Design

Have a Lovely Weekend.

Fiat in Rome

What are you up to this weekend? Any fun plans? We are going to check out our friend’s new treehouse. Their eight-year-old son built the ladder himself, including measuring the boards and nailing the wood! Hope you have a good one, and here are a few great links from around the web…

Want to learn something quickly? Read children’s books, says a Jeopardy champ.

Making these spinach and artichoke melts tonight.

My daughter’s genetic disorder is reshaping my family,” writes Julie Kim. “I now had two children, but was only just beginning to understand what it means to be a parent.”

A cartoon about systemic racism.

The secret pigeon service!

Moon quilts.

If you want to smile from ear to ear, watch this little girl try to jump off the diving board at Barton Springs.

Love these work shoes.

A bowl of cut fruit is how Asian moms say, ‘I love you.'”

Targeted ads based on my innermost thoughts, haha. (New Yorker)

Dr. Ruth says, Make time for sex. (NYTimes)

Beautiful poem.

Plus, two reader comments:

Says Lula on 8 style hacks to steal from movies: “Last night I watched Shrill, all in one night, and Aidy Bryant’s wardrobe is just amazing. Her promo wardrobe for the show is also amazing. Not a plus size sack in sight!”

Says Liza on how to help a friend facing infertility: “As a result of infertility on my part, we’re now expecting our first child via surrogacy in September. I haven’t wanted to talk about it much at all, which is so hard because it IS exciting! Sending love to all the members of the CoJ community who are struggling with infertility.” (Ed. note: Huge congratulations on your wonderful baby news, Liza!!!! Very happy and excited for you and your partner — and your lucky baby.)

(Photo of a Fiat in Rome.)

  1. Em says...

    Thank you for sharing Julie Kim’s story. I am a therapist myself and often work with children who have syndromes and disorders. I never tire of hearing a parent’s story. Each one impacts the work that I do, especially when it comes to communicating with parents. Understanding perspective is so important. <3

  2. Stacy S says...

    The crowd cheering at the little girl jumping off the diving board is the most heartwarming thing! That little girl must have felt so much pride and excitement because of those wonderful people.

  3. Danielle says...

    I always learn so much from everything you share. The cartoon on systemic racism is SO VALUABLE and important to educate others. I’ve always known that it impacts our country, but to be able to articulate how for those who are unaware has always been a struggle. Now going to use this to show others. Thanks so much xx

  4. Ann says...

    I can’t wait to show my 3 year old, Nahla, the little girl jumping off the diving board. We read ‘Jabari Jumps’ nearly every night and she’s constantly telling me she’s going to ‘do it’ this summer. This might set her up for some big expectations, but she’s got spirited parents and grandparents.

  5. The video of the child on the diving board had me crying – then cheering out loud – at work. Thanks for a beautiful start to my week! (I always read CoJ weekend links on Monday morning!)

  6. eliot says...

    I may not be Asian but I felt this article. Nothing says “I love you” for me quite like my mom grabbing an orange, getting her paring knife, and sitting down to cut it up for my sisters and my dad after dinner is finished and the dishes have been washed. Pure love from my sweet mom.

  7. Kat says...

    Joanna and friends- WOW! You guys are amazing! I read every comment on the infertility post and there were some strong, valid arguments for and against the shared advice. The empathy and grace you show in choosing the PERFECT comment to close the week with Liza’s wonderful news, beautifully balanced the sentiments of so many, and reminded me why I love this space so much. Everyone’s opinion is welcomed, but the focus is always to celebrate the best of humanity, sometimes in a quiet very subtle way. Thank you again for this! (and I hope I make sense, my English is getting rusty!)

  8. Sara says...

    On Shrill, I was so bugged that she wore the CUTEST dresses the entire show, then showed up to the pool party in boring pants and a button up. I get she was feeling insecure, but you can’t go from sequined dresses to blah, it didn’t fit the character or her development at all.

  9. The video of the little girl and the diving board brought tears to my eyes for a a couple reasons. I want my own little girl to feel the same sense of collective community in her life that I have gotten to grow up with but I worry that people are so absorbed in their own existence that they have stopped looking up. For a second reason because anything that shows the power of people in groups to cheer for good and help do good brings up emotion. We are so lacking for these situations these days which is probably why this little video was posted and you chose to highlight it in the first place.

