Hi. I'm Nicole!

Wife.  Mama to two busy toddler babes. Photographer.  Trying to seek Jesus each day, through each season.  So glad you're here!

the marriage diaries: year three

As we approach our third anniversary tomorrow I'm all weepy and reflective.  In some ways 3 years has seemed like 3 minutes and in other ways it seems like 3 lifetimes.  As I look back on our wedding images, I can't help but giggle because we're so different.  Our styles are different, our careers are different, our passions are different, and our lives in general just look a lot differently than I thought they would on March 8, 2013.  As I really reflect back, there are two major life events that I feel have really impacted our marriage; the start of our business and our fertility struggles.  

On our wedding day I would have never DREAMED IN MY WILDEST DREAMS that I would ever have a business.  Never never never.  Even considering owning a business was so far out of my comfort zone.  Basically, thinking about anything that wasn't education related, what I thought I wanted to do since I was 6 years old, brought on the anxiety.  In the months prior to our wedding I was completely restless in my education program. I wasn't sure it was really what I wanted to pursue anymore, but even considering anything else would send me into a tizzy.  Education worked for me.  It fit into all my boxes of what I thought my life would be.  I had our life planned out and it would have been predictable.  Just how I like things.  And then God decided to throw all of my security out the window.  

I can't talk about our business without going on and on and on about how the Lord has do every single thing to get us to where we are now.  It is 100% led by Him, provided for by Him, and any "success" we have today or any day in the future is completely because of Him.  I truly believe He brought this business into our lives to refine me personally and to do a unique work in our marriage.  Through the few years in this business, the Lord has really done a refining work in my heart.  The life I had so particularly planned out was not the life at all God wanted me to live.  I wanted predictability and security, God wanted to give me more of Himself.  I was never going to experience God truly if I would have stayed in the mindset I was stuck in. (Please hear me when I say, this is not at all about owning a business vs. working in the corporate world.  This is about living a life of surrender to the Father and letting go of control.  I fully believe you can experience what I have experienced without ever owning a business.) I was paralyzed by fear and I wanted what was safe.  But, I've learned His will is so much better than safety.  It's so much better than the plans I wanted for myself.  Jesus has stretched me and is really making me face some of my biggest sins and struggles.  

Not only has this been incredibly impactful to me personally, but our marriage has been deeply impacted by the Lord bringing this business into our lives.  We have learned how to say "I'm sorry" quicker, respond to each other respectfully when tension is high, and explore new things together.  Working together brings out a whole new set of struggles and disagreements.  My own sinful tendencies come out and I'm forced to really face those as we work through this business together.  It's humbling, hard work, but work that has been so so good for our marriage.  Even in the midst of the work, it's been the most fun.  We have a passion together that we can grow in, enjoy, and dream about.  This has been the most incredible adventure. 

And then there is our desire to have a baby.  I truly had no idea how this desire would totally and completely impact our marriage to the core.  There's hurt, grief, frustration, anxiety, and just plain weariness.  I feel like no other experience in our marriage thus far has stripped us down and exposed us to the core like our fertility struggles.  It has been the hardest year and a half of my entire life.  Our marriage will forever be impacted by what we've been through and I'm so thankful for that.  Yes, it's been hard and heartbreaking and challenging and frustrating.  But, it has forced us to have hard conversations.  To really talk through deep issues and struggles.  We've worked through sin together and we've cried together through the pain.  The roots of our marriage have grown deeper and deeper as we've walked this together.  There's a sweetness in our marriage that I know comes from this hard place.  There's an intimacy in our marriage that I know wouldn't have come any other way.  He knows more than anyone on Earth what this has done to me and how it has affected me.  We really and truly know each other and I wouldn't trade that for the world.  

The Lord has used this season of our lives to really refine our faith.  I am so thankful that the Lord uses hard seasons of life for our ultimate good.  I wouldn't trade a day of it.  I see how incredibly valuable and necessary these days are.  It's not about us, it's not about our family.  It is about Jesus.  Always and only Jesus. 

I'm so thankful for some of the defining and refining moments in our marriage thus far.  I can only imagine what the Lord will do in the next three years!  Praying that through every season, every trial, every struggle, that Jesus would be first in our hearts and in our marriage.  

Ty, I am so thankful for our three years of marriage.  I can't even believe that I thought I was madly in love with you then.  March 8th, 2013 doesn't hold a candle to today.  I see the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and I am thankful that Jesus has allowed us to experience marriage together.  You are gentle, compassionate, and calm.  Jesus uses you to expose my sin and I love that.  I love the refining work of marriage.  I pray that Jesus allows us to enjoy marriage for 100 more years.  I love you.  Praying year four is even sweeter. 

all photos by  Armosa Studios

all photos by Armosa Studios


He comes to my aid

He comes to my aid