wag more. bark less.

So many of my vulnerabilities and insecurities have dissolved as I’ve aged (thank goodness). But I still have them. Sometimes I feel so unsure as a mom, citizen, wife, woman. Like I am falling with a bushel of apples and trying to catch them as we all race toward the ground. And the fact that I feel insecure even posting this makes me want to do it. It’s how I operate: I plow into my fears, dissect them and move on.


I actually like that I don’t know what I am doing as I navigate parenthood. And it’s validating to know that everyone is in that same, unknowing place. Because, if we knew exactly what was next, we would be robbed of the excitement and reward that is unique to being a mama.

I had lunch with my good friend and she said, “Any mom you see who you think has it all together? She doesn’t. You just don’t know her well enough.”

My brain has regurgitated this incredibly simple and true statement many times in the last few weeks. It’s comforting to me when I feel frail or defeated. Also comforting to me is the evolution of my self-awareness. When someone makes nutty assumptions based on my blog and sends me a snarky email? Or shoots a look when I choose to hug my tantrumy toddler in the middle of the grocery store? Sure it stings a bit but then I remember I am doing the best I can. I love my family. I choose to surround myself with inspiring women who give me the benefit of the doubt. And I quickly get to the lovely place of buzz off bitchy sister.

Judgement (in the my-way-is-better-than-your-way sense), while inherent in us all, is dangerous and often shitty. I don’t like it. I prefer support, empathy and kindness. I think judgement often comes from a fear of scarcity. Another’s success doesn’t exclude one from one’s own. I believe it’s actually cumulative. A success generates more room for success. It just gets bigger and greater. I read something somewhere about atoms or some other small scientific item and how they move around and bounce off each other. Every encounter they have makes all involved stronger. Each collision generates more energy and more power. I believe people are this way too.

I have been thinking about all of this a lot lately. It’s because this is the first time in my life I haven’t had a boss or a teacher. It’s all me all day. With my sewing and writing, with my parenting. With my brain full of ideas and concepts and no colleague to chew on it with me. I like to be pushed. I like challenges. I like criticism. I want to be better. And because I feel so open to feedback and because I am on the threshold of some exciting things taking off, I feel like all my guts and nerves are on the outside ready to receive the full impact of anything in my path.


I want to always have a bit of second-guessing because I think that means I am taking risks and living big. I don’t ever want to be so sure of something…that would make me feel claustrophobic and like there’s no where to go. But I do enjoy chiseling away at my middle school desire to appeal to everyone (can I get a hell yeah?!). I’m getting there…

All of those confusing paragraphs inspired this week’s mama digs, let’s hike. This is my way of announcing to universe and promising myself that I strive to live the golden rule. My favorite iteration of the universal principal is native american: All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves.

65 Responses to wag more. bark less.

  1. I read on a blog last week this great statement the author remembers from grade school “Keep your eyes on your own work.” Since reading that post last week I have taken this statement to heart. All moms would do much better if we followed that simple instruction. We would all do better if we just focused on our own work.
    Great post..don’t you love when a friend says something that just sticks?

  2. KarenSue says:

    Great post! My 3 girls are almost grown,2 college and the oldest(28) working but living at home for now. So I think I’m finished, nope! What ever I did wrong is just too bad. Enjoy this time!

  3. Tonya says:

    I just read your Mama digs and I will tell you, 40 IS a great age for finally getting to the point where you really don’t give a shit what people think LOL I only know you from what you write on your blog, but I will say that I get a great vibe from you! You are a good mama, and from what I can tell a very strong woman. Much more so than I was at your age. If I am where I am at almost 40, you will be letting things roll off your back with no problem. My Mom tells me that by 60, it is even better! LOL Definitely one of the advantages of growing older! LOL

  4. Christina says:

    Love this. I can totally relate, as I think we all can. This will be my inspiration for the day (and most likely my week). I appreciate your thoughts!

  5. Malissa says:

    I like the native american prinicple! Very cool…if everyone thought that way what a beautiful world it would be.

