hello market baskets and missing france

what I'm wearing By July 26, 2016 3 Comments

We are fresh back from France and missing the lavender fields and amazing architecture. The more we travel, the smaller the world feels–and I love that!

This super easy, comfortable dress was on clearance for $10 at Target. It’s the type of thing I could wear everyday–with thee sandals for lunch with a friend or flip flops for dinner near the beach. Market baskets are very affordable in France–I think this one was $17. Smaller baskets are around $12. They are so adorable–and useful!

market baskets and missing france-04market baskets and missing france-01 market baskets and missing france-02 market baskets and missing france-03market baskets and missing france-06 market baskets and missing france-07market baskets and missing france-09

Outfit details: Black dress, Target {similar}. Sandals, Miz Mooz {on sale!} Market basket, French market in France. Cuff, sunburst ring, My shop.

Is there somewhere in the world you would love to see? I’d love to visit Greece. I think that’s next on my wish list!

Share:

hello industrial cart {side table}

decorating, hello monday By July 25, 2016 2 Comments

Last week while thrifting with a friend, I stumbled on this awesome aqua industrial cart {right side of couch}. We already had one in our family room {left side of couch} and I loved the height and size. So I grabbed it, brought it home, scrubbed it quite a bit and placed it next to the couch. I love it. It adds a bit of color to break up the brown. Someone instagram suggested bringing in a rug with some aqua to add more color and I think that’s a great idea. Now I’ll start hunting for the perfect rug!

It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. How about some hellos?
industrial cart side table lisa leonard-03

Hello family room. This space is constantly going from tidy to disaster and then back to tidy again. I guess that’s the cycle of a home that’s actually lived in!

industrial cart side table3

Hello warm summer days. We’re having a bit of a heat wave–how about you?

industrial cart side table lisa leonard-07

Hello sending Matthias off to summer camp for a WEEK. My heart can hardly stand it.

Hello pups already missing Matthias. Who will cuddle them all week while he’s away? We’re all going to have to chip in!

Hello walking and walking. I crave it. I love it.

Hello listening to this book on Audible. It’s equal parts tragedy and humor. I love a good autobiography. I love to hear other’s stories. It fascinates and inspires me.

Hello being falling for mexican tiles. How amazing is this fireplace?

Hello celebrating 17 years of marriage this week. Insane!

Hello looking forward to some down time this week.

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

Share:

Hello Eiffel, Hello France

adventures, hello monday By July 18, 2016 4 Comments

France is on our minds a lot lately for three reasons; we just returned from France, we are BIG Tour de France fans and because of the recent tragedy in Nice. It’s a beautiful country with lovely people. The people of France are close to my heart.

One of our favorite days in Paris was visiting the Eiffel Tower. It’s such an icon! Seeing it in real life was magical. Traveling with David is challenging–but I’ll save that story for another post. Standing by the Eiffel Tower as a family feels like a huge accomplishment. I remember feeling that same thing when we visited Stonehenge–pics here. We want our boys to see the world–believing that we are connected to everyone. In every country, every culture we find we’re really not so different. In our heart of hearts we are connected by feelings of love, fear and hope. The more we see of the world, the smaller it seems.

It’s a brand new week. I’m starting out with thoughts and prayers for France. How about some hellos?
Hello Eiffel lisa leonard3Hello beautiful Eiffel. You take my breath away!

Hello Eiffel lisa leonard2Hello looking from every angle to get a sense of the bigness and beauty of the Eiffel Tower.

Hello Eiffel lisa leonard 4 Hello kissing and holding hands and being together.

Hello Eiffel lisa leonard 5Hello finally saying yes to one of the vendors and buying a tiny Eiffel Tower to take home.

Hello busy week ahead. Every day this week is full. Somehow I always imagine summer as so laid back–but we end up with a full calendar!

Hello art class for Matthias.

Hello dinner with friends.

Hello coffee. I’m trying to limit myself to one cup a day. I’m savoring every sip.

