Riding into Summer

School is out for the summer!  Yesterday my son and I attended a very fun second grade end of the year party complete with karaoke, a scavenger hunt and water balloons.  My son sang “Fireball”.  One of the mom’s who also has a sixth grader reminded me to savor these moments as this time and this grade is simple, innocent and most of all fleeting.  I look forward to summer adventures with my third grader, but I can’t help but wonder where my preschooler went.  I remember him striding into his last day of Pre-K like it was yesterday and yet he’s grown almost a foot and achieved so many milestones. The days can be long, but the years fly by.  I am hoping to slow down and savor a lot of fun moments and make some great summer memories.

Details on this look below.

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Denim Jacket

Sunglasses (also here)

Striped Tee

Bag

Sandals

White Denim

Happy Summer!

XO,

JAE

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Mani Monday – Both Sides Edition

I glance at the clock on a warm July morning in the Valley.  It’s 9 am.  I would just be getting here now.  What would I have missed?  A lot.  Very little of it scheduled.  Ugh.  How am I going to do this? “ I’ll just figure it out” I’d say to myself most days during the summer before my son started preschool.  When I signed my contract in June, we verbally agreed to my dropping my son off at school twice a week.  But I was now beginning to question how feasible it would even be and my anticipatory stress was growing. The summer went on and I did this internal check in most mornings.  Gathering my own data as to which days of the week would work best.

Drop off and pick up are not big moments.  A performance is a big moment, I would make it to those.  The big revelations happen in the little moments.  The thing he blurts out about his day when we are waiting for the carpool line to move.  The teacher that catches me just as I pick him to tell me about something that happened that day.  My presence is important for him to feel the stable force of his mother at the start and close of his day, or at least the start.  It was even more important for me.

On the days I could take him to school, I felt like I had stolen a precious moment and was filled with happiness as I went about the rest of my day solving problems, making presentations, hiring, firing, making decisions, sitting in long meetings, all 25 miles away.  The days I could take him were very few.

So, my heart broke a little each day.

As I put my son to bed one night during the first year of preschool he said “Mommy let’s both get up early tomorrow so we can see each other” as he hugged me tight.  He had started sleeping a little later and some mornings I had to leave without even seeing him awake.  I smiled and tried not to cry.

“Thank you for coming to back to school night we are off to a great start of the year. OK everyone we have a fun activity.  You will see photos of hands and answers to questions.  Please find your child based on the two.”  I glance down and spot what I think are my son’s hands.  I read the accompanying questions and answers

What makes you happy?  When I see my mommy.

What makes you sad?   When my mommy goes to work.

My heart is beating out of my chest and I can barely read the next two questions.  This was the second year of preschool.

I am home now.  I left my job at the end of the second year of preschool.  I have since started this blog.  I need a purpose and something to do.  I have treated it like a business publishing on a regular schedule that I have kept to.  It is not yet a business, but it is growing and I love the challenge.  Most importantly, I am at drop off and pick up 99% of the time.  I appreciate it every single day and yes, there have been a lot of big moments and revelations in the little moments.

But I do miss working.  My son was home last week for five days sick.  I felt privileged to be able to be home to care for him, but I also went a little stir crazy.  I was thrilled to be home and dying to get out. I see both sides.  I enjoyed both ways of life for different reasons.  Working in a big job and working for myself.  I wish I did not have to choose.  I also don’t appreciate the pressure, the judgement and the need to categorize.

I can see both sides so well that it throws me off my center at times.   Taking sides is killing society.  But there is a comfort in decision and I have never looked back.  Life on this side is good and I am grateful, but I do want more.

This week’s mani has both sides and is balanced.

The manicure and nail art are by Olive & June.  The colors are “Surrounded by Studs” and “First View” by Essie Gel Couture.

Items in the photos include:

Camo Jacket

Tweed Flats

Custom Canvas Pouch

Embroidered V-Neck Top

Animal Print Blouse

Welcome Top

Denim Flats and here and here

Women T-Shirt

Moon and Stars Top

Calf Hair Driving Shoes (on sale!)

Embroidered Tunic

Red Top

Striped top

Tunic (on sale!)

Happy Monday!

XO,

JAE

Mani Friday – #SHINYPONIES Edition

It is clear that I love shoes. If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that these striped shoes got a workout this summer and served as a perfect neutral.  They were also the shoes I was wearing when my six year old snapped a photo that ended up on J. Crew‘s #SHINYPONIES page as I mentioned in Shoes Tell the Story this week.  So I decided to commemorate my proud Mama moment with yet another shoe, this time on my hand.

The color is “Do You Take Lei Away” by OPI.  The nail art and manicure are by Olive & June.

Happy Friday!

XO,

JAE

Role Play

I’ve taken on a few new roles this year.  One of them is Recording Secretary for the PTA at my son’s school.  Although this blouse is not called a “Secretary Blouse” as many other     J. Crew selections are (such as this one or this one), it has the same feel.  I have styled it with my favorite leopard flats (naturally) and basic black.

As I wrote yesterday in Shoes Tell the Story, my blog had it’s six month anniversary last week, so there was cause for celebration.

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J. Crew Top

J. Crew Toothpick Jeans in Black

J. Crew Ryan Sunglasses in Blush

J. Crew Featherweight Cashmere Cardigan

J. Crew Leopard Gemma Flats

Lipstick Queen Lip Gloss in Big Bang Black Hole

Happy Shopping!

XO,

JAE

Santa Barbara Mother’s Day

From the time I can remember my earliest memory, I wanted to be a mother.  I thought about what my kids would be like, where I would live and taking them to school.  I pictured at least three to four kids.  I did not waver from this.  I wanted a career as well and  wanted to establish that first and then juggle it all.  I carefully watched others in the workplace do their juggling act and had concerns about how it would be done and where the sacrifices would be made.

I took me a long time to find my husband and along the way I had multiple careers.  We had our son later in life and it was not easy to get pregnant.  I feel so grateful that I am now a mother and also know that Mother’s Day is a tough day for a lot of people.  My third date with my husband was the night before Mother’s Day, ten years ago.  He had lost his mother twelve years before that.  It was a hard day for him.  For many years it was hard for me too, waiting for my turn and wondering when and if it would happen.

I feel honored and lucky to be the mother of my incredible son.  He constantly surprises me with his old soul knowledge and then follows it up with silly  Kindergarten antics. He and my husband planned a very special day for me that included a drive to Santa Barbara and a lovely brunch at The Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch.  We had recently celebrated our Anniversary with an amazing meal at their other restaurant Plow and Angel .  My husband had the brilliant idea to do a day trip for their Mother’s Day Brunch.  It was flawless.

XO,

JAE

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Quick stop at the Biltmore to look at Beanie Babies
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Beautiful menu at The Stonehouse
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Entrance to The San Ysidro Ranch
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Amazing Meal
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Gorgeous Dessert Buffet
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Learning to make Creme Brulee

 

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Exploring the San Ysidro Adobe built in 1825
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Always about the shoes

Outfit details:

Me: J. Crew Liberty Flats, J. Crew Blazer (on sale!), J. Crew Sleeveless Drapey top (on sale!), AG Jeans

My husband:  J. Crew Shirt, J. Crew New Balance Shoes (similar here), AG Jeans

My son: J.Crew shirt (similar here), J. Crew shoes (similar here), Joe’s Jeans