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100_1643There is nothing quite like summertime, especially in the South.

My family has a wonderful tradition that has lasted back as far as I can remember, of taking a very special summer vacation each & every year, the first week of August.

We visit the most wonderful town, Burnsville, North Carolina, driving through many small mountain towns to get there and nestling in with the rest of our extended family for a week of hiking, waterfalls and wildflowers, rocking chair porches and mountain views.

It is one of the most wonderful & memorable places in the whole world. And times I wouldn’t trade for anything. Just as a family summer vacation should be.

What summer vacation traditions do you & your family have?

Truly a lost art, a forgotten everyday skill of the past, a statement that can define you as a unique person – beautiful handwriting.

There is nothing more lovely than the classic, swirling script of people past. Focused on heirlooms, I see it every day. From old census records, to love letters, to Nana’s recipe cards, to the Declaration of Independence. No matter the significance or importance of the writings purpose, everything was beautifully crafted and meticulously practiced to perfection to be delightful.

This one is an important one ladies & gentlemen, one that even me myself is committed to mastering. Bringing back the lost art of beautiful, signature handwriting – what better family tradition could you create?

Just about the highest form of flattery is having someone name their child after you. And when selecting baby names, the best place to start is by taking a look at your own family tree for some inspiration. Even last names can sometimes be an unexpectedly wonderful new baby name!

I was named after my Great Aunt Ashley (on my Dad’s side) who must have been great if I was worthy of being named after her! It is a wonderful tradition for your family, and a great way to carry on a legacy of relatives past. And by all means, if you’re a Junior or “the III” keep the tradition alive! What a wonderful way to pass down the stories of this person & their life to a younger generation.

Even though my name was family-inspired, it was also very popular growing up. From 1999 – 2005, my name was in the top 10 female baby names 7 times!  Check out this fun little tool to see how popular your name is!

Along with your list of new years resolutions, be sure to bring this one to the table.

As more & more people begin to save money in ’09, I think we’ll find more folks grocery shopping at Publix, cooking homemade meals and all sitting down together for a lovely family meal – how wonderful!

Enjoy this classic little photo from the new Life database collection of a family enjoying a beautiful dinner together.

This year – be sure to bring back this joyful tradition each and every day!

pb-ornamentA wonderful tradition to start with your family or significant other is the giving of an ornament each Christmas.

My Christmas tree is filled with hand-me-down glass, mercury and silver ornaments and wonderful big white lights. I simply love it. It is scattered with photo frame silver ornaments from Pottery Barn, each engraved with the year and filled with a special black & white photo capturing a special moment shared from this year.  Personally, I alternate between the open square frame and the double locket-style ornaments – but I love that this has become a tradition for my tree and that we’re able to capture a special moment with our photos.

Though there are many other wonderful annual ornament series, such as the Swarovski snowflake ornament that simply sparkles in the light!

And of course – it’s great when decorating your tree to reminisce about the wonderful memories recaptured when going thru each year’s ornament.

Please share with us any holiday traditions you may have with your family!

While some family traditions are created on the fly, others are carefully crafted – timing is everything.

Today I hope to inspire you to take advantage of creating a new family tradition where timing is of the essence – the “generations” photo.  The attached photo is that of my family, capturing four generations of men on my Mother’s side.  The YOUNGEST boy (far left) is MY GRANDFATHER. Holding him is my Great Grandfather (Pepe, 2nd from left) with my Great Great Grandfather (far right) and seated my Great Great Great Grandfather.

I have loved this photo since the day I first saw it, but the sheer thought of this special photo sends chills up my spine. Granted in today’s culture where people don’t have children nearly as young (or often) as they did in generations past, a photo like this capturing four generations is a rarity.

I urge you to arrange to take some “generations” photos of your family – candids, portraits, whatever you wish. I promise it will truly be something you will cherish!

Share with us your “generations” photos for a chance to be featured on our blog.

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