Guest Blogger

We’re still counting …

Hi Friends!

I’ve just returned from two weeks in Europe which filled my heart to bursting. On the plane ride home, tears of gratitude in my eyes, I made Dylan write a list of 52 Beautiful Things about our trip in my planning notebook. I’ve got a nasty head cold from being on public trains (rarely am I around that many people in one place) and am a bit jet-lagged. I need time to process the trip before I write about adventures here and in the meantime continue to encourage you to share your lists of beautiful things with me!

Thank you to the following contributors who tipped us over the 400 mark!

#380 Artists are still making art
#381 Writers are still writing
#382 Nurses, doctors, and healers are still healing
#383 Teachers are still showing up to teach
#384 Survivors are surviving
#385 The human spirit is alive and well. You can see it clearly if you know where to look.

#380 – 385 Contributed by Sam Lamott of Hello Humans

#386 That I stumbled upon this blog
#387 My handsome, loving, caring husband
#388 That I live close to my family
#389 I have started graduate school this week
#390 That doing this right now has uplifted my spirit
#391 That I’m enjoying doing this
#392 That I’m getting closer to my dreams each day
#393 I’m becoming more confident
#394 The colours around me
#395 Interior decor

#386 – #395 Contributed through email by Amina

#396 When the clock hits 12am & you get to start an entire day fresh
#397 House plants -greenery IN YOUR OWN HOME! 💃🏼
#398 I get to watch DWTS pros mentoring young kids who have this huge dream to dance just like them!
#399 Trader Joe’s and all the pumpkin products they have!!
#400 Individuals who willingly share their painful memories so that someone else can be encouraged and healed from their own
#401 The beautiful stranger who comes to help you when your hands are full of groceries and you can’t open the trunk of your car
#402 My parents unconditional love even in the midst of conflict

#396 – #402 Contributed by Chelsea via comment on the blog


When you’re ready to share your beautiful things or things going right in your world, make your list and email it to me at 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com. We’ve still got 6 days to get to 1000. Tag a friend who you think would like to participate! Here are the instructions.

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Grueling Hike with a Wonderful View: Trolltunga – Guest Post by Chee Zhiquan

At this point, two people have shared beautiful posts with me about visiting Norway. I think the Universe is sending subtle hints. This week’s lovely post follows Chee and his hike at Trolltunga. Another magical place challenging hearts and minds while it taunts us to explore its beauty. Read his full account below.

Author: Chee Zhiquan
Website: TakeOutdoors

Favorite Quote: “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

This trail is filled with many breathtaking spots that blew my mind away. When the sun shines at the blue fjord, it sparkles like quartz, stones that shimmer like iron and steel. The water is as clear as diamonds. These scenes were so brilliantly and astonishingly stunning, and all made by the patient hands of nature. And thousands of tourists in the summer months ultimately come for this view alone:

 

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This is Trolltunga.

The word translates to “Troll’s Tongue” and is a cliff rock more than 700 meters above a lake that sticks out like, as the name suggests, a tongue. I was blessed to complete the hike and took an insta-worthy photo of myself in the tongues very tip, one that soon became my Facebook cover photo.

Guess my friends’ reactions when I put that picture up? There were plenty of likes, wows and hearts. I felt so good when I started receiving notifications of positive reactions to my cover photo.

Validation: check!

That’s not all though. I failed miserably on the first attempt and that failure gave me a stronger desire to complete it on the second try. The first hike was a few years ago and ever since I kept thinking about going back and finish the walk.

So, this summer I decided to go back to Norway and complete this hike with my partner. We made a lot of preparations, bought the right gear and did a little of physical training.

You may be asking, why did we prepare so much?

Well the answer is – the trail to Trolltunga is the most challenging trail in Norway. It’s a 27km round trip from the start point to the tongue of the rock itself and it takes about 8 – 12 hours to complete. And the terrain is far from flat, being filled with many uphills and downhills.

I was especially keen not to fail this time.

Another problem was posed by the fact that my partner and I come from Singapore, a country that has no mountains at all. The tallest hill sits at a modest 163 meters. Even if we could easily reach the peak of our tallest hill, Trolltunga was a whole new ball game.

So let’s begin with our experience from the start…

Our moods were high because we were already looking forward to seeing the cliff rock. We were happily walking until we saw our first uphill, which immediately filled us with a sense of doom.

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Not sure if this looks tough to you but it sure was to us. We climbed for about half an hour wondering if the slope would ever end. Eventually it did, thankfully. But it would not be the last of such slopes that we would encounter in the coming
hours.

At every kilometer of the trail, there was a sign stating how far away we were from the cliff rock. I found this sign pretty motivating, especially when nearing the end. However, it was demoralizing when walking back and the sign was saying “12km” before we would get some well deserved rest.

