The Saddest Easter Egg Hunt Ever

Poor Toby is going through a major separation anxiety phase right now (well, he kind of always is). So, on Easter Sunday, when Alex took Toby outside the church to start hunting for Easter eggs (while I stayed for the end of the service), Toby was not pleased. Alex snapped these sweet shots–oh, what a face! Those eyebrows kill me!!!

Luckily, Toby cheered up once I came out to join them. Funnily enough, he didn’t really “get” the concept of the Easter egg hunt. Why would he put random eggs into a random basket? But then I told him to help me put the eggs “away,” and he got really into it once he thought we were just cleaning up! :)

How was your weekend? xoxo

  1. caro says...

    hi joanna! i know this is an ooold post and the chances of a response are slim, but i’m SO curious… i remember in the post where you talked about the sweet Jizo statue you bought for Lucy, you mentioned not being at all religious. i am just wondering what Easter service you went to in this post. i’m also not religious, but i’m so lost spiritually these days, and i was wondering if there was a service you felt spoke to you as an awesome not religious woman. so sorry if this is too personal a question… not trying to prod! i just love your blog and writing so much, i had to ask for your perspective. xo.

  2. Poor Toby, he is soo cute. I think as a child I used to have separation anxiety from my mom too. She instilled tough love on me, and left me alone more often as I got older…I turned out okay! I mean I went away for uni, and my MA so? That’s one way to deal. I’m sure he will grow out of it regardless though. :)

  3. Anonymous says...

    Joanna –

    I can’t tell you how much I love hearing that you are agnostic/athiest. LOVE. I’m an in-the-closet athiest so it’s nice to see that there are others! :) I just listened to this podcast: the Hooray-theists. You might enjoy it, too! :) Thanks for being so honest! –Megan

  4. Oh Toby, it gets better sweetheart!
    Israel did not like the Easter egg hunt but this year was a little better. He still didn’t rush the field of eggs but by the end he was pretty proud of the basket he (we) filled with eggs.

    Here’s to next year Toby, for you & Israel!

  5. Toby looks like Nick in these pictures :)

  6. These pictures are absolutely adorable. I love that shirt Toby is wearing too. I don’t have any little ones yet, but we did the easter egg hunt thing with my nieces and nephews. It was so fun to watch them running around like mad collecting all the eggs, and so hard to snap any pictures of them! Holidays are the best when spent with kids, a great excuse to re-live the fun and excitement.


  7. thanks for the honesty and openness regarding the religion questions- a lot of people get very defensive/ offended and it’s refreshing to hear someone being very upfront whilst accepting of others! :)

  8. Omg he is sooo cute!!!! this post just made me LOLed : )

  9. Aw, those pictures are just too cute! What really just kills me is he wanted to put the eggs away, haha! Adorable!

  10. oh he is getting so big! adorable…

  11. he looks just like you in these pictures! i also love “a portrait of courage”–so funny!

  12. He is sooooo sweet and looks so much like you Jo!
    Ronnie xo

  13. Anonymous says...

    The first thing I saw was Toby (so sweet) with one egg in his hand. He looks so sad, like he could be in a Dicken’s novel: “Please sir, may I have some more” Then I read on to find out it wasn’t the lack of eggs but the lack of mom!! Hope he brightened up later!

  14. He just looks lost without you! SO adorable!

  15. Where is his outfit from?? Loving those green shoes!

  16. Anonymous says...

    Your baby is sooooooo cute!!!!!!!!! Makes me want to have my own!

  17. He seriously has killer eyebrows. And that fuzzy hair wet down hair. Love!

  18. I love this! My daughter is 16 months old and my mom sort of “prepped” her for an easter egg hunt, meaning for the entire week before Easter while I was at work my mom would put a cheerio in an egg and hide them in the living room. We only did a hunt in our backyard on Easter but I think if she would have had to compete with other kids for the eggs it would have been game over. She really liked picking up the eggs when they were easily spotted but wasn’t much into hunting them and quickly lost attention. Love your posts and stories!

  19. Heartbreaking-ly adorable. Sweet little mama’s boy. xox

  20. Love your posts, Joanna! My boys are 20 months and at this weekend’s egg hunt Theo (my eldest) reached for an egg the same time as another girl. She let him take the egg but the next 10 minutes was him following her trying to give the egg back!

