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Monday, February 27, 2012

Craftin' for St. Patrick

The "luck o' the Irish" is raining down on me, friends!


Because I'm guest posting for The Wood Connection today!  Hooray!  I love The Wood Connection store as much as I love pots of gold, Blarney stones, four leaf clovers, and Lucky Charms cereal.  And since I am Irish (okay, okay, only by marriage), I decided to show everyone how to make a grand St. Patrick's Day craft.  (No leprechauns required.)  Be sure to stop by The Wood Connection's blog and check it out.  I confess to being so happy about the way it turned out, I danced a little jig in my kitchen!

But wait..  That's not all!  The Wood Connection has been generous enough to give away a $25 gift certificate to one "LUCKY" reader!  There is one caveat:  The Wood Connection is located in Murray, UT.  They do not ship their products.  The drawing would most benefit Utah residents, people who visit Utah often, or readers willing to travel to Utah to claim their prize!   (Thanks for understanding!)

How to enter:
1.) Follow "Mama Leisha" via GFC, if you don't already.
2.) Leave a comment stating you are a new follower and that you would like to win!  (Or if you already follow, just leave a comment!)
3.) Bonus entry:  Visit The Wood Connection's blog and leave a comment there!

*Drawing will close Wednesday at 10pm MST.*  Thank you again, Wood Connection!  Happy St. Patrick's Day, lads and lassies, and don't forget to get your craft on!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tags From Heaven

I hate doing the laundry.

Those who know me, and those who read my "hot-bliggity-blog," know that I detest doing the laundry.  I've made reference to my contempt for it a number of times.  I do not enjoy keeping tabs on every pair of white socks in my household, especially since my dryer seems to consume most of them on a weekly basis.  And don't even get me started on the folding!  Oh boy, oh boy, folding the laundry makes me crazy.  It's tedious, like math homework.  It's dull, like the sound of Larry King's voice.   (That man looks like an owl!)  Laundry is an endless household chore--one that is never done, over, complete, finished!  That is why it is the proverbial pebble in my polka dot shoe...or Tide infused sock.   

Sadly, I have a lousy relationship with my washing machine.  Don't get me wrong, I AM grateful for it's modern convenience.  I would never have made it as a pioneer woman.  (First of all, NO mascara.)  I couldn't have handled scrubbing clothes against the rocks of a riverbed.  And the rinse cycle probably would have been icy cold in that mountain water.  Yikes!

I suppose part of the reason why the "GE Super Load Capacity Washer/Mama Leisha" relationship is so lousy is because we can't seem to get away from each other; to catch a break, to gain some space.  It seems my washing machine and I are always hanging out--a girls day in, if you will.  She says, "Oh!  Hello again."  And I say, "I really need to get out more, this is starting to get monotonous."  (And alarming, since I'm implying I believe my washer to be:  a.) female, and b.) alive.  I may need to talk to someone.)

Imagine my delight when, in the middle of my "Laundry Day Lollapalooza," I discovered a "tag from  heaven" sewn into my dark-denim skinny jeans.  (Side note:  I am a crazy, compulsive "tag checker."  I wholly rely on them to guide me through the ins and outs of properly caring for clothing.)  Right there beneath "no bleach" (no duh) and "tumble dry low" is a sweet little message to break up the monotony of the rinse cycles, and to put a smile on my otherwise ornery-looking face:      

What a lovely remainder!  Something to soften my heart, the way my Downey "Simple Pleasures" dryer sheets (in lavender) soften my towels.  And speaking of towels...

I've got folding to do.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Because It's President's Day...

In 1986, I was the self-appointed president of the "Michael Jackson Fan Club."  As an uber hip six-year-old--with jelly shoes AND a Care Bear--I would put on my blue Rainbow Brite t-shirt and dance, dance, dance to "Beat It" in my parent's bedroom.  Why there?  Because they had a vanity dresser--you know, a dresser with a big mirror attached--and I liked dancing in front of it and checkin' out my own sweet dance moves.

His piano t-shirt in that music vid was pretty rad, right?

From 1989 to 1994, I was the president of the "What in the Hell is Wrong with Your Teeth?" club.  I ran the embarrassing (and often physically and emotionally painful) gauntlet of head gears, retainers, and braces.  I did not campaign for such a position, being unwilling to put pictures of my buckteeth on posters and flyers.  Rather, I was "appointed" to it.  By genetics.

