hump day nuggets: summer means full

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



Hello, Solstice.

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Thank you for faithfully arriving at my party with your big, warm hug and your long, bright limbs. The rain, although her presence is necessary, was making the energy of the room a bit soggy. I am happy both of you came to my potluck but the rain with her chips and salsa. I mean, sure, it’s sustenance but so boring and uncomplex and predictable. You. You outdid yourself with a platter of vegetables balanced on your head, adorned with flowers in yellow, pink, red and orange as you sambaed into the room making everyone smile.
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So, we had a lot of rain in the last month. The cool season veggies are loving it but they now need a little photosynthesis to set flowers and fruit. And we’ve been loving it but are so ready for a little skin-warmed lounging.
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nuggets.
Ah, we are busy. Our summer schedule is packed and I have to admit I am a bit bummed to have such a full calendar but not at all bummed with what’s on the calendar. Shared meals with friends, celebrating love, camping, grandparents, birthdays. Good stuff indeed. It’s summer. And, summer means full.
:: Summer means company. My cousin and her daughter visited last week. Elise is one of my closest friends so to watch our kids make memories like we have, well, it’s something. And, E is pregnant, due in a few months with another girl. Lucky us.
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Last night, Margot was in bed with us. It was late and she sleepily said, “Mama, Charlotte’s downstairs please?”
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“No baby, she’s far away in Red Lodge.”
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“Oh,” she said. “We need to get those guys. We need to catch those guys because Charlotte is my best friend.”
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“We’ll see them again soon. I love Charlotte and Elise too.”
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“OK mama. But we need to catch those guys. First, I take a nap.”
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:: Summer means peeing in tall grass on I-90’s slim shoulder.


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:: Summer means weddings. Last weekend, we drove east to the appropriately named Paradise Valley to celebrate our friends’ marriage.
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^ view looking east ^


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^ view looking west ^
:: Summer means road trips. No matter how many times I drive through, climb up, ski down, walk around, I’ll always be amazed by Montana’s landscape.
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:: Summer means fearlessly climbing up and down a steep, long hill with a hula hoop. Such beauty in her brave, fun-loving spirit.
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:: Summer means melting into water, a moon sliver grin above her dimpled chin.
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:: Summer means jumping on hotel beds in bathing suits.
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:: Summer means running outside and not having to bundle up first.
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Bummer my camera was on the wrong setting but I still love Margot and Cooper running together.
:: Summer, for me, means sewing, sewing, sewing.
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I, with some help (thank you Alana and Amy!), have been sewing like crazy to restock stores and to ready for this weekend’s MADE Fair. If you’re able, check it out. It’ll be bursting with great handmades.
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While my stuff will be there, I won’t as my family will be in Coeur d’Alene hanging with our dear friends, watching one of them swim, bike and run for 12 hours. (!!!!)
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:: Summer means sun-warmed strawberries picked and placed directly in the mouth. No time to rinse because there’s more to eat.
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Summer means dirt-crusted chacos by the back door, bare baby feet, runs in the Rattlesnake, food grown in the backyard. Summer means sleeping under sheets only, smelling of sunscreen and salt, getting exhausted in the mountains. Summer means camping, eating dinner at bedtime, crickets and bees, ice cream. Summer means lush green and then dry brown.
What does your summer mean?

33 Responses to hump day nuggets: summer means full

  1. Cathy says:

    Looove the pics of your big girl with the hoola hoop! Yay for summer!

  2. Erin W says:

    Delicious updates! I can always count on your posts for a beauty in writing and photos. I sat down at the ‘puter this morning to see what nuggets were in store for me and have been stopping by it to refesh all day. I guess you could say i was looking forward to them!
    I love, love, love especially love the photos of Margot and her hula. Such power in her little legs climbing that gorgeous hill. beautiful!

  3. T-Dubya says:

    I am a Montana Girl, born and raised. Born in Havre, raised in Great Falls, graduated in Journalism from U of M in Missoula, married a New Zealander and now live in Maui. Halfway between his home and my home.

    I want to thank you for your blog and for your pictures of our “Mama Montana”. I miss her so much sometimes it makes my heart ache.

