Appreciation

A Belated Mother’s Day Tale

Every year I cringe on Mother’s Day. Since we left our life in America to live a new one in Israel this traditional “holiday” has become erased from my little family’s customs. I remember as a child my principal saying every day was mother’s day as a was for us to show appreciation all the time  – not just that one day a year. So I held on to that message year after year and on the actual Sunday, when about 700 of my 800+ Facebook friends are flaunting photos of happy mother/children or generational photos or pictures of fabulous breakfast-in-bed with homemade cards. Reminding myself of all the little things throughout the year when my children showed appreciation for all I did for them.

But who was I kidding? I wanted the goofy crooked heart-shaped card. I wanted the throat-culture-Popsicle-stick picture frame painted and glued together by little fingers…or the day to sleep in…or the bouquet of flowers.

Then 2 days later, I received a message on my work phone from my 10-year-old angel, wishing me a happy mothers day. That she was sorry she didn’t know and that if there was anything she could do around the house before I got home, I should call her to give her specific details…My heart… and when I called her back, she was quick to tell me she already put away the groceries, and was ready to wash the floor, but was there anything else she could do?

And then this happened: Not sure when, but when I woke up this morning I found this taped to the front door:

mothers day And my heart swelled with pride. I’m so low maintenance – all I needed was a little card from a little girl with a really big heart…she totally made my day!

Every day IS Mother’s Day  – so today I wish you all many blessings, most of all the ability to appreciate what you have without needing reminders.

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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.

It’s My Blogaversary!

Well, la-ti-da! I’ve been officially blogging for 1 year and the fine people at WordPress sent me a note to say congrats.

What started out as a complete experiment (for a marketing project) turned out to be quite rewarding. Mostly thanks to all a’ y’all and my overstuffed brain with lotsa’ junk to write about.

Here is what I learned from this experience.

1. I am funnier when I write than when I am ‘in the moment’ (I so envy those natch funny peeps)

2. More people respond when I am serious in my heartfelt, emotional posts.

3. I am one step closer to actually working in the field that I studied and always wanted to do, but chickened out.

4.  I think I WILL write that book…eventually.

5. The day before my blogaversary, I reached my highest ‘likes’ on a given post *which was only like 7 people, I think, even though almost 100 people actually read it.

That last one for me is the biggest deal. After writing about 120 posts, I still have the ability to impact a response – more than when I started all full of gusto and ideas and not just throwing out random thoughts.  I have tapped back into my creative thought process, have ways to expand upon what I began and am looking forward to branching out in various connected areas. I have met amazing other bloggers, at a scavenger hunt and various forums and conferences. I have met others involved in social media and marketing and I feel like while I am not one of the main characters in this play, I have my part.

So, in closing, I thank you.

Worldwide my words have reached and I am so very appreciative and flattered.

I hope to keep you entertained and interested as long as I can, while still fulfilling my creative need.

Until next time, Chubby

And Now The Girl’s A “Woman”

Didn’t I just throw a party for my son becoming a “man”? Now before I was ready, I made a party for my daughter entering into a world (that truthfully she has already been a part of for some time anyways) where she is responsible for her own actions.

When I think of her, I have the image of the Tom & Jerry cartoon…angel on one shoulder, devil on the other. She obviously being the angel. She is my moral compass. She always knows right from wrong and stays on the right side of that moral divide. She apologizes for her siblings because she knows they might not. She offers to help when no one else does. She is quick to respond when anyone asks for assistance. She is thoughtful and caring and kind.

Esti

She is respectful and listens to authority. She is shy and sweet. She is pretty, a good friend, and always gives in first.

She is making me feel old even though she is still so small. I must have said that once out loud while thinking about her stage in life and how it made me think of mine and she tried to console me. That’s who she is. Always putting others before herself.

We love her more than we love ourselves sometimes because we can see, feel, share in her goodness.

We were invited to our good friends for Shabbat lunch and so we decided to bake like we do every other week. We started the preparations for the challah, made the blessing (prayed for our sick friend even though she looked anything but sick to me at lunch the next day) using oil instead of margarine. FYI, as dough goes, you can’t always do that (so I’ve just recently learned). The dough was slippery and hard to handle so we basically made balls and stuck them next to each other so that they’d rise and bake together (hopefully). They came out weird and dense but we brought one over anyway and am happy to report it was mostly eaten.

