Showing posts with label Engagement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Engagement. Show all posts

Thursday, January 10, 2013

An Unexpected Turn of Events

Listen, it was really bright outside. But hey! Snow! It's our first
snow together as an "us." Talk about a highlightable moment.

Life has this funny way of being completely and utterly and ridiculously unexpected an oftentimes unpredictable. Some of those unexpected mometns are horrifying and scary and some of them are amazing and uplifting.

It's me and the illustrious Laura Ben-David at the engagement
party. Mad props to Mr. Ben-David for the excellent photo.

Last week, Mr. T and I gathered with dozens of friends (who spanned my life in Connecticut, Colorado, and Israel) of ours at Ha'Gov to celebrate our engagement. People just kept coming! There was a lot of laughing, noshing, reminiscing, story-telling, and general joviality. The most unexpected result of the evening for me is something of a PSA for any and all naysayers:

My dearest Melissa, a friend who helped pick me back up a week after my get when I arrived in Colorado, thank you.

The news below impacts my coworkers Sue (left in the picture) and
Melissa (right in the picture). But we're still happy to be together!

Here's another case in point from this week of the unexpected and unpredictable. Many of you will read this and say, "Aha! Things aren't going so smoothly now, are they Chaviva!?" But I urge you to read all of what I write and then 

On Monday night I got fired from a job I have absolutely loved and done nothing but kvell about at every conference and to every Jewish professional I've run into. Yes, the Colorado Agency for Jewish Education has let me go starting January 15, 2013. The moment I found out, the feelings I had weren't so much of panic or devastation but more a sadness that another Jewish agency is losing it's ties to any kind of presence in social spaces. Immediately I put the call out on Twitter and Facebook: "Help find me a job!" The next morning, I had a half-dozen jobs in my inbox sent by dozens of people. I've applied to them all, and I have a very important and hopefully fruitful call on Sunday afternoon. B'ezrat HaShem (with the help of G-d), I might have this full-time loss filled up more quickly than I can possibly imagine. This job loss was unexpected, and I had no clue it was coming. I anticipated at some point the distance with Colorado would become an issue, but the reality was finances -- not distance. Mr. T, the amazing man that he is, has reassured me time and again that we'll survive, and it's amazing how much I feel that. I'm not panicked, I'm not worried, I'm not stressed out. It's a funny feeling to be in the right space and to know that somehow HaShem will provide.

So, with IKEA bookshelves in our possession, a dryer on its way, wedding plans just about finished, life is moving along. The amazing thing about Mr. T and me is that we have something unique going on in that we manage to communicate everything, and even when we disagree, we don't fight. It's funny, and really unexpected, but I didn't know that having an argument didn't require yelling, crying, and hurt feelings. (Yes, we looked up the Merriam-Webster definition of argument just to be sure.) I feel incredibly lucky to have someone so easy-going, hilarious, and positive in my life. May things always be this good, even when they're not.

Onward and upward!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Marriage: The Details

I walked in the store, it was the first ring I saw. It was the ring
I had always wanted. And the shop keeper told us, simply from
our birth dates and names, the story of who we are, what we
need, and what kind of couple we will be. It was mind blowing.

Okay okay!

So you're wondering what on earth is going on with me, right? Why haven't I been writing about every oozy love filled moment I'm experiencing with my fiance? Who is he? Where did he come from? Have I gone off the absolute deep end meeting and getting engaged to someone so very, very quickly?

Or, perhaps those of you who relished in my hair covering posts are simply elated that such posts will continue. Maybe there are some of you who are eager to see what me -- married part deux -- will look like in the blogging universe. I'm guessing someone of you are just waiting to pounce and the comments section will inevitably be filled with a mixture of mazal tov and "you're nuts, why are you trying to solve your life's problems with another guy you barely know?!"

Yes, I can read you (my readers) like a book.

The truth is I've been enjoying the past month of my life in a way that I haven't enjoyed my life privately for years. And when I say years, I mean years. For the first time, I decided to keep my dating experiences off the blog, as well as all of the information about the guy and how everything went down and how absolutely utterly perfectly imperfect we both are and how when you know, you just know. I've been relishing (although, I've been more public about it on Facebook and Twitter since we got engaged) about this man who is brilliant and funny and ridiculous and who has a life story that could possibly champion mine in a real bout of insanity. We've both been married, we've both really experienced all that there is to experience in the outside world, and we both were sold immediately on the potential of what is going to be a relationship of growth, communication, understanding, patience, love, and hopefully some babies -- together.

