hump day nuggets: the best day

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

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Last night I sat on our weedy “lawn” with my brilliant, dirty child. Ruby was topless and playing in the sandbox, the evening sun perfectly illuminated every little thing I adore about our backyard. There was a basket of clean laundry next to heaps of green, hopeful tomatoes. Alice and the cats stretched in slivers of evening sunlight, the chickens mildly clucked, Andy and Margot chopped carrots in the kitchen while exchanging the day’s stories.

That morning, when my assistant couldn’t come at the last minute, I had to scramble to rearrange work and I felt frantic and agitated. But, thanks to my early rising children, by 9am we were on a path completely different than the one I thought the day would bring. I am proud of myself for getting good at being flexible, riding the unpredictable current of working and mothering in the same breath. It isn’t streamlined. It is definitely zig zagged.

We jumped into our surprising day, biking to meet friends at a park and then picking apricots. We made lunch, Ruby napped and I sewed with Margot, again and again showing her how to thread the needle and explaining just who I am making these clothes for (how hard it is to explain that the shirt is for a kid I don’t know in Iowa) while telling her stories. Ruby woke and we ventured into the garden to gossip about ladybugs and tomatillos.

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thankfully, I have friends who are equally thrilled with fruit picking


Everything felt like a lovely gift yesterday. In the evening as I sat to catch up on work while my family slept, I thought, today was the best day. An extraordinary ordinary day.

nuggets.

:: We have been eating a lot of noodley-ricey things with vegetables. This one was really great. I sautéed patty pan squash, zucchini and onion in olive oil until soft and a little bit brown. Tossed with soba noodles, gobs of fresh garlic, olive oil, salt, finely shredded romano and bright arugula.

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:: The girls and I camped with friends last week. It was all very fun until Ruby started tickling Margot and giggling while pressing her nose to mine at 4:30am. I tried everything to calm that chicken down. We nursed and hushed and sang yet all she wanted to do was wake up the universe. So we went for an early, early morning walk. For the love of all things holy I was tired and a little cranky. But then I saw these two and I *almost* cracked a smile.

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We discovered the most amazing trail that wound up to the rising sun.

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Later that day, when normal people woke, our crew rolled around in the honest summer slow wonder.

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Margot and Ruby the moment we piled into the car to head home:

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:: My new favorite photo of Ruby Jane.

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:: My new favorite salad: chopped cucs with brown rice vinegar, olive oil and salt.

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:: ”Margot, I can’t believe you are almost four.”

“Yeah but I really want to stay the same. It’s OK if I get older but I would like to just be Margot forever. Is that a good idea?”

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:: We hosted our supper club last weekend. Our group of 14 chooses a different theme for each gathering and this meal was Greek. Holy smokes, it was epic. Our contribution was lamb and pork souvlaki complete with homemade french fries, tzatziki and pita. It was the perfect summer evening for backyard dining and frequent shoutings of opa! 

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:: Beans are bananas. And I especially love the seeds, a gift from a dear friend. She purchased the Dragon Tongue Beans from the Petaluma Seed Bank, a lovely and inspiring business in California.

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:: I wondered when the girls would be ok outside with flying insects. At first, after the bee stings, they both seemed amazingly able to move on but the memory had a grip and for the last few months, any flying anything terrified them both, especially Ruby. It has been hard, given how much time we spend outside. Goodness we have talked A LOT about bees and bugs and bites and stings. Just this last week Andy and I noticed them venture outside by themselves, see bees on flowers and keep walking. Hooray for that.

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:: Last year was a crummy carrot year, much to Margot’s (and my!) disappointment. I think we are making up for it this year.

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wishing every last one of you the best hump day, whatever that looks like for you.

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ps MT Goddess, you won the Children’s Museum membership! Email me at digthischick at gmail dot com. Also, locals, Families First is presenting a wonderful family concert this weekend!

Nugget it up and share. If you’d like, link to your nuggets in the comments.

:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com

37 Responses to hump day nuggets: the best day

  1. Great idea- we may have to plan some themed supper clubs too! Love the girls pigtails!

  2. memomuse says:

    I can’t help but love you, although as a writer and blogger (who has been neglecting my blogger duties because of a new stage of motherhood and 15 month old toddlerness) I get so anxious to pur out lovely words as you do. They certainly glimmer and gleam. Gosh, they even make me giggle. You are a gift to your internet community and I don;t know how an agent or publisher has not discovered you. You are made for publication. Heck, if I was an agent, I would tell you to write a damn book and sell it on your blog. Self publishing is the way to go. But if I was an agent, I wouldn’t tell you that, I would sell your book to a traditonal publisher. I heart your words digthischick and that colorful garden.

  3. Melissa says:

    Nici, we had the best, most ordinary day yesterday, too. Maybe there was something in the air (:

    I am back to work today and loving this post.

