Risky, Messy Love

family, finding love, Louis and Beasley, matthias By January 19, 2016 11 Comments

louis and beasley lisa leonard-01

The other day, as I was driving the boys to school, Matthias told me he loves our new pugs so much it makes him sad.

I asked him what he meant, and he explained, “I feel so much love for them—but what if they get hurt or sick or worse, die? I would be so sad. Just the thought of it makes my heart heavy.”

I sighed and nodded. I knew exactly what he meant. I feel those same feelings and worry every day. Not just for our dogs {I mean, I love those doggies!} but even more so having children, committing to a husband, sharing life with sisters who are dear to my heart, it’s amazing and it’s terrifying.

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Love is vulnerable.

Love is a risk.

Love is messy. Always.

Love isn’t safe.

If we love deeply and honestly, we’ll most likely get hurt.

But if we protect our hearts and keep them safe, we miss out on, well, the best of what life brings.

Because love is imperfect, we’re imperfect—flawed in all of our good intentions, living in bodies that will eventually fail us.

It’s heart-breaking.

But it’s also breath-taking.

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Love makes the journey not only bearable, but beautiful.

Love may break our hearts but it also heals them.

Love eases our pain and comforts our souls in a way that’s impossible to understand.

To be loved is everything.

And so, these two sweet dogs have walked into our lives, made them sweeter and unexpectedly, they’re teaching us about love and life. And that is no small thing.

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If you’re passing through–make sure to stop {Ocean Drifter}

san luis obispo, shops i love By January 18, 2016 4 Comments

Hello friends! It’s Monday and the kiddos are out of school today. We spent the weekend with family in Cambria {it’s a charming town about 40 minutes north of San Luis Obispo}. Chrissie and I stumbled upon an inspiring boutique called Ocean Drifter. There are so many beautiful handmade treasures. If you’re passing through–make sure to stop and check it out!
ocean drifter cambria-05Hello colorful baskets and handmade lotions. And that shelving is amazing!

ocean drifter cambria-03 Hello hearts and pretty things for the walls.

ocean drifter cambria-02 Hello wall in progress. Isn’t this incredible??

ocean drifter cambria-07Hello bits of glass and necklaces.

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Hello driftwood with beautiful designs. Love!

ocean drifter cambria-13 Hello more baskets. How many baskets is too many??

ocean drifter cambria-12 Hello bravery. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

ocean drifter cambria-11 Hello mexican blankets. These are perfect for a picnic or the beach

ocean drifter cambria-10 Hello driftwood hearts. Oh my!

ocean drifter cambria-09 Hello succulents. Can you see that bloom emerging?

ocean drifter cambria-08 Hello Ocean Drifter. Love this shop!

ocean drifter cambria-01Hello 614 Main Street, Cambria. Such a sweet spot for a sweet shop.

Hello downtime to think and breathe and be with family. So good.

Hello ready to be home. We have traveled so much lately and we’re all ready for some ‘normal’.

Hello laundry. Oh goodness, so much laundry. Hold me.

Hello meetings this week.

Hello new couch being delivered. I am so so so excited!!

Hello to YOU. It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. Join me!

What are you saying hello to this week?

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celebrating Matthias {twelve!}

adventures, matthias By January 15, 2016 2 Comments

Today is Matthias’ official birthday. Earlier this week we celebrated at Disneyland with his cousins, Torie and Lexie. We’re pretty much all about Star Wars right now. So fun! Matthias is twelve–I keep trying to make myself believe it. It’s cliche but the time goes so quickly!

Matthias, you are such a blessing to our family. You make us better. You teach us to see the world creatively. You help us understand David. You’re an old soul with keen insights beyond your years. I adore you!

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Happy birthday, Matthias! We have so many reasons to celebrate you–and your birthday is a perfect opportunity! I can’t wait to have new adventures with you this year. And may the force be with you.

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They’ll look back on these pics in a few years and thank me! {winslow, england}

hello monday, Leonards take England By January 11, 2016 No Comments

Hello friends! During our holiday, we went to a fox hunt in Winslow England. They don’t actually hunt foxes any more, but it was all very traditional and charming–complete with red coats, hounds and mince pies. It was something straight out of Downton Abbey. So fun!

I’ve been so jet lagged coming home. Fighting a cold along with not sleeping during the correct hours has me exhausted. I’ve been going to bed by 8pm and waking up way to early. Crazy!

