Adventures with the Self-Timer

September 13, 2017

I remember being a new mom scrolling through my camera roll. There were hundreds of pictures of my baby and my baby with daddy, but NONE of me. Sound familiar?  I decided then and there that it had to change! All I wanted is to be in the frame with them---for them to see my exhausted, happy mama eyes. So that's where my adventures in the self-timer world began.

I'll never forget the first picture I took by myself. I remember exactly what I was wearing and how I was feeling. I was a new mom to baby Rigg and all I wanted was to be in the frame with him. I was a sweaty, hot mess by the end of the photo trying to get a good one. I propped my iPhone camera up on my nightstand against a lamp, i was holding my 2 month old in my arms, and i set the camera countdown for 10 seconds. And I ran! AS FAST AS I COULD. It didn't really work out for me that first time but it has been a lot of trial and error for me over the years. I think the most important thing to remember is that the picture you want, is probably not the picture you will get. They always turn out a little different than I expect, but I have learned to embrace that.These photos have turned into my very favorite memories.


Fast forward 4 years and I have posted my 200th photo in the Instagram hashtag #lacyselftimer . I have tears in my eyes looking through 200 photos from that silly hashtag where I am actually in the frame with my children. Where you can see the joy bursting at my mama seams. It's not always easy taking photos myself (especially when I tape my iPhone to the ceiling), but it's ALWAYS worth it. 150%. PROMISE.200 photos I otherwise wouldn't have with my family. 200 photos that my husband didn't have to take for me:)

I'm writing this blog post because I have had a ton of messages and e-mails lately asking about taking pictures yourself. I'm no expert, but I've had a lot of fun learning through trial and error! I'm going to answer those questions below for anyone else who has the same questions. I also want to empower you to stop making excuses as to why you aren't getting in the frame! Sooooo whatever your status is today---sweatpants & no make-up & 20 pounds more than your goal weight & dark circles under your eyes--I promise that you will never regret being in more pictures with your children!

Here are some of my favorite captures from over the years!


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS--

DO YOU USE A REMOTE?

Sometimes. But sometimes I don't have it with me. When I don't have the remote, I just set up the 10 second timer and RUNNNN. A Bluetooth remote is 100 times easier and the pictures always turn out better for me, but my kids love the 10 second countdown. They think it's fun and if they think taking pictures is fun, I'M ALL FOR IT! One downside to a remote is that it's difficult at times to hide it from showing in the picture. If you look hard enough, you can spot the remote in my hand in a lot of the photos! I linked the ones I use below. Just make sure the remote/s are compatible with your iPhone and/or camera! I have an iPhone 7.


DO YOU USE YOUR IPHONE FOR ALL YOUR PICTURES?

Most of the photos I take are with my iPhone. They aren't always the best quality but you can't really tell that by a little Instagram square. I use my Canon 5D Mark II on occasion when I am actually planning out a photo shoot or for a holiday. It's all about cropping and editing and cropping some more! I use Snapseed, VSCO & sometimes PicTapGo.

DO YOU USE A TRIPOD?

Sometimes! I keep my tripod in my car and put it in my stroller if we are going somewhere fun where I want to take a photo. A majority of my photos are taken by placing my iPhone in the cup holder of my stroller. Easy Peasy. I prop the phone up on fences, chairs, baskets and other dangerous places too. I'm honestly shocked my phone is still alive:) I linked the tripods I have below.

HOW DO YOU GET ABOVE ANGLE SHOTS?

There are a few different ways I've done this. First, I take my tripod and prop it up high on something...for example, on a chair or in the stroller. That is how I snapped the photo below where we are in the pool. I make sure the phone and tripod are both secure, I link my iPhone camera up to my Bluetooth remote & I snap away! Another way is I get the above angle is by using blue painter's tape on the ceiling or wall. The ones above my bed are mostly done with the iPhone being taped to the ceiling and I'm taking the pictures with a remote! This can be dangerous so BEWARE! The phone will fall on your head if not secure. Not that I know from experience or anything:) I also own a selfie stick (i know, embarrassing) and I have used that and propped it up on things to get the height I want.
 

