The Beginning

What Makes You Smile :-)

I LOVE what I do. One of my jobs is to put out into the world some wonderful photos and images which make Israel look as amazing as I see it through my own eyes. I search online for powerful pictures and try to describe what I see, how it makes me feel, and encourage others to visit our unique country through the travel company which hires me (shameless plug: check out {and “like”} the Facebook page here).

I spend at least one hour a day reading comments from people all around the globe regarding their incredible, spiritually uplifitng experience, spa vacations, or nature and hike-filled trips they once took here. That’s makes me smile. This is a really awe-inspiring country – whether you are looking for some kind of religious or spiritual break-through or a technologically advanced state-of the-art way of thinking out-of-the-box start-up society.

However, this is not a complete representation of the utopia I just described – where holy people and animals roam the blessed land and everywhere there is flourishing and wondrous smells emanating through open and welcoming doorways where homes are filled with laughing happy children and mothers who thrive on the hustle and bustle of everyday chores and fathers who return home at an early time to eat family dinners and then read stories to their children going to bed.

There is another side.

Just like in any other country there are people who suffer mental illness, there are those who are homeless and there are many who struggle to put food on a table in order to feed their families. There are also way too many who are victims of terror.

And then…of course there are those who see our country as this terrible place of apartheid and murder which the media has created by twisting truths and editing videos to make a story juicier than it is. I always find it fascinating how many people are swayed to think this way without ever once being here to make those assessments for themselves and some of the comments I receive are downright hateful and even frightening and threatening. Though I digress, because this post is not political or have any hidden agendas about anything other than this – what makes you smile.

The fact that I am able to live in a country where I am always being protected and can trust that the army will do its best to let me live my life day-to-day free of falling missiles, I feel blessed and that makes me smile.

Today I met with an old friend. Those amazing friendships – free from drama and where you can pick up the conversation right where you left off a year ago. I ate well, I sat outside in a cafe with the sun on me and enjoyed the thriving vibe of tourists and locals walking past on a pedestrian promenade. She made me smile.

Surround yourself with people, places or things which make you smile. This is my best advice today.

Do something you love and the smiles will automatically find you.

with Sarri

Me & Sarri Singer, VICTIM OF TERROR, FOUNDER OF STRENGTH TO STRENGTH -but most importantly, my friend. DONATE TODAY 


I’m back! And Chubbier Than Before :)

So, today is my birthday, and while much time has passed and I haven’t blogged, of course a lot of things have happened that yes, while they were blog-worthy just didn’t make it from head to computer. Why? Because, blogging is a way to share one’s thoughts *and all the crazy stuff that seems to happen in my life just felt like it needed to stay private. Until today! (Meaning I’m just gonna’ start sharing what I want…not every thought).

The older I become the more reserved I am as well – I just don’t need to share every detail of every day – even if I capture the moment in a photo or think things are funny I’ve lost the desire to have SOOO many others share in what I see, do, eat, look at, laugh about.

When my kids were little – I wanted to share every tiny detail about the things they said or how they ate or what they ate with everyone because I thought it was just the funniest, or cutest…and let’s face it – NOT EVERYONE THINKS YOUR KID IS AWESOME! (cute…maybe even tolerable at best). I have an even clearer understanding and perhaps because I am older and wiser, that there is a time and place for everything.

Being adventurous has never been my strong suit – and while I have had instances of brevity in my youth such as jumping off the high dive or speaking in front of a large audience, I’ve made a recent life choice that when certain opportunities present themselves, I jump at the chance to experience something new.

And that’s why it’s time to start writing again, not only because I have something to share – but because I have something to share with meaning. Today I’ve decided to make a change. As most of us grow older, our bodies tend to shift down and outward and basically we look like a deflated balloon if we aren’t careful about eating right and exercising (which I DEFINITELY do not). I am not on any of the “great” programs out there that I have tried in the past – but don’t get me wrong if they work for you – keep at it!

Like most of us I have tried WeightWatchers, or “working out” *which means walk-running or the occasional Zumba class or the Cabbage Soup Diet or Atkins, joined a gym and gone once or twice –  and I can go on and on, but the fact remains that we get excited because we do it with friends or are really fed up with how we’ve ‘let ourselves go’ and then old patterns creep back in and we allow ourselves to get lazy.

I love (and honestly sometimes hate) how my body or face is changing as I get older. I welcome the wrinkles but don’t love all of them. Call them smile or laugh lines and that makes me even happier when I see them because there is proof that I was happy. The fact that I am chubby makes me feel blessed that I’ve not only had enough food for sustenance but that I really enjoyed being creative and learning how to make food inviting and so delicious. I joke that there is more of me to love but I kind of mean it too. I like the feeling of hugging someone who has more meat on their bones and that feels good to be hugged back by someone grabbing on. As long as there is a healthy balance. And that is the change I was referring to. I have come to a place of acceptance and that even though the media will again and again portray that skinnier people are prettier or healthier or happier it doesn’t mean everyone should be skinny.

I do not advocate being overweight – please don’t confuse my intentions here. I know that everyone struggles. Some skinny people have a hard time gaining weight, just like heavier people sometimes have trouble losing weight. A healthy state of mind is important. Eating healthy is important. Exercise is important.

Living a good life is about balance.

Finding your happiness sometimes really is at the bottom of an ice cream tub. Or in the chubby arms of a loved one. Or rubbing your face in baby’s belly. Or from touching the cheek of your wrinkled grandmother.

Today is my birthday and I am grateful for this life. For my parent’s call early in the morning even though it was late at night for them. At seeing my sister’s message of how I inspire her to be also a great role model for others and for my brother’s message which attracted others to wish me well. I am grateful for my husband who keeps leaving the decision up to me where to go for dinner tonight (sarcasm). I am grateful for Facebook which allows me to connect to so many people near and far and from my past and present all wishing me wonderful things on this day, and for having a memories feature so I can keep looking back at the many many pictures I used to share and see my children grow up again and again.

My hope is to continue blogging what is important and that anyone who takes the time to read my blog will take a lesson from my stories, be able to empathize and perhaps laugh a bunch as well. To be continued….

Finding Time…

time…is virtually impossible.

WE are a fortunate group of people. WE have managed to invent tons of gadgets and apps to minimize our task-taking time. WE no longer need to even write a letter or type anything anymore, if we don’t want to, because we have a microphone attached to our “smart”phones which allows one to speak his/her message into email or we simply ask Siri, or we say, “okay Google”, and voila!

