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Showing posts from May, 2010

Memorial Day

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Imagine from Google search - courtesy of johncll.blogspot.com Hello Friends! And Happy Memorial Day to all of you! We arrived home last evening from 3 nights and 4 days at Washington D.C. ... days full of laughs, surprises, and a number of emotional moments when I found myself brought to tears. Yes, DC was full of magical moments once again, and even among the crowds (and heat), I found shivers up my arm were just the start of it ... While I'll probably have a few posts this week about the trip - there was one specific moment that I want to share with you today ... THIS day ... Memorial Day. For there is no better time than today to tell this story. Saturday evening, PG and I joined two of our friends on an amazing "DC by Night" Tour, where we were brought from one monument to another, one memorial to another, by large tour bus. At each stop we were allowed to exit the bus and walk to the visiting site for a closer look. Our stops included the Jefferson Memorial

Inspiration

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A little inspiration candy while I am gone this weekend, in honor of this upcoming e-course I will be starting upon my return: Happy Saturday to all of you!

LIfe, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

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(photo of the Lincoln Memorial taken by PG in 2008) The bags are packed and I am ready! Tomorrow I'm heading to Washington, D.C., to join PG in a much anticipated visit to our Nation's Capitol, and I am SO excited. PG is there for work, and I am flying out to meet him tomorrow evening, where we will spend the next few days exploring as much of this historic city as we possibly can. We've never visited D.C. together before, and I can't wait. I visited Washington D.C. twice before, and each visit included at least one magical moment that sent shivers through me. I can't help but wonder what moments the next few days might bring. I must have been around 17 years old the very first time I visited. I was traveling on summer vacation with my parents and my sister. We started that trip in Virigina, making stops at Monticello , Richmond and Williamsburg, and finally ended up in D.C. While I can't recall all of the trip (I was in the tail end of those rebellious teen

Is It LIFE . . . or an ADVENTURE?

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The other day driving home from work I listened to this really cool interview on NPR with Rev Gregory Boyle. I was so inspired by his story, and the calm manner in which he spoke found me focusing on each and every word he said. If you are not familiar with him, he is a Jesuit priest who started Homeboy Industries, a gang intervention program in East LA, which assists members who are looking for a way to leave the streets. To me, Rev Boyle is one remarkable human being. He wrote this book : Tattoos on the Heart - The Power of Boundless Compassion , which I am going to add to my summer reading list. It's not the usual book I would select for my summer reading (which usually consists of historical fiction, or chick-flick books - you know, those books turned into chick flicks), but his story was so amazing that I want to learn more. During the interview, the journalist asked if Rev Boyle ever thought this is what he would be doing in his life. He replied, ".... who knows wha

ME bad? YOU bad? .... huh?

Ok, call me crazy, but I can NOT get a handle on this whole "ME BAD" thing. Or is it "MY bad"? Oh, gees, I can't keep it straight. Is it ME or MY? THEE or THY?? Whatever. One day last week, I came across four separate individuals who uttered the words, "MY BAD" to me. And let me tell you, they were not ALL hip Starbucks Barrista's who happened to goof up my coffee order (only 1 of them were.) The other three consisted of a Director at one of my client offices, a neighbor, and believe it or not - my mother-in-law. Seriously. I am really puzzled by this whole figure of speech. In my own attempt at being hip (wait a minute - are people HIP anymore, or am I goofing that one up, too?), I have tried to say the famous "MY BAD" exclamation. However, I usually say "ME BAD", because for some reason in my brain "ME bad" sounds better than "MY bad". Don't you think? Oh, who knows... Urban Dictionary defines &quo

The Day After

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Thanks to all for the wonderful *bleep* wishes yesterday! You are a wonderful group of people, and I am blessed beyond words to call you my friends.

It's my *bleep*day . . .