    If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.
    Margaret Mead

    Go mama. You ARE the statement above and you are obviously over the the steep part and cruising flat trail. Minor adjustments from now on out I would say. You have found your “fitting place” and you are wearing it well. Happy Monday.

  6. Jessie says:

    Love it girly! : )

  7. I hear you! Some days I could care less about what someone thinks about me or my ways or whatever…
    some days I have so much confidence you could insult me to my face and I’d smugly laugh it off with a “pffff”. But other days I’m more insecure. Like everything in my life, it waxes and wanes. I can only attribute that to my varying moods, how much stress I’m under at the time, who is the person exactly that I feel I’m being critiqued by. Some days when I’m inexplicably more vulnerable, I’ll even go out of my way to wonder if someone maybe secretly critiques me. Silly isn’t it?! Like, I’ll think, well so and so does “x” and I do “y”, does she think I’m wrong? But the answer to that kind of wraps up this whole all-over-the-place response… I don’t think they do. I think that 95% (wish it was 99.9% but hey…) of people are kind and understanding and supportive and want the best for others. The other 5%, all I can say is, meh…or pfffff.
    Oh, and, just want you to know that as a mom reading your blog I get a lift. I feel like there’s a camaraderie (though I guess that would just by on my end, ha)… In short, I like you. :)

  8. Brigitte says:

    What a beautiful and inspiring post to read! I love your blog, your honesty, your willingness to share about your role as a mama.
    I have 2 buddies similar ages to yours and most days I feel out of my depth, but it’s reassuring to know there are other mothers out there who feel exactly the same! We are just doing the best we can. I’m doing the best I can raising 2 boys in a small flat in London which is a far cry from my upbringing as a farmer’s daughter, born and bred in New Zealand who spent all day, every day outside!
    Being a mama is hard work but I’m so up for enjoying it along the way.
    Thank you for your inspirational thoughts and for sharing the beauty that is in your world X

  9. Sarah says:

    love this and love you!….i remember those seven oaks days like they were yesterday! i find it hard to believe that i will have middle schoolers in 6 short years. what ever happened to laurie?

  10. Malissa, I love that quote! I’ve never heard it before. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Talitha says:

    It may have been hard to publish, but I’m glad you did. It’s raw and honest and beautiful. :)

  12. appledapple says:

    Well, I was going to leave a comment saying almost exactly what Tonya said so I’ll just ask you to read her comment again. I also love the quote about keeping your eyes on your own work as well as Malissa’s. Lots of good stuff in this post and comment section!

  13. Margaret B says:

    Amen! I’ve just recently started following you and boy did I need to here that today! I’m 23 and a new mom and very insecure. I feel like I’m being judged by all the “established” and “together” moms all the time. Your post gives me the courage to drink my coffee proudly, with the screaming child on my hip.

  14. Maria says:

    Nici~I love the way you write & live. I love the way your blog has evolved to include your babes. It’s inspiring & your photos of your amazing home & hometown sometimes leave me longing for the mountains. It’s the ocean I usually crave. A big HELL YEAH! stranger friend~you appeal to me.

  15. I love your blog! I found it through Kelly (who’s blog I love) but I relate more to you. So thanks for sharing!

  16. Marti says:

    I love this post Nici! I always feel a little better when I realize I’m not the only Mom who doesn’t have it all together. I hate it when people make assumptions or tell me how I should do something, but life goes on. I like to love my daughter when she’s good and bad, we have our share of timeouts but me snuggling with her and explaining why something is bad or wrong is usually more effective with her. Thanks for this post it made me feel a lot better!

  17. I’ve always loved that about you, Nici. Your ability to dig right in and plow through, pushing fear to the side, reaching wildly to the end. Accomplishing things. Big things.

    I was on a FB page the other night for a parenting group. It was meant to be a supportive community for mothers to come together (I think) with thoughts, etc. Ironically, it was so full of judgement that I could hardly swallow reading another word. By the time I got to the Eat Locally bashing of the formula feeding moms and the current Similac recall, I found myself yelling at the computer…Yeah, let’s just all wear tee shirts that say…Let’s bash the hell out of women and make mamas out there feel like real shit. Because we know what’s going on with them and all.

