hump day nuggets: thankful

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

This hump day falls on the one day between Ruby’s first birthday and Thanksgiving. And, really, I have just two nuggets today. The second nug, however, is a big ol’ nug.

:: Nugget #1: Everyone seems to have opinions about social media, myself included. I think that in a world that feels bigger and scarier than it did when I was a kid, my online community shines light on life’s authentic beauty, the same beauty that motivated me to have children. Read more in my mama digs column, my social network.

:: Nugget #2: Ruby is one.

I was hanging with girlfriends the other day proclaiming my lament that the English language doesn’t have a word that I need on occasion. There’s blessed, lucky and fortunate. None these work for me. Heather immediately said thankful. At first I said no no that’s not quite right for what I want to convey… but then she said, All those other words happen to you. ‘Thankful’ puts the action in your hands. Yes. That’s it. That’s why I don’t like those other words. Those words say some other power or randomness sculpt my feelings and riches. But, thankful? Thankful says I own my feelings and define my riches.


I am thankful for Ruby Jane. My leapshin sweet potato pie rubes stinker chicken green bean rhubarb. Love her so.

One. It seems big. I know she’s small. But, One.


11.22.10, 11:10pm
Dear Ruby,

I got home not too long ago. I was sipping wine with best friends. We went to leave the cozy downtown confines and stepped outside and then right back inside because the snow and wind blurred our vision and inhibited our good byes.

Now I sit in my warm living room, understanding more than ever before why it is called a living room. One year ago right this minute, I felt a shift and a gush and knew I’d meet you soon. Andy thought it’d still be a week or so but I thought just maybe…

It wasn’t this blustery last year. Right now wind is audible even over our forced-air heat that hums as you, your sister and papa sleep. It’s 10 degrees outside and dropping like a stone to a creek bottom.

I remember sitting up staring at the birthing tub in my kitchen, staring at my belly wondering who you were. I couldn’t wait to hold you outside my body.


11.23.10, 8:23am
Dear Ruby,

A year ago Margot was at Laura’s house across the alley and the day was just overcoming night, barely brightening behind the curtains in my bedroom. Labor was fast and intense once the sun came up. I leaned against my bed holding your dad’s hands and stared into his eyes. He was so steady, he knew you’d wiggle out soon.


11.24.10, 6:47pm
Dear Ruby,

A year ago I fell in love with you more quickly than I had thought I would when I imagined meeting you. We spent the first days of your life within a few feet of the place you were born. Our village visited our home and they all said you were beautiful.

Yesterday we rolled and laughed on our bed and I couldn’t stop thinking about how you were born on that same bed. I held you for the first time in the cool morning light on that bed.


We went to breakfast with friends at Ruby’s Café, a place I’ve never been but wanted to go since you were born. That afternoon you and Margot napped while Chelci and I rearranged furniture, spread paper and art supplies across the floor and cooked.

a hurried photo because our nostrils were freezing together

Last night we had a party for you. It was totally nuts with 25 adults and 15 kids huddled in our living space. It was the warmest night we are to have this week and the temperature was 1 degree. The pack of two, three and four year-olds moved quickly among the grown-up legs and you were mostly on my hip, in your dad’s arms or on Pam’s lap chewing a baguette. I was bummed the squash barley risotto I lovingly prepared all afternoon didn’t cook up like it ought but everyone was cool with it. We ate it anyway and our amazing friends found compliments in the crispy porridge. They are good people, your people.

We sang to you and the noise boomed through our small home. At first you were startled and I touched your cheek with my one hand that wasn’t holding a cupcake and you understood you were hearing the sound of love. You eagerly went to bed and we continued to talk and sip and watch the herd of three foot-tall kids remove clothing, draw all over their bodies and marvel at the newly discovered canvas of skin.

It was a really good day. I love you to the moon and back. I am thankful.


Happy Thanksgiving out there.

29 Responses to hump day nuggets: thankful

  1. Amy says:

    oh tears.
    frozen on this side of the border too. eesh.

  2. babygalah says:

    Well thank goodness it is 5.28 pm in Australia, because I need a big glass of wine now ! That is such a beautiful post Nici. Your sweet Ruby is so lucky to have such a wonderful, eloquent mama who can express to her all your love and thankfulness.
    Bless you and your little family.
    Happy Birthday Ruby.
    Now where’s the tissue box and wine bottle…….

  3. KWQR says:

    Sounds like Ruby had a rockin’ party… how wonderful to celebrate your beautiful girl with so much love around you all.
    Wishing you a very happy thanksgiving… my pumpkin pies are calling me!

  4. J Scheppl says:

    Beautiful! Happy Birthday to Ruby and Happy Thanksgiving too!