I’ve always been quite the observer. Watching closely not saying much, taking it all in. This is what I observed after much thought, on auto-replay in my head the last few weeks.

You can not judge a book by its cover.

Even though that is EXACTLY how I choose to read books by the way, but I may change because of my new revelations. I know she is ill, but you can not tell. She did not stop moving from the time we got there until the time we left. She never asked for help, even though my little woman was quick to offer and help serve food and clear the table. My friend’s husband kept us laughing through the meal, which had so many wonderful dishes and sides and dipping sauces,  it was a truly a festive feast. While it was a drizzle-y day and grey outside, I was warmed from within from our lunch. I am still thinking about it and it’s Monday. I’m still smiling watching it on auto-replay in my head. We often think things are unfair because we can’t see the bigger picture. We often complain because want some sort of affirmation or consolation. Misery loves company but so does joy.

My wishes for everyone today is that you look for the good in everything. Think beyond yourself.

Put others before you.  Love to the fullest. Give when you can.

May we all live blessed lives and continue to share in each other’s joy.

 

Gorilla Poop, Jimmy Fallon And Life…

…and more random thoughts by CheriBLevy.

https://i1.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lorp9aOa8W1qihh0eo1_400.jpg

This, in the baking community, is called Gorilla Poop (cookies) or…No Bake Cookies. I am in a weird mood and even though it’s not Wednesday, I have to post about weird stuff today, which basically means, random train of thought blubbering. Enjoy!

In my reader today there was a post from my “friend”, a blogger at Inspire & Indulge, and her title made me giggle, I am still even chuckling to myself…because THIS is what she posted. While I think the name is funny and a bit gross, I am DEFINITELY going to make these probably in the next 24 hours for a few reasons.

  1. Because I want to shock my kids when I say the word ‘poop’
  2. Because there is no baking involved
  3. Because I want to shock my kids when I say the word ‘poop’
  4. Because they make it look so easy
  5. Because I want to shock my kids when I say the word ‘poop’

You get it. I have mentioned before in previous posts about how I like to prank others. Nothing too dramatic, I am not super creative, just a bit so that I can get a good laugh. I feel a hidden camera or interview type style might be necessary to pull it off and be able to film their reactions.

On other random news in my life. I watched this clip of Jimmy Fallon & Rashida Jones and I can’t stop smiling.

 

They look like they are having so much fun. I love her in Parks & Rec and loved her in The Office, and okay – basically anything so it was a win win for me. In all due fairness, I equally love Jimmy Fallon. He makes me smile and laugh EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE ANYTHING HE DOES! I know that’s the point and I can join probably the other millions of people in the world that feel the same way I do.

I am feeling inspired and really want to sing and make a video with my kids to honor these 2. I probably won’t so, you’re welcome in advance, but I just might one day. (yeah yeah, just like I might also hire a cleaning woman to sort my lack of domesticity one of these days too!)

The last thing on my mind today is more serious. So sorry to turn the notch down on the funny, like I said complete random thoughts here, but it’s been on my mind all day, and there is a message to be learned. Driving to work today I witnessed the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. It was reported on the news with no other information than that which I had seen. 2 or 3 ambulances (one being ZAKA, so we knew it was bad), a motorcycle thrown on its side by the curb, and lots of yellow tape, but as we passed I noticed there was a body on the ground, covered by a plastic tarp, meaning only one thing. My breath caught. I’ve seen it dozens of times on Law & Order and other various CSI-like shows, but never in my real life have I seen a body that just lost its life. I saw his shoes. That’s what I remember. His brown shoes, that got on his bike this morning, as someone’s friend, someone’s son, perhaps someone’s father or husband or brother and thought to myself, how cruel that I know before them. It is this message that I walk away with today and I hope you do as well:

Make time to laugh. Cause others to smile. Remember to share your feelings with those you love.

So with that I thought to share some of the things that made me smile today even though they were unconnected and even a bit off-color. Perhaps they’ll make you smile as well. Wishing everyone a blessed day.