Back and forth, back and forth my family has gone for the past 3 weeks.  Three weeks ago we drove up to Seattle (3.5 hours), then they all came down here, then this past weekend we went back up.  This time for one of my cousin’s wedding receptions … which, I don’t have any photos of.  I left my camera at my parents’ thinking, “Eh, 6pm party … the light will be awful (and a number of other reasons).”  Wrong.  Between the empty Tacoma sidewalks, windy but beautiful weather, huge windows in the reception hall … AH!  It would have been a fabulous time to have my camera with me, but I’m trying not to beat myself up over it. ;)

Anyway… here are some from our trip …

Gage’s view …

Mama’s view …

My brother’s family’s new pup.  She is a keeper.

And my brother’s boys … they are keepers too.

Every time I visit my parents’, waking up in my old bedroom is still such a treat. ;)  Even with the bright yellow walls that my mom somehow let me paint way back when.

It’s always a favorite activity for my boys to look through my dad’s display case.  It hold so many treasures that he has made and several that he has collected over the years.

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My dad … I learned that a friend of mine’s father passed away the day before and I immediately felt the need to photograph my dad.  Even if he was just chopping onions.  Actually, him chopping onions, being in the kitchen was perfect.  This is SO very much my dad.

Always with a coffee mug nearby.

Also very much my dad?  Finding things that are SUPER special and fun for my boys to do.  Like teach Gage how to drive the riding lawn-mower and letting him give the littler guys rides.

He and Cooper took turns doing laps around the yard, while the littles played under the camper.  Logically, that’s where they’d play. 

And while all that was going on, Matt was studying.  While the little frog statues looked on.

And while that was going on, my dad was busy frying chicken.  My boys’ favorite Papa-food.

And while he fried, they moved from the mower to the other sets of wheels.

After lunch (no photos of that … who wants to watch us eat fried chicken?) back onto the bikes and eating jelly beans … a favorite Papa-treat.

We lingered as long as we could on this Sunday afternoon before making our drive south.  Homeward.  I know that this … our house in Oregon … is my home.  But this home, where I grew up, it is still so very much my home too, that it always hurts to leave.  But that hurt is good because it just means we’ll be all the more excited when it comes time to go back.  Back up i-5, to Grammie and Papa’s we’ll go.  <3

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  • Mom - What a fun, family-filled weekend. I love being able to re-live it as many times as I want to by visiting your blog. Wonderful photos and a lovely tribute to your dad!
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

My mornings typically go like this:  wake up, surprised I slept through my husband getting ready and leaving for work.  Convince myself that working out will start my day off right and even though sleeping is so much more desirable, I roll out of bed and get my work-out on.

Onto coffee …

It used to be that I could get my coffee, read my Bible, even blog and work on CM for a bit before the house would stir.  But lately, as soon as my coffee starts to brew a little blondie emerges from his room and thunders down the stairs.

I admit … I used to be a little disappointed.  Starting the day off with that quiet time was always so good for me.

But, of course, it wasn’t the only good way my morning could start.

And certainly, spending time alone with this little man and letting him know that I would joyfully start my morning with him is way more powerful than having alone time and insisting he stay in bed for longer.

Eventually, our time is no longer just ours …

… and sometimes my ‘no electronics’ before school rule is broken.

I’m so glad when God shifts my hard-headed, sometimes stubborn self to see a new perspective on something I thought was the end-all-be-all for what’s ideal in my life.  Yes, I’m grateful for the mornings when everyone sleeps in and the day starts a little more gradually, but how silly would I be to be anything but welcoming of a chance to start my day cuddling with one of my boys?  I’d be crazy.  ;)

 

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  • Mom - Wonderful, heartfelt post. And beautiful photos. You look a lot better than I feel in the mornings when the three of them jump into bed with me to watch Wild Kratts and Curious George when they are at Papa and Grammie’s house. :) Yes, Cooper is a cuddly guy!ReplyCancel

In the process of homeschooling and raising my boys, I have taught them many things.  I’ve helped open their eyes and their minds to concepts and methods and truths.  And it has been awesome each and every time.

