seasonal shift

We had a good weekend around here. Apple picking, leisurely walks under the canopy of warm leaves and shopping for hair accessories kept my mind off of the fact that our home is piled high with a season’s worth of neglect.

This happens every year. The blinders that diverted my focus outside the walls of my home are hanging in the garage next to the hoe. And now I’m stuck staring at the inside and, YO.

The summer makes it easy to not pay attention to laundry swallowing the guest room, heaps of toys under Margot’s bed and my desk peppered with papers, broken picture frames and stray garden tools. But then the earth tilts, hibernation instincts emerge and we’re forced to wrestle the piles of I’ll get to that later.

It feels good to sort and stack but it also makes me twitchy because I am annoyed with how much stuff we have. Andy turned to me the other day as he stood knee-deep in recycling and a pile of drywall (we had to rip down a chunk of wall to wedge our new stove into the kitchen) and he said, “You know, sometimes I think I’d love to get rid of everything and start over with barely anything.”

I know what he means.

I remember, fondly, when we could fit everything we owned in our 1983 VW Rabbit. And then we grew into the 1987 Olds Cutlass Supreme with a futon on the roof. Next, we filled our 500 square foot rental. When we bought our home, seven years ago, I remember thinking it would be so sparsely decorated. We had a garage and a basement! We had a guest room and two bathrooms! And, now, here we are with a house full of stuff.

And so I’ll do what I do every October. I’ll bring piles to the YWCA thrift store, I’ll rearrange and reorganize and wonder how I lived so long with the way it was before. Andy is always smiling that oh, babe smile when I move furniture and hang hooks. Because every time I do I enthusiastically declare my disbelief at how much more sense it makes the the feng shui of our home! Amazing!

As much as I am all about purging stuff we don’t need, I did find myself buying some new stuff last weekend.


Specifically, I bought a hot pink sequined headband for my daughter. And, in doing so, I swallowed my own opinion and thoughts that I was more comfy when she picked orange and dinosaurs….oh how I am continually learning from her. Read about our bling adventure at Claire’s Boutique in this week’s mama digs column, hot pink headband.

Margot wears hot pink and her heart on her sleeve. Love that kid.

39 Responses to seasonal shift

  1. tablerbunch says:

    Love this….and i’m digging her shirt!!

  2. Gramomster says:

    I am loving the shirt too! And I love that first picture. So cute!

    I so feel you on the having too much stuff thing. I go through that all the time. We’ve been purging all summer the stuff that was my FIL’s. He died 2 years ago, and our garage has been unusable since. So, away it goes! Clear the clutter in the physical space, the chaos in the mind calms.

    Happy fall purging! Yay!

  3. Sage says:

    Yup… I never wanted to buy my daughter a barbie. But, I did. And I am over it. We still grow butterflies, collect rolly pollies, and wear pink and glitter too. It’s all good.

  4. Sarah says:

    Love it….you have to read my dear friend’s tidbit on her blog about her mother making her feel beautiful at #3 here:

    It is such a lesson for all of us moms. again, LOVE your perspective!!!

  5. Tina says:

    My husband and I also can’t figure out how we have so much stuff and so little space for it. We were just discussing how quickly Christmas is sneaking up on us and stressed ourselves out when we realized how much less space we’ll have with all the decorations and the tree than all the gifts before and after the big happy day. It would be nice if we could just pop the roof off our bungalow and throw another storey on there!

  6. Maria says:

    I love preparing to hibernate for the winter & in my case, tackling 40 years worth of accumulation
    that I’ve pared down, boxed & neatly squeezed into the two car garage of my brand new home. In winter, I keep the shades down when the dark makes its appearance at 4pm on the east coast because I so miss the sunlight kissing the streets well into the evening during the summer months here. Winter is just the perfect time to cozy up with blankets & hot chocolate with marshmallows & light candles & go through boxes & bins & sort through old clothes & get down to the business of letting go of the old & welcoming the new. January 1st is such an exciting day..the entry into a year of promise & expectations & hopes & dreams.
    P.S. Everybody needs a hot pink sequined headband, especially when she looks as adorable as the Bug looks in it!

