Inspired by Life

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Halloween Party

Every year, our church has a Halloween activity. This year, it was a fall harvest festival instead, but, great fun, nevertheless.  Every year, our church hosts a chili cook-off, and every year all the chili is gone within 30 minutes of the start of the activity. This year, it was organized so well, that we had chili that lasted throughout the entire activity, and there were some awesome entries for the cook-off.  This year, Gracie was older and seemed to get into the Halloween spirit quite willingly. She debuted her ladybug costume as she fished in the pond with her buddy, Taryn. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Lake Accotink Park

The place where liquid gold and abundant amber waves of trees and shrubs meet and explode into breathtaking scenes everywhere you turn.  I had to pinch myself many times to ensure I was in reality.  How on earth did I live only fifteen minutes from this place and had never been here before? We parked in an unassuming parking lot, with a few other cars around - a parking lot that gave no indication to the jewels it was hiding just a few feet away. We walked through a little trail, as Gracie made friends with some people who had two little doggies. In reality, it was the dogs she was interested in and the people just came with them. We trudged along for a few minutes on a paved path, covered in fallen leaves, and thick overgrowth of trees, when suddenly, the shady path gave way to a glistening lake, soft sands, and a stunning view.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Huntley Meadows Park

I believe that God decided to pull out his paintbrush, dust off his palette, and create some beauty on the afternoon we decided to visit Huntley Meadows Park. As we walked along the boardwalk through this surreal place, I didn't realize I had stopped breathing for several seconds, until I took a deep breath, as I turned around and around just soaking in this incredible beauty.  It was a crisp afternoon with a light, chilly breeze blowing every now and then to remind us of the change in weather.  It was almost deserted, which left us feeling like we had this stunning place all to ourselves. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Cox Farms Fall Festival

Last October is a blur in my memory and I am determined to not let this year get fuzzy as well. If this amazing and perfect weather continues, there is a slim chance of that happening. We head out almost everyday to explore, spend some quality family time, and create some memories together. 

We have lived in this part of the world for five years now, and there are some things that are absolute tradition in these parts: Outer Banks beach house; Colonial Williamsburg; National Mall; Screen on the Green in the summer; and of course, Cox Farms Fall Festival. I have seen this particular tradition posted on my friend's Facebook pages and their Instagram accounts every year and have always wanted to do it. [Don't get me started on how I think living in DC/Virginia/Maryland is perfect for the adventurous and cultural souls like me.]

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mount Vernon Woods Park

 There is no shortage of parks in our neighborhood, and there is no shortage of excitement in our home to visit said parks and explore. We set out on an afternoon drive to find Huntley Meadows Park. However, that was not to be the case. For some reason, our GPS would take us to a neighborhood, and a gate with a sign that said Huntley Meadows Trail or something of the sort but it was locked and we could not park anywhere. It just looked like the edge of a forest, and it was. After trying two or three times and being thoroughly frustrated, we drove up a few blocks further and came to the Mt. Vernon Woods Park and an elementary school right across the street from it.  The park was mostly deserted and from the street, where we parked, we could see some swings and a slide. Other than that, it wasn't much of a park, really. I was not a happy camper as I was looking forward to exploring Huntley Meadows and its wonderful wetlands that I had seen pictures of. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Cross County Trail

You've heard of the saying, "Make hay while the sun shines." Well, I don't know the first thing about making hay, but I do know that when the sun actually shines after a week-long hiatus due to the heavy rains, I am out of the house! There is no reason to waste a wonderful opportunity to explore outside, and that is exactly what we did this morning. Lucky for us, we didn't have to go too far. This absolutely gorgeous trail, known as The Cross Country Trail, runs right outside our home, and we avail ourselves of its beauty any chance we get.