Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Life Is All In The Details


Yesterday was my Hebrew birthday and today is my English one. Anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE birthdays. I love my birthday; I love your birthday; I just love birthdays. What's not to love? The fact that I'm here for another year means that I'm HERE - the alternative is not a good place to be. And...it means that I have a special day that's all my own to enjoy.

It's not too often that I find the time to do something for myself. With five kids, a few jobs, and a busy life, who has the time? But, on my birthday, I always treat myself. Yesterday, I took myself out to lunch, got a pedicure, and had a delicious sushi dinner with Josh. Yehuda came home from school with drawings for me and the boys all wished me a happy birthday. I heard from family and friends, wishing me well, and enjoyed watching my Facebook "Happy Birthday" wishes grow. Today, I'm going for a long walk with Zeli and to the mall with a friend.

So, what was has been the best part of my birthday? Josh came home early and surprised us at the park yesterday. He had a sheepish grin on his face and he whipped out a bouquet and handed it to me. How sweet, you say. He brought you a bouquet of flowers. Nope. He brought something much cuter than that.

Someone at his office makes balloons into shapes of all sorts, and Josh had him make me a balloon bouquet. It included about 15 balloons that had been twisted into the shape of budding roses and tied together into a "bouquet" of flowers! They teased him at work that he was being cheap for my birthday - but Josh knows me well.

This is the stuff that life is truly made of. I told Josh that it was worth a thousand flower bouquets. It's not often that you can make someone laugh, while also giving them a thoughtful, unique, and free gift that says "I love you" and "I'm thinking of you." And, giving a gift that shows that you really know the person - and what they will appreciate - is worth all the fancy gifts and big showy items in the world. Life truly is all in the details.

Here's hoping that my life will keep coming up smelling like roses - balloon roses that is!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Zeli Gets a Move On It

Azriel has broken the mold in our family so far. While all of my other boys were climbing on the kitchen counter by 6 months (literally), Zeli is taking his good ol' fashioned time doing anything. He's got one of the sweetest dispositions ever, so I'm forgiving him this laziness. As you'll see from this video, however, he's really not lazy just...perhaps not yet coordinated. I had fun filming him bouncing around in his exesaucer. Enjoy!

video

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Significance of a Single Walk



I try to go walking almost every day for exercise. I make a lap around the yishuv, waving to friends as I go and picking up groceries and children along the way, as necessary. Today, Azriel and I were enjoying our walk. It is a beautiful spring-like day and we were happily moving along.

When I got near the front of the yishuv, it suddenly hit me. I really live in Israel. Yes, I know I live here. But, in my day to day tasks, I very often take for granted that I live HERE - in Israel.

What made today different? Today, the flags that have been up in the yishuv for weeks caught my attention. Since it was just Yom Haaztmaut (Israel Independence Day) there are flags all over the yishuv. At the entrance to the yishuv, where we have a traffic circle, they've placed fifteen to twenty flags around the outside of the circle.

Today, as I walked by these flags, waving in the wind, I started to get goosebumps and tears came to my eyes.

Now, it's quite normal to get teary-eyed over Holocaust Remembrance Day, Memorial Day, and the like. There are sirens that go off, incredible stories of heroism to hear and read, and memories to speak about.

To get teary-eyed on a normal day, walking along a paved street like any other is another story. And that really is what makes life here so special. While I don't see it everyday or appreciate it all the time, today I found significance in a single walk. I found significance in the fact that I am living out the modern dream of the Jewish people in such a simple, mundane way. And that, truly, is the gift of Israel and of aliyah.

What a Punim

Just wanted to share some cute pictures of Azriel. I was taking them to show my in-laws that he was wearing his Vermont shirt. Sorry dad, I promise he'll wear his UCLA shirt tomorrow. He had such a good time posing, that I just kept taking pictures! Enjoy!