Bleary-eyed, Shannon creeps into Magnolia's room, gently lifts her out of her crib and buckles her in her car seat, hoping she'll stay asleep, or at least sleepy. It's 4:30 am and we're on our way to our church's sunrise Paschal liturgy.
No such luck; Magnolia thinks the middle of the night is hilarious and giggles the entire half hour drive. At least she's not crying, but all parents know that manic giggling like this is usually a harbinger of crankier times to come.
Pascha (another word for Easter) is the most anticipated holiday at our church, even more so than Christmas.
The service is a huge celebration with tons of symbolism. Magnolia is very attentive. That is, until our priest shouts "Christ is Risen!!" and the whole congregration yells back "Indeed he is risen!" throwing confetti to add to the merriment. This happens several times throughout the service, and every time Magnolia starts shaking and clings to Mama or Papa for dear life. Maggie is pretty easy-going and not scared by much so we were pretty surprised. However, we did savor the snuggles.
After the service, we all enjoy a big breakfast, which breaks a 40 day (vegan-like) fast for those without health concerns, like pregnancy. Magnolia thoroughly enjoyed the strawberries.
After breakfast everybody heads home for a nap--Luckily, Magnolia gave us a 3 hour one, and avoided the anticipated crankiness!--before heading back to church for the annual church picnic. Even though the next picture makes it look like we're total loners, it is a huge party, with lots of food, games, even horseback riding.