The long silence

HebrewDawn: the long silence
For the last year I’ve mostly been silent here on HebrewDawn, stopped posting my queued up Real Mom posts, and basically neglected you all. All I can say is I’m sorry, but I’m ready to open up about why. 

In May 2016 I found out I was pregnant with our second, my oldest was getting close to turning three and blooming into being her own little person, and I suddenly had doubts about what or how much to share about my family. I’ve always been cautious about sharing their names, but details about their life and personality worry me too. What if someone uses info on my site or social media for the wrong reasons? What if I’m telling things my children will later wish I kept private? This internal wrestiling has gone on forever and then one of my favorite podcasts (Young House Love Has a Podcast) talked about this EXACT topic. Suddenly I didn’t feel alone, felt a little justified in my trepidation, and felt like I could back on the old blogging saddle. 

I can honestly say that I have missed you all. I’ve heard from some of you during my writing silence asking what’s going on, and for that I am thankful. I hope you know that I have never taken you my followersfor granted  have been saving things to share with you throughout my silence. Please hang in there as I come back to finding my writing rhythm, but I promise to not be so silent anymore! I have no plans to keep my family (particularly my kids) off the blog, but I do plan on changing how much you see of them on here and on social media. What all this will look like is still to be determined. Be back Monday with a new post from yours truly and Wednesday with a wellness post from Erica!

HebrewDawn: the long silence

The end of pregnancy questions

HebrewDawn: The end of pregnancy questions

First off, I want to say sorry this isn’t a more uplifting post, but I’m going to be honest about current and recent sentiments. I have been very quiet on HebrewDawn for much of my pregnancy, and I’m not completely certain as to why. Perhaps I just wanted to process my thoughts on this pregnancy and becoming a mom to two on my own before writing them. Moving forward I do plan to open up and share more about how life and motherhood is going with the transition  from one girl to two, including all the ups and downs.

On to current feelings….

A little over a year ago I wrote this post for a few of my friends who were near or drawing near to their due dates, and here I find myself in their shoes.  I’m days from my due date, and I’ve only hit my “over it” moment last week. Luckily, this was not as early as with my first, AND  frankly I’m quite proud that I made it to 38 weeks and 2 days before hitting that point this time.

HebrewDawn: the end of pregnancy questions
Now that I’m at the “over it” point of my pregnancy, the well meaning questions from every friend, family member, co-worker, and stranger off the street is driving me CRAZY. So here are my favorite questions, and how I wish I could respond:

How are you feeling? Tired of being pregnant and uncomfortable from the necessary body changes for labor to begin. Other than that I’m great, because this discomfort means I get to meet my baby soon!

How much longer do you have? No way of knowing as due dates are just an estimate! I’m “due” in a few days, but babies arrive anywhere between 39.5 and 41.5 weeks. Also, there are no plans to induce me unless we’re creeping up on 42 weeks. God, please don’t let that happen!

Do you know what you’re going to have? A human baby. At our 20 week ultrasound they said it’s a girl, and I’m praying it’s right. It would be really awkward to dress a baby boy in a little sister outfit.

You’re not going to go into labor right here are you? I could, but it doesn’t really matter. Labor takes quiet a bit of time to progress before a baby comes out. Last I checked babies don’t just fall out.

Are you still working? Yes, because there’s always work for me to get done. Oh, and there’s no reason to waste my maternity leave before the baby arrives.

Is the baby here yet? Not yet, and hopefully my little one will be here VERY soon. Just remember that as excited as you are for this baby to arrive, my husband, daughter, and I are the most excited and we are anxiously waiting for labor to start.

Will you tell me when the baby arrives? Yes! BUT those that need to know first (people present in the delivery room or taking care of my daughter, my boss) will be notified when I go into labor. Everyone else will find out after the baby is born, most likely via social media.

What are you doing while you wait?
I’m going to try and smile nicely to anyone asking one of these well meaning questions.

BUT I cannot promise that I won’t respond in a snarky fashion to the questions, that I won’t ignore phone calls, and that I’ll respond to every text message sent to me.

I do promise that I am going to relax as best I can and enjoy these final moments of being a family of three.

 

 

 

 

silence is no longer an option

HebrewDawn: silence is no longer an option
For far too long I’ve sat in silence. 

For far too long I’ve allowed others to be the voice for the oppressed. 

For far too long I was made to believe my voice wasn’t needed. 

I now know that I was wrong, because I can no longer remain silent. 

I speak out to have my voice heard. 

I speak out for those that cannot speak. 

I speak out to hold our government accountable. 

I speak out to keep history from repeating itself. 

