She’s Three


She’s kind, compassionate, fiery, opinionated, adoring, independent, hilarious, wise. She likes twirling on one foot, digging through my grandmother’s costume jewelry when I’m not paying attention and making Ruby laugh. She plays hide-and-seek every night with her papa and her giggling gives her away every time. She makes me feel proud, purposeful, important, humble, alive and in love.

:: :: ::

We were playing airplane the other night and I said, “Margot, I love you so much.”
“I love you so much mom,” as she hovered over me, my heels against her belly button.
“I can’t believe you were in my belly three years ago.”
“You pushed me out? You pushed so hard?”
“I did.”
“You pushed me out of your body?”
“Yes. Do you remember it?”
“Yep. It was dark and I was stuck. And I went weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”


:: :: ::
We were at the grocery store fetching ingredients for her rainbow cake when she spied a display of giant foil number balloons. “Oh wow! Oh mom! Can I please have one?” In a nanosecond, I went from autopilot-no-way-am-I-spending-$10-on-a-balloon-mom to absolutely-YES-mom.

Here, Margot lassoes three.

“I want that blue sparkley one! It’s so beautiful!” I said ok thinking it was hilarious that she would have a number 8 balloon or something but, sure enough, of the dozens of balloons, there was only one “3” and only one dark blue balloon and that was the ONE Margot loved. She said it was the letter “C.” I fetched it and she ran off clobbering unsuspecting shoppers (balloons are silent but deadly attackers when being pulled by a three foot-tall person), talking to the balloon saying things like, “I love you so much! I am so exciting to meet you darker blue letter C!”


Playing with her son and darker blue letter C

I couldn’t stop smiling. I was actually laughing out loud. Her thrill, excitement, pure joy sent my heart to the moon and back. Right there in the aisle as I was talking myself into pouring pints of food coloring into my daughter’s rainbow cake, as Ruby was trying to climb out of the cart to get a better look at her sister who was running in her cowgirl boots with an audible clack clack, clutching a balloon twice her size and her truck son, I felt giddy with happiness and thankfulness. I felt so right.

Every single person we passed, she had the same questions for them, “Do you see my balloon?! Isn’t it awesome?”


:: :: ::

The night of her birthday I went to bed with her. We laid there for a bit and I turned over and whispered, “Bug, you still awake?” She whispered back, “Yes. Tell me a story about Sam, Olive and Alice at the carousel.” I’ve been spinning this story for a while now and she loves it. I made up the next chapter and asked her if she would tell me a story. “I can’t because I am only a kid.” I asked if she wanted to try and she said ok.

“There was a bug. A giant, giant bug that was so HUGE. And he was in our backyard. He played and played and then found a leaf and ate it and took it home to his lighter red house. He took a nap and then woke up and played again.”


:: :: ::

I wrote about Margot’s third birthday and the cake I made and then remade and how I pretty much learn everything I need to know about life from her in this week’s mama digs, a rainbow cake for my girl.

I remembered to take a photo on our way out the door. Hence the rainbow cake with lighter
blue and darker blue and blue sparkles in our entry way.

46 Responses to She’s Three

  1. booksNyarn says:

    Happy happy Year of Three! Margot always shines, but these pictures are amazing. :)

  2. Kate says:

    This post left me teary and smiling. My bean turns 1 next month and I am just loving these days of watching her become who she is. And I know it just gets better and better, but at the same time, there is that bittersweet sense of babyhood slipping away. Your Margot sounds like an amazing kid – kudos mom and dad!

  3. BarbaraS says:

    She’s beautiful, inside and out! Happy Birthday Margot.

  4. Lauren says:

    I just smiled and laughed like I’d actually seen you at the store. Touching and hysterical. Thanks for sharing…beautiful way to start my Monday morning. The pics are amazing, per ushe.

  5. Sarah says:

    tears…loving the way you love her and the way it brings up the way I love my 4 year old. Her 3 yr bday was special because I felt like it was probably the first one she’d really remember. I lost two rum cakes over the weekend because grill spray is not the same as pam spray.

