Inspiration struck Omaha mom Lindsay Nolan as she and her husband enjoyed a scenic hike with their son, Henry, at Neale Woods Nature Center in North Omaha.
“The state just offers so much,” Lindsay said. “In one day, we can enjoy the peacefulness and serenity of nature, and then drive a few miles down the road and experience city life and the arts.”
Those thoughts stayed in her mind as she later jotted down the words and painted the whimsical watercolor pictures for her new children’s book, “Nebraska Baby.”
“There’s something about it; in nature – the view. The city – the bustle; the arts, the food,” she wrote in the book.
During that same hike, she also reflected on her 2-year-old son, Henry, and his journey as a premature 2-pound baby to a healthy active toddler.
“He exudes so many qualities that I believe the Nebraska/Midwest lifestyle instills: determination, a neighborly personality, charm and a love of Husker football,” Lindsay said.
She wrote about the characteristics in her book: “It’s character – not clothes; it’s not what you’ve got. You humbly remember all that you’ve been taught. You are Nebraska, baby, through and through.”
This is Lindsay’s second children’s book. Her first book, “Peanut: A Storybook for Mighty Preemie Babies” was written during Henry’s two-month stay in the hospital after he was born eight weeks early.
“I wrote ‘Peanut’ while my husband and I were literally living at the hospital,” Lindsay said. “Henry was in the NICU for two months, and I received a wealth of support from family and even strangers who had been in the same place. I was inspired to give back in my own way. I tend to be on the search for meaningful ways to make a difference, even in a small way like a children’s book.”
Lindsay said “Nebraska Baby” illustrates the second phase of their journey and is more of a celebration of life and commemorates the traits she believes many Nebraskans possess.
She and her husband, Danny, are expecting their second child, also a boy, in August, and the book was partly dedicated to her “sweet Nebraska baby on the way.”
Lindsay said writing the children’s books fulfill a promise she made to herself in first grade.
“I wrote out a contract in my Snow White diary that I would one day become an author, and I signed it,” she said. “I was kind of a nerd. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
As a child, Lindsay also enjoyed art, describing it as “therapeutic.”
Lindsay’s childhood family consisted of eight siblings, all girls, and she was right in the middle. She was born in Lincoln and also lived in Springfield and Bellevue and eventually attended school in Papillion-LaVista.
She later graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a bachelor’s degree in communication. She also earned a master’s degree in managerial communication and human resource management from Bellevue University.
During Lindsay’s time in undergraduate school, she became restless and wanted to leave Nebraska. She traveled to several states and planned to live in Colorado before she met the man who would become her husband.
“Every time I left Nebraska, I felt somewhat fulfilled, yet longed for what I had known before,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong – I love to travel, and I think it’s necessary to explore different places to learn and grow as a person. But Nebraska was where I wanted my child to grow up.”
Lindsay currently works full time at Nebraska Medicine in the marketing department.
Writing Children’s Books
Lindsay said it didn’t take her long to write her two books, but the illustration process required more time. She used real photographs for inspiration, sketching the images first on paper and then painting them with watercolor. “Nebraska Baby” features scenes from Nebraska as well as illustrations of her son, Henry.
She self-published the books through CreateSpace, Amazon’s independent publishing company.
Although “Nebraska Baby” is intended as a children’s book, it’s a book that has meaning for adults as well.
“The book is written very simply and poetically to be understood by young children, but I hope it inspires different meanings to each of its readers depending on where they are at in life,” Lindsay said. “Some may take it at face value and others might reflect upon it.”
“Nebraska Baby” is available on Lindsay’s website or on Amazon.
(Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.)