Category Archives: KoD appreciation

Baltimore / KoD – FTW!!

Ok this post is less about Baltimore and more about the KoD – but he’s a Baltimorean so they kind of go together.

Yesterday evening I was in Baltimore for work. As you guys know I am the Content Manager for Jamie Geller’s phenomenal blog. Last night, the Baltimore Talmudical Academy had its bi-annual tea, and they had invited Jamie to come and speak and give a cooking demonstration. There will be a wrap up post on the event on the kosher.com blog soon, but I will say that the Baltimore TA ladies were the friendliest bunch of women I have come across in a long time – they just met me last night, and I had THREE invitations to people’s homes to sleep over if we didn’t want to drive back after the event!

So, it’s a 4 hour drive from Monsey to Baltimore, and we had to be there for 5.30pm. That necessitated us leaving at 1.30. KoD encouraged me from the beginning to go with Jamie, that he could totally handle the brood at home – that would be no reason for me not to go. I have to say, knowing that I didn’t have to worry about the kids gave me tremendous peace of mind.

They were all in bed on time, homework done, bellies full. No one called me to whine or moan or kvetch. (OK, yes, I did call the KoD to check in – but only ONCE!)

After a really tremendous event, we returned home by 3.30 am and I fell into bed. The alarm rang at 6 am and I felt like hurling it across the room. I get up at 6 am daily to get the kids up and off to school. This morning, well, ouch, low on sleep! However, it was KoD to the rescue. He got up and let me sleep. He got the kids up and showered and dressed and fed and lunches packed. He got them out the door and off to school while I slept the day away. One of the kids’ buses didn’t show up – he sorted him out a ride to school, AND called the bus company to give them a piece of his mind. (But the bus company is a rant for another day). The man even charged my BlackBerry for me. *

I woke up at 11 with a splitting migraine, to a peaceful house, no mess or dishes lying around. KoD was out at a meeting, and I was able to just take the time to return to normal at my own pace.

To have a husband that so totally encourages you to follow your dream, that loves you beyond reason, that will do all that he can to support your work and your career, who loves your kids as if they were his own – what more can a woman ask for? I am so truly blessed to be married to the KoD.

Ever since I have met him my life just keeps improving in so many ways. He truly is my beshert, and I relish and appreciate every day that I get to spend with him. Thank you KoD for bringing such light into our lives.

*Dear KoD, now that you have shown me just how incredibly capable you are, I might take total advantage and sleep in at least once a week 😉

Print Me Out Some Love

The KoD and I both work from home most of the time. He has his office, I have mine. We tried sharing an office and realized it’s best we have our own space. He is Mr Neat and only has out the papers that he is working on, I, on the other hand….let’s just say I know where I can find everything!!

A while back the KoD bought me a wireless printer. It was on sale for a song and it has been wonderful. I shlepp my laptop over the house with me (less so now that I have my own home office) and knowing I don’t have to plug in to print something has been great. His computer is attached to a printer, but he installed my printer software too so that he could print in colour when necessary. This wireless printer is now in my office.

I was working hard this morning, my head all up in recipes and HTML coding and what on earth am I going to feed the kids for supper, and I hear the printer start to print. I start thinking I pressed something by accident or that there was a ghost in the machine.

Nope, the KoD was printing something – FOR ME. This is what he printed.

It’s something so simple, but it reduced me to an absolute puddle of mush – so incredibly sweet. I didn’t think it was possible to love him more, but I do. Every single day I love him more and more. It took us years to find each other, but I am so very thankful that we finally did!!

In total appreciation

The KoD rocks. OK, we all know he does, right? I know I tell you guys often enough, but he has been extra awesome these last few days. I have been cranky and stressed and he has been so supportive and loving.

Yesterday, with all the shlepping and packing – he did not allow me to even think of moving a box or a bag or anything. You should have seen the way he emptied that storage locker and packed up the truck. So quick and efficient and so darn strong. Lifting boxes that were heavier than me as if it was no big deal!

I wanted to help out with the driving – ok, I will be honest, I was SO glad when he said it was ok, he’s fine driving the truck with the trailer. I would have been scared to drive it, but had he needed me to take over I would have. Thankfully he didn’t need me to.

When we arrived at HOME in NY, again, he would not let me unload the truck. We had our boys and some neighbours helping. I just directed everyone where to put the boxes.

The KoD is truly my knight in shining armour. This whole immigration thing has been so difficult and took so long and gave us both many many sleepless nights – but he has been there for me every step of the way.

I could not ask for a better husband, a more loving and caring spouse, or even a more patient one. (I would go crazy being married to me!!) Thank you for being you, KoD, I love you more than I thought it possible to love anyone. My love for you grows day by day. Looking forward to many many many many more years together.

Mikvah Tales….

