hump day nuggets: beauty in the unexpected

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

A lot happened this week. Good stuff. I feel like my pace, as a mama of two, has settled. I won’t be getting a PR or running any mentionable distance, but the pace is there. Ruby and I peeled out, our first night away from the family, for a serene, snowy, conversation-rich getaway with girlfriends. I burned cookies, went for my first run with both girls, finally learned I have to put the toilet paper roll out of Margot’s reach (good golly I have been barking up a tree when all I had to do was remove the cat) and lost myself in Ruby’s smiles. Most importantly, my dear friend, whom I have actually never met, but grown to love over the last few years of blogs that led to emails that led to birthday cards to packages sent to texts to phone calls, had a little girl who happens to have down’s syndrome. And through that surprising news, I am amazed, but really not surprised, at how much beauty there is in the unexpected, in the details.

When I pay attention, beauty that makes my heart ache at how thankful I am to be Alive, is abundant.

I think I will be posting with more frequency this year. I just have so much to document and reflect on.


:: I made a skirt for my niece. Margot drew with fabric markers on plain ole muslin and I cut it up, pieced it with some scraps from my stash, lined it with cozy fleece and I am quite happy with the result. The great thing about toddler skirts is they can be worn for several years…the kid grows a few inches so if I start out at the knee for a one year-old, it still works at age three and four.

Margot wasn’t very thrilled to model and I told her to act happy for the blog but she didn’t want to.

:: A little jaunt with some friends to a hot spring up north was just what I needed. I didn’t get to soak much because I was bouncing Ruby Jane poolside but I caught a contact high from those healing waters.

And, really, I will never tire of this place. My home.

:: The previously mentioned cookies that burned to shit. Margot and I don’t mind crispy, brown cookies but Andy turns his nose right up. I need to remember this as a future tactic for ensuring fair cookie consumption. You see, my man has a history of hiding sweet treats from his loved ones. Or, panicking and eating more than his share in one evening to guarantee his high score in overall dessert noshing.

:: Can’t get enough of looking at this.

:: An artist named Lisa Leonard emailed a while back offering to send me a piece of her handmade jewelry. Yes, please, I said and I picked a sweet, contemporary, hand-stamped charm bracelet. It arrived last week and hasn’t left my wrist since. It is exquisite and Margot has the most fun finding her ‘m’ and Ruby’s ‘r’. Mama, I find my special m, she says. Thanks Lisa. I LOVE it.

:: Our first baby. Sam just turned nine.

:: Ruby rarely gets to rest below three feet because of a certain three foot tall creature who loves to tickle and kiss her sister born more than anything.

:: Building with blocks is fun but tossing them all over the house and then reading a dog book in the block box is way better.

:: Oh be still my organizational dork heart. We’ve had a dilemma in our house with the objects that catch the constant stream of snot and spit up of our two girls. As a general rule we rarely use tissue because it is just so unnecessarily wasteful. We use small cloth diapers and they work great BUT, since Ruby entered the scene, we could never keep track of what was for Ruby’s spit up and what was used for Margot’s snot. And, obviously we don’t want to wipe a potentially virusey green booger on a two month-old’s mouth. Plus, I am forever infinitely more fearful of germs since Ruby had RSV. So this led to a lot of unnecessary tossing of rags in the wash thus negating any positive environmental impact we were hoping for. UNTIL (promise I am getting there) I had a stroke of genius during a 3:45am nursing session. Here it is: polka dots=puke and stripes=snot.

:: Every morning bug leaps and skips like a giddy elf in her undies.

:: One year ago, my Margot:

:: Margot and Ruby at nine weeks old:

24 Responses to hump day nuggets: beauty in the unexpected

  1. booksNyarn says:

    That skirt is lovely – and so is the model, even with no smiles for the blog. :)

    There is definitely beauty in the unexpected. My sister is having her first in June, and there are possibilities of birth issues. But, she has decided to know when he comes, and prepare for possible challenges – and definitely joys – parenting will bring. Along with a very supportive auntie. :)

    I feel for Andy on the cookies.

  2. Malissa says:

    Oh my! Pretty babies and a clever mama. The skirt and diapers; super, duper cute. What great ideas. The pictures of both girls at the bottom..who’s, who?!!