 HOW DO YOU KEEP THE PHOTO IN FOCUS?

When I'm taking photos with my iPhone I don't really seem to have problems with things being in focus. I set my phone up where I want it, I tap the screen to make sure the lighting is right, and then we do our thing. It's a different story with my Canon 5D Mark II. If you are taking a shot with your DSLR, make sure your children are in the frame and focus the camera on them. Then when you hop in the picture near your kiddos, you will be in focus too. If I'm taking a photo on a blank wall and no one is in the photo yet, I get a little piece of blue tape and put it up where I want to stand, then I focus the lens on the tape and jump in the photo in front of the tape! I'm definitely not perfect at focusing and a lot of the times it's definitely trial and error. I'm sure real photographers have more wisdom about this topic. My pictures sometimes turn out a bit blurry, but I kind of like it. Life is a bit blurry sometimes.
 

HOW DO YOU GET YOUR CHILDREN TO TAKE THE PICTURE?

Key word: treats:)
I make it fun by letting Riggins or Gibson hold the remote and snap the photos. They LOVE this.
I also like to set up the camera secretly by propping it up somewhere or using my tripod and then i just go and play with them.A lot of the times, they have no idea we are even taking photos and those are my favorite kind! We all want photos to be in the moment, so this is how I can achieve the candid shots.

ANY OTHER ADVICE?

Just some friendly advice..I like to get a good family photo if we go somewhere cool or on a special holiday. I try to do it right at the beginning to get it out of the way so we can put our phones/cameras away and have fun. Then I sometimes sneak in a few self-timer shots if I run to the bathroom with the kids or something. I just don't want obsessive picture taking to ruin the fun! #youknowwhatimsaying? Because nothing is more annoying to me than saying "Take our picture, take our picture" every 20 seconds. Just focus on one good family photo and then try to let it go and enjoy the moment.

The key to getting good self-timer photos is taking lots of pictures. Lots and lots. The remote I have allows you to hold it down and it takes a burst of photos. I know that I'll have one good one in the 50 picture burst!And lots of patience at first! Once you get the hang of it, it can be faster than having a stranger snap a photo for you! Because seriously people, strangers always cut off my head.

Whipping out a tripod in a public place and taking your own pictures can be embarrassing at times. I've definitely gotten over that hump. But if that is something that makes you feel weird, try to find some secluded areas where no one will see you!  The pictures will be better when you don't feel awkward that people are watching you and you won't feel rushed. And I love when a stranger comes and asks if they can take the picture because I look like I'm struggling, and then I end up liking the pictures I took more! Make sure you try different angles. Challenge yourself. Set the phone on the ground and shoot up. Put your tripod as high as it goes and get on the ground with your kids and shoot down. I have realized that my favorite self-timer shots are the ones taken at cool angles...and no one will even know you took it yourself!!! THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX.

Also, a good self-timer photo doesn't have to be perfect. The lighting doesn't have to be just right. There doesn't need to be the coolest background ever. You don't have to be wearing a hat :) I'm sorry if my photos are leading you to believe all that CRAPPITY-CRAP. All that matters is that if it has you and your children in the frame together, it's perfect in my book!

So good luck, friends! Let me know if any of this was confusing or if you have any more questions! GET IN THE FRAME!!!!




Advice for my littles & a rad pair of jeans

June 11, 2017

 pants: Liverpool Jeans
I want you to know that I am more fully me, because of you, my sweet littles. The whole world is in front of you and I can't wait to see what you do with it. Travel everywhere. Take risks. Go on rad adventure after rad adventure. Fight for what you believe in. Laugh...a lot. Watch out for mean people. Don't be mean. Be brave and never let others tear you down. Keep your eyes and ears and heart wide open at all times. And if you feel small in the great wide world, be still.
Remember who you are and where you came from. Be a leader, not a follower. Always remember you have a mom and dad who love you beyond comprehension. Don't settle. Being smart is cool. Fight off thoughts of comparison. Just know that stuff won't make you happy. You have more potential than you will ever know. Root people on. Cheer for others when they succeed and cry with them when they need a shoulder. Find people to love and love them hard. Serve others. Be generous with your time and heart. Don't ever lose yourself in another person. Pray daily. Eat your vegetables. Spend more time worrying about how beautiful you are inside than outside. If there is a single lesson that I could hope to impart to you, it's that you are a beloved child of God and your worth is beyond measure. Never ever forget that.


