well that was fun

Our friends are gone and I spent my day reconstructing our space, moving the little piles of memories back to their places.

My home looks exactly like two toddlers, two babies, two women and one very patient man had a lot of fun. Many late nights (two times I was in bed after 4am…!) and laughs and plenty of toddler negotiations in the mix.
Being constant in the world of kid relationship made me think about two things: 1) What is it going to be like when Ruby can run and talk (grab and push back)? and 2) What the hell is the right way to deal with it all? When to share, when to hold tight. When to intervene, when to give space. While this was a very small part of our experience, it fueled my words in this week’s mama digs column, mine.hers (manners).
Also, I just have to say it again: the whole wild experiment of meeting my blog pal exceeded my expectations.
It was easy and heartening, enriching and funny. Kelle is a very relaxed and engaged mama. I feel honored to know her and excited for our relationship to continue to grow. Oh our time together flew by and I was sad to see those three gals leave Montana.
But I know this was the first of many get togethers with our families in mountains and on beaches, because, it turns out, my man and Kelle also got along splendidly. Now we just have to hope our goofy Montana clan can win Brett over…I have a feeling this is the first chapter of a long, rich story.
So it’s time to crawl into my bed and sleep for many hours, if my baby allows this. I have a date with sixty pounds of peaches tomorrow morning. Oh, pretty please, Ruby, I hope you took some notes on Nella’s stellar sleeping behavior.

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss

50 Responses to well that was fun

  1. So glad I caught this “new” post before I hit the sack! I love the fun you packed into this short & sweet post. So glad you girls had crazy fun. And the quote? I use it often … however, didn’t know it was a Dr. Suess saying!


    PS – Good luck on your butter! I made mine what seems like forever ago :) But it IS delicious!

  2. TRB Holt says:

    WOW 1st again! I too need to crawl into slumber but will return tomorrow….xoxo

  3. Rebecca says:

    So beautiful. That’s precious!!! Love this blog.

  4. Katie says:

    So cute! I am glad things went splendidly, but I don’t think anyone imagined they would go any differently. Glad y’all had fun!

  5. MyRayOLite says:

    So glad it was a memory makin’ week for you all! Loved the pictures. You have a beautiful family Nici!


  6. Stef says:

    haha! so funny when you follow two blogs, not knowing that people on the blogs actually know each other :)
    Finding out you and Kelle are friends almost makes me feel like somehow, we’re related. Even though I’m not related to either one of you… and haven’t even met you in “real life” – its cool how it ties people together.
    Your blog is amazing. love it!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Of course…dance party and silly mirror faces! What fun memories you made! You two are the coolest! Next road trip? Kansas, please?!! It is only a few hours away! =)

    LOVED your mama digs column! We are working so hard on sharing and manners with our children, ages 4 and 2. Thanks for these words and reminders…
    “I think behavior needs to be exhibited more than enforced. I think there is no one perfect way and many perfectly good ways.”

    Much love,
    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  8. KWQR says:

    Oh such fun pix!!! So glad the rest of your adventure was a great one. Kindred spirits rock.
    What a treat to be along for the ride!
    p.s. Am hoping you will share your peach butter recipe?

  9. I’d love to know what Peach Butter is??!? (don’t think we have that down here in Australia but maybe we should!). I have just found your blog via Kelle’s – so happy you both had a wonderful time! Cheers :)

  10. Rik says:

    Thank you for your open home and open heart. You made my girls feel so welcomed, warmed and worthy. As for the toddler negotiations–one of my child development profs used to tell us we were wrong to push sharing at the very time our children were busy learning posessing…he used to tell us that “Mine” was also an essential step in self actualization and our adult minds tell them “Now let Lainey have that…” The conflicts were inevitable–and, I hope Kelle isn’t reading this, the little girl has been somewhat indulged you know…just sayin’! Love ya–love your family, love your town, love your house!

  11. Pile-o-Kids says:

    I found your blog through Kelle’s months ago and I love it! Your family is amazing. I see why Kelle loves you so much. I’m glad you guys had an amazing five days in Montana and can.not.wait. to see you visit Naples!!!!!

  12. appledapple says:

    I love the pics, reading about the good times. Now, I can’t wait for your family to hit the beach and read all about that adventure!