With all these shortcuts you’d think we’d have more time to do a lot more productive things, like Save the Whales, Save the Frogs (its real – I checked), Save The Rhino (?), Save The Elephants, (okay – save all animals…), or just be a domestic “goddess” (I never saw anyone do house-chores and look celestial or divine, btw) and do all the dishes and the laundry, wash the floor, bathe the children, make a healthy dinner, eat said dinner…at the table…with your children, and have enough energy to have that long-awaited-but-always-interrupted-mostly-neglected conversation with your spouse regarding the mortgage/finances/shopping “spree” (read groceries) and/or just to say hi – remember me? And Breathe….

Unlikely. No one I know saves the world with every free moment they have. (Even though I am surrounded daily by heroes and real men and women of honor). In the few recent months alone, I have needed to ask and was gracious enough to receive and accept help from my friends. I was able to recognize the need, and was willing to accept help. That’s always hard to do when you are not a “needy” person. So many people FOUND THE TIME to make my life a bit more manageable. Maybe they used their spare moments or created a slot in their busy days to help me, either way, I really did appreciate the extra help. Being on the receiving end forced me to accept (again) that I can not ‘do it all’  – I am not a robot, I have feelings that sometimes inhibit me from being the most productive I can be. However, when I am not at my lowest performance level, I too need to be THAT person for others.

Recently, I have had many chances to give back. Often, opportunities present themselves and we neglect them, or we, shamefully, just don’t recognize them as opportunities. I had the fortune to pick up some neighbors hitching rides and was approached on the way home as well. My entire day’s journey was accompanied by fellow travelers needing to get somewhere and I was able to provide almost door-to-door service. That felt great too. I didn’t start out looking for ways to help others, but when presented with the chance, I grabbed on, knowing how it would make me feel if I needed to get somewhere and in better accommodations than a bumpy bus ride.

I also made a really cool cake (in theory) for a friend’s party, went to see a musical to support my friends performing in theater, made Superbowl snacks, said yes to a few “play-dates” which meant I’d be running car service back and forth and around town, agreed to a sleepover of 4 other female teens, and SURE, you can say, um, Cheri, you were just being a neighbor, a mother, a wife, a friend. And the answer is yes. Yes, I was, but those were all conscious choices. I could have also said no, acted “selfishly” and no one would have thought me unkind, no one would have said anything other than, okay, if you can’t – you can’t. However, I consciously made the time available just as others had done for me.

That’s really the point of today’s post. Fix your schedule, make time to help others. Find small ways throughout your day to say a kind word, make a 1 minute phone call, smile at someone, listen. Keep your eyes wide open so you can see the opportunities that lay in front of you. 



Its My Blog, And I Can Cry If I Want To…

…but it won’t be today. I’ve taken what seems like a break from writing for a while because I needed the time to think. I reread some of my most recent entries and they were depressing me. That’s life…and death. There was so much of my writing time revolved around death. The fact is that tragedy happens, and when it happens to you, it’s a shock to the system. So I took a break to reevaluate what was important to me.

What I learned was:

  • Eating your way (even if its done subconsciously) through pain of any kind never makes you feel better long-term.   
  • Anger is okay. Expressing it is healthy. Not hurting anyone in the process is important.
  • Sadness is necessary in order to fully appreciate happiness. 
  • Looking for joy is imperative.
  • Finding merit and value in anything you do is a must.
  • Being moved emotionally helps get you become inspired.

Inspiration vs Desperation

I am always searching ways to better myself, learn something new, try something different. Not be boring. Now that I’ve packed on extra weight because I was lazy while I was sad and didn’t care enough to put nutritious food in my mouth while I was grieving, I am uncomfortable. I have almost reached my heaviest point *and that was when I was 9 months pregnant – and I knew then that it was too much for this body to walk around in. So I started running because walking up a flight of stairs made me feel like I was having a heart attack – I was desperate and needed to make a change. So for a month I challenged myself. And it was good. I didn’t really lose weight, but I felt better about myself for trying. I needed inspiration and it was coming from desperation. Today, I have begun a journey. Without giving away the details – because there will always be skeptics to ruin your good intentions – it’s a journey to an alternative way to beginning a healthier me. If it works, I am happy to share my success and offer you a part in it.   

Lead By Example

While I may not have the support I am looking for…yet, it will not deter me. I want to encourage my children to try new ideas and things that can benefit them. Sometimes things don’t work out, I understand that and have encountered it. I am not afraid of failure, but I don’t want to leave this earth without ever trying. For each product or vitamin or exercise tool that claim to offer the best results there will be naysayers and professionals who will give their recommendations on why it won’t work. We all want to believe in something – so for the next 4 months I am my own guinea pig.  


A must-have and where it all starts. Every dream or wish you’ve ever had is based on a desire for something more, or better, perhaps it may be financial stability, or a healthier lifestyle, or to own something seemingly unreachable. So many of us struggle with finding ways to keep ourselves balanced while yet yearning for something different. How do you define success? For me, success begins with an attempt to change oneself for the better. 

I invite you to join in my journey to finding a path that makes me feel healthier and happier day-to-day.

Mind, Body, and always Soul. 


Your Worst Parenting Moment

easy-hardIt’s what we all fear. Making the wrong choices for our children.

Usually instinct kicks in, but what happens when you are on the fence about an issue? Finding the right voice to listen to is hard when there are lots of opinions being thrown your way.

This week I struggled. I’m sure I’m not alone.

Among all the other day-to-day decisions, and feeling quite ill, I was forced to address a situation head-on. No one ever makes good decisions when they are not performing at 100% so I was in a bit of a pickle, I was aware that I could not trust my own judgement, and yet – there I was swaying back and forth on a specific issue. I felt tormented all week.  I needed sound advice – but that too seemed to be a struggle…whose voice to listen to?

I needed someone I could respect, someone who “got” me, someone who understood that the thing I needed to decide about was something I took very seriously. I had quiet panic attacks as I went on about my regular duties, I arranged play-dates and made shopping lists, while I suffered deliberating each side of that fence whenever a “free” moment arrived.

Usually if I see something I like or need, I purchase it, take it home and am fine, never second-guessing my choice. When faced with the challenge of making decisions for others? I take that to heart. I tried to look at every angle and there I was stuck between the pressure of my peers (which is insane considering my age – but there you have it), and separating from the pack and making a sound decision based on facts, and where my heart and mind were telling me was the right thing for us. For my child.

I knew not to ask too many people, too many people can cloud one’s judgement.

