hump day nuggets: big water

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

We are pretty soggy around here. Snow melts and races to the three rivers that surround our city. Rain falls, adding to the raging chocolate milk.

The Clark Fork is the biggest I've ever seen it. Twice the normal width, it seems. Last week I biked over a pedestrian bridge, pulling the girls behind me and I felt a surge of adrenaline and panic. I literally took a deep breath and reminded myself out loud that we were safe. Usually quiet and slow moving, the water felt like it was just inches below our feet and it was loud like a wild waterfall. I peddled fast. The power.

Thank you for your kind thoughts about the flooding around here. My family (both in Missoula and Red lodge) is safe.

Nature is so impressive and I have new reverence for the Mother now that I am a mother. I explain how long it takes a maple to grow that big and that it started out as one of those thousands of tiny, neon green helicopters that litter our yard. I talk about how it is that rivers always have water, where that water goes and how deep the ocean is. When I deconstruct these things for my absorbent and curious three year-old, I feel the magic and awe. It is astounding, really.



:: Thankfully the rain does give us long dry breaks. Wet earth just makes for softer rolling.


:: Margot uses just in case in completely the wrong context. It's one of my favorites. "Mama, I am going to put my gum right here just in case I know where it is tomorrow."

"I like running through the grass just in case I like it."


:: Wet, chilly spring days mean new piles of library books.


:: I love shopping for second-hand finds that my family will use well. Specifically, I seek handmade kitchen tools, baskets and 1/2 gallon canning jars. Recently, I scored a hand-forged copper and iron strainer, a hand-forged copper saucepan, awesome twiggy laundry basket, an old window with chicken wire already in it that was the *exact* size we needed for our garden gate and two fantastic old jars. All for a few bucks each.


:: Ruby's words are sweetly indecipherable to most but I know what sister's saying. Mostly she says bread (ba), water (wa), cheese (chis), Alice (ahdis), Margot (me), dad (dada), me (mama), nurse (mau), hi, bye and peanut butter (wildly flapping arms). Don't need much else when your 18 months old.


:: Tara Nicole, Margot and Alice jog around the hood.


:: When I chose to leave my nine-to-fiver to work from home, I was excited to do things I hadn't been able to do in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week with my kids. I remain very appreciative that a 7am text conversation plants a wonderful, happy crew at the park an hour later, followed by coffee and tired kids. It's these simple, breezy experiences I love most about being home with my girls.


:: A big welcome back to dig sponsor, Urban Baby Bonnets! You all have seen my kids in these bonnets with regularity here for the last two years. We are rarely without them. These bonnets rock: great sun protection, super cute, fit under bike helmets, comfy when wet and, most importantly, our kids keep them on!


Mama/owner/seamstress Colette is giving you TWO chances to win a bonnet AND free shipping on orders:

dresses too!
+ Visit Urban Baby Bonnets, create an account and put your fave bonnet on your "wishlist" and then come back here and leave a comment listing your favorite. Winner randomly selected on Monday, June 6 will get the bonnet on their wishlist.

+ Bonnet photo contest: Submit a photo of your kid wearing one of her bonnets by July 31 and have a chance to win a bonnet.

+ Use coupon code 'digmefree' to get free shipping on your purchase. Thanks, UB2!

:: My daughters' relationship turns me into a sentimental puddle. I adore sneaking up on this:


:: My husband's newest painting (among several dozen others) will be on view at the Holter Museum from July 20-October 9. His work is way better in real life when mouths gape over bike spokes and eyes blink over skies so real they make one dizzy.

Park and Ride, oil on board 

:: Growing pole beans, kohlrabi, cabbage, tomatillos, basil, parsnips, winter and summer squash, tomato, cucumber, cauliflower, beets, bush beans, spinach, lettuce, peas and carrots. Getting there. Come on sun.


:: Harvesting rhubarb, tarragon, rosemary, chives, parsley, lemongrass, lettuce, oregano, thyme, sage.


:: Thanks to my dear pal Paige for documenting our impromptu post-hike field romp.


"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."
— Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It and Other Stories)


happy hump day out there

:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com


Nancy Wen said...

Margot and Ruby's relationship makes me want to pop out another one right now!

Anyways, can you do a post on what you feed Margot and Ruby? I have a almost 12 months old (12 months tomorrow!) and I am at lost of what to feed her now. It's porridge and pasta everyday and sometimes chicken soup...I"m sure my Olive is supremely bored of those selections.

Jean said...

I can't believe you found that copper sauce pan. Excellent find! Richard would swoon. xoxo

Adriana Iris said...

