32 (and a giveaway!)

Today is my birthday. I am 32. I have always loved birthdays and now that I am a mama, I love them even more. It’s a special thing, being born.

:: :: ::

More than a new year, my birth day pushes me to look at the last year’s accomplishments and struggles, to set resolutions. This last year has been the biggest, fullest, hardest and most satisfying year of my life….click here to read the rest of this essay at mamalode.com.

:: :: ::

And because I just love feeling fortunate, making lists (like when I was 30 and 31) and giving gifts, here are 32 things I am loving today and a little giveaway at the end.

1. I get to be their mama.

2. Collecting eggs from my backyard.
3. A fine tip roller ball pen.
4. Letting go. Alice can be on the green chair and Margot can be on the coffee table. Who really cares?

5. Montana.
6. A decent haircut. My curly hair wants to grow into a hideous triangular shape. I fear the triangle.
7. My new life with two kids, at home.
8. This video.

9. Generous friends who knit.
10. Our family bed.
11. Red lips.
12. My Ruby is healthy.

13. My husband.
14. Pilates on Saturday mornings.
15. Listening to Margot read books by herself.
16. Knowing my girls won’t get up at 5:30am forever, right? Right?!
17. Sewing clothes for my daughters.
18. The very idea that I have daughters.

Upon realizing I didn’t have any photos of myself and my girls, Andy administered an impromptu photo shoot yesterday morning before our walk. I simply couldn’t pick one or two to include here. Because together they tell our story. We rarely look at the camera at the same time and we mostly have lots of fun.

19. Cooking dinner for my family.
20. Seed catalogs.
21. Homegrown garlic.

22. Writing my weekly column.
23. Kitchen counters with nothing on them.
24. My new ipod.
25. Our Sunday morning walks.
26. Dark beer just after the sun goes down.
27. Running with both kids successfully.

28. Margot sings Ruby songs.

29. My girlfriends.
30. Soup.
31. Alice in the snow.

32. My blog and the community that spouted up around it. It brings me so much joy. I have wanted to GIVE since we were on the verge of it all at the hospital with our newborn and I fell in deep, not-looking-back love with this place. Writing was my outlet while I was stuck in a room with my sick baby and your comments and e mails were my therapy. The stories and poems you shared, the support and love you gave…I just never expected to be a part of something so big and powerful when I started my blogger account nearly three years ago.

I am so grateful for all of the beauty in my world and I adore writing and taking photos and sharing it. I have great fun and you, dear readers, fuel dig in so many ways. So, thanks! And, I want to give you stuff!

Leave a comment and I’ll pick three people to receive a potholder and a set of my postcards. Comments will close Friday morning, February 12 when I’ll randomly select the winners. xo!

105 Responses to 32 (and a giveaway!)

  1. Beautiful post and a beautiful family. So much for which to be grateful. Happy Birth Day!

  2. booksNyarn says:

    Many happy blessings and joy to you on your birthday, Nici. Your list to celebrate was amazing (although HOW you accomplish #23 I haven’t a clue…) – and the smiles of you and your girls just lightens the load of a Monday morn. :)

  3. Pam says:

    Those pics of you girls are both hilarious and gorgeous! Also, I shall,no doubt,be singing the Ruby Rubes song all day…

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And lovely photos… Andy did a good job, and his subjects seemed to enjoy the process, too.

    p.s. We share a birthday, but I’m a little older (although definitely not wiser) than you. Officially, I turned 34 at something ridiculous like 4:45am today. (My poor mom! Not the first time I kept her up all night… :-)

  5. Happy Birthday, Dig! Love your list of 32 (and your blog, too)! An inspiration you are!

    PS – Where do you purchase the bulk of your fabric from?

    Happy day to you …

  6. Sage says:

    Nici, Happy Happy birthday! I wish for you a year filled with love, creativity, running, gardening, and happiness… and lots of it!

    I so love this post. You and your girls are just oozing sweetness. And Alice, I love love this pic.