I chose specifically people who were good listeners, who understood this issue, like-minded people who could be objective without an ulterior agenda. It was hard to seek them out, for they are not my general go-to friends, or my spouse, but others whom I respect and were not emotionally connected like I was.

So here I am at the end of the week with my decision, not to be swayed by the masses, to forge my own path and judgement based on mutual respect and not peer pressure.

But I am frightened and I think this is natural. Since the day these children are born they look to us for protection and guidance and any parent knows this burden is the heaviest one ever to bare. In Judaism there is a concept that every woman is born with a natural sense of intuition. We all make mistakes and the smart ones learn from them, and don’t make the same mistake twice. But, now at this possibly life-altering moment, my nerves are frazzled, my mind jumps from one side of the spectrum to the other in an attempt for rational decision-making. My natural instincts are leading me in a different place than that of my peers and breaking from the pack is making me doubt myself.

And so today, I am feeling the brunt of possibly my worst parenting moment. Choosing the wrong path. Because this is not my life, this is the life of my child, and while they are healthy and strong and opinionated, they still need my guidance and look to me to help with their decisions.

I know what I want to do. I know what my heart and mind are screaming to do, and yet, I shudder when I think, what if I am wrong?

What if I am wrong?

A Shiva, A Bris & Chanuka Wedding Bliss

say wha?

That’s Hebrew folks! When a person in the immediate family dies, the mourner sits (literally) shiva (for 7 days) in a low chair, stool, sometimes even a mattress. It’s meant to be a healing period and gives the mourners proper time to lament and reflect on the lives of the deceased. It’s a time to conjure up old stories and funny memories, happy and sad times and to really honor the deceased in a way, helping those left behind to cope with the loss.

Then there is bris, the covenant between man and G-d, a Jewish ceremony of circumcision, which occurs 7 days after a baby boy is born. The mohel, (or as Seinfeld made popular, can be pronounced: “moil”) is trained and performs the ritual, more often than not, this ceremony is serious and not as humorous.

It’s the circle of life – people don’t live forever and this week at least 4 death notices came across my e-mail and I knew people connected to those that passed on. That is a lot. I’m not THAT old…where that should be the status quo, seriously!! So it was especially comforting to know that at least 2 of my friends had babies.

It’s hard to see my friends and colleagues lose their loved ones and especially for a person like me, I feel EVERYTHING, I am so super sensitive. I cried at the bris this morning during the ceremony as the congregants sang about angels. The translation is roughly that the Angel of Redemption is with us through any bad times, so of course even though I was at a happy event it sort of tied in last night’s shiva visit as well.

This weekend was one long party as I hosted my nephew, his 3 (out of 8) sisters, 3 brothers, parents, cousins, future brothers in law and friends. People were everywhere! There was so much food, fun, laughter, alcohol, and not enough time.  Living in a different country than most of our family has a real downside. Not getting together all the time for holidays and weekends or special occasions is a real bummer and it weighs on us. We feel like we miss out and it’s more often than not too expensive to fly everyone in. So we send a representative. BUT, this time, we get to party in our neck of the woods and it feels great!

This plus Chanukah is right around the corner, my baby just turned 7, miracles are abundant and all around us. The Maccabeats put out a new song and besides that I was already addicted to the original version, their parody has me smiling from ear to ear and really just makes me feel like making a batch of latkes (potato pancakes) and dancing and being merry! I know some people think it’s cheesy, but I know some of those guys since they were teenagers and I feel like a bubbe (Yiddish for grandmother), I just want to pinch their cheeks and say good job, yingele (Yiddish for ‘children’)!

Now is the time to spread joy and happiness. With my nephew’s wedding and Chanukah just a few days away, there are dresses to be bought, hair to be coiffed, presents to be wrapped and sufganiyot (Hebrew for donuts) to be eaten. Spread the love and share good news, or dog videos on YouTube (like the one my cousin posted, of a dog dancing disco style – which I generally am annoyed about – but sometimes they are funny!) and be nice to one another, try to greet each other with a smile and share a kind word. Happy holidays to all…

Peace y’all.

The Countdown to Meltdown

What a rough morning. No one wants to see their child lose it. Especially from too far away to step in and diffuse the problem. 

Mommies always want to make things better, but this morning there was no way for me to reach my child on time and the fact that I could hear him screaming, “NOooo” as my daughter and others encouraged him to get on the bus, he was not budging, and I was left watching from my window across the street in my pajamas crying for what I was witnessing. Well it was between that, and this. 


He needed a tissue. A simple fact. He felt something icky and needed a tissue, which my daughter didn’t have on her. When he refused to get on the bus, even though they were holding it for him, and there was only one seat left, he wouldn’t go. My daughter was embarrassed by his behavior and then hers, for publicly admonishing him, for trying to push him too hard to do something he didn’t want to, for feeling like a failure in our eyes if he didn’t make it on time. I could see other kid’s fathers on the ground trying to encourage him to get on the bus, friends of ours who I am so thankful to for even trying. I even sent another daughter running to the rescue but she too failed and when they returned home, there was a heaviness. I was so sad. I was pretty angry. I was in a quandary…what to do, how to handle this delicate situation.

Little brother sat on the naughty step for creating a scene and missing the bus, but there will be a discussion and probably therapy about learning how to deal with difficult situations when feeling pressure. One daughter returned pretty disappointed that little brother used her sweatshirt as his tissue and had to change. The other daughter came home in utter tears and was an absolute emotional wreck. She was mortified but worse than that was suffering a shoe crisis. 

So one would think that little brother is the reason for this title, however he was just the beginning my personal mental meltdown, or so I thought. After trying to calm my daughter down, we managed to find suitable shoes for her outfit regardless of the fact that a friend made her feel bad about them the day before. She was self-conscious, I knew that, I understood that, but the fact was, the bus was coming and she still had no prepared food for lunch. The morning was so hectic there was little-to-no-time left to prepare a ‘normal’ lunch. So when I grabbed last night’s leftovers (which btw – were AWESOME) and threw something together she left with a hug only to walk back in 10 minutes later shoulders hunched and shaking, face sodden with tears. The energy it takes to calm down a hysterical teenager over wardrobe issues and a missed bus is like trying to grab the egg before it hits the ground – missing it, and then trying to scoop the goo off the tiles with a tissue. It’s almost impossible in one go. There was back rubbing, and tear wiping, hugging, deep breathing, and then finally there was a final sigh.  

