Easter 2014

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Monday, April 21, 2014 9:17 PM

Easter is such a joyous time for our little family: the glorious reality of the Resurrection, sweetened by memories of two years ago when Vianne Rose came into the world in the wee hours of Easter morning 2012.  Vianne was so taken with all the preparations & wonders of Easter this year and we are loving this whole holidays-through-the-eyes-of-a-child thing, which really does enliven the celebrations for us tired & jaded adults :-).  

With my mom's help the weekend before, I got Vianne's Easter dress done - with a few days to spare this year!

 On Saturday, we did a little Easter egg hunt in our backyard, which thrilled Vianne, who had picked out these sparkly eggs weeks before.

The play by play...

Easter morning, heading out for church.  Isn't she beautiful??!!  She certainly lives up to her name, which means "Alive".  She exudes more life - and more joy for life - than any being I've ever known - and, even more than birds or bunnies or lambs or flowers of spring, reminds me daily of the precious promise of new life. The day before, while eying the treats for Easter on the counter, she exclaimed, "I YUV EASTER!!" and I, humbled at witnessing that beautiful, innocent wonder, prayed in my heart to have that kind of joy for God's gifts to me, at Easter and every day.

 Spinning!  One must spin when wearing a pretty new dress!
 We enjoyed a lovely breakfast at church before the service...
...and after a joyous Easter service, we met Patrick's family back at our house.  Uncle Jon brought Vianne a surprise: her first chocolate bunny, Sweetie!
We had a delicious ham dinner with potatoes and rolls and vegetables...and took a break before dessert for presents from Granma.
Vianne helped everybody with their wrapping paper...
...and then sampled a bit of the ear of her bunny.

Vianne's 2nd Birthday, Part Two: Party with Family & Friends (April 12)

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Saturday, April 19, 2014 2:45 PM

The fun start to Vianne's birthday party weekend: picking up Grandma at the airport.  Even though we had been talking about her coming for weeks, the whole of that morning and the ride to the airport, Vianne still seemed surprised to see her and held her tight without speaking for the first 10 minutes, as if she would disappear if she let go. 

 Grandma brought some more birthday presents from Oregon family & friends. 

 We opened & filled up the sandbox from Grandma, much to Vianne's delight.

Getting ready for the party!  Vianne sat and watched Daddy mow the back lawn like it was a movie :-).
 Helping Grandma with the dishes :-)

On Saturday afternoon, we had a Peppa Pig-themed party in our backyard, with perfect weather!  Here's our little cutie in her party dress and Peppa-inspired rain boots. (Peppa Pig is an adorable British cartoon, one of Vianne's very favorite shows.)
Easy decorations included Peppa Pig mylar balloons, Happy 2nd Birthday balloons, colored Peppa Pig print-outs, and pictures of Vianne from the last 12 months...
 Some Peppa-inspired snacks...(got the Peppa Pig font free off the internet!)

 Party favors: chocolate chip cookies (since there's a lot of cookie making & eating on the show)
 Adding some decor with Grandpa
 Party guests: the Losies & Fialas
 Melissa & Ella
 Cammie, Granma, Uncle Jon, & Ella
 Greeting buddies Joel & Jesse at the gate
Time for cake!  Since Peppa's favorite thing to do (and by extension, one of Vianne's) is "jumping up and down in muddy puddles"), we got a decoration-free white cake from Costco and decorated it with a chocolate frosting puddle and the Peppa Pig family we gave Vianne for her birthday :-).  I thought about having jumping in muddy puddles as a party game but figured I might horrify the other parents...;-)
 Checking out the cake with Great Aunt Pat
 Patrick made two kinds of delicious ice cream: strawberry and chocolate with chunks of Cadbury Cream Eggs (a nod to our sweet Easter-born girl)
 Singing Happy Birthday

 Time for presents!  Vianne got so many fun things & has been playing with all of them on constant rotation since.

 The woofer guitar from Rachelle & the boys is a definite favorite!

 Reading her new Mickey Look & Find book
 Vianne's buddy Canyon with his mama Jaimie
 Rachelle's nephew Aaron (left) and Jesse
 Vianne loves Cammie!

 Joel, Jesse, Sam & Jake

 Vianne and "My Chelle"
 After a lovely time at the party, we got some pizza and hung out with the grandparents.  More presents from Granma & Grandpa - a very cool art table (Vianne calls it "my own desk") with art supplies.

 And some books & an adorable piggy bank!
 Then she gave us an inspirational concert with her new guitar...

 ...and tried out her new blocks with Grandpa.  Such a fun day and a heartwarming memory of how much our little sweetheart is loved!