that is so true! Each family will have different ways of making memories—there is no one-size-fits-all method. But we can all be intentional about doing so.
Jessica offers so much wisdom in the pages of Memory Making Mom–so whether we’re new parents or now shepherding tweens and teens, our families will benefit greatly when we take small steps to build those lasting memories through tradition.
And guess what!? I’m giving away a copy of Jessica’s new book! To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below. Don’t want to wait to see if you won? You can also order Memory Making Mom now! Click here to do so!a Rafflecopter giveaway
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