So what do you need to know? All you need to know is that Mr. T and I are happy. Yes, we're going to call him Mr. T, because every loved one needs a fun moniker on a blog like this. Mr. T is an Englishman, a juggler, a storyteller, a jokester, a father, someone who can fix anything, and that he treats me unlike I've been treated ever in the history of the many men I've dated. He proposed to me a half dozen times, including the second-to-last time by text message. While we were sitting at the same table. That's how well he gets me.

Fish and chips and phone calls and tea. 

We'll be getting hitched just before Purim in the world's smallest (okay maybe not) wedding (we're talking roughly 25 people), because I've earned the right to relish in the closeness that I feel with Mr. T. We don't want a big shibang, no fancy halls, no giant family reunions, no giant wedding dresses, no upscale bouquets. Just us, our family (in my case my adoptive family, although my intent is to Skype in my family back in the U.S.), and a few of our very closest friends. Then? A few of the traditional sheva brachot in Neve Daniel, Ramat Beth Shemesh, and Jerusalem (tentatively that's the plan), and then the rest of our lives just enjoying each other's company (he recites poetry from memory, I regale him with my many speeding ticket stories).

And that, folks, is what's happening. My life has become a whirlwind of busy things and entrepreneurial projects, which I hope to share with you all soon once they launch. Ulpan also starts next month, so my life will become even more heartily hectic.

Conferences, meetings in the sun on Emek Refaim, lots of tea, smiles, laughter, love, shiny bobbles, friends, and happiness.

This is life in Israel. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Being Jewish is Splendiferous.

I love this photo in a way that cannot be put into words!

The most frustrating thing about life, is not having enough time to blog. Those of you who know me know how therapeutic this blog is for me. It keeps me sane when the rest of the world is spinning at light speed around me. So for the past few weeks, I've been running on adrenaline, planning and emailing and trying to make sure all of our bases are covered as new wedding-like things get thrown our way. Luckily, probably the most difficult part of the planning process is done -- we've booked a hall! Amen. It was not only the cheapest, but also the nicest. It includes everything (including booze), save the DJ and centerpieces (which I am more than happy to create myself!). Now? Dresses and invitations and wedding registries and LEARNING. Yes, lots of kallah-style learning with one of my BFFs in West Hartford.

The reality of the engagement really set in last night at the L'Chaim/Engagement Party/Vort that Evan and I had at our good friend's home. Dozens of people came, some sporting beautiful gifts and others booze. There was more food than could be consumed (we came home with a lot of a cake, some cupcakes, veggies, dips, frozen goodies, and more!), and laughs like you couldn't imagine. One of the best parts? A friend from the community that moved away last year while I was away in Middlebury at Ulpan actually came to the event. When he walked in the door, I plotzed! This guy, I mean, he's hilarious. It was the perfect highlight to an already wonderful evening. My professor also showed up with his wife, which was a hefty surprise. A good friend of Tuvia's drove up all the way from New York and brought our rabbinic intern with her, which also meant so much to us. People from both of the shuls we frequent in the community came, and the l'chaims were bountiful. There was singing, and conversation, and jokes. I took plenty of photos to capture all of the happiness that bloomed as the night went on. What else is there to say? I felt so loved. Tuvia and I barely spoke the entire night, as the guests poured in and we had so many kind things to discuss with people. In fact, one guest even gave us a piece of artwork with our names on it. Talk about feeling loved!

It's amazing to me, and almost difficult to truly understand, how truly beautiful the Jewish family is. The community is something unlike anything I've ever experienced. Those of you who grew up in the Jewish community, especially the Orthodox one, have no idea how disconnected and un-warm the rest of the world is. It blows my mind, every day, how connected, tied together Jews are to one another. No matter where you go, there's this ready-made family there for you. That's something special, something unique, something truly splendiferous. Had I not found myself within the Jewish family, I think my neshama and subsequently my physical body, would have sputtered out and drifted away a long time ago. I would have lost myself. Sometimes (a lot of the time) it's overwhelming to be in the Jewish community -- it's meals, simchas, shabboses, yom tovs, and every event planned in between. The socializing, the love, the hugs, the constant flow of welcome, for someone like me coming from the Outside World, is emotionally exhausting in the most beautiful way. To be honest, I wouldn't want it any other way. For all of the nights that I just want to sleep, but instead spend hours talking with friends after a meal on Shabbos, not sleeping until 12:30 in the morning, I am thankful and blessed.

What a life, eh? What a life. More photos below in the slideshow!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Roundup: Engagement Ring, Cupcakes, AND MORE!

