He is Risen

April Favorite Things

He is risen! Happy Easter! Death has lost its sting!

I always love the meaning of Holy Week and hope you find today to be full of peace, hope, and restoration. If you’re more into chocolate than the Gospel, you’re still in a safe space.

Have a Cadbury Egg and think of me. Speaking of Cadbury Eggs…. my Favorite Things!

  1. Cadbury Mini Eggs

Not sure these really require an explanation. They bring chocolate with a candy coated shell to a whole new level. And I’ve been eating mini bags full since February. No shame. If you go to the grocery store tomorrow, they’ll probably be on sale. Or you can order them in bulk, here.

2. War on a Sunday Morning (Home-Front Heroes) by Teresa Funke

Over the years, Author Teresa Funke has become a friend and mentor. I have the privilege of working and learning with her. I am so excited about the release of her newest book that tells the story of Pearl Harbor through the eyes of a teenage girl. One of my favorite references she includes is to a 1940’s movie star who later became President. Can you guess who that may be? For more information on her series for middle-age readers and books for adults based on true stories from World War Two, view her website.

3. Earrings

Ha! Aren’t these funny?

I pierced my ears. At the age of 29. It’s ok, I’m just a little behind. This was part of my list of 29 Things to Do Before I Turn 30 list. So I checked one milestone off! I am exploring choices for jewelry that I previously ignored because I haven’t worn earrings since I was thirteen.   I’ve got six weeks more until I can change out the studs.

4. Ugh Mug

Yup. Some mornings feel like this. Some days feel like this. Coffee always helps. Laughing too. And mugs that you can wrap your hands around. Find warmth. Comfort. Sip. Sigh.

5. Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap

Some folks at work really value sustainability. We use all natural cleaning products and reusable mugs, and cloth napkins at our office. At first it was an adjustment. Now, as a result, my behaviors at home are starting to change. I’m starting to replace a lot of my toxic cleaning materials with Dr Bronners products and I love how versatile they are. Next thing to replace, toothpaste.

Check back next month to see if I’ve made my own cloth napkins.

Now, where are my mini eggs?

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So Here is a Question…

So here is a question. Are you a Trader Joe’s person? You will know, right away, if your answer is yes or if your answer is no. These Trader Joe’s people – they know what I mean.

I, for the longest time, was not a Trader Joe’s person. Until recently, this phrase referred to a phenomenon that was foreign to Colorado residents. We did not have the amazing snacks, the two-buck Chuck, the affordable produce. On trips growing up when we went to Chicago, or Portland, or Seattle my mom would drag me to the store to get her favorites and I would think, “oh, for heaven’s sake, this is JUST a grocery store.”

I carried this opinion with me until this week when I went shopping for my little book swap party. My town did not even have a Trader Joe’s until about a month ago. Sure I could drive an hour south, or an hour west, but that wasn’t going to happen just for some snacks. When our local store opened, I mocked the visitors who stood outside for hours waiting to get in.

However, if you are considering snacks for dinner (one of my personal favorites) I am now going to endorse Trader Joe’s as the place to go. I think I spent $40 and got snacks for ten women, a ton of chocolate, and my Easter lilies. I’ve been converted. There is beauty in snacks – can I get an AMEN? There is beauty in the simplicity of a “neighborhood grocery store.” Although, I won’t dwell on the fact that this store is certainly not in my neighborhood. Instead I drove twenty minutes to the store from work and then to my house. I guess the small grocer feel is growing on me. As much as a small grocer feel can exist given the nature of a franchise, national distribution, and competition, if you can call 7-11 a corner grocery store. Give things a second or third look – it can change your opinion if you look past your own snoodiness (ok, ok, my own snoodiness. And yes, snoodiness is a word. Just for tonight.) My flowers still smell enchanting.

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I feel like this past week flew by in a blur. We had three family celebrations, each with their own beautiful quirks of family interaction and dynamics. I participated in an egg hunt and opened not one, but two Easter baskets. I am swimming in chocolate eggs. Come hang out with me and I will share. You can pick from Cadbury Mini Eggs to Almond M&Ms. I am thrilled that my families still partake in traditions that delight and spoil me. Confession: I did not go to church this year. I actually missed it. There is beauty in tradition, and spiritual practice, and ritual that for me, ties and connects me to a higher power. I still texted my mom, “HE IS RISEN” and was glad she texted back, “HE IS RISEN INDEED”. It’s odd not saying that in a formal church setting, but I’m learning to carry components of religion and tradition in my own heart and answer those questions in each different stage of life.

I delight in celebrations and the beauty of warm days. Of winter turning into spring. Of promise in looking at things in a different way. Of sunburns and lemon bars and ham with cheesy potatoes.

So, really, are you a Trader Joe’s person or what?

Essie: No polish this week

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Biscotti: I bought some at Trader Joe’s. Chocolate hazelnut. It’s delicious. OH! and I got a cookbook with only biscotti recipes in my Easter basket. Bring on the baking inspiration! Do you think I can get almond paste at Trader Joe’s?

So here is another question. Does Trader Joe’s really not have a Twitter account?