Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Beach Birthdays

I've been thinking a lot about family traditions. What are the things that our kids will remember most about the ways we celebrated birthdays, feast days, and holidays? Will they remember our attempts at the Advent wreath and Jesse Tree? Will they remember reading all those beautiful Christmas picture books together? Will they remember our special birthday meals and the fun parties they had? What about all the celebrations with friends for different holidays? Will they remember getting to choose a special treat on their feast day? Are the ways we celebrate indicative of what is truly important to our family? Are we spending too much money on these celebrations and letting materialism affect the way we celebrate? Or are we just trying our hardest to mark the seasons and feasts of the year in a meaningful way? Deep thoughts to ponder in this busy but blessed time.

This is a season of celebrating for us. After we get through Halloween, All Saints' Day, and Thanksgiving, we enter into Advent and the feasts and other celebrations of this season: St. Nicholas Day, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Lucia Day, and then it's Steven Joseph's Birthday, Christmas, the memorial of St. Stephen (which we usually forget), New Year's Eve, the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, Mary Clare's Birthday, the memorial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Ellie's patron), and Epiphany. I'd actually like the kids to celebrate their feast days at another time of the year, for example Steven Joseph could take St. Joseph Day, when things aren't as busy, and we're always encouraging Mary Clare to have a half-birthday in the summer! But they haven't taken us up on those suggestions...yet! We just can't do it all, so celebrating some of these days just doesn't happen. But the big feasts and the birthdays...always!

We're grateful that the extended family now has this beach house to share special memories.  On Saturday we drove down for the day, to celebrate Steven's dad's birthday which was a few days before, and Mary Clare's birthday which was that day. They grilled burgers and hot dogs, had cake and brownies, some time to visit, always some jigsaw puzzles to work on, and even a new tradition...a lip sync battle! What a fun time we had, and we also brought Ellie's friend MaryKatherine along.

Katie Grace with little Scout!

Ellie and MK walking along the beach

Big Tom and Little Tom

The three teen girl cousins (one turns 13 next month)

I love this set of Thomas with Uncle Thomas

The Lip Sync Battle begins!
Andrew with the Little Einstein theme song

Thomas with the Zoboomafoo theme song

My girls and their friend singing to "Better When I'm Dancin'" by Meghan Trainor

Andrew and Caleb with "Roar" by Katy Perry

MK and SJ rapping to "I'm So Catholic"

Determined to finish the puzzle before we all left!

Katie Grace loves Aunt Mary!

By the fire pit

Ready to head home!

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