A few weeks ago I won a great giveaway over at Small Things. The prize was a gorgeous Easter basket filled with lovely, Eco-friendly kids art supplies from Stubby Pencil Studio. The basket didn’t arrive in time for Easter unfortunately but it did come in on Tuesday and has made for a fun Easter week of little surprises for the girls. Included in the basket was a handful of Easter cards for the kids to color. It made for a nice pocket of quiet time while their baby brother had a nap the other morning. Stubby Pencil Studio products are really, really good quality and the colors come out quite bright which is important to me. There’s nothing worse than coloring with a red crayon that comes out pale pink on the paper, ya know? Now that I’ve tried their stuff and like it so much I will probably order through their website when I’m looking for something special!
On a totally unrelated note, I am not going to sugar coat it by showing you a bunch of lovely, colorful pictures and have you thinking all of our days are awesome surprises in the mail and rainbows. These days in the tail end of winter have been long and dull and I have found myself lonely and grumpy a lot. There’s just something really irritating about having to microwave your cup of coffee three times and still only getting about 2/3 of the way through it. I am extra thankful these days for a super helpful husband, a sister to call and cry with on the phone and a night out with a dear girlfriend. Life will not always be so intense, I know, but man..three under five? Buckle up, mamas. It is one wild ride! Luckily, the pay is GREAT! Check out this Handsome McGee (Abigail’s nickname for Oliver) who just turned 3 months old…
Happy Easter, friends!
He is risen!
Today we celebrate the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. The hope that we can change. The hope that we can become the men and women that God has created and called us to be! Fresh starts all around, I say!
The day started off with excited little girls coming up the stairs to discover that the little tomb we made (with a step stool and white table cloth) was empty! Alleluia! They also found some new shoes and treats to enjoy in these next few weeks.
We got to mass and the girls were each given a little ‘Alleluia’ flag to wave around during the songs/hymns. They thought that was great and I had to keep reminding them not to get too enthusiastic with their waving since they kept brushing against our neighbors heads! Oliver wore real clothes for the first time today (as in not pajamas) and he is such a handsome little man. I can’t help but smooch his little cheeks so hard!!! As mass began I couldn’t help but smile at all we have been given in these little miracles and how much we have to be thankful for! I felt a little differently by the end as they were seriously testing my patience but that’s all part of the journey, eh? God said to bring them! He never said they would behave 😉
Afterwards we headed to my mum’s for brunch and a visit with my sister and her family. They all met Oliver for the first time at their son Jude’s birthday party yesterday but this was the first shot of all the kids with Nana! So sweet. We had a really lovely day together but I think we have reached the decision that it is time to start celebrating the holidays at our house…all day! It will be much easier on the kids who still need naps to get through the day and easier on us to be in our home, not carting everyone back and forth.
We finished the day off with a simple supper at home and our Easter tradition of Easter Sundaes! Previously we have only done the sundaes on Easter Sunday but I think this year we will do them each Sunday of the Octave. So simple and yet the kids have a blast putting together their own little dishes. Speaking of dishes, I found these little ice cream dishes at Value Village last week and they are perfect for our little tradition.
I hope you have had a lovely Easter surrounded by people you love, treats to enjoy and the hope and love of our Savior to fill your heart!! Many blessings,
We had a very blessed Lent and I wanted to post some pictures of our time so that I can look back and remember that it was not all struggle. Lent is difficult for me. I suspect that it’s mostly because it is always at the tail end of Winter, which I already loathe. I assumed last year that I was struggling through Winter because Abigail was finishing nursing and I felt like an emotional wreck. I’m now seeing that I probably have some seasonal depression that I need to speak to my doctor about. It’s a dreadful feeling when you feel low and exhausted and like the sun might never shine again and you just wish you could shake it but you just can’t. No amount of just trying to be happier seems to work for me and I expect that I may need to actually exercise to help fight the winter blahs next year.
Ben worked quite a lot throughout Lent and so the girls and I took to having our own adventures and had great fun. I would say their favorite thing we did together was when we baked Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday. We used The Pioneer Woman recipe and had great success. On Holy Saturday we spent a good chunk of the morning coloring black and white Stations of the Cross and hanging them up in our little Easter tree.
I was reminded this Lent how small I am, and how important it is that I remain that way. God is good!
“I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it.
I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first — by deed, the second — by word, the third — by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy.
Many souls … are often worried because they do not have the material means with which to carry out an act of mercy. Yet spiritual mercy, which requires neither permissions nor storehouses, is much more meritorious and is within the grasp of every soul.
If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasure for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall My judgment with their mercy” (1317).
Today we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday. This brings me great joy for two reasons. The first because of the sweet gift of mercy Jesus has offered us in his death and resurrection. The call not only to receive his mercy but to share that mercy with others, and in that way bring people to Christ. The second reason I treasure this day so much is because it marks the second anniversary of Abigail’s baptism into the Church. This afternoon we will also be seeing the priest who baptized her.
