meet nicole

my birth story

It has been two and a half years, and I'm finally getting to write a bit about my own birth story. In a lot of ways it was my catalyst to begin and truly enjoy the art of birth photography today! To start, I was speaking with a friend about a non-profit trying to gain more volunteers when I had the craziest dizzy spell. As in, I had to sit or I would have fallen. At that moment I knew something was up, but tried to put it out of mind. An easy task believe it or not, because not less than a week later a pipe burst in our home while we were working. A pipe on the second floor, in the bathroom. Water everywhere, it was raining in our living room just barely into our 7th month of home ownership. Seriously, I could not make this up. So we ended up in a hotel for about two weeks, where I still just didn't feel right. My husband and I are very open with each other, so of course we went to the store and bought one of each type of pregnancy test. I'm not kidding. We got back to our room and I took one. I know I should have waited until the morning, but whatever. We were there and anxious!

First test was a positive.

I didn't believe. I was pregnant. This state that you go through your adolescence being told is not great. Abstain, don't have babies. Naturally, I grabbed the test box and read the statistics about a possible false positive. Apparently that wasn't a thing, so I took all the rest of the pregnancy test over the course of 2 weeks. Finally, I reconciled the fact that I was growing a tiny parasite inside me and went to see the doctor to confirm and all that jazz. By jazz, I mean light blues. By this time we had moved into long term temporary housing, and I was sicker than a dog. I had to get IV fluids twice and was pretty much non-functioning!

For the expecting mamas reading this, always keep bags without holes and paper towels in the car. Also to be safe, travel in the right lane in case you need to pull over for what ever reason!!

Other than being super sick and quite tired I plugged along until one day, at 20 weeks, I walked into to work and had a crazy stitch in my side. I tried ignoring it, do you see a pattern (haha), until I couldn't breathe without concentrating. I was scared. Called the husband and said I'm coming home, we need to go to the doctor. Mind you, I worked an hour from our temporary home. I got in my car and called my mom. I could barely talk. I was in so much pain, she was trying to give me directions to the nearest hospital when I gave up and got on route 66 to just get home. Things went down hill and I had to pull over to call an ambulance. Scariest day of my life! I was passing a kidney stone, but at the time I could have sworn my baby and I were dying! Being a first time mom, it was the only conclusion!

After that eventful first and second trimester things were pretty smooth sailing. I picked up energy, felt much better, and we finally got to move back into our house at the beginning of my third trimester. I do not recommend moving at this time of your pregnancy, unless you have movers and un-packers! My husband was a saint!!

With all of that said, I was fairly type A throughout my pregnancy. Researched everything, watched, and read even more. I practiced how I would labor, hired a doula, and made sure I was with a practice that had a midwife. I wanted a natural labor. I did not want to find out the sex. We thought it was one of the last ways in life to truly surprise ourselves. Little did we know, now having a toddler! I also wanted a birth photographer. However given our crazy life circumstances at the time could not afford one. I was super grateful that my best friend, Anna Gibson, was willing to be on call and come document my journey to motherhood.

So on we went. Approached our due date, with family in town, and passed our due date. Our child decided to wait until she was good and ready to make her appearance! After nine days of waiting through prodromal labor, Miss Bit decided it was time, but still took her time. I woke up Monday morning with strong contractions. I had to call my early to work husband back home, and started walking to keep the contractions going. I was nervous, not sure about timing, my husband wasn't home, but I knew in my heart that baby would't come until the world was right. August 19th was such an amazing day. We walked a lot! We went to a nearby park and walked even more, found a four leaf clover and was congratulated by people passing us as I grimaced through yet another contraction. By late that night I had called my doula and photographer to come, I felt I was getting close. After the party arrived at my house we made our way to the hospital. The REAL party!

I feel like life has been a blur since this part. Yes, still 2.5 years later, it is still a blur. I greatly appreciated my midwife explaining every step of the process and answering all of my questions. I received the tiniest bit of pitocin which was enough to kick my laboring body into high gear. I labored in the bath tub until I felt like pushing then I got out and started pushing. I'm sure much more happened during this time, but like I said it was a blur of anticipation, contractions, and the drive to meet this stubborn human!

