Thursday, September 30, 2010

Playing Hooky

Yesterday Josh and I played hooky. Well, Josh had the day off from school and I scheduled to take the day off months ago, but it felt like playing hooky. And it was a much needed blast!

We started off the morning with beverage and water.

Ready to hit the road.
As always Josh was our fearless driver while I took control of the radio.

Playing it cool with just one hand.

Taking my DJ duties very seriously.

Funny how the radio is always stuck on the country station. Must be a glitch :)
We went out to Natick to do some shopping for a dining room table. Now that we have a real dining room we want something big enough to fit our many friends and family around while still being practical for everyday use. Plus, we want the table to match our living room furniture since the rooms are connected through a large doorway. It is turning into a more complicated process than we expected. It is surprisingly difficult to narrow down our choices and pick the perfect one. Luckily, we have similar taste so agreeing was easy...if we could just find the perfect one.

Jordan's was our first stop of the day, but we didn't see anything we liked or had time for an IMAX.

Boston Interiors was next which always has the best stuff, though we didn't find exactly what we wanted.

We stopped by Bernie and Phyl's because it was on our way to our next stop. Once again, we struck out.
After not choosing anything, we had some lunch and then went on to the Natick Collection for some more shopping. We couldn't go the whole day without buying anything.


The Collection was nice and quiet on a random Wednesday. It made shopping much easier.

While walking through Macy's to get to the Loft I saw and bought the cutest dress for work...on sale! 

And, as always, Loft had a ton of great options, some of which now live in my closet.
Luckily we were more successful at the clothing stores than the furniture ones. I got three new outfits and can't wait to start wearing them! Josh was a really good sport to go shopping with me and get nothing himself. We have a Josh shopping outing planned soon, at REI of course.

It may not have been the most glamorous day off, but it was exactly what I wanted to do. I had a ton of things I needed to get done and having this day was really really great. Spending it with Josh made it so much fun to do errands. Plus, I love days when we just get hang out, do things that need to be done, and have a blast.

Playing hooky once in a while is great!

Pet Peeve

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people touch the skin on the back on my hand. I know it sounds weird, but it really grosses me out. I don't mind shaking hands, but if anyone touches or tries to move the the skin on the back of my hand, it gives me the willies.

And that is why I hate the Xlerator. I would rather wipe my hands on my pants than attempt using this contraption.

The evil hand dryer
Mainly, because it makes my hands do this:

In general, I would prefer my hands to stay like this:

Finally! A nice, normal hand

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Have a Cookie in the Sukkie

This week we have been celebrateing Sukkot.
Sukkot is an eight-day harvest holiday that arrives during the Hebrew month of Tishrei. Tishrei is filled with many other holidays, such as Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Simchat Torah. Sukkot falls five days after Yom Kippur and is also known as the Festival of Booths.

At the beginning of sukkot (often during the days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot) Jews construct a sukkah. In ancient times people would live in the sukkot and eat every meal in them. In modern times people most often build a sukkah in their backyards or help their synagogue construct one for the community. Few people live in the sukkah today but it is popular to eat at least one meal in it.  
This year we have been fortunate enough to enjoy wonderful meals in many of our friends' homes. Each Sukkah we have visited has been more wonderful than the next. On the first night were able to see friends who live close by, but who we do not always see. Dinner was amazing as always and it was great to catch up with many of Josh's work friends and their SOs. It was a great night to eat under the stars and enjoy their inaugural Sukkah.

For Shabbat, we headed over to JP for a night outside with our fellow JP Shabbaters. Once again it was a great evening. Both services and dinner were outside in the most spectacular Sukkah I had ever seen. Because we do not get to see everyone from this group all of the time, spending one Friday a month with them was almost like a homecoming. There was a cool vibe, everyone was upbeat, and bringing so many people together with different backgrounds and philosophies created a unique environment. It was really a great night.

