Where do I even begin?
This past month has been so very strange. While our family is not officially “quarantined”, we have been obeying the stay-at-home order and in fact, besides going to the park for walks, I haven’t been anywhere at all since this started.
On one hand, our day-to-day life hasn’t changed drastically: most of my siblings were already homeschooled and I already worked from home before this all started so that was nothing new. But the older kids typically go to co-op twice a week, and there are always weekend and evening activities going on, and of course, my brother who isa sophomore at Franciscan University should be there and not here. So things are definitely different.
My calendar (like everyone else) was wiped clean March-May. I had trips to Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Texas, Kansas, Georgia, and New York which were all canceled or postponed in this three month period. Some of those trips were for weddings, others were for visits to friends I haven’t seen in way too long, all of them were trips I was looking forward too.
I’ll admit that at first (i.e. for the first week or two) I spent more time frustrated, upset and disappointed about how everything was turning out. Things changed so fast and then everything got overwhelming real quick and there was only so much negativity I could handle.
So I decided that when life gives you lemons, you best make lemonade. I pulled out my real camera and made a point to leave it on my desk so that I would actually use it on a regular basis and document our family life right now. My parents pointed out that this may very well be one of the last times all eight of their children are living under the same roof and so we have been doing our best to be intentional with our family time.
I started taking pictures of the blessings and joys around us because when I take the time to photograph something, it makes me slow down and notice things differently. It trains my eye to notice the beauty in the midst of the ordinary. Like how the evening sunlight danced among the regal petals of our magnolia tree a week ago. Or how the wild bluebells swayed just so in a gentle breeze. Even in the midst of all the darkness in the world right now, spring has still come. The flowers have still bloomed, and the world has grown more vibrant.
Easter has come and Christ is risen and we will get through this pandemic together and hopefully come out stronger and better than we were before.
Our Palm Sunday “alter”:
My mom started a monthly (or every other month) book club in our family this year and April’s meeting fell shortly before Easter in the midst of all of this craziness. We all brought the books we had read in the past month and sat around the table eating muffins and eggs and talking about what we had read. Even the youngest kids were excited to participate and share what books they had read lately.
I played around with free-lensing with these grape hyacinth wildflowers and I love how it gave these images a Monet-like, ethereal feeling.
Celebrating the Easter Vigil in our family room was definitely a first but it was beautiful nonetheless and we all still dressed in our Easter best and sang “Allelulia” when the time came. Even live-streaming on the TV, this is still my favorite Mass of the year.
The older kids have to find eggs to get their Easter baskets which always results in some tears and multiple hours of hunting before our Dad relents and gives some clues. (The younger kids have to find their bakets which are obviously a lot harder to hide and a lot easier to find, but Lucy still shed some tears before she found hers haha).
Even though we didn’t have our extended family at our house this year, which meant no cousins for the kids to play with, we still put on an epic Easter egg hunt for my three youngest siblings.
I hope you all had a blessed Easter and have found some unexpected beauty and joy in the midst of this difficult season!