Oh Nici love the images on this post...Makes me want to go to your neck of the woods. Love your hubby's piece its you and him and your world. The both of you really can create a love letter to Montana with such ease. Thank you for that.

FinnyKnits said...

I am, right now, totally swooning over Andy's painting. The subject, the rendering, the art of it. Wow. LOVE. And WOW. I wish I *could* see it in person.

Julia said...

I have a hard time commenting on blogs for some technical reason, but I am going to try again.

Thank you for your honesty. I adore you and don't know you, but just want to hug you all the same.

The devotion depicted in each of your posts is heart breakingly beautiful: To Andy, your sweet children, your Alice, your friends, your craft...truly admirable.

I think what I appreciate most about your blog is your uncanny ability to "see". You are alive and kicking and living Nici, and that's a beautiful thing!

Andy's painting is divine. I can't believe this guy!

Lisa G. - Happy Mama said...

Are you sure that is a painting and not a photo? WOW!

Jess said...

Andy is disgustingly talented. Seriously, disgusting!

Tonya said...

Andy is an unbelievable artist! Seriously, his paintings look so real, I can imagine they are even more impressive in real life!

jolie said...

Love popping in and checking out your blog! Also love the bonnets. We have one...I've been drooling over their site! I love a bunch of them...but I put sunshine daydream on my wish list...but I love secret garden...and...and the list could go on and on...and she has dresses...OMGOODNESS!!! Thanks for the chance to win!

serialswooper.com said...

I love Andy's oil just in case he's crazy talented!

Nuggets a pleasure as always. :-)

116640059655984252618 said...

wow - that last shot of the dandelion is stunning.

so and andy's painting.

Enjoyed the post as usual!

clove's corner said...

Our rivers are swelling beyond their banks, too. Landslides have blocked the highways. The force of it all is exciting, even as we contemplate the possibility of flood--which furniture to save, which to let go.

And, I LOVE UB2 bonnets. My girl has outgrown hers from last year, so we definitely need another.

Nicole said...

Woahh your Andy's painting is out of this world realistic! I thought it was a photo at first glance. What precision!

And the bonnets.. pick just one? That was super tough haha. I put Organic Meadows on my list though :) Thanks for a chance to win!

Erin O. said...

Thanks for the discount hook-up on the bonnets! I just scored free shipping a bonnet for my baby boy. Gotta keep up with big sister this summer and it's becoming pretty inconvenient to walk around with my hand over his head. ;)

Sarah said...

Love nuggets! Your girls are so adorable ~ I love the picture of them in their room <3

And holy moly those bonnets are adorable! LOVE Sweetwater and added it to my wishlist, but I think all of them are so cute!

Tina said...

Wow - Andy's painting is definitely amazing. What a talented pair of parents Margot and Ruby have been blessed with; with your parenting style combined with your obviously artistic abilities and love for the earth, your girls are gonna move mountains!

I've also been swooning over the bond between my daughters recently. It is so touching to witness them become such good friends; Brooklyn always loved her baby sister but now that Brianna can play with her and thinks she is oh-so-hilarious, their relationship is quickly becoming very special.

I love the bonnets so much! How coud I possibly choose just one!? Posey is one of the few among my favourites. I'm not sure either of my girls could pull one off but I would totally love to try one out!

.:Heather:. said...

I added Organic Dogwoods Pink. I honestly adore it!!! I have seen them on your girls before & loved them but never clicked through to the site until tonight. Oh. I think I MUST order one for my almost 2 year old!!! If only I could guarentee that SHE too will wear it!

& I looked at Andy's painting for over a minute trying to figure out if it was indeed a painting or if you had mis-typed & meant to say photo. Wow.

Thorny Rose said...

I have been enjoting your blog for a while now. Your husband's painting is amazing! I had to reread that it was a painting---can't believe his talent! I headed over and put my favorite bonnet on a wishlist---here's hoping we win! Thanks for the chance :)

Anna said...

Nici I love following your blog! You inspire me to enjoy more nature outings with my daughter and to teach her to cook and garden at an early age. I love your photos and reading your posts. Thanks!

I checked out the bonnet sponsor and I added the vintage floral one to my wish list. Very neat!

Jill said...

Oh lordy I love those bonnets. I signed up! My 21 month old is anti-hat and always pulls them off of her sweet head. Maybe this one will stay on. Your eldest daughters haircut is so cute!

Melissa said...

love it!
all of it!
now i need to go sign up on ub2 because as swarthy as she is, my girl needs a bonnet for our first legit summer now that we are out of the sf fog . . .

especially love the diction of your girls and can totally relate--the funny toddler-ease and the baby garble that usually only mama understands, though i swear, my girl says agua. which sounds a lot like aba, and avi, but i hear it! xo!