Hello last week of the Tour de France. We’ll be watching every stage.

Hello all day meetings and lots of planning.

Hello walking and soaking up the sunshine.

Hello France. I’m thinking of you today.

Hello to YOU. It’s a new week with beauty waiting to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

Share:

hello lavender fields

family, hello monday By July 11, 2016 3 Comments

On our last full day in the South of France we drove to lavender fields. We’d heard they were breath-taking and we weren’t disappointed. There were row after row, field after field, mile after mile of lavender fields. I’ve never seen anything like it! The color was vibrant and it smelled amazing. Only one small problem–lots of bees! But we didn’t let that stop us.

It’s Monday, a brand new week with beauty to be found. How about some hellos?
hello lavendar fields-02 Hello adventure. I’m thankful we were able to travel as a family to France. It wasn’t easy, particularly because of David’s special needs,but we made some amazing memories.

hello lavendar fields-04 Hello lavendar. I could have brought back a suitcase full of lavender.

hello lavendar fields-05 Hello being carried. David refused to walk so Steve helped him out. Such a good daddy.

hello lavendar fields-06Hello cutie. He’s starting 7th grade in the fall. I think our trip changed him and gave him some new perspectives.

hello lavendar fields-01Hello family. Hello going through ups and downs with these people. I’m thankful we are learning and growing together.

Hello sunburn. I’ve been walking and hiking and my shoulders are red. It’s a good reminder to use more sunscreen than I think I need!

Hello appetite. David has been eating so much! Maybe he’s getting ready for a growth spurt?

Hello Get Smart. We watched it for family movie night last night and we were all cracking up!

Hello meetings this week. Summer meetings always catch me by surprise. I get into relax-no-schedule mode.

Hello cherries. One of my favorite summer fruits.

Hello new book. I’m enjoying it and love her honesty. Warning, she uses language and covers some sensitive topics.

Hello to you! What are you saying hello to this week?

Share:

I can’t be silent

thoughts By July 9, 2016 49 Comments

IMG_2831

A few years ago my family went to the Southern California mountains for a snow day. We planned a fun-filled day of skiing and tubing down snowy slopes. As we arrived we headed to the lodge for snacks and a potty break. I got the kids settled and headed to the bathroom. The door to the stall next to me closed and the screaming began. I heard a mother berating her daughter. Her cruel words echoed through the room. Then I heard the slaps and the little girl began crying. I stood frozen in fear.

“I don’t know the details.” I told myself. “It’s none of my business.” I tried to reason with my heart.

I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing. They left the bathroom before me. I washed my hands as a few tears fell from my eyes. I went on with my day but I couldn’t shake the awful feeling inside me. I did nothing. It was horrible. It was wrong. And I stood there silent.

I promised myself next time I would do something.

A couple years later I was shopping at a department store. As I entered the dressing room with a couple pairs of jeans, an angry mom pushed past me. She dragged her child into one of the dressing rooms and began screaming. I heard slaps. I had been in almost the exact same situation a few years before. I felt the same feeling of fear and horror move through my body.

I looked at the dressing room attendant and said, “We have to do something.”

She looked at me with sympathy in her eyes and said, “As an employee, I’m not allowed to say anything. There’s nothing I can do.”

I took a deep breath and walked over to the dressing room. I knocked on the door and said with a timid voice, “Pardon me. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m uncomfortable with what I’m hearing.”

The mother responded, “It’s none of your business. We’re fine.”

“But I’m not fine.” I said. “I’m uncomfortable and I’ll wait out here until you come out.”

After a few moments they came out of the dressing room walked past me and left the store.
Did I do enough? Maybe not. But I did something. It was a start.
I showed up. I stood up and said, “I’m uncomfortable.”

My husband and I recently started watching a documentary that explores racism {among other things} in the US in recent history.
A couple days ago I read a news story about police violence against a black man.
And the next day, another very disturbing news story about police violence.
I’m uncomfortable.
We have a problem.

