Life as an Anticipator — Plus Last-Minute Easter Basket Fillers.

By: Jen Shoop

*Photo above what I wish I would be looking like on Easter Sunday, decked out in Brock Collection. (Incidentally, this $80 blouse reminds me a lot of Brock Collection and I think I need it for summer.)

As a general proposition, I am hyper-organized — potentially to a fault. I am a prolific list-writer, a curfew-abider, and a wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-worrying-about-logistics-of-events-over-a-month-away type. Even as a student, I tended to complete assignments well before they were due. I am the opposite of a procrastinator — an anticipator, perhaps. Motherhood has exacerbated these tendencies. I had a mild heart attack when I realized I’d forgotten to pack mini’s sippy cup of water on a rainy day excursion a few months back. It was the first time I’d ever forgotten a cup for her in my two years of motherhood — gasp. Such an unimportant and in some ways overdue negligence (and, in New York at least, Duane Reades with overpriced sippy cups crop up every few blocks, so it was truly a non-issue), but I still occasionally, frustratingly, think about it. My sterling track record with regards to sippy-cup-bearing is not to suggest that I believe I am perfect, of course. I think that in many ways a proclivity towards planning and organization bespeak a neurotic discomfort with the spontaneous, a cloying will to control. I find it difficult to rally myself for last-minute plans. But — I didn’t have time to plan an outfit! But — the ingredients we have for a roast chicken dinner are waiting in the fridge! But — mini’s not wearing a coordinated bow! But, but, but –– Even I see these protestations as unbecoming. Life is messy; life will throw you curveballs. There’s elegance in accepting what floats my way, and threat in convincing myself that if I only plan for contingencies A-D, I will remain unflappable.

After my musings on muscling through a difficult time, a sweet reader wrote to share the following sentiment:

“God gives you the grace you need for the situation — not for your imagination.”

Wow. A powerful reminder of the futility of fretting over the unknown, and of leaning into faith in the moment.

All that said.

I have ticked off dozens and dozens of to-dos on my prep-for-baby list, including organizing a little gift bag of treats for mini to open when we are at the hospital:

+A Maileg little brother mouse to add to her collection.

+A few of her favorite activities: Melissa & Doug puffy sticker sets and a new coloring book.

+Books on becoming a new sister: this, this, this, and this. (These last two were thoughtful gifts from members of my book club, who all surprised me with new books for micro’s library at our last convening!)

+New “Little People” figurines including a new baby for her beloved dollhouse (she still spends a couple of hours playing with this every single day).

I know this is overkill. I can’t help myself.

Oddly, amidst all of this planning, and even though I did order her Easter outfit, I more or less forgot about mini’s easter basket until now. Below, some last minute finds if you’re in my boat:

+Easter bunny baskets.

+Bunny jump rope.

+Bunny lacing toy.

+Bunny rattle.

+Individually-wrapped fun-flavored marshmallows.

+Marshmallow book.

+Wind-up bunny and chick. (A classic.)

+Bunny headband.

+The sweetest bunny doll.

+Bunny balloons.

+Easter bonnet.


+This egg set was a big hit last year.

+Carrot teether for itty bitties.

Also, a couple of last-minute finds for your mini Easter outfit: a bunny-embroidered sleeper for a newborn, this vintage sleepsack from RealReal (swoon!!!),a classic smocked one-piece for a baby boy, a gingham romper for a baby girl, and for a traditional but not too Easter-y Easter look for a brother and sister: this for a boy, this for a girl.

I am essentially the shape of a bowling ball right now, and I ended up buying this blue gingham maternity dress (actually impressed with the linen-esque quality of the fabric), which I’ll wear with my Pam Munson tote. Do I need these to finish the look? (Yes.)

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10 thoughts on “Life as an Anticipator — Plus Last-Minute Easter Basket Fillers.

  1. Wow. The quote about grace is wonderful and timely. I am sitting in a doctors office waiting for a biopsy, trying to quiet my mind. Just a quick thank you note to you – your blog is my happy place. I go to it for inspiration, distraction and frivolity all at once. Thank you for the combination of smart writing, introspection and fun fashion.

    1. Oh, Liz! Thinking of you and sending you the best vibes. Glad this quote reached you on the right day. One thing my mom and I were just talking about the other day was the fact that a diagnosis is the next best thing to a cure/solution — obviously, we’d all prefer perfect health, but if we can’t have that, at least knowing what’s going on and defining a path for rehabilitation/recovery is a blessing. Sending you lots of love.

      And, thanks for the kind words ๐Ÿ™‚ xxx

  2. Having lots of little gifts for big sister isnโ€™t overkill! We found it helpful to give a gift in the hospital from her siblings and then to save the rest of the stash for her grandparents to surprise her with when she needed a pick me up or distraction from mom and dad being away from home. Such cute gift choices!

    1. Thanks, Danielle, for the reassurance! I have a little gift bag full of wrapped presents ready to go and I like the idea of having my sister parcel them out when she needs a distraction — thanks for the tip.


  3. Double YES to those gorgeous slides!!! Love the dress too! You will be the prettiest pregnant fashionista of NYC!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Ooh, those Polly Plume slides! LOVE. I want them, too.

    I so feel you on “life as an anticipator” โ€” I am fully the same way, and definitely verge into neurotic territory on a regular basis. My boyfriend is much more spontaneous, though, and he is really a great counterbalance for me that way.


    1. YES – so nice to have someone who anchors in the opposite direction! Mr. Magpie is also a planner so we can sometimes feed off of one another in a bad way, ha.


  5. I really really love that quote from a reader! Thank you for sharing. I often tell myself: โ€œYou can always win the present. You can never win the future, because it doesnโ€™t exist.โ€ Or some variation of that. (By โ€œwinโ€ I simply mean act as best as I can in the moment Iโ€™m in.) But that situation/imagination quote is much more poetic ๐Ÿ™‚

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