Thursday, February 27, 2014
Are you a Traditionalist?
So much for my New Year's resolution of blogging more.... I can't believe it's the end of February already. I'm not sure where the time has gone. We started out January ready to go into the New Year. On MLK weekend, we have a tradition where Tim's parents take us, his brother, and sister's family away to Bretton Woods for a long weekend to ski and reconnect. We look forward to it every year. Amazingly, we (the siblings) all live in the same town but we hardly ever see each other. The kids are all different ages and we are all so busy but this is the one weekend a year when we know we will reconnect and have fun. The kids absolutely love it as well. We have so many traditions on this weekend. We eat the same meals on the same nights throughout the weekend. Friday we are on our own because everyone gets up to the condo at different times. Saturday night is pasta and homemade meatballs. Sunday is beef stew night. For skiing each day, everyone packs a picnic lunch and eats it at the mountain. Mimi and I don't downhill ski so we have our own traditions. One day, we always go either snowshoeing or cross country skiing and bring our own picnic lunch to the Nordic center where we eat lunch in front of the fire. On the other day, we walk to the Mount Washington hotel spa and get our nails and/or toes done. Afterwards, we go the lobby to get a glass of wine/hot chocolate and play cards. Eventually Mimi talks me into sharing some sort of chocolately goodness dessert. There is usually a wedding going on so we stay to watch that likes it's a tv show and then slowly make our way back. We could easily stay all afternoon. This year, Tim's sister came up on Friday night and just before they arrived they realized they had forgotten all of their ski boots, hats, and gloves. They were going to drive home and come back the next day but we convinced them that even though we had our traditions, we could easily make new ones. And we did! Instead of skiing first thing on Saturday morning, we all slept in and then enjoyed a nice breakfast together. This was a perfect year for this as the kids are entering "tween-dome" and enjoy the extra sleep. Then we spent the afternoon at the Mount Washington Hotel. While Mimi and I went to our spa appointment, everyone else went to the pool. The kids met up in the arcade while the adults met up in the Cave bar and enjoyed a drink together. We ended up staying to play games and enjoy each other's company. It was then that we decided that since had such a great time, that we would make an effort to get together each month for a monthly sibling/cousin dinner at home. Traditions are awesome. And this year we learned, sometimes, it's okay to stray from traditions and make new ones. I will say, when Mimi and I were at the spa the ladies were asking us why we were there. We shared our story that we have been doing this for the past 14 years, that we eat the same things during the weekend, and that she and I go to the spa together each year. By the end of our visit people we coming up to us telling us how great it was that our family did this and the loved hearing our stories. I hope we inspired some people to start new traditions! Every year we also always play games together. I'll admit it...I might have forced people to play games in the beginning...but now everyone likes it. We have gone from paper airplane contests to Bingo to Bunco to Boggle and double solitaire (thank you Auntie Libby!). Each year we try something new and have a blast. We always make sure it's something kids and adults can do and we always have fun. It's also Tim's Dad's birthday on this weekend and we celebrate his birthday with cake and presents. For the first few years, his Mom always had a cake made but for the last several years Mimi has designed and made the cake or cupcakes. One year, it was a cake decorated with trees and skiers. This year his cake resembled a Jeep grill...now we know where Tim's Jeep obsession comes from. On Monday, we have traditionally cleaned up, packed up, and then gone tubing before we leave the mountain. On the way home, all the siblings/kids have lunch. Because the ski conditions weren't great we all just headed home on our own and it was okay. We all did our own thing and it worked. For us, we stopped at the LL Bean outlet and got the kids some boots. When you have teenagers, they grow at crazy rates so my kids have blown through multiple shoe sizes over the last year. We didn't have any boots for Jack but luckily he and his grandfather now wear the same shoe size (what?!) so he was able to borrow some for the weekend. But we stopped on the way home to get him his own pair. Mimi and I now wear the same size (what?!) so we buy one pair of shoes for the both of us and it's considered a bargain. Well, to us anyways :) We also found a great restaurant on the way home and said "This will be great for the group next year". Love old traditions and also when life happens and new traditions emerge.