I mentioned HERE  that we went to the river on Matt’s birthday, per his request.  We had a short little visit, couldn’t quite relax because people a little ways down the river had a dog that really wanted to come visit Charlie and they screamed and screamed at him to come back, and the water was quite cold.

Regardless, the boys had so much fun and my sweet husband encouraged me to just float in the little boat we brought, tied it up to the side, and let me just soak it in.  I think the birthday boy had a nice time, too. :)

If you read the post linked above, you read that I had some frustrations with shooting  there.  I really, really wanted to document our time there, but sheesh … the sun was straight overhead, the bright green trees sent green color casts everywhere, the shadows and highlights were wacky and intense and I couldn’t get around very easily due to the slippery river rocks… I know… que the weepy violin music!  It sounds so silly to complain about.  I did take some photos, recognized that I just wanted to capture some and didn’t need to aim for masterpieces (since I never do anyway).  And then I just put my camera away for a bit.  But kept having this pull to grab it and just try to see what I could capture.  But then didn’t want to because I knew I wouldn’t love the shots.  But wanted to because of the memories being made … but didn’t want to because the light was so irritating and I didn’t want to instruct my boys to move toward the colder shade … and so on and so on.

Welcome to my ridiculous battle with photography.   The frustration is two-fold … I get frustrated when our fun isn’t happening when the light is lovely.  I get frustrated when I can’t beautifully capture our memories.  I get frustrated when I have an idea for a shot and can’t make it happen.  But what really frustrates me more than anything is that IT ALL FRUSTRATES ME.  It shouldn’t!  Photography is supposed to be fun… it is supposed to be secondary (or even further down the line)  to living the experience.  I realize that sometimes I make it my primary focus, though, and that really irritates me.  My goal is to tiptoe my photography into our lives, not stomp on our activities with it by instructing too much for the sake of my images or by dictating when and where the fun must happen.  I have found myself veering toward the latter and a road block went up.  But getting irritated with myself has helped.  :D  I don’t want to lower my standards for my images, but I need to remember that photography just is what it is and not something that should bring me, or any of us, down.

Anywho … here are some images from our time at the river.  Wacky light and all …

I encourage you, if you are a at a point in your photography where you are frustrated with it, in a rut, hitting a wall … stop and think about why. We may blame the light, our children, our gear, our environment … but a lot of the time, I think we’re getting into our own way.   I found myself to be the block in the road and need to pick myself up, move out of my own way, and get back to shooting for the love of life, first, and the love of photography second.

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!  xoxo

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  • Brooke Ambrose - Thank you!
    Thank you for sharing.
    Thank you for pursuing.

    These images are simply lovely. I find myself doing the same thing. Sometimes I won’t even get my camera out because 1. The lighting is perfect. 2. The outfits aren’t great. 3. The background isn’t good.

    Thanks for inspiring me!ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - :) My pleasure, Brooke! Sharing is always so therapeutic for me. Both to just get the thoughts out, but also thanks to the wonderful responses and support I receive in return. I appreciate your words so much!ReplyCancel

  • Ginger Unzueta - Lacey, I love your heart. I love your honesty. I wish we could sit down and chat about so much. We just got home from the river ourselves. The light was so different than here in Florida. It was like searching for light on a hard day..pockets everywhere, but when I found them, there was this beauty like no other. I love all your pictures and it looks like your boys had as much fun as we did exploring the rocks and water.ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - I can’t even tell you how many times I have wished that, Ginger! xoxo Your work is so inspiring and I can never get enough of it because your love of life and the Lord and your children is always at the forefront of everything you capture. :) ReplyCancel

  • Jami - You would NEVER know you were struggling with lighting by looking at the photos! Great photography, and I totally understand your entire post. I get so frantic about catching the moment and having beautiful photos of it that I sometimes am left feeling deflated if I the conditions aren’t ideal for capturing it the way I wanted to. But the photos aren’t really the point, the experience is. So, like you, Im learning to relax and not stress about it (easier said than done when you’re a photographer!!!).ReplyCancel

  • Kristin White - Lacey, these images, they pair so well with your words. I love especially the face in the water and your youngest in the boat with dad. I’m glad you shared because I’ve had a hard time picking up my camera lately and I finally feel like I’m starting to crawl out of the hole.ReplyCancel

I’m not quite sure how we ever discovered this little gem of the Oregon Coast.  Other than the parked cars along the highway, you’d barely know it is there since you can’t see the Ocean from the highway as you drive past it.  But it is truly amazing and is, I think, one of the best kept secrets of the Coast.  I say ‘secret’ because when I mention it to anyone they always say they’ve never been there.  ;)  Cannon Beach, Lincoln City, Seaside, etc … every one’s been there.  Here?  Not many.

We spent the second half of our day at the Coast here, at Oswald West, just about 15 minutes south of Cannon Beach, and just north of Manzanita.  You park along the east side of the highway and then go under the road to get on the hiking trail that leads you to the beach.  The trail is nicely maintained and though it takes you down to sea level, it’s not a challenging hike at all.  In fact, it is one of the most beautiful that I’ve ever been on because of the insane trees!   Seriously, breathtaking.  As we walked we were constantly saying, “OOH, look at that one!”