    So glad life is rolling along so nicely. Oh, and so glad to be part of your great big blog life. I heart it so.


  7. lera says:

    Great list! Especially impressed with #27: running with both girls. (Was Alice running, too?)

    Have a very happy birthday.

  8. Lisa Blair says:

    Happy Birthday! You have such a gift with the sewing machine and the camera.

  9. Britta says:

    Happy Birthday!

    (You are my favorite blog to read!)

  10. Tammy B says:

    Happy Birthday!! Looking forward to sharing the next year with you!

  11. Susan O says:

    Happy Birthday and happy days all year. Thanks for sharing that joyful video. And the beautiful photo of Alice in the snow, my favorite photo in this post (you can tell where my heart lies).
    Love the birdie potholder!

  12. Montana4me says:

    Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you…..You have brightened my life and given me a much needed anchor to home as we travel this big, wide world on our grand adventure. Your blog is my antidote to homesickness. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life.

  13. Mandy says:

    Happy Birthday! I love Margot’s tune, I think she’d enjoy Ruby by the Kaiser Chiefs as my girls do! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qObzgUfCl28

  14. April says:

    Happy birthday! I’m sure you have a lot to celebrate. (Also, beautiful pictures of you and your girls.)

  15. Grace says:

    happy birthday, nici! i love reading your blog and getting glimpses of your beautiful life! fun to see where life has taken you…down beautiful paths. :)

  16. MB says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. TRB Holt says:

    Happy Birthday my beautiful daughter.

    I love you!

  18. MB says:

    You are your girls are so beautiful. I am so glad everyone is happy and healthy. And even more since reading your blog I am more grateful of my own world and more mystified by all of it. Its the little things and that is what your blog gives me! thank you. and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!Hope its amazing!!

  19. jen says:

    happy happy birthday!
    a great list of 32 things you love.

    those pics of you and your girly-girls are absolutely priceless.

  20. Caroline says:

    You inspire me! When I’m feeling unmotivated and stuck in a rut I open up your blog and read and look at your pictures…it always helps! In fact, we started our own little pancake morning this week because of your yummy looking family mornings. Thanks!

  21. Kelly says:

    Happy birthday!! I absolutely love those pictures of you and your girls. So beautiful! ! Hope you have the happiest day! How can you not with such an incredible family? Xoxo

  22. Angie Estes says:

    Hope you have a wonderful day! I love your blog, especially your photos.

  23. Marcy says:

    Hi Nic-Happy Birthday. This post made me miss you!!Shoot, you live right down the road. I love the picture of you holding Ruby on the end of the bed, and Margot on the other end making a funny face. I am on the mend (still have an ear infections but 8 days into the antibiotics)You know what I really love is that my friends from afar read your blog and get a glimpse of life here in Missoula, and you do a damn good job of telling a great story. Love you!

  24. Earth Mama says:

    Happy Birthday!! I love the photo shoot pics, and the one of the kids in the jogger, Ruby bundled in the Ergo down on the bottom. What fun! I’m so happy to have stumbled here. It is so great to be a mom. You show so much joy! Enjoy your day.


  25. cake says:

    what a life!

    i concur with 13, 20 and 23. thanks for sharing that dancing matt video. i really enjoyed seeing it.

    and, no, they won’t always get up at 5:30!

    happy birthday!

  26. Happy birthday I hope you have a really great day. I love the picture you have a beautiful family.

  27. Conny says:

    I’m clapping 32 times because I L.O.V.E. reading your blog. Happy Birthday to you. I hope everyone treats you extra special on your day. Cheers ~ Conny

  28. Melissa says:

    Happy Birthday Nici!

    I love that you and my Avi have the same birthday. What a special day to be born.

    What beautiful pictures of you and your girls.

    I am grateful Gillie met you and that I got to meet you, too.

    PS. I was just looking at photos on fb of our visit last July–Margot and Avi look so *little*! And now your Ruby is starting to look big (:

  29. sarah says:

    happy happy birthday nici! that picture of alice is too awesome. we’ve hardly had any snow here so i don’t know if i’m an official winter-liver yet. miss you.

