adventures

Break Another Rule

Mmmk. It’s officially passed the middle of September and today, because it was cloudy and rainy after a string of 90 degree days, I broke my rule and had a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Half the pumps. As if removing half the sugar makes it so I’m not quite cheating on my October rule.

Then I realized, ‘Hey, I’m the one who makes that rule and I’m the one who breaks it.’

So, I enjoyed every delicious sip.

I’m going to break another rule and continue this little resistance challenge until the middle of October. We just passed the 250 mark and I want to see how far we can get!

Here’s to breaking rules of our own making, sipping pumpkin spice lattes, and thinking of beautiful things. Thank you to the following contributors!

#214 My daughter is currently snuggled up next to me reading a book
#215 My son is rebelling by staying up late to read
#216 I have a comfy loveseat to snuggle my people on

#214 – #223 Contributed by Melody Shaddix
#224 Parents who gave me encouragement as a child and as an adult
#225 My grandchildren who melt my heart
#226 My adult children as parents
#227 Relationships with my sibs
#228 My relationship with the father of my children
#229 Laughter
#230 Prayer!!
#231 Seeing Ireland
#232 Finding fabric for sewing
#233 Exploring for treasures
#224 – #233 Contributed by Diane Holschbach

#234 A dog dreaming
#235 A big yummy latte with a heart on the top
#236 Having my Mom close and being able to live life with her as she grows older
#237 Ireland! If you’ve been there you know what I mean
#238 Colorado sunrises and sunsets
#239 Family celebrations
#240 My cat bringing me a toy mouse and dropping it at my feet
#241 The sound of rustling leaves on a windy, crisp but sunny day
#242 Silence
#243 My bed especially when I am exhausted

#234 – 243 Contributed by Barb Sullivan

#244 forehead kisses
#245 when your daughter says, “I love you”
#246 crisp mountain air (dreaming of fall while in South Texas haha)
#247 a really good cup of coffee
#248 reunions/visits #249 an empty journal and a full journal
#250 handwritten letters
#251 a rare date night with the hubby
#252 that quiet moment in the wings before going on stage
#253 God’s grace and strength to do hard things

#244 – #253 Contributed by Hannah Requa

#253 my beautiful wife
#254 my house
#255 my parents and my family
#256 my new Porsche
#257 I have a reliable Subaru
#258 Good friends at work that get through tough days with me
#259 I’ve got a cute dog
#260 Golf when it’s nice
#261 Summer softball … Fall too
#262 Adventures on the calendar

#253 – #262 Contributed by Dylan Huey

#263 I am thankful for my wife … she challenges me every day
#264 That my son is happy
#265 My amazing daughter in law (DIL)
#266 That I am pain free and able to hike and still climb mountains
#267 I live in Colorado … and all it has to offer
#268 I love ALL 4 season
#269 I got to work with my dad for 20 years
#270 I have a little money in my pocket
#271 Ice cold beer and a burger
#272 Sports teams to cheer for

#263 – #272 Contributed by Mike Huey


Are you ready to send me your list? Put down 5-10 things going right in your world and email me at 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com. Let’s get resisting.

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Growing Joy

It has been a few weeks. I haven’t been writing.  The end of May is approaching and I’ve been swirling between the weekly grind, remembering birthdays, softball games, late night dinners, and ukulele lessons. We are filling up our days and nights. When I lift my head I inhale a smile and think, “We did it. We are living again.”

This weekend we focused on our backyard. The sunshines strong rays threatened my sensitive skin and ants bit my legs. From under our deck we dragged outdoor furniture into the light. Didn’t we just put this stuff away? How did six months of hibernation pass so quickly?

Filthy, mucky water sat stinking and stagnant, pooling on the tarp covering my two-seater lounge chair.  While meant to protect our seasonal seats, the synthetic material wasn’t able to do its job. Instead the water soaked through, warping wood, causing paint to fleck, and chip. The original surface exposed.

Got out the hose. Found a sponge and some soap and changed my shoes to sandals.  Washed off the muck. More paint chips fell to the lawn growing at my feet. Clean water kissed my toes.

Our attention shifted towards our garden plot, four bags of dirt anxiously waiting for something to grow on its center. Poured fertilizer, placed water lines, tucked seeds in rows with potential one inch under the ground. Sweat poured off our faces and into the dirt. We rubbed each other’s backs and sat down to rest. Grass tickled my legs and held me close – grounded me as my skin graced the Earth.

She whispered, “See, I’ve got you. Look how far you’ve come”

Two years ago, the summer after Dad died, we would go to my mom’s house and sit in her backyard. We’d lay in the grass and feel Mother Earth, and squint as the sun glinted off our tears mingling with dirt on our cheeks. Many, many days laying in grass because nothing else seemed manageable.

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I can’t believe how far we’ve come.

Dad’s 61st birthday was two weeks ago.  It felt awful and funny and sad. I posted this on Instagram.

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This birthday felt like under the surface, seeds planted long ago were growing.

