Category Archives: Holidays

Reverb | November | Give Thanks

Sarah and Kim have been sharing Reverb prompts and  Meredith and I are back in the saddle.  Because writing can be fun.  And we all have a lot to say.  Join us.

Give Thanks: Even in the hard years, wonderful things happen. What has filled your heart? What will fill your stomach at the Thanksgiving table?

I think that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I don’t think I really knew that until midway through college, but it is.  I am pretty sure I also read somewhere about how the Thanksgiving story wasn’t totally true at all (a quick Google search just confirmed) so I really just love that there is no actual point besides family and eating a lot of food.

I feel like every year, I read at least article deriding traditional Thanksgiving foods as being “tired” and it breaks my heart!  Stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, relish trays, all of it.  Cozy, comforting food to its very core.  Honestly, I am somewhat shocked we do not enjoy this feast more than one time in the course of the year.  I am already confident that Critter will be delighted by it too.

And lots of hand turkey art (no, seriously…LOOK).  The Truest American Art Form.  That Critter can now participate absolutely delights me.

What am I so glad for this year?  Our Boy Baby.  My husband.  Our parents.  Our siblings.  Our friends.  Our health.

We have plenty.  Enough.  An abundance.

 

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‘Tis The Season

I have been a terrible blogger lately.  Where have I been?  I don’t know, really.  But I suppose it is time for a life update, as Christmas (and two long weekends in a row!) is coming.

My house is clean right now.

The living room has been vacuumed.  The floors have been swept.  The kitchen and the bathroom have been wiped down.  Generally, having a clean house isn’t a massive concern of mine because we clean our house on a weekly basis.  But right now it is clean and I am feeling centered.

Last weekend, I offered my house up for the annual holiday party one of my sorority sisters throws because she felt her place was too small.

Last night we hosted our annual Chrismakkuh party.  It was a hoot.  I think when all was said and done, we probably had about 40 people through and most of them were in our tiny townhouse at the same time.  We love throwing this party every year, but this year it was more special because we will not see a lot of these friends again until after Critter is here.

This week, Marcus and I will host both of our families for our first ever holiday at the townhouse – Christmas Eve.  I know that right now you are all thinking that this is of course the most traditional first holiday for a young Jewish family to host.  But my parents sold my childhood home this year, they still haven’t bought a new house, and our space is larger than theirs for entertaining.  So we will have it here.

As we enjoy this tiny break in the action, I am just happy to be at home with my feet up on the couch.  After Christmas Day is done, I want to say that I have all of five plans on the calendar between December 26th and Critter’s due date.  This is simultaneously Appropriate and Really Bizarre because I don’t know that I’ve ever not had plans like that before.  But who knows when Critter could arrive!

Despite the slew of pies I have been actioning lately, today I decided to bake some cookies because I have done zero cookie baking and I feel like holidays call for…cookies?  My first batch of cookies (thumbprint) were a total failure.  As in, the centers of the cookies fell out and I had to toss them in the trash.  This would be a tragedy, except the cookie base was from a Betty Crocker bag (I should have known better) and thus not a great deal of effort was exerted.  It was mostly horrifying as I transferred the cookies to my cooling racks and watched as the centers slid through the racks and right onto the towel below.

Not to worry, my second batch of cookies, Egg Nog Logs, were big winners.  Look.

Egg Nog Logs

I even got to wheel out my really tiny sieve for the first time so that I could delicately sift some nutmeg on top of the frosting.  I scarfed down two of them as soon as they were frosted, without hesitation.  It is safe to say that I will be making these every year for the rest of my life, such is their deliciousness (and non-excessive level of difficulty).  There’s still time for you to whip up a batch before Christmas, too.

Hanukkah

Chag Sameach, friends!

For those of you who are not Jewish, this means Happy Holidays and this is what we say to one another…for holidays.

Hanukkah started last night.  Marcus was out of town celebrating the wedding of some of our friends, so I lit the menorah by myself.  We don’t have a ton of traditions for the holiday (we have been working on that over the past few years) but we do make sure to light the menorah regardless of whatever else is happening.

