Family Holiday / Seasonal Traditions

As we enter into the upcoming season, I can’t help but get excited for all of the traditions that we get to continue doing and / or start with Fletcher! I recently had someone request that I share these and I thought it would be a fun way to remember the special things we hope to do each year!

Growing up, some of my favorite memories involved the traditions that we participated in year after year — I’d love to start some of these in our little family. Also, I am writing this post in the hope / plan that we will add more kids to our crew in the coming years, so kids is written as plural. :)

PS Here’s an old post of mine about some of my favorite holiday memories!

School

  • First + last day of school pictures on our front porch

  • Snack + catch up about their days at school upon arriving home each afternoon

  • One-on-one shopping + out to lunch trip with each kid to shop for back to school clothes

  • School supply shopping as a family

Fall

  • Growing up, we always attended a heritage celebration in my grandma’s town — I’d love to get back into this tradition

  • Family photos

  • Fall baking day with cousins - Chex mix, pumpkin bread, ginger cookies, etc.

  • Apple orchard visits

  • Football Sundays at home

  • Attending Parade of Homes is something Andy and I started doing early on in our dating days and we plan to take Fletcher this year — he LOVES people watching so we are thinking he will get a kick out of this

  • Decorating the front porch with pumpkins and fall planters

Halloween

  • Visiting a pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, and roasting the seeds

  • Trick or treating through our neighborhood

  • Early on in our marriage, Andy and I started having pizza each Halloween night — this would be a fun tradition to continue especially since it’s a quick and easy dinner before heading out to trick or treat with the kids

  • Handing out candy to trick or treaters that visit our home

  • Having a dish of candy corn + peanuts on the coffee table — my grandma got me hooked on this tradition when I was a little girl and it’s been fun to continue it each year in my adult life

Thanksgiving

  • I’d love to start a tradition of a special Thanksgiving morning breakfast — perhaps The Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls or something like that

  • Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade as a family

  • Having our kids be involved with prepping and cooking for Thanksgiving dinner

  • Andy and I have recently started the tradition of watching Planes, Trains, and Automobiles during the week of Thanksgiving — probably won’t have our kids join in on this one until they’re much older, but it’s a fun tradition for the two of us!

  • Starting gratitude journals for each kid as they get older

Winter

  • Sledding

  • Ice skating

Christmas

  • Andy and I have started the tradition of putting up our Christmas tree the weekend after Halloween so that we can enjoy it longer

  • Continuing our tradition of watching Home Alone the night that we set up our Christmas tree

  • Holiday baking day with cousins — sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, Chex mix, Muddy buddies, Oreo truffles, etc.

  • Visiting Santa at the mall

  • Writing letters to Santa

  • Helping out a family / child in need around the holidays

  • Putting together and sending off shoeboxes of gifts for Operation Christmas Child

  • Christmas jammies — most likely Burt’s Bees since we love that brand

  • Christmas music!

  • Watching all of our favorite Christmas movies

  • Attending a performance of The Nutcracker

  • Driving around to look at Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music

  • Attending a Christmas Eve service at church

  • Decorating gingerbread houses

  • Looking at Christmas decorations at the local mall

New Year’s

  • We always had a “fancy” family dinner of crab legs, lobster, shrimp, and sparkling white grape juice. I’m not a huge seafood person anymore, but I’d love to start this tradition up with our family. Maybe we make it into a family game night as well.

Birthdays

  • Special birthday dinner either at home or at a restaurant

  • Birthday parties with their friends

Valentine’s Day

  • Little gifts + cards at their place at the table in the morning

Easter

  • Egg hunt with cousins

  • Easter baskets

  • Attending church as a family

  • Attending a Good Friday service

Summer

  • Picnics in the park

  • Swimming at the gym’s outdoor pool

4th of July

  • Pic with cousins in their matching patriotic tees

  • Watching fireworks

  • Andy and I have always done a trip to the mall on the 4th — not sure if we will continue this as our kids are older though

What are some of your favorite family traditions?

A Date with Fletcher

About a month ago, it worked out that I had four days off between my old job and my new one and it was so fun to spend those days with Fletcher! We spent our time together doing fun activities such as visiting Andy at work and attending Fletcher’s first book club!

