be mine

Hello sweethearts.

Margot wanted to make a ‘happy valentine’s day video’ and took the opportunity to sing her favorite song. 

I remember making and passing out valentines in elementary school into tiny baskets on each kid’s desk. I was always so excited to see what my classmates chose to give me. Like my horoscope, I’d always read what I wanted to read. If my crush gave me a Kermit card, I just *knew* it meant he wanted to hold hands.

I remember high school where simple handmade cards turned into buying carnations for classmates. I think the intention of the organizers was to send warm fuzzies to your pals but, like most things in high school, it felt like a competition. How may carnations were waiting for me in homeroom? It always gave me anxiety. I didn’t like how my feelings were directly related to the size of my bouquet. Also, there was always an anonymous love flower whose giver I’d never know. I didn’t like the not knowing either. Just give me a Kermit card and let’s hold hands already.

Memory is an interesting thing, what our brains choose to hold onto, how out bodies choose to revisit stories. I have been thinking about this a lot lately as Margot is three and, at three, I have many vivid, exaggerated snippets in my brain. I wonder what she’ll remember and I wrote about it in this week’s mama digs: remembering three.

Photos taken with webcam, my beloved camera is broken.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

39 Responses to be mine

  1. ebelknap says:

    Too cute! My almost 2 1/2 year old daughter sings happy birthday every day so I love seeing another little one do that too. Love it!

  2. Daniele ♥ says:

    Wow Margot looks like you!
    I also have a 3 year old and my husband and I wonder all of the time about which memories currently being made are going to stick. I lived in southern California as a 3 yr old and most of my memories involve being at the beach. And riding my Care Bears big wheel really really fast. And swinging so high at the park that I really felt like I was up in the sky. One very vivid memory is standing at my mom’s legs as she washed the dishes. I rubbed my hands up her calf and was shocked when I felt stubble, I had never felt that before, and I said mama your legs are a cactus! Don’t know what it is about that memory but I can remember everything, even the way the sun lit the room. haha
    I can’t wait to talk with my Lily someday about these 3 yr old memories. My husband was recently telling his mom some things he remembered and she was truly like, almost freaked out…she couldn’t believe some of the details of things he remembered. It is all amazing! Happy Valentine’s day!

  3. Mary-Cate says:

    adorable! i love that you have a mini me :) my most vivid memory at age 3 is surgery and being so scared (but i remember getting presents too!) happy valentine’s day! xx

  4. Whitney says:

    Oh my – I LOVE that I’ve now seen your girls on video – now there’s a voice to go with Margot’s sweet face!

  5. Marti says:

    Simply adorable…isn’t that every 3 y/o favorite song? Happy Valentines Day!

  6. April says:

    Hilarioulsy cute! Is Margot wearing lipstick?

    Happy day … xoxo …

  7. Happy Valentines day over there. xo
    What happened to your camera? Boo.

  8. Tina says:

    The way Margot sang Ruby’s name made my heart melt. How sweet! My daughter also sings Happy Birthday all the time… and Jingle Bells. lol
    Love the video, and also the pics of you with your girls. I knew you’d figure out a way to have pictures on your posts even though your camera is busted.

    Speaking of which – what happened to your camera? Please do tell!

  9. M says:

    Adorable! I love how Margot says Ruby’s name, and how she looks just like you did as a 3 year old. Happy Valentine’s Day.

  10. Awesome. Margot is so much more of a little kid than I imagined. In writing, her statements and ideas are so big and bold, you wouldn’t imagine them coming from such a high-pitched voice! Funny. Happy Valentine’s Day.

  11. FinnyKnits says:

    Hah! Funny, happy kiddos – very sweet indeed.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you guys. Though we are mercifully without a video of either Bubba or myself singing or trying to coax the dog into singing.

    Can you imagine?

