Monthly Archives: September 2010

For some people, the onset of fall means going back to school… for most it means the changing of leaves… for me, it means re-introducing slow cooking to my kitchen.  It actually excites me to be able to say good-bye to the ‘light’ meals of the previous months; the meals that we are stuck with during summer because it is either too hot and our bodies can’t handle the weight of rich foods or because it is too hot in the house for slow-cooking usually required for hearty dishes.  I love a meal that can be put together in-advance and left on the stove to seep together flavors and all the while, filling our house with aroma…

One of our favorites that falls into this category is Taco Soup.  I completely, can not take credit for this recipe… it is ALL Paula Deen.  And this recipe is so easy, that if you have a pot, a stir stick and a can-opener, you can handle it.  Quickly, too, because it is a dump-and-go soup … dump the ingredients in and go rest for an hour till it is done (or clean up the messes in the kitchen that have accumulated all day). 

 

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Ingredients 

2 pounds ground beef

2 cups diced onions

2 cans pinto beans (include liquid)

1 can pink kidney beans (include liquid)

1 can corn, drained

1 can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can tomatoes with chilies

1 7oz can diced green chilies

1 4.6oz can sliced black olives, drained

1 package taco seasoning mix

1 package ranch salad dressing mix

corn chips, cheese, sour cream, avocados for garnish

Directions

Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet, drain the excess fat then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large pot (I actually do it all in the big pot).  Add remaining ingredients, mix together and simmer over low heat for about an hour on the stove, or in a large crock pot for about 6 hours. 

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I channel back to my days of Seattle Summer Swim League and the yummy Frito-ban Ditos they’d sell at the swim meets, and eat my soup OVER the corn chips, topped with cheese and sour cream… and avocados if I’m lucky!  

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  • Mom - I agree…very yummy.

    XOReplyCancel

  • Heidi - Oh yummy!!! I love my dutch oven(probably same brand, just red lol). I use it maybe 5x a week in winter. :) Love slow cooking, braising, stewing, and so on…This recipe looks so yummy!!! HeidiReplyCancel

  • Heather Rone - LOL! I was just trying to explain the concept of Frito-ban-Ditos to a friend the other day. They were so grossed out! I said, "You have no idea what you've been missing…"ReplyCancel

Have you ever met someone that is so talented, passionate, energetic, and beautiful that you’re left feeling a bit… lacking?  And on top of that they are incredibly nice AND Christian, so it makes feeling anything but inspired by them just wrong? 

Enter Andria. She’s a photographer out of Seattle and when my cousin Lindsay was selected to receive a photo-shoot done by Andria, I hesitated not a second, before asking if I could come along to observe.  In the photography world, allowing an outsider on a shoot is not common-place, but then again, Andria isn’t your common photographer.  I thought I’d be at the heals of a long-seasoned pro… she’s 23 and has been doing this for a year.  The more I mull that over in my head I am, again, feeling lacking.

The shoot happened a few weeks ago and I watched, mostly silently, grabbing Lindsay an outfit here and there, but for the most part just trying to stay-out of the way and not hinder their groove.  I took a few shots of Andria shooting and I regret not getting the one of her laying down on the floor in this coffee-shop… but at least now, I know, that it is okay to lay on the floor of a coffee-shop to get the shot.     

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As I observed I watched the light, the interaction between Lindsay and her fiancé, Josh, and of course, Andria’s roll in it all.  She wasn’t only “taking pictures” she was giggling, encouraging, instructing, and  relating.  She puts it perfectly in her blog… she gave them an ‘experience’.  I kept thinking, ‘Oh, I hope she got that expression… or that squeeze… or that side glance…or that giggle’ and now that I’ve seen some of their photos on her blog I am pretty sure she never took her finger off of the shutter-button!  Because it wasn’t only the ‘poses’ that she photographed, she captured the in between moments that are often times the best. 

