I turned 31 yesterday and my celebration began the night before when I wore an apron made of condoms in a sexual health fashion show with bug. And in a fit of we-love-our-town-and-each-other-and-who-cares-if-we’ll-all-be-up-with-kids-in-a-few-short-hours-woo! some girlfriends and I decided to take our pro-choice booties out on the town. We toasted the end of my 30th year at the stroke of midnight.

And then yesterday started with a lazy, thick coffee morning that led into a lazy, thick breakfast. My little family unit ran a few errands and cuddled for a few hours just as the sun was exclaiming happy birthday! from behind a thick, gray cloud cover. By the time we met up with dogs and pals at Blue Mountain for our 2 o’clock hike, it was a regular ole spring day. Oh heaven, I hiked with bare ankles. They were cold, but they were bare.

We hiked on crunchy snow through the shadows of ponderosa and, three hours later, landed at a pizza joint for shared slices and beer with 30 peeps. It was a perfect day.

And I do believe this photo best captures the energy of the birthday pizza extravaganza:

Last year, I wrote 30 things I was loving at the moment and so this year, my 31:

1. My new work schedule allows for Mondays at home with bug sans agenda.
2. Spring always follows winter.

3. Dancing.
4. Bug runs naked around the house holding only a maraca.
5. My man and I love each other a whole lot.
6. Bug’s going to have a cousin.
7. A supportive bra.
8. My cats hug.

9. Great art.
10. All of the fabulous people I have found through blogging.
11. My buff arms from schlepping bug around.
12. Music that I can’t help but rock my hips to: MGMT and Citizen Cope.
13. Cheese.
14. Facebook.
15. Designing and sewing kid clothes.
16. Eggs from my backyard.
17. I am a mama.

photos by Casey

18. Short toenails.
19. I can’t wait for two big weddings this year. I am completely in love with the men my favorite girls have chosen.
20. Gin martini: tanqueray, up, dry, one olive an the teeniest splash of olive juice.
21. My home is well-lived in and I am learning to love the chaos.

22. Showers with bug.
23. Showers alone for an excessive amount of time.
24. An exhaustive day of exercise in the mountains.
25. My new quilt.
26. The women in my life inspire me to be a better mama, wife, friend, daughter, professional, artist and woman.
27. My new President.
28. Our family bed: us, bug, Alice and most nights, a cat or two as well.
29. My job.
30. My dog.

31. My life. I am really happy.

36 Responses to 31

  1. Susan O says:

    Happy Birthday. And thank you for a great blog (I’ve been lurking quite a while) and a great post. It made me feel truly happy too.

  2. Chiot's Run says:

    Happy birthday.

    My cats hug too.

  3. Katie says:

    Happy birthday! I always look forward to your posts. This is one of my top 5 fave blogs. Your happiness is contagious.

  4. Kelle says:

    a smile. just a big happy smile for you, my friend. beautiful pictures…and life. your happiness is so pure. love you. skype soon.

  5. sarah says:

    is lindsay engaged?!

  6. Mememom says:

    I, too, have been lurking for a long while. Love your posts and finally was pushed to reply when I saw the overhead shot of your home–complete with Bug, “Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar” and a popcorn pusher! Shades of my own childhood as well as my daughter’s (who is now 20–you are so right, time does fly). How I wish we’d had this outlet when we were young. You use it well. Happy 31.

  7. Eric says:

    Love your mention of the dirty martini. Let me send you a free sample of my company’s product – Dirty Sue – premium olive juice for dirty martinis.


    Let me know.

  8. lera says:

    Happy birthday!!!!

    My six-year-old reader was standing next to me. I decided to wait until he left to click on your apron photo. Glad I did. I would have had some explaining to do … :-)

  9. TRB Holt says:

    Damn, I should have checked “Dig” yesterday…..I missed this glorious post for a whole day! Oh well it made my morning today.

    I too love the photo of your living room…reminds me of the “hidden picture” from the Highlights magazine, when you had to find things. 1. one sweet dog in green chair ~ 2. one lovable cat in green chair ~ 3. one tiny tractor ~ 4. one precious Bug holding sippy……

    I have many, many fond memories of my thirtys. I wish you love and happiness my beautiful daughter.

    xoxo, Mom

  10. Jessica says:

    Love your posts. I am so glad that you had a wonderful birthday!

  11. FinnyKnits says:

    Happy Birthday! And, Facebook you say…?

  12. Sage says:

    Happy Birthday Nicci! 31 was a great year, and now that I am almost at the 1/2 way point, I can say that the 30’s are much more poignant and remarkable than my 20’s were… being a mama is the main reason for that. I love your blog and always look forward to your posts!

  13. jen says:

    oh … happy birthday you.
    it sounds like you’ve had a glorious year … and you had to narrow life down to 31 precious things.
    i know that we don’t “know” each other … but it makes me happy to see you so happy.
    happy birthday friend.