    Judgement sucks. Anyone who looks at you for hugging your child mid temper tantrum should feel blessed to have just learned a lesson about compassion.

    Okay…sidetracking…great column this week. All the best with your intentions and promises to yourself. Very inspiring. xo

  18. Amy says:

    Amen! Very nicely put. And keep doing what you do!

  19. Thanks so much for your beautiful writing today. I feel the same and know many Moms who have the similar thoughts.

    I have a quote on my desk at work that I look to when needed:

    “In the end, each of us will be judged by our standard of life, not by our standard of living; by our measure of giving, not by our measure of wealth; by our simple goodness, not by our seeming greatness.”

    Thanks for sharing today…I really needed it!

  20. Britta says:

    When we get these little glimpses into your life and how you think, I’m always amazed – life is so universal.

    Thank you for sharing. You might be someone’s else “bad” mama, but you’ve been a beacon of strength, hope for me.

    All we can do is strive on.

    (I’m glad that I’m not the only one who has 13 year old girl flare ups occasionally. Grateful they’ve lessened, sad they still remain. That voice of self-doubt is a bitch – and so was the anonymous note passed along at lunch one day…).

  21. Crystal says:

    I’ve never understood fearing another person’s success but many people do. I agree that the energy picks up momentum and is good for everyone, unfortunately some people sink into jealousy. A mentor of mine once told me

    “there’s always room for another rose in the garden”

    which is a creed I live by in my personal and professional life.

  22. ~~~~~~~~~ says:

    Oh! I love your mantra! I may not be living in the same place in my life as you are (I’m a post grad working on finding my way to my version of “the real world”) but your words ring so true to me! Incredibly relatable, on so many levels.

  23. Beautiful post, Nici, just like you … your heart and your girls! You are amazingly talented and inspire me on a regular basis. Thank you for that!

    PS – I just loved Mama May I’s comment. That first paragraph, so very true!

    Oh, one more thing …
    You’ve got my hell yeah!

    Happy Monday!

  24. Kate says:

    Hard to write, grateful to read–important to remember. Many thanks=)

  25. Megan says:

    I found out much later in life that there were a lot of Lunch in the Library girls. Glad to know that Laurie and you made friends.

  26. Sage says:

    Nici, you are getting a hell yeah from me! I love these insights into you, and find it so easy to relate. It is different coming from a career focused life to a child focused life. It brings up a whole bunch of different emotions, and I always thought it strange that I am so confident in my career and so NOT in parenting! I never thought I would find myself wanting to be accepted by the mainstream, but that is where I have found myself. Wanting to be accepted. Needing to feel accepted, and finding my old judgemental self so humbled. What a good thing, no?

    Your sentiments in this post remind me what makes you so endearing to me… you are so open to life, people, experiences….. and inevitably you get stung by that like we all do. But I love how you can see right through it. Don’t get me wrong, I love your supermama! posts, but I also love knowing that you too feel like a 13 year old sometimes. Thanks for having the courage to put it out there.

    I hope you never stop being that open person, and life never gets you too jaded…. you inspire me to be better and live better.

    Here’s to that hike! I am right along with you, enjoying the vistas on those peaks, and finding myself and gathering energy in the valley’s. xo

  27. Ellie says:

    What truly fascinates me is why women especially tend to be so hard and judgmental about each other, as you had mentioned in last week’s post. It seems that we really are quite unforgiving about other women’s faults, even as we all try just to do our best. I think your friend’s question was wonderfully insightful. No mama that I know has it fully together, but we are all doing a perfectly good job. On bad days I, too, judge and fret about being judged, and on good days I slap myself for doing both, and I feel ever so much happier. I do hope it gets better with age. It’s not like we have a hundred years more to live, and the awareness of time passing and everyone moving on to the same beyond (whatever that is) must make us, ultimately, not care about the small stuff.
    Well-done, mama.

  28. Eva Marie says:

    ever since I had my daughter i truly just want to associate myself with good people, people who are searching for good, people who are in love with this world and wanting to better themselves the planet their children..
    you’ve got it mama.. and im glad to have found your blog to be inspired

  29. “Another’s success doesn’t exclude one from one’s own. I believe it’s actually cumulative. A success generates more room for success. It just gets bigger and greater.”

