hump day nuggets: celebrate

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

Hard not to think about when the sun came out one year ago today. A reader, Erin O., left a comment last week about her Life Anniversary. When she was nine she went blind over breakfast, had three massive seizures and doctors predicted she wouldn’t survive. She did and now writes comments on my blog that I think about when I lay in bed at night. Her mom calls the day she lived her Life Anniversary. I like it. Today is Ruby’s Life Anniversary. Today is a day to celebrate and love.


And then we have another day of hullabaloo this weekend when our bug turns three. Saturday is a day of Margot which means many specifics like:

  • food: a rainbow cake with a lighter blue duck, tofu, cheesy noodles, beets, carrots, maple yogurt, peanut butter and apples, toast with butter and jam, quesadillas, ice cream and ketchup.
  • activity: puzzles, books, a trip to the park with unlimited red slide rides (I am actually kind of curious to see how long this might last), fort-building, bed-jumping, carousel-riding and all things Margot Bea.
  • a party: twirly straws, balloons and “just all of my friends would be great.”
dress was mine, kit by my grandmother
There is a lot to celebrate. People often ask it it’s nuts having my kids’ birthdays close to each other and close to holiday craziness. I think it makes perfect sense. For my family, this time of year is entirely about  spirited embracing, ritual, shared meals, colored lights, gift-giving, merry-making. Throw a few birthdays in there and it’s just more to chew on. I like to celebrate.
:: Our snowy wonderland turned into a soupy mess. It’s still fun to get outside. OK, not nearly as easily fun but I never regret a neighborhood walk even when it’s gray and slippery and cold.
:: And then it snowed again, cleaning it all up and renewing excitement.

coat and hat were mine, knit by my grandmother

:: Margot has a son. A nameless yellow truck she carries in her pocket, sleeps with every night. For the longest time I thought the truck was her sun but she was very quick to correct me when I said something about the bright yellow sunniness of the vehicle, “No no no, mama. He’s my SON. I am your daughter. He is my son.”

You can imagine my raised eyebrows when I saw her cutting her son on the counter. I inquired and she said, “Oh mama. He’s just butter right now.”
left: giving her son a bath  |  right: cutting butter for toast
:: Cookies.
We went to a cookie decorating party with friends and my social kid was suspended by her disbelief. She realized frosting swipes were not regulated and the plates of cookies were for eating and eating. I think she had like six cookies and probs a half cup of buttercream frosting. At one point she turned to me, total naive joy in her eyes and said, “Mom, this is the most fun ever.”


:: Why do I only bowl once a year? Fried food, pitchers of beer, friends in weird swivel chairs, stinky shoes, made-up stage names, the thrill of a strike (or, if you’re me, making contact with pins). It’s really great.


The girls and I were lucky ducks to be invited to the museum staff party at the bowling alley. I thought we’d only catch the end of the shindig but my grumpy kids didn’t nap so we bagged it and went bowling. Westside Lanes was a great reset button.


:: The solstice is in a few days and then everything begins to swing the other direction. I love seasons.


:: Margot has been asking to eat with Ruby in random, sweet little pockets of our home. They eat by the tree, on the floor under the desk, at the art table.


Margot is the hostess. She selects the utensils and bowls, arranges the settings. She asks Ruby what she needs and then answers for her and then asks Ruby if she can have some of what she just fake asked for and then says thank you as she takes it. Ruby is thoroughly enamored with the whole thing. Me too.


:: She signs a lot but mama is still Ruby’s only word. I like it when she says mama.


:: Being so busy these last few months, I find that laying on the floor and building towers with Margot to be supremely satisfying.


:: Dig this AWESOME new sponsor: Stillwater Mountain Lodge.


Located a few minutes from Whitefish, Montana, the nordic ski center and lodge is owned and operated by two families. There are dog-friendly trails, beautiful (and affordable!) accomodations, hot cocoa and suites. AND, the dreamy getaway is sweetened by free skiing and rentals for kids 12 and under.

The Luminary Ski is this Saturday, December 18th.
The owners light the main trail with luminaries and host a pot luck. 

Really, for all you people who email to tell me you are dreaming of a Montana trip, here’s your nudge to plan it today:

* For the next three months, book two nights and the third is free! One free night, free skiing for kids, gorgeous environment, ski-in/ski-out of the lodge (or sled, romp, whathaveyou)…it’s dreamy and it can be yours. Mention ‘dig this chick’ to get deal.

