A Markel Family Easter, Isolation Edition

I think we can all agree that Easter was weird this year, right? Without our normal church commitments like choir, acolyting, and serving on altar guild, Holy Week and Easter Sunday fell a bit flat. But whether we were at church or not, we still had reason to celebrate, so I tried to make this time at home as special as possible.

On Maundy Thursday, we enjoyed some beautiful weather while we were out for a walk in our neighborhood before we “went” to church, which we watched from the comfort of our living room.

We were a little busier on Good Friday, with some baking (including homemade hot cross buns for the first time!), and another walk, before we once again watched the church service from our living room.

We were especially busy on Holy Saturday. We did some more baking, including these amazing rosemary dinner rolls, one of my favorite new recipes that I’ve tried:

We also made our new Paschal Candle for the year, as we usually do on Holy Saturday…it was disappointing not being able to take it to the Easter Vigil, though!

We had a fairly last-minute change of Easter dinner plans, because Beast Craft BBQ announced that they were going to be selling hams, so Ryan went and picked that up Saturday afternoon. It smelled amazing, and there was great restraint on the part of everyone in the house, because we left it alone until Easter dinner!

I dug out some extra candles so we could really feel like we were participating in the Great Vigil of Easter:

But once again from our living room:

We always get hot fudge sundaes at McDonald’s on the way home from the service, so I tried to recreate that experience, as well:

We didn’t “need” Pop-Tarts for breakfast this year (do you ever really need Pop-Tarts?),, because we didn’t have to get up as early for the sunrise service, but tradition is tradition!

I was very happy to get to sing my favorite Easter hymn at the first service, which we attended from, you guessed it, our living room!

We always have Easter breakfast at church between services, so I tried to replicate that experience, too. Homemade biscuits and sausage gravy were the star of the meal (both of which I prepared on Saturday), because that’s what they serve at church, plus sausage patties, eggs, orange juice, and mini donuts:

I always take pictures after breakfast, and this year was no different. Yes, we all got dressed up, even though we were at home!

I really missed taking photos of the children by the baptismal font, but at least I got pictures of them on Easter, right?

I already shared the details of my Easter outfit, but here’s one more picture, with Ladybug, because this was her first occasion to wear a dress from Pinup Girl Clothing!

Back inside, and back to the living room for the second service, where we sang another favorite hymn:

The church part of the day was over much quicker than usual, which was sad. I did have plenty of time to prepare our Easter dinner, though, starting with setting the table with our china and spring table linens:

On the menu: ham, mashed potatoes, a trio of green vegetables (Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and green beans with almonds), cherry Jell-O, and rosemary dinner rolls. It was a delicious meal!

For dessert I made the same lemon cheesecake with lemon-rosemary shortbread crust that I made last year:

We’re not done, yet, though! Since Easter is a celebration that keeps on going, and since our dinner plans had changed after I had already bought what was supposed to be the main course of Easter dinner, we had another special meal tonight…rack of lamb with some new sides (roast potatoes and cauliflower), plus some repeats (Brussels sprouts, green beans, Jell-O, and rolls), plus more cheesecake for dessert!

So there you have what was the strangest Easter I have ever experienced. Of course, our reason for celebrating never changes, but just the same, nothing felt quite right, and I truly hope we never have another Easter like it!

Easter Hope in Isolation

“The world against me rages,
Its fury I disdain;
Though bitter war it wages,
Its work is all in vain.
My heart from care is free,
No trouble troubles me.
Misfortune now is play,
And night is bright as day.” “Awake, My Heart, with Gladness” verse 5

Satorial Saturday…On a Sunday–Easter Dressing, Isolation Edition

A few months ago, I started planning my Easter outfit. I had an idea, figured out the accessories I would wear with it, and then completely changed my mind. Fortunately, Pinup Girl Clothing had a sale, which allowed me to buy both this beautiful coral floral print Bella skirt and the matching Yemak cropped cardigan. Unfortunately, in the end I guess it didn’t really matter, because it’s not like I have anywhere to wear it at the moment. I did still style it and take pictures, and it’s just as beautiful a look as I knew it would be!

I accessorized with the same fascinator I wore last year, my favorite “pearl” necklace, the flower brooch I wear every Easter, gloves, a Collectif belt, and a Splendette Duchess Bangles stack and matching earrings from their new pastels collection:

If you’re curious about the top, it’s actually the top half of my Mary Blair boats print Audrey dress…yes, I just threw the skirt on over the top of it!

So this isn’t the Easter I really wanted, but this situation is temporary (I hope!), and I’m looking forward to eventually wearing this out in public!

Sartorial Saturday…On a Sunday–The Fifth Sunday of Easter

I wore my white hat again today, because the rest of my outfit was super colorful, and I didn’t want to overdo it. I love the new spring colors of bangles that Splendette recently released!

Sartorial Saturday…On a Sunday–The Fourth Sunday of Easter

The Fourth Sunday of Easter also happens to be Mother’s Day, so of course I had to wear my Mary Blair mother and child print Lydia dress from Pinup Girl Clothing, plus my white hat and Duchess Bangles from Splendette, including the new candy pink variety:

And a bonus picture of me with the Fab Five…it is Mother’s Day after all!

