I am a God-loving, husband-adoring, mybabyboys-hugging, mind-reeling, photo-taking, life-documenting, yummyfood-cooking, garden-planting, country-living girl. Writing about life, with boys, in the sticks...
this is life... with boys... in the country...

Monday, December 27, 2010

I’ve Moved!


That’s my new address.  :) 

Honestly, moving is hard for me even if it is just to a new blog and address.  I was born in the house that I lived in until I moved away to college.  I went to one college for 3.5 years, then got married and moved to the property I now live on.  And I have no doubt that Matt and I will grow very old in the house we built here together.  Only 3 moves in nearly 30 years.  I’m not a mover – I like to settle in my roots and grow like crazy from that comfy, familiar spot.

So, to only have been at my blogspot.com address for about 8 months and to already be moving… goofy as it may seem, its hard for me! 

Mostly because I’m sentimental, though. Life With Country Boys was the little bridge that connected me and you.  It got me hooked on blogging and opened my eyes to the hilarity that is my boys… and my life. 

But, Blogspot has its limitations and as I officially launch my photography business I believe it is important for me to own (or at least rent) my own space on the World Wide Web.  Doing so will HOPEFULLY make Google my friend and marketing agent, and bring new mamas and their newborns my way.  My new blog is the store-front for my business and is a blog-site, where all of my business information will be held, such as session details and pricing, as well as my portfolio and client proofing. There might be a few more business posts … like, about print and press products and new props I’ve purchased, but for the most part, nothing is changing. 

Plus, I was tired of my titles not being properly punctuated!  See, the apostrophe is missing up there! Grr!

I’ll STILL be posting about my country boys and thank the Lord, I was able to transfer all 203 posts over to my new address.  So, its all there.  I would have wept and not been nearly as joyful about this move had that transfer not been successful.  Goofy, I tell ya!  Anyway, the content will be the same, because that is what makes it mine and entertains you.   

Plus, my new blog is prettier and feels good. Posting there makes me feel like such a big girl. 

I hope you’ll come with me and let me know what you think of the new place.  Point out quirky things and help me decide which gallery option is better for my portfolio.  :) 

Okay, I’m heading over there to talk to you (or rather, show you) about my Christmas… let’s go! 


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!


Love, Matt, Lacey, Gage, Cooper & Kaden.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy First Birthday, Tado

I admit – I am a sappy, nostalgic person who loves a trip down memory lane.  I can get lost (on my own!) remembering back on things. I get almost giddy thinking back that “ooh… one year ago, right now Gage and Cooper were sleeping over at Mimi’s just like they are right now!  And I was freaking out about being in premature labor!”  I’m sort of a dork that way.  I’ll fog over as I think about the details of events, big and small, in my life.  Trips, graduation, Matt’s proposal, my wedding, gatherings with friends.  The births of my children.  I think that is why me and photography go hand-in-hand along our merry way because seeing the photos from those events brings the memories flooding back. 

  So, I assure you that by remembering back on Kaden’s birth, ONE year ago today, I am not getting hung-up in the past and his dramatic little entrance into the world.  I don’t define him by it.  I’m just reminiscing, fondly on the memory.  I no longer feel saddened or quite as ‘jipped’ by the experience (I really wanted to savor my final pregnancy and labor).  And it certainly isn’t on his mind, ever.  I just like to remember.  His beginning, the generosity and love that flowed from our friends and family, and the lessons of patience and trust that the Lord granted me through the experience. 

Here are some photos of his beginning…      K5K4K3K9K10

(I think this is the only picture that shocks me into remembering how bitty he was…)


And here are some of him now…

Dec-19-2010_7643 Dec-19-2010_7646 Dec-19-2010_7823 Dec-19-2010_8015 Dec-19-2010_8024 Dec-19-2010_8029 Dec-19-2010_8031 Dec-19-2010_8035 Dec-19-2010_8050



Yes, clearly he’s moved on from his time in the NICU.  :)  He’s a goofy, happy, energetic kiddo on the verge of toddlerhood and there’s no looking back for him.  We love our little KadeyKade.

