hump day nuggets: home

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

The vastness of eastern Washington

We are home. Right now, I am sipping coffee on my couch next to my sleeping dog. Our living room is decorated with a cooler full of food, an open suitcase with its contents arranged like a small, sprawling mountain range around a lake of three pairs of shoes, five bags of miscellany, new gifts, two snowsuits, a half-eaten peanut butter sandwich, a cell phone charger, hats, socks…you get the picture. I really, really don’t like unpacking. Packing is kind of fun with the anticipation of the journey and arrival to a different place. Unpacking just sucks with all that stuff that needs a home and all I want to do is be home.


Snow is piling up by the minute out there making my cozy tunnel vision even more appealing. Ruby is napping, Margot is at Owen’s house and the piles will wait. If I were to make a list of things to do right now it would contain a lot of stuff like laundry, cleaning and showering. But I am choosing to tackle a list of assembling nuggets, making soup, sledding and drinking coffee.

Our holiday adventure was great, rich with prolonged coffee-pajama mornings, walks, shared meals, adult beverages, late-night game-playing, perpetually lost items and good conversation. Our adventure was also rich in a different kind of holiday reality, one that comes with many people in one house for many days: kid disputes mostly involving Margot exhibiting her love for her cousin with spirited shoves, one bloody nose and a misunderstanding over pasta.


Our family gave the gift of a cold to everyone but last night I got a text from my sister-in-law who is more like my sister that said even though they returned to Portland with really sick kid and a collapsed ceiling due to a water leak, they were in high spirits from our trip, feeling grateful and in love. I married into an exceptionally fantastic family.



:: I wonder, if adults pick up thousands of pieces of paper and marker lids, never calling it quits and putting them out of reach, if the cyclical charade would continue for days. I think yes.


:: Not many pics of Rubes this trip. My sick monkey was in arms, mostly mine.


:: One time when Aida was crying I asked Margot what she thought might make her cousin feel better. Without hesitation she said, “My boob.”


:: I had a standoff with a squirrel. He spoke to me through his beady, asymmetrical gaze saying things like, “You think I am afraid of you just because you are tall and have thumbs? Well, only one of us can climb fences and only one of us is looking down on the other right now. So, you best move on homeslice.”

My sister in law was behind me shrieking and squealing about how he was about to pounce on my face.

:: My niece, Aida Louise.


:: Margot ran around the aviary asking all the birds just as sweetly as she could, “Can I please hold you?”


:: Sharing of the grandma was a tough reality for my bug. 

:: I might want to be a duck in my next life. Just so I can have feet like this.


:: L’École 41 winery, one of our favorites.


:: Dads are just way more fun than moms at the playground.
So we’re home with a great list of memories to hold our hearts until the next visit.


We are home to piles of snow and more piles on the way. We are home to our wacky normalcy, with a few days of staycation, perhaps even more stay than we’d planned as the roads are mostly undriveable, looking forward to the New Year.


ps In response to inquiries about the last post: I made the pajama pants (I moonlight as an elf) by tracing existing pants. This method is wonderfully outlined in The Creative Family.

23 Responses to hump day nuggets: home

  1. Clancy Tice says:

    Great to see the pics of the rendezvous in the city of famous onions! Cute babes.

  2. RMAinMD says:

    ,,,these nuggets have a “sweet” flavor to them,,,happy 2011!

  3. Annie says:

    Fun nuggets! Adorable pics. Sounds like a great trip.

  4. Maria says:

    Wow! You guys sure make gorgeous kids!! Happy New Year!!!

  5. FinnyKnits says:

    Ahhh! Snowed in! That’s excellent timing after returning home from a trip away. You can nest in your cozy house and savor the best parts of your trip. And it looks like everything was savory :)
    Happy New Year, doll – to you all, Alice, too!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Looks like Pioneer Park? LOVE that place! The trees there are amazing! Sure glad you made it back before the blizzard. -Owen’s mom

  7. Can’t believe I missed a perfectly good opportunity to throw in the word ‘sweet’ all over the place. The sweetness of those amazing onions. Love them.

    Owen’s mom: Yes! Pioneer Park. We stayed just a few blocks away.

