Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What It Means to be a Jew in the United States when Israel is at War

I had planned to write about the rest of our staycation today--but I'm all about blogging from the heart, and that just wouldn't be from my heart right now

What is on my heart today?

This place. Israel. My family is there...right now. My cousins are preparing to go into Gaza to relieve troops that are tired from fighting. My friends dot the country, north to south. But even without all of those personal ties, I quite simply love Israel. And when you love something like that, watching it go through this is heart-wrenching.

So what does it mean to be an American Jew during this war?

It means...checking the CNN every twenty minutes or so for updates. And then double checking on Google just in case something even newer is up.

It means...checking Facebook because you desperately want to talk about what is happening, and then feeling frustrated at some of the talk you see.

It means...walking around on eggshells, distracted for days.

It means...reading the names and stories of the dead, and then seeing their photos--and the images of the normal, mischievous boys that could have easily been my husband or brother or son hit you like a slap in the face.

It means...feeling very different from the rest of the world, that continues on as if everything is normal.

It means...feeling frustrated. And angry. And alone.

It in one place while your mind and heart are thousands of miles away.

Libi bamizrach, vi'anochi b'sof hamaarav
My heart is in the East, and I am at the end of the West.
--Yehuda HaLevi

A few more photos of the country I love:

What are YOU thinking about today?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Staycation Fun

This past week, we took a little vacation. A staycation, to be exact. I decided that traveling a long distance with two young children and then being cooped up in a tiny hotel room for several days was not an experience I was looking forward to, let alone willing to pay for:) Thankfully, we had a fun time exploring our own next of the woods!

On Day 1 (Sunday), we headed to the zoo!

Little Miss was super excited beforehand, but wound up being a little (read: a LOT) scared of the animals. Sigh. She did look super cute in her sunglasses, though!

(Baby boy was rockin' the sunglasses, too!)

(It's basically impossible to get decent family pictures of us in this stage of life, but I try!)

Day 2 brought a trip to the Jewish Children's Museum in Brooklyn, which was really informative and fun!

There was a new floor of exhibits since I had last visited with Biblical history and a tour of modern Israel!

On Day 3, we left the kiddos at daycare and went to get massages and have some lunch, plus tour NYC!

Our delicious lunch!

 Raspberry creme brulee...

 A couple selfie on Wall Street:)

We also headed to Popbar, a make-your-own gelato place I've been dying to try! You choose your gelato or sorbet base, your chocolate or yogurt dip, and nuts, candy, coconut, etc, for a topping.
SO so good.

And then, on Day 4 we packed up and headed up to the beach!  Stay tuned for Part Two of our staycation!

Where is YOUR favorite place to travel to?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In Memory

I had a whole other post planned for today--but in light of the news, it doesn't feel right.

Today, Israel buried three of our boys. And even if we never knew these boys, even if we weren't physically within Israel's boundaries today, our whole community has been in morning.

As one of the eulogists pointed out, we have lost more than children--we have lost future grown men, sunny wedding days and starry nights, newborn babies, and a whole life full of memories. Three lifetimes worth of experiences that should have been had but will never be.

May G-d comfort their families--and give us the strength to continue to create light in this sometimes dark, dark world.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Five on Friday

I'm back with a June edition of Five on Friday! Here with some fun finds I'm loving lately:)

Linking up here with a bunch of other bloggers--check it out!

With all of the gross, rainy weather we've been having lately, I went in search of a pair of rain shoes that would match most of my outfits (my current pair of purple Crocs weren't quite doing that:)). I came across these Cole Haan Manhattan waterproof flats, and I quickly fell in love. I now have these in both black and nude, and I wear them all. the. time. They are a bit pricey, but if  you're looking for a comfortable pair of shoes for everyday, that are also rain proof, these would be perfect!

And they come in nude as well!

Continuing the shoe theme, these Born flats are possibly the most comfortable pair of shoes I've ever owned. When I'm not wearing the shoes above, I'm wearing these:)

Any of you scrapbookers out there have probably heard of My Mind's Eye's new line, Market Street. It's one of my favorite scrapbooking lines in a long time--just gorgeous! 

But even non-scrapbookers should take note of this, because the line includes beautiful sets of art prints that would be perfect for home decor. And the price is the best part!

Each set includes 6 prints:

Note--these images are from Jen Allyson, the line's designer's beautiful blog!

You can find the prints here and here--they are only $5.99 for a set of six prints!

This is related to #3, but I've recently discovered the Scrapbook Generation online store, and I'm a huge fan! Great customer service!

Over the moon in love with this heart print from Minted--can't wait to input some photos on this one!

So there we are! What is one thing YOU are loving lately?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Life Lately

Our life lately has been filled lots of big and little things.

There have been trips to the park:

Gotta love dirty park faces:)

There have been beautiful roses blooming in the rosebush along our side gate: (which are a good metaphor for life, because that bush always scratched the car and drove me CRAZY until I realized it bloomed beautifully)

There have been quiet days enjoying the rocking chairs on our front porch:

And spooning rice cereal for this (very) hungry little boy!

The table has been set for Jewish holiday meals, and lots (and lots and lots) of friends, both big and small, have been coming over lately.

And don't get me wrong--there have been tantrums, and long nights, and babies refusing to go to sleep until they drink 900 bottles (I'm looking at you, Moshe) and all of that good stuff, but I have been really trying to soak in the good lately.

Because when you look around, sometimes those thorny bushes are really beautiful in the end:)

What has been on YOUR mind lately?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Baby boy at Five Months

As of May 24, this little guy is officially five months old--almost half a year!

Right now, baby boy is:

  • Laughing a lot
  • Loves being tickled (especially on the neck!)
  • Constantly blows raspberries (and appreciates it when you blow them back!)
  • Is starting solids and a big fan so far
  • Sleeps from 8 or 8:30 PM to 7:00 AM
  • Started sleeping on his stomach (much to my consternation, but he's found his happy place and he's staying there!)
Recently, I was reading a blog post about someone who lost their son due to a placental abruption, and it brought me right back to Moshe's birth (which you can read about here). To think that he was so sick at birth but is so happy, healthy and sweet right now makes me appreciate all over again how lucky I am to have this little boy.

True confession moment? I'm not really a newborn person. I love how snuggly they are, but I'd do better if they slept through the night--ha! But I love love love this phase, when you look over at that footie-pajama clad person you've been hanging out with night and day for a few months and think, "Wow, I really really like you!" 

Loving five months:)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Many Faces of Ellie

This girl has become quite a character lately.

Her new thing? Making faces.

Sad--a pretty good impression, right?

Mad! Gotta love the furrowed eyebrows.

My personal favorite--surprised! Ellie's favorite, too:)

Of course, she stopped cooperating before we got to happy, but at least I got this:

Ah, the many faces of this funny little girl.

What is entertaining YOU today?