  30. Katie says:

    Happy Birthday dear Nici! It’s been such an adventure to watch your family grow. Love from NorCal, Katie.

  31. Linda says:

    Happy happy birthday Nici! What a wonderful list, very inspiring and helpful to me to focus on the positive, not the negative, which I sometimes have the tendency to do. Love ya!

  32. jessicav says:

    Happy birthday, dig! Big love from NorCal today and everyday. Jada would like Alice to know that she’s jealous of all her snow time :) Looks like you’ll all have a great day. Xo

  33. FinnyKnits says:

    Happy birthday, Dig! You all look like you’re having a great day – Alice included.

  34. Happy Birthday Nici. Thanks so much for your blog. It always helps to know other moms are going through similar things to you. I always look forward to what you have to say.

  35. Anke says:

    Wishing you a very happy birthday! May this year bring you closer to all your dreams and wishes.

  36. Sarah says:

    Love your pics and your thoughts. Such nice thoughts.

  37. *Wesley* says:

    Happy Birthday! I hope your day is wonderful!

    Ruby is such a smiley baby – she is adorable!

  38. TM_Erin says:

    Happy Birthday!!

    The photos of you and your girls are adorable, but I have to admin, the one of Alice stole my heart.

    Speaking of soup – made this last weekend. I may have licked the bowl. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/01/italian-meatball-soup/

  39. Happy Birthday and what a beautiful life you’ve dug for yourself.

    Wishing you many more successful jogs with the girls!

  40. Coco says:

    Happy birthday!

    I have been following silently, communing with you in spirit, for some time now. Today I wanted to send you birthday wishes and thanks for your words and photos, vignettes of LIFE, just as it is.

    I will be 32 this month also, on the 23rd, and shhhhh, don’t tell anyone, but I should be able to take a pregnancy test that morning after a planned insemination that’s happening like.right.now! (today or tomorrow, anyway)

    Best wishes for 32.

  41. Dakota says:

    Happy Birthday Nici!

  42. Maggie says:

    Happy Birthday! I too share a February birthday (mine’s almost the last day!). Go Us!

    Is it triangle hair like Roseanna Roseannadanna? ‘Cause she rocked The Triangle like nobody’s business.

  43. jaymi says:

    i played the video of margot singing “ruby” and my dog (also named ruby) was completely confused.

  44. Jean says:

    Yo, woman. Just got home from Billings. Got some new frames for my glasses to celebrate your birth day.

    Have a lovely day with your peeps. Kisses to you.


  45. heidi says:

    Well, how fortuitous that I happen upon your blog on this day! Happiest of birthdays to you!! I’ve spent the last little bit reading through your blog and I’m loving it. Your children are adorable! And you live in Missoula, which will always be home to me. We recently (uh, like 2.5 years ago) had to move to Bozeman for a job and we miss Msla like mad. Though, I do love how we get WAY more sun here.

    Anyway. New follower. Happy birthday again!

  46. Ellie says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Ellie says:

    Beautiful post, Nici- so much in this amazing world to be thankful for, thrilled by, wooo hooo! And happy birthday!

    Just today had an offer accepted on the first ever home I will live in with my name on the title! Those potholders would be fabulous in my new kitchen! So exciting! You make such lovely things…oh and the potholders are nice, too!

  48. waterbug says:

    I love your blog! I recently moved away from Missoula (I know, how could I leave Missoula?!?). I have been following your blog for over a year now, but it has recently taken on a different role in my life. I love that your blog keeps me connected to Missoula and reminds me of all the things I love and miss about it: snowy walks in the rattlesnake, Artini, cute fabric from selvedge… for example. Anyway, thanks for helping to keep me connected to such a wonderful place.
    Cheers to you on your birthday!

