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Friday, November 27, 2015

The Nutcracker with the Boston Ballet - #NaBloPoMo 27 #Hosted

courtesy of Boston Ballet

Disclaimer: The four of us were invited to a dress rehearsal performance of Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker. As always, all opinions are my own.

Marc, Hannah, Max and I were thrilled to be invited to an exclusive parent blogger performance of Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker. As many of you know, I don't often take advantage of the many blogger opportunities, goods and services that come my way, but we couldn't resist this one.

Courtesy of Boston Ballet
The production was simply fabulous. The set, costumes, and of course, the dancing, were all amazing. Tchaikovsky's music comes right to life no matter how many times you've heard it before. I was most impressed by the child dancers in the show--that is a serious commitment! (I'll try to keep that in mind when I'm driving my kids to their local activities!)

We made a bigger day out of it by stopping for dinner out and then visiting my new office, too!

Here are the official Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker details:

The Nutcracker includes the full company of 57 dancers, 11 Boston Ballet II dancers, and 217 Boston Ballet School students. The 42-performance run will feature many never-before-seen casts, showcasing the vast talent within the Company, and providing many opportunities for dancers to shine in Soloist and Principal roles. Each performance will be accompanied by Tchaikovsky's renowned score, performed by the Boston Ballet Orchestra, led by Principal Conductor Jonathan McPhee.

Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker is based on the libretto by Alexandre Dumas père titled The Tale of the Nutcracker, which is adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The story follows the wondrous journey of young Clara, who receives a nutcracker as a gift at her family’s Christmas Eve party. Later that night, her nutcracker magically transforms into a handsome prince, who leads her through an enchanted forest and on to the Nutcracker Prince’s Kingdom.

For a full synopsis and additional details, visit Performances take place at the Boston Opera House from November 27 - December 31. Tickets start at $35. For more information, visit or call 617-695-6955.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving! - #NaBloPoMo 26

We made it through our first self-hosted Thanksgiving with our kids, my in-laws and sister-in-law and her family. 

From pumpkin bread and hot chocolate...

To the main event (photo collage courtesy of Hannah)...

To the pie...

And everything we have to be grateful for. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The First and Last Things - #NaBloPoMo 25

Morning Mist by Always Shooting (unaltered) on flickr
My favorite blogging tribe has decided to all tackle the same topic on our blogs across the country and into Canada today. It's actually hard for us all to agree on one topic to write about, and that's probably my fault since I nixed so many food-related ideas (although I just made my first ever batch of cranberry sauce, which I think turned out well, but I digress). So we're writing about the first and last things we do in the morning and at night.

And just like Phyllis, I look at my phone pretty much the first and last things I do. And also in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping.

I blame work, and my international clients that email at all hours, and that's partly to blame for sure. My work moves and evolves so quickly, and if I stay on top of my email, it really helps me to feel less overwhelmed than when I come back to a bulging Inbox. And sometimes, you find out that the video conference you needed to wear a suit to attend is now a conference call, and the regular black pants will work just fine. It also means I spend many a 2-3 am strategizing about how to write a memo or compile data for a report. I know that this isn't great for my sleep, but I also know that this part of my life isn't likely to last forever, and for now, this is what works best for me.

When it's not work to blame, well, it's the entire Internet. There's more to see than can ever be seen. I love having an entire world in the palm of my hand, and I'll never not love that. Whether it's social media or blogs or some breaking news item (an Amber alert had me up and Googling a few weeks ago), it's me and my phone. Or it's some reality TV that I don't find too stressful. Scandal is definitely too stressful for me to watch before bed. Scandal is too stressful for me to watch with the lights off!

The kids still have a bedtime routine that they want adhered to on most evenings. Marc or I sing the Shema in Hebrew, and then I continue the V'ahvta in English, while Marc prefers Hebrew. Then we say, "Good night, sweet dreams, laila tov (good night in Hebrew), I love you." I don't know how we settled on those four phrases. Some nights, they're said with a bit of exasperation, sometimes a little breathless from kisses that turned into tickles and tackling hugs, but always the same.

When I wake the kids, it's usually a "good morning Hannie-princess" or "good morning prince Max" and I have NO IDEA how all of that started with me. I never call them princess or prince otherwise. But I do believe that waking them with a smile, regardless of how tired I might be, it helps. If I'm waking them for the third or fourth time though, all niceties are out the window.

How do you start and end your day? For more from my blogging pals, check out the links below.

My Cheesesteak Not Cheesecake Tribe (more links to come once all are posted!):
Phyllis of Napkin Hoarder
Melissa of A Wide Line
Kimberly of Red Shutters
Danielle of Another Version
Lisa of What Makes a Family

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Staging - #NaBloPoMo 24

These are some well-staged photos. I'll be saving them in case we ever need to list the house for sale. Hopefully, that's not for a very long time.

Here's the "not done but presentable" new living room space. 

Tonight, the empty room is filled with cousins and beanbag chairs. Pretty cool.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Tonight's Project - #NaBloPoMo 23

NaBloPoMo wasn't created for people trying to finish details of a renovation before Thanksgiving. Marc is attempting to install 21 blinds on the first floor of the house tonight. 

Have I mentioned how over cardboard boxes I am? It's almost enough to get me to stop shopping online. 

Something more substantive to come, at some point. But not tonight. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Max's Thanksgiving - #NaBloPoMo 22

Max is very excited to be hosting his first Thanksgiving at our house. He spent some time getting ready today. 

Here's his "it's time to place Thanksgiving" seating cards. 

And here's something Thanksgiving-themed Mad Libs and Tic Tac Toe. 

I think he's the most ready of all of us. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Distractions - #NaBloPoMo 20

I've been working from home today as my belongings at work are being moved to our new space today and this weekend. I got to spend a few minutes in my new office yesterday, trying to soak it in a bit, as I'll only have one day in it next week before I'm taking time off for Thanksgiving and then heading out on another work trip.

It's been good to be home, as honestly, I've been able to think about very little other than the murder of Ezra Schwartz, which I wrote a bit about yesterday. I read an article where a friend from camp discussed being friends with him since they shared the same assigned table in the dining hall. That detail broke my heart and left me in tears, as this summer was the first that Hannah had mixed assignment tables at camp, a big deal to her. Other photos of him at camp, in the lake, playing with campers, posing with his friends. It's surreal.

So I'm looking for distractions. I dove in to work this morning, getting hours of work done before eating breakfast. I took a break and finally finished installing the light fixture in our closet, which had few dozen crystal balls that needed to be individually hung. It was a good accomplishment, and it looks lovely.

On to the next distraction.