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Well . . . today is . . . my birthday. Yes, it is. And please, no need to "birthday" comment. Really. You see, I'm not really a fan of birthdays. Crazy, huh? Me, the HAPPINESS girl, the one who looks for the good in everything, doesn't really like birthdays??? Well, let me clarify - I do like most birthdays. I just don't like my OWN. Hmmmm . . . what's this all about, huh? I guess it's the attention that comes with it - the song being sung - the blowing out of the candles (while everyone looks on, as if they know you'll NEVER be able to blow THOSE MANY CANDLES out in one breath). Maybe it's the whole aging process that has me in denial. So, if I boycott the birthdays ... then I'm still, what? 25? I don't know when this change happened. I guess I just really believe that this day should be like every other day. Which means, THIS day should be a GREAT day. Not because I was born on this day. But because WE are ALIVE today ... you know? We

I Love Hummus

As I sat at my desk eating lunch the other day (yes, yes, I know that it's a bad thing to do - but I'm moving on), I came to the realization that I love hummus. Really. I love hummus so much, that if I had to choose one thing that I would eat for the rest of my life, I actually think I would choose hummus. Isn't that crazy? Hummus would actually beat out cheesecake (that's so NOT me, to NOT choose cheesecake. But, seriously . . . hummus is that good! ) I think the first time I ate hummus was probably 11 years ago. My husband and I lived in a lovely little apartment in LaGrange, Illinois (I LOVE LaGrange. Not as much as I love hummus. But I do love LaGrange.) LaGrange is a darling little suburb of Chicago filled with homes rich in architecture and character. Our apartment was a dream come true (until a few months after moving in, when we were informed the building was sold and the apartments were going condo. That was a sad day in LaGrange!) Anyway, back to the hummus.

And the Winner Is . . .

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Can I have a drumroll, please . . . . ANNA from FROSTED PETUNIAS !!!!! WAHOOO ANNA!!!!!!!! Here is Anna's comment from the give-away post: Wahooo to Anna!!!!! Now, for the remaining commenters - I offer my utmost thanks and admiration for the kind words you left me! Please rest assure the selection process was fair and square (and the offer of baking cupcakes did not guarantee Anna the winning of the goodies ... although it was close ... it still did not seal the deal!) Here are a few photos from the selection process that occurred this morning: It MUST begin with a jazzy bucket to place all the names in. Dearest Ella was our selector (in lovely pajama fashion this morning.) After a very quick dip in the bucket . . . And an even quicker opening of the paper . . . We had our winner! CONGRATULATIONS, again, to our dear Frosted Petunias Friend!!! (Anna , I hope you enjoy your gifts!) Thanks again, EVERYONE, for participating in my Post 2-0-0 Give Away! I promise we'

The Strike of 2010

YOU KNOW … I am on Strike. Did I tell you? Yes I am. But I don’t think anyone knows it. I ask you – is it better to be on strike and NOT have anyone realize it? Or, is it worse? Hmmmm. . . I’ll have to ponder that one. You see, it all started a few months ago, when my husband decided that I needed to attend his “How To Load a Dishwasher 101” class. What’s funny is that I didn’t even know he was certified to teach this class. But, low and behold, HE IS! So, one weekend morning I found myself standing in the kitchen watching him as he went through the ins and outs of loading the dishwasher. “ YOU KNOW , obviously the dishes will get much cleaner if you put them in this way,” he said. To which I really wanted to reply, “ Well, obviously I DON’T KNOW , since I have to stand here for this lesson!” But, I didn’t say that. I stood there, biting my tongue, and watching him. He practically unloaded everything that I had placed in there the night before, and reloaded them to his liking.

The BIG 2-0-0 and a give-away!

