Thursday, April 9, 2015

Peanut Butter Eggs and Polka Dotted Swiss

Easter is kind of a crazy holiday. It moves all over the calendar, acting as capriciously as the very eggs themselves that you try to dye. I will never forget the very first year we lived in North Texas. My deep south Texas mom planning mode found the perfect short-sleeved pastel shirts for the boys that matched my sleeveless dress. A cold front blew in, and I have photos of us standing near budding trees, wind blowing our hair, freezing.

As a child, Easter to me meant matching dresses for me and my sisters that mother would whip out on her sewing machine, and specifically I recall the tortures of laced necklines and stiff polka dotted swiss that both itched like the blazes during church. I always loved picking out my new white patent leather shoes, and I remember being delighted the year that I graduated from knee socks to white tights. I also remember treading oh, so carefully on those virginal white shoes, not wanting any scuff marks to mar their sparkling new status. I also loved a little white beaded handbag one year. I believe it was the same year I got those white tights. Oh, I had it going back in the day.

As I aged and entered adulthood, Easter became a jumbled chaos of pinks and blues and baskets of candy, and Steve and I, childless at the time, were the designated egg hunt hiders, choosing to head outside with baskets overbrimming with eggs to be hidden, rather than stay inside and try to manage a herd of children eager to hunt for the chocolate that would be over their eating allotment, partially melted, and offer a perennial mess, including but not limited to the little discarded pastel foil wrapper balls that would be found in nooks and crannies for weeks to come. Children too eager to eat more candy on the sly could never be bothered to head to the trashcan with those. 

When Steve and I moved an hour north of my family in Houston, we became a tour spot on the Easter rounds, our home now perfect for hosting the family Easter gathering. Our heavily treed backyard and lush grass, along with our large deck, was an excellent spot for activities relating to Peter Cottontail, et. al. However, the Easter twenty-one years ago was slightly different. Instead of hiding the eggs, I was the egg. I was 38 weeks pregnant at the time, and decked out for the sunny spring afternoon in a jersey knit top that was full of tiny flowers. I remember going to the OB the morning after Easter, and him fussing at me over my weight gain. I assured him it was the salt from the Easter ham and the fluid would come off.

Well, indeed it did. That Easter Sunday in 1994 was April 3. The following Saturday, 11 days early, I went into labor and my own little bundle of joy appeared just after midnight on Saturday, giving our first child a birthdate of Sunday, April 10.  If I could have been a little faster, he would have had the coolest birthday - 4-9-94. Alas, I didn't make the midnight mark and settled for the 11 day early feat.

Easters took on another new meaning at this juncture. Little boys in dandy matching outfits with cute coordinating socks and shoes, Easter hunt outfits for playing in, and parents wanting a nap at about the moment the sugar high kicked in for the kiddos. We moved around the state, and took our little boys with us, keeping to the simple Easter traditions we had that of course always included starting the day at church.

While growing up in my house had included the age old tradition of dying Easter eggs every year the Saturday before Easter, as the photo above documents, Steve and I never implemented that tradition with our sons. I don't know if it has to do with the fact that Steve worked every year on the Saturday before Easter or not. It never was appealing to me. No one would eat those eggs, and they just easily cracked and were quite the mess. Warm gulf Easters could even have the dye coming off on your hand if the hunt ran long. We were none the worse for wear by skipping it. Paas had nothing to offer me and each year I skipped over that egg dying kit on the Target aisle, no regrets.

One year, 2010 to be exact, the boys got a wild March hair and wanted to pick up one of those Paas kits. Now, mind you, they are 14 and 15 years old at this point, and since I imagined the mess could be managed easily enough, I acquiesced. We bought the kit and the Saturday before another April Easter, we dyed Easter eggs. Our one and only time. I think the boys kind of felt like Steve and I about it - once you've done it, it's enough. They were really cute in the moment - quite proud of their feats. I still smile when I see these photos and remember these tall lanky boys, headed into manhood, wanting to dye eggs and really enjoying it.

Easter has changed once again. We celebrated our first Easter on Sunday where there were no Orange Danish for breakfast, no new clothes in the house, no baskets to prep, no candies to shove into eggs. It was a little melancholy to say the least, Reese's Peanut Butter eggs offering me no comfort. I was open to embracing the change as an opportunity to soak in the true import of the day, and we had an amazing worship service at church no doubt. We changed the restaurant where we ate, and invited two dear friends to go with us. We had a wonderful day, truly. But in my heart I was thinking about all the Easters past, full of baskets and boys and bunnies, and  wishing for just a simple case of Easter Egg-citement.

A Simple Case of Easter Egg-citement ~ Easter Weekend ~ April 2010

Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation
Paper: Echo Park, Lawn Fawn, October Afternoon, W R Memory Keepers
Title Font: Eggcream Title Stickers: October Afternoon


  1. First of all, perfect papers for those photos. Second, please tell me you cut those chevrons with your Cameo. I bow down to you, at any rate. The handstitching is just darling.

  2. Thanks, Stacey! Since I pulled for colors, it took me a LONGER time than usual to pick papers. ;-) Yes, chevrons cut on the Cameo. I extended the design beyond the edge of the mat. Thank you for all of your comments. I look forward to them!! xoxo