It’s Monday and I have lots of pics to share from our day in Winslow. And of course, hellos for a brand new week! It’s Monday–let’s do this!
winslow england -07Hello beautiful horses and traditional red coats.

winslow england -04Hello cousins.

winslow england -13Hello bright red berries.

winslow england -06Hello hounds! They were adorable–but definitely working dogs.

winslow england -10Hello English cousins. I’m so thankful for these people.

winslow england -11Hello picture taking. Isn’t he cute?!

winslow england -12Hello Matthias. You have become such a great traveler!

winslow england -14Hello brothers. Hello heart-melting.

winslow england -09Hello beautiful trees and old estates. England just can’t help how charming it is!

winslow england -05Hello to my three favorite boys.

winslow england -16Hello smiles and exploring.

winslow england -17Hello making memories together.

winslow england -19Hello mince pies. I ate a lot of mince pies. Yum!

winslow england -23Hello stopping to take another pic. They’ll look back on these pics in a few years and thank me!

winslow england -26Hello old church where our cousins got married years ago!

winslow england -30Hello Phoebe getting a lift from daddy. Life is good!

Hello still unpacking from our trip.

Hello taking the tree down. It’s down. And the house feels more quiet.

Hello tail end of a cold. The sniffles seem to last forever.

Hello rain and rain and more rain. Love it.

Hello celebrating Matthias this week. He is turning 12 years old. My baby!!

Hello laundry. I swear it multiplies while we sleep. How can we still have a mountain when I did 10 loads last week?!

Hello to YOU. It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. Join me?

What are you saying hello to this week?

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a little bit of joy to suprise the day that changed everything

david, inspiration By January 7, 2016 72 Comments

At some point in each person’s life, pain shows up. That’s the day everything changes. What was true one moment is gone the next. The path turns sharply in an unexpected direction. It’s disorienting, unfamiliar terrain.

When it happened to me, I knew in the depth of my soul, things were broken and would never be the same again. The pain, in all its heavy darkness would be with me for the rest of my life. Instead of the happy, healthy baby I imagined, our son was born with a severe disability and a body that didn’t work correctly. The joy of anticipating our son turned to grief as they hooked him up to monitors and tubes.

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But slowly, as I started to accept it, the pain became part of me. It was still there but it wasn’t quite as heavy.  I loved cuddling with David and feeling his soft breath as he cuddled into my shoulder. And that first smile when he was three months old was like wind behind me–moving me forward. Each footstep didn’t feel so exhausting.

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Then, to my surprise, a little bit of joy peeked through the clouds, like ray of sunshine. I wasn’t expecting it and I almost felt guilty. It must be a fluke, right? A little accidental joy. But little by little joy showed herself. The pain was still there, it’s there today, it’s part of me and part of my journey. But the pain has allowed me to feel joy in a new, fresh way that I couldn’t before. The pain helps me appreciate the joy. The pain makes the joy much, much sweeter. The day that pain showed up, it changed everything.
And in it’s crazy, mixed up way, the brokenness of pain is making me more whole.

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Every morning I slip the sunburst ring on my finger as a reminder.

Has joy started to peek it’s head through the clouds in your journey? I’d love to hear.

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hello Salcey Forest, hello heading home

hello monday, Leonards take England By January 4, 2016 3 Comments

Hello friends! We are headed home from England today. It was a wonderful trip overall filled with family time, relaxation, beautiful sites and delicious food. We had a very scary night with David in Cambridge. We didn’t realize how serious it was until we got to the hospital–but he had pneumonia and on top of that had an ‘asthma-like’ episode. We received excellent care at Attenbrooke Hospital in Cambridge and he is much better now. I think I’m still trying to recover from how serious it was and alternative outcomes. Thankfully, he is on the mend!

It’s a brand new week and a brand new year. There is much to be grateful for. How about some hellos and pics from our walk through Salcey Forest?!
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Hello cousins. They had lots of time together. I love that they are making memories.

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Hello helping your little sister.

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Hello trees with stories to tell.

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Hello healing. I’m so so so grateful this kiddo is such a trooper and we got him to the hospital when we did!

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Hello hunting for the perfect stick.

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Hello mud. Lots of mud. Hello getting muddy and not minding it at all.

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Hello brothers. Matthias was very worried about David. I love how they love each other.

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Hello red head. Love it.

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Hello smiles. Hello chilly air. Hello breathing deeply.

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Hello to a new year and a new journey. I have high hopes for 2016.

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Hello muddy shoes. We had quite the mess to clean up after the walk.

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Hello meeting a pug along the path. Hello missing Louis and Beasley. We can’t wait to see them!

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Hello looking up and seeing a beautiful site.
Hello jetlag and unpacking and laundry.
Hello jumping back into real life. I’m not sure if I’m ready!
Hello emails to catch up on.
Hello snuggles with our sweet pups and being gentle with ourselves while get back into the daily routine.

Hello to YOU! What are you saying hello to on this brand new Monday?

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Why this DIY will make you travel a globe! {check it out}

DIY By December 29, 2015 3 Comments

I found this large globe at a thrift store a couple weeks ago. It’s not vintage and the colors weren’t vibrant–so it was perfect for painting. Plus, it was only a few dollars–so if the project failed, no problem.