  49. VTRID says:

    Happy Birthday to a fellow Aquarian! I’ll be 31 on the 10th. 😉 Your list is so inspiring that I think I will do the same for my birthday. Many blessings to you and your beautiful family! =D

  50. Dana says:

    I also suffer from the dreaded “triangle head”. I’m blonde, so I look like that character from Dilbert when I get a bad haircut. I laughed out loud when I read about your triangle problem. :)

  51. babygalah says:

    Happy Birthday Nici….
    What beautiful photos of you and your adorable girls! Well done you for doing what we so often neglect to do, take the time to list what we have acheived and what we are thankful for rather than the things we haven’t done!!
    I love your blog, wishing you a wonderful year ahead…
    Dee – BabyGalah

  52. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday. Glad you have so many amazing things to be grateful for. I am grateful for you.

    mama needs a new potholder.


    Lindsay Riddell

  53. Happy Birthday Nici…
    What a wonderful blog, as always. I really really look forward to reading it weekly and catching up with you, Andy and sweet sweet girls lives! It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since I’ve seen you. One of these days hopefully we will cross paths in good ol’ Montana!

    Lots of love your way!


  54. marcip says:

    Happy Birthday! I am semi new to blogging, but I have been attached to yours for many months now. It has been great to see your family all healthy and even though I only see your life through your blog I can really tell it is full of love. :) Thanks for being such a great blogger and keep sharing!

  55. ellen says:

    Love the pics- Happiest of Birthdays!! Thanks for all the inspiration- chickens, gardens, girls and all. We look forward to your every post- ellen

  56. Catherine says:

    Happy birthday, Nici! Those photos of you three are priceless! You are glowing with love for your daughters and it makes the world feels like a better place to visit here!

  57. j.j. says:

    Happy b-day, Nici! Love the pics of you and your babes, the garlic (!) snow-covered Alice…the post in general. Ultra-cool potholders. The pictures make me want to make some! :) Inspiration. xoxo

  58. Shannon says:

    You are so sweet to want to give gifts. It is your birthday! Your blog is a gift to me. You remind me to cherish my two boys and enjoy the small wonders they bring. I happened upon you in the midst of sick baby hell. I read your posts and wept with my own memories of sitting bedside in a hospital room, waiting and fearing that each asthmatic breath would be my tiny baby’s last. Isn’t it amazing how quickly small kids turn it around and bounce back! Just amazing!

    Happy Day!

  59. marygage says:

    Being born is a special thing indeed! Thanks for all of the reminders. Happy Birthday. I totally get the “triangle,” mine’s a bell.

  60. Goodness babies grow fast.. look at you guys! What a beautiful little passel of girls.

    Heck yes I am leaving a comment here! Love the potholders.

  61. Meredith says:

    Happy Birthday! Your blog is an inspiration.

  62. Ann says:

    What a wonderful list! My 42 is approaching and I think I will make a similar list. I enjoy your blog as I have a little girl exactly between your two in age (and three older boys).

  63. Deb says:

    Those pics of you and your girls are lovely. I didn’t realise you’ve been going for this long (must go and dig around your archives) but I’m glad you blog. Happy Birthday! :0)

  64. erica says:

    Happy Birthday!!! Wishing you many blessings and a wonderful year! Thanks for the lovely blog!

  65. Joan says:

    Love this Nicole. Great pics of you and the girls. You look gorgeous in all of them. Happy day a day after. OXOXO j

  66. Anonymous says:

    I love your blog! I am a good friend of your cousins and I love to read about your wonderful family! What I also love is that you live in the moment, the present!

    That is so important to live in the now! It is indeed called the “present”, it’s the best gift you can give and receive!

    Take care!

    Melissa Newhouse

  67. Sarah says:

    it is so refreshing to really know that there are others that go through some of the things you do! thank you for your words, your blog is like reading a great novel! and the pictures, well daughter Lilli loves “looking at her piggy friend on TV” !!! Happy BIRTH Day to you!

  68. Kris in MD says:

    Love how you love life!!

