Posts

Showing posts from November, 2010

O'Holy Night

Image
I watched little Ella drift gently off to sleep last night. The warm glow from her little Christmas tree lit up her precious face. As the soft voice of Celine Dion sang "O'Holy Night" over her CD player, I knelt down next to my 3 year olds bed and gently stroked her face as she drifted off to lullaby land.  Time stood still for a few minutes, I'm sure of it, and a sense of peace fell over me. As her eyes lids fell deeper and deeper into a sleepy state, the corners of her little mouth curved up to show the sweetest little grin. It was then that I knew she had found the sugar plums in her dreams. I know that this would be a bad habit to start with her, the whole "watching her sleep" routine. But something about this week had me yearning for these few gentle minutes. Maybe it was the howl of the wind I heard echo through the 2nd floor of our home. Perhaps it was the pitter-patter of rain drops falling on her window. Or maybe it was the fact that

Forgive me . . . please?

Image
Friends, I have something to share. I am prepared that some of you might be angry with me after sharing this. Some of you might be down right jealous of me. Some of you might think that I don't deserve this. Others might think I'm throwing it in your face. And that's all pretty much true. Because tonight, my man . . . this man . . . . . . made our family dinner. And not just ANY dinner, my friends. We're talking home made pasta gravy and meatballs right from the Buca Di Beppo cookbook .  Seriously. While I sat working this evening, this man . . .   . . . grated the parmesan, mixed up the meatballs, and put out one of the most delicious meals I've ever had. Seriously. I forgot to take a picture of the before . . . so here is a little bit of the after . Don't hate me, friends. Truth is . . . if you lived near us, he'd make you dinner too. Because, you see, he cooks quite oft

You're Never Fully dressed without a . . . brassiere!

Image
Now that the love of the Thanksgiving Holiday and my weekend anniversary celebration is behind me, it's time to get real with my bloggie friends and share another one of those classic "Leanne Moments". You know the kind, the one that totally shows me in a silly light (usually in the middle of some sort of embarrassing moment, of course.) Last Wednesday, PG and I were both off of work and decided to take the girls to our neighborhood fitness center for some family fun swimming. Oh, yes . . . the gym . . .  here is where the story takes place. We were really running late to the open swim hours at the gym (of course), and to help save time when we arrived at the gym, we put our swim suits on at home with our clothes over them. I then threw changes of clothing and shower items for all of us into a bag as we ran out the door and into the car. While driving to the gym, I realized that I forgot to pack my own undies and brassiere  to change into after swimming. Reall

He is . . .

Image
a good person a kind soul hard working my very best friend honest funnier than anyone I know an amazing father so very silly an incredible cook one heck of a coffee maker my rock the love of my life my husband Happy 12th Anniversary, PG! I am so glad you picked up the phone that night, so many many years ago. I love you.

Dear Black Friday Shoppers,

Wow. That sure was interesting, wasn't it? I had never gone through a Black Friday shopping experience before, and after this years little adventure, I would venture to say that I will, most likely, not go through one again. It's not that it was terrible, but it was interesting, wasn't it?  For those of you who decided to travel to my neighborhood Target at 3:30AM this morning . . . have your legs warmed up yet? Yikes . . . so many of you were prepared with blankets, gloves and mittens. Me? Not so much. But, wasn't it nice of those unidentifiable people to offer Starbucks coffee to everyone? Was it just me, or did you think at any point that perhaps it wasn't Starbucks coffee? ;)  To those people who stood in line for hours and hours and made it to get the LCD Flat Screen T.V. on sale for $298 - call me if you have an extra (we really wanted one.) But, if you happened to be one of the few who snuck in the side door of the store at 4:00AM when it opened ( with

What YOU looking at??