I was like a ticking time bomb – waiting for the next thing to happen – not necessarily a BAD thing, just another ‘fire” I’d have to put out…another issue to deal with and honestly…I’m usually calm and deal with each thing as it hits me. Today, however it felt like I was in a batting cage with the automatic ball pitcher … without a bat. Ducking and dodging and every once in a while making a catch but really? I was just picking the balls up one at a time trying not to get it hit by the next one.  

QuotationBut the meltdown never came and I even got to work on time after dropping off my daughter at school and it was a rather pleasant day. I kept a lighthearted attitude, laughed things off and smiled at every one who walked in. I know I have work to do when I get home and there are going to be a lot of difficult conversations that we need to have, I just pray no one ends up crying. I aim to have an open discussion about how our actions create reactions and perhaps ways of coping when things don’t seem to go our way. Heck, I am just as guilty half the time of not having the best knee-jerk response, nevertheless we can all learn from listening to others. “Listening is key to all effective communication” and one of my goals is to teach my children to listen to each other, listen to us as parents and perhaps we can avoid more frustrating scenarios like this morning. I always try to learn from each incident and this was a huge lesson. The older I get, the more I can see why the people who were old when I was young were so cranky. Patience is a gift, one that I have been blessed with and never take for granted. My hope is that I never reach that ornary place and that I can always greet each person pleasantly, “b’sever panim yafot” as the Mishna in Avos states.

Wishing all a year of peace, good health, happiness and prosperity in the new year.  


Saying Goodbye

bookIt’s been a while since I posted though my life has been anything but dormant or boring, I’ve had lots to say but it never felt like the right time to say it, until now. This week, the 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is the time each of us must make the last-ditch effort at amends and ask for forgiveness from our fellow Jews, friends, associates and G-d. The Good Book is closing and as I child I would actually visualize this, this, this massive over-sized giant book and have to squint to see if my name was written in it.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had time to reflect about the past year – what happened and how I handled certain situations and what this year has planned for me, rather what goals or dreams or accomplishments would I like to achieve? Perhaps not letting time go by without reaching out to make more of an effort to tell those I love them, even if they live far away.

Holding me as a newborn

Holding me as a newborn

This year I said goodbye to my Grandpa Mickey, Michael Marks, who more recently was referred to as G-pa. Though we didn’t really communicate too much the last few years he was always so special to me and I had always secretly wished we lived closer. I felt even as a child that my paternal grandparents were more “for me” and that my maternal grandparents were more “for the cousins”. They all lived in Florida and we lived in the tri-state area. It seemed only fair that we each got to be spoiled by at least one set of grandparents so as a kid, there was always a slight distance that I kept. Once I moved countries with my family as an adult it became increasingly difficult to connect on many levels however the memories and love I had as a child really carried me through the years of separation.

apple picking

Apple Picking

at the circus

At the circus

At the end my grandfather was recognized as the true hero he was, but to me, he was the funniest grandpa ever. He had a twitchy mustache and was built with muscles that reminded me of Pop-eye. He had the warmest eyes and the roughest hands and the baldest head and the best voice. When he held us, he hugged with strength. When he helped us, he did it with a good heart. When we vacationed, it was the best of times. And when we danced?

Dancing at my brother's wedding

Dancing at my brother’s wedding

Seriously, that’s the very best memory of all. While we didn’t dance at my wedding for religious purposes, my grandfather blessed me as all the fathers do and then we honored him with the prayer over the bread that initiated the dining. He would tease me and my cousin Lisa, mercilessly, dance his pectoral muscles and then made us squeal when he said it was the girl’s turn next. While many thought he resembled a ninja turtle, to me he was larger than life and I will always miss that smile. He was mischievous and would make my grandmother use his full name when she reprimanded him, but this too is just a faded sweet memory. He was from what I could see from afar the most supportive great-grandfather, always in the bleachers, cheering his kids on. He was generous and kind and funny and everything grandfathers are supposed to be. He made everyone smile (except grandma – sometimes) and that’s the way I’ll always remember him.

Hitting Close to Home. Literally and Figuratively.

Forced to run to our safe room less than an hour ago from rockets sent by Hamas from Gaza.


In the last few days things seem to be getting worse, but still okay. There is no cease-fire no matter what Hamas says – they are liars. Still planning to attack, still sending rockets, and now the locals seem to be getting restless. Being a ‘settler’ we are surrounded by Arab villages. While some find this scary, there was always a certain security that came with it, for me at least. See, I thought, well, no one is going to send a rocket so close to his cousin’s home, right? Until there was a rocket that landed in Bethlehem, then another in Hebron. When we ran to the bomb shelter, not 10 seconds after shutting the window, we felt it. We heard the boom and felt a tremor – okay maybe that was my heart pounding – but it sure felt like it hit close by. After when we checked…

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Ein Milim – There Are No Words

An appropriate response, our hearts are broken.

Aviva Woolf Manas

“Ein milim,” said the woman reading at the prayer vigil for the murdered Israeli boys at the Isiah Wall outside the UN tonight. “There are no words.”

Ein milim, people write sharing posts on Facebook. Baruch Dayan Emett. They say. Because that’s what you say when you don’t know what to say. There are no words to describe the death of three innocent Jewish teenagers on their way home from school. 

Well, that’s not entirely true. There are words like tragic, senseless, horrible, violence, heart-breaking. But those words don’t cut it. Those words don’t make us feel better, they won’t bring them back. They won’t fix the Middle East or make people care. 

But for the parents of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali, all they have are words now. Instead of sons, they have stories. Instead of children, they have memories to share. 

“Naftali loved to play basketball,” they’ll say. But…

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A People United

We are always on the verge, it seems. On the verge of war that is. We have been warned to obtain gas masks for our families, ensure that our bomb shelters are up to code, and that our sirens are functional. Our soldiers are training and we hear stories from our sons, and our friend’s sons of what its like in the field, on the border, at their posts, with their guns, or standing alert. We hear about children’s kindergarten’s in the north being bombed,random missiles being shot and the absurdity of the loss of a teenager’s life out and about with his father.

The war on us has reached a new level. It has once again entered our neighborhood, when 3 young boys leaving school are taken against their will. Kidnapped. The last kidnapping had the country shouting for 5 years to release our soldier-boy. A soldier, not teenagers leaving from school and this has to stop. The world needs to see that this type of activity is not because Palestinians are being mistreated, what a joke! We gave back convicted terrorists to save ONE LIFE, and in turn these same animals attack us again and again after receiving freedom.

In no other country would a murderer be let free. Yet we look like the bad guys. How is that even possible?

