Mother and daughter painting
Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation
One of my most cherished memories is the time spent with my grandmother as she taught me how to knit.

I remember how proud I was and how accomplished I felt as my rows of knitting began to take shape. For the first time, I could see that my hands could make something beautiful. My granny was patient, and her eagerness to spend time with me and to teach her beloved craft made me feel special and loved.

So often the most meaningful moments in our lives are those that we share with our families. Treasured memories are created by celebrating, sharing and embracing the moments of life with the people we love.

Creating memories that matter is one of the most precious gifts in life. Some days life spontaneously takes us on adventures, and we get swept up in wonderful journeys. On other days, we have the opportunity to design adventures, experiences, outings, activities, projects, excursions and fun for the whole family.

Whether the experience is planned or spontaneous, we always have the option to infuse any family activity with individual style, creativity, resourcefulness, innovation, artful delight, gratitude and love.

Family activities are an opportunity to grow your relationships, to learn more about each other, to share similar interests, to laugh out loud, to discover new things together, to work together to accomplish your mutual goals and to have tons of fun.

I came across a great quotation in a book one morning, and, on a whim, went into my daughter's room while she was out for the day with friends and wrote it on her chalkboard. It was by Eleanor Roosevelt: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." I hoped it would give her a lift, inspire her and make her a little happier. I hoped it would remind her that she's always in my thoughts. I began a practice of writing a quote on her chalkboard wall each and every morning.

I had not realized how much she loved discovering these quotes in her room until the morning she asked, "Mom, where's my quote?" I had lapsed in writing them down, and she missed them and wanted more. Ever since, in the course of my daily routine, I'm always on the lookout for new quotes for her chalkboard.

Gathering this timeless wisdom is no big deal, and it requires almost no effort on my part. But it has become another way to tell my daughter how much I love her and care about her. It puts me in her life in a nice, uplifting, amusing way, which makes me happy too. Not bad for a couple seconds' worth of work. I could just tell her I love her, and of course I do all of the time. If I have some advice, I could simply just offer it. But somehow, making these moments tangible turns them into something lasting.

Today, my daughter is at college, and we send each other e-mails, sharing new quotes and inspirations, all the while keeping our hearts connected.

Here are some ideas on how to create moments with your family that infuse heart, creativity and love into your everyday actions and experiences.

Your version will be your own. Some people whistle, and others sing arias. From creating a family book club to volunteering with your family to restore a community flower garden, your individuality will shine through as you create activities and moments that matter.

12 ways to create meaningful family moments

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