Brandi said...

My favorite Urban Baby Bonnet is the Purple Butterfly... I'm pregnant with baby number two. Praying for a girl that I'll name Ruby Lyn. If my prayers are answered she'll look adorable in this. If not I have nieces who will totally rock the bonnet! ;)

DeRae said...

I am loving this blog!!
I went to Urban Baby Bonnets, and chose the Carnivale print. Keeping my fingers crossed. My 4 month old would look so cute!

Baby By The Sea said...

Oh, I miss you. That 18 month old vocab is somethin', right? I think you forgot the grunts and screeches. I think they'd have a bigger vocab if big sister wasn't always filling in the blanks. Lovely dandelion picture, amazing smile-inducing shot of Margot and Alice. And, Andy. Really?! In awe.

lafalda said...

My favorite Urban Baby Bonnet is called Organic Critters. SO CUTE. My Lily needs some sun protection this summer : )

me said...

That painting is incredible! I created an account and put the watermelon sugar bonnet on my wish list!

rebecca said...

,,,"i like running through the grass just in case i like it",,,i'm with you margot!,,,

,,,love andy's painting,,,

,,,love your final photo,,,

,,,love nuggets from diggy,,,

Nora Fagan said...

I love love love the picture of Margot running with Alice and her dolls. Made me laugh out loud. Love those bonnets as well, my favorite would be candy apple!

Jessie said...

I adore the picture of Margot, Tara Nicole and Alice. Andy's painting is breath taking.

It's funny, I read your blog often and have begun to reference you in every day life. Like, "Nici has a beautiful garden." "Margot said this on this weeks nugggets" ...and my husband just looks at me and smiles. I still want to put electrical tape on my kids boots and make them pirates this year for Halloween. :-) You're awesome! I love reading nuggets. Thank you for lifting so many spirits by what you do. :)

and bonnet? I like violet vireo. I know it's for the colder months but it's often cold here amd it would be awesome to keep her head and ears warm in such an amazing hat. Especially one that finally matches her coat. :-D

Puget Sound Mama said...

Congrats to Andy on the painting- it is awesome. Jason and I looked at the pictures of the Clark Fork- wow! We miss Missoula!


Angie Kroeker said...

I totaly love the bonnets. My fav is the sweetwater. I also love reading your blog. I am always impressed at how you manage to keep it up with all that you do. I want to thank you for your insights on life they are inspiring.

Charity said...

Reading over your blog makes me so miss when my boys were little, they are now teenagers.

Kelle said...

*Andy's painting slay me.
*Ruby's looks are changing.
*Margot's open mouth can't-contain-it smile is infectious.
*I checked three times for nuggs yesterday and was happy when they arrived.

Heidi said...

Reading your blog always starts the day off right!
I put Organic Meadows as my fav.
Thanks for the contest! Love the hats!

Bikini By 30 said...

Those impromptu midday/mid week park trips sound so amazing. It's the simple pleasures!

I can hardly believe Andy's painting is not a photograph. It's stunning!

I must send you my husband's recipe for tomatillo sauce. I put it on everything: Stir fried veggies, burrito bowls, tacos, tofu scrambles. It's divine!

Laci said...

wow. Andy's paintings are just amazing. I'm blown away by how realistic every detail is.

Amy Scott Smith said...

Mod Blossom is on my wish list ... these bonnets look great!

love the nuggests .... they bring a sense of calm to my harried days.

Kellye said...

Peacock is on my list! The bonnets are absolutely adorable!

Look forward to the "nuggets" every week!

clove's corner said...

P.S. My bonnet pick is the Terra Soliel!

Emily said...

The bonnets are adorable... I added Sunshine Daydream to my wishlist because we have been dreaming of sun for a long time this past winter/spring.

As an aside, I wanted to let you know just how widespread the positive impact of your blog is ... you inspired me to buy cage free/organic eggs (among other things)! :)

lokywoky said...

My favorite part of Andy's painting cannot be seen in this photo!

I have been lucky enough to be able to see it in progress from just a blue wash on top and a big white geometric shape in the middle. I have watched the details slowly emerge over time as his painstaking work through months 'grew' this wonder.

My favorite part? On top of the roof, there is dust, with a hand-swiped imprint like someone tried and gave up dusting it off. All that tiny dust!!!

And no, it isn't a photograph. The painting is about two feet square and it is way more impressive in person than it is here. If you are anywhere close to Missoula while his show is hanging - you simply MUST come and see it!

Hilary said...

