thankful nuggets

nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words

So many fabulous things swimming around my head today. A good place to be, a bad place to write from. Unless, of course, I do nuggets.

I know Thanksgiving blog posts were like so five minutes ago but that’s cool with me. I still wear boot cut jeans too. This minute, a few things I feel thankful for:

:: Kids who, when faced with very little snow at Ruby’s sledding birthday party, see nothing but the ability to move snow around and sled like crazy for two hours.


:: This epic sledding hill will be in our backyard. Soon. I am dying to share lots of details here and will. Soon.


:: Riding in a wet, slippery plastic dish with my healthy, funny two year-old and her new favorite frog.


:: Three cupcakes and big smiles.


:: Strong legs and wonderful friends.


I wrote about this Thanksgiving morning run and my appreciation for for the whole bit — aging, appreciating, being gentle with myself — in this week’s mama digs: seeking grace.

:: Delicious food and fun, shared with family and friends.



:: Pie.


:: Today is Cyber Monday which means many millions of people are stalking the interweb for holiday gift deals. Every little purchase we make votes for or against an industry, a way, a standard. We get to choose how and where we spend our hard-earned cash! And the internet makes it easier than ever to choose small, independent companies.

New sponsor: Earlywood.

After many years of thought, artistry and more thought, Brad just launched his wooden spoon company, Earlywood LLCWe spend a lot of time in our kitchen and our home has been 100% Earlywood for the last few years. Brad has completely redefined the kitchen “spoon.” They are brilliantly perfect (functional and beautiful) in every cooking capacity from noodles to rice to vegetables to soup to oatmeal to eggs to whatever you want to stir, scrape, scoop, spread. The jars of utensils you see to the left are all we use (think outside the spoon). And those ladles?! Amazing. Available soon.

A few other awesome things about Earlywood: 1. Handmade in Red Lodge, Montana. 2. Brad plants 100 trees for every 1 tree he uses making product. 3. He has been a part of my life for a long, long time and I love him and his wife a whole lot. 4. Earlywood products are the #1 asked-about items in our home at dinner parties. Everyone wants some.

Earlywood is offering you 20% off your purchase! Use coupon code ‘DIG WOOD’ through the end of December. Hello perfect stocking stuffer! Hello perfect gift for that person you drew at work! Thanks, Earlywood. xo

:: Long, low winter shadows.


:: Tree harvesting tradition.

We cut our tree on our friend’s property


:: Tree decorating.


:: My fun husband.


:: Alice


:: Ruby.


:: Margot.


:: Us.


I hope you all had a lovely holiday! What did you do? How did you celebrate? I’d love to hear about your traditions and thankfulness.


:: :: ::
all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from

50 Responses to thankful nuggets

  1. Emily says:

    Last picture = fabulous. Christmas card?
    You rock.

  2. Emily says:

    Also, Margot’s big brown eyes… love.

  3. Kristi C. says:

    Fun days and moments to be thankful for! Those Earlywood pieces are GORGEOUS!

  4. Britta says:

    Lovely post.

    I’m off to order from Earlywood for my sister’s gift. PERFECT. Tell him to get his laddles up asap and to let us know when he does! Beautiful.

  5. Britta, the ladles are AMAZING. I leave them out just to stare at them! They will be on his site soon. As will baby spoons, salad tongs and other awesome stuff.

  6. Cat says:

    Nici what a fantastic family picture! You guys look just wonderful. Xo

  7. The Lady says:

    What a sweet Christmas tradition with your family. Happy Birthday Ruby!! She has been a joy to watch change over the past year and looks so much older with her hair cut.

  8. Liane says:

    The pics of your hubby and Ruby are AMAZING! Also love the family photo :)

  9. Liane says:

    The pics of your hubby and Ruby are AMAZING! Also love the family photo :)

  10. Marti says:

    Are boot cut jeans not cool anymore?

    We took Ivy to Disney World for Thanksgiving, that place is exhausting but she made me feel like I was the best Mom in the whole world. It was totally worth it.

    And it wasn’t planned but Ivy and I both wore our “dig T’s” on the same day and we got lots of questions and comments on them. :)

  11. Cool photos – just a little bit envious of all that outdoor snow fun , not quite warm enough for swimming here in nz but almost. The girls being tossed in the air – fantastic, I have similar ones of my daughter – she just loves that game.

  12. Jenn says:


    How nice, to just, be. We all need more of those days. Glad you had an amazing time.

  13. trbholt says:


    I so love you perspective on aging. I am turning 60 in a few weeks, I don’t know what that means….am I suppose to feel old? A needy senior citizen? Can’t do things I used to? Well I don’t, so just bring it!


  14. Tina says:


    I see Ruby is clinging to her froggy still – how sweet!

    You are such an awesome, compassionate, real and down-to-earth woman and Mama. I love that.