Last night we headed over to KI for everyone's favorite 'Beer and Pizza' night in the Sukkah. Despite the bad weather and the move inside, it was a blast! Not only were the usual suspects there, but a few new faces made an appearance too. Though I am not usually the one pushing for us to go to Temple, I do love how much fun it is to see many of our friends in one place at community activities.

Sukkot has been great so far this year, but one thing has been missing. Next year, Josh and I are going to build our own Sukkah in our backyard. We should probubly tell Ralph now so he has a year to get used to the idea.


In our quest to make the gym a regular part of our lives again, Josh and I have become a bit over zealous. Last week we took Zumba which was a total blast but left us in serious pain. Monday night we took spinning. All I can say is OW!

Josh is a big biker and I love taking gym classes. Any time there is a good beat and a peppy instructor, I'm in. We are both in pretty good shape and thought that taking out first ever spin class would be painful torture nuts fun. Boy, were we right wrong!

While we did have a great time, loved being pushed, and took sweating to a whole new level, we did not learn from the Zumba experience! I will only speak for myself; (though Josh is a little sore today) I am in some serious pain today. I feel like I am carrying around bricks on my legs and just sitting hurts!

Josh and I are very competitive and love pushing ourselves to the limit. You better believe we put the peddle to the metal! We laughed and sang our way through the class. We also enjoyed keeping up with, and surpassing, many of the other spinners. But boy am I paying for it today. At least it's the 'good pain' that comes from having a great workout. Hopefully I can push through for Zumba tonight...and still be walking tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Strange Man

I swear, I run into the strangest people! Especially on the train.

Last night, when I was already on the train, a man asked if he could sit down. I was on the end of a 3-seat row and another man was by the window. I got up to let him sit down in the middle because my stop was next. He said, rudely "Just move over!" And so I did. It didn't seem like a big deal to me where I sat.

A few minutes later, the train arrived at my stop. I politely asked the man if he wouldn't mind letting me out as we were approaching my stop. The man then had the audacity to complain to me! He said there was nowhere for him to move to let me out and he refused to get up while the train was moving.

After the train stopped and everyone else got off the train, he finally huffed a few times and stood up to let me out. I had to run down the aisle in order to get off the train before it started moving again. Missing the stop was out of the question since Josh works late this time of year and the walk back from the next stop is quite a few miles. I would have been stuck! I booked it to get off that train just in the nick of time.

Really, I'm just not sure what I did wrong. I offered to let the man sit in the middle so I could get out without bothering him. Then I didn't complain when he rudely asked me to move or wanted to let the train stop before getting up. But making me almost miss the stop, that's just crazy! I swear, these things only happen to me.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I grew up with the New England Patriots. As I mentioned this morning, my dad is a huge Pats fan and he taught me well from a young age.

There isn't a Sunday that I can remember that my dad didn't watch the games. As I got older I watched them with him too. We went to games together all of the time (in warm weather only, he needed other friends for cold games) and had a blast. It was and still is the perfect father/daughter activity. Even when I lived in DC we talked about games and went to them together when I was home. When I moved back, I would go to my parents' house to do laundry, eat dinner, and watch football.

Yesterday, for the first time, I went to Patriots game without my dad. Although Josh was the perfect stand in, it was definitely different. We had a blast, but I missed my dad. Luckily football season is long and there will be a lot more Sundays to hang out with my dad and watch the Patriots. The day wasn't completely devoid of dads though. In a strange twist of fate we actually ran into Josh's dad at the stadium.

Sunday was a great day for football. The weather was perfect, the atmosphere was great, and the boys of Foxboro won. Josh and I had a blast!
Patriot Place, here we come!
View from our seats.
Tedy, my personal favorite player of all time.
Welcome Boys!
A little play action.
Touchdown PATRIOTS! 
The stadium was rocking all day long.
Final Score: Pats 38, Bills 30 (not taken at the end of the game)
Thanks dad! We had a great day :)

Ode to Boston Sports

I am a Boston girl through and through. I grew up here and my dad taught me to love our home teams. From as early as I can remember we were always cheering for the Sox or the Pats or the BC Eagles. On top of wanting me to marry a nice man who treated me well, my dad did not want me to marry someone from New York hoped I would marry someone who loved our local teams. Although Josh is from New York, he grew up rooting for Boston teams too. This made my dad very happy.