    This is so awesome! Needed to hear this today!

  30. Amie says:

    Your posts often leave me with a “power to the mamas” feeling. So, even in your times of uncertainty, know that you’re inspiring others!

  31. Sarah says:

    I love this topic and the openness to which you approach it. I have often said that I simply can not be close friends with people who feel like another’s success jeopardizes their own, or who feels that another’s failures is a bit of a boost. I think the main reason I can’t is becuase I get drug in to the competition and hate that about myself. Whenever I have a judgemental thought about someone, I try to say “what insecurity/fear do I have going on for me to think such an unkind thing?”

    I really enjoy reading your blog, seeing pictures of your life, windows to your sweet soul and your precious girls. The task of raising healthy, kind, confident girls is one I take seriously in addition to all the fun with the frills or bows and matching outfits, so I truly appreciate the camraderie I find from other mamas like YOU! You are doing a great job!

  32. TRB Holt says:

    A big HELL YEAH from me Burb!!!!

    No one likes to have negative things said about them…especially if they are so far from the truth. I feel sorry for the people who have nothing better to do than make up fabrications about people they are jealous of. They must lead really sad lives.

    I too feel like you are on the threshold of some exciting things taking off! Just keep being true to yourself and all the good,(things and people), will follow!
    Love you so…….

    xoxo, Mom

  33. Kelle says:

    Thank you, Friend.
    Women posses something amazing–the innate ability to feel others’ pain, to nurture, to care, to feel and reveal emotions that are unique to us. Imagine how much more we would progress if we all embraced these and used it for good. We’re on the same team.
    Your vulnerability and talents in expressing yourself have made for a great and powerful piece, here. And I imagine there is much more good to be shared from that keyboard of yours.
    Love you.

  34. Sarah says:

    Oh one more thing on this topic…I had this revelation that helps me. If someone has something mean to say about me (not for the sake of constructive criticism), I’d really RATHER them do it behind my back. What someone thinks of me is none of my business. The Four Agreements helped me with this.

  35. sara says:

    My goodness, your words brought the sting of tears to my eyes and it made me laugh as well. Thank you! I feel this way constantly and then I feel the guilt from being so hard on myself… Sometimes it seems like an endless cycle!

    I think what you said about going it alone without feedback is what stood out the most for me. So many times in the day I think to myself–I’m all I’ve got. No one is going to get through this day for me! It’s times like that when I am so very grateful for spaces like this and women like you. I can read your words, feel connected with someoneone and most importantly, I don’t feel alone.

    Best to you and your littles, rockin’ mama!

  36. Ici says:

    Nice Nici. Although it is easier at 40 to let it go, I still feel the “Like me, please”, thoughts you described. And I hate them and they are less and less at almost 41. Be the beautiful, considerate, creative woman you are and thrive, drop off the haters at the trailhead.

  37. Kelley says:

    I want to tell you that I think you are a Rock Star! I admire you from afar, and wish we would have been closer friends when we went to school together, and when I lived in Missoula. I look forward to hearing about the highs and lows you go through in your beautiful life. When I deal with my own shit and joys in life, I hope I can “grow up” to do so with half the grace you do. Thanks for sharing your heart!!!! Much love to you!

  38. Kate says:

    Thanks for this post and for being so raw and honest. I realize that none of us slip by without a little scrape or a bruise from time to time. We all should be supporting each other, dusting each other off and recognizing that we are all on this hike together… especially now that we’re mamas. Let us all remember to embrace the terrain and be grateful that we’re outside exploring life’s landscape. Keep up the great work, Nici!

  39. I can’t wait until my own comparative mind bores me! That’s my new goal in fact.

    I like the phrase “keep your eyes on your own work.”

  40. I so agree with the idea that knowing any woman you think is PERFECT and has it all together…is a mirage : ) and we just don’t see all the details. All of us are flawed in some way, and mommy hood is hard for everyone. It sounds like you are navigating your way just perfectly.