And then the awesomeness explodes when you get to the point where you can peek through, and see the water.   The beach is so unique… it is like God took an ice cream scoop to the cliffs along the water and scooped out a big curve.  So the cliffs jet out to the left and right, leaving a secluded beach in between.  The sand is warm, the sun was hot, the breeze was perfect and the water crystal clear.  Had the water been about 30 degrees warmer we’d have thought we were in Hawaii.

Oh, and the waves were amazing.  Which brings in loads of surfers.  I’m not comparing it to the loads that surf in California or Hawaii because I know little of that, but the beach is lined with boards as is the water.  It is very easy to forget where you are when you at Oswald West.

Remembering back to one of the first times we took Gage and Cooper here when they were just little bitty (3 and 1, I think) and how they both wanted to be in the water, then rolling in the sand, then in the water again, I came prepared.  Changes of clothes, since I’d neglected to bring them back then.

So when they asked if they could get in the water, it was an easy answer. :)

This boy especially was on cloud 9.

What kind of mama would I be if I said no to laying in the hot sand after dipping into the Ocean?  ;)  Needless to say, we came home with loads of sand in these shorts!

We stayed as long as we possibly could, and it was almost painful to leave as the sun started to go down and the light became cooperative.  But with the drive home ahead of us, we had to call it a day.

It is trips like this, adventures like this, that I look back on when I need a pick-me-up.  When the every-day gets a little too mundane.  And hopefully now I remember that this is a relatively short drive for us, and one that I really should have no qualms about making whenever we want.  ;)  It’s so totally worth it.  ♥

Thank you, as always, for visiting!  If you do visit Oswald West, take everything you need with you down to the beach because the hike isn’t a quick jont.   It’s not ‘hard’ but it isn’t one you’d want to do to just run back up to grab something.  ;)  There are bathrooms down by the beach, too, which is really convenient for that same reason! 

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  • mandy knight - Just beautiful as always :) We love Oswald west, Arcadia beach is a close second for me… I don’t know how you do it, I brought my big girl camera to the coast this past weekend, full sun at the beach is rough! Trying to edit gives me a headache.. Harsh shadows all over the place.ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Thank you, Mandy! I agree with you 100% that it was challenging!! I was secretly wishing for some overcast skies! ;) I definitely utilized lifting the shadows with the shadows slider in Lightroom in post processing. The shooting was harder than usual, but the boys were having so much fun that I couldn’t not photograph it. ;) ReplyCancel

  • Mom - Oh, it’s so much fun re-living this wonderful day in such action-filled photos. I’m sure I’ll look back again and again and smile :)
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita - It looks like a beautiful place! And as always, the photos are gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Tami C - I still remember a trip to Oswald West from Washington with Grandparents 15 years ago! Such a beautiful place. I agree with Mandy. You do an amazing job of dealing with full sun at the beach!ReplyCancel

Because I enjoyed our trip to the coast so much, I took one more pass through my images in Lightroom and found a few more that I wanted to keep.  All of my sweet oldest boy whom we call Doot.  ♥  Lately, I’ve been feeling like hugging him a bit more often and hold those hugs a bit longer.

I still see so much of my little bitty boy when I look at him, though he now comes up beyond my shoulders, gives me advice, helps without asking and comforts me when I’m down.  Such a treasure, he is.

Often while I’m editing images and pulling together blog posts, I hop back and forth between that and Clickin Moms.   Today as I loaded these images, I did just that, and while on CM read a thread posted by a mom of 4 children, her oldest having a form of muscular dystrophy and is wheel-chair bound.  She wrote of her ‘normal’.  I read her words and cried … such a strong, strong mama she is.   Her son is my Doot’s age and as I clicked back over to these images, I sat here in teary thanks, looking at these legs carrying my boy down the beach.

I never want to take for granted the abilities my children have.  Ones they have and never think twice about using.  I need to remind them how thankful I am that they can run and jump and wade in the water.  So thankful that he can simply, take a step.

And how thankful I am that someday, in Heaven, there will only be able-legs and healed-bodies.  That that will be the normal.

Today, I will give thanks for every step my children take.  ♥

xoxo  Thank you for being here! 

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  • Kristin - I read that too, with tears.ReplyCancel

  • Mom - Ahhh…sweet Doot…giving his Grammie words of advice on how to loosen up a stiff, painful back. I could just see him demonstrating the stretches as he described them to me on the phone. Oh, to receive his hugs and to hear his sweet laugh…. I always count all of my blessings.
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • ClaireT - I know of the person you mean and her blog affects me the same way. Brave lady, brave boy.ReplyCancel

  • Jolene - The pictures are beautiful! And your words as well. Yes, it’s good to be reminded of the gift of healthy children, and to pray for those who face the challenges that go with disabilities.ReplyCancel

Last weekend, my mom and I took the boys west.  To the Oregon Coast.  We thought we’d stay the weekend, but trying to book a room/rental the week before a July weekend trip to Cannon Beach isn’t a good idea.  Because everything is booked.  ;)  There is no room for procrastination and last minute planning when it comes to going to Cannon Beach.

