Monday, October 26, 2015

Marriage Monday: Traditions

I am a big fan of traditions. Maybe part of this is my love for documenting moments through photography. I love to look back and reminisce on a season, a moment, a feeling. But it's also the festive decorations, new seasons, holiday activities, seasonal food/drinks and opportunity to get friends together, whatever the occasion!

Charles and I started dating just after Thanksgiving so many of our first memories "officially together" were shaped around the holidays. I am so thankful he gets fully into festivities and traditions with me. It's that time of year and I love it! Sometimes we're so tired, life is full and we have to find time to squeeze in our traditions but you gotta work with what you got. That's when traditions are so good.. they remind us to slow down and embrace these special moments. If they weren't traditions we'd probably blow them off easily but as traditions they have such value. We get that extra push to make them a priority and carry on the memory making!

Some things I love about traditions:

  1. You can start new ones at any time. It's never too late to say "I want to try that", "Let's make this annual" or "
  2. You can switch them up. Example: maybe a tradition is an anniversary brunch at your favorite place but you move or the place closes.. the tradition is about brunch/a fond place so pick a new one and keep going!
  3. Memories are created consistently but in new ways. We have so many memories that have already been created in different seasons.. traditions while dating, including other friends, as engaged people, as a married couple and hopefully someday in new ways with kids or maybe in a new city. As I look back on past years of our Oak Glen tradition (see below), I remember the different joys, challenges, new learnings and adventures that came with each visit. This is so special and fun.
  4. There is anticipation and excitement to experience the familiar in a new way. 
  5. You can share them with others and adopt new ones you see others practice. It's fun to see what others have loved and grab on to what feels like a fit in your own life.

Here's some of our favorite traditions: 

  1. Finding the best coffee shop in new towns
  2. Pumpkin Carving
  3. Picking out our Christmas Tree/Decorating
  4. Trips to the Pacific Northwest 
  5. Trips to the Cabin in Arrowhead (where we got engaged, celebrated Charles' birthday, where we go for rest, where we enjoy time with friends)
  6. Pumpkin Blendeds from The Coffee Bean, our favorite pumpkin beer, etc.
  7. Using airbnb when we travel to new places (If you haven't.. do it! and let me give you a code for $20 your first stay). We love finding an interesting part of town and soaking it up
  8. Stopping at Flying J truck stop on roadtrips to see family/friends to grab coffee, donettes and a bathroom break 
  9. Walking to our favorite local places downtown for dinner/date night
  10. Oak Glen trip to find Fall

Today we took our annual Oak Glen trip. 

Last year we missed our annual trip. There was a lot going on so we went to a local pumpkin patch and called it good. But we made it today! It feels like more work than it should be (3 hours in the car) to find some fall leaves, apple picking and temperatures below 80 (on a good day) but it is worth it.  We've discovered we LOVE going on a weekday. We had most of the place to ourselves and enjoyed apple cinnamon donuts, coffee and the quiet outdoors. We also make a stop to take a picture in front of the "Oak Glen" sign at the venue we got married at. This brings up such fun memories!

A bonus for traditions... I see that my husband brings out the best in me through things like this. He encourages me to bring my "big camera/tripod" and enjoy taking quality photos, encourages me to be silly and makes the little things matter when I start to say, "it's ok, we can skip the ________".

Here's a look back...

2011: Introducing him to a tradition that has existed with friends.. alongside friends.


2013: The year we got married!

2015: This year!

So, let's hear it.. Do you have any favorite traditions? I want to hear them, big or small! What do YOU love about traditions? Or do you hate them?

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