Eating in

Friday, July 14th, 2017 05:11 pm
chanaleh: (mandala)
One of the best things [livejournal.com profile] etrace regularly does for me is roast me a chicken (over a bed of vegetables) every Friday night for Shabbat dinner. He's refined his technique over the past 3 years until he has it pretty much perfected. Which means it's kind of a pain in the ass relative to the "throw it in a pan and turn on the oven" I used to do, but he does it because he loves me, and it is fantastic. And while I love everything we do Friday evening -- lighting candles with Aria, opening a bottle of wine to go with dinner -- my hands-down favorite moment of the whole week is sitting down and pulling the beautifully roasted skin off my piece. NOM.

Hilariously: A few weeks ago he made a roast beef on some other weeknight, using the same pan he roasts the chicken in. And when it was done and Aria saw it resting on the counter under a sheet of tinfoil, she said "Candle time! Candle time!" No, lovey, I know it looks a lot like a chicken, but it's Tuesday!

Shul friends D (the lawyer) and R (also a lawyer) passed along some toys to us last weekend that their youngest grandchildren had officially outgrown... one of them being a little wooden Shabbat set: pretend candles, wine cup, and bread board with two loaves of challah "slices". I thought, Aria will get a kick out of the first two, but it's too bad I never make challah! Maybe I should get in the habit, just so she can have the full experience. Anyway, but we'll try them out tonight and see how it goes.

Shabbat shalom, y'all.

Introducing Aria

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 06:00 pm
chanaleh: EVERYTHING WILL BE AMAZING (amazing)
(Oh, poor neglected LiveJournal. I still love you best, but that siren Facebook makes lazyposting so easy. I am backdating this by 3 weeks for ease of reference in future.)

Aria Grace was born Sunday, July 26 (Tisha B'Av observed) at 3:50 a.m., healthy and strong.

Photos )

Just for fun (and in time for Rosh Hashanah), we'll be sending out birth announcements the last week of August. If you've moved since you last received postal mail from me, please PM me with your current mailing address. :-)

One year

Monday, March 2nd, 2015 12:34 pm
chanaleh: [Erica and Aaron] (etrace)
I meant to acknowledge this (here and not just on Facebook) closer to the occasion, but... two Saturdays ago, Valentine's Day, was our first wedding anniversary.

Being as it was also a holiday weekend (clever of us to plan it that way), we drove up to New Buffalo, MI, for a two-night little getaway. Two consecutive steak dinners and an in-room two-person whirlpool. :-) Due to the snow, we didn't really go anywhere else... mostly stayed in our room, snuggled up watching TV and eating bonbons (literally). But that was perfect.

So we saw Chamber of Secrets and Serenity (#anniversarygeekaway)... and then the majority of the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary retrospective on Sunday afternoon. Which was actually perfect too, because I really did want to see it, but at home we don't do broadcast TV, and even if we did I would never have sat in front of it for four hours, but that's exactly what we got to do.

The thing was, as I said to [livejournal.com profile] etrace once we got there: it's kind of a big deal for me to reach the first anniversary and be able to know that I still feel overjoyed and contented and thrilled about everything. "Yeah, I actually wondered about that," he said. Longtime readers will know why it's a big emotional hurdle for me to get past. But... we are here, and life is still the same: wonderful. Our life.

(But I was still glad we hadn't saved any frozen wedding cake to choke down. That's one tradition that I am permanently over.)

So, here is to the next year, and the next and the next, with the best and truest partner I ever had or could hope for. The one whose face (and brain and heart and everything else) makes me smile. The one I can't wait to go home and have lunch with every day. Like right now. :-)
chanaleh: Snoopy in a Santa hat (xmas)
My husband is a music teacher. He was a music teacher when I first met him 20+ years ago. I've gone to see him perform in bands. More recently, I have performed with him in bands. I've seen videos of him playing in high school talent shows. He made me this recording for my birthday last year. We have in the house an entire room dedicated to housing what must be 20 musical instruments (piano, organ, accordion, numerous guitars and bass guitars, an upright bass, ukulele, mandolin, percussion...), where he receives students two or three days a week.

But somehow, it's discovering him in the music room one December evening after dinner, noodling around on the piano playing jazz Christmas carols, that really makes my heart go "Holy shit, I married a musician." :-)

<3
chanaleh: [Erica and Aaron] (etrace)
... I attended, along with my mom, the wedding of a dear friend I'd known since grade school.

And sometime during the reception, my mom looked around the room, spotted a cute and geeky-looking guy with glasses and long dark wavy hair, nudged me and said, "He looks like your type, why don't you go dance with him?"

I said, "I'm not going to go introduce myself to some strange guy!"

She said, "Well, if you won't go talk to him, I will go talk to him for you!" (Mind you, this sounds to many people like classic Interfering Mom behavior, but mine is not normally like that; I can't think of another time when she actually suggested, let alone did, something like this.)

"Okay, feel free!" I said, and she promptly headed over and tapped him on the shoulder. Minutes later, we were dancing, and then sat down and talked for the rest of the evening.