  15. Jen says:


    This so resonates with me. I run for the same reasons you do. It makes me FEEL young, gives me clarity. I ditched my hopes of ever being a FAST runner years ago, but I love to run LONG. And that is why I keep doing marathons. I am completely addicted to the joy of moving my body, listening to my body, and honoring it through running.

    So glad you got out there. I now enjoy running with my oldest teenage son. It is such precious time!

  16. Alison says:



    Now, how do we get your philosophy on graceful, enjoyable aging over to Hollywood? How much happier they… and the millions around the world following them… would be without their botox, their facelifts, their covers for who they really are.

    I am so impressed by you.

    And I am impressed by your fun-run organisers who let you enter last minute like that. Very relaxed and lovely.

    Thanks for all the pleasure your writing brings!
    Alison in Geneva, Switzerland

  17. via

    Jen, I love imagining running with my kids! I bet that is so so fun. I think Margot might do the kid marathon next summer!

  18. Ashley says:


    Your last paragraph gave me chills. I want women everywhere to feel this way, to cut ourselves some slack, to enjoy the peace we never had during our youth.

  19. Susan says:


    Nici, thank you so much for the hello from my 30s! I remember that feeling so well–just coming into my own, finally feeling comfortable enough in my skin that I could really enjoy myself and what was going on around me without looking at any of it as threat or competition. Please do enjoy enjoy enjoy! It only gets better! Susan

  20. via

    Oh I love your comment Susan! I remember when I was in my 20s and loving it and older people telling me they loved their 30s or 40s and that they’d never go back. I remember thinking, ‘huh. They must not have had fun like I having fun.’ But now I get it! It is so much better. And I love that it only gets better!

  21. Melina says:

    And the award for the most photogenic life goes to….

    I love it all, Nici!!


  22. Suzi says:

    Holy crap! Fun dad! What about strong dad!! Love those pictures!
    I also love reading about American Thanksgiving. Seems like such a non event in Canada. I am so going to invite myself into a American families home one year and really celebrate! Maybe even taking a college football game in. and i hate football :)
    One question… Where is Margots snowsuit from? Looking for a one piece and can’t find one big enough.
    Happy Monday!

  23. MeganMR says:

    I just adore that last pic of Ruby in the snow!

  24. Kelly Cach says:

    Oh my GOSH! I LOVE the spoons and can’t wait to check out the ladles!!!

    Even though I don’t “know” you, the last pic says SO much about your loving, cohesive, special little family…it even makes me a little teary :)

    We accomplished our favorite tradition of the year this past weekend. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is always the day we “go out in the woods” and get our tree(s). We go up near Bovill, ID. (do you know it?) It was pure MAGIC this year! Aside from Christmas morning, it’s my favorite day of the year. And after a lot of sad and sometimes hard days this past year, I am finally full of holiday cheer…such a good place to be.

    And aside from many wrinkles, I’m lovin’ my 40’s :)

    p.s. I hope this isn’t weird to say, but Andy’s beard is the coolest auburn I’ve ever seen!

  25. I’m all over the ladles–when they’re ready. Love the airborne pics. And Thanksgiving? Well, you know, we ate Indian stir-fry and snuggled with our new babe : ) And yes, love the holiday babies.

  26. Your posts always make me smile. I am so super thankful for my healthy, happy family it makes my heart hurt. As for traditions, my dad BBQs the worlds tastiest turkey and christmas stuff doesn’t start til Dec. 1! I am so looking forward to it!

  27. Maureen says:

    I swear if someone had taken a picture of me after Thanksgiving dinner without my shirt, I would have looked just like Ruby. Hah! Love your cozy family. About the age thing – 50 with my high schoolers and college age kids and hearing what they were thankful for brought a lump to my throat. One said her siblings. One said his family and the opportunity to go to a good college and the youngest of the three said his cousins who were seated all around him at the table. Each age brings its own beauty and seeing your kids come into being their own person is remarkable. That being said if I had one wish I would go back and see them at Ruby’s age for an hour or two.

  28. KWQR says:

    Can’t decide what I love most about this edition of nuggets… the promise of that sledding hill, the inspiring spontaneity of you running in a race with only 45 minutes notice, or the magic of two flying girls… all so very delicious! But your Mama digs this week… this is what I LOVE: “And it keeps getting better, like I am opening and opening into more truth, greater understanding of what matters and how I want to interact with life.”
    A big ol’ YES to that!

  29. Kelly just made me laugh about the wrinkles – cheers! In my 30’s I finally felt comfortable in my own skin and proud enough to finally admire every inch. There’s so much less stress in being yourself; your roots are set and it’s time to bloom. I think motherhood has a lot to do with learning to love yourself and honor your body.

    I loved this week’s Mamalode story. I too have lost my voracious competitive edge from my 20’s – personally, I think grad school beat it out of me and kicked my ass to the curb just to boot. So glad to see you flexing and enjoying a surprise run. And glad to see that froggy made it for the adventure, tucked under Ruby’s blanket.

