working hard :)

So I have made a decision about services. we are going to get tickets to the local conservative synagogue. for better or worse. i went to services again there on saturday and this time, I really enjoyed the service. which is important. though I have yet to determine my feelings about the community there. definately not a lot of young people. Anyways, I need to contact them today and see what I can find out about prices and such and how to go about getting four tickets (as my parents are going to be joining us!).
Im in one of those places in life where things are moving extremely fast. I got my new social security card so I have officially taken my husbands last name. which is weird but pleasant. It definately takes some adjusting. I am going to go get a new drivers license today. There have been some changes at work that have made me rethink my plans for these next two years, but I am concerned it is too late in the game to really make any changes. (don’t worry – still love my job).
Friday Spencer and Aug (my two brothers) and a new found friend here (whom Aaron and I met at services a week ago) came for shabbat dinner. which turned out delicious (lasagna, challah, salad, bread and dipping sauce).
I spent a bunch of time outside on saturday. which was glorious. After driving the kid and aug up to the train station downtown bright and early in the morning, I came back and went for a run and then showered and changed and walked over to the synagogue, which is 2.2 miles away. and then I walked to the water where I sat by the lake and did some knitting. Here is a picture of the lake, which is only 1.8 miles from our house. I LOVE having a body of water sooo close to me. At least in the summer though apparently it is part of what makes the winter so cold…

I also spent about 4.5 hours on the phone on Saturday. Catching up with some wonderful friends. I always have a long list of people that need to be called in the immediate future. AND we got our wedding pictures this weekend. which was super exciting. Though the website doesnt allow me to save the pictures. which is sad because I am dying to post some on facebook. lol.
Anyways here is what my current knitting project looks like. It is the first sock I have ever made, and only my second knitting project (the first being a set of three potholders). The colors are much brighter and prettier than this in person. and the stitches are more even then they appear here. But I know Jen, the one who teaches me, wanted to see it. so here it is!



It’s been an interesting weekend. In Hyde Park (the area of Chicago in which we live) there are 2 synagogues (one reformed and one conservative), a Hillel, and a Chabbad.

Hillel is not going to have high holiday services because classes here dont start till sept 27th (they are on the quarter system). and even if Chabbad did offer something, we cant go there because the men and women have to sit separately and my dear husband would hate that. so…
We attended services at the conservative synagogue a few weeks ago. Sadly, I wasnt a hug fan. I really didn’t like the Rabbi or the tunes she chose to use or comments on the Torah. So this past friday we checked out the reformed temple. Now let me start by saying this is the oldest temple in chicago, and that it is the most beautifu sanctuary I have every seen in my life. Stunning. really. but the service? well it was alright. too much english for me really, which I guess I could have expected. I did like the Rabbi as a person, but was frustrated by her “commentary,” if you could even call it that. She went over pros and cons about building the mosque in new york. but provided absolutely no though on a jewish perspective or the torah or any other kind of jewish text. rather she basically said she could see both sides so here let me share my feelings. which first of all is absurd to me, because i just dont understand the animosity. If they want to build a mosque, let them. ugh.
so anyways, after services friday we stayed for the oneg and visited with the director and his wife (and I have fallen in love with his wife, Ana). and they hinted that there is not much of a community in our age group (they themselves are in our age group, ~30ish) and suggested we try a synagogue up north, in lake view (another area of chigago – 25 minutes away).
So saturday morning we did just that. Now the first 2 hours of service there were perfect. Same tunes, even same book, as that I had found in albuquerque. There was a bat mitzvah leading torah service, and a lady lead the morning service. but then, the cantor took the pulpit after the torah service (for the maftir service). and this guy, looks like an italian opera singer, and he knows he has a good voice (apparently he is world renowned- as we were told at the luncheon following). and he likes to hear himself sing. He was ExTREMELY slow with everything and seriously it sounded like an opera house. I found it obnoxious. and NOT spiritual, just annoying and painfully slow. and THEN the rabbi would call up the bat mitzvah girl, or her family to lead prayers in the maftir service, and the cantor would start singing the prayer for them, before they even got all the way up on the pulpit. completely taking over for them. which was rude, imho. but there were a lot of people our age. we visited with many after services. and if nothing else, i believe we will go to the young adult (YAD) group that meets the first friday of every month for dinner and services.
but here is the dilemma. what are we going to do for rosh hoshanah and yom kippur?! gasp. they are just around the corner. and they require (expensive) ticket purchases. and my parents are coming to town. so we need to decide soon… im leaning towards the conservative one near by, just because it is close, and parking will be less of an issue, but I didn’t really like it. or the reformed, just cause it is sooooooooo pretty. i dont think i could sit through high holidays services at the one in lakeview because i imagine the cantor will lead them and it will be like an opera house and extremely painfully slow. hmmm… i want to go back to my RI synagogue 😦

sleepy time

last night I went to bed at 8:30 pm. YIKES!

I was so tired. its been a really long week. Working from 8-4 (at least, yesterday I was there till 4:45) then coming home and unpacking/organizing/running errands related to the home. I essentially have been working once I got home until I went to bed at 10:30/11:00 each evening. I haven’t even touched my knitting (or any other craft)– other than to have put them in a nice basket that we bought at walmart and put that on our walmart stands beside the couch. looks super nice.
I must say, our house is really shaping up. Our dining room is almost completely done. Just one more box to go in there. and its little, and I emptied half of it. I may not touch the other half for a few days. Our bedroom is done minus half of one miscallaneous box, though I must admit, that box is not nearly as little. And our living room is covered in piles of paper and miscellaneous stuff but tonight I will tackle that.
It is really awesome to have a dining room and a bedroom and I am really counting down the days to having it all done. My mom and brother are arriving on Sunday. I am picking them up from the airport and driving up to his college. Aaron is gonna meet us there. Then we are going to unpack kid and have dinner and Aaron and I will drive back here. My mom is gonna borrow my car up there for a few days. Wednesdday my mom will come back down to our place. So our apartment will be completely done (minus the kitchen) upon her arrival. She and my aunt are going to organize my kitchen on Thursday. and let me tell you, that is gonna be quite a task. I have a sorta small kitchen and a LOT of kitchen stuff. Im interested to see what comes of their organizing skills.
But that means, by next friday, our home should be all done. and then we can start hosting friday night dinners and things!

A perfect day

It’s days like yesterday that that allow me to bask in my fantastically brilliant life. What a great finish to a great weekend.

We woke up Sunday and, after spending a few more hours with our lovely friends in Purdue, we hopped in the car to return to Chicago. As I drove, Aaron, my husband, read to me until I was so tired I could no longer focus on his words. And thus we talked instead, until we arrived home, half asleep, we dragged our stuff into our apartment and collapsed on the bed. Realizing we were in no shape to continue up to my Aunt’s place (as planned) we called her to reschedule and then we parked the car.
And thus begun an afternoon of casual flirtation, knitting (or attemped knitting), and time well spent with my husband. As I set up camp on the living room floor, laying out a blanket, and peeled and cut potatoes, Aaron continued to read to me. together we made a delicious hamburger casserole, unwrapped some of our new dishes and silverware (and other kitchen goodies) and sat down to feast together.
and then off to bed I went!