  7. Marti says:

    I can totally relate to the hot pink headband. I grew up on a farm, the only “girly” think I did was ballet. I was determined that my daughter would not be a princess and here she is, turning 3 in just a couple of weeks and she thinks that she is Cinderella.

  8. I am right there with you on The Stuff. And when I say I’m “right there with you”, what I mean is, I’m buried beneath the pile just to the left of the one you’re buried beneath.

    Who’s up for excavating?


  9. Mary says:

    I can’t figure out how much stuff my husband and I have either! We moved to a smaller apartment and got rid of so much stuff, even sold things! I find it hard to place the “anonymous” stuff and we really do lack storage. I can’t wait until we have a cosy house, but it also makes me nervous because I’m sure we’ll accumulate more things :X Margot looks super cute in her shirt and hot pink headband. xx

  10. Marty says:

    There’s just something about pink……

  11. J says:


    I hopped over and read your article about your fun trip to Claire’s. You have such an amazing “voice” in your writing. It is simply a joy to be able to read this stuff!

    Nice going that you are able to rock out the Margot that actually prefers shiny, pink headbands…what a testament to this child that she is forging her own path. I am guessing it has a great deal to do with the wonderful parents she has.


  12. Annie says:

    I AGREE! I do the same thing with our ‘stuff’. Although my husband tends to keep things (in case you might need it someday : )
    My new philosophy: Let’s donate it and if we find we need one again some day, we’ll buy another. Chances are, we will not be buying another.

  13. I can totally relate! Some of my 3 yr old’s favorite things are things where I said, “Are you sure? What about this?” But I quickly lose that train of thought when I’m filled with the happiness and pride of seeing her be her own person deciding what she likes. In fact today we were running errands and she HAD to wear a purple pair of flip-flips she has with huge purple silk flowers hot glued to them- one of the things she picked out herself a few months ago where I said, are you sure? haha
    So much for those nine west ballet flats I picked out for her. 😀

  14. Melina says:

    It’s amazing how things piles up, and up, and up…my last move across country was done by car, so everything I own fits into my subaru outback. For now. But I swear my possessions asexually reproduce in my closet.

    I’m an outdoorsy girl and I’m strong and all that, but I LOVE pink and I LOVE me some hair accessories. The best of both worlds, I think, is coming back from a huge adventure and celebrating it by dressing up cute and having a girly drink.


  15. KWQR says:

    Oh she looks so proud of that hot pink headband! I have to admit to having pangs of envy at your Claire’s adventure… though I’ve never been a girlie girl, I did have daughter dreams. With two boys it is a different kind of learning curve… simpler perhaps, but more foreign at the same time. (Does that make ANY sense?!? It has been a long day!)
    I feel ya on the too much stuff front. Some days I am sure I will be found buried alive in a pile of leggos, books & train crap. Time to purge indeed.

  16. Wabi Sabi. I’ve been reading about it off and on today.

    I adore the headband with the skull and crossbones (or Pirates as Theo would say) tee. I can only imagine what it must be like to take Margot to Claire’s. How fun! xo

  17. Paige says:

    Oh, I love that pick so so much. It made me laugh out loud, and I needed to laugh out loud this morning. Thank you, Margot, it is beautiful.

  18. South Family says:

    Cute pictures!! I enjoyed reading your blog tonight!

  19. MyRayOLite says:

    Margot! I LOVE your new pink headband! Pink is your color sweetie! Brings out the pink tones in your beautiful skin!

    I too am struggling with the blessed with too much piles. Donated 3 bags of clothes yesterday and plenty more to sort through for a garage sale when it cools down more. But, it is like Christmas finding stuff you haven’t seen in awhile! Then, it is harder to part with! Ah, the circle of life!


  20. Katie says:

    Oh my! Hot pink headband and skull and cross bones shirt. I am in love. So cute!

  21. Melissa says:

    Oh, girlfriend. This is why (well, one little reason, anyway) I was grateful to have a son before I had a daughter . . . all the ways we (over) identify and then some.

    It’s funny; I am hot and heavy into this latest season of Mad Men, one of the main themes of which is women in the workforce in 1965–good stuff–and somehow I was reminded of this just now.