  6. Rhonda says:

    “Yep. It was dark and I was stuck. And I went weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

    How cute is that!!!! Love it!!! Warms my heart!!

    I love the excitement the balloon brings…well worth the $10!!
    Look at her all curled up in bed with the stillness of the balloon.
    Cant we just keep them this age forever!!!
    Happy Birthday Bug!!

  7. RMAinMD says:

    ,,,margot is precious,,,she’s all that and a bag of chips,,,she’s going places indeed she is and she’s just 3!,,,

  8. “She’s kind, compassionate, fiery, opinionated, adoring, independent, hilarious, wise.” ~Sounds like a Sagittarius! I wish kids would stay 3. It’s such a magical age.

    And what a pretty cake…

  9. paige says:

    You all are so freaking cute. Love.

  10. Happy Birthday Margot!!! How absolutely precious she is! As always, you’ve made me smile Nici!

  11. Jean says:

    She’s quite a girl.

  12. You write so well, you are incredibly creative and sound like a fantastic mom. You both brought me to tears and inspire me. Happy Birthday to your sweet girl! Thanks for this post. It was lovely.

  13. KBO says:

    What a gorgeous snapshot of Margot–not the photographs (they’re lovely, too) but this whole glimpse of who she is right this minute. Probably the best thing I’ve read today.

  14. Marti says:

    happy birthday margot! i’m excited you could give her the party of her dreams.

  15. Happy Birthday Bug! What wisdom she has at three years old…

  16. Who knew a giant blue 3/C could be so danged inspirational and artsy? I’m loving the photos, loving the girl, loving the Mama who stopped herself just in time and said YES.

  17. Maria says:

    Happy Birthday Margot!! OMG, her hair looks beautiful & that cake looks amazing. Have a wonderful holiday!

  18. Happy Birthday to the “big” girl! I can see she is one smart cookie. That is one awesome balloon!

  19. Daniele says:

    Aww, the mama digs almost made me cry…I have a 3 year old and I want to be just like her too. Happy birthday Margot!

  20. Julia says:


    Margot is a very fortunate little girl to have a mom like you. It is a beautiful thing that you see her as you do.

    I really enjoy reading her cute “sayisms”…she is just a wonderful Margot…


  21. leighann says:


    This post was pure joy to look at and read! Your girl is a beauty and I was transfixed by her cuteness, in a big girl way, in your opening shot of her.

    Love that the picture tells alot about who she is right now…complete with her cowboy boots and “son”.

    Oh and the picture of her sleeping with the “darker blue letter C” is just perfect.

    What a blessing you have in your “old soul”. Thanks for sharing her with us too!

    Leighann, Traverse City, MI

  22. Annie says:

    Inspiring for me to write about my children.

  23. Melissa says:

    How wonderful! I love Margot and these photos of her are the best ever–thanks for 3 years of posting about your bug–I still remember reading about her first birthday and thinking about how Avi follows just a coupla months behind . . .3 is a great age. Love the rainbow cake and the way you honor and celebrate your girl!

  24. Elise says:

    Happy Birthday to Margot! The celebration sounds like it was so much fun and perfect for her. I really, really want some rainbow cake with lighter blue and darker blue frosting (and sparkles!) right about now.

  25. Jennifer says:

    Love that pic! Frame it.

  26. Rachael says:

    a post full of margot-isms! my favourite :) happy birthday!!

  27. What lovely words to honor your dear Margot. Happy Birthday Bug!

    1) I love her confidence.
    2) I love that you strive to be like her.
    3) And I love that she says that she remembers being born and saying “weeee” on the way out. That made me laugh out loud and drop the stack of stuffed Christmas Cards on the floor.

    Merry Christmas to you, Andy, your girls, & your family.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  28. Jolene says:

    love it – as usual. my favorite “hon why did you wash your cell phone 4 times?” omg i am laughing so loud imagining this moment – definitely not funny at the time. the cake is beautiful, i am glad she had her perfect day.

  29. Joan says:

    This made me so happy to see Margot on the day she was 3. Thanks for this post. She is an amazing child. I can’t stop smiling.