They are allowed in our malls, in the supermarkets, on the same busses and trains. We employ them to work constructing our homes, tend to our gardens, tailor our fabrics. We offer electricity and water and food supplies when needed. And they steal our children. They enter our homes when we are sleeping and bludgeon our babies to death. They drive tractors over innocent motorists killing our families. They walk into our schools with semiautomatic weapons and shoot our children randomly. They are wolves in sheep clothing, entering our cars waiting with hidden knives to attack when we offer them a hitch, or dress like us only to blow themselves up on a bus hoping to take as many Jews with them.

We are a defensive people. We were given the gift of the land of Israel and we respect it, cherish the history from our forefathers, are blessed with making it flourish and we use stones to build a community not to throw at passing cars. We teach our children to build healthy relationships and yet they have summer camps that instruct their children to destroy at all costs, innocent people. When we left our productive land, forced by our own government, physically pulled out of our homes by 50,000 of our own soldiers as an olive branch, what happened to the wonderful homes built with love, or the fields of produce that once flourished? Destroyed and now? Now nothing, absolute nothing.  Where has there ever been any kindness from the other side.

The world wants peace. They want us to give, and give until there is no more to give.

There is no rest for the weary, our boys have not yet returned home, our communities are offering food and kindnesses to the soldiers. Our 22 “settlements” all baked, and bought, cooked and served to show appreciation in the efforts of all they do. When asked to prepare cakes, rolls and Challot for the Sabbath to give to the boy’s high-school for all the students, in accordance with baking enough in order to make a special blessing, there were 159 women who signed up. Together we delivered 349 rolls, 207 Challot and 60 cakes to the school that houses close to 300 students. We are bound by a commandment, “all the people of Israel are responsible for one another”. We are brothers, we are one family. We are bound to protect and love each other as we love ourselves and during this awful time we offer what we can in action, deeds and prayer in the hopes that we flood the gates of heaven with our cries. We beg for mercy, we trust in G-d and together, a people united we continue to hope that the boys are returned unharmed.

Please continue to pray for Gilad, Naftali and Eyal.teens_jpg

The Time Has Finally Come, Shalom

For those who understand loss


When your Facebook feed is full of similar commentary it means one thing. It’s THAT big a deal. When people feel the need to share and pass on information it means that it was important enough to them to spread the word. They want the world to know whats on their mind. Today is all about Stella Frankl. Sure, its been a few weeks now of intermittent messages from Yarden keeping us all updated on the deteriorating situation, what the family needs and doesn’t need, but until today even though he begged us not to, there were some of us praying. Praying for Stella to be the holiday miracle of Chanukah 2013.

Yarden, her beloved, dedicated husband was begging us to pray for it to end, but I couldn’t do that, so I hope he can forgive me one day. I prayed that G-d have mercy on the family, that…

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Buzzing Bees and Scraped Up Knees, Oh How I Miss These



As a follow-up from yesterday’s dramatic post – I did not cry. Not even once. The nurses did not make me kiss my sleeping child before being forced out so that they could do the biopsy.  The doctor did not lie, they were done within 7 minutes – 7 minutes? Yes 7 minutes. I had just enough time to say a small prayer before I was headed to the recovery (?) room. You know the place where all the relatives are forced to sit staring at their loved ones, willing them to wake up from their anesthetic slumber? So there I was playing Candy Crush (balled fists to you, level 213) when she opened her bloodshot eyes, staring at nothing in particular and said something in gibberish. PHEW! It took some time for her to really be alert and by then I was famished, she had been fasting and we were delayed one hour as it was. (When the procedure takes 7 minutes it makes you wonder what the hold up was, right?)  So finally we headed out for a slice and some fries and shared a drink and some mother daughter time which was really nice. And I didn’t even cry. Not once. 

MQSo as promised, today I took them all to work with me. I have successfully answered one e-mail and edited 2 items. Oh, and I figured out how to forward my bosses calls to my line. I have also handed out scissors, explained how the microwave works, and taken kids to the bathroom 4 times.  I was able to print 2 jobs and am about to write a summary  – fingers crossed. Each child is hooked up to a computer of sorts and I am about to get to the nitty-gritty of my pile.  But this is what happened: “No you can’t have more chips, leave those cookies alone, the stapler is not a toy, my phone is not a toy, my water – hands off -, please don’t lock yourself in again, I will print one coloring page for each of you, how many times have I asked for quiet if I am on the phone? That’s it, we are leaving in 10 minutes if you don’t stop.” I’m not sure what the allure of coming to mommy’s office is – seriously she is so cranky when we are here…I’m not my usual overly patient self – there is this weird version that comes to life after the 30th or so request for colored pens and paper clips. kitties

Where did summer go? I have been sitting here at this desk and have rarely seen the sun. No beach day so far! I want Sundays back again. It seems that there is never enough time for family fun days here.  As a child my summers were filled with days at the swimming club, swatting away buzzing bees, and rushing home on my bike to have my mom clean up my scraped knees from falling. I have definitely NOT smelled enough sun screen and I think we are overdue for some homemade slushies.  The first of my students arrive in one week and I am planning on being at the safari, though I don’t see myself getting tan or feeling rested but it has the potential for fun.

My calendar is full with wedding invitations, birthday celebrations and an appointment for at least one teenager to get braces, so I am busy and all for good things, so you’ll get no complaints from me. As an adult, I long no more for lazy days on the grass or even hearing the music of the ice cream truck but I am sad that my own children don’t have these memories. We are not members of any swim club, we have yet to landscape our yard and there is no ice cream truck and only one child so far owns a “real” bike.

So here is my plan. When on safari (at our cooler packed lunch break) I’ll ask them what their favorite summer memories are. Then, make a note to myself to make those happen more often.

To be continued…

When Really Sad Things Happen

This week has been so incredibly confusing and I am literally exhausted. Emotionally spent.  Every day we are tested with life’s ups and downs and we deal with things as they hit us.

On a “normal” day, kids wake up late, the cereal gets knocked on its side spilling its contents  all over the kitchen floor, an ice pop melted brings piles of ants parading through your home. You miss a bus, your hosiery gets snagged on a zipper, you get a paper cut, you have a migraine. You catch a glimpse of someone flying a kite, a child runs back to give you that one last hug, the flowers in your garden are blooming. You reach the bottom of the laundry basket, your boss gives you a compliment, your kids make dinner, you lost a few pounds.

When something negative and unexpected happens though, you kind of get stuck in this OMG moment. It throws you and can affect the rest of your day in a way that is confusing and upsetting and even if you have other reasons to smile, the day is slightly tainted.