  13. Laurel says:

    love that quote

  14. Marti says:

    So while you gals were rally-ing in Montana all your blog readers were anxiously awaiting the epic blogging that would come out of it, I felt like I was waiting on a new CD from my favorite band to come out. You guys delivered and I’m so glad you got to meet each other. Keep on keepin’ on you guys are great!

  15. Joan Cline says:

    This is really good Nici. When to draw the line in the sand so to speak? There are boundries that need to be respected and some things we not share. Sometimes that line is a bit gray. One day at a time and one “that’s mine” at a time. XOXO

  16. Tonya says:

    Just finished reading Kelle’s post and came over to read yours. What a wonderful experience for both of you!

  17. Jennifer says:

    As I said on Kelle’s blog. Simply Awesome.

    I am so glad that your visit was all you imagined and that much more. :) And Andy is a rockstar for putting up with all of the estrogen in the house – he’s the man!

    BTW, I made your rocking beet soup and then made it yet again, but the second time roasted the garlic, beets, and carrots…and of course finished it off with fresh garlic. Holy crap, that was yummy. So thanks for sharing your recipe. And good luck with the peach butter. My mouth is watering.

    Rally and have a great week.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  18. Janita says:

    Just popping in to say hello! I just found your blog through Kelle’s and I must say, I’m hooked. I get a kick out of what you have to say (and how you say it) and when I read your words, it feels like I’m chatting with a long lost friend. I’m now hell-bent on having my own blog up and running within the next few weeks….insert prayer for small miracle here….
    ps. I was drenched in evil envy when I saw the photos of your beautiful home…the bright, rich, textured walls, the hardwood floors, the chalkboard, the funky green chair, the wall art, the red oven for your girls…poo-poo to negative nelly on the nasty comment.

  19. Sage says:

    Nici! I am going to try this comment again, and hopefully it won’t get lost in cyberspace.

    First, love loved seeing Kelle through your lens and you through hers. How brave you all are. Cheers to life!

    On sharing…loved your article. I have also struggled with when to jump in and when to just sit back and watch. For me it is all tied up with self worth. And passed down from generation to generation, this habit of saying “no, no you should have it, or that, or let me do it for you”..this constant always putting someone else before oneself. Make sense? But I don’t want this for my daughter, I too want her to know when to take for herself, when to share. And modeling this is sometimes tough…so I hear ya on the constant dialogue in ones’ head.

    A trick I learned a couple years ago that I like. If the toy is in one child’s hand, then the other child can’t use it until it is set down. Otherwise no grabbing from friends. If you explain this to the child before hand, and then when they try and take it from someone else, they eventually get it. Then the boundaries are pretty clear, and you avoid this, who had it first, who’s turn is it, sort of scenario. This helped with us, but eventually, it became less and less an issue. I hope that is because we “modeled well”, and showed both compassion and self worth. xo

  20. Amie says:

    What a time you girls had together. The word that stands out the most for me in this post: RICH. A rich story, and I’m sure there are many more chapters to come. Can’t wait to read more!

  21. TRB Holt says:

    A good mama is ALWAYS ready to fight for her kids…as you know I STILL and always will have that in me! I think there are some really special things that need not be shared. I don’t care how old you are. You told me this summer that you try to show Margot by example rather than telling…like when YOU say “thank you”, “excuse me”, “I’m sorry” etc…AND it is working. I see Margot doing this, most of the time. I am amazed how she uses the correct words, in the right cogitation at only 2 years of age! She has learned this by you~THROUGH you!

    One specific thing that comes to mind that NEVER has to be shared is a hug. When I was a little girl, I was TOLD to hug someone by my dad. “Give Uncle/Aunt xxx a hug Terri”….I remember not wanting to but was made to. I have unhappy feelings about this to this day. Hugs like love are given by choice.

    We teach our kids, learn with our kids and learn from our kids…. That said you are doing it right Burb! AND Margot & Ruby YOU are incredible teachers!
    xoxo, Mom/Gram

    ps….so glad you and Kelle made these beautiful memories!

