Breathe. Thanks.

Life. It's big. It's bad. And it rocks. But most of all it's busy. Food to make, kids to clothe, errands to run, emails to write, photos to be taken, trash to be taken out, cars to maintain, film to develop, hard drives to clean, exercise to (theoretically) do, blogs to post, articles to read, family to call, spills to clean, floors to wash, heaters to set. You get the point. And yet somehow, amidst all the rush, there's peace. Calm, harmony, joy and sometimes even sleep. The key is to breathe. And then be thankful. I can't list my breaths but I can list what I'm thankful for.

The Biggies:

  • My wife. The most beautiful, thoughtful, funny, real, hard working, and inspirational person I know. She is the strong foundation which allows us all to soar. She's also a fantastic (and über healthy) cook, a master fermenter, an awesome mother, and a constant nudge for me to exercise again. She's not afraid to tread her own path, but not for its own sake. (She even let me go on a week-long journey through Memphis and atlanta for the workshop of my life. While being a stay-at-home mom with four kids at home.) She absolutely, in the most non-literal meaning of the word, rocks.
  • Zevi. The sweetest little four year old you've ever met. Why. He can crawl on four legs faster than most kids can run. Why. He always wants to do the right thing. Why. He tries to get me to floss everyday ("it's very good for you"), and if I ever can't find something he's the first one to ask (he is ridiculously observant). Why. He's super-inquisitive. And he's gorgeous.
  • Chanaleh. The yin to Zevi's yang. She has no clue what's going on. She's in her own tiny beautiful world and once in a while invites us in. She has extra dimensions ("Sometimes I like kombucha, sometimes I don't and sometimes I like it all the times", "nexterday I want pancakes"), and an infectious laugh. The best cleaner-uper and cuddler. Just don't look into her eyes. You'll melt.
  • Mendel. He's happy. Born into a rambunctious family he's a mellow mushball. He's obsessed with the Alef Beis, loves his crib, eats pretty much anything, the best kisser, takes care of Zusha and eats paint.
  • Zusha. His first food was cheesecake. He's the cutest, fattest, heaviest, mushiest, happiest, most edible baby (time makes us forget how cute the others were). Period.
  • G-d. It goes without saying, but all I have, is thanks to Hashem. He gave me this most amazing family that I didn't deserve, and gave me a gift of being able to do something I love and make money and memories. We are healthy, happy, well fed, with a roof over our heads. What else could one want?
  • The Rebbe. The world is shrinking. Where once upon a time there were small communties of love and shelter, now we have the world in our pockets.The Rebbe gave us the knowledge and ability to get through the troubles and choices. I really don't know where I'd be without Chassidus and the Rebbe's implementation of that.

The almost as Biggies (also known as venti):

  • My in-laws (including uncle). They are the best. They have the most amazing connection with my kids (something that due to many circumstances I never had). They help (a lot) with babysitting, playing, hosting, cleaning, maintaining the cars, cooking, and if we're ever in a tight place they are more than happy to help out. And they are very supportive of my budding photography career. You guys are amazing.
  • My family. We're all busy running our own lives, but someone is always there forcing us to get together and have a good time. I wish I could spend more time with you guys, but that's just how it is. I love you.

The also very important (the spices that add all the yumminess). This list is nowhere near exhaustive:

  • For all the Genesis peeps I met over the past two weeks. What a remarkable group of people! I'm sure I will treasure your friendships for a very long time.
  • For making me never gain weight :).
  • For finding an awesome house to rent with a huge backyard.
  • For the word "awesome"
  • For this ridiculously beautiful part of the world I live in.
  • For genuinely nice people. And there are a lot of them.
  • For coffee.
  • For it still being legal to kill cows and eat them.
  • For Hollywood (for making it possible to still produce film)
  • For the fact that all my kids love playing with each other and hanging out together.
  • For sunsets
  • And sunrises
  • And for being able to push black and white film to 6400.

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