Expensive Easter

Every year as a little girl, we would get new Easter dresses. I would start imagining my look long before the shopping trip. I would start daydreaming because I knew I would get something super nice…..I mean, Grandma was funding the occasion, so…. I was excited to get spoiled (never mind that I later figured out it was probably because she wanted to control the narrative of how we presented ourselves as a family and to make sure we didn’t embarrass her at her snotty church). My parents were poor (I never knew how poor til I got older), so I knew I could push a few limits with Grandma and Grandpa’s checkbook 😎

Sweet Easter memories (circa 2014)

Even though it was on a grandparent’s dime, I still usually had to go with my third or fourth choices. It never failed that first and second choices were always too expensive. I wanted it all. The gloves, the hat, tights, pleats….alll the things. I can still vividly remember the year I got my first choice. It was a light pink peplum jacket top and a pleated gray skirt. Ohhhhhhhhhh I felt fancy in that! I wish you could have seen it! I guess now that I type it out loud, it seems as if I have always had expensive taste (although I have no idea where I would’ve gotten that exposure because we were so poor).

Easter 2020 look

This year’s dress was a direct reflection of every Easter dress search from year’s past.  I wanted something unique and new…..and hat’s exactly what I found.  It was perfect.  Then Easter got “canceled”.  And I went into “dress depression” :p

It isn’t just the dress though. My family has always celebrated Easter in a big way. Starting with church, then the big lunch and of course, the Easter egg hunting…..it was all done big. My mom makes sure her and her husband coordinate perfectly and it’s the cutest thing. I visit my Niece’s church and hear my favorite church singer (Love your voice, Abbie!). It really is the sweetest time of year! This quarantine situation has me feeling things so much more intensely and missing my traditional Easter is no different. I can hear the sounds, smell the grass and am clinging to memories of some of the sweetest hymns you would hear. I’m gonna miss all that so much.

Easter 2019 with 2 of my favorite ladies!

BUT, when I really picked things apart today (more than normal), I also realized that more than the above, I think I loved Easter and the new dress tradition because it brought the “new” in so many underlying areas of life.  It’s not just a cheesy trend.  There is something in the atmosphere that Easter brings (other than the obvious factor of Jesus starting the “new life” trend long before my shopping trips to JC Penney)…….it signals a new season and a chance to start the next phase of the year more freshly than the previous.  

We Spring clean. We bring out fresh linens and brighter decor. We get new clothes that say “breath of fresh air”. And some of us sit in complete awe that someone sat with people who betrayed them, faced the ultimate torture and STILL chose to die for us. Some of us need that reminder in the way that only Easter brings. No matter what you believe, we all need “new” at some point. And although quarantine life is not the “new” I had imagined when I bought the perfect Easter dress, it has caused a slow down and given me more new than I would’ve ever gotten from a yard of brightly colored eggs or sneaking deviled eggs out of the kitchen before lunch was ready. I will (and have the past few days) pay attention to the Easter story probably differently than I ever have before.

Just because Easter is different, it certainly doesn’t mean I can’t wear the dress. So, I did. I sported my Easter lunch outfit too. I also delivered Easter baskets to some friends. I made my own deviled eggs and I spent time on my porch listening to my short Easter playlist and just being still (not something I’m great at). And for the first time since this quarantine business started, I feel like I’m accepting the pause and I’m gonna come out on the other side of this a new person (cheesy, but I mean it….I already see it and outside of the uncomfortable struggle, I don’t think I’m gonna hate her).

Easter 2020….sheer and still sweet!

I hope you’re wearing your new Easter clothes too and sharing them with the internet.  I think we could all use some “fresh looks” in our internet scrolls.  I hope you know that you were to die for (and that someone did).  And I hope that if you’re still reading at this point, that I’m cheering for the new in you too!  

Dying Stories

  Today was exhausting. My body just doesn’t do well in situations like this and things in general just weren’t going my way. The time with family tonight sure turned my frowns upside down. I am thankful. I mean that with every fiber of me. 

Anyway- 

1. I am soooo thankful that I made the decision to come when I did. It means so much to be able to say goodbye. Today made it clear that chance has passed so I will cherish that I made it in time. 

2. Stories. Oh my word. Anyone who knows me, knows there are plenty of Yell Co stories in my arsenal. But the ones I have heard tonight for the first time are awesome. I rarely get to spend good soul time with my uncles, and I don’t think people really share stories anymore. But to be unplugged from technology in these late nights when we can’t sleep and hear story after story has been awesome. It feels weird to say that since it has only happened because of sadness…but I Wish everyone could meet my Uncle Lewis and hear him talk. 

