Gratitude ~ Day 16

Today, I finally had the chance to finish up some pictures I took way back in September!  I love capturing great images that help me think and reflect.  The first few are from some shots I took to test out my new macro lens.

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These next few are from our last weekend spent camping in northern Michigan.  Do you see the deer bedded down right outside someone’s walkout basement?

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Love this cutie!

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She looks like a real explorer!  And when did she get so TALL!

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:: Team-up Thursday ~ Beginning ::

There’s always something about this time of year that makes my heart swell.  I love so many things about the various seasons, but the possibility, the promise of an approaching summer with days less-filled is a friend I welcome with open arms. 

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The warmer weather we’ve had recently has the whole family ready for summer.  Calder keeps asking, “Today can we get my pool out of the basement?” and Seneca has rekindled her love affair with the swingset.  I have a feeling we’ll be spending oodles of time outdoors this summer!

When we chose our theme this week ~ a combination of new, beginning, and possibility ~ there were so many ways I thought about interpreting it.  Then I noticed the purple and white blossoms of little crocuses in our garden and smiled.  The fact that Jaimee’s was also nature made me smile too.  I love the crisp detail on the branch and the way the buds seem to be reaching up for warmth and light.  I can’t wait to read Jaimee’s write up about her shot – the coolness might be completely natural thanks to the recent snowstorm!

Thanks Megan and Melody for hosting this challenge!  Be sure to swing by and see what’s blossoming with other teams today!

:: A Closer Look ~ BSM ::

I’m not sure I’ve slowed down since about Wednesday of last week.  It’s not looking like there will be much time for rest and reflection this week either…which is why this – my first real attempt at anything macro, makes me feel happy, peaceful and calm. 

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See what other best shots are bloomin’ this week!

Sunflowers ~ Best Shot Monday

I remember when we first walked through the house where we now live.  After seeing many homes ~ some great, some absolutely NOT ~ we’d kept coming back to the pictures of this one online.  When we finally decided to look at it, even though it wasn’t in the location we really wanted, we knew it was the one we would buy.  I snapped dozens of pictures on our second walk-through and would scroll through them back at our apartment.  Before long, the house was ours…one week away from our first wedding anniversary. 

Recently, I found a few of those pictures  and was amazed to see the ways in which the home both inside and out has changed to fit the needs of our growing family.  Projects such as landscaping, painting, or updating the deck, or installing the new playset have really changed the look over the nearly five years we’ve lived there. 

A few years ago we pulled out the dead and dying lilac trees that resided in the back corner of our yard.  I was sad to see them go because the smell of lilacs is something I remember fondly from days spent in Grandma Gert’s backyard.  We’ve tried wildflowers, which ended up looking more wild than flowery.  We’d thought about turning it into some type of sitting area with a bench, arbor and fountain.  But none of those plans ever felt right.

This year, Garth sprinkled sunflower seeds (aka leftovers from a winter of feeding the birds) into converging rows.  I liked the idea, but it was really his thing.  He’d be out there watering or thinning them while we played in the yard.  Even when they were small, it already looked so much better than any of our prior attempts.  Then, after two weeks of rain and the sudden warmth, they exploded.  What was once a cute patch of knee-high plants, became a forest through which Calder was suddenly wary to explore. 

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The first signs of buds appeared.  Our excitement grew. 

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We watched and counted the numbers of buds appearing on a single stalk.  Did you know there could be more than one per stem?  I observed the pride on Garth’s face as his laboring was paying off.  While our time away has been refreshing, we’re anticipating a sea of sunny yellow to smile upon us when we arrive home.

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My best shot this week is the first one, I love all the possibility that it holds, and yet wince a little to think about how quickly the time will pass when he really will be forging out on his own, exploring the world around him.  And yet, if you look closely, you’ll see his daddy’s hand, outstretched.  It’s enough to make my heart melt. 

How about you?  What’s blossoming in your world this week?  What are you exploring?