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Sunday, July 29, 2012

A note on Tisha B'av

Today is Tisha B'av--the saddest day of the year in the Jewish calendar. I wrote about it last year here.

Tisha B'av is a hard day because it demands that I stare the truth in the face--that I am mortal, my beloved husband is do, and--hardest of all--my sweet baby girl.  It is a terrifying reminder to take nothing for granted, because in exile, nothing is guaranteed. This is the day each year when I force myself to look at things I'd rather pretend didn't exist, things that will make me sad.

I spent a lot of time this year thinking about the story of this beautiful girl:

which you can read all about on her parent's blog right here. I had been afraid to look too much, because truthfully, their reality is my worst nightmare. Last night, as I read through blog posts and pored over videos of Ayelet happy, laughing hysterically just like my Ellie did on Friday, my heart broke.  But as I think about it today, maybe our hearts need to be broken, just a little bit. Otherwise, we'll leave the bereaved all alone, because their pain scares us too much. And we'll live in the world unaware of just how fragile everything is, and consequently just how beautiful.

So today, I'm pausing my everyday life, ignoring the unpacked boxes and the packed calendar and all the little details that can distract me. I'm thinking about Ayelet, and about what really matters.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Home Decor Wednesday

Ever since we started looking at houses months ago, I've had decor on the brain. Just check out my Pinterest boards for proof.

The main challenges I'm running into are that (1) my budget is not unlimited, (2) I don't know how to adjust electrical wiring by myself (lots of off-center lights), and (3) did I mention my budget is not unlimited?  But I'm working with what I have, and making some progress--can't wait to show you the finished results!

Right now, I'm working on Ellie's room.  This is how the room looked originally:

Instead of the wallpaper, I have this lovely color up on the walls now--Benjamin Moore's Robin's Nest. I chose it based on online images which made me a bit nervous, but I absolutely love it. I wanted something that would work for a girl or boy (just planning for the future, here!).

Here's the image that sold me on the shade:

I have a few decor items picked out, but finalizing the setup has been challenging! I think I just want too many things:)  I have to choose a glider, and have my eye on a few.

I want something like this:

but my pricepoint is more in the neighborhood of this:

Oh, the decisions!

I'd also love to get a mobile, something chalkboard-esque, a shelf, and a bunny or two in there:) Not to mention hanging some adorable embroidery hoops I've bought from etsy!

Have YOU been working on any home decor projects lately? If you have, please link up!  And don't forget to check back next Wednesday (assuming I stay that organized--ha!) for more home decor inspiration and to link yourself up!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Carry your Heart

 I carry your heart with me (I carry it in
my heart) I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet ) I want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)
-e.e. cummings

I love this poem. Always have, and I hope, always will. I think it just sums up so many emotions. I've used this poem (or excerpts of it) on a few layouts so far, and I'm sure it will pop up again in the future. Here, I used it to sum up my feelings as I carried bunny, who is now a smiley, bouncy little Ellie.

A peek at the title--I'm a *teeny* bit obsessed with lullaby thickers in gray. Love.

Another peek--the rag is from Inspired Lovely on etsy and I've used just about every leaf in the package from Amy Tan!

I also broke out my vintage typewriter on this one--hopefully I'll get to do that again soon!  While this layout is a few months old, I'm just now working on my first layout of the new house, a watershed moment. I haven't scrapped in weeks due to the move and craziness and while it felt a bit stilted at first, it feels wonderful.

My scrap area may be messy, chaotic, and filled with maternity items needing to be put away, but I'm loving it:)

Do YOU have a song/poem/quote that you use multiple times on different layouts?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Shabbos: an Insider's View

Over the years, I've gotten lots of questions about "Shabbos," aka the Jewish Sabbath. What exactly do we do? Isn't it restrictive? And most critically, how do we live for 24 hours with no internet??  So I figured I'd give you all an insider's view as to what actually happens on Shabbos every week.

[don't mind the photos. We don't use cameras on the Sabbath so the set up table is all you're going to get!]

To explain a Jewish Shabbos I first have to explain a Jewish Friday. Friday, for us, is crazytown.  It's also, according to Jewish Murphy's Law, the day that your car will break down, oven/fridge/stove/garage will malfunction, and power will cut out. It's just the way it goes.