    Although I now live in endless summer…. I will always remember how much summer meant to me in MT. Rodeos, state fairs, branding season, sipping fresh beers on the brewery patios, farmer’s markets, chaco tan lines on the feet, waking up to the smell and sound of lawn mowers, concerts, camping, river floats, wildflowers etc. etc. etc.

    Much love and aloha to you and yours!

  4. TRB Holt says:

    Summer means incredible posts like this! AND summer means getting to see you all very soon!

    The photos are over the top…Margot you are my new background, the one of you facing forward with your hula! I love you a Bushel & a Peck!

    Ruby, sweet love how you have grown…can’t wait to see you this summer. You are my Sunshine!

    Burb….Oh how I love how you love Montana and that you are able to live in her treasured beauty like I did…in the same town, amazing!

    xoxo, Mom/Gram

  5. FinnyKnits says:

    Such a grand topic, summer.

    I think about it a lot in the winter and then when summer comes, I just soak in it and try to enjoy the moments.

    Flip-flop tans, runs on the beach with the dog, fly-fishing with just a tank top under my waders and my big brimmed hat, mosquito bites, clothes smelling of campfires, shaking out our backpacks on the granite in Yosemite, short-clipped nails dirty from climbing the sport routes in the Santa Cruz mountains or trad routes in Placer.

    I’m just thankful that this summer’s memories won’t include getting up at 4am to get in a 12 mile run before the sun comes up.

    That’s a good way to ruin an otherwise grand season.

    I don’t think I’ll ever run a full marathon with this attitude.

  6. I love your riff on summer.

    I miss it meaning Montana thunderstorms and dips in a creek. Here, it means salty evenings at sail, bike rides until nine o’clock & s’mores way past sunset. And fresh salmon. Oh, salmon.

    Brilliant hula hoop picture.

    Your pile of tagged tees is proof that you’re one talented and busy mama.

    And how I miss Chico. Love Pray, love The Paradise Valley.

    Love you.

  7. Tammy B says:

    Super great nuggets! Your photos are just spectacular. And your landscape? Makes me want to move to Montana. So beautiful.

    Summer to me means kids out of school, hunting for things to do to keep them busy everyday. Trying to cram all that “regular” stuff into summer days that don’t seem long enough for regular stuff and fun stuff. Movies on the “green” outside, and concerts in the park. Getting together to play with my sister and her kids, because our schedules conflict during the school year. Dinner at my mom’s on Sunday, swimming all day in their pool, and eating off the grill for dinner outside on the deck. Family. Lots of family. The 4th of July. The annual carnival up in town. And this year, summer means my baby sister’s wedding. Popsicles and ice cream treats.

    Well, I think I could go on and on.

  8. Nici I LOVE the pictures of Margot and the hula hoop! They are pictures you must frame:) I am so amazed with you and all that you do. How do you have enough time in a day. With 2 girls of my own I can barely take a shower or enjoy a cup of coffee. You have such a full and meaningful life. Good job! Tell Andy hello for me. Happy evening.

  9. Well, so its been said but…the hula hoop pictures?! Amazing. We need to find you a contest to enter with those. You’re a shoe in.

    Also, happy to see cute Cooper make an appearance in the nuggets!

  10. Cute!
    I actually checked to see if the grass in the picture was wet… :)

    Summer means fixing up our house and making our garden bloom. And trail rides in the hills.

  11. Jen says:

    Wonderful pictures and post!

    Summer means a loose schedule around all the “full” activities. Summer means an occasional trip to town for Big Dipper with the kids, even though it is 9:30pm. Summer means the grill is on….almost every night. Summer means we are wild, as we laugh while eating lettuce leaves and radishes directly out of the garden without even washing them.
    Summer means having my kids around a lot more to hug, to love, and to try to entertain, as well as accepting all their friends into our house as many days as we are around.
    Summer means playing music on our back porch together while the sun goes down.
    AHHHHH…SUMMER:)

  12. jen says:

    you can seriously touch the sky there, huh? wow.
    summer … here?? means …
    kiddie pools after dinner instead of bathtubs.
    dinner next to the garden – because it’s easy to grab more.
    phone calls to friends to meet at the park in 4 minutes – coffee in hand, rather than chat on the phone.
    and … dirty feet. because shoes are completely overrated.