  10. Gwen says...

    Loved the cut fruit article. I am a fourth-generation Malaysian Chinese and can relate so much to it. It also pleases me greatly to know that my favourite blogger had read about our culture. :) Just today, as I was about to peer into the refrigerator to look for some fruit, my mum instinctively yelled from the wet kitchen, “Close the refrigerator! I’m already cutting up some papaya.” Never had I been so glad to not have to cut fruits. Even before we went on any road trips, she would make sure to cut some for the road. Fruits were basically the Asian tea and dessert, but most of all, a show of affection to make up for the verbal affection that we are sorely lacking.

  11. Emi says...

    As someone who has, and is, an Asian mother, I hate to see essays like Yi Jun Loh’s readily available to non Asian readers. My Asian immigrant mother would never be described as “cold” and I don’t think that is extraordinary. Not a day of my childhood passed without hugs, kisses, and “I love yous.” I have so many memories of piling on her bed with my siblings, falling sideways with peels of laughter at these hilarious stories she told. I remember her french braiding my hair, my sister’s hair, and our many girlfriends’ hair while giving us wonderful life advice. She definitely also showed love with food – what can I say, that is so Asian – but being warm, open, and supportive is too. I cringe at the thought of non Asian readers thinking otherwise.

    • Katie Nguyen says...

      My experience was similar to the author’s, and I know many of my Asian friends had similar relationships with their mothers. We never said “I love you” or had any of those typical displays of affection, but bowls of fruit were plentiful. :) I agree; I wouldn’t want to perpetuate the stereotype as not all immigrant mothers are the same, but at the same time, it’s comforting and warming to hear stories that are similar to your own and it makes the experience of being a first-generation immigrant less lonely and isolating. I would hope that the non-asian people reading it are open-minded enough to understand that there are different cultures out there, but the people within them are all unique individuals – just like any other culture.

    • C says...

      This non-Asian reader recognizes that the essay may not represent every mother, and I am also grateful for the opportunity to read about different perspectives and cultural backgrounds, including your comment. Thank you for sharing this lovely snapshot of your family.

  12. Milou says...

    So much good stuff as always!

    I don’t like to be negative, but as I read about Everlane here I was excited to order. I placed an order for a sweater and received the wrong item not once, but TWICE!! The customer service was less than helpful and when I asked for a refund/discount they offered a paltry sum (less than the time spent communicating/printing return labels/giving up my lunch hour at the Post Office).

    Great idea, but I’ve been ordering clothes online since the 90’s and have never had such a puzzlingly horrible experience in every way. Buyer beware.

  13. C. says...

    You- and the brave little 5 year old on the diving board- picked a good weekend to visit Barton Springs! Flooding last night has completely shut it down, with more rain coming next week.

  14. shannon says...

    Uh, sorry, Mr. Day, but knowing that a pigeon can fly at 110 MILES PER HOUR is not helping me build a greater appreciation for the bird who has a VERY SHARP BEAK. Duck and cover.

  15. Abbey says...

    Liza, What wonderful news about your baby via surrogacy! So excited for you!

  16. jeannie says...

    Liza, heartfelt congratulations on the upcoming birth of your baby! Thank you so much for sharing this with CofJ readers! It must have been such a learning experience and maybe a difficult process to decide on surrogacy and find the right person to partner with you in your baby’s birth. I wish the best for everyone involved! Congratulations, again.

  17. Sheila says...

    Oh how often I text “what’s your eta?” knowing full well his estimate will be off by about 30-1 billion minutes. Those are the longest minutes of the day.

  18. Gemma says...

    How exciting, Liza!! So delighted for you – congratulations!!
    xx

    • Liza says...

      Thank you, Gemma!!

  19. Lisa says...

    Congratulations to Liza! Happy for your family growing and for the wonderful woman supporting you as a fellow woman.

    • Jasmine says...

      Yes! So beautiful! Xoxoxo congrats on your growing family, Liza. Thanks for sharing here so we can send love!

    • Liza says...

      Thanks Lisa!

  20. Roxana says...

    I read Julie Kim’s piece in the Atlantic just this morning. As the mother of a kiddo who has Down syndrome, it resonated SO much with me (her last paragraph nailed it). It’s been over two years since we met our son and I can say with 1000% certainty that despite the grief, and the fear and the uncertainties about his future (well, about all of our futures, really. . . we, none of us, know what tomorrow brings) our life is more beautiful than I ever could have imagined it would be. It is an entirely different picture than what I had painted for us. It is better. Harder? Probably. But infinitely better. Thank you so, so, so much for including her piece in your links.

    As an aside, Far From the Tree is a beast of a book, but so worth the read. Highly recommend.