The trail seemed to get more difficult the further we progressed, going uphill was tiring while going downhill on slabs of rocks was hurting our knees. Our minds started to tell us to throw in the towel. I think we might have given up if the weather had been bad.

Along the trail, we were greeted with magnificent views of the fjords and this was one of them.

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I was fascinated, took a deep breath and started to appreciate the surroundings. The water was so clear it had reflections of the clouds. The rocks on the mountains were shimmering.

I was tired, thirsty, sweaty and my legs were aching yet this breathtaking view took all that pain away. This view also helped me to find my purpose in life. That purpose is to uncover as many landscapes on Earth as I can before I go and meet my makers.

I knew that this wouldn’t be the only amazing scenery I’ll come across as there’s plenty more in the world yet to discover and enjoy.

Continuing with such good weather and good views, we pushed on and finally reached the cliff rock.

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Stunning, isn’t it?

After that, we sat down for a while and ate some eggs, sandwiches and bananas to replenish our energy. This energy was totally necessary to fuel us up for the rest of the journey. There was an eagle that soared pass the mountain, as though a significant sign of being a conqueror to this enormous mountain.

There was an interesting scene where everyone was queuing for a photo by Trolltunga. Well, who doesn’t want a photo right? After walking for 5 – 6 hours, you totally deserve an awesome photo.

So, we queued for an hour plus. When it reached our turn, we were contemplating whether to go near the edge. In the back of our minds, we remembered seeing news of a tourist who fell to her death. We told ourselves that there probably won’t be a second time so we overcame our paranoia and went to the edge.

It was all worth it. The image taken was spectacular. We had help from a total stranger to take the photo for us. I guessed everyone became friends at this point.

After snapping photos for our Facebook and Instagram profiles, we rested a little more
before continuing the journey back to the start point. The thought of going back was painful, especially seeing as we know that we would have to negotiate all that tough terrain once more.

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But luckily, we made it, and I’m still alive to tell this story.

Things that amazed us were not just the views but the people we saw. Along the way, we saw a mountain biker, dogs taken for stroll on the mountain, a couple of hikers walking barefoot and even a pregnant lady (I think that was her last trimester!). Their determination was beyond admirable.

After this hike, I felt there was a greater meaning to life. In Singapore, most people rush to work in the morning and rush back home in the evening. That is the same case for me before the trip, my mind was constantly thinking about work. I didn’t have moments to slow my pace, look around my environment and appreciate beautiful things nature has to offer.

I’m glad I went on this adventure though and for the way it sparked a change in my mindset.

But if you ask me if I want to do it again, I would answer no. Not because the hike was tough, but because there are still so many other mountains, rivers, forests and landscapes to explore.

And I think I’ve just got started.

That’s all folks! Thanks for reading my experience. If you’re heading to Norway for any hiking adventures, let me know so I can share some tips!


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Chee Zhiquan is the man behind TakeOutdoors.com, a blog for anyone who simply loves the outdoors. He considers himself as an outdoor geek who loves fiddling with computer and exploring the nature.

 

A Quick Little Ditty

In the corner of the martini bar I sat with them on cushy benches. Old friends from college who were celebrating their 10 (!) years together.  Wouldn’t let them leave until they gave me their list of ten beautiful things. We sipped, we shared conversation, and we sat in the blissful, comforting feeling only decades old friendship provides.

Thank you to the following contributors for a)being my friend and b) playing my game.

#342 I like my job
#343 my great girlfriend
#344 my truck is so cheap
#345 Aspen trees
#346 cute dogs
#347 opportunities for education
#350 fresh vegetables
#351 when you make a chard smoothie you can’t taste the chard
#352 I only have to drive through two stop lights on my way to work
#353 Tegan has good taste in clothes
#354 I’m reading good books. Man, Americanah is good

#342 – #354 Contributed by Nathan Savig

#355 Luna – my dog for those who don’t know
#356 Luna’s firecracker eyebrows
#357 Tess
#358 Friends new and old
#359 Fall Colors
#360 Hot showers
#361 Biking to work
#362 Mugs’ Big White Whale drink
#364 French fries at the Crown Pub
#365 Rootbeer milk

#355 – #365 Contributed by Corey Woodruff

#366 fall leaves
#367 the dog being excited when you get home
#368 roommates
#369 biking
#370 mowing your grass
#371 eating cheap, delicious, greasy pizza
#372 picking out Halloween costumes
#373 the promise of trick-or-treaters
#374 Neon Signs
#375 the smell of rain
#376 the sound of rain
#377 the feel of flannel sheets
#378 baking bread
#379 and Halloween costumes …. did I mention that?

#366 – #379 Contributed by Tess Stoops


They added to the list and you can too. When you’re ready, send me a list of 5 – 10 things going right in your world right now and I’ll share here.  More information on submission guidelines can be found here.

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.