  69. Jodi says:

    Your blog is beautiful, your posts are beautiful, your daughters are beautiful, you are beautiful! Thanks for the being you.

  70. Janine Evans says:

    Happy Birthday, Wonder Woman!

  71. Katie says:

    Happy Birthday, Nici.
    I often think back to those nights after leaving Bridge Creek, hanging out and drinking an ice cold beer. Never thought much about life ahead..us with such amazing beautiful children, us as moms’ one day. And I certainly never would’ve thought that through our blogs someday we would watch our children grow and see the world bloom around us.
    Love to you and your dear fam. Miss you tons,

  72. Mama says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  73. Mama says:

    Happy Birthday! I can’t wait to hear about what adventures unfold in your kitchen, garden and around your family this thirty-second year. I love your list idea and want to do it for my babes. What would your list have been in your fifth year or at age ten? What a great tradition it would be to read this over cake each year and for those to come. Love your pot holders; the perfect thing for taking bread out of the oven. I like coming here – miss your family and Montana. Looking forward to lugging your wedding gift back to you this year:)

  74. Happy Birthday! Love your blog, i have made several recipes and next on my list is a new henhouse. Your potholders are adorable(anthropologie who?)the fabric choices are perfect. thanks for the inspiration.

  75. Jennifer says:

    Have a blessed birthday.
    Love reading your blog, and glimpsing into the life of another woman who strives for simplicity and wholesome happiness. :)


  76. Hi!
    You don’t know me, but I really love your blog. You truly inspire me through your wonderful pictures and great writing. I started reading your blog when I found out your daughter was due at the same time as mine, we both have two kids, we both LOVE Montana (I was born and raised there), and I went to the U of M and lived in Missoula for four years. I prayed for your daughter Ruby while she was in the hospital (and I don’t really pray often) and I just wanted you to know that I’m a big fan. I wish you and your family the best in all your endeavors and I can’t wait to read about them!!
    I truly thank you for your inspiring words and pictures. Happy Birthday!

  77. farmama says:

    Happy birthday to you! You are so sweet to give away some of your pot holders….they are gorgeous! So lovely!
    sending good birthday wishes,

  78. Crystal says:

    Happy Birthday Nici, I enjoy reading your blogs after a long day at work. I live in the country and absolutely love it, but I work in the city and when I read your blogs after my day of craziness, it really grounds me and makes me appreciate my home and all I have. Your such a great inspiration. Thank you for blogging.

    Take care,
    P.S. you don’t need to send me anything. Your blogs are enough for me. :)

  79. Amber says:

    I just found your blog today. I was inspired by the first post I read and linked to your blog from mine because I knew it was a place I wanted to be inspired from again. Thank you…your family and your potholders are beautiful!

  80. amykate0323 says:

    College student from Mississippi who LOVES your blog!

  81. Heidi says:

    happy birthday sweet nici!!!
    i hope you had a great day and celebrated it well.

    with lots of love,

  82. mlr says:

    thank you for sharing. my husband and i moved from Missoula last year and we miss it so much. Your posts remind me of the beauty of that place.

  83. Jami says:

    What a great post. I loved Alice in the snow. My dog, Logan, always has that regal look, only much tinier.
    I hope you have a wonderful day. It’s been a huge pleasure to be a part of your online community.

  84. So nice to find your blog today! I’ve enjoyed your thoughts on little daughters as I expect my second.

    I just destroyed my pot holders in a crafting afternoon gone wrong (or perhaps too well) and these are adorable!

  85. Ellen says:

    I’ve been a lurking reader for just about a year now. I remember the first new posts I read were a little before you announced that you were pregnant with Ruby. I love reading your posts and have even moved your blog into my “friends” folder, which only contains blogs of close friends and people that I’ve known. I hope you had a wonderful birthday. Although, I’m still in college. You inspire me to want to be a great mom someday and enjoy living. Happy Birthday!

  86. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I love the pics. Your girls are adorable. Running with both girls? That’s amazing! Congrats.

