Despite the early hour, the latest pop music blares through the coffee shop speaker system. My seven-year old sits across from me, happily eating a chocolate-banana muffin and spooning whipped cream off her maple hot chocolate. She’s going to be wired later.
I’m not sure if it’s the muffin or the prospect of hanging out with her momma that drew her out of bed at such an early hour this morning. Either way, I put the invitation out there and she responded.
She usually does.
So we sit. Me, laptop open and hot coffee in hand. Her, backpack full of books to read and her own notebook to write in. (And the biggest stuffed animal she could fit in that pack of hers. After all, she’s only seven.) Although I’m here to work and we don’t talk much, I’m glad she has come along to share in these unassuming moments.
Memories are made in unassuming moments.
I’ve just finished Memory Making Mom by Jessica Smartt. In addition to being one of my favourite bloggers (you can find her over at “Smartter” Each Day), she is now one of my favourite authors as well.
Her book is amazing.
A homeschooling mom of three, Jessica Smartt has been intentional about celebrating the joy and meaning in each day by creating rich and purposeful traditions with her children. She has packed Memory Making Mom with stories from her own life along with a multitude of ideas for moms looking to start meaningful traditions in their own families.
Make no mistake, however, this is not a book designed to complicate life or over-burden already busy moms. From the beginning, Smartt reminds readers, “We can’t do it all…” And truly, we can’t. But Smartt offers a treasure trove of fun and exciting ideas to draw from.
In Memory Making Mom, Jessica Smartt covers ten areas: spontaneous adventures, beauty, food, holidays, learning, service, relationships, work, rest and faith. She explains why these specific traditions are gifts and shares her own experiences with them. Each chapter ends with a list of questions for readers to consider followed by a list of suggested ways to implement beautiful celebrations and rituals in their own families. The appendix contains a list of over 200 additional memory-making ideas.
There is so much inspiration packed into this book.
I’ve written before about the importance of memories and rituals in my own family – and even the scientific research that shows why these traditions are so important. I love Memory Making Mom for obvious reasons. Rituals provide memories that root our children.
Rituals breathe life.
So many times, as I read through the pages of this book, I exclaimed out loud, “YES! THIS!” Smartt has articulated so clearly the joy to be found in intentionally creating family memories. Her book has encouraged me to be more consistent and purposeful about our existing rituals. And she has inspired me to try some new traditions, such as making special breakfasts on Fridays and creating a new summer bucket list with the kids.
I especially love how faith forms the framework for all of these traditions and rituals. As Smartt says on page 173, “My husband and I make memories with our kids because we want to introduce them to Jesus.” This, right here, is what it’s all about.
Memory Making Mom is a book that I will turn to again and again for inspiration and ideas. If you’re looking for traditions that build relationships, create memories and “make life sparkle”, I can’t recommend this book enough.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”