The next day, I flew home to Boston. The next month, he came out to visit me there.

A lot of subsequent water went under that bridge, some of it painful... but the [livejournal.com profile] etrace-shaped hole in my heart never entirely closed up. And all these years later, it has resulted in more joy than I ever dreamed possible.

So thank you, Mom, for doing the crazy impulsive risky thing when I wouldn't.

Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] etrace, for being the coolest, smartest, kindest, cutest, finest person I have ever known, then and now... and for becoming the person who could finally be wholly with me, now.

Thank you, universe, for bringing us together.
chanaleh: (little Erica)
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Well, first my jaw would about hit the floor. And then after a few seconds I'd be shrieking, "KEVIN! What the hell are you doing in Boston? Is the family with you??"

And hopefully I'd immediately cancel all my plans for the night and we'd go out for a few beers. 'Cause that's pretty much how I roll.

This is also more or less what I would expect to have happen with anyone I actually *dated* many years ago, as opposed to simply having a mad unrequited crush on for 8 of the first 16 years of my life. But, first love it is.
chanaleh: (2005)
(test post via email, public)

I am profoundly grateful to everyone who has offered comments on my last entry. I am sort of stunned that the overall themes are so consistent; I guess I expected a wider range of small stuff, but this way was perhaps even more worth hearing. It's helping me. Thank you.

At the end of that entry I included the mantra "Growth. Love. Connection." I think that constitutes a good picture of my goals for the current crucible, but it's become clear to me over the past two nights that I also need one for the process at hand, and that looks more like: Kindness. Patience. Grounding. Courage.

I think I can assert literally that this right now is the hardest emotional work I have ever done. I feel myself swinging back and forth between doing it well (embracing it) and doing it poorly (fighting it tooth and nail) -- sometimes within the same conversation. But when I am embracing it, I feel that I am working to support my core values, rather than against them, as I have felt (deep down) at some other difficult times in the past. This awareness gives me strength, when I let it.

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
chanaleh: (sleeping)
Wow. I just lived through one of the longest, emotionally hardest nights alone that I have had in at least a year. But amazingly, I feel better today. Cleaner.

It seems that one of the things I need right now is some extra validation. You all are my community and, as such, one of my great richnesses. So I turn to you to help me hold the mirror up:

If you please, tell me something about me that you love. Not respect or admire; I'm feeling a little too over-thought these days as it is. What do you see in me? What strikes you as quintessentially me that makes you smile?

Comment anonymously if you want (lurkers can sign their comments or not). You can email me separately if you'd really rather, but I would find it more fun to keep everything here. Deep comments are appreciated, but frivolous ones are enjoyable too.

And, in asking for this, I am not sure how to handle responding to comments; I rather think I would like to *refrain* from responding to them, or otherwise I will feel obligated to come up with something similarly insightful to offer in response to each of you, which is also a valuable exercise but more taxing than I can commit to right now. :-} So, please know that I will value anything you share with me, and that if you could use some similar validation, I will do my best to return it later.

repeats to self: Growth. Love. Connection.

I blame [livejournal.com profile] missmhart

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006 11:59 pm
chanaleh: (sleeping)
... for talking on Saturday night about her chronic weakness for bass players. ;-) Sunday morning I had a dream about one of my exes -- the bassist, naturally, back in Indiana, the only person to ever make me think for more than 30 seconds about moving back there. the details of the dream are not so important, nor is my nattering on about affairs long gone by )

(Oh yeah, so, the book that's eaten my life for the last six weeks was duly shipped off to press today! w00t! [livejournal.com profile] queue and I left early [read: a whole ten minutes to 5pm] for drinks to celebrate. Tomorrow... on to the Cryptoclub! Oh, also my third book cover is coming out next month. :-)

(On the other hand, I have apparently lost my hat. The Best Hat in the World. I had it walking from the office, and I thought I had it waiting for the train, but I think it was gone by the time I got to Diesel, and I didn't notice for sure until leaving Redbones. Crap. My life is already colder for the lack of it. Wonder if the commuter rail has a lost & found?)
chanaleh: (tigerstudent)
Oh, so tired. :-} My last day at MIT tomorrow promises to be a very long one, and I'm headed to bed.

But, in the middle of this intensive soul-searching period, I shall first post this list that I wrote up a couple of years ago and have been meaning to post ever since.

The list itself is undated, but the to-do list scrawled on the reverse is dated July 2002, and I suspect this dates from sometime that fall. Make of that what you will. I might augment it slightly, today, but on the whole it still seems impressively thorough.

What I wish for in a partner )

The current status of these various elements is left as an exercise for the reader.

I am tempted to turn off comments, but I don't necessarily want to stifle sincere discussion on these topics.
However, ANYONE who (is not my current partner and) sends me ANYTHING resembling a checked-off application -- even in jest, and those of you whom I'm addressing bloody well know who you are; yes, you -- will be summarily killed. I'm just not in the mood for that kind of feedback, thanks.

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