* Leave a comment for a chance to win two nordic ski day passes! Use them yourself or would make a great gift. (Winner will be selected at random on Sunday, December 19 and will be posted right here in this very post so check back or leave your email!)

Thank you Stillwater Mountain Lodge!

**********COMMENTS CLOSED**********

and the winner is:

Catherine said…
Happy life anniversary! There is so much to celebrate!!

:: I am not much for the posed photograph but I really wanted one of Ruby and me to commemorate her vigor, her life, to document where we both are on this day. I rigged my camera up on an bucket with the handles balanced on a marker and set the timer. It was the most hilarious thing. As soon as my camera started beeping Ruby began giggling like crazy, grabbing my face, giving sloppy open-mouthed kisses. It is better than a posed photo. This is where we are on this day, her Life Anniversary. Lots to celebrate.


happy hump day out there

ps locals: dig this chick and Walking Stick Toys are teaming up for a mama’s night out on Thursday night: 20% off everything, REM cover band, adult beverages…details here.

47 Responses to hump day nuggets: celebrate

  1. booksNyarn says:

    Happy Hump Day – and utter happiness for your bug’s birthday! May it be filled with laughter and smiles and as beautiful as she is. :)

  2. Elle says:

    I have 4 kids and their birthdays are Dec 19, 27, 29 & Jan 28. We love it and celebrate for 2 months straight! Happy birthday Margot!

  3. Monique says:

    Happy Birthday to Margot. You have the sweetest girls. I loved the cookie decorating party. I might have to give that a try at our house sometime. :-)

  4. Love the Life Anniversary idea! And, I covet the idea of a quick family getaway to Stillwater Mountain Lodge.

  5. The photo of the lodge is so inviting and makes me want to put out paper lanterns for the holidays! Nice to know of such a great family friendly place to go in the winter!

  6. Melissa says:

    What a great post. Lots to celebrate, indeed!

    I love Margot! Happy birthday!

    Lilit just started to say mama and it’s the best thing ever–I’m sure it sounds even sweeter when she says it on her Life Anniversary!

  7. I really love your blog! You make me want to move out there..such a pretty area! But for now, Boston’s okay with me :)

    love reading your posts!


  8. SuzyBlue says:

    The son story made me laugh out loud – what a great post! Oh, I and can’t wait to try out the Stillwater Mountain Lodge – it looks like a wonderful winter getaway!

  9. TRB Holt says:

    OH a day to celebrate INDEED! Ruby…you are a wonder! More later, this elf has some birthday sewing to get done and in the mail!

    xoxo, your mama!

  10. Marti says:

    Happy Life Anny to Ruby and Happy Birthday to Margot! My brother’s b-day is tomorrow, he’ll be 24 and this is the first year ever I haven’t spent it with him…he’s in Afghanistan and it’s killing me! He’s my best friend and I miss him! When he steps foot back on American soil next August (hopefully) then maybe I’ll celebrate his life anniversary!

    P.S. – Where did you get that cow chair? It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and my Dad would flip to have one for Ivy since he raises cows.

  11. sophiesmama says:

    Happy Birthday Margot. My baby girl turns 3 on Sunday. We will be celebrating with a zebra-batman cake and lots of sledding. Enjoy.

  12. Janine Evans says:

    Happy Life Anniversary, Ruby. Last year I checked nervously over and over again for updates on you!
    Happy 3 to Margot Bea!
    It is so fun to watch you sisters thrive through your mama’s words and photos.

  13. Only you guys could rock so many celebrations back to back. Wish I could come to Margot’s twirly straw party.


  14. jen says:

    i bigtime love this post.
    what joy.
    and love.
    and fun.
    i’m scared to bejeezus about finners turning one … and this made me super excited.
    because though it feels final baby-wise … there is just so much more.

  15. Jean says:

    I got a kick out of the son/butter thing. Have fun Saturday!

  16. Happy life anniversary darling Ruby! I can relate to that feeling. Two months ago was the anniversary of our daughter being diagnosed with a vsd. We were devastated. One year later, we are happy, healthy, thriving…we recently had a dr appt and the vsd is getting smaller on its own- we don’t have to even check on it for a whole year now…we’re are so celebrating life!

