hump day nuggets: a good birthday

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

My birthday started out rough. I woke to my husband hurrying out of the house, a bear of a toddler and a hungry infant. I fed Ruby while trying to negotiate with Margot. Which was totally a mistake (the negotiating) because we all know trying to convince a two year-old that her tantrum is silly is a sure way to get her to wear nothing but elmo panties while sitting on the floor in the bathroom and yelling GO AWAY MAMA.

It was 7am.

I have this knack for always trying to find the positive in any situation which I think is a good thing (see? did it right there) but Pollyanna isn’t always right. As I cleaned the previous day’s dishes while rocking toe to heel and humming Ruby to sleep (grumps still in bathroom) I decided my day was going to be great.

Then I got a text from Jennifer, Want me to watch the kids while you go to birthday yoga? To which I replied, Really?! Um, yes. When she showed up with her two children I had tears in my eyes. I was spent and didn’t feel like I could leave. She said Leave now. Even if just to get a cup of coffee. And I left and sweat through slow moving vinyasas. It was hard. I wanted to move quick, I didn’t want to rest in any one place.

But there I was. 32 and pinned in pigeon on my sticky mat.

The afternoon was uneventful and nice. And then Chelci arrived with gifts and liquor and so I had a Birthday Martini. I’ve said it before but I really think there is something to yoga and martinis and a long, happy life…

Andy made my all time favorite dessert called zupa. The recipe was hastily scribbled on a restaurant chit about 12 years ago when he worked at an Italian restaurant in Athens, Georgia. All the recipes were family secrets but he, a Montana boy, was a prep cook and chopping in a steamy kitchen without air conditioning in the summer in the south. He had two heat strokes and so copying down some recipes was the least he could get out of that miserable job.

Zupa is a layered dessert of espresso and Captain Morgan’s-soaked yellow cake, whipped cream and semi-sweet chocolate whipped cream. Oh it’s heaven.

I put out a last minute invite to some friends and it turned out quite magically as most unplanned chin wags do. It was a late gather time, after 8pm, the idea being to have kids in bed. Slowly my kitchen filled with a pile of women I am so fortunate to call friends.

I checked on Margot at about 8:45 and she was just laying in her big bed with eyes like moons. Hi mama, she said. Hi babe, I replied. Margot wants to go see friends please? How could I resist? So her little monkey-jammied bum trotted out and she was beside herself with joy. A room full of her favorite aunts. I was glad she woke up.

My friends sang. Ruby slept and woke and slept. She is just so sweet. Margot helped me blow out candles and her papa served us all his prized dessert, including Margot…the dessert that was soaked in espresso and rum. Um, so mama promptly snatched the cake from her death grip and found her a suitable sweet item.

I stayed up too late and laughed a lot. Today I sent an e mail to my friends that said On my 33rd birthday will you please remind me that a giant martini followed by champagne doesn’t do much for my intellect the following day? ahem.

And so I am officially in my 33rd year and happy.

ps Thanks for your birthday wishes! There’s still time to enter to win potholders and postcards. Winners picked on Friday.

24 Responses to hump day nuggets: a good birthday

  1. TRB Holt says:

    I’ll be back…..xo

  2. Joan says:

    I can’t imagine a party without Margot present for the celebration. Wow nothing like enhanced yellow cake which is quite yummy on its own. Happy to hear your day only got better from 7 am on. Looking forward to your 33rd. XOXO

  3. j.j. says:

    you all have such great smiles!

  4. booksNyarn says:

    Big smiles and friends circling around are a celebration any day, but even more special on your birth day. :)

    And enhanced yellow cake certainly doesn’t hurt!

  5. TRB Holt says:

    Hi my favorite girls!
    First off, Margot…how can your mama possibly call you a bear when you look like that sitting on your front porch or holding Rubes?! (However I was talking on the phone with her while you were hold up the bathroom)….you really ate up, (literally), using her makeup concealer. Guess, at age two, it’s better to eat concealer rather than espresso-rum soaked cake! I know sometimes you are a pill, but I have to tell you….the pilly things I hear you do…I think are hilarious!….sorry Nici.

    Ruby Rubes…I cannot believe how big you are getting…I know I say this all the time…but just go back a couple of posts and you can see for yourself. I know when your mama says, “she is so sweet”, it is so true….just look at you! I really need to get there soon.

