So Aviva and I are an aunt and uncle again, because Rachel and Larry just had a new baby girl, Joey Rose Howe, our new niece. She is currently in blivet stage, kind of a wrinkled bag of cuteness, but still very adorable, and is rapidly metriculating toward the full-fledged baby stage. Last weekend, Aviva and I went down to Cherry Hill to participate in Joeys naming ceremony ... in which we got to carry Joey in to be named and then work to prevent Dylan from burning down the living room and wiping snot all over the challah. We did a fairly good job as the challah tasted wonderful and the Buchmans house is still standing :)The whole weekend was a lot of fun, and somewhat unusual as we do not normally see Bucky and Tanya in the winter unless we go down to Boca, but they came up so it was like a holiday in the middle of January, which was great.
We got down to Cherry Hill mid-morning on Saturday, in time to catch the end of Shabbat services at Chabad and enjoy the wonderful kiddush Bucky and Tanya sponsored in honor of Joey. It's funny, I have had a relatively negative history with chabad, and am not particularly versed in most of the prayers and customs they practice, but I have found myself at chabad more than any other shul of late, and I have to say I really enjoy it. In particular, Mende, the rabbi, is a great guy, and I think he has the right perspective on Judaism and religiousity and just really enjoy talking with him.
Anyway, after services we ate a lot of smoked fish (I do love lox ... could be Jewish just for the lox) and delicious chinese-ish noodles and Mendes cholent (for those unfamiliar with cholent it is basically Jewish chili), then went back and hung out at Bucky and Tanyas for the afternoon. I played Titan with Marley (our older nephew), we walked with Tanya, had a fabulous dinner and watch Rollerball (the original James Caan classic), which was better when I saw it 12 or 13 years ago.
Sunday was the big day, and as you can see in the pictures throughout this post, it was packed and a lot of fun. Well, maybe you can't see how much fun it was from the pictures, but it was great. A lot of people, maybe 40 or 50, showed up and crowded into the living room for the ceremony, which consisted mostly of grandparents and great-grandparents reading things, kissing Joey and smiling. Rachel and Larry both spoke very movingly about their hopes for Joey's life and future, and just seeing Larry and Rachel on the couch with Marley, Dylan and Joey was great. They are such a beautiful family, it makes me so happy to get to see them all the time.
After the ceremony, we ate a lot of smoked fish (this is what Jews do to celebrate) and I ended up drinking quite a bit of scotch with Bucky, Mende and Stewart, a fantastic guy and family friend. I think we are going to get to go scotch tasting together in NYC sometime in the future, which should be a blast. The party lasted quite a while, and people finally started to trickle out around 2 or 3 and only the family was left by 430ish. Everyone hung out until around 7, eating hoagies and salad for dinner, and then Aviva and I drove home and hung out with our neighbors, Ali & Zeke and Alana & A.J., to watch the Golden Globes before heading to bed. Pretty fantastic weekend all around ...