Category Archives: About Us

Thanksgiving Traditions

I believe the best time of the year is now upon us. Not only have the leaves dropped here in Northeast Ohio, but so has the temperature. This can only mean one thing- my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. Thanksgiving is not only my favorite holiday for the vast amount of food or the all-you-can-watch football, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because of my family’s traditions.

Ever since I can remember, I would wake up on Thanksgiving morning and the wonderful aroma of the dish my mother was making would fill the house. My family would eat a small breakfast together before piling into the car to travel about an hour and a half to my grandparents. The car ride always felt like an eternity because of the excitement to see everyone. Our family Thanksgiving gathering consisted of getting to see my grandparents, all my aunts, all my uncles and all eighteen cousins. We would always have a huge Thanksgiving spread, the typical kids table and adult table and we would always have a rousing game of “Bingo” after dinner, including prizes (enough for everyone to have at least one).

Thanksgiving tradition

Even though we lived the furthest away from my grandparents, we would always seem to stay as long as possible. When I was younger, I never understood why we would stay so long. However, now that I’m older, I realize the real reason.  We stayed because Thanksgiving, to us, is about being thankful for the things you have in life and what my family is most thankful for, which is having each other.

What are some of your family traditions? What are you and your families thankful for this Thanksgiving?

About Matt
BioPhotoMatt is a major sports fanatic. Whether it is cheering on the Cleveland sports teams or hitting the links at the local golf courses, he can usually be found browsing for new additions to his baseball card collection. He also enjoys traveling and is hoping to visit all 50 of the United States someday. Matt is part of our Digital Communications Team at Step2.

Mini-Vans, Saxophones and Soccer Cleats!

minivans saxophones and soccer cleats

Written by Tonia as a part of the We’re Moms Too series

We’re more than a month into a new school year and fall sports are in full swing. I get asked at least 5 times a week, “How do you do it?” When you work full-time job and have an 11-year-old and six-year-old twins in a multitude of activities, you figure out how to make it work. Does it take a village? Sometimes. Does it take organization and patience? Absolutely. A bottle of Excedrin doesn’t hurt either.

Two Christmases ago my husband bought me a wipe board calendar. I bet you’re thinking I must have been on Santa’s good list to receive this amazingly romantic gift, right? Oddly enough, this wipe board has turned into our lifeline. It keeps track of vet appointments, birthday parties, after school activities, and much more. It even came with 5 markers so we can color coordinate for each member of our family. After updates are made, I snap a pic of it with my phone for reference on the go.

schedule

I’ll let all of you in on a secret, some nights aren’t pretty at our house. When it’s time to leave work, I sprint to pick up kids and get them prepared for the first activity of the night. After getting them home, what’s for dinner? Typically, I make a few meals on Sunday that can be quickly reheated later in the week. One thing I have learned is that there is no joy greater than wrestling with soccer socks and cleats for our twins while they are eating dinner and working on homework (don’t spill pasta sauce on your homework, please!). And thanks to double booking, some nights we have to sacrifice one activity for another. It happens, and that’s okay. We explain it to the kids and they have accepted it. They have also accept that sometimes they have to do homework in the car or while waiting for their sibling’s practice to be over. They are also becoming accustomed to multiple activities in one night with locations spread throughout the area. We are fortunate enough to be surrounded by wonderful friends who are crazy adventurous enough to sign up for a lot of the same activities we do. This network is armed with extra car seats and will gladly transport a child to any activity. We wouldn’t be able to do it without the wipe board, the network, the mini-van and the aforementioned Excedrin.

Is all the running around worth it? Absolutely! There is no greater joy when you see the smile on our little cheerleader’s face during a routine, when “Beckham” and “Hamm” score a goal or when our oldest hits a perfectly pitched note on her saxophone.

Is all the running around worth it? Absolutely! There is no greater joy when you see the smile on our little cheerleader’s face during a routine, when “Beckham” and “Hamm” score a goal, or when our oldest hits a perfectly pitched note on her saxophone.

About Tonia:
toniaTonia is a wife, mom of three energetic kiddos and two four legged friends who enjoys quiet walks in the aisles of Target.   Born and raised in the Cleveland area, she is a sports fanatic who loves all things Nashville.  Tonia is the Digital Analyst at Step2.

My Grandparents’ Legacy

we're kids too

Written by Nicole as a part of the We’re Kids Too series

As Grandparents Day approaches, memories of my grandma and grandpa run through my mind. My grandparents were my world and because of them, I was never fazed by growing up in a single parent household. My mom and grandparents gave me all the love and attention I ever needed. In my eyes, our family was always complete. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of them, and as sad as I am that they’re no longer around, time could never efface their legacy because I keep my favorite memories of them close to my heart.

grandparents

I’m so grateful for all the times that my grandparents cautiously watched me from their doorstep as I walked across the street to play with the kids in their neighborhood to all the big hugs and kisses they would give me when I would leave to go home. What I loved most about my grandpa and grandma is that they never stopped giving and they always put their children and grandchildren before themselves. They left a permanent imprint on my heart and I thank them for inspiring me in so many ways.

If my grandparents were alive today, I know that they would be proud of all my accomplishments and for finding the love of my life, a man that loved and cherished his grandparents just as much as I loved mine. Each and every Grandparent’s Day, I find a way to celebrate and honor them because they were a symbol of love, dedication and hard work. Without their guidance, our family would not be as strong and loving as we are today.

To all the wonderful grandparents out there, I wish you the most fantastic day with your grandchildren. May it be filled with hugs and kisses!

About Nicole
NicoleNicole is a DIY advocate, amateur chef, runner, soon-to-be wife and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two large cats that she claims act like dogs. If Nicole isn’t cook or crafting, she is out exploring new restaurants and attractions around Cleveland, the city that has taken her heart and anchored her to the ground. Nicole is the Digital Online Merchandiser at Step2.