Thursday, January 30, 2014

We made the most of an inch and a half of snow...

As many of you know, it snowed in Georgia! 
Luckily, we all got home safe and sound
before the ice hit the roadways. 

School and work got canceled
and we had the most amazing snow day.
The yard looked absolutely beautiful.

We had fun getting bundled up,
playing in the light dusting of snow in our yard,
and then running back inside to drink hot chocolate
and get toasty by the fire.

Then, a bit later we'd go back out and play again.
 I could get used to this.

Here's the scene around our house yesterday.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Happiness Project :: Week 49

One of my favorite authors, Sarah Addison Allen,
released her new book last week!

I've been immersed in it
reading whenever I can sneak a moment.
I find myself daydreaming about the characters
and propping my feet up to crack open the pages
and spend time with this magical story.

There's nothing better 
than getting lost in a good book!


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

An Oldie but a Goodie :: Chores and Poetry

Originally posted 8/30/12
A new series is popping up here
on good ol' Leigh vs Laundry.

I'm thrilled to have some mama time
while my two little monsters are at school.
So, I'm going to celebrate, from time to time,
the wonderful moments I spend all by myself,
without a kid in site.

One thing that I have more time for is housework.
It's so much more lovely
to perform this task without
a little one undoing and messing up
what I just cleaned.

I'm so thrilled that I decided
to create a photo essay coupled with
a haiku in honor of each of my daily chores.


An ocean of clothes
the wave crests on my couch
I drown in cotton


I push and I pull
gliding over the carpet
shaking the earth clean


A whirlwind within
soapy water swirls and spins
dishes glimmer in the sun

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Happiness Project :: Week 48

Roger's birthday was last week and we
decided to keep it low key since money is a bit tight.

So I dug into my trusty party decoration drawer
and used up all the leftover decorations from past birthday parties.

The boys had so much fun helping me set up
their dad's Pokemon/Transformers/Mario/Soccer birthday party.

Roger actually loved it.
I treasure these simple family moments.


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Thursday, January 16, 2014

An Oldie but a Goodie :: Love After Baby

Originally posted 9/29/09

The other day I was fluttering around the kitchen 
with my baby on my hip.
 I opened the freezer door
 and all of this stuff came tumbling out. 
My husband quickly came over 
and crouched behind me to gather it all up
 and as he placed various things back in the freezer he said...

"I was going to bite your butt but I didn't want you to drop the baby."

We erupted into laughter. 
This says so much about 
where we are in our marriage at the moment.
 The love is there and the laughter is easy to share's all about the kids right now.
 We take it where we can get it.
He smacks my butt while I'm cooking dinner. 
We pass each other in the hallway each evening
 as I am heading to put Koen to bed 
and he is off to give Griffin a bath. 

We smile lovingly at one another 
as our shoulders brush in passing.
 "I'll meet you on the couch at 9" 
one of us will say to the other. 
Then, after Koen is sound asleep
 and Griffin is squeaky clean from his bath,
the three of us pile up and read stories together before bedtime. 
As we read Curious George for the 1000th time
 and Griffin sits snugly between us, 
we'll play footsie and give each other flirty grins.

By the time 9 o'clock rolls around, I am a zombie and he is too. 

We veg out on the couch watching this and that.
 By 9:30 I am almost asleep. 
By 9:45 I am brushing my teeth.
 At 10:00 pm I am in bed. 
So much for a hot steamy night of passion. 
These days, the only thing I kiss is my pillow 
as I lay down to go to sleep.

Me and my man are like 
two ships passing in the night.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Thoughts on Motherhood :: The Sweet Spot

{image found here}

         A shift has slowly happened in our home. The crib has long since been dismantled and I haven't changed a diaper in years. All of the tiny onesies and baby socks have been boxed up and passed along to new mamas for a while now. For a bit, I mourned the exit of the baby years in my life and I think it was important for me to linger in that place.

        Now, Griffin is 9 and Koen is almost 5. My home is bustling with Beyblade battles and Pokemon games. Bedtime is smooth, everyone is begrudgingly trying the vegetables on their plate, the kids can play outside in the yard together while I curl up with a good book and keep an eye on them through the window. If the children bicker, I sit them down at the dining room table and tell them to work it out. Then I walk away. After a few minutes of tears and negotiating, they make up and run off and play.

      I have time for myself while they are at school. I attend a Bible study, I do my household chores (the laundry is still winning btw), I joined a writer's group and writing is a part of my daily life. The Mister and I still have Friday night dates. We laugh together. I'm not too tired from chasing around a baby and actually want to snuggle on the couch with him because I'm not exhausted.

    Dare I say that we are happy? Happy to be at a point where the children are getting bigger and we can go to the movie theatre together without a child screaming the whole time. We all actually sit and enjoy watching the movie. It's like a miracle. Both of the children know how to swim so if we go to the pool, I'm not freaking out worrying that one of them will drown. We all splash and play. It's like a dream. If the kids wake up early on the weekend, they stay in their room and play or read together until we drag ourselves out of bed a bit later.

   I know that we will go through phases as a family. Changes and stresses will come our way but right now, at this very moment-we've hit the sweet spot and I want to always remember this special time. When both of the boys are still so innocent. When they still crawl up into my lap and ask me to read them a story. Even my big 9-year-old still likes a good cuddle. He's like this huge puppy that doesn't know how big he is. He's marching toward being a Tween and so I am treasuring his little boy-ness. 