Count the Puppies

It’s becoming obvious to me that I hang out with and/or attract dog people. VERY few folks have commented they are thankful for their cats. If that’s you, you better send me your list because the puppy people are clearly winning here. Can you count how many times they’ve shown up on the list?

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Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Thank you to the following contributors for sharing their beautiful things – things going right, right now. We’ve now surpassed 200 (!) beautiful things and we’re halfway through the month.

Ready to share yours? Send me an email at 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com.

#143 Blue, blue skies
#144 A job that I love going to
#145 Flowers from my garden
#146 Spending time with my mom
#147 Eating outside
#148 Spending time with my son & daughter-in-law
#149 Evening bike rides with my husband
#150 Children
#151 The courage to voice my feelings
#152 Family that is always there for me

#143 – #152 Contributed by Cathy Huey

# 153 First sip of coffee in the morning
#154 An unexpected exchange of smiles with a stranger
#155 Finding a dollar in the pockets of an old jeans
#156 A good, hearty and yummy breakfast
#157 Sunsets on the beach

#153 – #157 Contributed by @jamnesreen

#158 I work with an amazing group of women like your mother in-law that uplift me every single day and make me want to be a better teacher and person.
#159 I live in a state where I am surrounded by beauty & can appreciate it every day.
#160 We have 2 amazing children that are adopted from Korea who remind me constantly of the beauty of family and the power of love.
#161 Pumpkin spice Latte!
#162 Beautiful sunrises/sunsets that remind me to stop and live in the beauty of the possibilities of a new day.
#163 Students who teach me more about life and happiness than I could ever teach them

#158 – #163 Contributed by Jen Weaver

#164 petting random, nice dogs
#165 rain at night while I’m sleeping
#166 new book or a really old book
#167 the food you’ve been craving all day
#168 stars in the mountains (no light pollution)
#169 the first cup of coffee in the morning
#170 bubble baths
#171 buying yourself flowers just because
#172 puppy snuggles
#173 meeting up with new friends

#164 – #173 Contributed by Alyssa Oligmueller

#174 friendship that feels like home
#175 siblings contagious laughter together
#176 handmade pottery
#177 dirt covered potatoes freshly dug from the ground
#178 soft light of morning right before the sun comes up
#179 gleeful toddler running
#180 stumbling into community with people that challenge you to love and think bigger #181 sisters for friends
#182 self-stick stamps
#183 the quiet that opens to a day of fullness
#184 toddler’s arms hugging around my neck

#174 – #184 Contributed by @Cushfamily on Instagram

#185 my family
#186 living in Colorado
#187 I’m still here
#188 I can still get around and walk
#189 the fact that I have my own house

#185 – #189 Contributed by my Grandma Charlotte

#190 Emma got her woodchipping badge in Boy Scouts
#191 My children are free of cancer
#192 The kids get their expanders off in December
#193 Car has 220,000 miles on it and it still runs great

#190 – #193 Contributed by my Uncle Keith

#194 glitter toenail polish
#195 puppies
#196 authentic people who aren’t afraid to “go there”
#197 connecting with strangers
#198 strangers becoming friends
#199 a thick chocolate shake
#200 water still warm enough to swim in in September
#201 leaves starting to change
#202 a seat on a crowded subway
#203 waking up before my alarm clock

#194 – #203 Contributed by Millet Israeli

#204 Our joyful snuggly puppy!
#205 A wonderful job with great coworkers
#206 The Gathering- dinner with friends and an uplifting message!
#207 Bible study with my group of women who are there for me always!
#208 Concert at Red Rocks, best venue ever!
#209 Dad/Daughter dates for husband & daughters
#210 Photography day trip with my daughter
#211 Morning walk to coffee shop
#212 Farmers market & Fall Art Festival
#213 Family time in God’s beauty of Fall colors in CO!

#204 – #213 Contributed by Lynne Goldmann


What’s on your list? When you are ready to contribute, follow these guidelines and send me an email. Let’s get resisting!

First, take a listen

It’s Saturday. The air is crisp, the coffee is brewing, my comforter is cozy and later laundry will whir away. Before my to-dos I turn on piano music and I sit, compiling this growing list of beautiful things readers and friends are sending me. We’re ALMOST up to 150! We’ve got a ways to go, but not a bad start. Grab your coffee, inhale deeply, start this tune.

 

Read this list of good in the world and then write your very own. More instructions are here. Send it to me and I’ll feature it here next time. Happy Saturday.