  5. Mrs Mason says:

    Happy Birthday! Can’t believe it has been a year already. Where did that time go?

  6. Marina says:

    Happy Birthday to Rubes and Happy Turkey Day to you and your family :)!

  7. Jenn says:

    Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughter and warmest wishes for your family this holiday! Thank you for sharing the wonder you see in the world. I truly enjoy it.

  8. What a wonderfully sweet post!
    Happy Thanksgiving to YOU …

  9. Lola says:

    Beautiful post!
    So much love!!!

  10. Tina says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

    Love this post. We all have so much to be thankful for. :)

  11. How beautiful, Nici.

    Happy Birthday Ruby!

    And Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

  12. Nicki says:

    So beautiful, Nici.

    Happy Birthday to Ruby! And a Happy Thanksgiving to you all! :)

  13. Hot Hot JJ says:

    My boy turned one yesterday. I am so damn thankful for him. Every single moment. Happy birthday Ruby!

  14. TRB Holt says:

    blissful, chuffed [British], delighted, gratified, happy, joyful, joyous, pleased, satisfied, glad, tickled.

    You make me all of the above~

    Happy Birthday Sweet Ruby Jane!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you, my loving daughter & your beautiful family….

    I love you!
    xoxo, Mom

  15. Minnesotagal says:

    Clearly I have Mama hormones raging but I am crying right now! What a beautiful post of love and gratitude! Happy Birthday Ruby! Happy Mother’s Day Nici and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

  16. Marti says:

    This was really sweet Nici! I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

  17. OMG…. you crept into my heart with this post :)

  18. Pam says:

    Boy, those little munchkin-Americans sure know how to party down!
    Happy Thanksgiving, Ole, Andy, Bug & Ruby-dooby-do! xoxo

  19. awwww, ruby’s. :) my ex and I used to eat there every friday night for 10 dollar prime ribs. mem’ries…

    happy birth day to you and your sweet bean. <3

  20. Anonymous says:

    Ruby is beautiful. Wow, I never thought about it before. Our baby was born on our bed as well, or right by it I should say. But the memory of his birth is there or here where we are. I do not have to go to a hospital to be in that moment again. It is right here! I love how you brought that up.

    Enjoy, enjoy her. I know you are- it seems like yesterday that my oldest was one. They grow so fast. God has truly blessed you with two adorable, precious girls. Love all the pics.

  21. so sweet…Happy birthday Ruby…

  22. Tina says:

    I love this post. It rings so true to me. I go online so I can feel connected and understood by other Moms, whether I know them personally or not. I also find major inspiration through reading blogs about other families. I find comfort in knowing other Moms are going through similar things with their families/kids, through the ups and the downs and the all-arounds. It makes me feel more human on those days where there is nobody around that’s over 3 feet tall to have a conversation with and bounce my ideas/frustration out on. I seriously think I’d go nuts without the internet!

  23. Nici,
    This post resonates so much for me! I am online for similar reasons and have met people I would have NEVER have thought I would connect with. My online community is full of support, inspiration, and positive energy. I can choose the people to support and follow, and just like real-life friends choose to support those bloggers who add authentic, positive inspiration to my life.

    I’m so sorry about the puke fest. That just sucks, plain and simple. And I’ve been there mama. The worst was three kids and only one toilet.
    Stay well !

  24. Katie says:

    Great topic! I love my moments during the day when I need a breather or just to feel like I’m not alone in the chaos that is being a SAHM, reading a quick inspiring blog or sharing a thought with a far away friend on Facebook. It’s wonderfully inspiring and, exactly as you said, provides a communal space our mothers didn’t have. And I’m 100% positive they needed it too.

    On that topic~I just read an essay by Maya Angelou last night. Her thought was…stop saying “I’m fine, and you?” if you are not. Be honest about how you’re feeling. All these ‘painted faces’ are not lending a helping hand to anyone. Loved that!

  25. Dakota says:

    Happy late Birthday Ruby! Seems like it was hardly any time ago that I was reading about how your amazing mama gave birth to you. Here’s wishing you a happy year.

  26. Michelle says:

    Great post! I think that everyone looks for something a little different when they go online. I have learned some of the BEST tips and ideas from the blogs/facebook posts that I read. I would like to think that I am a better wife/mother/physical therapist because of what I have learned from my contacts online. Thanks to you and everyone who helps me be the best “me” that I can be! I guess it really does take a village to raise kids (even if my village has a little subburb online…it is just a bigger village to draw from).

  27. nicole says:

    well said! my husband just doesn’t quite understand why i like to get on facebook, let alone talk to all those people “out there”. mama-to-mama connections are what get us through!

  28. Earth Mama says:

    Awwww. Happy birthday Ruby Jane! That last photo is priceless!