So we settled for leaving as early as possible and being grateful that it is only about a 2 hour drive to this little bit of Oregon paradise.

We arrived around 10:30 and once their feet hit the sand, off came the sandals and they dug, ran, tiptoed, and enjoyed every bit of it.

While we watched, taking in the wonder of this beach.  And also wondering why we don’t come more often.

I just about couldn’t handle how cool the reflections were.  Obviously.

It is always a funny thing to me, that this boy is timid about going anywhere in our house by himself, but give him an inch at a place like this and he is off exploring without a care in the world.

Just as the sun was finally breaking through, we headed over to the tidepools at the base of Haystack Rock.

Where my mom and I got pooped on by a seagull.

If anyone knows what these white things are, I’m all ears.  They lined the beach and we came up with several thoughts on what they could be, but I’m pretty sure none are correct.

About the time that the boys started thinking it was fun to put sand down their sleeves and watch it pour out,  we also thankfully became very hungry and decided to set out for lunch.  So we said good-by to Haystack Rock and …

… HELLO to the most delicious lunch every.   I think the restaurant was called Hardware and Public House in the Haystack Square.  Ridiculously good. And the portions were huge so this was actually lunch, and dinner as we drove home later, too!

After lunch my mom took the boys to the car and I snuck into this little Irish-influenced coffee house by the restaurant and ordered one of their specials.  They had me at ‘chocolate whipped cream’.  Both of these places are at the north entrance to Cannon Beach right by the public parking lot, in case you’re ever in the area. ;)

Coffee in hand, we loaded up for the quick drive south to our next stop.   The best little secret on the Oregon Coast … coming up soon! :D

Thanks for coming along with us!  xoxo

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  • Mom - What a wonderful morning and an absolutely delicious lunch! Yes, the reflections in your beach images are crazy cool. :) I’m still smiling.
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Marisa - Those reflection shots are amazing!!

    I’m taking notes! We’re heading to Astoria and then down to Lincoln City in a few weeks. The restaurant and coffee shop are now on my trip list. Can’t wait to see tomorrow’s tip.ReplyCancel

  • Mishael Cushman - Canon Beach was one of our favorite places when we lived in Portland! I can almost smell the crisp air looking at these. Beautiful shots as always!ReplyCancel

The boys finished up vacation Bible school on Friday and were missing it the second we walked out of the door.  Well, Gage and Cooper were … Kaden decided to stay with me on the final day, but even still, he had a lot of fun when he was there.  They enjoyed being with other kids so much that it really had me questioning if they are thriving in our home-school situation or if they are missing out.  The 3 hours of mama-time each day didn’t hurt either.

But considering 3 of the kiddos they most enjoyed spending time with are their besties who are also home-schooled, and who they see quite regularly, I fell back on just knowing that this was a great (REALLY great) experience for them, but shouldn’t be the straw that pushes me into sending them to school. ;)

I’m so thankful for the wonderful people who put on this event.   Bless their hearts they’re amazing.

The day after VBS ended, was Matt’s birthday.  Saturday.  We both agree that birthdays are so much pressure … pressure to be sure you have a really good day or else it means someone let you down for not celebrating in the right way.   I really wanted to do anything he wanted to do for his day, so we went way up the Molalla River and tried to relax and play at our favorite, usually secluded spot.  Not so secluded this time, but still … It was a really nice time and we’re looking forward to going back when the water’s a bit warmer and there is no ‘pressure’ to have a fabulous time because it is someone’s special day.  :)  We’ll go back and just make it a special day.  If I got any good photos I’ll be sure to share, but photography and I aren’t getting along well these days, so we’ll have to see what I got!

I hope your weekend was wonderful!  Happy Sunday … I’m off to roast marshmallows!  xoxo

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  • Leslie - I appreciate hearing that you and photography aren’t getting along these days. Typically we only see the perfect shots reflected on blogs, when there certainly are some missed shots in the mix too. I find that sometimes I’m in a groove and I capture the images in my head just right and get home to find my card full of great photos, nailed focus, perfect exposure, and then other times, I get home to find that I am lucky to have one image that reflects the moment I was hoping to capture and the rest, well they get culled.ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - I can definitely relate, Leslie! I think I’m starting to be able to put my finger on specifically what it is that’s causing me and photography to clash lately and I hope to be able to put it into words soon so I can share. :) ReplyCancel

  • Mom - What a darling photo of six precious kiddos.
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Confronting my Photography Frustrations at the River » This is Life. With Country Boys {Lacey Meyers Photography} - […] mentioned HERE  that we went to the river on Matt’s birthday, per his request.  We had a short little […]ReplyCancel