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Banner of Love

July 19, 2012

I heard this song on the radio this morning on my way to work. OH.MY. It hit me like a club on the head! I can’t explain it! I’ll let you hear it and read the lyrics! I pray it touches your heart like it did mine!

There’s a fight between my heart and soul
When my pride tries to take control
It’s hard to see what I was meant to be
And we are
Living in a world without a cause
And there’s a me that seems impossible
But I can hear
I hear You calling me

To raise a banner of love
Up high in the city streets
One hope for all the world to see
Be my banner of love
This love is the burning flame
One voice crying out Your name
You’re my banner of love
You’re my banner of love

Only You can see my destiny
And only You can be the strength I need
‘Cause my life is Yours, God
So goodbye to pride and bitterness
I’m gonna live out my purpose
‘Cause Your life has shown me how

I want to show Your love
I want to lift You higher
I want to reach out and touch this world
We gotta reach out and love this world
We’re gonna bring Your love
We’re gonna lift You higher
We’re gonna reach out and love Your world

Publishing: © 2012 Birdwing Music (Admin. at (ASCAP)
Writer(s): Samuel Hancock, Cody Clark, and Dustin Delong


August 13, 2011

I’ve got BIG NEWS!!!

First I want to thank my good friend Sharon for her awesome idea and her help making the video! And Danielle for going to San Francisco and letting me record the video. (I’m not a videographer)

Nicky\’s Announcement

We spent hours getting the pictures, quotes, verses, video clips in just the right spot then texted Jeramy who was upstairs with their youngest daughter to have him go get a CD out of his car. I specifically wanted a song he wrote for a campaign we have going for 2011 at FCC. Well, we think he fell asleep. So Sharon thought that Out on the Water by Caitlyn Turner would be a good song. So we plugged it in to wait for Jeramy!

I was in TEARS!!! Really!?!?! Only God could work it out so that boats show up when the chorus comes up “Step out of the boat into the water when you ask me to” “When the daylight is fading and the darkness lingers” the night shots show up. I could not have done that if I was trying!!!!

So now on to the reason for the BIG CHANGE!!

On May 28th I got a call from Ken McKinney. He asked me to consider joining him and his wife in starting a church in San Francisco. I was kinda shocked. ME?? You want me to join you? I’m not a teacher, a preacher… A leader??? WOW! What a huge decision!

I just happened to be at Chuck and Barbara’s new home with Linda Boyd celebrating her birthday with Jeannie Conklin and Michela. I got off the phone and was stunned! Told Michela about the phone call and she was so excited! All I could think about was moving and leaving FCC and my life in Solano County. So sad and scary! I am not much of a fan of change!!!

I asked a few friends to be praying for and with me.

On the weekend of Father’s Day June 18 & 19 I went to the McKinney Family Reunion in Santa Cruz. I pretty much told Kenny YES!!

Then my dad died and I had to leave for a few weeks. Now life is back to normal! I go to SF each Sunday after First Christian’s service go to New Community‘s service at 5:30 pm.

God is so funny! He is SUPER fast!! Once I said yes and I looked online at a church’s classified section for rooms / roommates and in one day I got a response about a room. He has opened up an amazing opportunity! I will be moving on Sept. 3. Everything is going so fast! Sometimes I just kinda start freaking out but then just remember that this is going to be so amazing for me and God is in all the little details and has it all under control!

For the last 8 months I’ve been hearing the theme of GO! These sermons and many other factors have prepared me to be able to say YES!

I am a missionary! I don’t have to go very far! I am giving up the comfort of $200 a month rent in a gorgeous home with a family that I love dearly and loves and accepts me! I am leaving a church I’ve gone to for 25 years this October! I am leaving my comfortable life: to love on the people of San Francisco. To join a family who has a vision to brings God’s word to a lost city!

This is HUGE! And so exciting! And overwhelming! So many emotions!

I feel like this is a PERFECT fit for me! A good move. I know that God is orchestrating every decision I’ve made.

Please celebrate with me!

Unpredictable Emotions

July 19, 2011
If you know me very well you know that I try to avoid things that are sad and that will make me cry. I ask my friends when movies come out if it’s a “Nicky” movie and they know exactly what I mean. I don’t like movies like “Saving Private Ryan” “Titanic” “Schindler’s List” they are movies that depict real true sad life.
Movies I’ve see and hated “Message in a Bottle” “Up Close and Personal” “Perfect Storm”. I need a happy ending. Bambi is not a favorite Disney movie!!
A friend shared with me a great resource. Grief is a process. Each person is different. No one way is the right way.

