Ashley Hunter is a mom, teacher, and community supporter who loves who she is and where she lives.

Ashley Hunter

Ashley Hunter

If you have Google Photos or a similar photo app, you may get some notifications or compilations of photos taken on a certain day or week throughout the years.

I go into my photos app, look up at the top of the screen, and see photos that I took that same day four, five, and even six years ago.

Recently, I came across photos that I took on our first restaurant outing with our little baby girl. I went back and searched for photos we took on our first outings with each newborn baby, and it turns out that we always took them to the same place.

Everyone who is a new parent knows that going out with a newborn baby is hard. There is the conundrum of when to feed the baby, what to do when the baby is crying, and making sure the baby is getting enough sleep but not too much so that they don’t stay awake all night long.

We may be a little crazy, but we have always made it a tradition to take the newborn baby out to eat for their first meal with the family. Of course, we wait until the baby is at least a month old, we keep them in the car seat the whole time, and make our dinner nice and short, but it was always something I looked forward to as a treat for taking care of this new human non-stop for the past 30 days.

Maybe it’s the good service, the fact that we know people who work there, or the diversity of food choice, but we have always taken our children to Jason’s Deli on our “First Family Outing.”

We have made that our weekly family tradition as well. After Sunday service, we go home, nap, do a family activity, and that will take us right to dinner time when we go down to Jason’s and have our typical meal; the boys will stroll in first, grab their chocolate milk cartons, and order their own food. It has become a right of passage for each boy to place his own order, as well as give the adults a chance to make their decisions.

The boys then proceed to the table they choose, we sit down, and enjoy some family discussion time before our dinner is served.

During the peak of COVID, when the dining room was closed, we just took the time to get in our car, take a little drive around town, and pick up our order at the drive-through to keep our tradition. Admittedly, it became so easy to just go, pick it up, and bring it home without having to deal with the children running around or making excessive noise.

However, once the dining room had been opened for a couple of months, we decided to come back inside with our family, and we didn’t regret it. Other than the social distancing rules, and having to order your salad from the salad bar, nothing that we appreciate from the restaurant had changed.

It keeps every Sunday special, every newborn outing special, and hopefully, our kids can keep it going when they have their own families.

Ashley Hunter is a mom, teacher, and community supporter who loves who she is and where she lives. If you have ideas that you would like to share with Hunter, you may email suggestions to hunter.ashleyk@gmail.com.

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