When I started attending the local university, something strange happened.  I became president of the "Hippie Revolution" club.  I owned a pair of olive green corduroy pants and Birkenstock sandals.  I would wear them with vintage t-shirts I'd find at thrift stores.  I wore lots of hemp.  I listened to folk music, and wrote poetry in a notebook that had a cover made out of bark.  I would regularly visit a small and obscure shop downtown called "Earthly Awakenings."  They had the best selection of incense, and my favorite one--Dragon's Blood--was always in stock.  (Don't even ask...I have NO answers.)

Other "clubs" I have been president of:

*The "Big Hair Club for Women" club.
*The "Hugh Jackman Fan Club"--y'all know how I feel about that man.
*"Bookworms Annonymous," for those obsessed with reading and highlighting books, frequenting book stores, and obtaining library cards.  (Dudes!  I'm a lifetime member.)
*The "Diet Coke Makes Me Happy" club.
*The "I Only Date Nimrods" club--OF COURSE, McMan is the exception to this!
*The "Barbra Streisand Fan Club."  (I know, I KNOW...but she's like buttah.)

Currently, I'm the president of the coolest club I've ever been a part of.  The "Lilly and Camren Rock My World" club.  Because they do.  They rock it and bless it and shake it right up.  I find myself working and "campaigning" and laboring to be the best mother I can possibly be for them.  Days are long, nights are welcome, and boogers are endless.  Sure, it's a tough gig.  But I am in it for life.  (And longer.)  For when it comes to being the sweetest, funniest, loveliest, craziest, smartest, cutest kids ever...

They've got my vote.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Heart!

This sweet picture makes my heart happy!

Would you like to know what else makes my heart happy?  Laughing and talking all night with McHubby.  My new pink nail polish and the name of the color:  "Casanova Is So Into Me."  Good looking dentists.  Cam's new "Chiclets" teeth.  Strawberry cupcakes.  Lays potato chips, of the "baked" variety.  Heart-shaped ice cubes.  Pretty smelling lotion to make me feel all girly after I've been cleaning my toilets.  Blue skies and walks to the FEBRUARY.   Puppy kisses and cuddles.  All the love, support, and comments I receive from so many wonderful (and witty) readers of this blog.  (You bless my life more than you know and I appreciate every one of you.)

Have a lovely, "happy heart" kind of Thursday, dear friends!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Deja Vu

Do you remember this picture?  It was taken in February 2011.  (And yes, Camren IS wearing his sister's old Tinkerbell pajamas.  That's what happens when life resembles a pile of poo-poo and you get REALLY behind on the laundry.  When you're just trying to take care of your family and survive the poo-poo, everything else--like a date with your washer--becomes low priority.)

Do you remember this post?  About my little man biffing it in McDonald's and breaking his tooth?  It was awful; warm, salty fries from Mickey D's couldn't even provide comfort for a stressed out, energy depleted mama!

Look closely at this picture, taken just a couple of days ago.  What do you see?

That's right...The infamous "Chiclet" tooth is broken AGAIN!  AAAAHHH!!!!!!!

Honestly, the ONLY positive thing I can say about this "toothy ordeal" is that I get to go back to Dr. Babe's office.  And well...he's a babe.  (In a "He-should-do-Crest-commercials" kind of way.)  By this time tomorrow, Cam will have a brand spankin' new crown.  His teeny, tiny baby tooth is becoming a very expensive, teeny tiny baby tooth. 

I just might make him keep it forever.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Letter To My Nineteen-Year-Old Self

Dear Aleisha at 19 years,

You've been dating "Jason" (name has been changed to protect the idiotic) for a while now.  He tirelessly pursued you--doted on you as if you were the only chick on the planet--and within a matter of months...Bam! were an inseparable item.  Now, you are preparing to celebrate Valentine's Day together.  Dinner reservations will be made, a piano concert will follow pasta, and there will be hot "canoodling" before the night's end.  He'll give you roses and a ridiculously stupid, plush cow the size of a wheelbarrow, and you'll think he's pretty terrific.

But don't be fooled.

