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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

On Easter and Stress

Ems here:

Sometimes the holiday joy can get a little lost in the stress of preparation. It's a trap that exists at every holiday, but I found it overtook me a bit this Easter. I had finished all the basket shopping at the dollar store and Ollie's (my fave bargain book store!) and Bri bought all the candy for stuffing the plastic eggs--I make him buy it because I can't stand to see how expensive the candy is nowadays.

The little kids decorated Jesus' crown with sparkly gems:


I was up till 11 that night decorating the table and filling the eggs for the next day's egg hunt. Here's the final table:


Here's where the stress started. Already overtired, I realized that the kids needed to look extra nice for Mass the next morning...early morning Mass at 9 am.  I don't know how moms get kids into suits and ties for Mass on a regular basis. The effort of getting five boys into matching, unwrinkled, properly fitting suits was mammoth and frankly, miserable.  Do they look cute? Yes! For five minutes. And then you spend the next hour tucking shirts in pants, repeatedly, ad nauseum.  In this instance, dressing a girl is SO much easier. Here she is:


The other girl was not so happy and refused to pose, at all. This is the best shot of the morning. Was mommy freaking out and screaming before Easter Mass? What do you think?


I was not in the best frame of mind heading to church that Easter Sunday. I kept reminding myself, "Easter is about Jesus, not about me! Not about kids scrambling to find socks! Not about picture fails! Not about my unbrushed hair!" But I was not a peaceful, happy mom, I admit. I was looking forward to Mass, however, convinced it would be a peaceful occasion since the huge crowds gravitate toward the previous evening's Vigil Mass or to the later 11 am Mass. God had another test for me.

10 minutes early netted us a parking space in the rear of the lot and seats in the back of the church hall. The building was PACKED!!!! Good old anti-social me was NOT a happy camper when I saw the mob scene at Mass. I tried to channel the joy of the resurrection via long-distance....I'm pretty sure there was a priest up there....

Post-church comes more holiday fun: cooking and cleaning (since we were having company...Terisa, our mom's helper, and her friend, Maddy).  The ham and fruit salad turned out well, courtesy of Pioneer Woman recipes:



There is a surprising orange-vanilla sugar syrup on the fruit that makes it special and extra yum..


Sunflower peep cake, from Taste of Home. Jo did all the chocolate chips! A perfect opportunity for little hands to help:


But all the while, I'm yelling at people to clean up and my back is aching and I'm kinda a grouch.  I needed to relax this Easter.

The kids had a fun egg hunt, run by my young female happy guests, and ate 50 lbs of sugar. So hopefully they had a good celebration of Easter, grumpy mom notwithstanding.


Easy Rule #43233:  Remember that Easter is a SEASON, not just a day. I have 38 more days to get happy and stop yelling at the naughty, bickering children who live with me. I'll start cheering up right after state academic testing ends Wednesday.

Easy Rule #5532: Chairs come and go, but laundry is forever:



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