gradual ride

Yesterday afternoon I sat on our couch to write my mama digs to the soundtrack of four girls (two of them mine) squealing top volume as they careened down the sledding hill. Andy was outside, giving me a bit of space to crank out my column.

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It was nice to have that space but hard to see that fun out the window. I’d get a few sentences written and then hear Andy say OK! Here you go! And all four little girl screams would echo as they rocketed by in the bright orange sled.

“Gillian! Margot! Gillian!” I heard outside. Phoebe, our neighbor stumbled by the window in a t shirt, skirt and moon boots. “I LOST MY FIRST TOOTH! Gillian! Margot!” her red head bounced into the field, arms overhead as Margot and Gillian ran like suited-up astronauts to see the bloody hole in her lower gum. Ruby and Lucy, disinterested, stayed in the sled.

There was more squealing and giggling and then Phoebe ran home and sledding continued. I had started to write my column about how at peace I feel about not skiing much right now, how I have so much fun on the bunny hill with my kids. But the lost tooth sent me into this larger thought about how our lives have changed a lot. It isn’t that they were one way and then another. One day I’m cooking an elaborate meal all afternoon, the next I’m typing an essay while sitting on a pile of play scarves listening to little girls shriek over a hole in their friend’s mouth. Rather, it is a gradual ride, a series of events that roll into each other making our lives what they are. Click to read my mama digs this week: Lodge Mama.


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my new favorite photo 


Also, after the sledding-lost tooth and before the tangerine sorbet melt down, I heard the Oscars were happening that evening.

I thought it’d be fun to watch the red carpet bit with Margot since my kid is crazy about clothing and accessories. Also, I was a guest judge at our local Project Selvedge fashion show last Friday and bug thought that was totally awesome (me too!). She remembered every design and talked about them at length. She loves fabric, loves color. She notices everything and carefully selects her outfits every day.

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Margot practicing her runway moves int the bathroom during a fashion show 
break last Friday. My shirt is a new pattern of mine.

When we leave the grocery store Margot will often say something like mama, did you SEE that purple shirt? And those long gold earrings with the longer green sparkly thing?!

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her two current favorite outfits: a slippery leotard and a skirt I made out of two silky shirts of mine :: the dress I made her for her sun/moon Halloween costume

We recently inherited a television so Andy hauled it in from the garage and I felt a little bit like a 50s family watching Leave it to Beaver for the first time. Daddy set up the magic box while mommy made popcorn and the two daughters said oh goody gumdrops!

Margot was SO into it and very opinionated. She wore a yellow t-shirt with a sneaker-wearing beaver, a black velvet shrug and a pink tutu and gasped when she saw all that glitz. It was very fun and we had fabulous design conversation about dress construction and color. During the commercials we flipped down one station to PBS where the program was Railway Journeys: The West. It’d be all J Lo’s hot stuff and then locomotive steam in the San Juan Mountains.

When Brad Pitt was on the carpet, I said how I thought he was darling and Margot asked me to repeat my statement. I told her I thought he was handsome and asked what she thought. “The boy?” she asked incredulously. “No. I don’t think any of the boys are cute. Only the moms are cute.”

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I’ll be back on Wednesday with Hump Day Nuggets! It’s been a while.

34 Responses to gradual ride

  1. ctb says:

    i loved your mama digs this week (well, every week). parenting is one big fat trip! we have had some tragic challanges in our journey which makes that ‘settling acceptance’ all that much harder.

    LOVE that self portrait! flurring snow, dangly ear bling. fabulous sister!

  2. So fun how Margot is so into clothing and fashion! My two year old has just started to show an interest in what she wears and I find myself excited to see where her tastes will run.

    Your new favorite photo of the two snow bunnies all bundled up is just too cute.

  3. Meghan says:

    Out of curiosity, did you guys not own a TV before? Happy Monday!

