Monday, April 1, 2013


I think it's safe to say that the Easter Vigil is my favorite service in the church year.

Nathan and I got to sing in the church choir together for the Vigil, as some kind friends generously offered to watch Nell so we could go.  I couldn't help remembering last year's Vigil, in most ways so similar: Nathan and I singing in church choir together, the Pascha Nostrum, the ringing of bells at the Easter proclamation, the feast of chocolates and sweets galore afterward as happy churchgoers mill about drinking wine from plastic cups.  

But last year, I was very pregnant... and now I have an almost-one-year-old!

Easter Sunday was a busy day for us.  Nathan had three services to play at the congregational church where he is organist.  He encouraged me to not even try to make it to any of them, what with traffic and parking nightmares and all the services being so packed there wasn't seating for everyone.  So Nell and I went to my church, where I played violin for a couple of pieces, and got to watch Nell experience her first Easter Sunday.

Nell wore the sweetest little Pottery Barn Kids dress I had found at a consignment store a couple of months ago.  I didn't even know they made clothes, but it was a beautiful dress, very well-made, with a pale green polka dot sash.  I found her a little cardigan to go over it at Target.  

{I tried to find her a pair of shoes, but with no luck.  Honestly, I never really think to get her shoes, because she's not walking yet, but when I tried some on her, I found that the chubby tops of her little feet didn't fit in any of the shoes that were close to her size.  Good thing warm summer months are coming up!}

I started the morning off with a dressier blouse than the cardi I'm wearing in these pictures, but Nell managed to dribble milk all over it while nursing in church.  Yes, it was one of those mornings.  One of those mornings when I looked around at all the other women in church who seemed to look great, have perfectly quiet children, and have their lives all in order.  And I couldn't even manage to keep my shirt clean.  I felt slightly discouraged.  There may have been some self-pity involved.

Following church services galore, we had friends over for Easter dinner.  There were ten adults in all, and three babies who obliged us by taking turns fussing or crying, but never deciding to all cry at once.

There was ham (for those inclined to eat such things - not me!), and homemade rolls, and green bean casserole, and brussels sprouts chiffonade, scalloped potatoes, macaroni and cheese, spinach salad, and wine and mimosas.

I'm getting better at delegating these days, at saying "Yes!" when people ask, "Can I bring something?", and I've been pleasantly surprised at how sharing the workload a bit makes everything not only easier, but that much more enjoyable, too.  It leaves me feeling like, "Hey, we should have friends over more often!" instead of, "I've been cooking for three days, I'm up to my armpits in dirty dishes, and my feet ache... let's never ever do that again!"

{Not that I've ever really felt that way, but you know.}

For dessert, I made my Mom's carrot cake, these almond joy bars, and strawberry shortcake from In Honor of Design.  It's so handy when a blog you read posts a recipe you want to make just in time for Easter, isn't it?

I'm so grateful to our friend Cara for not only taking the above pictures of the strawberry shortcake, but also for snapping some really special pictures of our family.  I can't stop looking at these shots she captured of Nathan and Nell.

This little girl loves to ride on her Daddy's shoulders.

Are you ready for the cuteness?

{That may be my favorite picture of Nathan ever.}

All in all, it was a good day, until all the chaos wound down and I received some very sad news.  Not something it's my place to share, but the kind of news that makes you hold the ones you love a little closer, and realize the insignificance of worrying about milk dribbled down your shirt.

{I think there's a saying about spilled milk that probably applies here.}

So, our thoughts and prayers are with those we love right now even more than usual.

And that was our Easter.  How was yours?

The outtake:

Check out Fine Linen and Purple, as well as Camp Patton {which is pretty much the funniest blog around} to see others in their Easter finest.  As for us, we try to look slightly respectable at least once a year.


  1. Oh.My. what a sweet family you have. Your daughter is beautiful. That hair is so sweet. I love your outfit as well. Your skirt especially. Beautiful fabric and cut. The fit is spot on. Happy Easter!!

    1. Thanks so much! Recently I was looking back at pictures of Nell from when she was younger, and let's just say we're glad her hair is filling in somewhat now. I had already almost forgotten there was an awkward period of long stringy hair on top, and not much anywhere else. ;-) Of course I was sort of aware of it at the time, but in retrospect it looks funnier than it ever did to me. I guess baby adoration gives us mamas rose-colored glasses!

  2. That last pic is so adorable!! And I LOVE your ensemble. Happy Easter!!

  3. Love that lace skirt! And your daughter is so beautiful :)

    Never get discouraged by the "perfect" families at church - I've figured out that I'm usually so wrapped up in keeping my kids under control that I don't notice anyone else's misbehavior, and that goes for the other families, too! I've been complimented so many times on my "well-behaved" children when somehow everyone seems to miss the fact that they were lying on the floor kicking their feet in the air, or saying the priest's words in a very loud voice, or humming loudly through the entire homily... And strangers are always more focused on cute kids than stained clothing :P

  4. Glad the pics came out ok. Sorry I missed your feet in the earlier one...oops. I'm not used to your super fancy camera. I was more focused on making sure I got your faces in the frame..haha :) Thanks again for a lovely day. Oh and please, my child was growling through part of the service, so I wouldn't worry about all these perfect kids. In my mind, it makes it more of a community to know that all ages are welcome. It's quite refreshing from some church experiences my family has had!