Cross your fingers for me!

Flannel pajama pants, an old comfy sweatshirt, slipper socks, and the faint blur of a computer screen at 2 AM is a common scenario at my house. One night about two years ago, during one of my late night computer marathons, I stumbled across the website of a photographer named Amy Wenzel. The song on her front page "I want you to be my love" was a welcome invite to some of the most amazing images I had ever seen. I spent the next hour, which turned into days, and now years lingering over her every post. Her images are the kind that can make you cry one moment and then grin from head to toe the next. In a way, Amy was the first photographer to really inspire me to begin this journey myself. I wanted so much to develop a talent for this art, to be able to capture images of my own children with the same emotion that she did. Recently I have turned to Amy's blog for an entirely different reason. She is undergoing an amazing test of faith and strength as her hubby battles cancer. She writes of their trials and victories and of her unbelievable faith. Her words have left tears streaming down my cheeks on several occasions. And her strength has spilled over into my life over and over again.

About a week ago I read that she was doing a giveaway for a seat at one of her upcoming workshops. This is such a fabulous opportunity and one that I just can not pass up. It gives me goose bumps just thinking that there might be a chance. She asked that all applicants write her a post about how you inspire others. So here goes...

Dear Amy,

How do I inspire others? Honestly, this question has stumped me for a week now.

I am one of those that is constantly borrowing inspiration from others and probably not returning it like I should. I would love to tell you that I have been moving mountains and changing lives, but it's just not the case. I have taught preschool and first grade for the past ten years which I would like to think might be making some small difference in the world, but mostly my life is simple and fairly uneventful.

However, as I have searched each little crease of my life for a glimmer of something "inspirational" that I could tell you all about I have had a huge realization. I have not yet moved any mountains or changed any lives but I hope to. I have two beautiful, wonderful, amazing, creative, and most definitely inspiring children. I have realized that all of the things that I do in my "simple" life are an attempt to inspire these two beautiful children to strive to make a difference in the world and every part of me believes they WILL move mountains. Everything I do for them is out of the most unconditional love I have ever known. And I suppose I am hoping this love will inspire them to know the greatness they possess.

Ways I am inspiring "MY" world...

I kiss their owies to inspire them to know compassion

I break out into full blown musicals on occasion to inspire them to embrace the humor in life (I think they might just see it as strange at this point but I'm confident this will work. ha ha)

I make them eat all of their veggies to inspire them to take care of themselves

I teach them to save money (okay... their dad teaches them to save money) to inspire them to have financial peace

I teach them to spend the money they have saved to inspire them to enjoy the rewards of hard work. :)

I put them on time out to inspire them to understand that there are consequences to our actions

I pray with them to inspire them to love HIM and to trust HIM with all that is important in their lives

I read with them to inspire them to love learning and knowledge

I color with them (inside and outside the lines) to inspire them to foster their creative side

Most of all I LOVE them with all of my heart!

These are the small and simple things that I do each day to inspire "my world".

Recently photography has become a means for me to connect the emotion that I feel for my children with the images I capture. I have just scratched the surface in my photography journey and still have so much to learn. I have always said that the images we capture have the potential to hold "pixie dust". This magic is what allows us to be taken back to that moment in time. We are reminded of the place, smells, and looks of that exact moment. I hope to learn to consistently capture these types of images. They are the images that can make a mother instantly well up with a tear or beam with happiness. I can not even describe how much a seat in your workshop would mean to me. I would love to meet you and learn from you. You are a master at what you do, and I know that my journey into the world of photography would be forever changed by your talent and strength!


the olsen family said...

She would LOVE to attend your workshop... Little do you know, your workshop has been placed on her "Universe" board for quite some time! Pick her and you won't be sorry! She is an amazing person!

Anonymous said...

What you wrote was beautiful! I for one know you have & continue to inpire people! Through the kind of teacher you are, and for your gift of "pixie dust" that you seem to capture in your pictures.

You need to go to this workshop whether you're chosen or not! You've been given a wonderful talent-you need to improve upon it so you can continue to bless the lives that you do through your photography!

Tatiana said...

Amazing, just Amazing! Nicole has inspired me for sure! Although she says that she doesn't give it back, she does! She is so giving of her acquired knowledge in photography and is kind enough to give a complete stranger (me) some tips and encourage me to continue on in my journey of capturing life! She will truly make more out of what she learns there than anyone I know!

Flying high in the sky.... said...

beautiful shots Nicole... and i love the way you have presented your love for

kelly said...

this is beautiful, Nicole. and so are you.

Life with Kaishon said...

What a wonderful post : ) I love the pictures you picked. I love your passion for photography. So beautiful!

Callisters said...

Nicole, I love it! I hope you win, you deserve it. You have for sure inspired me and my family. You have captured so many different memories for me and family that I will cherish forever, thank you so much...

Nicole said...

THANKS everyone! Your wonderful comments have made my day.

Stacie said...


You too are an inspiring woman. You are such an amazing example to me and my family. You have so many amazing gifts that you so freely share with others. You are a gifted teacher and role model for my children (and a role model for me too!). You do capture those moments that we would like to freeze in time with your photography. It is truly breathtaking. THANK YOU for your example, for your inspiration and your kindness you have continuely shared with my little family!