  4. KWQR says:

    From Mama Digs… love love LOVE this… “We sort it out as we go, bump along knowing nothing, learning everything. Or at least learning enough to get to the next phase of knowing nothing.”
    So very true.
    Had a lodge mama moment on Friday night as I was in my mini-van (never!) with my husband & three kids (what!?!) headed to a local burger joint for a rockin’ friday night of burgers, air-hockey & repeated attempts at winning cheap stuffed animals with the claw game. My younger self would have been horrified. My now-self couldn’t be happier. Funny how things change on this gradual ride…
    xo
    Kate

  5. @KWQR, love that. And I so want a mini-van!

    @Meghan, We had a tv at one point and it was used so infrequently that we sold it on craigslist a few years ago. Haven’t missed it at all. When we watch something, we watch movies on netflix.

    This new tv was given to us…for now it sits in the garage! We’ll see where it lands when we move upstairs.

  6. Nici,
    Love the TV enthusiasm. Rose still talks about her favorite parts about visiting Kauai (in this order): warm water, tropical fruits, TV in our condo.

  7. Ellie says:

    Margot’s comment about only the moms being cute cracked me up, as usual. You’ll be so glad you’ve recorded these sayings some day if your memory of details is as bad as mine.

    I think I know what you mean about being a different kind of person from your younger self. I somewhat relate your skiing experience to my running. I used to think that I’d love to run and hike long distances with my kids strapped to my back or in a stroller. Now we hike every single weekend, but we rarely cover more than a mile or two, as we let our two and five-year old walk, explore every nook and cranny, play whatever they feel like playing, etc. I see many sweaty, determined hikers pass us by, some with kids on their backs or in strollers, but it gives me far deeper satisfaction to linger, slowly, with my kids.

  8. The ebb and flow of life; we either change with it or get pulled into the riptide of turmoil. We are different women than before , blessedly different women!! How much more I know now and how much stronger I am. the desire for carefree freedom sneaks up on me and I try to listen to that. I’m not kidding you, even a trip to grocery store sans enfants is restorative!
    Here’s a question Oh Creative one: how do I encourage my daughters in their artsy development ? The oldest wil create anything for hours. She is so talented, comes up with an idea and simply problem solves til it s complete. So love that about her. My middle girl creates by destroying ( it is a new different thing after all once you start to take it apart). Mess is her middle name. And our two yr old just loves being with them both. Here’s the thing, the 5yr old wants to keep every single freakin creation. What do I do with all that? Then the almost 3yr oldalways makes such a mess, how do I control that mess factor?
    Keep frolicking in the snow- we’ve hardly had any so when we do we re out there!!!

  9. That is a great picture of your girls. Perfect!

  10. Hazel says:

    Margot has a far better sense of style than me! The snow on those conifers blows my mind, so foreign to me, alpine areas in Australia usually have low growing snow gums and small bushes, I would love to see a northern hemisphere winter one day.
    You must be busting with pride when you see your two girls on the ski slopes.

  11. Oh, I’d love to ring in the Oscars with you. You could probably even talk me into a bean martini.

  12. Melissa says:

    love that last photo. . . pretty cute about the oscars, too. we always get together with our dear friends and this year our boys were completely outta sight the whole time while lilit sat and clapped and loved it. xo

  13. Love Margot’s comment about only the moms being cute!

  14. FinnyKnits says:

    Your new shirt pattern looks AWESOME! Is this up in the shop yet? Imma go look for it…

  15. rebecca... says:

    ,,,i’m thinking margot and stella mccartney should pair up to create, they would make a great team! love the final photo of you! and margot’s evaluation that only the women looked good, i have to agree, though i echo your comment, brad pitt is one handsome guy and i bet he’s nice!,,,

  16. trbholt says:

    via mamalode.com:

    “Parenthood is its own journey”, so true….a journey I fondly look back on and continue to look forward to!
    I love you….Mom

  17. Jaim says:

    via mamalode.com:

    It is unbelievable how much work it takes to be on the lower half of the mountain with two littles. In my opinion it is way harder but way more rewarding then being on the top of the mountain. Last year I helped my 4 year old learn her pizza slice while carrying the 2 year old on my back. I was a little worried that I would fall and either run into the pizza slice learner or squish the back rider. One Friday, 6 hours, 6 magic carpet rides and 3 very happy girls. The hardest workout I have had in a very long time. “A different kind of badass”, SO TRUE!

