Tag Archives: family

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.

7 Reasons to Grin during National Smile Week

Reasons to grin

Put on your happy face and grin from ear-to-ear because it’s National Smile Week! This cheerful holiday is celebrated during the second week of August each year. National Smile Week was originally created to promote dental health, but over the years it has turned into a time to encourage healthy habits and share the positive effects of smiling! In honor of this joyous week, here are seven reasons to grin:

  1. It’s easy to smile
  2. Smiling is good for your health
  3. It’s fun to smile
  4. When you smile, you get to show off those pearly whites!
  5. Smiling makes you feel better when you’re sad
  6. When you smile, it makes other people happy
  7. Smiling leads to laughing

Why do you and your little ones enjoy smiling?

The First Time We Traveled Without Her

Written by Ashley as part of the We’re Moms Too series.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – as parents, we spend so much time in our roles and moms and dads that often we forget who we were as couples before kids. I can’t stress enough how important it is to make time for our roles as husbands and wives, even as moms and dads.

My husband and I were recently invited to a wedding in New York and just assumed that our daughter would be joining us. That was until my friend called with a somber voice and said, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but we’re not allowing kids at our wedding.” Obviously, this was totally fine by me – a trip away with just my husband? How could I be angry or decline? In fact, I was actually shocked that I had just made the assumption that she would be included in the wedding plans. I guess my mommy-mode doesn’t shut off even with wedding invites.

So my husband and I decided to make a trip out of it and spend an extra night in the city to celebrate our long-overdue 5-year wedding anniversary. I was so excited to spend some time with just him, but I was a nervous wreck leaving my daughter with her grandparents for the long weekend (not because I don’t trust them – it’s just hard for both of us to be away from our little girl at the same time).

But after the drawn-out goodbye and alligator tears, the confidence that she was in good hands started to set it. How often is it that she gets to spend a whole weekend with Nana and Papa anyway?

WM2-Wedding

As we wandered throughout the city hand-in-hand, it took both of us back to the time when we came here together as freshman in college at just 18 years old to celebrate our 2 year dating anniversary. It was nice to just be together. And very relaxing not having to entertain a toddler 24/7 (even though we did bring along our little man since I’m 8 months pregnant!). I think the most relaxing part was just enjoying dinner together without getting out the crayons, coloring books, and snacks and trying to deter a little one away from the sugar packs.

We danced, we laughed, we enjoyed each others’ company. It was a gentle reminder that even at home, we need to make more time for each other. After all, our love is the reason for our kids and showing them that mommy and daddy love each other and want to spend time together is a very important and healthy lesson for them as they grow up.

Do you take trips as a couple without the kids?

WM2_AshleyAbout Ashley
Ashley is a self-proclaimed fashionista, social media maven, proud mama to her toddler daughter and expecting her second child this fall. She is the Social Media Manager at Step2 and you may have recently communicated with her if you’ve chatted with Step2 on Facebook or Twitter.