Easter Monday

After the busyness of Holy Week and Easter, Easter Monday can be a bit of a letdown. But we did finish our Jesus Tree today, and that’s quite an accomplishment considering that last year, we only made it about a week before we gave up (I blame COVID-19).

Since we had some leftover Easter lamb, I shredded it to go on lamb “nachos,” which is always a popular dinner.

I kind of missed having a church service to go to today, after four straight days of services, but it was still a nice day, and we kept of the spirit of Easter going!

Easter in the Time of COVID-19

Time for another look at a Markel Family holiday in the time of COVID-19!

Last year, I was all about keeping as many things as normal as possible for everyone. This year, I decided to embrace the new and different as much as I could. For starters, even though I’m now back to grocery shopping once a week instead of every two weeks, and could have bought hot cross buns from the bakery, I decided to make a batch again this year:

We went to our new church for the evening Maundy Thursday service to begin the Holy Triduum, and it was short, but very nice:

On Good Friday we were back at our new church for an equally moving (and equally short) Tenebrae service:

On Holy Saturday, we watched Rick Steves’ European Easter and made our Paschal candle for the year, as is our tradition. This one didn’t turn out so well, but it still gets the job done!

We attended the Great Vigil of Easter at our new church…I’m so glad they offer that service. More of it was spent outside than we are used to, and that was really nice!

After church, instead of getting sundaes from McDonald’s like we usually do, we got Frosty’s and fries at Wendy’s, and I introduced the Fab Five to the culinary experience that is dipping the fries in the Frosty:

We didn’t have a sunrise service this year, but I was still up early enough to see the sunrise:

And even though we didn’t need to leave the house super-early, I still bought our traditional Pop-Tarts:

It was a beautiful morning!

I took pictures of the Fab Five in the garden outside of church:

Since I couldn’t really take pictures of them inside the church (and especially by the baptismal font) like I usually do, I did that the day of Chickadee’s confirmation:

Our new church is beautiful!

After church, we came home and made Easter breakfast…eggs and sausage, English muffins, pomegranate juice, and every flavor of mini donut I could find…seven varieties. Maybe we’ll be able to go to Easter breakfast at church again in the future, but for now, it’s nice to have the meal at home!

I may have completed all of the Bunny Day goals in Animal Crossing: New Horizons last year, but I still checked in with Zipper T. Bunny:

We had fun watching some of our favorite Easter movies today, including My Big, Fat Greek Wedding, Easter Parade, and It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown. While we did that, I made sure the table looked pretty for dinner:

And made our Easter feast for dinner. I tried a new leg of lamb recipe in the crock-pot, which was both amazingly delicious and easy. We also had Greek potatoes, carrot fritters, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, breaded artichokes, cherry Jell-O, and popovers:

For dessert, I made carrot cake Oreo truffles:

No matter what stays the same or what is different from year to year, our reason for celebrating remains constant. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!!!

Sartorial Saturday…On a Sunday–Easter Fashion in the Time of COVID-19

Time to take a look at the Easter outfit that this year I actually get to wear outside of the house! I bought this Lana dress from Pinup Girl Clothing as a birthday present to myself last year, and as soon as I put it on, I knew it was going to be my Easter dress for this year…the beautiful floral print is perfect for it! Since it’s the midwest, and you never know what the weather is going to be like, I added a Yemak cropped cardigan in the most beautiful shade of purple to go with it.

Easter is an especially good holiday for accessorizing…this year, I’m wearing a sun hat I got from Unique Vintage, but I swapped out the pink tie around it for a beautiful blue floral scarf from Erstwilder. I chose a purple floral necklace and a Splendette duchess bangles stack to go with it, and of I course I added my favorite fancy floral brooch. I’m also really excited about my new Erstwilder handbag!

I’m sure I say this every year, but this may be my favorite Easter look yet…I love all of the floral components! Perfect for a lovely spring day after what seems like a year-plus of never-ending, dark winter!

Of course, I need a mask to go with my outfit, because COVID-19, and I have a coordinating mask that was made to go with my dress! I love how Pinup Girl thinks about the little details!

And one more picture of the outfit in the wild this morning…I changed my shoes (Chickadee asked me to wear sandals so she wasn’t the only one), and I picked a different mask, as well:

After last year’s Easter-at-Home, it’s so nice to be able to get dressed up and go to church. Happy Easter!

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!