I loved having General Conference intermixed with Easter this last weekend.
Maybe it was extra rejuvenating because since school was out for two extra days, we headed to Newport. It was pretty chaotic getting out the door, but the blue sky, salty air, the light that is just different here, the conversations, the connection, the slow-down. It was just what we all needed.
It didn’t hurt that my sister Saydi and her family were there too and we overlapped by a day.
Claire, Lucy and I got to join in with them on their Stations of the Cross activity at Crystal Cove (Dave was working), and I was just so filled up with gratitude that we got to benefit so much from all Saydi’s work to make that such a special event, including a large, quite heavy tree branch that she and her friend had carried down the whole beach earlier so that the kids could carry it up the hill as Jesus would have had to do with the cross all those years ago. I loved standing in different spots in those grassy hills and glistening spring sun to talk about each station, the questions and discussions at each, the way the kids were thinking, and commenting, the spirit that swooped in to infiltrate into it all. Saydi is so good at that stuff.
I wrote about that back HERE, but here are a few more pictures:
I loved being able to ponder more on Holy Week this year. Maybe because Lucy loves it so much. Maybe because I just felt it more for some reason.
Does anyone else out there think it’s tough to find the balance with all the things they want to teach their kids? Oh, sometimes I could go on and on about all things Jesus. But know teenagers need to find their own ways to make Jesus their own. To build that relationship with Him. In one of the talks during conference someone mentioned that in order to “Hear Him,” we have to know Him. And the biggest way one gets to know Him has to come largely from their own desire. Sure, parents and church teachers and friends and peers can have such a huge influence, and can create opportunities to introduce the beauty of it all, but at some point we all need to figure out that relationship on our own. And as parents we can just plant seeds along the way.
I’m realizing more and more in my mothering that the most important thing is walking the walk. Just like my mother did over and over again each month for our family testimony meeting (which I talked in detail about back HERE). As I mentioned there, my mother never had to explain who Jesus was or what a testimony was, she lived it.
I always strive to be more like my mother.
Anyway, that was a good little digression all to say that I felt it all, all the emotions of the beauty of Easter, because I was living out all my thoughts, if that makes sense.
We soaked up my sister’s family for a quick bit before they took off…
We wrapped up in blankets on the beach, raking up tiny piles of shells…
…while Hazel and Claire braved giddily jumping into the chilly waves…
…and Emmeline and Lucy stood with giant smiles on the edge, the waves swirling around their feet.
We made tinfoil dinners and s’mores around our little beach camp fire and came home to play some games and all squish on the big couch to talk.
Saydi and I went on a walk the next morning talking through our family dynamics, how we both want to push and how much is too much, as we walked through the blooming-flower-lined-tiny streets leading to the wedge.
Then we helped those guys pack up and sent them off on their way. Nothing like one on one family time with another family we love so much.
Claire and I went on a little date:
The girls went on a little date:
Dave and I did a few little dates of our own, a bike ride one day, a paddleboard the next, and a long walk the next. I like him.
On Easter morning we got the girls up and watched a video about the resurrection before they followed the string to find their baskets. Easter becomes more and more simple every year for our family. Hopefully with more and more meaning infused into it.
Then we settled in for Conference, which I loved.
I loved Elder Renlund’s talk in the Saturday afternoon session that you can find if you click HERE. It is so good, all about unfairness. I love that he talked about how God can consecrate unfairness for our gain. I love that he talked about Bryan Stevenson’s book Just Mercy that I loved (back HERE), and the beauty of being a “stone-catcher.”
I loved Elder Cook’s talk in the Priesthood session because he talked about ministering (serving) one another which is such a huge part of what I help with in our church congregation right now as the Relief Society president, and one of the examples he gave was MY VERY OWN GRANDPA. The Grandpa I never was able to meet since he passed away when my dad was fifteen, but I have such a love for him. I have talked about a few times here on the blog (HERE and HERE). You can hear the story (and it’s a good one) if you click HERE and go to minute 12. Wait, way easier to just go HERE and go to second :45!
I loved President Nelson’s talk on Easter about Faith, how it takes effort, and five things we can do to gain more of it. It is SO good, and you can click HERE and go to minute 1:28:12 to listen to it.
I loved Elder Rasband’s talk all about miracles that made me think of my Grandma and her “Impossible” quote that I love (back HERE). Miracles are big and little, and we need to keep track of the ones that come into our lives. You can hear it if you click HERE and go to minute 26:28.
Oh there were so many more I loved…including Max’s mission president!
I made our traditional cinnamon rolls which was an interesting endeavor without my Bosche mixer …made with more love I think. Sometimes I can listen so much better when my hands are busy.
These were the only colored Easter eggs we had, straight from the farm:
Part of me felt a little sad about that…I think it’s the first year ever that we haven’t decorated Easter eggs, one of my favorite traditions. But somehow it was ok since Elle and Grace both did their own fair share of egg coloring, Elle with some friends and Grace with her mission district:)
We took a Duffy ride out at sunset, and the Easter world was aglow:
But the very best part of Easter?
We came back to have dinner together with the WHOLE FAMILY on Facebook messenger, including Grace.
There is nothing, not anything in the whole wide world as good as to have that little condo filled up with the love of a whole family.
We stayed up and watched the first few episodes of The Chosen. The girls hadn’t watched it yet and man alive I love that thing even more the second time through. We can never do things like that at home, it’s like herding cats. I was just so grateful for TIME.
Also, if anyone is looking for a pretty awesome show to watch, The Chosen is quite phenomenal in my opinion!
We all rode bikes down to get our traditional acai bowls on Monday before we had to drag ourselves back home, Bo bounding, unpacking, schedule waiting.
And I went to bed so filled up with gratitude for them. And for Jesus. And for the chance to celebrate so much beauty.