  21. There should be a law against being that adorable!!!…..

  22. You go to church? Never thought so!

    He is too cute. My baby girl has got the same trainers
    As toby! (and bike helmet)

  23. Precious. He looks very confused/yet sad that you’re not there! I had separation anxiety throughout kindergarten – Grade 2, only with my mom though. I guess I was a late bloomer in that sense! My Easter weekend was a part of Good Friday service, studying for final exams on Saturday, and Sunday church service and then a delicious meal at my longtime boyfriends grandparents house.

    I was a little surprised when you said you were agnostic/atheist, however I admire you for coming out and saying that on such a well-known blog, frequently viewed by probably slightly opinionated people. I visit your blog daily, and love the tips and the mixture of topics. Too many blogs focus too much on themselves (ie. weddings, babies, husband, etc), or too much on beauty (ie. I don’t need that many reviews of a lipgloss), etc. I love your relationship posts, as well as your travel info and your tidbits about your life! I dream of one day living in NYC, and its great to see that normal people live there as opposed to just the rich and famous.

    Love, Caitlin

  24. He is precious! That crazy hair makes the shots even cuter.

  25. Monica says...

    Sweet :)

  26. you have the cutest boy ever! love his expression in those photos!

  27. Alright, Toby is hands down way too cute. Hahaa. Funny title too!

  28. lol that is the best title EVER! oh, that face! poor little Toby. My daughter didn’t really get the whole Easter egg hunt thing either. Maybe next year :)

  29. Angelyn, haha, it might have been. and thanks, lauren and kelly for your comments xoxo

  30. martita, haha, that is hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time:)

  31. I love his shoes! What a cute little guy

  32. bless his heart, what a cutie!

  33. awwww that face!!! How cute that he was up for it when he thought he was helping. You’ve taught him well!

  34. My son who is a little older than a year than Toby did not get the concept last year. This year I was amazed to watch him on the hunt for eggs. He was even racing other kids to get to an egg first. Its amazing how much can change in a short span of time.

  35. aw! mama’s little helper! I love it!

  36. He is so sweet!! Such a little man now.

  37. What a sweetheart :) I can totally relate to this post. My little guy will be 2 in May and we have many similar experiences. From the “major separation anxiety” to the not being into the egg hunt. Little boys are so sweet!

  38. Oh. my. word. He is the cutest thing ever!

  39. Toby looks more like you every time I see him. He’s going to be a right little heartbreaker!

  40. He is just so so adorable!

  41. Laila says...

    awwwww my god, how cute is that ?! he is adorable, thx for sharing

  42. he really has the sweetest little baby doll face of all time.

  43. awwwwwww…. precious pictures! :)

  44. I was also curious about the church issue becasue I had never seen it on the blog- glad someone else asked, I was too chicken!

  45. He looks terribly sweet here, despite his Easter egg hunt confusion!!

  46. Sorry to say, I think I can top Toby’s sad egg hunt: my 4 year old is in a full leg cast (broke her leg), so she dragged herself around the lawn to find the eggs. We took a video, but I think I will only share it with her when she’s older and thinks it’s a little bit funny looking and sweet.

  47. LOL, he is so very sweet, so adorable and so funny.
    I am glad you got those photos ..

    My son hated Easter egg hunts.
    I don’t know why but I think he was always afraid something was going to get him …

  48. Awwwwwwwwwwwww, I read that another blogger had a young child and so they did a trial easter egg hunt the day before (or a few days) to teach him how to hunt for eggs. ;) Maybe next year little Toby! xoxo A-

  49. Ha! When I read the title and saw the pic, I thought it was because the Easter egg hunt was on blacktop.

    LOVE his eyebrows and sneaks!

  50. Such a little darling. This is cracking me up, Joanna!
    Happy Tuesday.

  51. Thanks for answering Joanna! I’m a born-again Christian and I feel the exact same way about respecting and honoring friends and family with different religious beliefs. Thanks for your honesty and great blog!

  52. Gabby says...

    Pretty sure I subconsciously trust agnostics/atheists more!
    : ) but I get it about the community/fellowship of church. I personally love your answer and I knew I would!

  53. This post was adorable! I love Toby’s outfit… he is a stylin’ little dude!

    Also, thanks for “coming out” atheist/agnostic because we are too and get a lot of judgement for it (we live in the midwest). A study my husband just read found that people subconsciously trust atheists less than they trust rapists. I think this is just appalling. Ugh. If only people knew how many of us there are out there who are not evil demons! Ha, ha! Anyway, thank you. Your blog is the bomb and so are you.

