It seems like everything I do in life is last minute, so why should the process of introspection leading up to Rosh Hashanah be any different? My final thoughts on 5771 and best wishes for a sweet new year for all.
Blessings of 5771:
I am grateful for the many joys and simchas that filled my life in 5771. Each of these moments have helped transform me into a better person, each in their own unique way. It was truly a year of beautiful, bountiful blessings. My Top 10 of 5771, in chronological, not preferential order:
10. My First Marathon
Shortly after ringing in the new year of 5771, I strapped on my running shoes and completed my first marathon in the Hamptons. The training experience made me a lover of running. I learned that running is perhaps the most challenging, peaceful, and powerful activity I have ever engaged in. I pushed myself to my body's limits and experienced a high I have never felt before. The entire experience not only opened my eyes to a new mode of spirituality, but also taught me the power of the mind and the body. Thinking about Twin Cities Marathon 5773...Who's in??
9. Marrying the Love of My Life
The 14 of Cheshvan was probably the most memorable and beautiful day of my life. I felt blessed to share this day with so many wonderful friends and family. I love you John, you push me to grow every day.
8. The Packers Win the Superbowl
I am not ashamed to admit that the Packers bring me joy and happiness. So many smiles from the Packers in 5771. Hoping for many more smiles in 5772!
7. Receiving My Masters of Arts in Religious Education
I was very fortunate to be part of the Mandel Fellowship this year. Not only did the Mandel Fellowship bring me to Malibu, Boston, and Israel, but also provided the funding for me to attend the school of Education at HUC-JIR. The entire year was incredible. The program helped me develop a personal and professional vision, and also taught me how to apply everything I learn in rabbinical school in the real world. I'm very grateful for this opportunity and really proud to officially be able to call myself a Jewish Educator.
This was my first time back in Israel since my year in Israel in 5767-5768. It was an amazing trip, personally and professionally. I felt like I really needed this trip to rejuvenate my connection to Israel and reconnect with a place that holds so much meaning to me as a Jew. The program pushed me to think about peoplehood and the role of Israel in my life as an American Jew in so many important ways. Personally, I got to experience everything again for the first time with John and also got to reunite with good friends.
An amazing vacation to an amazing city. Great food and great company. Italy won me over, once again. Ciao bella!
4. Tony Plush and The Milwaukee Brewers
What a year for Wisconsin sports! The last time the Brewers clinched the division was 5742. I was born in 5743, so this is a first in my lifetime, and what a first it has been!! This year, I watched more baseball than I have probably ever in my life and I can say that I loved every single minute. The Brewers are putting the fun back in baseball on and off the field. T. Plush, Braunny, Prince, the Ax Man. How can you not love this team?! So excited for 5772! GO CREW!
(This is a picture of the Brewers participating in a theme day after playing the Houston Astros. Yee-haw!)
3. Sharing In My Friends and Families Many Simchas.
Many of my loved ones experienced simchas this year. We were lucky enough to participate in some of them in person, and experienced the joy of others in spirit. Congrats to:
Marc & Julia, Evan & Jenny, Allie & Andrew, Nate & Cemre, Simcha & Julie, Jon & Erin, Matt & Breanne, Adina & Steve, Nutan & Manoj
Your joy is my joy. I love you.
2. My jobs.
I know that I am in the minority of people who can say they love their job. And Forbes confirmed my professional happiness! This year, I started teaching Introduction to Judaism at the URJ in addition to working as the 4th Grade Level Coordinator at Shaaray Tefila. Thanks for the opportunity to engage in meaningful and fulfilling work everyday.
1. The First 20 Weeks of Pregnancy and Finding Out About Baby Girl Crimmings
I love being pregnant. Every day is something new, in an amazing way. I love my growing belly and I love my growing appetite. Thinking about and feeling what is happening inside me is the craziest and most incredible experience. Yesterday we found out we are having a girl and we couldn't be more excited! It is hard to even put words to this blessing, other than that I pray for continued blessing in 5772.
Personal Hardships of 5771:
This year, the world lost two wonderful men, both of whom touched the lives of so many people and will truly be missed.
Scott Croegaert, my uncle.
Nathan Fishbach, my good friend's dad.
Zichrona livracha, may your memories always be for a blessing.
All my thoughts continue to be with all my other loved ones in need of healing.
What a year, wow. As I say goodbye to 5771, I can't help but imagine what the world will bring my way in 5772. Wishing all of you a happy, healthy, and sweet new year!
Shanah Tovah U'mtukah world!