It’s Tuesday, and I’m a happy girl.  A slightly stressed, wishing I had about four extra hours today because there’s no way I’ll get everything done, content girl.  It was a crazy busy weekend, but one of those that was filled with good friends, family connections and holiday celebrations.

Saturday night, Marc’s cousin got married and her wedding was beautiful.  Also beautiful was spending time alone with my husband without the kids.  We’ve never been particularly “good” at date nights, and sending the kids off with sitters or family so that we could get time alone is something we always talk about doing, but never follow up on it.  There are a bunch of different reasons for it, some of it was certainly that we didn’t like to skimp on family together time, especially with my stepdaughters because they weren’t with us all the time.  Part of it was that the kids didn’t really seem to like it (and by “like it” I mean, endure separation without losing their minds screaming and sobbing.  I’m looking at you, Samilicious).

But the wedding was kid-free, and we danced and talked and danced some more and spent time with people we see far too rarely.  And the kids were fine without us.  In fact, when we went to pick up the next morning -Sam was having far too much fun at his buddy’s to come home.  We had split the kids up, sending Sam to his friend’s house for a 24 hour video game and testosterone filled extravaganza that he adored.  Jessica and Julianna went to our friends David and Aviva’s house.  They have twins that are Julie’s age, and a toddler who thinks the sun rises and sets with my Jessie.  So everyone was happy, and already asking for their next sleepover.

We’re in the middle of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.  You may have noticed little huts in the backyards or driveways or porches of Jewish families.   Sukkot is a harvest festival, and also commemorates the temporary shelters that the Israelites lived in when they were wandering around the desert.    Coming so soon after Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, it’s perfectly situated in the Jewish calendar – because it comes at a time when you really WANT to sort of envelop yourself in Judaism.   Sukkot gives you the opportunity to do it for a week.

It’s an incredibly happy holiday, and all the way fun.  Last weekend we helped to decorate the sukkah put up at our synagogue, and this weekend, we were there on Sunday for “soup and salad in the sukkah.”  Which I’d go to anyway, because I like alliteration, but it was extra fun for me this year because all the kids are getting older and more social and more fun.  We had my stepdaughters there, plus Jessie and Julie.  We met some new potential members, had some interesting and enlightening conversation, and, in general, just enjoyed being part of the community.

Living in Worcester, we get the opportunity to be a part of our immediate Jewish community, at our synagogue (), and a part of the larger Worcester Jewish community.  Saturday, we were able to spend time in our sukkah at the synagogue with our rabbi and cantor (both of whom are wonderful and engaging and make me happy to be Jewish), and then we stopped over at another sukkah party, and saw lots of people that I only get to see a few times a year.

We finished up the night with a tiny sukkah dinner party at our friends’s house.  Their sukkah is the perfect size for six screaming children, and we happily stuffed them all in there, and had a grown-ups only dinner together in the kitchen.  The kids ate pizza, made paper chains, yelled a lot and took it very literally that they should party in sukkah.

Which brings me to the spouse swapping portion of the weekend.  Marc LOVES Halloween.  I don’t.  I like the candy, and I like dressing the kids up in cute costumes, but the scary stuff freaks me out.  I don’t do haunted houses, I hate scary movies and you couldn’t pay me enough to go to the Factory of Terror.  But my friend Sara is married to a wise, wise man, who happily agreed to come out for ice cream with me and the kids and send his wife off to be terrified with my husband.

Monday, Marc had to work, but the kids were off for Columbus Day.  We went down to Schartner Farms to do the coolest corn maze ever.  It was my first corn maze, so I might not be the best source, but it was really cool.  We went with friends, which was perfect, as there is NO way I could have kept up with Sam and still been able to walk with/haul Julie.  Sam and Jessie were running all over the place, and I’m certain that I would have lost them if I had tried it alone.   Finished up the day with a visit to my mother’s house, and then dropped Jessie off to do  “Sukkah Hop” with the Youth Group from the synagogue.

One more Jewish holiday (Simchat Torah is on Friday – the day we finish up reading the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) and start again – and then celebrate with dancing and singing) and we’ll wrap up this portion of the holiday season and get ready for Halloween.    I’ve got a glamorous princess, a marine and Cinderella who are already counting down the days.

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