Do you ever meet someone and automatically know you sort of want to keep track of them for life? Today's 'Mom Feature' has definitely been one of those for me! We connected while both in Tokyo (more about that below) and she's inspired me since.
Nicole and her beautiful family live in Salt Lake City, Utah. She's got the capsule wardrobe thing down, does hip hop, and has created a way for women to prioritize creativity. Plus she has some really smart things to say about failure. Welcome, Nicole!
Tell us about you and your family:
I'm an Idahoan from Idaho Falls! I married my high school crush, and we have one beautiful little two year old daughter Remington. My husband is currently in a masters program here in Salt Lake City. I served an LDS mission in Tokyo Japan and received my associates at Utah State and then a Bachelors at BYU-I in photography. I currently run my own photography business (@colemaxfieldphoto) shooting weddings, commercial, and families. As for hobbies I love to play tennis, guitar, and musical theatre.
What do your days look like?
Ever since I added exercise to my daily routine, I've had so much more energy so that's usually in the morning if I don't have an exercise class in the afternoon. I just remember one day getting so frustrated that I would make exercising goals but never follow through. One day I just stopped my procrastination and it was a huge life changer. There's nothing extra special about my day except I like to do one thing for Remington before her nap, like go to the park, and then one thing I need to get done after her nap, for example grocery shopping, or visa versa. My husband gets home around 5, we eat dinner, give Remington a bath and then she goes to bed. Date night has been a great outlet for my husband and I to do other things outside the house besides watch Bachelor and This is Us, haha!
What’s your favorite part of nurturing your family?
I want my children to have confidence. I feel like if they understand their worth, then they'll make good decisions in their future. I heard the coolest quote online the other day from an article by Dr. Meeker called, "The Secret to Raising a Happy Confident Girl." Towards the end it says, "More than anything, kids need to know the answers to three things; What do you think about me? Do you understand me? What are your hopes for me? Express those to your girl, and her future will be brighter than ever." This is kind of my theme in nurturing my family. Every night before Remington goes to bed, I ask her a series of questions. Do you know you're kind? Do you know you're smart? Do you know you're important? etc. She always hugs me so tight after we talk about how much I love her.
Isn't it funny that when we study a subject in college we buy all these kinds of books to become a professional at our trade? Yet when it comes to the most important role of all being a parent, why don't we do the same? It's kind of motivated me to search out words of knowledge to parent better. I've come to realize that my role as a Mom holds important responsibilities, but as I love my little children, I feel like I'm in a healthy direction.
How do you change your routine and home for different seasons?
Okay this is one I'm really needing to get better at! I want to create fun traditions in our home for holidays that aren't just presents, but memories and activities. We found a really fun Halloween tradition that I'd love to share called "spooky cookies." We make Halloween cookies, put them on plates and dress up in dark clothing. We hook a long dark string on the plate, hold the other end in our hand, ring the doorbell of the person we're delivering these too, and hide as fast as you can! As we hold onto the string, right before the person reaches to pick up the cookies we pull the string and the plate moves and scares them! It's really fun, and to this day my little girl talks about how excited she is to do it again! It offers a good laugh, great conversation, and a better relationship with our neighbors and friends.
What are the hobbies/interest you still (as a mom) maintain and make time for?
I'm on a hip hop crew team that meets twice a week. This has been such a fun thing to be a part of. I've also been trying to read more books, which has kept me off of social media more, and watching less TV. Then I always love to go play tennis. I've gotten my husband to play with me, and he has gotten really good! So now I have a tennis partner to play with .
Hip hop? That's awesome. How did you get into that?
I felt like I was in a rut with life a little bit.. not exercising, not feeling like myself you know? We went to go get ice cream in downtown Salt Lake and we saw these hip hop dancers in their studio just having a ball. I turned to my husband and said, this is what I should do! He bought me a pass for my birthday, and my first class was amazing. It brought me so much joy, so I tried out for the hip hop crew and I made it!
My coach has this saying, "be a lion." There are so many scared zebras and for what? Why be scared? Nervous? Insecure? When you can be your beautiful confident self, your lion, who God wants you to be. Think if we all believed in ourselves? Loved ourselves? We would have the most beautiful relationships devoid of hate, jealousy, and more progression. So dance has taught me to not be scared and to just accept and love myself.
Any ideas about mom-friendships, supporting other moms, and finding your tribe?
Mom friendships are important, and I feel like everyone wants to feel loved and wanted. Find people who are kind, and love you for you. Don't worry and stress about those who seem to not reciprocate your efforts to be with them. Love them, but find those who want to be with you!
The older I get the more I realize that close friendships, those golden friends, don't come around all the time, so when they do, nurture them, and cherish them! Friendships are such a blessing. We weren't meant to do this life by ourselves.
Any wardrobe or beauty tips you’d like to share?
The clothing industry mass produces products all the time, so clothes almost ALWAYS will be discounted within a few weeks. You can save so much money if you just wait a week or two. I have such a minimalist view on clothing because I live in a tiny apartment, so my rule of thumb is to only buy things I REALLY REALLY like. Things that are well made, and add variety to my wardrobe capsule.
Tell us about Salt & Co Design: What is it and why did you start it?
We started Salt and Co to create more outlets for women to meet new friends. I feel like a lot of times hanging out with friends entails going out to lunch or a movie, but Salt and Co provides cheap workshops to go with someone you know, or meet new friends! You learn new fun skills from a professional, and we give you the tools to take home and continue this new talent! It's really fun! We've done a floral workshop, watercolor, fresh wreath making, and yoga! Our Instagram is @saltcodesign.
When we first met, you talked about how you have failed a lot but you try anyways, and failure puts you in the same category as some really great people - Abe Lincoln, for one. Is that still a relevant theme of your life now?
Yes. This applies so much to my life now as it does then. Being a parent humbled me very quickly. It's hard! I fail daily, and I have to learn again and again to be kind to myself. To hug my past faulty self. It's important to progress and not stay still. I ask myself, "what am I struggling with right now?" I'm a Christian so I get on my knees and ask God to help me with that specific thing. Then I get up, trust Him, and work to become better. There's a beauty in joy isn't there? To laugh and to enjoy life. If I'm not feeling joy, something is wrong. We have the right to have miracles in our lives and sometimes our mindset is what's getting in the way. If you put a flea in a jar with a lid, it'll jump about half the length of the jar. However if you take the lid off, the flea will jump almost a foot out of the jar. We as humans sometimes put lids on ourselves, and it stunts our progression and joy. So take your lids off and let yourself see and live miracles.
Thank you, Nicole! What a great perspective on gathering knowledge in the roles of parenthood just like you would a career, and for so many ideas for incorporating fun and creativity into our lives. Oh and I'm already making a memo to 'give my past faulty self a hug'. Thanks so much for showing us how you mom!