hump day nuggets: context

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

I choose to write publicly about my life and I am committed to honesty. But I of course have boundaries. Even though I certainly, obviously select pieces to share in this space, I strive to document a real picture of my life.

Sometimes it's tricky.


Like today I feel disingenuous and downright silly writing hump day nuggets, snippets of the last week, without mentioning a heart-stopping experience. But I don't want to process my guts on dig today. And I am delighted in the easy distraction of assembling nuggets. You get it.


We had a medical emergency in my family that brought me to my knees, sharpened my vulnerability and concentrated the way I want to live my life. I felt terrified and sad. Last Sunday I visited the dark place of painfully considering life without one of my people. I am appreciative that I now feel hopeful, alive and as secure as any mortal can feel.


So there. It's vague but I also can't just write about Ruby's curls without acknowledging my life-changing shift in thankfulness, without framing the following post with a fragile, appreciative structure.


:: And here are Ruby's mouth-watering red curls.


:: When I watch Margot's complete, undistracted joy in a swing on a pukey gray day, I think that's living.


:: My mother-in-law is here. She effortlessly makes wonderful meals with both of my kids squeezing her legs.

I love this woman so much.

:: We have a handful of favorite youtube videos. For the first time Ruby asked to sit next to Margot to see. Margot watched the hilarious narrated wildlife video. Ruby watched Margot.


:: I stare with a big, goofy grin at my daughters while they eat breakfast. Their bodies still warm from thick blankets, bug and rhubarb are charmingly sleepy, swapping egg and oatmeal bites.


:: The Walk. The Pride.


:: I have so enjoyed the sponsors I get to 'know' through dig. Like Malissa from Wild Lupine Design. She's my homegirl. I haven't taken these earrings off since they graced my mailbox.


She is a very cool, down-to-earth Idaho mama who makes sweetly simple, unique jewelry. And you get 10% off with coupon code DIG10. Thanks, Wild Lupine Design!

:: Ruby now eats every meal with silverware.


:: My mom adorably defends her choice to store our childhood in a giant black crate (that moved six times) for three decades. I have to say, for as much guff as I gave her, I am so thankful for the relics. Like the barn that moos when its doors open. Did you have one?

Thanks for preserving my memories, mom.

:: All-knowing, steady Alice.


When I feel unsure I take walks with my kids.


I look at the places where trees meet the sky. It changes with every step. Like life.


I notice signs of the next season, find inspiration in the resilience of growth.


Things happen, one after another after another and they shape us. There are all these influences that push and pull and twist our purpose and decisions. Yet, we remain malleable. We might not get to pick our shape but we can pick our interpretation of that shape. We get to pick our perspective.

I am sorry that I cannot for the life of me remember this artist's name. We traded work in school and I love this little solid, stable house.

happy hump day out there.


Meg 'n Pete said...

My mother-n-law saved all my husband's old toys. Same barn, dude... and the Fisher Price Hospital! It makes our visits *home* super gravy.

Ruby's curls are totally boss!

Happiness is... said...

In last week's nuggets I noticed the barn too! My MIL saved 5-6 large FP pieces that have been used by many for the past 40 years. Heck, us "grown kids" still enjoy using them.

Hopefully your family scare is over. It's amazing how a loss can ultimately reshape you as a person. It's not fun to lose a member of your tribe.

Love the walking. Love the red curls. Love the sister love. And Ruby's food face - yeah that's priceless.

Happy Hump Day!

-Jennifer from Annapolis

booksNyarn said...

I DID have that barn growing up. And the schoolhouse with the chalkboard and the Little People that were made of wood, not plastic.

I know that touching the darker notes is hard: you saw on my FB what happened to me last night. I am grateful that is balanced by everyone being safe and the work being done to repair. That is enough right now. :)

Kelle said...

This is a twofer comment.

A: I loved your Mamalode piece this week and always appreciate how you make meaningful lessons for your kids without making a big deal about it.

