Boy, did we have a fun-filled Easter weekend! Alice-pictures abound, so Easter gets it's own post instead of lumping them with the end-of-the-month blog. We started our windy adventures in Tekemah at the giant Easter egg hunt hosted by our local candle and chocolate shop, Master's Hand. It was quite the event! Not only were there egg hunts for each age group, but a petting zoo with the most adorable black baby lambs, miniature pony rides, bounce houses and inflatable slides, face painting, and a flea market (lots of great scores!).
Alice's age group (ages 0-2) had about as many kids as eggs, so she gathered a grand total of 1. She didn't really get what was going on at first, why she was carrying a basket, or why she needed to get an egg, but she's all about egg hunts now. (That kept her occupied for the better part of this Monday morning.)
I love seeing her wispy, blond hair being tousled by the wind. I know she's got her eyes closed in the black and white, but there is something I just love about that photo that I will write on my heart forever. And I can't stop looking at the ribbons flying on her cardigan in the one next to it. Perfect lines happening there.
Daddy helping his girl
my flea market find!
Found these beautiful jadite swirl mixing bowls that I've been searching out for ages, and this seller just also happened to have perfect little bowls for summer ice cream to go along with them...I definitely had more fun at this thing than JD. I also nabbed an old pocket watch, a vintage kids dress, and a Czech table runner that will make a perfect shawl for Alice and my dress up adventures. YOU GUYS, I am so stoked to play make believe with Alice. The anticipation is killing me!
After finishing at the egg hunt, we had lunch with our good friends, Leah and Chris (with their littles, Zia and Eli), in Omaha at My Crepes (120th & Center). Alice sang about seeing Zia all the way there - she loves her buddy Zia. At the end of our meal, all she wanted to do was be in Zia's bubble and hug her and play with her hair. They're such sweet little friends. And My Crepes has AWESOME food. Like, if you live around Omaha, you need to check this place out. I got a salmon crepe and it was light and flavorful and filling. Then we shared a banana split crepe for dessert, and they also brought us a caramel apple crepe by mistake! I can't wait to go back :)
That afternoon we headed back to la Casa de Hall for a photoshoot of my cousin Christie's new baby, Mila. What a cutie she is! Couldn't get enough of that pink knit tiara, either.
I have come to realize, though, that I'm not a great newborn photographer. This fact bothered me at first, but I've come to terms with it. In fact, I'm not just mediocre, I'm sub-par. There are so many awesome newborn photographers out there that when I stack up my work next to theirs, I just think "wah-wah-wah." I enjoy giving a free photoshoot to my friends when they have babies, but it's not an avenue I'll pursue for my business. Too many tricky parts: naps, nursing/feeding, temperature controlled environment, backdrops, props, crying, poop explosions, and lastly, they take twice as long as a regular photoshoot. And I can almost never get them to sleep during the shoot in order to make the bendy and move how I want them.Yep, I'm not cut out for newborn photography. It's been fun to dabble in, but I think I've decided I won't be doing it outside of gifts.
After the photoshoot, we helped/watched daddy plant some new bushes in the front of the house - spirea and butterfly bushes. Hooray! Alice just enjoys being outside swinging on our porch. And I love taking pictures of her...
Oh my goodness, I love this little girl! Just can't get enough of her. That smile. That tired pose. Those big eyes. Oh how you melt my heart, daughter of mine.
Bought this navy top with stars at Once Upon a Child - brand new baby Gap for $2.50. I love shopping second hand! I'm thinking about embarking on a year-long stint of only shopping second-hand for clothes. We have great consignment places in Omaha - Scout for mama and the above mentioned for Alice and Pistachio. I'll more than likely wait til after Baby No. 2 is born, but I'm excited for this kind of a challenge. Anyone want to join me?
After gardening and eating popsicles, Alice's little friend, Quinn, came over. Quinn's parents are friends of ours and needed a babysitter for the night, so we decided to swap babysitting services to save money. I'm all about trading services!
"I love your boots." They are definitely friends.
bike ride to the park!
