Notes from Passover Lunch and Easter Brunch

Apologies for a quiet few days. But also WHEW that was nice -- stepping away from ye old computer and frolicking around beaches and gardens and tree houses, oh my. There's quite a bit I want to recap these next few days -- a hundred thousand things went down this last week -- the highs and lows of being human. Life, you bastard! YOU BEAUTIFUL THING! YOU'RE A SINNER, YOU'RE A SAINT AND I DO NOT FEEL ASHAMED!

I have a hundred posts in my fingers, which is one of the wonderful things about stepping away. Breaks break us open. Humpty Dumpty dot gov.

Anyway.... I wanted to start with some notes from Passover and Easter because this year we experimented with a "lunch" seder and it was HUGELY successful. My mom found this wonderful (30 minute!) haggadah online and Archer (who just started Hebrew school) and Fable (who can now read on her own) were 100% engaged for the first time. I am all for the long seder for adults but it can be tricky trying to motivate small children to sit quietly for that long. SO! We did a "Cliff Notes" seder" and it ruled.
photo paper shank bone c/o Fable

All four kids participated in the various dippings and tastings and we had a beautiful time together dining on maror, matzo, egg, charoset, matzo ball soup and gefilte fish, which I hear is your favorite.

P.S. Here's a fun resource for kids and adults looking to get excited about the story of Passover, plague of frogs and all.

After the seder the kids played outside and ended the day with a giant chalk mural on my parents' cul-du-sac and a family guitar-a-thon. It was kind of a dream... until Bo stubbed her toe on a tire and tore it open. But after ten bandaids that weren't good  enough because they weren't the right color/size/cartoon, all was well and right in the world again. 
We do Easter Brunch in Nana's garden every year (I've written about it every year since forever) and this year was my favorite of all the other years, mainly because my kids and their cousins got to really bond and hang and hold hands and find eggs and go on walks down to the beach and and and...
IMG_6911 My cousin Erica and her daughters, Jade & Ruby
IMG_6633 IMG_6898 Thank you, Linda, for the air plants and the goodies! So fun!
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My Nana lives in Del Mar in the home my great-grandmother's husband built for her and my grandfather. My mom and aunt grew up there and it's my favorite house in the world. It overlooks the ocean and the garden is magic always, but especially in the Spring.
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We have brunch in the lower garden (here are some recipe posts on brunch foods from the past) with flowers everywhere and birds and ocean and heaven... Truly.
Every year I pinch myself all over again. What a place. What a life. What a Nana...
I am crazy fortunate to call these moments home. Year after year, to return to this place with my growing children who are no longer toddling around but standing. Walking. Running. Hiding. Holding their own hands as they search for eggs... 
To love and light and boogers and death glares and frogs falling from the sky and flowers and flowers and flowers. 
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My cousin, Emma playing this song on her guitar as the sun came down. The kids started drawing and then the teens and twenty-somethings joined in and soon enough everyone was arting it up all over this piece and it was BEAUTIFUL. Music and voices and art and Nana in her chair and parked. A flashmob of arrows and rainbows and footprints and designs... voices. Generations. Family. 
It doesn't take much to turn a familiar street into a new adventure. What a trip it is to revisit the same places year after year and to see them differently every time. What a thing to watch arrows appear beneath your feet...  to watch children grow into adults. To retrace footprints, kick new paths... all in the same gardens.

To pressing pause.
Then pressing play...

...On random shuffle.