When I was a kid, my grandmother made a big deal about St. Patrick’s Day. She’d make me and my brother a green breakfast (green scrambled eggs or pancakes, washed down with green milk), and while we ate she’d tell us about St. Patrick, or her Irish relatives, or stories about Leprechauns. We adored the Leprechaun stories. The ones in Gramma’s stories never made mischief; they were helpful, friendly and hardworking. After we finished our breakfast and put on our green clothes, we each received a new pair of shoes left by the Leprechauns. We’d finish the day with a yummy Gramma-made dinner of corned beef, cabbage, and boiled potatoes. St. Patrick’s Days with my gram are some of my favorite memories.

I’ve been looking forward to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with my kids for years now, and I thought that this year Annie was finally old enough to appreciate my grandma’s traditions. Before she went to sleep on the 16th, I told her about Leprechauns: how tall they are, what they wear, and that they are cobblers. Then I told her that when I was a kid, Leprechauns used to leave me a new pair of shoes every year on St. Patrick’s Day. I wasn’t sure if she really took the whole thing in, but in the morning she woke me and Mike up with, “Did the Leprechauns come?! Did the Leprechauns come?”

Of course they had:

from her leprechauns
I need to scrub my grout, blech.

Annie is a hot mess in the mornings…kind of like her mom.

st patrick's day

checking out her treasure

checking out her treasure
Hair everywhere!

The Leprechauns had left her chocolate coins, some hair clips, necklaces, and a new pair of shoes. Fashionista Annie was very excited about her new kicks.

putting on her new shoes

She didn’t even realize the coins were chocolate until she told me she wanted to put them in her piggy bank and I had to clue her in.

coins!

Mike read her the note the Leprechauns had left for Annie:

We Leprechauns like to make shoes
What color would Annabel choose?
It took no time to think –
Dear Annie loves pink!
We cobbled this pair while you snoozed!

After that, it was breakfast! Mike whipped up some yummy green pancakes.

green pancakes

Then we put on our green clothes and Annie suggested we look for Leprechauns.

looking for Leprechauns

looking for Leprechauns

looking for Leprechauns

I didn’t think I was going to want corned beef and didn’t plan ahead, but come lunch time I was a bit sad I didn’t have any in the house. But Mike, husband extraordinaire, tracked some down, so we were able to introduce Annie to the wonders of salted meat. Mmmmm.

Annie spent a lot of the day asking me about my grandma, which made me really happy. “What was her name? Where did she live? Did she have a baby brother, too?” My gramma would have adored Annie, and it made me so happy to do something for my daughter that my grandmother had done for me.

Irish lasses