Tag Archives: beauty hunting

Shells & Alice Walker

 

Yesterday afternoon we were wandering along the shoreline, playing in the surf and happening upon gorgeous shells that were strewn along the shore.  Gorgeous shells just cast about like little gems.  No matter how many times I visit this part of the Gulf Coast – Marco Island and Sanibel Island – I’m always amazed by the shells.  Amazed someone has not already scooped them all up and hauled them away.  Surprised that there are always more.   And thrilled by all of the beauty that you will just stumble upon.

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As I woke up this morning and reflected on our experiences yesterday, I was reminded of this poem I love – on what we love and value.   Its a perfectly timed reminder to be present and elevate and focus on what really matters.  Thanks, Ms. Walker.

 

We Alone Can Devalue Gold – by Alice Walker

We alone can devalue gold

by not caring
if it falls or rises
in the marketplace.
Wherever there is gold
there is a chain, you know,
and if your chain
is gold
so much the worse
for you.

Feathers, shells
and sea-shaped stones
are all as rare.

This could be our revolution:
to love what is plentiful
as much as
what’s scarce.

Victory!

We were staying at the Sofitel right a couple blocks from the White House, and I wandered around with my camera while the family rested.  One of my favorite images was the dramatic gold of this victory statue against the deep blue sky and white clouds.  Beautiful!

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Victory statue, part of the First Division Monument in front of the White House.  President’s Park, Washington DC

Wonder! Stunning Exhibit at Renwick

We were in DC a couple of weeks ago to celebrate our oldest daughter’s 21st birthday.  I was excited to fit in a visit to the Renwick Gallery to see their exhibit – Wonder!   I love that  the exhibits were large and immersive – experiences that you could take in with all of your senses.  In the exhibit they basically turned over the museum space to nine contemporary artists, who filled the space with large, immersive and stunning exhibits.    The boys and I had a great time exploring the museum.  Highly recommend!

Check out this link to take a virtual tour of the exhibit.  It’s absolutely worth a visit the next time you are in the DC area.

Wonder! at the Renwick Gallery     The building itself is gorgeous!

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A few of our favorite images from the exhibit.

from the Patrick Dougherty exhibit

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from the Gabriel Dawe exhibit

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from the Tara Donovan exhibit

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from the John Grade exhibit

 

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from the Janet Echelman exhibit

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from the Jennifer Angus exhibit

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from the Chakaia Booker exhibit

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from the Maya Lin exhibit

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Gorgeous Sand Sculptures

Sand sculptors from around the world are competing in the Neptune Intl Sand Sculpting Championship.  They are creative, complex and amazing in any medium, but this is SAND.  Heck, I can’t even get a basic tower out of a sand bucket intact so these are fantastic accomplishments.

Josh and I headed down to the oceanfront yesterday afternoon to check them out.  The weather isn’t great this weekend so hope plenty make it down in spite of the weather.  All is safe and dry under the tents.

Here are a few of our favorites.

inhale … exhale …

Sometimes people in our lives can throw us an unpleasant curve ball.  They can surprise and frustrate us.  This is a reminder for those moments.

(Or you can just belt out Let it Go from the Frozen soundtrack … in my case, you really don’t want to hear me sing.)  This is safer.

Just follow your breath.

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ETC Indie Music & Art Festival

I love that we have so many terrific festivals here in Hampton Roads in fall.  Although the temps today felt more like a return to summer … but still.  The boys and I headed down to the waterside at Towne Point Park today for the ETC Indie Music & Arts Festival.  We have had a great time the last couple years!

I adore that we we have such a gorgeous waterfront venue – green space, water views, multiple stages, and wonderfully thought out seating areas to make it feel more like outdoor living space.  It’s colorful and inviting and I always love spending time there.  Today was no exception.

