Lisa Leonard Designs

Archive for the ‘family’ Category

turning 70 {fun!}

November 11th | celebrate the every day, family

My sisters planned a gathering to celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday. We live four hours north, but we were able to come down and hop in on the fun.

My mom is one of the most generous, creative people I know. Growing up she was always creating–that’s definitely where I get my creativity. And she gives and gives. If you compliment her on a vase she’ll hand it to you and tell you to take it home with you. She has such a generous heart!

It was so fun to see her friends–many who’ve known me since I was born. It was a laid back gathering with delicious mexican food, yummy sodas and a sweet cake. Pretty much perfect!

That’s my mom on the right, in blue and her sister in the black and white checked top.

Happy 70th, mom! You are a blessing to our family and we love you so!

creating traditions {with nativity}

October 23rd | family, inspiration

Ah! I am THRILLED over the response to our new nativity. It’s so exciting!

I know this will be a keepsake year after year.

I created the nativity for my nieces and nephews. I wanted them to have something to cherish in their childhoods and carry memories into adulthoods. I hope they use these nativities with their own children!

When I was growing up, the nativity was a big part of our Christmas season. Every year, after we went to bed on Christmas eve, my mom would place baby Jesus in the manger. And when we woke up on Christmas morning he would be there–reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas.

Each piece is hand-molded and beautiful in it’s sweet simplicity. I spent hours trying to capture the story through these little pewter figures.

When I was molding baby Jesus, I felt so humbled trying to capture something with such HUGE significance and wrap it into a pewter figure. Jesus has brought JOY to the world and his birth changed my story.

The demand for the nativity has been great. We are doing our best to keep up, but please if you want one, don’t wait! They are only $199 and I don’t want you to miss out!

Find the new nativity here. 

steve turns forty one

October 2nd | family

My sweetheart turned forty-one last Sunday. We ended up being in Southern California and I gathered some of our oldest friends for fish tacos and cupcakes to celebrate this amazing guy. It was casual and FUN and such a sweet time of reconnecting with people we don’t get to see very often. The kids ran and played and had a blast.

We got Steve a bass guitar for his birthday and it was a hit. He was so excited.

Eva spent a lot of time looking longingly at the cupcakes. Isn’t she adorable? {above}

Now that Steve is forty-one he feels free to give out advice. Apparently he had wisdom to impart to Chad {above}.

Gah! This pic of David cuddling with auntie and smiling at Daddy completely melts my heart!

These people were our friends before we had kids, now the kids are getting crazy big. Time goes so fast!

I’m pretty sure we got photobombed {above}.

Happy Birthday, Steve! You are so very loved.

oh these boys! {love!}

August 29th | adventures, family

We made it through our first full week of school! Matthias is in 5th grade and David moved over to the middle school. They aren’t on the same campus anymore and it makes me a little sad. Change is hard. Change is good.

We had our lunches packed, new school supplies, emergency forms filled out and we were READY! But things didn’t go as I’d planned. They didn’t go horribly wrong–they just went differently than I expected. I was worried about David and all his needs as he transitioned to middle school, but I thought Matthias would do just fine. Matthias has been tired and sad–he’s grieving the end of summer. He says he’s not ready for all the stress that school brings. David has had an easy adjustment–no issues, no stress, just smooth.

The boys are growing so fast, but still little too. There is so much to process and discuss. I am honored to journey alongside them and watch them change and grow. And it’s crazy and heart wrenching and stressful!

Mostly the way they love each other is completely humbling. It happens outside of me. It can’t be forced. And as they grow I see how much they care for each other. How much Matthias looks out for David and how David wants to be near Matthias.

My heart is full. Crazy and stressed, but so full.

bath, england {beauty!}

August 21st | adventures, family

While we were in England, we spent a day exploring Bath. I’m a huge Jane Austen fan–and she refers to Bath often in her books. I also knew she lived there for a while. We had a fabulous day with gorgeous weather! Highlights included lunch at The Real Italian Pizza Co., seeing the Roman Baths, and taking in the Royal Crescent {featured in many period films}. We visited the Jane Austen Center but honestly, it’s not worth the time. The street vendors, musicians and energy in Bath inspired me!

So much history in these ancient baths.

Matthias got an handmade leather journal from this amazing street vendor.

Lunch at The Real Italian Pizza Co was absolutely delicious! I highly recommend. And they have an italian ice cream shop next door that’s yummy, too!

Period costumes made the Jane Austen center fun. It was actually fairly dry and uninteresting. But we made our own entertainment!

The Royal Crescent, or The Circus was so cool. I loved seeing it in person! Do you recognize it from period films?

Hanging out with cousins is the BEST!

Have you visited Bath? Is it on your wish list? Next time we’re in England I want to visit Jane Austen town where she was born!

hello coming and going

July 28th | an everyday moment, family, hello monday

Hello there! It’s a brand new week and there is MUCH to be thankful for! How about some hellos?

***Hello Monday is where I greet the new week with an open heart and a fresh perspective. It’s a new beginning–and there’s so much to be thankful for! Join me by leaving your own hellos in the comments section or linking up a hello monday post there!***

Hello little brother {who looks so much bigger!} helping and noticing. Matthias has been taking care of David in a new way. I can’t tell you how this fills my heart and makes me all kinds of grateful and weepy!

Hello growing up and changing. Both of the boys are growing physically and emotionally. It’s stretching me and I love it!

Hello getting to know them in a new way. What used to be is no longer. I have to grow and change too.

Hello David with new opinions, ideas and things to share with us.