Image
Happy "almost" Gobble Gobble Day, my friends! In honor of the holiday tomorrow, I thought I'd share the joy of some really  bad great Thanksgiving Jokes!!! (Don't thank me yet . . . you haven't read the jokes.) Which Thanksgiving food has grandchildren? The Gran-berry sauce. What sound does a turkey's phone make? "Wing! Wing!" How many cranberries grow on a bush? All of them! What do goldfish say on Thanksgiving? Happy TANKS-giving! When a turkey picks his nose, what comes out? A Gobble-Goober! What did the pilgrims have to clean after the first Thanksgiving? MESS-achusetts! What do you wear to Thanksgiving dinner? A Har-VEST! The pilgrims' cow came to America on what ship? The Mooo-flower! Teddy Bears have what in common with turkeys? Both have stuffing! Hippies put what on their turkey and potatoes? GROOVY Sorry if that was painful! I guarantee someone at your Thanksgiving table will laugh at thos

Counting my Blessings

Image
I'm a little beind on the "thankful and grateful" wagon, so please forgive me as I spend a couple days this week sharing some of my blessings with you. I have a lot of them.  Many have to do with my children. Others have to do with my marriage. A bunch have to do with my friends. And then there is a whole slew of them that have to do with my family, my extended family that is (sister, brothers, mother, in-laws and all the rest.) Did I ever tell you that I work with one of my mother-in-laws? I have two of them, you know, because one mother-in-law just wasn’t enough for me! ;) I have a great relationship with both of these ladies . . . which is a blessing all on its own. But I what I am really really grateful for, is that my mother-in-law Rita, whom I spend many of my days with in the office, totally and completely GETS me. The truth of the matter is that I am not an easy person to get. I’m moody, I’m a big ol’PMS nightmare of a female, and I can be a complete pain in t

Greetings and Salutations!

Image
Finally! Time to sit down at my beloved computer and reconnect . . . ah, this feels SO GOOD! What a busy weekend, and so sorry for that unexpected hiatus. I didn't quite see it coming, and would have surely warned you about it had I known. But, you know . . . sometimes that darn "LIFE" just gets in the way from writing a good old blog post. Ah, well. I'm here, I'm happy, and I'm so glad to see you. How are you? The first thing I read when sitting down at the computer tonight, was a lovely little note from my dear friend Michelle ( Blissful Babble lady ) who sent me an email asking me if I found my brain yet. (My last post was about loosing it! So silly ... love that Michelle!) She also offered to call the authorities to check on me . . . which I actually contemplated having her do, because perhaps an overnight stay in a padded room would come in handy every once in a while.  However, dear Michelle figured it out when she said, "I bet you even have all y

The End of the Multi-tasking Diva

Image
Where in the World is my Brain? Have you seen it? I seem to have misplaced it recently. I used to keep better tabs on it, always knowing where it was. I made sure it was easily accessible when needed. But the past few weeks, it’s been on some sort of vacation; however it forgot to take the rest of me with it. Is it the time-change? (Doesn’t it bother you when people use the time change for an excuse? “Oh, my hip hurts . . . it’s that darn time change!” or “Oh, my coffee is cold . . . darn time change!” ) Yeah, that drives me crazy too! Last week, I missed the deadline for Katie's December "Hot Lunch" order at school . . . and her November Book club order . . . and the RSVP for a breakfast at the school. I had the fliers for each of these activities on the counter, but the days came and went and I missed them. Augh. During my creative painting evenings last week, I lost a bottle of acrylic paint that I was using just minutes before. It seemed to have walked

Being Brave

Image
A few weeks ago, I was presented with a really wonderful medal of honor. "The Bravery Pin". And it was presented to me by Katie, Ella and their Grandma Lill. I have to share it with you . . . it's quite remarkable . . . and it was made by Ella and Grandma. The reason I was granted this lovely award . . . for being Brave. For fishing this summer (when I really am not a 'fish and worms' sort of girl), for gardening (when I really am not a 'dirt between the nails' sort of girl), for digging up the garden at the end of the season (when I really am not a 'icky rotten bug eaten tomatoes' sort of girl), and for killing a nasty spider in our basement (when I really am not a 'nasty spider' sort of girl, AT ALL.). So the girls decide that I deserved something in recognition of the things I did outside of my comfort zone this summer. My Bravery Pin. The other day, while cleaning the house, I wore my pin. And when reading a homework