IMG_7115.jpg

On our last day at home together, we headed out for a little shopping date.

IMG_7369.jpg

First, we shopped for some summer clothes for him since he’s quickly growing out of all of his 3 month clothes, which is what has fit him for the past few months. He was awake while we were shopping, so I held up each item and asked him if he liked it — it was so cute because he smiled each time I did this.

IMG_7111.jpg

Next, we headed to Barnes & Noble to look at toys and read books in their B&N Jr. section — I had a feeling that he would love this and he did!

IMG_7112.jpg

He loved looking at the toys — he always gets so excited whenever we show him something new, so I held things up for him and let him hold them as well.

Next, we picked out a few books and sat down in the children’s section to read — this was definitely my little bookworm’s favorite part of the day!

IMG_7118.jpg
IMG_7120.jpg

We purchased one of the books as a little souvenir from our special day together and then headed home to meet up with Andy, who was on his way home from work!

IMG_7125.jpg

We decided to head to IKEA to pick up a few things and we ended up coming home with so many great finds.

IMG_7127.jpg

Fletcher was all tuckered out from our afternoon adventure so he snoozed in the stroller the entire time!

IMG_7374.jpg

We purchased an organization system for Fletcher’s closet (I’ll share this on the blog soon), drawer organizers, some bins for organizing underneath the cabinets in our master bathroom, and a few other things!

An On-the-Go Weekend

Whew! It was a busy weekend in the books filled with so many great things! I was all caught up on my work by early afternoon on Friday so I (and the majority of people at work) took advantage of kicking off the weekend a little early!

IMG_6787.jpg

Since Fletcher was still at home with his nanny, I decided to swing by the gym on the way home for a workout. I’ve been committing to more regular workouts and it feels SO good to move my body — working out is so much more than the physical aspect for me — I just feel so much better, less stressed, and happier when I’m active! I did a shoulders + triceps workout and ended with ten min on the stair mill. Do you want to know what’s longer than a treadmill minute? A stair mill minute because it’s hard to do anything (read, flip to the next song, etc.) without losing your pace / balance.

IMG_6794.jpg

We had a low-key night at home — it was super hot outside and the gnats are still terrible around our neighborhood so we stayed in and caught up on some shows. Fletcher ended up napping on me which is my absolute favorite — there’s just nothing like holding a sweet, sleeping babe on your chest.

IMG_6799.jpg

The next morning, we were up bright and early to head out for the day. Since it’s been so hot, this quick breakfast has been on regular rotation over here — organic Greek yogurt + my favorite granola from Costco, and frozen berries.

IMG_6800.jpg

Once we were all packed up, we hit the road! I whipped up some protein shakes for Andy and I to take on the road — these cups from Costco work SO well because we just toss them when we arrive at work or wherever we are going that day. No more crusty shake / smoothie cups to deal with!

IMG_6801.jpg

Fletcher was channeling his inner celebrity status by keeping his sunglasses on inside once we arrived at our destination.

IMG_6818.jpg

Andy’s sister, Jen, invited us over to visit the elderly couple that she cares for — she has been showing them picture updates of Fletcher and they wanted to meet the little guy so we brought him for a visit.

IMG_6890.jpg
IMG_6812.jpg

Our time with them was so rewarding — it was so touching to see them so delighted by Fletcher’s visit. Bob said “you made my whole year by bringing this baby to visit us!” Aww!

They also shared that they have been married for 69 years! How cool is that?!

IMG_6815.jpg

They were so sweet with him and Fletcher loved meeting them (he loves people!) and spending time with them. Fletcher kept touching Barb’s cheek and it was the sweetest thing!

IMG_6825.jpg

After saying goodbye and promising to visit again soon, we headed over to the mall to shop around for a few things. It was Fletcher’s first trip to a mall and he slept like a little angel the whole time. Andy found some new shorts at Nordstrom, and I picked up these new camo tights and a pair of black crops. My favorite lulu pair are hanging on by a thread so I wanted a new pair of black crops and the camo tights caught my eye on my way into the store.

