eastertide

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If there’s anything Easter teaches us, it’s this: there can be sorrow and still there can be joy.  There can be life borne from death.  What a victory!  In fact, the greatest joy I have tasted came out of death.  First, His death.  Then the resurrection.  If there’s anything Easter teaches us, it’s that we can be adrift on the waves of pain and loss while also rejoicing in that unshakeable Hope.  There is a future coming for us that will far surpass our imagination.  Indeed, there is a weight of glory.  I was struck by these words on Easter:

“It still feels like Saturday to me – the loss of a best friend’s youngest son this year, Rachel still in a coma, the Sri Lankan bombings this morning, other sadnesses of this year, and the weight of the world’s longing still feels as present in our sanctuaries as the fulfillment of those longings. Maybe even more so. I’ve cried off and on all morning, unable to rouse my usual celebrations or rituals… As we sang a hymn together at the end, I was struck by the line, ‘Break the bread of new creation where the world is still in pain.’ In the brooding longings of our Saturday world, we feed each other, we pray, we remind each other of all that is beautiful, true, and good; we feast, we ‘drink the wine of resurrection, not as a servant but a friend.’ Perhaps that is what Easter can be today for us, too – bread and wine, hope and each other, even when the world is still in pain.” (Sarah Bessey)

There were bombings in Sri Lanka and the loud headlines.  There was my own broken heart.  There was the unexpectedly cold Easter weather, the children with coughs and runny noses.  There was a broken family held together and holding together in the midst of it by this Savior who takes the failures and the doubters, the deniers and the deserters, and restores them.  Resurrects them.  Sometimes I can hardly believe its true.

This Easter we surprised the children with little Easter baskets in the morning with a new naturally-dyed hair bow for each of the girls, a new hat for Noah, a small simple journal and some new coloring supplies for each.  We worshiped together with our church family, came home for a very cold Easter egg hunt, naps, and then dinner and another Easter egg hunt at my parents house nearby with my brother and his family.  I hope I didn’t bore you with my millions of photos of a bonneted baby looking a bit like mother hubbard shuffling around in her linen dress.  Every first is so fun with a baby.

I hope it was a blessed Easter for you, and that you were able to catch a glimpse of the Risen one and the glory once again that awaits us, too.

family + an easter sweater

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It’s taken me all week to get this blog post out, squeezing in moments here and there to work on it.  Everything seems to take a lot longer these days.

We stayed home Easter morning which felt a bit sad, but with Wren still being only four weeks old and a lot of sickness still lingering in our area, we felt it was best.  I also couldn’t fathom getting everyone dressed and out of the door on time, let alone myself and baby.  We’ve only gone to two dr appointments thus far, otherwise we’ve pretty much been home, so toting everyone around still feels overwhelming.  We had a quiet and easy morning, then headed over to my parents house around lunch time to be with family.  It was really sweet to be together!  My youngest brother and his wife had their first baby 5 days before Wren was born, so it was a treat to have them drive here from Virginia to share baby Silas with us and be together for Easter.

One of my other brothers and his wife live close by, so to have as many of us together as we can is a blessing.  (My sister and other brother and their families live in British Columbia, Canada and we miss them especially in times like these!)

The cousins playing and making memories together is precious to all of us and brings a lot of joy.  I’m thankful to my parents for hosting and pulling together such fantastic meals, such a treat for all of us.  I contributed a vegan + gluten free raspberry cheesecake, which was simple and not terribly sweet, but I really loved it and would make it again.

I also finished my featherweight cardigan a little bit ago and finally blocked it and wove in the ends, so wearing it for the first time on Easter felt special.  Its my first cardigan for myself!  I cast it on before I was pregnant so of course it is sized for my “normal” body size, and will fit a bit better after losing baby weight, but it still fits just fine for now.

I hope it was a happy holiday weekend for all of you also!

 

family egg hunt

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After editing and loading all those pictures, I’m too worn out to say much!  Whew!  I’m just so thankful to have some of my loved ones nearby, to get to gather on special occasions and ordinary occasions, to work together (as we all do in one way or another), and to be there and alongside one another.  It’s not perfect and we aren’t as close as I think we all wish we were, in the busyness of this season with little ones.  But it is good.  And we are filled with thanks.  We celebrated Easter with our church family on Sunday morning, then met up at my parents house nearby before dinner, had an egg hunt (eggs filled with stickers, sidewalk chalk and bubbles, since Phoebe can’t have candy right now).  It’s fun to see the children enjoy something small and simple together, and to witness the delight on their faces while hunting for treasures.  My parents made a delicious gluten-free easter meal and I contributed some homemade strawberry basil ice cream.  How precious these little ones are, loving each other so much, growing up so fast.  And best of all, our faithful God, making a way for us to know Him and be with Him.

 

Happy Easter!