  41. Alicia says:

    Well said Nici. I love your honesty & how you express it in your writing.
    The nastiness that seems to so easily stream from the hearts of the UN-kind sisters out there is more often than not based on their own insecurities, and these insecurities often parade themselves in many ways, and it seems most common is pride & haughtiness-it deceivingly seems to mask their own ugliness they must feel on the inside, believing that by TRYING to deflate another’s worth they will inflate their own…its sad.
    I leave you with one of my most favorite poems:

    Who I Am
    I am not my hair, my eyes, my nose or my mouth.
    I am not my skin or the shape of any of my body parts.
    I am not the IQ of my brain.
    I am not the sound of my voice or the volume of my laughter.
    I am not my strengths or any of my weaknesses.
    I am not the level of my skills.
    The temple of my physical make up is a culmination of genetics. It reveals nothing about the person who resides within. I take no credit or point no blame for the way I look. My temple is perfect, as is.
    This body is not who I am. It is an exquisitely perfect dwelling for my soul.
    Everything about it is exactly as it should be. No other, anywhere, ever, could serve my soul as well.
    I am not anything you can see with your eyes or touch with your hands. Should you judge me by that criteria, you will never know me.
    I am not a dumping ground for bias that’s based on a man-made standard, and I do not accept the prejudice it creates.
    I am a union of body, mind and spirit, a trio, not a solo.
    To know me, is to know yourself.
    Those who hear the voice of their soul, recognise the song in mine. They do not stop at the front door and judge me by the dwelling in which I reside.
    With a humble sense of honour, they knock upon the door and ask to come in.
    The judgment of others does not change who I am. Quite the opposite is true. It reveals who they are.
    Those who deem me unworthy at a glance and pass me on by, have my blessing to keep walking, for they have a long way to go. They have not reached the point in their journey where they are able to see and appreciate me for who I am.
    I expect no more
    I will accept no less.
    © 2001 Terri McPherson

  42. Aimee says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today. “I dont ever want to be so sure of something.” You are very inspiring and I am grateful you share your spirit. <3

  43. Alicia says:

    I have only been following your blog for a short time, but this post really hit home for me. I am just starting to get into the photography business and have already felt those questioning, judging stares/comments. Thank you for reminding me that I am doing the best that I can. AND, most importantly, I am following my passion. So in the words of, well, you…all those people who doubt and criticize harshly can “buzz off bitchy sister” :)

  44. KWQR says:

    Hell yeah indeed!

    Loved this…
    With my brain full of ideas and concepts and no colleague to chew on it with me. I like to be pushed. I like challenges. I like criticism. I want to be better. And because I feel so open to feedback and because I am on the threshold of some exciting things taking off, I feel like all my guts and nerves are on the outside ready to receive the full impact of anything in my path.


    Your Mama Digs really spoke to me as well… we all have that 13-year old girl who shows up from time to time… luckily she gets quieter as the years go by. Loved the “hike” analogy.
    Thank you for putting this all out in the world… you rock.
    See ya’ on the trail!

  45. MyRayOLite says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. MyRayOLite says:

    I’ll be 41 next month. And yes, I do not care what people think anymore. They either love me or do not. That’s OK! :o)

  47. Jill B says:

    Bravo! Bravo! Standing ovation! This is marvelous!

  48. Kim says:

    Hey Nici – If we ever meet…I wanna be friends love it AND I’m picking up what your putting down.

  49. Laura says:

    i love your honesty! you say so many truths about growing up and learning to be authentic!!

    there is a saying i like….”the courageous don’t live forever,but the timid don’t live at all”

    when we put ourselves out there courageously we do rattle other peoples cages, but i always figure they are envious or are struggling with their own issues…..and, if i find myself looking at another mom/woman sideways i quickly assess myself to see why.

    i’m 10ish years ahead of you on this amazing path and you will grow your confidence each and every day…some days better than others. learning to be present in every moment is the greatest challenge of a mom, i think. so easy to worry about things….but worrying won’t help and will always take you away from *now*.

    thanks so much for sharing yourself!!! you are inspiring!!!

