Light.

Maybe not more than my children but more and more often I just get totally consumed by playing with light and it inspires me to no end.  To try different angles, perspectives.  To shoot at different times of the day and with different apertures and focal lengths.  Often, it is just as important an element as the story itself, and sometimes even more so.

I had just finished reading the book Summer of Light  (which is absolutely wonderful) and it left me a wee bit hungry for capturing light with my camera.  And on this morning, we were all hungry for outdoor time before settling in for our lessons because we’d had several days of stormy windy weather and spent far too much time inside.  We set out to check out the damage from the storm …

… and came upon a top from a tree that was blown off of its base.

As he moved this way and that, so did I.  I shot pretty blindly, not checking my LCD … just going with angles and shots based just as much on what he was doing as where the sun was shining through the trees and fallen branches.

When I uploaded these, as much as I loved seeing Kaden’s sweet face and his enjoyment of playing in the fallen tree, I enjoyed seeing how the light changed in the images with each slight shift I made.

We made our way through the woods to see what else we could see and it never ceases to amaze me how these boys can be so completely entertained by the simplest things.  But then again, I’m completely entertained by light, so it shouldn’t surprise me. ;)

Typically, I avoid dappled light like this .. where there are deep shadows competing with bright highlights.  But on this day, I was drawn to them.  Kaden started venturing toward the light so I metered for the brightly lit ground in the distance and waited for him to get there …

I’ve seen my boys play in these woods countless times.  But as they grow and learn, it seems like each time, is the first time.  And each time, the light is a bit different and I feel like I’m shooting in these woods for the first time.  And it makes me feel like a little child, exploring, playing, and discovering, every single time.  It excites me just thinking about it. :)

Happy Friday, Friends!  Enjoy your weekend!  ♥

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  • Carol - Once again beautiful beyond words! Thanks for sharing “your light” with us.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - These are amazing. I always love your photography, your style is near and dear to my heart. Classic and beautiful, not following every trend that comes along. I love it.

    I wanted to ask a question, on the pictures where your youngest is playing on the fallen tree, was it hazy before you processed it? I shoot my children in all types of light as well, but backlight is my absolute favorite. I especially am drawn to strong backlight but if I was to shoot this image mine would be a lot more hazy.ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Hi Hannah! Thank you very much! That really means a lot to me for you to say because it is definitely a goal of mine to keep my images as authentic as possible. For that reason I really don’t do anything much to my images in post processing. The haze in any of these images is due to the light rays coming into my lens and bouncing off of the sensor. Just depending on my shift left or right the light that came into my lens was often totally different from image to image. I thought that was especially fun to play with and observe. :)ReplyCancel

  • melissa - Good gravy!!! These are gorgeous. It’s been too cold for me to even want to go outside and shoot. This is making me long for spring and summer!! That light and they way you captured it is amazing, Lacey. :)ReplyCancel

Every now and again, one of these random hodge-podge posts comes around. :)  A post of a bunch of random images just to help me get caught up in sharing and to keep me from feeling bad that some images got left out of Blogland.  I know that sounds silly, but, then again, my attachment to the photos I take of my boys is a little silly.  So here we go ..

A little pretty backlighting while they wait for their dad to drive up the driveway as he gets home from work …

A little example of what happens to Christmas trees that can’t be sold …

A little Charlie love, from the most uncomfortable spot in the house …

workingoutside-79workingoutside-81

A little Sheltand pony …

And a little example of one of the many reasons my husband is an extraordinary guy … :)

Mud-50

 

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  • Melissa - The pony! Oh my gosh, the pony! :) Your life seems so fun and muddy…backlit and boyish. <3 <3ReplyCancel

I really love being home.  Some weeks I only leave for church and one day of errands … some weeks, I do my errands church and only leave the house once in 7 days.  I’m a homebody, I feel like our home should be where we want to spend most of our time.  But as homeschoolers and as a homebody and with 3 growing boys being home all the time can stop feeling comforting and start feeling confining.  Yes, there are acres to roam around our house and for that I’m always grateful, but a desire for a change of scenery creeps up on me every-so-often and getting out is what the mama-orders.

