Easter 2014

Family

Our family traveled down to Tyler on Good Friday to spend Easter weekend with my parents and sister. I haven’t been “home” for Easter since my sophomore year of college, and I was excited to share so many things I remember doing as a child with Aaron and the boys.

Our weekend was packed! We drove in to Tyler on Friday evening, spent Saturday morning at my childhood church’s Easter Egg hunt, and then enjoyed a relaxing night on the back patio at my mom and dad’s house.

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Easter Sunday was a beautiful whirlwind, as it always seems to be. Getting two boys and myself ready for early service on time proved to be difficult—my sister and I drove separately from the rest of our family to church because we were both running behind (oops!). At least I had Shepherd and Wilder as my excuse…

Aside from lilies, Easter Sunday is one of my very favorite days of the year. The resurrection story defines those who believe in it, and I am so thankful to be able to celebrate the risen Savior. We flowered the cross, one of my favorite Trinity traditions, and ended the service with Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. This Easter was especially impactful in that we celebrated John Wilder’s baptism, too—what a special day to be joined with the resurrection power of Jesus! We were honored that Pastor Art, who confirmed me and officiated our wedding, could baptize Wilder. It was beautiful! As pastor made the sign of the cross and prayed for Wilder and our family, Wilder grinned and started to laugh. Grace is something to be joyful about!

Wilder was baptized in two shawls—one from my dad’s baptism, and one from my great-grandparents used at the baptisms of my mom, her brother and two sisters, as well as several great- and now great-great-grandchildren.

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After church, we enjoyed a big brunch and relaxed while Shepherd napped. And by relaxed, I mean Aaron and Jillian sang songs and peeled potatoes while Mom and I stuffed Easter Eggs for the annual egg hunt.

When Sheppy woke up, we hid his eggs and watched him chase them down. Afterward, Jillian, Hayden, Aaron and I went inside while my mom and dad hid eggs for us—the “big kids.” A weird Anderson tradition—Easter hats (or bonnets, I suppose). The rule is that in order to hunt eggs, you have to wear a hat. So, we put on our hats, and we hunted. It was a lot of fun, and, with a grand total of 27 eggs, I won (Jillian, who found 26 eggs, was a formidable opponent. The guys? Not so much).

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We enjoyed a steak dinner and family time afterward, thankful for a wonderful day to remember the promises of Easter. And then, as soon as we got to Texas, we were on the road back home to Nebraska…

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The Happiest You’ve Ever Been

AaronandShep

“Can you remember the happiest you’ve ever been? I am not talking about the birth of a child, or finding religion, or anything to do with a lottery ticket or go-go boots. I guess that would be Big Happy. I am talking about being a little happy, being glad in your own skin, for one modest moment in time.”

Thankful to be able to capture those moments—moments like a little boy learning to ride a tricycle with his wonderful daddy—today. Have a wonderful weekend!

30 Bags in 30 Days

Ugh. I’ve been saying that a lot about our home lately. Blame it on the dreary winter months, having a sweet newborn who kept me pretty close to our couch, cabin fever, or being a work-at-home-mom—everything house-related has been getting a very critical eye from me these days.

Yesterday, I reached a tipping point. Both boys were napping, our living and dining rooms were disaster zones and I had a hammering headache. All I wanted to do was lie on the couch (and tweet about it, naturally). So I did both.

That lasted for about 10 minutes. My exhaustion was part mental, part physical, and I knew that my brain wouldn’t get a rest until the mess in our living room was cleaned up. It took only a few minutes, and it made a world of difference, but I still felt like there was so much stuff. Junk. Clutter. Things I didn’t really like anymore.

I’ve been considering doing the “30 Bags in 30 Days” challenge, and I think it might be an excellent way to ease my cluttered home (and mind), so I’m going to spend the rest of April and a few days in May picking a new area that needs attention and addressing it. Cleaning it out, sorting it, determining where it actually belongs, etc. I’ll keep a log here so I can track my progress. At the end of a month, either we’ll donate it all or we’ll hold a garage sale—it kind of depends on what we find!

Here are this week’s project areas:

1. Hall closet
2. Entry table
3. China cabinet
4 and 5. Bathroom shelves (this gets two days)
6. Junk drawer in kitchen
7. Cabinet with baby/kid food supplies

Ultimately, here’s what I want from this challenge:

  • “White space” in our home and in my mind.
  • A renewed spirit of thankfulness for what we have.
  • Perspective on what we have too much of and how our things became a problem.
  • Clearly defined homes for some of our “problem areas,” namely the stacks of papers (bills, magazines, letters, etc.) and a home for the things we need to keep (receipts and timely but not important documents).
  • A list of what we need to function more smoothly as a family and what I need in order to work from home more efficiently. This ties in to the point above; I can already tell I need a filing system and a mail-sorting system that’s functional and attractive. And I know that I buy some things that I like that I don’t love and don’t work for us. I want to reign that in, too.
  • Simplified housekeeping. That one speaks for itself.

 So, I’ll be back soon to let you know how things are going and what progress I’ve made. Have you ever tried something like this? How did it go? What did you learn?