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As much as I wanted to be totally into and consumed by the experience, my heart-strings were being pulled each time I thought about my boys, who were at Grammie’s house, giving her a run for her money.  The shoot went until after 8pm and I knew I was asking A LOT of my mom and the boys to allow me this opportunity. At the time, (remember, AT THE TIME) I was thinking that even if I WAS feeling ready to start portfolio building, I couldn’t because it was too hard to be away from my kids for that long… 

Sep-11-2010_2Lindsaysshoot

But fast-forward a few weeks and now I’m feeling restless.  Restless with JUST doing this… motherhood.  I am not saying I want to give anything UP… I don’t want to hand my kids over to anyone else.  But all of these thoughts are coming at a time when respect from the wee-ones up to their mama and daddy is wavering.  We have numerous challenges throughout the day with Gage and Cooper being too rough with each other, being selfish, sassy, overly emotional and ornery.  I can manage this.  I HAVE to because it is my responsibility and I LOVE them… they are my number one responsibility… but doing it day after day after day, makes me feel, again, LACKING.  I am longing for an outlet… just a little something else in addition to motherhood. 

I think back on how my head raced with possibilities during this shoot.  And I think, too, about the freedom and energy Andria seemed to ooze… two things I have in very short supply.  I’m typically not a jealous person – the Lord tells us not to covet and in general, I feel very content with my life.  But I can’t help but long for a snippet of that freedom and energy and I’m praying that someday I can have that from photography… 

Sep-11-2010_4Lindsaysshoot

Anyway, observing this shoot was eye-opening and it re-affirmed many things I know to be true about life and photography…  I saw how critical the interaction is between photographer and her subjects.  I saw how important it is for the subjects to feel comfortable and to just be natural.  I saw how beneficial it can be to shoot a lot of frames.  I saw how important it is to for a photographer to know their style and for clients to, thus, pick accordingly. I saw how critical good lighting is to my style of photography, but for others no light can make for some pretty artsy stuff! But even among these lessons, the two best BEST things I saw because of this photo-shoot were:  the love between Lindsay and Josh… and the look of love on Kaden’s face when I walked through the door. 

After-all, LOVE is what its all about. 

To see Lindsay’s beauty, to see her Love for Josh, and to see Andria’s artsy, unique style, go HERE… and HERE… and HERE…

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  • Dianne - Great post, Lacey! We're looking forward to Part 3 from Andria!

    You've got the eye as well. Maybe you can start doing a shoot here and there on a weekend…ease into it to it doesn't become overwhelming. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose for which it was intended.ReplyCancel

  • The Gores - I am also one who has a passion missing from my life and a few years ago felt like I was lacking. Though I really wanted then to be the timing of fulfilling the last if my three life passions, it wasn't. I Grappled and wrestled with my husband and God. However through doing that and praying a lot about it the Lord made it very clear that HE knows my days and plan and He will fulfill that passion at some point. Now I know why: We needed Sarah to complete our family and being closer to mom's retirement will enable me to go to school soon.

    Lay everything at the feet of God and He hears the cries of our heart and knows what and when things are BEST for us.

    Hang in there. I know how you feel. (Oh the freedom too, ahhh)

    Love you, KjReplyCancel

  • katie. - Isn't Andria the BEST. She did some pictures for us in March and I have completely fallen in love with her. Not just her pictures, but HER. We are all so lucky to meet your sister through Andria's eyes.ReplyCancel

  • Mom - Thank you, Kj. Very well said and felt.
    Love, Auntie Judy

    XO to LaceyReplyCancel

Yesterday, I filled you in on the productivity of my husband… for the life of me, I can’t think of what I spent my days doing that was productive.  But I can tell you what I spent my nights doing… sleeping!  For the first time in 9 months, I spent my nights SLEEPING, rather than traveling up and down the stairs every 2-3 hours to nurse Kaden.  How did this happen?  Let me tell you…

He cried it out. 

I was going to put this off until after our next trip to Seattle, but the opportunity presented itself and we went with it. 