  87. brandy says:

    Happy birthday (a little belated!) I started reading your blog after the Indy did the article on you helping Jeanne (thanks, I am due on March 1 and having a hospital birth!)
    You did get a good haircut! I fear the triangle too…I’m too pregnant to care right now, but when I do again, maybe I’ll get all ambitious and find someone to cut it short…
    Love your blog…its so fun to see the two girls becoming pals (I have a 3 year old daughter and my new one on the way is a girl too.)
    I love their cute clothes…I’m always checking etsy to see if there are any of those cool skirts I’ve seen on Margot with the leg warmers (they’d suite my little monkey well.)
    Thanks again for your blog…and happy bday!

  88. lilmainer says:

    Happy Birthday! I enjoy your blog immensely. The pot holders are tdf!

  89. Loved the list and glad you enjoyed your birthday! Here’s to a wonderful 33!

  90. Tammi says:

    Hope you enjoyed your special day! Great potholders, too.


  91. Ann says:

    a Dig potholder!!!!! pick me, pick me. I wouldn’t want to use it for fear of spoiling it. it would probably be hung up like a piece of fine art.

  92. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday, thanks for another great post! Those potholders would totally go in my orange countered kitchen!

    Diana in CO

    for some reason my google acct isn’t working

  93. I love your list. I will be 40 in a few months – the idea is a bit much for me, even though I’ve never, ever cared before. So I’m going to use your idea. I may even start now…40 is a pretty big number! (but not compared to the number of blessings in my life)

  94. Lea says:

    thanks for creating this lovely little oasis, I always find it so inspiring…even though it makes me miss Missoula so!

  95. anne c says:

    happy happy birthday, dear Nici. And thank you so very much for sharing your lives with us. I feel like I know Margot and Ruby better than my own niece and nephew, and I have to remind myself that, should we ever cross paths in Red Lodge or in Minneapolis, I can’t go running up to Margot for a big hug, because she won’t know me the way I know her. But… I hope to get that chance someday!
    Love you all, little family!

  96. Corina says:

    Many, many happy returns! I was recently introduced to your blog, and I’ve been following it religiously. So many of us laugh (and sometimes cringe) along with your adventures in mamahood, and cried and prayed for little Ruby, and find inspiration from your creativity every week. Thank you so much! Have a wonderful year!

  97. It sounds like you had a lovely birthday!!! I love visiting your blog from time to time. You are encouraging and remind that it really is the simple things in life that make it all worth while!!

    Hugs :)

  98. would love to be included in the draw! (your blog is my fav!..shhh 😉 haha)

  99. savagemama says:

    Randomly select me! I. Want. Those. Potholders!

  100. Fun Frieda says:

    Those potholders are very, very pretty! So yes, please – sign me up for a chance to win.
    Now I’ll want a pretty kitchen if i do win. *sigh*
    -Becky a.k.a. fun frieda

  101. Bobbie says:

    Happy day, and I’m in! Was wondering if Jennifer from your birthday follow-up was my favorite Savagemama. Your pix are gorgeous. I envy the light as slog through the sog here in the EUG. Best! Bobbie

  102. Mary-Sue says:

    wow. you have such an incredibly inspiring, amazing blog. i’m so glad to have found you!!

  103. Amy says:

    Hi. I’m just visiting for the first time and I’m already smitten with what I’ve found here. I love your pictures, voice, and cheery potholders! I’ll return again soon.

  104. molly says:

    happy birthday, nici, i had no idea, of course, but am glad to hear that the M & R arrived, along with your N’s, in time for birthday week. i loved making them & may have told you, they hold a special place in my heart, too: i collect m’s & r’s for hubby and moi’s initials.

    i also just had to leave a note here because of the pot holders: something i love in life, that my sisters and mom and i all have a love for (i use my grandmothers). they’re great.

  105. Judybusy says:

    I hope I’m not too late to enter the giveaway! I so enjoy your blog, and would love another set of postcards so I can actully send some. The ones have are too pretty to send and I want to keep hem for myself!