B: I've been thinking of you nonstop since Monday and sending lots of kisses into the universe. Nuggets comforted me today knowing you all are okay and home and cozy. Sorry you were rocked this week. xoxo

TRB Holt said...

Burb yes you did give me guff...but I also get your praise every time I see Margot & Ruby wearing treasured knit goodies made by my Mother & Mother-in-law for you and Trav, dresses made by me for you and the fun timeless toys...dolls, music boxes and barns..

Margot ~ what a good big sister you are! I love watching you "take care" of your little sister. Soon you will be pushing each other in the swing. I Love You A Bushel & A Peck!

Ruby ~ Emily Post could learn a lesson or two from you on eating etiquette/the proper way to use silverware and how to walk your way to success! AND those strawberry curls melt my heart! You Are My Sunshine!

Alice....I have no words, just love!

Andy...Just love you too...

Love to all.....xoxo

Malissa said...

I love this comment:

"Things happen, one after another after another and they shape us. There are all these influences that push and pull and twist our purpose and decisions. Yet, we remain malleable. We might not get to pick our shape but we can pick our interpretation of that shape. We get to pick our perspective."

Life can be hard. Really hard. These words are so applicable to many aspects of life, but really I see them as a thoughtful way of adaptation to those really diffiuclt things we may encounter. Anyway. I likey.

You look so beautiful in those earrings. They are so you! I am glad you like them!

I love the picture you captured of Margot jumping.

Hope all is well with your loved one and the rest of your week is a great one. xo.

Karen said...

I totally had one of those barns and recall really loving it :)

Grateful that the heart stopping moment seems to work itself out ok. Sometimes it takes a little time to process things that scare the S$%t out of us before we can talk about it. No worries :)

Happy Wednesday!

Green Zebra Market Garden said...

I really love all the colors in your kids' room...and their clothes!

Sara said...

Thinking of you, and grateful for each day that you share a bit of your life with us readers! :)

Sasha said...

I so had that barn and all the animals with it. I wouldn't be surprised if my parents still have it in a box somewhere.

Courtney said...

Always inspired by these nuggets of your life. Thanks for your writing.

CB said...

The barn, animals and people from my childhood comes forth for my kidlets everytime we visit my parents, reverting to my childhood with my kidlets is both interesting and fun.
Not sure what happened, but am sending happy thoughts to you and yours.

Angie said...

Love the earrings! Ruby's curls are precious and Margot's big sister-ness is adorable :)

Happy Wednesday!

Angie from Ohio

Kelly said...

I am so jealous that your mom held on to all of your goodies. How Cool. My mom did not and I had all of that cool vintage Fisher Price stuff. One thing is for sure, I will hold on to my girls things for their kiddos!!

Oh, saw a dandelion in my front yard on Saturday. Spring is coming.

An Authentic Life said...

{probably shouldn't be admitting this online} I still have the Donny & Marie TV Show Stage Set, dolls, clothes, you name it. I just can't seem to let it go!

Rock on Mama!


Liz said...

My mother very secretly saved everything from our childhood. We were all so surprised to see the mountain of our stuff appear when I announced I was pregnant. It's pretty fun to watch my little ones play with the same toys my sister and I spent so many hours playing with.

Annie said...

Thankful to hear your scare is over. Even the bit you shared is enough to remind me to call and say I Love You to my family.

Hilarious video. I think my 5 yr old will get a kick out of it too.

Loved that barn! My mom has saved much of our toys and clothes too - the nostalgia is heartwarming.

Jenn said...

Sending comforting thoughts your way, hope everything is going better.

Adore Margot's swing outfit, the colors are great!

Go Ruby Go! Love that ambitious walk.

Remember the barn oh so well, my mom saved a Sesame Street toy that my kids play with, good memories.

Thanks for the post, great stuff as usual!

Jo said...

Kids are great at keeping us going, aren't they? And I totally had that barn!