Don't be fooled by his "rico suave" good looks, or by the sweet-nothings he whispers into your ear.  Don't be fooled by his extensive knowledge of Tupac, or the way he smiles when you walk into a room.  Truth be told, he visits the tanning beds regularly, kisses his biceps before bedtime, and is enamored with his Toyota Corolla.  (A Corolla?!)  Don't be fooled into thinking you are in love with him...

Because he's been sucking face with "Melinda" (name has been changed to protect the ugly) behind the Coke machines in her office's break room.  Yep, the girl with no personality, bad highlights, heavy makeup, and a nose that resembles a bird's beak.  Melinda and Jason have been sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G for a while now.

I know you, and I know you've got a tender heart.  I know when the blinding shock of betrayal wears off your feelings will be hurt.  Naturally, you'll want to cry and cry...but can I offer a bit of advice?

Don't waste your time crying over a boy who wasn't good enough for you, who was NEVER good enough for you.  It doesn't seem possible now, but time and faith will be the glue that will put your broken pieces back together.  You'll walk away from "Tupac and Corollas" a stronger woman.

Oh, there will be others.  Other boys.  Other stolen kisses.  Other love notes.  Other romances.  Other late night talks in campus parking lots.  There will be flirting in library cubicles and hand-holding in movie theaters.  There will be first dates and last dates.  Other break-ups.  Other heart breaks.  With the end of each relationship, you'll learn something valuable about yourself.  You'll become a better version of  yourself.  You'll learn more about what you want and deserve in a companion.  You'll resign yourself to never settle.

And you won't.

He'll have dark brown eyes that will knock you off your feet, and a kind smile that will melt your heart to a puddle.  He'll be tall and lanky.  He'll be smart and athletic.  He'll laugh at your jokes.  He'll have nice lips.  He'll kiss you so you feel it in your kneecaps.  He'll propose marriage.  He'll whisper, "You're beautiful," on your wedding day.  He'll take care of you and support you in times of trial.  He'll be patient.  He'll cry when your beautiful daughter is born.  His face will radiate joy when you welcome a son into the world.  He'll teach you all about what real love is; what it means to trust it, to feel it in your core.  I know you think you know about all of that already, but Girl, it hasn't even hit you yet.

It will.

In the meantime, Happy Valentine's Day.  Take care of that heart of yours.  It's a good one.
Aleisha at 31 years 


Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's February, It's LOVE

It was raining.

I watched the rivulets of water cascade, like tiny streams, down the Blazer's large windows.  The sky was cast a gloomy, charcoal-gray--the melancholy color of a springtime storm.  I listened to the steady swoosh-swoosh-swoosh of the wipers as they valiantly fought to keep the rain off the windshield.  I sat in stony silence, in the passenger seat, and stared out my watery window. 

The minutes passed.  The miles rushed by.  The storm refused to relent.  I tried to read billboards and exit signs, while James drove on in quiet frustration.

There were no wedding rings.  No anniversary dates.  No brown-eyed children.

It was just me. 

I thought about how furious and hurt I was as I folded my arms across my chest.  A tumultuous sea of emotions churned within my heart, invoked by our petty, "young love" quarrel.  I tightly clenched my teeth in an effort to keep the tears from flowing down my face.  I was not going to let him see me cry.

The windshield wipers kept time with my heartbeat.  Swoosh-swoosh-swoosh.  James cleared his throat, and gently spoke my name:  "Aleisha?"  I refused to turn my head.

He sighed and said, as sincerely as heaven, "You know I love you...Right?"

Something glorious happened to the 'feeling' in the car the moment those words were spoken.  The dark severity of the storm seemed to dissipate as I looked at James' cheek and the curvature of his jaw.  I saw a handsome face that had become as familiar to me as my own.  I saw genuine love there, too.

And that is what love does--it softens hearts and crushes contention.  It's a balm for pain and a guiding light for the lost.  It has the ability to uplift, motivate, and inspire.  It casts it's warmth on the bitter chill of loneliness.  It brings joy to the ordinary and "sparkle" to the mundane.  It can change a person for the better.

Think of the people in your life.  The people who never forget your birthday, who hold your hand when you're sad, who send you text messages about the newest kind of Oreos, who remind you that you're terrific when you feel otherwise, who take the time to listen, who support you by reading your "bloggy musings," who hug you and kiss you, who stand by your side when life's challenges overwhelm, who know your weaknesses and still see beauty, who make you happy and laugh often.

Those precious people.

They know you love them...Right?