The thing about Easter is that it came anyway. Alleluia!
I can't tell you how much joy it has given me to share liturgical living traditions with you guys during this time. Virtual community is community! Seeing you guys with branches on Palm Sunday and bonfires and Easter Candles for the Vigil, seeing you using the beautiful prayers and readings from the booklets and the at home activities from the Compendium, has been a light in this topsy-turvy world. Being particularly useful is my FAVORITE, and I can't help but wonder if the past fifteen years of research into obscure liturgical living traditions and trial and error on my own family, and learning graphic design, and hey, who needs sleep anyway #notme was all for this moment in time, in which the domestic church is more important than ever and liturgical living at home is the only liturgy to which most of us have access.
I'm honestly so honored to be able to be of use in this time which has required so much sacrifice from so many.
Hopefully I will stop being quite as useful very, very soon. Pentecost, I've got my eye on you.
I'm really grateful for your prayers for us, and I get a LOT of DMs on the subject, so I know you're wondering what's been going on with us on a few different fronts, especially health-wise, so here's a quick family update on everyone.
She's seven months old now and couldn't be sweeter. She's such a good, happy baby who lets her siblings tote her around. What did we ever do without her? Babies: not great for productivity, so so good for morale.
George is doing great. He's home and well and a joy to be around. His bout with meningitis is considered a traumatic brain injury, and while he doesn't seem to have any other lingering issues, he has some noticeable dyspraxia of balance and coordination. He was receiving physical/occupational therapies three times per week, which have been discontinued with the shelter at home directive in California. It's a bummer, because he was responding so well to his therapists, and he'll age out of the program on his birthday in July. There are so many kids who are missing out on therapies that are more critical to them than George's. My heart really goes out to them. Anyway, we have just started up some telemedicine conferences and we'll see how those go. And he's got plenty of sibling to chase after!
She's our favorite smiley little grump. Her voluntary Lenten discipline was to give Jack a hug every day, and, whew, it was ROUGH. Thank God for Easter and an end to that trial for her.
She's a very dedicated present maker and has been working on Easter presents for the whole family over the entirety of Lent. I think the best thing was an illustrated little paper chapter book she wrote for Barbara that said "this is the end of this part" at the end of each chapter. The least popular was the homemade playdough, but only because she made it too early and it got moldy. I got a paper hat. Also, she gave up swinging on the rope swing for Lent. It's her favorite, and she came up with the idea unprompted. So sweet.
Frankie almost caught a leprechaun again this year on St. Patrick's Day. But not quite. He ended up with some gold, though.
She's crafty, this one. She's been teaching herself to knit and sew and sculpt. She made a knitted pillow for George, and a necklace of homemade beads for Nana, and some really lovely blown eggs decorated with hot glue and paint. Very cool.
The third of my gift-giving love language types. I didn't notice the fine print and accidentally bought an enormous package of hot glue sticks a few months back, and he's been making sculptures with the glue gun. He WANTS a 3D printer, but this will do for now.
He's been using the quarantine time to draw and hang out with his bees and continue getting taller. So, pretty normal.
She turned sixteen in February (wow, does that ever seem like a long time ago). But with all the hospitalizations of Tierney family members in the fall, we didn't get her a learner's permit in time to get her license on her birthday. She's been appreciating the lack of traffic for her driving practice, but missing her candy striper volunteer duties at the hospital.
Lots going on with Jack. The shelter at home was a sudden end (maybe? probably?) to his senior year, and Student Body Presidency. At least he got to retire as the hits leader of the baseball team after three games. He isn't really suffering the idea of not having a graduation ceremony, but he is bummed to miss out on doing one last self-produced play with his senior class friends. He was "Uncle August" in their completely student-run production of The Importance of Being Earnest just before all this went down. It was so good.
He did not get in to the Naval Academy, which is a disappointment and a surprise for all of us. It seemed like they'd be a great fit for each other, but God's will be done. He got in to my alma mater, USC, and is on the waiting list for the husband's, Harvard. He conceived and produced a pretty epic video message to the admissions board featuring all of his siblings, the zipline for which he holds a U.S. Patent, and a chicken. Maybe I'll share it with you guys if he gets in! 🙏
NANA AND GRANDAD
They've been sheltering with us, which is such a help. I highly recommend the multi-generational quarantine, if you've got the space for it. Fortunately we've got an apartment over the garage. Please note the homemade necklace and my mom's awesome fascinator. And my dad is pointing at the Easter guacamole he made.
Personally, health-wise things are looking good. No miracle cures, but lots of slow and steady heading in the right direction, or at least not heading in the wrong direction. He had some scary side effects from treatment in the fall, but that seems to be resolved, and recent scans are looking good.
Professionally, one would think that a global health crisis would be a good time to be in the healthcare business, but it turns out people don't particularly want to go to urgent care clinics right now. So Jim has been working like crazy to roll out a whole virtual care system for Exer. If you're anywhere in California, you can use the Exer website to access a live ER doctor from the comfort of your home. I'm glad to have it available as a possibility, even once things get back to normal. But here's hoping none of us needs it.
I made one last thing for the shop for Easter! Making/having these liturgical living resources is how I've been doing the quarantine. I wasn't planning to make an Easter version of my printable DIY seasonal sets, but then I realized that having our Lent calendar up was really the only way we had any idea what day it was. So I spent about sixty naptime/late-night hours over Holy Week putting this together! It was nuts. But now that it's all printed and cut out, I'm so so happy to have it. If we're going to be spending so much time in the house, I want it to feel like Easter around here, and maybe we'll get to know some new saints.
Annnnnd . . . I’m almost done with the manuscript for a new book with Ignatius Press! I’ll share more details when it’s actually submitted, but I am really excited to be able to get this book out to you guys! I saw the cover art on Holy Saturday and all of a sudden it felt real! 😆 Anyway, back to edits! It is, of course, currently hundreds of pages too long.
I think that covers it! Remember, Easter is an octave. It is EASTER every day this week through next Sunday, and then the Easter season lasts 50 days, all the way through Pentecost. So keep lighting your Easter candle! And feel free to take things slow, and cut yourself some slack this year. 🙂
And be sure to sign up for the newsletter, if you haven't yet. You'll find it on the homepage in the box that says "subscribe for my latest content" or in the little popup window. Newest CAY team member Grace has been doing a really amazing job compiling all the posts and resources and printables for upcoming feast days into a more easily accessible format, delivered into your email inbox every two weeks, or more often in extraordinary circumstance like we've had the last month! But the plan is once every two weeks.