Giving away a SPECTACULAR piece of jewelry from LAGOS.com today on RG.
The most surprising thing about our temporary apartment is how familiar it feels to me. It feels familiar for obvious physical reasons – it’s a straightforward, pretty generic place, the type that you find in little complexes all over California, with stucco walls and beige carpets and low ceilings and a tiny patio and sliding closet doors, and I recognize it from the Los Angeles apartments that my friends and I lived in in our early twenties. But more than that, it’s something about the spareness. The absence of “things,” and the space that absence creates.
When I first moved out to California all by myself, not really knowing anyone at all, in my bedroom was a dresser and a bed, and in my postage-stamp living room was a couch, a desk, a coffee table and a TV table. Every piece was from Ikea and either white or that particular shade of Ikea birch wood. And I loved that apartment so much: it was simple and clean in a way that made a hard period in my life feel easier. It felt like “me” in a way that I don’t know any space I’ve lived in has ever felt since not because it was “stylish” or “unique” or “filled with personality”…but rather because the things in it were so pared-down, carefully curated because that was the only option available to me. Each and every thing I owned was there not because it was part of a collection or even just because I liked it; it was there because it mattered.
At twenty-two years old, I couldn’t afford and didn’t especially want things like fancy vases and art books and tchotchkes; I bought one candle at a time to set on my coffee table, and always spent a a long time choosing a scent I really, really liked, burning it only sparingly. I didn’t have the money for the fancy throw pillows and quilt I saw at Macy’s, so I threw a hot-pink, fringed blanket that I’d found at a market in Santa Fe over the sheets I used in college, and all of a sudden my white box of a bedroom felt transformed.
Sitting on top of my dresser at home right now are piles of costume jewelry, loads of beauty products, a mountain of business cards I haven’t sifted through yet, a spray of bobby pins. On our coffee table are stacks of books, candles, a pile of remotes, pens, papers, and whatever projects I’m working on at the moment.
On our dresser here is a pair of sunglasses. On the coffee table: a single travel candle. There’s nothing on the floor except for a soccer ball that someone left behind for us.
It feels good, and I didn’t expect it to. Kendrick turned to me in bed last night and said, “It’s weird; you seem so relaxed out here and I was expecting you to be so panicked.” I am. And it’s not because we’re “settled in”; I feel more relaxed than I did even before I found out we were moving. At home, it seems like my days so often get tangled up in a haze of plans and rushing and things I have to do and people I have to see and stuff. Here, all we have to do is be with each other, eat when we’re hungry and swim when we’re hot, work when it’s daytime and sleep when it’s night. I don’t have throw pillows to arrange on the bed, and so making it in the morning takes seconds. I don’t have different-sized bowls or specialty knives or a cheese grater, and so I make whatever food I can, and it’s easy and tastes pretty good and that’s all that any of us cares about.
Every night we lay in bed with our hands on my stomach, and talk about the baby. One day she will be here, and it’ll be different, and still: all we will have to do is be with each other as the hours roll past. There’s something very peaceful about that.
I know our old life with all our things is waiting for us at the end of this, and I’m grateful: it’s awesome to need a random cooking tool, or a few extra pillowcases, or a serving bowl that’s just the right size, and know that you’ll be able to find all these not-so-necessary-but-nice-to-have things somewhere in your cupboards.
But something about where we are right now feels like starting over, like we’re stripping down and walking into an adventure with each other and not a whole lot else except for a soccer ball that someone else left behind, and that’s now become ours.
I brought some good-luck charms (and amazing jeans) with me.
Today on RG: Chic storage solutions, lipstick trends I’m not into, and things I couldn’t help making room for in my luggage.
An airplane etiquette question I have no idea how to answer.
What would you do in this situation?
Cool, so I just went down to my basement to do laundry and discovered that it is flooded. Not with the good kind of water. With the bad kind.
I transformed my leopard-carpeted office into a mint-green nursery for our daughter. The results!
Big thank you to Allison for the lovely review!
