Shlomo’s got a girlfriend 

Shlomo’s first day in our family and he’s already picking up the ladies… #8daysofmensch #menschonabench #happyhanukkah

   

 

9 Signs Your Husband Will be Tolerable

Lately, I’m really loving the “list” articles you find online.  They are usually a quick and fun read.  So, of course, I had to click on one that was titled “9 Signs You’ve Found The Man You Should Make Your Husband“.  As I read through the list, I couldn’t help but notice it was most likely written by someone who was either single, a newlywed or childless.  The “signs” felt so naive and ridiculous to expect long term.

The longer I’m married, the more I realize that “the one” in the sense of “he’s always going to be a perfect fit for you forever and there will never be any hard times ahead” just doesn’t exist.  Marriage is a partnership and requires work, compromise and a ton of patience.  So here’s my altered list (working off the original) of  9 Signs Your Husband Will be Tolerable.

Elite Daily List  9 Signs You’ve Found The Man You Should Make Your Husband

Mommellah’s list 9 Signs Your Husband Will be Tolerable

1. You don’t need to be “on” in front of him. Good days and bad days, he understands who you are and doesn’t expect you to be anyone but yourself. In his eyes, you’re special by just being you.

1. You can be “on” the toilet in front of him.  He’s going to see you there anyways.  Just get it over with…

2. Your happiness is his happiness, and vice versa. The man you marry gives selflessly, as your interests are now his interests.

2. If mommellah ain’t happy, then NOBODY is happy.  You don’t have to care about each other’s interests, you just have to make sure mama is happy.

3. Even at the end of a really bad day, all you want is to be with him

3. Even at the end of a really bad day, all you want is to be with him (maybe) and a cocktail (definitely).

4. The attraction is palpable. Even doing the littlest things together, such as running to the grocery store, feel more special because he’s around.

4. The attraction grows directly in proportion to the amount of chores he helps you with, including the grocery shopping.

5. You want to share every experience with him. From what he ate for lunch to what he’s currently watching on television, you’re interested in all that he does.

5. You want to share certain things with him.  He can eat whatever he wants for lunch, but he better not watch Game of Thrones without you.

6. You have the same idea of romance. Sometimes you feel like you’re in a “Twilight” movie with all this inexplicable magic and love buzzing around.

6. As long as you’re still shtooping in the twilight, you’re good.

7. You love more than you fight. It never feels good to fight because you care too much about him to hurt him. (insert gagging sound here)

7. You fight until he sees the error of his ways and apologizes.  You care too much for you to both be wrong.

8. He not only listens to you, but he also hears what you’re saying

8. He listens enough to follow directions and not screw up.

9. He accepts you as you are. He knows everything about you — good and bad — and appreciates both because it’s all part of who you are.

9. He accepts you as you are. You’re messier, louder and maybe less funny, but he loves you for it.  This last one, I’m totally agreeing with.

Because at the end of the day, nobody is perfect.  Not you, or your husband and everyone is a little bit crazy.  You just have to find the right crazy for you.

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May the Schwartz be with you

My “Dear John” letter to Target

As a Jew in Long Beach, I have always been proud that you can find menorah lighting ceremonies in Belmont Shore, Bixby Knolls and even City Hall.  It shows that although Jews make up a relatively small percentage of the population, that our culture and religion are honored and included in some way during the holiday season.  You can usually find some assortment of Hanukkah merchandise at the bigger chain stores starting in November, which is nice.  I can pick up dreidels or chocolate coins for a party, or candles for my menorah.

I was shocked when I found out Target, “Long Beach Bellflower” in Los Altos, did not only NOT have a small selection of goods, but the manager refused to stock even one small shelf or end cap of Hanukkah merchandise this year.  Signal Hill has an end cap, Seal Beach has an end cap.  Obviously managers CAN order these items and other managers in the same region felt is was pertinent and applicable to have a small selection available to their customers.

