While I’ll admit that watching my friend Brian’s parish in Belize for Easter Mass on YouTube was a bit of a different experience (I even baked banana bread during Mass… that was a first), the rest of today has not been so different.
You see, we’re a military family, and I’m very used to experiencing Easter and holidays away from extended family. Most of our family lives in St. Louis, and while my mom travels out to the D.C. area a handful of times a year, we only see the rest of the family once or twice a year, if that. Truly, we have loved the stress-free holidays as a family of five. We have created some of our own traditions, and enjoying time together, slowing the pace of our life down, and making memories as a family of five is the norm for us.
While we had some ups and downs with kid behavior today, I love all that we did today. I started the morning making an Easter cake and banana bread with my kids. We watched St. Martin’s in Belize for Mass. (Side note: I LOVE getting to experience Mass virtually and getting to hear some of my favorite priests thoughts about life in these uncharted times.) After Mass, we had lunch, my oldest filled our spare Easter eggs with coins, and my husband and I hid them for an Easter egg hunt in our yard. (I am SO thankful once again to live where I live and to have such a great yard for hiding eggs!) Many of our neighbors with school age kids hung eggs in their windows so the kids could have a non-traditional Easter egg hunt, so we hunted around the streets in our neighborhood looking for eggs. My husband and I continued walking when we got back (since we are trying for a “perfect” month on our Apple watches). I took annual Easter photos of the kids. I talked with my mom. My son and I decorated the cake while my husband talked to his parents. My husband made dinner. We talked to my sister. We ate cake. Kids went to bed. I edited photos while my husband played video games. A packed, but relaxing day. The only thing we didn’t do was dye the hard-boiled eggs. (Fun fact: my oldest boy is six. We have NEVER died eggs since he’s been alive. We just never get to it… maybe tomorrow.)
Tomorrow, I’m technically “off”, but it’s really time to finish grading and prepping for the return to distance learning protocol. My kids are technically off, but they’re doing “mommy school” and some supplemental work from their teachers this week. We’ve scored a few parenting lessons from this quarantine time: our kids THRIVE when they are on a schedule; meltdowns are fewer, moods are better, and all of us are happier. Also, they respond amazingly well to behavior charts. I don’t love them in school use, but if you aren’t on green or sparkle in this house, you don’t get dessert after dinner, and that seems to really help curb behavior.
So say some prayers this week as my students and I try to work on wrapping up our last stretch of quarter four. I’m pretty sure we’ll be online for the rest of the school year, as Virginia’s stay-at-home order goes till June 10. Hopefully, one day soon I’ll be photographing my clients again, but for now, here are some of my favorite photos of how I spent Easter with my little family. Be healthy, stay HOME, and drop me a line on what else you think I should write about!
Also, if you are reading it and made it this far, COMMENTING on my blogs can be a huge help SEO wise! So tell me what you thought or what images from below you loved! If I’ve photographed your kids before, you’ve heard me say my kids are the most difficult. They give me great practice for kids who won’t sit still, kids who make me work for a smile, and kids who test my creativity. I have them to thank for all the ridiculous things I do when taking photos of your children!