spring nuggets: in like a lamb

Funny how I thought a smaller living space would free up time to do stuff like write, sew, organize, plan. Seems the opposite is true for it is a NEW space and ideas and projects abound. While we aren’t in our home just yet, we can do work on the yard and other small spaces. We’ve built a chicken coop, a new painting studio for Andy and planned planned planned a garden, a fence, a slide off the second story deck (how rad would that be?!), paint colors, carpet rip-up, lighting, french doors…


Oh and this reminds me to answer these recent FAQs: Where are you living in relation to your new house? For how long? Why? Where is all your stuff? Where are your chickens? Is that your backyard?Where do you work?

We are living in a small studio apartment in the home we recently purchased. We have a tenant upstairs, who lived there before we bought the house. Her lease is up at the end of May. We brought all of our pets, including the chickens. Our stuff is stored in the garage of our new home. Our backyard spills right into public land so, no, we don’t own that mountain and yes, that is our ‘backyard.’ I am sharing work space with Piper & Paisley in downtown Missoula at 612 S. Higgins and have a small retail space there. When we move upstairs, this apartment will be my writing and sewing studio. Did I forget any? Ask in the comments and I’ll answer here.

I have so much I want to share here! And then a week flies by and I have four pent up posts that suddenly seem outdated. I know you know what I mean, whether you blog or not. It’s hard to look back even if it is a good story. Because there are new stories rolling out before us.


So, we had a couple of 60 degree days around here. Massive piles of snow dropping inches in an afternoon, so much mud with which to make ‘hot cocoa’, bare sun-starved skin and consequent pink cheeks. Play dates that involve sledding and biking. Raking, moving, hauling, cleaning, building.

:: The last of the snow. (Yes, I know we’ll get another storm or two!)


:: Margot and Sam are best pals.

:: Making tomato soup.
:: Her mama’s daughter, when Margot needs space she hikes as fast as she can up the hill. In this week’s mama digs, I wrote about a hike we took together, after a tough afternoon. I love that kid to the moon and back. Click to read bite of the moon.


:: Ruby deciding whether or not she’d like to haul the ponderosa pinecone all the way home.


:: We’ve been housesitting at our friends. Outings with four dogs is funny.


:: Also with the housesitting gig is a big, beautiful kitchen! We live just a few doors down so, every night we schlep dinner ingredients up the hill. On this night I made this recipe, using yam instead of butternut squash. I recommend.

edited to add: this octopus shirt available in my shop, a limited edition of 10

:: Welcome to new sponsor Feeding Thomas! Jess had a lonely, difficult experience breastfeeding her son. She felt so inadequate during those first few weeks that she decided to write Feeding Thomas, a four-page memoir chronicling her honest and encouraging journey. She says she wanted to share her story “to send the message that breastfeeding is difficult, it’s ok to struggle, you can do it, and it will get better.”

I think this is so awesome. That Jess is choosing to share her struggle with the hopes of helping others and that she is so smartly and affordably ($2.50!) selling this beautifully written, relatable story. What a wonderful gift for a new mama.

Two of you have a chance to win a copy! Leave a comment for a chance to win. If you’d like, share your struggle with, or favorite part of breastfeeding. Thanks, Feeding Thomas!

:: LOTS of mud.


:: I so remember feeling this way as a little girl.


:: They sometimes freeze, but clothes are on the line.


:: And one of my favorite photos ever, Margot and her soul sister, Trixie:


happy sprung-forward Monday out there

43 Responses to spring nuggets: in like a lamb

  1. Delhibound says:

    Love your use of :: — I do it too and it was like a kindred spirit moment when I saw that.

    I’d love some of your girls’ tomato soup for dinner!

    (Please don’t include me in the giveaway for Feeding Thomas … we’re way past breastfeeding days and I’d love for someone else to be in the running)

  2. Marti says:

    Poor Sam looks a little scared but it’s an adorable picture.

  3. Tina says:

    For real, I wish I could let my kids play in the mud without it stressing me out. I know… so what if they get dirty. It’s nothing a bath and a load of laundry can’t fix. And they have sooo much fun playing in the mud. But for some reason it just makes me crazy. I guess I’m too much of a neat freak. I am totally going to try to let it go and let them go out and get filthy at least once this spring!

  4. Tina says:

    Oh and ummm ps… totally trying that recipe. I absolutely love recipes with coconut milk! Yum!

