Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter in Izmir

Paskalya bayraminiz kutlu olsun and happy Easter from Izmir!  We hope that, if you celebrate Easter, you had a beautiful spring day spent celebrating exactly as you wished! We spent our first weekend in Izmir in a few weeks celebrating.

Saturday was supposed to be a day of nothing, but it really ended up being a day of cooking.  We have this tradition that I carried over from my parents' house that Saturdays always start with pancakes.  Sometimes it's waffles and bacon is almost always a welcome addition, but we always do brunch.  It's so nice to spend the morning in our pajamas, eating pancakes and enjoying not having to rush off.  Anyways, I digress.  After our typical pancake breakfast, I prepared the mashed potatoes and the cheese cake for our Easter dinner. 

Sunday, we got up and headed to mass.  On holidays, the church only offers one mass, but it's in Turkish, English, and Italian.  On Christmas Eve, they had the homily in English, as well as one of the readings and a few verses of hymns.  Easter was a little lot different.  There was only one reading in English and our homily was translated on a piece of paper in the bulletin.  I was able to follow along because I've been going to Catholic mass for 27 years and luckily, like most things Catholic, the order of the mass hasn't changed.  Mike was able to read the Turkish in the bulletin, but neither of us walked away with that "Hallelujah! He is Risen!" feeling.  I think we'll have to reassess our church strategy. 

After church, we came back home and prepared our Easter dinner.  I always think of lamb on Easter for some reason, so Mike very willingly agreed to be in charge of cooking a leg of lamb while I prepared all of the sides. 

Mike has made two friends from his school who we invited over to help us eat food.  We were going to make the same amount of food, regardless of how many people we had, so we figured we should enlist some help.  These guys are right out of college guys, so definitely a different lifestyle than us (they came over super hungover from their Saturday night) and aren't even Christian, but they're a lot of fun and can definitely eat.  We had a lot of fun and ended the evening all feeling very full from cheese cake and lots of lamb.  We also played Cards Against Humanity, so any sort of moral points we earned from going to church that morning were washed down the drain after a few rounds of that game.  I don't know if I should be proud or not that I won. 

After Murat and Yashar left, we Facetimed with my family who was at my aunt's house for Easter dinner. Congrats to my cousin J.P. for getting a teaching job as a middle school band teacher starting in the fall after graduation! So proud of my fellow JMU duke!  I love FaceTiming with them because I just get passed around, told the same story a million times, and people are just so excited.  They really know how to make a girl feel loved!

We ended the night with video chatting with this little one and her parents.  Mike and I are enamored with her.  We spent a good 20 minutes last night just watching her roll over.  You would have thought she won an Olympic medal or something.  She's always been really cute, but now that she's up and moving, she's almost too much to handle.  The other day, we were video chatting with her and when she heard our voices, she started flapping her arms and smiling.  I wish I could say she was excited to see us, but I think really she was just more excited about the computer screen itself.  She's been practicing her typing skills pretty frequently. 

Getting some typing practice in.  Gotta increase that WPM!

LOOK AT THOSE FEET!! I can't handle this guys!

Pretty sure Mike and I were holding ourselves back from giving her a standing ovation for rolling over.  What have our lives come to?

"Look guys! I can roll over both ways!"

And because I know you guys love Emma pictures (ha!), here's one of our favorite little Easter rabbit.  She had to go down for a nap while we were chatting, but her mom made sure we got pictures of her post-nap outfit.

Just like Christmas, this Easter was much different than what Mike and I are used to, but it wasn't bad and we had fun making it our own day.  I didn't walk away feeling super inspired or motivated, but I had a great time celebrating.  Until next year, little Emma bunny!  Uncle Mike and Aunty Sarah love you!