Averting Craziness (or at least trying to)

Our van is in the shop. It let us know it needed some affection only a mechanic could give it, so my little guy and I have been home.  A lot.  Last year we went through some significant vehicle issues, so I’m no stranger to living with limited transportation.  Unsurprisingly, it is not my favorite way to live.  I’m very grateful for a good house to live in, but sometimes I wouldn’t mind seeing a little less of it!  We have 2-3 more weeks to go and I’m already starting to go a bit stir crazy, so my son and I headed out with for a walk.  He brought snacks and I brought my camera.  When approaching craziness or discouragement (or a host of other things) it’s good to search for beauty!  It’s a balm for the soul.

Here are a few pictures from our walk:


This guy was tolerating me in hope of getting some food. Sadly, it was a total letdown for him.


Ahh…Fall…and the migration of egrets.


We walked onto the bridge and there was a little doe standing there. He moved fast, but man, was he cute! It was a great surprise for us.


In a sea of brown there was one blue flower. Way to defy your environment, little flower!


As we were walking home we noticed these two leaves which had landed in this position on the sidewalk. It looked like a flower or miniature tree or something. At any rate, I thought it was cool.


And one more picture. Cause it’s pretty.

I can’t say the craziness has been completely averted, but it’s at least been reduced a little bit!


Last night my son asked me to come out and see a Mockingbird in one of our trees.  Around here Mockingbirds are common, as in all over the place.  I think they’re pretty cool birds…any bird that make all the sounds it does has to be awesome.  However, he asked while I was having a conversation with DH, who’d only been home from work a few minutes.  Plus, the same child and I had watched the same mockingbird in the same tree just a few hours earlier.   As a result, I wasn’t overly thrilled to go running outside with him.  Thankfully I’m sometimes wise enough to go with what my kids are excited about and I went outside.

Part of the scene when I got there was just what I expected…a Mockingbird singing beautifully in the tree where he sings every day.  However, the scene in our driveway was gorgeous.  Leaning on the recycle bin stood my oldest son and on the pavement next to him lay my two younger children.  All three were just hanging out watching/listening to the bird.  It was a precious thing.  I smile just thinking about it.  I’ve heard lots of birds sing; sometimes I listen carefully, often I don’t.  But I’m so glad I took the time to listen last night.  I got to see my children enjoying God’s creation, which was more beautiful to me than any bird could ever sing.

2014-04-11 13.48.42


Several years ago I developed a passion for bird watching.  It’s a simple thing I found to be really centering, so to speak.  I discovered bird watching was a way to find beauty anywhere because they are everywhere.  For example, it might seem like a dirty part of the city, but birds are still there.  An empty field…more birds.  Near my hometown there’s a wastewater treatment plant that is a great place to see unique types of birds!  Spotting a bird reminds me of the beauty God created.

This morning I went for a walk around the lake pond near our house and discovered a visitor.  I didn’t have a camera with me other than my phone (which is horrible for pictures), so I went back later with my 3 yo.


One of the awesome things about being a parent is introducing your child to the world.  Helping them discover is truly an amazing experience.  I don’t usually try to ‘bird watch’ with my kids around, other than in our yard, because kids generally don’t love to sit quietly.  Or walk quietly.  Especially if they see a pine cone.  or a bug.  or a stick.  or a leaf.  or anything else remotely interesting.  While this trait is absolutely fantastic, is doesn’t lend itself well to bird observation.  Okay, that’s not entirely true.  It does allow one to see how quickly birds can scatter and hide….

On our way to the lake my son and I had several discussions about being *quiet* so we wouldn’t scare the big white bird. I also gave him a pair of binoculars so he could study nature on his own.  I have to say, despite being three years old and generally loud, he did very well on our walk!  I was able to get a few pictures of this beauty:


American White Pelican


American White Pelican.
And turtles.



…until my sweet boy forgot to be quiet.  Here is the Pelican flying away.




So we looked at the turtles instead.


My fellow birdwatcher.




