Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Memorial Day means a lot to us as a family on a personal level, not because we have had to make the ultimate sacrifice of life ourselves (we haven't, and we have nothing but respect for those who have), but because we use this weekend of memorializing to remember the people that we have loved and lost and to give our girls a glimpse into their own roots.

Every year on the Sunday before Memorial Day, we pack up a picnic lunch and take our children to the cemetery. I remember the first year we brought food with us, and we really debated whether this was a reverent enough activity for a cemetery. Then I thought of my grandmother whose grave we visit every year, and I can just imagine how absolutely tickled she would be at the idea of her great-granddaughters running around and bringing life to her final resting place.

We love to do this on this weekend in particular because the cemeteries are all in beautiful shape with flowers and flags, and it's such a good learning experience for our kids. They learn not only about their own history but about what it means to serve our country (like some of their ancestors did), and how their sacrifices give us the freedoms we enjoy today.

We do this on Sunday, though, because it's usually pretty quiet that day at the cemeteries we visit, and we want to be respectful of those for whom this holiday was really set aside. We don't want to water it down and make it about just anyone who has died because we believe it means so much more than that.

Here at the Small Home Family blog, we want to take the time to thank all of our military heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country as well as the people who loved them and lost so much. While we have a few barbecues scheduled this weekend to usher in summer, we never want to forget the real reason for this holiday.

Our thanks can never be enough.