    Our holidays were full of family and friends, and helping our aging parents. Wow they’re all getting old so quickly; so for us, it was about making them feel in control while helping them continue their preparations. I think my favorite moments were with Ben’s Dad, setting up his Christmas village just the way he liked it.

    This year, I am thankful to have in-laws that treat me as one of their own. They still know how to tactfully parent their (adult) children with grace, concern, and love.

    Thanks Nici for sharing such wonderful moments.


  30. Kelle says:

    Such confidence and wisdom in that Mamalode piece this week. Loving your big strapping man lugging that tree too. Oh, and the snow. Miss that so much.

  31. Kelly says:

    Wow! That was chock-full of goodness. Can’t wait to hear about the new place with the wide open sky! :) Happy Birthday to Ruby! Love that last pic of your family, and love Earlywood. Let us know when those ladels come out, okay?

  32. rebecca... says:

    ,,,like many of your readers, i too, adore the final photo,,,such a beautiful family and the photo suggests “life is really good”,,,my next two fav photos are ruby’s *3 sweet cakes later* smile and margot gleeming at the christmas tree,,,and the idea that margot might run in a marathon, *whoot-who*, i can’t wait to see the photos, she’s going to rock it!,,,

  33. warm fuzzies all over from these nuggets.

  34. TRB Holt says:

    What wonderful photos…your family pix is my new screen saver, and I would like a copy of it please Dear Santa!

    When ever I think of getting older I always think of the first line in my mother’s favorite poem by Robert Browning…Rabbi Ben Ezra
    GROW old along with me!
    The best is yet to be,
    Sums it up nicely….I love you!
    xoxo, Mom
    ps….26 days and counting!
    pss….So proud of Brad!

  35. Kelsie says:

    I LOVE these photos. I’m planning a 2nd birthday party for my daughter, Maggie Mae, on December 14th. I think we’ll do a sledding party too! Can’t wait to see photos of your new home. To your reader Kelly Cach, I know where Bovill is!! We are practically neighbors…well, you know in wheat field terms :) I’m up in Palouse.
    Thanks for the inspiration to get the old running shoes dusted off.

  36. Annie says:

    So much wonderfulness in this post! I was just trying to come up with a gift idea for my close friend and my sisters. Thanks to you and Earlywood, now I have it!

  37. BTW, for Mr. Froggy, did you stuff him with buckwheat hulls? Does he have a name yet?


  38. ctb says:

    LOVE those spoons! HAVE to have them in my kitchen asap!

    What a wonderful family photo. I love the playfullness between your sweet girls.

    …and Alice, as always, steals the show! Happy Thanks to you and yours, from your friends here :)

  39. ctb says:

    ps. I am just about over the moon and hanging on the edge of my seat to hear about the new homestead!

  40. Amy says:

    I love where your head is at when it comes to running… in my world, that makes it so much more enjoyable… less about how far, how fast, how strong and more about being healthy, being able and knowing I’m strong. Good for you for jumping out of bed and going, I like to think I would do the same!
    Can’t wait to hear the deets on the new place!
    Your town is dreamy… I want to visit!!

  41. labortrials says:

    Love your pictures! One of my students gave me a link to your blog. Looks like you have a lot of fun.

    One fun thing we did was make hands and feet turkeys. We didn’t save ours but did save the 4 kids’ turkeys. Great decoration, fun project, nice momento.

    Now I’m on to snowflakes. My oldest and I had fun last night making snowflakes once the babies were all abed. 😉

    Kimberly (labortrials)

  42. Kristianna says:

    I put some of those utensils on my wish list, because I have a wooden spatula/scraper I use 100,000 times more than my spoons and am starting to worry about the day when it snaps as it’s about 10 years old and the sides show all the ‘taps’ on pots and pans over the years. If Santa doesn’t bring me any, then I may have to take advantage of that code to make myself happy. :) Thank you for the discount!

  43. I can’t wait to hear more about your epic sledding hill and epic gardening property. Love the pic of Andy tossing the little lady into the air, and of course I love the last picture. Your family is so sweet. Happy end-of-November..

  44. Elliott says:

    My spatulas arrived today (already) and they’re beautiful! I can’t wait until their wooden spoons are available.

    What awesome, fast, personalized service! Thanks for the opportunity to learn more about them!

  45. Heather says:

    Oh boy oh boy, I totally had one of those candle dinger things when I was a kid! Epic nostalgia wave over here. Must ask my mom if it’s knocking about her world. Magic.

  46. Ellie says:

    I haven’t read the rest of the comments, but I suspect I won’t be the first one to say that those pictures of Andy throwing the girls in the air are amazing. Nice perspective, mama, which of course you always have. I shared your plant diagnostics post with my students; they groaned when they first saw the title (I mean GROANED…these are Silicon Valley progeny, so I wasn’t expecting anything different), but were totally silent and hooked by the time I was done reading it! They then offered a character profile of “the writer” which was spot on! An excellent exercise in analyzing ‘voice,’ not just ‘process.’ Thank you for allowing me to share.

  47. Dara says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog :)

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