And on a totally unrelated note, these jeans are top notch! They are exactly what I am looking for when I'm doing the mom uniform thing...which is pretty much every single day! They have all the stretch and bend that you need when picking up toy after toy and chasing your little ones up and down stairs and beyond. If you're in the market for a great pair of jeans, follow the link and look at all the different styles!  Liverpool Jeans LIVERPOOL JEANS










The Rug Life

March 13, 2017

It all started when my 2-year-old spilled a tall glass of green smoothie all over my new rug. My expensive new rug. (Everything is expensive when you are living on loans... lol). I felt my blood boiling and needed to take a breather in the closet to collect myself. I've always told myself that I don't want THINGS to be important to me. Sure, I want nice things in my home but I always want my children to know and feel that they are more important than the THINGS we collect. The new rugs we collect. I never want to get so angry at them that they feel sad and shamed that they had a smoothie spilling accident. That's where my new favorite rug on the planet comes in... Lorena Canals Rugs ! Have you heard of them? I've seen their company over Instagram and a lot of people have great things to say about their rugs. That's when I decided to try their product out for myself.
Oh, I just love my new rug! And the best part? It's machine washable. I literally jumped for joy when I found this out! No more worries about that green smoothie all over the rug. Machine washable rugs are the rugs that fit my life right now. With three children 3 and under, I wouldn't have it any other way! Every rug from Lorena Canals is handmade with love by artisans, crafting the highest quality products possible. And can we talk about the designs? Their are styles for your living room or for your playroom...the possibilities are endless. The rugs are also 100% cotton, eco-friendly, and have natural dyes. They have a new tropical vibe rug collection that I have been eyeing recently too. But isn't the one I picked gorgeous? I've literally moved it to every room in our house and it goes perfectly. Check out their site Lorena Canals rugs and I promise you won't be disappointed!



DockAtot Review

February 27, 2017

One of my best girlfriends just got pregnant for the first time and asked me, "What is my one baby must-have"? I've never answered a question faster in my life--MY DOCKATOT! It's a must have. A true life-saver!  I've always been a little worried about co-sleeping with my newborns until I was introduced to this awesome product. My husband and I are pretty hard sleepers and it is way too scary for me to have my newborn in our bed. I always wake up panicked and check if they are breathing and I just worry a lot about it. Well, that is until we tried out the DockAtot. I really don't have to worry anymore! 

  My new baby girl Monroe is about 4 weeks old now and I have no doubts it makes her feel safe & comfortable with those bumpers holding her in. We sometimes swaddle her and place her in it and we sometimes just let her arms and legs hang out. She doesn't really have a preference:) I have been sleeping better now with my newborn than I did with my 2 younger boys when they were her age. I owe it to the DockAtot and that my baby gets to sleep so close to me! 

If you're not into the whole-co-sleeping thing, that's ok! It can also be used for a changing pad, bonding, bed transitioning, tummy time, lounging, resting, playing, cuddling, etc. Really anything you want. Even for going on a picnic or to the beach. I plan on taking mine there this summer! 

Another big reason I love it is my boys know they can mess with her when she is in her DockAtot. I call it her "special bed" and they know they can't bug her when she's in there. I've even let my youngest son sleep next to her because I felt comfortable enough that she would be safe next to him! Oh, I just love it! 







Here are some other awesome benefits of the DockAtot: 
 
 

I'm so grateful for this product and it truly has been a lifesaver for us. I've had so many struggles this pregnancy and delivery, but I haven't had to struggle with the sleeping as much this time around! Thank youuuuuuuu!

Blah Social Media

January 10, 2017

Social media...I hate you but I love you. Instagram can be such a strange, inspiring, wonderful, frustrating place. I want to wring its neck on Tuesday and I wan to kiss its face off on Friday. I've had a really difficult time posting on social media lately.  It has been 2 weeks of radio silence and I honestly feel like I could delete it all and be happy as a clam. What's the point of all of it? There are some good moments of positivity for me, but lately I've felt like being in the moment with my family has made me 100 times happier. 

