Hebrew Academy

Admin Professionals Day

I know, I’m a terrible blogger. My bad. Life’s been busy, but I’m still here. πŸ™‚

Yesterday was Admin Professionals day at the schools across Dade County (and probably more, but that’s where I work) and I received a gorgeous bouquet of orchids, roses and, I think, chrysanthemums. So beautiful! My entire office smelled wonderful and, later, so did my car and house. This morning, my car still smells heavenly.

Pretty Flowers | BeccaBlogs.com

I also received this email from our Board President, sent to the handful of Admins at the school…

My apologies that this is coming to you all so late in the day. However, on behalf of the board, and personally, I would like to thank you for all you do each every day.

No one, no teacher, administrator, parent, lay leader or student- could get done what they need to without your help, guidance and assistance. You are consummate professionals and represent the Hebrew Academy in the best way possible every day.
You deserve a thank you- each and every day- but especially today.

Have a wonderful evening.

I knew they appreciated me here, but this just feels amazing to read and receive.


Movin’ on up… to the East Side… I mean Palmetto Bay

Y’all want to hear some exciting news?

We found a place to live! Well, pending a successful background and credit check by the HOA. It’s ours!

That’s right, we looked at a place Saturday morning and signed a lease. Then Sunday morning, we dropped off our deposit check with our new landlord. Muy exciting!

I did find this place on Craigslist and it made me quite nervous until I was able to Google her, found her other Miami properties, spoke to her several times, met her and got a good vibe from her. Yeah, this is awesome. She actually brought the paperwork from her last tenant with her so I snuck a peek at it. Shhh. πŸ˜‰

We will be living in a huge complex of 10 or so duplex buildings and several 2 or 3 story condo buildings (formerly an apartment complex). Our place is a duplex and we briefly met the other half’s tenants when we were looking at the place. They were moving in. (Note to self: make friends with them.)

The rooms are both about the same size, but we’re taking the back one due to it having 2 closets and a lot of daytime shade. The shade part is imperative since hubby sleeps during the day and works at night. The landlord pays the monthly HOA fees. The big electric gate to get into the complex gets hooked to our phones so people can call and we buzz them in. We have use of the pool and fitness center over at the condo building.

There’s like a 6′ wall around the entire property and each yard has a 7′ wood fence. We do need to put some wood around the bottom due to the unevenness of the ground and there are Lola-sized big gaps that she could slip through if she really wanted to get out. Also, we’re like 2 miles from this big Pinecrest/ Palmetto Bay dog park with all kinds of fountains that we can take her to if she needs a change of scenery.

But you don’t care about this stuff, right? You want to see the pictures, don’t you?

Tough noogies. I don’t have any. πŸ˜‰ You’re going to have to wait until we get the keys and do the walk through on Sunday. I promise to take pictures then. (I did find a couple sites with pictures online, but they clearly have the address listed. If you’d like to see them and swear you won’t stalk me, comment with your email address.)

Aaaaaaaand, I will shave off at least 15 miles from my trek to Miami Beach each way. My car loves that part. As does my wallet bc gas is expensive as hell! And I’m sure my body will grow to love the whole not needing to wake up at 4:30am part as well. So now, instead of 44 miles, I’ll only be driving 27 miles each way.


The Long Drive from Homestead to Miami Beach

I voice recorded this 1/5/12 driving to work at 6am. It’s now 1/7/12 at 5:30pm. Yeah, my life is very different these days. No time!

My life has been completely insane lately! I am currently in voice recording this as I drive the 45 miles to work from Homestead to Miami Beach. The same as I’ve done everyday this week and for several days in the preceding weeks. It’s a long drive, but if I leave early enough, around 5:45am, I get there with so little [sara lee – what?!] traffic and get there around 6:30am and I relax in the car – and sometimes fall asleep – until 7am when I walk inside.

So this is now my life. Or at least for as long as we live in Homestead. Getting up at 4am – okay, let’s be honest, I don’t get outta bed until about 4:35am – thenΒ  shower, make my lunch (as long as I forgot to make it the night before), and get out of the house and on the road by about 5:45am. My very first official week has been ridiculous because I’ve been working from 7am to about 3:30-4pm most days. We have our huge annual event, which I walked right into the tail end of the final planning stages, this coming Sunday the 8th. So, needless to say, the days are very longΒ  with wrapping up everything, thank you’s and tax letters signed and mailed, confirming all the reservations etc. My life has been full immersion in this job with extremely long hours. By the time I typically get home, I’d have been out of the house for 12+ hours.