Looking back through my images I still get emotional! I love that my husband was with me 100% of the time. He held my hand and supported me through the entire process! I very surprisingly didn't curse throughout the entire event. Oh and I was a blubbering mess when Miss Bit joined us earth side. My husband told me her sex and we just wept. She was finally with us, in our arms!

with grit and grace,

Nicole

Honest Connection | My 2016 Focus

Honest-Connection-Family-Nicoleinbold.jpg

Honest connection can be so hard to come by out in the real world and even at home. I feel it is easier to be honest and not connect, rather then connect and not be so honest. Who or what am I talking about? You know when you meet someone new and you do the normal small chat and connecting, are you really being honest or just keeping things light? On the flip side, when you are with your best friend or spouse, you connect over just about everything but telling the truth can be a bit harder. You know the whole, "does this outfit make my butt look big?" scenario. Even with this situation it can be easier for your best friend to tell you to change than your spouse. Right? When, in the end, we knew the answer all along. No more of this, this year. While my goals are always to try and eat better and be more active and full of grace, this years' focus on honest connection will hold me accountable to myself. 2016 is the year I want to slow down a bit, and honestly connect with my self as a person, a person with needs and wants, but also with my husband and daughter. The balance of working, being an artist, a mom, a wife, or even just myself can be cumbersome some days. I can get out of whack a lot. Work stress can trump my artist life, or my child's needs can surpass my own. It happens, and I believe a lot of it is normal and natural. My goal and wish for myself is to truly listen and be honest with what I need, my body and soul, but to also connect with those around me. Small things like drinking tea from my favorite mug rather than a to-go cup, or holding my husbands hand while we grocery shop together. Those small connections, add up to a happier presence.

This includes my clients too. I feel like I am honest with each and every one of you, but I would love to connect with you and your families more. Lets have a play date, schedule a picnic, or just check in with each other. I truly hope to facilitate this more this year, as these things do not come naturally to me as a generally introverted person. I seriously want each and every one of my clients to become part of my extended family!

Cheers to love, living with intention, and honestly connecting with yourself and those around you!

Honest Connection Family Nicoleinbold
Honest Connection Family Nicoleinbold

be inspired. live boldly.

Nicole

Family and Business Busy Season

Observations of Parenthood

It is the season of giving, thankfulness, and love. However, when you're in the thick of business and family busy season it can feel like the opposite. I noticed myself getting cranky with my husband and Miss Bit last week. Then I got upset with myself. My bank of patience was depleted, and I was just not myself. Why was I being so cranky? I started make excuses and had to stop myself. The day job is stressful during the holidays; with last minute proposals and the creative job was bleeding into family time. In short, Long days are long, yet still feel not long enough. This was my fault. Have you ever heard someone say "you have time for what you make for." This was finally sinking in. I love my creative job, but at times I get ahead of myself. However, left unchecked, laundry was undone and sleep was pushed aside, eventually turning me into one hot curmudgeon.

This past Friday, after taking part in a wonderful online summit (thank you Rising Tide Society), I decided to set things down and focus on my family. I have a couple of sessions to edit and deliver, and I still pushed the laundry aside, I can't lie, but it will be there. My daughter on the other hand, is growing like a weed and my husband was starting to feel disconnected. This is not what I want. It is not why I was working so hard. So, we went park hopping, saw the local holiday parade, and watched movies (even if it was the same one over and over again. Anyone else have a toddler like this?). Family cuddle sessions are the best!! I struggled a bit, just being honest, but worked hard at not getting on my phone or social media in anyway.

By Sunday, I realized I needed to live the life I talk about with my clients. A huge part of my mission is to capture you where you are at now. Not in a few months, after you lose 5 pounds, or when your child grows their teeth back in. The everyday life, the seemingly mundane elements, is what I want to slow down. That is when we are real and authentic.

Getting vulnerable: I’m the heaviest I have ever been right now, I’m slower and don't have the best wardrobe right now. With that said, I have grown so much in the past year as a wife, mother, and business owner. Priorities are different for each person and each family. However perception is our only reality. If it won't matter when you retire, is not part of the 1000 piece puzzle we call the big picture, do a 180. Every day is a new day. I lost sight of this and am working on some changes I hope to share soon.

Yes, I would like to focus a bit more on me within this balancing act. I will get there. Moms, dads, you reading this,  prioritize progress over perfection!

Now for some images of Miss Bit from our park hopping adventures in the 70 degree December weather. #takeachillpilldecember

be inspired. live authentically.