This past weekend my dad was going to be making his way to Northern California to spend the weekend with me. We were to celebrate our birthdays together. 

This devotional explains my days. I have a constant headache, puffy eyes, scratchy throat and runny nose.  
Unpredictable Emotions

The unpredictable timing and odd combinations of emotions that hit you during grief can leave you confused and despairing.

“My life was totally flipped upside down emotionally, in every way you could think of,” says Sue, whose husband died.

Your emotions not only hit hard, but they can also occur at unexpected moments, which makes the impact seem even worse. Being aware of the unpredictable nature of your emotions will help you stand firm during each new barrage. God’s promises in the Bible will also help you to persevere.

In Matthew 5:4 Jesus promises comfort and a blessing for those who go through the process of grief and mourning: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Lord, when my emotions come and go with no semblance of order, remind me that this is to be expected during grief, and help me to stand firm. Amen.



Happy Birthday Dad!

July 16, 2011

My dad LOVED to torture me! What dad doesn’t like to torture their teenage daughters??

I love this picture!!

I love you Dad! I miss you more then I can ever express!

Click here to see the slideshow I created to honor my dad’s life at his memorial service on July 8th in Dallas TX.

Sponsor Me at March for Babies!

February 4, 2011

Don’t Wait

October 27, 2010

I came across a blog post on Monday October 24th that was so powerful, I NEED to share…

Brooke Snow is an AMAZING photographer in Utah who teaches others! She writes from her heart and is just so amazing!

She lost her Grandfather on Sunday…

I lost it when I read that her papa wanted “Senior Pictures” I just knew is wasn’t going to be good. I cried all the way through the post. So sad. I miss my Papa who passed away in 1986.

This post has been on my own heart since the beginning of this year. I’ve lost a few friends this year and was hit hard with this realization. Life is so short. We just never know how much longer we have with our friends and family!

I love this “Don’t put off documenting those close to you. Family, friends, important people in your life… It doesn’t have to be a professional or technically correctly shot. For when all is said and done, something is better then nothing.”

In May 2009 I took pictures of my best friends family. 17 people! How beautiful are they? Such a fun day! Each of them have recent pictures hanging in their home. Sadly, Stephen (Chad’s Dad) passed away suddenly in February this year. These pictures were treasured even more.

Please have your camera ready! Take random shots! Download them and get them printed!! Go buy acid and lignin free photo albums at Michael’s and create albums!! One of my very favorite things I LOVED doing when I was a kid was going through all my mom’s photo albums!

I hope you get out there and shoot like crazy! And If you’d like family pictures done call me!!


Family Portraits

October 18, 2010

I LOVE shooting families! Louise contacted me after getting a reference from one of my best friends (THANK YOU April!) The day we picked to meet up was scattered showers. And some of them were traveling from Rocklin. So rescheduling was going to be hard! So we decided to change locations and give it a try!

When shooting this big of a group of kiddo’s I usually have an assistant. But our time together was during church so all my assistants were at church! We used bribery instead! I think it worked most of the time!!



Becca Graduated!

June 25, 2010

I love when friends call me for pictures! Kathy and I met while working at Copart! We are both no longer there but have continued our friendship! I have taken family pictures for Kathy and did senior sessions for both of her now kids! Jake graduated in 2009 and Becca just graduated on the June 4th from Rodriquez High School!

Becca was super fun to get together with! We raced the sun to a few different locations! I LOVE sunset! Such pretty light!!

Here are a few shots!

The announcement that was sent out!

I was invited to Becca’s graduation party / open house and took a few shots! I also made the cute graduation cupcakes! So fun!!

It is so cool to walk in and see the pictures I take displayed in their home!

Kathy Jake and Becca! I love you guys!! Thank you for letting me capture your family and your special moments!

I am looking forward to another family shoot with Marc and the kids soon!!

Logo Creation and PR Photoshoot

June 23, 2010

Meet Michelle! She is a local photographer specializing in children with special needs! We met for coffee one day just to catch up and as we sat there talking and I got inspired! I love getting together with other photographers! We become fast friends and offer support for each other in our businesses. I learn so much! I met Michelle through my fabulous friend photographer Sharon Sossaman and Me Ra Koh’s website!

Together Michelle and I came up with this logo for her business!