We caught music from some great bands – The Dahus, KOA, and local singer-songwriter Skye Zentz.  The music was terrific, the crowd was having fun.  I only wish more people realized what a great scene and festival it was … there was plenty of room for more people.  Hopefully the turnout will be good this evening for the featured band – The Mowglis.  Sorry to miss them but schedules just weren’t going to work for that.

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KOA
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KOA
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We LOVED the game area that they setup for the festival.  Justin settled in and went from being ready to leave quickly to having a great time and not being in any hurry to leave.    Ping pong, giant Jenga set, foosball, checkers.  Classic games that had kids meeting and playing with other kids, challenging their parents, and basically just hanging out.  My kind of setting!   And there were some great artists too – found a piece of pallet art that I loved and brought home … nice Welcome sign for our entryway.

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And the sky was AMAZING – gorgeous blue with cloud formations sprinkled across the sky.  We sat along the deck and had lunch, watching the sailboats and enjoying the beautiful view.

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Kudos on a great job with this festival!  Our family had a great time and it will definitely be back on the calendar next year.

Joy in Ordinary Moments – Welcome Fall!

There’s a wonderful quote from Brene Brown that goes:

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As we shift from summer into fall, this seems fitting.  During summer months, we tend to seek out the extraordinary – great vacations, outdoor adventures, etc.  Back to school and fall bring us back into a routine and a cadence to our days and weeks. Perhaps more ‘ordinary’ moments – but full of opportunities for joy and love and gratitude.

  • sharpened pencils – because, I mean really, there are few ordinary things better the night before school starts 🙂
  • the gorgeous color of mums on our front porch
  • baking – giant, soft ginger cookies are our back to school tradition
  • pumpkin patches, bobbing for apples, corn mazes
  • the comfort of our routines – bedtimes, reading time, packing lunches
  • the changing color of the leaves
  • the cool breeze in the air
  • more family dinners around the table because our schedules are a little more normal

Each season we try to create a ‘bucket list’ – with a few of the things that we open to experience in the upcoming season.  And when it comes to fall, its an oldies-but-goodies list that rarely changes.

Every Kid Needs a Champion

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For the next 10 months we will entrust our kids to teachers.  The best ones will build trust, inspire, motivate, and make learning fun!  I hope everyone is blessed with one (or many) terrific teachers this school year.

Watched this terrific TED talk – highly recommend.  Human connection is so key to learning.  Kids have a relationship, then they have trust, then they learn best.

Every Kid Needs a Champion.  Check it out!

Beneath Your Feet – Exploration Pics

Which of your photos capture you at your most relaxed, the relaxation or exploration shots?  Well that’s what I went to explore today …

Stumbled upon a photography prompt this week to post a picture of the ground ‘beneath your feet’ – or any variation on that idea that might inspire us.  I was noodling through my pics and remembered several pics that I had taken – out on a hike, on a kayak, by the lake, that all had my toes peeking onto the bottom of the picture.  Bit of a trend, seemed funny at the time.  But as I think about it … every one of those are me in anti-work mode.  I am out and about, wandering and exploring.  Or relaxing with my feet up (and that’s so rare a picture is required as proof!) 🙂   I guess, in a tiny way, for me the pics celebrate getting out of my head (and work mode) and enjoying the physical world.  All great memories!

And apparently I have no in-betweens … its boots or barefoot!

Enjoy other great fotos from the Beneath Your Feet challenge at: Link

…before they close forever …

Quote from Anthony Doerr, from the novel All The Light We Cannot See

My friends and family all know how much I love to travel.  To explore, to discover new things, to have adventures, and to share what I pick up along the way with others!  I just can’t get enough of it.  On the flight home from New Orleans I read the quote above: “Open your eyes and see all you can, before they close forever.”   And that’s it in the end – we are gifted with just a finite amount of time on this earth, and I can only hope to see, hear and experience life richly and to make an impact with the gifts and time I am given.

Sometimes we read things that just strike a chord with what’s on our mind or our heart.  Today this was it for me.   Find beauty.  Connect deeply.  Make an impact.  Love life.