Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter 2015

Oh boy, I meant to post this earlier and here we are already in the afternoon.  But here's our Easter this year.

We lucked out and got to be here for Easter:

(That's the Conference Center in Utah where they hold LDS General Conference every six months.  It just so happened that Easter weekend and General Conference coincided this year.)

It was pretty spectacular.

I should back up because I actually shouldn't say "lucked out" because this has been years in the making.  We always planned on taking our kids up to General Conference one by one when they turned twelve.  It seemed to be the perfect "date" to have some one-on-one time with each child in a place where we could all build up our spirits.  

But I swear every single conference weekend since Max turned twelve had some sort of conflict or another.  Some were little things where we just figured "we'll wait," and others were bigger, but as this last General Conference while Max is really under the roof of our own home approached we decided to get in gear and make it happen despite what we might have to miss.

The biggest conflict this time around was that Max and Elle's prom dates both decided that for the whole groups the best day for their "day date" would be on Good Friday since there was no school.  (Yes, they do "day dates" here in the desert a week or two before the dance.) And they were supposed to be in Utah with us that day.  But our friendly travel agent (aka David) worked it out for them to still make the day date and fly up in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

It was a whirlwind of a weekend and we felt so lucky to be right there in the middle of it all.
Dave and the "middles" took off a day early to get in one last ski day this season.

My travel buddy and I headed up to meet them on Friday, and Max and Elle came on Saturday.

On Saturday morning my Dad had some up-front seats for conference so Dave and I accompanied them on a little double date.
It was such a great session.  I LOVED Linda Burton's strength in hers.  Raising four girls I want them to be inspired by strong women like her.  You can listen to it HERE.  I also loved Elder Clayton's talk and especially Elder Perry's about strong families.  You can listen to any of them by clicking HERE.

The spirit was thick in that beautiful place that morning.
Loved sharing it with these three:

We did a little shopping between sessions:

Grace and Claire practiced their Chinese with these cute girls from Shanghai at H&M (there were so many people from all over the world filling up that whole Temple Square area).

The boys went to the Priesthood session on Saturday night (with my brother-in-law and nephews too):


While we girls met up with my sister and cousins and their kids.
We met up at Arella, a delicious pizza place my cousin Lindsay created (check it out HERE...if you're ever in the area check it out, you won't be disappointed!).

So fun to get all these cute girls reacquainted:

And I adore each of these wonderful women.

Before we go into Easter I wanted to post some of what we did for Holy Week before we left and some thoughts I had on that.  We did our traditional yellow Holy Week stuff (back here), but added a few things like reenacting Palm Sunday with palm fronds from our neighbors.
(apparently the "donkey" was tired...)
Each week we have a different child in charge of early-morning scriptures and (works out great since we have five kids), and the week before Easter we had each one take one of those days and lead the devotional as to what happened that day during Holy Week.  They were in charge of reading the scriptures and adding anything they wanted.  
Loved watching especially those two because they were so excited about it (we combined Thursday and Friday since there was no school on Friday).

There is so much to do around Easter to celebrate the miraculous resurrection of our Savior, but I loved this post from my friend-I've-never-actually-met-but-who-I've-emailed-a-bunch-because-we- lived-in-China-at-the-same-time:
It hit me like a ton of bricks.

We can get SO scattered trying to do all this stuff to make Easter (and any holiday for that matter) more meaningful which is important and wonderful.

But the most wonderful thing of all is for our children to know that we love them, and that we love the Savior.  And that we BELIEVE that he gave His life for us and that the Atonement can save us.

Period.

If all this other stuff fits in and works, great.  Awesome.  Wonderfully enriching.  But sometimes it's so easy to get caught so much up in it all that we forget to just love those kids of ours and weave the Savior into all that we do in life.  Not just at Easter.

Sorry, a little digression.

The Easter Bunny found us and brought his string along to the condo:
(We were a little scrunched...do you like Elle's bed in the hallway?)
After the kids found their baskets we had a special devotional to finish off the last two days of Holy Week.  We read the scriptures and talked about how we want to live our lives so that we recognize His voice when we hear it.  Whether it's to be kinder to a lonely friend at school or which job to take in the future, or whether it's just trying to whisper loving words, I hope that we will recognize His hand in our lives.