  50. Jen says:

    You said it sister! The 40s do get a little easier. I still have my moments, but I can have faith and hold fast to each year letting go a bit more of “what others think” and opening up more to what really matters.

    You are way ahead of where I was 10 years ago. Good job mama.
    You have a whole village that loves you…just the way you are:)

  51. Jean Albus says:

    Damn, girl, another home run. “Uplifting” describes this post.

  52. Melissa says:

    I feel you, girl.

    Go to google and search for a Rumi poem called The Guesthouse. Good stuff.

    Love to hear from a fellow processer! xo

  53. Gramomster says:

    Oh yes, the insecurities. The 40s ARE better in some ways, though for me, in other ways, the insecurities remain, and get reinforced.

    As a woman raising a grandson, born to a daughter who was at the time 16, I get TONS of judgement from people who assume I was a ‘bad mother’ to said daughter. I know that is untrue, I know that she was provided with every scrap of information and activities that statistically indicated she’d be the ‘last’ girl to get knocked up at 15, but yet, she did. And chose to keep her baby. And then bailed before she turned 18. But I refuse to defend or explain myself. I know I did the best I could, I know I did all the ‘right’ things, I know I had all the ‘right’ conversations. And I have learned that kids are individual people. Period. And we love our kids fiercely and strongly, we pour our hearts minds and souls into them, we become stronger through parenting, but when all is said and done, they are still their own people, people who make their own choices. And I have released that to the universe. It is sooooo out of my control!!!

    So, I have relaxed with grandboy, I have relaxed into my 40s, and keep doing the best I can with the little one I have now. About whom I am also sometimes insecure when moms cast an eye our way… he with his wild, long curls, me in my tie-dye, looking and sometimes actually being younger than the mommies. But usually, on most days, I don’t give a flying fuck. I adore him, and he adores me, and his mom is doing, if not great, well, okay. And she’s got puhlenteee of growing up yet to do at 20. She’s going to be just fine, so is he, so am I, so is Grampa. So I just hold on to that conviction, and keep on pluggin’ away.

    And whoever it was who said, ‘when you see a mom you think has it all together… she doesn’t’ is TOTALLY RIGHT! We’re all internally freaking out many many days. Maybe if we let that show more, and opened up to support, and freely gave support, we’d all be stronger.

  54. Taylor K says:

    I LOVE that quote. I am going to remember that one. Thank you for sharing it.

  55. Julie says:


    I spent more time than I care to admit reading your blog this past weekend. Actually, truth be told my partner and I each sat on our ends of the couch, lap tops in hand, pouring over your blog…Both exclaiming about how much we love you.

    Love your wit, your beauty, your photos and tributes to sweet Alice,your family…..we both cried over your Ruby’s hospital stay and your sweet chickens…and relished in your Obama pride!

    And today, I come on and read your beautiful metaphor of falling apples…You are light Nici. Thank you for letting me see some of this.


  56. Catching up on the incredible thoughts shared here and over email. How lucky am I to have all of your insight?! For real you all are inspiring. You thank me for sharing but you share too…it’s a big, beautiful exchange.

    Thank you.

    Gramomster, I always love your posts. I cried through this one! You are AWE.SOME.

    Julie, Wow! Really? Two laptops on one couch? I love the visual. Yes, Alice is amazingly lovable.

    Laura, I love the quote.

    Julie, I love the poem.


  57. Jill says:

    Already commented on Let’s Hike (my new favorite mama digs! You know it is good when I ask my husband to read it too!) but can’t get the name Leah Morrow (and Mary) out of my head from your previous post. Did they by chance own or manage a Hallmark Gold Crown store prior to owning Selvedge Studio? I worked at Hallmark Cards –headquarters here in KC — for about 10 years and part of my sales territory was in Montana….Higgin’s Hallmark, Stein’s Hallmark, Leslie’s, etc. I am thinking maybe that is why I recognize these names!

    Hugs to those adorable little ones! Can’t wait to see your nuggets this week. I’ll be the one stalking first thing in the morning!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  58. Meghan says:

    Oh Mama! I love this post. It is so clearly and understoodably written. I love your core, real thoughts on motherhood. We all have those insecurities. thank you for reminding me that i’m not alone. That how we live, does indeed impact those around us and who we are.
    I still want to know where you got your kitchen table ;)

  59. TRB Holt says:

    Dear Gramomster, I would like to meet you.