I have written before about the Monsey mikvah and how skeevy I felt the first time I went there. This was how I put it:

What I wasn’t ready for was the mikvah lady to be intrusive and to check my nails so thoroughly. She came into the room, sat down, and like a manicurist, took out her clippers and cuticle remover thingummy and inspected my nails for minute traces of dirt, cuticles and polish. She did the same with my toenails. I felt weird. I know how to prepare for mikvah, I always do it properly. I don’t need some woman that I have never met before going over me with such a fine toothcomb. This mitzvah is between me and God. He has trusted me with the mitzvah of Taharat HaMishpacha – I don’t need some shnook of a woman telling me I am not doing it properly.

It seems that every time I have returned to the Viola mikvah, it has been the same story. Apparently their policy is to check the fingernails and toenails, even if you politely ask them not to. The balaniot (mikvah ladies) were gruff and abrupt – they totally hindered my enjoyment of the fulfillment of this mitzvah.

After the last time I went there I told the KoD that I needed to find another mikvah to go to. There was no way I was ever going back to the Viola mikvah. I felt that the balaniot had gone out of their way to make me uncomfortable – I am not a recalcitrant child who needs to be bullied into submission. They did NOT actually bully me, but that’s how I felt. My experiences at this mikvah took away from the joy I used to feel at keeping this mitzvah. When mikvah time was coming up again I didn’t want to go. Honestly. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that it was going to be uncomfortable and I would rather stay home with a good book than subject myself to someone else’s fine toothcomb.

There are other mikvaot in Monsey, but the Viola one is close-by and gorgeous. KoD convinced me to try it out one more time. I tried explaining to him what it’s like to be standing there and have another woman, one much more clothed than you, examining you and your body for irregularities. Yes it’s only the fingernails and toenails, but still, it’s invasive. I don’t mind the checking for hairs so much – that’s something I need help with. The rest of the checking makes me uncomfortable. I didn’t know how to put it in terms that the KoD would be able to relate to, but he boiled it down to this – it’s only 2 minutes of your time – grit your teeth and bear it, if you can, otherwise speak up and tell them you’re OK, you don’t need to be checked. Somehow speaking up in this situation seems tougher than it sounds. Sigh.

I promised him I would give this particular mikvah one last shot, even though I really didn’t want to. On the appointed evening I prepared myself at home – I wanted to be at the mikvah for as little time as possible.

I drove there, and sat in the parking lot. My evil inclination was arguing with me. I really didn’t want to go in. I really didn’t want to subject myself to inspection. I just wanted to be done with the whole thing. Sitting there in the car a little voice was telling me – “KoD won’t know. Just pretend you went. Your hair is wet – how will he know the difference?” That voice was making it sound just so simple. There was a problem – I didn’t want to go in, and there was a solution – so don’t.

I sat there for 3 minutes in the parking lot debating with myself. It took tremendous strength of will for me to get out of the car and walk into the mikvah, pay my $23 and go do the final preparations. As I was getting ready to press the button to summon the balanit, I felt so uneasy. I so wanted to enjoy this experience yet I felt dread in the pit of my stomach.

The aura around the balanit that arrived at my door was different than those of her coworkers that have attended me before. She just seemed to be of a much nicer disposition. Cheerful. Chatty. Non-intrusive. Yes, she checked my nails, but somehow I didn’t mind it quite so much (that plus the fact that I have gel nails, so there is less to check). The toenail thing bothered me, but she was brief – not like the others taking time and cutting stuff that wasn’t there….

She walked with me, instead of ahead of me, to the mikvah, chatting all the way, really putting me at my ease. She gave me privacy to remove my robe and descend into the ritual waters. Every time I dunked and raised my head out of the water, she sang out “KOSHER” – with such joy! Seriously. Like she was happy to be part of my mitzvah. She helped rekindle the inner light I used to have when doing this mitzvah. As she walked me back to the preparation room, she was playing Jewish geography with me, after I told her we are from Montreal. Playing Jewish geography without sharing one’s name is a little different, to be sure.

I was glad that I overcame that momentary temptation to not go in to the mikvah. I am still upset that I felt that unenthusiastic about the whole experience. I know that there must be some women who would have taken those negative feelings and just stopped going. The KoD trusts me 100% to fulfill this mitzvah. He trusts that when I go to the mikvah, I do it properly. How could I not have gone in? How could I have lied to him after not going in? I know there are women that do that, but how can they live with themselves? What is the point of Taharat HaMishpacha if you aren’t going to keep it properly? I have heard some women say that if a husband sleeps with his impurified wife it’s his aveirah (sin), not hers. But the decision between right and wrong is taken away from a husband who is not aware that his wife has lied about her immersion in a mikvah. Yes, fine, the wife technically does not commit the same aveirah (if indeed this assumption is true) but she has sinned by lying to him. There is no place for lying in a marriage. None at all.