On this day, that was our plan.  Once we finished school I told the boys we were going to do our grocery shopping in a neighboring town and have some fun before-hand.  My plan was to have a mid-day cheesy-bacon-french-fry snack at a cute little restaurant and then play at the nearby park.

We got to the restaurant, and contrary to the hours they had posted online, they were closed as of 30 minutes ago.  So we opted for frozen yogurt … drove to that shop the next street over, and it was closed, indefinitely.  I felt frustration and annoyance creeping in because these circumstances were not in line with my plan for our ‘fun’ afternoon out.  But pretty quickly I told myself that my happiness wouldn’t be defined by my circumstances and we’d figure something else out.

We proceeded on to the park…

Now, needless to say … I was happy to go to the park because I wanted the boys to play and have fun.  But, also?  I was excited for the chance to photograph them in the beautiful light that glowed through the park.  And we had it all to ourselves … until we didn’t.  I’d snapped a few frames before two kiddos arrived that felt the need to hang, walk, stand, and visit with my boys right in the midst of every image I was longing to take.  Fortunately, I was mature enough to not ask them to leave my children alone so that I could take pictures.  I was annoyed at my annoyance, trust me.  But it was there.  Again, I reminded myself about circumstances and that this wasn’t going to rain on a fun afternoon out with my boys.

Gage and Cooper began a game of America Ninja Warrior while Kaden happily ran around with the other two little photo-bombers, and I thought to text our best friends and see if they just happened to be in town at the same time as us.  They were!  So I waited for them to arrive, feeling my immature circumstance-based-happiness starting to lift … because, well, our circumstances were about to change and one of my favorite friends was about to show up and that, of course, made me happy. ;)

Until Kaden stepped in dog poop somewhere on the play-ground and I spend the next 10 minutes scraping it off of the bottom of his boot.  And the rest of our time there being anxious that someone was going to step in it again, or worse, fall in it.

I snapped some more photos … thankful to have a long-lens with me (the 135 2.0) so I could not capture the now-growing number of kiddos arriving since school had apparently just let out.

Eventually, it became obvious that my plan was not going to work as I’d hoped.  My mood was down and I was mopey.  Mopey!  Sullen.  I’m 33, friends, and I’m pretty sure I was pouting.  Even after our friends got there, I was just not myself.  How sad is that?  How sad is it that I let myself be so dictated by my petty circumstances??  I mean, seriously …. I don’t know that anyone else would have noticed my mood, but it was definitely effecting me.  I’ve battled this for as long as I can remember … that if things don’t go my way I can get sour and moody.  Over the years I know I’ve gotten better about it as I see my boys falling into this same destructive habit.  And, maybe this is why I like routine and predicable days.  The plan is simple and there isn’t much room for disappointment when the routine just stays the same.

But, gosh, was I annoyed with myself.  All of these sensible thoughts finally came over me as we drove from the park to get our groceries and I shook my head at myself.  I’m always learning and hopefully always in the process of ‘improving’.  And it often happens as a result of recognizing my sinful ways, submitting and repenting.  My contentment and happiness can not be reliant on my circumstances.

This was on my mind this past weekend when we did a last minute trip to the coast and missed the gorgeous beach sunset as we sat in the restaurant waiting for our dinner to arrive … and I thought about it on Sunday morning when our pastor just happened to be preaching on this exact topic.  And hopefully I’ll be thinking about it day in and day out when I get weary or worried or frustrated.  And even when I’m joyful, feeling blessed, and completely happy.  Because there is only one place that contentment, peace and true happiness can be found and it definitely isn’t in our ever-changing-never-predictable-often-blessed-but-often-disappointing-circumstances. :)

