I’m so happy that we get to hear more from Nicolette Fernandez today! So glad you’re here with us, Nicolette!
Will you tell us a little about this photo?
Hello! It’s not often I’m in front of the camera so I’m so thankful each year when we have our photos taken. It’s truly my heart in one picture, my husband and two sweet boys!
They look adorable! Will you tell us more about your boys?
My oldest is all things joy and excitement and adventure and imagination, with all the questions of why! He loves dinosaurs and space, and will be sure to tell you all the things. And if he knows you love them too, he will probably send you home with one of his dinosaurs to keep.
My youngest is fiercely independent, balanced with all the snuggles. He is saying and repeating everything right now, is, curious, brave and of course wants to be just like his big brother. I love watching them together!
So so sweet! Will you tell us more about you? Do you wear any other hats in addition to your [big, gigantic, hugely significant] mom hat?
Sometimes I can’t believe this when I say it, because I never saw myself as an entrepreneur but I have two small businesses I’m each day learning to balance and pursue.
I’m a lifestyle photographer for families and small businesses and it’s been the greatest joy to create images that help others share their hearts and their stories. Getting to know clients through the experience then sending a gallery that continues their legacy, preserves their memories and celebrates where they’ve been, it’s incredible to be part of.
Then last summer I had the opportunity to join a natural hair and skin company. I’ve loved their products, so partnering with them has been a great way to provide for my family (while in the preschool pick up line!!), but what I’ve really loved is getting to serve others and promote self care through it! I even started a Facebook group called, Living in Fearless Pursuit, with a heart to encourage women to boldly share and pursue what sets their heart on fire. It’s a virtual hangout where we chat about favorite products, goals setting, motivation and all things in between!! It’s probably been my favorite part of the new gig!!
So many days I wonder if I’m cut out for these roles, but I’m believing I’m called to run with the gifts He’s given me to love and serve, through both of these businesses. They’ve been so much fun!!
I have loved seeing your photos that you have taken. You have a eye of capturing the beautiful moments! And I also enjoy being a part of your Facebook group and seeing you share your heart. It is so encouraging to be a part of a group that encourages other women in their pursuits!
What is your favorite book, podcast, or blog?
Oh gosh there are so many. Most recently, the book, You Are the Girl for the Job by Jess Connolly spoke straight to my heart. She spoke biblical truth about the gifts Gods given us to do the work He’s called us to do.
That book is on my list! What is your favorite mom product?
My dry shampoo!
Oh yes, me too! What is the last thing you made for dinner or your favorite simple meal to throw together?
Mississppi Roast! Super simple crock pot recipe and so tasty. For my kids, they always love a simple quesadilla. We make those on a regular basis here.
I have never heard of that recipe so I had to stop and go look it up! I am always looking for more crockpot recipes.
Will you share a recent experience that has challenged your mothering?
When my second son was born I basically entered a fog. Truthfully, I don’t recall most of his first year I struggled with the transition from one to two, I missed my first (even though he was there in front of me), I struggled to feel connected to my second, I forgot most things, I had little motivation for work and felt I was in survival. There was always this weight of anxiety it seemed that would linger around me, with no clear explanation. I felt embarrassed the transition wasn’t as seamless as it seemed for others and guilty I felt like such a distant mom. I longed to find sleep again. For a long time I thought it was sleep deprivation. But, it wasn’t until this past summer I realized I had probably walked through postpartum depression. I can see it more as I look back, I can name and identify it, see the impact it was having. I’m thankful to be on the other side of it more days than not, but the anxiety still lingers which is hard. The feelings hit me in waves so I’m still learning to navigate those days.
Thank you for being so honest and sharing in more detail what postpartum depression looked like for you. I know so many moms can empathize and relate. I love the way you explained what that season looked like for you (even though I’m sorry you had to go through it!).
What has God been teaching your through this challenging time?
That there is beauty in the mess and beauty as you walk through the hard stuff. I look back on images from that year and can see the joy. I can see the stories God continued to write. I can see I wasn’t as distant as it felt and that we made so many beautiful memories.
I also think as I continue to navigate the ripples of it, I continue to be reminded to look up. To see myself the way He’s made me, to lean on how He’s equipped me, how He’s knitted together our family and even on the days it feels too much, I’m enough, because of Him. It’s like the quote floating around, “she believed she couldn’t, so He did.”
I actually have not heard that quote! And I love it. That is so true of my mothering. There are so many moments I have no idea what to do or how to respond and so that quote is so perfect.
What is the funniest thing your kids have said or done recently?
I always tell myself I’m going to write these things down and now I’m blanking. Our youngest now recognizes Starbucks and asks for “ape ops” (cake pops) anytime we go there or to Target. I don’t know whether to be proud or embarrassed.
What would you say to moms in the trenches like you?
You are the exact mom that your kids need. All of you, exactly as you are, where you are, your past, your present, your strengths, your weaknesses … all of it is beautiful and uniquely designed to love and lead them! Motherhood is hard, like really hard, but we were equipped to do this job.
Surround yourself with like-minded women who will lift you up, speak truth to you, laugh with you, cry with you and allow space for you to be you, for your kids to be them, who will love you in the mess and in the joy. Fight comparison with all your strength and look to the God who made you.
Well, yes, and amen! I couldn’t say it any better.
Do you have anything else you would like to add?
This may seem insignificant now, but get in the photo! So often moms are behind it for various reasons, but when we’re 80 and looking through pictures, sharing stories with our kids and grandkids … our kids are going to want to see you in the pictures with them! They’re going to want to know you were there making memories right alongside them. These days matter. When we’re 80 we’ll care much less if our hair wasn’t washed or our makeup wasn’t on or our bodies weren’t what we wanted them to be. We’ll care about preserving the moments that mattered, the moments with loved ones, the moments we chased our dreams, the moments we laughed and cried and grew.
Yes, all of this. Loved our chat together. I took so much away from what you shared and I’ll be mulling it over for a while! Thank you for being so real. It’s so refreshing and life-giving!