    Also, pigeons are AMAZING, but, I read that we’re screwing-up their “homing” ability with electro-magentic radiation from cell towers, etc. :(.

    Also, the Barton Springs diver. . . oh, my heart! Made me choke-up.

    • Roxana says...

      *The Atlantic
      I wasn’t bobbing around in the ocean this morning ;).

  21. Megan says...

    Sometimes I hardly talk to my husband all day. We both work and have two young kids. I get home first and I wait for his love letter: ETA 6:12. He’s never more than three minutes off!

  22. JP says...

    Thank you for sharing Julie Kim’s story. My heart ached so much reading her story. She is so brave to share such a personal story.

  23. Adley says...

    Wow- that poem is may favorite poem ever. Thank you for introducing me to this incredible woman writer!

  24. C says...

    the Shrill wardrobe had to be custom made for Aidy cause nothing like that great exists for plus-size ladies. Which is such a bummer cause her wardrobe was fantastic

  25. Cynthia says...

    Have you seen that Allbirds has come out with a ballet flat in the most gorgeous colors? Similar to R****s, but with their Merino wool insole and a more reasonable price. The style name is Tree Breezers. And washable!

  26. Amy says...

    The cut fruit piece CUT TO THE CORE OF ME. All through high school, my mom packed perfectly peeled, sliced, and lemon-juiced apples for me every morning. After a while, I got sick of them and bought junky breakfast stuff with my friends and I’d end up with few days worth of apples in Ziploc bags sitting in my backpack (yes, gross). I remember feeling so guilty when I threw them away at school before I got home. Now when someone cuts fresh fruit for me I feel like Cleopatra. But when I’m at my parents house and my mom busts out her favorite knife and fruit from 99 Ranch Market, I feel like Anton Ego (the critic from Ratatouille) when he takes that first bite and it instantly takes him back to his childhood.

  27. A says...

    Julie Kim’s Atlantic story hit me hard today. We just schedule my 3 month old son, my second child, in for a 24 hour EEG. He’s presented half a dozen small “seizure-like” episodes in the last month. So far all neuro tests have come back normal and he’s hitting all his milestones, so it’s very possible it could be some benign baby quirk. But i’m fucking terrified. I go back and forth between the normal daily activities – grocery shopping, work emails, taking my oldest to the playground – and sitting in the bathtub crying from worry. What will we do if…

    • Dana says...

      Thinking of you, sweet mom. I hope this time passes so quickly and uneventfully, and you have people to lean on. And if not, please respond and I’ll be there to listen. ❤️ I have a baby around the same age and I can’t imagine the stress you must be experiencing.

    • C. says...

      Wishing you peace, kindness, comfort, and the best medical care and attention for your little one.

    • LT says...

      Hoping things are benign! My son started to have these odd episodes at 18 months- he would get quiet, list to the side and close his eyes, if he was on his feet he would stumble around drunkenly. It was like a light switch, one minute he was babbling and cheerful and the next he was quiet and almost passing out. One happened in the doctor’s office and it was such a relief for the doc to experience it and she said that they weren’t traditional seizures but she didn’t know what it was. We had all the tests under the sun, and it ended up being vertigo-induced migraines. He is 6 now and still gets them about every 2 weeks, but we know the signs, how to reduce them (proper hydration!!!) and he’s now old enough to tell us when they are coming on and he can go rest in the dark. The diagnosis was after about 15 different tests over the course of 2 months and it was terrifying. Hoping for the best for your little one!

  28. Lisa C. says...

    The poem is exceedingly beautiful and accurately captures what is like when you have a toddler and infant at home. I don’t understand why men (or any spouse working outside the home male or female) don’t get the real meaning of these phrases. It actually says: We love you. We appreciate how you go forth each day for us. We miss you and feel more complete when you are safely home to hear about our day and share the evening with us. It makes me sad that at least for me that wasn’t the message received, even when I explained the meaning after having it received by annoyance. And now for the last 4 years, since my youngest was 2-ish. I never ask anymore…when will you be home? We just go about our business and oftentimes the other parent is here when they are sleeping already. That other parent is rarely home while there is still play time available after to homework, instrument practice and before taking baths. The little ones still ask though: When will he be home? Perhaps this is something that is a cultural difference, where men with a more traditional upbringing find this question intrusive rather than loving. In any case, I have moved it completely out of our daily questions and answers. I remember the Mad Men episode when Betty Draper was waiting for Don to get home with her pearls and puffy dress still on.

