A Family Tradition

A Family Tradition

Family traditions- more than just the time you are forced to sit next to your sibling and behave.

While Hank Williams Jr.’s song doesn’t necessarily depict any of my family’s traditions, it is a good way to open up with saying that even to the immensely famous, the habits of our family play a big role in shaping who we are as people. Recently, my family just concluded one of our yearly traditions and it has inspired me to reflect on just the impact my family and our traditions have had on who I am as a person. While you have your family to blame for a lot of the genetic aspects of what makes you you, if you’re lucky enough to have such an involved family like I had, you get to experience a molding of yourself totally different from that which is destined by nature. On the flip-side, if you had a rather un-involved family, that would also lead to its own unique way of creating the intricate characteristics of a person.

Speaking strictly from experience, I can pinpoint some of the major ways my family’s traditions have made me who I am. My grandfather has been a pastor for most of my life and this has had a major impact on the way that I view faith and religion. My favorite memory of my family revolving around religious traditions is that we are each given a pamphlet with part of the Christmas story on it, these pamphlets double as drawing card numbers for the present lottery that always follows, and we take turns reading our portion of the Christmas story. Even with the crazy rush of the season and the ever growing inclination to commercialize a holiday, my family has made sure to remember that Christ comes first.

My family also takes an annual vacation to the beach in which we cram in one big hotel condo (my family is huge) and enjoy each other’s company for a week. While the grandchildren have gotten older and school activities seem to migrate into summer’s territory, the attendance of everyone on these trips has begun to vary year to year, but nevertheless, the trip is booked and those that can make it do. This has instilled in me how important family time is, and that even if you can’t check up on each other daily or regularly, being with your family is something you should take seriously. They are people you should get to know and rely on and love unconditionally.

My family talks about current events, almost every time we eat together, and sometimes we get so intensely devoted to sharing our opinions I wish we didn’t talk about them at all. This has taught me that it is important to pay attention to the world around me. It is important to have uncomfortable conversations and to learn how to listen to and respect the viewpoints of others, because ignorance is not always bliss and not knowing is not always safer than knowing.

While these things just barely scrape the surface of the many ways my family and their traditions have made me who I am, they are instances that I cherish. They are things I’ll remember thirty years from now and that I’ll tell my children about with the biggest smile on my face. Some of these are things I hope to continue on into the future creation of my own family. While not all family habits are positive, they help build the mold for who we become as people. There are several negative aspects of my family that I hope to learn from and not see duplicated in my adult life.

The fact of the matter is that you should be thankful for your family and the person they helped make. Take time today to reflect on your family and to be thankful that you have them to draw from. Does your family take the same portrait every year? Do they have a BBQ cook-off? Do you all take a camping trip or go for a hike? What are some of the traditions that your family has or had and how you think they’ve played a role in molding you into who you are today?

Cover Image Credit: http://blog.togethercounts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/shutterstock_16975156.jpg

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.

I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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14 Things You Relate To If You Grew Up WithOUT Any Cousins

*GASP* "What, you really don't have any cousins?"


It always shocks every person who hears me state that I do not have any cousins. For some reason, this is just hard for people to really believe when it's actually not something impossible. I think we are all just so used to large families that it sounds weird when people say that they have no cousins. Yet, it is definitely a potential reality, and actually impossible if each of your parents is the only child to your grandparents.

Here are 14 things that you can relate to if you grew up without any cousins.

1. Nobody believes you when you say that you don't have any cousins

I'm serious, for the tenth time.

2. Your grandparents spoil you

With no other grandchildren to worry about, it's pretty easy to do.

3. You don't understand when people say that cousins are your first best friends

My best friend was my first best friend.

4. You and your siblings are always the youngest people at family events

This was simultaneosuly a good thing and a bad thing.

5. You get all of the attention at holidays

Since you're the youngest one around, then distant relatives are always doting over you.

6. Everything you do is deemed awesome by your extended family because there is nobody to compete with

It's much easier to be praised when you aren't being compared to someone similar to your age.

7. You don't know how to hold babies

You're never around them so why would you?

8. Family photos are pretty easy to coordinate

The less people, the easier.

9. Other family members spoil you just because 

Afterall, you are the only kid around...

10. The family will make comments regarding the potential for you to have a cousin as a justification for why they aren't doing something for you

When you hear, "I can't buy you too much because someday your aunt is going to have kids and I will have to do the same for them" you cringe and just had to know that all of the attention wouldn't last forever.

11. Birthdays are always a big deal

A perk of not having very many to remember.

12. If your parents' siblings own pets, then you refer to the animal as your cousin

Cat cousins, dog cousins, lizard cousins, and fish cousins can be pretty cool, actually.

13. Sometimes you dream of marrying into a big family

This is to ensure that your kids do grow up with cousins.

14. You appreciate the closeness of your tight-knit fam

Maybe the only thing you would miss if you had a big family is the opportunity to develop such close bonds with the few relatives that you do have.

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