    I am so happy that the solstice is coming up. Let’s start tilting that axis back our way haha. My husband always makes fun of how obsessed I am with seasons, when the sun rises/sets, moon cycles, etc…what can I say, I’m just very influenced by it all.
    I facebook with my family in Argentina daily and lately it’s all pics of them at pools, beaches, and parks enjoying the start of summer. I make sure to remind them of how quickly fall always comes 😉

  17. Jennie says:

    Happy Life Day to Ruby!!! She is beautiful! My 13 month son totally agrees – he caught one glimpse of her picture and is enamored. He keeps running over to the laptop yelling “baybu”, giggling, flirting, and hyperventilating if I can’t pull her up fast enough. Too bad you live across the country :)

  18. FinnyKnits says:

    Happy Life! Happy Birthday! Happy eating frosting and cookies until you’re going to pop from all the sugary joy!

    And, hello, Stillwater…I’m going to go check that out now…

  19. ayshamartin says:

    Happy Life Anniversary to Ruby and Happy 3rd Birthday to Margot (my little girl just turned 3 on Dec. 12 … such a fun age!).

    Awesome picture of the trees reflecting off the puddles!

    Love reading your Hump Day Nuggets. Enjoy your month of special celebrations!!!

    PS … so cool that Ruby wears the knits from your childhood

  20. Jennifer says:

    Life Anniversary. *Sigh*.

    The perfect way to remember and to cherish and to celebrate. Oh what wonderful blessings.

    Our family is full of birthdays this time of year too. And I hear the same thing, “don’t you wish your birthday was another time during the year?” Nope. Love it. Love the rush of celebration and of family and of love; it’s like a gigantic, giggling bear hug that won’t let go. Why would I give that up?

    Can I tell you how much I love the reflection shot in the puddle? Way cool. Enjoy celebrating today and Margot’s birthday too.

    Wishing you even more blessings,

    Jennifer from Annapolis

  21. Catherine says:

    Happy life anniversary! There is so much to celebrate!!

  22. sarah says:

    i can’t believe how person-like margot seems. can we videochat soon please!?

  23. Shaams says:

    Love, Love, Love this post! Happy Life Anniversary! What a GREAT concet!!

    Um, I won? Really? Because I have never won anything in my life so have no clue what to do! Ha!

    Happy Hump Day! Thank goodness it’s Wednesday! (I emailed you yesterday about the hoodie…that’s a long story…yikes. Will Repay)

  24. TheresaT says:

    Love it! Birthdays, Life anniversary, what a wonderful season of joy!

  25. Jennifer says:

    Congrats. You did it. You made it to the year mark of everything now. Hoping your emotions start to calm down and the next year is only filled with happy memories. Although, I won’t lie, we are approaching the two year anniv. of Anna and I feel those same feelings creeping back. Enjoy her life and her health!

    And, Happy Birthday to the big girl! Christmas chicks are the best.

  26. Sara P. says:

    What a happy day! May you have many, many more ‘sloppy kisses’ and frosted cookies.

  27. Carrie says:

    Sigh… Your posts are always so dreamy. If only I had your ability to use words and photographs so beautifully together. Margot always makes me laugh out loud.

  28. Whitney says:

    As always, your girls are beautiful. But that first picture of Margot? the one in the red dress and red hat? That’s just gorgeous. A picture like that makes a mama want to go for baby #3….a girl among my family of boys.

  29. I love the Life Anniversary. I like the idea of commemorating Calvin’s.

    In other Calvin news – tofu is a big favorite. He gets bowls of hot and sour soup just for the tofu chunks.

    And also? You look so pretty there with your girls.

    Party on.

  30. Jennifer says:

    Life anniversary! I love it! And describes me too. September 19th is my life anniversary. I am 6 years into it. Never stared death in the face in my life like that day. I had a freak accident with the spring loaded bracket in the garage door. Knocked me in the forehead. 2 1/2 hours of surgery, over 200 stitches and a concussion that lasted a month later…. I lived to tell. God was my saving grace and He got me through it. The thought of never being here for my daughter and husband ever again was jolting to my soul.

    I love that ski picture with the luminaries. So picture beautiful. I’d love to go there and have a ski vacation. Does Montana still have good snow in March? Spring break for my daughter during March.

    Love your poseless picture of you and Ruby, so so precious.


  31. Erin O. says:

    I am humbled and happy that the “Life Anniversary” has brought you comfort. :)

  32. Ellie says:

    I read three times the part about Margot’s son getting a bath and then getting cut on the counter. Kids do the darnest things.
    Happy life anniversary to Ruby and happy birthday to Margot. What lovely occasions to brighten the winter days.

