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What Easter Means to Me

I’ve been thinking about this post all week as we prepare for Easter weekend and it prompted me to do some research.  I always find it interesting that it feels like the entire world celebrates Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter.  I grew up in a Christian household, so naturally we would celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas and His resurrection at Easter, but why are the stores filled with Santa, eggs and bunnies?  Well, after celebrating Easter and dying eggs my entire life I decided to do a little research.

According to a Pew Research Study from 2012 73% of Americans consider themselves Christians.  Wow.  Does that sound high to anyone other than me? I would’ve guessed that the number would be somewhere below 50%, but in any case it’s interesting.  So, if 73% of Americans consider themselves to be Christians it would totally explain why the stores commercialize Christian holidays – assuming that 73% of their customers would want to celebrate.  So I dug a little deeper – What’s with the bunnies and eggs?

According to Wikipedia, “In Christianity, for the celebration of Eastertide, Easter eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus: though an egg appears to be like the stone of a tomb, a bird hatches from it with life; similarly, the Easter egg, for Christians, is a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave, and that those who believe will also experience eternal life.” To be 100% honest with you – I’ve been dying, hiding and eating Easter eggs my entire life and I never made that connection. But I totally love it.  For some reason the Easter egg feels a little less commercial to me now – thinking about the plastic versions with goodies inside and how that relates to goodness coming from an empty tomb just makes me grin from ear to ear.

But taking it a little further – why do we dye the eggs?  Well, according to that same Wikipedia article, “The custom of the Easter egg, however, originated in the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at his crucifixion. The Christian Church officially adopted the custom, regarding the eggs as a symbol of the resurrection; in A.D. 1610, Pope Paul V proclaimed the following prayer: Bless, O Lord! We beseech thee, this thy creature of eggs, that it may become a wholesome sustenance to thy faithful servants, eating it in thankfulness to thee on account of the resurrection of the Lord.”  How awesome is that?  So not only do the eggs symbolize goodness coming from the empty tomb, but dying them red reminds us of the blood shed at the crucifixion.  And thanks to Pope Paul V, we should also enjoy eating the eggs with our lunch!;-)

Easter circa 1981:-)I really hated “itchy” dresses but doesn’t my brother look sharp in his plaid pants and green Master’s jacket!

easter_1981

Okay, so now we’ve covered the eggs and commercialism in general, but what’s with the bunnies?  I came across this article on Christianpost.com which references an article on snopes.com where the author says that, “The Easter Bunny is German origin. He shows up in 16th century literature as a deliverer of eggs, in his own way a springtime St. Nicholas bent on rewarding the good. Colored eggs were left only for well-behaved good children.”  So the bunny is basically a fairy tale created to justify the delivery of eggs to children on Easter morning.  True commercialism at it’s best.;-)

After doing all of this research I started to really think about what Easter means to me.  Again – I’ve celebrated it my entire life and never really known the meaning of the customs and traditions associated with the celebration of the resurrection.  So when I really look at my heart and why we’ll be celebrating this weekend, is it “because we always have”, “because that’s what Christians do”, or “because it’s a good excuse to eat candy and deviled eggs for lunch.”  Growing up it felt like Easter was all about a big family lunch and a new dress, but now that I’m older it’s taken on a deeper meaning.  This year we’ll be celebrating Easter at a church we love, and I already feel like it’s going to be such a great weekend to be in God’s house praising him for the gift of His son.  I’m so happy that I did a little research this Easter and hopefully if you’ve joined me on this journey you can appreciate these traditions in light of new knowledge.  Happy Easter everyone!

 

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Wondering What’s in My Bag?

Ever wonder what a professional photographer carries in their bag?  Hmm, no, really?  I thought everyone loved photo gear as much as I do!;-) Believe it or not, I do occasionally get asked what kind of gear I use so I thought it would be fun to post a list here on my site for easy reference.  If you’re a technological dork like me you’ll love this list, and if you’re not, then this might be a good page to bookmark for the next time you’re wrestling with insomnia.;-) Click here to check out What’s in My Bag….

sc wedding photographers

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Top 10 on the 10th – FOOD!

I can’t lie, we are obsessed with good food.  I love finding an awesome restaurant or a new recipe that makes my heart sing, so I thought it’d be fun to share some of our food love this month on the 10th!;-) And of course, we’re ALWAYS on the lookout for a new great place to eat or new recipe to try, so please let me know your favorites!

10. Bento boxed lunches – Since I work from home I don’t usually take the time to prepare my lunches and I found myself eating WAY too much.  Prepping my lunches on Sunday for the entire week has really helped me manage portion sizes and it saves time during the day!  This site has given me some great ideas but typically I try to have something high in protein (usually Quinoa) and fruit for dessert.

9. Chicken Biscuit Pie – We have made this dozens of times and each time we end up changing it slightly and loving it even more.  Our latest version came from Paula Deen – we substituted the cream of soup with milk and cream cheese to cut out all of that processed sodium nastiness, but the rest we kept as is. Comfort food at it’s best.

8. Spaghetti Squash – We discovered spaghetti squash about a year ago and when it’s in season we have it at least twice a month.  This is our favorite recipe and it’s crazy how good this stuff is.

7. Stack’s Kitchen – When we’re looking for breakfast or lunch on the weekends we always head to Stack’s.  I can’t possibly do it justice in a description, so just go and thank me later.

6. Breakfast for Dinner – I found a new blog recently that I’m in love with and he has some great breakfast recipes that we’ve been enjoying for dinner.  Hearty enough for dinner and oh, so comforting on a Sunday night.  This recipe for Grilled Sausage with Pimento Cheese Grits totally rocked our world.

5. Baked Goods – I’ve never really considered myself a baker, so I give all of the credit of my success in this area to my girl Annie’s-Eats because she does a fantastic job walking you through the process of making Pizza Dough & Hamburger Buns.  Do it.  I promise it will change your perception of bread making forever.

4. Bahn Thai – If I told you we’ve been to Bahn Thai every Friday night for the last month you might think we’re stuck in a date-night rut.  But I promise you, it’s just that good.  We’ve had sushi, thai food and indian food and not only is the food great, but it’s reasonably priced and yummy with great service.

3. Quinoa – I fell in love with Quinoa a little over a year ago but rediscovered it just a few months ago when I started my Bento box lunches.  Packed with protein and lots of healthy stuff it’s the perfect lunch that tastes good too!  I’m currently obsessed with this Quinoa Chipotle Pilaf and this Quinoa Enchilada Casserole. And I know the question that you’re all thinking – YES, Chris likes it too!;-)He actually asked to have the Quinoa Chipotle Pilaf on the menu for this week!

2. Grill Night! – During the winter months we had a regular Soup Night on the weekly menu that we both LOVED, so now that it’s warming up we decided to schedule a weekly Grill Night to spice things up a bit and it’s quickly becoming my favorite night of the week.  So far we’ve grilled peaches, bananas, pizzas, pork chops and veggie burgers and they’ve all been a huge success.

1.  Maxwell’s Tavern in Waxhaw – In addition to going to Bahn Thai every Friday night for the last month, we’ve also gone to Maxwell’s Tavern every Sunday after church for the last 6 weeks.  Seriously y’all – don’t judge, these restaurants are good so why should we have the constant “where do you want to go?” discussion?  We love the salads at Maxwell’s, but we’ve also had their potato skins, burgers and greek veggie pita and we’ve never been disappointed.  Go, I promise you’ll love it!

Here’s a photo from last week’s grill night – Thai Veggie Burgers on homemade hamburger buns.  YUM!!!

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