Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hoppy Easter!

Our family really enjoyed celebrating Easter this year.  In years past, Aiden has always been too young to understand the meaning behind all of the fun, but this year, I think he actually began to understand why we celebrate this holiday. On Good Friday, we talked about the crucifixion story, Jesus' burial and death, and his resurrection.  Aiden found the story of how Jesus was put to death fascinating, especially how day turned to night, and when I reminded him how bad a scrape or a splinter can hurt, and asked him to imagine how horrible Jesus must have felt, being beaten and cut, and he gained a new appreciation for the sacrifice Jesus made. I know he doesn't fully understand it all--really, do any of us??  But this year, I feel he began to see beyond the Easter Bunny lore and the egg hunts full of candy to see why we celebrate this day.

Beyond the serious side of the holiday, though, Aiden and Aubrey fully enjoyed the silly aspects of the day.  Last night, we put out a plate of carrots for the Easter Bunny and set out our empty baskets, and this morning, Aiden excitedly ran in to tell us that the Easter Bunny had visited!  He found a bunny Pez dispenser, a Scooby Doo movie, a Dr. Suess Early Reader Treasury book (with 5 books inside) and a stack of eggs full of Nerds jelly beans (OMG, these are so good!) and candy bar minis. Aubrey's basket had a coloring book and a set of chunky, triangular crayons made for little hands, a Sesame Street book featuring her favorite character, Cookie Monster, her own Pez dispenser, and a smaller stack of jelly-bean-filled eggs.  Mommy and Daddy even got some Lindt chocolates that looked like lady bugs and some candy-filled eggs.

After examining our loot, we got dressed for church.  We decided to go to the early service, with Aunt Cathy and Uncle Wayne joining us.  It was a wonderful service and left us feeling joyful and uplifted.  Afterwards, we headed home to share a big Easter brunch with Cathy and Wayne.  We started off with mimosas while everything baked, then enjoyed homemade pecan sticky buns, eggs benedict casserole with asparagus and ham, a tomato and camembert cheese tart with herb-infused olive oil, and a spring salad with pears, toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries and goat cheese.  Everything was delicious and we were all stuffed afterwards.

Aubrey went down for a nap after brunch, then it was time to decorate eggs. All of us got in on the fun, and we had quite a collection of colorful eggs. Stripes, polka dots, tie-dyed eggs, we tried all kinds of techniques. But the most colorful thing we got out of the ordeal was Aiden's hand--he abandoned the egg dipper, preferring to use his fingers, and I'm afraid he'll look like a muppet threw up on his hands for the next week!

The evening was spent enjoying some relaxing family time, complete with tickle-fests and Aiden playing "Easter Egg checkers" with his freshly-dyed eggs (a game that his imaginary friend, Jeffrey, taught him).  Now we are headed for bed, tuckered out from a long weekend of fun. It will be a whole year before we hunt eggs or dye them again--but the message of Easter and the joy over his resurrection and the grace he has poured out over us--that we will carry with us every day.

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Check out A Belly in Bloom, a page devoted to Angela's pregnancy with Aubrey. You can see belly pics, sonograms, and learn more about how Aubrey (formerly known as "The Bean") came to be the lovely little girl she is! You can also find Angela's favorite recipes and newest food experiments at Cooking with the Parker Pack.