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Unfortunately Brandon didn’t make it into the photos this year 😦 😦 but maybe I will snag a few of him later when we do an egg hunt.  I know I’ve been absent on here lately, and I have so much to share soon!  But for now, a few photos to say hello and Happy Easter!  Easter isn’t about pretty dresses and baskets full of treats, but we are still thankful for those things.

In the midst of all of life’s complexities, our Risen Living Savior, unchanging and steadfast, is the anchor of our soul and the joy of our hearts.  He makes our hearts sing.  We praise you especially today, Jesus, that you FINISHED the work the Father set before you, that you kept your eyes fixed on the goal and you ran your race, the one that only you could run, and you won the prize.  You are our prize and we are your prize, somehow in the mystery of grace.  You make our hearts sing for joy today.

 

spring things

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I’m behind it seems on posting lately.  I’ve been dealing with some vertigo on and off and looking at the computer screen has been messing with my eyes and giving me a headache so I just haven’t been able to be on for long periods of time.

My youngest brother’s wedding was on Easter weekend so after we all got back home from Virginia, we had an egg hunt for the kids at my parent’s house.  It was pretty special because we had *almost* all of the nieces and nephews together for it.  We only hid a couple of eggs per child so it was kind of short lived.

These spring days have been so lovely.  I’m enjoying this year’s spring more than any I can remember, I think.  We’ve had some really warm days, lots of time to be outside and thankfully no mosquitoes yet.  It’s been good to be able to throw the windows and doors open and have the kids outside more than in.  Phoebe is bringing me bundles of flowers for my kitchen table or for her mud pies or bride bouquets.  We gave them each some wildflower seeds and their own set of garden tools in their Easter baskets so we have been waiting for the “last freeze” so that we can plant together and see what happens.  We don’t have a yard with much sun, so I tried to choose seeds accordingly.

I’m attempting to potty train Noah again, and this time my mindset has been different.  He is just not going to get this quickly, and so every day its about doing our best and sticking with it and dealing with a lot of messes and laundry, but keeping it light for him.  I introduced the kids to that old movie from my childhood, the Adventures of Milo and Otis and they loved it.  They’ve been requesting it nonstop on the rainy days, in which they inform me that movies are the best thing to do.  Philippa has been talking so much.  Well, she’s always talked a lot but we are starting to understand her more.  She is affectionately called the “boss lady” around here, and she loves to tell everyone what to do, though we can’t understand half of it.  She is saying “nur-ning” for nursing, “naugh-knee” for naughty, and loves to yell “don’t touch!” or “no, no!”  She says “EYE da-doo” for I love you.  She loves playing “pee-boo” (peek a boo).  She is observing all the potty training business going on and is very interested herself, and already runs to the potty if I ask her if she wants to try.  She will probably be done by this summer, and its hard for me to imagine life without someone in diapers!  Crazy!

We’ve been getting out on family adventures again, always so happy when the parkway is open.  Last weekend we hiked up to a fire tower we’ve always wanted to check out, then had a picnic on an overlook and let the kids run around and play while I squeezed in a few minutes to knit.

Phoebe is not really napping anymore in the afternoons the last few months, though she still has quiet time while the younger kids sleep.  She has a big stack of books and a doll and is content for a couple of hours, but I let her get up a good hour or so before the other kids.  I’ve been trying to make the most of this time with just her, sometimes doing a little craft, having tea, baking something together, or doing a little bit of “school.”  I’m trying to wrap my mind around starting school in just a few months and I don’t have it all figured out yet (ha!) but it’s pretty much constantly on my thoughts.

Anyway, thats a bit of our random current life lately.  Off to play with the kids outside a bit before dinner!

 

easter

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This Easter was special in so many ways.  I’m learning to treasure this time of year more + more as I continue to learn about the significance of the resurrection of Jesus for my day-to-day living.  My children, each year, are more able to share in that understanding and excitement.  It was Philippa’s first Easter and the first year my older two were able to really enjoy hunting for hidden eggs.  It was so sweet to see Phoebe intentionally leave eggs for Noah to find and hear her calling out to him, telling him where to look.  It was the first year we sort of had a very simple kind of Passover meal (though I forgot the unleavened bread and couldn’t get the readings to print in time, and we had it on Easter day instead of Maundy Thursday).  A certain four-year-old of mine got her first pair of “heels” for Easter, much to daddy’s chagrin.  What was super special and such a humbling honor was the opportunity to share with my church family a little about my story of getting lost in the snowy Colorado backcountry 14 years ago and God’s hand in preserving my life (which you can read more about here), along with a few others who shared particular ways God showed Himself strong on their behalf in the midst of difficult times.  It made our Easter worship at church extra special for me!  It was pretty much impossible this year to get a good family picture, but we captured what we could.  Hope your day was special celebrating our risen + living Savior with loved ones!

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