Saturday, November 30, 2013


This time of year.  It can be the absolute worst one year and then the next year.  Well, the next year, it is pretty incredible.  I just went back and read my blog post from last year around this time.  It's funny, I wrote about settling into a quiet waiting around this time last year.  I wrote about finding a faith that things were going to work out.  And just around that time, perhaps a few weeks after that faith settled in, our Millie was born.  We didn't even know her yet, but there she was, waiting to come on out and find us.  Incredible.

Anyway, this year, I find myself settled deep into the holiday spirit.  Carla and I hosted our families at our house for Thanksgiving and as we went around the table and shared the things we were thankful for, my heart was so so full of thanks and so full of real, true gratitude.  There is so much to be thankful for this year.  For Millie.  For Carla.  For our families.  For work that is meaningful.  For friends that are kind.  For a world that seems to be getting a little bit better and more tolerant.  There is a lot.  

Our Thanksgiving meal was incredible.  Carla cooked the whole thing (with some delicious additions from my mom).  I wish that I could say that I was helpful in the cooking process, but mostly I wandered around the kitchen and tried to clean stuff when I could.  It was a wonderful day. There was so much love in our home.  It was enough to overwhelm me several times throughout the day.  And as family trickled out, we were left with just the three of us.  We felt the love of our families all day and our home stayed so full of all things good. 

After a short rest, something really great happened.  We put up our Christmas tree.  This is my first ever Christmas tree and I am in absolute love with it.  As I write this right now, I have the tree lit up and the blinds open so that the lights will be showing to all those who walk by.  Growing up Jewish, I always wanted a Christmas tree.  They are just so darn pretty.  And to have one, with my family, is exciting in a way that is hard for me to describe.  

In typical Jess and Carla (and now Millie) fashion, there is not just a Christmas tree up, but there are also two menorahs set out on our dining room table.  Each night the light of the Hanukkah candles mixes with the lights of the Christmas tree and our home is filled with so much tradition.  It's funny, neither Carla nor I are particularly religious. I know this sounds funny considering my father is a rabbi, but religion just doesn't mean a whole lot to us.  But, and I have never understood this until now, there is something about celebrating holidays that I just love.  And I now understand that for me, it is all about the traditions.

This year, there is something so incredible about starting traditions with our little family.  There is something amazing about passing things on.  About starting something that is going to live longer than perhaps even we will.  And I just can't get enough of it.  So there is a tree, there are menorahs, there are decorations, there are holiday cards, there is as much tradition as we can jam into this tiny, love-filled house of ours.  And it doesn't matter to us what religion we say we are, what matters is that we have these family traditions that are so very us.  To us, that is what is most important.

So as the holiday season descends upon us, I find myself more invested in it than I ever have been before.  And I am thankful, so unbelievably thankful, to have the family that I have to celebrate this season with.

A few pictures of our holiday fun so far...

First came Hanukkah. Some of our festive decorations. 

First night of Hanukkah. 

And then as we were trying to cook for Thanksgiving, Millie got into the dishwasher. Pretty typical. 

Our delicious Thanksgiving lunch, thanks to the hard work of my wife. 

Millie loved everything about her first Thanksgiving meal. 

Millie and Carla before the tree became a Christmas tree. 

Hanging the very first ornament on my very first Christmas tree. 
The finished product!!
The cats quickly found their place under the tree.
Not at all holiday related, but one of my new favorite pictures. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jessica! My name is Heather and I was hoping you would be able to answer a question regarding your blog! If you could email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com I would greatly appreciate it!