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Friday, August 31, 2012

The End Of Summer

For me, Labor Day has always signified the end of the summer season.  I turn my calendar to September and bid a not-so-fond farewell to 100 degree weather!

Aside from the melt-your-face-off heat, summertime is lovely.  It's about vacations and starry nights and watermelon and family picnics.  It's about drinking lemonade, and road tripping with little kids who like to throw their fruit snacks in the car.  It's about S'mores, sunsets, and fireworks.  Summer is for love and adventure; summer is for fun with family.  It's about kiddie pools and baseball games.  It's about popsicles and excursions to the zoo.  It's about making memories.

My "McD Clan O' Four" made countless memories this summer.  (It was one of our busiest yet!)  We ate good food and visited beautiful places.  We packed our car, packed our bags, packed our cooler, and packed our schedule.  There were trips to lakes and trips to national monuments.  There were birthday parties and family BBQs and day trips to snappy locales.

Through it all, we learned several things:  Pack more water than you think you'll drink.  When confined in a small space (like a car) for an extended period of time, children will turn into cage fighters.  The sunscreen you spray is superior to the goopy lotion.  (And easier to use!)  At times it IS necessary to pop your hatchback and change your child's diaper in the back of your car.  Park rangers are nice and polite when your daughter looks at them and says, "Your hats are freaking me out."    

But I think the most important, most eye-opening, most ground-breaking, most shocking, most interesting thing James and I learned this summer happened during one of our family vacations.  It threw us for such a loopity-loop, all we could do was shake our heads in bewilderment.  It can best be conveyed in this video snippet:

 Hotels make kids weird!!!

Have a fantastic, hotel free, end-of-summer, Labor Day weekend! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Little Bit Of Random Never Hurt Anyone!

*Sometimes, being a mama causes me to conjure up all kinds of deep thoughts.  Like:  If Polly Pocket has to bathe in her car, does that mean she's homeless?  (And why is Dora's head shaped like a football?!?)

* My children have yet to grasp the concept that cereal is to be poured into a bowl.


*Earlier this week, Lilly informed me that she cannot and will not leave the house without putting a necklace and bracelet on.  I worry I may have created a monster.  By my example.

* If you ever see someone wearing a pig shirt like this, you should scream and run the other way.

* Recently, we took a trip to the craft store.  Lilly found a foam crown she wanted to take home and decorate.  When she had finished "bedazzling" it, she informed me that she was queen for the day.  She wore her crown and called me "Sergeant," incessantly.  It wasn't until several hours later when I realized she meant to call me, "SERVANT."

*No, seriously...why is Dora's head shaped like a football?  It doesn't make any sense!

*I know I've said this before, but I'm saying it again:  Being a mama is a tough gig.  There are moments (after cleaning up cereal and being called Sergeant) when you need to stop, relax, take a deep breath, and unwind.

*I firmly believe that no matter the question, no matter the trial, no matter the stress or the heartache or the worry, "BUBBLE BATH" is frequently the answer.  Example:  I'm nervous about my darling "Queenie" starting kindergarten.  What should I do?  Answer:  Take a bubble bath.  Today didn't go so well.  I feel like I'm failing as a mother.  Am I?  Answer:  Take a bubble bath.  My almost-three-year-old son is NOT interested in potty-training.  Now what?  Answer:  Take a bubble bath.  Should I buy a t-shirt with a ginormous pig face on it?  Answer:  Take a bubble bath.

*I know that Life is ready and waiting to send beautiful little "reminders" our way.  (Which always come when we need them the most.)  These are the small moments in time that touch our hearts, silence the chaos, and make us stop and smile and say, "A-ha, this is it!...

This is why it is all worth it."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Princesses CAN Be A Little Scary

Recently, I had one of those "pick your battle" moments that mamas are often faced with.

Here's a picture of my battle (or "non-battle" battle?):

Lilly's new-found passion is creating art.  And displaying it.  Everywhere.

I love that she loves art and crafting.  I really do.  I celebrate her creativity.  I love that she loves to draw and paint and color.  I applaud her talent and how well she "stays in the lines."  I love her love affair with crayons.  I embrace how well she writes her name, as she writes it over and over again.  I love how she loves to draw hearts on everything.

What I do not love is her latest obsession with my Scotch tape.

She found it in my drawer one day, and unbeknownst to me, went bonkers with it.  Literally.  A whole roll of Scotch tape and an entire Princess coloring book later and...viola...her pretty purple walls went from "pizazz" to being the cause of the latest vein bulging in my forehead.  I chose to "let it be," for now, for a very simple reason:  It makes her ridiculously happy.