I personally haven’t been shopping at this specific location very long, but other Jewish women I know have been shopping at the Los Altos Target for 20 years and have always felt like the Hanukkah selection has been adequate based on the local Jewish population and its needs.  So why this year?  Why now?  Some say that the merchandise must not have been selling well.  Then why not see the influx of complaints (I know I am not the only one who has complained) and choose to stock some merchandise in time for the holiday?  If people are complaining that they WANT to spend money at your store, but can’t, isn’t that a great reason to expand your selection of merchandise?

Target has allowed each manager to decide if it will be stocking Hanukkah merchandise this year, regardless of demand, or demographics in the region.  In essence, they are allowing each manager to exercise their own prejudice and discriminate.  Now, I get it, this isn’t Eric Garner levels of discrimination.  We are Jewish women who can easily get to Seal Beach or Signal Hill stores if we are dead set on getting Hanukkah merchandise from Target.

Is it the end of the world?  No.  But you can bet it’s the end of me ever shopping at Target again.  If my Jewish money isn’t green enough for them, I’ll spend it where it’s appreciated.  I’m not even going to ask you to stop shopping at Target.  I loved Target.  I even miss shopping there.  If you told me 6 months ago I wouldn’t step foot in a Target again, I would have laughed in your face.

What will I ask you to do?  Represent Long Beach.  The most diverse beach city in SoCal.  The city that has a beautiful waterfront downtown, at least 3 synagogues, countless churches and a mosque.  A city that has a gay, Latino mayor.  A city that celebrates with their neighbors in the streets with beautiful parades and local, Long Beach pride.

I will ask you to take a moment the next time you’re in the Los Altos Target and let the manager know you think it’s wrong they are not stocking Hanukkah merchandise.  Support the Jewish community and do what all of Long Beach seems to do so well; Find a way to make everyone feel like they matter during the holiday season.

Happy Holidays!  May the Schwartz be with you!

target

Time to Turkey Trot

I’ve always had a hate love relationship with exercise. I hate doing it, but love how it makes me feel. I’ve been chubby all my life and my slow metabolism has not improved any with age and 2 kids. The last time I would consider myself to have been in shape was 4 years ago, before I got pregnant with my oldest. So, instead of setting a weight goal, or size goal, I set a post 2nd baby fitness goal so I would focus on getting heart healthy, instead of thin.

I’ve never been a runner and dear g-d, now I know why. I really don’t like it, but started in March at whatever I could physically do and set my goal from there. So, I ponied up and clocked my 1st mile at 18 minutes. I injured my back in July, which created some significant setbacks, then realized by September that if I didn’t set a firm time frame in which to achieve my goal, it would just fizzle away. So, I started a Facebook group to keep myself accountable and told myself I’d hit my goal by Thanksgiving.

So my goal? The Turkey Trot. 5k, 39 minutes (appx 12 minute mile). Right now I’m running a mile in about 13 minutes, which would be great if the race wasn’t the day after tomorrow. I’m seriously scared and wondering why in the world I would announce my goal to Facebook land. What if I fail? I have amassed a group of women who are stronger runners to run “with me” to keep me motivated. I don’t want to let them down. I don’t want to have to report back to Facebook tomorrow that I set my goal to just miss the mark. I hope I make it, but am not confident I will.
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So?! I did it!!! I didn’t think I would, but I did. I started out of the gate strong and then had to walk portions of the race. I thought for sure I wasn’t going to make it. I even thought at one point I was going to hurl in the sand. “Focus on your breathing, your legs, your feet. Anything but your stomach”. Then I started noticing the people around me. Some wearing knee braces, some limping through, some in wheelchairs. WTF Mary?!?!?! If you have 2 working legs and feet and can put one in front of the other, then just do it!!!

I eventually found (or realized I was pacing with) someone who was running with her trainer. Towards the finish line, the trainer was talking about finishing strong. So I started sprinting towards the finish line. By the time I could see the clock it was at 38:40! Seeing the seconds fly by propelled me at an even greater speed and I hit the finish line at 38:50.

