Monday, May 27, 2013

Very Jane!

I suppose I have always been a bit of a girly girl--a lover of shoes and clothes, makeup and jewelry, purses and glitter!
 

Once--when I was a delightful and charming child--I was visiting my grandma on her farm in Idaho.  Grandma had a big, scary dog that liked to lick and frighten delightful and charming children, such as myself.  My family had just pulled into her driveway and had gotten out of the car when that stinkin' dog came running!  I screamed and cried when it came after me, attempting to jump up on me.  (Or knock me over!)  My dad, being the heroic father figure, scooped me up in his arms and out of the canine's way.


There is a humorous element to this story:  My primary concern through the whole "doggy" ordeal hadn't been my bodily safety or well-being.  It had been my sweater!

"Daddy, don't let that dog eat my sweater!," I yelled.

See?  Girly.  Girl.  

Recently, I discovered a website that speaks volumes to my girly girl heart!  My friends, are you familiar with veryjane.comOh.  Ma.  Gosh.  They are online boutique shopping at its finest and most affordable.  They have to-die-for daily deals that range from clothing to funky jewelry to little boy bow ties to party supplies.  I love, love, love veryjane.com and all their goodies...

Like my gorgeous, J. Crew inspired, pave chain bracelet.  It's one of my favorites and I wear it all the time.  It sparkles in the sun, makes me happy, and jazzes up my skinny wrist!  If I had a million dollars, I would buy you one.  Seriously!


Visit veryjane.com... right now!  Sign up for their "daily deal" emails.  Peruse all their treasures.  Drool over how cute and fresh everything is.

Avoid sweater-eating dogs by doing a little "girly girl" shopping from home!   

 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tears and Shoes

I had a breakdown in the parking lot of Lilly's school.

All the parents had dropped off their kids--hugging and kissing them goodbye, wishing them well, saying things like, "Don't forget your backpack," and "Have a great day!"  The buses had left, the bell had rang, the parking lot had cleared out.  And still, I sat there.  In my dirty Chevy Blazer.  Wearing a baggy t-shirt and my old hat.

I cried.  And I'm not talking about a few gentle tears streaming down my cheeks, either!  I'm not talking about a lip quiver and a sniffy sniffle.  I full on busted out "the ugly cry."  I bawled and bawled.  Tears gushing!  Face blotching!  Snot running!  Gasping hiccups and closed-off throat and swollen eyelids!  Essentially, a "face melting" experience comparable to the one that dude had in the Indiana Jones movie.  (You know, because he "chose poorly.")

Eeeeeewwwww!!!!!!
I sat in my car for fifteen minutes, and let myself feel what I feel.  Because I'm a believer in that.  You have to let yourself feel what you feel sometimes.  I cried for the stomach flu that has attacked my home this week, for the fatigue that has invaded every inch of my body, for my aching hips, and for the two nights of sleep I lost bleaching, bleaching, bleaching everything.  I cried for my daughter's incessant whining and for her verbal attacks on my parenting capabilities:  "You're not any fun," and "I wish I had a different mom."  I cried for my stinky hair and my stinky arm pits, for the lack of food (and Diet Coke) in the fridge, and for my son's resistance to STAY PUT in his "big boy bed."

When my tear ducts were finished purging some of the emotional load I had been carrying, I did the only thing I could do.  I blew my nose and wiped my face...then I went to Ross.  I bought new shoes.


I bought these too.


As I left the store, I realized the "face melting," breakdown had been cathartic; the release, cleansing.  I felt better.  Sure, I was tired and drained, but I also knew that I was going to be okay.  I had a renewed desire to face my day (and it's challenges) head on.  My feet were going to look pretty while doing it.      

Tears and shoes can be really good things.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Here Comes The Sun

Don't you just love the sun?  Don't you love it's warm rays and it's bright cheerfulness?  The sun comes out, the weather warms up, and my spirits start to soar!  My guest post for the fabulous Wood Connection (on their blog today) reflects my love for the sun.  (And for orange and yellow, because oh my gosh, I am IN LOVE with those colors right now!)