Last week I finally procured a copy of Ramshackle Glam, the new book by Jordan Reid, a favorite blogger of mine for years now. I’ve met her a few times and she’s just as awesome in person as her words would have you think.
The weird thing is: this book has absolutely no relevance in my life. At all. I felt silly reading it on the train this weekend because I was afraid people would think I was pregnant. This is not something that’s true nor is it ever something that I plan to have happen (I’ve said it before: I don’t want kids, it’s just a personal thing!).
But nevertheless, I love Jordan’s writing and her book has a tone of “do what you love, eff what anyone thinks,” and it’s great. I like the recipes and the decoration tips (I’m taking the inspiration board advice for my future apartment). I love her writing because she writes with a ton of hyperbole. Which is both amusing and emotionally evocative.
But one could say this book was a success, because it gave me a bit of insight of what mothers go through (most likely my own mother too!) and also made me super-duper-sure that I don’t want to embark on that endeavor. The specific moment when I was all, “Nope, definitely not for me!” was the following:
“The fact that my decision to shoot my very first style post was preceded by this exact thought: ‘Hmm… I wonder what I should do this afternoon’ Nowadays, that is not a question that enters my mind. Everrrr.”
Call it selfish or whatever you want but I don’t want to ever be so busy and have so many things on my to do list that it wakes me up in the middle of the night. I have enough anxiety as it is; no need to add another living being to it. I’m not sure I could add a pet cat to it.
So whether or not you want kids, Ramshackle Glam is an amusing, insightful, and thoughtful read into Reid’s life and her experience as a mother.
This weekend marked the first day of summer…and the last summer weekend of the year that we’ll spend on the East Coast (we don’t get back until Labor Day Weekend).
It’s just the two of us at the moment – Kendrick started work in SF a couple of weeks ago – so Indy and I spent the days walking in the woods, going to farmer’s markets, driving up the Saw Mill, picking raspberries, looking at sheep and horses and baby chicks (!) at Stone Barns (they’re still there for a couple more weeks if you want to plan a day trip), and making trips to the pool and the playground and the pool and the playground and the pool. (Lots of pools and playgrounds this weekend.) On Sunday night, my mom and dad came up to say goodbye and eat mussels and sweet corn in the backyard.
After they left, I cried. And I’m crying a little while writing this. It’s not because I’m not looking forward to it – I am; I’m excited about seeing Kendrick, and the Pacific Ocean, and the day trips we’ll be able to take, and at this point the big, headache-y logistical issues (like my doctor and insurance plan, our rental car, Indy’s day camp, all the records that had to be secured and printed out and sent to the appropriate parties) have pretty much been worked out.
But thoughts as silly as But I just want to sleep in my own bed with all my things that I need right there next to me are enough to bring tears. Obviously part of this is just being sort of emotional in general right now – eight months pregnant will do that to you – and obviously it’s not my bed that’s the issue and obviously I don’t need that many “things” at all; that’s just me whining. The issue is that I feel so safe and comfortable in my home, and I like feeling that way right now. I love my yard, love my hammock, love that I can pick rosemary from right outside my door whenever I need it. When I next see my house, the rosemary will be dead and summer will have ended, even though it’s only just begun. And that breaks my heart a little bit.
But even more than that is the fact my son feels safe and comfortable here, in his home and in his town. I’m so anxious about how he’s going to handle the transition to becoming a big brother already that adding in a new living situation, new friends, new camp, new routine, new everything…I’m just…worried about him. I want him to have the best summer of his little life.
I know I’m going to forget to pack that one toy that he is going to end up wanting to have in California more than any other, and that it’s going to make me feel so sad that I can’t give him that silly little thing that he doesn’t need, of course, but that he wants, just because holding it makes him feel safer.
Because I’ll know exactly how he feels.
I also know that he’s a kid, and kids are nothing if not adaptable, and that he’ll be fine. But I also know how much he loves raspberries…and here, in the place where we live, I know exactly where to take him to eat them straight off of the bush.