  60. Joan Cline says:

    Nice Nici. Misery loves company? True, but every other feeling and emotion loves company too. I love the hike better than the hampster on the wheel. At least when on a hike there is the promise of a destination spinning one’s wheels is never a good feeling. You are doing a great job Nicole. Trust me that 40 is not a magic sting free number. Stings still happen. I have to say the Laurie story made my chest tighten a bit. The picture of you walking home from school with salt stained cheeks pissed me off. What’s her phone number, I think we need to chat.

  61. Margaret says:

    Well said. We all need to support and uplift each other and set that great example for our kids. I too have found that surrounding myself with those who are supportive and encouraging makes all the difference. True, by putting ourselves ‘out there’ we run the risk of others judgement but it’s all part of the journey…… and how wonderful that we get to choose which opinions will make a difference, right? A lesson to be passed on!
    Enjoyed your essay.

  62. Gramomster says:

    Awww, Nici. Thanks.

    TRB… Right back atcha. Perhaps we’ll get a chance. We’re moving to Montana next spring at the end of the semester. Hubby’s contract is done and over, so why not do whatever it is we need to do somewhere we want to be, right?

  63. Kim says:

    What can I say Nici, I love your blog. You are quirky and you make me long for my home town, Missoula! When you talk about stuff I can relate, your photo’s are genius and you have a fabulous life. You are a great mama and don’t ever let anyone tell you different.
    I love “buzz off bitchy sister!”.
    I’m 36 and have one child. In the last 3 years I have become more relaxed, let shit roll off my back, don’t give a crap what others think. This is my life, not their’s and in the whole grand scheme I won’t let someone else’s bad vibes, shitty day or horrible life bring me down!
    March on sister!! I’ll be in Mizzo in Feb. 2011 my sister is having a baby and I am excited to head home for a visit, although not greatly excited that it will be winter!! It’s a step down from Colorado winter, believe you me!

  64. Lucy says:

    I think judgement is a powerful thing, and it should be a very rare thing. There are situations in life when things can be very bad, in World War 2 kind of terms or when you encounter something deeply morally wrong, and you think – here is that moment when I actually do need to judge, when it matters, and when it matters that I get it right.

    But this idea of ‘judging’ between mothers is ridiculous, in less you see a serious case of child abuse or neglect, why should people ever need to judge another mother. Everyone can do ‘being a mum’ in their own special way, isn’t that part of the beauty of it? You can’t buy identikit mothers or kids off the shelf – every family works out what’s best for them.

    I think some of the people who judge about minor things are looking to bolster their own sense that the way they are doing things is right. Forgetting that other ways can be just as good, forgetting that if you spend so long defending your own rigid rules and judging others, you can miss all the spontaneous joys that don’t fit into ”the way it should be”.

    I think you’re right to continue whittling away at any residue of middle school need to please. We are all different and so pleasing some whilst horrifying others is probably a sign of success in self fulfillment.

    I remember waking up the day after I left my all girls school, where there were all kinds of rules about how you should dress/speak/eat/etc.., and thinking wow, I don’t HAVE to do that. I could go into town tomorrow in the most unfashionable dress and my slippers, and no one has the right to be bothered. I love that feeling.

    Love that quote, by the way. It reminded me of something Rik said on Kelle’s blog, about how when you are sunk in a valley emotionally, take it in the surroundings because you don’t want to put ALL the bad time behing you, some things you learn will help you appreciate the mountain heights when you climb back up. I paraphrased badly there, sorry Rik! I know it is quite different to your point but they both show that the implication of every moment and the impact of every action is so much wider in time and space than we think. We spend so much wandering how things will pan out in the next 60 minutes of two weeks, but it is comforting to me to think that our real experiences are interlinked in a much vaster way. Sorry to waffle, really am, will try not to do it again. But hey, you inspire people to think/waffle! That is a compliment.

  65. Hi there, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this post. It was funny. Keep on posting!