Raines and I drove out to Ardmore the other day.  We needed (among other things) to drop off one of his besties after a recent sleepover.  For some reason, Pax wasn’t with us.  As we were walking back to the car, just the two of us, I glanced over at him, shocked to suddenly realize that’s he’s…almost as tall as me.  My baby.  “Raines?” I asked.  “Are you as tall as Nana?”  He smirked.  “Basically” he replied. I stopped walking and eyed him up.  “Do you want to ride in the front seat?”  His eyes got big and then he grinned, “Mom, I would LOVE to”.

So we clambered up into the car (it’s one of those big things, for skiing and such, so I always feel like I’m scaling a mountain to get in), buckled up, and drove off.  The windows were down, the music was on, my hair was whipping in my face, and one of my very best buddies was holding my hand.  I had this sense of time and place suddenly, like a flashback.  Of when I was the passenger – in the front seat for the first time – and my Dad was driving, windows down, music on, holding my hand.  Dad and I were always such buddies, just like Raines and I, and I found this…..continuity so comforting.

“Hey Mom?” Raines said suddenly, before I could launch into my story, The First Time Your Mother Rode In The Front Seat, “I think Bapa is here.”  Bapa is what the kids called my Dad, who, you may recall, passed away in January.  “Yeah,” Raines settles back against the seat “Bapa is definitely here.”

So we drove like that, the three of us, I guess, with the wind and the music and the holding of hands. And I wonder, as I often do, how I got so freaking lucky.  Raines sang along to Maroon Five’s ‘She Will Be Loved’ (his latest obsession) and occasionally reached over to wipe a tear that the whipping wind didn’t dry off my face.

It was a really good day.

We leave for our summer trip on Saturday.  We’re headed to Berlin for a week, then Athens.  We’re all ready for a break.  At this point, even my kids know about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, as in, “Pax!  Mom is just grumpy because she didn’t get any sleep.  You know….THE NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE.”  Which is also why I’ve been so remiss with these weekend posts.  Many of you have left insanely supportive comments on our Anni Sale coverage – thank you for noticing that it does take an absolute ton of hours.  Most of us had been existing on 3-4 hours of sleep for a week straight so we’re glad that intense period is over.  The sale itself doesn’t end until Aug 5th, but we’re moving on to our more….sane coverage – AKA the stuff that doesn’t sell out in 24 hours.  (Guy stuff primarily, haha.  And kids and home.)

What am I keeping from the Anni Sale?  We’ve been getting this question over and over.  The short answer is….I’m not totally sure.  I do know I’m keeping everything I featured in this video (with the exception of the black silk top because I have similar pieces already), and I’m debating on whether or not I need both the red booties and the leopard booties because that feels excessive, but….they’re both pretty fabulous.  I also might keep these Topshop flares because they look cute with both heeled boots and flat boots (like these Dolce Vita ones from the sale).  And then obviously I’m keeping a few of the now-sold-out pieces I scored (Vince furry hoodie, Joie cargos, plaid booties) but we need not dwell on that.  Also, the Super Women tee because it’s rad.  And if I don’t get totally overwhelmed (doubtful, at this point), I’d be smart and replace my broken flatiron with the one Scotti highly recommends, as well as these silk pillowcases that my mom and I both swear by for reducing wrinkles and frizzy hair.

Sick of the Anni Sale?  Head on over to Intermix.  The sale is insane.  My top two picks are this sleeveless sweater (you can see on my IG, here, size medium) and this Veronica Beard skirt that I regret not bringing home (I tried it on in a size 2, for reference).  The skirt looks so good with sneakers and graphic tees….or with high heels and silky camis. (The rest of my Intermix picks are in this week’s Weekly Sale Report, if interested.)

Sick of chain retailers?  Fishtown Flea is having a seriously cool sample sale tomorrow for you Philly locals.  It includes my personal fav, Voloshin. For the rest of you, if you click through to the sample sale, there’s a list of new-to-me local designers for a little inspiration (most have an online presence, too).  BTW – the Voloshin sale is still going strong – and I might wear this dress on the plane tonight because it feels like wearing a cloud.  Is ivory a bad choice for flying? Hmmmm…I may end up as a cautionary tale.  Wouldn’t be the first time, haha.

Blogger Sweatpants.  If you’re a really long-time reader of this blog (this is a test – ha!), you may recall my Zoe Karrsen pineapple sweatpants.  They are equal parts ridiculous and ridiculously awesome.  Five (or maybe six?) years later I still wear these things on the regular – especially when writing.  So much so that our home director, A, will walk into my house and go, “UH-OH.  Blogger sweatpants on?  It must be gettin’ serious…” and then make me coffee or eggs or something and walk back out IN SILENCE.  (Haha – that last part’s a joke.  A is never silent.) ANYWAY:  I came across a pretty decent knock-off pair on Amazon.  It’s palm print rather than pineapple, but has that same sort of crazy-in-a-good-way kind of vibe.  If you just want the original, Ms. Karrsen has this palm print pair, too.