A couple of days ago this world lost a soul that never knew the power of evil. She was well cared for, loved from beginning to end, and the amount of lives she touched just by being born reached international proportions. Her life was not an easy one, filled with daily challenges and we all prayed that each day would bring her comfort and better health.

So I sat shocked as I read the email. I was unprepared for the final blow. How was it possible? I couldn’t wrap my head around it. What happened? Why did G-d do this? We all prayed daily for this to have a better outcome. We all waited for the miracle. I was so sure it would be okay. There was this lingering confusion as the day progressed. One one hand my friend lost her 2-year-old, but I had to prepare for another friend’s wedding, at the same time my father was en route for a medical procedure. All 3 events, the funeral, the procedure, the wedding all happening at the same time of day threw me into emotional overload. My happiness was tainted yet I never cried. Until today.  Today, nothing in particular happened. There were no parties, there were no surgeries, the dust sort of settled and I had time to process it all.

My heart is so heavy and I am terribly saddened that my friend’s baby has left this world.  I had the privilege when I was visiting the states to visit her in the ICU, to hold her hand, to sing to her. It came as no surprise that my friend offered to drive me all the way home.  I could have taken a train I told her, just drop me off at a station…but she would not have it. Ever since I have known her, she ha shad a way of giving of herself that is all about helping others. She organizes and plans and succeeds in producing amazing results. Be it money for the needy, activities for children, a night of special treatment for busy moms, all while raising her own children, all while caring for this special needs baby, and supporting her husband’s academic achievements. I am positive that no one’s life is ever completely stress free – though some live an easier life than others.  She has always been an example to me on how to spend one’s time wisely and to the fullest…but this, this is heart-wrenching. There never seems to be enough words to express sorrow to another mother suffering the loss of her baby, never having gone through the same situation. I cry for the opportunities this child never had. I cry for the parents who, even with having 2 other children who are healthy, will never see this beautiful baby thrive.

I have these picture in my mind that I cannot stop thinking about. Pictures they posted on Facebook so we, who live far away, could follow their lives, that are sort of like a slide show that keeps playing over and over again. One of daddy holding her and she was smiling. One of big brother with both baby sisters at his sides. The one of her with her birthday cake and flowered headband. There is a part of me that is relieved for the parents. There will be no more nights of worrying if she’ll stop breathing or running for emergency surgeries. They can focus 100% on healthy children that are thriving and continuing to grow steadily. While they have a horrible week of mourning ahead of them, knowing they have touched the lives of so many people there will be no shortage of visitors during this time, offering them comfort.

However, I am not there. I can not offer any hugs or hold anyone’s hand. I can sit here and cry. I can not begin to imagine how it feels to lose the life of a child. Just the thought is so overpowering, I break down and cry. I know G-d is compassionate and that this child suffers no more. I pray that of all the people going to pay their respects there is some comfort for the grieving family.  I pray that they are in a place of acceptance and are comforted by the fact they no one needs to suffer this unfairness any longer. It is evident based on the time and effort these parents took to care and love this child, that they did everything in their power to protect and get the best medical experts to monitor her life. We were updated and given the opportunity to share in their lives. We were blessed to be a part of her life. I had many friends praying for this soul and to have to share the news to them, the thought was daunting – how do I tell them? So many responded with words of shock, of sadness, of apology and never even met my friends and their baby.  The power to touch so many lives is amazing.

To know that I had this small impact and the message reached so many people to help in any way they could give me some small comfort. I will share these thoughts with the mourning parents and I look forward to sharing happier messages in the future.

Tell Me Something Good…


There is so much bad in the world today. I mean literally, today.  Murder, rape, starvation, abuse, terrorism, political scandal, prostitution, abduction, raging fire, sickness, divorce,  ugh the list goes on an on. That was just a snippet from news articles I read today until I finally put a stop to it. My brain and heart and eyes needed a break from all this awful negativity.

I wished there were more articles on good news than bad but alas the way to true journalism  I guess is exploiting ourselves as much as possible. So I searched and searched until I found a few things that lightened the mood.

These are some of the things that made me smile:

  • ‘Dad jeans are making a comeback’ according to The New York Times  fashion and trend section.
  • The Huffington Post added a video of a porcupine eating a banana – you can check it out HERE
  • Apparently, according to the BBC, if one is too fat – he can not live in New Zealand. Some would contend that this is bad news. But imho, it’s so bad that it’s good.
  • An affordable eye shadow has hit the market thanks to Lady de Cosmetic.
  • Two Prince Georges were born, but only one is an ass.

So there you have it.


Today is a much better day. My son went to camp happily in his new t-shirt and shorts. I avoided reading anything newsworthy. I am having a decent hair day *which means my wig is washed and clean and soft and smells pretty, (girly-stuff-bla-bla-bla) and best of all I am starting to make time for blogging again. I cleaned more of the piles on my desk that I kind of just shoved into one massive pile.  I broke them down and organized them in a way that actually makes sense and that I can hopefully find something now when I need it.  I redecorated my little desk area so now it’s more functional. However, being programmed to look towards the right at my phone to find out the date and time is getting annoying since I moved the phone to my left.  Other than that its been…

…I was going to say quiet and then tons of people came into the office all at the same time!  It’s noon and I re-checked my incoming email to find some really interesting things (read busy work items)  I need to tend to. What happened to my chilled out planned day? Life is like that  –

A small story before I sum up:

Once upon a time there was a happy little monkey. The monkey wanted to play all day, lounge in the tree and eat bananas until her belly was full. There was only one problem. It was raining outside and this little monkey hadn’t mastered climbing trees when they got a bit slippery from the rain. She had 2 choices. The first was to make a new plan. The second was to go outside and try to climb the tree, even though she had been unsuccessful before. Both options had positive measures with possible positive outcomes. Whatever the monkey decided would be the right thing to do. Making the decision was that hardest part.

Often in life we are given choices or options and are forced to make decisions. With a positive attitude, any decision can made infinitely better from the get-go. 

Today I chose to bypass the news sites. Not because I am ignoring the problems that face the world today, but because I am giving my heart a break. To read such awful outcomes, to fathom that some people are choosing to destroy the lives of others, to contemplate the people of the world as a whole unit doing harm unto one another is too big a pill to swallow day after day. I want to enjoy the beautiful things, the happy moments, the funny and the absurd that we miss because of the negativity that eclipses them.

So here are the things today that made me smile:

I call this the grandmadillo:

Mike Wazowski:

Sad Ending but Inspiring and Always Makes Me Smile:

So with this I end with a message to show some love today. Make choices that help others, that encourage your loved ones, that make you a better person. Feel good about your place on this earth and help make it a better place for our children. Sending out wishes for peace and harmony to all those that struggle today with decisions not in their own hands.

