Pax’s first comp of the season was on Friday. He had to be on the team van at 5:15AM, so Mike and I (and the dog) were all up at 4AM. While Mike managed the dog and the loading of Pax’s gear into the car, I made breakfast & lunch for Pax. Neither of which he would eat. Pax gets so nervous the day of competitions that he can’t keep anything down.
I’m always amazed by how focused Pax is with snowboarding. He’s up at what my mom calls the “uncivilized hour” with zero complaints, getting ready. I was making his usual game-day smoothie bowl – he attempted a few symbolic bites before I packed it in a thermos – and asked him pick out lunchbox snacks. We both know he won’t touch those snacks until the comp is over, but I’m forever hopeful.
Pax’s face is set. I recognize this as his game-day face. There’s no messing around – he systematically goes through his gear one final time, and packs his food (both breakfast and lunch, at this point) into his bag. Then he’s giving me a hug, whispers, “be safe, Mom” into my ear, and he and Mike are off.
I take the dog outside to wave them off. It’s still pitch dark in Northern Vermont, and snow is lightly falling. I forget how much snow muffles all sound, and the silence is almost oppressive. Nieve starts walking down the driveway to the road, and I follow, holding her leash. This is the first competition Pax has ever been to without his parents. All last year, it was Pax & Mike together. Getting up at 3 or 4AM, driving all over New England, doing the comp, and then driving home again. This year, however, his coaches are transporting the kids, promoting more of a team philosophy. It’s a great idea – we’re fully in support – but my heart is with Pax as they drive away.
Pax, despite his brave face and his adult-like focus, likes an anchor point. He needs, to paraphrase my friend Julie, a repository for his big emotions. And we, Mike and I, are that repository. We are his anchor. I know he would rather us attend. But it’s good for him to be with his team – and I know, also, that he can do this.
The price of parenting, however, is forever second-guessing, so as Nieve and I make our way down the snowy street, I am only half there. My heart, it seems, is heading down the highway towards a new milestone.
Nieve and I keep walking, the sound of our footsteps swallowed by the dark and the quiet. There are no stars, just an expanse of snow and woods with a few of our neighbors’ houses dotting the landscape. The lights of our porch are a beacon behind us. I look at the puppy. She is facing away from the house, her face upturned, nostrils quivering, staring into the sky. She leans against my leg, the wind on her face. I think of Pax, leaning up against a window in the team van, trying to sleep. At the top of the race course, fighting his nerves and his nausea. And then taking that plunge, the wind on his face.
Nieve and I sit in the dark and the snow, leaning on each other. I am only half there.
It’s the dark floral for me. Abby included this Free People quilted jacket in her recent article about winter outfits (with a spring vibe), and our internal slack channel all freaked out. There’s something about those bold, wintery colors with an almost vintage floral – it felt like a breath of fresh air. Laura immediately bought it, I can’t stop thinking about it, and Amy styled it up (in a different print) calling it her “happy outfit”. I’d layer the jacket over a cozy sweater + wool baselayer situation for Northern Vermont. 20% off at Saks, too.
While you’re there…I finally tried on this pair of rag&bone’s “featherweight” wide-leg jeans, part of that Saks sale. And they are jaw-droppingly fantastic. They’re light, soft, and look like perfectly faded, rigid denim. I’ve haven’t been happy with rag&bone jeans for a while, so this felt a little exciting. (Also at Nordstrom, but not on sale.)
The coolest fluffy Birks. These shearling Birkenstocks stopped me in my tracks. That one little twist makes such a difference. And I’m encouraged that the big retailers don’t seem to be carrying this particular style – keeps ’em really unique. More sizes at Evereve.
PSA: They’ve been sold out for months, but Nordstrom somehow managed to restock chestnut UGGs – in that classic mini style.
Something “Different”. I keep coming back to Journey Carter’s Different line. This Black designer is only 18(!!) years old, and created this line as a way to embrace & celebrate differences. I think my boys, especially, would love this line. Personally, I want this tee & beanie, but Raines would probably want this cool brown hoodie & black hat…but maybe Pax would go for orange??
Puffer pants. I still love my Athleta puffer pants, bought last winter. They’re one of my favorite purchases for winter walks in the cold – and now they’re on sale! These seriously warm joggers look especially cute tucked into Iniukii boots or the aforementioned UGGs. I actually did an article last winter on 6 ways to wear Athleta’s puffer pants, if interested.
Plus size pick. I’m cheating because I got a sneak peek of Kat’s article (coming out later this week), but whoa: this J.Crew skirt looks incredible on her. Keep an eye out for that article, btw. It’s called, “J.Crew Doesn’t Use Plus Size Models…So I’ll Do It For Them.” HA! Yasss.
“Extremely sharp, do not sit on it”. Free People is offering an additional 25% off their sale section this weekend. Typically, the FP sale section contains exactly none of what I want and a whole lotta this (metal star skirt, anyone? haha the reviews crack me up) or – oof – chain mail…tights? But in this case, that cute In A Bubble Puffer Jacket (I featured here) is on sale for well under $100. Additionally, I found a few fun gems: an easy velvet tee that would be amazing with old slouchy jeans, a cute silver bag that could be used day or night (I swear by silver bags right now), a giant plaid scarf that reminds me of Acne, and a bow headband that looks more irreverent than sweet (get the black).
This whole outfit. Still from the FP sale, but this baby blue sherpa sling bag is styled in the most amazing way – I want the entire thing. I’m relatively sure the outfit consists of this sweatshirt & this puffer vest, however, neither are on sale. AND THIS IS HOW THEY GET YOU.
Hated it. I popped this gloss into my stocking (and my mom’s) this past Christmas, and the strangest thing happened: after a few days of use, both of our lips were so freaking dry they were almost cracking. The gloss goes on so beautifully (feels better initially than any other gloss I’ve tried), and yet, over the course of a few days, I found myself needing to reapply faster & faster as my lips got dryer and dryer. When I finally mentioned something out loud, my mom was all ME TOO. Obviously I’m still mad about it but…OMG!! I promptly switched back to my beloved Sara Happ and all is well. Sheesh.
Love it. I’m obsessed with Westman Atelier’s complexion drops. I mix a few drops in with whatever I’m putting on my face (usually SPF) and there’s juuuuust enough coverage, yet still looks like…bare skin. Which, frankly, is usually what I’m going for. Often really subtle results end up being too subtle, but I can’t get over how pretty this one is. I’m confused by the reviews that talk about the smell, tho. Mine doesn’t smell at all. And if I want more coverage, I just apply a bit of this anti-aging concealer under my eyes, or maybe around my nose. That’s it! (I’ve mentioned that concealer before – it really is the freaking best for older skin, and it happens to be on sale, too.)
What I’m making for Sunday dinner. I’m trying this vegan recipe for Cauliflower Gnocchi from Jessica in the Kitchen. I know, I know, Trader Joe’s has some as well, but I love that this recipe has so few ingredients (and homemade’s gotta be better – especially from Jessica – her stuff is reliably great).
Have a good weekend, everyone.