  30. Amy says:

    I want one of those balloons. I dont care what one it is… I would take the letter C if I meant I got to have one.
    Happy Birthday Margot! Love the first picture of her… she looks so grown up and stylish!!

  31. KWQR says:

    I love how you love your girls… how you celebrate their uniqueness & beauty & oh-so-clever little brains. That rainbow cake looks amazing & I will shamelessly steal that idea for my little guy’s third birthday in January.
    Sleeping with balloon pic is my favorite!
    Happy birthday Margot! Three is so very big.

  32. babygalah says:

    LOVE this post ! What a gift for Margot to read on her 13th, 23rd, 33rd, 83rd birthday ! Her words and your words captured today.
    Happy Birthday Margot and Happy 3 years being a Mama to you.
    Dee x

  33. Kelle says:

    Love, Nici. Margot is such a lively spirit, and I love her and the fact that I met you long ago while you waited for her.
    Happy Birthday, little Bug. We love you.
    (my word verification is “bling.” ha ha)

  34. Kristine says:

    Happy Birthday to Margot. I loved her birthday menu. Girl knows what she wants. :) She’s so sweet.

  35. Thanks for sharing… I have experienced so many of the things you write about with my son – the love of shiny balloons, the cake disasters the night before, the shared stories in bed… and you write about them so eloquently! Happy birthday Margot and Mama!

  36. RootAndTwig says:

    What a beautiful, beautiful girl and balloon combo they make! Made for each other, right?

  37. TRB Holt says:

    Margot Bea this is just for you….I love your mama & uncle more than anything in this world AND then you were born. It amazes me how there is always love for one more, especially when that one more is you! Being my first grandchild you will always hold a special spot in my heart, a place that will always be just yours. You have brought me so much joy in these quick three years. I look forward to listening to you read a book, ride a bike, take a ski run with me, go for a horse ride together, learn to sew, dance with me, have our special tea parties, learn my favorite recipes, write me a letter, call me on the phone…just to say HI, send me an email or text, friend me on face book, come for a visit…all by yourself, watch you grow and blossom into a young lady, be at ALL your graduations, share in your joy of your first love and EVERYTHING else in between…..I will always be here for you…Happy Birthday my darling little girl!

    I love this quote and will do my best to live up to it…
    ”Grandparents are there to help the child get into mischief they haven’t thought of yet.”
    — Gene Perret

    I Love You A Bushel & A Peck…
    Xoxo, Gram

    Ps…love the comment… “She’s kind, compassionate, fiery, opinionated, adoring, independent, hilarious, wise.” ~Sounds like a Sagittarius

  38. Jill says:

    Margot sounds like one of the greatest 3 year olds around! Happy birthday, beautiful girl!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  39. Jenny says:

    Happy Birthday to Margot Bea!

  40. Jodi says:

    You will never regret getting that balloon! Happy birthday to Margot!

  41. Minnesotagal says:

    Fierce! Next to the picture of you pregnant in the bar, that photo of Margot is my favorite! Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words…

  42. Bree says:

    Your blog always makes me feel so warm and fuzzy on the inside, but this would have to be one of the best posts ever! I am so glad Margot and your family had such a wonderful day as your bug turned 3 Nici ♥

  43. meghan says:

    The picture of her sleeping with the balloon just made me weep. She looks so much like my daughter when she sleeps, I can see my daughter doing the exact same thing in a few years’ time.

  44. Larissa says:

    happy 3rd birthday to your little margot! my little ezra just turned 3 on the 15th… it is a wonderful birthday- i think my favorite! they are so purely excited.
    love the picture of her asleep with her balloon and her son!
    and where she said “i’m so exciting”… sounds like my ezra- he uses that same grammar… “i’m so exciting for my birthday party! it’s going to be awesomer!”
    so cute, little 3 year olds!! :)

  45. Happy 3 Margot!! It must be the year for rainbow cakes,,,,we had one too 😉

  46. Hi there, just wanted to say, I liked this blog post. It was helpful. Keep on posting!