Monday, November 24, 2014

An Ornament And Twenty-Five Shmacks

Dearest Friends!  The moment I walked into The Wood Connection and saw the large wooden circle (meant for a Santa silhouette project), I knew I was in love!  I knew what I wanted to do for my guest post for The Wood Connection.  Just ask the lovely ladies working in the store--I could hardly contain my excitement!  I was giddy!

The finished project? A GIANT, RED, CHRISTMAS BALL ORNAMENT!!!  Hooray!  Isn't it dreamy?  I love it.  It has me clicking my heels and singing, "Holly Jolly Christmas!"


(Oh my gosh, can you imagine a whole grouping of these?!  In multiple colors?  Across a mantle?) 


My most beloved Wood Connection has generously donated a $25 gift certificate to be given to one lucky Mama Leisha winner!  Entering the drawing is easy peasy.  Leave a comment and tell me what you like about the holidays.  BONUS ENTRY:  Follow me on Instagram by clicking the round button on the right, or go to http://instagram.com/leishmcd.  Winner will be notified via email on December 2nd!

GOOD LUCK AND HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAYS TO YOU! 
 

  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ella Fitzgerald Does My Laundry

I listen to Ella Fitzgerald while folding my laundry.


Something magical happens when I turn her music on.  My breathing slows, my heart feels light, my small corner of the world becomes as shiny as a trumpet.  Stress falls away.  Heartache falls away.  Boredom falls away.  It's me and it's Ella, in a moment as dreamy as her voice.  I hum.  I sway.  I fold (and fold) baby socks and little boy shirts, and find myself feeling happy in the midst of a mundane task.  It's very cool, Cats.

I think there's an important truth to be discovered here--in my welcome moment of peace, beneath the hi-hat and the buttery crooning.  And that is find what you love, find what makes you truly happy, and embrace it.  Cherish it.  Drink it in.  Let it fill you up until you see the stars.  Let it lift you and hold you, if only for a short time.

For me, it's jazz.

Does it cure the autism?  Heck no!  Does it make my five-year-old want to use the toilet?  Of course not!  Does it make the math homework and the bills and the cooking and the cleaning just stop all together!?  No way, Jose.  (Side note:  Have you guys tried to figure out second grade math?  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  What the heck is a "math mountain" anyway!?)

Sadly, it doesn't cure all that ails me.  But that's not the point!  The point is that for the duration of a song--when the notes and the chords fill every inch of my living room--I feel light.  Carefree.  Happy.  I see that my chaotic home is actually heaven on earth, and all the little things--a song, clean clothes, a functional washer and dryer--are good things that make up the whole of my lovely life.  It reminds me of a quote by author and spiritual leader, Marianne Williamson, "Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."

So play on, Ella, play on.


          


Monday, November 3, 2014

The Pinata Thing

I suppose it all started the day I got a text message from a friend:

"Hey, can I borrow your keys to the church? I need to use the copy machine."

I happened to be in Wal-Mart at the time the message was received, scouring the school supply aisle for metallic Sharpies. (Because EVERYONE needs a gold Sharpie!) As I maneuvered my cart past the party aisle, I hit reply:

"Sure! I will leave them on your doorstep on my way home."

And that is when I saw it. Colorful. Festive. Fun. Utterly perfect.


What's not to love about a pinata?! I mean, think about it . . . It is a cardboard box shaped like a donkey (or a cupcake, or a pumpkin, or whatever other shape you can imagine), that is then decorated in fringy, multi-colored crepe paper. You fill it with all kinds of yummy sweet treats, hang it up, and then proceed to beat the crap out of it with a stick. It's genius. It's gold.

Quite frankly, I am all for anything that involves candy. The fact that I get to take out all my mommy frustrations and life stresses on a cardboard donkey, with a swing and a crack of a bat, is just a bonus. Plus, those pinatas are awfully cute.


An idea struck me like a zap from an electrical socket:  Put your church keys inside a pinata full of candy. Your friend will think it is hilarious; her kids will LOVE it.

So that's what I did!

I had such a jolly good time (seriously dudes, I was at the maximum level of giddy) leaving a pinata on my friend's porch, that I wanted to do it again. And again and again and again. Before I nodded off to sleep that night, another idea zapped me. (That's how my ideas come . . . in zaps!)   

Leave pinatas on other people's porches. Do it as a way to serve those around you. Let it be your signature act of kindness. Let a cardboard donkey become a symbol of your love, gratitude, and affection for the beautiful people around you.

Genius!


In answer to the question, "What's up with the 'pinata thing?,'" I would offer this:

I hope to make the most of the precious lifetime I'm blessed with. And if that means filling it with goodness and service--assuring my sisters-in-spirit that they are seen and that they do matter--I can do that. It was William Penn who wrote, "I expect to pass through life but once. If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, as I shall not pass this way again." If there be any kindness I can show, let me do it NOW.  

This is my chance, my friends.


I can start by filling a pinata!



*Are you on Instagram?  You can search #porchpinata to view the pinatas I've given away!  Lots of crepe-papered donkey goodness!*