NicoleLee Photography »

For these last few weeks our neighbors have hired a contractor to paint their house. It has gone from a pale blue color to a sage green and will eventually look fresh and new. Since we live within a throw’s distance to our neighbor, our kids have watched this man, contractor “J,” who we know from our neighborhood, work super hard. He hasn’t stopped for days. Scraping, painting, hanging off of ladders, etc.. They have made comments about the house daily since he started and cannot wait to see it all finished.

(Don’t worry, this blog is not about painting, but a much more important thing that I want to teach my children.)

A few days ago we arrived home after going to the beach for the morning. Contractor “J” was still painting away and had made a lot of progress in the time we were gone. My kids got out of the car with their beach towels one at a time. They each took a minute to stop and pay “J” a compliment. With no prompting or pushing, they all took a minute to stop and praise him for his great job. First I heard my youngest say, “Wow, that looks good!” A few moments later my oldest walked by and said, “You did a lot of hard work today!” And then when my middle daughter strolled by, she also stopped for a minute and commented, “Great job! We can’t wait to see it all done!”

I was still by the car collecting our cooler, beach bag, toys, etc… but heard “J” chuckle as each one passed him by and intentionally paid him a compliment. I don’t think that many little people have ever stopped to admire his handiwork. I overheard the comments and it made me smile. So many times my kids are self-centered and only care about the things that directly affect them. (Much like myself and many other adults.) They could have walked on by and not even thought about his hard work, and could have instead ran into the house and went about their day. Would “J” have cared if they ignored him? Probably not. But did it make him smile and maybe add a little happy moment to his day that they didn’t? Sure!

A few hours passed and our entire family was getting packed up to leave for the afternoon. Sure enough we went out to the car and “J” was still busy working on the neighbor’s house. This time my husband stopped momentarily and said “Wow, that’s looking great! I can’t believe you’re already that far along!” I cracked up! I made the comment to my husband that all of the kids had also complimented him earlier in the day. “J” quickly said, “Now I see where they get it from.”

This simple comment made me really stop and think. So many times in my day I complain and grumble about x, y, and z. The car in front of me is driving too slow. The cashier at the grocery store got my order wrong. The gas pump attendant isn’t paying attention to me, etc… Our kids pick up on everything we do! If I spend my day mumbling under my breath, complaining and putting others down then that’s exactly what our kids will do. But if instead we take a simple moment to pay someone a compliment, say a kind word and help others out then THAT will be the example they will follow and copy.

This isn’t the first time I’ve thought about this concept or had this “ah-ha” moment, but it’s been a while and was an excellent reminder that I need to lead by example. My husband does such a great job at it, and I try, but it was a great example of how important this really is! I want my children to be good citizens, and what better place to learn that from than at home!?;)




I cannot say enough nice things about Brandon & Eila’s amazing wedding day! These two incredibly sweet people invited their friends and families to be with them on thier special day and I was honored to be there with them all. Anyone who was a part of their big day saw how clear their love was for each other and their two beautiful daughters!

They were married at Eila’s father’s home in his gorgeous yard. Every detail was planned out and prepared by hand with lots of attention by several friends and family members. It was a day filled with happy tears, emotion and lots of love. I wish both Brandon and Eila (and their sweet girls) the best as they start their lives together and one big happy family!

Here are just a few of my favorites…



I don’t know about you but as a Mom sometimes I just feel like I’m going to pop! No I’m not talking about physically but emotionally and mentally. It’s hard work. I’m tired, and rarely get a break. I often feel overwhelmed yet keep on going. And even when I’m feeling ill I don’t get sick days. I often feel like I’m going to explode from the pressure to do it all.

As mom’s we wear so many hats. Cook. House cleaner. Wife. Nurse. Teacher. Guidance counselor. Coach. Personal shopper. And the list goes on and on.

With all of these things that we have to do, why do we feel the need to add on the extra pressure of more? I don’t know about you but I feel the pressure to be the perfect “pinterest mom” often. You know what I’m talking about? The mom that did the coolest craft with her kids this week and shared it on instagram! The mom that went on that amazing 5 mile hike with her 3 kids behind her smiling the whole way!  The gourmet chef mom that cooked a completely organic meal while wearing high heels and letting her kids help!

