Friday, November 11, 2016

PHENOMENAL!

Lately, Camren has been incorporating the word phenomenal into his vernacular. It has been a delightful experience, watching him attempt to use it in hilarious and random ways. He uses the word to describe mundane tasks and seemingly unimportant events. For example:


“Mom, where are my clothes?”
“I set them on the table, Cam.”
“That is phenomenal.”

Friday, October 28, 2016

Apple Pie Prayers

I ate apple pie for breakfast.


I suppose I justified it by telling myself all kinds of silly trifles, like: "An apple is a fruit, Leish, so this is actually healthy." And, "Life is short, so just eat the pie. It's really not a big deal..."

But in actuality, you guys, as I shoveled that warm cinnamon-y goodness into my mouth I realized something: I feel sad. I feel alone. (And that was why I was eating the pie!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bridget and Lambs and DI...OH MY!

I suppose it was my friend McKenzie who inspired my idea for Bridget's Halloween costume.

We were at a social media conference--enjoying turkey sandwiches and eclairs at the lunchtime break--when we started talking about our kids. Eventually the topic of Bridget's crazy, naturally curly hair came up. (It is always a conversation starter!)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Sometimes There is Wind, and Sometimes it Blows!

I live in a windy city.

Photo by Pit Hermann
Not THE windy city, mind you, with Cubs and hotdogs and architecturally impressive structures... Just A windy city, with constant airflow that either ruffles my hair or sends my small, yellow flower pots flying. Sometimes it's refreshing. Sometimes it's downright annoying.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Letting Go of Perfect

I remember what it was like to attend church as a child.


After a large, congregational meeting, the adults and the children would break into their assigned classes or groups and head to a designated room reserved for further spiritual edification. The classrooms were small and usually smelled of chalk dust. The turf-like carpet was scratchy to the touch and almost always tan in color.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A House; A Home

A dear friend of mine once said, "I like that whenever you talk about your house you call it your home."

"What do you mean?," I asked.


She replied: "I've noticed that you never call your house 'a house.' You always say 'home.' I think it's sweet."

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The "Be Good" Bus

Autism looks like many things in my house...


It looks like meltdowns and tantrums and tears. It looks like phone calls from the principal's office and citations from the bus driver. It looks like chocolate-brown eyes and gap-toothed grins. It looks as much like anger and frustration as it does laughter and joy. It looks like setbacks and successes.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Willing To Be Open

As the mother of an autistic son, I have been a member of the autism community for a little over three years.


And in that time my eyes have been opened to the heartache of such a disorder. There are setbacks to overcome, there are mountains of adversity to climb. There are angry tears shed in hot, nighttime showers. There are prayers of longing and frustration whispered into bed sheets. But in the midst of all that is hard and disparaging, there is beauty and triumph, too.

Friday, March 11, 2016

H Is For Honesty; A Letter

Dearest Lilly,


As your wise and doting mother, I feel it absolutely necessary to teach you solid, moral standards. The world has a lot of truly tremendous and wonderful things to offer, BUT sometimes it is like a pond. There is a lot of scum out there! It is imperative for you to maintain your integrity. Cling to the value of honesty. I want you to always tell the truth!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Personalized Bookmarks For My Bookworm!

I was the kid with a flashlight and a book under my pillow at night.


My doting mother would come into my floral-wallpapered room (YIKES!) at bedtime, tuck me in, ask if I had said my prayers, and kiss me goodnight. She would turn off the light and quietly slip through the doorway. As soon as I heard the soft, muffled sounds of her feet padding down the hallway, I'd dive under my covers, flick my flashlight on, and read, read, read.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Service Sweethearts

Valentine's Day is all about L-O-V-E! And honestly, I can't think of better way to show someone you love them than by serving them.


Teach your children the importance of random acts of kindness with this adorable service activity. It is Valentine's Day themed, which is totally dreamy. Plus, you get two free printables I created just for you. (Because that's love, baby!)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Climb High and Leap

Lilly has always been an incredibly sassy kid.


When she was a little girl, I would watch her scramble up our bulky, age-worn sofa with those skinny legs of hers. She would climb until she was perched on top of it like a baby chickadee. She'd slowly stand and survey the toy-cluttered landscape of the living room. Then--and this was always the best part--with a flick of her ponytail and an over-the-shoulder glance at Camren (who was often sitting contentedly on the floor, playing), she'd yell, "Watch and learn, baby!"

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Love Letters and 25 Shmacks!

I remember I received my first love letter when I was in fifth grade. It was given to me by my best friend's older brother. He was a sixth grader I barely knew...and his affectionate gesture TOTALLY FREAKED ME OUT! (And might have flattered me a little...wink.)


I love Valentine's Day and I always see the "holiday of hearts" as an extra special opportunity to write a love letter. Who doesn't enjoy receiving sappy Hallmark sentiments in the mail?! (I love it!)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tattooed Baby!

I am the mother of a "tattooed" baby.


My baby, Bridget, is obsessed with markers. I have NO IDEA why her adorable little toddler fingers are constantly searching them out. I wish I could say it's because she has an artistic spirit and an innate affinity for creative expression. I wish I could say it's because she has a true painter's gift.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Mona Lisa's Smile

For as long as I live I will never forget the moment I walked into the Grande Galerie of the Louvre museum in Paris, France.


There was a palpable energy in the air of that magnificent place. It was alive and electric, a hum that seemed to reverberate through the palatial halls. I felt it course through me, from my fingertips to my sneaker-clad toes. Maybe it was the rich history found within the paint and the brush strokes on those canvases that gave tangibility to the energy in the air. Maybe it came from being surrounded by works of art that emanated absolute creative brilliance. Or maybe the energy was originating from one lone masterpiece--mysteriously beautiful and luminescent, shielded behind panes of glass, guarded by several middle aged men in navy blazers—Leonardo Da Vinci's, "Mona Lisa."

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It's Okay To Ask

When I die, I'd like to ask God if He would introduce me to Eliza Partridge Lyman. A woman who lived over 150 years ago, who faithfully kept a journal of her trek through an often-difficult life. Her words touch my soul.


She was a pioneer, and in 1846 she migrated thousands of miles west (and on foot) from Nauvoo, Illinois. She gave birth to a baby boy in the back of a Conestoga wagon. Six months later she would bury that sweet babe in the fields beside her new log house.