Those Summer Time Blues

Summer almost always  makes me sleepy – and usually that’s a good thing. Summer is supposed to be vacation time, lazy time and generally a slacker’s delight.


I’m too busy to be lazy which I guess is a good thing and yet I still seem to be sleepy. I am dragging my feet on projects at work because they are tedious and mundane and yadayadayada.

Every day I set aside some very serious hardcore work time and then (insert the LAW and ORDER dumdumdum) I get so itchy for doing something better – more interesting – creative…like writing my blog. Which brings me to another point – I have not written anything in a loooong time  and that makes me sad – so without further ado – it’s Wednesday after all:Weird Stuff on Wednesdays!!!!  That will perk me up! A co-worker sent me a link to some super cool homes across the globe – I seem to be fascinated recently with the weird way people choose to live their lives – like the people who created their homes out of plastic soda bottles (more out of necessity and a lack of funds) or the Korean  guy  who works for the World Toilet Association (who knew there was one!) who designed a home to look like a toilet bowl!

A toilet-shaped house in Suwon, 40 kilometers south of Seoul, Korea.

That to me is amazing – truly gross and in my opinion genius.

But since summer is here and I am in an office all day, my mind started to wander.  I thought of all the amazing things I could be doing if I had all the money in the world, all the free time in the world and no responsibilities or repercussions.

Would I do half the things my brain came up with. Definitely not! Would I buy a slushee machine and make it part of my daily diet? Duh!

So I saw something on Pinterest that peaked my brain: the zipzicles! Basically mini zip lock bags that you can fill with any liquid you want! I mean that’s so simple and amazing! (I guess not too weird – oh well).

Then there were the BBQ ideas I had and did a search – when I came across a picture and without actually READING what it was for came up with my own thought -(because that’s how brains work) and I saw what I THOUGHT was a net for your steaks to be protected by buzzing things before it makes it’s way onto your grill – HOWEVER, upon closer inspection (and perhaps a realization that its time to go back to the eye doctor and have my prescription checked) it was a net to protect HUMANS from bugs and stuff when they go camping. What I thought were steaks were actually sleeping bags. Sea To Summit Pyramid Net Shelter Double with Insect ShieldHello?!? My idea I think is weirder and better – does it exist? Don’t steal my idea. (It even SAYS INSECT SHIELD right next to it – uhdoy!)

The last items but definitely not least, of course, we have the hammock chairs,

Hammock chairs - could see myself in one of these this summer.

the S’mores Maker For when you can't get to a real, live campfire fast enough... S’Mores Maker

and the can screen -so those bugs don’t get all up in your pop!

Don't let those pesky bugs invade your cans... Bug Screens for canned drinks - Inspired!

When The Egg Becomes A Chicken

Nope. Not a kid’s book in the making…although, don’t steal it, I reserve the right to use it at a later date.

Nah, this is one of those emotional posts. Milestones do that. While I held it together and didn’t cry last night, there were a few moments where I found myself taking a deep breath and capturing, savoring the here and now.

My eldest has ‘graduated’ from 8th grade.  Though not like an American affair with all the pomp and circumstance with caps and gowns, there was still no shortage of speeches and endless thanking and patting on the back. We sat in the stadium seating for over 3 hours, listening to some school bands rock out on electric guitars, keyboard and drums and even a violin. We watched the play (though a bit violent – but thankfully with a happy ending). We watched them get called up to the stage to receive their parting gifts accompanied with a smile from their teachers and sometimes even the man hug. (You know the one, sort of where they grab hands, bang the body and slap each other on the back).

Effy's Play

I waited with bated breath for my man-boy to come on stage and the dramatic way he portrayed his character surprised me. He played the small role of a Polish boy in WWII, but significant non-the-less. I sat in awe that he had no fear, remembering his lines and really acting the part. (Not like his mama when she got white as a ghost when it was her turn in the camp play). He was humble and shy at the end when it was time to take his bow but loud and boisterous when all the graduates rushed the stage and jumped in unison in huddle formation chanting their class something that sounded like a ‘go 8th grade, go 8th grade…’

He had his arms around the guys next to him when the music got emotional and it was so bittersweet. He was in the moment, as were they all, that this was their big moment and they were sharing it together.

My perception of this man-boy all through school was perhaps wrong. I always thought he was the awkward kid, who did not mature (socially) as quickly as some of the others, who was a little ‘off’ and never hung out with guys playing sports or just ‘hanging out’ on a given Saturday afternoon. However, yesterday, watching him with some of the other guys – I saw no awkwardness, I saw a comradeship amongst teens. It was really emotional for me as a mother to watch this transformation. He gets more comfortable in his new skin every day. There is growth by the millisecond, in physicality as well as maturity. He even took out the garbage just because he saw it was getting full. When I asked him why he was taking out the garbage (because it was just so out of the ordinary) his response was, “isn’t it obvious”?

Without getting to analogous to fertility and how babies are born, I’ll leave it to you to make the connection between the title  of this post and the content. My first baby is getting more mature by the day and I need to look back at pictures to remember him as a tow-headed toddler and our first every-things as parents. I still have some fine tuning to do and am glad he’ll be local for high school so I can still sort of mold this human into the decent man I have such high hopes for.  It’s just so bittersweet. I love watching him become something different, while I still yearn for the little boy who asked me to read Brown Bear for the 20th time in a row. I am beside myself with joy at the possibilities for him while at the same time cognizant that I need to cherish each moment as it happens for time passes so quickly when we get busy with life. He resembles me and when I see those features become more and more distinguished my breath catches. I know lots of moms that are going through the same thing so  on one hand its good to know I am not alone, on the other, I feel bad for us all being in the same boat. It’s weird to think of my life as 1/3 over (please G-d I should live and be well until 120 years old) and I am proud of what I have achieved so far, but there is still more work to be done. I take a deep breath, straighten my back and smile at the world. Every day is a new beginning.

I Get To Party With Celebs!

Sort of.

As a blogger, I am getting one of the most amazing opportunities in my life, so far.

I am participating in the 5th Annual Israeli Presidential Conference, “Facing Tomorrow”, and will have the opportunity to hear from former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong, and Prince Albert of Monaco. Some key-note speakers include activist Ms. Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, actress Sharon Stone, and Middle East Quartet Envoy Tony Blair. The Prime Minister of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, will also address the conference – I mean, people – this is huge.