If we see injustice and do nothing we’re not only part of the problem, we are the problem.
We cannot look away.
We cannot sit silently by and do nothing.
We can fight for what is right.
We can say, “I’m uncomfortable.”
It’s not enough, but it’s a start.
One voice, even if it’s squeaky and small, can join with many others to become a roar.
A beautiful, power force for change.
Friends, we need change.

Share:

hello birthday!

david, family By July 4, 2016 1 Comment

IMG_2788

We spent the weekend with cousins and had so much fun. David officially turns 14 today {although we celebrated last night}. So much to celebrate! How about some hellos?

Hello birthday boy! Fourteen sounds like an absolutely crazy number in this context.

Hello saying goodbye to cousins. It’s been wonderful to talk, laugh and be silly.

Hello Instax Share printer. I printed the above pics from my cell phone. We are loving it.

Hello getting back into a routine after France and family time.

Hello pics to edit and share. There was so much beauty in France!

Hello sister time. I’m craving some {without the kids so we can finish sentences uninterrupted!}

Hello looking for a new book to read.

Hello new noisy toys from David’s birthday.

Hello lazy morning and summer days. Some of my favorite things.

Hello last day of the S A L E.

Hello to you! What are you saying hello to this week?

Share:

David turns 14!

david By July 1, 2016 27 Comments

David you’re turning fourteen. I can hardly believe it! It seems like just yesterday we were holding our tiny baby and wondering what life would hold for you, for us and for our family. In those early days there were many tears.

We couldn’t imagine the joy waiting for us.
We couldn’t imagine the things you would teach us.
We couldn’t imagine the way our hearts would grow and change.
david's turning 14-2-01

In Paris, you took your dad’s hand and led him up the steps to the Sacre Coeur Cathedral. Your determination gives you power. Without words you speak your mind and reveal your heart. You are learning and changing. Your world is expanding every day. And watching your world expand makes my heart want to burst. I am so proud of you!

david's turning 14-01

Your smile lights up the room. It chases away shadows and replaces them with hope.

You share your love without reservation. Many times people have told me that when you put your arms around their neck they felt loved and seen. You have a sense for who needs encouragement and boldly meet them there. People respond to you. It’s beautiful to watch.

You make music. The little tunes you tap out flow our of your soul and fill the room. You are passionate about music–I love to watch you concentrate. You don’t just hear the music, you feel it too.

IMG_2539

You’re turning fourteen.
You are small in size but you’re a big presence.
You make the world a better place.
You show us that life isn’t easy but it’s beautiful.
You make every day a celebration.
You make every activity an adventure.
You inspire me to greet each day with joy and an open heart.

david's turning 14-3-01
David I am honored to be your mom. I love you from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. Happy birthday!

Share:

wholeness is a contradiction

finding love, jewelry, the meaning behind By June 29, 2016 4 Comments

What is wholeness?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’ve spent time reading about it, journaling about it and praying about it.

I want to be whole–but often I feel so broken and inadequate. I’m imperfect, but also amazing. I’m strong and capable but also prone to discouragement when I’m worn out. Wholeness is a contradiction. The more I accept my inability to be whole, the more I find it.

To fully experience life I have to open myself to every part it—the beautiful parts and the ugly parts.

wholeness lisa leonard2-01

Wholeness isn’t perfection. I’ve made my to-do lists and faithfully checked off item after item. By the time I reach the end of the list I have to start over again. The list is never-ending, but my energy is limited. I’ve tried to be perfect and failed miserably time and time again.

Wholeness isn’t life without conflict. I’ve tried to control things in my environment, my home, my family to make us all ‘happy’. It’s impossible. Each of us with our own personalities and preferences can’t be simultaneously pleased and content each moment. Relationship requires give and take. It requires flexibility and freeing ourselves to feel what we feel.

wholeness lisa leonard-01

Wholeness is waking up on a Saturday morning to pancakes and syrupy fingers.

Wholeness is taking the dogs for a walk and letting the laundry wait.