    Glad you had such a good day!

  18. via mamalode.com:

    Agreed, such a hard workout! My arms are SO sore!

  19. Natalie says:

    via mamalode.com

    Love this post! A different kind of badass for sure.

  20. Shelby says:

    via mamalode.com:

    You are totally badass…we grow and change.

  21. Joan Cline says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Badass indeed Nici Holt Cline.

  22. Tammi Salas says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Needed to read this today! Thanks for being so badass.

  23. Jen says:

    via mamalode.com:

    LOVE! and soon, if your kids are like mine…..it will be hard to keep up with THEM! My 8 year old is more bad ass than I ever will be, and my oldest I can no longer ski with he is that good. But it started on the bottom half of the ski hill, oh such (what seems anyway) a short time ago.

    Thank you for bringing back sweet memories on this day:)
    Jen

  24. 6512 and growing says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Different kinds of rainbows, different kinds of badass…so good to throw our preconceived notions out to freeze in the snow and see what is really happening.

  25. via mamalode.com:

    I thought of you when I wrote this. Legos included. x

  26. Catherine Forest says:

    via mamalode.com:

    So, so sweet, Nici! I totally hear you!!

  27. Sarah says:

    via mamalode.com:

    I totally agree!! My 4 & 6 year olds were taught to ski by my dad this past week, and when my hubby and I got to ski with them on Friday, we spent the whole 6 hours skiing on the green circle trails – except for one wild (and nerve wracking!!) trip to a blue square with my daredevil 6 year old and my father – and lots of trips to the lodge for refueling! And I have never felt so complete as I did with my husband, my dad, and my kids on those green circle trails all together! <3 LOVE!!

    Enjoy the slopes!!

  28. Ila says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Are these not the best days! I say this every weekend when I spend most of my ski time bent over a two…. well now 3 year old little guy so proud of him skiing. And just wildly impressed with my truly BAD-ASS 6 year old, who I can’t keep up with. A tree skier most of the time and the shear joy of being on those skis and the smile in her eyes is the reason why we do this every week. My family could not be happier sliding down some mountain some where and sipping hot cocoa and yes being a lodge mama and daddy.

  29. ella says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Are these not the best days! I say this every weekend when I spend most of my ski time bent over a two…. well now 3 year old little guy so proud of him skiing. And just wildly impressed with my truly BAD-ASS 6 year old, who I can’t keep up with. A tree skier most of the time and the shear joy of being on those skis and the smile in her eyes is the reason why we do this every week. My family could not be happier sliding down some mountain some where and sipping hot cocoa and yes being a lodge mama and daddy.

  30. Katie says:

    via mamalode.com:

    “Parenthood is its own journey, unique to the set of sweaty, determined individuals who choose that path. We sort it out as we go, bump along knowing nothing, learning everything. Or at least learning enough to get to the next phase of knowing nothing.” Beautifully and powerfully written. Love it.

  31. Mary@the good life says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Aw that one made me cry. Maybe because I’m 3 months pregnant. Still, though, isn’t it beautiful to love them that way, that seeing them learn and helping them grow brings us so much joy? It’s unbelievable at first, and then kids come. And then you are suddenly doing it- laughing because they laughed crying because they cry. Its a love journey.

  32. Homestead says:

    via mamalode.com:

    Wow.

    Thanks.

    I so needed this right now.

    I’m just starting to figure out how to be a BADASS Lodge Mama and your words help. It is confusing to make the switch from being a minimalist ski babe to hauling a backpack that could be Hermione’s purse and knowing the exact time ratio between “the look” and the time it takes to get gear stripped off in the bathroom.

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