Aspaklaria has a new lease on life. With my new life about to begin, it's time for a rebirth of this blog. Actually, it is because of this new journey I am starting that this blog has had a temporary demise. My family and I are about to make 'aliyah' – we are moving up to our Homeland – Israel. If anyone out there is considering this move, my first piece of advice; start getting ready now! First of all, make sure that your entire family has passports. As the granddaughter of holocaust survivors, I believe that every Jew should have a passport. I have been saying this forever, only I never took my own advice. Let's just say that my husband and I sighed in relief when our kids' passports were finally completed in early July (we leave mid-August). Second, de-clutter now! You never know how much stuff you have until you move. Even if you are not planning Aliyah in the near future (although you should) you may want to pretend that you are. This is so that you can reap the benefits of going through all of your worldly possessions and asking yourself questions like "do I really need this?" or "does anyone really like this?" and getting rid of whatever doesn't make the grade. FYI – these questions are meant to refer to things and not to people. A good rule to live by – toss anything that is not beautiful, usable, or meaningful. These last few months of organizing have not been easy – it's like Pesach cleaning on steroids, but I am hoping that it will pay off on the other end when my lift comes and everything actually fits inside my new Israeli home. The other thing that has occupied a lot of my time in preparation for this move has been shopping. But not necessarily the fun kind of shopping – like shoes and cloths – but shopping for things like paper towels and peanut butter. Well-meaning friends and family have armed us with lists of stuff to bring from the US that you can't find in Israel – or at least at a reasonable price. But after filling two huge carts at Costco and almost passing out when they had told me how much I spent, I couldn't help but think that the whole approach was a little ridiculous. Am I going to fly back every summer to by paper plates and aluminum foil? How bad can Israeli paper towels be? Will I be having an inner debate every time I need to use one of my precious American paper towels? I hope to answer these burning questions and more as we take this journey together.