I'm going to take a page out of Kayla's book and applaud our Yom Tov. (To those of you who greeted me outside shul on Motzoei Yom Tov and mentioned that you were awaiting the update, sorry for the delay but you know how little free blogging time a one year old affords you ).
First and foremost, I must applaud Hashem for our wonderful weather. I am not one of those people who secretly prays for rain so that we can eat in the comfort of our dining room. It is just not Succos for me if we are not eating outside with paper chains falling off the walls all around us and stray bees looking for sweet nectar. Thankfully for us, the rains held off each time until we were completely finished with our meals and safely back inside. So score one for the Big Man Above!
Secondly, applause goes to our guests. Louisa gave me a whole drasha on second night Yom Tov as to why having her as a guest garnered us more mitzvohs in one than having any other guest, but I didn't have a pen and paper at the time to write it down, so you'll just have to trust me on this (something about a)Hachnosas Orchim, b)being Mesameach a Kallah, c) being kind to the Ger.... but there were a few more, lol....). I'm not sure she wins out though over our sweet cousin, who joined us at the last minute after being stranded because his wife gave birth to TRIPLETS (numbers 4,5 and 6 no less!!!) just moments before the chag at the local hospital (even though you never comment - I know you read the blog, J - so mazel tov to the grandmother ).
Thirdly, I must applaud my family. We don't have a succah in our back yard or in any way attached to our house. Our succah is a block and a half from our house (and down six flights of stairs). This year, with Yom Tov falling out on Shabbos, everything - and I do mean everything (food, drinks, wine, tableware, high chairs, bentchers, etc.) had to be anticipated, planned and transported down to the succah before candle lighting. Even with the trek, we ascribe to תשבו כן תדורו (you should sit in the succah with all the same amenities as you sit in your home.... yes, yes... we too had the conversation at dinner as to who has paper chains hanging in their dining room, but whatever.....) so we bring down stemware and good silver and an assortment of table linens. I couldn't have managed this herculean feat without the help of my family, especially my amazing husband.
Wishing all my readers a good moed and a good last day(s) of Yom Tov.
Stay tuned for sporadic, mushy Cheerio laden updates.
P.S. For creative succah decoration ideas a step up from paper chains, check out Creative Jewish Mom. She's amazingly talented!