  22. Anonymous says:

    hi there! uuggh – how i hate toddler negotiations! a few things i wanted to share that have (sometimes!) worked for my crew; 1 – before playdates/guests, i let them pick one or two things that no other child can play with; we put it on top of the fridge and make a big deal about how that is special but we are totally willing to share other toys; 2 – i remember reading somewhere that “sharing” isn’t really “developmentally appropriate” until 4 or 5 years old; so instead – use the term “take turns” – i’ll count to ten or so while each child gets to play with the toy; it makes them feel better if they know they are going to get it back; (this worked great with one of my kids – not so much with the other!); lastly, i heard a speaker say that if we waited for our little ones to truly have a “repentant heart” before we made them apologize we’d be waiting a very long time!; so i make them apologize and also say “i’ll try hard not to do it again” so they start to learn that saying sorry also means changing behavior; so – the truth is i only remember these a small percentage of the time but just thought i’d share!! maybe writing them down will be a refresher for me! your girls are ADORABLE and so enjoy your writing!

  23. Joy says:

    That is one of our most used quotes….my 7 year old has it memorized!! Glad you all had a fabulous time. :)

  24. Kate says:

    I’m new to your blog (arrived via Kelle’s blog) – I spent the weekend reading as far back as my little one would let me. LOVE IT! I live about 8 hours north of you in Alberta, and have been sort of “meh” about my little old house. And seeing your fabulous house has me thinking and planning. I love that your living room isn’t all matching/cookie-cutter – it’s interesting and looks so comfy, and it’s clearly for the entire family with the kid-kitchen and chalkboard. Beautiful hardwood floors and I love the colour and texture of your living room walls! And your gardens! Just awesome!

  25. Elle says:

    Thanks for sharing your visit w/ us; I really enjoyed seeing you guys together! I loved the littles matching jammies in the last post. I love your blog Nici & Im soooo envious of your mad peach butter skillz!

  26. Hot Hot JJ says:

    I’m a mountain mama as well. Love those farmers markets, hikes with the babies, and everything lovely. I’m a Salt Lake City girl only minutes from the mountains too. Thanks for the wonderful post.

  27. LouBoo says:

    Hi – I came to your blog from Kelle’s and am so pleased I did. I can see I need to scroll down and see what’s what but on first glance I think I am going to like it :-) Hello. Lou x

  28. Ellie says:

    I think you are on to something pretty profound when you say that modeling behavior is more important than enforcing it. Our 4.5-year old is really good about saying please, sorry, and thank you, and while a big chunk of that came with his DNA (he said ‘sorry’ for the first time when he was barely two-years old, and I had never ever taught him to say it), another big chunk is just from modeling. We are not saints, and we use swear words or bad language on occasion, but we apologize as soon as we catch ourselves and we make a huge deal out of saying “I am sorry” ourselves. It humbles us, and our son feels and appreciates it. Loved your “perfect” and “perfectly good” thought; well-said.

  29. Ellie, Same here! We, as a rule, never prompt please, sorry or thank you. And, I have to say, my kid says those words all the time. I try to be as honest as I can and sometimes that means my own mama tantrum. I think that’s ok…that I am showing Margot that ‘holding it all together’ all the time isn’t realistic or healthy.

  30. julia says:

    I love your house- the organic, artsy, child-friendly, cozy, eclectic warmth seems like it models your family’s personality.
    Bravo to you for rallying through the week. No matter how much fun you have, it is work to host another family. I know that mixed-up feeling of missing your house guests terribly while still feeling the peace of having your house back to a more normal everyday pace.
    Good luck with the peach butter. Enjoy the beautiful autumn days with your family.

  31. Jill Tatman says:

    Diggy Smalls… so clever!
    You two have captured something really special… not only through photography. friendship, littles learning respect when they respect and so much more! Rally rules!

  32. Bugg's mama says:

    In a world of texting and emailing and that jazz, it is really sacred to find a true and lasting friend. You guys captured each other just wondrously!

    I’m glad you shared it with all of us, too!

    love, Bree

  33. Aimee says:

    I have been home with the flu for days, reading your blog. And I feel great warmth and peace when I read about your family. I hope to be half the mother you are one day! Thank you!

  34. “well that was fun”. I bet!! haha
    I love the picture of the girls doing the puzzle and both of their tongues out in concentration. Hope your girl allows you to catch up on some sleep!