Wholeness is clearing our calendar last minute to stay home and rest.

Wholeness is a date night that ends with a fight. But we climb into bed and drift off to sleep side by side anyway.

Sometimes wholeness is laughing and sometimes it’s crying.

Sometimes it’s singing together in the car.

Sometimes it’s raised voices and strong opinions.

Sometimes it’s kind words.

Sometimes it’s forgiveness. Maybe all the time it’s forgiveness.

Wholeness is taking care of myself physically, emotionally and spiritually, so I can love you better. And knowing you need to do the same.

Wholeness is believing you’re strong where I’m weak. And I’m strong where you’re weak.

Wholeness is you and me smoothing out each other’s rough edges.

wholeness necklace lisa leonard

Wholeness is a little necklace around my neck reminding me together we are better. Together we are stronger. Together we will walk this winding road hand in hand.

Share:

hello you. hello unique.

hello monday By June 20, 2016 8 Comments

BE YOU.

My sister has this amazing wall collage in her home. It’s eye catching and artful. The sign BE YOU stands out and screams encouragement–you are you and you are amazing.  Each of us wants to be loved, just as we are–don’t you think? In our humanity we are so similar. We feel the same emotions. We love our children passionately. Our hearts break over the same things. We breathe the same air and use the same kinds of food to nourish our bodies.

And yet each of us is unique. In all our similarities, each of us is still an individual creation. Our similarities unite us, our uniqueness is what makes life fascinating. We are connected by our commonalities. We learn from our differences.

Hello to you. Beautiful you. No one else is quite like you. You make the world more interesting and more beautiful. You don’t have to be like her or like him. Just be you.

How about some hellos for a brand new week?

be you lisa leonard-01

Hello adventures. We’ve planned some fun adventures for the boys this summer. We love to try new things as a family–well I should say Steve and I like to try new things. The boys are sometimes resistant to new things. But we try to encourage them to be flexible–try new foods, go new places. We want to expand their worlds.

Hello espresso. I’ve never been an espresso fan but lately I’ve been enjoying it. I still have to add cream–I can’t drink it black.

Hello silliness. David had a cold last week but he’s back to his silly self. I love the spring in his step and the smile on his face.

Hello sparkling water. I’m trying to cut back on soda so I’ve replaced it with sparkling water. Yum.

Hello napping. I’m not a big napper but a short nap in the middle of the day is a glorious thing. Sometimes it’s hard to get up though–my body wants to sleep all night. Do you nap?

Hello summer schedule. Which basically means no schedule–although I still have things to do. Where do the days go? We can hardly get out of the house before noon!

Hello Pokeman. Matthias is super into it and has begun creating/drawing his own characters. It’s such an interesting world and oh my goodness there are so many characters. How can one keep them straight?

Hello Indian food. I’m craving some curry.

Hello to you! Beautiful, unique you. What are you saying hello to this week? Leave some hellos in the comments.

 

Share:

being a dad

family, father's day By June 16, 2016 20 Comments

When Steve and I fell in love and got married {back when we had it all figured out} we knew we wanted to be parents–but we had no idea what parenting involved. We also had no idea our first son would be born with a disability. Life is crazy and parenting is hard. Really hard. I’m thankful I married a man who is an excellent father.

IMG_2458
He takes time to listen to our boys.

He respects their individuality.

He holds them and kisses them. I love that he is so affectionate.

He pushes them to try new things, explore and grow.

He gives good advice.

He shows them what it looks like to work hard.

He tucks them in each night and prays for them.

He lets them be imperfect.

He admits when he’s wrong.

He believes in them.

He loves them just as they are.

It’s beautiful to watch. We are so imperfect. We have our ups and downs, our normal and our crazy.

IMG_2460

This pic above was just normal moment–ordering sushi and the boys melting into their dad. I’m so glad I caught it with my iPhone.

Father’s Day is just a few days away. We’ll be celebrating with a few small gifts and a special meal. Steve, you are an amazing father. We love you!

Share: