Memories Across Time

Helping to preserve and keepsake special people & moments in your life.

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What Will YOU Remember?

I’ve been pondering the idea of starting this blog for several years now but something always got in the way… commitments, holiday planning, arts and craft projects, work, batch cooking, trips to the playground… name it. I’ve always been the kind of person who needs to be working on multiple projects at once – both in my professional and personal life. It keeps me motivated, keeps me inspired and keeps my creative yearnings satisfied. It wasn’t until recently, after the birth of my second son, and after a sad loss to our family, that something clicked in my mind that this was the time to follow-through with what I’ve desired to do for many years. So here I am…reaching out to you with what I hope will allow you a look into one of my many passions – creating experiences, traditions and keepsakes to preserve special memories and people in our lives.

Imagine yourself sitting around the dinner table at the holidays…your kids are older, you’re older, some of your beloved pets or family members may have passed….and you find yourself talking about memories that make you laugh, cry and smile. Are these memories made up of family vacations or celebrations? The birth of your children? Your wedding? That time that your toddler threw himself on the floor in the middle of Target throwing a tantrum over that $2 toy that he just HAD to have that second? Memories are cherished gifts in your mind, meant to last a lifetime and to bring a sense of bonding and connection to those you share them with. Memories can never replace a thing, a person, a pet or an experience. But they can awaken our senses and bring us back to that person or moment in time…the smell of a passed loved one’s shirt, a song on the radio that reminds you of your 7th grade dance when you had your first kiss, the poster on your child’s wall displaying snapshots of him that you worked so hard to create to showcase at his 1st birthday party.

The way we create experiences and preserve our memories can be key to opening up the emotions that bring you back to those places in years to come. I often find myself looking at my young children and hoping that they will remember certain things we’ve done when they get older. How can I help them do that? Pictures and videos do the trick nowadays but what do you do with those pictures? What do you do with that jewelry passed down from your great, great grandmother, or those old t-shirts of your children that are sitting in a box in the attic that you just couldn’t part with because they hold a special memory in your heart? How about that big stack of artwork that they bring home that you want to keep and toss all at the same time? How will you create traditions during the holidays that your family and kids will look forward to each year and then possibly repeat in generations to come? If you have family living long distance, how do you create a connection with them to help build and capture memories from afar? There’s so much we can do in our lives to keepsake these experiences, items, events, feelings and people ….. and I truly believe that by creating and preserving what we can of these, our memories can live on past our time.

I hope that by sharing the ways I create experiences and traditions with my family, and the ways I preserve our memories or turn them into cherished keepsakes, that it might inspire you to do the same. As we all have heard so many times before, it’s not how much money you had or spent on your family or that super fancy birthday party you threw for them…but rather it’s the simple things that last the longest – those unplanned moments, rituals, special traditions and cherished keepsakes that you remember the most.

What will YOU remember? I look forward to sharing with you, and hope you’ll do the same.

Written: May 30, 2017


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The Importance of Traditions

What are traditions?

Traditions are activities you do over and over again, at the same time of month or year, or centered around certain repetitive events. A tradition can be as simple as saying Grace before dinner, giving a special handshake with your teammates before each game, taking an evening walk after dinner each night with your family, reading a bedtime story to your child each night in a special place, and even cooking a certain food or meal for a holiday or birthday celebration. Most often, traditions create a special expectation and feeling that accompanies the gesture and creates a lasting memory that is repeated over the years. An example of a tradition in my family is that I make a special themed cake for each of my children on their birthdays. This is a tradition that my mother began and which I’ve continued today.

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My mom decorating a doll cake for one of my birthdays; circa 1980s.

Why traditions are important. 

Building traditions with family and friends is important for a number of reasons:

  1. They strengthen the core of your family unity.
  2. They remind and honor your family’s traditions of past generations.
  3. They provide stability in times of instability, bringing a sense of security and comfort in times of stress, change or sadness.
  4. They provide an identity or sense of belonging to a group, giving one a feeling of connection among those who share the same tradition with you (i.e. your teammates wearing special socks on the night of “the big game” or a family dressing up in matching t-shirts each year for a holiday gathering.)
  5. They elicit excitement and anticipation of the upcoming expected events.
  6. They awaken buried memories of people, stories, and traditions past, while also build new memories of tradition being created

The beauty of continuing a tradition of the past, recent or old, is that you can decide how to carry on the tradition. Will you keep it the same or add your own touch to it? Or will you let it go, replacing it with a completely new one?

Traditions shouldn’t be forced nor should they feel like a chore. If you find this to be the case, consider finding different ways to create new memories that can hold meaning and significance. Not everyone will respond the same way, appreciate the intention you have, nor hold a memory of it with the same feeling or experience. Don’t be disappointed if your well thought out and well intended holiday meal comprised of all of gramma’s favorite dishes is as well received as you’d thought it would. For example, build on this tradition by taking the dishes that were enjoyed and make them again, year after year thereby building a new tradition. And remember again, traditions aren’t only built around food, holidays, and special events.

If you are struggling with coming up with ideas of what you can do with your family that might start a tradition, consider starting small, with a weekly or monthly activity or meal first. Try taking a nightly walk before bed, having a ‘Sunday board game night’, planting a new tree in your yard every year, or having a favorite meal the same day each week.

In future posts, I’ll be sharing more about easy and fun ways to build family traditions that can create lasting and loving memories for years to come.