I've been sick... I don't know what happened but my body has literally had enough of me for some reason. They came on Saturday... small, itchy blotches that I've come to know over the years as hives. I seem to get them when anything terribly stressful comes along like right before the wedding but never like this. By Sunday my feet and hands were swollen and I could barely walk. Monday came and I was told to go to the ER as my throat was swollen and they feared my breathing was in jeopardy. It was not as I could yell at Nathan to bring me my toothbrush and a bowl so I could brush my teeth in bed! Did I mention it hurt to walk? So even though I didn't think this was necessary; I also didn't want to wait any longer for someone to make these damn hives go away. After two hours of sitting, 5 minutes with a doctor, sitting some more, taking 2 benedryl, 5 minutes of answering questions from a nurse, sitting some more... then they sent me home. I continued to take 2 benedryl every 4 hours, 1 zantec every 12 hours, and 2 tylenol every 6 hours for the next two days... finally my hands started feeling normal again and I could walk! It was a miracle. No word on what had hit me like a ton of bricks. I hadn't eatten anything different, hadn't changed detergents, body washes, etc. It was freaking weird.
Now that I'm better I'm wondering how I can get Nathan to bring my toothbrush and a bowl to me from now on... any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Our first dance... though not choreographed, we put on a show for everyone.
I will share more pics later. I can't help but smile seeing these and remembering how wonderful/amazing/memorable/special/meaningful/awesome this whole weekend was... I have never felt so much love. Woooo... getting a little teary-eyed.
I'll leave you with a special video Danny, Nathan's twin, made and showed at our rehearsal dinner. Classic.
I've been stalking this bag for awhile now. I'm a huge fan of Rebecca Minkoff and when I saw this bag I couldn't contain my drool. I was lucky enough to snap up her M.A.C (Morning After Clutch) bag from one of my sale sites in purple croc, but this bag is heavenly. The only downside is the pricetag. I'm waiting anxiously for it to go on sale though I doubt I'll get it even then as I'm supposed to be saving for our honeymoon/our life. It sucks getting older and having to worry about money... wah waaahhh. ;)
My friend Kate had her second baby, Bo (short for Robert), mere weeks before Nater and I got married. Their first was the sweet Mary Jane who happened to be one of my flowergirls and because they waited again to find out what they were having, they had nothing for little boys. So of course I was thrilled to buy him something only suitable for a little man like himself.
Ta-dah! He was a stud in his tie onesie and matching booties. :) Just adorable.
Here's some other quintessentially boy gifts I found on etsy:
I have a confession… I still listen to Christmas music. Does that make me a bad Jew? Don't answer that. Nater says it's okay because I grew up with it (and if you didn't know I like to sing at the top of my lungs anytime acceptable). He's so smart. It also instantly puts me in a good mood. Making dinner tonight I put on Music Choice and instead of putting on my normal Party Favorites I went with Holiday Hits. Woooo… I always forget how much I love Christmas music until this time of the year comes around. I better find that radio station that plays the "Christmas Song" by the Chipmunks on repeat before it's too late.
Now I'd like to share, in no particular order, some of my favorite Christmas songs with you. Instant mood changer, I swear.
"Christmas Eve Sarajevo" - Trans Siberian Orchestra… Man, this always gets my heart pumping like I could kick somebody's ass. Watch out.
"Baby It's Cold Outside" - Lots of versions of this one but I'd say Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan is my fav. Maybe I can get the Tot to sing a duet of this one since it's not really Christmas-y. It's also in my favorite Christmas movie, "Elf"… I just like to smile, smiling's my favorite.
"Santa Baby" - Eartha Kitt - It's the anti-Christmas song but in a good way. You can't help but sing it with an amused smile and a come hither stare. Too much? Sorry, back to the list…
"Santa Claus is Coming to Town" - Jackson 5
"Last Christmas" - Wham!… because it's freaking Wham! and gets me singing and dancing like George Michael - 80s Edition of course.
