I wrote a tutorial for Clickin Moms recently on taking photos in the woods… it’s a tricky place to shoot thanks to mergers, lighting, and color casts/white balance and I thought maybe the things I’ve learned about shooting in the woods over the past 5 years may be helpful to others who love the great-outdoors (namely forests and trees) as much as I do.

What I didn’t expect was to be so thankful for the task of pulling together the images for this tutorial.   So often I take images, post them here, print them and put them in my albums nestled in between hundreds of other images.  A few stand out in my mind, but for the most part, I move on from the images I take because life moves on and I just continue shooting along with it.

Pulling the images for the tutorial on shooting in the woods created something new for me … I’ve never made a personal collection based on ONE subject.  My images usually tell the story of the event or activity, and move along chronologically.   But this collection strips away the story behind the image and focuses on simply: the Woods. And I am so incredibly grateful to have had reason to rediscover some favorite images and to get a solid look at how so much of our life is spent wandering in the trees.

So. This is Life.  In the Woods.

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Coast-20eveningwalk-131eveningwalk-63fireDITL-51townwalk-3Mud-14PDXbikeOwl-80_1KPartyFog-72trainingwheels-298

This is a collection that is sure to grow … inevitably, right? Since this is just where our life is lived.  ♥

Thank you so much for visiting, and enjoy your weekend!  <3

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  • Shannon - Gosh, these are beautiful!! There were so many that would literally take my breath away when I would see them. You do an amazing job taking photos in the woods!ReplyCancel

  • valerie a. - so neat to see these all together.
    And my goodness–BREATHTAKING! They are just phenomenal!!ReplyCancel

  • Erica Williams - These are amazing!!! The light, the softness in your images, the clarity, the colors all come together to form perfection. Love your work. I have always wanted to make the woods look soft and peaceful like you do in these images. They are perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Just WOW! Your pictures take my breath away.ReplyCancel

Have you ever watched a chick hatch?  I hadn’t either!  When our friends told us they were hatching some eggs, they were sweet and invited in some of ours.  So we tossed 3 fertile eggs (from our rooster, Ross, and our hens, Rachels) into their incubator and 21 days later, this happened!

I was thankful to have my friend’s knowledge as we neared the ‘birth’ of our babies because I knew nothing!  She’d just hatched 18 of her own so I trusted her expertise.  She told me that from first ‘pip’ to full hatch can take upwards of 12 hours and I’m glad she warned me because I would have thought these guys were goners since it ended up taking them between 8 and 12 hours for the entire process.

Matt noticed this one had pipped early in the morning and it wasn’t until after 7 that she (hopefully ‘she’) made her full-blown-entrance.  Hearing her peeping inside her shell all day long was quite amazing.  And I may or may not have stood over the incubator peeping back at her, trying to encourage her and let her know we were routing for her. ;) 

We could not take our eyes off of this baby as she worked so diligently to peck her way out of her shell …

We cheered each time a little shell would fall off and held our breath each  time she’d push against the top of the shell, expanding it, making us think that she would break though.

It was quite suspenseful!  Hah!

But Emma did it!  She popped out and was feisty and active from the get-go.

She bobbled all over the place and again, I was thankful that my friend told me this was normal because I would have again, thought she was a goner by how much she’d flop and then lay their heaving for breath.

Once we felt pretty good about her outlook, we got back to enjoying watching her first taste of life on the other side of her shell.

Since she kept bopping into her sisters’ shells, we moved her into a tub in the sink after about 3 hours where she finished drying off and kept on peeping and chirping.

Around 6 the next morning her sister (hopefully ‘her’ ‘sister’) was born and I watcher her pop out in between sets of my workout. ;)

And then later that afternoon, about 12 hours after she first pipped, the last chickie worked her way out ….

And from the second she broke free she was all like, “HELLO – WORLD!” and wouldn’t stop chirping loudly from inside the incubator.  Her sisters cuddled in the corner of their tub that was closest to her and chirped their heads’ off back at her.

She was all scraggly looking but was practically running around the inside and after 2 hours, she joined the others in the tub.  They all quieted down after that. ;)

We moved them out to their bigger home …

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A few days later, this was Emma.  First born to Ross and a Rachel.

I gave it a go trying to photograph all 3 together, but that was too hard.  And I was worried they’d all start running in different directions and I’d have a big problem.

Two weeks later, we felt the need to get more.  We don’t really know if any of our 3 babies are actually girls, so on the off chance that Emma, Salt and Pippa are all roosters, we went to Wilco and brought home 3 more babies.  90% sure these ones are hens.  <3

I hate to play favorites, but how can I not with this one??

She’s an Americauna …. otherwise known as an Easter Egg Chicken.  She’ll lay different colored eggs.  I can hardly wait for that to happen.

I’m pretty sure she’s part chipmunk though.

Which is even more fitting that she’s mine because I looked like a chipmunk with my big ol’ cheeks when I was a little girl.