The KoD knew how I struggled with the mitzvah of tevilah on this particular occasion. But he encouraged me and supported me, validated my feelings, and eventually it worked out well. I returned to my husband’s embrace knowing I completed the mitzvah in the right way.

Life at the Palace

We had a crazy day today. It’s Sunday. Everyone has crazy Sundays, running from here to there and back again, taking care of everything that you couldn’t take care of during the week. KoD introduced me to Costco today. Man – that place is nirvana! Surprisingly though we actually walked out of the store without buying a single thing. I didn’t have my list with me, and I was not going to impulse shop.

In between the insanity I managed to prepare and pop a lasagna in the oven for dinner. It was just the KoD and me for dinner. We had a lovely dinner together, and afterwards both got caught up in different projects.

It’s now 10.20 pm and we decided it’s TV time. It just occurred to me that the sink was still full of dishes that needed to be washed. KoD offered to do them, and I told him, no, go chill in front of the TV, I will join you in a bit after I get them washed.

He got to the kitchen before me. I heard the water running. He had the rubber gloves on, and was soaping up the dishes.

“Dude,” says I, “what are you doing? I said I would wash the dishes.”

“Yeah, but why don’t you go chill in front of the TV until I am finished?” He responds.

Apparently because I cooked dinner he thinks it’s only fair that he does the dishes. I asked him if there was a point to me continuing to beg to do the dishes. He replied in the negative.

Sigh. He’s mine, ladies, all mine and when they made him they threw away the mould. I am loving life at the KoD / QoH palace. Squee!!

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The Awesomeness of the Mundane

I have been in NY since late Thursday night. I am hanging out with my KoD for a little while and getting the house in order for the influx of the kids this summer. The kids are in Montreal with their dad for a little bit.

I am going to be here for a little while, and knowing that I don’t need to rush back to Canada is a great feeling, but not one that I am used to.

I am sure that after a while I may start to take being here for granted, but for now I am loving every minute that I get to spend with the KoD. Whether it is walking him to shul for mincha after dinner, or preparing his coffee in the morning, waiting for him in the driveway as he comes home from work. I am enjoying all the cleaning and laundry and cooking and shopping – because it is for US, and that is such a heady feeling.

As you read the other day, we went to a wedding, together – I am truly appreciative that we had that opportunity. It was awesome to introduce the KoD to my friends – and to use his real name, instead of “the KoD”. I was so proud to be there with him, and even when I was chatting with the bride and keeping her company, just looking across the hall and seeing my husband filled my heart up to bursting. Dancing with him later on…..well, that was just the icing on the cake….

Yesterday morning I was rearranging the kitchen so that it worked better for me. It took me the best part of 3 hours, but I was apparently singing the whole time with a huge grin on my face. Is this really me, do I enjoy housework this much??!!

This month we will have been married for sixteen months, and I feel like we are just starting our Shana Rishona, our first year. I fall more in love with him every single day – and I know that is going to continue!!

Yesterday I ran some errands. The young teller at the bank asked me if Mr KoD was my husband. I said sure. She smiled and told me that he is a great guy. I grinned back and said “I know, thanks”. Walking to mincha last night, one of our neighbours drove past us, and slowed down, and said out of his window “now that’s a sight to see – makes me so happy to see you guys walking together”.

Being with the KoD just fills me with absolute joy. I cherish every moment of it.

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May your strength be straight.

Sometimes being the grown up sucks. A lot. Don’t you ever want to just throw a tantrum like a toddler, and have a warm pair of arms to just hold you tight until the ugly mood has gone away? Don’t you ever get tired of “wearing the big girl panties” and want someone else to make all your problems go away?

We are going through some stuff right now, for sure. Thankfully it’s not health related nor is it relationship related. Me and the KoD, we are rock solid. He continues to be the best thing that has ever happened to us – and I fall in love with him deeper and deeper every day. No matter what is going outside of the two of us, BH we don’t allow it to affect our USness. It’s such a bracha.

Interestingly enough, when he is physically here with me, or if I am there with him, it’s as if NOTHING can hurt me too deeply. I am strong as his strength is infused in me. Almost by osmosis. But put 333 miles between us, and I am easily put adrift once again. Sure we call and email and text throughout the day. It’s never enough though. But my friends, my dear sweet friends pick up that slack. They call and email. They come around with hugs and chocolate and wine. My boys with their effervescence and simple faith are a balm on my soul. They all remind me that I am a strong woman in my own right. I have got through rough times before, and lived to tell the tale. (and how!!)

We are loved not just by our blood family. We are loved by our communities. I cannot tell you how blessed we are to have such warmth surrounding us. Our community here in Montreal and the KoD’s in New York have been so supportive and loving to both of us, to all of us. I guess when your own family is far away you need a circle of people around you to fill that void. The only time I feel alone is when I allow myself that deep wallow in self pity and that is so unnecessary.

