This year, Easter falls just before Gavin's fifth birthday (which is tomorrow! So crazy!). Knowing all too well how hard it was to watch Gavin hunt for eggs all by himself last year, we are so grateful to our friends Anthony and Yasmine for inviting us to stay with them in Long Beach so Gavin could wake up with his buddies, Eva and Theo, before going to my mom's house for a proper FEASTer. It was truly a blessing. It changed everything and last night I went to bed reflecting on a blessed Easter with great friends and family. These days I am trying so hard to embrace each day knowing my life is already fulfilled. I have been given the greatest gift and learned so much from that little boy who left too soon, everything from this day forward is just a bonus. I try to seize the day and I often fail miserably, but I will keep trying :)
For example - Gavin and Theo are both turning 5 and we later celebrated Gavin's birthday with my family on Easter, so I had to plan a birthday cake. Gavin insists that he doesn't like cake, only cupcakes (I know, but you try explaining it to him...). So, he picked strawberry cupcakes with pink, blue and purple icing. PERFECT! I can totally do that and we can use the cupcakes on Saturday night with Theo, and again on Sunday with the rest of the family.
I was up hours before everyone else, just to get started on those cupcakes. I was excited. The finished product was perfection. On a total whim, I even decided to cut up some marshmallows and found some random candy in my purse (Tic Tacs) to create bunny faces on some of the cupcakes. This was no cookie swap disaster - this was a masterpiece! Or so it was, until I stopped into Learning Express on Saturday to see how their mini-fundraiser was going and to meet up with one of our wonderful volunteers. Five minutes baking in the sun in my car and my cupcakes looked like this...
My pride and joy :) Once again, I won't be posting my crafty ways on Pinterest or selling these babies at the next PTA bake sale. But the laugh that it gave me (after I almost cried) was worth it times ten.
Getting away from our house for Easter morning gave us such freedom! It shed Lou and I from the otherwise unavoidable holiday trap. The one that sucks you in as you walk down those familiar stairs first thing in the morning, heavily aware of how the holiday excitement is instead replaced with the holiday absence. Yesterday we were able to wake up feeling fresh and new and excited. We thoroughly enjoyed the egg hunt as much as Gavin and the kids did. We visited Ty's statue and polished him up beautiful. It was such a comfort and truly a blessed day.
Then we went off to my mother's house for a bonafide feast! Being with my family made me happy and allowed me to get through another holiday, and for the first time I felt somewhat fulfilled. I am a survivor. Lou is a survivor. We always have a plan and we get through each day knowing we are one day closer to being whole again so we try and enjoy that day however possible. Sometimes it's impossible, and sometimes it's not.
Every year, my family has an Egg Fight at Easter breakfast, and we all bring our colored eggs to my mother's house so we can fight again with our remaining champion eggs at the dinner table. Also known as "egg tapping" (who knew? thanks Wikipedia), we go end to end and hit the pointy side of the egg to the pointy side, fat side to the fat side, and we go around the table until there is a single Champion egg that didn't crack. As you can imagine, this has sparked a lot of rivalry among the children in our family over the years, and even some cheating back in the day when I was a kid (polyurethane coating and thumb tacks have been suspected).
My nephews are at the prime age for heightened excitability when it comes to winning the egg fight. If it wasn't for the fact that my older brother showed me how he decorated his egg for Ty, I would have wished for one of my nephews to win. But when I saw the Ty egg, I immediately, secretly and selfishly hoped with all of my heart that Ty would win the egg fight this year. The simplicity and thoughtfulness behind my brother's egg was the sweetest thing, and it made me cry. I looked at Gavin and my nephews and thought - "They are going down! Ty's going to win the Egg Fight this year." And sure as sh*t - he did! Ty's spirit is so powerful. It amazes and inspires me every day. Behold, the champion egg, 2014.
So, this Easter I won. I was able to fall asleep with a warm heart after a long day. I missed my Ty, and I saw him all around me at the same time. I survived another holiday.
Chia Scooby, however, did not fare so well. For those who were following my semi-daily updates on our chia pet via Facebook and Instagram, you know we were off to a slow start. I tried everything. A plastic bag, overwatering, lots of sun, less sun.... but the thing never sprouted. When I showed it to Gavin the other day and explained:
"It's not growing, I'm going to have to throw it away."
He said "But it WILL Gwow (grow)! Take P-WIDE (pride) in your WERK (work)!"
I couldn't throw it away after that adorableness, until last night when I noticed some mold. Our first chia pet has officially disappeared to the depths of my garbage can. Some friends have suggested I turn it into a planter. Really? Have you seen my cookies? What about my cupcakes? I think the garbage was my only reasonable option :)
I hope you all had a blessed Passover and/or Happy Easter. Thank you so much for your continued love and support. And thank you, Mely, for calling yesterday. Hearing your voice made us all sooo happy! LOVE YOU!!!! XOXOXOXOX!!!!!