Nearly every day, I make a left in front of a corner house numbered 8101. No matter what I am listening to, what demands my children are making of me, what mood I find myself in, the numbers jump at me as though the hidden design in a stereogram. 8101 was my grandparents’ street address for as long as I knew them. My parents rarely referred to their home as “your grandparents’ home” or “Mia and Granddad’s,” using instead “8101” as shorthand: “We’ll stop by 8101,” they’d say, or “the party is at 8101.”
Which is to say that, nearly every day, my grandparents sit with me for half a block. I see the house number, and I reach for their memory.
How does this happen, I wondered the other day? Do I go looking for signs of the dead, or do they find me?
Sometimes, I recoil from the idea of signs. Their pursuit seems naive, tender-footed. Some days, “the world is too much with me” to lean into them. I am too practical, or too burnt out to reach for something phantasmagoric. Other days, I can’t see any other way to live. I am no stranger to this tether pole. I have withstood the same swing of belief and disbelief in many matters of faith over the years. I wonder sometimes whether this makes me an untrustworthy Catholic, or someone unqualified to speak on matters of my own faith. But the truth is: some days I have the backbone to squeeze my eyes shut and make the leap, and other days, I sit quietly in the shallow end and hope that the skepticism will pass. It always has. And its passing usually coincides with the discovery of a small but shocking coincidence, like the number 8101 on my daily drive. I think what it comes down to is openness, pronation, even dedication to pattern. I choose to find echoes where I could see randomness. I want to draw the lines that make this life make sense, to chart the belt between the component stars of Orion. At the end of the day, I’d rather wander starstruck, identifying asterisms, than feel my way blindly through a shapeless and inconsonant dark.
+Related: Gretel and her breadcrumb trail.
+In case you’re also a wanderer.
+Tender green blades, or watching my children sprout with new discoveries.
+Do you get manicures? I’ve had to mainly stop getting gels (though I love them!) because they weaken my nails so much, but a few of you have recommended Dazzle Dry and Olive & June as longer-lasting non-gel options. Any intel? Related: whenever I’m between manicures but things have gotten too chipped to wear, I will remove all my nail polish (I live for nail polish removing wipes — so much more efficient and thorough than liquid and cotton ball) and apply this nail concealer, which does a great job making nails look glossy/polished and hiding any imperfections. The pale/transparent colors make it nearly impossible to botch!
+RUN. Floafers just restocked and flying off the shelves. My son lived in these (like a fancy Native) last summer and when I checked a few weeks ago (while putting together this spring fashion post for little boys), I couldn’t find any colors in his size!
+I tried Agolde’s Parker denim shorts, which I know SO many of you love, but they just did not work for my body. I feel like the short length is too short and the long length too long, and neither do me any favors. Just not made for my short legs, I guess. I am intrigued by the cut of these Citizens shorts, though. I feel like the slight flare outward might better suit my figure? I like the idea of tucking a blouse (love love love — you can see me wearing this one here) into them to balance out the fray.
+OK, these pants arrived and I LOVE. I ordered a bunch of things to try and these are 100% staying. They have a good amount of stretch in them, so they kind of cling to the body in all the right spots and then fall with some nice structure elsewhere. Not like a standard chino fit, which is more boxy/straight. Take your true size.
+These tennis club socks sell out every year (I just ordered Mr. Magpie a pair). They also have a new pickleball set, and I love these retro-style shorts as well this striped cardigan, which reminds me of the one I bought from Toteme this fall. And of course I live in their modern long tees. Get 20% off your order with code SPRING23!
+Vuori joggers in pretty spring hues.
+I’m always adding to my “quiet activity” bin in my closet — things I take with us when we’re going out to eat, going over to grandparents’ home, going to Church, or going out on an adventure in the car. You just never know when your kids will hit their limit and need something to focus on, quietly. I just added some sticker-by-number books to the bin: tucked this away for the Easter basket, but ordered this for my son and this for my daughter for more immediate use. These $3 search and finds have also been really popular with my children lately. Even my son can do them unassisted, on this own! (He’s 3.5)
+Oh my goodness – these sweet dresses in three darling patterns are only $10! I so wish my daughter still fit into a size 4.
+Speaking of sweet finds for little ones, I love these little “Dashwood sets” from Sunhouse. My daughter loved wearing this right out of the bath last summer — they’re soft as PJs but cute enough to wear in public.
+Paravel’s limited edition aviator suitcase is SO handsome. I bought Mr. Magpie an Away rollaboard for Christmas and now am itching to buy a new one for myself…the pink Away is calling my name but that aviator!!!
+A dress for everyday living.