One quiet, Tuesday afternoon, I walked into "Ms. Monet's" bedroom to remove all of her bedding and wash it.  (Ugh!  The dreaded laundry day!)  As I changed her sheets from the polka dot ones to the floral ones, I happened to glance at her gallery wall.

EEK!  I gasped aloud at what I saw!

I don't know about you, but I don't think those princesses look right!  They're a tad alarming, wouldn't you say?!  Hmm.  There's something sort of "off" or different about them...

I just can't seem to put my, I mean, finger on it.      

Friday, August 17, 2012

"M" Is For...

Wooo-weee!  I have been crafting like a madwoman all week!

Every now and then, the "I-Have-To-Make-Something" bug will bite me, and I find myself crafting and crafting and going a little cuckoo.  I'm one of those "all or nothing" crafters:  I either craft ALL the time; converting my kitchen table into a chaotic mess of glue sticks, fabric scraps, and paint brushes.  Or, I go through periods where I don't really craft as much.  (As in, I make nothing.)

But that has not been the case this week!  I've been up to my eyeballs in acrylic paint and polymer clay, and it has been a hoot!  I finally started working on a project idea I found on good ol' Pinterest, and I have to tell you...I couldn't be more tickled by how it turned out.

First, you'll need a large frame.  I raided the thrift stores this week and found all kinds of treasures.  (The porcelain squirrels, the clown doll, and the candy dish shaped like a trout STAYED on the shelves and IN the store, despite my children's pleadings.)  I purchased several frames to refurbish.  One did not have any glass in it, which was perfect!  It was an ugly, blue-gray color, and it was framing a painting of a vase filled with ugly, blue-gray flowers.  I paid one dollar for it and brought it home to give it some "desert turquoise" love!

I went to Hobby Lobby and found the most delightful chevron-patterned fabric.  I wrapped the fabric around the frame's cardboard backing, securing it with my trusty hot glue gun.

I also purchased a wooden letter "M" at Hobby Lobby, to be our monogram.  (My husband would argue that the "M" stands for MADNESS...since that is what my crafting has been lately!)  I painted the letter "M" a mustard-yellow color.  (The kind of color that makes my heart happy.)  When it was dry, I used my trusty hot glue gun (I cannot talk about my glue gun without calling it "trusty") to attach the "M" to my chevron cardboard piece.  Then, I popped it back into the frame.


Cute, cute, cute!  Such an easy project to work on, and very inexpensive too.  And hey!...perhaps the "M" could stand for "MAKE something this weekend," or "MAKE this now!"

(I know, I know...Or MAYBE I'm crazy.)                   

Monday, August 13, 2012

Love Is A Pie

I want to show you a picture of what love looks like.

It's a pie.  A lemon meringue pie.  A beautiful, tart and tangy, mouthwatering pie with meringue so golden it looks like it's been kissed by the sun!

Earlier today, I was standing in my bathroom--blow drying my hair and battling my frizz--when my husband appeared in the doorway.  He told me a friend of mine had called his cell phone, left a message, and was hoping to speak to me.  I quickly called her back, only to hear her say the most magical words to my little ears:

"Aleisha, I have a lemon meringue pie for you."  (She knows it is my favorite!)

Fifteen minutes later, my friend--with the heart as sweet as her pies--was on my doorstep.  We laughed at my "half-dressed for church" appearance and her "just out of the shower" wet hair.  She carried my homemade, fresh-baked pie to my fridge, while I pulled open the door for her.  (She didn't even judge me when she saw how filthy and stinky it was in there.  Note to self:  Clean out the fridge this week.)

My "perfectly lemony" lemon meringue pie has made me happy all day, and my friend's gesture is one that has warmed me to my toes.  She is an example to me of selflessness and goodness.  I believe she spent her precious time making a pie for me for one glorious reason:  Because she wanted to.

Because she loves me.

I may have one more slice before bedtime.   

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fortunate Enough

If you are fortunate enough to visit Amish country, it is possible that two things will happen.

1.)  Your heart might break in your chest over how serenely beautiful it is.

And 2.)  You might get a little excited about all the Amish buggies you'll pass along the roadside!

Hope your day is as lovely as this picture!

NOTE:  Be sure to take a little "time out" for yourself and stop by the Time Out For Women website!  I'm honored AND thrilled to have the opportunity to guest post for them today.  Come visit at  Happy reading!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mama Leisha's First Ever "Wordless Wednesday?!"

 They is no words for how cool my shirt are.

(Have a happy and grammatically correct Wednesday, my friends!  And thanks for 
being so nice.  Nice people are sexy too!)