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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jersey Shore 2014

This year we paid our annual visit to Avalon on the Jersey Shore with S's family. Although I'm fairly new to this tradition, over the past few years I have come to fall in love with the shore--it's beautiful, peaceful, has cool mornings and killer sunsets, and the sweetest little towns to walk around in.  Oh, and ice cream--lots of ice cream.

This year, Ellie was afraid of the beach (that one really came out of nowhere) but amid a few tantrums, we still managed to have a good time. One evening the sky turned the most beautiful shades of pink and orange and I literally ran back to the beach house (a five minute walk away) to capture it!

Sigh. There's nothing like a beach sunset!

A few more tidbits from our trip:

(We found kosher soft serve and were THRILLED! So good!)

 Cute little baby boy...

The cousins watching some TV on the couch--so cute!

All in all, it was a great week, and we can't wait for next year!

Where is YOUR favorite summer destination?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Staycation Part II

We spent the second part of our summer in Long Branch, New Jersey, enjoying the beach!

The kiddos looked adorable in their swim gear:

We found out when we got to the beach that Ellie is apparently TERRIFIED of beaches. Which led to an hour of cold, wind, and hysterical weeping by Ellie, so we left.

We did get ice cream instead!

The next day, in lieu of another traumatic beach visit, we headed to Jenkintown's Boardwalk, where Ellie fell in LOVE with all of the kiddie rides. It was such a cute place and we had a great time!

We had a great time and can't wait to head back to Long Branch again!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Ninth of Av

Today is the Nine of the Jewish month of Av, or Tisha B'av--the saddest day in the Jewish year. Thousands of years ago, the First and Second Temples were both destroyed on this day. The Bar Kochba rebellion failed on this day, as well. Many years later, when Spain expelled its Jews in 1492, the date the Jews had to be finally out of the country was....you guessed it, the Ninth of Av.  And there are more sad events, too many to mention here.

Today, the situation on the Ninth of Av doesn't feel too different, as Israel buries its fallen soldiers and we wait and pray for this war to be over, knowing that it's just one in a long, bloody history--a battle that will almost certainly not end in my lifetime, or my children's.

On Tisha B'av, we all act like mourners. We don't shower, eat or drink (unless needed for health reasons). We don't put on makeup. We sit on the floor. We take the time to look at the darker, sadder parts of life, the ones that we often want to ignore.

I read a quote recently that stopped me in my tracks: Grief is joy inside out  (George Vaillant)

Intense emotions are hard to engage with sometimes: they require stepping away from the computer, putting down the to do list, and making ourselves vulnerable. But if we don't really engage in grief and pain, than we can't really feel joy--and what a waste of our lives that would be!

So today, I'm taking time to sink into the pain. The grief, and then later, the joy.

How do YOU engage in the harder and sadder aspects of life?

P.S.--If you're worried, this blog is not turning into a political and religious one. But it's about me and what I'm thinking, and lately this is what's been on my mind. And as always, I care so much about hearing what YOU have to say.