  5. @Marti, he actually seeks her out to get picked up! He’s a lover and prefers arms to pillows. :)

  6. @Tina, You might even try getting in there too! It’s good, clean fun.

  7. rebecca... says:

    ,,,i love the photos of margot, trixie and sam and…the sisters making tomato soup!

  8. Ah,…mud, blue skies, and everyone dying to be outside. Spring, for sure! Stevie@ruffledfeathersandspilledmilk.com

  9. Jaim says:

    “bare sun starved skin and consequent pink cheeks” We had the same kind of lovely weekend which was so needed. I love the blue shirt with octopus…so great! We don’t have quite so much mud due to all the wind but love the tomato soup idea.

    Here’s to a great week!

  10. @Jaim, I’ll be posting that shirt to the shop this week! :)

  11. Love the clothes on the line. Can’t wait to get mine out there this week! Breastfeeding is a beautiful journey, so glad this gal is sharing her story to help and encourage others. People think i’m crazy that i’m still nursing my 13 month old, but it works for us, ya know? Happy Monday!

  12. I had so many little feelings to relay from this juicy nugget post, but then I saw the last photo and……well. I’m speechless. You’re going to need to attach that pic on her college applications, as in: this is who I am, this is who I’ve always been. xoxo

  13. Liane says:

    I also have clothes drying on the line! I cannot wait until Spring is firmly hear but for now it just teases us with a day here and there of beautiful sunshine!

    I love the last photo! xx

  14. Liane says:

    I meant “here” not “hear” lol.. Stupid iPhone! xx

  15. Annie says:

    Funny, I kept trying to figure out how you lived in an apartment, yet talked about your new yard and I wondered which yard…It all makes so much sense now! : )

    My favorite part of breastfeeding is the connection with my child. All the benefits we received from it were icing on the cake.

  16. Maggie says:

    The last picture of Margot needs to be framed and on your wall. I see so much of her personality just from that picture!

  17. I can’t wait to try that recipe this week. Yum.

  18. ctb says:

    i am just dying to see whats in store for your new garden! and we must must have a picture of the new coop :)

  19. Daniele says:

    I love seeing your hills and mountains… When I visit out west, I can’t keep my eyes off the mountains, I’m so used to never-ending flatness haha. My brother in law was flown by his employer to Bozeman a few weeks ago to tour Gibson, where they make their acoustic guitars. The pictures he showed me were gorgeous- of both the hand crafted guitars and scenery. I so want to visit Montana.

    also, don’t count me for the giveaway, I too am past my bf days (tear)and would love for a new mama to win it!

  20. Beautiful parting shot.
    Speaks volumes.

  21. Wha? No chicken coop photos? Seriously. I have been scouring pinterest for good coop inspiration…

    Also, nursing days are gone for me… let someone who would really appreciate this giveaway win.

  22. jenniwaka says:

    All beautiful photos and nuggets as usual!

    Despite the pain early on, I didn’t think of breastfeeding as a real struggle, but when my daughter passed the one year mark I started to want to own my own body again. I think it was just a feeling I needed to work through for a while, but a couple months later we’re still breastfeeding as much as ever. This week I have started to earn wet open-mouthed kisses when she switches boobs, so I’m glad I held out!

  23. Kelly Cach says:

    Oh these photos…..so dreamy, so sing-songy! The girls running free in pretty dresses—oh my!

    The SLIDE!!! SO very cool. My husband grew up in the house his dad built complete with a slide and fire pole descending from their deck! GO FOR IT!

    Good for that sweet mama! I still have guilt over not nursing my first born longer than I did. I thought I wasn’t making enough for him, so after trying to pump to make more, taking fenugreek, Mother’s Milk Tea, & an occassional beer, I started supplementing after 4 months and completely done nursing at 6 months….Ooooh, still gives my heart pangs!!! I feel like I ripped him off :(. It was hard on me mentally, but now after nursing 2 more babes (still nursing the 19 month old) I know I could have done it longer without worry.

    Blessings to Thomas and his brave Mama!

  24. I will cry when Margot outgrows those shoes.

  25. Stef says:

    I would love to be in the running for the Feeding Thomas books. I am an accidental breastfeeder. I was in the right place at the right time and ended up unintentionally exclusively breastfeeding my oldest for 8 1/2 months, and she didn’t fully wean til a year. The second time around I got twins, one who was the breastfeeding champion of the world, and one who couldn’t get letdown to save his life. My fourth is 13 months and we have managed to be completely formula free. It’s been a fun and crazy ride.

