Wednesday, April 7, 2010

First Easter

If the "Earth laughs in flowers" as Ralph Waldo Emerson says in the poem Hamatreya then I think my father was appropriately named Don "Laugh"ter because he loves to show his appreciation for his time here on earth by beautifying the landscape.

This Easter I was reminded of the renewal that the holiday commemorates as I looked all around the yard at the beautiful tulips that have replaced the crocus in full bloom. This life is such a gift we are given, and this sentiment is so evident to me in the spring as everything around us appears to be reborn after a long winter.

Inside my mother decorated the table with some very sentimental memorabilia. These ceramic bunnies, painted by my Grandmother in 1964 I believe, are part of every Easter memory I have ever had. Crazy to think that they will become part of the memories that Miles will create now too.
This year we celebrated on Good Friday with our (almost) in-laws the Van't Hofs. We are so excited for our families to "merge" this June when David and Sarah get married. We have been celebrating holidays together now for a long time though and it already feels like we have been together forever!
Miles hung out on the back porch with the guys and helped with the grilling. He was proudly wearing his "UT" shirt from Nona and Paw Paw and dressed appropriately for the Texas style dinner. (Doesn't everyone eat cheese grits and fajitas for Easter?)

The evening came to a close around the fire to celebrate the unusually warm weather. Unfortunately the winds did not agree and as the smoke was blowing into our eyes as we talked so we decided to retreat indoors.

Then on Sunday we spent a quiet day at home with "the Yia Yia's."
Yia Yia Linda cooked an amazing meal (despite having just had foot surgery) and we had dinner at Yia Yia Liz's place.

Miles got to experience his first "cracking of the eggs." Orthodox Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ. Before dinner each person selected an egg.

Then, with your neighbor, you hit each others egg trying to crack the shell. The hard shell symbolizes the sealed tomb of Christ, and the cracking the "breaking free" or the resurrection. The idea with the "game" however is to have the unblemished egg at the end.

Michael emerged victorious from years of experience with his tricky "clutch" egg hold! I am sure he will teach this technique to Miles in the future. I anticipate a father-son rivalry next year.

This Easter has been especially sacred as we hold close in our hearts the fact that Yia Yia Liz just recovered from a very serious bout with double pneumonia. We truly cherish each day that we are able to watch Miles and his great grandmother interact. I will never forget the moment she got home from the hospital and I brought Miles in to see her. Her eyes just lit up and then they both grinned from ear to ear! They love to sit on the couch together and just make each other laugh. When I am watching the two of them giggle, I cannot help but giggle myself. Often the three of us will just sit and laugh!

As she says, "Isn't is funny the things adults will do to make a baby smile." And I must agree, we have all done it - I find myself doing the craziest things to elicit one of those gummy grins from my favorite little man. So, this season we are especially grateful for all the little things that make this life wonderful. When we count our blessings we are sure to include tulips, and giggles, and the love of family!

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