I speak out because I have hope we can do better, that we will be better, and that things will change. 

Silence is no longer an option. 

Inauguration Day 2017

To my dearest daughter,

Today is the inauguration of the 45th president of our country. This day is filled with mixed emotions for many Americans, as some are delighted and some are greatly dismayed with who is to be our next president. I’m not here today to tell you how I feel or how you should feel about this, but I do have some things I’d like share with you.

Being a United States citizen is a great privilege, and it comes with civic duty. We may not like or agree with the people who hold elected positions, but we do have the ability to speak out, speak up, and to vote our conscience.  On November 8th you came with me to the polls to cast my vote for our next president and other elected officials on a historic day in American politics. A woman was the presidential candidate for a major political party. As a woman I could choose, with you by my side, to vote for a woman for president if I so chose.

Regardless of how I may or may not have voted, a woman won the popular vote in the election for president. She may not have won the election due to electoral college votes, but we were VERY close to having a woman elected president. Many will talk about all the things that were wrong with Hillary Clinton, but what is right about her is the deep crack she made in the presidential glass ceiling. By the time you’re old enough to dream of being president, I know that it can be more than a dream.

I’m happy to note that November 8th wasn’t the first time you’ve gone with me to vote,and it will not be the last time you’ll go with me to vote. Through this experience, I hope you will know the importance of your voice in what is happening in our government. You can be heard by voting, contacting your elected officials, and speaking up about what is going on in our government. You will not see eye to eye with every other  American, but I hope you can let your voice be heard and respect the voices of other Americans too.

Today our 45th president is a man, but there is a big crack in the presidential glass ceiling. I wonder if our 46th president will be a woman?

Dream big my love and never let anyone silence your voice.

Love,

Mama

Hello Again

It has been a long time since I last wrote here, and I’ll hope you’ll forgive my silence. I’ve most certainly missed you, writing, and connecting with you. As an avid blogger reader myself, I know how strange it can feel when one of your blogs go silent. 

I hope you can hang in there as I explain what’s been going on. For starters I’m 26 weeks pregnant, and the first trimester was a  it of doozy. On top of it all Erica and I have had some things we’re working on for the site that have taken longer than planned. Rather than continue with silence, I’ve realized it’s better to keep writing and make the best of things. When our new project is ready, trust me that you’ll find out first here not Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter

Today is a short update, but you’ll hear more from me again soon. In the meantime don’t miss out on Instagram where you’ll see me most often. I’ll be back writing again more frequently and consistently before you know it. 

Favorites This Week: June 18th

HebrewDawn: Favorites - June 18th
Yay! It’s the weekend! 

How did your week treat you? 

Things ended out of the normal for those of us in the Greater Richmond area. We had a CRAZY storm on Thursday evening, which resulted in countless downed and uprooted trees, damage to homes, and over 160,000 people without power. To top it all off some local schools systems closed schools on the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! Nuts around here I tell ya! 

Enough about the crazy storm, and onto the regularly scheduled weekly favorites:

Have you ever been the victim of co-sleeping next to a child?  Thes many sleep positions of co-sleeping cracked me up, because they are SO TRUE!

Being a woman has it’s moments of beauty, hello motherhood, but it also has it’s tough moments. Especially tough are the recurring moments of monthly pain from adolescents until menopause. Now the guys have had a chance to experience the pain they think is that bad. Have you seen these guys yet? If not, go see them exerpience our monthly reality.

Are you a fan of crocs for you or the children in your life? Did you know that some find them wildly unattractive, AND they are terrible for your feet? Turns out they can cause a lot of foot issues. So save the crocs for short activities in the garden, but otherwise leave them at home for your all day adventures.

Are you fan of manicures or pedicures? I definitely love getting pampered, but paying for a mani-pedi isn’t always in the budget which means I must do this myself. the downside of at home mani-pedis is waiting for your nails to dry. I am not the most patient person, but thanks to Seche Vite I no longer have to wait long. If you’re looking for a sure fire way to speed up your nail drying time, look no further!

 

Time to go get some fun in with my family, and prepare for company heading our way later today.

Have a beautiful weekend and make the most of your day!

Two of us on the run

HebrewDawn: unconditional tenderness

Living well does not just mean taking care of our physical body. It also means looking after our spirit by nurturing the people and things and ideas we love. For me, that’s music. I was fortunate enough to catch the amazing Lucius (one of my favorite bands) at a local venue last night. In addition to playing a killer show, the group took time out of their set to say a few words about the events that took place in Orlando earlier this week. They shared their condolences and begged the audience to keep talking about these atrocities. They urged us to support ANY AND ALL efforts to stop the spread of hate and bigotry. This was received with both cheers and tears; a collective raising of hope.