Thursday night, I was playing in my scrapbook room and Matt came in around 8:15 and asked “How long has Kaden been crying?”  I gasped… what?  I hadn’t even heard him!  We knew he was well-fed (he’d only gone down about a half-hour before) so, Matt encouraged me to stay-put and we’d just see what he’d do.  (Which is interesting, because this is so similar to how it went down with Cooper 3 years ago, when we made him cry it out… it started at 8:30 one evening, and by Matt’s insistence…) About a half-hour later, he stopped crying with NO intervention from us.

We knew he could do it.  And the time felt right.  So, when he woke again at 10:30, when I’d just gotten into bed, I listened to him cry.  Again for about half-an-hour.  Surprisingly, I didn’t cry myself… I knew he was okay.  I heard him again around 4:30 but that only lasted about 5 minutes.  And then I raced into his room at 8:30am when he finally, HAPPILY called for me.  I couldn’t get him to nurse fast enough.  Let me tell ya… going from nursing every 3 hours to suddenly having a 13-hour stretch!!  What??  I didn’t realize it was that long until I typed it… crazy.  Anyway, I was FULL and a hurtin’ unit. 

The next night was even better, and last night, I heard him let out a cry at 8:30 and then not another peep until 6am.  So, now, he’s going 11 hours, straight!  Last week at this time, I was up every-other-hour with him!

I’m not sure, yet, if he’s a happier baby during the day.  Which does bring me to realize what I did during my weekend DAYS.  I nursed.  ALOT.  And saw this…     

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A LOT.  Kaden was seriously making up for lost time.  Where-ever I was, there HE was, at my feet, either just sitting or pulling up on my legs. And whenever my arms weren’t busy, I was holding him.  

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Which was fine by me…  because I may have been going through a little Mama/Kaden-time withdrawal myself and if it is possible, I think I find him even more precious than I did 4 days ago! :)   

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  • Mom - CONGRATULATIONS! That's wonderful news.

    I love Kaden's foot in the first photo….check out his big toe. Oh-so-sweet little Tado.

    XOXOXO to three boys sleeping all night through (and Mama & Dad too)ReplyCancel

  • Dianne - And Grammie when she's visiting :0)ReplyCancel

Matt got started working really hard this weekend on fixing the railing on our front porch, which had begun rotting about a day after we moved into our house.  5 years ago. 

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Seriously, he did some mighty fine craftsmanship and built us a railing that’ll last (and is low enough that it doesn’t block my view of the field!)…

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And in between some hunts, he fulfilled Gage’s plea by helping him build a boat… (sorry these pictures are a bit wonky… I’d SO hoped that this template would work wonders at condensing my photo quantity, but in doing so, if for some reason really reduces the quality of the images…)

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And since it was Friday and during ‘school time’, Matt took the opportunity to be Teacher-for-The-Day and turned it into math and woodworking education.  It MADE Gage’s day… and made Daddy a hero.

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And then on Saturday, he harvested some blackberries … with his little helper in tow. 

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And we made our way to the pond to set the boat-a-float…

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(Just seconds after I snapped the above photo of Gage, we watched Cooper racing after him, wind in his hair, shouting after Gage, “Doot Doo!  I have to tell you something about GYPSIES!”  WHAT?? And then BOOM… he tripped and tumbled into a ball, totally biting it.  I braced myself for the tears but as quickly as he’d hit the ground he was up and running again.  I laughed until there were tears in my eyes!)

Back to the boat…

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  Once it launched, Gage was immediately concerned about how it would make its way back to the shore.  No worries, when you have a waterdog…

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… or a tape measure.  Again, for the second time this weekend, Dad was a hero.  

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These boys finished up their weekend by going for a ‘man hunt’.  Evidently Gage took it WAY too seriously and scolded Bosley time and again for scaring away the animals (should we tell him he wasn’t actually hunting??)  But, again, for the third time this weekend, Matt was their hero. 