Happy Birthday, Tado.  Here’s to where you’ve been and where you’re going.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Salt Dough Ornaments and Internet Friends

Random title, but I’m lacking creativity and running on E after shopping most of the day… poor me.  :)  Today was a WONDERFUL girls’ day and I’m thinking a new Christmas (shoot, monthly!) tradition was born… perusing the shops at Monticello’s in Portland.  Thanks for the perfect time, Meliss (and Ellie), although I still can’t stop thinking about the chalkboard and scale…

Anywho – back to my odd sounding title.  Through the internet (particularly Clickin’ Moms), I’ve formed friendships with women across the country.  We find each other through our common interests and friendships start because we can relate.  Remember how fun it was to have a pen-pal when you were young?  Its like that, but better!

Marie is one such gal… she has 3 boys as well, although her youngest two (Kaden’s age) are twins! We chat about motherhood, our kiddos and photography and enjoy relating (often empathetically!) to each other’s experiences. In a recent email she told me about making Salt Dough Ornaments with her 3-year-old and of course, sparked the idea in me to do this with my boys, too.  How excited were they to work on their own project in the kitchen?  Completely. 

Such simple ingredients…    Dec-16-2010_7500

Rolling out the dough…


Cutting out the shapes…


Carefully picking them out…


Two hours of baking…


Playing with the left over dough…


I’m not sure…


And of course, painting them…


Sometimes, most of the time my brain is missing its ability to think up fun, creative, meaningful things for my kids to do.  I’m not shy to admit that and to give credit to those Mamas who DO come up with these ideas!  It is yet another reason to be very thankful for ‘Mom’ friends.  It’s like we’re a team and when we put our minds together we can do pretty cool things… and best of all, our kiddos really benefit!

(Don’t worry, I’ll get back to Tado tomorrow.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Often Can’t Help But Think

… about Kaden’s itty-bitty pod-mates in Doernbecher’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at OHSU.  We’re closely nearing the one-year-anniversary of our little boy’s birth, and with that, the anniversary of his time spent in the NICU.

If you don’t know already, Kaden was born at 34 weeks and without the ability to efficiently breathe or eat on his own.  It is impossible not to reflect on how far he’s come since those first 3 weeks and to find such joy in his progress. 

Yet I can’t let go over wondering about the babies he shared his pod with.  At OHSU, there are over 20 ‘pods’ in the NICU – sectioned off areas in the ward that contain between 4 and 6 babies, depending on the equipment and care they need.  Each pod would have its own nurse, pediatrician and so on.  Everyday when I’d arrive, I would walk from the hand washing area, past 5 other pods and often saw the same parents standing over their child’s incubators or holding their baby or visiting with doctors.  Most often though, I’d just see the babies.  On their own resting in their designated beds.  Nobody there with them except the nurses working to maintain their unstable little life.  


During Kaden’s 18 day stay, he remained in the same pod and was cared for by only a handful of nurses.  He was in a pod with other babies that necessitated minimal care and he held the role of “the quiet one”.  Several other babies came through Pod 6 during his time, but many of them were there long enough for me to become emotionally attached to their story.

The 2-pounder who was born to teen-aged parents, at 32-weeks... who had the darkest head of hair I’ve ever seen and who’s foot was the width of my pinky.

The almost term little-guy, born to an meth-addicted mom, who visited him once before escaping the hospital and never coming back.  A week or so later, I was there when a foster parent, bless her heart, came to take the baby away. 

The little girl, McKenna, who was born with her insides on the outside and who had, at 6 weeks, had already underwent 4 surgeries.  I comforted her often, because she cried… a lot.  Because she couldn’t eat anything.  She was scheduled for several more surgeries and I was there when her teenaged parents were told that the doctors believed she had some sort of nerve damage as well, preventing her from being able to open her left hand.

The 33-week boy… the 6th child to a woman who could have passed for my age, yet had children in their teens.  She couldn’t speak English and had a difficult time understanding why she couldn’t take her boy out of the incubator to hold him and why he may have to be there for another 4-weeks.  Her 10 year-old daughter translated as best she could. But struggled to deliver the information and the questions.    

And Asher.  The twin born at 32-weeks on Christmas Day, from an emergency c-section after the doctors discovered that the other twin had died.  I had to choke back tears while Asher’s mom and dad told me the story while we washed our hands together one morning.  They were so calm and matter-of-fact and clearly just thankful for the son they did have.  

And the little girl, born term during an emergency c-section because her momma was in a car-accident and brought into the ER.  I remember crying a lot over that story.  I asked for the privacy walls to be put around me and Kaden, and I just cried.  Thank the Lord, the baby’s momma ended up surviving her injuries and was united with her newborn the following day. 