  13. Hoola-hooping Margot with mountains is the best picture ever.
    How do you do that?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Summer means being wrapped up in your hammock in your backyard reading a great book with the twinkle lights on…until a spider lands in your hair and must retreat to safer, indoor grounds.

  15. Kelle says:

    Oh, Nici…Margot with her hula hoop up there hiding in the mountains? One of my fave pics ever. With you pregnant in the bar. And one of you nursing in the mountains. See…I remembered all three. xoxo Beautiful summer post. Makes me want to book that ticket right. this. second. Cannot wait.

  16. marti ward says:

    My summer here in GA, means HOT HOT HOT! and dry! But I like it cause I’m use to it, my hubby not so much, he’s from the cool mountains of NC.

    Love those hoola hoop pictures!

  17. I really need to bring my hubby to MT. My mom’s side of the family is from there (Havre, Glasgow and Anaconda) and I lived in Billings and camped out of Red Lodge a lot as a little girl. It was a wonderful place to be a kid, slow and steady-paced, sweet, innocent. It’s probably a wonderful place to raise kids, too.

    The photos of Margot with the hoola hoop are absolutely stunning! Thank you for sharing…

  18. Anonymous says:

    ,,,for a moment i imagined margot on top of the austrian alps (with hula hoop) singing “doe a deer a female deer”,,,Kodak moments for sure!

  19. J Scheppl says:

    The pictures of Margot and the hula hoop- INCREDIBLE!

  20. Wesley says:

    Such a cute conversation held with Margot about “going to catch those guys” in Red Lodge. I’m still best friends with my cousins – I’m glad my parents always made time for us to visit and spend time together.

    Summer for us means… spending time on Flathead Lake, surrounding ourselves with all our friends and family, camping near cold lakes, s’mores around the campfire, concerts at the Gorge. Also…cold beer and delicious bbq, tan lines and golden skin, floating the river, etc. I love summer!

  21. Cat says:

    Um, Nici, those hula hoop / Emmigrant pics are RIDICULOUS. Nice work girl! Miss you.

  22. Boo's Mom says:

    All your photos are lovely, but the ones with your oldest girl and the mountains took my breath away! As a native, you probably cringe when you hear people like me say my husband and I are hoping to retire in your beautiful state. But, if we are lucky enough to go through with our plans, we will not be the people from away that you wished had stayed there!

  23. Malissa says:

    Oh I just love those hoola hoop pictures!!!! My favorite ever! That girl is going places I can tell already.

  24. Hi! Beautiful pics, LOVE the weather that your having after all that rain…and still remembering those COLD pics, yikes. Made me shiver to look at them!

    My bro is doing the Ironman tomorrow, first one ever…nervous for him. One marathon for me…and never again!

    Summer here means May gray, June gloom but come July, sunny, sunny days here in LA, sometimes through November. We get the Santa Ana winds, we get fires and everyone seems surprised. My special spicy turkey burgers on the grill, going to the beach, and lots and lots of summer fruit. We take our wool blankets off our bed (yes, in an 80+ year house in LA, with 40 degrees outside, we need wool blankies, which go back on the bed in October.)

    Love all the pics, especially the one of your work room and all the bolts of fabric…and all your hard work!!! And your daughters are gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

    Oh and your hubby might enjoy this video since he’s a painter…it’s my hubby in his studio.

    http://www.youtube.com/davidschoffman#p/u/4/gNLs2sT-5dQ

    - iColossus

  25. Hi! Beautiful pics, LOVE the weather that your having after all that rain…and still remembering those COLD pics, yikes. Made me shiver to look at them!

    My bro is doing the Ironman tomorrow, first one ever…nervous for him. One marathon for me…and never again!

