It’s just that —

By: Jen Shoop

It’s just that,

we are here for such a short time,

and with our loved ones for even shorter.

Strange to think that we might pass more hours this year with parents at our children’s schools, or neighbors, or colleagues, than we will with our own cherished elect.

There is a Sufi meditation prompt:

“If you knew you were going to die in a year, what would you do?”


“And if you knew you were going to die in two hours, what would you do?”

Visions of seeing the Northern Lights, of tasting oysters just-plucked and still-hearty with Puget Sound merroir, of standing, chest heaving, at the summit of a fourteener,

give way to curling up with my babies,

and leaning my head on my mother’s shoulder,

and holding my husband’s hand.

It is so small and simple, what matters most:

the notes on the counter in familiar cursive: “Jennifer – I thought you might like these,” and “Not yet ripe,”

the dog ecstatically wagging her tail — her body radiating with recognition and joy — at your return from the supermarket,

the sticky popsicle kisses, the stick-figure drawings shoved under your door in the morning,

the withdrawal — without prior coordination — of two spoons from the drawer for ice cream after dinner,

the squeal of glee from your son when he catches sight of you, surprising him with school pick-up,

the way he sprints across the playground, arms windmilling through the air,

the animal pureness of his response: this chirp of recognition, this irrepressible need to press his face into your arms,

the daily, ambling phone calls with your mother, talking about what you ate for dinner and whether or not you will be at the anticipatory Mass,

the “You make me happy,” whispered while watching a movie under blankets in the air conditioning of your basement.

At the end of it all, I don’t need to have lived large. In fact, I think I am on the right track if it feels as though I am living lilliputian instead.

It could be that my entire universe fits on a couch,

That true happiness fits snugly in the palm of my hand, and squeezes it.


+In praise of a normal day.

+The saltings of motherhood — the swampy parts that make you ask what you’re doing?!

+On living careingly.

Shopping Break.

+J. Crew’s new arrivals are SO fetching. I love this white eyelet skirt, this Liberty floral smocked dress, and this fringed hem cocktail dress!

+This linen ric-rac trim navy top is absolutely adorable. Would look amazing with high-waisted white denim (own and love this pair) or the aforementioned J. Crew eyelet skirt.

+This $55 maxi reminds me of Zimmermann.

+Digging this Stella McCartney crossbody in the yellow after seeing it in orange on Mally Goldman. It’s temptingly almost 50% off right now.

+Another really cute crossbody: this hot pink style from Longchamp, of all brands! I’ve been waiting for a decade for this brand to reclaim its sought-after status, and I think we’ve arrived. To be clear, I’ve always loved their bags, but they kind of ballooned into ubiquitousness in college and beyond, and now I find myself drawn to them again, afresh, anew. I also really like their pliage filet knit bags. One of the moms at my son’s school wore one to graduation a few days ago and I might need to follow suit. Love the punchy colors but the cream one is a classic.

+Cute scalloped lounge set.

+Still, after all these years, my favorite underwear, and on sale in good colors here. Saks also has a good price on a five-pack.

+Great rainy day activity to have on hand for kids this summer.

+Eyeing some of these fancy house/dish cleaning products from Courtney Cox’s home care label. I’ve heard the scents are incredible!

+These soft lounge dresses from Skims turned my head.

+Been eyeing Hunter Bell’s Jenkins dress for awhile. They release in different patterns every season! I think this dress would look so cute with a pair of dad sandals like these.

+If you are looking for a splashy designer sandal for summer, look no further than Prada. These and these are all the rage right now!

+This dress is on sale and so spectacular. I am obsessing over all of the dresses from this label right now.

+Such a pretty skirt from SEA — love the color and detail.

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