Celebrating at the Homestead


Our summer has been crazy busy.

Busy with good things, but busy nonetheless.

As a result, we hadn’t been out to see my parents in Ohio for a few months so we were a little behind on our celebrations. A lot had transpired in two months. We had Gracie’s graduation to celebrate, Father’s Day, Toby’s birthday and my Dad’s upcoming birthday. We lumped them all into one big celebration.

When we arrived my parents gave Grace her graduation gift from them. They surprised her with her own “Hope Chest.” My sister and I both received hope chests when we became adults. Ours were special family heirlooms which sat at the end of our beds and were used to collect items for our future homes. It was a special tradition that gave us the opportunity to dream, plan, and prepare for our future.

My parents decided they wanted to continue the tradition with their three granddaughters…Grace being the first to graduate. They found the most beautiful Lane hope chest at an antique store near them and placed in it a set of pots and pans to start off Gracie’s collection for her future home.

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Grace was thrilled with this beautiful graduation gift from Mimi and Pop Pop Real.

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Inside her Hope Chest was also her letter bag.

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My mom started a tradition with her 10 grandchildren when Grace was little. She collected 10 bags that hang in her craft room, each with a grandchild’s photo pinned to the front. Then as she has received coloring pictures, thank you notes, letters and crafts from them over the years she placed them in that child’s bag with the intention of handing their bag over to them when they graduate high school.

Grace received her bag from Mimi. What a treasure it was!

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We had a blast looking through it and taking a stroll down memory lane.

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It was a perfect day to celebrate the ones we love.

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We had a picnic lunch with hot dogs on the grill.

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Grace played show and tell with Mimi and Pop Pop, showing off all her graduation mementos.

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And Toby and Dad opened their gifts for Father’s Day and belated birthdays.


We ended our special day with board games on the patio and moon pie trifles.

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What a lovely day at the Homestead.

Next time we gather together it will be with the extended family for my brother’s wedding.

We are so excited for Travis and Krista.

9 days to go!

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