Resurrection Celebrated in Finished Dresses

I tied the last knot at 11:30pm on Easter Eve, but I DID finish.DSC_0731

The girls stood in front of my bathroom mirror in their slips, as I secured their bows in their hair, and I was dumbfounded by how beautiful they were before those dresses ever went over their heads.  DSC_0736My little chicken wings.

DSC_0747 But go on ahead and look close at that smocking…


It doesn’t compare in the least with the little ladies it adorned on Easter morning, but it was beautiful…if I do say so myself 🙂

DSC_0771But this year, for the first time in the history of my life, there was a boy to get ready for Easter morning.

DSC_0775I left the pink rosebuds off of his tiny smocked panel, but he couldn’t help but look like a little rosebud himself.


And I think he was feeling a little cocky about it…DSC_0795

It takes a real man to pull off a smocked bubble.  I’m laughing out loud right now.

But y’all know how I like to tell you the truth behind our posed pictures, so before I venture into our lunch, let me clue you in.  The weekend before Easter we made another impromptu run down to the beach.  We were sitting in Thomas doughnuts, when Jeremiah casually mentioned that he would be taking call the next weekend… … …

“That’s Easter!” I said, flabbergasted.  “You mean the weekend after that, right?  You called and asked me about taking call on April 15th, not April 8th!”

“I’m taking call April 15th too, but I’m on call this weekend as well.  I didn’t realize this weekend was Easter.”

Now, when I tell you that I’ve been smocking every single free second I’ve had for the past three weeks, I’m not exaggerating.  And when the culmination of all that work was finished–he was going to miss it.  We’d talked about joining the church that Sunday.  How was I going to do Easter morning–the bunny, the dresses, the cooking, the pictures, getting out the door and into the church wearing HIGH heels, carrying a heavy pumpkin seat, a diaper bag, a Bible and two little girls??  And all this smocking and dreaming of Sunday morning as a family and the charter member of our Maddox family was going to be MIA.  I had some teary eyes and some angry words over my doughnuts.

For all those stressful reasons, when Kendall showed up in my bathroom at 8 am on Easter morning and said, “Tell me what I can do to help,” I felt like God had answered my prayers in a wonderfully tangible way.  Thank you Kendall.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  She took all of those pictures above, and got the girls dressed, and let me bark lots of other orders like, “Grab a bib!  No, not that bib, a pretty bib.  Oh, and a good burp cloth.  No, well, we can use that one in the car but we need a different one for his diaper bag…”

Even without Jeremiah, we did manage to make it to church, and then we went to Dad and Konie’s for lunch, where Konie had done something AMAZING.


Grandma, Grandpa, Mimi, a smattering of sisters, brother-in-laws, aunts and uncles…and plenty of food brought by all.



And I wasn’t the only one who had some extra special help that morning.  Jeremiah’s Dad and his sister Ashley both showed up at the hospital to help Jeremiah get through his morning duties so that he could join us for lunch.DSC_0821

Mary Aplin lovin’ on Mama B.DSC_0817

The start of the Easter egg hunt.DSC_0830

Grayson, my cousin Webb’s little boy.  Does anybody have a spoon?  I want to eat him and his sweet little personality right up.

He joined in the hunt with the girls.DSC_0850

And you can believe that his attitude was a lot better than this one’s 🙂  Here Mary Aplin is taking her time out.DSC_0865

And here we are enjoying our time out.  That’s me back there, lounging in the sun in my Sunday dress.  Taylor, who had yet to see the light of day this Spring ;).  And Kendall who “slipped into something a little more comfortable” after church.  DSC_0842

After the egg hunting got old, the girls had their way with poor, unsuspecting Grayson.DSC_0870

Jay Paul, watching from the distance, began to worry about his future with two older sisters.DSC_0872

But I reassured him that, while he will probably find himself dressed as a princess from time to time, he’ll always remain our little buddy man.DSC_0876

Grandma was just happy she got to sleep instead of sew all night this Easter.  That isn’t true, really.  She just loves watching her great-grand-babies.DSC_0882

I guess now is as good a time as any to let you know that Jay Paul has acquired a new nickname–and it’s a strange one.  He’s still buddy man, but just as Mary Aplin became Mapple Dapple and then became plain Dapples.  So has Jay Paul become Bay Ball and now…Baybus.  I know, I don’t understand it either.  Pace is just thankful that her name was short to start with.  Baybus gets kissed so much and so often, that sometimes he has had enough.

But all in all, I think he had a good first Easter.DSC_0885(You can see here that Keke did manage to find a pretty, Sunday bib for his diaper bag :))

But, after all that sillyness, let me say, “He is risen!!  He is risen, indeed!”

17 Responses to “Resurrection Celebrated in Finished Dresses”

  1. margaret says:

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! LOVE the sweet pic of you dressing that precious baby boy! So sweet!

  2. Nancy says:

    What a wonderful post! I love it!!
    You did an AMAZING job. I always love your writing & pictures.
    We have a “Biggy” and a “Tingy” so I can relate to the nicknames 🙂
    My Mom calls me “Clee” sometimes since my name is Nancy Lee, turned into a shorter version. 🙂
    Happy Day to you!

