nuggets: cheers


Well hello there.

Goodness I have written and deleted about 17 sentences to begin this post, an ocean of thoughts holding, back, waiting to swim into paragraphs. This here, now is the first I’ve written or even engaged with my computer in eight days. I don’t know the last time I took that much time away from the keyboard. I also unplugged from email and social media, other than an occasional photo post on instagram. It’s been a restful week that I really, really loved.


Family began arriving on the solstice, the day of Margot’s birthday party. And, since that day, we’ve had a house full of family and friends. The front hallway piled with snow gear, the countertops barely visible through a jolly clutter of dishes, food and beverage.

Now, sheets are being washed and our kitchen is restored. The extra chairs and table leaf sit by the front door, waiting to be carried to the garage; again, we only need room for four. I already feel nostalgic and my parents are still cruising through clouds back to their home. It’s quiet but I can still hear Bakka (my dad) roaring and my kids squealing from the bedroom. It’s still but I can still see Grandma Joan (Andy’s mom) nested into a quilt telling the same story over and over and over, the one where a bear invaded their campsite when Andy was two and ate everything except her chile. I am alone but I can still feel my mom’s tight, tearful squeeze, the one that I understand so much now that I have daughters.


So I am tackling one of my favorite weeks of my entire life with one giant post.





:: We celebrated Margot’s day with a Solstice Sledding Birthday Party.

We made luminaries which we spread from our front door, across the hill and as we settled into a rhythm, 27 seemed the perfect number. Which felt so right on.

Do you know about this awesome initiative for the Newtown families? So good.

And there was sledding, homemade pizza, backyard bonfire and cheer.

Oh how I love the woman who birthed my husband. Feels not-enough to call her my mother-in-law.


We eventually moved inside (where a few of us stayed up SO late). A friend realized the potential of nearly all the kids in one place at one time and directed a photo. My post-photo-download-surprise-favorite is the adult reflections.


:: Christmas eve day was a magical, slow day. My parents were traveling to us and we prepared for their arrival by grocery shopping, reading, walking, dreaming and cooking.


Our local park has an ice skating rink (maintained by a generous neighbor) and Margot was enthralled this year, which led to some hand-me-down skates. She’s since been twice.


But, before the skates were scored, she was pleased as punch to watch and run on ice.


:: My parents arrived with new snow.


My mom, mother-in-law and Margot spread reindeer food in our backyard.

Later that night, Andy hauled a 2×4 out there to make sleigh tracks.

:: Christmas day was breezy, with friends and family. We began opening gifts that morning but it continued as it felt right, lasting a few days.

The biggest, messy, fantastic deal being some packing material included with a gift. It started out mellow and fun and turned into an explosion that took eight adults hours to clean up.


Worth it? Yes.


:: I snuck in just one chilly, fabulous run.


:: The new kitty we are fostering (with intent to adopt) is wonderful, mostly. He loves our pets and people, our pets and people love him. Totally wonderful except he prefers to pee on the guest bed. I’ve washed bedding seven times now (in and around my mother-in-law sleeping in there. oy.) Not giving up just yet, as I am sure he is trying to tell us something. I am still hopeful our home can work for him. We took him to our vet and he is super healthy. What up, dude?

If we adopt, we’d like to call him Norman.

:: Later on Christmas day, we sledded and sledded and sledded.

my mom, Margot and Ruby

Our dear friend, Laura

My dad and me

Andy and our girls

Andy and me, feeling grateful after a bid sled run (thanks, dad, for the photo)

:: We ended our week with a day of skiing at Discovery Basin, where Ruby cruised entire runs by herself and we rallied to keep up with Margot’s speed and enthusiasm. How’d we get here? Wow.


Cheers. To this holiday, this year and next.



36 Responses to nuggets: cheers

  1. DeRae says:

    Totally missed your posts, but was SO worth the wait! Looks like such a great time. I’m glad you and your clan had a wonderful holiday. Happy New Year to you, my dear.


  2. Rachel says:

    Nici, you might try Feliway (cat pheromones) around your house. It reduces stress and makes kitties feel more welcome, safe and secure. :) Looks like a fantastic holiday, cheers!!