In a time where we can never be sure of anything, I think we can all be sure that aggressive intolerance is not only baseless but also divisive. Anger and resentment towards the differences of others is like being mad at the weather. Reflecting on our pain and frustration may be dwelling in the past, but it is our only path forward. Remembering how these terrible crimes affect us and the world we live in is the path to change. This is not a time to forgive and forget. This is a time for us to get up, stand up, and do something positive. In the face of a ghastly tragedy like this one, it can be difficult to see any positive outcome, but try. I promise it will be better if you do. 

I have to admit when the news first broke of yet another mass shooting, I was in denial. I did not want to hear about it. I didn’t want to get angry or sad or experience the heavy emotions of this tragic pointless loss of life. It seems so unreal. There is no acceptable answer for why this happened just as there is no sure-fire way to stop it from happening again. But that doesn’t mean we should not try. We have to believe a solution is possible, we have to want change more than we fear this cruel intolerance. It will be tough to find the motivation, but we should try. It’s better if we do.

We have to learn to trust each other and that starts with love and respect. I respect you even though I don’t know you. I appreciate all the experiences that have made you and look forward to knowing you better. You are imperfectly perfect as you are right now in this moment and I love you for that. I want you to know that I cherish you. I love you before I’ve even met you because we are alike. We deserve to find love in each other, we are connected. It may seem hard to believe, with me here and you there, but try. It’s better if you do.

We asked for your prayers earlier this week, but now we ask for your action. We want you to join us in spreading a message of love and acceptance. Help us commemorate these events in a positive way. Hug someone, call someone, buy someone a coffee, ask someone how their day was, just engage with someone. Help them with a project, help them with their homework, just be helpful. By caring randomly for another, even in a small way, we are sharing the love. You may not get a favor in return or even a thank you, bur you should try. Its better if you do.

While I don’t believe in unconditional love, I do believe in unconditional tenderness. After all, everyone is somebody’s child. It may be hard to believe that an evil killer once had a loving mother, but we should try. It will be better if we do.
HebrewDawn: unconditional tenderness

Let’s work to make the tragedy in Orlando the straw that broke the camels back. Let’s take the high road and discourage hateful rhetoric. Let’s react with compassion before anger. Let’s remember to treat others just as we hope to be treated. By paying it forward and giving our neighbors the benefit of the doubt we are taking tiny but deliberate steps toward making love the golden rule. Let’s kill hate with kindness. It wont be easy and can’t be solved with clever hash tags or a cute t-shirt, but still we should try. Trying to find, feel, and reflect love every day regardless of the outcome will test each of us, but it’s worth it. It may seem ridiculous to think that love can stop a bullet, but I think we should try. I think it’s better if we do.

Here at HebrewDawn we want everyone to feel welcome. We want you to be yourself to your fullest expression in this safe cyber space. We want to hear your thoughts and fears and hopes and dreams. We want to be there for you and rely on your support as well. Thank you for being you. We love you and wish you well.

all the words that could be said

I could tell you today that my heart is broken, but I think it goes without saying. I could also prattle on about how we need to put an end to the gun violence, but those words have been said abundantly. In light of yet ANOTHER mass shooting, all the words that could be said are spinning through my head.

Rather than tell you how I feel or reflect on how we all might be feel, can I ask you to do one thing?

Will you pray for and love a community that is struggling?

HebrewDawn: Praying for Orlando

We have far too many family members and friends grieving the loss of those they love in senseless act of hate. We also have many brothers and sisters within the LGBTQ community in Orlando and across the nation that are hurting and scared.

Let’s work together to make loving kindness the norm. I think that’s something we can all get behind.

   100th Post!

 HebrewDawn: 100th Post! I cannot believe that this marks our 100th post here on HebrewDawn! If you have been a reader of the blog from the beginning, thank you! If you’re new to HebrewDawn, welcome, and thank you for being a reader too! It has been a learning process of what to share, we have brought on another writer, and things have continued to grow with bringing on guest writers. The growth of HebrewDawn has been a continual learning process, and thank you for being by our side to our 100th post!

It’s time to share some favorites for this week!
  
Were you a fan of the Babysitter’s Club growing up? I definitely was, and dreamed of the day I could be a successful entrepreneur thanks to them. I’m still working on that last part, but I did make my fair share of babysitting money for YEARS. I love that Siobhan Gallagher has depicted our favorite ladies of childhood as adults. Who’s your favorite?    

