Sunshine and Simplicity

My favorite time of the year, here in the North Georgia Mountains, is Summer. When the produce stands open with fresh fruits and veggies, when the mountains fill in with lush vibrant green leaf trees, when the lakes are warm, and when everything is in bloom, it’s truly my happy place.

@dellneighbours for photo

I love mason jars, and brown paper bags. I love warm Summer days, and wet puppy kisses. I love a good strong cup of coffee and a comfy pair of sweatpants. I love the smell of Patchouli and driving down old country roads with the windows down on hot sunny days. I love toe rings and fresh watermelon.. starry nights and lightning bugs.

I love this thing called life, and although I am in one of the greatest and hardest battles I’ve seen thus far on my life journey – I still am in love with every day.. and remind myself to be thankful for even the smallest blessings when they capture my attention.


Blessings, like these special souls pictured above. Guys, meet my little family! This is my ruggedly handsome, loving, supportive, absolutely incredible husband, Dell. He’s my best friend, my world, my rock, and my true soul mate. We will be celebrating our first year wedding anniversary this September, of 2019. Although somewhat “newlyweds,” this August will essentially be eight years together total. The gorgeous female sheprador mix on his side is our “Tippet.” She was a rescue, we’ve had her since December 2018, she just completes our little world! The joy dogs bring is indescribeable, isn’t it? My dog lovers out there know what I’m talkin’ about.

@dellneighbours #toccoariver #blueridge

I remember when my Stargazer Lillies were just beginning to open, after watching and waiting months for them to reach their peak bloom. When it did happen, WOW. Getting to enjoy their vibrancy and uniqueness, seeing them open over the course of minutes and hours, it was a breathtaking experience. Dell and I said that they were probably the biggest lillies we’d ever seen! He took this picture one morning for me, capturing the morning dew on the petals. They really only lasted a few days before the petals began to fall off, but we enjoyed every moment they were fully alive. They were the blessing flower in my yard this year, because these were the lilly buds that never came to fruition last year, but this year, they absolutely came in with a bang!

I guess, moral of the story… it’s recognizing just the simple blessings, every day, as much as we can. It’s about releasing just that small portion of gratitude to change the perspective of looking at the glass at half empty, to…. “Right on! Room for more.” Room for more gratitude, more laughter, more hugs, more face to face, and less face to phone, can I get an amen on that one? More reflection. Reflect on memories, moments of joy, to the trials we overcome. If a moment of sadness or discouragement drifts into the forefront, recognize the life lesson that it brings about, but don’t dwell. Shake it off and move forward.

@dellneighbours #toccoariverr #blueridge

Moments like this one, the rare morning where the nerve pain wasn’t absolutely screaming, Dell and I took Tippet to Tammen Park. Tammen Park isn’t really a park, so much as it is a large soccer field, a boat ramp, and very small playground set. But it’s got a couple of these super cool semi decent sized “porchlike” structures beside Toccoa River, which was beautiful! I loved everything about this morning. While we were there a total of maybe twenty minutes, it was perfect, quaint, and fulfilling, and I’m thankful for that 4th of July morning.

@dellneighbours #toccoariver #blueridge

So, this Summer while I may not be tearing up local mountain bike trails, hiking, tubing or kayaking down the Toccoa River – I did get to enjoy this Summer morning standing beside it.. and how magnificent it truly is. Mornings here in the North Georgia Mountains are amazing, almost anytime of the year. The calmness, the hundreds of birds greeting the day with their many songs, the deer grazing in corn fields before sunrise.. it’s peaceful. But while you’re riverside, and the morning sun rises and kisses the river, you can still see the diamond sparkle blanket through the fog coming off the water. With the grass still fresh with the dew from the night before, crickets and bullfrogs, the smell of cool crisp mountain air, you begin to feel yourself elevate above worries and feel weightless, if even just for a fleeting moment.

@dellneighbours #toccoariver #clackacraft #flyfishing #blueridge

It’s the calm cool mornings like this one, that truly make you realize you live in a postcard. I mean look at this. Dell is a flyfishing guide, he took this picture one morning just a couple weeks ago, and I fell in love with the scenery and the exquisiteness of it.

Appreciating the smallest things, diving into small joys, doesn’t deplete our souls – if anything, being still and indulging in moments of thankfulness nurtures the soul. It awakens the senses, and stimulates the desire to be more thankful, show more gratitude in our life. Opportunities to be happy despite the stress, pain or anxiety should be taken advantage of, and that’s not something to feel guilty of! Quite the contrary, the Lord encourages thankfulness and gratitude. With small, yet important joys in life, like your spouse, or your dog, great food, sunshine and living in a post card, it’s hard to not feel overwhelmed with gratefulness!

Soak up the sun, soak up life, soak up today… and be thankful…

#blueridge #toccoariver #flyfishing #fruitsandveggies #summertime #nfwarrior #schwannomatosis #sheprador #soulmates #vibewithme #livineasy #faith #faithwithalimp

13 Replies to “Sunshine and Simplicity”

  1. Leslie, you are an inspiration. To deal with all you do, and then to have joy as you do, is so very admirable. I know that the Lord gives you the strength and attitude to continue, but so many (me included) have the tendency to get discouraged at much smaller trials. The Lord has reminded me to pray for you at different times, sometimes in the middle of the night. Your mom is an inspiration also…Much prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leslie you are so good with words. I love your blogs. Starti writing a book about Life and God. You are such an inspiration. When I read your Blog or look at pictures of Mother Nature I feel like I am right there next to you as if I am seeing it through your eyes. You are so special and I think you will touch many lost souls. Hugs precious angel.πŸ˜‡πŸ™πŸ»πŸ“–

    Liked by 1 person

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