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(Insert Harry Carrey voice here) HOLY COW!!! This is it, friends. You guessed it. Post 200! Can you believe it? 200 times I have managed to share some bit of "Leanne-ism" with you. 200+ times my heart has swelled with the support, respect, humor and kindness all of your comments (and friendships) have given me in return. Wow. Who would have thought that I would have not only started a blog -but found that contributing to it so regularly would become a part of my normal daily routine. In case you haven't been around for all 200, here are some of my favorites posts since the beginning: Spanx: the Anti-Christ Perimenopause . . . Seriously? . . . could it really be? The Beginning of it All My Dad Let's Change the World Million Dollar Plan Ella and her Alien 6 Mistakes made in hair coloring I talk to Strangers I could have listed a few more, but I thought those will probably bore you enough! ;) Now, to the reason you are REALLY here today . . . THE GIVE-AWAY!!! This blog

A Happyville Week

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Just a few of the things that brought me out of Crankville this week, in no particular order. . . Make-up day with Ella! "Note Time!" with Katie. As she works hard on her spelling, I came up with this little game to play. We sit at the kitchen table and write notes back and forth. The only rules - NO talking. If you want to say something, you write it. Katie LOVES this, and this week we had lots of fun playing! Finding great pictures that Ella takes while she has the camera (or "Cramria", as she calls it.) I love to see the world through her eyes. Flying a kite day! I can't believe how big Katie is, and seeing Ella actually control the kite all by herself . . . amazing! But seeing the girls work together. *sigh* When your child comes home from school and shows you what they wrote about you. To me, this is one of the sweetest parts of parenthood. Flowers, from a dear husband, even when you didn't expect them. Just a quick peek at part of our week. Come

Believe it or not - this girl is WEAK!

It's been an exciting week in our happy home. Our Katie Girl has had some great moments, while her dear old Mom has had to come to terms with the fact that, yes, I am a weakling. Truly. Deeply. Weak. As a mom, there really is a great deal that I can handle. I can mend the cuts, bumps and bruises of two adventurous girls, I can tend to bee stings and splinters, and I can make most ouchies and boo boos feel better with just some good ol'fashioned TLC. However, there is one thing that I just CAN'T handle. You see, when it comes to my child loosing her teeth ... this Momma goes weak. Really bad weak. Like, the kind that makes you want to just lay your little ol' head down on the floor and not wake up until it's all over. I don't know how I got this way. Meeting me now, you would never have guessed that about 18 years ago I worked as a monitor technician in a step-down cardiac unit of a hospital. You would never have guessed that it would have been me who read the h

My Little Birdies and Me

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It's raining pretty heavily in Chicago today. Most of the patio furniture has blown over, and the large swing we have in our backyard has found a relaxing spot up against the fen ce. We are doing some new landscaping in the front of our home, so the new lilac bushes and weigela bushes are soaking in all of the rain and feeling right at home in their new surroundings. Crankville is in the distance. Not quite out of site - but close. Nothing like a good solid rain day to wash away the blues. PG is on his way to Las Vegas for work. Just a quick day trip there and back. The girls are settled in with their daily school and Grandma routines, and I am on my way to the dungeon (again! I know!!!) It's good. It's all good. I'm feeling a calmness over my spirit today. There is something so comforting about rain. Cleansing. Settling. Did I ever tell you about where this LOVE of birds comes from? My Dad liked to watch birds. He wasn't a "Binocular Bird Watching"

Holy Cow! Holy Cow! HOLY COW!!!!

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Ok, so you know we all have those days (or weeks, or even longer) when we are feeling pretty low? When we get disappointed in ourselves and wonder "what the heck am I doing?" When, at a glance at our life, we have it pretty wonderful. Yet something inside is still not right? I've been feeling that way the past week or so. I mean, you know I've been visiting Crankville , and I thought good and hard about getting an apartment there (blog friend Bossy Betty told me she once had an apartment there - and I thought that was a pretty clever idea), but I decided to opt out of the apartment hunt. Maybe an overnight stay in a Crankton Inn will do. I'll ponder that for a few days. . . But today, things starting feeling a little better. One bird sang . . . and sometimes that is all you need. One little bird (oh, and that two hour nap didn't hurt, either.) Today is Mother's Day ( SIDE BAR: Happy Mother's day to ALL OF YOU. Both the Mother's and the Non-Moth