But my favorite is when they discover something on their own, be it knowledge or a passion that sparks which they independently pursue.  Like Gage with drawing.  He started out sketching is own ideas and now is working on sketching out photographs that I took. This is nothing that I suggested or put into his lap.   I have my hand on a lot of things in their young lives so it gives me such joy to watch them embrace what is just theirs.

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It is a little like watching an act of God that is so clearly JUST Him.  When no one else can possibly get glory for the success, healing or positive turn of events but God.  I see the pictures Doot is creating and I say, “That is ALL you, Buddy.”  And I see so much of God’s work in my life and I say, “That is ALL you, God.”

And again, it is a little like coming upon a photo opportunity that is so simply perfect, needing none of my instruction, subject-shifting or lighting adjusting and I can truly say, “That was ALL you, Life.”  Authenticity is where it is at.  And I snap my shutter and in 1 fraction of a second reconfirm for myself why I love photography.

I love to capture the real life passions and moments in this life that God has gifted me.  My photography has so very little to do with me and everything to do with the blessings, big and small, that fill my everyday.  The more instruction I give for the photos, the more planning and manipulating of the scene… the more the images become a reflection of me as the artist and less of a reflection of life.  I’ve realized this is simply not so much my cup of tea because I’m not a sculptor or a painter, I’m a documenter and an observer.  In response to a photo I’ve taken, I have no interest in saying, “That was ALL you, Lacey” … Yes, times will come when that artistic hand is necessary or fun to exercise, but my heart will never pitter patter for those photos the way it does for the completely authentic, naturally beautiful moment, captured.

Thank goodness for Documentary Photography.  ;)

Happy Monday, friends. I hope your week has gotten off to a good start and just keeps getting better from here! <3 

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  • Auntie Dianne - I think that’s why I’d have a hard time be a portrait photographer. I took a Photoshop workshop over the weekend and was blown away by all the details most photographers mess with. I’m so glad with birth photography that I am just capturing and documenting a very special moment. Oh, sometimes I do have to edit things out…but we’ll leave that up to your imagination! :)ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie@LaDolceVita - Beautiful and so true. of late, I’ve seen some stunning photos, and then you read that the photographer pieced together three different photos and then further adjusted it. It is still beautiful art, but it is not authentic, and no one could truly have captured it. It still has beauty and value, but it isn’t real. Your photos are beautiful and real. Love them.ReplyCancel

  • Mom - Oh, sweet Doot. I just love his concentration. I’ve noticed lately that he’s becoming quite the conversationalist, and likes to describe things “in detail”! What a kick, this Mr. Decade!!
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

I’ve had very few pets in my life … one cat growing up (17-years), one cat by marriage (12-years), Bosley (our first golden, 10-years) and now, Charlie (2-years).  These critters find their way deep into my heart and have all known how to set up shop there.   We’re down to just Charlie now, and after we were away from him for 5 days I had a pretty good sense of how much he loves us and how much we love him.

He’s such a special boy.  ♥

I’m a big supporter of getting into photos with my kiddos, and I often do so by using the tips I shared HERE on Click It Up a Notch.  But it dawned on me that I haven’t done this with Charlie nearly enough.  Let me tell you … this is much more challenging than with my boys!  Hah!

Here’s how I did it:  My camera + 85mm 1.4 were on the tripod and I metered off of the grass to set my exposure.   I’d place a rock in the lawn to focus on, switch to manual focus, set my interval timer, run to sit where the rock was, then call Charlie over and he’d snuggle right up like he always does when I’m at his eye-level.  Unless he was already there, trying to run off with the rock that I’d locked focus on. ;)   Thankfully he stayed away from my tripod because he was either sniffing through my gardens in-between shots or snuggling with me.   Phew!  He also would just come when I’d call, but if your pet doesn’t I suggest having their favorite treat to use for bait.  And if your pet is little enough, just tuck them under your arm while you’re setting your timer and all that, then just carry them to the spot.