    Ugh, that’d ruin a day…


  12. rebecca says:

    ,,happy heart day margot, ruby and mama-dig,,,love the sweet video,,,

  13. Melissa says:

    Aww, your column made me all teary! My first memories are from when I was three as well, and I have been thinking about this a lot lately.

    Love you three girls dressed in red. So sweet, and so amazing how much Margot reminds me of Avi–three comes with some pretty specific stuff, doesn’t it?

    Happy love day!

  14. Terri Holt says:


    I did feel reassured when you looked at me like that. I now stand back and watch you mother just as I did. Margot will remember three and her memories will be full of the love and inspiration you are giving her. I LOVE you to the moon and back.

  15. megsplegs says:


    i love this post, nici! i’ve been reflecting on these very thoughts as i celebrated 3 of my children’s birthdays in the last 2 months. i marvel at what they’ve absorbed over the formative years; sometimes i’m proud & thankful, sometimes cringing and remorseful….but always amazed and so grateful to have this gift that is being a mother.

  16. Jessica says:


    Amazing! I had a difficult childhood with parents divorcing when I was 5 and I have virtually no memories of being young. Cherish those bad boys, I tell you! One of my wishes as a mother is that my kid will remember his childhood vividly and fondly because for me, there just isn’t much there and it stinks.

  17. Kate Vaughan says:


    Love it!

  18. Erin O. says:


    This is lovely.

    And, holy smokes, Margot looks just like you did at age 3.

    And, now I feel better about the fact that I woke up this morning to here my 3 year old saying “dammit” over and over in her room.

  19. TRB Holt says:

    Hello MY sweethearts, back at you! Loved the Happy Birthday/Valentine’s video…thanks Margot Bea!

    ps….aren’t you glad I saved your dresses for a “quarter of a century”. (to quote you)…..xoxoxoxo

  20. Gramomster says:

    LOVE the video!!!
    Connor came running in from the other room when he heard Margot’s voice. I had to replay it for him twice.

    Happy love day!


  21. Oh my, I figured that Margot’s dress was one of your (hate to use the word) “vintage” dress. HOW precious! And Alex and Margot are belting out the same song. Thanks for sharing the valentines wishes! Right back at cha.

    I’ve thought all day about when I was 3…I wore my red sleeveless Jenny dress to death. I trimmed my hair with my green lefty scissors and put the evidence under the big yellow chair. I loved my snoopy – carried him everywhere. I would piss my Dad off (I was a pistol) and then would lock myself in the bathroom; and mock my Dad as he attempted to break the lock. (Ok that memory makes me laugh). I spent my summer in Oregon with grandma running through sprinklers, not wearing my red/white/blue bathing suit. I slammed my hand in my Dad’s car door, which was a bloody mess; but I got a fancy bandaid so that made up for the pain.

    Thanks for making us think way back. I do wonder what memories will etch in our children’s minds right now. Wow. Cool.

    Wishing you a wonderful day.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  22. LCR says:

    Happy Valentines Day!
    Loving Margot’s sweet voice, and Ruby’s sweet cheeks:)
    Hope you all had a love filled day!

  23. You guys are the gorgeous-est. I want to come to Missoula right now and get in on some of that sweetness.

  24. Brandi says:

    Simply an adorable video!

    I’m sorry to hear about your camera! I’m glad that you’ve improvised a bit for this blog. Hope it doesn’t take long to get the cam repaired!

  25. KWQR says:

    Love the video… Margot’s singing made my day.
    My own childhood memories don’t really start until age 6 or so… but I do have a few random ones from earlier. My absolute favorite is from age 4 or 5 & my very best friend, who lived across the street, got chickenpox. We weren’t allowed to play together since I hadn’t yet had them. So we came up with a game where she sat on the curb in front of her house, and me on mine, & we played endless hours of our made up version of 20 questions… hollering & laughing across the street at each other. What I love even more is that she is still one of my very best friends & has the same memory.
    Beautiful writing, as always… happy love day to you!