  33. Oh Nici, what a beauitful time to be celebrating so many fantastic events! As for Ruby’s ‘Life Anniversary’….I love that! The perfect name for such a miraculous & special day!
    And Margot, sweet little old-soul Margot…she has me in stitches with every post you write! She is just gorgeous & so full of unpredictable one-liners! I love her!
    My little Ella is 3 next month & she’s requested some crazy out-there things too…hmmm…can Mumma deliver? hehehe!

  34. Kelle says:

    It feels so good to read this in your time zone. We’re closer, and I feel it. And it is what I expected it to be…full of life and spirit, just like you and your family and your love.

    I loved: There is a lot to celebrate. People often ask it it’s nuts having my kids’ birthdays close to each other and close to holiday craziness. I think it makes perfect sense. For my family, this time of year is entirely about spirited embracing, ritual, shared meals, colored lights, gift-giving, merry-making. Throw a few birthdays in there and it’s just more to chew on. I like to celebrate.

    I feel it, live it, understand it completely. And I loved the butter truck too.

    xoxo Happy Life Anniversary, Rubes.

  35. RMAinMD says:

    ,,,i love that margot and ruby share in the clothes their mama wore,,,love and smiled to self at margot’s birthday requests for “food, activity, and party”, she is the creative, wise, never at a loss for words, child that i didn’t have but always dreamed of,,,ruby, happy happy birthday to you sweet child,,,

  36. Anonymous says:

    Owen was just looking at these pics w/ me and is enamored by Margot’s trucks! How funny that she has a ‘son’. Thanks for sharing, and we’ll def be checking out that lodge!

    Melissa & Owen

  37. jen says:

    just thought of you as i was re-looking up this recipe at my friend’s blog –
    pretty sure you already had a cake idea in mind … but … it’s so beautiful i had to share.
    and her cookies? to. die. for.
    i’m overly excited that she’s making finn’s first year bday cookies for him!

  38. Lizzy Vega says:

    I remember reading Erin O’s comment on your last post and thinking the same thing about “life anniversary” and how awesome and beautiful that day must be to celebrate! Know that you had many people celebrating with you! I love Ruby. I love Margot. Sounds so crazy, cause I don’t actually know you or your little ones or Andy or your mom but I love them all!! Wishing the best of celebrations with brand new fun-loving memories to be created!
    By the way, that ski lodge sounds like heaven! Hopefully, Kelle wins it, that way we can all experience it!! 😉
    Happy belated birthday to Ruby, Happy Life Anniversary to Rubes and Happy Happy Birthday to Margot! Merry Christmas to you all! xoxo

  39. Livy says:

    Me and one of my sisters are both December babies and we love it!

  40. Jennifer says:

    Jen –

    That rainbow cake is nutter-butters! I’ve seen many blogs talk about how to make the 6-layer rainbow cake; and I cannot wait to make it for such an occasion. Your friend just amped it up a bit.

    It’s fantastic that you have this creative friend in your life. What a great way to share joy and inspiration.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  41. Jen says:

    mmm… life anniversary. i love it!!

  42. Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Little Lady. I have been reading just over a year now, I realized today.
    The picture of her running and smiling in the dress made by your grandmother is stunning. I can’t express the inspiration it gives me.
    YOU could totally upcycle a sweater into a dress like that with your super sweater-altering abilities!
    Thanks for a great year of tears and smiles on Wednesdays.

  43. kendra says:

    happy anniversary, and birthdays, and congratulations on becoming a buttery gramma! priceless!!!

  44. Heidi says:

    Happy Life Anniversary Ruby!… and Happy Sugary Goodness and B-day to Margot. Love the running picture…such a look of determination. I agree with Carrie – you weave words and photos into some sort of Montana dreaminess that makes me want to jump in my car and head out there.

  45. Larissa says:

    I like the whole ‘Life Anniversary.’ I guess that means my oldest boys Life Anniversary is March 6th. I’ll have to remember that…. :)
    I feel you on birthdays close together AND at Christmas… out of our little family of 5, 3 birthdays fall between Dec. 15 and Dec. 27. Makes for a fun and crazy time- lots of parties and reasons to celebrate! :)

  46. Amy says:

    Happy Life Anniversary a few days late sweet Ruby. You are so loved.
    As soon as your break from sewing is over – my little Missy NEEDS a dig this chick skirt. Needs.

  47. Anonymous says:

    ok. i have been stalking your blog for months now, i love observing you and your precious family. but, today, i saw your xmas tree and have to say that i love, love, love it. we used to get these in beaumont, texas and they don’t sell the “scrawny” trees anymore. truly miss them. susan