A little Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit for your first day of April. Are you "thinking spring"? A lot of our spring is a bit of a mental magic act right now around here, as there is still snow on the ground (oh, the sad pictures of the little children in the newspapers at the Easter egg hunts around town with their little baskets in the snow!), but it IS melting and we're promised 50's by the middle of the week.
But, Minnesotans are used to a little mental magic when it comes to springtime, and so we head off to the annual Flower Show in downtown Minneapolis at Macy's. Macy's is in stores that used to be the department store,"Dayton's" which may be more familiar to you than you think, as they are the family that founded Target. The downtown Macy's department store is a beautiful, old building with lovely windows on Nicolett Mall and a gorgeous revolving door with a wood frame. The Flower Show takes place on the 8th floor and has a different theme every year (at Christmas they have a Christmas show too). In looking at the Macy's website, I see that flower shows are offered in other big cities as well, each with their own history, as well as variations on this year's theme, the Asian inspired, "Painted Garden." Each area has its own garden designer sponsors and apparently interprets the theme in its own way.
Upon arriving at the 8th floor and stepping off the elevator, one is hit immediately with the fresh smell of flowers and soil - a scent so many of us are starved for at this time of year! The girls and our friends walked down the dark tunnel and were greeted...
by this gorgeous elephant display! Notice, too, the suspended umbrellas in the air. It was a stunning riot of color, pretty inadequately captured by my poor camera, but here are some shots, nonetheless.
Mill City Museum, but when we tried to get off the elevator at the 8th floor, we were stopped on the 4th and directed to get off there. The line was there on the 4th floor, there was an hour wait, and had already served over 2,000 people! And this was just after 11:00 that morning! Liz decided to try another day and we had lunch and visited the museum instead. It was a beautiful show (check out those stunning, blue orchids below), but I couldn't help but think, "Good grief, it's not Disney!"
So, while color was happening in downtown Minneapolis, it's still pretty monochromatic outside around our parts. I was wanting to add some more traditions around our Easter holiday this year that better coincide with and mark the meaning this holiday has to our family's faith. I wanted to bring a heightened sense of anticipation, on this, the highest Christian holiday of the year. I found one wonderful - and colorful - idea over at Dawn's blog. Incidentally, Dawn has so many fun ideas, I hope to do this and this (but with a cross in place of Mary) next year!
While her plan was to add a "stained glass" frame once a week during the season of Lent, I found this idea a bit later on - during the Monday of actual Holy Week - and so adapted it to one per day of our week. It was so lovely and even on cloudy days it really "glowed." I had the girls help me make the frames and I am so glad we did this; it was one of my favorite activities of our celebration this year. I loved putting up a new frame every morning as we made our way toward Easter Sunday and it looked more and more beautiful as the cross began to take shape.
Not wanting to wait for our own flowers outside, I bought some african violets for the kitchen and the living room and I bought one for each of the girls for their rooms too. Eve brought out her little pea pod salt and pepper shaker to add to the spring decoration at the table.
And Trader Joe's had gorgeous ranunculus flowers on sale, so I picked up a couple of bouquets for the living room along with a few daffodils to place in bedrooms too. Ahhh... much better! :) It's feeling like spring inside even if the thermometer is being difficult outside.
The snow continued to melt and the cross took shape.
Old habits die hard and we're not ready to give up our egg-dyeing and hunting quite yet. Supplies were procured and goofiness ensued...
Sunday morning finally arrived and I placed our last frame, this with a lamb and the Scripture, "Behold, the lamb of God." - John 1:36
The girls and I had done some preparations for Easter lunch for after church, so that was all ready to be popped in the oven when we got home. I made caramel rolls for breakfast - a new, welcome tradition! I always do cinnamon rolls at Christmas, so I didn't want to take that, but I love caramel rolls too, and they were eagerly enjoyed!
Simple, little baskets with a few treats along with some new nail color and adhesive designs. The white fabric below was a piece my grandmother embroidered. I had hoped that I would have my little, tabletop cross I'd ordered to be sitting here, but it hasn't arrived yet. Oh well. Something to look forward to for next year!
Another tradition we enjoyed in Florida was shopping for a special outfit for Easter, Christmas, and one, new school outfit with Grandma Jeanette. She was up here for Christmas and we were able to shop with her then, but this time, she sent the girls some money and they chose some special, new outfits for the holiday and for spring. Notice the little girl from the picture in the back. We all had a good laugh over her - she looks like a little ghost riding on Maia's shoulder, photo-bombing our picture! :)
Eve borrowed my sweater, since the morning was cold, but below are the complete outfits they picked out.
I got a new shirt too. I had a little bit of Christmas money left over and bought a couple of things when we went shopping. I tried to buy things with COLOR, as I am really tired of all of my dark, winter items. This coming Saturday is my big, spring shopping day with my sister-in-law, Lena. We had a tradition in Florida when she and her family would come down for spring break, to do some spring/summer clothes shopping at thrift stores in the area and now we're going to do that up here too! I'm so excited! MORE COLOR - bring it ON!
I hope you all had a very blessed Easter wherever you are, thinking about and celebrating the HOPE that this day brings!