For as long as I can remember Fall has been my favorite season.  The smell of the fallen leaves (though not so much the raking), the colors on the trees, the cooler weather, apple cider, spice donuts, etc.  Plus hay rides, pumpkins, bondfires….bliss.

Moving South has definitely put a damper on the Fall season.  However, when we moved here I was thrilled to learn that there are many trees with colorful leaves.  Not as colorful as at home, but still beautiful!  (The bonus of Fall in the South is knowing winter isn’t that long and Spring will soon be just around the corner!)

Yesterday afternoon I had a chance to go for a walk, without children, and savor a little bit of Fall.







And turtles.  Okay, not so much a Fall picture, but I took it on my walk because it was cool to see.  Every log, stump, etc. sticking up out of the water on my route had a turtle on it, soaking up the Fall sunshine.  It was a beautiful day.



Happy Fall!!



Love is complex.  It’s awesome.  It’s powerful.  It’s hard.  It’s messy.   It can feel random.  Sometimes it is doing the opposite of what you feel.  It’s hard, it’s glorious, it’s miserable, it’s beautiful.

And sometimes love is simply keeping ‘flowers’ in the window long past their prime and smelling them upon request.


Two pics


I’m slowing down in my beauty challenge!  Only two pictures today.  Maybe that means I’ll start posting more words soon?


IMG_5900 jpg B

Hopefully I’ll have few more peppers before winter. And I’ve got pretty flowers to look at!



IMG_5955 jpg B

The clouds were incredible all day yesterday. Sadly, I didn’t get chance to take pics until evening, but here is a glimpse at sunset from my deck.


What beauty have you seen today?




another photo dump…I mean well planned post

Well, I haven’t forgotten the beauty challenge, though I haven’t been great at posting (I did warn you).  Tonight I am giving careful consideration to what I should write.  Or maybe I’m just quickly posting some pictures before I get even farther behind.  One of those.



Light bursts are cool.




Remember how much I like water drops?




Hopefully I’ll have some more tomatoes to take pictures of and torture you…I mean gift you with.




Spider webs and light. Sometimes I find them cool…as long as they’re outside.


That’s it for tonight!  God bless!





getting behind!

I’ve been getting behind with my beauty project posts.  I’ve been taking some pictures, but not getting them posted.   So this is a catch up post!



My daughter hung this in the window this past week. When I look up in the trees I get to see some of the beauty my daughter made too.




God made some cool bark on trees. The other day I saw a funky tree trunk at my daughter’s school. I’ll have to try to get a picture in the future. This picture is from my deck.  I love the light shining on the tree trunk.




I liked the contrasts and lines on the deck. “And that’s all I have to say about that.”




These tomatoes have been so neat to watch. As they’re started to ripen they’ve been different shades even though they’re so close together. Top one is the reddest, the one to the east is orange, and the green/yellow one is on the west side. What an impact a minor difference in sunlight makes! There’s probably a few life lessons in there, but I’ll let you sort through them.  🙂


Have you found any unexpected beauty lately?  I’d love to hear about it!

Pictures from this morning


Water droplets are cool.


I love the reflections/magnifications from water.



Can you see the drops of water hanging off the tips of the leaves?



No water droplets in this picture. But I like pine cones too.


What beauty are you seeing lately?


Random pics from this week

Here are a few pics for my beauty project this week.  It’s been a bit of a stressful week, so it’s good for me to spend time focusing on beauty and gratefulness!



Herbs. I like ’em.




One day after school my littles were happily playing ‘in the beans.’ Seeing kids having fun with each other and the world around them is an incredibly beautiful thing.




Sunshine streaming through the trees this morning.


How about you?  Have you been searching for beauty?  The more stressful, painful, and/or intense life gets, the more important it is to search for beauty.  It gives solace.  It gives hope.  It helps with perspective.  Sometimes it simply provides a drop of relief.  Beauty is needed.  And God has put it around you, somewhere!  Keep searching, my friends!


Previous Older Entries

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.