I took dozens of photos and got a handful of keepers, and was pretty exhausted from the process … but I’m grateful for the few I have that show what a sweet pup we’ve been blessed with.  So don’t forget to snuggle up with your fur-babies and capture the affection you share.  ♥

Thank you for visiting and for spending time with me on my blog!  <3 

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  • martha - What a great showcase of you & your pups connection. My furbaby seems to know the second I realize he is doing something cute and am about to click the shutter! I gotta get faster even with using my iphone. I will have to try the rock trick! ThanksReplyCancel

  • Mom - Oh, sweet Charlie Oscar Meyers. What a dear boy! You’ll need to frame one of those for sure. :)
    Hugs to Charlie
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Alyssa - Lacey! Thanks for this. It never occurred to me to get in the picture with my pup! I had planned on doing this with my children when I had some, but what a perfect idea to get in there with your pets. They sure do find a way into our hearts and their connection with us is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

This past weekend we had a house full!  We had a party to celebrate G&C’s birthdays and family over on Sunday to celebrate Easter, and my parents and oldest brother came down from Seattle to be present for both.  Our house was lively for sure.

And similar to my post HERE, I didn’t do much for documenting it … at least by my own documenting standards.  The images from the weekend may be few and they are certainly nothing to write home about, but I’m embracing the fact that that means I was present during the weekends’ activities.  I was able to host my guests, visit, and relax.  I’m feeling pretty sure these days that even if I have great photos of each event in our lives, my boys memories won’t so much be of the event when they look at the images, but of the fact that mom was behind the camera the entire time.  Anywho … enough needless defending of my lack of 50 photos for one 3-hour party.  Hah!  Onto the photos …

First, the boys’ party …

{I really intended on getting a good image of the ice cream cake to share with it’s recipe, because it was so stinkin’ simple and GOOD … but, we ate it all before I remembered.  It was inspired by THIS recipe, though I used chocolate fudge, Oreos, mint AND cookies & cream ice cream sandwichs.  YUM. }

After the party …

And then after brunch on Easter.  We went to the early service at church then had Matt’s family (and mine) here for good eats.  Then my mom got down to business of finishing her birthday gift to the boys … capes and masks, per their request.

Then Gage got down to business building one of his gifts …

And Cooper …. well …. acted like the goofy 8-year-old-boy that he is (with Grammie’s camera!).

Before my family headed home, Grammie wanted a photo of her boys with their new capes and masks …

… and I wanted a few photos of them in their Easter duds ….

… and like always, it took me finally taking a portrait of my boys all together to realize that they all desperately needed haircuts.

It was a full weekend with a house-full of friends and family and celebrations.  A perfect reminder of all that we have to be thankful for.  ♥

Thank you for visiting, friends!  Happy Thursday! ♥

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  • Robin - How do you get such great pictures in low light environments? This is my greatest frustration in taking pictures of our activities.ReplyCancel

  • Kjersten - I needed to see a picture of that cake cut :) That picture of cooper with your mom’s camera had me laughing so hard. I still am giggling just thinking about it. Love that boy! Awesome capes and Happy Birthday again to Gage and Coop! Love you all.ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Hah! I’m glad you liked that photo. ;) I was hoping it wasn’t too gross to share, but it is such a little boy thing to do. :) And darn! Now I have to make that cake again! :D I can’t wait! :) Love you, too!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - Can I just say, that even though I don’t “know” you…I feel like I do “know” you from just the little glimpse I get from your posts. I love reading about your family and seeing your everyday photos. You have such a beautiful family and you should know that the interactions shown in the photos as well as what you write, one cannot help but just smile. Thanks for sharing and making me smile.ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - This means so much to me to read, Shannon. Thank you so much for telling me this … keeping my images genuine is very important to me, so knowing you feel like you know us tells me I’m doing something right. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Mom - Thank you for the fun weekend, and thank you for preserving the memories in photos.
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Carol - Your three boys have got to be the three cutest boys in the universe!!! Sweet, sweet images of them.ReplyCancel