Don’t get me wrong- I do crafts with my kids (and share them on instagram!) I play outside with my kids often. I cook meals for and with my children. But the comparison needs to stop. The pressure to be better and do more needs to go away. I am tired of looking at “mommy x” and trying to do more to be like her. You know what, my kids don’t give a hoot what that mom is doing. They don’t compare me to other moms, so why am I?

I’m tired. My house is a mess. My kids don’t eat organic foods every day. And it’s okay! You know why, because my kids think I’m pretty darn awesome no matter what I’ve done for a craft with them today. What matters is that I’m here and I’m trying. I’m overwhelmed and feel like I’m going to pop, but my kids are worth it. Every minute of every day, they are worth it!

So stop comparing yourself to other moms. It’s okay to be yourself and let the “pinterest mom” be herself because she’s doing the best she can too! And I guarantee that behind that instagram photo there are piles of laundry somewhere in the house and it’s not as perfect as it’s pictured. Be you. Your kids love you for being you!



When Eric and Heidi eloped recently to Vegas they missed out on inviting their family along. Most of their family is in Maine and they are currently living in North Dakota so when they came here to vacation they invited me along to be a part of their special family reunion/wedding celebration to take some fun family photos! I was super excited to work with them, create some fun memories and capture their lovely clan! Thank you so much to the Parsons and Minzner Families! Come back to Maine soon so we can do this again!



I’m a mom. I wipe boogers. I run my kids around like a taxi. I cook for an army. I kiss boo boos and tuck my kids into bed each night.

When you ask most people “what do you do?” They typically respond with their profession. “I’m a teacher.” “I’m a banker.” “I’m a photographer,” etc… I would hope that my first answer would be “I’m a Mom!”

Now don’t get me wrong, I love being a photographer and working with my amazing clients! Capturing special moments in their lives and watching their families grow is the best, but even more important to me is my role of being a mom. I love nothing more in life.

Not every day is easy and I don’t pretend it is, but I don’t know what I would do without my kiddos. They keep me on my toes, bring the biggest smiles to my face and never stop surprising me.

So, for fun I thought I would start something called “Mommy Monday” here on my blog. It’s not something I’m doing for my business, not to gain more fans and certainly not to sell something. Simply for me. My kids bring me so much joy and this journey in parenthood is filled with adventures, fun times and often scary moments, so why not blog it (when I have a few free minutes- which may not happen very often) and hopefully be an encouragement to some of you!

I am not going to pretend that I am that mom who has everything together and is giving the world unwanted advice- I simply want to keep it real and have fun with it. Here are a few things you may or may not know about me as a mom…


1. I hate wiggly teeth. I can handle vomit, blood and other bodily functions, but do NOT ask me to touch teeth. Ick!!

2. I homeschool our children. This year I will be teaching a Kindergartener, second grader and third grader. More about those challenges later!

3. I had three kids under the age of three. Yes, we know how that works and planned it that way. All three were in diapers together and I didn’t sleep for about 5 years!

4. We have dance parties frequently. Loud ones. I should probably apologize to our neighbors.;)

5. I have an irrational fear of running out of toilet paper. Haha! What that means is that I’m a couponer and I love to stock up on food and paper goods. I have a huge pantry where I keep our reserves and I can’t think of a day we’ve ever run out of paper towels or t.p.

6. I sometimes cry when I see my kids sleeping. I like to think it’s because I am so moved by their angelic faces, but I honestly think it’s because I’m overjoyed at the rare quiet moment.

7. I love playing the “Elf on the Shelf” game at Christmas time. I don’t know if my kids like it as much as I do. He’s creepy, I know. Don’t care.

8. I prefer the pool to the beach. Yes, I’m one of those moms that can’t stand bringing home all the sand. It annoys me, but I pretend to like it for the kid’s sake.

9. My favorite time of day is bedtime. Not mine, the kid’s. I like it when they wake up too, but bedtime- oh it’s glorious!


My life is not glamorous. I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be. I am not a famous person. I will never be a superstar but I am trying to be the best Mom I possibly can. That’s enough for me!

A few snapshots from our most recent vacation to Harpswell, ME. A beautiful week at a gorgeous beach home and on this day we ventured to the ocean to explore together…


N e w s l e t t e r