Over the last 2 years, Josh and I have cheered on all of the Boston teams together. We are both happily surprised with the other's devotion to our home town teams.

Showing some Sox love.
Cheering for the Bruins in the playoffs.
Rocking vintage Celtics shirts at the Garden.
Loving every second at the Pats game.
Just one of the many reasons our marriage works!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Commuters Look Up

I write a lot about my commute to work, but rarely about my way home. This is because, generally, my commute home is uneventful. I leave work with just enough time to quickly speed walk to South Station, check the monitor, and hop on the train before it leaves. Unlike the morning, the afternoon is much more tame. Some days I need to navigate around a farmer's market to go to the train, but mostly the human traffic problem from the morning is not a factor in the afternoon. Except for some days.

Occasionally I get to South Station a few minutes earlier than usual or the train is running a few minutes late. On those days, everything is different. As I run into the train station I see a ton of people staring at the board. It is a pretty funny site. 100 adults, tired from work, anxious to get home, just standing there waiting for the monitor to change.

The second the monitor changes, everyone is off to the races! A human traffic jam is created as everyone who was just waiting for a train jets off to make their train and get a seat. It is not my favorite place to be since I try to avoid the stampede, but as an onlooker, it is pretty funny.

Adding to the humor is the train monitor itself. The original board in South Station was old fashioned. Someone would push a button to announce a train arrival or a track for departure and the numbers and letters would flip around making a very loud clicking sound.
from here
When the board was updated, people became nostalgic for the noise. Now, when the information on the digital board changes the clicking sound is still played throughout the station. It is definitely a sight to see...or hear.

from here
I wonder how many people would miss the clicking sound if it stopped happening one day? Definitely something to ponder while I wait for my track number to be announced.

Walkin' On Sunshine

Some mornings, everything just clicks.

(not the original 1985 version by Katrina and the Wave, but fun non-the-less)

Most mornings I go through the motions half asleep. I do a lot before I arrive at work and get my coffee and generally it is all a fog. Once the alarm goes off, I am on autopilot through the gym, train ride, and walk to work. But some mornings, it is just different. I am out of bed when the alarm goes off, ready to attack the day.

Today was one of those days. Maybe it is because I have been sleeping better, thank you Ralph for keeping your loud walking to the hours before 11pm and after 5am, or because Josh and I have been back at the gym regularly, though I feel like I have bricks attached to my legs, but whatever it is, it is great. I am happy and energized to start the day.

This morning I danced my way into Boston, grabbed a coffee with a smile, and sat down at my desk ready to attack the day! I love positive attitude adjustments. Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

So Wrong

Only Josh and I would think it is appropriate to eat

from here
While watching
from here

Trust me, the irony is not lost on us. Good thing we went to Zumba last night!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What We Are Watching

It is no coincidence that Josh and I finished the West Wing just in time for the fall TV shows to start. Yes, I openly admit that I watch WAY too much TV. I can't help it. I read a lot, exercise more often than not, and have an active social life. But at the end of the night, when all of the fun is over, I like to curl up on the couch and tune in to my favorite shows.

I'm not sure where my love of TV watching comes from. Maybe it's because I had TV restrictions as a kid, or maybe it's because I like to relax and zone out a bit before bed, but mostly I think it is because I like watching the story unfold. Thanks to my DVR and On Demand I can keep up with my busy life and watch my shows when I have time.

Here are the top 10 shows I never miss! (Don't let Josh fool you, he is right there next to me)
  1. How I Met Your Mother
  2. Big Bang Theory
  3. Parenthood
  4. Grey's Anatomy
  5. Private Practice
  6. So You Think You Can Dance
  7. Millionaire Matchmaker
  8. Top Chef
  9. House Hunters/Property Virgins/Holmes on Homes/Anything on HGTV  (to be fair, I only watch these when there is nothing else on)
  10. Burn Notice (all Josh) + Army Wives (all me)
  11. American Idol
Which shows will you be watching this year? What are your can't miss shows?