  54. WHAT a cutie!! My 18-month-old was also confused by the concept until we acted like we were cleaning up. He actually put his first few eggs back where he found them.

  55. maria and kelly, thanks for your questions! very happy to talk about anything and answer any questions :)

    i’m agnostic/atheist, which is why religion doesn’t come up much my blog. we do celebrate christmas culturally. my grandfather was a vicar, actually, so we went to an episcopal church sometimes growing up. i have friends from all religions, as you say; as well as relatives in our family who are christian, jewish, hindu, etc.

    i love the community of a church–how all ages come together to sing and rejoice. so we wanted to take toby for easter this year so he could experience and enjoy that.

    but in the end, yes, i’m agnostic/atheist, and hope to raise toby to make his own choices, form his own beliefs and be very open minded and accepting of different religions and views.

    thanks for asking!!
    xoxo joanna

  56. mollie, i kind of agree:) you feel so loved!!

  57. oh yeah, haha, his shoes are green adidas sneakers for toddlers, we bought them on zappos:)

  58. tish, that’s so funny, toddlers are adorable:)

  59. How cute! Toby is mighty adorable! I hope your Easter was lovely with family and easter egg hunts!

  60. Brandi says...

    Yep, need to know about those shoes!

  61. that little face it priceless. too cute!!! I think we did Easter egg hunt overload. My son did THREE over the weekend!!!

  62. My son is probably around the same age (17 months) and had the same reaction to our easter egg “hunt” for him. We just threw 10 of them in our yard and gave him his basket and he quickly started tossing them in. Then dumped them out, then picked them back up…and did that about six times before he grew tired of it.

    By the way, those are the cutest shoes! Are they Adidas?

  63. C. says...

    Haha! This made me laugh. The post you have linked, where Alex is holding Toby and he’s crying (A portrait of courage) is one of my all-time favourites. Makes me laugh out loud every time. :D

  64. lol, that hair!

  65. Awww, so sweet! Looks like you’ve got yourself a little helper already! :)

  66. i can’t handle his eyebrows. SO cute!!!! i’m envious!

    also, his outfit. so dapper!

  67. Looks like you’ve got a serious one there. My is he cute!

  68. I didn’t think my 2 year old would understand the egg hunt, but he was all over it!

    Mine has a light case of seperation anxiety, is it bad to take small pleasure in it? I know it won’t last forever, I’ll take all the cling I can for now I guess.

  69. So cute!!! I have similar pictures of my son’s first easter egg hunt too, kind of that looking at that one egg, like what do you want me to do with this? Precious!

  70. He looks so woeful, but adorable. The post made me laugh out loud.

  71. My little boy did two Easter egg hunts this weekend and the first was a total bust! He just stared at all of the other kids & then took an hour looking at the ONE egg he found. When I asked him how many eggs he had he looked at me and said, “Only one but I would like more.” It killed me b/c the hunt was over by then! The second one (in our backyard) went much better since he had no competition and could take his time getting the hang of it :)

  72. he is soooooooooo cute! love his shoes, too :)

  73. Anonymous says...

    whaaaaaaaaaaa? you are religious?? what church do you go to???

  74. this is great.
    isn’t it funny how when they’re young they LOVE to help clean up…. and that all changes as they grow up.

  75. haha aw! at least he had fun at the end :D

  76. I am really glad to hear someone else besides Mila always seems to be going through separation anxiety. It seems that it has been forever. It is actually really challenging for me, but I’m trying to focus that one day she will be an independent person who will be able to step away from mom without having a complete meltdown. Preferably earlier than say when she’s 18. Sigh. Hope you all are managing through it okay too! xoxo

  77. your little man is a real heart-thief. he’s just too adorable. i think he looks like your brother, Nick.

  78. What a super cutie! Is he having anxiety bc he’s a sweet mamma’s boy or b/c he’s so little?

  79. You just have the cutest boy ever! Not as cute as mine, but a close second ;)

  80. Any little kid that is -that- adorable and digs cleaning up is a-okay in my book. :)

    (Super cute photos!)

  81. oh so cute! ha ha not pleased indeed! Your cleaning up solotion–brilliant!

  82. I agree with another commented up above- I’m so curious about your religious beliefs! I know it’s absolutely none of my business and I mean no judgement by it at all, I just feel like you’re such an open and honest blogger that it would come up? Maybe you could post about it sometime, if it wouldn’t be too invasive or threaten to start too much drama?

    Love the sweet pictures :) Glad you guys had a nice Easter.

