I normally take pictures during the holidays, but this weekend was so busy that I didn’t have the energy to even remember to take them.

All day Saturday, we cleaned and prepped for Sunday, because…  We cooked for 19 people yesterday!  For brunch we had some friends over with their kids.  There were 14 of us for that.  We had cinnamon rolls and biscuits & gravy.  If you have followed me for very long, you know that every bit of that was from scratch.  My Grandma’s recipe for cinnamon rolls, (coffee cake,) is a family favorite and a holiday tradition.  I made the biscuits from scratch, (quadruple batch,) while my oldest daughter made the sausage gravy.  Our friends brought o.j. and fruit.

Then I had my parents, my awesome mom-in-law, and my brother, his girlfriend, and their newborn son over.  We made roast leg of lamb using an herb butter and my homemade raspberry mint jam to baste.  We also had an orzo-mint salad and brussels sprout-kale salad, boiled baby gold potatoes with chive butter, & homemade honey rolls.  My mom made a green bean casserole and brought a cake & cupcakes.  My mom-in-law brought apple pie.  I also made a lemon cream tart.  Here is the recipe I always use, created by Dorie Greenspan:

Needless to say we were stuffed and exhausted by the end of Sunday night.

This morning I woke up still a bit tired, but content. I did my regular morning ritual before the kids get up of a cup of hot tea, checking on e-mails and social media, and some contemplation.  It was nice to sit in a house that we’ve spent time fixing up to our liking, having a good time laughing with family and friends the day before, and the promise of a good future.

Last year, from August to December, we had some really crazy things happen to us. But one-by-one, with God’s help and some important decisions on our part, we’ve eliminated and separated ourselves from most of the drama.  Eric lost his job and then got a new one with the same company that allows him to work from home AND he got a raise.  We got renters for our house in TN who are also going to fix it up, so that when they move out, the house there will be ready to sell.  We started Taekwondo classes so that we can, as a family, learn how to protect ourselves from criminals.  We have been able to reconnect with family and heal some old wounds there.  We have been able to work on our beautiful house here and make it a home again.  We are planning a nice, long family vacation later on in the summer.  There’s a lot more peace, joy, and hope all around. We are, most of all, very happy and content.

Musically, things are fitting into place.  I don’t look very busy, but I’m doing a lot of things behind the scenes, mainly a lot of planning.  I have a handful of gigs scheduled this year and some more new music on the way.  I have a lot of ideas that take time to implement.

Yesterday many celebrated the resurrection of Christ.  All around us, our world is coming to life again.  And in our home we are seeing the fulfillment of that tiny spark of hope we had for sunshine and life in our own lives.  The old life is our new life here in Illinois.  And we are really grateful for it.


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