snow days

I had most of this written and ready yo go last night and then I crawled in bed with Ruby at 8pm to sing Oh Mister Moon and now it is the next morning.

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The last four days have been entirely about snow. An epic storm smoothed out Missoula valley with two feet in two days. Our life has been so cozy and elemental as we focused on the basics: fun, food, friends, rest. Work happened late and early to make room for play. My legs feel like I ran an 18-miler; in reality I hiked in knee-deep snow while pulling my kids in a sled for days. My biceps are throbbing from carrying my daughters up the rope tow. This is why I fell asleep in my clothes with my two year-old.

I like it here.

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neighbors gathering in the streets during the storm

Margot skied her first top-to-bottom run at Snowbowl. A big feat for my little bug. I was home with Ruby when I received this photo text. I couldn’t stop staring at it. It’s the metaphor that struck me: her independence, she’s growing toward adventures and horizons I can’t predict or protect her from.

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Skiing is becoming more and more fun with the kids as we can now all be on skis and skipping naps is ok. As much as I loved my little babies swaddled to my chest at the ski hill, watching them scoot around on skis, all bipedal and communicative as they squeal MAMA! FASTER! is totally awesome.

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Ruby rallied in the lodge for pizza and then crawled into my lap and fell asleep, reminding me of that baby she was not too long ago. She slept for over an hour and then cuddled with Margot on the stairs. 

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the skiing photos were all taken with my iphone using the instagram app.
Really, there are many wonderful things emerging from our temporary tiny home but the one that I love most right now? The bond between my girls. Yesterday Margot and Ruby sat next to each other on the couch wearing tutus. Margot said, as she stroked Ruby’s hair, “Hey, Rubes? When we grow up do you want to get married?” Ruby stared back at her not understanding the meaning of her words but totally understanding the meaning of her words. “Yes,” she replied with a hug.
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Our space is small, their only escape is alone time on the top bunk. Even with alone time, they want to be together. Alone together.

The sledding! Oh the sledding is amazing on the hill behind our new house. Our yard is the easy access to the hill so all day every day, people and kids haul sleds through the foot path just outside our door. I couldn’t love it any more. We sled everyday, usually several times a day.

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We gathered with neighbors in our backyard. Luminaries, a bonfire, hot cocoa, schnapps and moonlight sledding. It was as awesome as it sounds.

Alice runs all day every day. Sister is in doggy paradise.

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The snow has receded a bit and we are back to regularly paced winter activities. I adored being snowed in for those few days. It really was lovely to witness the power and magic of a storm that outpaced shoveling and stopped us all in our snowy tracks. There is wonderful comfort and relief in that which we cannot control. I wrote about it in this week’s mama digs: snowed in.

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Gotta run. Ruby and I have a date on the sledding hill!

57 Responses to snow days

  1. erin says:

    “Our space is small, their only escape is alone time on the top bunk. Even with alone time, they want to be together. Alone together.” so sweet!

  2. rebecca... says:

    ,,,”Hey, Rubes? When we grow up do you want to get married?” Ruby stared back at her not understanding the meaning of her words but totally understanding the meaning of her words. “Yes,” she replied with a hug.,,,oh so sweet! (smile)

  3. Kelly says:

    I’m so happy for you…for all of it. :)

  4. Zoe says:

    My husband is looking for a new job, and as he scouts out locations, he has been ruling out the places where it snows heavily in the winter. I agree with him, but now looking at these pics, we might have to reconsider, and broaden our search. Snow looks like fun!

    Oh, and my older boy and girl (7 & 4) have told me multiple times over the years that they want to get married. I just feel bad for Lil Sis who has been left out of that arrangement so far.

  5. ~ jessica says:

    I am so with Alice. In my next life I want to run around all free and doggish. How amazing to feel so alive!

  6. Cheyenne says:

    Pure Awesomeness – my favorite days with my boys as little ones were our snow days in the mountains of Colorado!!!! Soak them up while you can – beautiful post.

  7. ctb says:

    what an awesome little village you have going on over there. we, too, have been under snow, ice, storms. we lost power and have been mostly loving “what we cannot control”.

    alice looks five years younger: happy tail waging, open space to run. i guess the old saying really is true:

    home is where you hang your cocksucker :)

  8. Lisa says:

    What an awesome looking sledding hill! And the moonlight sledding does sound great! So nice to see you settling in to your new surrounding! I can’t wait to see garden pics this summer :)

  9. Sian says:

    Im so jealous of all that beautiful snow1

  10. Sian says:

    Im so jealous of all that beautiful snow1

  11. This post makes me feel warm and fuzzy, and aching for a snowstorm in Maryland! We had a BIGGIE this day last year… But now we have an 11 month old and a shiny new blue infant toboggan we bought this weekend that is dying for a powdery sidewalk!

