Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Surprise Winter Wonderland!

Hello & happy new week!  I hope your day has been blessed and your week is off to a lovely start.  The last few weeks of the end of the year are some of my favorite because of the joy & incessant cheer that seems to be coursing through us all.  Oh what a glorious time of year, a time of love and warmth we find in the Lord's love for us, a spirit of renewed and often strengthened hope, and the contentment of treasured times spent at home with those we love most dearly.

And something adding to the coziness of it all?  S N O W!  If you have been reading my blog for some time, it may be evident that I love Southern life and heritage and it is home to me... but I must admit that snowy, white winters I dream of are one thing that is missing from life here.  It is such a rarity that we pretty much never expect anything more than a slight icing over, if that, every year.

But to our surprise, we began this past weekend with an evening of none other than a white, powdery, gleaming... 
winter wonderland!

I enjoyed with such wonder the peace, quiet, and enchanting beauty of the new world around me, and I took way too many photographs, many of which I'm excited to share today.  The next morning, as well as the evening the snow fell, I spent hours outside taking it all in, capturing it as it fell and then as a glistening blanket on the ground from the night before.  The fact that I ended up taking a few hundred photos probably shows just how excited we get about snow down here because of how unusual it is☺





















I felt such childlike wonder, both in the moonlight as the snow fell around me and melted into my hair as I built my tiny snowman (smiles) and again in the sparkling morning sun... 
I have loved enjoying the photos that many of you, dear friends, have always shared of your winter wonderland weather and scenery, from Colorado to upstate New York, the Virginias, and more.  I feel so blessed to have a bit of a wonderland here this season, too, AND to get to look forward to seeing winter where you are through your posts!☺

Watching the pure, heavenly loveliness surrounding me also made me think of one of my favorite verses that is the reason behind being able to live in every precious moment like these- this season and always- and enables us to live with joy and hope despite trials and our imperfect nature, only through our Savior...
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be made white as snow."
-Isaiah 1:18

.            .            .


It may still be technically fall by the calendar, but oh how the 
weather feels wintry, and I am so happy it is.
I hope you are enjoying the beginnings of winter where you are!

I wish you a wonderful week, dears!
Hugs and blessings,
-J

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Just Above the Creek // Small-town Strolling

There's a place I find such peace in visiting, a place where the quaintness and charm of a small town mixes perfectly with the abundant natural beauty surrounding it, where people move, talk, and live at a bit of slower, more relaxed pace, and where you can get delicious Blue-Bell in a cone at an old-fashioned ice-cream shoppe... and it is all just above the creek, a place called Cypress Creek to be exact.
I have had the joy of taking a few days to drive out here to spend time recently.  I was actually here enjoying the beauty this past weekend during my grandmother's visit with us.  It was wonderful to show her around a place we love so much.  These photos, though, are from another recent visit here that I spent happily exploring, admiring the glory of the trees and the creek, and doing a little bit of shopping.  I had my camera along that day, and the moment I got to the creek (which is the place I always gravitate toward each time we come) I was so glad I had brought it along to capture the splendor of the Lord's painting for the day through this scenery... so calming and tranquil, from the century-old bald Cypress to the trickling water over tiny falls.





The view of a cypress-lined creek and the dreamy, verdant reflections in the mirror-like surface is one of my favorite to take in with my eyes.  It is a view that feels like home and will always remind me of Texas and the South and of the "swimmin' hole" culture that comes with growing up here.





Listen to the creek with me, to the soft, soothing sounds of the rustling leaves
above and serene surroundings. I hope they can be heard on the audio here
 as they come through on the playback on my camera☺

.            .            .

And literally just feet away, above the banks of the creek lies the square where the shops and cafe are located.  And the butterflies and flowers throughout and lining the walks and exteriors of shops connect you to nature just as the creek does.  It is such a delight to walk into shops of artisans, visit small-businesses and boutiques, and enjoy an experience where proprietors are often small-town folk who are always welcoming and kind.




And boots... because it's Texas☺



Our favorite antique shop was struck by flooding and later fire, so it was closed, sadly,
but we found some quaint and lovely new shops we hadn't previously ventured into.



Charming store-fronts abound are many are adorned with
flowers or seasonal decor throughout the year.


Bolts of fabric are always a cheery sight.







A few shops are even studio-style and have porticos and porches out back
with botanical beauty and farmhouse furniture and decor.

History of the town alive in murals like this one.


And finally, one of the many giant, painted boots that are a beautiful addition to
many corners of the town and square, adding color and culture.

Friends, I could stay in this town forever. I love it so.  It is a place that is just so inherently peaceful, relaxing, and beautiful... and full of people to match its character and nature.

As I type this and look forward to sharing my day here, I am thrilled and giddy inside about one thing in particular... something that has me feeling like a little girl of about five with childlike wonder inside me...
IT IS SNOWING OUTSIDE!
Here in the South!  In Texas, nonetheless! So very rare.  I spent about an hour outside this evening (when it first started) photographing the trees and yard and each and every gorgeous, sparkling square inch of the snow and just taking it all in and thanking the Lord for such cheer and joy through the blessing of this surprise.  I even built a very tiny snowman (smiles) and we took many fun photos. It was also the heaviest snow with the largest flakes I have ever seen in Texas- it reminded me of the REAL snow I haven't seen in what seems like forever, the kind of snow I used to play in on trips to Colorado.  

My camera roll is full of white, dreamy views from tonight, and I look forward to sharing them and our snowday/evening as soon as I'm able.  I also likely caught a cold because I was far too enraptured by the enchanting blanket of snow surrounding me and every flake falling in front of me to care about grabbing a hat.  By the time I got inside, my hair was soaking.  But it was all worth it and so much fun!

I am sure many of you are getting winter wonderland weather where you are, too!
Do you enjoy the snow and chilly, wintry weather?
Has it snowed yet this year where you are?


Blessings to you!
And happy almost weekend!
-J

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