Summer Story ’15 {Exhale}


Summer Story ’15 {Exhale}


The last few days of July linger today. As I expected, Summer is flying past.

Tomorrow I turn the ripe [wink] age of 35. I have all the emotions about turning 35. It feels so … defining. My early 30’s are over and it’s hard to believe how much has happened in these last five years since turning 30.

But I also feel incredibly excited about the years ahead but it’s come from a place of learning to exhale life.

We run hard, we chase dreams, we love God and others, we inhale a lot of life. But my greatest lesson the last 35 years have taught me is the need to let life … exhale.

This week we are at the beach.

I love so many things about the beach but my favorite thing to do this year has been to ride this bike up and down the streets of this island. I’ve literally felt my body exhaling while riding it. It’s the most peaceful, unplugged place I’ve let myself go to in a long time.


Summer is a perfect time to create some space to exhale. But today I’m seeing the need to be more intentional with exhaling throughout the entire year.

Because the fruit of exhaling is life-giving …

This marriage a counselor once told us had every odd against us to survive has found a rhythm of grace. Because we are learning to exhale the imperfect life we constantly fight trying to live.

These three girls are growing through challenges because I’ve learned to exhale the need to raise perfect children. Five years ago I would have deleted this attempt for a family picture.

Today it’s a reminder of what life looks like exhaled.


The #FixerUpperFarm has stayed a fixer upper because I’ve exhaled the need to accomplish a lifetime of work in a year’s time. And I’m perfectly okay with that {most days.}

Life exhaled is a beautiful place.

A place I want our Summer Story to linger just a little longer …




Join in the Summer Story ’15 blog link up and don’t forget to use the hashtag #SummerStory15 on your social media:




  • I, too, turned 35 this year….and I LOVE what you have to say here. Just, yes. 🙂

    Happy, happy birthday. Hope this year brings so much joy — both the simple kind, and the big kind!!

  • Happy Birthday Nicki! I turn 45 on Sunday and we just celebrated our 25 anniversary on Tuesday, 7/21/15. Life exhaled is a beautiful place!!

  • Happy early birthday Nicki !! So glad you are having time away with family !! Thank you for sharing what I struggle with so many times…. The need to exhale. Trying to keep up, fit in, get things done, do ‘better’ at everything can be an anxiety attack waiting to happen !! I love your REAL life and being OK with it !! Love those pics too !! Enjoy !!

  • I’m a few years ahead of you and can grasp all that you so beautiful explained. I always thought of it as mellowing out… But your post paints it in a much more beautiful way. And love the family photo… Looks like my girls (same age range)…. As they whip and nae nae in every photo now. Lol! I love reading your posts and 2 min Tues videos.

  • Nicki, you are like a breath of fresh air! Thank you for being so authentic! I am in the later part of my 50s and have had to learn to exhale a lot! But it is so freeing! Praying for a birthday filled with blessings for you my Sister in Christ!

  • Happy Birthday Beautiful one….I love being a part of what God has called you to do. You are so much fun! (Hang on, 35 already promises to be a doozy!)

  • I’ll be turning 50 in the fall!. 50! I can’t believe it as I feel 35 at heart. Anyway, love this post, and I too, just got back from the beach where I too went biking and found my inner child. It felt so good to disconnect from the world and just enjoy the ride. I loved just soaking up the moment, I felt so free. Happy birthday! 🙂

  • Happy 35th Birthday, Friend!!! Your my little sister-in-Christ. I just turned 40 in March. Praying many “Awe God!” birthday moments for you!

    You are SO blessed to live near a beach! I live in Omaha, NE. I’ve been to many beaches in Florida, and I used to nanny (two times) near the beach in Connecticut (they called it a ‘sound’ though). I’ve been praying for a beachy vacation for my husband and I. He is 41 years old and NEVER seen the beach in person. I’m in awe of ocean sounds and even the smell. Take care!

  • I’ll be turning 40 next fall and love it! And you are so right, we learn so much in our 30’s. I love how you put it though, exhale. I think it is the perfect word to capture how I feel often. It isn’t relaxing, but that is the only word I have been able to use this summer to explain to people what I need. It’s exhale! Slow things down and live in the moment!

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