  12. Dee says:

    Wowsers !!!! I’m sitting here in Australia in the heat with several thoughts…….
    I love how your blog takes me to that beautiful snowy winter wonderland without actually have to feel that cold – I swear this Aussie blood would freeze in my veins.
    I love how adorable your girls are.
    And I love how fearless they are in that snow! I guess you know what you grow up with, but WOW!
    Keep enjoying that snow.

  13. Mrs Mason says:

    That is so gorgeous! We were supposed to be going on our annual ski trip to Whistler in a couple of weeks only to have my husband’s job relocate to Sydney from the UK so now we are sitting in 25 degrees and the ski trip is cancelled. Gutted! There will be other trips. Sydney’s great! Enjoy the slopes xx

  14. Mrs Mason says:

    That is so gorgeous! We were supposed to be going on our annual ski trip to Whistler in a couple of weeks only to have my husband’s job relocate to Sydney from the UK so now we are sitting in 25 degrees and the ski trip is cancelled. Gutted! There will be other trips. Sydney’s great! Enjoy the slopes xx

  15. Mrs Mason says:

    That is so gorgeous! We were supposed to be going on our annual ski trip to Whistler in a couple of weeks only to have my husband’s job relocate to Sydney from the UK so now we are sitting in 25 degrees and the ski trip is cancelled. Gutted! There will be other trips. Sydney’s great! Enjoy the slopes xx

  16. Daniele says:

    we had a lot of snow here on Friday too, though nowhere as much as there…I loved that cozy feeling…knowing that we along with all of our neighbors were at home, unable to be out and about in our cars, being put in our place by nature haha…
    That ski pic of Margot is awesome!!!

  17. Carly says:

    Those nighttime pictures and description sound so amazing.

  18. TRB Holt says:

    What wonderful photos! I love this post!!!!!! More later….xoxo

  19. Loving that picture of the top bunk buddies pretty hard. Such good memories :)

  20. Kelly Cach says:

    “There is an uplifting simplicity to collectively slowing down. People turn to each other and into themselves. Agendas vaporize and smiles abound.”

    Mmmm….SO true! I’ve had more conversations on this very statement in the last week or so. we also had 2 snow days off from school. Unusual for us too here in the valley, but EXACTLY what we needed! And I captured our 2 glorious snow days with my new camera ;)

    *The iphone pics of Ruby snuggling…PREC-IOUS! And your ski braids are adorable. YOU are adorable!

  21. We have had such little snow this year in Nebraska…your pictures make me long for a great blizzard and 2 feet of snow so my kids can take advantage of the sledding hill in our backyard!

  22. Melina says:

    Nici, okay so bear with me. I’ve had a LOT of mimosas (yeah, it’s after 5pm…so what…?) and I’ve just finished a post I spent all day working on about my own adventures in the snow and the love surounding it. So I’m FEELING it a bit more than usual.

    But, sister, I’m FEELING it. I leaned in and I studied every photo. Ruby napping in the ski lodge? Wonder and envy. All the friends and kids on the sled? Made me excited for my own sled filled with neighbors and kids-of-the-future.

    You work so hard, Nici. I’m proud of you and this stunningly beautiful life you’ve created.

    Much love
    Melina

  23. Kathryn says:

    Oh my goodness that picture of Margot skiing down the huge mountain is so awesome! I hope I have little snow bunnies one day! Your family is the coolest.

  24. Yuliya says:

    So happy for you!

  25. Hazel says:

    The snow is just so beautiful- I love the way it mutes everything, soft and quiet.
    I especially like to see snow on trees.
    Walking through snow has to be one of the hardest things ever.
    Your girls look like they love it!

  26. This post makes me think of

    *soaking wet clothing that desperately tries to dry between sledding dates.
    *warm boots
    *Alice donning big smiles and happy ears.
    *Everyone having a strange bruise from sledding
    *Rosy cheeks that last for hours.

    We’ve had 0 snow days so far; some snow, but eh. I long for the way a snow day slows down your normal priorities into something much greater. You’ve captured that beautifully.

    Way to go Bug on your first trip down the slopes by yourself! That’s huge!

    Peace,

    Jennifer

  27. BRH says:

    Awesome! Just awesome! Send some snow to Connecticut. We’ve only had a tiny bit.

  28. Gorgeous sentiment and love your photos! I particularly like the purple snow suit with the rings on it. My daughter would love that.

  29. Oh this looks wonderful! I got teary eyed about the girls getting married. *sniff*

    Your photos and your words are gorgeous.

  30. Jaim says:

    I love how your snow stays! Some of our snow is still here but so much of it has blown away.

    So glad that you have so many fun things to keep you busy and outside. Your new hood looks so welcoming. Did you know so of your neighbors before you moved or have you just made that many friends that quickly. Either way, WHAT FUN!

    Wish we could come and enjoy a few sleds and warm mug of hot chocolate.