You can view my tutorial here.  My project is delightful and EASY, and as happy as a summer day!  I think you'll like it.

 

A "big-as-the-sun" THANK YOU to the Wood Connection for allowing me the opportunity to guest post!  They have generously donated a $25 gift certificate to be given to one lucky "Mama Leisha" reader.  Entering the giveaway is easy:

1.)  Simply like "She Calls Me Mama Leisha" on Facebook.  (You can click the "F" circle on the sidebar!)  If you already "like," THANK YOU!
2.)  Leave a comment stating you are an FB follower and that you'd like to win.  (And who wouldn't want to win this, right?!)  Include your email address.
BONUS ENTRY:  Earn an additional entry by following "the Mama" on Twitter.  (Click the birdie on the sidebar!)

The drawing will close Friday, May 24th at 10:00pm MST.  The winner will be notified via email.  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, and if you're willing to travel I'll take you out for a cheeseburger!)
HAPPY CRAFTING!
 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Trees, Perfection, A Mother's Words

(Perfect:  being entirely without fault or defect; flawless.)

I remember the afternoon it happened.  It was an abnormally windy, August day.  I was standing in my bedroom on the top floor of our town home, folding the laundry strewn across my bed.  I wasn't far from the window when I heard a loud CRAAACCCK...then a deafening CRASH and BOOM!  I dropped to the floor--startled and scared--certain that the life flight helicopter (that often flies right over my roof) had crashed into the front of my house!

I ran to the front door and opened it, only to be met with lots and LOTS of green.  Large, leafy green branches threatened to muscle their way into my home.  My entire doorway was filled with...well...a tree!

My heart sank with the realization of what had happened.  My tree, I thought.  My gorgeous tree!  It had made me happy in the springtime, with it's delicate, popcorn-like blossoms.  It had made me happy in the summertime, providing the front of our house with blessed shade.  And in the fall, it had delighted my heart with it's vibrant orange and red leaves.

Half of it was lying against the front of my house!

I admit I mourned the marring of that tree for a long time.  In my eyes, it had been perfect.  For months after those high winds took part of it down, all I saw was the lack of symmetry in the branches.  The broken and scarred trunk.  It made me sad.


I don't see those things anymore.  The imperfections.  They don't matter as much to me.  Instead, I sit beneath that tree and wait for Lilly's school bus, and think about how it does not need to be perfect to be beautiful.


(Enough:  occurring in such quality as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations; to fully satisfy.)

Last week, I accompanied my mom to the ABC 4 studios to appear on the local news.  My mom--an incredible woman and advocate of mothers--currently serves as the Utah president for American Mothers, Inc.  She and I were asked to contribute (via an on air interview) to a special report ABC 4 had been running all week called, "The Perfect Problem."


As women, we frequently feel pressure to be perfect.  (These pressures may come from various social media outlets, our peers, our environments, etc.)  There are pressures to be perfect mothers, to throw perfect birthday parties, to prepare perfect meals.  There are pressures to have perfect homes and perfect children.  There are pressures to have a perfect appearance and a perfect wardrobe; to be perfect in our careers.  There are pressures to be the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker, the perfect woman.

But here's the thing...  Not one of us is perfect.  We'll never BE perfect.  We don't HAVE to be perfect.  Like my tree, we do not need to be perfect to be beautiful.  All we have to do is our best.


I LOVE what my "Mama Jenneice" said in our interview.  Her words have stayed with me, days later.  I think they are pearls of wisdom!  She said, "I just think we have to be okay with ourselves, and say, 'You know what, I am the best that I can be.  I am enough for me, I am enough for my family, I am enough.'"

I'm not perfect.  I am enough.      

Friday, May 10, 2013

FamilyShare.com!

No doubt about it...I love my family!  I love them like apple pie on the fourth of July.  I love them like the smell of a new book.  I love them like green grass, cold Coke, and bright-colored heels!  They are crazy.  They are quirky.  They are wonderful!  They make me laugh and they are fun to be around.  I know they would do anything for me.  I mean, just look at my parents...  Aren't they sweet?