I might need that tattooed on the back of my hand, but I’m praying that eventually I’ll live that truth as naturally as I just typed it out.  <3

Thanks for visiting and for reading my thoughts!  Photography friends, as I mentioned, these were all taken with the 135 2.0 at f/2.2.  I wanted a long focal length but Big Curtis (70-700) still embarrasses me a bit in public. ;) 

 

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  • Shannon - Gosh, I do the same thing! I know exactly how you feel, because I too (32 years old) find myself pouting if things don’t go as I have carefully planned out and then I get frustrated with myself for putting a damper on a perfectly great day. I lately have been reminding myself in the moment of what an amazing life God has given me and all the amazing gifts He’s given, no matter how small (for example having the means to eat out at a restaurant even if that takes longer than I wanted, at least we are not having to dive into a dumpster looking for food, like some). I look at my daughter and think of what a different life we could be leading without those amazing gifts. Often those thoughts will pull me out of my funk. I also picked up on your embarrassment of shooting with a big lens in public. I would love to talk to you more about this. Shooting in public with my “big camera” (just a crop-sensor dlsr, but still gets funny looks) is something I am really struggling with.ReplyCancel

  • Mom - Yes, I like to be “in control” too. But with age, I’ve learned to not let it affect me as much as it used to. I think being a Grammie has helped me to just “go” with the little boys, because I’m so blessed to be able to spend time with them.
    The photo of Tado sitting on the bar made me really nervous. I remember when you were 6 years old and fell forward off of our swing set trapeze and broke both of your arms. Yikes!!!!
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

The day I wrote THIS POST, I ended it saying that I wanted to spend time thinking about all that is right in my boys’ lives.  Life inside the walls of our home had grown complicated it seemed … mostly because I was over-complicating things with homeschooling woes, but the boys were just climbing all over each other all the time and figuring out every which way to push each others buttons.  We were all at the point of feeling strain and my boiling point was nearly reached.  It was silly how hard it was to breathe.

When Matt arrived home from work that day, it happened like it so often does.  He changed right into his muddy boots and said, “Let’s go for a walk before the sun goes down”. We all eagerly scrambled into our own muddy boots and hiked up the hill to the clear-cut.  Into the expanse.   

Our moods lifted, I caught my breath and there we were.  Just us and God’s creation.  No pressure, no expectations, no drama, no picking or button pushing.  At least not for a bit … and then when it did start, I was able to laugh with the boys about their messing with each other and that lead to their laughter, too… that doesn’t happen very often in our day-to-day.

I spent some quiet time with just my Cooper while the others moved on ahead.   He told me he likes when it is just us  and I found it delightful to hear just his sweet voice for a few minutes.  That doesn’t happen very often in our day-to-day, either.

We caught up with the others at the top of the hill and what breath I finally had from leaving my home-drama behind, I quickly lost when I caught the sight of this.  Take my breath away … to allow me to really breathe …

I asked Matt if we could build a little hut up here because even though it is only about 10 minutes of a walk from our house it is like walking into a different world.  We lose our day-to-day selves and find the selves we really should be all the time.

eveningwalk-104

 

It is just absolutely amazing to me how complex life can seem at times in our cozy little home but then how incredibly simple it can seem when we are literally looking out over miles and miles of breathtaking views with the sky painted with the hand of our Creator.

I think it becomes simple because, not only are we void of the distractions we put in front of, and between, ourselves but we are reminded that the God that created that expanse, this view, this sunset, loves US …. us little bitty insignificant beings …. and that puts everything perfectly into perspective.  And that’s what I definitely need in my day-to-day… a change in perspective from looking at me and all I seem to do wrong, to looking at Him and all he constantly does right. 

 

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope this week gets off to a wonderful start for you! ♥ Thank you for being here!