    • dig dig says:

      Thanks, Rachel! We are trying everything we can to make our home a good fit for this sweet cat. I haven’t heard of Feliway and will look into it!

      • Jeanne says:

        DO try the Feliway, it works fantastic! If it doesn’t work for “Norman”, check with your vet and possibly try some amitripylene…worked for our Peeve.

        LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your photos!!! Glad you had such wonderful holidays, us too!

  3. Becky says:

    Disco is sooo so FUN! Great for little ones. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year lady! xoxo b

  4. Wesley says:

    Looks like a great holiday season! One of the mothers (I think it’s your mom) has a halo in the picture of Margot spreading reindeer food. Was she wearing a halo or was it a weird orb from the camera? Either way – very cool.

    And the packing peanuts – what a mess! Bet the girls LOVED that!

    • dig dig says:

      Oh holy cow the mess was outrageous! And so fun.

      The halo is an actual headband-halo my mom was wearing that night!

      • Jeanne says:

        Whoops….had wanted to say that it’s fantastic that you let your girls make such a mess with the packing peanuts….they’ll talk about that for the longest time I’m sure! Will become a family story!

  5. Deedee says:

    I’m wondering if the cat is spraying (not peeing) to establish territory. If male cats have not been neutered young enough (or are not neutered at all) they will do that. Norman is a great name and he is oh-so-handsome! We once had a male cat that would spray all the baby stuff – the car seat, the crib, the swing, the stroller. Nothing else, only the baby’s things. I have not heard of Feliway but it sounds like it is worth a try!

  6. SmithShack71 says:

    Man, what a great week!
    Oh, wow. I need to get out more.
    I love the luminaries.
    Good luck with Pee Pants. :( That stinks. Literally.

    Earlier tonight I was thinking about the instagram shot with the computer and fireplace and my comment. And I was thinking -well, I probably came off all – A week off? What does she think this is? Christmas vacation?
    I’m so glad for you that you took that time. Rejuvenating time.


  7. Stacey says:

    This is my first time commenting, but I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog for a couple of months now. I appreciate your perspective and attention to that which is most important to you – you share it beautifully and in a way that is purely inspiring.

    Such beautiful memories for you, your girls, and the whole family! Packing peanuts are the bomb (we’ve had adventures/messes with them too!), as are amazing people to share the holidays with. Happy new year – here’s to an incredible ’13!

  8. Lisa says:

    I laughed out loud looking at your packing material mess – looks fun to play in but can imagine the cleanup tedious. Oh so want to have a white Christmas one year , love looking at your winter photos . Hope you solve the cat pee issue, we accidentally locked the neighbours cat in our house when we went camping for 2 nights after xmas – have yet to find any evidence of pee or worse (hard to believe he could hold on for 48hrs!)

  9. Amanda says:

    packing peanuts, though in your case fun, they seem to like to cause a lot of trouble! I received a package a few months back and it came with packing peanuts and my son ate one. I freaked and had to call poison control, i never thought i would have to do that. but there i was. he was fine :) great post by the way and as usual lovely pictures. ever since i found your blog via kelle i have been doing nothing but dreaming of living in montana, you make it look that wonderful. i hope someday we get to move. in the mean time i have this blog :)

  10. Liane says:

    It looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! Your photos make me want to wrap up warm and head outside! I’m dealing with morning sickness at the moment and have spent the last week pretty much curled up on the sofa dealing with. 24/7 nausea, so much so that I think I may have forgotten what the big outdoors looks like. I may have to change that.. Nausea or not :)

    Liane x

  11. You get infinite fun-Mama points for the packing peanuts mosh pit. And otherwise, smiles all around. Happy birthday, solstice, Christmas and NEW YEAR!

  12. Kelly L. says:

    I love the last picture of your girl skiing, trees were always my favorite terrain to ski when I was little, it looks like such an adventure is awaiting her.

  13. Andrea says:

    wow, its been so long since i have left a comment this whole process has changed! dont worry, i have still been stalking, ahem lurking, here!

    awesome post! there is so much to comment on, and i love all the photos but really…what deserves attention most, that bitchin’ blue snow suit of your moms!

