Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter Sunday with the Family

Unexpectedly, I found myself really looking forward to Easter this year for so many reasons.  It is Natalie's first Easter which meant her first Easter basket.  It meant a reason to have a nice sit down dinner with family. And to top it off, the weather forecast for the week said it was supposed to be a gorgeous day.  What was not to get excited about?

I started a few weeks in advance putting together Natalie's Easter basket.  I wanted to do something for her first Easter, but I didn't want to go overboard.  After all, she is five months old and the Easter bunny doesn't have a sleigh, if you get what I mean.  She doesn't really need anything so I wanted to get a few fun little things.  I went to Target with my mom and found adorable little felt bunny baskets in the $1 section.  It was small and it was perfect.  Also in the $1 section, I found cute little baby stockings.  Perfect for her basket.  We went to the small human section and I found some adorable pastel colored bows - another perfect find. Then I grabbed a little Carter's Easter bib and a sun hat and her basket was complete.  So I thought.  I remembered seeing an adorable ballerina doll wearing a peach colored leotard and tutu on the Carter's website and that sparked an idea.  So to finish off her basket, I got her the doll and a book.  I wanted a book about a ballerina, but couldn't find one at Target so I went with the book "The Crown on your Head" which I think was an even better fit.  It was the icing on the cake.  I am in love with how it turned out.

As I mentioned, Easter meant having a nice sit down dinner with family. Dinner started out small: just Brandon, Natalie, Lori and me.  Then it made more sense for Gary (my father-in-law) to bring Lori to our house on Sunday instead of Saturday so we could all celebrate Easter together.  So then it became Brandon, Natalie, Lori, Gary, Evan and me.  I figured if we were going to have a nice family dinner, why not make it the whole family so I invited my sister and her husband and they brought my nephew Tim (who is thankfully still in their custody).  Next thing I know, I basically am having a mini-Thanksgiving dinner at my house and I couldn't have been more excited.  I love cooking for large groups.  It brings me so much joy, probably because it requires so much planning and Lord knows I love planning.  

Easter morning was perfect.  I woke up and grabbed a quick shower.  And then I got to enjoy a cup of coffee with Brandon while Natalie slept.  We had the ham in the smoker, the champagne chilling in the fridge for mimosas and the Easter baskets perfectly placed on the kitchen table.  Things were simply falling into place.  Natalie finally woke up and we got her dressed.  Pretty soon after that, family started arriving and we popped the bubbly.  It was a really nice morning.  Dinner ended up being more like lunch since Gary and Evan still had to make the trek back to Jersey.  We had a delicious smoked ham, bacon wrapped asparagus, oven roasted potatoes, coleslaw and a salad with tomatoes, basil and corn. Yum!  After lunch, Timmy had his first Easter egg hunt and he was so excited.  It was so rewarding to see him run around our backyard with a huge smile while looking for Easter eggs.  I cannot wait until Natalie is old enough to play along!

All in all, it was a really nice day.  It was simple and sweet and full of firsts, the way a holiday should be.  While I loved Natalie's first Easter, I have to say I am really looking forward to her second and third ones more :)