One thing that my family was really good at growing up was establishing meaningful traditions. When we got married, Jon and I realized the value of traditions, so we borrowed a few from my family, and we added a few of our own. Today was Celeste's 5th birthday, and I think she was finally old enough to actually enjoy and appreciate them! Here's a list of our birthday traditions:
-The birthday girl woke up this morning and most of her presents were placed on the foot of her bed. I got to sneak in her room last night and place them there when she was sleeping. (I remember trying to stay up late enough so I could pretend I was asleep when my parents came in and open my presents early, but it never worked!)
-Then she got one more wrapped present that we had hidden somewhere in the house. We gave her a hint, and she found it rather quickly in the office closet.
-For breakfast the kids get to choose any cereal they want... (this was a HUGE thing for me growing up!! It was my favorite tradition!) It was special because we only had Cheerios and Grape-nuts (bleh) when I was a kid, so every year I looked forward to the sugary cereal.
-Another birthday tradition is every even year birthday (4, 6, 8 etc.) the kids get a party with friends, but on the odd birthday they get a little party only with family, and they get to choose a family activity for the day. Celeste's choice was to go swimming in the "big pool". This was special for her because I only allow them swim in the baby pool since I can't possibly watch them all safely in the big pool. She begs me every time, and I always say no, but today I left Charity and Jakey with Daddy, and she got her birthday wish, and she just LOVED it. I on the otherhand, wasn't so thrilled with the experience... (see Embarrassing Moment post.) ;)
-We also have a special plate that we bring out for the person of honor. Jon and I made it at a ceramic store when we were first dating.
-And lastly, we go around the room after the cake is cut, and everyone in the family shares one thing they love/appreciate about the birthday boy/girl.
Here are a few pics from her special day...
She woke up to a nice surprise! :)
Our beatiful birthday girl! She's becoming such a little lady.
I can't believe she's 5!!! (Notice Charity in the background... she was pleased with herself because she successfully snuck her finger in the cake for a little taste before I could catch her!)
There she is... going for more! (She's definitely her mama's girl)
Five years ago today, our first sweet daughter joined our family. I have to say, the experience of becoming a mother did not start off like I had hoped. Getting Celeste into the world was THE MOST grueling and painful thing I have ever experienced and have experienced since. I had 18 hours of back labor with her... the epidural wore off, and they refused to give me another one. The doctor wanted me to be able to feel so I could push her out (total nonsense). Poor little Celeste was stuck in the birth canal so long, that she had the worst cone head ever! And I was a complete disaster. My eyes were bloodshot and my face was swollen for days afterward... I looked like I had been beaten... I was just a wreck. (Luckily we didn't have a digital camera at the time, so I don't have any pics!) But whenever Celeste is disrespectful toward me, Jon often interrupts and firmly asks, "Excuse me young lady... do you have any idea what your mother went through to get you here?" Somtimes I wonder if Heavenly Father allowed me to experience that pain to help me develop patience and long-suffering for what was to come. Anyway, as soon as I saw her, I knew it was ALL WORTH IT. Celeste has been such a joy to us from the start.
It's unbelievable how much personality is crammed in her little body. She's just a little firecracker, and has been from day one!
This smile lights up my life! She's the life of the party, and she loves being in the spotlight.
She also has a sweetness and a tenderness about her that I just love so much. She's so willing to help her mommy, and she adores her little brothers and sister.
She's creative, artistic and very smart. She also comes up with the wildest outfits!
She's also just as headstrong and strong-willed (stubborn) as her mother. But I think those personality traits will serve her well in the future. She'll be driven and determined and she'll make things happen.
I LOVE her sense of fun! She's adventurous and fearless. I love how much joy she brings to everyone around her.
Here's a short video clip to give you a glimpse of her spunk!
I'm always interested in hearing about what traditions other families have established. Traditions and rituals can serve to make a family unique and create a strong sense of unity. What are some of your family traditions?