Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bright Spots

This picture probably doesn't look like much, but the moment it was taken was special for me.


I got caught in a springtime rainstorm on my way home from Provo.  When I looked out the rain-speckled windshield, to the distant mountains before me, I could see one glorious "bright spot" where the sun seemed to be reflecting off the snow.  It was in that moment of awe and contemplation when I remembered what I know...

That there is beauty in adversity.  There is hope in trials.  We may be shrouded in darkness for a time--proverbial storm clouds filling our lungs and knocking against our chests--but there are bright spots on the horizon.  Always bright spots.  Always heaven sent.  Always present.  They are a reflection of The Son whose position at our sides is unfailing and certain.  Whose compassion for us is filled with light.


See the bright spots in your lives, my friends.
See small miracles.
See Him
   

Monday, March 24, 2014

Breakfast At Tiffany's Bunnies and 25 Shmacks!

Lilly and I were running errands at a party supply store one day when she asked me if she had "earned a treat" for her good behavior.  I laughed and said, "I guess, Lil...but I'm not sure what you'll find here."  Within minutes we found ourselves down the Mardi Gras-themed aisle, and I watched as my darling daughter selected a shiny, sparkly, blinged-out, disco ball necklace!!!  I laughed and thought about how proud I was of her selection.  She is her mother's daughter!

I have always loved accessories and things that sparkle and shine.  Pearls are pretty, diamonds are fun, and glitter is my best friend!  HA!  My love for jewelry and "girly-girl" things inspired this ADORABLE, polka-dotted project.  I call these beauties, "Breakfast At Tiffany's Bunnies."  Visit http://www.thewoodconnectionblog.com/breakfast-at-tiffanys-bunnies/ for my tutorial!

  
It is quite possible I love The Wood Connection as much as I love all things that sparkle.  (That is A LOT, folks!)  Thank you to The Wood Connection for giving me another 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.  Simply fill out the rafflecopter below.  (Go on, HOP to it!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner will be notified via email on April 2nd!  GOOD LUCK!

HUGE GIVEAWAY...Hooray!

LDS General Conference & Easter Giveaway Design by AshLee Winterrose of Mama Bear Designery[/caption] General Conference and Easter will both be here before we know it and I couldn’t think of a better time to team up with thirteen of my favorite bloggers to host a fantastic multiple gift giveaway! Who is excited about $100 to Deseret Book and over $250 worth of amazing products?!?! For this giveaway, we each chose some of our favorite General Conference and Easter-themed items to give back to our readers, just to say thanks for all of the encouragement, comments, and time that you take out of your busy day to check in with us. We really appreciate it! Plus, we hope this will give everyone some great ideas when it comes to entertaining your little ones during Conference or filling those Easter baskets.

Take a minute to meet the lovely ladies who put together this giveaway!

LDS General Conference/Easter Giveaway

Tara - Keep Moving Forward With Me Becky - Love to be in the Kitchen Jonie - Just Between Friends Michelle - A Little Tipsy Allison - Cupcake Diaries Katie - Clarks Condensed Audra - Reality to Dreams Jennifer - My Daylights Alexis - We Like to Learn As We Go Debra - Housewife Eclectic Dani - Love Me Dani Marie Cambria - Live to be Inspired Melea - Freebies 2 Deals Aleisha - She Calls Me Mama Leisha

