grateful heart monday snapshot of the soul tradition

A Father/Daughter Tradition. (A Grateful Heart)

November 9, 2015
Em and Dad Purdue 2015

Well hello, Monday! I got back to Nashville last night after a quick weekend trip to my Indiana home. It’s always bittersweet to come and go from that place. While Nashville is definitely starting to feel like a new kind of home (which I am so grateful for), Indiana is where I grew up and there are way too many memories that were made in that state for me to just say “see ya!”

If you’ve been reading this space for awhile now, you know how much I love a good road trip. What you may not know is that I love a good solo road trip every now and then. Don’t get me wrong, Christian and I have a blast when we take long drives together, but it’s only when I’m by myself that I crank totally embarrassing music (to be confessed at a later date) as loud as it will go, and maybe more than once too 😉 I also tend to admire the scenery more so when I’m by myself, many times turning off the playlist or radio and being alone with my thoughts while my eyes take in the farmland and pretty trees. Funny enough, this is when I feel the most inspired when it comes to my novel writing. Often times I’ll pull over at a random exit just so I can quickly jot down chapter ideas.

Red Indiana Trees

Do you think there’s a story inspired by these trees? Because I totally do.

There’s also something extra special about going to my Indiana home this time of year. Every year for the past 12+ years, my dad and I have continued with one of my all time favorite traditions of going to a Purdue football game together. It’s just the two of us and rain or shine we always, always go. Purdue is actually pretty horrible this year, football wise, but it doesn’t even matter – we have the BEST time together and this year was just that – the best time.

Em and Dad Purdue 2015

Purdue 2015

Purdue 2015

I love this time with my dad and all of the little things that go into our tradition each year. The little things that even if I were to tell you or spell them out right here in this space, they wouldn’t seem like much at all but I can assure you – they take up so many of my snapshot-of-the-soul moments. And really, if you think about it, isn’t that how our favorite traditions often are? Little moments that carry so much importance but only because a few certain people have said so? And while it does feel exclusive and it does feel like an incredibly important club – my dad and I, the only members – I would absolutely encourage you to grab one of your favorite people and start a new tradition, to start your own “members only moments” that give space to the words and kind of love that can literally bring tears to your eyes as you sit back and think, These guys are totally gonna lose this game today but man, it is just the absolute BEST having this guy as my dad.

em and dad Purdue 2015

EG signature

PS – If you’d like to learn just a bit more about me, head on over to Grammie Time! I’m so excited to be Michelle’s “Connect With” gal for November and am happy to share with all of you some of my other “bests” in life 😉


What are you grateful for?

  1. Link up below and join the rest of us in starting each day this week with a grateful heart. Each week’s linkup will be open until Friday night!
  2. Link up to your Grateful Heart post and please link your post back to Ember Grey (via link or Grateful Heart button) in your actual post so that others can be introduced to it and link up too. *Any posts that do not have to do with this Grateful Heart topic or those that do not link back up to this blog in the actual post will be deleted.
  3. If you use #gratefulheart on Twitter, tag me and I will retweet! @embergreyblog
Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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  • I love this tradition. And I love that I’ve met your Dad so I can totally picture how you two would be together at the game. xoxo

  • Another life moment I enjoy reading about, the special bond between you and your dad. One thing I will say, I too enjoy a solo road trip by myself. The quiet, isolated time in the car with just myself breathes inspiration from my thoughts like no other. Then, I too, crank the music (to keep me awake mostly) and sing my living heart out. This tradition, wonderful!

    • “and sing my living heart out” – that made me laugh out loud. I’m the same!! 🙂

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  • It is moments like these with your father that will always stand out. I also agree about a road trip by yourself. It allows time to yourself in away like no other.

    • One of these mornings I want to just take the car and drive some of the back roads around where we live. I drive past them every day and always wonder where they lead to. (That’s the good thing about GPS.. you never really feel lost, haha)

  • aww thats so lovely! They are memories you will remember forever plus – traditions like these just make it all the more special!
    Solo road trip for the win!!! Totally agree on that one!

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  • Jenn

    Love that you got to spend this quality time with your dad. So many great memories to hold dear!
    Found you from Grammie Time’s mention about you this weekend, and so glad that I did!

  • I absolutely love that you were able to get away and spend time with your dad! There’s nothing like a relationship between daughter and father. Happy Monday Em 🙂

  • Aww, this is too sweet, Emily. I’m glad you were able to spend some time with your Dad, carrying on the tradition! I need to start a “members only” tradition with one or both of my parents soon, too!

    • Yes!! Do it!! 🙂 All it took was us going to a game together once and then we were like, “Hey, that was fun. We should do that again next year.” And that’s all it took!

  • This is such a fun tradition to have with your dad – and yes, everyone needs to start some kind of tradition of their own with their families. That sounds like such a great idea!

    • I would really love to start something like this with some of my girl friends. Just once a year. It’s so hard for all of us to get together these days!