Matt also bottled his most recent batch of homebrew (beer), but I didn’t take any photos of that because I was in my room working on these pictures and this post… I’m not sure what I think of the processing on these images… I was going for an antiquey look, but I think they came out looking more dirty.  I don’t think this is my ‘style’ but I’m going to go with them anyway…

And I have big news tomorrow about what I did this weekend (much in thanks, also, to Matt), and it has to do with this little guy…

thatlittleguy
…stay tuned!

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  • Dianne - Look at those veins on Matt's arms! He could sure give Marlboro Man a run for his money…Eat your heart out Pioneer Woman!

    I won't give away your weekend secret but "Yayyy for you!"

    Love,
    Auntie DianneReplyCancel

  • lacey - Yes, Matt's for-arms are a favorite feature of mine! Haha! Do you know what my secret is?? Or are you projecting?? :)ReplyCancel

  • Mom - What a nice "Daddy" weekend. Important for Matt, wonderful for the boys, a delight for you to watch, and a joy for your viewer.

    Can't wait for tomorrow's post :)

    XOReplyCancel

I think I’m going to start doing this regularly… each Friday sharing five random things that have been on my mind, but that haven’t made it into their own individual blog post.  Or maybe they have and I have something new to add… or maybe its a little thought that will later be expanded on in a later post.  Plus, probably some pictures that I like, but haven’t shared yet…

I have no problem admitting that I got this idea from Erin Cobb’s blog, but hers is Ten on Tuesday.  I’m just not sure I can come up with 10 random things, so I’ll start modestly at five…

1) I posted yesterday about Kaden getting stuck places in our ever-growing-more-cluttered-by-the-day-house, but sometimes, he CHOSES to get stuck.  Like here… 

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… he didn’t want to be IN the excersaucer, but immediately when I let him out, he climbed under it and was content for awhile, but soon regretted the tight quarters.

2.  Did you watch Modern Family on Wednesday night?  So. Funny. and it is one of the 2 weeknight shows we are committed to watching.  I’m a little anxious for the show, now, though, since they won Best Comedy at the Emmy’s.  The Office (our other favorite) went down hill after they did (and after their writers quit) because they may feel the pressure now to keep up the funnies.  If the first episode of this new season is any indication, though, I think they are going to be just fine. 

3.  Below you see a few examples of how I had to exercise my new attempt at HOW to get a picture of my boys actually looking at me and smiling nicely… funny-face picture, first…

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… then supposedly a nice-smiling picture… but Cooper looks like he smelled something really bad. 

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4.  Did you know that even though potatoes (like apples) can be stored in a cool, dark place for a long time, ONE BAD POTATO CAN QUICKLY RUIN THE WHOLE BATCH.  I learned this the hard way, and inquired in the Safeway produce department about it.  Sure enough, because they are so sugary, if one of the potatoes in the bag has a slight ‘problem’ it will ooz and mold and soon the rest will follow suit.  And to quote both the produce guy and my unsuspecting-husband, “IT SMELLS LIKE DEATH.”  So check your ‘tatoes before you store them… 

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5.  Speaking of ‘tatoes… this little tater-tot is still giving me heck in the sleep department.  He doesn’t know it yet, but the countdown has begun till we make him ‘Cry It Out’.  When we get back from our next trip to Seattle, its game on.  By then he’ll be 9 months old and will have had his check-up and if he’s healthy and I get his pediatricians go ahead (for the 3rd time) I WiLL go with this method.  Last night I was up with him every other hour until I finally brought him into bed with me at 4:30am.  And then proceeded to wake up with him, still, every hour or so when he’d wake with a startled cry.  Finally, at 7am, I woke up to him sucking on my face, as happy as could be.

Have a GREAT weekend!    

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  • Mom - Have a great weekend, sweetie. See you next weekend, hooray!

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  • Shannon Joy - Super cute!!!!! Good luck with "crying it out". I promise… it will work :). I've done with with all 4 of my kiddos and now they all love bedtime :)ReplyCancel