After the event on Sunday I believe we’re all taking off Monday and then it should be back to a normal schedule of leaving around 2 or 2:30, but I need to check on that. But in the meantime I don’t leave until almost 4 o’clock get home around 5:30-6:00 and stay up for a couple of hours and then try to get to bed by 10. I say try because nothing ever works in my life I turn the television off around 10, get the dishes done and I’m usually in bed by about 10:30. Getting up at 4am, or rather the alarm clock going off at 4am, is just not enough sleep for me. I think once Steve leaves at 9pm to go to work, I should just get my stuff done and go to sleep and not even try waiting until 10. My body does not know what to do with itself as I’m constantly exhausted because these are the longest days I’ve worked in a very long time.

I have no time to get on the internet at work and don’t usually feel like getting online when I get home. I only have a little bit of time to get some stuff done at night, so if I wanted to put a blog post out, I guess this is the only way to do it. Hey I might as well kill the 45 minutes in the car, right? I realize last night that I haven’t posted since last year. Holy smokes it’s 2012… where did 2011 go? I swear it was just January 1st, 2011. This year completely flew by and now we’re on to the next. Who knows, maybe this’ll be the year we start our family! However, at the rate I’m going I’ll be burned out and have absolutely no time to do anything with adoption or even start a plan on having a family. But on the upside we have a look at a couple of houses and hopefully we will be able to rent something within the next month. Hooray!

But back to the job for a second, every day multiple times a day my new boss tells me how happy she is and how much my being there is helping her. That makes me feel really great. The last girl didn’t even bother to work her full 2 weeks notice.. she just decided to leave one day. And right before the huge event. Bad timing!! I am really happy that I took this job and so far I really like my coworkers. I keep meeting new people every single day and it’s a completely different world than I’ve ever known. Everybody is Jewish, obviously, and so nice. The dress code is a little sticky but I’m dealing with it. Take for instance yesterday it was 38 degrees when I left my house which means I had to wear my skirt with leggings, knee socks, and boots underneath and was actually pretty warm.

However I had to go and buy a ball gown for the event. I found one and it is gorgeous! The only problem is I need to find something to wrap around the top of it because well my girls are really big. And in this crowd I might get some really funny looks, but that’s okay. I respect that I have to wear certain things in order to work in this environment. I might have mocked it in the past, but it doesn’t mean I can’t and don’t respect it. At least now I’m learning about a culture that is part of who I am just to much more extreme degree.

I have no plans on going Kosher and respect that the school is kept Kosher. No ham and cheese sandwiches in my lunch! OK, be prepared for another post tomorrow with more exciting news!


Religious Thoughts from a Non-Religious Jew Girl

To the person that found me by searching “Jewish girl tattoo craft blog,” I think I love you. Seriously I am greatly amused by that strange mix of keywords.

Hipstamatic [tattoo] love | BeccaBlogs.comI actually believe that my new job will help a lot with my Jewish identity. I don’t really have one, if that makes sense. Sure I was raised, bat mitzvahed, confirmed, and volunteered in my family synagogue, but currently I feel no pull to Judaism. And I don’t think I’m alone in that. It seems many of similar aged friends are not drawn to religion. I have several atheist friends, as well. Religion is a funny thing. Who knows.

It never really mattered to me to marry a Jewish man. In fact, my ex-fiance pretty much turned me off dating Jewish guys, so I guess there’s that. πŸ˜‰ I always knew that, by definition, my birthed children would be Jewish. Now that we are planning on adoption and he is not Jewish (nor religious), my thoughts are thrown for a loop. We have discussed it, but didn’t come to a definitive conclusion. When you adopt older than infant children, I’m thinking you need to respect their religion. I could be wrong though..

But back to my job helping my Jewish identity. Obviously working for a Hebrew school, I will be exposed to much more religion than I’ve been exposed to in the last decade or so. Even during the trial run working there on my days off, I have noticed a change. I am conscious of the food I bring there (no ham, no cheese on my deli sandwiches), the way I dress (covering all my tattoos to the point of buying boots for my 3 ankle ink and wearing a chunky watch for the above wrist ink), less cursing (OK, well I’m around kids so that’s a given), and, well, I’m sure there is more.

