Family Traditions and Heirlooms

I attended a Sip-and-See this past weekend and was reminded why I like these types of showers so much.  First, you get to meet, hold, and gush over the new baby.  My second, more selfish reason, is that it’s such a nice outing for me (sans children and husband): chatting with friends, enjoying good food and drinks, and engaging in lots of laughter. What could be better?

I found this photo on Pinterest and couldn’t find the photographer to properly credit here, but I LOVE this and it’s definitely on my To-Do List!

As the new mother opened gifts, her mother (the baby’s grandmother), gifted something that blew my mind (and inspired me to blog about it).  A close neighbor of the grandmother had hand-knitted a beautiful ensemble as a gift for her when she had her daughter back in the 70s.  It included a beautiful white dress, romper, bonnet, and matching blanket.  My friend actually sported this adorable outfit as a child!  Well, the grandma had kept this whole set in mint condition (I didn’t know it was possible for fabric to stay so white!) and packaged it beautifully to present to her daughter and new granddaughter at this sip-and-see.  It literally brought me to tears.  It was such a thoughtful gift, and it was just another reminder how much mothers (and fathers) love us and think so deeply about their children.

I came home and began thinking about what I would want to pass on to my own daughters at their sip-and-see’s.  The whole concept of family heirlooms and family traditions is so special.  They stand for so many things – the immense love and caring within a family, family values and culture, a family’s beliefs and ideals, their history, etc.  I come from an immigrant family that’s been uprooted several times, and I feel like a lot of “stuff” has gotten lost with each big move.  Yes, I grew up hearing amazing stories and seeing photos, but I don’t have much in the way of tangible heirlooms or even traditions.  I am determined to start my own traditions with my family and maybe one day, my daughters’ kids will be blogging about their own beautiful family traditions and heirlooms.

Well, I got the following idea from someone in a Parent Ed. class I attended when my daughter was a newborn, and the reason I love it and have been able to follow-through with this particular tradition is because I love everything about the Christmas holiday.  So, I buy 1 ornament for each daughter every Christmas and label it with a tag noting the year and why I chose that particular ornament.  The plan is to have a complete “collection” of ornaments (that tell great stories) to present to my daughters as a wedding/shower gift.

Do you have any favorite family traditions or any ideas for those wanting to start some?  I’d love to hear what other families are doing!

Late Night Ramblings – Post Shark Tank

We were ecstatic when we got our first online order, we felt a glimmer of hope when we opened our first retail account, we literally hurt when we got our first customer complaint, and smiled for days when we received our first glowing review.  I say all this, because running a business is such a roller-coaster.  Being on Shark Tank was like that signature, breathtaking drop –  we are laughing, screaming, and just holding on tight.  I remember pulling all-nighters in college, feeling like I couldn’t type one more letter, but looking back, that must’ve been training for this very moment.  Sleep is an afterthought and that’s okay.  The one thing that pains me is not being there for my girls as much as I had hoped.

A snapshot of our living room right now.

I came across an article in entreprenuer.com that said the following, “If you’re going to be successful, you’ve got to love your business more than anything else–even your family.”  WOW.  When I read this, I felt like someone punched me in the gut.  I’m determined to be successful, but I refuse to believe this.  I have a company and product, because of my family.  I have the most amazing partner who is my family, and family is helping us survive this ride.

I don’t even know where I’m going with this blog post, but I just had to take a minute away from work and think big picture.  Thanks for listening.  Anyone agree/disagree?  How do you all juggle work and family?

My Heart Hurts Today

I was thinking about blogging about an interesting article I read the other day, but I received an email late last night that read, “Today would have been G’s 5th month birthday.  On 3.16.2012 at 2 a.m. G had her last meal.   I stayed up with her until 3 a.m. that morning, checked up on her and fell asleep.”

The niece of the pastor who officiated my wedding passed away on March 16th at around 7 a.m.  I had heard the little girl had been born with complications, but I was under the impression she was getting better and doing well.

When I read this email, I cried and my heart literally hurt.  I don’t know if other parents feel this way, but becoming a parent has made my level of emotion and empathy skyrocket.  I find myself getting choked up watching a Google commercial or reading Love You Forever by Robert Munsch to my girls at bedtime.

I am going to need a while to process how a family can even begin to cope with a loss this great.  The email went on to describe how one of her older children responded to the news of his baby sister’s passing, “He wanted to see her.  He wept by her bedside where she was laying down and just wanted to hold her.  He’s very quiet in his demeanor and not very emotional.  He kept thinking that she was going to wake up.  He grabbed our stethoscope to listen for a heartbeat.  He was desperately searching for G’s heartbeat.”

I hope this blog post is today’s reminder to hug your children and show & tell them you love them.  I find myself simply going through the motions and trying to get through another day as a busy mom.  This incredible loss has given me a renewed sense of thankfulness for my family and loved ones.