Taco Tuesday

Last night was everybody's favorite...TACO TUESDAY!

Taco night is my favorite for so many reasons. Make it yourself tacos are delicious, soy crumbles make for a great meat substitute, and Josh makes the best homemade guacamole. It is a fun dinner where we get to eat yummy food and have a blast making it too.

Nothing like combining fun and food in the middle of the week!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

West Wing

One of the first things that Josh and I ever bonded over, aside from our love of all things Boston, was the West Wing. Though the show ended years ago, we both thought it was the best show on TV and missed it terribly. Josh had seasons 1 and 2 on DVD and we started watching them together about this time 2 years ago.

We slowly made our way through seasons 1 and 2 and for Hannukah that year, I gave Josh season 3. Through many more holidays and special occasions over the last 2 years, seasons of West Wing have become our go-to present. Each time we get a new season, we have a renewed interest in watching the story unfold. It took some time, but eventually our collection was complete.

Our commitment to watching the show ebbed and flowed as our lives went through different stages. But often, on a lazy Sunday or a stressful Tuesday, we would tune in to see how our friends in the White House were doing. It was a little silly, but it was fun for us. We have had a wonderful and stressful few years and having this escape has been a special treat. When we started season 7 this summer, we had mixed emotions. We were excited to finish up the series. It had been so long since we had seen how the series had ended.

It was a little sad too. It was one of the many things we did together, but one that we enjoyed more than most. I'm sure our mothers would say it would be better to watch less TV and to get out more, but I think we should choose a different series to watch together. You know, Josh, I do have the entire series of Gilmore Girls :)

Summer Skiing

On our way to see my parents this weekend, Josh and I saw a man cross country skiing on our street.

I guess he was getting into shape for the winter


Good thing I got my glasses just in time. When leaving our house I now need to watch for high schoolers walking to school, small children playing, oncoming traffic, runners, bikers, and cross country skiers. Our street is busier than I thought!

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Traditions

For Rosh Hashanah, Josh and I shuttled back and forth from Boston to Albany to spend the holiday with both my parents and his parents. This weekend, for Yom Kippur, we decided to celebrate the holiday with friends locally. This was the first time that we have ever celebrated a holiday this way.

Friday night I rushed home from work in order to eat dinner and make it to services on time. Josh had already started making dinner by the time I got home and did a great job getting everything ready. Since we did not have a lot of time to eat before services, he decided to make sesame chicken because it was quick, easy, and delicious. We also had salad, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. For dessert we had whoopie pies...YUM! After dinner, I cleaned up the kitchen, changed, and then we ran over to the old neighborhood for Kol Nidre.

Once we got to KI we found our friends. Many of our friends belong to KI and it was really nice to celebrate Yom Kippur with them. It was also fun to hang out with their kids. Saturday was similar to Friday night. Although I missed being at the Temple I grew up at and seeing many of my high school friends who were visiting their families for the holiday, it was great to be with our local friends.

I have to admit that at some point in the early afternoon I left KI and went to my parents' house. One of the many reasons that Josh and I work so well is we are all about compromise. I understand that Josh likes to spend a lot of time in Temple and he understands that I like to spend time with my family on holidays. So while Josh was at services, I hung out with my mom and dad. Later, I met him back at KI for the end of the evening service.

We ended the night at our friend's (or as Josh likes to say, cousin's) house. She had her annual break fast which was a blast as always. It was nice to see many friends, acquaintances, and new faces. Really, it was a wonderful way to end the day. I think it was the perfect compromise. Josh and I both got out of the day what we wanted, and we were able to celebrate together. I think this weekend brought us one step closer to figuring out how we, as a family, want to celebrate holidays.

I Can See!

After months of putting it off, I finally went to the eye doctor. The verdict was what I suspected it would glasses! While I'm not thrilled by the idea of wearing glasses more often than not, I was very excited to pick out some new specs. I decided to go hipster meets yuppy.