    Dude, Lilit has been waking early (today it was 3:15! sheesh!) too. I feel your pain. And Avi is right there with Margot on the self-reflection. I love it so much. All of it! xo

  4. TRB Holt says:

    This lifted my spirits!

    Oh how beautiful my granddaughters are. The photo of Margot & Ruby by the gate~DARLING! Margot looks so grown up…I love and miss you all so much!
    xoxo,
    Mom/Gram

  5. Annie says:

    Your perspective is refreshing and inspiring. Yum your harvest looks delicious! (I spy Owen : )

  6. Amanda says:

    How beautiful. I love your girls and your colorful carrots! That picture of your little one asleep in the tent is AMAZING.

  7. Kelle says:

    This post is the perfect example of why I would read your blog even if you weren’t my friend. The colors, the landscape, the way I can feel my shoulders relax when I’m reading. It feels homey and good.
    Loving these photos.

  8. I LOVE that last pic of all that beautiful, brightly colored garden goodness… and upon closer inspection, I love it even more that there is a headless Barbie behind it! HAhahaha- I laughed out loud!

    Waiting for my 6th month old to grow up (okay, not true- I want her to stay little FOREVER) just so I can buy one of your cat and mouse skirts, which are just lovely.

    Great post, as usual.

  9. Jess says:

    I was just about to comment about how you made a delicious salad of carrots, peas, and Malibu barbie. So crunchy!

  10. Love the wild thing photo of Ruby, and Margot’s “good idea.”

    Our nuggets this week:
    http://3saltydogs.blogspot.com/2011/08/hump-day-nuggets_17.html

  11. CherylAnn says:

    I love your blog! I check daily for an update from your side of the world (I’m in Australia). I am motivated to make more of my garden this year. Being almost spring I can use your advice as I start my garden this season. I have too often been disappointed by vegetables that don’t work. We have just been delivered from a very long drought and I hope to forget past failings and just give it all a go again. My 9 year old has the garden bug much to my delight. He has already planted snow peas and beetroot. I too love your way with “words”. I feel like I could drop by and hug your girls and chat in your beautiful back yard. Thanks for the daily inspiration!

  12. Tonya says:

    cracking up at the headless Barbie in the next to last photo hee hee. Is that the one that lost her head while being hung out the car window?

    I love perfect ordinary days. I think I am going to have one today. There are still 5 hours left until bedtime, hoping it holds out lol

  13. I literally just drove by the Petaluma seed bank on an adventure to the bay area Monday…oh my gosh I wanted to go back but our loop took us somewhere else. It is a old building and looked wonderful. No doubt from what came out of your garden *awesome*

  14. Well Happy Hump Day to you too! Cracking eggs for dinner, the third yolk broke and all of a sudden I saw a smily face in the pile of eggs staring back at me. I laughed, Alex pointed it out, and I grabbed the camera. I hope to never lose the joy of enjoying the beauty of the everyday. Your writing is beautiful. Love Rubes with the carrot. Her hair has got mini piggers now. Killer.

    “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” Ralph Waldo Emmerson

  15. Tina says:

    Super jealous of your ample carrot turnout… some hungry little rabbit stole all of ours out of our garden weeks ago. I was so disappointed! I’ll have to see how to avoid this next year.

    Love your picture of the girls walking early in the morning… so sweet! You can tell how much they totally adore each other and it certainly is special.

    My nuggets for this week…

    http://littlesidekicks.blogspot.com/2011/08/hump-day-nuggets-look-forward.html

  16. rebecca says:

    ,,,i love todays “nuggets” and i also love the beautiful colors of the second to the final photo, the orange of the sheared carrots, the bright green of the peas and broccoli and the purple dress of “headless” barbie, the colors all compliment each other well,,,(smile)
    ,,,my new fav photo of ruby is the one of her chewing on her carrot,,,she has the most beautiful blue eyes, she’s precious!,,,

  17. Love those camping photos, oh I wish it was camping weather here at the moment, my husband loves winter camping but my babe and I not so keen.

  18. Was this my favorite Nuggets yet? Could be.

    Loved this: am proud of myself for getting good at being flexible, riding the unpredictable current of working and mothering in the same breath. It isn’t streamlined. It is definitely zig zagged.

    Also, Ruby has transformed from baby to sister-partner. I can see the fun those two are in for.

    Thanks for sharing your best day with us!

  19. I love your girls’ names. So pretty.
    Way to go with the flow : ) and have an awesome day despite the unpredictable.

  20. Jeanne says:

    What a great set of nuggets today! I am feeling refreshed that another self employed mom worked during nap time with the older kid right there asking questions and “helping”. Zig zagged is the perfect phrase for that kind of work. I love extraordinary ordinary days. I think that those are the days that fuel me to be a better mom. The picture of chopped carrots and chopped Barbie head is delightful! Thanks for making my day and making me strive to be a better mom tomorrow.