Wanted: one "Get-out-of Crankville" card

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I'm in Crankville this week. You know Crankville , don't you? The place where patience took a turn, and left you to plunging on towards a big ol'pile of . . . oh, I don't know what. The place where everything said to you by another living person makes you angry. The place where the sight of even a beautiful flower might frustrate you - because you know even the beautiful flower has a problem and needs something from you. Crankville is . . . awful. The other day, I made Ella cry. I know. I KNOW. I am not proud, not for one second , of that. I was frustrated and trying to get dinner on the table. Ella wanted to help. I was making a caprese salad, Ella wanted to wash the basil. I asked her not to grab the basil, because I didn't want it all washed. She grabbed all of it and proceeded to dump it in a soapy sink. I was frustrated and angry. Really. I moved her off of her stool, and tried to reach into the soapy sink to find the basil between the soap suds, muttering, &

Who is Inspiring YOU?

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One of the things I am most enjoying about blogland (in addition to the many new friends I am making from all over the country), is the inspiration I feel after a few short minutes spent with a creative blog. And let's face it . . . there are thousands of absolutely BRILLIANT and creative people out there. Luckily, I reap the benefits from so many of them, for I visit their sites like a dried up sponge and stay until I've soaked up as much creative juices as possible. I feel refreshed and energized after seeing what others are doing in their days. I feel motivated and strong. I feel like . . . ME. Not the me who is tired and overworked, not the me who has a pile of laundry and an empty gallon of milk in the fridge. I feel like the ME I want to be deep down. I feel like the ME I always thought I would be. And I believe . . . in ME. Ah, now there's a whole therapy session in there somewhere - but we'll save that for another day. There are two specific blogs that have bee

I Love Days Off!!!!

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Don't you love when you can spend time, CREATING, on the computer? I DO!!! This may actually be the OFFICIAL "From Chaos Comes Happiness" blog . . . for a while!!! It's still a work in progress (a couple things I'm working on, like adding other site buttons.) Special THANKS to all those who commented on my button color/design at the end of last week!! YOU ARE WONDERFUL and I SO APPRECIATE your thoughts! Since so many people like PINK - I decided to throw that into the background of the page. I'm loving Adobe Illustrator. I feel like a kid again . . . except I've replace paper and crayons with the computer . . . so amazing. Thanks for taking a look at the new "look". OOoooooo - and here is my new blog button (blue background, flowers, AND coffee, of course!!!!): Feel free to grab the html for the button on the sidebar scroll to the right. I am not a computer girl - so figuring this one out was a painstaking process . . . I lost count of how

Jack Bauer and some Random Thinking Moments

I’ve been up to my elbows in a special project for work this week. Augh. I don’t like when life responsibilities take me away from blog life. Bummer. But, you know me. Even when work is involved – I still have a good story to tell. Without telling you the boring specifics, I have to share a bit of this experience with you. You’ll soon see this has really very little to do with work, itself, and has mostly to do with me and this happy chaos I live. I’ve spent the past few work days pulling files at the office of one of our clients . . . in a dungeon. OK, so it’s not really a dungeon. It’s a basement in a good size office building. It’s a relatively new building, so fortunately the basement hasn’t become the ‘catch all’ that most office building basements become. This one is clean and orderly – but still, a basement in a building (concrete blocks and spiders to prove it!). It kind of has a warehouse feeling to it. When I first arrived to this space Friday of last week, the manager (who

"Yes, Your Honor, I am GUILTY."

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And that is where it stands right now, until I can state my case in court. "What court?" you ask? Well, the Court of Katherine and Ella (and pretty much the only court that really matters in this house.) "What are the charges?" you ask? Me . . . Leanne . . . Wife and Mother . . . is hereby GUILTY. . . of MISSING the Ice Cream Man. Seriously. Missing the Ice Cream Man is pretty much the "be all to end all" on a warm spring night in our neighborhood. Missing the Ice Cream Man is like missing Christmas. Seriously. These are serious charges. For the record - I would love an opportunity to state my case to you, my faithful blog friend. The evening started out really quite lovely. Katie was playing with her friends outside, and I was locked up inside (I say "locked up" because, in an effort to beat these spring allergies, we decided to close all the windows and doors and put the good ol'fashioned air conditioner on. And let me tell you - i