Meet Nicole Dolan! Nicole grew up in Monmouth County, and after moving to PA for many years, she’s living back here with her family. This beautiful mama stays busy raising her three children, and running her own business, Nicole Dolan Photographer. Read more about her favorite restaurants in Monmouth County, what she loves to do when she gets a day off with the kids, and her truly inspiring mom goals!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I grew up between South Florida & Lacey Township in Ocean County. From there, I moved to Asbury Park and commuted to Brookdale Community College and then later out to TCNJ. When we married we lived in Ocean Grove for 12 years before moving out to Northern Central Pennsylvania where my husband went back to school. We lived in what’s known as “the wilds” of Pennsylvania for 6 years & then moved to civilization in Bucks County for almost 3 years. Still can’t believe that 9 years later we came back to Monmouth County! We’ve been home again for a year already and it went fast.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
My son Chase is 17, my daughter Corinne is 15, and the littlest daughter Norah is 5!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
About 3 years ago I learned to lift heavy weights & got into powerlifting which focuses on the squat, the bench press & the deadlift. I competed last fall winning silver in my division & I’m currently training for another meet in May.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
I would thank my friends Yvonne Moss & Peggy Dooley. These two women have greatly influenced my parenting and certainly made getting through some of the tough stages of parenthood feel less daunting. Their kids are all mostly 10 or more years older than my son so they were tested veterans by the time I first became a mom and I’ve always been grateful to have friends who have already been there and were willing to share what they learned.
Favorite things to do with your kids?
There is a bit of an age gap with my kids so honestly my favorite thing is when we’re all being lazy at home & hanging out together. Watching movies, or coloring with the youngest, or baking muffins, a fire pit with marshmallows to roast, anything sort of chill. It doesn’t happen often enough!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
My business is Nicole Dolan Photographer. I get to work with families at many stages of their lives as I shoot portraiture from newborn to cake smashes to extended family sessions. I’ve been a birth photographer for about 7 years and recently decided to become a member of the International Association of Birth Photographers. As a birth photographer I try to blend into the walls and catch those intimate heart-expanding moments like her support through labor, the first time you see your baby’s face, the first time your baby sees *your* face, & when the siblings get to meet. Having a baby is often a rush of emotions paired with a lot of intense focus on either the mother or the new baby and it can be something of a blur for both new moms and new dads. My photos provide a full birth story to cherish and its an honor every time I’m invited into the birth space to document it.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I’ve been inspired by the stories! I also appreciate being kept in loop of what’s going on in Monmouth county without having to sort through a ton of information. Being almost 10 years gone from home a lot has changed and we’re relearning the area like tourists.
What is your favorite restaurant in Monmouth County?
Wow, just one? I love going to The Turning Point and lingering over Kona coffee and breakfast. Did you know you can get their french toast on the side? No need to eat for the rest of the day! I also could go to MOGOs in Asbury Park religiously everyday & never get tired of it! We’re also big fans of Antonio’s Trattoria in Wall, their Brooklyn Style pizza is the stuff of dreams & their Italian entrees are always perfect. All three restaurants in one day would be a great stay-cation day.
What is your favorite activity to do with your children in Monmouth County?
Besides taking them to beach at any chance (& in any season!) we love the Monmouth County Park System. We’ve walked, hiked, or visited almost all of them with lots of direct visits to the playgrounds.
What are your Mom Goals?
My goal everyday and long term, as my big kids are just starting to coast into early adulthood, is to be their safe quiet place. Its a noisy, busy, joyful, crazy world out there and its a lot to navigate. In all the ups and downs they encounter my goal is to be their steady, to be ears that listen and hands that hold them.
Please check out Nicole Dolan Photographer here!