hump day nuggets: lunar hug

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


I was up late Monday night making gifts thinking how I’d be so privileged to see the solstice eclipse but between dreaming of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and making my way out of my studio and up stairs I forgot. I fell into bed next to my exceptionally warm husband. But he stirred which is unusual and heard a noise he wanted to investigate. He got up, I fell asleep. I woke to him standing over me wrapped in his grandma’s wool blanket.

“Babe, wanna see the eclipse?”

I jumped up, thankful for the nudge. It was so cold, even with the heat humming. We huddled on our front steps in three degree air, wrapped in Dolly Mae’s thick blanket and watched the red moon, our girls asleep inside.


The moon often makes me tear up. The same moon the whole planet sees, it circles every living thing once a day. A lunar hug. It’s so consistent, always showing us the same face, waxing and waning, pushing the ocean in ebbs and flows. The moon makes me feel calm and generous.


:: elving nuggets ::

The verb elving has been popping up all of the interweb and I think it is a strange word but elf is one of my favorite words in our language and the concept of elving is a lovely one. So, we’ve been elving.

elving with little breaks for down dog

:: I got all my holiday sewing orders complete and closed shop for a few weeks. But, it’s not really closed because I am making gifts for my people and having the most fun (mostly fun. there have been a few seam ripper swear sessions).


I do a lot of gift-making while the girls sleep but I also do a lot when they are with me. It’s less productive and often insane but I think it is important for them to participate in the spirit of making and giving, a complex concept for a three year-old (three year-old!). I am not saying that I am wiggy about a kid’s love of receiving gifts. In fact, I celebrate Margot’s excitement to open packages and presents. It’s just that I want my kids to witness and eventually know the total joy of giving.

fabric scrap garland: two 1×6 inch pieces of fabric fused together with interfacing (like heat n’ bond)
and then stapled just like the paper chains.

:: Rubes and bug have been hanging out in their ‘nest’ in the mornings.


Which I, of course, think is pretty dang cute.


:: We made ornaments and Margot picked which creation goes to which friends.

The whole fam drew on shrinky dink plastic.


Mama drew hearts and stars and cut and punched holes and we got to watch the magic folding and unfurling of our creations.


Tomorrow, the girls and I will drive all about Missoula dropping little gifts at friends’ homes.


:: Our city is blanketed with snow. It’s like baking powder and squeaks when you walk. It makes 12 degrees feel a lot warmer to me.


:: Cinnamon snaps for the museum staff.

Recipe from one of our favorite cook books, Vegetarian Planet.
Margot rolling dough in sugar in my fourth birthday dress (made by my ma) that is obv way too
big for Margot but, boy does it twirl.

:: Margot picked the fabric for family presents. Well, I guided a few choices. Like, I am pretty sure my dad wouldn’t love pink fleece with orange hearts and elmo. For the most part she did a pretty rockin’ job and is adorably invested in which fabric goes to which person.

The general state of our home these days: Ruby on my hip, Margot wearing Ruby’s coat and boots on the
wrong feet, making up a song about her grandmas amidst the smattering of toys.

:: We are a big stocking stuffer family and I had SO MUCH FUN buying little treats for my kids. Margot is going to flip out over Curious George bandaids, stick on earrings, guava lip balm and rainbow socks. And Ruby will flip out over canning rings, wine corks, fabric balls and other stackable/rollable objects.

My mom made these incredible stockings. They are sewn, hand-embroidered and have secret little
animal buttons in the toes so when the girls are at the bottom they ‘find’ their own special button.

:: Ruby ‘helps’ in the kitchen like a good little elf.


:: We made play dough and shopped thrift stores for tools. I gessoed the lids and Margot and Ruby decorated.

For pennies we bought wooden forks, measuring spoons, butter knives, small spatulas,
cookie cutters, etc. to accompany the play dough.

The key to Margot’s participation in the giving is that she also gets to give to us. Like, she picked an ornament for our tree, picked six cookies for us to keep, picked fabric for herself and picked play dough tools for she and Ruby. This seems to open her up to giving with enthusiasm, getting really excited when she knows a gift will be a perfect fit for a friend. It’s very sweet.


We are off to Walla Walla for the holiday. And between now and the time we pull away from our home with food for five adults and three kids for four days, a dog, our family, gifts and essentials, we will be alternating between romping in the snowy wonderland of our valley and finishing up all the festive preparations. I’ll be away from here and back on Monday with mama digs from southeastern Washington.

Wishing all of you love, laughter, good food, waxing and waning, ebb and flow,
Nici (and fam)


46 Responses to hump day nuggets: lunar hug

  1. Jennifer says:

    Loved reading this post! Merry Christmas!

  2. Lois Lane says:

    Who doesn’t love a goof little elf?

  3. Amie says:

    I love reading about the simplicity you keep within your family. You are such an inspiration to me. I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend. Merry Christmas, Nici!

  4. I went to college in Walla Walla. I have not been back since I graduated. I love it there. Have a wonderful holiday with your little family.

  5. I went to college in Walla Walla. I have not been back since I graduated. I love it there. Have a wonderful holiday with your little family.

  6. I went to college in Walla Walla. I have not been back since I graduated. I love it there. Have a wonderful holiday with your little family.

  7. I went to college in Walla Walla. I have not been back since I graduated. I love it there. Have a wonderful holiday with your little family.

  8. I went to college in Walla Walla. I have not been back since I graduated. I love it there. Have a wonderful holiday with your little family.

  9. Lindsay, The hilarious thing is that I still read your comment as ‘good’ instead of ‘goof’. Ha. I changed it although I really do enjoy goof little elf as well.