Cait said...

Definitely remember that barn but haven't seen one for years. We saved a few favorites in an old trunk and can't wait to share them with kids of my own one day too.

Loeffler Family Blog said...

Your blog is wonderful, thank you for being so REAL in all that you post. I also have a Ruby (she's 4) and take great pleasure in showing her pictures of "the other Ruby" - she exclaimed loudly "I HAD THOSE PAJAMAS" when she saw your Ru in the pink monkey jammies. We mourn the loss of ours as they are now too small. Your blog is a gift, thank you for sharing.

Jennifer said...

Had the barn and still remember exactly what the animals looked like! My mom went way out of the way when I was pregnant with my first to find a Fisher-Price Happy Apple. It's awesome and I will keep it for my grandbabies because they don't make them anymore!

ValVery said...

I loved the little curls my babies grew during those precious ages. They no longer have them, but I remember twisting them around my fingers and watching them boing back into place. It's those little things in life that make you smile and help make life worth living.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

I had the barn. I love M's boots-at-breakfast.

And this: "We might not get to pick our shape but we can pick our interpretation of that shape. We get to pick our perspective."

That means something to me today. You say my thoughts so well.

Praying for your posse. Happy that all is calm and well.

Tonya said...

God bless your mama for saving that Fisher Price farm. I had almost all of the Fisher Price Little People sets when I was a child in the 70's. My Mom sold them in a garage sale : ( Both of us still mourn this decision. I have bought the hospital, camper and fire station off of ebay, but they aren't cheap. I even had the Sesame Street set with everything, I have seen it go for $200 on ebay, doesn't look like I will be getting *that* one back. They just don't make toys like they used to :sigh: I will by like your mama and hoard all of these goodies for my grandbabies ; ) lol

Sorry for the scary time this weekend, so thankful for y'all that everything worked out ok. I have yet to lose someone I am really close to, I don't know how I will deal when it inevitably does happen.

Love the pic of Margot jumping on the bed!

Gramomster said...

Lovin' Ruby's curls! Connor had amazing curls as a little dude. He still has amazing curls, but they're different now. He'll always have the amazing curls I think. He so got hair from my side. :-)

And while scares are no fun, I'm so glad it was a scare, not a devastating loss. When my phone rang in the summer of '09 at 1 am, and it was the sister who doesn't use phones to communicate... well, I feel ya'.

Also adore how Ruby is listing in the top walking photo! Oh how I love early walking! Little bundles of drunken hilarity!

Gramomster said...

DUH! Also...
TOTALLY had that barn!!! I loved that barn. The sheep was my absolute fave animal.

demandablog said...

I'm glad the scare is over, and I hope that beautiful you and and your beautiful people are all safe and happy. <3

rebecca said...

,,,sending plenty of sunshine your way from my lil neck of the world,,,be well!,,,

Susan S. said...

Oh, the FP memories! My brother, and eventually little sister, and I laughed until we couldn't breathe at the mooing sound the doors made when they were opened. It just never seemed to get old. We'd do it until my dad grumped up the stairs and told us to go outside and play. Good times!

Praying for strength and peace for you and your family. Please let me know if there's anything else I can do.


Daniele said...

I totally had that barn! Wonder which toys of my girls I should keep...
Hope all is well.

enmouton said...

i can totally understand the excitement of still having something that brought you such happy contentment when you were their age... i had a set of Childcraft books growing up... and the complete set of Sweet Pickles... so rad... i would read and re-read those... i came home from college one weekend to find the Childcrafts donated to goodwill... arghhhh.... i was honestly a little dejected... i did however manage to salvage the Legos... sweet...

oh... and Ruby's curls are totally rad...

Britta said...

Thank you for sharing in the midst of processing.

Due to a similar pack-a-away mom, I have the FP barn, school bus, car ferry .... practically every FB toy made between 1976 and 1985. My favorite is the Seasame Street set.

