Posts Tagged ‘new traditions’

This may be the first Lenten season I can remember that I’m not actively giving something up.

I thought about it. I reflected on past years, giving up swearing, M&Ms, diet coke, and alcohol – all of which were both challenging and rewarding.

I thought about giving up something food-related again…and then realized that we’ll be in Nepal in two weeks, where I won’t be eating any of my regular foods anyway.

I considered giving up TV or social media…but again, it would really just be for the two weeks before we leave. We won’t be watching TV or obsessively scanning Facebook in Nepal.

I toyed with giving up other things, but kept coming back to the same conclusion: it would really only be my choice for two weeks, and then it would become a necessity for my current living situation.

So this year, I’m giving up giving up.

This year, I’ll spend two weeks reflecting on the Lenten season while in my comfort zone, and the final four weeks will be spent halfway around the world.

I can only imagine that the time in Nepal will teach me more about the true meaning of the season than a lack of diet coke or alcohol ever did. And maybe it will be the start of a new tradition.

Maybe instead of giving up, I’ll just start giving.

And this year will be the first step.

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I’ve never gotten my own Christmas tree.

When I lived in the studio, I didn’t think there was room (and didn’t want to deal with it by myself). I set out advent calendars and other holiday decorations, but no tree.

When I moved in with Husband two years ago, December was the time for finals, holiday parties, going to Puerto Rico, and then up to Philly for Christmas. And we didn’t make time for a tree.

Last year we were in Argentina for Christmas.

But this year there’s time.

This year, we got a tree and a menorah to celebrate our interfaith-ness, and I realized that I’d forgotten just how much fun it can be to pick out a tree together. (It was fun to get the menorah, too, but Target only had one option, so there wasn’t so much choice involved.)

photo 1

Carrying the tree to the car. We tied it down, but I still held on through the sun roof.

Saturday was spent stringing lights, hanging ornaments, and lighting candles – and standing back to admire our very first tree and menorah together.



I wanted blue and white lights, but the white were sold out.


Yes, that’s my nativity scene right in front of the menorah.

I know the menorah will make it all eight nights, but I can only hope that the tree lasts through Christmas.

I have a terrible track record at keeping things watered.

Bonus video for anyone who, like me, loves holiday a cappella and mashups:

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This was a very busy, very fantastic Easter weekend.

On Saturday, the boyfriend tried to take advantage of some free time to show me some car stuff. He wants me to follow through on my 25 list and learn how to change a tire (maybe more than I do). But Saturday he settled for teaching me how to check the oil.

Which turned out to be nearly empty. Oops!

Changing tires will have to wait until next time, but at least now I know that there is, indeed, a full spare in my trunk.

Yesterday, the morning started off with Easter services, followed by a lesson in making matzo brei.

The boyfriend was the master chef

Which was quickly followed by devouring the dish. So simple, yet so good.

Then, yesterday afternoon, we hosted the first ever Peaster (Passover and Easter) dinner. Like Thanksgiving, it was the first time I hadn’t been home for the holiday. But we made up for it by creating our own new tradition.

We combined traditional Easter foods (namely, ham), and Passover traditions (lots of matzo and hiding the afikoman) and invited friends over to celebrate with us. And, if I do say so myself, dinner was a HUGE success.

Peaster Menu:
Deviled Eggs (from Cla’s recipe)
Spiral Cut Ham
Matzo Ball Soup
Potato Kugel (courtesy of RB and LB)
Haroset (courtesy of JVo and D)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Apple Cake (courtesy of JVo and D)
The Best Brownies You’ve Ever Had (courtesy of RB and LB)

We will, of course, be eating ham and matzo ball soup for the next week or so, but that’s a small price to pay for such a delicious meal.

And finally, even though it came before the actual Peaster meal, I enjoyed my first diet coke in 40 days.

The boyfriend warned me before I opened it that I’d probably find it disgusting. He was so very, very wrong.

Some people turn their Lenten sacrifices into lifestyles; I’ve come to the realization, however, that I am not one of those people.

Will I go back to drinking three diet cokes a day? Hopefully not.

But it is finals week, so I can’t make any promises.

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