  35. Meghan says:

    This is all so great. I can’t imagine the fun you all had. CRAZY crazy. Where did you get your metal table? :) Meghanz79@yahoo.com

  36. Ellie says:

    Oh yes, the mama tantrums. I have an advanced degree in those.
    It’s the hardest thing when you are tired or cranky for whatever reason, and taking it all out on the little person who truly accidentally spilled his juice, which on a better day you wouldn’t even notice but now drives you up the wall, to pause and say “I am sorry” and to explain to them that sometimes mama also gets whiny and irrational. And even though we might think that kids don’t understand that sort of thing, they do. They are so damn good at picking up on our moods that we might as well admit to them when we are wrong.
    It’s important for kids to hear us admitting our imperfections, so that they learn what to expect, realistically, from themselves.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Hi Dig!

    I SO agree with your mom! The way I see it, just because I don’t have children doesn’t mean I don’t have a responsibility to help raise healthy, safe, self-respecting kids. I have been the adult on the awkward end of a child being forced by a well-meaning parent to give me a hug. Not only does this make both me and the child uncomfortable, it really messes with a kid’s sense of personal boundaries. Seems to me like it would be terribly difficult to teach a kid the definition of a so-called bad touch–let alone how to resist and report it–while at the same time forcing the child to go against their natural safety instincts and initiate or tolerate physical contact with anyone, whether the child knows the person or not. Whenever I’m in that situation, I always say, “That’s just fine. You don’t have to hug me if you don’t want to,” in a voice that let’s the child know it’s no big deal to me (so that they don’t over-rule themselves and do it out of a feeling of guilt). Then I do my best to have a little chat privately with the parent about respecting the child’s boundaries.

    I can see that it must be a tough parental balance to strike, but for the sake of your two little girls, it seems like erring on the side of safety would be a totally understandable, sensible thing to do.

    Carry on, Great Mama (and Great Daddy!)

    Susan S.

  38. Ellie says:

    I had to laugh reading your ‘mama digs’ piece…because I just walked into our living room to find Amelia actually picking up her toys…without being asked…for the first time in her LIFE!!! I was so excited, I said “Amelia, I’m so proud of you for picking up yout toys without being asked, that is so awesome!” To which she replied, “I’m picking them up so Aven can’t play with them…”
    Of course…:)!

  39. TIffany says:


  40. cng says:

    I think there is always so much emphasis on sharing that respect sometimes gets ignored. One child should yes, be reminded that sharing is necessary. But really, anybody (child or adult) is going to react the same way when something is grabbed out of their hands. I hope significant time was spent with the other child, explaining how to ask properly for a turn with the cup or toy or other object of desire.

  41. Amy says:

    Great post! I’m curious why you made a rule to not prompt your girls to say please and thank you?

  42. Amy says:

    “Don’t cry because its over, Smile because it happened”
    I SO need to remember those words more often. I am famous for the plummeting crash at the end of an amazing time.
    I’m thankful you shared your wonderful week with all of us readers… you two women are amazing!

  43. I was meeting blog friends for the first time last week, too. A few times I thought of you and K and wondered how your little adventure was playing out! (So strange, this blog life…) It looks like it was a screaming success, as was mine!

  44. Well great, now I have two favorite blogs to read :) I found yours through Kelle…both of you are so inspiring. But you have chickens, and Kelle doesn’t…so that’s an added bonus! Any-who, these are the 5 questions I ask my 4 & 2.5 yr old whenever conflict or strife occurs. This happens in the bathroom on the sitting stool. I have them posted on the wall so I can remember.
    1.What was going on?
    2.What were you thinking and feeling as it was happening?
    3. What did you do in response?
    4.Why did you do it-What were you seeking to accomplish?
    5.What was the result?
    You’ll be so pleasantly surprise at how deep this takes you into their little hearts. Thought I would share since this is something new we have been doing and you posted about this very thing!

  45. I was happy to find this site. I wanted to many thanks for this great understand!! I definitely enjoying every small it and I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post.

  46. Verda Colina says:

    well that was fun | dig this chick

  47. well that was fun | dig this chick

  48. Eliza Evetts says:

    well that was fun | dig this chick