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" - She & Him - Zooey Deschanel has an angelic voice. PS She's in "Elf" (see above).
The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to you)- Nat King Cole
"All I Want for Christmas is you" - The original and ah-mazing, Ms. Mariah Carey nails it every time, sorry, don't want to hear the Justin Beiber version *shutter*. BUT, I will say that Olivia Olson's version from Love Actually is pretty close. I mean, that girl has some pipes and she's what, 10?
Speaking of Love Actually… it's probably my favorite movie. Aren't I such a girl? Seriously, I could watch that damn movie a million times, bawl my eyes out each and every time AND still want to see it again. And who doesn't freaking love the combination of laughter and love. Goo.
It snowed yesterday. A sprinkling... not really anything to get excited about but people seem to drive like complete morons the second a snowflake hits the pavement. It took me approximately 50 minutes to get to work where it normally takes 20-ish. I think they said in the Kansas City area there was nearly 70 accidents at one time. Luckily I didn't get in an accident and my road rage didn't consume me like it normally would. I'm going to chuck it up to my new boots I've been waiting to wear since the summer. Yes, I bought boots when it was 90 out, they were on sale. Duh.
I've had my eye on a different pair of Sorel's since last year but since I didn't want to cough up 140 bucks I got these instead... at over 1/2 off, thank you.
Before I get into posts about our fabulous, unbelievably memorable, wish-I-could-do-it-again wedding I thought I'd share what I did BEFORE we got married. Yeah, I became a Jew. (You can read about my decision to convert to Judaism over on my old bliggity-blog <here>)
I have been going to classes almost every Thursday night since last January (with a summer break in between). I would regularly meet with my sponsor rabbi and our officiant (a friend of the Ross family) so that I could get my questions answered and stay on track to be able to convert before the wedding. We decided to take the trip to the mikveh on the Tuesday before. Yes, it was stressful but I think well worth it as I wanted to fully experience our Big Fat Jewish wedding as a Jew. I was asked to write a paper to allow the Beit Din to get to know me a little better and explain my reasoning for wanting to become a part of the Jewish community.
I'd like to share my paper with you... it took many days and hours to write, if you can believe it. I didn't want to go through such an amazing and meaningful process without giving it my all. So I hope you enjoy. (More on the actual conversion in a later post...) xo
My journey begins as a child, sitting next to my beloved grandpa. We sat there in church and I remember listening to the pastor preach, and the congregation singing hymns, all the while thinking to myself “this doesn’t feel quite right… do I really believe all of this?” I never spoke of these feelings until later in my adult life. But what I remember most about going to church with my grandparents was it “forced” us to be a family – to connect and spend time together – not only at services but every Sunday morning after church we’d have our mandatory “after-church” brunch. This was my favorite part of Sunday. It wasn’t only because I love brunch but more that I loved spending this time with my family. It was those talks with my grandparents and being ridiculously goofy with my sister that put a definite imprint on my life. Church equaled Family Time. We moved to Kansas City when I was in the 3rd grade and I continued my life as a Lutheran. I was communed, went through confirmation, and I didn’t hate going to church. (I did and still do wonder how Christians could believe that Jesus, a Jewish man, is the savior and yet the Jewish people do not believe the same?) After I was confirmed we stopped going to church… my social life had become riddled with extracurricular activities and spending time with my high school boyfriend, so I made the decision to stop going at all. Religion thereafter had come up briefly in conversations with friends, “I was raised Lutheran but I’m agnostic” I’d say. When I would go to church with my grandparents I’d sing the hymns because I liked hearing myself and I would keep my eyes open while I prayed so I could watch everyone else instead. That was the extent of religion in my later years.