IMG_6829.jpg

We also picked up matching 4th of July tees for Fletcher and his cousins so we can start the tradition of taking pics of them in matching shirts.

IMG_6830.jpg

On our way home, we swung by our favorite froyo place to get a treat — Andy ended up getting a burger down the block instead because we were starving at this point! I never say no to froyo! :)

IMG_6838.jpg

I hit the gym later that evening for a leg workout and then we had another relaxing night at home.

IMG_6865.jpg

Fletcher had fun playing with his toys in his crib while I went through some of his dresser drawers to see if anything from the next size up fit him yet. These cute little fox jammies are a little big but it was fun to see him in them!

IMG_6876.jpg

On Sunday morning, we met Andy’s friend, Adam, at church — it was Fletcher’s first time at church and he did so well! Fletcher and I hung out in the baby room during the music since it was kind of loud for his little ears, but then we joined Andy and Adam for the rest of the service.

IMG_6878.jpg

We quickly grabbed some lunch after church since we had another errand to run. I wasn’t feeling what Andy ended up choosing, so I ran into Starbucks quick to grab a drink and something to eat. Their spinach + feta wrap was so good — would definitely order this again!

IMG_6882.jpg

Next up was a stop at CB2 to look around — we ended up ordering some dining chairs and they should be arriving in the next couple of weeks. These six chairs will go around the sides of our table, and then we will get two “statement chairs” for the heads of the table. We’ll eventually swap these side chairs out with something a little nicer, but wanted something more kid-friendly at this point since there will be sticky fingers and spills happening on the regular over the course of the next few years at our house.

IMG_6887.jpg

Fletcher fell asleep on the way home so I ran into Costco to grab some groceries for the week while Andy and Fletcher stayed in the car.

IMG_6885.jpg

I was in and out in record time and then we headed home to relax and gear up for another week!

Favorite part of your weekend?

Fletcher's First Memorial Day Weekend

It was a gorgeous MDW over here! Today’s a bit of a washout, but the last two days have been nothing but clear blue skies, tons of sunshine, and 70 degrees.

IMG_6500.jpg

On Friday evening, the clouds and rain cleared off to reveal a beautiful evening so we ate dinner outside on the deck and then Andy put out our new American flag that he purchased on the way home from work.

IMG_6490.jpg

We made mini pizzas out of these little gems that I picked up from Costco the other night and paired them with salad and watermelon. Side note, the above photo of my trunk was the result of going shopping while super hungry, ha ha!

IMG_6501.jpg

We also headed out to the local trail for a walk — it was so refreshing after such a gray, cold, and rainy week!

IMG_6505.jpg

We love this trail because it feels like you’re out of the cities and really out in nature.

IMG_6513.jpg

The next morning, I headed out to a local garden center to purchase flowers! This activity, paired with the bright sunshine made my heart so happy. Upon arriving, I chatted with one of the gardeners on site to ask about which flowers would be best for my front porch based on sun / shade cover.

After learning some tips and tricks, I walked around and started adding plants to my cart. While shopping, my auntie called me and she ended up joining me at the garden center! It was so fun to catch up for a bit while looking around at the different types of plants!

While I was plant-shopping, Andy and Fletcher headed to the arboretum with my Mother-in-Law and then went out to lunch. Fletcher had so much fun with Grandma!

IMG_6518.jpg

Upon arriving home, I immediately started planting. I ended up rearranging the pots a couple times, but am quite pleased with how they turned out.

IMG_6520.jpg

Now I just need to keep them alive until the end of the summer. :)

IMG_6530.jpg

Later that afternoon, we went on another walk and this time we stopped for an ice cream cone along the way.

IMG_6534.jpg
IMG_6538.jpg
IMG_6524.jpg

It’s always so fun to see Fletcher’s reaction when we go for walks — he just soaks it all in.

IMG_6528.jpg

He got another tooth this weekend so he’s been chewing on all the things lately! Poor little buddy!

IMG_6549.jpg
IMG_6548.jpg

On Sunday, we spent the morning cleaning up around the house before heading out to run some errands and walk around one of our favorite lakes.