Tasty Tuesday–Gyros Night

One of my favorite things about making lamb for Easter is that we often have enough leftovers to freeze so we can enjoy gyros in the weeks following. I’m not claiming they’re authentic (I’m certainly not shaving the meat off of a vertical rotisserie!), but I do make homemade tzatziki sauce to go with them, so the flavor is pretty much what I remember from growing up in the Chicago area!

Sartorial Saturday…On a Sunday–The Third Sunday of Easter

It seems like all we’ve had lately are grey, dismal days, so today, I went with what be the most cheery outfit I own!

I don’t know why this dress photographed so…almost purple, I guess? But even though the photos make the colors look a little weird, it doesn’t change how cheerful it it!

Sartorial Saturday…On a Sunday–The Second Sunday of Easter

I knew I wanted to wear my new headpiece (again) for the Second Sunday of Easter, but it was watching the Captain America movies (again) this weekend that directed the 1940s vibe of the rest of the outfit, starring a floral Butterfly dress from Pinup Girl Clothing.

I especially enjoyed going super girly with a pink and purple bracelet stack and glitter bead necklace from Splendette. And have I mentioned how much I love these sandals? They go with literally everything, and now that it’s warming up (well, except for today), I can wear them all the time!

A Markel Family Easter, 2019 Edition

Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!

It may be hard to believe, because this year, it seemed like Lent lasted an eternity, but it’s time for another Markel Family Easter celebration! As always, it was a four-day affair, beginning with the Divine Service on Holy Thursday, where we got to hear Moose and Ladybug’s choir sing.

On Friday, we had the opportunity to experience a worship service that was new to (most) of us…the Good Friday Tre Ore service, which was a circuit event hosted at a church in south St. Louis, where once again, Moose and Ladybug’s choir sang…and this time, Bunny also joined in. We stayed for one of the three hours, and we really enjoyed the solemnity of the segments of the service we participated in.

We spent our Good Friday afternoon walking around the Missouri Botanical Garden and Forest Park. It was a blustery, but beautiful, day:

In the evening, Ryan, Turkey, and Bunny sang with the adult choir for the Good Friday Chief Service.

Holy Saturday is always a busy day. There was cooking, rehearsing at church for the Easter Sunrise Service, cooking, and the making of the family Paschal Candle:

Of course, the highlight of Holy Saturday is my favorite church service of the entire year, The Great Vigil of Easter!

After the vigil, we always stop at McDonald’s to get hot fudge sundaes for the Fab Five:

We never get enough sleep on Holy Saturday night, but the promise of Pop-Tarts before the Sunrise Service helps get the children out of bed.

This year, since Easter was so late, the sunrise was a little farther along than we’re used to!

Bunny, Moose, and Ladybug got to dress up and help with the outdoor reenactment before church:

Our sanctuary always looks especially beautiful for Easter!

After the first service, we enjoyed Easter breakfast in the church basement…I love the biscuits and gravy!

Of course I had to take pictures after breakfast:

I also had Ryan take a picture of me, because I love this year’s Easter outfit!

Did I mention I like to take pictures?




We had the privilege of serving on Altar Guild for the Divine Service:

And Moose and Ladybug got to acolyte, and all four of “The Bigs” participated in the processional:


Following an afternoon of watching movies, we had a nice Easter dinner. I made sure that the table looked extra pretty, since I failed in that department at Christmas.

Our rosemary-themed feast included leg of lamb (marinated in garlic and rosemary), rosemary smashed potatoes, sautéed asparagus, roast carrots and Brussels sprouts, rosemary dinner rolls with rosemary-garlic butter, and cherry Jell-O “salad.” We also had multiple options for both sparkling grape juice and wine, since I couldn’t decide what I wanted to serve.

I think this might be the best Easter dinner I’ve ever made!

For dessert, we had lemon cheesecake with a lemon-rosemary shortbread crust, and it was delicious!

After dinner, we watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which is one of my favorite fun Easter traditions!

I love the way we celebrate Easter…it’s a been a busy, exhausting four days, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Sartorial Saturday…On a Sunday–Easter Dressing

Here’s a look at this year’s Easter outfit:

I wanted to wear the classic 1950s harlequin print Long Jun skirt I got on sale from Pinup Girl Clothing after Christmas, so I started looking for a new pink top to wear with it. I looked…and I looked…and I looked some more. Pink tops that work with a retro look are apparently hard to come by. I finally found one at Lane Bryant, and I think it goes perfectly, especially with the fluttery sleeves.

Of course accessories are a must. I’ve been wearing the same Easter hat for years, so I got a new headpiece. Yes, it’s technically a fascinator, but it’s big enough that I think it’s hat-like. I added my favorite necklace and brooch, a springy bangle stack from Splendette, and, for the very first time, gloves! I’ve wanted Easter gloves for pretty much my entire life, so I’m very excited about this addition to the outfit!

I have now worn high heels for the first time since I broke my ankle in November, but it wasn’t what I would call a comfortable experience (although, are they ever, really?), so I went with my favorite sandals to finish off the outfit:

I really love how soft and springlike this whole look is!

How do you dress for Easter?