  I am letting the present settle into my heart. There may not be more babies for our family but I'm actually happy to feel complete. Our hard work of raising babies, toddlers, and even preschoolers has paid off and now it's time to sit back for a moment and appreciate the children they've become.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Happiness Project :: Week 47

Over the weekend Roger went out of town
and my parents offered to keep the boys one night,
which meant I had a much needed night to myself.

I was a bit fried from the intensity of the holidays.
Having everyone home from work and school
for two weeks was nice in theory
but really it just means more work for Mama.

I'm not complaining, I'm just saying
that when it was time for life to go back to our routine,
I needed some "me myself time".

I did what any red blooded mama
would do when she has a night off.
I drank cheap champagne out of a tiny bottle,
ate dark chocolate,
and worked on the second draft of my novel.

It was like heaven.

Other activities not shown from my solo night....

*A trip to see the movie "Her"
where I ate buttered popcorn for dinner.

*A hot bubble bath with lavender candles
while I listened to Tori Amos.

*Reading People Magazine on the couch.


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Thursday, January 9, 2014

An Oldie but a Goodie :: Remembering Spring

Originally posted 5/1/12

When I was in high school
I called myself the "flower bandit".
I had an addiction to driving past houses
on my ride home from school,
jumping out of the car,
and picking beautiful flowers from people's yards.

I would show up to my parents' house
with stunning bouquets
and my mother would scold me to no end
for stealing blooms from unsuspecting people.

She eventually had to ground me
if I turned up with a handful
of flowers.


I still have that impulse to this day.
I just can't help it,
it's not my fault that
I love picking flowers so much.


With all the gorgeous wild flowers in bloom,
I've had itchy fingers lately as I drove past
fields filled with tempting flowers.


I just couldn't fight the impulse any longer
and the moment that I had some time to myself,
I had a relapse and gave into my flower bandit ways.


It was so much fun to hunt them down.
I even risked my life getting this Queen Anne's Lace
as it was on the edge of a very busy road.

I said a prayer as I crossed the street...

"Dear God,
Please forgive me for stealing flowers
and don't let me die on the side of the road
while I attempt to steal them.


I grasped my bouquet and made a run for it.
Even though all the flowers were on public property
and most of them were pesky weeds,
I still had a blast.


They sure did look beautiful
when I got them home and into a vase.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Amazing Adventures of Boo

We had a super sweet grey kitty
show up on our doorstep over the holidays.

At first we kind of stepped over him
thinking that he would wander off 
but he just sort of never left.

We asked neighbors and he didn't belong to anybody
so we started petting him, 
then we fed him,
then we picked him up,
then we named him Boo.

He just wouldn't leave and our other
two grumpy cats, Atticus and Scout
(I read To Kill a Mockingbird one too many times)
even warmed up to him
and much to my husband's chagrin,
we decided that after the holidays
we'd take him to the vet, get him fixed up,
and call him ours.

He jumped in our laps and won our hearts.
He camped out on our porch for 3 weeks.
Until...we left town and had my dad swing by 
to feed the cats for us while we were gone.

Boo must be a fickle cat because 
when we got back, he was gone.
We weren't here to love him up.

The kids are pretty sad.
So, to take away the sting 
of losing the cat that was never really ours,
we've started making up stories
about the adventures Boo may be on.

Did he join the circus?
Did he hike to Alaska to live on a fishing boat?
Did he move to the Texas and strap on a cowboy hat?
Did he move to a farm and befriend a cow?

Koen thinks that he got in a fight with a lion.

Maybe one day he'll find his
way back to us on a stop 
from his many adventures.

Until then,
we miss you Boo.
You'll live on in the stories we tell.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Happiness Project :: Week 46

We spent a few days in South Georgia at the end of holidays
and played as a family at the Windmill Plantation.
I love going down there, strapping on some camo,
and running around in the woods with my boys.

We hopped on the Badboy and drove around
looking for hogs and deer to say hello to.

We spent some time wandering through the woods
in search of elusive arrowheads 
but never found any.


When it was too chilly to play outside,
we cozied up in the cabin in our long johns
and baked yummy cookies.

Then we'd snuggle and watch the sunset over the pond.
Life is good at the Windmill Plantation.


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 came in with a bang...

After dinner on New Year's Eve, 
we grabbed a box of fireworks
that had been nestled in a cabinet 
in my laundry room for 5 years,

"Why did we buy these and how did we not shoot them off until now?"
 was the question of the night.

Anyway, we all put on our coats
and ran outside.
It was only 6:30 pm 
but we decided that was as good
a time as any to celebrate the New Year.

Roger put on a fantastic show for us
as the boys and I sat on our front steps
and whooped and hollered 
as the fireworks whizzed, banged
and lit up the night sky.

Their sweet faces were illuminated 
with a red and golden flickering glow
and I knew that I was exactly where I wanted to be
to ring in the new year.

My life is pretty simple,
filled with little moments 
that explode in my heart.
It's filled with love
and laughter.

My goal is to enjoy 
every crazy moment that 
unfolds in my home.
To be present.
To enjoy my children.

If a loud sword fight 
is unleashed in my living room,
I will grab a sword and join in.

If I discover the boys in the bathroom
making a mess with "potions",
I will grab green food coloring
and baking soda and make some slime.

These moments are fleeting
and as we sat on our steps 
and watched the fireworks dance for us,
 I couldn't help but think
2014 is going to be a great year!