After we put the girls down, we watched The Book Thief - great movie, and one I'd highly recommend. Geoffrey Rush is fantastic in everything, but the real star was the little girl who played Liesel. I was totally smitten with her in the movie Monsieur Lazhar and was thrilled to see she was the main character in this one. Go get it!
That concludes Saturday...
...and then there was Sunday. Thank you, Jesus, for repairing our broken relationship and loving me to the point of death. It was the only way we could get to you and you did it anyway. But then something awesome happened. Death couldn't hold you, the grave couldn't keep you...you beat them. And now death and the grave have no power over us who follow you. What a hope you gave us! AAAAAAHHH! Happy day! I can't wait for Alice to get this.
Speaking of Alice, I got her a little something to celebrate. Only spent a total of $4 on her but she loved it all. She's already doodled in her sketchpad and dirtied her shovel in the peonies. That shovel is easily her favorite new toy. I am so excited for her to play with me in the garden this summer, so when I saw it in the dollar section at Target, I knew it had Alice's name on it! Come on - pink and wooden? It was practically made for my child. The basket I thrifted and it's such a cute, colorful, and unique find that we'll use it every year. We don't really do candy, and she didn't even notice. Hooray for her first Easter basket!
But the poor kid had a rough night - she woke up and screamed on and off for 2 hours from what we think are night terrors, but she doesn't really watch TV or see commercials aside from watching an episode of Thomas or Pooh on the computer, so not sure what could be scaring her. Any advice on how to handle these? We've been getting up to comfort her, but she just screams inconsolably, her body is tense, and she doesn't want to be cuddled or rocked or drink anything. I'm not sure if she's getting up more frequently now because we get up with her. Perhaps we'll let her self-soothe but that just feels so cruel if she's scared. Or maybe it's not night terrors? Either way, it's not fun and JD was up with her the night before Easter.
It also didn't help that we had to get up extra early for the 8 a.m. service at church, so needless to say, she was a little bit of a wreck all day. A very cute wreck, mind you...
loves that shovel!
The rest of the day we spent at the farm eating copious amounts of everything - more specifically: praline french toast casserole, German pancake, fruit salad, bacon, cheeses, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, cheesy hashbrown and ham casserole (my one request - aMAZing), coconut cream pie, and peanut butter chocolate eclair bars. It was a blur of deliciousness and family time - and more importantly - nap time.
I even got to put a couple coats of matte poly on the new dining room table while we were out there! Just have to do a little more sanding, and then we can stain and seal the top and bring it to it's new home - mine. It looks yellowish in the photo due to the lighting, but it's actually a lovely white poplar with a beautiful grain. Here's a sneak peak (proper post to come once it's all done)...
My dad is pretty much amazing. He's never built a table before and he whips this up like magic - and maybe a few frustrated outbursts. All I did was draw up the design and dimensions and he did the rest. My part involved designing, gluing, holding, supervising, talking, and brushing - like, 5%. Oh, and picking out the wood. You know, big decision stuff. But he improvised the undercarriage to make it as solid as humanly possible. "Kahnk-built." That's a phrase around these parts, and it translates to "this product is of superb quality and will probably last four hundred years. Maybe even 500. It's better than Amish." (It doesn't have a single nail or screw!) Looking forward to passing this down through the generations.
We also got to dye eggs and hide candy-filled plastic ones outside for Alice...
getting the high ones with Papa Bear.
(I'm keeping this photo forever.)
It was a full weekend, but a good one. We came home at 7 and she passed out in her daddy's arms as he carried her up the stairs and changed her for bedtime. The only way it could have been better is if she could have stayed awake for a Skype date with our Halls in Ogallala, but alas, no amount of coaxing could make her open those peepers. What a day.
The best part about all of this is bringing Alice into our traditions - and making new ones. There is so much extra excitement that surrounds holidays now because of Alice and what she'll experience - that just happens when you have a kid in your life, whether you're an aunt, a friend, or a grandma. You remember how special the magic of a holiday or a tradition was as a child and you want to give that gift to your own littles. I know I say this at the risk of sounding precious or cliche, but more than anything, I love teaching her about the things that are most important to us: food, family, and faith. If you've got those, you've got it good.