Easter has always been a special time of the year for me. I remember being a little girl and being so excited for being with family and having a big family meal and being all together.
As Christians, this is when we celebrate the resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ, and I’ve always felt very close to Him this time of year. The first time as an adult (I think I was like 20) I felt a pull towards dedicating my life for God was around this time.
I was driving to my job at a laser manufacturing plant (for real) and the sun was shining and the weather was finally warm that day. I was flipping through the radio and for the first time ever I heard a Christian radio station. I started listening to it every day on my way to work and reading random passages in the Bible I had gotten in chatechism in like elementary school. Of course I’ve drawn closer and strayed many times over the past 10 years since then, but Easter is always a time when I feel particularly close to God.
This year I’ve been doing the Gospel of Mark Bible Study by Lisa Harper and I really love it.
Winters are always long and hard here in New England, so the warm days go spring time are definitely welcome. This year it was over 80 degrees! Including step siblings there are 6 of us, plus significant others and I had everyone over for a buffet style brunch.
Like a good Italian girl I made braciole, a delicious stuffed beef slow cooked thing. Also two breakfast casseroles, Belgian waffles with all types of toppings, we had ham, candied carrots, and so many things I can’t remember.
I love my decorations this year, especially these carrot things I got from clearance (plus a coupon!) at Michael’s. I also used one of our old wedding centerpieces to make the canister of blue eggs (which I also got from clearance), and wrapped some garden twine around it. I use the old centerpieces a lot and even though I’m the Queen of the Purge, I’m really glad I kept a few. And yes, there are always toys on my floors 🙂
Anyways, as far as budget friendly tips for family gatherings, keep your decorations minimal. Reuse what you already have and shop the clearance sections. Make sure you have a plan and stick to it, including an accurate head count and what you plan to serve. I always do smaller portions of more types of things and go buffet style vs a sit down plated dinner. Lastly, keep a little list off to the side of things you don’t buy right away, so that when people offer to bring something you can let them! Most people who offer to bring a dish really want to help, and you can make sure it fits into your vision if you plan ahead. I had my brother bring all the drinks, my step sister-in-law brought a fruit salad, and my mom and step dad brought some sides. The is all stuff I wanted to have, but I knew someone would offer to help so I didn’t get myself.
One more thing to go along with this adorable picture of the kids; I got Abby’s dress on Carter’s for $2!! There was clearance, free shipping and I had a $10 brand loyalty voucher. It was awesome. And she obviously looked adorable. Ben is in pajamas because he grabbed a cup of juice off the table and spilled it all over himself, but I think he still looks pretty cute.