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Friday, October 25, 2013

Mountains, JOY, and a Pinner's Expo!

Do you live in Salt Lake City?

If not, then you should!  It is lovely here and the people are nice.

In addition to offering scenic mountains, killer (as in good) fry sauce, and a snappy downtown area, Salt Lake City is home to the Pinner's Conference and Expo!

What is that, exactly?

According to the website,, the expo is "where Pinterest comes to life...This show is mainly about two cool things:  fun classes and plentiful shopping.  It will feature nearly 80 top classes from the best presenters in the nation.  You'll also enjoy nearly 200 exhibiting businesses providing beautiful shopping options in the worlds of DIY, crafts, wedding, baby, cooking, photography, party planning, nails, scrapbooking, holiday decor, clothing, and jewelry."


Guess what, dear friends?  I will be teaching a class there!

If you take my class, here are some things you could expect:

1.) I might do a dance.
2.) I might kiss your face off.
3.) I might wear a Christmas sweater.
4.) I might make a mess, because I'm a messy crafter.
5.) I might be handing out Diet Coke, because I don't know how to do anything crafty without it.

And if you take my class, here are some absolutes:

1.) You will have a great time.
2.) You will "create joy."  Literally. 

3.) You will be inspired (I hope!) to create the kind of joy that makes your heart light, too. 

Henri J.M. Nouwen said, "Joy does not simply happen to us.  We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day."  I am a "joy proponent."  Choose joy:  I've toiled and worked and fought to make that my mantra.  I choose joy.

I hope you'll choose to take my class!!  *wink*


Monday, October 21, 2013

"Mama's On Maternity Leave" Guest Post: Featuring POLLY

My charming friend, Polly, and I were in Northern Utah's, "Listen To Your Mother" show together.  The first time we met was at a rehearsal.  She walked into the room sporting a tailored jacket and short, spunky hair, and I knew it was love!  She is such a talented writer.  You can read her at

Coming to Grips with Taking the Name of Mom in Vain

My son is now talking. 

He says, “Mom.  Mom.  Mom!  Come on!”

“You can do it, Ove.  You’re an independent person,” I say.

“I not pendent person. I Ove!” he says.

And still we have the same conversation in the bathroom at least four times a day.

He says, “MOM!!  Mom.  Mom, wash my hands!”

“You can wash your hands, Ove.  I know you can,” I say. 

“MOM!  MOM! Step stool!” he says.

“You can get the step stool,” I say.

“Mom! Mom!” he says.

And I’m sure you have experienced this classic toddler conversation:

Ove: Mom.

Me: What?

Ove: Mom.

Me: What?

Ove: Mom!

Me: What, Ove?

Ove: MOM!!!

I’ve made a new rule: thou shalt not take the name of the Mom in vain.

When he was born, like all of you mothers, I wondered, what is he thinking?

Well, now I know.

He’s thinking, “MOM!  Mom!  Mom! Mom!!! MOM!!!!!!”

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Three little McDs 
sitting on Mama's bed.
One with messy hair
atop his little boy head.
One wearing sunglasses,
the other, fast asleep.
All three McDs
are mine to forever keep.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Be Prepared

I try to be prepared for things.

Case in point:  I have a will.  Well, sort of.  My girlfriends and I have had an ongoing joke for years that if I happen to bite it anytime soon (heaven forbid), they get my shoes.  (You should know:  I.  LOVE.  SHOES.  I have all kinds and in all colors.)

I told James my wishes, to have certain pumps and flats divvied out, and he willingly accepted the invitation to be my estate executor.  (Which is to say, he told me I was crazy.)  I even jotted down a list of friends and coordinating shoes in my journal!

See?  Prepared with a capital "P."

Other cases of Mama Leisha preparation:  When it is raining, I always have my umbrella with me.  (This hair of mine--which is really a naturally curly throw back to the 70's afro--will dissolve if it gets wet.)  I carry lipstick and Pepto Bismal in my purse.  I take packages of fruit snacks with me when grocery shopping with my kids.  I have flashlights for power outages and first aid kits for when I'm chopping onion and pretending to be a top chef in my kitchen.

Recently, there have been big changes afoot in my simple, lovely life.  Preparation for them has been key, as it was Goethe who said that "he who lives must be prepared for changes."  I have prepared freezer meals and washed crib bedding and cleaned out closets.  I have read books and online forums on "how older children adjust to having a new baby in the home."  I have meditated and prayed.

And here's what I have learned:  That nothing can fully prepare you for bringing a third child into your home.  Nothing can prepare you for the love or the anxiety you will feel.  Nothing can prepare you for the lack of sleep, the baby blues, and the joys over the "gas bubble smiles."  I believe that nothing can fully prepare you one-hundred-percent for parenthood.

