Overwhelming Thankfulness

This year was one of our tougher, yet most rewarding, years we have had. This year started with a lot of health issues within our family. A hospitalization with heart issues that went unresolved, a cancer diagnosis that came and went faster than we could even process, and a few ER visits for some other family members this year. It was honestly really hard for us because our family is everything to us, but watching each of them walk through those storms with grace was super encouraging and pointed us back to the Lord every single time.  We are thankful that each of these family members are healthy, and thankful that those issues and diagnosis's are behind us!

Soon after all of the health scares, my brother-in-law got married in March and gave us one of the sweetest gifts — my girl Jacy. Our family is seriously the luckiest to get to call her a Nichols, and I’m so excited to walk through the rest of my life with her by my side as my sister. Thankful doesn’t even begin to cut it. 

Last year I struggled with loneliness & honestly a little bit of depression. My best friend who I spent most work days with moved to Kenya (ily Casey Mae), and after she left I realized just how quiet and lonely my days were. Last year, I earnestly started praying for deeper friendships that would span over the years, not just seasons. The Lord gave me that and immeasurably more this year through some sweet new friendships, as well as fostering old ones. A huge praise and something my heart needed so deeply. 

I spent a lot of my weekends photographing the most beautiful wedding days for the sweetest people. JNP had the honor of serving 25 couples this year & I am forever grateful for these wonderful people that were brought into my life this year! JNP also started an associate program earlier this year, and it was one of the best business decisions we made. I learned a lot as a business owner — what works and what doesn’t, how to build character & leadership, and how to foster relationships within work. We served 10 couples through our associate program, and it was so fun to watch Courtney love and serve these couples, as well as see her growth as a photographer.  There’s lots in the works for JNP moving forward & I'm so excited to slowly share more information this upcoming year.

We had a ton of fun traveling all over the United States. Our trips spanned from Orlando, Newport Beach, Amelia island, Anna Maria, San Francisco, Colorado, and we will finish out the year with a trip to Whistler, Canada. I am such a homebody at heart, but the other side of my heart absolutely loves to travel and have new experiences. Having the privilege to travel as one of the greatest gifts and something I truly don’t take for granted.

Our family is expecting a baby, not Braden and I haha, but his parents!!! A sweet baby boy will be joining the Nichols fam and making our family complete in March of 2019. The age gap we will have is hilarious (28 years), but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our lives are about to get so much more fun & we can’t wait to meet him!

We are rounding out this year with a few new praises. Braden started a new job this month, something we weren’t searching for & honestly fell into his lap. We loved his old company, but felt that the Lord clearly laid out this new path. My girl Kylie Anne has been stirring my creative heart, creating stepping stones for JNP for 2019, fun new things I can’t wait to start sharing. I’ll just tell you this, you’ll be getting a lot more glimpses into our real life — the good and the bad, the trials and the triumphs, as well as some other fun personal projects! 

And last but not least, I feel like I have personally reached a point of TRUE gratitude. I struggle with feeling content, always striving and always wanting more. Right now, I just feel overwhelmed with what’s before us and also behind us this year. So, so thankful. It’s been a hard year, but also a super rewarding & has propelled us forward in many new ways. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

Psalm 105:1-3

5th Anniversary in San Fran | Last day in the city

On our last day in San Fran, we both decided that we needed a slower paced day. We had flown & driven so many miles in such a short stretch of time, so one last day feeling more like locals sounded perfect.

We walked from our hotel & shopped a little along Market Street. It was sunny and the perfect temperature outside, so all we wanted was to enjoy it and soak it in. After shopping for a bit, we hopped into Starbucks for a pick me up and then headed to lunch.

After lunch, we grabbed a ride on the Bart and headed to the Mission District. Now, let me tell you something about the Mission District. There’s a piece of that part of town that is super trendy and cute. However, round a few corners & walk a little too far and you end up in a super sketchy part of town. We got off the Bart a few streets too early and ended up walking through a super sketchy area for around 8 blocks.

It kind of tainted the experience for me to be honest, haha. We finally found a rooftop taco bar and settled there for a bit. It overlooked the Mission District & you could see the fog rolling into the city.

We ate a casual little dinner and grabbed snow cream ice cream on our way out. The ice cream looked a little bizarre, but it was truthfully so good and so much more flavorful than we expected.

After an easy day, we boarded our plane and made our way back home. It was such a fun trip & I truly believe we covered all of the hot spots. I highly recommend making San Fran a “must see“ on your travel list!