If you had told me, pre-Nathan, that I’d marry someone I went to high school with, and that I’d convert to Judaism I’d think you were crazy. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, and so 3 years ago from Halloween, I re-met Nathan who’d change my life forever. For the better…
On our first date, Nathan and I talked religion, not delving too deep but enough to learn that I grew up Lutheran (there is a G*d but I’m agnostic) and that he was born Jewish. Oh and I happened to mention that I always thought I’d marry a Jew growing up. I couldn’t tell you why I felt this way and it was especially weird as I’d never even dated someone Jewish before in my life, but I had that feeling like it was meant to be. Over the two years we dated I experienced Shabbat, Pesach, Yom Kippur and the other Jewish holidays and traditions; many with his family and friends. I loved everything about this special time I spent with them and it got me thinking more and more, “if we were to get engaged; would I convert?”
When Nathan and I did get engaged I told him almost immediately that my plan was to convert before our wedding. I knew that I wanted nothing more than to have – or should I say LIVE – a Jewish life and raise a Jewish family with him. And because I want our children to be Jewish, I know that conversion is the choice for me, so that I may be able to give them that matrilineally. I see how Judaism has made an incredible impact on Nathan’s life. He met some of his closest friends in Hebrew school, at Jewish summer camp, and traveling to Israel. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know many of them from all over and I’ve fallen in love with them as well. It’s pretty obvious to me that Judaism has helped mold him into the man I fell in love with and if our kids are half as great as Nathan then I’m set for life.
Celebrating Shabbat, holidays and togetherness all drew me to Judaism. Judaism is not only a religion but a way of life. We have shared Shabbats with many different people but it has always been a meaningful way “to cease”, refresh and renew ourselves. Also, resting from our weekday endeavors on the Sabbath, helps us to acknowledge G*d as the Creator of the Universe, and the oneness of G*d. Lighting the candles, blessing the family, and making sure to remember and observe, all make Shabbat special. Jewish holidays have become increasingly influential and significant to me. Having Pesach seder with Nathan’s family and getting everyone involved in reading the Haggadah has become very much a tradition that goes hand-in-hand with being an observant Jew. This time, remembering the Jews exodus from slavery, brings us together as a community as well. I had never experienced seder before Nathan and I must say it’s been life-changing. Performing the intricate practices of Kiddish, dipping parsley in salt water, eating bitter herbs, and consuming matzah and charoset (which I made last year and was very pleased when everyone devoured it) all have importance and hold great worth in my life now. I believe that living a Jewish life and raising children in the traditions and practices of the Jewish faith gives strength to the family. And family is very important to Nathan and me. I look forward to attending services, spending Shabbats and holidays together, raising a Jewish family, having our children bar/bat mitzvah’ed and hopefully, G*d willing, we get to see them have their own Jewish weddings.
With any big change there were a couple of obstacles. My family was for the most part supportive of my decision. They were worried that my choice was not my own and that they’d never get to see their future grandchildren on Christmas. After some conversations, we all agreed that I was converting on my own freewill and their grandchildren would be happy to spend Christmas with them if they didn’t make it Christ’s day. I know there will be some things we don’t agree on because that goes with any relationship, but our love and support of one another has proven very comforting and natural during this process. I don’t think I could have done it without them, Nathan, or Nathan’s family encouraging me the whole way. Surprisingly, I never questioned whether I would convert or not. It all seemed to fit and make sense for me from the very beginning.
As I prepare to meet with the Beit Din and complete my conversion, I have been thinking about how I was before I started the conversion process and who I have become today. I have become a better person. I do have to say, Nathan has been the biggest influence on this change. He’s helped balance and encourages me, and made me realize a lot about myself that I wasn’t letting fully shine. I couldn’t ask for a better partner to continue this journey with as a married Jewish couple. I am more conscious of how I will be present in the future and obey the Jewish laws like the obligation to perform Tzedakah. Charity is not only good for other people; it’s good for yourself and how you choose to live your life. In Judaism, actions tend to be more important than beliefs and my goal is to actively choose to live a life upstanding Jewish ethics and law.
