easter was so memorable this year (and action-packed, as proven by the many photos in this post)!  jason and i had planned to spend a quiet easter at home as usual, but when i heard that my little sister was traveling from north carolina and my parents were driving from memphis to atlanta to visit my older sister and her family, i started thinking about all the fun arden would have spending her first easter surrounded by lots of family.  so after much agonizing thought and discussion, jason and i decided to split for easter: jason stayed in memphis to do that ‘work’ thang, and arden and i hopped in the car with my parents for a fun 5-day mini-vacation!

but let’s back up a bit.  before easter, arden received a couple of surprise packages in the mail.  i snapped these cute photos of her ‘opening’ the one from grammy, which included a sweet card and a glittery board book, my easter basket, which tells the story of the resurrection.  i also photographed her opening a package from nonna (jason’s mom) but stupidly deleted the pictures from my camera, thinking i had already uploaded them to my computer.  ARGH!  it was a(nother!) package from koo koo bear boutique in atlanta and included a stuffed lamb, a new bib, a monogrammed handkerchief-type bib and an adorably vintage-looking dress.

ummm, this kid’s not spoiled at all, is she?!

now, onto the trip!  when we arrived in atlanta, cousin lee wasted no time greeting arden with LOTS of kisses and hugs.  i took many photos of this experience, but this is my favorite.  i love how lee is gently strangling arden, yet her facial expression is so calm and accepting of his love attack.  hey, if you’re gonna dish it, ya gotta take it too!

my family has a hard time sitting still and doing nothing but laying around the house in our pajamas.  WAIT.  that’s a total and complete lie.  we are the masters of these things!  but we are also great at forcing ourselves to get up and outta the house for activities.  (maybe it’s the almost-2-year-old toddler zooming around the house that reminded us we all needed some exercise?!)  on good friday, the ladies and kiddos walked over to a nearby cafe for lunch, and on the way back, we ventured through what has become lovingly known over the years as ‘scary tunnel.’  it offerred a nice break from the sunshine, and arden enjoyed admiring the authentic graffiti!

on saturday, the whole family hiked around the chattahoochee river national park – something i’ve been wanting to do for years!  (honestly, i’m not sure exactly where we were, or i would tell you more about it, and how to get there.)  it was a lovely way to spend the morning: a true escape from the city.  and i am sure we’ll be back many times as the kids get bigger and better-able to walk long distances.  arden enjoyed her ride in the ergo carrier, and lee learned rock-skipping skills from bryan and my dad.  (for some reason, we took this photo of only the girls…. i wish we had the guys in it too.)

finally, easter morning arrived, and arden received not one, but two easter baskets!  apparently, the memphis easter bunny and the atlanta easter bunny didn’t coordinate their efforts, so she got double the bunny-visits.  no complaints from arden though!  some of her favorite toys are (still) the bathtub maracas and remote control.

lee had his first real egg hunt, since he wasn’t quite walking last easter.  we all had fun helping him find the eggs, even though some weren’t hidden too well (see photo with my mom’s foot below).  after each round of egg-hunting, he would look at my sister, amelia, and say, “again?!”  so the eggs would be hidden again while someone distracted lee, and the hunt would ensue again.  this went on for a while…. until lee realized there was candy inside the eggs and sat down to stuff his face!

then we attempted a photo shoot with lee and arden.  you can see the better pics in my april post, ‘hoppy easter!’  but this ‘fail’ photo makes me giggle every time i look at it, so i had to share it.  lee looks so miserable posing with all the props and his knee boo-boo, but arden seems elated to be chewing on her bunny ears!

a couple of milestones were happening with arden during the trip.  she was on the verge of crawling, but didn’t make her first move until a couple of days after we returned home.  (she was waiting for daddy to see her, i think.)  but she did lots of leaning forward on her hands and slapping the floor, squealing with delight all the while….

…. and she began pulling up on things.  lee’s music table (still a favorite) and jungle gym really encouraged her.  she especially loved this monkey, and would pull up and chatter to him face-to-face!

in the end, it was definitely worth missing daddy and making the trip.  nonna was even able to visit for a while one day, so the grandparents were all happy to be with the kids and make special memories for arden’s first easter!