  21. Malissa says:

    Loving that headless barbie next to the carrots in the last photo. Great nugs!

  22. You make me want to grow a garden! Curses to my horrible outdoor allergies :(

    I saw your cucumber ‘salad’ and I make something similar! A suggestion, I also like to add crumbled (fresh) feta cheese to the mix! Chopped cucs, brown vinegar, salt, basil, olive oil and crumbled feta. Yummmmm.

  23. Anna says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. The photo of little miss Ruby with the carrot made me place my hand to my heart with adoration. Those eyes, that expression, the piggies! I love everything about that shot. All of your photos are amazing, I love your blog – keep up the amazing work!

  24. LOVE that photo of Ruby napping under the tent fly. I have a similar photo of munchkin on my blog where he’s all stretched out in our tent.

    Any tips on keeping little ones warm while camping at night? We’ve camped in the tent a couple of times now, but he likes to crawl out from under the sleeping bag, point his tushie to the sky, and sleep next to my ears. It makes for a rather restless night on my part because I keep waking up to drag him back under the cover!

  25. creativechimera,
    Ruby also climbs out of the blankets we bring and pulls her hat off so I know about that too! She wears pjs, socks and fleece booties. When it is really cold, she also wears her puffy coat. I put her on top of a warm blanket and then roll her in her own blanket. We have found placing her on top of a wool blanket is really helpful when car camping with the air mattress (that is full of cold air!). Hope that helps! Anyone else have tips?

  26. TRB Holt says:

    Why not layer up your little camper with tights, tee shirt, socks & turtleneck, or maybe a hooded sweatshirt in place of a hat and then zip them into larger sized footed fleece jammies? xo :o}

    Lots to choose from at this site:
    http://www.footedpajamas.com/Toddler-Fleece-Footed-Pjs-s/122.htm

  27. Minnesotagal says:

    That picture of Margot choke-hugging Ruby just kills me! :)

    Love your blog – envying your harvest. I may just need to plow up my whole back yard. I planted more than ever before and I still wish I had more. But it makes for fun trips to the farmer’s market.

    For sleeping we love our sleep sacks! My favorite are the Ergo ones (http://www.ergopouch.com.au/sleepbags.html) but GroBag makes some nice ones too! They’re a little pricy but we use it everynight instead of a blanket so it basically is his blanket. Works great because he can roll all over his crib and never looses his covers or gets cold! Super great for travel too!

  28. Ellie says:

    So you see the biggest reason I admire you is that you’ll go on that camping trip, even though you know chance are Ruby won’t sleep well, and I just canceled a camping trip because I can’t handle the thought of a night or two with sleep from hell. Go, mama.

  29. Jaymi says:

    Margot’s still lovin that headless Barbie eh? classic!

  30. FinnyKnits says:

    Hallelujah for summer lake swims, outside dinners, secret camping trails and renewed bee love!

    I’m overjoyed reading this post – we are have some of these Best Days Ever, too, this summer.

  31. Mama Mel says:

    My two favorite photos are:
    1. Ruby sacked out on the beach
    2. Both girls hugging in front of the gate.

    BEAUTIFUL girls!

    Here is my first nuggets.

    http://myonlysunshine1.blogspot.com/2011/08/my-first-nuggets-this-that.html

    Thanks for giving me the push to try this. I found a better rhythm writing this way. This is how I want it to feel, a documentation of our world. Hope you like.

  32. Mama Mel says:

    My two favorite photos are:
    1. Ruby sacked out on the beach
    2. Both girls hugging in front of the gate.

    BEAUTIFUL girls!

    Here is my first nuggets.

    http://myonlysunshine1.blogspot.com/2011/08/my-first-nuggets-this-that.html

    Thanks for giving me the push to try this. I found a better rhythm writing this way. This is how I want it to feel, a documentation of our world. Hope you like.

  33. Christa says:

    Love the way you give glimpses into your week & also enjoyed looking through some of these others people shared. Here’s my version of the last week:

    http://cohesive-pieces.blogspot.com/2011/08/more-of-this-summertime-thing.html

  34. Yuliya says:

    What a gorgeous piece of nuggets you had for us this week. “An extraordinary ordinary day” I may need that stitched on a pillow…and for that I may need to learn to stitch.

    http://www.shesuggests.com/2011/08/17/hump-day-nuggets-summers-eve-not-the-feminine-product-kind/

  35. Melina says:

    Dear Nici,
    Ruby’s little nap with her legs crossed and hands crossed casually behind her head?

    Oh, goodness….

    xox
    Lina

  36. Jill says:

    After reading I wonder if you talk in a very calm way. I feel so calm and read very slowly when I’m catching up on your blog. It’s lovely. Thank you. And that noodley dish- looks sooo good!

  37. Jess says:

    Beautiful photos!