  14. Lucy says:

    What a lovely beautiful life. I want to jump into the pictures to skate on the ice or fall down in the snow. I wish I’d taken some time off, too. Even if we don’t feel we deserve it, our kids most certainly do. This morning you have reminded me what is important. Now I put down my phone :)

  15. Claire says:

    Oh, these photos made my heart sing!

  16. Kelly Cach says:

    I noticed the halo as well and thought it sounds like both moms should be wearing them 😉
    And Nici, you have the most beautiful smile.
    Lovely Christmas memories…as it should be.
    Thank you for Melody’s idea….whoosh! Will be looking into that.

  17. Sarah Phillips says:

    Nici…..first, thank you for the link to Melody’s blog with the nest necklaces! I have felt the need to do SOMETHING in memory of those sweet lives lost, and I’ve been doing the 26 acts of kindness….after my 26th act, I felt so good, and so connected to random people in my community, I decided to keep going!! :) So, donating to Melody just felt right!

    Second, OH MY MESS with the packing peanuts!! LOL!! I’m so OCD, I don’t know I could EVER do that! LOL!!

    So glad you had a restful time!! ((hugs)) Happy New Year!

  18. Jen says:

    How do you make hosting so many people look so easy?! I am so shitty at it. By the end of it all I want is a beer and to swear off holidays. Of course until everyone leaves and I am sad. But you make it look so simple!

    Also, my hubby got me a Mamalode subscription for Christmas. I am loving it already!

  19. catherine hanlon says:

    Nici, I oredered & received a pair of the SkullKnits slippers, upon your recommendation!!! & they are fabulous–Thank you for the info & Racaele was so kind–
    Hope to win that pair you are giving away!!

    Much love to you & your family this season—We are a stones throw away from Newtown, so I have been going there a few times a week to help…

    • dig dig says:

      Oh yay! Aren’t they the best?! And I think you’ll just fall more and more in love with them.

      I bet it is so intense to be so close to Newtown. I imagine the support and love of neighbors like you is very encouraging and appreciated.

      – Nici

  20. catherine hanlon says:

    oops I meant Stull Knits—typo!


  21. Sophie says:

    We have a very neurotic five year old ginger cat who’s been ours since kittenhood. If a bedroom door is left open, he will go and pee on the bed. There’s nothing quite like putting your legs into a bed and being unsure if it feels so cold because it is so cold, or because it’s actually drenched in cat pee. I bet he’ll ease up now your guests have gone, but please don’t ditch the cat, just keep the bedroom doors shut. In the absence of good cat psychotherapy, this is an effective and workable solution.

  22. Sarabell says:

    What a fun holiday!! I was looking at back entries on your blog and I’m loving it, so fun! My husband and I are travelers and we camped in Montana for one weekend this summer. We just stayed in the Bozeman area but the Battle Ridge campground and Fairy Lake were so gorgeous! We talk about it all the time. =]

  23. Jen says:

    Happy New Year! I hate to add even a smidgen of negativity to a delightful post but, as cute as that kitty is, don’t adopt a cat who pees outside the box! I have some serious horror stories (which include a serious try at behavior modification therapy, kitty Prozac, and ultimately, “going to live on a farm.”) It was horrible! Don’t take the chance of messing up your new house and Norman teaching your other cat some very bad tricks. Good luck!

    • dig dig says:

      Oh, yes, we have thought about this. I appreciate your advice! We decided to extend the fostering for another two weeks and try some different scenarios to see if he was just trying to tell us something…So far, so good! He’s only peed in the box for the last five days. So, here’s to hoping that’ll stay the case because I am sure falling in love with him. :)

  24. finnyknits says:

    I didn’t unplug as much as you did (well done, sister), but I’ve put a lot on hold until “after”and it’s been real nice. Tomorrow will be hectic, but it’s much easier to handle after a week + of not-hassled. Happy new year, sweet gal.

  25. Britta says:

    How lovely!!! And your mom’s snow suit is awesome. Where did she get it?!?

    Good luck with the kitty. Our orange tabby did great with Feliaway and I also recommend it! We only needed to use it for like a month and then Samwise was fine.

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