This time of year brings so many emotions ranging from deep pain to glorious celebration for many reasons. Namely, we mourn Christ's crucifixion, and we wonder in awe how God would so intentionally choose to sacrifice his Son for us, sinners in this world. Easter then culminates in glorious celebration as we rejoice knowing that Christ rose from the grave to save us.
Spring and the Easter season also bring me to reflect on life and loss in general. In a little over a week, we will celebrate and we will mourn the loss of my sweet friend's daughter. Elizabeth would have been celebrating her 3rd birthday. Oh, how we miss Elizabeth, and we continue to wonder why? A question that may never be answered this side of heaven. We also near Owen's 3rd birthday, and we continue traditions that we were able to make when Owen was full of life in utero ... burning the Christmas tree, making stepping stones, and the Awana Grand Prix, to name a few.
In addition, we approach the anniversary of my Grandma's passing. At the end of the month, it will be 10 years ago that my Grandma passed away. It saddens me that my children never met her, never tasted the fruit of her labor. We did get to tell Grandma that we were expecting (Jack) literally days before she left this earth.
So many little things remind me of Grandma - flowers and baking especially. And, with that aprons. It seems aprons have become popular and trendy again, and that makes me smile. A couple of months ago I won this fun apron in a giveaway.
It makes me think of my Grandma. She was a pastry chef, a really good pastry chef. She made the best sticky buns ever, ever! In fact, I haven't even had a sticky bun or attempted to make them since Grandma passed. I'm convinced that nothing could compare. One of Grandma's other specialties was pies. She helped me win blue ribbons with homemade pies for 4-H at the county fair when I was in junior high (okay, so I think my memory is a little skewed as I know she did far more than "help" me, I'm pretty sure that she did the work while I sat at her kitchen counter observing and probably snacking).
Pies seem to be regaining popularity again as well. So, in memory of my Grandma, I donned my apron, tinkered in the kitchen and whipped up this little rustic blueberry crumble top pie. It was good ... but not as good as Grandma's.
I miss my Grandma, especially this time of year as we are surrounded by so many reflections of life, loss, and immeasurable blessings. While we remember lives lost, I pray that we also turn our eyes toward heaven and remember what Christ did for us.
Pause music at bottom of blog to listen to Casting Crown's Glorious Day.
Today I pulled this sweet little smocked dress out of Lydia's closet (with long sleeves under it, of course, as this is Spring in the Midwest).
Jason's first comment was that he was wondering if Lydia was wearing a curtain. That's okay, we won't judge him just because he doesn't understand little girl fashion. I told him that if we lived in the South, Lydia would just blend in with the other little girls in an outfit such as this. His response - maybe we should move south? With the weather we have been having, that does sound enticing! Thanks to Kelly at Kelly's Korner for influencing Lydia's wardrobe. I LOVE how Kelly dresses her little girls - so sweet. And, just for the record, Kelly does live in the south. And, just being honest here, I do get a little giddy when I see that Lydia has the same or a similar outfit that Kelly's daughter Harper has.
Aren't Lydia's shoes so sweet as well? I stumbled across a (non-Etsy) fun site - Little Monkey Toes with a crazy selection of shoes for children, along with other fun boutique items. While these little shoes did not come fromLittle Monkey Toes, they do sell this brand, and I did buy a different pair of cute shoes for Lydia from Little Monkey Toes, likely for Fall, a couple of weeks ago. Great customer service, so personable! If you "like" them on Facebook, you can get advance notice of special sales and discounts. Almost makes me want to give in and get on Facebook ... almost.
I know, I'm a little obsessed with dressing our little girl. I do not take for granted how blessed we are that I can splurge on sweet little dresses, shoes, and hair accessories for Lydia (and to be put away for China Girl). This smocked dress came from eBay as did the shoes - both new and both discounted. I have picked up a few things from Zulily, a site with daily deals and discounts, and I tend to buy ahead, off season if I can, to find better deals. So, that's that.
On a different note, my project referenced below is coming along and is nearly finished. Every day life has consumed us these days with not much extra time for crafting!!! Here's a peak at what I'm working on. Can you guess?
It's a gloomy day here in the Midwest, perfect for crafting. Maybe I'll get this done yet!
Longing to serve with joy and desiring to lead, with my amazing husband, our precious children to have hearts that beat for our Lord. Rejoicing in the love and grace of our Father and the endless blessings He has given us.