IMG_6545.jpg

It was Fletcher’s first trip to Home Depot and he slept the whole time! We didn’t really find what we were looking for, so we headed to the lake to walk around.

IMG_6552.jpg

On the way to run another errands, we decided to swing by Starbucks for a refreshing drink after our walk!

IMG_6553.jpg

Andy ordered their Strawberry Acai Lemonade and it was SO good — literally the perfect summer drink!

IMG_6554.jpg

I went with my usual venti iced americano. :)

We stopped at another store to look at their mulch and house numbers selection (we’ve been doing some minor updates to the front of our house since we moved in towards the end of the season last year) but didn’t see anything we loved. I read on the front porch for awhile and then we made dinner before Andy headed out for a bit.

While Andy was out running an errand, Fletcher and I went for a long walk. While Fletcher snoozed in the stroller, I caught up on a podcast.

IMG_6560.jpg

Fletcher also got a new seat this weekend and it was all fun and game until he tried to climb out of it. He is constantly surprising us because he just seems so much older than his four months! :)

We’re enjoying a lazy day at home today since it’s pouring rain and we go back to work tomorrow!

What did you do for MDW?
Twist, chocolate, or vanilla cone?

Life Lately Vol. 8

Spring is in full-force over here and we have been soaking up every minute of it! I’m doing a life lately post today because I have so many random pictures to share from our last few weeks. Still trying to get back on a regular blogging schedule but between work, Fletcher, hitting the gym, etc. it’s hard to sit down and blog at the end of the day, especially when I’ve been on the computer all day at work.

IMG_6198.jpg

My sister and I hit some garage sales a few weeks ago, and I found so many great things for Fletcher! Janie & Jack clothes that were new with tags on, Melissa & Doug toy cars, and tons of Fisher Price Little People playsets!

57799374519__FC24478E-811A-4BE5-9BBF-7204A9844651.jpg

We also scored an awesome playmat for his playroom!

IMG_6111.jpg

He just loves hanging out up there! He’s also been SO into books and toys lately, so that’s been fun to see him start to “play” and interact with things. He’s also recently found his voice and screeches / talks constantly — especially if we mimic the sounds he makes or read him books.

IMG_6054.jpg

Allie came to visit us a few weeks ago and it was so fun to have her meet Fletcher! She brought us lots of goodies and we spent the morning / afternoon catching up.

IMG_6252.jpg

I treated myself to a pedicure the other night to get these toes ready for flip flops, sandals, and wedges now that it’s nice outside!

IMG_6249.jpg

I recently tried this flavor of kombucha and I think I like it even more than my previous favorite, gingerade! Our local co-op has so many more flavors than the grocery store, so I usually pick up a new one each time I swing in there! They also have a pink lady basil one that sounds amazing — I’ll probably grab that one next time.

IMG_6202.jpg

Last weekend, Andy, Fletcher, and I headed to a local park to go for a walk. We swung by Starbucks on the way there for a little treat! It had been SO long since I’ve had a frappuccino and I went with the s’mores one!

IMG_6203.jpg

We walked about 3 miles and really enjoyed this park — it’s one that’s kind of off the beaten trail a bit and really feels like you’re out in the woods rather than in the suburbs!

IMG_6086.jpg

We’ve also been frequenting the arboretum — Fletcher and I met my auntie there a couple of weeks ago and things were just starting to bloom! We headed back there yesterday and all of the tulips were in their glory and I was living my best life strolling through the gardens with my boys and my favorite cherry almond latte from a local coffee shop!

IMG_6176.jpg

Fletcher and I went up to Robertson Ranch not too long ago to bring my mom a birthday gift.

IMG_6175.jpg

He’s always such a trooper on the long car rides — we stopped to pick up some ice cream on the way there and he had so much fun looking around the store as we walked around — it was so funny to see him take it all in!

IMG_6190.jpg

My parents gave him this little train set and he is obsessed with it! It’s so fun having a little boy that is into all things with wheels and sounds!

We’ve started collecting these Little People playsets for him and he loves looking at them and watching us act out stories with the people!

Alright, Fletcher just woke up from his nap so I’m going to go feed him before we head out for a walk!