#97 There are so many great books out there that I can read whenever I want to
#98 The Great British Baking Show
#99 I have had and will have more opportunities to travel to wonderful new places around the world
#101 Parents who I know will be there for me and support me no matter what
#102 Just an awesome family all around
#103 An awesome dinner just waiting in the fridge for me to make it
#104 A community of bloggers that supports each other
#105 I am finally doing something that I love and writing about my travels and experiences
#106 Friends that are awesome people and who inspire my to be my best self every day

#97 – 106 Contributed by @QuietGrlLoudWrd

#107 Technology like Marco Polo and FaceTime that help us keep in contact with loved ones near and far
#108 Rural roads with beautiful sunsets in the rear view mirror
#109 Social workers- I’m so thankful to know some of the very best and feel honored to work alongside incredible humans who choose to walk the hills and valleys with anyone in need of a helping hand.
#110 Laugh attacks with friends
#111 Pickle wrap dip
#112 Holding the door for a stranger
#113 A good workout to release the stress
#114 A thermos of fresh coffee on a fall morning drive to work
#115 Football season
#116 Random acts of kindness

#107 – 116 Contributed by Katie Vodraska

#117 Holding a baby
#118 Lying in the grass looking at clouds
#119 brand new book that 10 pages in you can’t put down and know is a keeper
#120 Baking bread
#121 A good movie on a rainy day
#122 Helping a friend
#123 A bookstore
#124 A long shower after a hard days work in the yard
#125 Knowing your purpose and living it
#126 An unplanned day

#117 – #126 Contributed by Suzanne Moughon

#127 I have a gorgeous, accomplished daughter
#128 My daughter is my travel buddy
#129 For every day
#130 I’ve never met a stranger
#131 Moments of peace
#132 Watching Gossip Girl reruns at age 60
#133 Jethrow Gibbs on NCIS
#134 Ancestors that went before me
#135 Wool sweaters … actually all sweaters

#127 – #135 Contributed by Julie Beaubian

#136 The ability to redefine and reform friendships
#137 Modern Medicine
#138 Therapy
#139 Wine
#140 Friends you’ve chosen to be family
#141 To be curious and open about the world
#142 French fries and popcorn and tacos
#143 Friends who accept where you’re at
#144 Baby Snuggles

#136 – #144 Contributed by Katie Beaubian


Let’s keep resisting. Instructions on how you can participate in this effort are here.

If you like the idea, please share!

#1 – #45

 

“I am going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life.”― Elsie de Wolfe (2)

It’s Friday!

As you, hopefully, know I started a little challenge for us to create a list of 1,000 beautiful things in an effort to combat the nasty swirling around us. Not sure what I’m alluding to – read this post first.

I’m thrilled people are responding. Here’s the list so far. Think on these things at work, in the carpool lane, when gritting your teeth at the customer who can’t seem to stop yelling at you.  It’s out there – the good, the beautiful, the bold. May I suggest reading while listening to this song by The Fray?

#1 Peanut butter M&Ms
#2 Long, handwritten letters
#3 Nostalgia
#4 Carousels
#5 Bohemian Rhapsody
#6 Wendy’s frosties
#7 Honeysuckle
#8 Punch with Sherbet in it
#9 Summertime
#10 New beginnings

#1 – 10 Contributed by Lindsay Song

#11 – A dog curled up next to me keeping me warm
#12 – There are free apple trees all over the city, we’re picking them this weekend so they don’t go to waste, and they’ll provide snacks and syrup for us all year long
#13 – The leaves are starting to change
#14 – Dylan’s dad is making serious progress on Nathan’s house
#15 When the cream is swirling in your morning coffee
#16 – Fresh baked bread – specifically this recipe

#11 – 16 Contributed by Tegan Plock

#17 literature
#18 a spiritual path
#19 chocolate
#20 art
#21 music
#22 cookbooks

#17 – 22 Contributed by Christine Christman

#23 Friends with different political beliefs but still being able to get along
#24 crisp autumn days
#25 new lipstick
#26 holding hands with someone you love
#27 traveling to new places

#23 – 27 Contributed by Brittany Larsen

#28 The heavy breathing of sleeping babies
#29 Coffee shops with great decor
#30 The feeling when the song you’ve been wanting to hear comes on the radio
#31 Amazon Prime wardrobe instead of clothes shopping with two small children
#32 Highwaisted jeans are in style
#33 It never fails to make me smile – the way my two-year-old son says toot/tooted/tooting #34 I married across the aisle, and if we can continue to believe the best of each other, there is hope for the rest of us yet
#35 Gyms with childcare
#36 yoga
#37 that there is just so much possibility

#28 – 37 Contributed by Emily Alman

#38 There’s food in my fridge
#39 Grocery stores and corner markets sell bouquets of fresh flowers all over the world #40 Candy corn
#41 text messages with loved ones
#42 acoustic guitars
#43 writers
#44 creatives
#45 believers in beautiful things

#38 – 45 Contributed by me on the launch

Let’s keep resisting the notion that bad is all there is.  Ready to add your contribution to the list? Jot down 5-10 things that are going right in your world RIGHT now. Send me an email or leave a comment on the blog. If you prefer to be anonymous, that’s fine!

To resisting together!