    Now, let’s talk about birthdays…..tradition for you mama: I made her a red and white dress… probably for her 4th through 8th birthdays…after that she had her own ideas of what to wear. She would open up her “birthday dress” on the mornings of her birthday and bring indescribable happiness to me with her joy of receiving it. I saved all these dresses…so probably will see them on you two someday….stay tuned! Why red and white?….because she was due on Valentine’s Day and I carried out the traditional Valentine colors. Even the cake was red and white, Red Velvet; I made it for you Margot when I was there for your second birthday! I usually made it in heart shaped pans. Her b~day’s always had tons of kids + parents. I remember one in particular, I just got out the album to check numbers, we had about 15 kids plus parents. It was a blast! We played pin-the-tail on the donkey, the infamous “drop the clothes pins in the jar”, finding hidden prizes stashed around the house …I would read clues and your mama would guide the screaming flock of friends, in a frenzy, to locate them in the dryer, under a bed or some such magical place…& we ate red velvet cake, in the dining room on white carpet..all the while your mama is decked out in her new red & white frock! Great memories…. The photos are here waiting for you to see! When your mama got a little older, like age 6, I let her have slumber parties. She could invite the number of friends that coincided with her age that only lasted a couple years…as I went nuts the final year we did this, #8! 8, count them EIGHT!, crying little girls all with big hurt feelings because Nici was not big OR pliable enough to sleep next to EVERYONE & Nici, being the Nici we all know and love, really tried to accommodate all! No one, I mean NO ONE slept that night!
    We had traditions for your Uncle Trav as well…usually celebrating outside…something to be said about an August birthday! We played the same games as we did at your mama’s parties BUT sometimes played some “outside games” instead. Shazam!!…THE fish game! I would build a tent with it open on top, inside it would be a “fish prize” designed for every kid there, with fishing pole in hand, I would help the guest toss the line over the top while a partner in crime, inside the tent, would tie the chosen party fishy~gift on the line, (marked by a taped piece of paper with their name on it) the delight when they would reel it in! Since it was summer, we ran through the sprinkler…a great finale to a party….what better way to wash off the ketchup from grilled hotdogs & birthday cake frosting?!….no red velvet cake on white carpet!

    So my sweet little granddaughters, I look forward to see what traditions unfold on your big days….hope I can be there too!

    Margot~I love you a Bushel & a Peck! and Ruby~You are my Sunshine!

  6. Melissa says:

    So glad to hear the birthday turned out well . . . as usual, love these photos of your beautiful girls and your beautiful self.

    Oh, two year old angst. It’s really sweet, when one is not in the midst of it. And then how cute is it that they are so social and want to be part of everything?

    Glad you got to go to yoga and have a martini (and champagne and dessert)!

  7. Linda says:

    I am so glad you had a great birthday, sounds wonderful! And I am glad I am not the only person with a two year old that says “go away Mama”.

  8. Ahhh! Sounds like a grand b-day. I am happy for you! Nothing like girlfriends.
    I am ready for a party here.. my b-day is in August. Maybe I shall throw one anyway.. people still do half b-days, right?!

  9. paige says:

    Love those gums in Ruby’s smile.

    Glad you had a good one. Love you lots.

  10. joan says:

    Is Margot wearing a new “coat”? Do tell.

  11. Jean says:

    haha, LOVED the jolly gums of Ruby. Also, what a great ma to let your kid feed goo to Oscar The Red.

    Perfect birthday, I’d say, dearest.

    PS my word is “cracal” which I find pretty humorous. 😀

  12. jen says:

    what a wonderful birthday … crabby kiddos and all.
    so wonderful to have friends such as those that surrounded you. and relieved you of child duties for a bit of yoga!
    and yum. that dessert sounds so delicious!

  13. FinnyKnits says:

    A great birthday gift to be reminded that you can choose to have a great day if you really try hard and that your close friends always know just what you need. And then they bring it over and pour it in a glass for you.

    :) Happy Birthday!

  14. TM_Erin says:

    I think I need to try this martini/yoga combo…

  15. Sage says:

    So glad you had a great day! Your girls are so full of life. It’s fun to see all your sweet faces.


  16. Glad your birthday was a beautiful day :)

    The photos of you and the girls are great!! :)

  17. Kelle says:

    Oh, it feels good to come read your stuff and comment. And be part of what I love…all the ‘old’ stuff that makes me happy. Your pics made me happy today…and your stories and the thought of you happy in your 33rd year. And Ruby’s eyes. And Margot’s stubborn stance on the red steps. And hello, gorgeous…your aqua eyes? Ooo, Baby…you pretty mama.

  18. Nici – I live in Athens, GA and I bet I can guess where Andy worked! The girls are adorable! Happy Belated Birthday!!!!


  19. Tammy B says:

    Just came back to say, I really, really like that picture of Margot on the red steps. It’s fantastic.

  20. Love, love, love the pics in this post. Beautiful! And welcome to 33. xoxo~k

  21. Janine Evans says:

    “eyes like moons” – love it.
    sweet post.

  22. Mary says:

    So happy to hear your birthday was great, even if it started out a little bumpy! Happy (belated) Birthday! That dessert sounds so yummy… :) xx

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