My little one is getting them piece by piece and it's lots of fun. Current favorite is the picnic basket with thermos. All Fisher Price! Wishing I could re-create my Lake Michigan picnics, but Nebraska just doesn't offer that expanse of water.

FinnyKnits said...

Yep. Had the same house. I can hear the MooooOOOOOoooo of the barn door opening. I used to set up the little plastic fence around it and make the animals ride each other. It was a weird time.

Glad that things are working out and you're processing everything with a hopeful attitude.

I don't know if I could have taken that photo of Alice. I would have wanted to cuddle her puppy cheeks. Too cute.

Melina said...

I'm sorry you had to go through something painful and scary. Happy you were able to use it, at least, as a vehicle to find even more love and appreciation in your beautiful life.

Besides that, all I have to say is....


creativechimera said...

I'm sorry your family had to go through yet another medical emergency. Hopefully things are resolved and you can move on now...

I can't get over how much Ruby's hair and Margot's expression in the Walk on the Wild Side picture is like yours in some of your other photos!

Tara said...

I have to admit, your blog is one of the first I check in my reader. I sometimes have to wait for it to be quite so I can let the words soak in. Your words are powerful. I almost died when you left a comment on my blog last week. You are famous to me.

We had the barn as well. I posted in my childhood treasures post about all the little people we had when we were young. They are so much cuter that the new ones!

Sending love your way to you and your family. I know you will be able to jump over this bump in the road. Tara

Hillary said...

Whatever sadness and passing that rocked your boat, may you be comforted by the life that surrounds you and keeps you going.
Beautiful post. Love the curls. Love Mom's. Love the earrings. Love your girls. Enjoy some snuggle time at home where you can be rejuvenated and refreshed.
and yes...I have the barn! (and the animals, tractor and wagon and little farmers to go with) My nephews play with them when they come over. Memories from my childhood always come flooding back

Amy said...

We had that barn and now, thanks to your reminder, I will be tearing my parents house apart next visit to see if I can find it!
Love love love Rubys face in the walking picture!
Hope you are okay!

Heidi said...

Healing vibes being sent your way. We did have that barn! Hmmm... wonder if I can convince my father to go into the attic to find it?

Kerri said...

We so had that barn - love it! And now I get to see it when I'm at my mom's because my little nephew plays with it now. Three cheers for moms who have the foresight to save such great stuff. Ruby's curls and her triumphant walk are making me so happy. I'm so sorry about your scare this week - sending good thoughts for recovery and comfort.

Jennifer said...

I personally think it is good to share what happens with other's in life. Never know that your experience may just hold the key to helping someone else out who learned from your experiences or prevents them from enduring the same. Also allows one to grow making yourself more vulnerable. Dive deep, don't just doggy paddle the surface. It will keep your writing real.

TRB Holt said...

WHO knew the Fisher Price barn was loved by all....guess you did!

Look what I found?


clove's corner said...

I so appreciate your commitment to honesty. I wanted that same commitment when I started my own blog and had to ask myself twice if I could really do it. I found out I can, but sometimes its hard. I also respect your need for boundaries and space. Especially now that you are....so popular(!). But one thing that has always drawn me to your blog is that your writing is RIGHT NOW and REAL. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

And I love that you commented on my blog a couple of weeks ago. Seriously, what an awesome surprise! As Tara said, You are famous to me.

I sincerely hope all is well and the scare is over. ~Gretchen

KWQR said...

Love that barn! I had one too but we moved way too many times to hang on to any toys like that. Love the shot of Margot defying gravity... and Ruby's curls are divine! Hope that whatever rocked you this week has passed & that your new perspective gets you through. Sending good thoughts your way.

Marti said...

Wow, I'm glad that your scare is over that everyone in your clan is ok.

I wish I had some of my things for Ivy to play with but they all got hitched for various reasons. I really wish she had my tinker toys...those were my fave! Did you know they are plastic now? WTH! But at least you can still buy Tinker Toys in a bucket and not a kit...