As if that wasn’t enough, the conference will kick-off with a celebration of President Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday, highlighted by a performance by legendary international singer Barbra Streisand. So, yeah I am SO excited.


Of course it’s not JUST about being in the same room as these famous people. It’s about me, being more than one-dimensional. Me, tapping into that social media/business-oriented/marketing side. It’s about jumping in and getting involved, becoming more aware and broadening my spectrum. Over the 3 days, I’ll be sitting in on sessions that address topics on religion, environment, education, military and homeland security, economics, business and much more. It’s about being involved in something greater than me and my day-to-day busy life. It’s about opening my mind, meeting people, and generating contacts. It’s about socializing on an intellectual level on various topics, it’s about the day when I take my hard-earned degree and use it for something other than an ambiguous description or generalization of what I do, when asked.  

I am going to sit in on topics like: 

Where is Political Islam Headed? and 

Is there a Chance for a Green Tomorrow? and 

Israel as an Energy Superpower: Significance and Consequences

I know I often write about fluff, silliness or just plain mushy posts about being a mom or having great friends but sometimes, rare as they have been, I write about things that are on a whole other deeper level. This is going to be great – I may even get a chance to interview Israeli superstar Rita. 

I have ants in my pants just thinking about it. Or as we say I’ve got “shpilkes”!

More to come after the event, but for now, I just couldn’t contain the excitement and keep it all to myself. 

Now, Where Was I?

Aah, yes, reading the same paragraph over and over. I really hate that and yet – it happens way too often, but such is the plight of mothers the world over. 

As much as I am truly enjoying the book I am currently attempting to read – it never fails that someone or something needs my attention and I am forever going back over the same paragraph and sometimes even the same sentence. Generally I am a fan of repetition. I think it provides a better understanding of whatever needs repeating. The only way to get better at anything is to go over it again and again. 

Everyone knows that practice makes perfect. That’s why I don’t get upset when I am on a ‘diet’ and I eat a cookie or some french fries when there is a perfectly good peach or almond nearby. No matter how many times I begin my ‘diet’ I know myself better – but I also know I am willing to make a change, I am willing to try again and again and NOT beat myself up over it. 


When  Chubby was a young girl she was forced to take piano lessons. She hated practicing her scales and even though she knew it sounded lovely when all the right notes were hit, it pained her to practice. Until one day, her fingers flew over the notes so quickly that she was very pleased with the sounds she could make. The notes would reach the second floor of the house, smooth and melodious. Today Chubby knows that the reason she can type ‘fast’ is because her fingers glide over the keyboard as they once did over the ivories.  

We need to take lessons from our past and be able to apply them to our future. 

There are a few times in my life (so far) that I can point to and have that a-ha moment. I used to get upset at my mother if she gave me the finger – no not that one – the other one. The one that says, I know you are so impatient but you must wait until I am ready. Knowing that what I had to tell her was infinitesimally more important than whatever she was reading it would be excruciatingly painful to wait as I watched her eyes go from left to right over the pages of her book with the sad lady on the cover. You know the one, the lady with luxurious long fire-y red hair, her dress semi-exposing her ample bosom and a muscular looking male staring intently in her direction.  What I failed to realize was that it was HER time, she was lost in another world and she KNEW, just always knew, that whatever I had to absolutely tell her immediately before my head exploded, could actually wait. 

It was true most of the time.

I needed a pack of tissues. I couldn’t find my watch. I wanted to go to my friend’s house. I was hungry. I was itchy. I was tired. I needed her to test me on my spelling words…and so on and so on.

Now, as a mother – though I crave those few seconds I get to read – I always put the book down and never give my kids the finger. I may ask them to wait a minute – but in their world, I know how hard that is to do.  Did I learn a lesson in patience ? Not then, no way no how. I learned adults can be mean (as seen from a 10-year-old’s perspective). What I really walked away with? I learned that not everything I say is as important to everyone that can hear me, I learned restraint.  

Some of my Facebook friends may disagree with me, but then if you were not interested in reading what I had to say – why are we friends to begin with? At least half of those times, I walked away saying, “never mind, it doesn’t matter”. It did matter to me but clearly I got over it, *cough.

So even though it pains me to read the same paragraph over and over it would pain me more to think that my children thought I didn’t put them above everything else. 


Happy Mother’s Day (or so they say)

I’ve  mentioned in a few posts before that here in Israel there is no one specific day that caters to moms. “Every day is mother’s day”. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

It would still be nice to have been served breakfast in bed (at let’s say, 10:00 AM) or given a home-made card.

But alas, that is not the culture here.

Aliyah PictureThis picture was taken the year we left America. Her name is Rose Caeli (pronounced Kaylee). She is officially 11 years old today according to the Jewish calendar. She is my mother’s day gift I guess. Certainly way better than any ol’ card or a breakfast of burnt toast and a tall glass of OJ. Her birthday doesn’t always fall out on the Sunday of Mother’s Day, but today it did. And as I woke up my 11-year-old, I thought, who is this woman-child, all legs and arms growing faster than I can keep my eyes on her for a moment long enough to capture?

As she opened her eyes this morning, I was there and I whispered – happy birthday – and there was her big smile with adult teeth and button nose looking pleased that I’d remembered. In our family we generally celebrate the kid’s English birthdays (so for our dear flower we’ll celebrate in 2 more days!). I usually make a Duncan Hines yellow cake (a favorite from the old world) and the person whose birthday it is gets to decorate the icing…every year. It’s a small tradition but it’s one we made up so that’s kinda special.

Even though I don’t need (or even want) a diamond tennis bracelet or a day at the spa – or even a mani/pedi today, I feel that I am blessed by the most special gift. See, this rose of ours is very much like me. More so than any of the other chickens. She has crazy thick curly hair * I don’t, but our faces match. She loves to sing (even if it’s off-key and too loud for her sibling’s pleasure) and dance and knows all the words to the newest pop songs. She loves to be in the kitchen with me preparing any meal and/or dessert. She is artistic and funny and even a bit attitude-y. I love every bit of her even if I get frustrated sometimes because her room/clothes are always a mess/on the floor. She is a tough cookie and challenges me more than any one else. I look forward to growing old and watching her become her own self, even if it means she ends up wearing flowy skirts with Birkenstocks, dreadlocks and a nose ring, (Heaven forbid), which is everything I am not.

So while I am at work and she won’t return from a school trip until 8PM this evening, the day belongs to both of us.

Happy Mother’s Day to all those that celebrate – here’s hoping you get the best home-made card today!