I'm starting to get the hang of wearing glasses for more than just reading and am loving driving with them on...who knew there were actually words on street signs? It may not have been the result I wanted from the eye doctor, but the new glasses definitely make it so much easier to see!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Random Musings from the Train

Now that we are officially back in the swing of things, the train is a much more interesting and exciting place.

Yesterday I sat down next to a man in a very nice suit. He was clearly on his way to work and looked more professional than most. He was busy on his phone...or at least I thought he was. At closer look it turns out he was playing chess on his iphone. After making a great move he let out a huge fist pump that would have been right at home on Jersey Shore. It was awesome.

Many BC High kids take the train to school. Generally, they keep to themselves and listen to their ipods or do homework. There is one kid, however, who cracks me up. He definitely thinks that he is Justin and all. Every day you can see the other boys hoping that 'Justin' will sit with them or talk to them. It's pretty fantastic.

On my walk from the train to work I am use to seeing politicians, men selling newspapers, and people handling out free samples. I am not, however, used to seeing a giant, walking, talking salad bowl. Really, there are no words.

My commute cracks me up!

A Real Treat

Back in high school a friend of mine and I took a TV/Media class. We LOVED it. Everything about the class was fun. Camera work was a blast, group work was always the best, and the creative environment was great too. It was our favorite class. At that time, Smashmouth was HUGE and we were out of our minds obsessed loved their biggest song, All That Glitters is Gold. Pretty much we thought we were so cool singing it all day long and dancing around.

With my 10 year high school reunion coming up, I have been reminiscing about high school a lot. I have been hanging out with many old friends, especially the one I used to sing and dance, among other things, with. In what can only be described as perfect timing and fate, I stumbled upon this piece of greatness the other day. IT IS AMAZING!

The fact that these high school seniors were able to make something as fantastic as this blows my mind. It truly is out of this world.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

We Like to Zumba

Post wedding, I have to admit, my gym motivation is nonexistent has gone way down. I guess it was to be expected, but as someone who has been an active gym go-er for over 10 years, this is a little disappointing. Though apparently I’m not disappointed enough to get up at 5:45am consistently. I'm batting about .500 at this point.
So, in an effort to still get my workout in while still sleeping a bit later, I decided to check out the Zumba class at my gym...and drag Josh along too.

I have done Zumba one time before and thought it was a blast. I am very excited that our gym now offers a class in it. Josh has never done it (and probably never wanted to) but he likes to salsa so why not, right? Wrong! The class was SO HARD!
An hour of hip shaking to hot Latin music was a lot harder than sweating to the oldies! We had a blast though and are definitely going to go back next week...if we can walk by then!

Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood

Josh and I are the new people in our neighborhood.

Over the weekend we got to meet some more of our nieghbors. Wilson invited us to a Ralph-free get-together at his other neighbor's house. We learned that we live in a very eclectic nieghborhood full of people with very different backgrounds, different religions, and different careers. We also learned that although our neighbors are very different from us, they are very kind and super inviting. I guess that was the lesson that Seasame Street was trying to teach us all those years ago.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Awkward Run-Ins

Running into students, parents, soccer players, and anyone else affiliated with Josh's school is part of the territory of being married to a teacher. Living in the same community where Josh teaches leads to constantly being stopped by a chorus of 'Mr. Neudel. Hi Mr. Neudel! What are you doing here Mr. Neudel?' While I know that this is par for the course these days, at first it was hard to get use to. I will say that more often than not, running into a student or parent is just a normal part of our everyday life. However, occasionally, Josh and I are left with some pretty hilarious and often very awkward experiences.

On our third date Josh and I went to the Cheesecake Factory. Josh had been at a soccer game earlier in the evening and going someplace close by and casual seemed like the best option. Halfway through dinner a waiter brought us a note. One of Josh's soccer players was at the restaurant and spotted us. She had written 'Mr. Neudel, I hope she is Jewish' on the note and then hid behind a large pole to watch him read it and our reaction to it. Ah high school!

