Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Easter

This year, my visions of the perfect Easter came off a little differently than I expected. I was absolutely determined that we could and WOULD be on time for church on Easter. I WOULD make this happen. I showered on Saturday night. I put Camryn's hair in curlers the night before. I set my alarm early, I got my choir stuff and out ready to go the night before. But somehow, my very best attempts were still foiled. Dave got a bunch of work calls while I was trying to get everyone dressed. I spent the last few minutes in a frantic but unfruitful search for several diaper bag items. I finally set off alone with the kids and choir music. Dave came later in a different car when he had gotten the work stuff under control.

To top it off, we had a beautiful morning of... gray clouds and rain. As I drove to church, it was hard not to feel frustrated and disappointed. How pathetic is it that I cannot get to church on time on EASTER? But I caught myself. Easter is a celebration of Christ's resurrection and, much as it would be helpful to be at church on time sitting reverently in one of the soft seats, I could have those same feelings of celebration and joy just as well sitting in my minivan on my way to church. I think my older kids were a little surprised when I started singing "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" out loud as I drove to church. But nobody can stop you from celebrating if you really want to.

A good chunk of Easter Sunday this year was spent with details for pulling off our ward (church) choir Easter program. One of my favorite parts of Easter is the music. It is a little bit harder to truly enjoy the music when you are in the thick of making sure the program comes off well. But still I love the music of Easter and the annual Easter choir program. This year's program went really well. I was so impressed at how the choir members were willing to step up (even having extra rehearsals) to make sure that we gave our very best. And it really showed in our performance. It was a great program.

The flip side of pulling off a great Easter choir program is that I don't think about much else in the days before and morning of Easter. I managed to shop for Easter stuff, but our house was a disaster. After we got home from church, while the kids were enjoying their Easter basket loot, I put our ham in to bake and eggs on to boil and spent a couple of hours un-digging my kitchen and downstairs from the rubble that had acquired while I was preoccupied with choir stuff for the previous week. Cleaning is not the best Easter activity, I know, but just think of it as a metaphor for our lives and "cleaning" out the less desirable parts of us to become better. ;) Meanwhile Dave had some more work calls to handle (Don't they know about Easter in Korea, dangit?).

But soon enough we had our traditional Easter. We had friends over and had a beautiful spiral-cut ham with delicious funeral potatoes, homemade rolls (somehow they are even more delectable when someone else makes them) and the token salad and veggies. After a relaxing, delicious dinner we had a massive easter egg hunt with the kids, including the kids' favorite, an egg that Dave hung by a string from a smoke detector. (They were so enamoured with this that they spent several hours the next day tying strings through the tiny hole at the end of their plastic Easter eggs so that they could make a "smoke detector egg" like daddy's.)

We typically follow this with our traditional Easter "egg roll," but we waited and had the egg roll on Monday night for family night because of tired, over-sugared kids. The "egg roll" is a tradition from Dave's family that has spread to my whole family and beyond. You select two of your decorated hard-boiled eggs to use as your "weapons." We make a giant bracket on paper or a whiteboard (each person gets 1 shot on each side of the bracket). Two opponents at a time face off against each other. On the count of three you roll an egg at each other so the two eggs hit. One of the eggs will crack (only one ever does, I'm not sure why, but it's always the case). The one that doesn't crack is the winner and goes on to the next round. The winners of each side of the bracket face off and the winner of that match is declared the "grand champion." I am proud to say that this year I made it to the final round (although I was not the grand champion...).

The kids really get into the egg roll. This is even more apparent when a couple of days later I find a stray couple of eggs and some cracked pieces of shell in the living room as evidence that they have been at it yet again. But I have to admit that I really get into it too. It's surprisingly fun.

So did we have the perfect Easter this year? Yes and no. Things didn't work out as I had "perfectly" envisioned them, with our perfectly dressed family reverently listening to the prelude music at church on a gloriously sunny morning. We didn't even manage to get a family picture taken- or even a shot of Camryn's beautiful hair (I'm not one to curl it that often, so I at least should have documented it...). In fact, I don't think I remembered to take any pictures at all. But I do have kids who played happily while I cleaned up for Easter dinner, I have a fantastic friend who brought delicious potatoes, home-made dinner rolls and dessert for our Easter dinner, I have a choir who gave their very best to make our Easter program beautiful, I have a husband who, despite the insane demands of his work, can set it aside and make Easter great by hanging an Easter egg from a smoke detector, and I have the knowledge that (to paraphrase Job) "if a man die, he shall live again!"

Happy Easter!


Jen said...

Karen, I just have to say thanks for your refreshingly honest posts! You a captivating writer, and you convey your ideas and emotions in a way that everybody can relate to.

Also, glad to hear that the Easter Egg has caught on ... one day it will take over the world.

Happy Easter!

rlmquest said...

Sounds like a nice Easter (at least no one was sick at home puking). I heard many people tell me that the music was beautiful!!

Greek Goddess said...

On Easter Sunday I was commenting to the choir director, what would it be like not to be a performer. Holidays are always that much more hectic for anyone involved with the music. And I don't think anyone else really knows what it's like. But it's worth it. And I loved reading about your Perfect Easter.

Anonymous said...

Karen, I greatly appreciate being allowed to share in your families life. Your posts allow me to imagine what it would be like to have children and grandchildren of my own.