If I could list for you all of the things I've done this week (let alone today), you'd be mind-blown. Absolutely mind-blown. I've been running on adrenaline since my conversion a week ago today, not to mention since the proposal late Wednesday night this week. There have been dental and physical therapy appointments, learning sessions, bathroom painting (it's BEAUTIFUL, by the way), and more. The stress is coming out my ears already, but luckily I'm rocking a brand-new mouthguard for my at-night grinding issues! Yay! (I have TMJ, as a result of stress, so sometimes, I get all hardcore with my mouth movements at night. Problem: alleviated!)

I was anticipating some naptime today, but no dice. I had to bake a dessert for the big Shabbos potluck tonight, as well as write up a d'var Torah for the dinner, followed by a bit of laundry, some organizing for the wedding already, not to mention, you know, showering and eating and cleaning and putting clothes on. Of course, these latter items were on the bottom of the totem pole and my veggies and chummus are still sitting here beside my computer looking sadly at me in hopes that, you know, maybe I'll eat them. Did I mention breathing? I keep forgetting to do that.

Luckily, I had about two hours of therapy yesterday painting the bathroom green. That's Tuvia's bathroom, mind you. I am really happy with it came out. This therapy included really working my arm muscles and detailing baseboards quietly. There was no music, no TV, no people, nothing. It was really nice, but it was far too short. Luckily, there is more painting to do, so that'll be therapy part two.

Today I baked some cupcakes for the dinner tonight. I was wanting to make something really original and personal, but seeing as I'm short on time and breath and energy, I opted to hit up the grocery store for some cake mix and frosting. Now, the meal is meat tonight (I'm assuming, as they  usually are), so I was at a loss. I wanted to make Red Velvet Cupcakes (my favorite) with Cream Cheese Frosting. However, the latter usually is deliciously dairy. What's a girl to do? I scanned the aisle for about 10 minutes and then spotted the most amazing thing ever. Parve Cream Cheese Frosting, in an easy-to-use can with a head on it for easy application! OMG! Best, find, ever. Go out, buy some, eat it out of the can. Tell me how much you love it!

Just now, in order to write this blog post since so many of you have wanted details, I finished up a d'var Torah on the parshah shemot for tonight's dinner. I don't want to bore my dining companions, so I hope it's not too long. For those of you eager to read it, I've posted it in the right-hand column there for your viewing pleasure! Be sure to let me know what you think.

AHEM. For those of you looking for wedding/proposal details, I've conveniently created one of those awesome websites, and Tuvia picked up the awesome URL Check out our engagement story and more there!

Lastly, I think, for now, is the engagement ring. I've gotten a lot of requests to post the photo, so here it is. The little beauty. I have to let you guys know -- Tuvia picked this out COMPLETELY on his own. I gave him a half-dozen photos of what I wanted, and he opted to get this one instead. I have to say it's the best decision (after finding me, of course) that he's ever made. It's often known as a past-present-future ring. I love it!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday, March 12, 2009

To Life, To Life, L'Chaim!

For the second time in the past month, Tuvia and I schlepped down to New York City to Crown Heights for something exciting! A few weeks ago? It was to see FrumSatire get his comedy on. Last night? It was to attend the L'Chaim of my wisdom-ful blogger friend, Mottel.

We drove down after Tuvia got off work, in a shwanky rental car since Tuvia's is getting fixed up thanks to some bad weather rear-endings. The trek was incredibly quick, and we stopped off for some incredibly disappointing cupcakes in the city before heading off to Crown Heights. We found a parking spot pretty quickly down the block from the Jewish Children's Museum, and a few minutes after 9 p.m. walked into the F.R.E.E. (Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe) building.

Because I'm a fond believer in the private lives and the privacy of other bloggers, I'm not going to go into massive details of the engagement event. I'll just say that for my first L'Chaim, it was absolutely beautiful. I was in the women's section the entire time, but people flowed almost gracefully between the two groups, but with respecting completely the necessity of modesty and separation. The food was amazing, the people were so kind, and perhaps most importantly, the kallah was absolutely beautiful.

Whenever I attend events like this, where there's a ton of Chabadniks and modestly dressed women (believe me, I was all frummed up and the only skin to be seen was on my hands and face), I feel out of place without trying. I have short, short hair and every Jewish woman on the planet dons long, flowing dark hair -- even with her sheitl styles! The clothes are satiny and elegant, the women are graceful without trying. And the men? Pious, excited about who they are and HaShem above. Their passion is something to be seen, something to be understood, and it fails to compare to anything else I know. I see those men, and those women, and I'm filled with admiration. Can I be like that? Would I be able to be like that? Would I want to be like that? I left feeling a desire to be shomer negiah. Is that obscene? The entire idea of matchmaking suddenly felt so beautiful. So romantic. Thousands of years of Jewish matches made can't be wrong, can they?

At any rate, it was a wonderful evening and all I can say is Mazel Tov and many, many happy things to Mottel and his kallah!