Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hoppy Easter (a little early!)

Most people have birthday parties.

Many people have 4th of July parties.

Some people have New Year's parties.

A few people have May Day parties.

But my dear friend, Meredith Stillman, has been hosting killer Easter parties for 12 years now. I'm telling you, her annual Easter bash puts Martha Stewart to shame. Every detail is just perfect - down to the icing on each bunny rabbit cookie.

Not only does her lineup of sweet tea, lemonade, and barbeque just scream southern hospitality - the heaping array of various homemade potato and pasta salads, baked beans, fruit trays - it always blows my mind.

And the cherry pie salad. That is a creation of true delight. Delicious pineapple and cherry on the bottom, fluffy sweet cream cheese on the top. I think this is what heaven's clouds are made of. Meredith also whips up gigantic batches of incredible banana pudding - served in glistening chilled trifle bowls - that are a dollop of summer sunshine. I'm telling y'all, she does the food RIGHT. Here is Mere's precious mom, Marcia, putting the final touches on the cherry pie salad!

The decorations have a homespun, casual appeal, and tie together perfectly. I love the way that every table feels special and put together. I love her colorful pastel platters and the cottonball bunny that I'm pretty sure her boys made (not pictured) and the little egg ornaments hanging from the chandeliers.

This party is also a blast for the kids. Between the egg toss, egg hunt (Meredith always hand dyes a bijlliion eggs that are tucked in hidden spots around the yard for the kids to find), sack race, frisbee decorating station, and egg drop - the smiles on the kids' faces never faded once in three hours.

And the piece de resistance?! Every child was sent home with their very own goldfish in a bowl as a party favor. The egg inside the bowl matched the ribbon on the top. And a little baggie of food hung from the side. And the kids put their name on an egg post-it note and stuck it to the side of the bowl to show which one was theirs. I know...the attention to detail is AMAZING.

The best thing about the party, I think, is that Meredith makes each and every guest feel special and welcomed. I know I always do! I can only pray to become as wonderful a hostess, wife, mom, and friend as Meredith someday. She simply inspires me with her incredible generosity and hospitality.

I should say, Meredith is one lucky lady. She has four handsome, caring, smart, fun boys that all adore her. Her husband Vance is one of my favorite people on earth, and his sons are surely growing up to be just like him.

Kellen, Beckett, and Tucker are honestly the closest thing to perfect kids I have ever encountered in my years of babysitting and teaching combined. (Don't get a big head boys...) They are all just so unique and special.

Kellen is the greatest big brother. He devours books, excels at sports, is a good friend to everyone, and loves to build and create things. He is also really good at playing cards - probably because this is a favorite family pastime.

Beckett is the thinker. He has always loved to do puzzles and play games and read books and ask good questions. He was reading with expression at 4 years old - it blew my mind! He is actually going to the Odyssey of the Mind WORLD championships in a few weeks.

Tucker is the spunky, silly, funny, charming one of the bunch. He is rambunctious and loves to play. He gives great hugs. He has this adorable way of cutting his eyes to the side that melts my heart in a second.

With Easter coming up, spending time with this family put my heart in the perfect place of thankfulness. I left the party full of food, but also full of the feeling that family are not just those people who share your DNA, but the people that put a smile in your heart.

Now I know:
Easter is so much more than "Peeps" give it credit for. ;)


  1. You are THE best!!! The pictures are great - and so are you. You are so sweet Jill - Easter party wouldn't be the same without you. Thank you for being a part of our family - I feel so lucky that I've gotten to add you in!!

  2. Love this post Jillian! Thank you for sharing all of this!! I was sad to miss out for the second time of being here in Charlotte, and this post was so great, especially to see the pictures and just to read how you wrote about it! I can absolutely relate to everything you said. Love it. Hope to some day soon meet you..


  3. I concur with everything you said! I have been friends with Meredith since we were 12 - and I was lucky enough to make it to her party for the first time this year. I SO enjoyed celebrating this with Meredith and her family, and with our friends and family. What a special event! Thanks for helping to catch the "magic!"