A Blessed Tradition


Labor Day.  What does it really mean anyway?  I’m not fully sure of it’s tradition or reason for existing, but I do know it means a 3 day weekend at the end of the summer and so I’ve never really questioned it.

It wasn’t until the summer of 2002, that it took on a whole new meaning for me and my family.  That was the year we went to my friends family cabin with 5 other couples and just hung out.  For three days.  Stayed up late talking, played games, ate a lot of junk food.  It was glorious.  And we decided right then and there that we should do this every year.

And we have.

Many of you know about our Labor Day tradition.  You come to expect this blog post or the slew of pictures on face book. 

This year it took me awhile to recap on it.  I’m still not sure I can put it into words. 

The last few years I noticed a change in our Labor day gatherings.  It started subtle at first.  The original core of our group was the girls.  We were all friends in high school.  Though I realized this weekend, it wasn’t like the 6 of us all hung out all the time, by ourselves in high school.  But we were all friends in high school.  Good friends.  I don’t think it was until after high school, maybe even after college, that we really grew to what we are now.  I guess that is to say we aren’t friends b/c we were friends in high school.  When we get together it’s not about catching up or reliving those old times.  I think we are such good friends, b/c we are friends now.  Because our friendship has continued to grow since high school.  I do believe the fact we’ve known each other so long, makes our friendship all the sweeter, but its depth and richness come from the continual growth over the years since. 

Anyway, I remember after our first Labor Day gather how excited we were that the guys all got along.  We were thrilled that this wasn’t just something they tolerated for us, but that they enjoyed and looked forward to themselves.  This is a treasure!  And I think it is a large part of the cement that binds our friendship and our tradition.  There is a mutual love and respect among the 12 adults in our group.  This isn’t something just for the wives.  It is something for all of us. (and the guys are awesome sports about our Family Olympic tradition and the fact that this tradition is way harder on the dads than the moms).


Not long after the tradition began, a new tradition began.  It was Labor Day 2003, when Scott and I announced to the group that next Labor Day there would be 13 people attending!  Then it seemed the tradition for the next 10 years was either someone announcing a pregnancy or someone bringing a new baby or both…. in the 13 years since this tradition began, we have gone from a group of 12 to a group of 35! (with promise of a 36th to join us next Labor Day)

And here is where the tradition and the friendship grows even sweeter.  Because now the kids look forward to the trip just as much as the grown ups.  It’s not some weekend with their parents friends that we do every year… it’s a weekend with their friends too.  IMG_6134labor day 2013 320

IMG_6158labor day 2013 315

This year the bigger kids literally played outside ALL DAY… trampsing through the forests… fighting Indians.. making tee pees, enjoying each other.  It was beautiful to see.  Actually, it was beautiful to see the kids of ALL AGES… making memories and solidifying friendships.  even the tiny tots.


As I looked around at our group this weekend, I realized we have grown into something more.  They truly have become an extended family.  And it’s unlike anything I have been a part of before.  I can’t fully explain it.  But, I can say that I am forever grateful for it.  I am grateful for these friendships and our commitment to our friendships and our blessed 3 day weekend together each year.  It is a rare and priceless treasure beyond what I ever could have imagined back in high school.  And I am so thankful that our children get to grow up in this unique extended family.



  1. The friendships among the children are just so amazing. And they are so darned cute!! Thank you so much for your wonderful re-cap. I have so many wonderful "moment memories" from this particular trip.

  2. thanks for making me cry, girl! Beautifully said!


Leave us a message (No account needed, you can be anonymous)