It’s getting legitimately nice outside here in St. Louis and it’s reminding me of all the wonderful summer things I can’t wait to do again this year. Here are seven:
1. Picnic. We picnic A LOT in the summer — before shows, at free concerts, just to go to the park. I’d say we average picnicking at least once a week, maybe more. We usually have salads when we picnic and I can’t wait to eat salad for dinner too!
2. Our CSA. We signed up for a new CSA this year after choosing terribly in 2012 and I am really excited. I’ll have to totally adjust my meal planning strategy but eating fresh vegetables makes me happy.
3. Grilling. I already broke out the grill this week, but I can’t wait to grill 4-5 nights a week. I feel like a master of something when I know just where and when to put all the various components on the grill and then carry in a big platter with all of it.
4. The Muny. We have season tickets to St. Louis’ outdoor musical theater (which is so much more amazing than it ever sounds when you describe it). We make popcorn and bring drinks and have a great time.
5. Garden. We have two raised beds in our backyard and I have visions of canning tons of tomato products in August and September.
6. Biking. I am a legitimately terrible biker — to my credit, you have to go up a HUGE hill to get out of our neighborhood. But I still like to go tool around Forest Park with Gavin.
7. Fruit. I tend to keep our grocery costs down by buying in-season fruits, which means we eat A LOT of apples all winter long. I can’t wait for strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, and peaches!
Easter is my favorite holiday — and it’s still Easter! We don’t have too many Easter decorations so I decided to make a few more this year. I love the wreath I made and it was really affordable!
- 1 grapevine wreath
- 1 package of decorative Easter eggs, or regular Easter eggs
- 2 small bunches of flowers
- 1 small wooden shape
- acrylic paint
- white paint pen
- hot glue gun
Break down your flowers and set them and the eggs on the wreath in a pattern you like. Hot glue them down one at a time.
Paint the wooden shape and let it dry. If you want, you can write the letters lightly with pencil. Then write them with the paint pen. I like to let it dry and then go over it a second time to get them really opaque.
Tie a ribbon loop to hang the wreath from. For the sign, hot glue the ribbon ends together and then to the back of the sign.
My husband and I went to Easter Vigil mass this year. Normally we spend Easter weekend with my aunt and uncle in Tulsa but this year we just wanted to stay home and enjoy our first Easter together at home…ever. I’m so grateful it worked out this way because we had the best weekend.
On Saturday night, we walked over to the church in darkness, entered the church in darkness, and sat down in darkness. When I took my coat off, knelt, and looked up, I saw the tabernacle with the candles ablaze on either side. Jesus.
On Holy Thursday and Good Friday, the tabernacle is empty, the candles unlit. He is not there and the church honestly feels eerie without His presence.
In the past year following the loss of our unborn son I have felt the darkness of the world in new ways. I have yearned for heaven and been reminded often that we are not created for this world, but for the next. As I sat in the darkness of the church waiting for Easter, waiting to celebrate our Lord’s victory over death, those lit candles were a reminder that He wins. He always wins. No matter the darkness you are walking through, no matter the cross you are carrying, He has won.
Staring at the tabernacle, I started crying. I cried tears of sadness over the pains of this life. I cried for the suffering of Jesus on the cross and of Mary as she watched. But most of all I cried because right then, I felt the weight of the victory we were about to celebrate. His defeat of death is our defeat of death. We don’t have to worry about the ending or stay in the darkness forever. We turn on the lights and celebrate because He has won.