Our Family Traditions


It’s hard to believe it’s already Thanksgiving! We’ll be with Danny’s family in the afternoon and my family in the evening. Some of his siblings will be there, others won’t. Same for my family. Some people who are out of town aren’t coming in and, unfortunately, some family I saw growing up I don’t see on holidays anymore. It’s such a grown-up thing that you adjust and get used to as an adult but as a mom I can’t imagine not spending every minute, let alone every holiday with my boys.

On restless nights, my mind races and I imagine what the future could hold. Lucas is such a homebody and mama’s boy that I hope he’ll always want to come around and spend time with us (it’s a big motivator in arranging his marriage to Estella).

Since you can’t control the future or someone else’s fate, I’m staying focused on the present. It’s easy to overlook some of the things you do each year as routine but they’re also grounding points that keep things stable. During a season of giving thanks, spending time with family and maintaining age old traditions, I hope that as Lucas (and Sam) get older they’ll look back fondly on these family traditions:

  • Thankfulness tree in November: Every guests writes something they’re thankful for and leaves the note on the tree branch
  • Notre Dame games with Mr. B: It’s such a habit, you kind of forget it’s a tradition but we spend every Saturday watching the Irish play during football season.
  • Baking Christmas cookies with Cara: Even with busy schedules and a growing number of kiddos, we find time to make cookies each holiday season.
  • Drive thru the Wayne County Lightfest: This is something I did this as a kid and I love being able to do it with my family now. We hop in the car, put on our Christmas play list and drive Hines admiring the lights.
  • New Year’s Eve with Mom, B and board games: The gaming aspect is harder with a toddler but we ring in every New Year with Mom and B
  • Pink frosted, heart-shaped cake for Valentine’s Day: Danny’s mom always made Mr. B a pink frosted, heart-shaped cake for Valentine’s Day and I’ve kept up the tradition even though I’m not great at baking cakes (I have gotten better over the years).
  • Mudgies for St. Patrick’s Day:  We celebrate Irishness with corned beef sandwiches from Corktown (although I won’t be able to have one this year – boo).
  • Spree Fireworks: Lucas’ memory always amazes me and just the other night he was talking about when we went to see fireworks with Grandma. The Livonia event takes place a mile from our house and I love that he already has fond memories of it.
  • Anniversary dinner at the Dearborn Inn in my wedding dress: After squeezing into the dress this year, I’m determined to keep up the tradition for forever.
  • Trick or Treating with the Hakalas: Lucas’ favorite tradition is probably spending Halloween with Gwen and Maddy.
  • Monthly family videos: Each month we share highlights on video and at the end of the year I put them all together and I love seeing our family grow each year. If you’re looking for one tradition to start I’d recommend this one!

I also hope they’ll look forward to brunch at Mom and Dad’s because it is my go-to for any gathering and I’m getting pretty good at it.


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