Meredith shared this lovely Hanukkah story with me from The Washington Post which I enjoyed reading quite a bit.  I think there’s a message for everyone there, but I know that it meant a lot to me because I remember watching the Passover and Hanukkah at Bubbe’s videos as a little pup.  My grandmother thought it would be confusing to me (and in her defense, I did end up becoming Jewish so she was not totally wrong), but at the time all of it seemed so completely normal.

Hanukkah-time is also the anniversary of my conversion to Judaism.  On the Hebrew calendar, the date has already passed (it is the 21st of Kislev) but on the western calendar, the date is December 8.  To read what I wrote to my family on that day, click here.  It is sort of hilarious to write this since it seems like it has been so much longer than that, but this year marks the sixth since I became Jewish.  I am so happy to say that I was glad in the years leading up to that day and I have been glad in the years since.

But back to the matter at hand, celebrating and traditions!

I really don’t seasonally decorate our house at all.  For any seasons.  Ever.  However, when Eli showed me this twinkle light-garland thing that she made for Christmas, I was all I think that could actually be a seasonally appropriate Hanukkah decoration with some tweaking.

After spending a crafternoon (or really about an hour) on the floor of my living room assembling said garland, I had this.

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What it took: 13 feet of twinkle lights and 32 feet of wired ribbon (this was three spools for me) cut into 8″ strips.

I think that it turned out quite nicely and I am especially proud of the fact that I was able to keep the glitter from the glitter ribbon from overtaking our entire living room.  I also bought this wreath-arrangement at Michael’s so that we could display the holiday cards that we receive.

FullSizeRender (2)

It just seems a little bit nicer/more festive than leaving them on a pile on the counter.  The other big pro is that I did not have to do any crafting in order to accomplish this.  There were a lot of other cute ideas I saw that involved ribbons on cabinets (I really don’t want to draw attention to ours) and reclaimed shutters/picture frames (we do not have the space for that), but this is not the right house for those concepts.  So, we’ll see how both of these decorations do this year, and if they’re a hit, we’ll keep them for next year.

On Thanksgiving

In about an hour, we will begin our green bean casserole assembly line.  Until then, I will sit on the big couch in our living room with a blanket and watch the snow fall, and listen to music on the $20 portable speaker I ordered off of Amazon earlier this year while a candle flickers away on the coffee table.  I will think about what I am thankful for this year.

I will also wear my Texas shorts because (blessing) at week 31 of pregnancy, they are still going strong.  They are quite possibly the most stalwart clothing item in the entirety of my closet.  Everyone should own a pair.

I know it seems that we are constantly on vacation, but it is hard to even explain how pleased I am that Marcus and I get to spend the next four days At Home.  Not on airplanes or in hotels or traipsing around Cities That Are Not Home for hours at a time.  We are so blessed to be able to have All Of That, but for this (long) weekend we just get to be us.

All of that Woe Is Me about travel aside, the most splendid surprise of all this year was being able to watch the sun rise and set over the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon 7Grand Canyon 2

That was just lucky.

It is hard to say if Marcus and I have been more or less blessed in a given year because it’s not exactly like each year, you are able to compare your life to some sort of karmic chart that says Most Blessed Ever! or Better luck next year.  Rather each year, it seems like we have won some sort of cosmic lottery of having each other and sharing this life together.  Each day I am reminded that truly there is no more perfect partner for me on this earth than my husband.  Yes, I realize that sounds just horrifically sappy but it is the truth.

We want for nothing.  We are able to give to others.  I have a small Critter who is continuing to construct its secret lair inside of me until its eviction date in January at which point I suppose I will have to share it with others.

When I pray, I always ask God to bless us and our family and friends with Health, Happiness, and Prosperity, but really just the first two because all of the money in the world does not matter if we do not have our health and take joy in one another.  I hope that all of us are able to have that today, and in the next year.

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Easter Weekend

Y’all, this weekend was just wonderful.  Billy came home from Texas (Spot once again was So Surprised he was still alive), the weather was on its best behavior and even though it wasn’t one of those weekends where we just kicked back and relaxed, it was so soothing.