Never Letting Go

Image
I've been watching the top of a bush in my neighbors yard for days now . . . holding my breath . . . watching . . . and waiting . . . and watching. It's kind of turned into a little game I play with myself. Every morning when I open the blinds in my kitchen, I look for any changes. And for the past 8 days . . . nothing. Just me and the tree. And these 5 little leaves that just won't let go. Winter is right around the corner here in Chicago. I've been raking leaves for weeks now, and the whole "batten down the hatches" to our outdoor summer life. The patio table is put away, along with all of the outdoor toys. Most trees on our block have lost their leaves already, and 10 houses in the neighborhood put their Christmas lights up this past weekend. Yet this little bush in the corner of my neighbors yard just can't seem to let go. We've had windy windy days and rainy down pours, but these 5 little leaves still hold on tight. After a particul

Van Gogh has left the Building

Image
Is it really Sunday night already? The thought of starting another week has left a pit in my stomach. But I refuse to give in to the fear, and am putting  'positive' out there. This is going to be a better week. Yes, it is. (How's that , PK?) Although, my Ellie is sick . . . has been fighting something for way too long, and I fear it has grabbed a hold of her. Runny nose, watery eyes, and coughing coughing coughing. Nebulizer treatments are not helping. Over the counter meds are not helping. And this evening . . . fever. So, a trip to our trusty pediatrician is in store for tomorrow. Poor thing. . . :( Even though she isn't feeling 100%, she still put on the biggest smile while playing "Vanna White" and holding up my final masterpiece yesterday. Here is the final gift for the recent additions to the world (our friends twins, Addison and Joseph): If you missed my post from a few days ago, this is a little baby gift I have been working on for dear frie

A $20 Good Samaritan

Image
What a week . . . what a crazy, stressful, busy, non-stop action week. And I am SO GLAD it is over. Have you ever gotten to that point, after a few stressful days, that you really just don't care what else happens? This is going to sound so much more negative than I mean it to, and I really wasn't cranky about it, but I just had that whole, "Ok . . . whatever . . . we'll deal with it." kind of attitude.  I'm not often the "whatever" kind of person. But yesterday, I totally took on the "whatever" persona. I'm not proud of it . . . and it's since passed (thank goodness). . . but it was just one of those weeks. However, in the midst of all of the stress . . . was one wonderful and inspiring moment at my very favorite place in the world. Ok, maybe it's not my VERY FAVORITE place in the world, but it's certainly close. So, here's the story. Heading out to a client's office yesterday, I decided to stop and pick

My Inner Van Gogh

Image
What a wonderful night I had with my inner Van Gogh. I LOVE when I let it out!! If you are an established blog friend of mine, it's no secret to you that I like to call myself an "artist". Yes, I'm pretty sure I've written once or twice before about the strong joy I get when I create. And if you caught my post earlier this week , you know that I have something up my sleeve for the holidays (a special creation, but of course!) I've worked on my holiday creation for a few hours already this week, and all I will tell you is that it is REALLY taking shape!!! (You're going to LOVE it!) But tonight, I had a fantastic reason to pack up the holiday crafts and pull out some good ol'fashioned paints, brushes and canvas . . . and this, my friends, is what I REALLY love working in. Tonight I started working on a special baby gift for a dear co-worker of PG's who gave birth to twins (a boy and a girl) a couple of weeks ago. Mary Liz and her husband are

I really do prefer to "Play Nice"

Image
It’s so hard to keep a positive outlook on life when people get in the way, don’t you think? Sometimes I wonder if I would be happy all of the time - if I lived in a secluded part of the world, just me, my Katie and my Ella (oh, and my blog friends. I’d have to take you guys with us.) Yes, I think we’d all be pretty happy. I had a cranky day today, which I find really frustrating since I’ve been trying so hard to live a "happy life". Today, situations outside of my control made me very aggravated. I felt like I was in the middle in a bunch of "not nice games" all day long. Not fun games (like Yahtzee or Uno.) No, these were "not nice games". I don’t like playing “not nice games". I prefer to play nice. So, I was in a foul mood for most of the day. Sitting at my desk at work, I could feel my eyebrows slanting down towards the middle of my face, and the frown lines taking shape on the sides of my mouth. I could feel the tension in my shoulders

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful (or . . . not)