  8. Melissa says:

    that squirrel has crazy eyes! so glad it didn’t pounce!

    sorry to hear ruby was sick–i hope she is on the mend! my girl has been sick for about 2 1/2 weeks–if i thought i was sleep-deprived before that, i was mistaken.

    i love margot’s quote–she knows about the healing power of breastmilk already! what a smartie!

    happy new year to your beautiful family!

    ps. what does one do with a giant bag of sock cast–offs? like mismatched ones and ones with holes–you know the goodwill doesn’t want them. any crafty ideas? xoxo

  9. KWQR says:

    Looks like it was a wonderful holiday – well worth the late night shopping & forgotten hams! Enjoy that snow & burrow deep with your beautiful family.

  10. TRB Holt says:

    Burb, is this your last post this year? If so I want to tell you how much I look forward to and thoroughly love reading your work. You are definitely one of MY finer works….I love you so.

    xoxo, Mom

  11. Kelle says:

    First, love Mama’s quote about you being her finer work. I’ve missed you and kept checking for nuggs yesterday…thought about you in Wala Wala land several times throughout the holiday. And the trip looked as I expected…just comfortable and loungey and full of love. Glad you are home and looking forward to more of my favorite Montana girls. xo

  12. beautiful girls! looks like you all had fun. Hope the lil babe feels better :)


  13. Welcome home Nici! Last night I was working out and thought, “you know, Amanda Soule makes PJ pants by using your favorite ones as a pattern.” And then to see that you have the book too, I cheered. I’m a big fan of Soule Mama and her mastery of the everything (cooking/sewing/blogging/craftiness). I have both of her books (one autographed too!) and I’ve enjoyed her inspiration.

    Enjoy your nuggets and staycation. There’s no place like home (click, click).

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  14. Kristine says:

    Totally had a flash of Christmas Vacation with the nugget about the squirrel. Thanks for the laugh. :)
    Glad your little get-a-way was everything you hoped it would be.

  15. Gramomster says:

    Oh what a lovely looking trip! Family and playgrounds and birds? Aaaahhhhhh….. and a winery visit? MMMMmmmmmmmm… You folks know how to do a cozy holiday!

    Haha! The squirrel. They’re evil little buggers. My husband had a similar stand-off a couple falls ago. While he and the tree-dweller locked eyes, a fuzzy accomplice launched at hubby’s ass. Hilarious from the observer side!
    Furry little bastards! LOL

    The snow there looks amazing!!! It’s almost 50 and raining here in West Michigan today. I’m feeling pretty snow-deprived this year so far. I want to go sledding!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Dude..the squirrel cracked me up! soooo funny!


  17. Sage says:

    I can tell you are really trying to totally embibe the life of a list maker! enjoy, enjoy and remember it is not about doing everything on the list, just getting the list on paper and out of your head. xo

    And totally cracked up about margot’s comment on nursing… what a great kid moment! Love it!

    The squirrel… what the fuck? That thing looks crazy!!! Love that you didn’t back down and got a stellar pic to boot. xo

    We are enjoying the snow as it piles up too, and anticipating lots of great new loves in 2011… happy new year to you dig. I still feel fortunate to have found your little space and to continue to draw inspiration from it.

    best. Sage

  18. Amy K says:

    Margot’s statements make me laugh out loud! Thank you for sharing your beautiful girls and funny moments with us! Love it.

  19. Holly Taylor says:

    Oh my I hate squirrels. I would have been covering my face running for the hills.
    I love staycations, the very best kind this time of year.
    Happy New Year.
    and I only put this on here as I love it when other people do in their comments so I can grab a glance at their blogs. Hope thats ok!

  20. Melina says:

    Oh how I love the squirrel and the duck feet. A little smattering of nature photography in the midst of fat cheeked babies and gorgeous toddlers. Thanks for making my morning coffee complete. Your blog and your life seriously ROCK! Gosh can you tell I’m on a caffeine rush!!?!?


  21. Jean Albus says:

    Great to see photos of the trip. Thanks, Nici. Hope everybody’s feeling better. I’m dreading the roads on our trip home. Hope it warms up. xo

  22. the squirrel pic had me cracking up!!! happy new year nici : )

  23. Valley Girl says:

    Walla Walla!! So you were in our neck of the woods for the holidays, how lovely! Just happened over via Flower Patch Farm Girl, thought the vast eastern Washington skyline looked familiar. And Pioneer Park, what a great place. Those squirrels there are fat, happy and fearless. We actually had to go to Texas for the holidays and didn’t get to enjoy sweet Walla Walla. So glad you got to for us. And coming home…it’s just painful. The unpacking, finding homes for the new toys and goodies, putting Christmas away. Ugggg. Enjoy the beautiful snow, and drink another cup of coffee!