Hoo-rah!

It started back in the fall. I was penciling dates in on my calendar, when I discovered the happy coincidence that Firefly's ballet recital fell on the same date as Wildflower's third birthday. This might seem like an inconvenience to some of you, but as we have no family in town and everyone must travel from out-of-state, this was a two-birds-one-stone type of scenario. A few months later, it dawned on us to have little Edelweiss' baptism the following day, sealing the deal for a tripleheader weekend, dubbed the "April Hoo-rah"

The last few months have been a flurry of lists, shopping trips, menu plans, crafting projects, itinerary making, and email threads. Family from Oklahoma, Georgia, Idaho, Tennessee, and North Carolina, as well as many local friends would be joining us for the celebration, and everyone was tickled to death to be together. 

The events kicked off Friday evening with a Chinese feast courtesy of my dear Aunt. My cousin, who we lost last year, and for whom Edelweiss is named, loved Chinese cuisine, so this was a sweet nod to her memory. My Love stepped WAY out of his comfort zone and took Firefly to her dress rehearsal with lipstick and bobby pins in his pocket and detailed costume instructions in hand. Bless that man.  (He grew up with three brothers, and even the dog was male. His world has been turned upside down.). 

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The next morning started slowly and sweetly, walking around with coffee in hand as we prepared the house for the day's festivities. Before long, we all rushed to lunch at a popular Greek restaurant before the big recital. Ya'll, it was just the sweetest thing, and our little Firefly, who usually runs from the camera, absolutely glowed up there. 

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With just a few hours until the party, we headed home and made ready for even more guests to arrive. Wildflower was actually born on my Nana's birthday, so we threw a spring soirée in honor of both the birthday girls. The house was decked out in festive florals, including the most amazing cookies made by my friend Alana at A Double Batch. 

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 The birthday girls together.  

The birthday girls together.  

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 If you don't pass out on your birthday, clearly you're not partying hard enough.  

If you don't pass out on your birthday, clearly you're not partying hard enough.  

The weekend concluded with Edelweiss' official welcome into our church family. It's always an honor to stand in front of our people, recite the baptism vows, and receive prayer over our sweet children. The baptism gown was made from the wrap to my wedding dress, which brings extra significance to the theology of Covenant Children for us. 

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It was a great time, full of tons of food, much laughter, and lots of fantastic memories. (We even managed to get my grandparents to play Pie Face, ya'll. Can you imagine?!?) 

 My brother flew all the way from Idaho for the weekend. We hadn't seen each other in over 3 years! 

My brother flew all the way from Idaho for the weekend. We hadn't seen each other in over 3 years! 

 The children with my parents.  

The children with my parents.  

 My Papa convinced the children that he was bitten by a T-Rex as a boy. He even has a scar to prove it.  

My Papa convinced the children that he was bitten by a T-Rex as a boy. He even has a scar to prove it.  

I have no idea when we'll all be together like this again. With all of us so scattered across the country, it was a rare and beautiful treasure. Worthy of celebration in and of itself.  

Spring Christmas

The Big Brother came up with this phrase today, and it warmed my heart to hear it.  

I've tried to cultivate that sense in our home for the last few years. We put so much emphasis in our culture on Christmas and often let Easter be nothing more than a fancy new dress, a nice meal, and maybe an egg hunt.  The Birth of Christ is no doubt a joyful thing- a light piercing into our darkness- but that hope is void without Easter. 

I love this time of year. February is such a depressing month, and then, right around Easter, new life sneaks in almost overnight. You wake up to the world suddenly green again, as if a screen is switched from black and white to full technicolor.  Branches that looked dead bear new life.  The children have been running around the backyard the past few weeks, squealing at the discoveries of violets and buttercups, tulips and shamrocks, where barren rocks and mud just were.   It sets a great stage to talk about New Life and redemption. 

So we do Easter up big. Cookies, cupcakes, and egg decorating. Signs of spring tucked all over the house. We even pull the Christmas tree back out and deck it out in all the color we can muster.  Easter morning there will be baskets full of delightful treats underneath.  In the days leading up, we sing hymns, do crafts, and use our resurrection eggs to go through the the story of the last days of Christ. And just for fun (like our beloved elf, Waldo, at Christmas), we plant jelly beans the night before Easter and tumble outside early Easter morning to discover that they've grown into lollipops.  

Celebrations are a big deal to us, as I feel like they compose so much of the traditions that root our family and remind our hearts of the great Story we're caught up in. 

So Happy Spring Christmas, ya'll! Hope it's a time that gives you renewed life and joy in the abundant goodness around us.  

 

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Now that I'm a real grownup and all...

So, as you know, I just hit a new decade milestone- the big 3-0. To say that I was excited would be an understatement. For some reason, having a husband, 4 kids, a dog, and a house didn't make me feel like a Real Adult, but being 30 did. Go figure. Couple this excitement with fact that I tend to have the most depressing birthdays ever (no, really), and this was a recipe for a year of change. I took matters into my own hands and decided to throw the most lavish, beautiful dinner party I could muster.  Several of my most treasured friends and relatives sat around the table and laughed, drank wine, wore makeup, and ate and chatted to our hearts content. It was magical, ya'll. 

 

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I was hoping to get more photos of the actual event, but since our children WOULD NOT SLEEP, my dear sweet husband was unable to break away to photograph the festivities.  Just know that it was a beautiful evening, and it was such a blessing to do something I love so much with and for my people that I hold so dear. 

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Also of note lately, remember how I said I'm a hippie wannabe? Well apparently 30 was the year predestined for me to jump over the line because in the past few weeks I have 1. Eaten kale every day (and LIKED it) 2. Gone gluten free (thanks to a case of thrush for me and sweet baby Edelweiss) 3. Rented a YURT for our family to "glamp" in next weekend. (Please say "yurt" out loud in a Swedish accent, resting on the "r" as long as possible.) 

I don't even know who I am anymore. 

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And finally, a few of my favorite things from the interwebses.  

1. This song from Andrew Peterson's latest album. I have a thing for sad songs. They're usually my favorite and I spend hours with them on repeat. I think that since my personality stays more "up" than "down", I need a little nudge to enter and explore any sadness I have rippling under the surface. My Love will often find me holed up in our room, tackling a load of laundry with some deep, reflective song on full blast and tears just pouring down my face. This one is a new favorite. Raw, honest, achingly beautiful, and dripping with hope.

 

 

2. This video makes me smile so much my face hurts. Adele is just fabulous as usual and James Corden is beyond adorable. 

 

3. I just learned that my beverage of choice, a vanilla earl grey latté, actually exists outside of my mind and has the best name. Dear ones, I give you the London Fog. It tastes like beauty in a mug. 

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/london-fog-tea-latte-london-fog-drink/

 

 

 

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