  3. Pam says:

    Don’t know how – but the pics keep getting cuter. The last 4 – on my! But it’s Ruby doing a Where’s Waldo in a couple of the pics (hidden in the chair with Alice and quietly in the background with Sam) and Bug’s model series that still have me giggling.

  4. Casey says:

    polka dots=puke and stripes=snot. There’s a reason why we gravitate to one another and this is part of it. I asked Richard last night if he thought it was too much to somehow Sharpe or otherwise mark the things in the fridge that there are more of in the basement. When I run out, I keep adding things to the grocery list that I already have! Of course his face said it all: just march your organizationally-obsessed self downstairs and have a look, Dork! Personally, I thought it was genius.

    LOVE those legs, smiles and belly! x!

  5. great post, as always! i have to say, your skirt model had me cracking up! loved your polka dot and stripes idea.

    ps – i now can sew! i’ve made my little guy a pair of flannel jammer pants, and now i’m working on a pair for my daughter. it seems i’ve been sleep-deprived lately (my middle love just can’t seem to stay in his bed), but still i find myself burning the midnight oil in front of my bernina (bernie, for short :)

    thanks for the inspiration, nici …

  6. Loved:
    Ruby in box reading book.
    Striped and polka-dotted diaper brilliance.
    Gorgeous bracelet.
    Your settling.
    That you have time to share given Everything Else.

    Take care,

  7. Staci says:

    i smiled through this whole darling post! what a great way to start my day, thank you!

  8. Joan says:

    Margot honey your modeling days have only just begun. You may have to learn to suck it up. However, that pic of Margots resistance to the new niece skirt is soooo highlarious. Her face, her adorable wrinkled up irritated face. There are some deffinite similarities in the two girls. Love those shots Nici. Everything Nici says about Andy and the overdone snacks and the hiding is TRUE. Happy to see you got away for the weekend. Wish there were pictures of Margot and Andy’s weekend home alone. XOXO J

  9. Melissa says:

    love the nuggets. all of them. and your thoughtful observations. xoxo.

  10. Joan says:

    Happy Birthday Sam

  11. TRB Holt says:

    Burb…,you are so right, I too am so grateful to be alive. The love of so many people, creatures and “things” instills this in me everyday. I love being a mother; the added joy of grandmotherhood is the star on top of the Christmas treat! I am pleased you are finding your pace….knew you would. Being a mother of two makes you enjoy the small things all the more. I used to rejoice when I got you and your brother to take a nap at he same time…and you would BOTH sleep for two hours. Oh what I accomplished in those two hours…a small thing. Very clever…… Pukey-Poka Dots and Snotty-Stripes…perhaps a new item on Etsy??!
    I am so amazed at how in two shakes of a lamb’s tail life can take you from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows…only to realize, as over used as this statement is, “things” do happen for a reason. All the “what ifs”, “wish I could ofs”, and “hind site is 20/20”, are a waste of energy. As your dad would say, “it is what it is”!
    I am giddy that you will be posting with more frequency this year!!!…Dig is one of best forms of enjoyment!

    Margot, I think you may have put a new spin on modeling attitude….I truly think most models feel the way you expressed in your debut! The personal cloth coloring is my favorite part….maybe you could color me some napkins for my next birthday? I don’t know~ those cookies look pretty good to me….are you counting the chocolate chips?…one, two, three, six, fourteen, eleventeen! Next time I visit we can make cookies together, so get you recipe picked out!
    Your box roost for reading is just the ticket! You know Bug, I think we sometimes spend too much $ on play things. The most fun your Great Uncle Skip, (he is only 18 months older that me), & I had were the things that cost nothing but imagination and a good partner in crime! We made tents under tables, built forts out is discarded cardboard boxes, put magazines all over the living floor and jumped from one to one not being able to touch the floor in between…if you did you lost.. Played name that tune…your Great Aunt Lorie would play a song on the piano, (AND she could play!!), which ever one of us knew the song first had to run up and ring a bell and “name that tune”! Played “FREEZE” when we were suppose to be eating lunch, (much to you Great Grammy’s dismay, she would get so mad at us, I’ll teach you!). We made the COOLEST dirt forts ever…When we slept together we would draw on each others backs, making letters, numbers or words and had to guess what the other wrote…,I could go on and on….I think one of my most favorite things was when we played “fish”. We had an open stairway going down the basement, one of us would sit on the top stair and hang a fishing pole & line over the edge…the other would be under the stairs and tie “fish” on the line, then tug on it to indicate a “bite”…the fisherman/woman would reel it & scream with delight to find almost anything tied there! Good clean fun….you you know can have a best friend in a brother too, I did & still do. I love you a bushel and a peck!