Nicole

where I stand in this bold life | meet nicole series

Life is hard. Life is tricky. Life is love and lust, pain and sadness, and full of so much growth and learning. Life is all we have. I find it strange that we go through childhood wondering, wishing, and striving to be an adult as if all of our problems will dissolve. Our vulnerability will be erased because we will be bigger, more educated, emotionally stable. I shake my head even writing that sentence out, but it is so true. We begged for our drivers license, graduation day, the ability to buy our own beer, but we got stuck with a car payment, driving to find our first job, and wondering if we have enough money left over to splurge on that beer.

I don't want my daughter to grow up too fast. I want to hold her tighter, rock her to bed, brush her hair, and get lost in her fort reading books till we fall asleep. We will not get this time back. I, like many women, struggle(d) with postpartum depression. While I have lived with PTSD, anxiety, and depression for the majority of my life, I am slowly learning how to just be. To be me, slow down, and have patience with myself and those around me. My tiny human teaches me day in and day out that it is okay to get upset, it is okay to laugh straight from the belly. Emotions can be fleeting if we let them. We are allowed to have bad days, but we are also allowed to have good days, happy days even!

Being a mother, wife, sister, and daughter I am finding grace in sitting in my emotions and situations. I'm not always looking for a solution to a problem. Sometimes I just want to hear you say, "I understand, " or "I hear you, it sucks," or even, "when you're ready we will figure it out together." Life is so much more about the living than the doing. Slow down! Smile at strangers. Buy yourself that coloring book and crayons and go color in a park after an awesome warm car nap. Just be!

I know some of you may be reading this thinking, "I can't," and coming up with a million reasons why you would rather create yet another to do list. Lend your self some grace, please. These battles we fight every day - what are they for? Why are we working day in and day out, year after year?

These are hard questions. I do not have the answers and feel they will be different and even change season to season. I have a hard time with all of this. I am so grateful to my husband, friends and family who let me gush to figure things out. Being open with who I am, talking about it, being vulnerable and real has me wondering why I ever felt alone.  Balancing my life, between a full time job, being a wife, mom and photographer, is tough. I fight the clock, shake my fist at needing sleep, I carry guilt, harbor anger, but I continually come back to my why.

I intrinsically want to help people. I want to show people how beautiful and real life can be the way it already is. The struggle IS real. I'm not going to ask you to smile in my images, I want you to be authentic. I want you to remember who you are in the moment. This is not always smiley, sunshine and rainbows. That is okay! That is real! That is life! It is okay to be!

So next time you are sitting on your couch or laying in bed, with all those swirling thoughts, take a deep breathe and let go.

 
 

With grit and grace,

Nicole

Moments in Motherhood Recap2 | Meet Nicole Series

My final thoughts, life lessons, and images from my time at the Mae BurkeMoments in Motherhood workshop. True learning and growth happens when we step outside of our comfort zone.

This workshop pushed me mentally, physically, and technically in my personal and creative life. For those of you who don’t know, I’m not a hugger and mass transportation alone gives me great anxiety (especially if I haven’t been to the desired location before). For this experience, I rode on the metro BY MYSELF and arrived on time and unscathed; albeit slightly sweaty. I walked into a house full of my peers; I was super nervous, but I spoke up, hugged a few people, asked questions, and learned a few unexpected tid-bits.

  1. No matter our experience level in life we are all unsure, have anxiety, and want reassurance. Just because something worked for one person does not mean it will work for another. Timing, personality, market, and audience readiness are all key factors. With that said, people still want you to succeed. I want to succeed AND I want others to succeed. Follow your heart and do what feels good!
  2. Don’t be afraid of your calling. If you want to share something that moves you, chances are you will inspire someone else as well. Seriously, be unapologetically you! I’m working on this one, and it is a daily challenge. It can be hard at times to be an artist, a mom, and/or a person. So much judgement is constantly thrown around. Please be kind to others!
  3. Don’t be afraid to step back as much as you get close. I love to fill the frame with my subjects, but looking at the big picture can capture just as much and draw your eye into the emotion of your story. Also, don’t be afraid to get close to your calling. Find out who you are and really dissect your heart. Find your why and sit in it. With the information you find, take a step back to find your safe place, and your happy balance in order to be the best you for you and those around you (a reoccurring theme).

I will leave you with images from our workshop session to include a cute out-take and behind the scenes snapshot.

be inspired.

Nicole