On Saturday, we colored Easter Eggs.  In our family, some eggs are frivolous, but others take a more…political tone.  Billy and I both lead off with Kim Jong Un eggs.  Our efforts were not coordinated, but clearly our intentions were.  Other Easter Eggs that made an appearance were the MH 370 Sonar Egg, the Failed Sochi Olympic Ring Egg and the NIT Champions Egg.

They all became deviled eggs in short order.

Today, it was 70 degrees and cloudless, without a breeze.

I wore shorts and a tank top because the thought of anything more formal was unbearable.  Marcus had his outfit planned before mine, so I did my best to out-Easter him.

Outfit

I then pledged to spend the entirety of the day post-brunch outside.  Which, after seven hours in the sun, I can say I did successfully.

We all took turns rotating in and out of the stadium seats that Billy rescued from the Metrodome.

Outside

Everyone took advantage of using the cup holders because, they were there.  I can’t believe that I am going to say this, but I think between the sun and the full body sunburn I’m sporting right now, I am a little bit dehydrated.  Considering how far we have come since 7.5 inches of snow on Wednesday January, I will take it.

As our final act of revolt against Winter, we ate Easter supper sitting in a circle outside.  We ran out of knives, so armed with only a fork, most everything on my plate (excluding mashed potatoes) became finger food.  I don’t know that Asparagus salad was really designed to be eaten that in that fashion, but you work with what you have.  I don’t think I could be part of a family that would do it any other way.

Checking In.

I know it has been a week since the last time I blogged, which is pretty much insanity in my world.  But mostly this post is just an excuse to show you this picture of Spot if you do not follow me on Instagram.

Sis and Fang.

He never, ever prefers to be held like that, but I managed to capture him as we were opening presents and once he was done letting me hug him in the way you might expect the Honest Toddler to, he curled up in my lap and did his best impression of a Therapy Cat.

In other news, I have a vicious, vicious cold right now.  I have used nearly an entire stick of Chapstick on the parts of my face that Kleenex touches and I think I am experiencing the definition of Bone Tired. Seriously.  I slept 10 hours on Christmas Eve.  I didn’t even run yesterday and I am capable of running through Most Everything.

So, there is all of that.  I am probably supposed to share some sort of pithy thoughts about the meaning of Christmas now or the presents we unwrapped or whatever.

What I know for now and what I know for this year is that I am so, so, so blessed to be surrounded by the people that I love.  And connected to the ones who we cannot be near.

I Am A Bunny

Y’all.  I always have the best intentions for Halloween.

Last year I was So Committed to ensuring an excellent Halloween this year that at the beginning of 2013 I even went so far as to write future costume ideas down on the page two weeks before the holiday so that I could be Prepared.

Can you guess what happened two weeks before Halloween?  I looked at the list that Past Kat had left for Future Kat and said Owl?  Pinata?

Not on my watch.

Which left us at square one.

Eventually I’ll get Post Two written for This Is Not Your Practice Life.  But to summarize the interim: I have been living life lately by answering only one question.

Will this make me happy?

The answer to that question happened to be that I wanted a pair of bunny ears and a bunny tail.  Only.

You see, when I was a little pup, I was A Major Fan Of Bunnies.  I was a bunny for Halloween during the blizzard of 1991.  I went through a whole phase where I couldn’t decide if I wanted to be a fairy princess or a bunny for Halloween and so I was a bunny with wings and a wand.

My favorite book as a pup: I Am A Bunny.

Thank you Mom and Dad for letting me be me.

Anyway, this year for our office Halloween-fest, I decided to go as a Rabbit.

Rabbit

Because it is apparently impossible for me to just be a Bunny.

Also, can we talk about how happy having a little bunny tail makes me?  I know we can all agree that marabou and metallic tinsel make most everything brighter.

Anyway, Halloween 2013 is nearly over.  Tomorrow will begin the Thanksgiving onslaught.  For tonight, all is well.