Since I'm still on leave, we thought it would be nice to head up to Livermore for Easter and spend a few more days there than we can normally manage. We packed up the kids and the cats and braced ourselves for a long drive up I-5 and were pleasantly surprised when we only had to stop one time, exactly halfway, exactly on time for Ivy to eat. We all had a snack and a bathroom break and hit the road again in no time flat. It was amazing.
This year, Alice has become more and more aware of the holidays we celebrate and the particular traditions associated with each one. I don't think she remembers last Easter, but she's seen the photos and kept talking about Easter "when the eggs pop out of the grass." I love carrying on the traditions I enjoyed growing up, and creating new ones with our little family, and I was especially excited to give her a taste of how my family celebrates Easter. My sister wrote about it so well here, about what the traditions mean to her:
"It also means Easter eggs. I will admit to you that I have insisted on a full-blown egg hunt every year that I have spent Easter at my parents' house as an adult. I politely demand that my dad hide a bunch of eggs inside and outside for me and whichever sibling is there. We run around like assholes dumping eggs into baskets and then we have brunch and mimosas and it's great.
A group of us were talking about Easter at work the other day, and a few people mentioned that they still do egg hunts. "Oh we did them well into our thirties!" my boss said. I was about to chime in I still do them! ready for one of those thrilling boss-employee bonding moments, but then she added, "Yeah, my dad would put $20 bills in plastic eggs, so we got pretty into it." I kept my mouth shut because, see, we just hunt for real eggs. Regular old hard-boiled chicken eggs that we dye with my mom the day before in mugs of vinegar and food coloring."
We dyed eggs the day before Easter. We used the same red tray we've always used and a motley collection of mugs, including some older than me that have probably been employed in this fashion for every Easter that I've been old enough to dye eggs. That mug with the sailboat is from the city where I was born.
I think we dialed back our egg count this year to only a dozen per family member instead of eighteen. You can dye a lot of eggs but you can really only eat so many.
Alice got pretty involved and creative, drawing on some eggs and painting them with a paintbrush. Grandpa got pretty involved, too. I think helping her was the most involved and excited he'd ever been about decorating eggs.
Even the boys got pretty into it. My sister's boyfriend made some really striking work using some very creative techniques, including painting his gloved hand and then gripping the egg in various positions. My brother also got very experimental, heating and dripping wax on his eggs for a little resistance painting.
|three-dimensional wax polka dots|
In the month or so leading up to Easter, I kept myself busy making dresses for Alice, Ivy and myself. I made two tiny Geranium dresses and ruffly bloomers for the girls and this dress for myself. They all turned out beautifully but I didn't get any really great shots of any of them. I also used this tutorial to make little felt butterfly bobby pins for each of us to wear.
|Shame on me for not making a matching tie or bow tie!|
The Easter bunny hopped on by while Alice was taking a rest after church and she was pretty excited to see the basket full of goodies he left.
She was especially excited about the Hello Kitty wash mitt and shower cap!
And the chapstick. The Easter bunny specifically looked for something very natural, without a choking hazard lid. Alice took a huge bite out of the chapstick a few days later, so maybe she's not quite ready for beauty supplies?
She has really loved the little Beatrix Potter books she checks out from the library, so the Easter bunny made sure to include a lovely treasury of all the stories. We're really looking forward to reading them all together.
Jon was excited to participate in his very first David family Easter egg hunt. They are so serious, the Easter bunny makes notes with every hiding location and a count for each area. Before moving on to another location, we would tally up the eggs in the counting crates to make sure we'd found them all.
We were able to get out to the Scary Dairy to spend some time with my oldest and dearest friend and her son.
We took a walk around the property so she could show us the little bat colony living between the planks on the bridge. I was so excited, I LOVE bats. They were almost too far down to see, though, and I couldn't bend over quite far enough with Ivy strapped to my chest and sleeping. But as we came off the bridge, we saw a mama and baby deer and then about five or six more of their friends. We also saw a flock of wild turkeys, lots of geese grooming the golf course, and lots of ladybugs and caterpillars in the garden.
|Looking for caterpillars|
You can't hardly see it but in the below right photo, Alice has the teeniest tiniest little green inchworm (caterpillar) on her finger. Magical.
|this. this takes my breath away.|
I love watching these two play together. Every time they see each other, they understand and interact with each other more. I want to disappear and just watch while they invent childhood all over again. But then someone gets hit in the face with a tire swing. So...
|These two. I can't even.|
If you celebrate, I hope your Easter was full of tradition, and magic, and new life. Full of eggs, and candy, little girls in tiny dresses and little boys in bow ties. I hope there were caterpillars, and butterflies, and sunshine after the storm.