When making memories is fun again. . .

Nov 5, 2014

It’s happening. . .

I first noticed one Friday last month.  We woke up to the news that school was cancelled (because the day before an apocalyptic storm ripped thru Dallas & knocked out electricity).

After a few lazy hours in pjs I suggested driving over to the Arboretum for our annual pumpkin patch pictures.

(for a lil flashback of this tradition. . .Exhibit A from 2009–do you see the joy on Price’s face?)

I had assumed this tradition was behind us since my oldest son now went to school all day, every day. But on that Friday with school cancelled we were given the chance to make magic happen.

And yet a lil dread surged through my veins. Because I remember the hard parts of this tradition. . .

Pushing a full stroller of baby boys through piles of hay.  Bribing cranky toddlers with candy if they would sit still long enough amongst the pumpkins for a pic. And, of course, the ‘let him be a jerk’ story.

But I shoved fear aside and we headed off on our grand adventure (ok, a small field trip).

You know what? We had a blast!

No one threw a tantrum. No one got lost. No pumpkins were harmed in the making of this pic.

Yes, it was easier because the boys are older.

But, I’ve grown up too.

  • No longer do I attempt to dress them in matching, fall-ish clothes (comfort and happy trumps scratchy and grumpy).
  • No longer do I search for the perfect mound of pumpkins (that pic above was taken 3 feet from the arboretum entrance).
  • No longer do I micromanage their behavior (letting them explore and then capturing those moments rather than manufacturing them).


That same day we had already planned to head to the TX State Fair in the afternoon, another annual tradition. My husband took off work and we braced ourselves for crowds and smells and cranky children.

But instead? We laughed and enjoyed live music and ate delicious food and rode fun rides.


At the end of the day my husband summed it up well, “That was the most enjoyable trip yet to the state fair.” And I echoed him with, “And I had the best time at the Arboretum with the boys.”

And we exhaled realizing we are moving towards a season of more joy than exhaustion.

So if you are the mom with the three young ones under the age of 4 (like me the Fall of 2009), let me paint a vision of your future.

One day they will not require so much of you. They will laugh with you. They will not run away the second you look down. They will say “thank you” and ask you to join them in the fun.

I know this stage won’t be forever. But this year? My hubby and I are soaking up the memories.

As we head into high-holiday season. . .are you dreading the process of memory making? Or are you at a place where it’s more enjoyable?

What is one of your favorite upcoming holiday traditions?


In case you are looking for regular Spiritual encouragement, make sure you follow me over at the God Centered Mom Facebook page.

Here’s what I shared Monday: 

for the mom who feels a bit pushed around by the pace of life…

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:11

An older mom showed me this verse. That God leads with gentleness…those who have young.

The mom.

He sees your role as distinct. He understands a kinder pace and loads of grace is required.

May you and I give ourselves the same grace today. May we be gentle in our minds.

Lord, may I feel nestled in close to Your heart, carried by You, when the world is rushing and pushing around me. Thank you that Your leading is gentle…especially for the moms. Amen.

From last Thursday: 

today’s soft place to land…

“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him,
for he shields him (her) all day long,
and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” (Deut 33:12)

if you are feeling the frazzle today, the places to be, things to do…may these words bring peace to your soul.

you are “in” Him. surrounded by Him. shielded. resting.

ahhh. I know I feel better already.

Lord, thank you for being Yahweh, the great “I am”, personal and present in our days. thank you for being a place for my soul to rest…even if my hands and feet are busy. Amen.


  1. Shannon Payne (@SimplySaidMom)

    Ha, I had the same feeling a few years ago – the kids are all either approaching middle school or are well into their high school years. Where did the time go? Blink and you miss it! But oh the fun, and the laughter we now share is the best 🙂

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Glad to hear that what I’m feeling will just keep happening! 😉

  2. Elizabeth

    Growing up, my mom filled every holiday with traditions and memory-making. I discovered quickly after I married my husband that he had almost no holiday traditions he cared about and was actually fairly apathetic to holidays. It must have taken two years of holidays (add them up!) for me to quit stressing about that. We’ve come to a middle ground and have been working on creating new traditions that work for our family. Through that process I’ve learned to just let stuff go and not have expectations for it. Even though my kids are still a toddler and a baby, I’ve learned to have much lighter expectations for the memory-making. Daily life creates memories on its own!

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