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  • Mom - Ahhh….what a wonderful way to start my day…”hearing” from you and seeing your dear family. The photos of Cooper on the stump and the last ones with the “boys” and the sunset are absolutely “breath-taking.”
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Merissa P - WOW Lacey, not only breath-taking…I’m speechless at the beauty of your captures. Your property must be amazing!ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Thank you so much, Merissa. <3 We feel really blessed to live where we do. :)ReplyCancel

  • Leslie N. - Wow. The sky, the reflections, the boys, the silhouettes, the view, your words. Beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Carol - Absolutely beautiful as always! What do you do with all of these spectacular photos? Do you print a lot of them? If my photos looked like yours I’d have stacks and stacks of filled photo albums and my walls would be covered with prints! Your boys are so lucky to have someone recording their lives like you do. Now you just need to get in some of those photos too!
    Thanks so much for sharing these.ReplyCancel

  • Jolene - The sunset pictures are gorgeous, painted by the Master! And I love the silhouettes!ReplyCancel

  • melissa - Lacey, Lacey, LACEY!! Unbelieveable!! You are amazing at documenting these sweet and busy boys. Gorgeous place where you live and I thank you for sharing it with us. <3ReplyCancel

“It’s not happening, Mom.  I’ve prayed for it, and it just isn’t happening.”  I’ve heard this many times from my boys, and am grateful for the analogy wind gives me.  We’ve talked about how wind is something we can’t see but we see the effects of it, and we liken that to God’s presence in our lives and what it means to live in faith.

But wind can also be likened to how He goes about answering our prayers, too. 

We pray in accordance to His will (ie, not praying for Legos to rain from the sky), and we wait.  We trust, and we wait.

And sometimes, all of the sudden, His answer to our prayer bursts in like a breathtaking gust of wind.  When everything amazingly works together, falling into place in unexpected, extraordinary ways and we proclaim, “THAT was a God-thing!”

And we delight because it is SO clear that He has heard us and responded.

But other times, the wind is much more gentle.  A subtle rustling.  We may barely notice it is there … A silent breeze … a quiet, delicate gesture.  Our hearts, or our circumstances, or our perspective slowly changing.  Our prayers are answered like this, too.  That is still a “God-thing”.  And we rejoice.

And sometimes, even more often, the air seems still and it seems that all we’re doing is waiting.  And in those times, I encourage my boys to soak in the stillness, living in faith that even though the wind isn’t powerfully swooshing through the trees or clearly swaying the leaves or gently brushing through our hair, it is still moving.  We know that as surely as we know God is still present, He is still hearing our prayers, and He is still moving.  

Thank you for being here and sharing in this blog.  <3 

Because I have a love for color photos, I had to include them, too, but just in a slider below. 

The fun part of the slider is there is a little camera in the bottom left corner and you can click on that to see the exif data for the shot. :) 

 

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  • Kasey W. - I loved the black and whites as I read through this and I love your analogy of the wind! I needed that today! And, then when I got to the color slider, I loved those, too! So beautiful! Beautiful photos and even more beautiful words!ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Thank you, Kasey! I’m glad you enjoyed both the color and B&W… I’m not a frequent black and white editor, so I had a hard time leaving the color images out of the post. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Mariel @ Or so she says... - Beautiful pictures and analogy! Your pictures make me miss our Oregon vacations. Great blog and your pictures are amazing. :)

    MarielReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Thank you, Mariel! Oregon is sure a beautiful state and offers something for everyone, doesn’t it??ReplyCancel

  • Jolene - Loved how the photos went with your words! And the black and white was just gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Carol - You could write a devotional! Actually you could probably go back and use your blog posts as daily inspiration. After reading your posts I always have to spend some time soaking it all in. God works in all of us and through all of us. Thanks so much for sharing your faith.ReplyCancel

  • Carol - Oops, I meant to add–thanks for sharing your beautiful photos with us too!ReplyCancel

  • Mishael Cushman - Lacey, this is beautiful. I usually am so focused on your photos, but this post, I barely saw them. Your words were exactly what I needed to hear, a reminder to be still and know the He is God, always.ReplyCancel