Dec-11-2010_7405I think about those little ones all the time and of course more now, knowing that they are all coming up on their first birthdays, too.  Are they laughing and playing and thriving as Kaden is?  Do they have complications?  I wonder, and I’ll never know.  Which is strange because in the pod, every time I’d hear one of their heart or oxygen alarms going off (as a warning that their rates were dipping to low or spiking too high) I’d panic as if they were my own. I’d stand and wait while the nurse would check the baby and jostle them back to breathing or watch as their heart would pick up the pace… and then look at me and smile, and assure me they were okay.

I was emotionally attached and oh. How I pray they are now thriving.     Dec-11-2010_7398

I’ve thanked the Lord for the past 363 days that my baby is. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SO Big

 I was really hoping on sharing photos today from our time this weekend with my family in Seattle but much to my annoyance, my computer is too full of stuff and loading the photos onto my hard-drive is not going to happen.  At least not until I either A) transfer 200 GB off of my C Drive or B) install more RAM.  Whatever and however I do that, I don’t know.  So, in few hours when the 10,000 or so items have transferred from my C Drive to my external hard drive, and I delete them, I’m crossing my fingers that I can load the 400 photos from my memory card onto my system to work with.  Ah…  too much information for you, I’m sure. 

Anywho… here are some photos I’m happy to share in the mean-time! 

Growing up, whenever we’d have something kind of stuck in our throats, causing us to cough, my mom would encourage us to do ‘SO Big!’ which meant, lifting up our arms into the air.  I have no clue if it actually helps in the choking situation, but it turns out to be a pretty cute thing to teach an almost-one-year-old to do…

  “Kaden is SOOOOO Big…”  gets this reaction out of him… Dec-13-2010_7289SOBig1SoBig2Dec-13-2010_7302  Clearly, judging by the 50 or so images I took of him doing this the other day at breakfast (hence the unfortunately placed banana peel in the foreground of the frame) I got quite a kick out of this new game.

  As did he. 

  And Gage, who was the one shouting the phrase at Kaden over and over, simultaneously throwing his arms up into the air as well, enjoyed it a lot, too.  

  Gosh, I love this age. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Five on Friday

1.  I don’t know how many times I hugged and kissed my boys yesterday, but I think I set some sort of record.  (See yesterday’s post) I couldn’t get enough of their warm skin, silly comments, and contagious laughter…

2.  … until 8:30pm when Cooper came out of his room for the third time with some made up goofy excuse for why he had to come talk to us.  Then, I was ready for his day to be done. The first time – to go potty, again.  The second time – to put his water cup outside his door so he didn’t drink too much.  The third time -  to put his cardboard paper airplane outside the door because he decided he didn’t want it in is room, on his floor anymore, making a mess.  Hmm.  He’s been doing this more and more and it totally reminds me of my brother, Bart.  When we were kids, we had rooms across the hall from each other and EVERYNIGHT, about 10 minutes after saying prayers and goodnight to my mom, he’d have to get up, walk down the hall and call upstairs “Goodnight, Daddy… Goodnight, Mommy…” “Goodnight, Barty” they’d say.  EVERYNIGHT. 

3. In case I didn’t mention it, Matt did end up having a successful bow hunt this year for deer.  He actually got one on Thanksgiving, about 45 minutes before we were to have dinner.  It was awfully convenient timing and right after my in-laws left from dinner Matt went out and found it exactly where he’d expected to.  :)  To make the kill even sweeter, he shot the buck with a longbow that he made.  How’s that for self-sufficiency? 

4.  I feel like I’m cheating on this blog… I’m in the process of creating a new one.  A brand spankin’ new blog… but more to come on that later. 

5.  Do you watch The Sing Off??? I should have posted about it weeks ago because the finale is this coming Monday.  This show (in my opinion) is the BEST reality talent show on TV.  I say that lightly, though, because other than So You Think You Can Dance is the only other one I watch.  But seriously, The Sing Off is amazing.  And it helps that Matt enjoys watching it, too. 

6.  I can’t leave without a photo of my almost-one-year-old.    Dec-11-2010_7401 YUM!  Don’t you just wanna kiss that cheek???

Have a joyous weekend!