Thursday, April 20, 2017
Our Wonderful Easter Weekend // Part 1
One for the record books. We've had a string of good Easter's the last few years, but this Easter weekend might have taken the cake. From Pastor Dave's life-changing sermon to kick off our week on Palm Sunday - to the adorable Easter outfits I found last minute at Old Navy during our lunch stop on Good Friday - to how the wet forecast for Saturday dried up at the last minute to bless us with sunshine and warmth - to the good moods we all carried with us through the weekend as we let the sunshine seep into our bones and our skin and give us just enough to carry us to summer. It was such a good two days, and after a few months of a lot of stress, I felt about a hundred pounds lighter by the time I collapsed into bed on Easter Sunday night. If only every weekend could be about Jesus and His good news. I'm determined to work harder to carry that news with me a little more closely during the mundane days.
Our weekend started with a community Easter egg hunt (er, scramble), some doughnut holes under the Gateway Park shelter, and a bumble bee made out of a balloon.
He walked around half the day making buzzing sounds everywhere we went. ;)
Cedar Falls shows up. We see it during Holiday Hoopla at Christmas time, on Friday nights at Movies Under the Moon during the summer... and at Easter egg hunts that fill an entire park with people even though the forecast called for rain and mud.
Luckily the rain stayed away, and Gateway Park was packed with families all eager to begin celebrating on a beautiful sunshiny morning. And the setting was perfect. The river and downtown as our backdrop, we left the hunt for our first riverside stroll of the year. The boys practiced their rock skipping skills on the Cedar, Brandon played bumblebee along the bike paths, and Jaden found a large stick to practice his light saber moves under the highway bridge. It was such a good start to our weekend, and we were all in the best of moods and in no real hurry to get anywhere.
Our casual stroll eventually lead us across 1st Street to the downtown parkade and a stop at Pablo's for tacos before heading out to Dike and Arnka farms for our second visit to their annual Easter Open House.
The event is highlighted by its Easter egg hunt as well, but we totally go for the animals. Jaden couldn't get enough of the baby goats when we were there last year, and this year was much of the same. We spent the majority of our time in the goat pen, each of us taking our turns loving on one goat after another, wishing we could take them home with us. Shane reminded me that they aren't allowed within city limits, but I so would have one if it was legal!
Jaden actually sat out this egg hunt, reminding me that he's growing up and these holiday traditions only last so many years, but he happily stood to the side and watched as his brother collected his second bag of candy-filled eggs of the day, much more content to chat with his buddy Jack and drink his Strawberry lemonade.
We left Arnka Acres and headed straight for a stop at 4 Queens for some ice cream with the Graham's. I introduced Emily to my favorite flavor of black raspberry in a dish, we sat at picnic tables under the awning and pointed out our old townhome that Jaden was first brought home to as a baby right in the 4 Queens' backyard and then decided to move our party to the Graham's house for some pizza, beers and trampoline jumping. We sat around their kitchen island and watched and listened as the storm rolled in before heading home just in time to beat the downpour, place our Easter baskets out for the bunny, and bake our Easter cookies to the soothing sounds of rumbling thunder as our soundtrack while we tucked ourselves in bed.
It was a good day...