Another time I stopped by the market on my way home from the gym. I had worked out in one of Josh's soccer shirts and didn't think much of it. The entire time I was at the market, a woman I did not know kept looking at me and following me down aisles. I was sort of creeped out and tried not to make eye contact with her. Finally, she came up to me and asked what grade I was in or what year I had graduated. I literally had no idea what she was talking about and walked away. She followed me some more and asked if I knew her daughter who played on 'my' soccer team. Finally it all clicked. I realized she was talking about Josh's school and that I had probably just offended a parent. I then had to explain that no, I did not go to the school and that my fiance was a teacher and coach there. Then I had to call Josh and confess what had just happened, just in case the woman called the school. Ug high school!

The other morning a woman at the gym kept looking at me and Josh. She was super intense and kept getting really close to us to see who we were. Neither one of us was wearing school paraphernalia nor did we have any intention of talking to a stranger at 6am. It would have been less awkward if she had just said hello. We were convinced that she had to be related school somehow. Oh high school!

I have officially embraced being married to a well liked teacher and running into students and parents alike while out and about, but please please please make these awkward run-ins stop!

Voting at the Elementary School

Last night, after work, Josh and I went to vote. As we are avid voters, this in itself is not a remarkable feat. But, this time, voting was just a bit more exciting.

For the first time, I got to tell the election volunteer my new address when I checked in. Then, I got to tell him my new name. On top of that, we got to see the elementary school that our kids will go to one day. I have to say, I'm impressed. It's pretty small which is nice. And it is in great condition. The gym looks pretty much like the gym I had growing up, but the fields, playground, and track are awesome. It was really exciting to walk in there and a take a little look around.

A cute elementary school in a fantastic school district walking distance to our house is just another reason we love our neighborhood. The market, drug store, bookstore, bank, bakery, ice cream shoppe and Commuter Rail also in walking distance help too.

Having a glimpse into our future every once and a while is fun. And being reminded that we made a good decision when buying our house is great as well. Of course choosing different party ballots during the primary is a whole other story. At least we can both agree that voting is important...especially when we get to check our future kids school too!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lays Potato Chip Challenge

When Jana and Eddie came to visit Josh and me a few weeks ago, Eddie and Josh had a long conversation about potato chips. Apparently, both of them love chips...a lot. Somehow, during that conversation, it was mentioned that we should do a taste test. What can I say; we are all very random sometimes. Unfortunately, time got away from us and we did not have time. Josh and I being in NY this past weekend gave us the perfect opportunity to have the Lays Potato Chip Challenge.

To prepare for the challenge, Josh and I went out and bought 5 different types of Lay's potato chips.

The official line up
Then we made sure Eddie was in position with his blindfold on.

Eddie was a good sport.
Potato chip #1. What flavor is it?

Will he guess right?
He sure did! But the first one was an easy one.

Sour Cream & Onion
To cleanse his palate.
He needed a little help drinking the water
Chip #2
BBQ. Right on Eddie!
Chips #3, 4, & 5 he got on the money.

Harvest Ranch, Salt and Vinegar, and Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper
Clearly, Eddie is the winner of the Lay's Potato Chip Challenge.

Way to go Eddie! You have the best chip palate of the bunch :)
Too bad he couldn't win the Wii bowling challenge too. That honor went to Jana!

Notice where the girls finished and the boys finished.
Josh and I had a blast with Jana and Eddie. It is too bad they live so far away, because whenever we hang out with them, we always wind up having some sort of silly fun.

