my week in objects (mostly).

September 2, 2016

five little things that made my week. 

1. this butterorange_butter_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_3242

{this orange blossom butter, to be exact. sent by a friend who knew just what this mama needed.}

2. this tiny paint set.paints_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_3278

{because sometimes i’m not very good at sharing. someone needed a set of her own.}

3. this discarded board.board_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_3253

{should be just the right thing for an upcoming project. one person’s trash, my potential treasure.}

4. these refrigerator magnetsabc_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_3257

{because here we are.}

5. these boxes of books.books_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_3267

{for being back under the bed.}

other things:

unfinished business.

new york city playgrounds.

fix your clothes.

looked at and lived in

forever ogling these tidal pools.

my kind of back to school.

a little bit of quiet. (via this great newsletter.)

speaking of newsletters…more to come later this afternoon. (sign up below!)

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  • Reply MissEm September 2, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Speaking of the little watercolor pan, I keep thinking of you as I navigate purchases and squirreled away “treasures” for/from my children, who are a little older than your little one. I keep wondering what kind of lunchbox you’d get for back to school or how you would store myriad treasured toys (not that we have a lot, but we have two kids and lots of crafty interests and various toy loves). So wish I was behind instead of ahead of you in terms of ages and stages bc I find your way of thinking right up my alley, but your resources and savvy exceed mine ;).

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 2, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Oh gosh, lots to navigate for sure. I can only hope that Faye doesn’t lose her eventual lunchbox as many times as I lost mine!

  • Reply Ellen September 2, 2016 at 11:32 am

    I read that NYT piece on making house and thought about you, Erin! Wondered if it would make it into the weekly roundup. I was especially struck by the paragraph on the multiple roles necessary to make and maintain a working space and also actually work.

  • Reply EMac September 2, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Oh the Washington Post article. That makes my heart wrench.

    I spent so many years in school, crafting my career path. First a BS, then an MA. I felt so proud and empowered. I am the daughter of a self-proclaimed feminist who ingrained in me to always be able to be self-sufficient and never have to rely on anyone else to survive in this world (which, I still firmly believe ALL people should adhere to). But, as I’ve gotten old and have children – I often ask myself who am I doing all of this for? WHO DO I OWE ANYTHING ANYMORE? Here I am with fancy pants science degrees and a well paying job but, in reality – all I want to do is be home for my daughter when she is finished kindergarten. What will my family remember? Mommy’s job or mommy being there for them. It’s soul crushing. It is the source of anxiety and depression. They told us growing up that us girls could be anything and to dream endlessly but, now some of us are women full of guilt and confusion…

    • Reply Aimee September 2, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      EMAC – I do not have children, so I can’t empathize with how you feel, but I remember growing up with a working mom, and I remember her being there. I do not remember feeling that she was absent, because the times she was there and spending time with us are the memories that stand out to me.

      • Reply Alexandra September 2, 2016 at 1:38 pm

        Interestingly, Aimee, I often feel a similar feeling about my son (just turned 2) – I rarely worry about what memories he will have of me, because I feel certain that they will be positive, that he will remember the times I was there. That is, after all, what I remember of my father, who worked very long hours, often traveling. I worry more about myself – I worry about the times I am not there, the times I won’t ever get to remember. I worry about the memories I myself will have, looking back in my older years, and more to the point, the ones I will not have. I have no doubt that his memories will be happy and joyous and filled with love – my worry is, I won’t get to share them with him.

        I am lucky enough to have a valued skillset in a niche industry that is mostly freelance, so – taking a bit of a paycut and scaling down my level of responsibility – I was able to opt to go to back to work 3 days per week, and stay home 4. I bill some hours from home as well, after bed or during naps. I feel like this has been the best of all worlds for me – I am there for so much of my son’s life, I get to share and make so many good memories with him; but I also get to keep a foot in my career, keep my network active and growing, yada yada yada.

        Notably, this arrangement only truly works due to the generosity and flexibility of my own mother, who watches my son for a criminally low amount of money while I work. My instinct is to feel ashamed of that – relying on essentially a handout from my mom – but I view it, instead, as yet more happy memories: happy memories she and my son make together, happy memories we two can layer on top of our already rich history of memories.

        • Reply Aya September 4, 2016 at 1:50 pm

          Alexandra–just as a side note as someone who spent a lot of time with my grandmother, it was a gift to us both. I learned so much being in her quiet patient care and looking back, I think we kept her active and healthy until 103. I cherish the time I spent with her. As an adult, I cared for her when she ailed. We had many little inside jokes and patterns from when I was a kid. I just hope you don’t feel ashamed because if your son and mother are like my grandmother and me, it’s a tremendous gift to all parties.

    • Reply Sasha September 6, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Ah, guilt. My girls are grown now, and the day has come that I dreaded – that day when they would be grown up enough to realize what a shit mother I was (am) and what a shit childhood I gave them. Because it wasn’t perfect. Or even close. And it wasn’t what I wanted to give.
      But it hasn’t happened. Instead they occasionally say things like “thank you for teaching us about real food”, and “thank you for reading to us…letting us have pets…saying no so much”..”putting up with dad”. And “I love you.” It’s heart breaking in a way to know you’ve somehow failed and they love you anyway, as in breaking your heart wide open.
      My girls look through old picture albums and remember this or that happy time…And I remember the yelling or tears. I’ve started to let go of how it was supposed to be, and accept the way it was. And is. Not perfect. I wish I had done so long ago.
      Forgive yourself. You’re doing your best. Your children will indeed see that. Someday. The love is what lasts longest in memory.

  • Reply Brianna September 2, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Lots to love here, once again! Just chiming in to say I,too, am I lover of that tidal pool print. Been eyeing it for what feels like over a year now? A few weeks ago my mother surprised me with the dish towel in the natural color and it is just as lovely as I hoped it would be. I want to see it/touch it so often I almost wish it were a scarf! Hah!

  • Reply Aimee September 2, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Seriously, how can I possibly love refrigerator magnets THAT much?!

  • Reply Mary Kate September 2, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Had a recent conversation with my sister in law, who just returned to work after her 3-month maternity leave. She was lamenting that she loves her job, but she just wants to be home because her baby is changing by the day. But working part-time or even leaving early is not an option for her. I know I’ll be there someday and I don’t expect things to change between now and then–not sure what I’ll do!

  • Reply Erin September 2, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Love those beautiful magnets! and have been searching for something similar for my toddler. Safety question, are there tiny magnets on the back or is it the sheet-like magnet? Hoping for the latter, in which case they could be a perfect kitchen distraction while I cook and no fear of choking hazards!

    • Reply Erin Boyle September 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      No fear! Sheet magnets!

  • Reply Erin September 2, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Awesome! Thanks : )

  • Reply Kari.M September 2, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Wishing like crazy that those refrigerator magnets had been around when my kids were small. Those, I could have tolerated.

    Fabulous selection of articles, as always.

  • Reply MAV September 2, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you so much for mentioning our Tidal Pool Towel. It is lovely and so you are you so of course you would take notice. 🙂 All kinds of love from Maine to you. xoxox, MAV

  • Reply Sophie September 5, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    The orange blossom butter looks good enough to eat, and it’s great to see all the organic goodness in the ingredients! I’ve added it to my beauty wish list.

    Sophie x

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