  26. ♥ Mary ♥ says:

    LOL! I totally was wondering if the Chicken moved too!

  27. Minnesotagal says:

    All that mud has me itching to get in the garden. Our MN winter has been bizzarly warm and I can easily stick a finger into the soil of my raised beds but I am thinking I should still hold out for a few more weeks before planting anything. Hey! When is the new Virgin Harvest going to be up an running? Not like you don’t have enough else to do…

    Let me just ask about the garlic. I ahve beenm reading that if there’s an early thaw I shoudl cover it with straw? have you done this with yours?

  28. Ellie says:

    Nici, I loved your mamadigs piece. You should be proud that you’ve already raised a daughter who knows, recognizes, and seeks out her internal reset buttons. That is pretty much the best I can hope to be able to say about my kids some day. Honestly. As I go running under the stars every night after they go to sleep, I keep hoping that some day they’ll know, recognize, and seek out what resets them like running resets me.
    We are not lucky like you to live next to a big mountain, but we’re now at least half a year into a commitment to hike, together, every single Sunday. We call it our church. And I have to say–nothing resets everyone’s buttons as well as those Sunday hikes do. The kids have grown to love and expect the hikes, and I can’t imagine a weekend without them.
    Oh, and we are coming to Missoula this summer!

  29. Volpe Family says:

    I am thinking about getting my garden ready/started. We have been hesitating b/c we were planning on moving but now it has been almost 5 years and I say enough already-time to get growing! what have you started in/for the garden?

  30. the mom~ says:

    I struggled with breastfeeding my first born son, too. My nipples literally almost fell off, they both were flapping :(
    After EIGHT weeks I finally went and saw my OB, who in her 26 years of being a Dr. had NEVER seen anything like this. She referred us to a lactation consultant who showed us how to breastfeed instead of “nipplefeed.” I continued to nurse my son until he was 14 months old.
    I can relate to struggling and overcoming nursing challenges.
    When our second son was born I knew how to nurse properly and successfully nursed him for 18 months.
    I am so glad I got help and didn’t give up!

  31. memomuse says:

    Nipple scabs, bleeding, crying and screaming. I had an episotomy and man did it hurt. My hubby would come home for lunch and I would cry along with the baby when he left. It just pretty much sucks at first – no doubt about it. I am still nursing and he is almost 2 years. It is now much easier and well, the boobies are like stretched out gumballs (oops — oversharing once again. I have surrendered to motherhood and all its beauty and well, um, what is the word — dare I say wart faced ugly pimples…well, the beauty is well the beauty – stop dead in your tracks whimsical music spoken in language so precise and so amazing that it just pops those ugly bad day pimples. But ah, yeah, breastfeeding is tough stuff at first. La Leche League and a local nursing support group helped me a lot at first. I have to add this – “My boobs hurt so much Debi.”
    “You’re engorged honey.”
    “What is engorged?”
    “Get a hand pump.”
    I was clueless!

  32. these photos are just insanely gorgeous! ahhh, mountains. clean air. good food. thanks for making me feel all warm and fuzzy as i’m drowning in pollen and kleenex here in atlanta.


  33. aurah says:

    Thanks for showcasing feeding Thomas…my baby and I struggled mightily with breastfeeding for 4 months until he finally learned how to nurse. There’s something so viscerally devestating when you can’t feed your baby. Luckily, I had an amazing lactation counselor at my local hospital and we worked things out a little bit more each day. As a Doula, I work with so many women who believe that breadtfeeding is natural so it should be easy. For many women it is. But those who have a rough time also have a lonely time of it. Feeding Thomas could be a wonderful perspective for those who struggle.

  34. aurah says:

    Thanks for showcasing feeding Thomas…my baby and I struggled mightily with breastfeeding for 4 months until he finally learned how to nurse. There’s something so viscerally devestating when you can’t feed your baby. Luckily, I had an amazing lactation counselor at my local hospital and we worked things out a little bit more each day. As a Doula, I work with so many women who believe that breadtfeeding is natural so it should be easy. For many women it is. But those who have a rough time also have a lonely time of it. Feeding Thomas could be a wonderful perspective for those who struggle.

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