Supplies:
black and aqua acrylic paint {I found mine at Target}
brushes in a variety of sizes {small of detail areas, larger for the oceans}
oil based sharpie for writing continent/ocean names
thrifted globe

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David enjoys spinning the globe–so fun.

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First I painted all of the aqua {water} areas. It took about 3 coats of paint. The first coat of aqua looked pretty bad, but as I ket going with the second and third coat of paint, it came together. Then I filled in the land with black. The black paint covered much easier and I only did one coat.

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After the paint was dry, I used a gold oil-based sharpie and wrote each continent name. I also wrote ‘every heart matters’ over the large aqua side of the globe.

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The globe is sitting on our hearth. I really like how it turned out!

DIY painted globe lisa leonard-07

And obviously the dogs love it, too! The globe is nowhere near geographically accurate. But it’s fun, right? Now I need to find my next project. Have you done any great DIYs lately?

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Hello Christmas in England

adventures, Leonards take England By December 28, 2015 1 Comment

Hello friends! We are in England with family celebrating Christmas and New Year’s. It’s been relaxing, exhausting and mostly wonderful. We’ve been splitting our time between relaxing and exploring. David had a hard time kicking the jet lag and was waking up at 4am every morning. That makes for a very long day!

It’s Monday. How about some hellos for a brand new week?
Christmas in England1-01Christmas in England1-02 Christmas in England1-03Christmas in England1-09 Christmas in England1-04 Christmas in England1-05 Christmas in England1-06 Christmas in England1-07 Christmas in England1-08
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Hello mild weather. It’s hardly cold at all and we’ve been able to spend lots of time outside. Usually England is freezing this time of year–so we’re very thankful!

Hello cousins! They are all growing up so much. I love that they get to make memories together.

Hello girls day. Sara and I are going to foot massages and some shopping–just us two. Hooray!

Hello eating all of the english chocolate, scones with clotted cream and hot tea we can handle.

Hello taking a break from ‘real life’. It’s good for us.

Hello Cambridge tomorrow. I’ve never been and I can’t wait to take it in.

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

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hello yellow, hello monday

hello monday By December 14, 2015 2 Comments

There are vibrant yellow leaves every where these days, and I can’t get enough. These pics really don’t do them justice. It’s Monday-a brand new week with beauty to be found. How about some hellos?

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Hello sunshine and rain. The weather has been chilly and wet lately–then the sunshine breaks through. Beautiful!

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Hello busy busy. Man, it’s just a crazy season. Everything feels busy. I’ve been having some anxiety–and trying to slow down and breathe deeply. Everything will get done and rushing never helps.

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Hello doggies. We are loving having Louis and Beasley in our family. They are such love bugs.

Hello wrapping gifts. I’m trying to get ahead so I’m not up until midnight.

Hello meetings. Lots of meetings and lots of good stuff happening.

Hello quick trip to NY this week. I want to see the tree in Rockefeller Center.

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week. Let’d do this.

What are you saying hello to this week?

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hello walking in morro bay

hello monday, Louis and Beasley, san luis obispo By December 7, 2015 2 Comments

We’ve always enjoyed walking in Morro Bay–but with the dogs, it’s even more fun! Saturday was gorgeous and clear with a beautiful view of the rock and lots of otters playing.

It’s Monday, how about some hellos for a brand new week?!
hello walking in morro bay-02

Hello pug lover. Matthias is doing an amazing job taking care of Louis and Beasley. He feeds them, walks them and picks up their poop. I’m impressed. hello walking in morro bay-03
Hello outnumbered. Five boys and one girl. I’m seriously outnumbered here–and I don’t mind one bit!

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Hello beautiful day.

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Hello silliness. David had some tummy pain when we started, but then he cheered up and had a great time walking and dancing.

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Hello running! It’s so good to get out and move!

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Hello long shadows. Winter days are short–we try to soak up the sun while it’s out!

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Hello sunshine. So much love.

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Hello dog smiles. Beasley {with the dark forehead} has the best dog smile ever.

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Hello giving David kisses.

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Hello happy and tired pup!

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Hello long nap for the doggies after we got home. They snore and it’s hilarious.

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Hello eight feet and eight paws. Awesome.

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Hello finishing up Christmas shopping. I need to start wrapping!

Hello lots of work around the house this week. We’re having the carpets cleaned. Hooray!

Hello brushing the dogs everyday. And still having to link roll the couches and vacuum regularly.

Hello preparing for England. We’re spending Christmas there and it’s going to be COLD! I can’t wait to see our British family!

Hello Christmas party and Christmas cards and all things Christmas. So fun!

It’s a brand new week. What are you saying hello to this week?

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