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The simpler moments of the holidays

Saturday afternoon while the boys slept, I joyfully prepped Easter baskets, primping and fussing over kelly green paper grass and bright yellow curling ribbon. Nothing fancy, just a few of our favorite candies and a small stuffed bunny tucked in each of the two perfectly faded gray-blue wicker baskets I scored at the Salvation Army a few years back.

Easter morning rolled around and my cheerful cadence dissipated a bit with too much sass and not enough listening. Jason and I decided to postpone letting the boys hunt for the baskets I had thoughtfully stashed in the dryer and front closest from the night before.

Later that night, after all the festivities settled down we finally let the boys seek out their surprises from the Easter bunny. And they were sweet and excited and much more grateful.

As our family grows, we keep shifting what our holiday traditions look like. And I like that. There is some ingrained ritual, but we’re open to sifting out the unnecessary and sowing in the fundamental. And like a child who falls in love with the box a gift resides in or the batteries that power it, so too, do I sometimes fall in love with the simpler moments of a holiday vs. the grand moments sometimes planned and prepped for weeks.

And, as we shift, I realign my expectations about what good parenting and meaningful traditions look and feel like for our family.   

Shauna Niequist remarks in her book Bread & Wine, “It seems like most of the things we try to make profound never are, lost in our insistence and fretting and posing. When we want something to be momentous, it rarely is. Life is disobedient in that way, insisting on surprising us with its magic, stubbornly unwilling to be glittery on command.”

Yes, life is disobedient to our insistence on pre-planned glitter by design, but that makes the magic moments all the more delightful because they swell up and surprise us.

It’s those impromptu drinks with a coworker after work that delight you with laughter and relief after a stressful day. It’s a last-minute dinner with friends where the conversation lingers long after coffee and dessert. It’s that unprompted thank you from your 3 year old followed with a hug.

This past weekend the magic life surprised us with looked a little like this.

Making coffee cake reminiscent of my grandma Frances.
Stuffing Easter baskets with tiny gold wrapped Lindt chocolate bunnies and Cadbury eggs.

Flying kites at Grandma Nancy’s (or as Jamison says Gramma Ancy’s) house.

Sitting outside and soaking up warm sunshine in the hit or miss weather that is Spring in Wisconsin.
Standing in church Saturday morning alone and quiet, making sure all the decorations where complete with the sun beaming in from the surrounding stain glass windows.
Watching Jack share his Easter candy with his younger brother and cousin at Grandma Gail’s.
Hearing Jack excitedly say as he pulled his Easter basket out of the dryer, “this is just what I wanted!”

I hope your Easter weekend was filled with simple moments that shined, whether they were planned or not.