Mercy is something I suck at, quite frankly. Receiving mercy has not come easily to me. I still shrink at the thought of going to reconciliation and so I find giving mercy just as difficult. It is something I need to work on and am being blessed with the opportunities to work on each day being a wife and mother. Mercy can be something as simple as forgiving my husband for being late before he even gets home and not chewing him out. It can be drawing my girls in for a hug when they are being crazy and I just want to yell at them until steam comes out of my ears. I take incredible comfort and strength from praying the chaplet of Divine Mercy. The words, “Jesus, I trust in You” repeated again and again become my armour and my hope that all is well and all will be well when it is in His hands. I was reminded this morning in prayer that there is no detail of my life too tiny for His concern. With that truth, I give it all to Him. The good, the bad and the ugly. Knowing He can take it, because He already has…to the cross and back again.
Happy Easter, friends! May the joy and peace of the resurrected Christ be yours this Easter Octave! We had a lovely Easter Sunday together as Ben’s shop decided to stay closed for the day. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast before heading off to mass and then returning home to stuff our faces with much anticipated Easter treats. Later in the day we joined my mum and some of my siblings at her house for a great feast of lamb and chicken and all other kinds of goodness including carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
The girls were very pleased with their lovely new Easter dresses sent by ‘auntie Edel’ and we decided to get them a wagon, something we’ve been wanting to give them since we moved in last year. All in all a wonderful day! I’m still trying to find ways to celebrate Easter in our home, which mostly consists of eating more treats…anyone have other ideas???
The time has finally come. Most of everything we own is in boxes or Rubbermaid bins and we are ready to go. This year’s Easter was exactly what we needed this year. Last year Abigail was only about 6 weeks old at Easter and I honestly don’t remember much of that time. Ben had just started working his second job for five nights of the week and we were all pretty exhausted.
This year, I was able to get to Holy Thursday mass which I have not done in several years. We went to the Good Friday service as a family where Lucy was very pleased that she was able to ”kiss her feet”. She is in the stage of figuring out her he’s and she’s and still mixing them up most of the time. We had a very quiet Good Friday spending most of the day at home, puttering around, napping and praying. In the end I decided not to make hot cross buns. We had a lovely Lebanese meal the night before and I had made a big carrot cake for dessert. We ate the leftovers of that as our small meals for fasting. It was really different for me this year as well because it was the first Lent/Triduum in three years that I was able to participate in the fast. I found it really did help me to focus and truly connect to the heart of the day.
Holy Saturday was quiet for us since Ben was working. We played with some friends in the morning and did all of our last minute preparations that night. We both would love to participate in the Easter vigil but have decided that that will come in time when our little ones are older and can handle the sleep disruption. I just don’t see the point in spending half of the mass trying to calm over-tired babes so that everyone else can enjoy the evening. We went to bed that night after laying out our Easter goodies and setting up our refreshed altar. I wish I had a picture to show you as it’s quite lovely but sweet Lucy broke our camera lens and we only have pictures from my mum’s camera.
On Easter morning the girls got up to find empty baskets in their rooms. Upon opening their doors they found a lovely trail of colourful plastic eggs to collect which led them into the living room and to our family altar. I put away all of our Lenten decor and replaced it with a white sheet, our big print of the Divine Mercy, our statue of Mary, some flowers and all of our treats. Ben asked Lucy, “What happens today?” and she replied, “Jesus is Aliveeeeeeeeee!” We had a delicious coffee cake, made by my darling husband and fruit salad for breakfast then got on our Sunday best. After mass we all had a nap and then headed up to my mum’s for supper. We had delicious pineapple ham, potatoes, brussel sprouts, butternut squash and really cute birds nest cupcakes for dessert.
For the cupcakes I just toasted some medium coconut, made an easy buttercream icing, and decorated the tops with mini eggs. Lucy really did most of the work. It’s a very easy dessert for kids to help with. Especially if you make the icing runny enough for them to also dunk the cupcake top into.
Tomorrow is our closing date so we will be doing the final walk through of the house at 9:00 am. This will be the first time we see the house empty and I am really looking forward to it! Until then I have much cleaning to do….the really boring kind like scrubbing out the insides of all the kitchen cabinets. Pray for me! I will try to be back in this space next week sometime once we are more settled. I will hopefully have some pictures to show then! Have a blessed weekend!
One of the first questions I asked myself after we bought our new house was, “What are we going to do for Easter?” Not that we would somehow just skip it, but how would we be able to fully celebrate when everything would hopefully be packed by then? We reached Palm Sunday and I hadn’t yet answered this question in my mind and the panic was beginning to set in. We already have plans to eat Easter Sunday dinner at my mum’s house but what of the rest of the Triduum? Friends, lookie what I stumbled upon today..
I don’t know what to do for Easter.
We don’t need fine china, or our best table linens or even cute little Easter decorations this year. We just need to celebrate that Jesus is going to raise from the dead. You know what that means? Some feasting. Some fasting. Lots of prayer & mass time. Naps. Chocolate. Wine. Blowing bubbles out on the curb with my girls and giving thanks for LIFE!
I know that once we are settled nicely into our new home and our girls grow older with each year, Easter traditions will begin to form in our family. For now I am going to make a little list of feasting foods for this weekend to come and make sure I have all of the ingredients for hot cross buns, unlike last year. So, if you are like me and trying to figure out how to best celebrate this coming weekend, let’s focus on what Easter is really about and not get our panties in a twist stressing over things that don’t matter (i.e everything being matchy and Martha Stewart-esque). Instead, let’s give our homes a good tidy up and get to feasting! I think Lucy and I might get our aprons on and get into the kitchen to bake up some special treats for Sunday’s dinner.
Bless you! Thanks for reading about our little life.