Easter is my favorite holiday. Regardless of your faith or lack of, Easter for me represents new beginnings and hope for a better tomorrow. A few years ago I lost my joy in the holiday. This is my journey with Easter. My Easter miracle. 

I was born on Easter 1981, and so began my love for Easter. As a little girl, the holiday seemed perfect. We'd gather together at my Grandparents house and embark on a huge Easter egg hunt on their square-acre property. We'd eat chocolate and hard-boiled eggs until we were sick.

When I became an adult and started a family of my own I wanted the holiday to look exactly as it was in my childhood memories and I was so disappointed when it wasn't.

I haven't lived by my family since I was 20 years old. My two kids have missed out in the joy of having grandparents and cousins who live in the same town. They are too far away to gather for Easter dinner or egg hunts. In the wake of my divorce, holidays have become even more lackluster and "not the way I planned."

Three years ago, my relationship with Easter was at a grand low point. I had invited my only relative nearby (my father's brother) for Easter dinner, but he and his family canceled on me last minute. I decided to persist ahead and make the Easter dinner I had grown up with as a little girl for my own family of four. Ham, rolls, three different salads, deviled eggs, asparagus, etc. I slaved in the kitchen for hours and when it was all done, my children proclaimed that they didn't like any of it and my then husband seemed frustrated by my efforts in the kitchen and my lack of effort in other areas of our household.

At that point, I snapped! I poured myself a huge glass of wine, chugged it in front of the kids, and went to church buzzed on an empty stomach. After ignoring the Easter message, I came home with a monster headache and spent most of the day in bed while my husband tried to entertain the kids. I thought "I Hate Easter!!" It's nothing like I wanted it to be for my children. They are lonely and bored on what should be a day of family and fun. I later learned the problem was not Easter, or not having family nearby, or picky children, the problem was within myself.

I thought that Easter was about specific traditions that had to be executed a certain way. I was completely missing the point of the holiday and I was focused on what I didn't have instead of what I did.

Over the next few years, I challenged myself and my expectations. One year we visited family in Utah, but since I had to be back for work in the morning we missed family dinner and ate at the only restaurant we could find open, McDonald's.

Last year I invited my ex-husband over for a much simpler dinner and much simpler expectations.

This year I am blessed to have my Mother in town. She traveled hundreds of miles to be with me on my birthday and to be with us for Easter. We are making the traditional dinner, but that's not what makes the holiday magical for me again.

Through my journey with Easter, I have gained gratitude. I am so blessed to have two children that I get to hide Easter eggs for and buy Sunday clothes for and who will still probably be picky at dinner.

My heart aches for my friend Allie in Melba who is spending what will probably be her last Easter with her 8-year-old son who has terminal brain cancer. My heart hurts for my brother's girlfriend who's mother died suddenly this week and who she had to bury yesterday.

Easter is not about eggs and ham and bunnies. Easter is about grace and learning to bloom in whatever you are going through in life.

May your day be blessed and if you need to change your attitude towards holidays as I did I hope my Easter miracle will become yours in learning to find joy in the journey and acceptance of the life's imperfections.