I cried. Cried. I couldn’t believe it. It was as if all the hard work and hours behind the treadmill and on the street were all of a sudden worth it. After the turn around I thought for sure I was doing too much walking to make it under 40 minutes. But I did. Technically I hit the starting line at 1:50 because of the crowd, so it’s truly a 37 minute 5k.

Am I still chubby? Do I still dislike running? Did I decide to suck it up, dig in and do it anyway? Yes yes and yes. It was SO rewarding and a fabulous reminder of all I have to be thankful for.

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving!

My Halloween Baby

So I gave birth to a baby yesterday and I’m not talking about my Jack O’ Lantern. Someone I’ve never met face to face reached out to me this week. I’m Jewish, she’s Jewish and she wants to meet more Jewish women in our community and needs me to lead the way. It’s a humbling and overwhelming task.

As a busy mom of 2, another project or havurah seems like one more “thing” on my plate I don’t really have time for. How does this woman even know she’s going to like me when we do get face to face? It’s all overwhelming at first, so I offer to do what I am comfortable with and feels easy. A Facebook group.

Jewish Women of Long Beach. In the last 30 hours, it has grown to 200 women. Another wave of excitement and fear. What have I done? What will this create? Who will be touched and changed by this one simple act that has already affected so many (albeit in a most superficial way) so quickly?

So far the feedback is the same. What a great idea! I can’t believe this group didn’t already exist, etc… The potential is limitless. Which brings on a whole new wave of worries. How will I make it meaningful and inclusive? How will I make it fun? What if it becomes polluted with unwanted postings or rude comments? So what do I do? Carve a pumpkin.

Take a blank slate and give it life. Get ready to celebrate Shabbatween. Know that if my intentions are pure and my mind is open, anything is possible.

May the Schwartz be with you

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I’m not OK and you shouldn’t be either

It’s officially been over a year since starting my Mommellah project.   It’s been a great time of new beginnings and reflections of how motherhood can connect me to Jewishness.  I recently read a post about mother who is living in Israel, and after telling everyone for so many weeks that she was OK with the current conflict, decided that she is not.  It really hit me.  As a mother, I can’t even imagine being in the scene that she paints.  It makes me want to cry.  It makes me want to scream.  It makes me realize that even though I may be halfway around the world, I’m not OK either.

The other morning my husband looked at me during breakfast and asked me what was wrong.  I just can not stop thinking about what families in Israel are going through right now.  The fear, the injustice, the horror of it all.  The reality that even though Israel is defending themselves in a reasonable way, they are fighting an unreasonable enemy.  Pictures of dead children vilifying Israel, when Hamas orchestrates their deaths so the world sees Israel as a monster.   It all shakes me to my core.

I have to ask myself, why is this conflict so much more important to me than conflicts in the past?  Is it really more severe?  More publicized?  Am I more aware of what’s going on because of my new blog and dedication to my Jewish identity?  It could be it’s become more real knowing I have friends in Israel, parents that have children who I can sympathize with because of my family here.  They’re not OK.  They shouldn’t be.  I’m not either and frankly, there’s not a Jew on the planet who shouldn’t be afraid right now.

The media coverage is disgusting.  I want to believe that the people who are supportive of the Palestinian action are ignorant of the true facts and are falling in the PR trap Hamas set for us.  Unfortunately, it’s just not the case.  The events in Paris make me wonder, can there be another Holocaust?  Will there be?  My heart is heavy.  Every single day.

My Jewishness means I am connected to Israel, no matter how far away.  I must stand for Israel, or I stand for nothing.  As a Mommellah, I’m starting to realize, my duty is in teaching my kids about our history, Israel, the Holocaust and what is happening today in the Middle East and in Europe where antisemitic feelings and actions still exist.  I’m learning that being a Jewish mother goes far beyond Berit Milah, lighting Shabbos candles and changing diapers.  It’s about explaining what you can about what’s important to the future of our people.  The proud descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Am Yisrael Chai.

May the Schwartz be with you