2015 in Review

This pass year was very, very good to me. Of course there were highs and lows, but life has both and the lows make us stronger. The year of 2015 provided me with many great opportunities as well as led me down paths that I never though existed. It’s said that when one door closes, another one opens. Well, sometimes, if you don’t see any doors you have to climb through a window. And I couldn’t be happier that I took chances and left my comfort zone this pass year.

During the spring and summer I did some traveling. There are so many places to go and so many things to see. I went to Vermont, California,Switchfoot at the Switchfoot Bro-Am Maine and Massachusetts. In many of these places I photographed concerts – including the Switchfoot Bro-Am in California. I spent a number of days at the beach, listening to the ocean. No matter what beach I’m standing on, the ocean is always welcoming. In previous posts I’ve written about my connection and love for the ocean and, if possible, our bond became even greater this pass summer.

While in California I went surfing. Talk about leaving my comfort zone. Even though I almost broke my leg, blew out my knee and cut myself pretty bad (I have the blackish, blueish, purple scar to prove it), I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. There are few feelings that compare to being wrapped up in the salty arms of the ocean.

Kids at SunsetWhen I was visiting Maine, a place I’ve been a few times before, I realized how I’m never letdown by it’s beauty. It’s not only during the day that the ocean here shines, but at night too. The sunsets are breathtaking. On this particular trip the sky burst into flames until the cool hues of night came to slowly put it out. In the early mornings I had the entire beach to myself. I walked along the shoreline in my bare feet, feeling the cool water racing up to touch them. Most mornings I slowly made my way to the jetty, walked out on it and simply sat there, looking out at the ocean and listening to it breath.

The summer gave me a lot of life changing experiences and I’m thankful for every moment, but it was what the fall offered me that was the most unexpected and wonderful of all.

As summer faded to fall, I found a job that was never even on my radar until a friend brought it to my attention. (I’ll have to thank her one day…for more then one reason.) I wasn’t even working there for two weeks when I saw him – a handsome man with gorgeous eyes and a lovely smile, but there’s so much more to him. And now he’s my special someone. He’s that special guy in my life and I’m thankful for each moment we get to spend together, never taking any of it for granted.

As if this wasn’t enough the fall finally handed me one more big thing, Matt & Kimsomething I’ve been working toward for years. I can officially say that I’m a music photographer. I photograph at least two shows every month for a concert venue in my town. In the future, I hope to expand my reach and photograph for more venues and even, with a little more hard word, bands themselves.

I’ve heard it said that everyday is an adventure. And I’ve come to believe that it’s true. We never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next. So, big or small, the adventure is out there. And 2015 has given me some pretty amazing ones. I’m not just talking about the adventures that traveling has provided me either. I’m talking about all the little moment in-between. And I’m thankful for every single one of them.

I hope all of you had a fantastic 2015!

If you would like to see more of my photos, feel free to check out my website.

First Snow

The first snow was beautiful and fierce at the same time. It started late at night, when the world is quiet and still, yet, bursting with life. Tiny white flakes fluttered to the ground, covering the earth in a blanket of white.

When morning came, it was ice that fell from the sky. No longer were there soft flakes, but ice slicing through the dull overcast and pelting the ground. In time the temperatures rose and it all turned to rain.

There was still something beautiful about all the ice on top of the snow. It sparkled like stars under the street lamps. Icicles hung from the hoods of cars, and roofs of houses. Tree branches and plants were encased in an icy shell. And it was lovely.

The once lush, green grass is still covered in snow. I believe it is here to stay. At least for a few more months.

And despite the cold, I love this weather – the winter wonderland.

This Time of Year

There might not be any snow.

It might feel like spring.

But this is still one of the most wonderful times of the year. Of course, I wish all the rain we’ve been getting was snow (for many reasons), but there’s still a magic in the air. I think it’s called the holiday season – the food and giving of gifts and joy and laughter and a million other tiny things that comes with it.

I’ve always loved this time of year, the whole month of December. Maybe as a writer I should be able to describe it more, but it’s a feeling I get this time of year and it’s almost as if there are no words that will do it justice.

I want to wish each and every one of you a very safe and Merry Christmas. I hope you enjoy every moment with your family, friends, and loved ones.