And now on to the fun! Here are the goodies! Conference LDS General Conference/Easter Giveaway One grand prize winner will be spoiled with:
  1. $100 Gift Card to Deseret Book courtesy of our blogger team!
  2. $75 Thrive Favorites Package from Krisi Lee, Thrive Life Independent Consultant. This prize package will put you on the right track for preparedness and it includes:
    THRIVE 10 grain pancake mix #10 can
    THRIVE Freeze dried Corn - Pantry Can
    THRIVE Freeze dried Mangos - Pantry Can
    THRIVE Freeze dried Meat or Cheese (your choice of Ground Beef, Chopped Chicken or Monterey Jack Shredded Cheese) - Pantry Can
    THRIVE Honey Crystals - Pantry Can
    THRIVE Macaroons - Pantry Can
    5 in 1 Survival Whistle
    5 Emergency Drinking Water Pouches
  3. Scentsy warmer with plate ($50 value) from Scentsy by Tracy Lynn to keep your home smelling spring-time fresh!
  4. $30 credit to La & Ca Ties to perfectly accessorize your little ones with ties for Easter!
  5. $40 credit to Daylight Digital Designs. Choose from customized invitations and announcements or get custom jewelry for your daughter's Easter basket!
  6. 2 Missionary Tool Kit card packs ($20 value) from Missionary Tool Kit. These scripture reference cards are designed to work with Preach My Gospel. More than 50 gospel topics in an easy, quick to find format!
  7. Gift Basket ($30 value) from Sego Lily Soaps because Mom needs something in the Easter basket, too! The beautiful gift basket contains: 3 popular luxury soaps - Lavender, Love Spell, and Lemongrass. 24 ounces of all natural Lavender mineral bath salts in a decorative jar. 1 Strawberry Lip Balm, full of good oils and butters, with NO Petroleum or Mineral oil. 1 Mesh Scrubby, to maximize lather and exfoliate your skin
  8. LDS Piano Music Pack from Day Murray Music for the music lover in your family!
  9. Faith in God Study Guide ($8.50 value) from A Lively Hope. It includes: journaling questions for all of the required activities places to draw and doodle questions and activities to help you internalize the scriptures and strengthen your testimony prompts to assist in setting goals copywork to aid in memorization exercises to help you memorize the Articles of Faith pages for additional handouts and photos
  10. Your choice of this dapper bow tie or this bow in coral and white wonderful ($16 value) from The Posh Society.
  11. A Mormon Mom Planner ($29.95 value) from In the Leafy Tree Tops to keep you organized!
  12. A Clicker Kit and special gift from Hilary Weeks. The power of positive thinking is amazing and the clicker kit will help get you on the right track!
Our lucky runner up will also get:
  1. $40 Gift Card to Deseret Book
  2. 2 Missionary Tool Kit card packs ($20 value) from Missionary Tool Kit.
  3. Faith in God Study Guide ($8.50 value) from A Lively Hope
Enter in the rafflecopter below and show some love to our gracious sponsors who have provided the prizes! The giveaway runs until March 30, 2014 at midnight. It is full of easy click entries so get to clickin'. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Soldier On, Sisters

To the Mamas with children who have Special Needs or Disabilities:

In her book, The Water Giver, Joan Ryan writes:  "Motherhood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you'd have.  It's about understanding he is exactly the person he's supposed to be.  And, if you're lucky, he might be the teacher who turns you into the person you're supposed to be."


But who are you already?

You are the keepers of courage and the seekers of hope.  You are braver than you know, stronger than you realize.  You climb mountains and endure storms.  You fall to your face when the burdens you carry start to feel like bricks on your shoulders.  You always get back up.

Because you know that you are the guardians of the most precious souls; children who are privy to angels and miracles.  You are warriors.  You are light.  You are mothers.  You are love.


Soldier on, sisters, soldier on.
Love,
A Mama who sees you
  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Love and Art: A Letter

Dear Lady On The Radio (who said, "All blogs, especially mom blogs, and the women who write them should go away"):

Well, shoot.

I am a mom.  I write a blog.  And I'm actually pretty nice.


I don't claim to have all the answers.  I certainly don't tell my readers how to parent.  I don't profess to be even close to perfect.  Honestly, I'd rather eat the cookies currently baking in my oven.

But here's the thing...

I know many bloggers; incredible women and mothers who write, create, cook, sew, parent, and paint.  They boldly share their talents in a very public, very vulnerable way, on this complex beast we call, "The Internet."  It is not easy to do.  It takes work.  It takes gumption.  It takes passion.  And it takes courage.

Yet these bloggers do it.  They muster the courage to face the criticism, and they offer their readers a small and precious piece of themselves.  Why?  Because they love their art.  They care wholeheartedly about what they do.  (It was Chuck Klosterman who said, "Love and art is the same."  I believe that!)  That doesn't need to "go away," Radio Lady, that needs to be commended.


Absolutely, you are entitled to your own opinion, and you have every right to "feel what you feel."  I only wished to shed some light on the "other side of the story," and to remind you that there are faces behind those home pages.  Real women with real hopes and real fears.  Real women who long for connection and joy, as I'm sure you do.  (It's universal AND human!)  Real women who love their kids and seek after their well-being.  Real women creating something real.

The novelist, Kurt Vonnegut, wrote:  "The arts are a very human way of making life more bearable.  Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake.  Sing in the shower.  Dance to the radio.  Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have created something."

As we follow Vonnegut's magnificent admonition to "create something," we can look to our hearts, cultivate our strengths, dispel hurtful weaknesses, and create a better space in the world.  One of openness and respect.  What about compassion?  What about empathy?  With time, patience, effort, and prayer, we can create those things within ourselves, too.

We are all worthy of reverence...
Mothers.
Artists.
Bloggers.
Women.

Oh!  That's the oven timer!  The cookies are done.

Sincerely,
Mama Leisha, a blogger