I've had my eye on these bonnets and can't wait to get my hands on one! I love the description for my favorite Peacock- "is a super-saturated, strut-your-stuff & oh-so-hip sun bonnet!" Fits my little girl perfectly!

Lee said...

Holy cow, that painting of Andy's is amazing! I love the bonnets too - so cute. I put Watermelon Sugar on my wishlist because my daughter insists everything be "pretty in pink"!

Happiness is... said...

I look at Andy's paintings and think that they are more explicit than a picture. Simply amazing. He's oozing with talent. And BTW, my husband had a white VW like that for several years. I have to show him…I bet he'll tell me the year of the model in the painting.

The garden is growing too! We have lettuce, herbs, peas, a single strawberry (damn squirrels). It's thriving and growing. The pumpkin vine is catching speed, and I cannot wait to see it crawl and spill all over our patio. Thanks for hosting the Virgin Harvest, giving many of us that friendly push.

I love the shots with Alice. The last one your friend took in the meadow. The one with Margot running. I so miss my Buckley. My crazy animal. I miss the unconditional love and unbridled enthusiasm of dogs. I miss the girl love on dog. The dog love on girl. All in good time though.

Love the bonnets. So hard to choose just one when the materials are cracky. Violets & Vireos. So true to Alex even though I'm also crazy over Seaside Sun. Amazing hats especially when you have a sailboat and coverage is a must.

Must. Work…Rats. Thanks for the nuggets.

-Jennifer from Annapolis

watermelonsgrow said...

holy cute bonnet, c'mon sweetwater! but seriously, how can you choose?

the end of a river runs through it always gives me shivers, thanks for sharing.

MeganMR said...

Wow! Andy's painting almost doesn't even look like a painting, it looks real. Love it!

Kelly Cach said...

So much in this post, so good to my heart:

*COOL finds! I love antiques & second hand stuff!!!! Lots of antique stores and yard sales here in Lewiston, Id. Makes me giddy just thinking about it.

*Can't wait to check out the bonnets!

*I'm not an artist so I don't have the right terminology, but Whaaat??? It's not a photo??? Andy's got talent!!!!

*So wish I could grow a garden....very little sun in our tiny yard :(

*Photos of you and your girls in the field are beyond sweet!

*And fully understanding the sibling relationships. My boys are little men when it comes to their sister (who is 10 mo. old with Down Syndrome). They are doting, protective, gentle, and affectionate at any given moment they are with her....and they don't even know she has "special needs"....Oh, be still my heart if they did know! I can barely contain my tears as it is. Special needs or not, don't you think every child should have a sibling? Their character is richer for it!

Blessings today ~

Emily, Bob, Etta &amp; Mae said...

I am a Montanan living in Idaho right now and LOVE reading your blog. We drove through Missoula on Sunday and I thought about you.

I also have two girls and love to witness others with this same bond. After one of your posts a few weeks ago I went to UB2 and immediately fell in love with the bonnets. I have very fair girls that NEED to wear hats. My elder has done well (she just turned 3) but my younger - 9 months old today - needed a little help keeping a hat on. After two days of peppering Colette with (I'm sure, annoying) questions I ordered my first one. I was estactic that it arrived *way* before I expected and that I was able to bring it to MT this week while we are visiting. Unfortunately it has been raining (as you know) but she has still worn it a few times. The sun is coming...

I already had an account but went on and added "eye of the swirl" to my wish list. Maybe in a medium so that my elder can wear it this summer and pass on to the younger sometime in the future. Have gotten a ton of comments already and love bragging about it.

Thanks for the great pics and insights!

Kelly Cach said...

Okay, that was a hard choice, but I settled on "Owlie" as my favorite! This will be Nora's first summer! :)

KAE said...

I love reading about your beautiful family!!!

My favorite bonnet from urbanbabybonnets.com is the keowee. I wouldn't be mad if I got one for free... just sayin...

Clanton Clan said...

I love, love, love following your blog. You always have a pure and simple approach to parenting that I aspire to recreate in my family! Keep it comin'

As for those a-dorable ub2 bonnets. We LOVE them! I agree, they are the best bonnets out there. My daughter's current one is getting a little snug, so my new "wishlist" bonnet is the organic orchard. So cute!! Thanks.

Amy said...

Ok, seriously? You and your stories and your town... kill me. I love it all.
Oh, and the bonnets? SO cute! So hard to choose, but I think my Missy would look adorbs in the Flutterby one!

Ellen Landrum said...

