The Beauty that Surrounds Me - April

Another month of beauty.  Beauty is not difficult to find in April!  I love spending time outdoors in the warmer weather, enjoying the beautiful flowering plants and trees.  Reston has so many gorgeous parks, trails and lakes.  You can't help but feel happy surrounded by such beauty.

{The series continues with the extremely talented Paola - please click on the link and read on to her post!}

Paola Dias

The Beauty that Surrounds Me - March

After a very hectic February, I am now catching up with the March entry in the blog circle I am involved in, entitled "The Beauty that Surrounds Me'. Mother Nature was playing some mind games with us this March. There were several snowstorms, severe cold, and then beautiful spring days that would fool us into feeling we were past the winter doldrums.

The beautiful daffodils in our yard were as confused as we were. And very persistent! They decided to break through the snow, determined to open to the sun.

The day following this storm was beautiful and it was pretty amazing the change that the flowers went through within 24-48 hours.

And then we had a second snowstorm within the same week and the poor flowers were again covered in snow.

My husband and I were fortunate to go on vacation to the Dominican Republic at the end of the month, where we basked in 80 degree temperatures, bright sun, turquoise waters and palm trees. It felt like heaven.

{The series continues with the extremely talented Maibritt Olsen - please click on the link and read on to her post!}

Maibritt Olsen

The Beauty that Surrounds Me - December

December flew by this year, and before I realized it, the holidays were over. We did many fun things together as a family, and one thing the boys really enjoyed was walking through the Festival of Lights at Meadowlark Gardens. You have reserved time slots to enter so that you have plenty of time to slowly walk through the gardens and view the amazing light exhibits. The boys had an absolute blast! At the end of the walk, there is a fire where you can make smores and a little stand where you can buy a cup of hot cocoa or coffee. The boys were a little too young and tired out to enjoy the fire at the end of the walk, but I'm sure that will be a different story by next year.

We were super excited for Christmas this year and my mom and stepdad were going to come down to spend it with us. Unfortunately, my stepdad has had some medical issues and had to spend a good deal of time in the hospital, so they cancelled. On Christmas Eve the boys came down with pneumonia and ear infections, so they weren't too playful or too interested in presents. However, I did get a lovely image of Danny enjoying the Christmas tree and giving it a huge hut! I love photographs of ornaments, and took several photos. I found these to be so beautiful that I could just stand and stare peacefully at them for a while.

And, finally, what holiday season can't be complete without some NYE fun! We took our boys out to dinner along with another couple and daughter around the same age as the boys. The little girl's mom made these fun signs that we had the three of them hold up, and this is what is most beautiful to me this month. That joy, sweetness and innocence is pure beauty.

{The series continues with the extremely talented Linda Hooper - please click on the link and read on to her post!}

Linda Hooper Photography

The Beauty that Surrounds Me - November

I've mentioned before that I love the morning light that shines through our kitchen window. On this particular morning, I noticed how the sunlight was filtering in through the blinds, and I sought to capture the beautiful rays pouring in.

Here is a capture of a flower on the windowsill above the sink--this time in the early evening.

As I was spending a lot of time in the kitchen, watching how light was reflecting off of the counters, table, etc., I noted the stack of plates in the cupboard, and how the light was playing such an interesting role in the various tones. I was also struck with the lines formed with the plates, enhanced by the light. I'm in the middle of a workshop that is guiding me into seeing various design elements within my frame. This is simple beauty that would normally be overlooked unless you took the time to really look around you and see it.

{The series continues with the extremely talented Linda Hooper - please click on the link and read on to her post!}

Linda Hooper Photography

The Beauty that Surrounds Me - October

One of my photographer friends has set up a blog circle with the intent of all of us looking a little bit deeper at our surroundings and capturing the beauty that we see.  We are oftentimes so busy with our own routines that we glaze over those beautiful moments that bring pure happiness.  This project aims to help us slow down, take a good look around, and appreciate what surrounds us. October, in my opinion, is the best month in which to start a project on recognizing beauty. The trees are a myriad of brilliant colors, the air is crisp and favorite fall activities are enjoyed by many.  Just hearing 'October' brings forth images of hayrides, caramel apples, pumpkin spiced anything and everything, trick or treating, hot cider and spooky movies late at night while snuggled under a warm and fuzzy blanket.

This is our first fall in our new home, and I love watching the leaves on the trees in our yard turning, and the sound of leaves crunching as the boys race back and forth playing with their wagon, or kicking a ball around.  We now have the perfect spot for greeting trick or treaters and enough room to decorate with pumpkins.  I made a good sized dent in the pumpkin bin at Trader Joe's last month and the boys have been having so much fun with them.  We carved a number of jack-o'lanterns yesterday, and the twins loved getting messy helping me carve out the seeds.  This is their first year understanding Halloween, and it was so enjoyable to experience their giggles for the first time when they saw the silly carved faces lit up with candles.

In our home, we have the most beautiful morning sunshine the lights up our kitchen.  I happened to glance up during the pumpkin preparations and saw such gorgeous rays of sun falling on a baby pumpkin that one of the boys had set on the ledge.  It stopped me in my tracks.  I grabbed my camera and tried to capture those rays shining through the windows and the hazy orange baby pumpkin.

As I circled the pumpkin, looking at the different effects the light was casting on it from different angles, I was taken with how vibrant and crisp the pumpkin looked from the opposite angle.  More beauty--just at a different angle.

So, there you have it.  My first post about the beauty that surrounds me, in my little world.  Take a moment and look around you and pay special attention to something you wouldn't typically notice.  You may be surprised at the beauty you find!

{The series continues with the extremely talented Genesis Bowen - please click on the link and read on to her post!}

Genesis Bowen Photography