  10. Tina says:

    Merry Christmas to you & yours!
    Can’t wait to see pictures from your holidays!

  11. leighann says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Nici. Enjoy all the special moments of Ruby’s first Christmas!

    Leighann in Traverse City, MI

  12. Amber says:

    aw, what fun! I hope you have a lovely holiday weekend. Little ones put a whole new perspective upon us for the holiday!

  13. Jean says:

    Need cinnamon snaps.

  14. RMAinMD says:

    ,,,merry, merry and all things bright to the “cline” family,,,thank you for always delivering such “sweet” nuggets,,,xo rebecca

  15. babygalah says:

    I like that we were gazing at the same moon but from different hemispheres, and I can’t lie, I was not cold and had a glass of wine in hand.
    A beautiful post.
    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas. Dee x

  16. Margaret says:

    I enjpy your posts all year round…but especially the ones about snow and celebrations! I love both! Welcome to Washington! Hope you enjoy it here!

  17. RMAinMD says:

    ,,,p.s. love the christmas stockings and the matching jammies,,,grandma is very creative, i see the love woven in her masterpieces,,,

  18. Annie says:

    I so enjoy reading your posts. Even if I can pick up and try one or two of your ideas every now and then I feel better about me and how I’m helping our world and my children.

    I LOVE the fabric scrap garland!

    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful (inside and out) family!

  19. BarbaraS says:

    Merry Christmas to you and you whole family!
    Love, Barbara and Steve

  20. BarbaraS says:

    Whoops… that’s YOUR whole family.

  21. Charity says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  22. Merry Christmas to you & your gorgeous family Nici! Enjoy this ‘elving’ time & all that this time of year brings :) Pure MAGIC!
    Happy Holidays!

  23. Erin says:

    lunar hug is a wonderful phrase.

  24. Jennifer says:

    I went out to view the eclipse at 1:20 am and just stared for about 50 minutes. I snapped some pictures of the ruby moon and the clouds that passed were tinted with the ruby glow. So neat to watch. Have a safe trip and a warm Christmas with your sweet family.

  25. Erin O. says:


    I’m now on a mission to find stick on earrings. My girl will flip.

  26. Daniele says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. jen says:

    so … was it the cake that i sent you that was the disaster??
    dude. i’m so sorry if it was! i had no idea … it looked so simple when she did it! then again- her cookies are unbelieveable. i have no idea how she does that thing she does with her frosting!
    enjoy this holiday weekend with family!

  28. jennywren says:

    Sweet! Growing up my grandfather called me and my sister elves-I was little elf and she was big elf. :)

  29. Pam says:

    Triple love the nest!

  30. TRB Holt says:

    uh oh here I am with Christmastime-elving tears….MISSING you all so very much!

    Loved this post and all the photos, the one of Margot holding Ruby in the owl hat is my new desktop background.

    Have a wonderful Christmas my sweet daughter…I love you so very much!

  31. kris laroche says:

    warm, cozy winter wishes to you all. thanks for all you do and are, nici. with love, kris…xxxooo

  32. Erin says:

    what fabulous, sweet, loving thoughts you share today! your crafts are inspirational! your thoughtfulness and gratitude is contagious! merry christmas from over the mountain in RL!

  33. Ellie says:

    Happy holidays to you and yours, Nici. Your post just gave me ideas about how to fill my little one’s stocking; minutes ago I had been whining to my husband that I didn’t know what to put in there, in the absence of store-bought plastic crap. We have tons of wine corks! Our four-year old is getting a five-dollar harmonica in his stocking that I think he is going to love. Happy holidays.

  34. Jacqui says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours

  35. Calvin was always such a “nest” baby. I miss that! Laundry baskets and even the space between mommy and daddy in bed in the mornings always became his nest. Thanks for that memory today.

    What else? What else? Ah yes, the fabric chain. LOVE!!!!!

    ps- Do you read fiction often? I’m thinking you might dig The Used World by Haven Kimmel. She continues to slay me on a nightly basis as I inch my way through at a snail’s pace, wanting so much to make it last.

  36. Sage says:

    Lots of love right back at ya! xo

  37. Jenn says:

    I am so happy that I found your blog this year and your Mama Digs articles. They have been such an inspiration. Cheers to you and your family this holiday!

  38. Jo says:

    You are so creative! Merry Christmas, and safe travels.

  39. Bikini By 30 says:

    I am almost certain that I have a sewing machine waiting for me under the Christmas tree. Can’t wait to start my own projets!!

  40. Rhonda says:

    Love your holiday traditions!!!

    A lunar hug!! How great is that!!

    And little red whispy curls…adorable!!

    Merry Christmas and Enjoy these special times!!

  41. I loved shrinky dinks as a child–really LOVED them!! I had all kinds of them-now I am going to find some shrinky dink plastic and show my kids. I just love how you can draw something big and detailed and it shrinks down to tiny and detailed!!thanks for the inspriation :)

  42. Nici,
    So cool that you got to see the red moon.
    Have a wonderful holiday you Mama who gives so much and knows how to celebrate life.


  43. that was the best post ever…thanks for the fabric garland idea, love it!
    :) Kim

  44. FinnyKnits says:

    Fabric garland! Another great way to recycle scraps into something fab – good call.

    Have a fabulous, fabulous magical holiday – all you :)

    Finny + Bubba

  45. Gramomster says:

    Beautiful, wonderful, lovely!

    Can I just say… OMG the owl hat!!! Man, that is too cute!

    A lovely Christmas to you and yours.

  46. Jess says:

    I wish I was all crafty and awesome like you. Love the pics of your fam. You’re so lucky to have all that snow!! I want some!