3. Speaking of stories, tonight we covered noodling (my fam did it way better than those tv shows), hunting, mountain lion debates, uncle don’s new addiction to FB and my most fav of all, dating. The love and respect between my aunts and uncles is so cool. Watching them tell me their love story and see them go down memory lane is beyond sweet. 

4. I have had some pretty great examples of couples love and the power of never giving up. The men in my family have set a really high bar. Probably why I am still single…because I expect what my grandparents and aunts and uncles have. Even if I stay single forever, I have still experienced great love, even if it is second hand. And that’s good enough for me!

Dying Hands

As fun as it is to post the dating dramatics and shopping in my closet outfits, my writing (which honestly has always been more for my own therapy than if one person read it or not) lately has been to release and process the fact that I am facing my grandmother’s passing.   
It’s probably a bit morbid to think that this is what I asked for. No, of course I didn’t ask for my grandmother to go through this that will end in her passing. She is my favorite person I have ever known and I could fill up so much of your time bragging about her. But I did ask for a slow down and a reset. I did ask for more time with my family and to bring some appreciation and perspective back into my life. And that is certainly what is happening. It’s not easy. And I am not saying my train of thought is for you to agree with. But I am saying that even in the saddest of times, there is a lesson. You get to choose whether you grow from the experience and learn a lesson or whether you wallow or even go backwards. I am choosing to learn. 

  
I am fortunate to be able to spend these last moments with her. I feel even more fortunate that even in the little sleep we are getting, that I am getting alone time with her in the later hours after everyone has gone home. 
Tonight, her hands are telling the stories. 

  

These hands. My goodness they have been through some stuff. 
They have worked themselves to the bone as a farmer. 
They have cooked no less than 10,000 of the best meals you have ever had. 
They have stroked my hair as a little girl while I laid in her lap during church and listened to my pop teach. 
They have been firm on my butt maybe once or twice. 
They have wiped tears and been the best comfort when my parents were mean to me 😝
They have prayed while the heart ached over the loss of her forever love. 
They have been the kindest hands I have ever known…..

The Only Time Floppy is a Good Thing….

Is when it is in reference to a floppy hat or floppy disk. 

IMG_4999I wasn’t aware I even had a love for either until my exchange student demanded that this hat come home with us a while back (isn’t it a fantastic hat…..and I’m completely swooning over the layers of necklaces).  The other floppy love isn’t as much about the floppy disk as it is the times when they were popular.  Ok, maybe they were never popular.  We just didn’t have any other choices.  But, the times that the floppy disk lived in, well, they just seemed simpler.  I think we all go through spurts of longing for simpler, don’t we?  I actually associate floppy disks with my dad.  He was a computer teacher at the time and we had what seemed like a gazillion of them laying around.  See, I’m already going back to simpler memories.  My dad seemed to make everything simple.  

Life is busy.  We are moving so fast towards whatever, that we lack the ability to be simple.  Sometimes that leads to a state of just “blah”……know what I’m sayin?  I am a prime example of this in so many ways that I have lost count.  When I get to going too fast, if I’m being cheesy, life just gets a bit floppy.  The difference in me now is, that I try to be very aware.  I try to slow down every once and a while and examine where I am allowing too much floppy and work towards improvement. I quit beating myself up a long time ago for getting to a state of floppy.  Forgiving yourself is important.  I just try to note it, stop it at the first acknowledgement, and move forward.  What do you do?

Here are where floppy isn’t good for me……Can anyone relate?  

  1.  Floppy Friends – It’s taken me a really long time to be ok with not feeling obligated to keep friends around that aren’t good for me.  Nobody has to be a jerk about it but I simply cannot allow friendships that are a flop to continue.
  2. Floppy Boys – I have no idea when it happened or what switch was flipped, but it has been really cool to try the approach of actually being direct and intentional about my dating life.  Sure, it has cut a lot of guys out of the mix, but that’s more than ok.  I cannot allow myself to give parts of my heart away to someone who gives me floppy effort (or no effort at all).  I was SO SCARED to take this new approach for myself, but so far, I am pretty pleased with how it’s going. 
  3. Floppy Habits – they gotta stop.  They just do.  It is more important than ever, with my recent diagnosis, that I make good choices.  If it doesn’t work for the good of my health, or the good of my life goals, it absolutely cannot become a habit in my life.  I accept this as a constant work in progress for me! I know that if there is one crack in my life, floppy will creep in and take over before I turn around.  Obviously, I am not 100% every day, but having a good army to stand guard helps!

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I’m thinking I need to track down a few old floppy disks and keep them handy as a reminder that I can’t let anything but my cool hat get too floppy! 

Let’s have a great week.  Want to?

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