We're lucky to live next to so many lush gardens and forests. We've had a great time exploring lots of them over the past few years.
Meadowlark was a new one for us! We went on a day that admission was free and walked the beautiful grounds.
Fairy gardens, koi ponds, children's gardens and a Chinese garden. We went back this December to explore their Festival of Lights. It was so beautiful to walk around the gardens at night while walking under Christmas lights all around.
During my training for my 1/2 marathon, I would get up early in the summer to get my runs in for the day.
I loved running the Four Mile Trail that connects with the Mount Vernon trail. You could run it for miles with the most beautiful scenes of gorgeous trees, water, sun rises and animal life.
Each day I would run, I had the thought, "How could anyone deny there is a God. There is so much beauty in this world. He created it all for us. "
Over the summer we had lots of adventures with our friends. One included a visit to the U.S. Botanic Gardens for the "Death Flower" blooming. We came about 24 hours before the bloom (which I'm not sad about at all- that horrid smell would make me loose my lunch!) But we still got to see the beautiful flower and have fun with our friends.
The newly renovated Children's Garden just reopened so we spent a lot of time planting, watering and cleaning the gardens.
This may be one of my favorite photos of my kids in D.C. A lush summer day with the top of the capitol building peaking through the tops of the trees.
Look at Haddie's pose! Where does she come up with that stuff!?
We found this little place in Burke Lake community and fell in love. We may have started plotting our move there.
The trails wrap around the lake. Just long enough for a good morning run, right behind the homes (see why we want to live here!?)
A day at the Butterfly pavilion is always fun! We go on Tuesdays when it's free and enjoy all of our fluttering friends. Haddie gets a little scared but Taryn wants to always stand like a statue so the butterflies will land on her. She got her wish just before we had to head out the doors.
Tyson, in his birding element.
He finds the best hikes for us. I woke up that beautiful summer day wanting to go on a hike that was close enough to our home and easy for the girls. Tyson delivered! Finding this Fairfax Falls hike was the perfect thing for my heart that day.
We try and incorporate some kind of service into our week and weekend. That day we decided to pick up trash along our hike. I was surprised at home much trash people had left everywhere. SO MANY STARBUCKS CUPS. Come on people. That's just ridiculous!
Taryn was itching to climb everywhere but it was a bit crazy. We let her go as far as possible but she ended up having a few meltdowns because she couldn't go further. Even older kids had to stop where she did so we didn't feel bad. It was dangerous and everyone knew it (but Taryn.)
Love this man of mine.
My favorite story of the day came when Tyson went to grab the car so he could pick us p in a different parking lot, so we didn't have a cross a super crazy busy street and risk our lives again.
The girls and I decided to head back down to the river bank to wade in the water while we waited for Tyson.
Well the girls were hoping rocks and touching the water and then Haddie screamed louder and longer than I have ever heard her do. I didn't even think twice. I skipped over those rocks so fast to grab her after hearing her terrified scream. I stopped her up just in time to see a crawfish swimming by her foot. She was terrified and still panicking. She thought it was a giant water spider coming after her.
I had a good laugh after saving her and Taryn got to see a boy standing near by pick the crawfish up in his hand.