Chickies are fun.  They are fascinating to watch hatch and to learn how they develop within their egg (like how they eat the yoke and are surrounded by the ‘white’ for protection).  The entire process is really remarkable but often happens without anyone giving it a second thought.  Until you see it.  And then, well … your appreciation for God’s creation grows. 

 

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  • Alyssa - I have been WAITING for this post! I wanted to see your chicks! How adorable is that chipmunk chicken?! Oh my goodness! I love it! Thanks for sharing, Lacey!ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - :) Thank you, Alyssa! Isn’t she cute?? I’m excited to see what she looks like when she’s full grown. :)ReplyCancel

  • candy - it didn’t dawn on me until the end of the post when you said Emma was first born to Ross and Rachel did I get the Friends reference. Then followed by Salt & Pippa! So cute!ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Hah! Yes, I’m a bit of a fan. And it cracks me up that my boys just go with the names and have, obviously, never watched Friends. ;) They do know who Salt and Pepper are thanks to that recent commercial … but we had to change Pepper to Pippa when she started lightening up so much. ;)ReplyCancel

  • Carol - Those little chickies are so sweet! You are going to have such fun watching their antics as they grow. What fun to see the different colored eggs coming from one hen.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Thanks for sharing this Lacey. I am glad to hear about this experience as my husband is incubating turkey eggs for the first time and, like you, I would have thought the babies weren’t going to make it with the process you described.

    And I love the images you were able to capture during this process. Can you tell me what lens you used for the images of the chick hatching and the close up of the chicks?ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Hi Jennifer! You’re so welcome! I took all of these with my 35mm 1.4. :)ReplyCancel

It’s a little baffling to me that I’m writing this right now from my front porch at 4:30 in the afternoon and hear nothing but the chickens clucking and my own clickity-clicking on the keyboard.  Me-time.  There was a point in my life as a young mother (my oldest is almost 10, so I think that graduates me out of the ‘young mother’ category, right?) that I was pretty sure this would never come.  That was the point in my life when every minute of the day one of the three boys, my husband, or my dog would need something from me.  I wasn’t bitter or anything, but tired and stretched pretty thin.

I had no place to desire Me-time, I figured.  I chose this lifestyle, after-all.  I chose to stay home, I chose to homeschool, and chose to have 3 children.  I had no place to long for quiet ‘me’ time, let alone complain about not having it.  I of course did both of those things, but felt very guilty about it.  ;) And this coming from a mama who’s kiddos did nap well, who has a very supportive, involved husband and extended family who asked for their time with just the boys.  And I still felt the longing for more and the guilt over it grew.

I was pretty sure something was wrong with me for wanting time away from my children, until I realized that it was not them I wanted time away from. It was that I just wanted time away from me as a mom.

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And now with ‘Me-time’ happening almost daily now … mind you, I’m a homeschooling mama, so I feel this development is shocking … I don’t long for it anymore since it just happens.  Sometimes, they wander outside and play while I do stuff inside.  Or I’ll come out to blog or work, like I am now, and they’ll be content playing together inside.  Matt will come home from work and take them for a hike or bike ride or go out and shoot bows.  I also get up earlier than them and start they day at my pace rather than theirs (which tends to be a lot faster and louder than mine).  And sometimes, I’ll just tell them that I need some quiet time to myself after school and they happily run off in the opposite direction.  Or on a bigger scale, their Mimi will ask to have them over for a slumber party, their Grammie will have them for a week in the summer or their Papa will take them to a knife show for the weekend.  All of this I could label as ‘Me-time’ but now, I see it as ‘Their-Time’.

Their time to be loved on by others without me being actively present.  To feel how blessed they are to have these other people in their lives.  To spend time just with their brothers.  Or just their dad or grandparents.  I used to feel guilty for feeling like I needed this time, when really, these boys needed it just as much as I do.  Because honestly?  I am not the best person for them all the time, every second of every day.  I’m just not.  There are times when they will be blessed more by our family and close friends than they would be by me, at that time.  There are times when I am, for whatever reason, not filling up their cups with immense blessings.  And my moody emotional self may be bringing them down a bit.  Well, thank God for putting others in their lives who are ready and willing to boost them back up.  And in the process, me too. 

My best friend and I began trading kiddos once a week.  Every-other Wednesday I have her kids and on the opposite days she has mine.  For just a few hours but MAN, did I ever think this opportunity for ‘Me-time’ was fantastic.  But I’m sure you can imagine that for my boys,  getting to count on spending play time with their best friends once a week is even MORE fantastic than the alone time is for me.  I didn’t anticipate it, but I see it now, and that has changed how I look at my time away from them.  I no longer see it as primarily for me.   It really is for them.  And as moms, isn’t the feeling of doing something for ourselves the cause of a lot of guilt? Seeing how ‘their-time’ is truly a gift for them (and usually for the people they are spending this time with, too) that guilt is replaced with joy.

I used to think that every chance we could get, Matt, the boys and I should be together as a family.  Every chance.  I saw that as the best way to bless our boys.  But as I sit here finishing this post (a day after I started it), while the boys are off on a hike with just their dad, the reality is some of my best mothering comes from lovingly, joyfully, and graciously stepping back and out of their activity.