  26. Jill says:

    Happy Valentine’s! Really enjoyed the video. And — get out! That picture of you (on mom’s shoulders) looks EXACTLY like Margot…the big happy smile and all!

    Amazing you can remember so much from being 3!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  27. I’ve enjoyed lurking on your site. Your awesome pics inspired me to buy a good camera after mine broke. I got a Pentax K-r and totally love it. You might check it out if yours can’t be fixed. Cheers!

  28. Tina says:


    I think about this all the time, the fact that my daughter who is 4 will be able to remember things from this age when she grows up. It’s almost scary… I worry she’ll remember the bad days where I scream at her for something ridiculous (hey, I’m not perfect but I try my best). I hope she remembers all the good days, all the fun things, all the things I do to try to show her how much I love her.

    I only remember my Dad getting mad at me once, although I know there was definitely more than one time. I think I remember this particular time because he swung to smack me on the butt and I moved out of the way and he hit the mattress instead, which made me laugh and he got even more mad. But he never did ended up smacking me.

    ps… I tell my girls I love them to the moon and back too… stole it from Guess How Much I Love You.

  29. Dorie says:


    Margot looks just like you at that age! So beautiful.

  30. Jean says:


    Yeah, Margot really looks a lot like you. haha, that damn yellow truck.

  31. via

    Your smile at three is Margot’s exactly. Wow. Impressed with how much you remember of three.
    I remember eating lunch at long yellow tables at my daycare. That’s about it.

  32. Britta says:


    “It is hard to believe she won’t remember the first few years of her life that so hugely shaped me.”

    Oh, that hit close. Love the way you expressed it. My mom will talk about things we did when we were little and I don’t remember it. I can tell she is a bit hurt by this. And I think you nailed it. I will be kinder and play along next time, thinking about how THIS is how I feel about Elinor’s early years, much like she probably felt about mine.

    I have one memory from when I was three – I was mad that I was held back from climbing rocks and running across the swinging rope and wood bridge over a large gorge. I felt cheated. I was fearless and wanted to do it so much.

  33. Elizabeth says:


    Margot has got to be the coolest 3 year old kid! The photo of you and your mom — wow! What a mirror image of you and Margot — you should have Andy take a photo of you holding Margot on your shoulders! That’s pretty awesome! Growing up in a big family one of my favorite memories of being 3 was when my older brothers and sisters were at school and my baby sister took a morning nap, my mom will sit with me and we’d play with the wooden blocks and make buildings and bridges and some of the colored blocks became my “peoples”. One of my favorite and earliest memories being able to have my mama all to myself even if it was a little while — until my baby sister woke up and I’d have to share my mama again.

  34. Katie says:


    Beautiful piece to read today. I, too, remember three, and know that Theo is in that place where Margot now exsists too. I really loved your last sentence…a very peaceful thought.
    ps…I can’t get over how much Margot looks like you at that age.

  35. Hello, Sweethearts! Margot is quite a show stealer with her song. What a sweet piece today, Nici. It’s hard to think the memories we make when our babes are not yet five are the ones we’ll always remember, but also the ones they might not ever remember.
    Wow, you look like your mom. Wow, Margot, you look like your mom.
    I can’t wait to see a picture of Margot at 33 – what strong ladies she’ll look like and look up to.
    Sweet love day piece.

  36. Kelle says:

    Loved this. I think about that a lot. What will they remember? I remember my yellow nursery and the framed Precious Moments picture by the light switch. I swear. My family laughs at me and says I only remember it because they told me it was yellow and there was a framed Precious Moments picture by the light switch, but I know they’re wrong. I DO remember it.
    And yes, Margot looks just like you.
    Girl, you ROCK that webcam.

  37. Chante says:

    I started watching this while my 2 yr old was in the room. I watched it 6 times in a row b/c she kept saying “Again Mama, again”.
    Too cute.

  38. How did I miss this yesterday??? Ah well, I’m cool with the love floating across the miles an extra day.

    That Margot is the bee’s knees. You all are bright and lovely.