Although the title makes it sound as though they're connected - they aren't. Just two different topics that I'm thinking about this morning.
I converted to Judaism a week ago Monday. Yesterday was Shabbat, and we went to services. Usually, I try to find a sitter, my neighbor Annie usually watches at least Sam for me, but yesterday we had to bring both kids. Marc took them to the playground behind the synagogue, because Sam is absolutely horrendous in services. He cries, yells "Let's get out of this place!" loudly, and in general, makes a total nuisance of himself. Jessie isn't much better - she's got a highly developed whine technique that involves behaving as though she's a toddler, and whenever she turns that on, I know I'm in trouble. So I went in alone, and the rabbi called me up, announced that he had brought the kids and I to the mikvah on Monday and gave me a beautiful mezzuah for my door. And then the entire synagogue started singing and clapping (in Hebrew) - it was one of the oddest experiences for me. I knew nobody there, with the exception of the rabbi and the cantor, and all of these strangers were so thrilled for me, so happy and excited to share this with me, and they were all singing in a language I don't understand... it was a tiny bit surreal. I walked back down to my seat (of course, way the back) and everyone stopped and shook my hand, whispered congratulations (or mazel tov) and smiled at me.
I felt... honored and lucky. A bit bewildered, but mostly just blessed.
Vacation - woo hoo! I'm really excited about going up to Maine for a couple of days. We're staying with my sister Aimee, and spending long, lazy days at the beach, hanging out with my mom and my sister. I'm tense about packing and of course, worried about money (why is it that I always seem to be broke at vacation and Christmas? The two times I most want extra money, I always seem to be scrambling to pay for essentials). Tonight we're having the Worcester fireworks, and I delayed our trip so that we could watch the fireworks with Marc.