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Archive for September, 2013

The Bat Mitzvah reception took place on Stanford’s gorgeous campus. I grew up just a stone’s throw from Tufts and Harvard Univerities so when I think college, I think of heaps of ivy over lots of red brick. Stanford’s gorgeous campus was such a departure from this, and a fun surprise to me. I felt transported by all the Spanish Colonial style architecture, the amazing foliage on the grounds – and the kids loved the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden and all its totems!

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The whole point to getting to San Francisco was to see cousin Ellie do her thing at the synagogue. My mother in law was so happy that this was the first Bat Mitzvah I had ever seen/been to because – as she noted – it was a beautiful, heart felt service and reception without all the extravagant ‘bells and (expensive and out of touch with Judaism) whistles’ that many current Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties have fallen prey to. Just a lovely location for the party, a bunch of 13 year olds casually dressed and dancing barefoot to a DJ. There were no hired ‘dance inspirers’ or monkeys handing out kippahs or parties at the NBA or Disney store in Times Square. Just family, and some very pretty and tasteful balloon centerpieces – and a lot of limbo, dancing and fun.

Zoe passed out kind of early but I think Ezra was pretty in awe of all the older kids … and their impressive big kid dance moves!

Congrats again Ellie!

the cousins get a moment to pose (giggling) for a photo

the cousins get a moment to pose (giggling) for a photo

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candle lighting is fun with a ton of friends

candle lighting is fun with a ton of friends

the confident Bat Mitvah girl

the confident Bat Mitvah girl

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Zoe's tired little feet had to shed shoes

Zoe’s tired little feet had to shed shoes

E loves dancing with grandma

E loves dancing with grandma

the limbo stick made of some flexible balloons!

the limbo stick made of some flexible balloons!

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America’s Cup, a glimpse of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and lots of amazing California flowers…

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Oh that lovely but insanely hilly city – we got to move around a lot for people who just got off a plane. The kids loved Coit Tower and the ‘crooked street‘ and we even got on a (stopped) trolley! (Insert the song from ‘Rice-a-roni’ ads here.)

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Over the weekend we did something crazy – we flew to San Francisco for a cousin’s Bat Mitzvah and I’m STILL shocked at how well the kids handled it all. Even waking this a.m. in time for school and everything. I’m waiting for them to crumble from lack of sleep and overload of excitement – because it was all a bit of a whirlwind tour.
The 6 hour flight over went well and – despite Zoe insisting on snuggling with me for most the flight – I was able to take shots of the Rockies and random crop circles below (check out these closeups). Basically this east coast girl was in shock at how uninhabited most of the western US is (I usually fly in the opposite direction, to Europe)! It was like flying over the moon when we flew over the desert. I’m so accustomed to seeing dots of cities everywhere — so for me, this was fascinating.

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I do wish she would enjoy her own seat...

I do wish she would enjoy her own seat…

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Our friend (and industrial designer) Kevin Lindberg has created a learning tool for kids that is so beautiful to look at. Check out his Kickstarter page here and see the film for yourself… starring E and Z’s friends Wyeth and Auden as models and users of the product. I love Kevin’s gorgeous illustrations –

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This is one of my favorite holidays… because it happens in the crisp cool fall (usually) and requires making an outdoor structure. Then we get to invite people to come and decorate it, and then eat inside it. What more could kids want? As Ezra said, it’s like camping only better because you get to decorate the structure! A sweet little egal­i­tar­ian syn­a­gogue tucked away on 11th street in Manhattan hosted a kid’s event for Sukkot this past weekend. I’m glad we stumbled into this event, because we will be busy and won’t get to set up a sukkah in our own garden. We never have made our own sukkah, but with our garden newly spruced up it’s more tempting than ever to eat outside.

The sweet little building in Manhattan where the shul is housed

The sweet little building in Manhattan where the shul is housed

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making mini-sukkahs of nutella and graham crackers.. yum!

making mini-sukkahs of nutella and graham crackers.. yum!

Ezra, stop eating the fruit!

Ezra, stop eating the fruit!

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