Fashion Trends

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 121: The One on Being Needed.

By: Jen Shoop

My Latest Snag: The Rebecca De Ravenel Forget Me Not Earring.

Mr. Magpie surprised me with a number of thoughtful gifts for my birthday, but my favorite was this pair of Rebecca De Ravenel earrings in pink. I am in love with them and I cannot tell you the value of a statement accessory these days, when I am struggling to figure out what to wear thanks to being only a month postpartum and nursing constantly. Big earrings make me feel pulled together! In love with this and in love with him for picking them out — how thoughtful?!

You’re Sooooo Popular: The Backless Dress.

The most popular items on the blog this week:

+This stunning backless dress.

+The cutest (affordable!) decor for a backyard party.

+This $30 blouse is so chic.

+Part of Mr. Magpie’s father’s day gifts, and he’s been wearing them constantly — walking the dog, taking mini to the splash pad, and has them packed for the Hamptons. Does anyone else love a shorter leg length on a swimsuit/pair of shorts for a guy?! #retro

+Nail the “hatband” look for under $30 with this.

+The cutest summer dress. Perfect for the fourth (there’s still time to order it for the holiday!) or for any old summer day.

+UGH, die over this Saloni.

+A chic throw-and-go day/beach dress.

+Love this flutter-sleeved blouse.

#Turbothot: On Being Needed.

Many years ago, at a tea party my mother hosted, I was chatting with a friend of my mother’s about some of the help I’d been giving my father at his law office. He had been working on a book that analyzed his experience fighting in the Vietnam War through the lens of war-time poetry from generations past, and I had served as his copyeditor and assistant during a break from graduate school. I also occasionally served as an errand girl, buying diet cokes and salted mix nuts from nearby Rodman’s grocer (local DC people, do you feel me?) or making him cold cut sandwiches in the small kitchenette off of his office. I commented on this facetiously to my mother’s friend: “You’d think I was making him an elaborate gourmet sandwich; he’s so appreciative. I just don’t know what he’d eat if I weren’t there. He’s kind of helpless in the kitchen.” I delivered this off-handedly, with what I deemed to be an air of drollness, and my mother’s friend stopped, looked me seriously in the eye, and said: “Oh, but Jennifer — isn’t it nice to be needed?”

I reddened and stammered in the face of her reproach. Later, I rolled my eyes as I retold the story to a sister, indicating that I’d thought she was being overly dramatic in the face of a casual conversation.

But I have carried her words with me for years. They bubble up at the most unexpected times, chastening me, softening me, reminding me of the gift of being not only wanted, but needed.

I have been thinking of this constantly in the past few weeks since micro has arrived, when on occasion, he will wail in his little bassinet despite having a full belly, a clean diaper, fresh pajamas, and a tight swaddle. And I will lift him and cradle him next to my heart and he will quiet, mollified by the simple act of being held and loved.

Motherhood can feel overwhelmingly burdensome — not in the sense that I am desperate for escape, but in the sense that I feel laden with responsibility, heavy with duty. But then I think of the words of my mother’s friend and I realize what a blessing it is to be needed at all.

Blast from the Past: On My Eight-Year Wedding Anniversary.

Mr. Magpie and I will be married NINE YEARS this August. I went back to see what I had to say on our eighth anniversary last year and…well, a lot of it feels familiar and appropriate today, too:

“…There isn’t much I can say about Mr. Magpie that I haven’t already written.  (Let’s not forget the M Series, too.)  But today, we celebrate eight years of marriage, and I am thinking to myself: how radical, how astoundingly improbable, how wildly fortunate it is that I managed to find someone who is perfect for me.  Me!  Idiosyncratic me!  Who has rules for herself and sometimes (always) dwells too much on lessons learned the hard way and can get all worked up over a punctuation mark.  Who expects a lot of people, cries at the drop of a hat, and worries about everything on God’s green earth.  And him, who is somehow the most passionate and dispassionate person I know: he is convicted in what he believes with an intensity I’ve rarely seen elsewhere (“I’d rather kill myself than get a tattoo,” he once stated flatly, pissing off the mixed crowd of tattooed and non-tattooed friends we were with — GULP) but he is also calm, even-keeled, analytical in the face of decisions, whereas I am prone towards fretful emotionality.  Yes, idiosyncratic us.   And yet we are absurdly well-suited to one another, miraculously adjacent puzzle pieces.  We share the same values, ambitions, sensitivities.  Our personalities play together easily.  We have opposite but complementary skillsets in all facets of business and personal life.  And where we don’t see eye to eye, we mind the gap.  In our eight years of marriage and fourteen years of coupledom (fourteen!!!), we have evolved together and independently in a way that empowers me to be the fullest version of myself.

And so eight years in, I think back to that night on the rooftop in Northwest D.C., and I think: “Yes.  He was perfect for me then.  But he is more perfect for me now.”

Post-Scripts: A Pearly Headband.

+A hatband in the vein of Lele Sadoughi for only $16!!!

+I’m very intrigued by the Baby Brezza once micro is old enough to start on purees and the like. I *tried* to steam and puree food for mini a number of times but found it irritatingly onerous, especially when she routinely refused to eat the fruits of my labor. This seems like an investment worth making. Thoughts from fellow moms?

+I’m a sucker for good packaging — has anyone tried the sunscreen from new label Sconset?!

+This dress is magical.

+Love the ruffle neckline on this blouse, especially in that pale blue hue!

+Love these stainless steel cocktail straws.

+Is it a sign that this jumpsuit is called “The Landon” jumpsuit?! I NEED IT.

+My kind of dress (under $60).

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9 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 121: The One on Being Needed.

  1. I giggled at Mr Magpie’s tattoo comment — I feel the same way! Ha!

    Saw that “sun stick” at the Goop store in LA today … intriguing!

    Officially want the Ulla Landon jumpsuit … so good!


    1. ME TOO on the jumpsuit. I’m leery of that label because I find the shapes difficult to pull off / the sizing is odd. Maybe they’ve worked things out but the two or three dresses I’ve bought from them are SO cute pattern/print-wise but have odd sizing issues / fit details.


    2. Hmm, good caveat on the Ulla! I’ve only ever owned 2 pairs of pants from her and they fit as expected … but it’s good to know about fit issues in general. My main gripe with Ulla is that it seems to be reeeeeally expensive for what it is, and so I try to find it on sale or stumble across pieces on The RealReal. xx

    1. Good point!! I did kind of a blend of all the approaches with mini — some purees, some BLW, etc — and I thought it worked pretty well, although you are right that going all BLW dramatically simplifies food preparation. I also like the idea that baby eats what we’re eating…


    2. I agree that BLW is a great option. My twins are such better eaters than my older boys- I swear it’s because they got used to the actual textures of different foods (vs. everything puréed). Although it can sometimes be a little wasteful when they start to play the “throw everything on the floor” game, it was a huge timesaver for our family.

      1. Thanks for the vote of confidence! The texture note is an interesting one in particular! xx

  2. We have the baby brezza & like it. Nice to have it all in one. But if you’re limited on space, I wonder if an immersion blender would work almost as well…you’d still dirty a pot while steaming (same w/ brezza) but stick blender pretty easy to clean. Guess I need to try my own idea!

    1. Jenn, you genius! We have an immersion blender. Def going to give that a try this go around before investing in a new piece of (bulky) equipment. Unless we’ve magically moved to a mansion come fall. HA.

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