{SQT} Our Easter Menu, A Hospital Stay, And Hoping For The Best

Come along for some non-contagious Quick Takes plus a few affiliate links at the bottom. I need to disclose them here or risk having someone in a dark suit show up at my door!


My last two weeks can be summed up in one word: vomit. Through the solemnness of Holy week and through the joy of the Resurrection, I’ve been nursing Teddy, and then Fulton through a pretty intense stomach bug. Teddy managed to ride it out at home, recovering just in time to enjoy his Easter break. Unfortunately, Fulton woke up sick in the wee hours of Easter Sunday, and as he continued to deteriorate into Monday, we had to make the trip to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.


After 40 days of abstaining from sweets, and after missing a huge Easter dinner, it didn’t seem fair to prolong Fulton’s lent with a bout of dehydration and non–stop nausea. But thankfully after three nights in-patient and lots of IV fluids, we were able to bring him home and allow him to finally sample the contents of his Easter basket. Alleluia!


I know a lot of people like to put books, toys, games and non-candy items in their children’s Easter baskets, but for our family, after a Lent of no sweets, we enjoy NOTHING BUT CANDY. And not just your average Hershey’s, no, we go gourmet. This year featured large Italian hollow chocolate eggs, a tub of sea salt caramel, and chocolate covered pretzels topped with mini M&Ms….among many other goodies. Sure, we all go through sugar highs and crashes and usually one of the younger kids throws up, but candy never tastes as good as those first couple days of Easter.


Illness has interfered with our Easter plans before, but thanks to a vigilant nurse by Fulton’s side (and our misplaced optimism that he’d be fine in no time!), we managed to stick with our menu and prepare quite the feast (of which there are still leftovers for Fulton to enjoy).

  • leg of lamb, smothered in garlic infused olive oil and rosemary
  • lamb gravy made with pan drippings and bourbon
  • mashed potatoes
  • roasted snap peas with bacon and mushrooms
  • snow crab legs
  • dinner rolls made with spelt flour
  • ricotta pie (one plain, one with pineapple)
  • cannoli

Easter is really Tony’s time to shine. He prepared the lamb and gravy, baked the rolls, and made the pies and cannoli with the assistance of the older kids. After one more meal of leftovers, we’ll throw some lamb in the freezer for a Good Shepherd Sunday shepherd’s pie.


Like a good mother, I tried to be fully present and supportive during my sons’ illnesses. I tried to not fret and worry about them…..or the many, many things I was not getting done. When I watched over Teddy, I consoled myself by thinking “Well, I may not get a lot of conference stuff done this week, but I can just cram a few more things into next week and let the house get a bit messier.” As I sat at CHOP, where it seems you should have time, but yet the hours get eaten up through bedside tasks and endless visitors, I knew I just had to throw up my hands in defeat and hope that the details of my conference ‘Accepting the Gift’ would figure themselves out. Thankfully, it is coming together and I think it’s going to be an exceptional event. I hope you’ll be joining us.


I started trying to scale back on social media, to prepare for totally shutting much of it down in May. Besides, if doing so could give me a few more minutes to collect vomit or worry about my conference- why not?! So, I took Instagram off my phone, and started unfollowing pretty much everyone on Facebook. I don’t miss Instagram. I’ve checked it a couple times on my laptop, but, I’ve felt like sharing there less and less anyway, so deactivating my account entirely might not be necessary as just deleting the app seems to have done the trick. Same with Twitter. I learned however that Facebook works really hard to suck you in. Once you start unfollowing every person, page and group, you start getting more advertisements, and more “[friend’s name] commented on this” or “[friend’s name] liked this” So I see tons of content not directly related to the few people I am following in an effort to get me to interact with fresh content or like/ follow new stuff. It’s practically impossible to only see the most recent posts from the few people you care to see. The experience is less enjoyable this way, but still a distraction. Deactivating seems the only option, but there are a few important groups and people I only interact with on Facebook, so I’m still trying to figure out a way to keep up with this small handful outside social media, or find away to keep my account active while reducing the dopamine trigger.


I’m keeping a book close at hand for when I feel the urge to jump online and waste time. For so long, this didn’t work because I didn’t really want to read ‘War and Peace’, but I’ve got a nice stack of books pulled from the boxes in the basement library (still no shelves) that I’m working through now. I enjoyed the first part of ‘Thinking in Bets’, but the later chapters focus on applying the author’s decision making techniques to professional life and big business which I find less interesting. But her premise -which is how to make good decisions based on limited information- comes from her experience as a poker champion. It’s made for fascinating reading, and also helped me forgive myself for some past decisions. Then I raced through ‘Comfort Me With Apples’ which I’d picked up for free on a whim, and now I’ve added three more of the author’s books to my ‘To Read’ list. Currently, I’ve got a copy of ‘Nabokov’s Favorite Word is Mauve‘; so I went from reading about a food writer to reading about what the words a writer chooses to use say about them personally, and our habits as readers. It’s amazing what some statistics and a computer program can do in the right hands.

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  1. I don’t know what other books you picked up by Ruth Reichel, but I really enjoyed Garlic and Sapphires about her time as a food critic. Her novel, Delicious was also very good. Happy reading!

  2. I read your Easter menu and was like, “This is a joke, right? She’s going to say, “Haha, actually we had macaroni and cheese and random chips and salsa because of all the craziness!” But no, apparently you really did have that unbelievably gourmet spread!!!!

  3. I totally agree with cutting down social media. It’s ironic that I like Twitter the least but I have the most followers there. On the other hand, Instagram is my jam, but I only follow pretty, homey, inspiring people there so it’s really a treat to look at my feed there.

    Sorry about all the vomit! My oldest once vomited on the top bunk when he was 12 years old. We called it the Dorito vomit waterfall – Now it’s almost legendary – family lore!

    Hang in there. You’re doing great!

  4. I am kind of over the whole social media game as well. I eradicated my news feed, deleted FB on my phone. I’ve just been posting what I need to for my business and find less and less joy in even doing that. There is that difficulty of the people I only connect with on Facebook, though. I ditched Twitter awhile ago and never looked back.

    I’m glad that the boys are doing better. What a very Lent-y start to the Easter season. If I can do anything to help with the conference, you know where to find me.

  5. Of course Fulton ended up in the hospital this week — Satan knew the conference was going to be grace for SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many people and couldn’t stand for that to happen!
    (He also might be slightly cranky about being reminded yet again that he lost at that Jesus rising again thing…)

  6. The ONLY holidays that I have not been in the hospital for are my birthday (after the obvious!) and Christmas. Everything else–we’ve done it at least once. I feel your pain.

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