DW cranked up the Chris Tomlin station on Pandora while we did a few last minute things around the house and AB munched on a chocolate bunny for breakfast. Mames had pancakes- she’s only 1, but as soon as she’s old enough to ask, she’ll be eating candy from her basket on Easter morning, too. :)
We had to make sure AB knew she couldn’t wear her beloved pop-up slippers to church…she was so excited to get these. According to her, they are her favorite things- PURPLE and UNICORNS. (We knew her favorite color was purple, but we didn’t even know she knew what a unicorn was…) :)
Grammy & Pop got to our house just as we were finishing getting ready for church. They were bringing their part of our big Easter lunch…
We tried to take some pictures on the porch before we left for church, but that didn’t go so well… The girls had matching dresses again this year and it will be a sad day when they’re old enough to not want to match anymore.
I do love this one though…
Church was really good- and I loved that our preacher talked about the difference in happiness and joy. It was a slightly different Easter message, but a good one for sure. Our culture is so concerned with finding happiness and we so often focus on the things that make us feel happy- but real Joy only comes from Jesus. As Christians, we should focus on sharing God’s love and joy with others. I certainly want to be a person who shares joy with others- many times I know I’m not, though…always good to have something to work on, right? :)
The children’s choir sang a song they’d been practicing and I am pleased to report that AB finally learned the words were; “The women found the tomb was empty” and NOT “The old woman found the tomb was empty.” :)
We tried a couple more pictures at church…but those went about as well as the ones at the house… Ha… I love that nobody’s looking at the camera except Kels, who looks adorable. :) Mames was in the process of convulsing to get down, Nie-Nie’s just holding on for dear life and AB is blinded by the sun. I hate that we didn’t get a good one, but sometimes real life just looks like chaos…Chaos that I am forever grateful for –even though sometimes I have to remind myself of it. :)
When we left the church, DW, the girls and I went out to the cemetery to leave a bunny on Cooper’s grave.
We’ve learned to deal with the bittersweet-ness of holidays, special occasions and just every day life better than I ever thought we would five years ago. But on the drive out to the cemetery, I was feeling a little raw and weak. Holidays tend to be that way for me, but I think this year was a little different, too, because it was our first Easter without my Granny here, too. It’s like charting new waters and making new traditions since she isn’t here anymore, and I’m like most people when it comes to change…it’s hard.
I tried to imagine what Easter must be like in Heaven, but there’s no possible way to. I am certain it is amazing, though. And in that same thought, it was sweet to think of my grandparents there together with my boy this year. I know it’s crazy and when we get to Heaven, I’m sure it doesn’t even matter, but there is something so comforting to me to know there’s somebody there with Cooper who knew and loved him here.
I’ve been a little sentimental this past week remembering what Easter looked like in my childhood. They are sweet memories and I am so thankful for them. Part of that whole difference in joy and happiness, I think, is making sure to not focus so much on what we don’t have that we loose sight of what we DO have.
Easter lunch was spent at our house with my parents, my uncle Jerry, Aunt Pam and cousin Emily along with Pappy, Nie-Nie & Kelsey, and Adam & Lauren. There were many we wished were with us, but who weren’t here simply because they had other plans, live out of town, or have gone on to be with Jesus. It would be so easy to let missing all of them or wanting something different than what we have, fill our hearts and rob us of enjoying what’s right in front of us. I’m so glad that didn’t happen to me yesterday. Yes, I would give ANYTHING if my girls had their big brother here to have to fight for all the eggs--- I’d love it if my own big brother and his family had gotten to be with us this year, too---- We missed seeing DW’s mom this year, along with his brother and family, too… It would have been wonderful to have our ENTIRE family together- all the aunts, uncles, and cousins with all the dozens of kids hiding eggs and playing in the yard together, just like those Easters when I was growing up. But that’s not what we had – and that doesn’t mean what we did have wasn’t wonderful, too.
We ate, laughed, and just visited…three of my favorite things to do! :) Everybody had a full belly after a delicious lunch and we spent the afternoon outside under a big oak tree enjoying the weather. (Well, half of us stayed inside longer than the rest to watch the Gators play basketball…) :) Those are the kinds of things that make for great childhood memories.
Jesus died and rose again – giving us the choice to CHOOSE Him- and to CHOOSE joy!
How blessed we are.