Monday, November 30, 2015

I'm actually replaceable, who would have thought!

Whether we like it or not, we all inherit certain qualities from our parents, both good and not so good. I got my creative and artistic side from my dad, which I am so thankful for. He also gave me really chubby fingers, the ones where you can't try on any rings in a jewelry store cos none of them fit. Yup. Thanks Pops.

One of the wonderful things I inherited from my mom, aside from bouncing back quite quickly after each birth and pretty quick and uneventful labors, I inherited the wonderful (insert sarcasm here) gift of varicose veins. And throw in 4 pregnancies in 4 years and its a nice recipe for those big bulging thick really unattractive veins on my inner right calf. The ones where at the end of every day I need to lay down and elevate my feet up on a wall because they feel so heavy and itchy.

After my recent trip to NY where I walked some serious milage, I vowed that as soon as I got home to Maui I would take care of my veins as they were really starting to bother me and effect me on a daily bases.

So this past Tuesday I went in to get them taken care of. It was an hour procedure called Radio frequency Ablation followed by a Phlebectomy. Basically they zap the veins with radio frequency then remove them. Its gross but they gave me some serious meds that sent me to a very happy place where I really had no idea what was happening but I know I walked out of there without my big bugling veins so whatever they did, it worked.

This is an out patient procedure and apparently I should have been up and running the next day, even that day- but the drugs they gave me did quite a number on my body. I didn't take any pain killers or anything else once I got home, but I guess my body was really sensitive to whatever they gave me for the procedure that I just needed to be patient and let it work its way out of my system.

I was a serious zombie and all I could do was sleep and take short walks every time I woke up until I got dizzy again then back to laying down again.

Now being the super organized wannabe that I strive to be, had I known I would have been out of commission for the week I would have made meals, hired help and organized all the house help I would need. But this caught me by surprise and I was so out of it I actually didn't even care what was happening in the house, it didn't even occur to me who would make dinner or watch the kids. I was just flying high.

By Friday afternoon I was coming back to down to earth and as I was landing I witnessed some pretty interesting things.

The house was clean. The laundry was up to date. Shabbos was cooked. The kids were busy and happy. Life continued. The world did not fall apart while I took a ride on my little space ship.

Of course none of this happened by itself, and if not for my husband who ran the show then the house probably would have fallen apart, but it was a really great lesson for me. Something that somewhat liberated me.

There are so many other people, including the kids, that can do this mom job. Why put it all on our shoulders? I realized the more help, the merrier! Get help with the laundry, the cleaning, babysitting, even cooking. Whether its paid help, family jobs and delegation, we do not have to do it all.

Of course there are things that only a mommy can do, like bed time snuggles, morning hugs, kissing boo boos, but I realized the more others can help the more available we can be, the more free we are. And its so good for the kids! The big ones helping the little ones, the little ones cutting their own chicken with a plastic knife, the more they do by themselves the better.

So take off that super mom cape, theres no prize for doing it all except burn out. Put on the delegation hat, look at the areas in your life that anyone else can do and try find ways for others to fill those up, even if its your kids.

Baruch Hashem, I'm feeling so much better but I did not jump right back into the super mom role. I'm rolling with this 'everyone can pitch in' thing. It's working out pretty well for everyone, even if I get a few eye rolls here and there from some of my helpers who are not on the payroll.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy week,

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Who's running the show?

I just got back from New York about 2 weeks ago. I went with my older kids to visit my family. We are a really close family and it was an amazing trip. No matter where I live in the world, New York will always be home. No matter how cold. No matter how smelly (in my 6 year olds words). No matter what.

You see, we run a Chabad House on the gorgeous island of Maui, Hawaii, and while most tourists who meet us tell us how lucky we are to live in Paradise, there is a part of me that longs to be in New York with my close friends and family.

Living here is a huge sacrifice. 

Yes, I get to look out my bedroom window every morning and see this.

And the day before Rosh Hashanah we just walk over to our neighbor to picks these...

And yes, my daughter just runs outside to pick me these any time she wants to.

And yes, I get to look out my kitchen window every evening and see this.

And this is a regular Sunday afternoon, 10 minutes away, any time of the year.

I can flood this post with photos that will take your breath away.

But honestly, its hard.

Today was an especially difficult day. You know those days where all you need is a good laugh with your sisters. Those laughs where you can't even speak, where you forgot what was even funny but tears are streaming down your cheeks and your belly aches. It was one of those days where I longed to just meet my best friend at a good Kosher restaurant, order the most fattening dessert on the menu and have a good juicy chat. I was feeling very homesick.

I was coming home from running some errands when I pulled into my driveway and saw a beautiful woman standing outside my house with this huge smile on her face. As I got out of my car she walked right up to me and just went on and on about how 'amazing' we are that we live here, and how we help so many people and she just went on and on giving me this huge amount of strength that I so desperately needed at that exact moment.

She had come over with her husband to pick up Kosher food which we provide for Jewish tourists and her timing, warmth and encouragement could not have been better.

After showing her our mikvah she mentioned she had a blog... a fashion blog.... Fashion-Isha.

Wait, whaaaaaat? I LOVE that blog! I totally didn't recognize Sharon, but she is one of the nicest, warmest, most down to earth people I have ever met. You probably all know her blog as she has like thousands of followers on Instagram, but if for some reason you haven't seen it, go check it out: She's incredible.

So we said our good byes and feeling so much better, I went inside to see 2 letters on the table that arrived in the mail for me. I don't remember the last time I got a handwritten letter in the mail, I mean who writes letters these days, right? I opened them both, and they happened to be from 2 different tourists thanking me personally for certain things I helped them with while they were here on Maui.

And it was all very clear.

I am so often caught up with organizing and cleaning my house, homeschooling the kids, figuring out what to make for dinner, shlepping the kids to appointments, missing my friends and family, that I lose focus of why we live here.

So Hashem sent Sharon over this evening. And He gave these 2 woman the great idea to mail me these gorgeous thank you cards. Because HE knows what we are doing here, and this is His way of saying, 'Hey, I know its tough, but keep it up! You're doing great!'

I have really been blessed with so many amazing people in my life who live here, who have become like family. Wonderful people who are warm and caring and who are there for me any time I need them. And so when feeling homesick, its also so important to remember that Hashem brought them all into my life.

May we all be blessed to get these doses of strength in just the right moments from just the right people. Hashem is rooting for all of us!
Wishing you all a wonderful week!
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