Today I welcome Emily, a friend I met in our mom club/recipe club. Emily blogs over at Beautiful Littles and has such a positive vibe in her writing that it’s contagious! I love her energy for life and her attitude to make each day count. Thank you for this post Emily!

I grew up in a family with many traditions; some had reasons, others just because that’s the way we’ve always done it. One of the longest standing and favorite family traditions is our annual cutting down of our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. We get any family whose in town together, drive out to the tree farm, pick up our saws and wagons and trek out amongst the evergreens to find just the right one. When I met my husband, Michael, this was the first tradition that he began to join in on, and one that we’ve carried over into our own little family. I’ve also learned about many of his family traditions, including the Christmas Eve Polish meal and Santa visit, and the Easter morning mushroom soup. We’ve had many conversations over the years about what we want to carry on in our family, and we’ve also begun a few new ones.

One of my very favorite traditions began very happenstance 5 years ago. I was very pregnant with our first child, and we happened to find ourselves at 41 weeks for our weekly doctor appointment to discuss options. The doctor checked on availability of doing an induction, and gave us the opportunity to check in at the hospital at 7 pm that evening to get labor started. I was miserable at that point and just wanted to meet our baby girl, so we decided to go with it. The doctor recommended going home, taking a nap, packing up our hospital bag and grabbing dinner before checking in, since it was likely I wouldn’t be able to eat anything for a while. When Michael asked me what I wanted for my last meal, I randomly chose IHOP and ordered a very large portion of their blueberry pancakes. We left IHOP, checked in at the hospital and after a long labor, finally got to meet our little girl, Harper Elizabeth, on July 17th.

The following year, as Harper’s first birthday was fast approaching, my husband completely surprised me when he suggested we start a tradition of making blueberry pancakes for dinner the night before her birthday. He has a crazy memory for all the little details, and I loved that he remembered our last meal as a family of two. I immediately knew this was a tradition we would continue, and now, every July 16th, our family dinner table finds itself covered with hot, blueberry pancakes and loads of syrup.

I chose today to share this special family tradition of ours, as today is Harper’s 5th birthday, and our bellies are definitely full of the blueberry flapjacks we consumed last night. Yesterday, I shared with Harper the story of how this tradition started, and I actually pictured in my head her moved away, married and with children of her own, both of us talking on the phone as we make our own batches of blueberry pancakes and eat them together. The tears in my eyes and the bright smile on her face reinforced why I love traditions. They carry more meaning than what is on the surface, and it takes only asking why? to discover a treasured family story.