    And damn, you are thoughtful! I really appreciate your reflections.

    Margot looks so adorable and sassy in that headband!

    Leeor teases me that Lilit is going to grow up to be some goth queen and decry my swathing her in pink these early years . . .

    it’s all good. Love your Mama Digs column.

  22. Terri Holt says:

    AND skip through life is something I hope both my darling granddaughters do….

    I was smiling after the first paragraph of this article,grinning like the Cheshire Cat upon completion of the second AND my when I saw the triumphal smile below the pink satin bow I had a tear in my eye…OUR Margot is growing up.


  23. Abby says:

    beautiful post! oh how I wished you lived down the street from me… so I could spy your pink headbanded girl digging in your yard :)

  24. JJ says:

    Super cute, Nici. I myself have learned to love pinkt sparkly trinkets and thing-ys because a certain someone I know goes wild over stuff like that.

  25. Joan says:

    Oh lord that is so funny, adorable, story told so well I felt I was at Claire’s with you. Maybe its because I was there several years ago with my own soon to 3 year old red head. Margot, Margot you are the best. Flash forward a couple years….Ruby in Claires with Margot influencing Rubes choice of hair bling. I want to be there. Margot Bea you you look fabulous dolling.

  26. Maya says:

    I love what you wrote in your Mama Digs column… “Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. And when the beholder believes, so does everyone else.” It’s come to my mind a couple of times today…love it. :)

  27. Sweet, sweet post. Envious of your tomatoes. I know they aren’t yours but still. YUM.

    Love that feeling of getting rid of PILES of crap!

  28. Sweet, sweet post. Envious of your tomatoes. I know they aren’t yours but still. YUM.

    Love that feeling of getting rid of PILES of crap!

  29. Sweet, sweet post. Envious of your tomatoes. I know they aren’t yours but still. YUM.

    Love that feeling of getting rid of PILES of crap!

  30. Sweet, sweet post. Envious of your tomatoes. I know they aren’t yours but still. YUM.

    Love that feeling of getting rid of PILES of crap!

  31. Sweet, sweet post. Envious of your tomatoes. I know they aren’t yours but still. YUM.

    Love that feeling of getting rid of PILES of crap!

  32. Becky says:

    Yes! I love the hot pink, going to go read more about that in a minute. AND, I LOVE getting rid of “stuff”. Loved this post :)

  33. lucy says:

    Don’t worry too much about the “girlie” faze. My 7 yr old little girl is in love with ALL things girlie. Her favorite color is pink, plays dress up and dolls, wears perfume and makeup any chance she can. She loves twirley dresses and shoes with little heels. She took ballet and loves to wear her tutu’s still. But she also still loves to play in the dirt, climb trees, play with her brother with his trucks and dinosaurs, make mud pies and play sports. If she has her way while wearing the tutu , makeup and perfume!!! It just makes them well rounded, well adjusted, free thinkers!!! Let Margot rock out her pink headband, you’ll see she’ll be rocking it with dirt under her nails and grass stains on her knees!!!!

  34. Funny, I just bought Rose a sparkly, sequined, pink headband at a garage sale this weekend. It was only a quarter and may already be missing.

  35. Gramomster says:

    KWQR —
    Legos, books and train crap…
    Have you been here? In my house? It sounds like it.
    LOL. Story of my life. The damn legos are everywhere!

  36. Becky says:

    I love this! You have a way with words :) I have one girly who wears blinged out socks and high tops, jewelry, and makeup. And, I have another who would wear her brother’s mesh sports shorts every dang day if we let her. And, we usually do, let her. I love their differences, and I wonder: how does that happen? Crazy. Love it!

  37. Kate Vaughan says:

    You’re such a good mom, Nici!

  38. Annie says:

    Some days it is challenging to truly let my kids pick out what they want. With no influence from me. Thank you the reminder of how important it can be by putting into words what I want my children to learn:
    “strong, confident, compassionate daughters who make choices that make them happy”

  39. I’m with Andy. My day dreams of moving our sweet family onto a sailboat and taking off include selling most of our possessions. It would feel so good to know, again, what’s important and what we really and truly need.