    • Mims says...

      Lisa. This. post. is. so. perfect. Married to a man consumed by his career for 25 years, but is fully present and involved when he does finally arrive (but we dont hold our breathes waiting for him!)

    • t says...

      Hi Lisa,

      I hear you and agree that it is very difficult. I am the sole breadwinner in my family and the pressure is overwhelming. It isn’t that I don’t want to be home it’s that I need to pay for our lives. And that burden of that weight is extremely heavy in addition to the work that needs to be done.

      I do find the question intrusive because it always feels like “you must come home… we are waiting for you, the kids need you, I need you” and so you have to decide between two critical pieces (work and family) and having to make that decision is annoying. Just my perspective.

  29. JulieB says...

    Thank you so much for sharing the article on genetic abnormality. We’re going through something similar at the moment. My daughter is 7 and we had an appointment with a paediatrician to discuss some physical difficulties she is having. I was completely shocked when the paediatrician noted she had features which indicated a chromosomal abnormality including curved fingers and cafe au lait marks, none of which we’d noticed. We’re now awaiting the results of the blood test which can take up to 3 months. We haven’t shared with anyone as we don’t want to worry grandparents until we know more. It feels like a very scary time.

    • Roxana says...

      JulieB, praying you will have peace and wisdom as you navigate these unknowns.

  30. H Merkley says...

    Your friend’s treehouse reminds me of the book, ‘The Garden in the City’
    by Gerda Muller. Such fun and so beautiful! Enjoy!

  31. I literally just cried watching that kid jumping off the diving board getting cheered on by the whole pool. I’m getting soft!

    • Brittany says...

      Same! Then I found myself cheering along with the crowd. Love happy moments like these- we need more of them in the world! ❤️

    • C. says...

      Barton Springs veteran here to say that kind of thing happens all the time there. Sometimes the kid decides not to jump, but people are really good sports about that outcome too.
      Another fun example of humans behaving brilliantly: At The Oasis, a restaurant/bar just outside of Austin on Lake Travis, the crowd sitting on the decks at sundown will often break into applause as the sun slips below the horizon.

  32. Rachel says...

    As a Malaysian-Chinese who now calls the Rocky Mountains home, I am beyond excited that you featured Yi Jun’s article!

  33. Christina says...

    Lovely links, as usual! Re: systemic racism video, I am reminded of this other one which is also great and very thought-provoking. And narrated by George Takei! https://vimeo.com/165205891

    Happy Weekend, Jo and crew!

  34. Annie says...

    Just want to say thank you for posting these earlier in the day lately! :)

  35. Caitlin says...

    If you want to be blown away by even more interesting pigeon facts, I’m seriously an evangelist about this episode of the podcast Surprisingly Awesome that is all about pigeons. I seriously bring it up at every other social event I go to, especially when I’m two glasses of wine in. ;)

    https://gimletmedia.com/shows/surprisingly-awesome/rnh6a7/9-pigeons

  36. Mims says...

    OMG, as a diver I loved that video of the child taking the plunge. I was at Barton Springs a few years back and did a 101A off that same board. In my minds eye I was as graceful as Greg Louganis doing his here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1abSp-pdcoM

    In real life I am sure it was much sloppier. But bucket list worthy for sure! I love to see the “firsts” in peoples lives…..

  37. Wow. The piece by Julie Kim about her daughter is beautifully, perfectly written. I’m in awe of how she was able to take a topic with such a large scope and shape it into this incredible revealing and nuanced narrative. Thank you for sharing it.

  38. Jennie says...

    Not to be that person, but is anyone else freaking about no rail around the treehouse !?!

    • Roxana says...

      Haha! You are “that person.” ;)

      Joking aside, I read it’s better for kiddos’ cognitive (and social) development to play on playgrounds, etc. that seem more “dangerous” to us. A lot of research is showing that “risky play” (e.g. a high platform with no protective barrier) helps kids hone their executive function/decision making ability. This article addresses the issue a bit: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/04/hey-parents-leave-those-kids-alone/358631/

      Quite a bit has been written about the playground in the article, but there are others (mostly in Europe) that are designed to encourage this kind of play. Interesting reading :).

    • Lisa says...

      You’re not alone. I was thinking how high up
      is that? And thought maybe they could all wear bubble wrap suits while playing on it!

  39. AWESOME poem by Kate Baer!

    Brag alert: She’s my cousin(-in-law). Lucky me!

  40. Love all these links… but oh that video! My heart.