Full disclosure about our Easter: If you're looking for perfection in liturgical living inspiration, there are far better resources out there. If you're looking for a blogger you probably exceed in that department but who is trying her hardest to keep up... well, maybe you've found the right blog!
I love to share my successes but my failures are copious. And that is what is so marvelous about Easter...
It's all about Him. He is risen as He said. And His grace covers all. Alleluia!
Come Easter Monday, regardless of how well I have managed to pull together the celebratory details of our earthly Easter, He is always victorious. Thanks be to God!
For your enjoyment or curiosity (and for my own pleasure), here's a little bit of our Easter....
Last year was the first year of my mothering life that we didn't color eggs. It was my fault... I just didn't have an ounce of energy left in me. So this year I was bound and determined to get it done. Chess nerds, artists, and toddlers represented. The pretty egg wrappers are one of my favorite easy ways to decorate and can be found on Amazon. (affiliate link)
I have a crafting habit that I just can't seem to shake and like to augment the Easter table with pretty little gifts for each attendee. Some years that means elaborate, time-consuming items and other years it means candy in cellophane. This year, we managed to put together some faith-oriented items including St. Benedict tenner cord rosaries (pictured above) and Miraculous Medal bookmarks (thank you, Andrea Singarella!) packaged with little rice krispee nests.
Examples from past years:
Individual baskets made out of chocolate cookie dough and filled with treats
Fabric covered gratitude booklets filled with personalized notes from all the children
Blown eggs painted and personalized for each attendee... and stuffed with a Scripture quote chosen for each
Large decorated sugar cookies with guest names
Dyed cord rosaries
Blown eggs sanitized, painted, and filled with M & M's
Barring major illness, you can always find us at the Easter Vigil Mass. It is not an easy endeavor but always worth it. From the Paschal Fire to the new Catholics and party afterward, we manage to not only survive but to ignite. For the kids, it is always one of the big highlights of the year. There is nothing like the feeling of falling exhausted into bed with an Alleluia on the lips and the smell of incense in your hair!
Because of the Vigil Mass and certain limitations of large family life, you won't find us super put-together-matchy-matchy like we sometimes pulled off when the kids were younger. For the most part, we are just trying to get to church on time! We generally drive separately to provide for schola members, altar servers, and toddler needs. And I can't recall the last time we were able to get a family picture of all of the living, dynamic, joyful beauty of the night that soon becomes morning. But those memories are emblazoned in our minds and hearts. It is sufficient.
I didn't get any church pics this year but I snapped the one above of the party afterward in the church basement and my oldest dressed to the nines in his tux. Why the tails? Because it's Easter! He can't think of a better reason. :)
When the kids were younger, I enjoyed sewing dresses for the girls or ordering special matching outfits. (My last Easter sewing project was in 2011.) I would certainly enjoy doing those things again but am forced to be more frugal with time and resources. In the end, I have found that I miss certain sensual aspects of creating and coordinating, but that no joy is lost when the heart is properly oriented.
Sleeping in. (Super late)
Slow and happy breakfast. (Sometimes elaborate, sometimes simple, always orange juice)
Divine Office. (Led by Dad)
Baskets. (These vary greatly in size and content according to means each year)
The full truth about Easter morning this year is that everyone was tired and no one wanted a photo taken. So I snuck this one behind the flowers (above). Four of my people are represented... pretty much only recognizable to me.
Okay... well almost no one wanted their picture taken...
Dietary needs are a stinker on feast days. Can't go around it... gotta go through it! We are very blessed to have family members who are considerate of the needs of adults and children. The day before Easter this year, my toddler had a significant flare-up of painful symptoms that are greatly compounded by sugar. The Chief and I knew that we had to find a way to keep her away from one of the sources of childhood Easter delight... Easter candy.
It was tough... especially when the age of awareness does not correspond to the age of reason! But again, we are blessed to have a strong support system and people who love her enough to help us soften the hard things.
For the rest of us, it's business as usual. Sticking to the basics but also splurging and regretting it. ;)
There are so many little "New Years" within the context of Catholic life, New Year's Day being the least of them. The most significant for me is Easter Sunday, when the opportunity for new life and regeneration seems optimal and the soil of the soul so fertile.
Today (Easter Tuesday), I will begin a renewal of Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I have done it before and it was life-changing. This one will be timed to end on May 1st, the Feast of the Queen of Heaven and the beginning of my due date week. I cannot think of a more fitting way to prepare for the birth of my son.
If you are interested in doing a Consecration, I recommend the book Totus Tuus: A Contemplative Approach to Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary by Fr. Nathan Cromley. It can be purchased on the Eagle Eye Ministries website where you can also find supplemental materials and video.
To all of my readers.... A very blessed and happy Easter to you! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!