Last week I spent a good hour scrolling through my Instagram feed and I caught myself in the "grass is greener" trap. I found myself comparing every aspect of my life, both internal and external, to complete strangers. I was questioning my accomplishments, my quality of photos, my worth, my beige walls, everything that makes me, ME! We set this silly "trap" for ourselves and then we fell small. Why, oh why?

There is no win in comparison. And there's no love in comparison, either." Comparison is such a happiness killer, guys! Just because we see good in someone else's life, doesn't mean it takes away from the good things in your life. We have to remember we are comparing our behind the scenes with everyone else's highlight reel. Nobody is perfect and nobody has a perfect...even though some pictures portray perfection. So how do I get outta this trap? I put down my phone and started reminding myself what I have, who "follows" & "likes" me in real life, what makes me spectacular and all the talents and blessings I have been given. I started thanking Heavenly Father for making me special. We need to be thankful for what we have and celebrate our little "victories". All I keep coming back to during the new year is "enough". Because we are. I am. You are. 



I can't just erase my Instagram account because it has become a little business for me. I have collaborations to follow through on and products to take photos of. It has been such a great creative outlet for me in the lonely days of motherhood, but this 2 week break has been so good for my soul. I doubt I will ever stop trying to grow my feed and this tiny business of mine, but it's nice to have breaks once in a while to set new goals of putting down your phone and being present...especially in the 3 weeks before this baby girl joins our family.

And on a totally unrelated note, I can't press publish on this post until I mention the cutest maternity shop Audrey & Olive !
This turtleneck tunic is from their shop and I literally can't get enough of it. Their motto is "Pregnancy shouldn't mean having to compromise on style" & I love that! Their clothing can be worn pregnant or not, so I'm excited to wear this top after baby girl arrives too! Oh, I love a good shop find and I just felt like this one couldn't go without sharing! 



Baby Cubby Favorites

December 05, 2016

I can't tell you how much I've longed for a baby girl. My two boys are everything to me, but this pregnancy I couldn't stop daydreaming about what it would be like to add a baby girl to our family. And we finally are!!! The first thing I did was ask my girlfriends their favorite baby girl stores. I wrote down a list of about 15 stores and immediately became overwhelmed. I had nothing for a baby girl in my home, and the list of things I needed was longer than we could afford. That's when I was introduced to The Baby Cubby. Have you heard of it? It's a one-stop-shop that carries products from all the top brands in the business so I don't even need the long list of 15 stores anymore! Everything I could want or need for baby girl is in one place --The Baby Cubby!!! 

If I've seen you in the past week, I have surely expressed my love for this shop! I was introduced to The Baby Cubby a few weeks ago and have fallen madly in love. I recently received a knock on my door from the UPS man delivering my first package from them, and I was thoroughly impressed with the quality and timeliness of the delivery. Waiting patiently for orders for baby girl is just not my thing..ya know what i mean? :)

One of the many reasons I love The Baby Cubby is that they price match! Nothing makes me happier than finding an awesome product and then finding it for cheaper on Amazon or another shop. They guarantee that you are getting the best deal and I'm definitely all for that. That's definitely a rare quality to find in a baby store! Can you tell I'm excited about this new find of mine? 

Another reason I love The Baby Cubby  is because their team is made up of real parents like us, who know, test and use these products in their own homes. What's better than a real recommendation from another mom or dad friend? Nothing! They genuinely want to provide the best possible recommendations and service out there. 

A few of the other reasons I love The Baby Cubby: 

-The way they find the best and safest baby gear out there! They spend hundreds of hours researching for us! (Because no one's got time for that!)
-I've already mentioned this but it's worth another shoutout--They're committed to price match everyday! YESSS!
-They offer free shipping everyday at BabyCubby.com over $49
-They are great at engaging on social media 

I wanted to show you a few of my favorite things from them!! (links below to search specific items!)
You can read a little bit more about about this great company here – http://www.babycubby.com/about-us/