I’m so glad I’m not in school anymore! Remember the days of having to memorize the periodic table of elements? Hopefully that question doesn’t cause any flashback trauma! Well, it turns out there’s a new potential element. If approved it will be called Tennessine!                                                                                                                                                                 

I keep hearing about these thinx panties, and I’m so intrigued! Have you tried them? Would you try them?

These engagement photos might be the best I’ve seen yet! Would you be willing to do something like this? They seem a little more environmentally friendly too if you can reuse them.

Have anything fun planned for your day? I’m off to spend a day with my little girl seeing a hot air balloon and some friends for the day. I hope your day is filled with laughter and fun! Go be awesome!

just have water

HebrewDawn: Just Have Water - 3 week water challenge
Water park, water gun, watermelon, water balloon fight. Water is the ever popular topic of many summertime conversations. Whether we are going to it, getting in it, freezing it, misting it, or otherwise mixing it up, it seems we just can’t get enough. It’s a powerful force that can sustain life or destroy it in a matter of moments.We hear about the importance of keeping it clean and consuming enough constantly; and somehow adequate hydration, for many of the people I know, is the exception and not the rule. I myself think I drink enough, but most times my urine is classic crayola yellow which means I’m dehydrated. Apparently you can leave a girl a water, but you can’t make her drink…(HA! See what  I did there?) At any rate, I find this confusing. I’m grasping at excuses for our widespread dehydration but I can’t find any good ones. I propose we try to fix this; make this hydration thing a “WILL DO” instead of a “probably should.” For the next three weeks, I’m inviting you to join me in a challenge to just have water. At meal times and workouts; any time you drink, I invite you to just have water instead. I think you will be surprised at the results you find and I have a couple of ideas that will motivate you to get more of it down the hatch and into your life.The biggest perk of water is that it’s free!  Not exactly free in a financial sense so much as a nutritional sense, which makes water highly unique. It’s a fluid that is integral to our bodies on a cellular level, but unlike any other food or beverage it contains ZERO calories. We can  have as much water as we like without feeling guilty. Great! Why do we care? We care for two reasons; first, because proper hydration will ensure that our metabolic processes are running at peak performance. One example is that adequate water intake will make sure your body produces the sweat needed to cool you down. (There is a great deal of information available on more specific ways water effects systems and processes inside our bodies but I won’t go into lengthy explanations here.) The other reason we care involves using water as a way to monitor and control calorie intake. We have all felt and generally know the difference between thirst and hunger. Did you know that dehydration can actual manifest as hunger? More often than not a growling empty-stomach  can be quelled with just having some water.

HebrewDawn: Just Have Water - 3 week water challenge
It’s easy to think of water as a beverage choice. In my opinion, water is not A beverage, it’s really THE beverage. Any other fluid ingested by humans is likely to contain calories thus making most beverages as we know them more like a food. Milk, juices, sodas, alcohol all contain calories-this is not news. What about beverages that don’t contain any calories you ask? I have an argument against these for one simple reason. Unless it is a naturally calorie-free beverage, it is a processed food item. The calories have either been removed scientifically or the product has been designed scientifically to not have calories but taste like it does. Long story short, diet soda and flavored waters are NOT a great option for hydration. They contain water but they contain a bunch of other stuff  too that varies wildly in origin and could be consumed in higher than desirable amounts if you try to drink enough calorie-free beverages to keep you hydrated. Water, in it’s most basic form, is the go to fluid for hydration because it contains just what you need and nothing else.

I’m not trying to bamboozle you with a too-good-to-be-true cleanse or a fancy water enhancer to make it seem different than what it is. I just want to expand the way you think about water and staying hydrated. Saying one will just have water can suck the fun right out of the room. It’s like someone saying they will just have one M&M, or that we are just looking at those shoes. BORING! It doesn’t have to be that way though. Chances are if you’re reading this, you live in a place where clean water is abundant. Lucky for us, right? No, really it is. There are nearly 80 billion people on this planet that would LOVE to just have some water; 80 billion people in our world who don’t have enough clean water or don’t know if they will get enough each day. We owe it to these folks to use our water wisely and to the benefit of our lives. Hopefully we do this while simultaneously supporting research  and fundraising efforts to shrink the number of people in need of clean water, but that’s another topic for another day.

HebrewDawn: Just Have Water - 3 week water challenge
Now that you know a little more about why water is wonderful, join us at HebrewDawn for three weeks of just having water. It couldn’t hurt, right?  Let’s fill our largest cup to the brim from the fountain of youth. Let’s  stay cool, stay fresh, and stay hydrated with good old H2O.  Cheers to all and happy drinking!