Hello brothers who know each other, love each other and understand each other in a way no one else can. Matthias translates for David sometimes and it’s so sweet. He’ll tell me, mom, he wants some cuddles, or mom, try some back pats. I love it.

Hello holding hands, holding hearts, holding steady. It’s a crazy ride and I’m glad to be on it!

Hello feeling thankful that I captured these pics. I think I’ll treasure them forever!

Hello brand new, beautiful, imperfect week! Are you ready? What are you saying hello to this week? Leave some hellos in the comments section or link up your own hello monday post there!

art projects and letting it be imperfect

July 18th | DIY, matthias

If you have been following along for a while, you know Matthias loves art. He is constantly drawing, sketching, planning and making lists. I love his creativity and I want to nurture it.

Meg did this awesome continuous line tutorial and I was so inspired! Watch her video too! I jumped into this project with Matthias and half way through ended up screaming at him. Ugh–what was supposed to fun went all wrong. I can’t even remember what made me so mad. I quickly apologized to him and was was forgiving. It took me a little longer to forgive myself. Being a mother is a process of growing, grieving, grace and forgiveness!

Isn’t his owl awesome?

I decided to try the same concept with a heart theme. You know I love hearts.

Next time we do an art project together I’m determined to stay patient. Sigh. Life is so imperfect–but there is beauty.

Hello David! {hello twelve!}

July 7th | david, family, hello monday

David turned TWELVE! Every year I can’t believe how old he is, partly because time flies and partly because he is so tiny–he seems to defy age. But this year he seems older to me. He has more opinions. He has new ideas. He has taken to laying on the couch and crashing midday. He is acting like a pre-teen. It’s crazy and exciting and awesome. And sometimes it’s hard too. I’m getting to know him in a new way.

This year we had a very mellow day. We went and saw ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2′ and had presents and cupcakes in the backyard. Celebrating David’s birthday holds meaning for me. His life is precious. He is loved and cherished. He has changed our lives in beautiful ways.

How about some hellos for a new week?

***Hello Monday is where I greet the new week with an open heart and a fresh perspective. It’s a new beginning–and there’s so much to be thankful for! Join me by leaving your own hellos in the comments section or linking up a hello monday post there!***

Hello cupcakes! Hello cute topper!

Hello bubbles! What a fun addition to our party.

Hello happy. That smile slays me!

Hello brother helping open presents.

Hello new toys to play with!

Hello silliness and laughing. David loves being the center of attention.

Hello serious bubble making.

Hello reflecting on what we love about David. His determination, his silliness and his cuddles.

Hello frosting. Yum! More please!

Hello messy!

Hello father/son selfie!

Hello celebrating one very amazing kid!

Hello sneaking away for a couple nights with Steve. I can’t wait!

Hello seeing family next week. Hooray! The Omaha cousins are coming!

Hello haircut. My favorite.

Hello BBQ and fresh fruit.

Hello crazy summer days that fly by.

What are you saying hello to today? Leave some hellos in the comments or link up your own hello monday post there!

hello time with the markleys

June 30th | blog friends, family, hello monday

Hello friends! We are back from camping {I’ll share pics soon!} and jumping into a brand new week full of meetings, catching up and summer fun. Last week we got to see our dear friends, the Markleys. Sarah was my college roommate and we’ve been close since. Chad and Steve have become close friends as well and I’m so thankful! Sarah and Chad are the kind of friends who you can show up a half an hour late to their house and burst into tears. And they just hug you and love you, no questions asked. That’s exactly what happened last week, I was exhausted, on edge and we were running late. I fell apart and they loved me anyway. True friends are good for the soul.

***Hello Monday is where I greet the new week with an open heart and a fresh perspective. It’s a new beginning–and there’s so much to be thankful for! Join me by leaving your own hellos in the comments section or linking up a hello monday post there!***

How about some hellos?

Hello singing and playing. So fun.

Hello mexican food for lunch and sitting around for hours.

Hello laughing and joking.

Hello celebrating an every day occasion. Hello celebrating being together.

Hello splashing in the pool for hours.

Hello cutie.

Hello hard core relaxing!

Hello dear friend. I’m thankful for you.

Hello Matthias. Green eyes and refusing to smile–but I got him.

Hello David. You are such a love.

Hello Hope and David. They are the same age {Hope is 6 months older}. So sweet to see them together.

Hello tapping out tunes on a pretty piano.

Hello catching up on lots of laundry from camping.

Hello catching up on sleep from not sleeping well while camping {David had a hard time}

Hello being kind to myself after a very fun, very exhausting camping trip.

Hello huge, major clearance sale–did you see this?

Hello board meetings, mexican food and sitting outside for dinner.

Hello brand new week. There is grace for today. There is beauty in the brokenness. I’m saying hello to this day with an open heart. What are you saying hello to this week? Leave some hellos in the comments or link up your own hello monday post there!

the best kind of worn out

June 10th | david, finding beauty

This post is from four years ago. I just ordered new shoes for both boys and they arrived yesterday–and I remembered this post. As soon as I looked it up, I got tears in my eyes and knew I wanted to share it with again. It gives me all kinds of hope.


these are the shoes david wears every day.

and guess what? they’re worn out.

there’s a hole right through the bottom of the shoe.

and you know how he did it?

exploring, walking, running, and generally getting into trouble.


and we couldn’t be happier.

i remember when david was born

and the doctor told us he would never walk, or talk

that he may not see or hear.

and we cried.

and we wondered and waited.

and one day, when he was five years old-he did it!

for months, he’d been pulling up, cruising, but finally, HE WALKED!!


and now he’s wearing out his shoes.  love that.

here are some new kicks. get busy wearing them out, kid!


and david we love you.

you are pure joy and silliness.