Thank you to all of you for reminding me I am strong. Thank you for supporting us through thick and thin. Thank you all for being there for us. May we all celebrate many simchas together.

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Happy Mother’s Day, Now Bring Me Coffee….

It’s Mother’s Day. You are a guy. You wake up and your wife is snuggling herself up to you. Do you:

A)    Just hold her tight and tell her how special she is. OR

B)    Tell her to get out of bed and make you some %$#@ing coffee?

Sigh. Since the KoD and I got married almost 15 months ago, whenever he comes up to Montreal he refuses to make coffee. He is afraid of my swanky coffee machine. He is used to a plain percolator and my machine is a little fancier. He’s a smart man, for sure he could figure it out, but it isn’t worth the aggravation.

This morning, soon after we woke up, he suggested that I get up and make coffee, as we both need it. I looked at him, thinking he was totally joking. I mean, given the snuggling  situation and all – did he really want coffee that badly? Apparently he wasn’t joking. I threw back the covers in a huff, shrugged into my bath robe, and stomped off to the kitchen, throwing insults and epithets over my shoulder. “He’s a grown man and doesn’t know how to make his wife a cup of coffee. On Mother’s Day I have to make my own freaking coffee?!!” If there would have been a stiletto shoe lying around I probably would have tossed it at his head. The nerve!! I switched the lights on in the kitchen and blearily, angrily, reached for the coffee. Propped up against the swanky coffee maker that the KoD refuses to use there is a HUGE envelope that had “Happy Mother’s Day” written on it, in the KoD’s handwriting. The sneaky devil!!

I stomped back to the bedroom, yelling at him with a twinkle in my eye. I called him sneaky and mean and he was laughing his head off. I think I might have pummeled him a time or seven. It was the sweetest card ever – not that I cried or anything….

He loves playing tricks on me, my man, and I fall for them every single time. He so has my number.

A little while later he says to me “this isn’t going to be a blog post is it??”

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Simple things

You know, it’s the simple things in life that can fill you with the most pleasure. I spent most of today (once I arrived) just hanging out with the KoD. I had some papers to sort out, he had work to do, we ate lunch together (he prepared it), I did laundry. He had more work. We ran errands. Simple errands. The bank and the library type of errands. Dropped in on some friends, acquainted ourselves with our friends’ new baby (so delicious and small – totally precious), petted a dog. Dropped in on some other friends and hung out for a little bit and laughed ourselves silly.

Nothing major. No planning months in advance. Just…..life. Life with the KoD. Driving six hours this morning to feel this blissed out – totally and utterly worth it.

Shabbat is not too far off, and I am looking forward to more of Life with the KoD. So grateful to be here, with him, and to have such awesome people in my life.

Shabbat Shalom!!

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Rub a Dub Dub, Thanks for the Grub….

It’s a funny little line, but at bensching time growing up when we were amongst friends, we would jokingly say “Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub, Yaaaaay God!” I am sure this falls way short of the grace after meals that we are supposed to say. It’s up there with making fun of the mezuman – “rubber tires never break” or “rub my thigh with a rake” – typically puerile stuff. My kids have tried it a time or two at the Shabbat table and gotten a lot of grief for it. It IS offensive AND inappropriate. Just because I said it in my not-so-misspent youth doesn’t make it right.

Lately I have been trying to improve myself, and instead of taking on something that I know I cannot keep to, I have decided to work on Brachot (blessings) and not using my mouth for foul language and Lashon Horah (evil speech, gossip).

My KoD is a wonderful inspiration on the Brachot front. I have never seen him bite into something or drink something without making the right bracha. It would never occur to him to forget. It is ingrained in him to thank God for everything he eats and drinks. I am an FFB (frum from birth) and have had brachot said around me forever. Yet, somehow, it does not occur to me a lot of the time. I wonder why this is. I will remind the boys to wash for bread, and bensch after. I will remind them to make all their brachot and when they come out of the bathroom I will nudge the little one to say that special bracha. But when it comes to me, I constantly forget. I am trying so hard to remember, and to be mindful. I find if I am mindful of everything I am doing, I am more likely to make a bracha. But sometimes in our helter skelter oh-so-busy lives, we shovel food in on the go, and do not stop to think.

How can I get myself to remember all the time? I asked the KoD how he does it. After all he is not an FFB and as an adult he had to train himself at some point. He told me that he doesn’t perceive it as a choice. You want to eat – you have to thank God first. It’s that simple. (Trust a man to be so logical!!) Sometimes I am not even sure which bracha I am supposed to say – but the kids seem to be knowledgeable on that front, and if not the KoD for sure knows.

So, do you have any tips and pointers for me?

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