I do what I can.  I do the best I can.  I try not to let my acute epiphany rattle me; choosing to "cope" by running to the grocery store instead.  To buy these:

Because if I can't be completely prepared for my sweet, new baby...
My bum can be.    

Sunday, October 6, 2013

"Mama's On Maternity Leave" Guest Post: Featuring COBI

I'm so blessed in my life to have "Mama Leisha" as my friend.  "Mama Leisha" is the most sincere woman and is such a light in my life as I know she is in yours.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.  Thank you from the bottom of my bosom, cause we're bosom buddies, just like in Anne of Green Gables.  Haha, ok off topic now, let's get back to my deep thoughts.

So!  I'm wondering if people ("you, me and the entire human race"-MJ) were just a little bit (and sometimes a LOT) nicer to one another, the world might be a better place?  It's the little things, right?

What if...
...we gave each other the benefit of the doubt?
...we thought the best of one another instead of the worst?
...we loved EVERYONE for their uniqueness?
...we prayed for someone instead of judging them?
...we jumped in and helped instead of watching?
...we realized we don't know everything?
...we sought first to understand than to be understood?
...we taught acceptance instead of differences?
...we lifted instead of put down?

This is just a few of a whole lot of behaviors I know I could be better at.  I've learned a lot in my short life time and know that I will continue to learn these things over and over until I don't ever do them again. 

I've learned that when I say "I'll never...", I'm then given the opportunity to prove it (I usually do the same thing).  I've learned that when I judge a situation, I'm then put in that situation and am judged. 
I've learned that when I gossip there are 10 times the amount of rumors or stories being told about me.  I've realized that when I'm quick to draw a conclusion about someone, I'm usually wrong and wish I would have spent more time with that person than pushing them away.  I've learned that it's better to pray for those that are mean to you than to hate them. 

For some reason the opposite of these lessons is what comes natural for me, anyone else?  (Please don't say I'm alone!)  For those of you who do not understand what I'm talking about, BLESS YOU!  (And please be my friend you lucky duck.)  I used to excuse by bad behavior with all the other good things I did.  However the good doesn't cancel out the bad.  The good fosters more good and the bad fosters more bad.  From these experiences I've come to truly believe that what goes around, comes around and if this is the case then I should only be doing good.  I realize I'm human and will fall short and when I do, you better believe I'm watching my back for what's coming. 

Here's something I've come up with, my own SWAPPORTUNITY CHALLENGE that I've been working on (not perfected).  These are just a few behaviors, but a good place to start.

How, Why, When did I come up with this challenge?

Years ago (4 to be exact) I was having a difficult time adjusting to my life being turned upside down; moving somewhere I didn't want to be, my husband rarely home, broke with 4 kids, my daughters struggling with school finally diagnosed with learning disabilities and my baby, nineteen months old, diagnosed with Autism.  The life I imagined was over and I felt all alone and lost with no way out.  I've been the recipient of all of these bad behaviors and know what it's like to be judged at the store with the child that can't cope, labeled and not given the opportunity to be someone's friend before I became their enemy, for I don't know what reason.  I've been told how to raise my kids and then ignored when I explain my child's situation.  I know the heartache and pain of hearing the whisperings of others about me that are so hurtful.  From these experiences I hope and pray I learn and change my behaviors for the good.   I'm NOT perfect, but why not give it your all.

Join Me!!! Maybe, just maybe we can change the world......
and hopefully spread a little PEACE.

**Follow my amazing, redheaded friend at  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Charming Charlie and Friendship

Last week, I finished a fascinating book by Dr. Hilda Ruch titled, "Women Create!"

In the book, Dr. Ruch talks all about how aaaaahhhhh-mazing and intrinsically creative women are, and how much they contribute to the world around them.  (Heck yes!)  Women create life.  Women create beauty.  Women create change for the better.  They are capable of leading and nurturing many, and of learning and achieving much.  They have an exquisite adeptness for connecting with other women.  We call this skill--even god-given gift--friendship.

Dr. Ruch so splendidly writes, "Friends play an important role in our sense of well-being and have a positive impact on life.  We rely on a friend as someone who cares and who will affirm and support us.  Friendships shape and influence who we are and who we might become.  They soothe our inner worlds, offer solace, and nourish emotional growth."

I LOVE that!  Our friends are the ones who buoy us up when life's sea gets rocky.  They offer advice, comfort, love, and Halloween candy (ha!), and always when we need it the most.  They help us pick out the perfect pair of earrings at Charming Charlie!  They bring a great deal of joy into our spheres.

And when we are fearful--about to step off the edge of what is familiar and comfortable to us--our friends are there to say, "You can do this.  You've got this, Mama."

I'm so grateful for friendship.  
Aren't you?