I Sincerely Promise

I sincerely promise to never hurt you, to cause you pain. (At least not intentionally.)

I sincerely promise to never lie to you. (At least not intentionally.)

I sincerely promise to hold you, to care for you.

I sincerely promise to always hug you tight, like it’s the last hug I’ll ever give.

I sincerely promise to kiss you soft and tender, yet, passionately all at once.

I sincerely promise to make you happy, insanely happy.

I sincerely promise to make you laugh and smile.

I sincerely promise to never be angry or yell…because I’m not that person.

I sincerely promise to pick you up when you’ve fallen and to hold you up when you don’t have the strength to do so yourself.

I sincerely promise to protect you.

I sincerely promise to listen to you, to respect everything you have to say.

I sincerely promise to respect you in every way.

I sincerely promise to always be there for you.

I sincerely promise to give you space when you need it.

I sincerely promise to always be myself and to let you be yourself as well.

I sincerely promise to like you for everything you are, flaws and all…because I already do and I always have.

I sincerely promise that I’m not perfect. (No one is…and that’s alright.)

I sincerely promise to always keep you on your toes. (You like surprises, I know.)

I sincerely promise to continuously show and tell you how wonderful you are…because it’s true. (You’re a good man.)

I sincerely promise that I believe in you, always. (Now you just have to believe in yourself too.)

I sincerely promise to make your bad days good and your good days great. (You do the same for me already.)

I sincerely promise to always be the bright, shining star in your life.

I sincerely promise to take your hand and never let go.

I sincerely promise to do all the above and a million other tiny things.

I sincerely promise.

An Anniversary Note

Dear Readers,

This month marks the one year anniversary of this blog.
 When I started this blog, I didn’t really know how it was going to work out, or if it even would work out. When I first created this blog, I had ideas and dreams of what it could be, but I wasn’t sure if it was truly possible. When I started this blog, I knew I simply wanted to write for the joy of writing. A year later this blog has grown into something better then I could’ve ever imagined.

And I have all of you to thank.

I would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of my readers. This blog has seen success because of you. Yes, I’m the one who comes up with the ideas, writes the posts and takes the pictures, but it’s all of you who take the time to read and comment. And a blog isn’t a blog without it’s readers.

Thank you so much for reading and following along!

I look forward to another year of pictures and posts, comments and stories. I look forward to continuing with this blog and receiving your feedback.

Thank you all again for following along. I’m truly greatful.

~ Nicole

Embrace Life

“Here I am. I’m alive. I don’t know what I’m gonna be tomorrow, but I’m gonna seize this moment.” – Jon Foreman

We’re not guaranteed tomorrow.

That’s the truth, yet, how many of you out there have caught yourself thinking, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” or “It can wait.” with the idea that tomorrow will come? I know I’m guilty of that sometimes.

But why put off doing tomorrow what you could do today?

After all, there’s no guarantee for tomorrow – only the hope, wish and dream of it.

I’m not saying you should risk your life and dive off a bridge or wrestle a crocodile. You’re still mortal. My point here is that we should all embrace life and grab onto every opportunity it offers us. Sometimes it might be scary or even out of our comfort zone, but in the end there’s a greater chance it will all be worth it. Fear is one of those things that can hold us back. So, instead, we lock ourselves in a little plastic bubble where we know it’s safe. We think this is the better choice, but, in the end, we’re only hurting ourselves. And by staying locked away we’re making ourselves miss out on life.

Personally, I don’t want to miss a thing. I’ve learned over the years just how amazing and beautiful life is. With that knowledge I’ve tried to embrace every moment.

Embrace the bad.

Embrace the pain.

Embrace the good.

Embrace the joy.

It’s called living.

Life is short, but it has so much to offer us. There are numerous things to be thankful for, much beauty and countless reasons to be happy, smile and laugh.

The truth is that I could go on and on, but it would be like beating a dead horse. (I actually don’t like that expression. Not only is it cruel, but I love horses. They’re absolutely gorgeous and majestic, but that’s a post for another day.) I believe the point here is simple. The bottom line is that we don’t know where we’ll be from one day to the next. So seize the moment. Make the most out of your life. Embrace every experience. Embrace life.

Remember, we’re not guaranteed tomorrow.