Then a few weeks later we got together to do a PR shoot! She was so much fun! I can’t believe she is so shy behind the camera! She has so much personality!!!

And a fun banner for a page on her blog!

Thank you so much Michelle for being a friend and letting me help you with your branding! I enjoy the time we spend together!!  Oh and THANK YOU for teaching me how to forward!! Aren’t you proud of me? This is day number 8 on the blog!! 🙂

Top Ten (ways to love someone in a crisis)

June 22, 2010

Ever wonder what you can do in a time of a friends crisis? My friend Leah posted this on her blog right after a friend started a crisis.

In Leah’s words:


Just over two years ago, my 8-year-old-niece was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor.  There are no words for how that feels, so I won’t even try to write it here.  I will, however, share 10 ways you can love a family, a person, or a community in crisis.

  1. Show up. Unless they’ve said they don’t want people there, it’s okay to show up.  Visit them at the hospital, go to the memorial service, and by all means, attend the fundraising dinner hosted at Chic-Fil-A. (But DO call ahead to be sure it’s a good time if you’re going to the hospital.)
  2. Leave.  Unless they ask you to stay for a while longer, go ahead and leave.  Once you know they’ve felt loved and visited and cared for, go home.  They probably need a break.
  3. Cook a Dinner. This one is obvious, but probably underestimated how appreciated it really is!
  4. Send a restaurant gift card. If  the family has to go to and from the hospital a lot, it’s hard to cook and the hospital food get’s old quick. Eating out is expensive, so this is an easy way to give a really useful $25.
  5. Send a letter or care package. Especially when it comes to people fighting a long fight.  It’s normal to get showered with love and cards and balloons and gifts the first few weeks…. years later it still matters.  It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, just thoughtful.
  6. Go ahead and call. I know, everyone thinks, “I shouldn’t call.. they’re so busy” and really, they probably are.  But it’s okay to leave a message, and say, “you don’t need to call me back unless you want to.. I just wanted you to know I am thinking of you or praying for you.”
  7. Take their kids. If it’s a family and there are other children, pick them up and take them to your house or to do something fun.  Siblings are often stuck going to doctor’s appointments and hanging out in hospitals.  They need a break too, but it’s almost impossible for a parent give them one when they’re taking themself or their child to chemo, or therapy, or for another consult.
  8. Be Available. Call and ask how you can help that week.  Watch a younger sibling while someone has a doctor’s appointment, pick up another child from sports practice, run to the grocery store for the parents, or go get their car’s oil changed.   If you can, offer to do something with consistency so that the family knows when they have help… then they can schedule appointments around it which alleviates a lot of stress.
  9. Educate your family. If you’re a parent and your child is friends with a child who has had a crisis, teach your child how to deal with that.  Teach them how to be that person’s friend, that no matter how their outward appearance has been altered by treatments and surgeries, they’re still the same person on the inside and they desperately want to play and be included in “normal” life again.
  10. Send a Starbucks gift card. You can rarely go wrong with coffee.  And, if they aren’t coffee drinkers…their favorite nurse might be.

I am easily overwhelmed by all the sadness I see around me.  I’m more overwhelmed now that I have ever been before, and often think my heart doesn’t have the capacity to read or pray or hear about one more person in crisis.

I can however, send a card, or make a care package, or babysit.

I couldn’t write this list without my family having been on the receiving end of hundreds of people who did these very things for us.  For those of you who live this list by your actions towards Gracie and the Kellys – thank you.

Two years later, Gracie is living well.  If you want to learn more about Gracie and her beautiful family, here is her story.


In the last 6 months there have been more then enough events that have happened in my church family.

This sentence sums up the last 9 months for me.

I am easily overwhelmed  by all the sadness I see around me.  I’m more overwhelmed now that I have ever been before, and often think my heart doesn’t have the capacity to read or pray or hear about one more person in crisis.

Here are a few more ideas that I have either seen done or organized myself:

Set up a Fundraiser – sometimes there are sudden expenses that creep up and it is such a daunting task after you’ve lost a loved one to try to function let alone deal with all the details. Go to the local bank and open a savings or checking account. Create a Paypal account so that people can give online it they so choose.

Create a Prayer group on Facebook – prayer is such a powerful thing.

Backed up Household Chores – offer to clean, do laundry, cut the grass. The littlest things can help in so many ways.

The next time you have a crisis touch your life I pray that you find comfort in the arms of Jesus, your church and are able to help in any way you can!

Blessings to you!