Dead Ends Don’t Exist thumbnail

Dead Ends Don’t Exist

3 Things by Nici Holt Cline, dig this chick

3 Things by Nici Holt Cline, dig this chick


Recently, a local magazine asked me to photograph a family to accompany an article. I swallowed my insecurity and said yes, I’d be honored.

I knew I was to photograph a nonverbal little girl who communicates with an iPad. I drove into the country and knocked on a big white door. Greeted by three eager boys, I stepped into a home totally outfitted for people of all ages and abilities. The couple has nine children. Two biological, seven adopted and eight with special needs. I viewed this family through the small box of my camera and felt my body swell with love. That’s all that was there: a family who loves. We all have a different way, a different journey. There are so many ways to experience success and fulfillment.

I left the photo shoot and, at the first stop sign I came to, I was struck by the view’s poignancy.

Dead Ends don’t exist. Only Different Paths.



I know what it is to be in a hurry, to feel annoyed at my kids’ walking-through-peanut-butter pace to get ready. Come on! We’re late! Put the cat down! Get your shoes on! You know what I’ve learned (and am still learning)? This:

Take a breath and let children be.

When I take it down a notch and let my kids skip wildly and inefficiently through tasks, it doesn’t really take any more time. And we are all happier. Zipping a coat, buckling a car seat, opening a jar, walking into the post office, cutting up pancakes, putting on tights… Oh my goodness it can take forever. Yes, I can do it all faster. But my stepping in to “help” when they haven’t asked for it steals their wonder and quickly changes the mood from joyful to anxious. And what are we living for? Adventure and happiness. Relationships and passions.

Time will keep passing and every minute is an opportunity.



I love to spend time outside. And I live in Montana, where it is cold and snowy many months of the year. I struggled to find winter boots that satisfied my criteria: functional (warm and tough) and beautiful (hip and fun). Most boots that can stand up to my sledding, hiking, schlepping were some variation of large and brown. And the ones I like aesthetically, were poor performers. Until! I discovered the Sorel ’88 Boot. This boot was created by Sorel for the 1988 Olympics in Calgary and rereleased to the public a few years ago. They are funky and cute AND, most importantly, super warm, waterproof and durable.



Contributor: Nici Holt Cline from dig this chick
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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jolie N. January 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Love the Tip! Thanks! I need to be reminded to slow down and not be in a hurry!

  • Melissa January 30, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    YES! Good boots in MT are a must!! I will have to check those out. When I have the time to spare, I let my two girls wander the grocery store with me instead of trying to bribe them into the cart. It takes 10 times as long to shop, but they are happier and hopefully learning their boundaries. Good tip!

  • sian January 31, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Your tip is so true! I don’t always manage it but when I stop fussing and nagging we get there in the same amount of time and we are all happier! Thanks for reminding me xxx

  • Annie January 31, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Really love the tip. Really going to try hard to implement it!

  • Christal January 31, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Having lived in Alaska & Montana, I highly recommend ordering a second pair when they’re on sale to replace your current ones when they’re worn out. My Sorels from 1980′s life in Alaska are black with teal and fushia accents and laces. So NOT stylish now, but awesome on high snow days. I’ve replaced the inner liner once in 33 years. But it might be time to look at another pair. Are they tight on the top of your foot & heel or loose enough for a pair of thick wool socks?

    I found that my favorite black leather boots were discontinued when I asked for a 2nd pair just like the ones I was wearing constantly (as I was going into my 3rd year wearing them as motorcycle boots AND snow boots AND at work without changing into another pair of shoes because they were just dressy enough). It took a while to find another pair that unfortunately only came halfway up to the gold bar set by the Santin’s. Same thing happened with the Naot sandals I got at the Gambler’s Sale clearance rack… favs now but I can’t find another pair anywhere.

  • Mandi February 1, 2013 at 9:52 am

    MY mom totally has those boots, Nici, (and probably got them in ’88). I wore them over Christmas snowshoeing in Red Lodge and my feet were dry and toasty, so they are keepers for sure!!

  • Nici February 1, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Oh good idea! Plenty of room for thick socks. And I have big ol’ Montana calves. Plenty of room there too!

  • Brandi February 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Your tip hit home. My husband and I are notorious for rushing our little guys through everyday tasks. Thanks for this!