  31. Karisa says:

    I love it. And the snow pictures actually made me a tiny bit excited for our (first) MT winter next year.

  32. Wow!!! While we’re sweating it out here in the brunt of our summer, you’re skiing in a winter wonderland……MAGIC!! Love it!!!
    And my 4yr old says to my newborn all the time; when you’re big, I will marry you & love you forever :) SWEEEEEET!
    I’m loving your life at the moment Nici :)
    x

  33. Long hot summer days here in NZ , it’s not dark till 10pm. Love being transported by your photos to a winter wonderland, we get 1 or 2 big falls here a winter and it’s such fun sledding down our drive. I like to live somewhere that has extremes of both seasons – While you enjoy the snow we are out exploring trails on our bikes – all good fun.

  34. Annie says:

    That sledding hill + friendly neighbors sounds great!

  35. April says:

    I am so much NOT a fan of snow, it’s nice to see people enjoying it. Especially love the photos of Alice. Sounds/looks like she’s a fan of the new place. Super cute girls you have, as always.

  36. trbholt says:

    via mamalode.com:

    I have a warm visual of the fun times in your backyard!
    xoxo!

  37. elke says:

    via mamalode.com:

    what a welcome to your new ‘hood. great post.

  38. Sondra says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Nici, Love this one!

  39. Jaim says:

    via mamalode.com:

    We finally got to get out and enjoy Mother Nature’s present. What an awesome welcome your new house and your new sledding hill gave you I love it when we’re drifted in and can’t get out…it happens to us at least twice every winter. It really does help you slow down…I only wish we had neighborhood kids to come over and help us build our forts.

  40. Jessica Malouf says:

    via mamalode.com:

    The snow was so wonderful. I feel the same way and wish we could be ‘snowed in’ several times a year.

  41. Sarah says:

    via mamalode.com:

    look forward to more memory making with your family in our little slice of heaven!

  42. kwqr says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Sounds so dreamy to be guided by Mother nature to unplug & slow down. Somehow our rainy days just don’t hold that same power! What a wonderful welcome to your new hood.
    xo
    Kate

  43. via mamalode.com:

    We cancelled all our plans this weekend to watch the snow fall. Magic followed.
    So cool to think of all of us in the mountain west blanketed under the same storm.
    xo
    Rachel

  44. Jen says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Oh, your sentiments are EXACTLY what I was striving for internally during the big storm. But I was in a funk. It WAS beautiful!

    I especially appreciate the line: “There is wonderful comfort and relief in that which we cannot control.”

    A positive spin on a line that is giving me trouble right now.
    I tagged this post back for my post tomorrow. Everyone needs to read a little digs to get out of a funk.
    THank you!

  45. via mamalode.com:

    Oh a funk is a funk, mama. A funk during a storm seems pretty appropriate to me, actually! That which we cannot control can also be so unsettling. It’s funny that way. xo

  46. Catherine Forest says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Nici, I just love your beautiful words: It fell neatly like piles of folded laundry.

    Another beautiful post.

  47. Carly says:

    via mamalode.com:

    I know it’s not New England, but this still reminded me of this song:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPf4Fer8IJ4

  48. Ellie says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Love your last line, which really sums it all. It’s such hard work to pause, notice, and appreciate.

  49. Geri Watson says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Nici, I love sharing your beautiful life from across the country. I live in the midwest where we used to have lots of amazing snow when I was a child. Now we are lucky to get a few inches a couple of times a year. You are an amazing mom with a gift for words…don’t change a thing.

  50. Melissa N says:

    via mamalode.com:

    I love the introspective aspect of it all, but this California girl would get totally freaked out by a snow drift blocking the front door. I actually have goosebumps reading your piece! Funny, right?

  51. via mamalode.com:

    This Montana girl was a little freaked out too…calling it a ‘drift’ is a little misleading as it was from a giant cornice that broke off of the roof! I was so thankful one of us wasn’t standing there when it happened. Also, I was shoveling as fast as I could because Margot had to poop. The whole thing was quite comical. I started to write about all of this and realized that would be another essay. Or two.

  52. I adore all my Aussie and Kiwi readers! not sure how that happened, the Montana-down under connection but I dig it. Wait, can I call New Zealand ‘down under’?

  53. Jodi Ann says:

    What an amazing amount of snow! :) That looks like so much fun!

  54. Blair says:

    oh, i love the image of tons of kiddos dragging sleds across your path to get to the big hill. that’s so cool:). so cool, also, is your nighttime gathering with the neighbors; you actually make winter sound warm & inviting:).

    xox, Blair

  55. I would love a post on teaching your kiddos how to ski, tricks of the trade!

  56. FinnyKnits says:

    The sledding get togethers look absolutely awesome. As does that hillside. Puppy roaming about…that’s good times.