Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! Blessed Easter to everyone! This year was the first year I have ever been away from family on a holiday. It was an odd feeling...like I suddenly aged over the course of a weekend because I was on my own making plans for a holiday and not able to spend it with family. Growing up, holidays have always been about traditions and spending time with family, but this year, the only traditions I had involved making food and my "family" consisted of nuns, friends, and strangers I just met today. It was a nice Easter and I of course enjoyed celebrating Christ's resurrection, since that is what Easter is truly about, but I still wish I was home with family.
So here's a rundown of what my weekend looked like:
Saturday, I went to the driving range and taught a friend how to play golf. It was "demo day" at the course, so since I broke my 3 wood club during the winter, I tested for free a Nike and a Ping club. Wow! Nice clubs! I had to keep reminding myself that that single club cost more money than my entire set of golf clubs but oh I really wanted to fork over my credit card. It was tempting. Anyways, it was a gorgeous day outside and great being at the range. That evening, I went to Easter Vigil for the first time ever. I went with a couple people to a church across the street from me and it was a beautiful mass. It started with the blessing of fire outside the church from which the Easter candle was lit and will remain lit throughout the church year. 7 people came into the Catholic faith through baptism, first holy communion, and confirmation. It really was a moving service and I intend to go from now on to Vigil. It lasted from 8-11pm and then I went back with a couple nuns to their convent to celebrate Easter and eat empanadas. Yum! The nuns are wonderful women of God and I feel very blessed that they invited me to share Easter with them. All young women studying to go out into the mission field and evangelize the Gospel....inspiring! My friends and I were at the convent until 12:45am at which point one of them left, and the other friend and I decided to go back to church and experience the Ethiopian/Eritrean mass going on. Very cool to hear Vigil being said in their native language. We stayed there until 2am and then I finally went to bed :)
Today (Easter Sunday), I woke up and went to the convent to have morning liturgy, breakfast, and then on to the National Basilica for mass at noon. It was the chorale mass broadcast live on EWTN. I sat with the nuns and had a great view of everything! Plus, apparently I was on tv a bit during mass! Yippee! A movie star for God! Mass lasted about 2 hours and then I came back home and started cooking for another group of people who were coming at 4pm for a potluck Easter dinner. Half were Jen's coworkers, so they were strangers turned friends by the end of the evening :) We played frisbee and a little kickball with CJ's birthday ball and ate our dinner on a card table outside because the weather was just wonderful. I bought a spiral ham and made corn pudding and a potato casserole so I would have some traditional Easter food, and the other people brought lamb burgers, spinach salad, potato salad, hummus, red velvet cake, and a brilliant blue cake with pretty green and pink frosting and Easter gummies - thank you Andrew for the "creative" Easter cake....I can only wonder how much food coloring it took to turn cake batter that intense of a blue!
I'm exhausted after this weekend but it was a nice time...different not being home, but nice nevertheless.