Musings + Essays

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 112: The One on Chasing Rainbows.

By: Jen Shoop

My Latest Snag: The Toile Espadrille for Mini.

H&M has had such great pieces on offer this spring, and I am absolutely swooning over mini’s new toile espadrilles, seen above (under $15!). Would it be too much for me to wear this toile dress to coordinate with her?!

A couple of new additions to my H&M wishlist: this smocked jumpsuit, which I envision pairing with an oversized straw hat at the beach, this puff-sleeved dress, and this sweet skirt for minis, which looks like it’s by Doen or Loveshackfancy!

You’re Sooooo Popular: The Floral Peplum.

The most popular items on the blog this week:

+This floral peplum dress. (Stunning — looks like Johanna Ortiz!)

+This pretty (and affordable) striped everyday dress.

+This cherry-print dress.

+My favorite tee.

+This floral headband ($22!)

+A perfect everyday flat (heavily discounted).

+My favorite new sandals.

+The most precious gift enclosures for minis.

#Turbothot: Chasing Rainbows.

Another quote from a poem in that Rossetti book:

“If all were rain and never sun,

No bow could span the hill;

If all were sun and never rain,

There’d be no rainbow still.”

I initially recoiled from the mawkishness of this poem, but its sentiments lingered, and I have found myself returning to them when feeling, as I have on occasion over the past few weeks, as though I will never make it to the finish line with this pregnancy. I have had this exact conversation play out in my head countless times over the past few days in particular, especially when I am shuffling down the street trying to make it from point A to point B and the pressure pushing downward on my bladder, uterus, etc is about as uncomfortable as I can tolerate:

Me: “I just don’t know how I’ll make it to 40 weeks.”

Also me: “What do you mean, ‘how I’ll make it?’ You’ll make it the same way every other woman makes it: by putting one foot in front of the other, breathing in and out, and taking it one minute at a time.”

Contractions woke me up last Friday morning (you may have seen my post on this front on Instagram) and were coming so regularly — under five minutes apart for two hours straight — that my doctor told me to head to the hospital. I was monitored for several hours and, at last, about six or seven hours after they’d started, the contractions died down and the doctors discharged me. They told me to drink a lot of water, as dehydration can bring on contractions, and also said — both unhelpfully and reassuringly — “This just happens sometimes.” It was a bizarre blur of a day that catapulted me through every emotion you can imagine: excitement, anxiety, concern, panic, resignation, determination, hope, exasperation. I was both relieved and frustrated to return home without baby in arms. Of course I want him to stay put and continue to develop until his appointed due date to avoid complications, and of course I was partly relieved to still have time to get the remaining minutaie in order for his homecoming (Mr. Magpie promptly brought the infant carseat and bassinet up from storage — “It’s time,” he said). But of course I also did not particularly cherish the experience of enduring contractions and running through a fire drill that yielded no result. What surprised me most, though, was how dialed in I was to the smallest of happinesses in the days that followed: the fluffiness of my comfortable, spacious bed in comparison to the hospital cots; the quiet and not-so-quiet familiarity of mornings in our apartment (especially after the frenzy of the previous day), its routines so deeply engrained in me that I occasionally find myself looking up at the clock at 8:33 or 8:39 a.m. and realizing I’ve successfully fed my family, had my morning cup of coffee, made the beds, washed my face and applied my daily makeup routine, dressed mini and brushed her hair, packed mini’s lunch, cleaned the kitchen, tidied the toys, and dressed myself — without really thinking about it; the stretch of TV watching and idle chit-chat with Mr. Magpie before bed; the indulgence of a last-minute decision to order dinner in when we were too tired to cook; the sound of Tilly’s happy panting as we pet her on the couch between us; the reassurances from my mother over the phone. (En route to the hospital on Friday, I called my mother in tears. Mr. Magpie had hung back at the apartment to wait for my sister and brother-in-law to arrive and look after mini, and so I was alone and feeling very anxious. Was this it? Wasn’t it way too early? As the taxi whizzed down the 65th Street Transverse through Central Park, my mother and I said a Hail Mary together, and then she said: “I’m right there with you today, and so is Mary. We’re right behind you.” All of these little comforts gleamed small and bright against the chaos of the day: little rainbows amidst — or after — a storm.

Hoping that you’ll find yourself basking in similar moments of reprieve this weekend.

P.S. More words of encouragement, if you need to hear them. (I’ve never received more emails in reaction to a post in my entire history of blogging! I think these were words a lot of us needed to hear.)

Blast from the Past: On My Hometown, D.C.

On D.C. and the Parochial Wild: “…D.C. has always seemed, to me, small and slack — like a mildly overgrown thicket or a tumbler of water that’s been sitting, sweating, in the heat, a ring of water pooled around its basin.  There is a languor to it — especially in the summer — underscored by the heavy shade of trees you’ll find most anywhere in Northwest D.C. in particular, and the torpid buzz of cicadas, and the canopy of humidity.  The lush green spaces are unmanicured; street signs are often partially obscured by vines or branches; medians will occasionally boast knee-high grass.  There is a thickness, a drawl to things, that has always made me think of the city as part wild — but not wild in the awe-inspiring sense of the Rocky Mountains; wild in the sense of the wood playhouse my father built with birch planks from Hechingers and installed at the top of a small hill in our backyard, beneath a shady pine tree…”

Fellow Washingtonians: does this reverberate?

Others: how do you feel about your hometown?


+On the heels of my post about preppy/classic fashion: these simple slides with the seersucker fabric! Adorable!

+Loving some of the new arrivals at J. Crew, especially this popover dress, this floral ruffle top, and this timeless shirtdress (Grace Kelly much?)

+If you can believe it, I’m already thinking ahead to the Fourth of July, especially since we intend to spend it in the Hamptons. How sweet is this romper set for a little one?

+I love these milkglass candlesticks. I’ve usually opted for white or metallic taper candles, but for our Easter table, I bought a set of pale blue ones to put into my mercury glass candlestick holders and I have to say — it opened my eyes to the possibilities of color via candles/candlestick holders and now I want lots of different colors.

+One of my favorite hairbows of mini’s from last summer. I liked pairing it with LWDs.

+A fun dress for a girl’s trip.

+This wedge has a minimalist-chic (The Row-esque?) vibe I’m into.

+This dotted dress is super fun (and chic) for summertime BBQ season. It has a Saloni feel to it.

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2 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 112: The One on Chasing Rainbows.

  1. I’m thankful that your mom was there (in spirit) to comfort you on the way to the hospital — sounds like a terrifying experience in many ways, and I’m glad that your boy is staying put for now! Wishing you a healthy, uncomplicated rest of your pregnancy.

    Those J.Crew new arrivals … yes! I found myself in one of their stores recently and scooped up a Liberty-print midi skirt + bikini, and that smocked top is right up my alley. Love. xo

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