I’m looking forward to the other changes in myself. By the time this posts, I’ll have been at the Hebrew Academy for hours. Don’t I wish I was still warm in my bed? Yep!


Insane in the Membrane or Wow, I Really Need a Normal Sleep Schedule

My life is insane these days. For the last 2 weeks I have been alternating between jobs. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ve been going to my current job as usual. Which means leaving the house around 11, meeting my dad and driving into Coral Gables. Tuesday and Thursday, I’ve been getting up at the ass crack of dawn, leaving the house by 5:45am and getting to my new job before the sun even rises. Then sleeping in the car for 20-25 minutes until work time at 7am.

Tuesday and Thursday, I am also seriously dead to the world by about 8pm. Tonight I am fighting to stay awake until at least 10pm. Normally I stay awake until 1-2am with no problems. Well, except for in the morning when I don’t want to get out of bed! This morning I slept late (4:50am) and still managed to get out on time.

Perhaps my body is aware of the fact that in just a few short days, this will be my new schedule Monday through Friday. A girl can hope, right?

The good news is that I will get out of work around 2:30-3pm. The bad news is I am unbelievably exhausted and have zero energy to do anything but sleep.

On the flip side, I absolutely adore my new boss R and my new job. She is about my age (possibly younger) and a big bundle of energy. She’s like the Energizer Bunny. We seem to be a really good fit with my extreme [office] organization skills. Just the few days I’ve been working there, comments have been made about the differences with past employees. Hey, I can’t help it. I’m not trying to make anyone look bad, that’s just how I am.

We really do need to find a closer place to live. I currently have a 45 mile/ 1 hour trek from Homestead to Miami Beach whereas hubby drives about 4 miles. No, I don’t begrudge him a short drive bc the tables were turned in NC. I drove 5-6 miles to the YMCA and he drove 30-35 miles into Raleigh every day. Plus, my car is a lot newer and in better shape. I’ve been looking at the Cutler Bay and South Kendall area for us, but without a good realtor helping us out, I don’t know that I’ll be able to find anything good. It seems as though only about 20% of apartment complexes are posted online and Zillow hasn’t been much help either.

So, if you live in a good neighborhood in Miami – Kendall/ Cutler Bay preferably – I would seriously appreciate it if you could check around your neighborhood for For Rent signs and shoot me the phone numbers. Yes, that warranted being bolded.


New Jobs Details… Well, Not Too Detailed Yet

It’s interesting people perceive to be important when it comes to a job. Some people ask about the money, some ask about the benefits, some ask about my schedule, some ask about my days off. To me, sure I wish I could make more money and that we lived closer. While I am excited about the job itself, the distance to get there is going to be a real killer. While I wish we lived closer, I am trying to still be excited about my new job and opportunity going into 2012.

I will basically be doing the same job I did for the YMCA… that is to say I will be the assistant to the Development Director. Only in this case I won’t be working for a Christian organization I’ll be working for a Jewish organization and another non-profit. I will be helping organize all of the annual events and the not-so-annual events, maintaining the calendar, booking travel, booking caterers, and keeping generally organized. It doesn’t exactly tax my brainpower that much but it is really exciting work and interesting as well. I’ll be meeting lots of influential people and not only the Jewish community but all over Miami as well.

And to those curious about the perks, the salary is lower than I would like, I will have full health benefits and can put hubby on if I want for extra funds. I will have almost every single Jewish holiday off, every Friday we get out early to be home in time for Shabbat. I will have flex time for when I work long hours for the events. I will get to work on a graphic design sporadically. I will be running the facebook and twitter feeds. Yay!

That’s right, my new job is at the Hebrew Academy on Miami Beach. Yes, I live in Homestead. Yes, it is 45 miles from my house, but leaving at 5:45am seems to work to get me there by 7am. I am choosing to work super early to avoid traffic. And so far it’s working.

I was a little worried about leaving my current job but my boss seems to be extremely happy for me knowing that I have a full time job with benefits. When I got to her party on Sunday, practically everyone already knew about it and kept congratulating me. Apparently she has been telling everybody that I have a new job and I’m off on a new adventure. Clearly I can stop worrying. πŸ™‚

Now we just need to find a house halfway between my job on the beach and his job in Homestead for a decent amount of money and we can hopefully begin adoption and start creating our family.

I’m so ready for you, 2012!