    Well Ruby…you little Margot look-a-like you! I feel cheated that I don’t get to hold you very often. I marvel at & thank the technology that allows me instant gratification of blogs, uploaded photos and Skype. Someday when you are older I will bore you with how it was for me…,way back when! I was just thinking today that you are the same age as Margot was when we all went to Marco Island…of coarse I called it “Margot Island”! Our next family trip will be with you….can’t wait! Next time I see you we will discuss where and when. I can see that you are going to be another magic star to take pictures of, already posing for your mama’s photos! What a doll ….you are my sunshine!

    xoxo, Mom/Grammy~Gram

    ps…Sam you are the best, wow 9 years old!

    pss… YES Montana is breathtaking!

  12. Jean says:

    skirt + Margot = HOOT!

  13. FinnyKnits says:

    Sometimes I feel like that when I put on a skirt too, Margot – you’re still cuteness.

    Seeing all y’alls legs in the spring water there, I want to go back RIGHT NOW.

    So nice. Even though we met a man who I’m pretty sure has dead hookers in his basement. Still, pretty lovely.

    Happy 9, Sam!

  14. Sage says:

    Nici, loved loved this post! so happy to see all you do and the way in which you stay sane and do it! Your awesome. Love these pics of margot in her skivies…. my annjane is the sweetest in hers, I love these naked girls! And miss ruby, so so precious.

    Your love for your friends is nothing short of marathon worthy. So glad to share in that.


  15. Kelle says:

    Loving you and feeling your support so much through all of this. Loving your girls…Lainey is curled up on the bed right now with me in the dark with the laptop between us…she’s almost asleep, thumbing her puppy but awake enough to look at margot and ruby. and the bunny is sleeping sweetly on the other side of us, the blue glowy light from her bili blanket illuminating her like a little angel. and we are loving your pictures. but mostly loving you.
    …happy to be alive.

  16. Katie says:

    You’re friends story is lovely. Her new daughter even lovlier.
    And your babes..just can’t get enough of ‘em. I love seeing Ruby thrive. xoxo

  17. Tammy B says:

    Love that little disgruntled model. She sure is cute! And the pictures of your amazing Montana. Makes me want to come out and see it in person.

    Glad you are hitting your stride Nici, that didn’t take too long, but it will be ever evolving :)

    The side by side pics of your babies, I almost can’t tell them apart! Hmmm, they look like sisters! I can’t wait to read about their adventures as they get older.

  18. I have somehow neglected you in the rush of the holidays. (Yes, I know it’s now 1/28!) but what a delightful and joy-inducing post to come back to. Thanks!!!

  19. babygalah says:

    Hi Nici,
    your blog is my absolute favourite!
    Your girls are gorgeous and all your photos are simply exquisite!
    I love the toddler skirt you made with the muslin Margot had fun with! So creative and clever…..
    Hope the sun is shining today in your little corner of the world.
    Dee – BabyGalah

  20. TM_Erin says:

    Until I read this I didn’t realize that I, like Andy, hoard cookies. SHOOT.

  21. meg says:

    I’ve been lurking for a while now and just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your writing, insights, thoughts, etc. My daughter is about the same age as Margot and it is delightful to see how they grow up.
    I loved the picture of her making cookies- “The babylady” and I make bread and it is messy and joyful and awesome!

  22. Beautiful photos! We just spent the weekend in Yellowstone Park and had dinner at Chico Hot Springs. It made me think that’s where some of these photos were taken too.

  23. cake says:

    the polka dot/stripe system is brilliant.

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