This year for Thanksgiving my family and I decided to do something a little different. This is the second year that my family is in a co-parenting space. Last year was the first holiday season since my kids’ dad and I split and it wasn’t the easiest. This year we have a little bit of footing and know where we’re going. I really wanted to do something that was inclusive of everyone—my whole family AND his whole family. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for his family to join us, but it still felt amazing to be able to bring my immediate family (my mom, sister, and my two littles) out of town with me.
We decided to go to Massanutten Resort in the mountains of Virginia almost 5 hours away. I wanted us to go out of town so that no one had to cook and everyone could just relax. My mom has always been the one to spend the entire day before and the whole day of Thanksgiving cooking so that she barely gets to enjoy the meal herself. It was so cool to be able to treat her and allow her to actually enjoy the holiday.
We drove up the morning of Thanksgiving and got there just in time for their amazing Thanksgiving feast. The resort was beautiful and everything for the Thanksgiving meal was already set up when we got there. The food was delicious… my favorites were the cranberry encrusted salmon and the marshmallow sweet potatoes.
The best part about being in the mountains with crappy WiFi is that it forces you to connect with those around you. I got to spend time with my kids doing all kinds of fun things from ice skating to pony rides to karaoke to board games. I also got to talk to my mom for more than just 20 minutes. Typically when I see her it’s because she’s coming over to watch my kids so I’m rushing out the door. It’s rare that we are all purposely and intentionally sitting down together. I also got to connect with my sister and find out what she has going on. It was so nice to be able to spend real, quality time with each of them.
My biggest takeaway from the entire experience is that I want to spend more time just like that. I’m already planning to incorporate it into my 2020. I want to spend more time with my family and my kids actually going somewhere, doing something, connecting, and being intentional. Truly experiencing things together as a family.
I’m a big advocate of work/life balance and try to maintain that as much as possible for a business owner. I have always been a proponent of having holiday time spent with family where you do not have to worry about work. For the last 4 years my studio has had a 5 day spread where my employees had time off. We come in and work the Monday before Thanksgiving so we can have that full time to connect with family and friends. This has become a tradition that my whole team really looks forward to.
I am so thankful to have had such a wonderful holiday and am looking forward to how I can incorporate more intentional quality time with my family and kids in the new year.