i’m blaming my broken promises to you (that i would be back for more blogging) on shoddy internet (comcast has since fixed it and with, surprisingly, amazing customer service) and a broken camera battery charger (one can only post so many instagram photos).
my new charger arrives tomorrow. and now i’ve had too many whisky and gingers to compose a proper post of whatever photos i may have lingering on my external.
so i leave you with this: jonathan power mentioned in the pages of the highly-esteemed (at least in my amateur opinion) pages of design sponge. check it out!
the first nice bag i ever owned was a louis vuitton noe. first designed to hold champagne bottles, something in the style and shape of the bag caught my grandmother’s eye sometime ago in france and it became her go-to purse. upon her death–when family was sorting through her things making piles of what to pass on, what to hold on to, what to donate, and what to discard–my mother found it in the donate pile. she saved it and it became mine.
i love this bag. i love thinking of my grandmother and how she must have felt first purchasing this bag. my grandmother was a classy, chic woman but she was also financially savvy and chose to live simply and smartly. she was not dripping in diamonds and she drove a toyota previa. she was a bargain hunter and bought in bulk. but she also knew the value of a well-made piece; a bag that would last for many many seasons and whose design was timeless. the purchase of this bag was no after-thought for my grandmother, a second grade teacher who took investments very seriously. this was a very big deal. a treat for her. my grandfather understood and supported this mentality. he (a professor of psychology) did the same with the jewelry he would meticulously pick out and buy for her, himself, and his family.
when my grandfather died in january, nearly eight years after his beloved, the family gathered in florida for his funeral. after the service was done and we were lunching on the porch, my mother and aunt and uncle gathered the grandchildren around. my grandparents had left behind a small inheritance as a gift for each of us eight. we were, my aunt instructed us, to do with it what we wanted and that their hope was we would find something meaningful or useful for ourselves that we could remember our grandparents by. i think for some of my cousins that included furniture for their homes. i imagine a beautiful dining room table or a new bed.
for me, for jp and i, we took some of this gift money and bought goats. this was to remember my grandfather, the goat man. it took me a while to decide what to buy to remember and honor my grandmother. our home didn’t need anything. we didn’t need anything. but then i remembered that on my “wish list” for many years has been a nice, black leather purse. it’s been sort of a joke between jp and i. i always ask for one for my birthday or for christmas and it’s always something we’re never in the position to purchase.
but now all the purses i had ever had my eye on just didn’t seem right. too trendy. too obvious. too chintzy. too plain. too big. too small. not nice enough. a little too nice. and then i found it: a small minnesota company that has been making their bags in st. paul since forever. i had never heard of j.w. hulme and a look at their website had me curious but not quite convinced. so on my next visit to mn, jp and my mother and i headed over there to take a look. i told them black. i told them satchel. they brought this baby out and it was love at first sight:
pardon my lackluster photography skills.
the fairmount satchel handbag (in a discontinued color) by j.w. hulme. it’s black, it’s slouchy, it’s beautiful. it reminds me of my grandma and i have a feeling this satchel and i are going to be friends for a very long time. hopefully, if i treat her well, i can pass her along to ramona one day.
if you’re in the market for a new bag or luggage or anything leather for carrying goods, take a look at j.w. hulme. made by hand in america w insane attention to detail and respect for craft and quality. also, their employees are incredibly nice, knowledgable, and excited about what they do. we took a tour of the factory floor and watching the process and meeting the people who had created my bag made this experience so much more special and important to the story.
i’m not quite sure why we waited so long. i mean, i’m thinking it was a bit of my lack of confidence in anyone but myself (and only recently, jp) to put my daughter to bed and take care of her if/when she woke up later (bc she always wakes up later). maybe it was also that the thought of her wailing in someone else’s arms would interrupt my enjoyment away.
but now i realize all that was silly. i mean, justifiable since i am a mama who cares deeply for my little bean and desires for her to have sound sleep and feel secure. but, yes, silly. bc when jp came home from work yesterday and ordered me to put on my new high heels, some red lipstick and head down the block to root down for a drink while he took care of the baby, and i did just that, and talked w some old co-workers, had a cocktail (or maybe even two) and then came home totally refreshed, i realized: i need to do that more often. bc it makes me a better mama to go away and come back with new eyes and a less weary mind and excitement that i get to see my baby.
and when jp and i got all dolled up and i tried my darndest to put ramona to sleep before the in-laws came over but she was still whimpering in her little bed when they arrived, and we just gave them some quick instructions and left before it got worse and went to our 8:15 reservation and had some amazing food and some perfectly-paired wine and talked and flirted and even argued a little bit, i realized: i need to do that with jp more often. bc it makes me a better wife to be with him without the baby sometimes and come back feeling sexier and more in love and, thus, better able to communicate.
i may always be the best person at getting ramona to sleep at night. and i may be what she wants most when she wakes up. but we will all be alright –i’m becoming more convinced that we will be better– if i step away from that role once in a while and i give myself some emily time.
dear little ramona: your papa introduced me to a love of bikes i didn’t know i had. this is even though your nona and pops had taken me on wonderful family bike rides since i was very little. that’s sorta neat, really, that a love i already had could be increased unwittingly by another love in my life.
like mother like daughter, i hope, in silliness and love of sunday afternoon bike rides.
p.s. please always wear your helmet. always. always. always.