A few things though … my boys are almost 10, almost 8, and 5.  This mentality was a lot less easy to run with when they were 5, 3, and 1. Also, I feel my attitude and intentions about this ‘time’ are so important.  I don’t feel entitled to this ‘Me-time’.  Even if the boys are outside playing and I’m concentrating on critiques, they can interrupt me anytime they need to.  As they’ve grown they recognize my need for concentration, so most of the time, they are thoughtful about what needs my immediate attention.  But if they came to me for something and I growled at them, we no longer have a blessed situation.  And if I feel entitled to it, it just feels sad and all about me.  I can’t feel good about that.  I will absolutely tell them on occasion that I need some quiet time … (this quiet time doesn’t even need to be 30 minutes … 10 minutes’ll do the trick for me) … and then when we all come back together I know they see that I’m recharged and refreshed.

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When they are grown, I don’t believe they will necessarily remember exactly how much time we spent together and apart.  I just think they will remember the joys of those times, regardless of whom they spent it with.  I do hope they’ll find joy in remembering that they had people besides their mom who loved them and wanted to contribute to filling up their cup of blessings.  And that their mama was in a happy, refreshed, energized yet relaxed mood a lot of the time … sometimes as a result of the time we spent apart.

Thanks for visiting and reading my thoughts, friends.  I always appreciate that you take the time to be here for a moment of your day!  ♥

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  • valerie abenroth - lovely! I whole-heartedly agree! There is nothing like recharging!ReplyCancel

  • Kallie - thank you. Thank you. Great post.ReplyCancel

  • Mom - I think that’s a wonderful perspective, and such sweet images of cuddly Tado. Papa and I are really looking forward to GCK filling up OUR cups of blessing this weekend!
    XOXOXO to GCK from GrammieReplyCancel

  • Carla Bagley - I agree with every word!! There should be not guilt when mothers have ‘me-time’ it should be a chance to refresh, recharge and for our little ones to have time with others. To learn Mama returns and others in her place will love on them.ReplyCancel

  • Alyssa - Beautifully said, Lacey!ReplyCancel

  • Rachelle - I’ve followed your blog for a long time now but never posted. This post though…I swear you could be writing about me and it gives me so much hope for a light at the end of a tunnel. My littles are 5, almost 4 and almost 2. I chose this life and yet I often find myself running out of patience, feeling stretched thin and not being the kind of mom I want to be. Thank you for your honesty. It is so helpful to know that I’m not alone on this journey.ReplyCancel

    • Lacey - Awe, Rachelle! <3 I totally understand what you're saying and I think most moms do. I pray you find moments in your day for quiet and calm and stillness. It is amazing what even 5 minutes of that can do for you. :) You are certainly not alone! <3ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Great point of view. Thanks for your honesty and your willingness to share.ReplyCancel

  • Carol - Thanks for a great post! I am so blessed that my husband and I get to spend time with our grandchildren. It is a gift from my children and spouses to us.ReplyCancel

Sometimes on Saturday mornings, he wakes me up.  A treat, because it means I slept in! 

And sometimes, I get to watch him wake up.  A special treat for oh so many reasons.

Seeing the bed-head before it gets calmed down.  That is definitely one of the reasons watching him wake up is such a treat.  It is something to behold. :)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend… soak in your Saturday morning.  <3

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  • Mom - What a doll-baby! I know from experience why he has such a wild bed-head. It’s because he spins like a top all night long! Notice he’s waking up perpendicular!
    XO to Tado
    XOXO to G&C tooReplyCancel

I admit… I generally think of my boys as a unit.  I’m always with them together and they are always together.  My individual time with them is pretty limited to moments here and there throughout our day.

It felt wonderful, then, to steal Cooper away one morning and head up to the top of the property together.  Just him and me. 

And Charlie, of course.

Cooper’s my boy that amazes me every day.  He challenges me every day, too, with his mix of emotions and questions and fluctuations of mood.  And I think that is why time alone with him, to hear just his voice and to see him behave just based on his choices with no influence from this brothers, was such a pleasure.  And is a reason why little get-aways like this need to keep happening.

And then there’s this guy.  Who could not have been more excited about our morning adventure.

He probably saw a squirrel.

Time with one of my favorite kids and our crazy, digging, pup.  Watching the sunrise.  That’s a pretty sweet way to start the day.  ♥

Thanks for visiting my blog!

And, please, don’t be offended by my cap-gun carrying child.  Whether it is with a cap-gun or a light-saber, protection against predictors is a priority to him. ;)  This is just so HIM, right now. :) 

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  • Carol - Such a blessing to have that one on one time with him. The light is incredible in these photos!ReplyCancel

  • Mom - I can tell you were beyond happy about the light that God provided for your early-morning outing with the two blonde “C’s.” This was a fun post :)
    XOXOXO to GCK from Grammie
    Hugs to CharlieReplyCancel