  3. Katie Snow says:

    Those dresses are breathtaking Abby! Beautiful Easter photos as well! We have silly nicknames for our three too. I’m not really sure how they happened, but they just happened and they stuck. Our kids are little too so not too much opposition at this point, but I’m certain it will come:) Perhaps even in the form of teenage filled anxst……am I the only one dreading those years?! Happy Easter to you! He is risen indeed!

  4. Vicki says:

    What a pleasure it is to have a window into the Maddox family! I am amazed that you were able to get all 3 done and still tend your chicken wings. They, outfits and children, are beautiful and I know you feel blessed beyond measure even on those days you are so tired it seems like almost to much trouble to get ready for bed.

  5. Jan Peel McGregor says:

    Love the post! Can’t wait to print and show my mom. The smocking was amazing! The whole family was beautiful! Loved seeing the girls in Dothan Eagle the other day they are precious!

  6. Amee Love says:

    I love their beautiful dresses and the sweet little bubble! Love, love, love pale blue especially at Easter! The smocking is just perfect! I learned to smock when Emily was a year old and it can be quite addicting. I only had Emily at the time and smocking her dresses consumed most of my time. Couldn’t imagine smocking 3 outfits at once! You go girl!! :0) You have a beautiful family who loves you very much. So glad to have finally met you in person.

  7. Ashley says:

    Abby, I am a frequent reader and just had to comment. I have 4 children: 9,7 and 3 year old twins. I LOVE Easter. The big boys wear seersucker suits, the twins wear beautiful heirloom creations made of batiste cotton embellished with french ecru lace. My husband works at the hospital where we live. He is a nurse anesthetist and takes call once a month. Well of course he ended up with call Easter weekend. I thought surely someone without FOUR children could take call…i digress. So Sat. night at 10 pm the phone rings…the surgery desk telling him there would be a case at 8 AM Sunday morning. He let me know he wouldn’t be able to go with us. I nearly cried. The easter bunny hadn’t even come yet. The children’s outfits were laid out and I could do it, but I wanted us all together, this Sunday more than the rest. It was Easter after all!! Anyway I tell you this because I felt so selfish wanting us to all be together this Sunday in our finest Easter clothes. I so identified with your post. Another mama out there who wanted the same for her sweet family and she had even sewn the outfits herself!!! Abby not only are you a gifted writer but a wonderful seamstress. Those 3 outfits are absolutely stunning. How blessed your children are to have such a thoughtful and gifted mother!! Glad your husband was able to join y’all for lunch. Keep writing, I so enjoy keeping up with your beautiful family.

  8. Emily says:

    Pardon me, but I just have to ask: did you do the lace work and construct all three garments in addition to your smocking? I’m in amazement! I have to begin my two girls’ dresses in January (at the latest), and then I’m usually up burning the midnight oil at the sewing machine Easter Eve and sewing the hem and buttons Easter morning. Seriously, I’m in complete amazement!

  9. Emily says:

    Gorgeous Abby!!!!!!!!!! What a fantastic job on the dresses and you ALL look so beautiful. Will you teach me?

    • Barbara says:

      I’m with Emily…did you smock and assemble all in three weeks?? You go girl!!! Beautiful work, amazing!!!

  10. Krista says:

    The dresses are amazing and those children look absolutely adorable in your handiwork. Love smocked clothes and would love to be able to smock my daughter’s things. Looks like y’all had a wonderful Easter.

  11. lori says:

    I didn’t even realize that could be done by hand. What alot of work.

    Lovely picutres of everyone.

  12. Kellie says:

    Absolutely amazing Abby! Priceless work carrying on your mother’s traditions and passions. Beautiful dresses and keep Jay Paul in those smocked lacey girly things as long as possible – he will have the rest of his life to sport polos and pants!!!! 🙂

  13. Heidi says:

    The outfits are adorable. The socking is beautiful. Have hand smocked a few things in my life and I now own an smocking attachment for my sewing machine. Am jealous of the fact that you are all in short sleeves and linen outfits.

    When it gets too hot there this summer y’all should come visit us. We just bought a house with a pool to attract visitors 🙂

  14. Ashley says:

    Abby, I just read your recent post – I was going to ask you a lot of questions about putting those dresses together! I am about to start something for my two (plus one, due summer)…I agree about walking into the shop and being overwhelmed. Oh, my! We have a shop here, similar to yours in Dothan – I need to get to know those ladies a little better before I undertake this new project! Beautiful, beautiful work, though – even if you had help 🙂

    PS. Do you have any heirloom patterns that you have done and thought more simple than others?

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I’m not worthy. I’m not worthy. These are amazing! What incredible heirloom pieces you have made for your family. Looks like such a lovely Easter.

  16. Beautiful!!! You did an outstanding job on the beautiful Easter outfits!
    Baybus look just like your dad!!!
    Miss you sweet girl!

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