Continuing to stay connected in the Jewish community is also very important to me. Knowing the struggles and history of Jews makes it even more clear how much we need each other as a community. I hope to be active with the synagogue we choose to belong, wherever we may be, and remember Israel because Israel is a central part of Judaism. I do not have a physical connection with Israel, living in the United States, but I personally feel connected spiritually. G*d set aside this land for all Jews and I hope someday to be able to experience it for myself.
I found this quote amongst my notes that I’d found in reading for conversion class:
“Seasons of joy, strong bonds of family, a sense that others care, a system of justice and law, and the hope that sustains people even on days of despair”
Though I can’t remember which book or who wrote it; I wrote it down for a reason. These words resonate with me and make up the core of Judaism to me. I look forward to continuing my Jewish education and living a Jewish life. This journey has been life-changing, amazing, and above-all well worth it. It has been a true blessing to meet such wonderful people. I could never thank them enough for helping guide and aide me through the conversion process.
***The post title song always reminds me of Six Feet Under. I loved that show. I also highly recommend the CD compilation which features "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone... hence why the song reminds me of Six Feet Under.
You'd think because Nater and I lived together before we were married (yes, we happily sinned for over 2 years) that I'd of gotten being a "Mrs" down to a science, but really I just started to show him my mad wifey skills the past three weeks. We have been cooking together a lot and I like how domestic we've become. Here are a couple of easy and super delicious recipes we've been cooking up:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook for a few minutes until fragrant, but not brown. Stir in spinach, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat, and mix in ricotta cheese, sour cream, and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese.
In a skillet over medium heat, warm tortillas one at a time until flexible, about 15 seconds. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture onto the center of each tortilla. Roll up, and place seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cup of Monterey Jack.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until sauce is bubbling and cheese is lightly browned at the edges.
3 cups Cooked (leftover) Turkey, Shredded Or Diced
1 cup Finely Chopped Black Olives
1-1/2 cup Frozen Green Peas
4 slices Bacon, Fried And Cut Into Bits
1 cup Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Extra Broth For Thinning
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Cook pasta until not quite done - al dente according to package instructions (it will finish cooking in the oven.) Drain, rinse, and set aside.
In a large pot, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Add mushrooms and salt, then saute for a couple more minutes. Pour in the wine and allow it to cook with the mushrooms for several minutes, or until the liquid reduces by half.
Sprinkle in flour, then stir the mushrooms around for another minute. Pour in the broth and stir, cooking for another few minutes until the roux thickens.
Reduce heat to medium low. Cut cream cheese into pieces and add it to the pot. Stir it to melt (don't be concerned if the cream cheese remains in little bits for awhile; it'll melt eventually!) Add the leftover turkey, the olives, the peas, the bacon, and the cheeses. Stir to combine, adding salt and pepper as needed.
Add the cooked spaghetti and stir it to combine. Splash in more broth as needed; you want the mixture to have a little extra moisture since it will cook off in the oven. If it's a little soupy, that's fine! Add up to 2 more cups of liquid if you think it needs it.
Pour the mixture into a large baking dish and sprinkle the top with Panko crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and the crumbs are golden brown.
I guess I kinda forgot to tell everyone that I'm here now. I used to be <here> but I've changed my last name and well, that deserves a different blog in my opinion.
Approximately 3 weeks ago I married my Nater and became a Ross... no longer a Mohr. Of course I'll always be a Mohr but with change comes new beginnings, new challenges, new stuff. This new-ness and change has gotten me a little panicked and oh-so-excited for what's to come.
You ever have one of those days... you know the ones where you feel like a big pile of poo and wish you could go home, slip into bed, and awake anew. Yeah, that's me today. Maybe because it's Monday? But probably mostly because I'm just not feeling myself. I wish I could blame it on the weather but it's actually sunny out... it's a very frigid 32 out but still it's sunny. Luckily Nater has volunteered to go to the store and make me dinner tonight (Hallelujah) so I can go home and curl up with a magazine and forget about crappy Mondays.
So I leave you with some of the world's beauty. It's the little things...