  • What a lovely tradition you have with your dad. I absolutely love this post!

  • I love traditions like this. I have a few with some special people and there is nothing like it. I’m with you on the solo road trips…sometimes they are just what I need to get my thoughts back in line. 🙂

  • I suck at traditions but love these kinds of moments and cherish every one. What a fun time with your dad!

    • All it takes is doing something ONCE that everyone in the group really loved doing… and then you just decide to do it the next year and that’s that! (I think for us planners it’s easy to try and plan a tradition instead of just letting it happen on its own. I owe this one to my dad) 😉

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  • I saw that picture of you and your dad and the game day faces and even though I may have gone to a school that is a little bit rival-ish with purdue i couldn’t even smack talk because you guys were so darn cute and dads who love their daughters make the world a better place!

  • It looks like you had such a great time. This weekend my husband and I traveled to my hometown in Ohio from Kentucky and it is always wonderful to be home. We have fun on our long drives too! It’s one time when we have several uninterrupted hours together to talk and catch up. I’m glad that you got to spend some time with your dad. I know how important this weekend trips home are!

    • It is SO nice to go back home! 🙂 Glad you had that this past weekend, Brittany!

  • so, I always want to link up and I finally did.. yes! your post is so precious. It made me smile! I wish I had a relationship like that with my dad but i’m so thankful that our future girl is going to have an awesome one! so so sweet.

    • YEAH!!!! Can’t wait to read your post! 🙂 Gosh, I can only imagine just how much you’re going to MELT watching your husband with your daughter!

  • This is awesome! I love traditions.

    Also, can I just say…you’re one of my favorite people. 🙂

    • Steph 🙂 I read your comment yesterday (and as you know, I was having a hard and emotional day). It made me smile, thank you xo

      • I am so glad I could make you smile. Hope today is a better day for your heart. xo

  • awwww father/daughter time is also something i so cherish. i’m glad you got to go back home for that and enjoy some solo road tripping!

    • There is nothing like father/daughter time together – doesn’t matter how old you get either 🙂

  • Elle

    So excited to link-up today. Love the idea of posting what we’re grateful for.

    Your father-daughter date sounds so sweet and fun! Glad you were able to continue such a beloved tradition.

    P.S. I don’t know if it is just me, but the link up button from above was sending me to an error page when I clicked on it after posting it onto my blog. I swapped out the link ( for your link to this current post and it worked just fine, so I am not sure if there is something wrong with that link, or if I just had bad luck today and it works for other bloggers, but I wanted to let you know 🙂

    • Hi Elle! It’s probably because I just moved to WP and still finding/figuring out the kinks – THANK YOU so much for letting me know! I will be fixing all of my buttons today, it didn’t even occur to me that those would be affected as well. Thank you, thank you!

      I’m so glad you linked up today, Elle!

  • This is such a sweet tradition!

    I’ve been grateful to spend more time with my family since moving to Georgia. My husband’s from Ohio, so we’ve spent the last several years living there, but my family mostly lives in South Carolina. I had my own father-daughter date on a recent trip back home. We attended a dinner theatre benefit. I love dressing up, attending live theatre, and eating fancy food, so it was a great night out with my dad.

    • It can be so hard when everyone is spread out. I love your father/daughter date 🙂 Sounds so perfect and I’m glad you two were able to have that together!

  • Such a cute picture of you and your daddy 🙂 I also love driving by myself and playing the worst things super loud. You’re not alone, haha!

    • Thank you, Heather 🙂 That’s part of our tradition – before we leave, my mom will take a “game day” picture of us in the driveway and every year I get to laughing so hard that it’s hard for me to look serious. It always takes forever to take the picture, haha!

      (I want to know what your “worst things” are! ha!)

  • What great pictures Emily! I love solo roadtrips…like you said, I blast crazy music and stare at the trees, the sky, the sun…I take it all in.

    • Thank you, lady!! 🙂 I think especially this time of year, solo road trips are just the best.

  • Aww I love this! I can’t wait to live closer to home so I can hang with my dad more often too.

    • It’s so hard when there’s distance in-between! I asked my dad what we’ll do when he and my mom move to TN in a few years and he said we would pack up the car and make the drive back to IN to go to the game. That will be quite the drive together, gah! 😉

  • That is the sweetest tradition! Living far away from parents is SO hard. I did for awhile and I hated it!

    Also, I read your post on Grammie Time. I love that you had a cat named Muffin, because I had a dog named Muffin!

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  • Such a great tradition! Looks like some unforgettable memories were made!

  • Oh my goodness this is awesome – love father daughter moments!!

  • I love how you shared you father daughter traditions with us! I’m from Indiana, too, and those trees are a perfect depiction of the beautiful nature here! However, I cringed a little bit at the mention of Purdue (INDIANA UNIVERSITY ALL THE WAY)!!