Thursday, August 14, 2008


Growing up we had some crazy family traditions. I have two favorites:

The first was my Dad’s birthday tradition. His birthday falls in October, which is a perfect month for him since he's completely enamored by Fall leaves. I know, everyone loves the colors of Fall. But my Dad, serious nature lover, may win a prize on the depth of his love for his birthday season. So on his birthday we would rake up piles of leaves and jump in them. Simple, right? But we loved it. Whether it was in our own back yard, or at a park, or on a trip to a new place, we’d gather those leaves, throw them in the air, bury each other in them, and be together.

Well, years passed and some of us grew up and moved away. There was one particular year when my brother and sister and I were all in different countries on my Dad’s birthday. I think it was the first year we missed being with the family on our big leaf-jumping day. With no coordination we all sent him a few of our favorite Fall leaves in the birthday cards we sent. And boy howdy does he ever still talk about that. The point is that not only did we miss him, we missed our tradition…that time with our family. And we wanted him to know it.

Another favorite tradition is my sister’s annual “cake float,” (mostly because we've carried this one on). Since we lived at Bear Lake during the summers growing up, and her birthday fell in the summer, we had a tradition of always floating her cake on the lake. She would go take it out in the water, candles lit, on whatever floaty thing we had and swim around with it. Somehow it always made it out dry and delicious. She's continued that tradition every year...even when not at Bear Lake (the reflecting pool in front of the monuments in D.C., in the bathtub when she was on her mission, etc.) I know, kind of wacky, but it's been one of the really lasting, fun traditions in our family.

So when Elle was born on her same birthday we jumped in on the tradition. Before we had kids in school we'd still be at Bear Lake on the big day and she and my sister would always float together, but now school starts so darn early around here that we have to do two cake together up there before the birthday, and one back at home. Ours is usually in the swimming pool. I love it because not only does it bind our family together, but it binds my kids with my family.Up at the lake this year...everyone heading out to watch the big cake float.Then back at home on the big day:
Traditions are the best.

Now to gear up for the 21 girl fashion show party she's having tomorrow night...
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