For almost 23 years, with the exception of 14 months in Idaho, I lived in the same house with the same six people. We shared the same traditions, some of the same interests and experienced a lot of the same moments in life. As a family, we had our traditional way of making food, that one go to game every time it was game night and one or two shows that we always watched together. When I married Joe, I joined a family who'd been in the same situation their whole entire lives and had a different way of doing things than my family did. Joe and I have created a family culture of our own with the combined habits and traditions that we grew up with. And even though I'm pretty set in the way that I've done things my whole life, there are a few things my in-laws have taught me that I'm grateful for.
Rolls are better dipped in ranch - My entire life, I've been eating and enjoying Rhodes rolls with homemade jams, but I've been missing out on something so good and almost better.You can't use the bottled ranch, it has to be the packets that you mix up yourself, the taste is so much different. This is a dangerous food habit, especially on Thanksgiving. We eat a lot of bread in that family and never regret a single bite. Truth: My sister-in-law brought two garbage bags full of rolls to dinner once and we ate them all. There were 15 of us, but still, a lot of rolls and a lot of ranch were consumed that day and it was so delicious!
Play Nine is the best card game - If you've never played Play Nine, you're missing out. Joe's family introduced this to me, we introduced it to my family and Joe and I introduce it to anyone who comes over to play games at our house. It's a great game that combines strategy with luck and it doesn't require a lot of concentration, so you can still carry on a conversation at the same time. If you thought people could play mean in Uno or Uno Attack (my family's favorite game), you've never been sitting next to someone who's with holding a card that you need to lower your Play Nine score.
Sometimes it's ok to plan things spontaneously - My sister-in-law always jokes that their family must drive me crazy because they'll plan a family event the night before or even the day of and I've always been a plan weeks in advance type of person. Sometimes it throws me for a loop, but I'm learning to be ok with it and sometimes the last minute parties end up being a lot of fun. Nothing I plan works out the way I want anyway, so it's probably better that I go into something with no expectations, right?!
Weekly family time is a necessity - When you get married and move out of your parent's house, you don't see your family every day like you used to. Joe's family has a Sunday night tradition of America's Funniest Home Videos, food, cousin play time, and the most random conversations ever. I love that my kids will get to grow up being best friends with their cousins and I love that extended family will always feel more like immediate family because that time together is a priority. Family events are a priority to Joe's family and it's made me excited for my siblings to get married and have kids and not be so far away so that we can all get together on a regular basis as well.
What have you learned from your in-laws?