Currently: October

Things are spinning at a breakneck speed these days. Between the busy Jewish holiday season and this interminable election, adding lovely details to daily life can seem so unimportant and frivolous. It seems to contradict the concept of hunkering down and doing what needs to be done. When your sleeves are rolled up, does anyone care what you’re wearing? And honestly, with all the sexist language and “big questions” buzzing around right now, caring about these details can feel gendered, shallow and nonintellectual.

But the Torah commands us to serve God with joy. There is so much that must be done. So much time spent cooking, entertaining, building and praying. And all of these things can be done with blinders on, or they can be done with openness and joy. They can all be done with beauty just as well as any other way. And maybe the thing built with beauty enters the heart a little more easily. Maybe a small bouquet of flowers on the Sukkah’s table sparks our memory of the grace of this mitzvah. Maybe a lovingly chosen outfit honors the holiday and sets an example for our children that this life is something we show up for. That this is something that is important to us, that we honor and anticipate with excitement. Maybe an extra polish of the silver Shabbat candles sends the message that these rituals are precious to us, that we give them the very best of what we have.

So this holiday, I propose we don’t lose the joy in the work, or the excitement in the disillusionment that current events seem to often bring. Of all times, this is when it is most important to re-declare our priorities and our deeply-held values. To staunchly maintain the beauty of our traditions, to communicate to our children and families that this is what matters most, and that we show up here with our very best.

If you are blessed with the ability to beautify your life and the lives of those around you, do not discount that contribution. It is the difference between a life of obligation and one of joy and learning and growth.

For now, I leave you with one inspiring video, and a few links just for the beauty of them.

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Listening to Michelle Obama tell it, so vulnerably and openly, exactly like it is.

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Preparing for the next round of Jewish holidays. We are hosting most of my family for the holiday of Sukkot this week, so that is a lot of meals to plan and prep! It is chilly in Boston, so I’m preparing lots of hearty soups and pumpkin desserts.

Planning my next quilt! Which fabric collection do you like?

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Wearing all my long sweaters  and, at home, my cozy winter slippers.

Longing for a professional pedicure. This yummy plum color would be perfect.

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Happy weekend, sisters, and happy holidays.

What Fall is For

Hi, friends. It’s Fall here in Boston, which always sharpens my senses and changes the way I see myself and my world. Last year I wrote a post that so perfectly captures how I feel every year, that today as I sit at my keyboard I can’t find a thing to add.

This Fall is also a little different, as I am already turned inward, my focus sharp on what is growing and changing inside me day by day. I am expecting a baby in February, God willing, and each morning brings a new sense of wonder, of time passing, of abundance. Change is my bread and butter as this baby reshapes my body, my center of gravity, and my sense of what must be done immediately and what can wait for another day. I nest with fierce attention and everyday interactions pack a more powerful emotional punch, while larger battles can wait in the wings for a slimmer, less preoccupied future version of me. And if she never gets to them, they couldn’t have been that important in the first place.

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A baby quilt, ready and waiting

As we move towards the shorter days and colder months, this body is not made for wrestling with demons or accommodating negativity. It’s made for warm, soft light, for quilts in the making, for loving connection and deep conversations. It’s made for love made visible, for kind words and abundant good deeds. This body is nurturing and my hands can’t move fast enough to keep up.

In a few months, the calendar will tip again, and the days will begin to lengthen. We will start to feel the early rustlings of Spring. When the crocuses start taking notice in their comfortable beds beneath the soil, my baby will be born and the earth will begin to wake up again. Every day we’ll move closer to warmth and sunlight, our energy outward now, instead of inward. And what a celebration it will be!

Until then, I’m excited to share my great news with you. Have a wonderful Shabbat and weekend, full of what you love!

Bonus links from this week:

 

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Straight Out Of: Anne of Green Gables

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Outfit inspiration photo, locket, easy hair tutorial, white blouse fabric line,  Anne of Green Gables scarf, vintage botanical print, boots

When the cool Fall air starts slipping over my window sills in the morning, and the sun goes to bed a little earlier each night, all I want to do is cuddle under a warm quilt with a favorite book. Anne Shirley is an old friend, and I’m very much looking forward to spending an afternoon together, getting reacquainted.

I was excited to do a fun roundup for you, of soft colors and boots, vintage flowers and pearl drops, but really all of these things are just reminders to see the magic around you. To venture out and explore, and to stay in and luxuriate in your own imagination. Autumn is the season of full library queues, of lovely touches and cozy plans. It’s a time to remember old friends, to make space for dreams, and to re-center yourself as one more beautiful, wonderful thing is this beautiful, wonderful world.

So this month, feast your soul, imagine what can one day be, and re-center. I’ll be over here, doing the same.