After running around like a crazy person all Friday, Shabbos officially begins when I light the candles.

Once I've lit candles, I don't do any more work. What's done is done, and what hasn't been accomplished either isn't all that important, or my neighbor can lend it to me:) At this point, the hubby goes to the synagogue for services (in some communities, women go too, but since it's past my baby's bedtime, I hang out at home). I usually pray the Friday night service to myself since it has beautiful songs, and sometimes a friend or neighbor will come by to talk. It's a magical time, the first moment all week I truly exhale.  It's a time to just  be, and drink in the beautiful home, beautiful baby, and wonderful guy I've been so blessed with.

About an hour later, the hubby returns home, sometimes with guests. We enjoy a nice dinner--we often go with themes when it's just the two of us, like an Italian night with Caesar salad, meatballs and pasta, garlic bread, red wine, and a yummy dessert. When we have guests we go more traditional, with soup, chicken, 3 or 4 side dishes, a salad, and a few desserts. I try to tell myself there are no calories on Shabbos:)   I usually end Friday night on the couch, talking to my hubby, and/or eating dessert or reading a book. I'm trying to find the words to describe what it's really like, but it might be the sort of thing you have to be there for.

And then Friday night really concludes snuggled in my bed, with that delicious the-weekend-just-started knowledge that the next day, you can take your time, not set the alarm clock, and just breathe.

So that's a little sneak peek into Friday night for you---I'll be back with more on Shabbos, as well as some fun scrappy and home decor stuff soon!

And tell me, what is the best moment of YOUR weekend?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sweet Baby Mine (and some WINNERS!!!)

Today I have to share with you.....(drumroll please.....) an ACTUAL SCRAPBOOK LAYOUT!  Yes, it's  a miracle:)  Although in good news, my good 'ol hubby screwed my scrapdesk back together last night, so more crafting is on the horizon for me!

I created this layout a while back to document a favorite photo of my little. It's so funny to look back on now because she's so much bigger and doesn't like being swaddled anymore (sniff, sniff). Made this with a Studio Calico kit!

Here's a closeup:

And another one....

I decided to write a letter to Ellie for the journaling, so that's tucked into the yellow polka dot pocket.

And in other news, I have TWO winners to share today!

Winner of the Christy Tomlinson stamp:  KAREN MOORE!

I LOVE your blog and am signing up right now to subscribe!

(Thanks, Karen!)

Winner of the bib:  MELINDA!

How cute-both the bib & your baby!

Ladies, email me your contact information and I'll get you set up with your prizes!

In other news, I have a bunch of home decor posts in the works--what do YOU love to hear about house-wise?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Life Right Now

The past few weeks have been full of change, with all of the ups and down that come with it.

We said goodbye to our home for the past three years:

And hello to the new house.

We took our first family road trip (word to the wise--SIT IN THE BACKSEAT. Trust me.) to see my little sister's Eighth Grade Graduation.

We introduced Ellie to Sophie the Giraffe (she's a fan):

We hung out at the newly assembled kitchen table.

Some of us (Ellie) learned to flip in both directions.  Others (Steve and Keshet) were sick for a few weeks but are finally better.  One person in particular (ahem) is extremely anxious to have the house together, but trying very very hard to be patient.

What are you looking forward to in YOUR life right now?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bib Giveaway

Today I'm here with a special giveaway for a special cause!  After suffering through preterm labor with each of her children, Emily and her husband Bryan have decided to grow their family through adoption.  They are looking to adopt an African-American child to add to their family of two sweet little boys, Aidan (6) and Gavin (4). To raise money for the domestic adoption, Emily is selling adorable baby items at her etsy store--100% of the proceeds go to the adoption.

Emily sent me one of her beautiful bibs to try out, and E-bear and I had a little too much fun trying it on and posing for the camera!

Then, we started feeling a little shy....

And just would not crack a smile.

But we did give Mommy this face. What a ham.

Today, Emily is giving away any bib, burp cloth, or wipe case of the winner's choice! To enter, please leave a comment below by Sunday, July 8.  And please check out Emily's etsy store to see her beautiful creations! To follow along with her journey, check out her blog right here.