Image
Well, I'm still feeling that awesome Christmas Spirit!!! (I know, I know . . . but, I can't help it!) After a wonderful weekend with PG home and lots of family time, I've been inspired to start my next holiday project. Remember my fun crafty project last January? You remember, the one when PG christened me the "Queen of Geritol" ? (click on the link to be reminded ... it's a good one!) Anyway, I am feeling in that "geritol mood" again. So, I've come up with a perfect little project to start on that is sure to bring even more Geritol comments my way.  I won't give it all away (just yet). I'll share only a few parts of it. It starts with this . . .  Then, you add a little of this . . . And in the end, I'm sure to have something spectacular!! Maybe the tissue will come out of the  chimney  this time. . . . Ooooooooo! Could you imagine?? Do you remember those Pantene commercials in the '80s? The "Don't hate me

Oh, What a Beautiful Day!

Image
Ellie and I have been working in the kitchen all day long, preparing a lovely meal for PG's homecoming. Daddy has been gone for one week this time, and we are missing him terribly in this house. We thought it would be a fantastic surprise to plan a lovely home cooked meal this evening for this #1 man in our lives. The menu for this evening . . . Green Beans Roasted Butternut Squash Stuffed Chicken Breasts French bread And, for dessert . . . Homemade Apple pie. Can you smell it? It's delicious . . . if I do say so myself. I was telling my blog friend, Nicole, that I often have some really productive days when PG is out of town. I am usually really focused on the things that need to get done, and find that I accomplish so much when in this focused state. Primarily because I stop waiting for someone to do things in the house, and I do them myself. When he is here, my expectations are raised. And when he is gone, I don't rely on anyone. Plus, I focus so

Haul out the Holly . . .

Image
Is it too soon? I know what you're going to tell me . . . you're going to say, "HELL YES, LEANNE!!!" But, my friends. I'm in the mood. For twinkling lights and bells ringing (no, I'm not talking about Marti Gras). For Bing Crosby and David Bowie. For ornaments and nut crackers. For candy canes and fruitcake (blah). Yes, I need a little Christmas. Right this very minute. I've been thinking about the holiday because I'm starting to work on my "December Daily 2010" album. You might remember the project I did last year (the 2009 album). Simply put, it's a daily collection of memories and activities during the the Holiday month. You can look back at my posts from last year here and here . The idea originated from Scrapbook guru Ali Edwards (one of my many idols. Link to her site with Q&A about the project by clicking on her name.) Here are a few shots of my book from last year: This album has be

Giving up the "help"

Image
About a month ago, I reluctantly accepted a book from my mom named "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. I use the word "reluctantly" because I usually dread when Mom shares a book with me. Not because I don't enjoy the book, but because Mom will usually ask me (over and over) if I started it or what I think of it, when I haven't even had a minute to open it.  It usually finds its way to my " Nightstand of Novels " where it waits in line with all the others. I talked to you about this nightstand a while ago, remember? Back in August , when I came to terms with the fact that I wasn't going to complete any of my summer reading.  Nothing has changed with my nightstand since that post, except my stack of books has grown by three or four, creating even more pressure to find time in this chaotic life to read. I really do enjoy reading, but I just have had a hard time finding time to do it. Then, it happened. That "Ah-ha!" moment.

No Worries

Image
GREETINGS MY DARLING and BELOVED FRIENDS!!! How do you do?? Here I am, FINALLY,  returning to the land of the living . . . and feeling so much better than this time last week. Don't you hate how those nasty little bugs can come upon you, really working hard to tear you up? I thought I was a goner last week, but one incredible weekend of friends, chicken soup, and family, was just about all I needed to shake these nasty germs away. I woke up today feeling . . . fresh, energized, and alive. More than I have in the past few weeks, for sure. I may not be 100% (and have a cough that still sounds pretty nasty). But, what's most important is that my spirit is feeling better, too. After an incredibly restful Friday evening and Saturday (thanks to my dear friend Kathleen and her husband, Mike), and a wonderful chicken soup dinner on Saturday (thanks to another dear friend, Karen), I was able to host our annual Halloween shin-dig yesterday. The good part - it was a BEAUTIFUL day