Chaotic Collins Clan said...

Love the picture of Ruby watching Margot.

I had that barn growing up, makes me want to start saving a few of the boys' things. The minute they have outgrown a toy I am throwing it in a box for Goodwill. Might have to try being a little more selective from now on.

Katie (Mama May I) said...

Hey! ...can't imagine what must've happened to shake you up so, but hope all is well now.

So much love to you and your fam.

ps...I have a little prince that would just adore those majestic curls. ;)

Colleen said...

I am sorry about your scare. I had a few of my own this week. They suck... but wow, the perspective they bring. Here's hoping the weekend brings sunshine and smiles and more Ruby curls.

jenny of all trades said...

Hope you are continuing to heal, and that all is well soon enough. Loved the nugs - a sweet distraction for all of us.

Minnesotagal said...

I am all too familiar with those heart stopping, body numbing, eyes blurring with tears moments. Truly, sometimes it's just all too breathtaking to talk about right away - or for some time. Hope you're recovering. Love your nuggets! Love Ruby's proud walk! And supper love them with their grandma!!

MyRayOLite said...

Awe! I love Alice's picture with her paws up to her face, so cute!

Love Ruby watching Margot!

Hope you are feeling better after your scare.... Have had those myself and the last one almost killed me.

Hope spring shows up for you all soon!


Lola said...

sorry to hear about your difficult day. glad everything is ok.
your girls just get more and more beautiful every day.

Abilew-who said...

Strength my friend. I am so sorry to hear you were afraid this week, and thankful to hear it's fading now into history. My good vibes are out there in the universe for you and your family. Best...

natalie said...

I hate protecting folk's privacy. I even hate protecting my own privacy! But you're right, some things just aren't blog appropriate, even if your mind is so loaded as to be completely distracted by this other subject. But great diversionary tactic, Ruby's curls are a deep well of distracting cuteness.

Holly Taylor said...

Sending prayers your way.

Thanks for keeping it real and honest. Even letting us in a little when its hard is as real as letting us in completely. You are beautifully honest and I love that about your blog. Honest enough to let us know there are some things that cannot be shared.

My mem still has the barn, school, airplane, garage, and all the people from when we were kids. Now we bring her great grandchildren down to play with all our memorable toys. Priceless.

Baby By The Sea said...

Oh, honey. Sorry you were rocked and I'm hoping you are alright. It's hard to be far away from the ones we love and I hope you could find a way to be close in spirit.
I had the farm and loved it! Olive currently enjoys the Fisher Price horse I got for my first birthday. So glad my mama kept it after all these years, all those moves.
Ruby walking in the green skirt holding a cookie is an out-of-this-world joyful photo. Love it.

jen said...

i have a secret stashed away box of my breyer horses that i plan to bring out and FINALLY share one of these days.
and yes. i had that barn. and the sound that it made will forever be etched in my memory.
the newer version sucks bricks. they ruined it by adding the god-awful songs. that the kids hit REPEATEDLY.
plus batteries. gah.
glad your heart is in a safer-feeling place right now ... and it's ok to keep things to yourself. we all do it. blogs don't mean that we need to share EVERYTHING.

Jean said...

I noticed tonight in the bathroom someone had been playing with my old Cobblers Bench. There is only me and a guy named Richy living here. And it wasn't me.

Great photos. It was good to see Andy at the table. give him some love from us. Love to yoU, too, dear one

smallTown said...

I had one of those barns! I also noticed what looks like a Cabbage Patch doll on the floor of Margot's room? Those were my FAVORITE! I think I had 6 of them as a kid, and I've still got them all in a box somewhere.

Love reading your nuggets! Margot cracks me up. Love her feisty spirit.

frailgrasponthebigpicture said...

New reader here.

1. I hope everything is ok.

2. I had that barn!!!

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