  83. oh gosh! so sweet!

    my niece was so attached to the first egg she picked up (she just turned one).

    But then we cheered on for her to run and she lit up and run for the eggs. She didn’t know what was what but I’m sure any kind of attention was welcomed :)

    Toby breaks my heart! haha!

  84. my little guy didn’t get into easter (or even christmas!) until around age 5. strange but true.

  85. oh no poor Toby :( its sad to do things without momma. I am going through this with my son too.

  86. Anonymous says...

    Those eyebrows are too adorable!

  87. I love his green sneakers! He is so cute.

  88. oh what a sweetie! Toby’s eyebrows are adorable!

    Our 17 month old daughter is having her bouts with separation anxiety too. The husband always reminds me that these intense phases come right before they take a real developmental leap of independence. This helps ease my mind! ; )

    Our daughter loved her first easter egg hunt this year, you’re right something about the idea of cleaning up and putting things in and out of a basket. It was really sweet to watch her look in places all on her now, it seems like she really got it- the hunt part. not the why the hell are there eggs everywhere!

    I did a little post today on my blog called- “What I know about Parenting I learned from Puppy Kindergarten” not sure If I’m alone in this but there are similarities… ; )
    have a great day!


    aka @GrayDayShop and

  89. Oh my goodness, what a sweet face. He looks so sad. I’m glad you were able to come out and cheer him up!

  90. Haha I love his mad scientist hair! What an adorable boy.

  91. He looks so lost–like he just woke up in an unfamiliar place. The staticky hair helps. :)

  92. Anonymous says...

    I’ve never heard you mention church before! I’m so curious if you’re Mormon since you seem to know and work with so many LDS bloggers, etc. It’s totally none of my business though, of course! I would have thought you were more of the liberal/intellectual/agnostic type –Maria

  93. Awwww, too cute. How sweet that he got into it for the fun of cleaning up.

  94. How cute! I love the idea of ‘cleaning up’ the eggs! :)


  95. My 16 months son is obsessed with cleaning up, he hates to see things dirty or messed up… Should I worry? LOL

    Toby looks adorable. Love when they stare like in the 2nd photo, like they’re thinking how to solve the problems of their diffficult difficult lives :-DDDD

  96. haha, jane, i know! they were just dyed hard-boiled eggs.

  97. This just broke my heart in so many ways… what sweet sweet love you have there.

  98. Sarah says...

    Cute! I do think it takes a while for lots of different holiday traditions to make any sense to little ones. Egg hunt? Santa? Even “flaming” birthday cake. WEIRD ideas, on the surface, really. (By the way, I LOVE Toby’s flyaway hair-do. SO funny and cute!)

  99. Sally says...

    Joanna, he’s GORGEOUS!

  100. Daisy says...

    Oh my gosh, this whole story made me smile so big! I love e everything about it. Cutest pictures!!!

  101. So adorable! And some day some happy lady will thank you for raising a boy who likes to put things away!

  102. Aaw bless him! I love his little shoes.

    We had an Easter egg hunt around the house, which our 2 boys loved, and we also finally got around to putting up a little wooden playhouse in our back garden which they have been in and out of since! Our eldest (5) even asked if he could sleep in it :)

  103. He is just adorable!

    Just wait til next year and the year after that, there will be no stopping him :)

  104. I like that the egg he’s holding doesn’t even look like an easter egg – it just looks like a regular egg! That would be confusing! So cute.

  105. Anonymous says...

    SO CUTE!!

  106. Anonymous says...

    I have very similar pictures from my 16 months old’s first Easter egg hunt last week. He was very confused by the whole concept and finally just carried the same two eggs (one in each hand) around while the older kids found the eggs.

  107. Our son just turned three, and this was really the first year we did a “hunt”. We hid plastic eggs with the candy inside, so there was lots of incentive and happiness when he discovered what the real treasure was. Not sure that he would’ve been so excited about us hiding the real eggs that he decorated the day before, though considering how many he ate, maybe he would have!

  108. My gosh…you captivated me with the title and first picture alone! Awww, Toby!

  109. Just the title of this post made me crack up. Poor little bear.

  110. he is the sweetest looking little boy I’ve ever seen!

  111. Omg he is soooo cute! and handsome too~!

  112. he is looking so cute! :) shame – what a sweet thing… He will probably love it next year :)

    Betty Bake x

  113. Haha Joanna, these are the cutest ever! He looks just like you in these pictures, too :)