  14. Melissa says:

    i think my new favorite picture of Margot is the one of her standing in the living room. it really captures her age and sweetness!
    Happy 31! Thank you for sharing the goodness, creativity and love!

  15. Joan says:

    Martinis? Gin martinis? You came over to my side!! Just a matter of time. You should figure out a way to rig Margot’s maraca so to fill it with ice and gin and have her shake it up for ya. Ya know, work for her dinner. XOXO

  16. Y’all lurkers/first time commenters, Susan and Meme: Thanks for popping in! I hope to hear more from you.

    And, Eric, I felt certain you were spamming me with a pron site but was delighted to see it was indeed a dirty olive juice site. Sure, I’ll take some.

    Finny: facebook, otherwise known as timesuck.

    Kelle: Skype!

    Katie: That makes me feel like a celebrity cause I know you read a million blogs! The feeling is mutual.

    Lera: Ooh. Glad you narrowly escaped the Talk.

    Chiot’s: Cat hugs are the best, no?

    Sarah: Oh that favorite lady isn’t getting hitched just get. Meg and Paige are the two.

    Ma: totally remember the Highlights! Oh, good memories. You’re the best.

    Sage: Loving my 30s and glad to know it gets better.

    Jessica: Thanks!

    Jen: Awe, that’s very sweet. Perhaps we’ll meet someday…

    Melissa: I love that pic so. In fact, I am at work right now and keep going back to look at it. So fun to know you and your sweet boy through the interweb.

    MIL: Your comments always make me giggle. I’d say you have a million dollar idea there…and, yes, gin. And we’ll be sipping one together soon!

  17. barbaras says:

    Sorry I missed your birthday Nici.. But looks like it was very happy! Love following you on the blog…
    Love, Barbara

  18. Barbara! Thanks. I like to make my birthday last at least a week so you snuck in there. much love.

  19. Jean says:

    Happy boithday. Smooch!

  20. Erin says:

    Happy Birthday from a lurker. We had our first baby girl’s around the same time and I’ve found your posts inspiring…often it’s been just the jolt I’ve needed to move in a particular direction, be it professionally, personally, or as a mama. Thank you.

  21. Heidi says:

    happy birthday!!!
    love your list…
    short toenails and being a mama were my faves bc i, too, appreciate short toenails but have never thought about it before and i love how you love you your bug!

  22. charles says:

    great pictures, very well taken.

  23. Happy B-day!

    “Lurker”… yea, I guess I fit that description too. But I don’t feel I need to add to the conversation often to enjoy your site. My family and I enjoy the pictures and posts and visiting your site is a good way to lighten a ho-hum day. Keep it com’en.

    Oh, and gotta love MGMT!

  24. Patia says:

    At the risk of sounding like a crazy stalker, I want your life.

    Among other things, I wish my cats hugged.

    Happy 31!

  25. oh I am so on top of responding to peeps!

    Jean: Smooch!

    Erin: It is amazing how connected one can feel to other’s stories…especially when kiddos are the same age. I too find inspiration in so many people’s decisions. Thanks for commenting.

    Heidi: Yup. Short toenails. Yum.

    Francis: Love the lurkers. And, LOVE mgmt. oh boy.

    Patia: My cats hug because Olive was an abused teeny tiny kitten when we got her and she nursed on Sam! And he let her. So I am pretty certain that even though his gender is all wrong, he is her mama and she his daughter. Yes, adorable.

  26. Nicole says:

    Happy birthday! She is ADORABLE!

  27. Vodka Mom says:

    That was fantastic!! I “dug” it.

  28. Katie says:

    Happy 31st!

  29. Malissa says:

    Hello! Your little bug is the cutest of all little bugs. I have a question for you….do you sell quilts? I love your quilt. It is very unique. It looks very retro/Anthropology like. I hope you say yes! :)

  30. Voda Mom: ok you’re name is FANTASTIC (sipping martini now).

    Nicole: Thanks!

    Katie: kiss, sweet friend.

    Malissa: EEEK. Really? I don’t know. Honestly I feel like I’d have to charge at least $1 million because I’m just not that efficient. But, I have been making stuff and will be announcing that it’s for sale soon so I have seing thing to sell on my mind….I’ll think about it. And, thanks. That’s nice that you’d ask!

  31. Kelle says:

    knock-knock. i’m back for more
    a): thanks to you, i’m a wine-o.
    b): how could i not comment on that last picture? seriously…i love it. it is happiness in megapixel form. it is lovely.
    c): love. you.
    d): lqtm. i like wine. what have you done?

  32. Philigry says:

    hello there! love your blog. happy belated birthday.
    i wuilted my wuilt using the free motion stye. it was only my second time doing it. i am new to quilting as well. it was so much fun though!

  33. Lois Lane says:

    I got chills in my head when I read No. 31.
    I love you.