    Summer here means May gray, June gloom but come July, sunny, sunny days here in LA, sometimes through November. We get the Santa Ana winds, we get fires and everyone seems surprised. My special spicy turkey burgers on the grill, going to the beach, and lots and lots of summer fruit. We take our wool blankets off our bed (yes, in an 80+ year house in LA, with 40 degrees outside, we need wool blankies, which go back on the bed in October.)

    Love all the pics, especially the one of your work room and all the bolts of fabric…and all your hard work!!! And your daughters are gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

    Oh and your hubby might enjoy this video since he’s a painter…it’s my hubby in his studio.

    http://www.youtube.com/davidschoffman#p/u/4/gNLs2sT-5dQ

    - iColossus

  26. Hi! Beautiful pics, LOVE the weather that your having after all that rain…and still remembering those COLD pics, yikes. Made me shiver to look at them!

    My bro is doing the Ironman tomorrow, first one ever…nervous for him. One marathon for me…and never again!

    Summer here means May gray, June gloom but come July, sunny, sunny days here in LA, sometimes through November. We get the Santa Ana winds, we get fires and everyone seems surprised. My special spicy turkey burgers on the grill, going to the beach, and lots and lots of summer fruit. We take our wool blankets off our bed (yes, in an 80+ year house in LA, with 40 degrees outside, we need wool blankies, which go back on the bed in October.)

    Love all the pics, especially the one of your work room and all the bolts of fabric…and all your hard work!!! And your daughters are gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

    Oh and your hubby might enjoy this video since he’s a painter…it’s my hubby in his studio.

    http://www.youtube.com/davidschoffman#p/u/4/gNLs2sT-5dQ

    - iColossus

  27. Hi! Beautiful pics, LOVE the weather that your having after all that rain…and still remembering those COLD pics, yikes. Made me shiver to look at them!

    My bro is doing the Ironman tomorrow, first one ever…nervous for him. One marathon for me…and never again!

    Summer here means May gray, June gloom but come July, sunny, sunny days here in LA, sometimes through November. We get the Santa Ana winds, we get fires and everyone seems surprised. My special spicy turkey burgers on the grill, going to the beach, and lots and lots of summer fruit. We take our wool blankets off our bed (yes, in an 80+ year house in LA, with 40 degrees outside, we need wool blankies, which go back on the bed in October.)

    Love all the pics, especially the one of your work room and all the bolts of fabric…and all your hard work!!! And your daughters are gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

    Oh and your hubby might enjoy this video since he’s a painter…it’s my hubby in his studio.

    http://www.youtube.com/davidschoffman#p/u/4/gNLs2sT-5dQ

    - iColossus

  28. Hi! Beautiful pics, LOVE the weather that your having after all that rain…and still remembering those COLD pics, yikes. Made me shiver to look at them!

    My bro is doing the Ironman tomorrow, first one ever…nervous for him. One marathon for me…and never again!

    Summer here means May gray, June gloom but come July, sunny, sunny days here in LA, sometimes through November. We get the Santa Ana winds, we get fires and everyone seems surprised. My special spicy turkey burgers on the grill, going to the beach, and lots and lots of summer fruit. We take our wool blankets off our bed (yes, in an 80+ year house in LA, with 40 degrees outside, we need wool blankies, which go back on the bed in October.)

    Love all the pics, especially the one of your work room and all the bolts of fabric…and all your hard work!!! And your daughters are gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

    Oh and your hubby might enjoy this video since he’s a painter…it’s my hubby in his studio.

    http://www.youtube.com/davidschoffman#p/u/4/gNLs2sT-5dQ

    - iColossus

  29. What a wonderful post. Thanks. Love the photos, esp. the hulu hoop ones. Awesome! Logan

  30. kaypea says:

    Great photos Nici – I’m the gal you met at the Mother’s Day Eve bash (ahem – in the locker room whilst you changed to go into the hot tub!!) I wanted to share with you my newbie blog, should you care to stroll over for a viewing: http://bigskybungalow.blogspot.com/ By newbie, I mean totally newbie and frill-less! I would love to ask you some questions on how the heck you put a subscribe to the blog by email link on for my family… Maybe we can get together with Marcy and Cooper? I hope to see you around again soon! Take care, Karen

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