March 29, 2016

Easter Recap 2016

It is my long term hope that eventually readers beyond immediate family and friends will gain something positive from my writing. A laugh, creative inspiration, design idea, etc. But above all, I want to have my own words years from now to bring back vivid memories of fond family days. Here is what our Easter weekend looked like this year.

My husband is gearing up to leave for a month of training in Louisiana. Usually the Army is fairly decent at providing a little extra family time before and after periods of long separation, and this one fell perfectly timed with Easter weekend. We loved having him all to ourselves for four sunny, spring days before we kissed him goodbye.

On Friday, we headed into Nashville for the afternoon. We enjoyed a family breakfast at one of our favorite spots, the Barista Parlor, and then took Eloise to meet the Easter bunny at the Opry Mills mall. Her reaction was marginally improved from her first visit with Santa. She was still very cautious, but she did crack one small smirk this time! I considered that a big win, but Brad just wants one of those hilarious pictures of her screaming bloody murder. Maybe next time, love.

After our meet and greet, Brad was a total trooper and supported my hunt all over town for a particular Old Navy toddler tank top sold out in her size online that I had my heart set on. We did finally find it, and that night I made my first successful shirts using my new Silhouette for Eloise to wear on our Orlando trip in May. I can't wait to post a peek and beginner Silhouette tips soon (stay tuned). She will certainly be the Magic Kingdom and Harry Potter World's best dressed! Brad and I watched the last movie of the Hunger Games series on Friday night. I fell asleep on the couch a happy girl, my head on his shoulder and both cats snuggled on my lap.

When new neighbors move in, we always head over with warm cookies in hand to welcome them. Call us old fashioned, but that simple act of kindness built the foundation for an amazing friendship with our current neighbors Dave, Mandy, and their 4-year-old Noah. We swap babysitting duty for date nights, and Mandy and I are creating a garden together for our families to share this summer. She's got the green thumb and I've got the ideal garden space. Last night they brought over delicious homemade dessert just because. It is such a blessing to have neighbors that make us feel so safe and cared for.

On Saturday, they invited us to join them at Patti's Old Time Settlement for a big Easter egg hunt. Patti's is a historical log cabin village in western Kentucky. It was well worth the drive to experience their "reminder of when things moved slower." The gardens were beautifully in bloom and a perfect backdrop for Eloise's first big girl egg hunt. I was a little surprised that even for the youngest age group, parents were not allowed in the roped off area of scattered eggs for the first few minutes. There were audible gasps from multiple moms when they told us to stay back and let go of the little hands we squeezed. It was many of our first time letting our babies go do something completely on their own with peers. When I nervously set Eloise down, she took off with her little basket in hand and started gathering eggs. I cried bittersweet tears and Brad video taped. We are such goon parents! So many kiddos were frozen with fear, but Eloise was confident and determined. I am endlessly proud of the little girl my baby is becoming.

Noah just adores Eloise. Watching their friendship blossom is the cutest thing, and the rest of our afternoon was full of swoon-worthy moments. Noah is full of such sweet spunk and character, and I love that Eloise has him to look up to.

We decided to capitalize on the glorious late sunshine of early spring when we got home and work out in the yard. Taking pride in home improvement projects is one of my favorite things about owning our first place. We spruced up the front yard with trimmed hedges, fresh mulch, and a face lift for my favorite little tree. I had been asking Brad to create a stoned edge flower bed around it for months, and he seriously delivered! I love the new colorful view out our front window. I'm so thankful for the small things he does for me that create big happiness. All this while Eloise played quietly in her pack-n-play next to us, giggling and waving at every passing dog.

I spy a Ruby pup

Easter Sunday was actually our quietest day. I voiced a desire to attend a worship service, but Brad just wasn't feeling it. We haven't found a church family here that feels right, and that's okay. My mom reminded me that the best part about faith is the flexibility to express it each in our own individual ways. There were plenty of grateful moments throughout the day that allowed me to appreciate what Easter is all about.

One last egg hunt around the house led Eloise upstairs to the playroom where her basket was waiting. My favorite item the Easter bunny found for her this year was Eloise the Elephant from the Etsy shop Dunlap Love. She came with an imaginative story about her love of picking wildflowers and learning to be a good friend. The shop owner, Kaylyn, is a huge advocate for adoption. Proceeds helped her own family bring their daughter Eloise home from China and now assist other adoptive families with the financial strain. I love the quirky, whimsical friends of Dunlap Love, and I love contributing to a greater good even more. Plus Kaylyn has great taste in baby names!

We decorated eggs together Sunday afternoon using the really cute circus set I posted about a few weeks ago. Correction: Brad and I decorated. Eloise just spilled purple dye everywhere. I will definitely look for a similar set next year though. We really enjoyed it ourselves, and I think Eloise will too as she gets older. The rest of the day was a blur of board games, watching Aladdin, and plenty of Cadbury eggs. It was a perfect holiday.

Monday we played catch up on small tasks around the house. I scrubbed the floors and got my flower boxes prepped for my succulent garden and birdfeeders hung. Brad made us a yummy grilled chicken dinner and packed for his departure. We truly soaked up every fun and productive moment of this weekend. I am never glad to see time apart arrive again as frequently as it does for us, but it always gives us greater appreciation for what time we do share. I know our first weekend back together in May will be just as sweet or even sweeter than this one was. Let the countdown begin.

Witt Family Easter 2016 + our favorite photobomber

Hope you had a happy Easter doing the things that make you smile with the people you love most!

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