Category Archives: Jewish Stuff

Passover 2019

This year Jenna and Isaac (our very best Portland friends who we celebrate lots of holidays with) went to the midwest for Passover/Easter so I decided I was going to just do it. I was going to host a Passover seder. Listen, I’ve never hosted one before and it’s not just a “serve dinner and converse” type deal. I went through so many Haggadot to find one that would be appropriate in length for 6 kids but that adults wouldn’t find boring.

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I ended up using this one:

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You can download it here, actually.

It was perfect for us. To get ready for Passover I forced the kids to watch Shalom Sesame a few times and Prince of Egypt. I got out all our Passover books and during reading time at night, that was what was available. I’m such a mean mom.

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We played Spot It! Shalom over and over and we were feeling very Jewish by the time we had to leave for the coast (we celebrated with Papa and Lala and Josh).

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I made matzah kugel (gross), matzah crack, brisket (amazing) and my mom made salad and carrots. The table looked beautiful.

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The kids had stuff to do during it so they weren’t completely bored but it wasn’t a super lengthy Seder.

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Josh hid the afikomen and the kids raced to find it.

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Luke found it and got a prize.

Come to find out, matzah is well-liked in our house.

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Passover was great.

The next day was Easter and my mom and dad had an egg hunt for the kids. ON THE BEACH.

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It was a beautiful day. A little chilly but not cold. The kids had a blast.

 

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We’re so lucky to live so close to the ocean, to my parents and my siblings. We get to celebrate everything with family and it makes things extra special.

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They, Spring Weather and Scooter Tricks

When Luke was Charlotte’s age, he declared to the world he was trans. That he was a boy, his name was Luke, and his new pronouns were he/him/his. He got a haircut and wore exclusively “boy” clothes and his life felt more authentic. Here we are, Spring 2019 with yet another 7 year old – Charlotte.

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This sweet babe has declared, like their brother before them, that there needs to be a bit of a change.

We aren’t new.

We have been given a really great gift of acceptance and understanding for what our kids need and we put a lot of trust in them, knowing what they say is authentic and real.

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“I’m not really a boy but not really a girl. I’m actually more like both. Kinda more boy but still girl, too.”

And so Charlotte’s new pronouns are “they/them.” You’d think there would be some huge shift and it’d be so hard to have all this happening but it’s not. The kids are much better at remembering their pronouns than I am. I slip up quite often but Charlotte gives me quiet reminders and that’s all I need. Their hair needs help – not their fault. It’s mine. I pretended I was Whitney for a hot second and when they said they needed shorter hair I though, “Hot dog, here we go. GO GET THE ELECTRIC RAZOR!” and shit fell apart. So give it a few weeks and it’ll actually look good.

They’re so beautiful aren’t they?

Speaking of beautiful, this Spring weather is magic. It’s perfect. It’s just over 70* right now and sending the kids out to play has made my life so much better.

I had a hysterectomy a couple weeks ago (that’s another future blog post titled: Mental illness and the need for everything to be removed from my body) so I’ve been needing to take it easy and the sunshine makes it easier.

The scooter tricks, my friends. The scooter tricks have returned.

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The sass remains.

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(I’m going easy on myself if you can’t tell. My pictures aren’t perfect. They’re blurry in places I don’t want them to be blurry and the lighting isn’t perfect. This is a gift I’m giving myself. The gift of not trying so hard to be perfect. It’s taken me so long to realize how important that is in order for me to be calm and content. So for this blog, these pictures, it’s changing a bit. I mean, not as if my photos were perfect before, duh, but I stressed over them far too much.)

 

Happiest Spring!

Hanukkah and new traditions with new friends in new places

Last year I wrote an article for Inland 360 about Hanukkah and what my friend Rachel taught me. I’ve always been interested in Jewish traditions despite not being Jewish myself. Since moving to Portland, my interest is even more. I’ve made many friends who are Jewish and watching them as they celebrate the new year and Hanukkah makes me want to be a part of it. And no, I’m not converting. If I’m being honest, I’m in a bit of a religion break at the moment. Faith can be a tricky thing sometimes.

(I’ve been made fun of for this, and say what you want. I don’t mind.)

I’m so thankful for friends who invite us into their lives and don’t think we’re weird or strange for wanting to learn and take part.

I’m even more thankful for friends who do things like throw my kids a Hanukkah party . DUDE. Jenna is amazing. My kids absolutely adore her and Isaac is just as good. They put SO much time and effort into an incredible day and my kids had a blast.

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(there’s me and Jenna)

She made latkes and donuts.

We played dreidel and ate our weight in gelt.

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We made menorahs and learned a couple prayers.

It was the best time.

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Do you know what it feels like to start over? To move somewhere completely new and put yourself out there, hoping someone will accept you and your family with all your quirks and weirdness but all your love and authenticity too? I know a lot of people know exactly what it feels like but we are experiencing this really strange and scary feeling for the first time. In the last couple months there have been friendships that haven’t carried over from our valley life to our Portland life and while that might make me really sad, I’m able to look at our Portland life and see the amazing people we’ve met here. Jenna and Isaac, who are always happy to see us, hug our kids, and be there when things might be hectic or hard. Mitch and Molly and baby Max who are so kind and friendly and always make our days happier. Chad who is freaking hilarious and freaking fun and just a solid friend. So many more.

I remember thinking to myself before moving, “I’m just going to not make any friends because it never turns out the way I think it should and I end up being sad no matter how hard I try. Remedy: no friends.”

That didn’t happen, I made friends. Really great ones.

Being here reminds me that the world is really big, something that was easy to forget before. It reminds me that things work out even when people doubt you and your choices and that happiness is more than a paycheck and a big house. Our little neighborhood is full of different people of different colors and different faiths and different sizes of paychecks and no one cares one bit. To me, that’s important.

There’s that guy who walks his husky and hates our Italian Greyhound. I’m not sure he really likes us much.

But other than that, we feel connected to the people here. We feel the vibe and if that sounds weird to you, maybe you haven’t found yours yet.