Anamalia all the way. My girl lived in her UB2 bonnet last week at the beach. They were what first brought me to Dig!! I love the new site-

megan said...

keowee is so gorgeous!!! now, if only you'd do an andy painting give way :0 boy is seriously talented. does he have a website where we could purchase some of his work?

beautiful photo of the girls together in their room!

btw finn loved his custom ky tshirt until it was showing off some gut!!! time to order the next size & maybe a onsie for my new one due in july!

DeRae said...

...and I already changed my mind and chose Park Bistro. Too many adorable ones to choose from!

Mark, Wendy, Dale and Rose said...

UB2 introduced me to your blog, so I am so excited to see them back again! Our favorite is vintage floral...or sunshine daydream...or sunshine tango... Okay fine, our favorite is all of them!

erin said...

yay, i love these bonnets! it's hard to pick just one but i am drawn to the cerulean sky...

Sarah said...

I love those bonnets.I'm reading two blogs at once here and love all the getting out tips.

So I don't know why I feel the need to share...but have you ever had a Pimm's cup cocktail? Cucumber, lemons, oranges, mint, Sprite and Pimm's liquor. It is my new favorite taste of summer and the cukes and mints come fromt he garden! Happy Friday.

Katie said...

Oh I love all of the bonnets! But if I had to pick ONE, I'd have to choose Carnivale. Love love love.

And WOW...Andy is way incredibly super talented. That is really amazing.

Ms Toni said...

I've been reading and loving this blog for some time. I guess it takes a good giveaway to get me to comment for the first time, huh? :)
Um, so what bonnet wouldn't I want? So hard to choose... I think the cerulean sky would look best on my sweet baby Grey.
Have a fabby weekend!

maggiekw said...

Oooo...this was hard, but the Sunshine Tango was definitely my favorite. Even if I don't win, I'm buying one! They are way too adorable.
Thanks for your blog, I look forward to reading every single word!

Crystal Pence said...

Totally, I agree.
"Keowee" bonnet should be mine! Fingers crossed!

Courtney said...

I love the sweetwater bonnet!

Abby said...

I love the violets & vireo bonnet!

tina said...

oh i am jealous of missoulians and their darn 'banana belt'! here in the bozone, the lilacs are not blooming yet. and the cold and wet start of the season means that my lily of the valley which should be my may birth-month flower, only just now has tiny buds waiting to open. all in good time, i guess.

folks in the rockies are the most passionate gardeners i've ever met because our season's so short and so precious.

i put 'organic orchard' on my wishlist for my girl who's been loving all the sign language signs for her favorite fruits. thanks!

The Riesbergs said...

I love the flutterby bonnet!!! I added it to my wishlist too.

Staci said...

i was just thinking las week how one of these bonnets would come in handy forour new farm boy this summer! on tour would be just perfect!

Minnesotagal said...

What book is Margot reading in that picture? It looks fantastic! Kind of like A Seed is Sleepy which we're really into right now with gardening and all.
Is Andy's art for sale anywhere? My husband walked in while I was reading you blog - and he *never* comments on what I'm looking at but Andy's picture was up and he said "Wow that's amazing!" Ding, ding, ding! Christmas is not that far off is it? :)

Lola and Diesel said...

Love your blog! And love the "keowee" bonnet that I added to my wish list! My four month old butter bean would look super sweet in it ;)

StobbeFamily said...

Love the watermelon sugar bonnet for my fair skinned girl!

HAS said...

These bonnets are fab! I have several on my wishlist. (love wishlists, btw) I guess my FAV would be the Sunshine Tango. But I also love the Vintage Floral, Seaside Sun (mermaids!) and the owlie...(owls are so cute!).

Rachel said...

Your blog is my favorite!! Love it so much.
There are so many amazing bonnets, hard to pick just one- I think sweetwater is my top choice, but also love violets and vireos. Thanks for the giveaway!

Shelby said...

I love your blog-it is a weekly pick-me up. Thanks for pointing out the bonnets. I have been looking for that style for my little girl this summer. It is hard to choose but I think cerulean sky is my favorite.

katie said...

I love that your kids' room looks just like my kids...chaotic happy fun. I entered the bonnet giveaway too - vintage floral...ooo la la! <3

Kate said...

Love this post! My favorite bonnet was "anamalia" added to my wishlist! My little bug will be here in 3 weeks or less, and since we don't know if it's a boy or girl, this is our unisex bonnet of choice! so sweet!

Emily said...

Luca would look so damn cute in a good earth bonnet!

Coffee Mama A-J :) said...

Love: The Eye of the Swirl!

You are a brave mama, riding across that water! :)

Deb and Mike said...

The bonnets are delightful. I'd love to see "watermelon sugar" on my little granddaughter...added to my Wish List...hoping...

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