Seeds of joy. God planted them in our darkness – tiny little buttons composed of Dad’s memories and life and love for us – organic materials.

They told me this would happen.

That grief would soften to joy.

I didn’t believe them.

Yet, if someone told me flowers were growing under all that dirt in my back yard and I’d never seen blossoms before, I probably wouldn’t believe them either.

It’s true.

Under all that dirt. Washing off muck, and flecks of paint that cover the pain, we are still here. Our original selves.

Without him.

Growing joy.

A beautiful thing.

 

 

 

The Beauty of Everyday Adventure – Guest Post by Joey Holmes

I love when other writers approach me with beautiful ideas to share. When Joey emailed from Europe and asked if she could write something on the adventures we create in our daily lives, I jumped at the chance to see what she had to say.

Read along and start adventuring. Bonus points if you guess which of her suggestions I am going to do in the next few weeks!

Author: Joey Holmes

Her Website: www.coolofthewild.com

“In every walk with nature, one receives much more than he seeks.” – John Muir


I often question why being outdoors is such an important thing to me. Maybe being born in December and being cooped up inside for the first 6 months of my life has something to do with it. Or perhaps it was that, when the weather permitted, my mum would be outside with me on every given opportunity. But whatever the reason, there is something about getting outside and embarking on adventures, no matter their size or ambition, that lights a spark in me.

Recently I have started to take note of the things I say when I’m outside adventuring, and the way I feel or react to my situation. And on reflection I’ve come to realize just how important it is for me to be surrounded by the beauty of nature: an ancient woodland, a colorful bug, a stunning view, the dying light at sunset. These small, seemingly insignificant things are what drive me to get outside as much as possible and to open my eyes to the beauty that is out there.

Last year I challenged myself to cycle 70 miles across Wales, sleep on the beach and cycle back again. I loved the physical and mental challenge and the feeling of independence and strength that it gave me. But I was on a schedule to get from A to B before the sun went down, and I found it really frustrating that I couldn’t take the time to stop and enjoy the waterfall, or to lie down for half an hour to listen to the silence and take in the sense of freedom that my adventure presented. So I promised myself that, moving forward, I would always try to allow for that time of reflection and appreciation of what amazing things nature offers me on my adventures.

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This got me thinking about how adventure is so different for everyone. Stepping out of ones comfort zone and embarking on something new, unusual and exciting can be all sorts of things, and doesn’t have to be grand or significantly life changing. Anything from cooking your dinner on a hill after work, to spending weeks at a time exploring far-flung corners of the earth. Regardless of the scale, seeking out adventure always uncovers beauty in one form or another: in your surroundings, in the actions of your fellow adventurers, or in the feeling, emotions and thoughts within you.

With modern life getting busier and more hectic every day, it’s easy not to make the effort to get out adventuring. And even easier to forget to appreciate all that beauty when adventures do happen. So for a little inspiration on how to get some adventure into everyday life, here are a few simple things to try each week:

Dining out

  • Cycle to work instead of your usual mode of transport
  • Cook your dinner on a campfire – even if it’s in the backyard!
  • Take a walk along a river at sunrise
  • Climb a tree in the park
  • Have a sunset picnic at a place with a stunning view
  • Take a night hike
  • Go for a swim before work at your nearest wild swimming spot
  • Take a run to your nearest park on your lunch break
  • Climb a hill and do some yoga at the top
  • Build a den and read your book in it – even if it’s inside
  • Take your camp stove to work and make your own coffee in the park at lunchtime
  • Hang your hammock in the park after work and enjoy listening to noise of the city

Planning and then embarking upon mini-adventures is a great first step to getting out more. But to truly reap the benefits of all that adventure has to offer, I believe that it’s essential to take the time to sit back and pause. To really breath in all the elements of the beauty that is uncovered through seeking out the unusual, daring and exciting.

So whatever adventure is to you, make sure you do it with open eyes, arms, ears, mind, heart and nostrils(!), to fully absorb all that beauty that’s yours for the taking.

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Joey Holmes

Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, or hitting the trail in her running shoes .

You can connect with her here:

 Facebook    Twitter     Instagram    Pinterest

 

If you are interested in contributing to 52 Beautiful things, send an email to 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com. 

Olive

We got a dog! We jumped in and rescued this lovely little creature, and my heart is swooning. At least until she eats my shoes, which hasn’t yet happened.

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It is my hope that training this new member of our family will be an exercise in healing, in patience, in learning to extend love into other areas of our lives.

I’ve heard people who love rescue animals ask the question, “Who rescued who?” and I’m starting to feel this way about Olive. She seems to see my ache, and her little paws provide soothing balm to my soul.

It was wonderful waking up this morning knowing we had a tiny creature who was depending on us. And during this time of change and the continued processing of grief, as we depend heavily on our supports, this little nugget is filling my heart. Beauty in the acquisition of a new family member, beauty in puppy breath, beauty in the process of jumping right in.

Welcome home.