Without really trying, our family has started a new tradition of spending Easter Sunday afternoon at my little brother's house with our mom & her boyfriend, my brother's family and his girlfriend's parents. Two years in a row now we've wound up with really gorgeous days spent eating tons of great food and lounging on their back patio watching the kids run around looking for eggs. It's perfect laid-back gatherings like this that I love so much about my family.

Before heading over there, we spent our first non-bunny Easter morning at home with donuts and baskets of goodies. It's kind of nice to be able to buy things for the girls that I know I can return if they don't like or don't fit :)

The morning was the typical roller coaster that is life in our home these days, topped off with C's breakfast of Skittles and Starburst. I swear sugar is that girl's worst enemy. What are you going to do on Easter though? Ugh. Just another one of those tough pick-your-battle moments as a parent... I probably picked wrong.

All in all it was a pretty good day, in spite of the sugar monster attacks. Happy Easter!

There are a couple of things that both of my girls and I do together regularly. One is to sing at the top of our (off-key) lungs along with just about every song on the radio. The other biggie is to binge-watch series on Netflix. We began this (probably unhealthy yet enjoyable) activity a year or two ago and have watched every episode of many tv series from start to finish (or at least as far as Netflix will take us) together. I love having a regular topic to discuss with them :)

Yesterday I had a full day of a wedding consultation, grocery shopping, an engagement session, and dinner out with mom. Before I even hit the pillow last night I had decided that a full Sunday in bed and lounging around the house would be in order. I did manage to do a lot of sleeping and lounging, but a mid-afternoon fit of frustration from our lovely Miss C had me suggesting a walk in the fresh air for the two of us. We are in the midst of a weekend of unseasonably warm weather and why not take advantage of it to get a little exercise and create a distraction for the restless girl at the same time.

The walk was nice. We didn't even get out of our pajamas (sweat pants and a thermal shirt are acceptable in public, right?) We put in the full mile loop and I even talked her into a couple stents of slow jogging along the way. By the time we reached home again I had caught the fresh-air bug and a bit of his friend, the photo-bug as well. I grabbed my camera and headed to the back yard with my girl to capture what beauty lies in the dead of winter.

I think the cold is supposed to return with a vengeance before long, but the reprieve was enjoyable while it lasted.

I was thinking about this blog and how devastated I would be if for in some crazy turn of events Google's Blogger server were to ever die and I lost every one of these brilliant (ha!) musings that I've put so much thought into over the past 8 and a half years.  That got me thinking about the possibility of putting it all into book form (sort of like family yearbooks). And THAT got me thinking about just how many pages these books would need anyway! So, it was time to count.

Some years were very full of posts, pictures and memorable moments. Others - well, not so much. But what I did discover once I was all done counting (and recounting, and recounting, because I'm so easily distracted you see and kept losing my count) is that I had a grand total of THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY TWO posts (not counting this one).

Blows. My. Mind.

That's going to be one expensive book, I'm guessing. And more than one book, I'm willing to bet!

But I'm not planning on stopping by any means. I am so glad to have this resource to go back and relive memories of moments from years back with the girls were little and life was so very different. A few years from now I want to have the ability to go back and do the same with the moments from today. And so on I write! Not anything fancy or brilliant or very well written. Not enough to capture the hoards of readers that other bloggers seem to attract. Not even on a very regular basis. But for me and my family, as the the mood strikes me of course.
On Tuesday evenings, K has 2 dance classes with an hour break in between, so C and I stay in Springfield and kill time until she's done dancing the night away. Most weeks we join the group at my Grandma's house for their regular Tuesday dinner. It usually consists of me, C, my mom, 2 or 3 aunts, a possible uncle and my Grandma. We all squeeze in around the table and share stories, gossip, memories and food. It's lovely.

Me and Grandma - circa 1982

I love seeing them all regularly and keeping up with the goings-on in the family. I love that C is so unbelievably behaved and helpful while we are there. I love my Grandma's house, the history, the memories, the feeling it invokes. But most of all, I love seeing my Grandma. She's getting slower, growing shorter and hearing less and less, but she is always so sweet, concerned and funny. She adores our C-bug and thinks she is such a great helper and such a good girl (she sure has her fooled!) C really is another child while we are there though. It's incredible.

C and Grandma

15 of the 16 cousins. I'm in there somewhere - can you find me?

My Grandma has begun talking about moving out of her house and in with one of her daughters. It's such a strange thought for the family to not have that central meeting place where all 9 of her kids grew up and all 16 of us grandchildren spent endless hours over the years. That house has never belonged to another family. My Grandma and Grandpa built their home right before my mom was born in 1956 and she's been there ever since. It holds remnants of memories from 50 year old craft projects hanging the basement to antique dressers packed full of who knows what to an attic-turned-bedrooms where my mother slept and played and studied as a child. It will be hard for all of us to see it go, that's for sure.