All tagged Blended Family Traditions

The Easter Bunny skipped hiding plastic eggs at our house this year - opting for an Easter gift. In years past, if we didn't have the kids - the Easter Bunny usually made a surprise visit the weekend before or after.  You can click here to read a post I wrote last year about how we celebrated the Holiday.  

This morning Raylan and I slept in late - woke up - looked at each other - commenting how nice it was that we hadn't been up all hours of the night assisting the Easter Bunny only to be woken up two hours later by three screaming kids - "The Easter Bunny came!!!!"  

Over the years the night before Easter had become shorter and shorter thanks to Jax.

Last week Raylan and I made a trip to Kauai to sell the contents of our vacation condo we owned before the new owners took possession. As much as we would have loved to keep it - it was quickly becoming a choice between our kids College education or a home we visit once a year.  

It seemed like a no brainer thousands of miles away - until we walked through the front door - It looked AAAMAZINGGGG! Tears started to well up in my eyes as I looked around - a rush of memories came crashing down on me like a gigantic wave.  Maybe it wasn't going to be as easy as I thought..... 

This month marks the 2nd anniversary of Little Hart's brush with death. We sat by her bedside watching the respirator take her every breath - wondering if she would ever tell another funny story that made us laugh uncontrollably, inform us she was not going to do this, that or the other (she's so damn stubborn!) or be able to say "I Love You Mom and Dad."

Little Hart and her BFF from the hospital

Greta, Raylan and I sat in a small ICU room for NINE days and nights - all unified in praying for a miracle. One arrived on day six when she the turned a corner.  A lot of things in our Blended Family Life were forever changed after those nine days.

Creating traditions in our blended family gave us a launching pad for building our family unity and close relationships.  Two traditions we started early on have stuck with our family, movie night and bowling! The last two days of the Holiday break we were lucky enough to find time to do both with all three kids.  

Movies have been a big part of our family life.  Since the creation of our family, most nights we have watched a movie together. When the kids were younger, we would split the movie viewing over a couple of nights. The whole enchilada came as they've grown older.

Some movies we've seen a like million times - Home Alone! Ugh! Others we've had to negotiate with the kids - watch a 20 minute preview before they can say no to the particular film - never had a NO after the preview period.  Everyone in our family can repeat any number of favorite lines from hundreds of movie. No background information necessary - just the delivery of the line and we all chime in with the punch line. It's a language that created a bond that continues to grow with every laugh, thrill and cry we share.  

In fact, one of our family trips was inspired from a movie we watched together and the kids fell in love with - namely it's location.  The movie - Italian Job. The location - Venus, Italy.

Our family not only survived our first Thanksgiving without a divorce decree, we managed to do it with a lot of fun and humor along the way.  Over the past thirteen years we have done a pretty good job of avoiding the two families splitting the actual holiday, opting instead to rotate between families.  

This year, Jax asked that we change the schedule mainly because of logistics; he was home FIVE short days with a very long list of people he wanted to spend time with including the respective extended families. To squeeze everyone in it meant splitting the holiday.

There were no tears shed when we dropped Jax off three weeks ago - only a blanket of sadness as we left town without him. In the back of everyone's mind we had Labor Day.  

Jax and Elle the early years

It was like a lot of other goodbyes over the years.  He was simply on vacation with his other family for a few weeks - not living in another state. It clearly had not sunk in.

Long before Jax had left, he planned to fly home for the Labor Day weekend to spend with our extended family. It was a tradition started by my parents long before Raylan and I created our Family of Five. When we introduced  Jax to the tradition he had an immediate connection with the tradition and the family dynamics.


Easter, Easter, Easter. It's the one holiday we have never had conflict with the other family; no every other year, split the day down the middle. Nothing. Mostly I would say this is do to the fact that majority of Easter's have been on the other families weekend and we have never really made a big deal about it. The first year we realized that we wouldn't have the kids for Easter Sunday, we made an executive decision that the Easter Bunny would come the weekend before. EB decided to set an Easter Egg strategically in their bedrooms so when they woke up they might stumble upon it and wonder "What the Heck!" And that they did.