I need one more Minkoff backpack like I need a hole in the head.   And yet….this patterned Julian backpack might be my favorite yet.  I love the subtle print, and how it will look just as good in the winter with all black, as it would right now with floaty white dresses.  (In my defense…I was helping my mom find one….)

Turns out I’m bronde. Shannon, my stylist (and friend) at Salon Ziza did some magic with my hair last week.  She…um….painted on highlights? Or something?  Anyway, the end result is that my hair color is the same as it was when I was three.  I’ve since learned (after Salon Ziza posted my pic on their IG channel) that it’s called bronde.  I love it.

You go, Julianne SpeyerThis twelve-year-old girl scout was upset when the announcer at her local 4th of July parade described the Boy Scouts as “future leaders of America” and the Girl Scouts as “just having fun”.   So she wrote in to her local newspaper, voicing her displeasure.  Sounds like a future leader of America to me.

#Goals.  I loved @FemaleCollective’s latest IG post:  “Be the woman who fixes another woman’s crown…without telling the world it was crooked.”

Business > Babies.  Back in May, the US blocked a World Health Organization Breastfeeding Initiative.  The main point of contention?  The clause that asked the WHO to support nations seeking to prevent the “inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children.”  Aka…formula lobbyists.

Maybe give birth in California?  Did you know that of the developed countries in the world, the US has the highest maternal mortality rate (California is the one exception).  This article in USA Today details why.  This whole issue hits really close to home – in 2008, when Raines was born, I was almost one of those maternal mortality statistics.  At the time, I was struck by the fact that other developed countries had national databases and review processes for cases like mine, but here in the States Mike and I were left with nothing but questions and confusion.  We couldn’t even get a straight answer as to whether or not we could safely have another child.  It turns out that California – like other developed countries –  have implemented state-wide best practices that have reduced it’s maternal mortality rates, too.  The data shows that it works.  So why isn’t the rest of the US doing the same?  If anyone hears of a petition to sign, a grassroots program to endorse, please let us know.  It’s 2018, and we’re the freaking United States of America.  There are few things as heart-breaking as the preventable death of a new mother.

But this is one of them. Over 400 children have been declared as “ineligible” for reunification with their parents.  How did they become ineligible?  Overwhelmingly, it’s because the parents have already been deported, and it’s now too hard to find them.  In Friday’s episode of The Daily, they profile a man who was here seeking legal asylum back in May.  His five-year-old daughter was taken from him, and he was told that should he continue to pursue his legal asylum claim, he wouldn’t receive any information about his daughter.  However, if he willingly went back to Guatemala, they would return his daughter in two weeks.  So.  He returned to Guatemala and…hasn’t seen his daughter since.  Worse, nobody knows where she is.  FIVE.  Five years old.  This situation manages to just get worse and worse.  The only thing giving me any kind of hope right now (for humanity, really) is the work Glennon Doyle and Together Rising are doing.  You can read their weekly update here, and see where the donated dollars are going.  I love their tagline:

“There’s no such thing as other people’s children.”





  1. Love the story about Raines and your dad. Really love that Raines felt it, too. Super fun joggers…love the pink and green!!! And, I too, love the quote about fixing others’ crowns! Love this post. Enjoy your trip! Can’t wait to read all about it!!!

  2. NPR has a great story on this. If I could figure out how to embed the link, I would post it here for everyone, but search on this “To Keep Women From Dying In Childbirth, Look To California”

  3. Your story of you and Raines in the car brought a tear to my eye. So touching.

    And yes, I’m appalled that the maternity mortality rate here is so high. There’s just no reason for it. And our post partum care is pretty much non existent. I had PPD after my first it was SO hard to get help. In 2012 in Santa Monica, CA. Ridiculous.

  4. Lovely story. I love reading about your sons because I have a 10-yr-old son named Paxton (Pax for short) so it always makes me happy to read about your boys and the experiences you have. I adore my son and I love how you adore your two.

  5. Thanks for letting us know what you kept from the NAS.
    Side comment on the TopShop flares. I bought them in-store and really loved them. Wore them the other day, just around the house and they stretched out in a really odd way. Sort of pooching out in the tummy (not a problem area for me, so it was weird!). I took them back.

  6. I’ve read your story of the car ride with your son 3 times now. It’s a really beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it!

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