Because it's there.

He lives.

I believe that with all my heart.

That little devotional was probably my favorite part of the whole weekend.

Even despite the fact that it was followed by an Easter egg hunt outside in the wind filled with children fighting so I didn't even get any pictures (I did get some of the squabbling on video though...maybe I should post that...:)

My dear Mom helped us have our traditional Conference Cinnamon rolls (with a little help from Rhodes):




We listened to part of the first session on the lawn by the temple.



And had a lunch with my sister and her family.


Love her...so fun to get caught up although we never have quite enough time.
Love these cousins:


Then we all headed over for the last session of Conference:

We split up because my Dad helped us get a few more upfront seats:

My parents sat up there in that top balcony with the rest of the kids and some of Saren's.

And then we scrambled to pack up and head home.

I get the middle seat now because I am the shortest...weird.

Beautiful sunset on a beautiful weekend.

I'm just so grateful for this:

And the opportunity to reflect on that glorious occasion in a heightened way this year.


He lives.

And because He lives everything changes.

How I hope I can try to be more like Him in what I do each day.  I hope each of us in our family can let what happened and what we heard up at that conference affect us more in our daily lives.  

14 comments:

  1. THAT is what Easter is all about. He LIVES! Faith, great teaching, family, traditions.

    I made the comment on Facebook "when did Easter become Christmas 2.0? " So many people are forgoing simple Easter baskets, dresses, hats, Church, and family dinner for big new presents for the children with their Easter baskets. I have seen pictures of new, expensive toys and new bicycles and you name it for Easter morning. Wow! Where did the meaning of Easter go?

    I vow to keep Easter as it should be. I am grateful for all the great teachings and traditions I have for Easter.

    Happy Easter!!!!

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  2. I'm glad you guys got to come it's always so fun! Living in Utah I take a lot of it for granted so its fun to read about it and see it on your blog. Okay, funny story.. I was in Harmon's in Salt Lake City on Saturday night with my mom and sister just picking up some groceries and in the candy aisle I saw Dave! I don't actually know any of you guys, just from your blog, so I did a double take because he looked familiar but it took me a second to realize who he was haha. Anyway, sorry if that seems weird but I thought it was pretty funny. Conference weekend is so great, I especially loved Elder Clayton's talk too!

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  3. Where's you get your adorable teal top with white flowers you're wearing on Sunday session? Love it!

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  4. So awesome! We live in Virginia and my dad and stepmom took my oldest two out to Salt Lake City this weekend. They attended the Sunday morning session of General Conference, and I am so thrilled for them- they're the first members of our family to ever attend a session live! I have been looking at photos my stepmom has been posting to Facebook and my husband keeps teasing me and saying I'm jealous, but if I'm jealous of anyone it's my parents for getting to experience a trip like this with them (my kids had never been on a plane before this either). I'm just so grateful and thrilled for them that they got to have this unique experience- General Conference at the Conference Center on Easter Sunday! So cool. :-)

    Looks like you guys had a blast- your family is gorgeous as always!

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  5. You and your family constantly amaze and inspire me. Thank you. Happy Easter!

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  6. What a fun weekend, and how special to take your kids there!

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  7. Hi my name is Rinat and I live in Israel, and have two children ...
    i recently started reading your blog and it is full of inspiration.
    Your house charming ... well donefor the hard work you've invested in it ...
    I will continue to read... happy easter

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  8. It looks like you had a great time, I live in Utah and wish I would have run into you :) although I didn't go downtown at all. I love Elle's purple dress. FYI you put Easter 2014 not 2015. Love your blog like always.

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  9. That devotional was our fav too! Those kids know the dance AND hear the music!

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  10. I saw your parents as we were coming out of the Saturday Afternoon Session! I wanted to go tell them Hi (even though I've never met them,lol) but couldn't make it over to them!!

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  11. That is so fun, Shawni. My husband & I flew into SLC just as the last session of GC was ending (for a little ski trip), so we zipped on over to Temple Square to walk around and take in the atmosphere. I miss listening to sessions in the sunshine amidst the tulips on the lawn.

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  12. Looks like you had a great conference weekend. Glad you were able to get Max into some sessions before he goes out into the field. And by the way, my mom and I love Arella's. We go there all the time.

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