And look what happens when my family members get their hands on my phone!  (This was a pleasant surprise on my camera roll.)


Because I love family, I love resources that help and benefit families.  Recently, I discovered familyshare.com, whose purpose is to provide information on how to strengthen families.  I confess that once my children were off to "Slumberland," I jumped on the computer and paid this website a visit.  A serious visit.  A visit that lasted over an hour.


Oh boy, oh boy, I read numerous articles that were compelling, well-written, and useful!  (Hey, that's like a triple threat!)  Familyshare.com offers information on love, marriage, family time, finances, home life, and faith and spirituality.  Just to name a few!

Being pregnant, the first topic I clicked on was "Life Challenges."  KIDDING!  I clicked on "Pregnancy," of course!  I read a lovely little ditty on how to reduce stress during pregnancy, because oh my gosh, you guys...it IS stressful!  Especially with two small, demanding children under foot.  I learned that while pregnant, it is important to take care of yourself, to prioritize, and to be optimistic.


Next, I clicked on "Love," and...ding, ding, ding...found the jackpot!  50 WAYS TO SHOW YOUR WIFE YOU LOVE HER!!!  Buy flowers just because!  Do the dishes!  Turn off the televised game and spend time with her!  Give her a foot massage!  (I am sending this article to The Mister.  And pronto!)


Seriously, there is something for everyone on familyshare.com!  (Hey busy, tired, "out-of-ideas-for-family-fun" mamas!  Check out "Kids Activities."  You'll love the article about all the fun games you can play with your kids, using items found around your house!)  This website is a treasure!  It's like finding the Keebler Elves' tree and discovering you are welcome to their "all-you-can-eat" cookie buffet.  For free.  Milk included.

      
 Go check it out!  I hope you'll love it as much as I love my family.  And E.L. Fudge.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

FROSTING

Lately, I've been forgetting about the frosting.

I have been a tired, ornery as a bear, pregnant woman!  I whine about growing pains.  I complain about the pregnancy hormones that are waging war on my face.  (Seriously, I can't decide whether I look like an advertisement for Domino's pepperoni pizza or the victim of a craniofacial fork stabbing.)  I frequently indulge in hypoglycemic rants, with the only cure being an oatmeal cookie from Great Harvest.  I'm mean and snappy, sleepy and hungry!

Last week--during a particularly mean, snappy, sleepy, and hungry day--Lilly and Cam asked me for a cupcake.  They had just eaten their lunches and were hankering for a sweet treat.  (Nothing wrong with that, considering I take to heart the task of teaching them the importance--and necessity--of dessert!)  I gave them the cupcakes and within minutes they were asking to be excused from the table.  I obliged--my back turned to them as I attempted to scrub the dishes in my sink.  They ran off to play.  (Or kill each other.  Same difference.)

When I went to clean off the table, I was met with a surprise.  Two cupcakes remained!

The frosting was gone.


"Why would they eat the frosting and leave the cupcakes?," I asked myself.  It seemed silly.  A waste of perfectly moist and delicious red velvet cake.

Then it clicked.  A-ha!  The frosting is the additive.  The sweet stuff that improves the taste of the cakeThe good stuff.

Lately, I've been forgetting about the "frosting."  It's easy to do, right?  Sometimes it's easier to focus on the pregnancy acne and the achy hips and the naughty kids and the bills and the fatigue and the stress and the overdue library books and the deadlines and the messy house, and on and on and on...

But what about the "good stuff," the figurative "frosting" that adds a little sweetness to life?  Like a nice note from your neighbor.  Or watching joy streak across your daughter's face as she rides her bike.  Sitting by a friend in church.  A verbal "thank you" for doing the dishes.  Baby kicks that make your belly jump like hot, corn kernels!  An elated, "Mommy!," when you walk through the door.  Popsicles at midnight.  A "Diet Coke on ice" delivery from a dear friend.  It's all frosting!  And as my children eat the literal frosting off of their cupcakes first, perhaps I should follow their example and make my "life's frosting" my focus.


Besides...what is life, or a cupcake, without the frosting anyway!?!