1st Monday Morning

The top 10 ways to know that in our house it was the first Monday morning of the school year:
  1. The sound of the alarm at 5:45am was not welcome.
  2. Despite being very organized, it took twice as long to get out of the house than usual.
  3. The gym was a lot more crowded than usual forcing us to bike instead of run.
  4. Traffic was very bad on the Pike, side streets, and everywhere else. 
  5. The Commuter Rail was late and packed.
  6. Some woman used her big purse to push through the crowd forcing me to trip and whack my knee against the metal armrest on the seat. 
  7. The human traffic added an extra 5 minutes of walking time to my commute.
  8. The line at Dunkin Donuts was around the corner.
  9. Making a Russo's run before work was not effective since apparently they open at 8 and not 7.
  10. The students are all clogging the halls in Josh's school while leaving the Freedom Trail empty for me to get easily into my office.
On another note, Happy Massachusetts Primary Day! Don't forget to vote. Not sure where your polling place is or who is running in your area? Check out the MA Elections Division.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rosh Hashanah Round Up

This year Josh and I did something a little different for Rosh Hashanah. Since the holiday is celebrated over 2 days, we decided to split up the days, one with my family and one with his. I have to say, I was a little skeptical since it made for a lot of long days, but actually, it worked out pretty well.

We started our multi-state extravaganza at my parent's house for dinner on Wednesday night. We were joined by my cousins and 2 families who are great friends of ours. As always, my mom put on a perfect dinner. She made everyone's favorite dishes, created a wonderful atmosphere, and was the kind of hostess I hope to one day be. There was just something about 16 people around table, eating delicious food, talking and laughing, and reminiscing about old memories while making new ones that just made it seem like the holidays. It was a pretty awesome night.

The next morning, Josh and I joined my parents for services in the temple I grew up in. It was great to see old friends, many with their new spouses and children. Sharing this experience with Josh was part of why we decided to spend one day in Massachusetts and one day in New York. As we navigate our way through married life and try to make our own path, it is important for us to know and understand where the other came from. Only when we both appreciate and see how the other was raised, where our values come from, and why we practice our religion the way we do, can we start to carve out how our family will move forward. Religion is a big part of our lives, but finding a common ground and figuring out where we want to go from here is important to us. Which is why, after services with my parents, we drove to New York to spend the second day with Josh's family.

We arrived just in time for dinner and enjoyed a nice family dinner with Josh's parents and sister. Although we were exhausted, it was nice to have some time with them and to catch up. The next morning we got up early to go to the synagogue that Josh grew up in. It was great to see the difference in the two services, connect with many of Josh's family friends, and receive an honor of lifting and dressing the Torah. After services were over, we enjoyed another delicious meal, took a short nap, had Shabbat dinner, and hung out with Josh's sister and her boyfriend. It was a great weekend and we were really happy we were able to do it.

I'm not sure that splitting the holidays like we did this year will be possible every year, but it was nice to be able to spend time with both sides of our family. It also gave us a chance to see how the other celebrates Rosh Hashanah and talk about how, from here, we want to celebrate in the future. As great as this weekend was, I think I can speak for Josh when I say we are happy to be in town next weekend for Yom Kippur.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's a Dogs Life

Over the weekend, every time we were outside, Josh and I kept seeing a dog in our yard. We do not own a dog, neither do Ralph or Wilson, so we were very confused as to where this dog came from. In 3 months we have never run into a dog on our street unless it was being walked on a leash. Now, all of a sudden, there was a dog taking up residence in our yard.

After spotting the tell tale sign of students in September, old couches, chairs, and trash on the curb, our mystery was solved. The grad students living next to us (on the other side of our house from Wilson) had moved out and a new crop of eager students had moved in...and with them, their dog.

As much as I appreciate that this move must have been hard on the dog, or at least that was what the owners claimed, it was still not ok for the dog to wander in and out of our front and backyard whenever he had to go to the bathroom. Now I don't want to sound like Ralph and start a war with our new neighbors, but the present that was left for us on our lawn by the dog was very unwelcome.

Hopefully the polite conversation Josh had with our new neighbors asking them to keep their dog inside their own fenced in yard will do the trick. If not, for once, I will be grateful to have Ralph on our side. I just can't imagine he would be ok with dogs on our property when he can't stand us driving a car on our driveway.

Happy New Year!

L'Shanah Tovah


Wishing you a great holiday and an even better year!